Friday, 20 November 2009

Mini Review - Movies aimed at straight males

'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'

(Technically 2008 but hey....I am late) Another winning performance (and nakedly brave - literally) from Jason Segal.
Being dumped is hard, but most films, when addressing the man as the dumpee make it is macho and emotionless as possible.

Nice to see a man crying his eyes out, but over the sadly un-engaging Kristen Bell (after 'Veronica Mars' I expected so much more) it was a little much.
Great support work from Russell Brand kept the film energized, and Mila Kunis was delightful (and far too pretty to look at for too long) as the hotel receptionist.

Note to Jonah Hill - your schtick is getting very old.

Grade - B

'I Love You, Man.'

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this film, mainly due to the very engaging performances from Jason Segal and Paul Rudd as the two leads.
Rudd plays Peter who is ready to get married but realises he has no one to ask to be Best Man.
He has no male friends.
He goes out on unsuccessful man dates until a chance encounter with Sydney (Segal) and a friendship is made.
The film explores what is behind male friend ship, and it turns out to be the exact same thing that is behind any relationship.
Who knew?
In all serious it was a refreshing take on the buddy film.

Grade - B-

'The Hangover'

Hysterical, hard to watch and oh so entertaining.

Bradley Cooper is very easy on the eyes, but the stars of the film were Ed Helms and the wonderful and the brilliant Zach Galifianakis.
I seriously think there will be a place for him on my personal selection for Best Supporting Actor.
It took me a while to warm to him, but by the end the film would have not been as good as it was without him.
It was nice to see Heather Graham again. I was wondering what happened to Roller Girl.

Grade - B+

Ho ho news

Lauren McLaughlin, former Lionsgate executive, wrote a novel called Cycler about Jill who, during that time of the month, turns into Jack who has a crush on her best friend and who's personality is getting stronger and stronger.

Being from a film background she has of course written the screenplay and sequel already, perhaps lining up directing duties along the way.

Sounds like an interesting concept, but will most likely get treated as some teen comedy with lots of pink for Jill and blue for Jack.

Already posted the trailer for Robert Pattinsons' new film. Now it seems everyones' favourite Bill killer is going to play a love interest opposite the broody one.

Uma Thurman is playing the wife of an army friend of Pattinson, who helps the young journalist by introducing him to the top cats in Parisian society. When her husband dies they get married but things of course do not run smoothly as this is set in 19th century Paris.

Uma back in corsets. Heeeeeeeeeeee!

Also interesting is the story is mainly about a man who sleeps his way to the top, and one of his conquests, the wife of his editor, will be played by the Oscarless Kristen Scott Thomas who according to the story, gets all clingy when he tries to dump her.

It is all Dangerous Liaisons all over again, but kind of backwards.

Did you know about the bitter disagreement that developed between the two founders of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. Well apparently this union for Santa workers (not elves, shopping mall men in red suits and sticky ony beards) was formed then torn apart and the original board of directors expelled. There were accusations of un-Santa-like behaviour between members (elf molestation, reindeer buggary, sh*tting in stockings) and then the introduction of a rival, The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas.

If you did not, you do now, and 'School of Rock' scribe Mike White is penning the script and Scott Rudin is producing.

It just sounds so ridiculous I can not even imagine it. Can you imagine the classes for training day?
9:00 - 9:30 - Jolly introductions
9:30 - 10:30 - The history of Santa.
10:30 - 12:00 - You as Santa (in this class we will be issuing costumes, take you through wig and hat fittings, and beard application. We will also be doing timed dressings and teach you how to carry you sack full of toys.
12:30 - 1:00 - Lunch. Egg nog and mince pies and cookies will be served.
1:00 - 2:00 - Learning the reindeer and North Pole facts.
2:00 - 2:30 - Ho-ing. Leaning the Santa laugh
2:30 - 3:30 - Dealing with children (we will teach you about dealing with fear, inappropriate touching, urine stains and negotiating unrealistic toy requests)
3:30 - 5:00 - Practice run through (getting dressed and into character, meeting your elf and shoppinng mall obstacle course)
It just sounds like it is going to be a bloody excellent film though. I say cast Tom Wilkenson NOW!

'Remember Me' trailer

Ohhhh....look at Bobby Patterson branching out.
Looks run of the mill growing pains type drama, but with a pretty decent cast.
I have this strange feeling that ole Bobby is going to be rather strange looking when older. Those cheek bones will not age well.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Yet another amazing 'Precious' poster

Best Documentary shortlist.

Well the Academy of Motion Pictures Art and Sciences have released the list for the films eligible for the Best Documentary feature.

And of course, there are some glaring omissions (I have included links to the trailers for your convenience - I am so ready for saint-hood).
Here is the list:
The Beaches of Agnes, Agnès Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris)
Burma VJ, Anders Østergaard, director (Magic Hour Films)
The Cove, Louie Psihoyos, director (Oceanic Preservation Society)
Every Little Step, James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors (Endgame Entertainment)
Facing Ali, Pete McCormack, director (Network Films Inc.)
Food, Inc., Robert Kenner, director (Robert Kenner Films)
Garbage Dreams, Mai Iskander, director (Iskander Films, Inc.)
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Mark N. Hopkins, director (Red Floor Pictures LLC)
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors (Kovno Communications)
Mugabe and the White African, Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors (Arturi Films Limited)
Sergio, Greg Barker, director (Passion Pictures and Silverbridge Productions)
Soundtrack for a Revolution, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors (Freedom Song Productions)
Under Our Skin, Andy Abrahams Wilson, director (Open Eye Pictures)
Valentino The Last Emperor, Matt Tyrnauer, director (Acolyte Films)
Which Way Home, Rebecca Cammisa, director (Mr. Mudd)
Although it made the cut off point, they decided to ignore the highest grossing documentary of the year, Michael Moores 'Capialism: A Love Story'. Also, one of the best reviewed films of the year 'Anvil: The Story of Anvil' was also left off the list. Just ask Madonna, the Academy are not big on music documentaries.
Sadly, even though many considered it light weight, 'The September Issue' also fell victim.

Right now, as the list stands, I would say the best chance at nominations are 'Food, Inc.', 'The Cove', 'Burma VJ' and 'Every Little Step' with the fifth being a crap shot. As it stands I think it is a race between what we eat and dolphin slaughter.


From Vanity Fair

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Her first lead

Now this is very very risky casting news.
Before you all hate on me, I love the woman to bits and wish her the huge career.
Although she won an Oscar, it was more for her voice than her acting chops, and she has proved on more than one occasion that she can sing.
Various films since have done nothing to say she is an actor of note (but in fairness the films did not really offer her a lot to do), however Jennifer Hudson has managed to score a huge role.

This is one of those risks that will either pay off amazingly, or be nothing note worthy.

She will play Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 'Winnie' in a film that is bound to be as controversial as she is:
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the wife of Nelson Mandela, who she married in 1957 and had daughters with. From a relatively privileged background, she trained and worked as a social worked and, on Mandela's imprisonment in 1963, became an outspoken opponent of apartheid who did a huge amount to keep her husband's name alive both nationally and internationally.

In later years, however, she became a figure of controversy, following a speech that appeared to advocate violence and her involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a 14 year-old police informant. She and Mandela were separated by the time he became Prime Minister of South Africa, and her career was further dogged by a conviction for theft and fraud. She has, however, since re-entered politics and done rather well.
This is an incredibly meaty role for Hudson. One I am not sure if she can deliver mainly because I have not seen her really be given a role that would be this much of a challenge. We are talking period film, accent, high drama, speeches. I am not convinced she has it in her, solely based on what he have seen from her.

However, given her fairly recent tragedy, a flood of emotion and conviction could have been opened and we could see a true remarkable actress emerge. South African director Darrel J. Roodt (who is best know for 'Sarafina!' and 'Cry, the Beloved Country' will add extra authenticity to the proceedings, but in the end it will all ride on Hudson, as this will be her very first lead. Let me file this in "Will have to wait and see".


Racism is very ugly. We all know this, unless of course, dear reader, you are a racist and have no idea what the word means.

In 1965 three marches took place that helped turn the tide for the African-American struggle for equality. The marches were from Selma, Alabama to Mongomery which was 57 miles and would last 5 days. The reason for the three marches is that due to police beating, tear gas and violence, the first march never got to the destination.

For the second march Martin Luther King Jr. gathered hundreds of people to march however an injunction was put on the march preventing it reaching Montgomery.

The third march made it.

Please forgive my horrendous slimming down of a Historical event. Please read more about it here.

My reason for posting this is because Lee Daniels is going to direct the film version. This story of hope and determination against immense odds is nothing new to Daniels, and given his need to try and get emotional truth over on the screen leads me to believe this could be very powerful stuff.

Perhaps he could be back in the Awards race next year as well?

Mo'Nique rocks

All this backlash against the woman not doing any PR for 'Precious' is a load of hooey. Love it when people's bad intentions end up making them look so petty. Gossip mongers!

Anywho I was doing my usual searches for anything 'Precious' related on You Tube last night and came across these two, different, yet very entertaining interviews.

The first is from 'The Ellen Show'. It i strange the Ellen seems completely unprepared for Mo'Nique, it is almost as though she is really intimidated of her.
Mo'Nique is wonderful though. She looks great, is extremely honest and unsentimental and most importantly never comes across as wanting an award.
Love the bit at the end when she talks about her weight loss, but still Ellen just didn't seem able to cope.

A much better interview was on the Late Night Show with Craig Ferguson. She was sexy, sassy, extremely funny and her rap pour with Ferguson is priceless.

Both of these interviews prove one thing to me. There is nothing I would rather see then this force of nature on stage accepting an Oscar and giving a speech. I mean how awesome would she be?
I also love how she both praised Gabby and constantly says that the success of the film and her performance is all due to Lee Daniels. It is modestly, but it never comes off as false.
I honestly think should she not win or even get nominated, she will not really mind. It seems that doing this film was reward enough.
I think she would be more upset should Gabby or Lee be passed over.

Also interesting is this interview over at Interview Magazine where Mo'Nique interviews Gabby.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Crazy Heart' trailer

Or 'let's call the whole thing off'.
Does Jeff Bridges deserve an Oscar? Absolutely.
Will he finally win one this year for 'Crazy Heart'? More than likely.
Does this performance deserve it? We shall see.
All the tricks are there though;
Singing, Alcoholism, Accent, Redemption and a trailer that lets everyone know it is the performance of a lifetime. Jeez! Hold our hand why don't you Fox.
The poser design is wonderful though. Very impressed - it screams "BEST ACTOR!!!"

It will be a Clooney vs. Firth vs. Bridges, vs. Freeman. BRING IT ON!
Right now, since I have not seen any of the films, I would like to see Colin Firth win an Oscar and Bridges. However is Morgan Freeman is amazing then give it to him. So many unseen films! Eeek!

Can Maggie Gyllenhaal make it in as well. Would she be lead or supporting and ride in on Bridges coat tails?

What an excellent song for an exorcism.

With articles like this you cannot help but feel there may be a 'Precious' juggernaut coming. Mary J. "the devil got me" Blige has gone deep within and battled the demons to write the song from 'Precious'.
If ever there was a best original song PR opp, this is it.

The power of Christ compels her.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Predictions Updated

Well I have decided to completely update my Oscar predictions in a few categories.

I started with Best Picture. Nothing really added here, just a lot of movement from before.

Where there is great changes is in Best Actress. People say it is a weak race, but my word, there are 15 possible contenders (16 if you add Meryl's number two). Added are Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Brenda Blethyn, Sandra Bullock, and for shots and giggles, Catalina Saavedra. At this point this category is looking pretty full with only the 5th slot up for grabs, unless Mirren slips.

Same goes for Best Supporting Actress. It is filling up with only Mo'Nique as a lock. The next safest looks to be Julianne Moore but then we have a free for all for the last slots. Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike, Mélanie Laurent, Rachel Weisz, Samantha Morton, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Mariah Carey, Vera Farmiga, Susan Sarandon, Penélope Cruz and Anna Kendrick. It could honestly go any which way but obvious.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

'London River' - Trailer

Since it is getting it's qualifying run for Oscar in L.A. I felt it was worth posting the trailer.
The main attention if for Brenda Blethyns performance, which is a very unlikely contender for the final five. However she, when she holds back, is an amazing actress, and to break your heart as if it was a glass Christmas decoration.