Friday, November 30, 2007

British Independent Jamie Awards

Because Jamie Bell is that amazing, there should be an entire award show centred around him. How about categories such as "Best Performance by an Actor Named Jamie" or "Best Performance by a Former Child Actor" or "Best Performance by an Actor Who is Irresistibly Adorable"? Yeah. I think it would work. And then Jamie could show up looking entirely gorgeous and it'd be the show of the season!

Until then, we have the British Independent Film Awards, who recently awarded their best film, best director, supporting actor/actress, breakthrough actor and director awards to Ian Curtis biopic Control. Daniel Craig won something, as did Judi Dench and Viggo Mortensen yada blah etc. JAMIE WAS AT THE AWARDS! I know he didn't win (beaten by Viggo, blah) but he looks dapper and totally snoggable in these pics from JustJared. Although he's smiling differently to how he usually does. Hmm... Click them to watch him grow.

If I ever win a BIJA, can I take Jamie home instead of a trophy?

Nora Ephron is a Genius

Sure, there was Bewitched but there's also Sleepless in Seattle, Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail and more both on and off screen. The "more", you could say, includes this speech she gave at Meryl Streep's AFI special. It is, quite possibly, one of the funniest things you'll ever see.

"Some days, when I'm having a hard day, I call up Meryl and she'll come and she'll step in for me. She's so good people don't really notice. I call her at the end of the day to find out how I did and inevitably it's one of the best days I've ever had."


I wish Nora could be this funny on the cinema screen again.

Creepy x2

At first I giggled and then I got scared and then I started to imagine what it would be like if Daniel Day-Lewis showed up in There Will Be Blood character on the set of Juno and then I got scared again.


Five Thoughts About Into the Wild

Why five? Because WHY NOT five? Yeah, get your head around that!

1. The character of Chris, played by the fine-but-not-outstanding Emile Hirsch, was sort of niavely selfish, wasn't he? It's nice and all for him to be so self-reliant, high and mighty and feel like his parents wanting him to get an education is some sort of evil scheme, but seriously... he was a wanker and I didn't particularly like him.

2. I liked the movie better when he was with other people, particularly Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook (neither of whom I would particularly be excited about getting Oscar noms, but they were both fine) because it meant Chris' obvious flaws weren't on flagrant display.

3. It's not that I particularly have anything against films that are so clearly "episodic" in nature, but it's just that it's so much easier to pick the flaws of a film when it is so.

4. It was all very pretty.

5. B- probably, but check back with me tomorrow.

Wow, I used the word "particularly" a lot here.

The One In Which Glenn Hates on La Vie en Rose Again

Yes! It's been a while since I trashed La Vie en Rose so I figured now is as good a time as any, considering the monumental blunder that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made today. I speak of their ridiculous decision to classify the French La Vie en Rose from director Alajandro González Iñárritu Olivier Daham as a "Musical/Comedy" for the Golden Globe awards, with nominations to be announced Dec 13.

I don't know how anyone who has seen the movie (whether they like it or loathe it) can classify it as a "Musical/Comedy". If La Vie en Rose classifies itself as a musical (there ain't no comedy in this flick, let me tell you!) then basically any movie with a soundtrack can classify itself as one. The movie that people routinely come back to in defending this decision is Ray, for which Jamie Foxx won a best actor in a musical/comedy Globe. You see, the performance sequences in Ray were actually "musical sequences". They had the energy that you would find in a regular song-and-dance musical and the movie revolved around the music. Even though Foxx was miming do Ray Charles' music he was "performing" and the film felt like a movie about music rather than a movie with music in it, which is the case with La Vie en Rose. And I don't even like Ray so I certainly am not defending that movie.

No, because Edith Piaf, as played by Marion Cotillard with an assortment of wigs and Amelie impersonations, in her performances merely stands on a stage. The only time the movie becomes about the music and not about OMGMARIONCOTILLARDISEDITHPIAF!! is during the film's climactic rendition of "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien". The music sequences are good in that the music is good, but the movie is more interested in watching Marion Cotillard act twee/drunk/depressed instead of being a film about Piaf's music, which is where the film stops being a "musical" and becomes a "drama", which is the category La Vie en Rose should have been placed.

Then again, the HFPA are weird like that. Remember when Dancer in the Dark was classified as a drama when it is clearly much more of a musical than La Vie en Rose, Ray and Walk the Line are combined? Bjork got a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama despite a large part of the power of her performance being her musical passion.

Still, perhaps this decision will have a silver lining. Now that Cotillard isn't in drama contention she has a higher chance of losing because this year's musical/comedy category is stacked to the rafters and if something like Sweeney Todd sweeps (and some people think it deserves to) then will Helena Bonham Carter not get swept up? And you can't deny that people like Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Laura Linney (The Savages) will be very strong candidates as well.

It also means that in the drama category, where Cotillard would most certainly have won even though it's a foreign language performance, Julie Christie could have a free walk to the podium for her excellent performance in Sarah Polley's Away From Her, which I don't think anyone would begrudge. Or Keira Knightley could even give her campaign a big boost if Atonement really does explode onto the awards scene.

So, basically, it's utterly absurd and kind of insulting that they deemed La Vie en Rose as a "musical" or "comedy" (the decision is quite comedic in itself actually), but perhaps, just maybe, the "omgsheISedithpiaf" campaign will run off the rails because of it. I certainly hope so.


Ugh. Now I sorta look like a cutter. Hmmm...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 29/11/07

Beowulf - So, I really want to see this movie in 3D, right? Well, turns out that what I feared for a long long time is actually very very true: Australia is incredibly far behind in terms of digital cinema. Now there are only a few cinemas with the ability to screen is in digital 3D, and my city isn't one of them. Of course there's always IMAX, which is also up in Melbourne. I dunno. It's so frustrating. I tell ya one thing though - I am not seeing Beowulf is crummy 2D. No way.

Daddy Day Camp - I am pretty much putting all my faith of this movie into this. So that's a pass. It's #2 on IMDb's Bottom 100. Nice.

Into the Wild - Sean Penn directs this potentially Oscar-bound wilderness tale. Penn's last film The Pledge is on Aussie TV next Sunday night at 10.30 on channel 9.

Lagerfeld: Confidential - A documentary about Karl Lagerfeld, a fashion legend. Of it's three credited cast members there are Lagerfeld, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Nicole Kidman. Well... umm... that's nice.

September - A new Aussie feature developed out of John Polson's famous Tropfest, directed by Peter Carstairs and starring a great up-and-coming cast including Xavier Samuel, Clarence John Ryan and Mia Wasikowska (seen previously in movies like Suburban Mayhem and Greg McLean's Rogue). I really liked September, but I can see it's definitely not for "everyone". It's a very laconic film and reminded me of Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven in that about half the film is grand shots of wheat blowing in the wind. Still, I thought it was mightily impressive and beautifully made.

Slow Burn - Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mekhi Phifer and Taye Diggs appear in this movie about... something. Why do they even bother sending movies like this to cinemas when its blatantly obvious that no more than about 100 people are going to see it.

DVD Releases for the Week 29/11/07

Chinatown - A new special collectors edition of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne's classic Chinatown.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Yet enough edition of Spielberg's alien flick, which I shamefully haven't seen for some reason, is being released. This time it's under the guise of "30th Anniversary Ultimate 2-Disc Blu-Ray Edition". Yikes. Speaking of which...

Clubland - Known as Introducing the Dwights, this film is out on DVD just in time for it to possibly win some AFI awards. I liked it more than I thought I would. I wish Rebecca Gibney acted more, with this and Tripping Over recently she's been on a role! Clubland is apparently available in an "uncut version", which is kind of odd. Are Brenda Blethyn's comedy routines more blue?

Licence to Wed - As much as I like Mandy Moore and John Krasinski I can't bring myself to watch Licence for Robin Williams to Act Like a Clown for the One-Hundredth Time to Wed. Nope. Can't do it.

Shrek the Third - Yawn. Is this franchise over yet?

Thank God You're Here - The third season of Aussie TV rating bonanza Thank God You're Here featuring more funny (and occasionally not) performers navigating their way through funny scenarios. It's not surprising that this show didn't catch on with American audiences.

Check out EzyDVD for more titles.

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #74 - Gallipoli

Gallipoli (1981)
Directed by Peter Weir
Unknown Designer
Film Nationality - Australia
Poster Nationality - USA

[click to enlarge]

The idea to use not only the final frama of Peter Weir's Gallipoli, but also one of the most famous freeze frame moments in movie history, as the central figure of the marketing campaign is both gutsy and inspired. The image is one of such incredibly power both in and outside of the film (unlike the most famous freeze frame The 400 Blows, which is great in but not necessarily out) that it becomes the perfect calling card for the film, despite the fact that - let's be honest - it gives away the ending.

And I love the simple use of black and white. It doesn't exotify (is that a word?) the war, it doesn't give the audience a "rah-rah" sentiment and it doesn't trivialise it. It simple states that in war there is black and white and that people die. That they chose to use death as their central image is brave and says so much more than some floating heads in the sky ever could.

ASHKA!!!!! And the Facebook Group of Doom!!!!

I saw Rogue again tonight with the mother (she liked it! I liked it again!) and was inspired by the amazing/stunning/fantastic/super Heather Mitchell to create a Facebook group. Mitchell, in Rogue, plays a cancer patient going on one last family vacation and must fend off vicious man-eating crocodiles (naturally). But 12 years ago she was starring as ASHKA!!!!! The most amazing time-travelling power crystal obsessed "electrically charged space suit"-wearing superbitch you'll ever experience.

So that is why I created the "I Devoted My Childhood Afternoons to Ashka!!!" group for all you other Australians (and Polish people! i can't forget them!) who would turn on the TV after school and sit back and relax and experience the wonderful jollies that Spellbinder provided. I couldn't believe there wasn't a Spellbinder group on Facebook. And now there is. Watch out though - ASHKA!!!! will cut you if you even look at her the wrong way, okay!

The entire series of Spellbinder appears to be on YouTube (click here to watch all 26 episodes over 78 frustrating parts), but here is but one piece of the magical puzzle, part one of episode 14 "Lost and Found". Aaah. Childhood memories...

As if Spellbinder couldn't get any better, I just realised it featured Lisa Lachey from Mulholland Drive!!!!omgz!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shia and Zach and Me, Meant to Be

Today's a good day, folks. A very good day. Not only are the clouds dumping buckets and buckets of water onto our great John Howard-free land, but Jason over at My New Plaid Pants lead me to sexy pictures of two big crushes of mine.

My devotion for Shia LaBeouf is well documented (with more sure to come), so when I saw a new production still at Just Jared from Indiana Jones and the something something Crystal Skull (whatever, I don't particularly care for Indiana Jones flicks) featuring The Beouf looking absolutely fucking sexy I figured I had to share. He's in a leather jacket, which is hot enough as it is, but... damn... that boy (read: 21-year-old man) don't quit.

Y'all know I have a newfound obsession (when before it just was mere insatiable lust) with Heroes star Zachary Quinto, so Towleroad's gift of shirtless Zachary stills (from an episode we won't see until next year, most likely, grrr) went down a treat.

It's a greeeeeaaaaat day.

Entirely Random ISA Award Things

I'm not attempting Independent Spirit Award predictions like some people, but I just thought I'd take a look at some possibilities, ya dig?

Obviously I'm Not There will be big (it is produced by Christine Vachon and written/directed by Todd Haynes after all), as will Margot at the Wedding and Away From Her. I think Juno and Lars and the Real Girl will do alright, but perhaps not as good as you would expect - that happens with the ISAs, movies and performances that you would assume to show up everywhere just... don't. Movies like Before Sunset have been big near no shows in the past.

But, really, half the fun with the ISAs is seeing how batshit bonkers they go. That's why I think we'll see Kate Winslet and Margot Martindale get best supporting actress nominations for Romance & Cigarettes and Paris je t'aime respectively, we'll see Ang Lee's Lust, Caution get a cinematography nomination and nothing else despite ample opportunities, John Cusack for Grace is Gone, Waitress getting a token nom for Adrienne Shelley as director and screenplay. And is Gone Baby Gone eligible? What about stuff like No Country for Old Men or The Namesake. That's why the ISAs are so frustrating!

One thing I've noticed over the years is that when an actor has a performance in the thick of Oscar contention, yet is ineligible for the ISAs for a bevy of reasons (budget, studios, etc) they will nominate them for something completely random and ridiculous. Like when Jamie Foxx had Ray guiding him to the Oscar podium the ISAs nominated him for a TV movie called Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story or Forrest Whitaker getting nominated for the awful American Gun. This begs the question - have people like Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightley, Amy Adams, Kelly Macdonald, Javier Bardem, Casey Affleck been in small movies that could qualify? Is Denzel Washington's The Great Debators (a Weinstein release) eligible in that regard?

Another thing they do is if their best picture category is filled with higher profile indie films they'll throw a bizarre left field choice in just so they can continue say they're supporting actual independent cinema. Like when they nominated Primer or Raising Victor Vargas, which is why in between the likes of the films by Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, Sarah Polley and John Carney (Once) you will find something like 2 Days in Paris or Redacted.

However, once it's all said and done I think there is one thing I really want to see nominated:


I just think that would be tops!


The nominations are in and they are as random as I predicted, but things that I thought may happen did not. Of course, the eligibility of Paris je t'aime, Romance & Cigarettes, Once and Redacted may be in question. They nominated Paranoid Park for best feature, which totally fills the slot of "the true indie surrounded by studio movies". I still don't get how something like Diving Bell and the Butterfly can get a best feature nom and no best foreign film nom.

It was nice to see people like Sienna Miller nominated though. I've heard nothing but good about her so it's nice to see her nominated over people like Kidman and Linney - as great as they may be - although that Linney snub is bizarre. And of all the men from I'm Not There (Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, etc) that they chose to nominate Carl Marcus Franklin is both surprising and refreshing. And speaking of Bale, they nominate Steve Zahn for Rescue Dawn, but not Christian Bale for the same flick when it's Bale getting most of the praise?

So, yet again, the ISAs are "batshit bonkers" and you can't deny it. Also, now that it has best feature and best director nominations can someone get around to finally releasing Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park. I am quite desperate to it!

September Poster

This is the poster for the ace new Australian film September, directed by Peter Carstairs and produced by John Polson as part of his Tropfest feature program. The poster doesn't seem to exist anywhere on the internet, although I may just be looking in the wrong places. The film doesn't even appear to have an official website, which is disappointing considering how good it is. :/

I had to scan a cinema flyer just to get an image!

Johnny Depp Needs A New Photo Shoot

I recently discussed People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue and how uninspired most of the image selections were - too many sweaters, closeups, movie stills and old photos. Well, I was scanning through Entertainment Weekly's "Top 25 Entertainers of the Year" feature and came across Johnny Depp yet again - yawn - but I noticed a familiarity between EW and People and the use of photographs. I took a screencap of it to illustrate.

Now, from the looks of their website layouts I assume EW and People are part of the same company (I'm not down with US publications, okay) but couldn't they have used different pictures. It's not like these publications don't have more than one solitary photo to use whenever they talk about Depp. And it's not even a good picture! Ugh.

Nevertheless, here are some of the other photos I actually liked. Oh to be in that room with Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close, Mary-Louise Parker and Holly Hunter. Oh to be in any room with Shia LaBeouf (even if it is, yes, a recycled image). And I guess Kanye West is pretty cool, too. Click to watch them grow.

The Golden Kate

I was originally naming this entry "The Golden Bush" but then I realised that could be taken a bit differently to how I intended.

The new Kate Bush song "Lyra" is up at YouTube, which you can watch below. It's the theme song to the new Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig flick The Golden Compass. I can't say I expect this to be nominated for best original song (especially with so many contenders already), but how awesome would it be to see Kate Bush on the Oscar stage performing anything? The song sounds a lot like what she was doing on her stunning Aerial album two years back. Enjoy.


Monday, November 26, 2007

To Be Franco

I am completely and utterly aware that James Franco is not a terrific actor, nor does he ever seem to appear in good movies. Sure, he was the only actor worth paying attention to in Spider-Man 3 and he was a worthy Golden Globe winner for that James Dean biopic - and I think it is that latter project that is the catalyst for my cooing over Franco. He actually looks frighteningly like James Dean just without the queer sensitivity and the magnificent acting chops and everything else that adds together to makes Dean the sexiest man to ever live. I mean, HELLO!

Anyway, back to Franco, he recently did a photoshoot that once again makes me forget he hasn't been in a good movie in a very long time and just makes me stare at his pretty pretty face. Yummy. Click the pictures to watch him grow. You know you want to!

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #75 - Sullivan's Travels

Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Directed by Preston Sturges
Poster Designed by Maurice Kallis
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - I assume it's not the USA, other than that I have no idea

[click to enlarge]

Sometimes a movie's marketing team knows when to market the movie itself and when to market the star. That this design for Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels is merely advertising the fact that Veronica Lake is in a movie though is not what makes it so great. There are plenty of movie posters (and a quite a few for Veronica Lake films fyi) that merely splash their star on a poster and expect people to see it, but with this Sullivan's Travels poster they have given her a striking eye catching design with big bold colours and given Lake a unique sexy charactature design.

Sure, you get no idea what the movie is about, but the focus of the poster is so magnetic that it doesn't matter because the poster has already roped you in.

This poster gets bonus points for realising the advantage of the colour yellow. It's done wonders recently for the posters of Kill Bill Vol 1 and Little Miss Sunshine too.

The Meryl Wears Prada

I casually had the television on the background tonight as I tend to do when The Late Show is on and, due to that writer's strike, they're showing repeats. The one that was on tonight featured Meryl Streep sitting in the hot seat spruking The Devil Wears Prada from over a year ago and several things occured to me:

1. I love that movie (it was #4 on my top ten of 2006)

2. They need to hire Meryl to host the Oscars. Jon Stewart isn't going to have a bevy of writers to make him funny and Meryl is a riot all by herself. Hell, she was a riot in her brief silent stint at this year's Oscars, not to mention when she wins awards herself.

3. I need to rewatch The Devil Wears Prada. As soon as I get through Lars Von Trier's Manderlay... which may take a while :/

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Some Words On That New Kylie Album

How Does It Feel In My Arms?

You know this chick called Kylie Minogue? You've heard of her? She's had a few hits over the years and SHE'S BACK! Random, I know. I was in JB HiFi yesterday and was totally surprised to see that this woman mysteriously had a new CD out. It's called X and it's a bit of alright. In fact, it's more than "a bit of alright", it's actually "a bit of amazing" or "a bit of fan-bloody-tastic" or, perhaps even, "a bit of the album of the year."

Okay, no it's not that, but it's still great. So everybody, drop your socks, grab your mini boombox and let's investigate, shall we?

"2 Hearts"
Well, you've surely heard this song by now haven't you? It's the lead single and perhaps the most mistelling lead single of all time as there are no other songs like it on the album. It's still amazing though.

"Like a Drug"
Unfortunately, this isn't Kylie's version of Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug", but it's still quite great. That chorus is quite '80s and the song works it's way into your brain, so it's name is quite apt. It samples Visage's classic "Fade to Grey", which you may recognise from when Kelly Osbourne stole it for "One Word"

"In My Arms"
I spoke of this song earlier in the year when it leaked. It's been ever-so-slightly rejiggered, but thankfully it's still the breathtaking life-affirming and flat-out brilliant track that it was back then. "How does it feel in my arms?" she asks. Fucking amazing, that's how! Best song of the album, I reckon.

On first listen I thought it was kind of ridiculous, but now I think it's kind of ridiculously amazing. It's like that "dem bones dem bones dem dry bones" song remixed by Groove Armada and sung by a pixie doctor giving you a physical. If that descriptions sounds half as amazing to you as the song is then my work is done. What exactly is "mini boombox" a euphemism for, though?

I'm not sure how many songs on X feature samples, but the only one other than "Like a Drug" I've recognised is this one and it's a dooooozy. If you're going to sample an obscure french-language Serge Gainsbergh and Brigitte Bardot song from the 1960s then "Bonnie and Clyde" is as good as any. The "woohoo"s are as addictive as ever. The song isn't that good and I can see why it was dumped from Body Language, but I still think that sample is just too good. It must be said though that "Bonnie and Clyde" is better. But, let's face it, it's freakin' "Bonnie and Clyde" and there's not a lot better than that song.

Heart Beat Rock
I've already deleted this off of iTunes, if that's saying something. Unimaginative.

"The One"
You know how I said "In My Arms" was the best song on the album? Well, the possible exception to the title is "The One". It's not hard for Kylie to be sexy, but here it's like sexy-overload. She proudly states in the (so brilliant it hurts) chorus "I am the one" and it's hard to complain with such a statement, but it's when she sexily begs the listener to "love me, love me, love me, love me" that I went into overdrive. She even namedrops Michelangelo. Sweet!

"No More Rain"
Remember when Kylie had cancer? THIS SONG IS ABOUT THAT!!!! Don't get me wrong, the song is nice and it sounds like a mid-90s midtempo pop song however when she purres the song title several times at chorus end... I melt into a puddle. Her dreamiest moment on the album are those ten seconds.

"All I See"
Another slower track but an entirely amazing one. Oddly, I could see this being popular in America as it has a minimalist vibe, unlike the rest of the album, which is big and loud.

Another guitar-led track that was a part of those leaked tracks earlier in the year. It's still classy pop. Kylie sure does have a thing for stars and the heavens on this album, doesn't she?

The title says it all because "Wow" is very WOW. It's this album's most Spinning Around moment and actually sounds like a pastiche of that album's best songs like "Butterfly", "Kookachoo", "Spinning Around" and "Your Disco Needs You". That Spinning Around is, in my eyes, the best album she's ever done, that's high praise. This song is will go off when they play it at the clubs where the gays go. that "WOWOWOWOWOW" moment is off the planet, just for the record. It's what fireworks sound like when turned into music lyrics. Okay?

Ummm... so... well, there's this song called "Nu-di-ty" and it's quite dreadful.

In case you had forgotten, Kylie had cancer. This song is also about said cancer, but it's not as good as "No More Rain" and it sort of ends the album on a downer (cancer isn't fun, folks). Nevertheless, it's still a calming little ditty. The chorus is about as emotionally b-i-g as Kylie can possibly get.

So, in conclusion, X is a very good album that has actually grown on me. I was a tad underwhelmed on first listen (as great as "In My Arms" and "Stars" are, I have been listening to them for over half a year so it wasn't like discovering something fresh and new) but looking at the tracks on iTunes and seeing how many of them I have given 5 stars to and having had all the songs stuck in my head (except the dog ones) at some point a mere one day after purchase is something rare. I can see so many of these songs being singles - "In My Arms" and "The One" are BEGGING!! to be released - and X proves to be a very strong fixture of Kylie's catalogue.

I can't help but see the parallels between Kylie and Madonna though. Madge had a disasterous album sales-wise with American Life even though it was one of her strongest musically. She then rebounded with Confessions on a Dance Floor, which was all big beats and catchy tunes. Well, after Body Language, a great album that failed because it wasn't Fever Part 2, she has come back with a rocking dance-fused album.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

He's Gone!

He's actually gone! He's gone for good! No more! And I can't think of a more fitting end to (now ex) Prime Minister Howard's reign than the thorough arse-kicking that he received.

I'm stoked, how 'bout you?

An Open Letter to Casting Agents

Dear Casting Agents,

Do you have a screenplay lying around that revolves around three sisters? Do they need to be adorable and plucky, but also resourceful and talented? Does the script revolve around one sister who is getting married and is incredibly happy, another who is getting divorced and incredibly bitter and another who is forever single and incredibly happy-go-lucky? Because if you do - and if not then I copyright this idea right here and now because I know you will copy it once that pesky writer's strike is over - then I implore you to cast the following three actresses:

Amy Adams!

Isla Fisher!

Bryce Dallas Howard!

Trust me, IT WILL WORK. They actually look like they could be related unlike that other movie about red-head siblings. And the way I figure it, Amy can play the happy marrying one, Bryce the bitter divorcing one and Isla the happy-go-lucky kind. Sure, the latter would be a bit of typecasting from Wedding Crashers, but who cares?

So, yes, I know you casting agents never take any notice of this sort of thing, but my god you should!

Thank you,



Friday, November 23, 2007

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 22/11/07

Angel - François Ozon has already done a classy throwback to musicals, can he work the same magic in his first English-language film, a take on Gone With the Wind style epics? It stars Ramola Garai, who is sure to make a big splash soon with Atonement, Sam Neill, Charlotte Rampling and relative newcomer Michael Fassbender.

Boxing Day - I was a very big non-fan of Kriv Stender's first studio film The Illustrated Family Doctor (it was terrible) and, sensing that nobody else seemed to like it much either, Stenders has reverted back to the sort of cinema verite style with Boxing Day. An experiment of sorts, it is based around 90 minutes in the life of a released criminal trying to organise a Christmas lunch on Boxing Day for his daughter, Boxing Day has gotten some very good notices from critics and received best actor (for Richard Green) and best director nominations at this year's IF awards - which allows films that were screened at festivals, unlike the AFI.

Crazy Love - A hailed documentary from Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens about a topic that was big news "back in the day", but which I have a very limited knowledge of.

The Golden Door - Emanuele Crialese's latest starring Charlotte Gainsbough who is making an impression on some people for her role in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There.

Halloween - Rob Zombie's remake of sorts (the exact sort of remake he vowed he would never make, coincidentally) John Carpenter's classic slasher Halloween hits Australian screens with an R18+ rating, which is quite confusing considering Zombie's previous films House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects (both of which I am a fan, especially the latter) were only MA15+. Carpenter's original was also rated R18+, but that was 1978 and I can't imagine it being rated any higher than an M in today's climate (M is two ratings below R18+, our most exclusive rating akin to America's NC17). The rating actually makes me want to see Halloween more because I am interested to find out what's in there that isn't in Corpses or Rejects. Other horror flicks to get R18+ ratings this year have been Hostel Part II and The Hills Have Eyes II.

The Heartbreak Kid - Unfortunatel, we still have to endure Ben Stiller "comedies" strike or no strike.

Interview - An American remake directed by and starring Steve Buscemi of Theo Van Gogh's 2003 film of the same name. Sienna Miller is getting some mighty good ink for this film just further proving what people have been saying for a while now (those of us who have been paying attention) that she is more than a tabloid pretty.

Rescue Dawn - Werner Herzog probably found the ideal candidate to subject his mad moviemaking on when he cast Christian Bale who we all know isn't afraid to disappear before our very eyes. I can't too enthuses about Rescue Dawn, but apparently Bale and co-star Steve Zahn are very good so I will have to check it out at some point.

DVD Releases for the Week 22/11/07

Evening - One of the finest casts ensembled in a long time is apparently ruined in Evening.

Firehouse Dog - I was getting this confused with Underdog and was all "That was only just in cinemas!" and then I realised this was some other movie going direct-to-DVD. How nice.

Garfield Gets Real - Something about an animated movie called "Garfield Gets Real" just doesn't sound right. Right?

I Think I Love My Wife - I think I will skip this movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Much like the second film Dead Man's Chest I didn't think this was as bad as some people were saying, but it's not exactly amazing, is it? I can't imagine watching this or Dead Man's Chest again so I guess that makes it "bad", but I remember some good things about it like Keira Knightley upstaging Johnny Depp and the amazing production and costume design. Oh well.

Unaccompanied Minors - Er... it has an IMDb rating of 2.8/10. That is shit.

100 Greatest Movie Posters: First Quarter Round-Up

In the first quarter of my 100 Greatest Movie Posters (of all time) (according to me) - click here to read the prologue - and so far we've an... eclectic collection. We've had Andy Warhol and Nazi propoganda. We've have French thrillers and Chinese art projects. We've had horror flicks, silent comedies, experimental films, Oscar winners and just one of David Lynch's many dreamlands. So you can't exactly say I haven't been... thorough.

Let's look. If you missed any of these just click on the titles and you'll be taken to it. Aren't I nice?

100. I Shot Andy Warhol
99. Andy Warhol's Bad
98. The Holy Mountain
97. Salón México
96. Diva
95. The Breakfast Club
94. The Triumph of the Will
93. Chungking Express
92. Holy Smoke!
91. Swimming Pool
90. Vanishing Point
89. Needful Things
88. Dead & Buried
87. Lost in Translation
86. Ordinary People
85. The General
84. The Cranes are Flying
83. Scanners
82. Irreversible
81. American Gigolo
80. Blow-Up
79. Mulholland Drive
78. The Thing
77. All Neat in Black Stockings
76. The Producers

Any thoughts on the list so far?

In the next quarter we have posters for films by such directors as Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick and Peter Weir. We have near-naked men, melting ladies, drag queens, even more drag queens and a little Beethoven.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Am Thankful For Christina Ricci

Obviously I don't celebrate Thanksgiving at all, and it's technically not Thanksgiving anymore because it's Friday - am I correct in thinking Thanksgiving is always a Thursday? - but I thought I'd do one of those "what am I thankful for?" posts. And you know what? I'm thankful for Christina Ricci.

Let's face it, everything I know about Thanksgiving I learned from Christina Ricci. For example:

Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands and stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.

That quote is from The Ice Storm and then there's the little thing known as Addams Family Values in which Christina gives the best supporting actress turn of the year (just ahead of equally precocious Anna Pacquin). I love Addams Family Values. It's quite amazing, don't you think? Christina is really just the tip of the awesome iceburg.

Let's hope Ricci builds on her quite kickarse performance in this year's Black Snake Moan and has the career she deserves instead of appearing is shit like Cursed and Prozac Nation.