Thursday, January 31, 2008

Scrabulous! (aka If You Ain't Got No Vowels Take Yo Broke Rack Home)

A net buddy of mine - that'd be Warren of Utterance - recently sent me this link on Facebook. It is geniunely brilliant. It's an ode to Scrabulous set to the tune of Fergie's "Glamorous". Swappy Swappy.

Download Here (4.76mb)

I think it's by somebody named Kreole, but that's just because the file tells me so. The clip on Facebook is by "Unknown Artist". Whatever. That doesn't detract from the hilary.

"I don't like two letter words / They're a cop out yeah you heard?"

B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T (how many points is that?)

Yahoo Loves Julian Schnabel, Captain America

No, really. I have Yahoo as my homepage and was kind of surprised to see this:


I may not know who (or what?) "Johan Santana", "Barbaro" and "Taylor Swift" are, but it's interesting to note that Julian Schnabel, the director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is a more popular search than any of them. He's also a more popular search than "Prom Dresses" and - bizarrely - "platypus". Have platypi been in the news over in America lately or something?

Nevertheless that recent episode involving Sean Young heckling Schnabel at the recently Director's Guild Award ceremony has done wonders for both of them. Schnabel is now a highly-searched figure who is most surely at his career apex. And while Sean Young may have been sent off to rehab she's probably been in the news in the last week more times that she has been in the last 10 years. Now she'll be super sober for her "comeback", which will last for all of about a week in which time she will appear on "a very special Oprah" about "battling her demons" and whathaveyou. And then maybe Nate Berkus can redecorate her "newly sober" living quarters and kitchen for only $500 using only material found of Lowes. I'm sure Sean Young could use some new kitchen bench tops, right?

She will then disappear back into obscurity only to briefly come back out whenever Ridley Scott decides to add another scene or make Harrison Ford fly in a new edition of Blade Runner. Or, she could always fall off the wagon and start a wacky reality television series. Saving Sean, perhaps?!

Perhaps,

Perhaps,

Perhaps!


...let us suck your blooood...

I've Been a Bad Boy


...and wouldn't you like to know how...


And on a side note, doesn't it look like I'm about to be attacked by the Incredible Shadow Monster? And that I only have one ear. The Incredible Shadow Monster stole my ear!

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 31/01/08

3:10 to Yuma - This double Oscar nominated western finally gets released here. I am very much looking forward to watching Russell Crowe (I am still a very big fan), listening to Marco Beltrami's acclaimed score and to see if Ben Foster can woo me out of my self-contained Foster Bomb Shelter. I loathed his performance in Hostage so much that I would call it the worst performance of this decade (so far) so, needless to say, I'm not that keen on the man, but he's gotten great notices so maybe... just maybe...

The Jane Austen Book Club - I was surprised that this movie went limited in America, because it seemed like the sort of movie that could do well. At least moderately so. The ads and the trailers that I have been seeing everywhere are all very blah and aren't that enticing considering the cast involved - Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Maria Bello and others - but I'm sure it'll make a nice little fortune down here where this sort of movie usually does well.

Killer of Sheep - This black and white 1977 film by Charles Burnett (To Sleep with Anger) finally sees the light of day after three decades. It was released in America just last year and now starts it's exclusive run down here. I believe it's screening at ACMI here in Melbourne, but I'm not sure what it's plans are for other states.

Sydney White - Sometimes I feel like they're not even trying anymore, ya know?

DVD Releases for the Week 31/01/08

Bug - This William Friedkin-directed adaption of the stage play finally sees a release in Australia. A direct-to-DVD release. Yup.

Surf's Up - Academy Award-nominated Surf's Up.

Well then, that's a short week.

A Tale of Two Kylie Videos


For whatever reason (I'm sure there is one but I can't figure it out) Kylie Minogue is releasing two singles at once. "Wow" is the release for places like Australia, UK and Europe while "In My Arms" is for elsewhere in the world. Again, not sure why, but there you have it.

"Wow"


The most discoish Light Years (still Kylie's best album, by the way) moment on X was this song, "Wow", so I guess it should come as no surprise to discover she has made a videof for "Wow" very much in the vain of "Spinning Around" (oh you know "Spinning Around"). Gone, however, are the world famous gold hot pants (bought for a fiver at an opp shop) and in is a collection of various outfits including a white body hugging space suit. Yes Yes.

Some people don't like this clip, but I do. Very much. I think it suits "Wow" to a tee. It has Daft Punk robots (they're so in these days), spaceage wigs, crazy outfits and enough fluerescent lighting to give someone epilipsy seizures at the mere thought of it. And to top it all off the song is incredible and that - in itself, epileptic - "WOWOWOWOW!" in the chorus is a killer, as is the lyric "you know you're made in heaven." Oh, Kylie. I sure do!

The Song: 9.5/10
The Video: 8/10


PS; The moment at 2:53/2:54 is my very favourite part. Not exactly sure why, but it's like euphoria or something. Also the bit at 2:58 with the bopping robots is brilliant, too.

"In My Arms"


"In My Arms" is a bonafide pop classic. It's perhaps the best thing Kylie has ever done - uh-huh! - The outfit she wears in this clip - a sort of reversible hoodie - makes sense of a recent award show appearence. The video isn't that great, but at least it's colourful and bright and Kylie looks amazing in that green tubular thing. The whole thing, in actual fact, reminds me of her Stock Aitken Waterhouse days, with videos like "Hand On My Heart" and "Got to be Certain" where all she did was merely dance around on a set filled with random shapes and objects. Although, I do love the way she like a futuristic Kylie-cyborg with those sunglasses and that eye shadow during the fan sequence is delicious.

The Song: 10.5/10
The Video: 6/10


Hmmm.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Facts That Are Facts

I have a Jamie Bell "Do Not Disturb" door knob hanger on my door.

FACT!

Mira Nair handled the stuff with the girlfriends in The Namesake really poorly.

FACT!

I got my hair cut today. It's short and "buzzy".

FACT!

And that's that.

Link Baby Link

Before I get into some links for y'all to peruse, I just wanted to make mention of something. In my general traipsing about the internet I found myself on Casey Affleck's Wikipedia page (don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you) and was shocked to find this as his main profile image.

\/ this \/


I have a feeling that whoever edited Casey's page isn't a fan, because what other reason would anybody have to put such an unflattering picture up?!

Aaanyway.

The Rural Juror has the best SAG rundown I've seen. It's hilarious and features multiple cameos by Kristen Stewart.

Nicks Flick Picks turns 10. And as my goal in life is to make people feel bad about themselves, here's a doozy of a lil fact: I was 12 when he started that site. 12! He's also getting through his 2007 roundrup at a much better pace than last year's, which he didn't even finish he adds quietly. His latest edition is Best Supporting Actor. I thought I was alone is considering John Caroll Lynch for my own UMA supporting actor category, so it's nice to see him show up on Nick's roster.

The Film Experience is also chugging through his end of 2007 honours. This time it's best posters and taglines. You can find my top posters of 2007 by clicking this link. You know you wanna.

StinkyLulu reviews Saiorse Ronan's performance in Atonement for Supporting Actress Sunday. The most interesting part of this entry is somebody in the comments who goes by the name "RBurton" actually insults Ronan's looks, saying she looks botoxed, while "Jeremy Hailman" says she looks "constipated". Aah, there's nothing quite like insulting 13-year-old girls over their appearance, is there? Let's all go out and make fun of little girls because their teeth are too big or their hair is ugly or they don't have any wrinkles!

Ugh. Some people make me sick. Crumb by Crumb also has a piece on the supporting actress race. I've only seen one of the contenders, which is kind of depressing.

Movie Marketing Madness delivers some sad news (with tips!) to Sony Pictures Classics and their recent Sundance acquirement, The Wackness. By the way, I love the design of the poster, which you can see to your right.

Adem with an E looks at Aussie magazines and the fact that if you glance over the magazine section at the supermarket nearly every single mag has Heath Ledger on the cover. Except Woman's Weekly. That has Fergie. The Dutchess, not The Dutchess. He also waxes lyrical on the - and I can't believe I'm saying this - truly great new song by Axel freakin' Whitehead.

...sorry...

...wait...

okay, I'm done now. I just threw up in my mouth a little. The irony in the song's title "I Don't Do Surprises" is surely the most unironic thing, right? Wow. That was complicated.

E! (via Towleroad) has a hilarious piece about how soon-to-be onscreen boyfriends Sean Penn and James Franco (mmm, James Franco) planned to move in together in preparation for their roles. There is nothing about this story that is not brilliant. Except for the whole "their schedules wouldn't allow it". I think we found out why Penn and Robin Wright Penn are now getting divorced! *snaps*

And just for fun...


Towleroad has a piece about the recently-outed lead singer of Faker. I liked Faker's first CD Addicted Romantic so this is nice news. Good on him for coming out.

Go Fug Yourself has a hilarious ongoing hard news investigation - Lindsay Lohan Legging Watch 2008. << I do, however, think that black polka-dot coat is both hilariously Project Runway use-whatever-you-can-find-in-the-apartment-including-the-shower-curtain awful and deliciously amazing. Hmmm. As you know I've had my own eye on Linday Lohan and her leggings recently, too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The First Amazing Single of 2008

If you recall when I did my Top 25 Albums of 2007 countdown I had Darren Hayes' This Delicate Thing We've Made at #5 and, I quote myself, "Watch out if "Casey" is ever released as a single. It'll be staring down the barrel of the #1 spot on the Best Singles of 2008 countdown."

And, well, here's the video for said amazing song, "Casey". It's like that scene in Mysterious Skin where Joseph Gordon-Levitt's faghag best friend (played by Dawn Sommers Michelle Tratchenberg) leaves the small town they live in and heads to the big city set to a pounding euphoric synth. Now, the version below is not the album version, which is unfortunate because the album version is 6 minutes and 27 seconds of complete and utter brilliance. The video (and radio) version does, thankfully, include the 2:53 moment when the song opens up into an intergalactic express ship. It doesn't, however, have the coda at the end with Hayes doing that jungle jezebel chanting thing ("I will run to you/ I will come to you"), which is almost the greatest thing about the song. Oh well. You can buy the album version here.

Although, the "TIME EXTENDED" and "PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE" gives me hope that there's actually another part we're not seeing for some reason. Hmmm.

The video though is something else, isn't it? Darren Hayes is somehow inside an Atari video game racing through the human body while he lies in a technologic studio of the future. Or, I think that's the general gist of things.

Song? Amazing
Video? Amazing
Darren Hayes? Amazing

I... But... Wha... I... Umm... Shia...

No, seriously. Y'all know my affection for The Beouf, but this is positively weird.



To quote the great Elaine Benes - I'm speechless. I am without speech.

Festival Australia

No, it's not some new film festival celebrating Australian film, but the famous Berlinale Film Festival in Germany features quite a few Australian films and shorts. So, naturally, what better excuse do I need to give you guys the heads up on what they are and what they're all about. There's some really interesting titles in there that you will surely be hearing about again when it comes to AFI award season.

Berlinale:

The Black Balloon (dir. Elissa Down) - This is a film that, if nothing else, surely looks beautiful. It has a strangely identical plot to 2007's Clubland just minus the controlling mother part. Balloon revolves around a young man who has an autistic brother and what happens when the young man falls in love with a stunning beauty (and if you've seen Clubland you can already smell the similaties, right?)

The film stars Rhys Wakefield (Home & Away), Gemma Ward (yes, the Gemma Ward that has been in the news lately for you know what), Luke Ford plus AFI Award winners Toni Collette and Erik Thomson. In a sign of how dire the Australian film industry can be at times, The Black Balloon is the first film or television role that Ford has appeared in since 2006's Kokoda. Not sure what the title is in reference to, though.

Corroboree (dir. Ben Hackworth) - This is a title to watch, if the reports from festival screenings (such as Melbourne and Toronto) are true. A very small Australian film with not many recognisable names (Rebecca Frith and Susan Lyons are the only ones I picked out) that apparently has more in common with Gus Van Sant recent ouveur than anything else this country has produced in recent years. The trailer is very... interesting to say the least. Feels very European.

Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story (dir. Julian Shaw) - I may be wrong in assuming that the "Darling" from the press release is this Australian documentary. I can't seem to find any other recent Aussie film with the name Darling and it was a nominee last year at the IF Awards for Best Independent Documentary. Peter-Dirk Uys is a controversial South African satirist, artist and activist who "previously off-limits inner world" is entered by debut director Julian Shaw.

Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (dir. Cathy Randall) - I think I've briefly spoken about this Aussie comedy before. It stars Danielle Catanzrati as Esther Blueburger, an unpopular girl at her school so she hatches a plan to secretly switch. She becomes friends with Keisha Castle-Hughes and her mother, played by Toni Collette. The trailer played before 27 Dresses and got a good response. It's obviously trying for Looking for Alibrandi-type breakout success, and I think they might just get it.

Meditations on a Name (dir. Bonnie Elliot) and Nana (dir. Warwick Thorton) - I don't have much information about these short films other than what I can gather from the AFTRS website (AFTRS is Australia's premier national training institution for the screen and broadcast industries and enjoys strong political and industry support.") Nana won a prize at Flickerfest, as well as the IF Award last year for best short film, while Bonnie Elliot, the writer and director of Meditations won the IF Rising Talent Award. Previous AFTRS shorts include Academy Award nominees Inja, Birthday Boy and The Saviour.

September (dir. Peter Carstairs) - I've spoken about this one before, which I liked very much. It plays out like a sort of Australian teen version of Days of Heaven (there is a lot of wheat blowing in the breeze) and it features beautiful cinematography by Jules O'Loughlin and a great score by Roger Mason. They're good to go as far as my you'll-still-have-wait-for-them UMA Awards.


Son of a Lion (dir. Benjamin Gilmour) - Neither the film nor it's director Gilmour have an IMDb profile, which is a bit sad, but what I do know about this independent film is this brief plot description from the AFC website; "In the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, a widowed father expects his only son to follow in his footsteps." Variety has a nice review up of the film. Could be one to watch if Variety has any say - "Cast with non-professionals living in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan, pic reps a promising debut by Aussie helmer Benjamin Gilmour and should roar into plenty of fests following world preem at Pusan. Arthouse distribution beckons locally and offshore niche play is a possibility."

Could very well be Australia's fourth ever submission for the Academy Awards foreign language film category after La Spagnola, Ten Canoes and The Home Song Stories, none of which were nominated.

Yolk (dir. Stephen Lance) - Can't seem to find much about this short, other than it won the SBS Television Award at Flickerfest. Anybody out there got any information about this? Not even the Berlinale website seems very forthcoming.

Interestingly, all of the feature films are the debut films of their director. Crazy.

Lastly, the Rotterdam International Film Festival announced some Australian product. Amongst them is the 2007 AFI winner for Best Short Spike Up by - a short that I did not like at all. Go figure. Two other shorts, Shmetamorphosis by Jack Feldstein and Wasting Away by Tim Dean also screen there.


The only feature that is showing, but one to watch in future, is Unfinished Sky (above) directed by Peter Duncan, who has previously made films like Children of the Revolution, Passion and Hell Has Harbour Views. It stars William McInnes (always a pleasure to watch) as a farmer who takes in an Afghani woman on the run from a brothel.

So there you have it. If anybody's seen any of these movies or has any info about them then shoot me an email or discuss in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

La Femme Taken

I was wondering what the below French poster for some new Liam Neeson movie called Taken reminded me of.


And then it dawned on me that it reminded of the below poster for La Femme Nikita. Except, ya know, the Nikita one is aerial.



And, yes, I will be getting fully back into the swing of the 100 Greatest Movie Posters countdown very very soon. Just hold your horses, will ya?

The AFI Says Goodbye to Heath Ledger

Got my AFI (Australian Film Institute) newsletter today through the email and it was preceeded with a foreword about Heath Ledger.

Heath Ledger (1979 - 2008)

Australian actor Heath Ledger starred in Australian films Candy (2006), Ned Kelly (2003) and Two Hands (1999, AFI Award for Best Film) and claimed two AFI Awards in 2006; AFI International Award for Best Actor for his performance in Brokeback Mountain, and the News Limited Readers' Choice Award. Australian audiences would have most recently seen Ledger in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There, alongside AFI Ambassador Cate Blanchett, each portraying different periods of Bob Dylan's life. It's a great loss to the local and international film industry, and we're saddened that his life and career have been tragically cut short.

I'm sure at this year's AFI Awards in December there will be a much heavier rememberance. What they failed to mention was that Ledger was nominated for the Best Lead Actor AFI Award for each of the three films mentioned at the start of the article. He lost to Shane Jacobson (Kenny), David Wenham (Gettin' Square) and Russell Dykstra (Soft Fruit respectively. I'd suggest people try and seek out Two Hands (below) and Candy especially. I wasn't that keen on Candy but it features great lead performances by Ledger and Abbie Cornish, while Two Hands is, justifiably, an Aussie classic. So, there ya go.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Those Oscar Nominations

I, as you are very well aware, got sidetracked on the day the Oscar nominations were announced and I'm just now getting around to putting in my two cents worth that nobody asked for. Uh-huh. I did pretty good at the start and then gradually got worse and worse. So super happy for Atonement and I love that AMPAS embraced Juno, when there really wasn't any need for them to do so. They could've blindly gone with another actor-turned-director, but they didn't! Good on them!

For reference, my predictions were over here.

Best Picture
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I missed Juno, which I just thought was too young and hipster for the Oscar voters, but I couldn't be happier that it and Atonement - both shaky best picture prospects - made it in over the blah bizarre hero worship of Into the Wild.

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I missed Reitman for, again, Sean Penn for his work on Into the Wild. Considering their love of actors turned directors this is much more surprising of an omission. Especially considering Reitman's work was on a comedy and a youth-oriented comedy at that. Plus he's only something like 30 years old! Is this the Academy saying that, yes, comedies can be well-directed and that you can be young and still get nominated without prejudice? I hope so!

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
If Emile Hirsch from Into the Wild was to miss I didn't think it would be to Tommy Lee Jones for a movie that had dropped off most people's raders a while back it failed to set anything on fire, let alone the box office. Still, apparently he deserves it and he definitely had a big year, so good on him. Ryan Gosling and Hirsch will surely get more chances in the future.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
COME ON JULIE!!! I did predict the surprise nomination of Linney, but I also predicted Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart against my better judgement - I never once thoughout the year thought she was going to be nominated until the field got so incredibly small - instead of Blanchett who, I believe, becomes the first performance of this decade to be nominated for a film rated "rotten" at Rotten Tomatoes. Although I have done absolutely no research to back up that theory. Scarily - also, sadly - Blanchett is actually in the second highest-grossing film of the five represented. Isn't that just baffling!?

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had predicted Tommy Lee Jones here, and not best actor, for his role in No Country for Old Men. I just figured Charlie Wilson's War had no mileage whatsoever.

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saiorse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Correctly Guessed: 5/5
When Sid Ganis announced Saiorse Ronan I felt such a relief. Right then, a mere few seconds into the announcement I felt like Atonement was in. Anyway, I got 5/5 here like everyone else who didn't predict Catherine Keener.

Best Original Screenplay
Juno
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I was predicted a surprise with Eastern Promises filling the spot of Lars and the Real Girl. 3 of the 5 nominees here are women, which is encouraging! But, I do so hope that Ratatouille wins this, but Diablo Cody has, I'm sure, got this wrapped up.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Atonement
Away From Her
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had Into the Wild sweeping in over Atonement, but thankfully the Academy showed some taste and didn't fall for Sean Penn's D-grade Bruce Springsteen riff. And, in case you didn't get it the first time, SARAH POLLEY IS AMAZING!!!!!!! Oh man, is she ever!

Best Cinematography
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 5/5
Just like supporting actress, pretty much everyone got this category 5/5 unless they swapped out Atonement for Eric Gautier's work on Into the Wild.

I am also in the minority that Roger Deakins work on the Coen's No Country is better than Roger Deakins' work on Andrew Dominik's Jesse James.

Best Art Direction
American Gangster
Atonement
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
I had Harry Potter taking The Golden Compass' "fantasy" spot and La Vie en Rose's french music halls being deemed more impressive than whatever American Gangster has (I haven't seen the latter). I'm glad that The Golden Compass didn't get the cold shoulder - although it personally wouldn't be in my top five - due to fickle American audiences. This is down to Atonement and Blood methinks.

Best Costume Design
Across the Universe
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had missed costume design legend Albert Wolsky's work on Julie Taymor's Across the Universe for the candy-coloured duds of Hairspray. Unfort Hairspray got zero nominations, which means out of this year's prominent musicals - Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Once, August Rush and Across the Universe - it was the one that got the short straw. Interesting. Can that green dress (and that green dress alone) win Atonement the statue?

Best Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
Only missing The Diving Bell, which I hadn't predicted in favour of Zodiac, which did not get any members of it's crew a congratulatory call early in the morning, which is a big shame. Can the Coen Brother's pseudonym "Roderick Jaynes" become only the second (that I am aware of) fictional person to ever win the Oscar? I think most definitely yes.

Best Original Score
3:10 to Yuma
Atonement
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Despite what people say I don't actually believe Jonny Greenwood's since disqualified score for There Will Be Blood would have been nominated - I certainly wasn't predicting it would even before the word came out that it had been disqualified. Nevertheless, I was very pleased to see James Newton Howard's score for Michael Clayton get a nomination. Sure, he's one of their favourites and it was a surefire best picture nominee, but that score wasn't anything typically "oscar" and I'm glad they recognised it. Well done, AMPAS!

Best Original Song
"Raise It Up", August Rush
"Happy Working Song", Enchanted
"So Close", Enchanted
"That's How You Know", Enchanted
"Falling Slowly", Once

Correctly Guessed: 2/5
Look, yes, the three noms for Enchanted is silly, but the music branch has taken ahold of his category and given it the shakeup it deserves. No longer can you get by simply by inserting songs randomly over scenes (Hi Into the Wild) or throwing a song over the closing credits (I'm looking at you Hairspray, ditching "Ladies Choice" for "Come So Far"? Bad move! I've been saying that for months). And as random as that August Rush nomination is, I said a month and a half ago that "I actually sort of like this one!" So there ya go.

Best Sound Mixing
The Bourne Ultimatum
3:10 to Yuma
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Nice move on the Ratatouille part! Very subtly, but great work there. But, most of all, I'm just happy they nominated No Country for Old Men.

Best Sound Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Nice lineup.

Best Visual Effects
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 1/3
Blah, whatever. These are all better than I Am Legend and 300.

Best Make-Up
La Vie en Rose
Norbit
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Correctly Guessed: 1/3
It really does boggle the mind. How can the make-up branch be so blind?! And what was so incredibly better about the fatsuit work on Norbit than the fatsuit work on Hairspray? Is it because in Norbit you see all the roles of fat on Eddie Murphy and they're not all covered up with costumes. Still, the movie that, some believe, cost Eddie Murphy an Oscar is now an Oscar and Razzie nominee all on the same day. Wasn't that nice? I'm sure Murphy is beaming with pride.

Best Animated Feature
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf's Up

Correctly Guessed: 2/3
You know what was one of the first thoughts I had after not hearing The Simpsons Movie be read out as a nominee? This doesn't bode well for a costume nomination next year for Sex and the City. I know, right?

Best Foreign Language Film
Austria, The Counterfeiters
Israel, Beaufort
Kazakhstan, Mongol
Poland, Katyn
Russia, "12"

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I only missed Katyn from Poland for Brazil's The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. Considering the uproar/controversy/scandal over this category, I thought for sure the roundly praised Vacation would get in. Alas...

Best Documentary Feature
No End in Sight
Operation: Homecoming
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
I missed Taxi and Homecoming for Lake of Fire (apparently one of the greatest docos ever made) and Autism: The Musical. Only Sicko has been released here, naturally.

Best Documentary Short
Freeheld
La Corona
Salim Bab
Sari's Mother

Best Live Action Short
At Night
The Substitute
The Mozart of Pickpockets
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman

Best Animation Short
I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli Putli
Even Pidgeons Go to Heaven
My Love
Peter and the Wolf

Correctly Guessed: I didn't do predictions for any of the short categories.
As far as I'm aware there are no Aussie nominees this year in any of the three, which is sad. We've had a nominee for the last five or so years, too.

Conclusion

Overall, it's a very impressive roster of nominees. There isn't anything that just screams "AWFUL!" As much as I'm glad Into the Wild missed I'm even gladder that it's exclusion meant stuff like Atonement and Juno could make it in. The letter is a teen-oriented comedy, folks! That's wild. Although it was always going to be hard to begrudge the list of nominees they released because 2007 was such a strong year for movies.

Of the major contenders I have only not seen There Will Be Blood and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - out here in 2 weeks I think - and a collection of the acting/tech contenders too.

On the prediction side of things I did very good in the major 8 categories, never doing worse than 4/5.

I was intrigued to go way back to my one-year-in-advance predictions. I was right to feel unsure about Elizabeth: The Golden Age (in fact, back in February '07 I predicted it for Best Actress and Costume Design only, which is all it got), The Kite Runner and Sweeney Todd (that Depp snub I predicted very nearly came true). I was wrong to feel confident on American Gangster (although it did figure heavily in the race), Charlie Wilson's War and Reservation Road (what a disaster that turned out to be?) And there were some choices that look downright foolish today (Bette Midler?!) And the less said about The Other Boleyn Girl the better.

My out-on-a-limb prediction of widespread love for Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone didn't pan out, but it did end up with an Oscar nod and a lot of award season love, so I didn't feel completely ridiculous about it.

Some of the strange year-in-advance predictions I made that turned out to come true:

Casey Affleck and Cinematography nominations The Assassination of Jesse James and nothing else!

Ratatouille in Best Original Screenplay!

Michael Clayton for Best Original Score! Was this on anybody's radar even the night before the announcement? In fact I predicted three original score contenders - MC, Atonement and Ratatouille!

Three of the Best Art Direction nominees! Golden Compass, Atonement and Sweeney Todd!

3:10 to Yuma in Best Sound Mixing! How random!

I correctly predicted that Shrek the Third would diediedie!

Also, in a bizarre bout of foreshadowing I typed this after my Best Make-Up predictions. Read and be amazed:

So, I originally had Norbit down. But I don't even think these guys will nominate that? Surely... right?

Yikes!

"I'll Have a Blade Runner, Heavy on the Gin..."


I'm not sure if there's an alcoholic beverage called a "Blade Runner" - like the movie, he says - but if there was I'm sure it'd be strong, dark, with a sweetly ironic kick at the end. And, if there such a drink, I'm sure Blade Runner star Sean Young would've been downing them last night at the DGA Awards - where the Coen Brothers won, incidentally, for No Country for Old Men - because, boy, she was drinkin' something. Defamer has a hilarious first-hand account of Ms Young's bizarre drunken behaviour at last night's award gala.

...but it was when Julian Schnabel took the stage toward the end of the evening that she really went kook...yelling at him to "get on with it" and to "move it on" ... Julian yelled back at her to "Have another drink, Honey" and started to leave the stage before the crowd yelled at him to stay. He continued to talk and Sean stood up and mad a big production of putting on her white fur coat, walking around in a circle and then taking her seat again.

Hah! That is brilliant!

Variety also has some words on it.

Although I feel bad for the people she heckled, still doesn't stop it from being hilarious.

This.Does.Not.Compute.

I think my computer just exploded. That or Lindsay Lohan has gone mad.


Red hair and no leggings? What has happened to our dear Lindsay?!?

Up is down!

Left is right!

Black is white!

Norbit is an Academy Award nominee!

Needless to say, the world must've gone topsy-turvy because this is like the Lindsay Lohan of old. Ya know, before she was of legal age.

Just a Reminder


It can't be stated enough, really. I just thought we needed a timely reminder.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Australia Day

Well, today is (nearly, was) Australia Day. It's like Independence Day or Bastille Day, just better because we're Australia (and, naturally, more awesome). I had fully intended on doing something celebratory, but things throughout the week kind of sidetracked me as it did a lot of other people and then when it came to the day I had work and not I'm tired and hot and it's sticky because it's so muggy and now all I wanna do is go to bed.

But you! YOU! You can still celebrate. Go watch something Australian. Or something about Australia. Or starring an Australian. Or, just go make out of an Aussie. We tend to like that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who the Hell is Dan Abrams?

...and why aren't any Australian news readers this foxy? I have no idea who this man is other than he hosts a news program or something on MSNBC. I saw him for the first time today at Towleroad in a clip from his show about Heath Ledger and the right wing arseholes picketing his funeral and mocking him on radio (it's very sick) so the story kind of destracted from his sexiness. He reminds me of Steve Carell, actually - and y'all know how I feel about Steve Carell!

Am I the first to think this? I suppose this Abrams dude is now my American-News-Guy-Who-I-Don't-Know-Except-Through-American-Blogs of choice. Anderson Cooper? pfft.


(naturally, there aren't many decent pictures of him though!)

All Australia gets is freakin' Peter Hitchener, which is enough to make you shudder.

Heath Mountain

It's perhaps an odd thing but I found myself, last night, sitting down to watch Ang Lee's masterful Brokeback Mountain. I had said to myself that I was going to watch it as a celebration and a testement to sadly departed Heath Ledger. I found myself thinking that if I can get through Brokeback - climb over it and come back down again - then I'll be fine to move on.

May sound melodramatic, but it's true.

The death of Heath Ledger hit hard. It really will become one of the defining moments, just like the deaths of River Phoenix and James Dean before him. Heath was perhaps this generation's foremost contender for legend status. Hell, if the only performance he ever gave was his galvonising turn as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain then he would still be a legend.

Some people won't get it, some people will dust it off as pure celebrity worship - I, and almost all of his fans too, didn't actually know the man. But that's the thing. We felt like we did! Only in death can it really be appreciated how strong the connection between Heath and his fans was. People see so much of Heath in the character of Ennis and vice versa. People see him and they think of that character and what he did as an actor and what it all represented. They think of him so fondly - an actor and a man that made the decision to do something that not many other people would even consider. He was a good person and when you lose someone who you have routinely let into your life, who you have watched make such an impact on people as Heath Ledger has, it's hard not to feel immensely pained.

And for anybody to die at the age of 28 is shocking, whether you knew them or not, and I think it's just plain ol' normal human emotion to feel sad, especially when they have such a young child and so much more to give the world. And, for me and most other Australians, it's a major blow. It's only natural to feel connected to your fellow countrymen. He was such a strong and powerful force in the Australian film industry, as well as around the world, routinely returning here to make movies.

But back to Brokeback Mountain. I surprised myself that I managed to get through it relatively unscathed. But there were moments throughout were I felt pangs of sadness. We'll never get to see Heath give anything like that performance ever again. We'll never see him walking down the streets with infant Matilda on his shoulders. We'll never see him strutting up the red carpet wearing striped socks, shorts, a backpack and tophat. We'll never see him grow into the man he wanted to be.

But as the credits rolled, I breathed. That was that. If I could get through Brokeback Mountain then I can get through everything else and I think it's alright to talk, type and move on to other topics. We need to be frivilous and trivial again. He will obviously be a popular and constant topic here on Stale Popcorn, but I feel like I want - and need - to focus on other things.

We'll miss you, Heath.

I leave this note with an image from Brokeback Mountain. The moment where Heath was his most beautiful - washing dishes in a stream.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

RIP HEATH LEDGER?!?!

Fuck the Oscars, Heath Ledger has been found dead.

There are no words.

Literally. No words.

I actually think I'm going to cry.

I cried.

~-~

So, it's now three hours since I heard the news and it's still incredibly shocking. How did this happen? How is one of the finest actors of his generation - a man who gave the finest male performance of this decade so far, imho, in Brokeback Mountain - gone? Forever. It's something that is just so unfathomable. Such a popular, beautiful young man. It's interesting to think of how Ledger will be spoken of in ten, twenty, fifty years time. Just think of James Dean and River Pheonix!

Yahoo has a list of tributes from Australian identities:

Australian actress Nicole Kidman has expressed shock at Ledger's death.


"What a tragedy," Kidman said in a statement to celebrity news show Extra.


"My heart goes out to his family."


Hollywood actor John Travolta, in Australia to attend a benefit dinner, has described Ledger as "one of my favourite actors."


"His abilities are rare ... it's a tremendous loss," Travolta told Extra.


"It's hard to be here celebrating Australia under these circumstances."


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement that it was with great sadness he learnt of Ledger's death.


"It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life," Mr Rudd said.


"Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor.


Margaret Pomeranz from ABC TV's At The Movies says she is devastated by the news.


"I am so upset ... he's such a talented boy and really I think a beautiful soul," she said.


"I think to choose the roles he's chosen showed just such intelligence."


Pomeranz's co-star and fellow critic David Stratton says Ledger will be missed by the film industry.


"It is extremely sad, because he was so young - only 28 years old - and still so promising, yet he'd done some extraordinary things," he said.

And from the Herald Sun, this part was particularly sad:

Former flame Naomi Watts broke down in tears at the Sundance Film Festival.

Watts, who dated Ledger for two years, could not contain her emotions in at the festival in Utah, immediately crying upon hearing the news.

And it makes you wonder how there are actually people out there who are so devoid of emotion. There are several sites I've been to today where I just had to x out because there were actually people saying things like "he wasn't that good an actor, he won't be missed". Just terrible.

Sarah Polley is Amazing

No, make that...


There, that's better isn't it?

Completely Reactionary OMG First Impressions*

*to the Academy Award announcement.

No Into the Wild for Best Picture, Emilse Hirsch for Best Actor, Sean Penn for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay!!!

And in it's place in Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay is ATONEMENT!!!!!!! Hell to the YEAH!

No Angelina Jolie!!! But there is Laura Linney!!

NO INTO THE WILD except for Hal Holbrook!

Reitman for Best Director! WOW, quite frankly. Never would've guessed.

Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah?!

There were indeed shocks. The Into the Wild snub - and the Atonement love that came with it - clearly made me happiest apart from...

SARAH POLLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry for the abundance of "!!!"s but she totally freakin' deserves it!

On the tech side of things there are some shocks too. No Into the Wild for best song! And apart from Holbrook it's only other nom is editing. Sweet.

I sorta knew Across the Universe would get something, but I didn't have the guts to predict it. Nevertheless, I did predict it for a costume design nomination way back in February for my year-in-advance predictions so snaps for that!

Nice to see movies like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood getting sound nominations.

Norbit is now an Oscar and Razzie nominee in the same day. "Only in Hollywood..."

Is The Bourne Ultimatum the first "third film" of a trilogy to get the first nomination of said trilogy? I imagine so, unless I've forgetting some major franchise...

As blah as the Best Original Song category is at least they've taken their new philosophy seriously and are trying to reward songs worked into the movie. Those three Enchanted noms just prove that a) Alan Menkin is their God and b) the system works. Serves New Line right for dumping "Ladies Choice" from Hairspray (better than all three Enchanted songs) for "Come So Far" - a closing credits song. SERVES THEM RIGHT! However, they didn't deserve Hairspray to be shut out entirely. That's sad.

Something I hadn't even noticed was that the excellent (but unheralded) music from Michael Clayton by James Newton Howard was nominated. YES! Apart from Tilda Swinton (a thankful nominee, sure) the music was my favourite part of that film.

Adam < Glenn

Clearly I am superior to Adam from Crumb by Crumb. But, apart from proving my awesomeness, I am posting this to highlight the plight of Save Scrabulous. It must be saved. But mostly it's just because I'm amazing.


That little conversation box could be really confusing to someone who didn't know what we were talking about.

...so naturally, I'm not saying what we were talking about. Needless to say, it involved nakedness.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Final Predictions for the 80th Academy Awards

So, it's come to this? The image that represents this 2007/08 Oscar season - for me - is the below one from the I'm-predicting-it-to-be-nominated-and-a-so-hope-it-does The Simpsons Movie of Homer Simpsons swinging back and forth between a rock and a hard place. I think it perfectly encapsulates this season. Let's discuss, briefly, before getting on to the main event.


All season long I've been saying to myself "Atonement will be nominated" yet it kept getting rebuffed by guilds who, and I freely admit this, had an abundance of other worthy titles to honour. And it's frustrating because, for once, the preordained "frontrunner" actually - in my humble opinion, of course - actually deserved to be the frontrunner and to be winning awards. Unlike last year when something like Dreamgirls, a movie I liked, was winning guild nominations for pretty drapes and curtains and for it's shoddy editing work.


However, when I came to put my predictictory thoughts to the screen and I realised I just couldn't leave Atonement out. Call me stubborn, or biased, but last year when the Academy snubbed the frontrunner Dreamgirls, they substituted it with a Clint Eastwood-directed Steven Spielberg-produced World War II film. While I'm always up for arty foreign stuff to be recognised, but can The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which has barely scratched $2.5mil really make it into the best picture lineup? Buzz be damned, but can the youth-scewering antics of Juno (and the fact that outside of actress and screenplay I highly doubt it will receive any other nominations) get enough top votes to get in as well? Well, if you ask me it's one, the other, or neither. And I couldn't decide so I fell back on the "period" horse (okay, gross mental images be gone). The passion there is Atonement is strong and I am positive that people put it at #1 or #2 on their ballots.

...whether it was enough. Well, we'll see tomorrow. Plus, let's face it, it hurts me just as much to see Into the Wild in there as it will be pain me to see Atonement miss.

Quick Note: Nat @ the Film Experience tells us that Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood has been disqualified. If you have already read my predictions then you would know I predicted Greenwood would be snubbed anyway so it doesn't effect my predictions (I am a smartiepants), but now it means Michael Giacchino has an easier shot at finally getting a nomination for Ratatouille.

BEST PICTURE
Atonement
Into the Wild
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Sean Penn, Into the Wild
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I'm not sold on Gilroy, but I think Joe Wright (Atonement) will have missed the boat with the directors and all the other contenders too for that matter. And then I remembered the director of Capote was nominated several years back, which I found strange because it didn't scream out as a director's movie. But, there ya have it.


BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

I imagine they'll go for Hirsch's invisible performance rather than tap the Ryan Gosling well again so soon and for such a bizarre movie. But, I'll be more than happy for them to prove me wrong!


BEST ACTRESS
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

DON'TEVEN! I'm sticking my neck out for The Lovely Laura Linney - hoping enough people saw her amazing year and put her name down over the likes of Blanchett. But, let's face it, if Cate's name is read out on Oscar morning we all know it's not because the movie was a fantastic masterpiece.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Now, will whoever announces the nomination actually read out the entire name of Jesse James or abbreviate it like they did last year with Borat? And I am entirely aware that double nominations are rare in the male category, but I just think more liked Jones' wounded sheriff than Hoffman's... whatever he did. I can't help but hope they did, quite frankly.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saiorse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Other than Blanchett and Ryan I think they could all miss, quite frankly. Swinton is very much the arthouse savant, which has tripped so many up in the past, but she has a potential best picture nominee to work with so I think she's relatively safe. Either/Both Ronan and Dee could easily be replaced by either/both Catherine Keener (Into the Wild), Jennifer Garner (Juno) and Kelly Macdonald (No Country). It's a minefield.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eastern Promises
Juno
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages

I know a nomination for Eastern Promises appears strange, but my theory is they nominated Cronenberg's last film in the writing categories (that'd be A History of Violence) and Stephen Knight's similar underground London-based thriller screenplay Dirty Pretty Things. That and I couldn't decide what else to put there. Lars and the Real Girl seems like just the kind of quirky flick that critics love, yet the Academy just does.not.get. So... I'm sure I'll be proven wrong. Just watch!


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Away from Her
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Perhaps more than anything come Oscar morning in the major eight categories, I want Sarah Polley to finally become an Oscar nominee and with her delicate beautiful and intimately sparse drama Away from Her. Almost nothing would make me happier outside of bizarre sitings for This is England or Ratatouille in best picture/director.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST ART DIRECTION
Atonement
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Hairspray
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd

BEST EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Zodiac

I think it'd be swell for Zodiac to get a nomination here and I really wanted to predict it somewhere so for a bit of fun... here it is!


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
300
I Am Legend
Transformers

BEST MAKE-UP
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
3:10 to Yuma
Atonement
Eastern Promises
Lust, Caution
Ratatouille

eeeep! I'm predicting a snub for Jonny Greenwood's apparently amazing score for There Will Be Blood. We've experienced with this branch many times before that they like to get to know you before they invite you to mean the parents. We'll see. If he does in fact get a nomination then I think we can offically call the music branch integrated! I mean... no, I've got Hairspray on the brain. We can call it whatever the correct term would be!


BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Enchanted - "That's How You Know"
Into the Wild - "Guaranteed"
Into the Wild - "Rise"
Once - "Falling Slowly"
Ratatouille - "Le Festin"

Yawn. Wake me when this category is over.


BEST SOUND MIXING
American Gangster
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
Transformers

BEST SOUND EDITING
300
The Bourne Ultimatum
Ratatouille
Sweeney Todd
Transformers

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Persepolis
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"12"
Beaufort
The Counterfeiters
Mongol
The Year My Parents Went on Vacation

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Autism: The Musical
Lake of Fire
No End in Sight
Sicko
War/Dance

I dunno. I was merely gonna copy Nick's because he seems to know documentaries, but - on the other hand - he knows documentaries and when do the specialty branches ever do anything right?


AND THAT'S A WRAP, FOLKS!

We'll know in about 24 hours, if my calculations are right, whether we're right or all horribly horribly wrong (which a lot of the time isn't actually horribly, but turns out to be wickedly fun!) Enjoy these moments of suspence while they last because once the nominations are announced it becomes all about who will win and that is usually a much easier thing to work out than this whole shebang, right? Right!

Update: Negativoreno

I am sketching them down, but I won't be able to post my final Oscar predictions until about Midnight tonight due to family stuff I have to attend to. I'm hoping for more Atonement and less Into the Wild than the general concensus groupthink. I'm also thinking Juno and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly will both miss the best picture roster. Am I crazy? Perhaps. But in a season like this I think there's not much that can be done that can bring on a chorus of "dude! what were you thinking?"

Also, I'm seeing Lust, Caution and Sweeney Todd on Thursday. The latter is a part of the great idea former-No-Necked Monsters blogger Michael came up with - Yeah, Seen It! Lovely. Can't wait!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #55 - A Clockwork Orange

#55
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Unknown Designer
Film Nationality - UK
Poster Nationality - USA



[click to enlarge]

A poster as visually daring as the film it represents. It is dark and sinister, but also comical.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Defiant Jamie Bell

IIIGGGGYYYY!!!! I guess this means I have to see the new Ed Zwick movie, huh? I successfully avoided his last magnum opus Blood Diamond (hardee har har) and thankfully didn't waste $12 on seeing The Last Samurai at the cinema so why did Jamie Bell have to go and get a plum role in Zwick's new WWII "epic" (oh please, you know they're gonna it that, all WWII movies do at some point) Defiance due for release some time this upcoming year.

Some will argue that Bell deserved an Oscar nomination for David Gordon Green's Undertow. Many will say he was robbed of one for his breakthrough Billy Elliot, but could Defiance be the film that finally sees this incredibly talented young Brit finally score an Academy Award nomination? Looking at the history of Ed Zwick I'd say it's entirely possible.

Zwick has directed eight movies before this one and three of them - included, tellingly, his two most recent - have gotten supporting actor nominations (Denzel Washington, Glory (which he won), Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai and Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond) and his films get major technical nominations so you know Oscar is going to be paying attention. Throw in a plot about WWII and this seems right up Oscar's alley.

You can view the trailer over at Yahoo (in their awful video player, btw) and the film stars Daniel Craig and Liev Shreiber.

Jamie, however, can be seen very soon in the new Doug Liman sci-fi actioner Jumper and we'll surely be getting to see his BIFA-nominated role in Hallam Foe some time this year too. Right? God I hope so.

Screamo

I've been wondering for a while now, what with Juno's screenplay sparking such immense interest with it's back-and-forth pop jumbleness - and having finally seen it tonight - what would happen if one of my favourite films (of all time he adds) Scream were released today. If the script remained the exact same, with the same cast reciting it the exact same way... could it have gotten traction?

No



Look, I know that it wouldn't have, but I can't help but feel that there would have been much more talk than their surely was back then. Apparently Drew Barrymore was hyped for best supporting actress (deservedly so), but as a girl who gets brutally murdered after eleven and a half minutes of screentime she was never going to get nominated. But, yeah, in this day and age of hipster cool that Scream effortlessly encapsulated 11 years ago (before it's time, folks!) would probably not have looked so foolish appearing on critics lists. It could even become the critics choice! The kind that they really have to get behind for the Academy to take notice, but then act all unsurprised when it gets beaten by the screenplay for something like Shine (which was nominated in the same year Scream was eligible). Yawn.

I mean, Kevin Williamson's script was very critically acclaimed (and caused a big fuss with a bidding war) and it was spoken by young hot up-and-comers. It's filled with pop and inside jokes. And to top it all off the film had an even hotter run at the box office than Juno - debuted with $6mil and over the next six months ended up making $100mil.

The big strike against it would be it's genre - yet, not it's violence (something that is definitely not hindering several big hitters lately). Although even the Academy has been tolerant to other genres lately. Who knows what coulda (shoulda) happened. I'll just keep daydreaming.

We Love You Lily Allen

Be strong.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bad Dreams for Old Men


...not that I'm an "old man", but you get the point. Javier Bardem's scary No Country for Old Men creation Anton Chigurh haunted my dreams last night. I dreamt that I living in this suburb where everybody had to be like Will Smith in I Am Legend and turn all the electricity off and had to blockade their homes at night because Anton roamed the streets looking for people to shoot with his giantmassivehecan'tmiss rifle (but not the air gun). And of course, in my dream, I forgot to take the garbage out (naturally) and had to go outside to do so and then had a big chase scene with Anton and it was terrifying.

Then I woke up.

Then I fell back asleep.

AND HE WAS THERE AGAIN! Except this time he was joined by the alien from Signs - I blame My New Plaid Pants for that - and well things just escalated from there. I woke up several more times in the span of an hour and everytime I went back to sleep Anton was there. He's one scary dude, I tellsya. Although, I've found the movie itself has been lingering around my brain a lot more than I anticipated when I exited the cinema.

Now, if Javier ever wants to haunt my dreams purely as himself then by all means. If Javier wants to haunt my real life too, I think I could accomidate. As long as he doesn't have that hair, ya know?


Yes, I think so.

This Week on Australian Screens

For whatever reason I seemed to have skipped this the last two weeks. Alas, here it is.

Cinema Releases for the Week 17/01/08

Cloverfield - The original trailer was excellent. The second trailer was decent. The TV ads are sorta lame. I'm more interested in hearing what audiences who haven't been inundated with this movie's annoying advertising campaign have to say. All the fanboys will come out to geek, but what of the people who had to ask people like me "What's Cloverfield?" just a few days ago.

Juno - Australia becomes, I think, the first international territory to get Gilmore Girls: The Movie Juno starring a lightning fast Ellen Page and co. The ads have been all over television and not just pissy 10 second ones, proper 30-second mini-trailers. I've seen it so many times yet I still don't know what that girl says after Page tells her she's pregnant. Anybody...? Anyone...?

Can I just say I hate the skirt and jeans combo that Page wears on the poster. The skirt is entirely unnecessary!

The Kite Runner - *groan* Do I have to? No! No I don't! That awful trailer was enough to make me never want to see this movie. That it's director is Marc Forster just reinforced that belief.

Lust, Caution - Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain followup. Why is it that Ang Lee can have a new film a mere two years after his last yet some directors - far less technically proficient ones at that - seem to take much much longer? It's rated R18+ down here, which was good to here.

DVD Releases for the Week 17/01/08

BloodRayne II: Deliverance - When I realised that there was actually a sequel to Uwe Boll's BloodRayne I thought to myself "who could they possibly get who could do a worse job than Uwe Boll?" My question was quickly answered when I realised that Uwe Boll also directed this sequel. Aah. And when even Kristanna Loken (who?) decides not to reprise her role, you know you're in trouble!

Bratz - like, omigod!

Evan Almighty - In 2006 the mother went and saw Poseidon and liked it! I smacked my forehead and chuckled. And then I watched it - it was awful, but hilarious! <-I even created a drinking game! The mother also liked this movie a lot. Will it have the same fate? I doubt it. There is no urge within me to even begin to find out.

Keeping Up with the Steins - Aah, jewish comedy! Where would we be without it?

Lady Chatterley - Last year's big winner at the Cesar Awards in France, this is yet another adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Except this time it's apparently good.

FUN FACT - If you mistype the film's title into IMDb's search engine as "Lady Chatterly" it directs you instantly to this movie. Random.

Ratatouille - One of the year's very best was this Pixar animated film about a rat who likes to cook and the chef who can't. If all goes to plan this movie will be getting more than just a token animation nod at the Oscars, but will also get nominated for writing and it's score. Or they could fellate Sean Penn some more (who am I kidding? they've been doing that for years!)

The War on Democracy - John Pilger's documentary makes a speedy trip to DVD.