Monday, June 30, 2008

Apologies

Sorry 'bout this folks, but things are going to be pretty quiet around here this week. I'm away from my own personal computer and it's throwing me off! The settings are all different and I'm lost so I don't wanna be doing too much. Things should get back to normal soon enough, and I do plan on posting throughout the week, but I don't think I'll posting my UMA Awards until next week. Ugh, I know!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Let James McAvoy Soothe Your Weekend

I'm out for the weekend so to not leave you hanging like Kim Wilde here are pictures of cute-as-a-sexy-button James McAvoy acting weird and kooky on some program called "TRL". I should know what that is, but I'm drawing a complete blank. American cable TV, for the most part, is such a complete blur. Hopefully on Monday I will be able to start my long-gestating UMA Awards, first up my top ten of 2007. Christ, we're six months into the new year and I'm only just getting around to this stuff. I blame the distributors!! It's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

So, yeah, James McAvoy likes Savoys, Ahoy! Have a nice weekend!



[source]

I'm not sure what he's doing in that bottom right corner pic, but I like his style!

Not Quite Ozploitation

I was watching the special features on the Death Proof DVD today and saw an interview with writer/director Quentin Tarantino about how the final carchase sequence - pretty much an entire third of the film's running time - was, as I suspected all along, an homage to Ozploitation flicks. Australia has always been a very car oriented nation - obviously sped right by me though, I don't even drive let alone own a car! - and a lot of the action and horror flicks that were produced here during the 1970s and '80s known as "ozploitation" movies, reflected that with car chases, car crashes, car everything.

The opening night film of this year's upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival (previously discussed here) is going to a MIFF-financed documentary called Not Quite Hollywood, which charts this near-extinct genre. A genre that revelled in extreme violence, nudity, bad language and absurdly over-the-top ockerisms. Cars, Tits and Explosions, essentially.


I hope to be able to catch a screening of it at MIFF, perhaps alongside Brian Trenchard-Smith's amazing Dead End Drive-In, which is also screening as part of a "Focus on Ozploitation" sidebar at the festival. However, I was taking a look at the film's IMDb profile and was quite astounded at the number of recognisable names that first time feature director Mark Hartley has assembled for his film.

Steve Bisley
Jamie Blanks
Russell Boyd
Lynette Curran
Jamie Lee Curtis
Bob Ellis
Richard Franklin
Dennis Hopper
Barry Humphries
John Jarratt
George Lazenby
Donald McAlpine
Greg McLean
George Miller
Phillippe Mora
Judy Morris
Russell Mulcahy
Fred Schepisi
John Seale
Quentin Tarantino
Jack Thompson
Sigrid Thornton
Brian Trenchard-Smith
James Wan
John Waters
Leigh Whannell
Simon Wincer
Susannah York

That's a daaaamn impressive list they got there. I'm sure many of you not familiar with Australian cinema won't recognise many of those names (and it's the Aussie actor John Waters, not the American director), but most of them are significant names in our industries history. Interesting bit of note, this was the last film Richard Franklin (he of Patrick, Roadgames and Psycho II fame) worked on before his death in July last year. Although, who knows really? It could just be old footage they located. It'll be fascinating, no doubt, either way.

You can watch the trailer below. And speaking of Quentin Tarantino, if you notice during the trailer at 0:25 there is a shot that probably helped spark QT's inspiration for Death Proof's climactic car chase.

Greg McLean is a Sexy Silver Fox

Consider this my own unconventional gratuitous (MNPP) or Hump Day Hottie.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Greg McLean is a sexy bitch. Directors aren't regularly considered for their looks at all, unless they're women in which case it's alright to call Sofia Coppola "ugly" when critiquing her films(?!), but there are some good lookers out there behind those cameras, who rarely get to be seen enough to be appreciated.

So, as I sat watching the making of featurette on the DVD for McLean's 2007 killer croc flick Rogue I decided to take some screencaps of McLean himself because there's just not enough pictures of him out there (as is the case with a lot of the off-centre good looking types). McLean totally rocks that silver hair though, don't you reckon?

"I do..." he whispers quietly to nobody in particular





Yes, he is wearing a Miami Vice tee




And just for the sake of it, here are some other pictures of McLean I've found around these here netherworlds of the Internet. I had to collect them illegally, so I figured I oughta leave the watermark on there even though I hate posting images with watermarks. But, seriously folks. It's not like I'm profiting off JAMD property so I don't see the big problem.


Mclean with Wolf Creek star Cassandra Magrath





Thursday, June 26, 2008


I'm attending the wedding of one of my best friends' on Saturday. Here's hoping it doesn't end up like Nicole Kidman's in Birth!

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 26/06/08

The Band's Visit - An Israeli film about a group of lost musicians. Was the subject of controversy during the most recent Oscar race after it was disqualified from the Best Foreign Language Film category for - wait for it - having too much English dialogue in it. LOLZOMG!!!!

Get Smart - Steve Carell (oh, Steve!) and Anne (oh, ANNE!) star as Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 alongside Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin and Terrence Stamp in this revisit to the Get Smart television series. Something about the trailers amuses me so.

Grindhouse - One of the only upsides, it would seem, from Grindhouse flopping hardcore and being split into two films (Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof) is that it is now a cult film and thus will continue to live forever in revivals and special screenings. This twofer movie got a bare minimum release earlier this year, which I unfortunately missed. It's getting another limited engagement rollout for... some reason.

Happy-Go-Lucky - Mike Leigh goes for a change of pace after the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake with this film about a woman who is far too happy for her own good. Sally Hawkins has already won a Best Actress prize from Berlinale and I'm predicting Oscar nominations too.

Kung-Fu Panda - So it's apparently better than most other Dreamworks animated movies, but... but... Jack Black! Angelina Jolie! Dustin Hoffman doing an Asian accent! Sorry, can't do it. Maybe on DVD.

DVD Releases for the Week 26/06/08

Arctic Tale - Apparently we need more nature documentaries.

Blonde Ambition - Madonna would roll over in her grave... if she were dead... and had any way of knowing Jessica Simpson stole her tour title... cause once you're dead you sorta lose all your brain function...

Dan in Real Life - I remember wanting to see this way back last year, but then they decided to wait until February '08 to release it here and I stopped caring. Sucks to be them.

Eagle vs Shark - New Zealand oddball comedy.

The Invasion - This infamous sci-fi flop stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig as scientists... or doctors... or something-or-other, trying to defeat zombies... or monsters... or aliens... or something-or-other. It's oddly directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, he of Downfall fame. Apparently this movie is so lame that even the Razzie Awards didn't touch it! It also had a really bad poster (left).

Martian Child - The first of two direct-to-DVD titles for John Cusack within a couple of months (Grace is Gone is released in August). This one is... well... honestly, I'm drawing a blank.

Suburban Girl - Yet another entry in the "This movie had a great original title before Hollywood studio players meddled and now it sucks" file. This Sarah Michelle Gellar movie was originally called The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and now goes by the direct-to-DVD title of Suburban Girl. Blegh.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - If they ever make a Judd Apatow biopic I imagine they'll skip this part, no?

Weirdsville - This movie I've never heard of before stars Scott Speedman. He's so pretty.

QT 4 KIKI

Does Quentin Tarantino (aka QT) have a crush on Kirsten Dunst (aka Kiki)?


This is a shot from Quentin's pedal-to-the-floor exploitation masterpiece Death Proof (yeah, you heard me) featuring Kiki not once, but twice on magazine covers. Magazine covers advertising Marie Antoinette no less, not exactly the sort of movie you would think the target audience of Death Proof/Grindhouse would be keen on. I'm now trying to imagine what Kirsten would have been like in said car fetish film. Would she be one of the arse-kicking stunt gals of the second half or one of the doomed damsels from the first half?

hmmm...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Black, White

As I sat and watched Ang Lee's Lust, Caution last night I couldn't help but wonder what that movie would look like if it were filmed in black and white like the films of it's timesetting. And then as the film went on I thought it became glaringly obvious that masterful cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (Brokeback Mountain, the films of Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu) was filming this movie as if it were being made in the 1940s. His way with shadows and closeups are beautiful, and it's amazing that there really isn't any obvious playing with the camerawork. It's just simple and sublime.

But, naturally, I am who I am and I wanted to see what the film would look like if it were filmed in black and white. Here's some screencaps (click to enlarge) to prove it would've been just as tops.















And the film? B+

People Google the Darndest Things

Sometimes I like to check out what people are typing into their Google search engine that brings them to this here blog of mine. It's usually the typical stuff - 27 Dresses and assorted movie posters continue to be the most popular search keywords - but every now and then somebody finds Stale Popcorn using a truly bizarre search that I am left flabbergasted.

Such was the case this evening when I discovered somebody found my blog using:

EXTENDED MASSIVE ORGASM - EMO LEGS

Apparently somebody wanted to search for all those "extended massive orgasm"s without the fuss of "emo legs" being attached to it. Those wacky people! Anyway, I was intrigued to find out which of the roughly 580 entries featured enough of those keywords to entice said Googler. It turns out it was this one.

Oh man, I tell ya. I'd forgotten all about that. Those were good times. Although, re-reading through that entry makes me wonder...

G.I. Joe Confuses Me

Look, I was never a G.I. Joe kid growing up. I'm fairly sure they were "around", but I don't think anybody I knew was into them. Maybe they're a predominantly American thing? I don't know. Nevertheless, they're making a G.I. Joe movie and they have released a poster for the whole affair featuring what I thought was the star of the movie, Channing Tatum.


The confusion comes from the fact that this poster states Tatum's character name as "Duke", just like the film's IMDb profile. There isn't one person in the film's credit called "Joe"! Am I missing something here that is blatantly apparent to anyone who's ever played with a G.I. Joe doll? And if I'm going completely off the track here, how come whenever people in TV and movies play with G.I. Joe dolls are they called "G.I. Joe" and not "Duke" or whatever is going on here.

Thank god for James Cameron though. If it weren't for his filming of Avatar going overboard the incredibly delicious Aussie actor Sam Worthington (Somersault, Macbeth, Rogue) would have taken the role and, well, I'd rather he not even if, as some of the Tatum casting detractors say, Worthington would have been better suited to the role. Oh well. Let's just look at him for a moment.


There.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Entertainment Weekly's Top 25 Movie Posters of the Last 25 Years

Can someone explain to me why Entertainment Weekly are doing these countdown thingies? Is the magazine itself 25 years old? Nevertheless, I love a list - who doesn't? - and while some of the choices are dubious (why isn't The Golden Girls on the top 25 television theme songs?) just like every other list, I thought I'd take a look at their top 25 movie posters of the past 25 years.


[click to enlarge]

Almost Famous - I like this design, but it just kind of annoys me that it has Kate Hudson on it, ya know?

Amelie - Another poster I quite like because it acts as a big introduction to this completely unknown character. And not in the way that, for instance, animated films have individual posters for each character because even before seeing the movie you can tell Angelina Jolie plays a tough talking fighter in Kung-Fu Panda. Here there's still mystery, but you can totally see her personality shining through. I do, however, prefer this version for no disconcernable reason whatsoever.

American Beauty - Duh. The whole rose motif worked a treat when it came to this movie - yet another victim of the Best Picture Oscar curse.

Back to the Future - The best thing about this poster is that it set up the nifty design that was continued with part 2 and part 3.

Batman - True story. On some of the sights that have linked my 100 poster countdown commented on the lack of any poster for the original Star Wars movie. Because, ya know, it's a classic movie so naturally it's poster is a classic too? Okay, it sort of is a classic, but I don't care for it as I wrote multiple times because that idea that cramming everything onto the poster is not one I respond to. The only Star Wars poster that I considered for the poster (apart from the teaser for Episode I) was this simple and clean design. I don't need to see every character known to man shoved onto one poster. All this is a long way of saying, I much prefer this simple design for Batman, but it's not enough to make it one of the best. Yikes, I ramble, huh?

The Breakfast Club - #95 on my 100 Greatest Movie Poster countdown.

Brokeback Mountain - Has become iconic so it's inclusion is warrented.

The Devil Wears Prada - A teaser poster so good that they just made it the final version. Speaks volumes, no?

Empire of the Sun - I love the design on this one, don't you? JD wrote about it a bit better than I could so just read that.

Fight Club - I love the idea of the soap bar being the title. I've mentioned many times that I like when posters do that sort of thing. The rest of the poster is fairly standard though, isn't it?

Flashdance - The best thing about this poster is the blue scribble. Feels very '80s freestyle, no? Other than that I don't get what makes this one of the best.

Forrest Gump - Considering the type of amazing concepts they could have come up with for marketting Forrest Gump this design is disappointing. It's not bad, it's just... there.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Grammatically incorrect titling besides, this poster is a legitimate classic. Of course with something as instantly brilliant as this design, it has already been copied and copied again. None will ever beat the tragicomic effect achieved by this poster though.

The Hunt for Red October - A striking design for sure. Has a dark menacing tone to it that I really like.

Jungle Fever - Apart from the four (one above, three below) designs that also appeared on my countdown, this is my favourite design that EW listed. Such a bold and fantastic design, isn't it? Such vivid eye-popping colours. I must've been blind when i skipped passed this design, to be honest. What was I thinking?

Lost in America - Aah, back in the '80s when these sort of cartoony posters were all the rage. It's got a good joke so it works better than many others of it's ilk.

Memento - A really great design that plays off the central idea of the film. Very nicely done.

Moonstruck - Obviously I love design. I ranked it the third greatest movie poster of all time. My top two were released before 1983 so I'm super stoked that my favourite film poster of the last 25 made it onto their list. Very happy, indeed.

Pulp Fiction - Likewise, it ranked #27.

The Royal Tenenbaums - Nicely crafted, full of personality. I like what they did with the credit block, but I wish they'd done something with the above the title credits as they don't fit at all with the design.

Showgirls - As much as I love this poster as being a hilarious iconic piece of magic, I actually think it's perhaps too... tame? This poster is part of the reason why I think Showgirls was meant to be a comedy all along. I mean, they could've easily done something that was actually erotic, like, say, The Center of the World, but they didn't. They went for this campy showy design.

The Silence of the Lambs - #34 greatest poster of all time, according to me.

Stop Making Sense - Am I missing something here?

Swingers - Interesting that a movie of this kind should use such a big colour, but I like that they did and the way they did the title is great. A bit more imaginative than these sort of movies usually get.

The Terminator - Oddly, my favourite part of this poster (I prefer the poster for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, in my eyes it's the more epic of the two) is the completely superfluous red stripes behind Schwarzenegger's pose. They're so '80s!

And that's that, really.

Barracking for Summer

There are three movies in particular during the American summer that I have been barracking for to succeed. The first was Sex and the City, which proved to go beyond my expectations success-wise. Even if I hadn't have liked the movie I would have been glad for it's success, especially when you considering it could out-gross stuff like the Incredible Hulk.

The second is Wall-E, which is being released this weekend in America (we Aussies have to wait until school holidays begin). I fear it could go a bit too over the heads of the movie-going public, but I hope it goes above and beyond, because we need for animation that isn't just Shrek retreads and Pixar-wannabes.

The third film I'm cheering for is The House Bunny. An odd title for sure, but I think it's success or failure will say a lot, especially post-Sex and the City. If it's as good as the trailer (below) suggests - and, trust me, the humour in said trailer is an "acquired taste" and normally it's not my style, but Anna Faris is just too good - then it could easily reach Legally Blonde territory. Plus, it has babes in bikinis, so at least it won't get any of the misogynistic anti-"chick flick" styled criticism that City received. Although I'm sure plenty will attack it's apparent "you gotta be hot to be confident" shtick, but I imagine the movie itself won't be quite as black and white.

As for the trailer... it cracks me up. As I said, Faris is just so good. No matter what the material she's given she just makes me laugh. Whether it's as the lead in the Scary Movie franchise - I maintain that at least in the original film Faris gave an amazing comedic performance - or in small parts in critically acclaimed films such as Lost in Translation (remember her spot-on Cameron Diaz impersonation?) and Brokeback Mountain. With the voice she's putting on in the movie I reckon she'll be able to read the alphabet and still make me giggle with delight, although I think even I, perhaps, am getting too much enjoyment out of her whole Seven Year Itch moment. I particularly love when she says "maanhooole", don't ask me why. And the less said about "Oh I'm not looking to make soup" the better, or else I'll die of laughter.

enjoy


"Oh you meant the president?"

When Bad Posters Strike: The Accidental Husband

The first poster for this, what I assume is a, romantic comedy called The Accidental Husband annoyed me profusely because it was such a blatant example of the annoying trend of not putting actors names in the same position as their faces (what the technical name for this idea is I'm not quite sure).


Is it really so hard to put Uma's name in the centre, but raised a little bit above the others so it still appears she is the star. And then there's no reason why Colin Firth and Jeffrey Dean Morgan couldn't swap places. It's not like the poster was actually acted it with Firth and Morgan standing on the ground as the photographer dropped Uma Thurman off a building. Stuff like that just frustrates me. It's so easy to correct, yet nobody does it.

However, this brings us to the latest poster. One, which I find not as offensive as that first one I showed, but one that is quite simply far worse. Observe:


Yikes.

Things we can say we know after looking at this poster:

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, despite getting third billing up the top, is a better face to sell a movie on than Colin Firth.

Obscuring Uma Thurman's goddess-like face is a good way to sell a movie.

America's favourite know-it-all doesn't husband, apparently.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan just drew on that book, despite neither being in the position to do so.

Thurman and Morgan enjoy sitting in bright white rooms.

How sad for Colin Firth. He is apparently a far less sellable actor than the dude who was in love with Katherine Heigl on Grey's Anatomy before he carked it and Izzie then had an affair with her married best friend. Colin Firth, the man given second billing, not appearing on this poster is fishy. I mean, hello! They put him on the poster for freakin' What a Girl Wants, and he is hardly in that film's key demographic. But, no, a romantic comedy where two men - again, I'm assuming here - vie for Uma Thurman's attention and, no. Let's not put a man on there who routinely gets people's collars all aflutter.

And then we get to Thurman, who actually looks more like Anna Faris on this poster. If you're gonna have Uma Thurman on your movie poster then have Uma Thurman on your movie poster. Don't cover her face up so that she looks like somebody else.

Lastly am I the only one getting a vibe from this poster that reminds them of this...


eep.

Blog Update

Okay, so I know since returning from my weekend sojourn I've been very quiet - bad me! - but I've actually been fixing the sidebar up. I can't believe I've gone all this time at version 2.0 of Stale Popcorn without making a link section in the sidebar. That makes a very bad blog buddy, doesn't it? Anyway, I've thrown up a whole lot of links over there to your left, you should try and check them out (but don't forget to return here when you're done).

In the music section, particularly, there are many great blogs that post great music from the '80s. I've discovered so many amazing tracks through them. I'm currently in love with Val Young's "If You Should Ever Be Lonely", which is like some long lost classic that just, ya know, isn't. Oh well.

If you read this lil blog of mine and think your link might look nice on the list then . Or, conversely, if you think I've just forgotten to put your link up, let me know. My bookmark system is crazily unco-ordinated right now, so I wouldn't be surprised if I'm forgetting some great blogs.

Over the next few days I hope to be getting back into the swing of things before starting the UMA Awards next Monday July 1. If I haven't seen something by then... well, bad luck. I hope to see 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days plus Lust, Caution before then. Other than that I don't think there's any major contenders I've missed outside of the likes of enough foreign films and documentaries, films like Lars and the Real Girl and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which I just didn't want to see (theatrically at least, as good as they may be), and the likes of The Savages and Persepolis, which have yet to be released in any way, shape or form over here. I know! And you wonder why I rag on distribution so much! I also would've loved to have seen some movies again, but such is the nature of time management.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bitch is Fierce

Seriously. I'm not one to use to term "fierce" to describe stuff, but damn - doesn't Tyra Banks look it holding her Daytime Emmy Award?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Links for Your Weekend

I won't be here this weekend again - it's going to be a very long weekend, trust me - so here are some parting gifts.

My New Plaid Pants and Film Experience find something magical about Charlize Theron. I got a very Xanadu-ish vibe from the latter.

Rants of a Diva has choice words for Emmy voters. It'd surely be a worthier nomination than Tony Shalhoub for Monk yet again.

Popjustice is really onto something with Solange (Beyonce's sister) and the new Freemason's Remix of "I Decided". It's killer, but it's no "Umbrella". That whole "Runnin' me runnin' me down / tellin' me tellin' me wait" part is amazing though, no?

EW has a feature on the top 100 films of the past 25 years. I'm not sure why did they didn't just wait until 2010? Midway through 2008 seems a bit odd, no? Nevertheless #100 is South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, which clearly needs to be much much higher. They do, however, get props for including The Blair Witch Project which they could have easily thrown onto a "worst films" list because, ya know, that's the cool thing to do nowadays.

The Australian documents how the FFC spent $200,000 to reach a conclusion most sensible people can figure out for themselves - Australians would see more Australian movies if they were more mainstream. If you only release 25 Aussie films a year and 20 of them are arthouse pictures, then of course revenue is going to be down.

The American Film Institute lists their top ten films in ten genres instead of the usual top 100 of [insert genre]. Alas, they somehow forgot all about "horror", "comedy" (outside of "romantic comedy") and "musicals". The latter is specifically strange considering they have "sports" "animation" and "courtroom drama" as genres (which, oddly, includes an Australian film - A Cry in the Dark - that not that many people seemed to like at the time, let alone 20 years later) as well as the rather limited "epic". Ugh. The ultra-genre pieces get snubbed again. If the lists depress you (Shrek is the 8th best animated film ever, apparently), watch this greatest hits package of Jessica Alba's program comments. Yes, they got Jessica Alba to give comments alongside Clint Eastwood. Oh the hilarity. It's alright though, they only asked her to comment on the girly movies.

And lastly, the Key Art Awards announced their winners. You'd think I would be more enthused...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Hate Terrence Howard

There. I said it. I've never particularly been a fan of his outside of Hustle & Flow - have you seen his resume? There's actually a lot of crap on there - and I've never particularly "got" all the praise that people seem to leap onto him. I spoke a while back (over at Stale Popcorn V1.0) about his ridiculous and outlandish comments about exercise ("push-ups, 1,000 sit-ups and a three-mile run before taking his three kids to school"), well now comes something even more:

a) stupid

b) ridiculous

c) offensive

d) misogynistic

e) repulsive

f) imaginary

I'm guessing a-e, although maybe he is just making this shit up because, whether it's real or not, this shit ain't right.

Single actor Terrence Howard makes potential girlfriends perform tasks to win over his affections.

The Iron Man star insists he is too choosy to settle down with one woman, preferring instead to spend his time with a harem of women.

He explains, "The greatest number of women I've dated was 12. I've had four women come to my hotel and we all painted pictures together. I was just trying to see which ones I liked the most."

I am officially speechless. There are no words to describe.

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 19/06/08

Don't Mess With the Zohan - Adam Sandler has a new movie out, I have another reason to not go to the cinema this week.

Hope - Aussie documentary.

Mongol - The Academy Award-nominated film by Sergie Bodrov and the first in a proposed trilogy about Genghis Khan. Shaping up to be one of the big foreign language hits of the year.

My Brother Is An Only Child - Acclaimed and award-winning film from Italy.

Unfinished Sky - An Australian remake of the 1998 Dutch film The Polish Bride, this time directed by Peter Duncan (Children of the Revolution) and starring William McInnes and in the same role she played in the original Monic Hendrickx. I was looking forward to this movie until I actually saw clips from it and... well, I'm not sure why so many Australian filmmakers think it's the "cool" thing to do to not make their movies look nice. Take last year's Noise for example - the cinematography on that was worldclass. This movie, however, just looks kinda cheap. I hope I'm just seeing things that aren't there and that it's really a gorgeous movie. Oh well.

DVD Releases for the Week 19/06/08

Alvin and the Chipmunks - It hurts that this made, like, eight times what Speed Racer did. Kids these day... :p

August Rush - I got nothin'.

Definitely, Maybe - When the lights came on after my session of this movie I asked by friends what time it was because I had no idea the movie was so long. Turned out it was under two hours, it just felt like five. Strange. It... wasn't worth it, to be honest. Also, it turns out I was completely wrong about the plot of the movie! Hah. Also, I found it amusing the Nirvana seemed to be this movie's band-of-choice (I know, right?!) yet they stole the title from Oasis.

Margot at the Wedding - I proved to be in the minority on this flick by Noah Baumbach and starring Nicole Kidman. I rather liked it. A lot. Go figure.

The Mist - Yada Yada horror movie yada yaha Stephen King.

Rendition - It's hard to believe that Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon and Alan Arkin made a film and nobody cared. But cared they did not and here it is on DVD after a cinema release that I barely remember.

It Was The Best Times, It Was the Queerest of Times

Ja over at the magnificent My New Plaid Pants has been doing a little series of queer-themed image posts, highlighting his favourite cinematic same sex couples. No words, just pictures. It's amazing how much they conjure up though.

However, it just struck me today how frequetly I look at these pictures and go "that was so-and-so's best performance". What is it about "playing gay" (to coin a cliched phrase) that brings out the best - and sometimes worst (here's looking at your Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Flawless) - in actors. Strange but, as a look at the following list will demonstrate, true. Sure, it's perhaps a very narrow and simplistic way to look at things, especially considering the movies in which the likes of Watts, Hoffman, Affleck and Theron give great work weren't necessarily "about" homosexuality, but homosexuality was a very unavoidable aspect.

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James

Steve Carell, Little Miss Sunshine

Cher, Silkwood

Alex Dimitriades, Head On

Dan Futterman, Urbania

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Piper Perabo, Lost & Delirious

Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven

Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry

Charlize Theron, Monster

Jennifer Tilly, Bound

Jonathan Tucker, The Deep End

Naomi Watts, Mulholland Drive

Patrick Wilson & Jeffrey Wright, Angels in America

Sam Worthington, Somersault

And that's not including the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis (My Beautiful Laundrette), Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry), Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon, Angels in America), Ewan McGregor (Velvet Goldmine), Kate Winslet (Heavenly Creatures), Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terrence Stamp (The Adventures of Priscilla) who have all gave supurb performances, but have bettered themselves.