Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting political for a sec

In case you're still dithering before Super Tuesday, you can check out Vote Gopher to compare the candidates stances on various issues. Also, I find the Poverty Gopher bizarrely adorable.


I just really shouldn't post until I'm off of the internet. A good round up of the SAGs (yay for someone mentioning Kate Flannery's dress!)

Also, AMC is redoing the 5 best pic noms in a day marathon. I'm kind of tempted. How much fun would that be?

Ha ha ha ha ha....

Conglomeration stocks drop faster than the Dow. Serves you right!

Take Hitler and stick him on the funny blog.

Hey! His Girl Friday is available for free online! Let's hear it for the public domain.

Also, I missed this earlier; No Country for Old Men did a Q&A in LA (including cinematographer Roger Deakins, who is up against himself for Best Cinematography. The other film being Assassination, which should ABSOLUTELY win). Some interesting possible Oscar gossip...

Movie bits

Sorry it's been a while. I haven't been on the computer much, and I've actually had a lot of work this week. Also, while there has continued to be lots of movie news floating around, My movie watching is currently as historically low levels, in part from being broke, and in part from having my netflix queue currently dominated by tv shows. Thank the dear lord scripted tv returns with Lost tonight, albeit briefly.

So; movie news! The most exciting first; Sam Rockwell has yet another project, entitled Gentlemen Broncos, lined up! It co-stars Jemaine Clement and Michael Angarano, who was also in Snow Angels with Sam. Good news all around.

Worst movie dialogue ever. Kudos for putting Notting Hill up front.

I was trying to think of the best way to describe this casting, and Cleolinda went ahead and did it first. "Marion Cotillard to Join Depp and Bale in 'Public Enemies.' It's like they're sitting around going, "Could we make this movie more awesome? You would think not. But you would be wrong.""

Cinematical on the importance of visuals in movies (Yay Assassination!)

What Ben Whishaw is up to.

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. I still think this casting is just oh-so-wrong. Can Penn really play someone so exuberant? Also, I have to say that I was more excited about this project when it had Matt Damon attached to play Dan White, particularly given how good he was as the bad guy in the Departed.

A new, sweded trailer for Be Kind Rewind. Which I am soo excited for.

I haven't seen this yet, but it looks good; Michael Emerson talks creepy movie characters.

It occurs to me that I didn't get a chance to recap the SAGs. Unfortunately, I only saw half the show, because the tv was taken over at 9 for Mansfield Park (which has to be the most dreary Jane Austen). Anyways, other than the WGA shout outs, the best speech of the night goes here; Daniel Day-Lewis Dedicated His SAG Award to Heath Ledger (video). Which sort of makes me ok with him winning.

In the apropos of nothing category (and courtesy of Cleolinda); What in the holy hell. And; ""Anonymous" still attacking the Church of Scientology. Specifically, from solle: "Anonymous are thousands of people that have collectively managed to uncover and distribute half a decade worth of lies and secrets in less than a week. This is already much bigger than the discovery of the Xenu story ten years ago, and it's still growing." Examples: "They've stolen basically every important Scientology document, book, DVD, tape and secret file and put it online"; "They've found the full 45 min. Tom Cruise video"; "the 'Jesus was a pedophile' level has been put online," and so very, very much more. Meanwhile: The Ultimate Tom Cruise Scientology Parody Video Roundup, which may have something to do with Tom Cruise's sober appearance at the SAGs; Scientologists Haven't Even Thought About Suing Gawker (read this in an O RLY? tone); Fight Scientology Without Breaking the Law, Jerks."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hi, I'm calling to procure a hasty blog

I went to see Juno the other day, which I really enjoyed. The star really is Diablo Cody's script, which, at times, threatens to become to clever for its own good. However, it never does, in part to fine performances all around. Although Ellen Page has received most of the attention, I was really pleasantly surprised the supporting cast. Jason Bateman, as the gen-X sellout who isn't sure he's ready for adulthood, turned out to be surprisingly touching and vulnerable. And while Jennifer Garner's need for a child starts out as a one-note character, she quickly develops into someone believable that you actually care for.

My favorites, a few days after the fact, are JK Simmons and Alison Janney as Juno's parents. They are probably the most realistic portrayal of teenage parents in any movie that I can think of. It was incredibly refreshing to see parents who actually respected their child's decisions and supported her, rather than going off on the typical rant over the boyfriend. Even when the plot could take a predictable route (and let's face it, the plotline itself isn't anything particularly new), the real-ness of the characters and the snappy dialogue keep it fresh and sweet. It's also the witiness of the script that keeps the ending from disentigrating into complete mush. It's one of the few romantic movies with a happy ending that I really enjoyed.

Heading into the Oscars, I think the script and Ellen Page definitely deserve kudos. Ellen Page really does inhabit the role perfectly, and her comic timing is impressive, particularly considering her other role that blew me away was the creepy, intense girl in Hard Candy. Overall, though, I do think Atonement probably has an edge for Best Picture, given the epic scope and modern narrative twists. The Academy often picks more traditional movies, even when something like Little Miss Sunshine (rightfully) grabs a nomination.

Choke, movie grosses, and trailers

I noticed something while I was reading through recaps of Sundance. Most of the articles revolved around the fact that, despite the writers strike, few films were being picked up. Now some of the articles thought that the possible resolution to the strike was one possibility, while many mentioned deals in years past that had failed to produce returns. However, it really started to bug me that all of the articles only mentioned domestic returns. What movie studio focuses solely on domestic returns these days? It's like the reports that the Golden Compass was a flop or Stardust was a bomb. The Golden Compass made over 100 million for New Line (less marketing). Stardust nearly doubled its production budget, even before an additional 30 million from DVD rentals. Making movies solely for an American audience isn't profitable anymore.

Anyhoo. On that front, Owen Gleiberman over at EW has a great article on why Fox Searchlight, one of the best Sundance flick distributors, made the right decision in purchasing Choke. There is also a great review over at First Showing. And on AICN. Oh, and Choke got a special jury prize for work by an ensemble cast.

Elsewhere; the Coen bro.s got the DGA award. And I'm definitely behind on seeing No Country for Old Men.

Trailer round-up; Smart People. I personally really dislike Sarah Jessica Parker, but I do like Ellen Page. I've heard some good buzz out of Sundance, so I think this one is a maybe.

Shutter. Oh, Pacey. You're just never going to have a career, are you?

88 Minutes. I'm sort of surprised to see Al Pacino in this. It looks very routine. If you want a crime thriller why not go check out one of these instead? Or, if you want a twister involving Death Row, I liked the underrated Life of David Gale.

Sleepwalking. You know, Charlize Theron had potential. Maybe it was eaten by the giant bow monster. And Nick Stahl seems like he has potential, but I have a hard time seeing him and not thinking Sin City. *shudder*. For loner turned around by a young girl, go rent Lawn Dogs.

The Accidental Husband. Awww. Jeffrey Dean Morgan. When his character died, I gave up watching Grey's Anatomy. Because much as I enjoy storylines featuring multiple people impaled on a pole, his character was the only remotely likable person in that nuthouse. Plus, he kind of reminds me of Robert Downey Jr.-lite. (Hey, was that the guy from Office Space in that trailer? Whoa. Where have you been for 10 years?) Anyways, I hope Mr. Morgan eventually gets some kind of role beyond a film that has COLIN FIRTH in it. He of the disgustingly sappy romcoms in the world. Blech. And hopefully the Life Before her Eyes gets Uma Thurman some better parts as well.

The new Get Smart international trailer. Awww... the teaser had me all excited and now? Not so much. Missed it by thaaat much. I'll wait and see on this one. Although maybe Steve Carrell should tone down the work load and focus on quality, rather than quantity.

Animals. Naveen Andrews as a werewolf. No, really.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All right, Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my blog.

What a day in movies!

Sundance first; Choke was picked up for 5 million. Quite the tidy sum. (Hamlet 2 for 10 million? My god, Steve Coogan must be funny in it.) I've only found one review for Choke so far, which seemed to be well-received; anyways it's from Cinematical and it's a bit mixed, but I love this line, "While I'm a huge fan of Palahniuk, his books and especially Choke, there's only one reason why I would recommend you check out this film, and one reason only: Sam Rockwell."

The Oscar nominees. Well, aside from the fact that I am certainly behind in needing to see things ('tis the reality when you're broke). The big surprises? Jason Reitman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ratatouille for screenplay (where did that come from?), 3 songs from Enchantment (really?), Surf's Up for animated (you don't need three, guys). The big snub? Angelina Jolie. (Well, and Christian Bale for Rescue Dawn, but that would have been a serious left-field contender). Really? Laura Linney and Cate Blanchett over a Mighty Heart? She was so... subtle, lovely, mesmerizing, heartbreaking. It's a crying shame. I also would have liked a little love for Zodiac, which was one of my favorite films of the year. I don't know whether the studios did much of a campaign for it, but perhaps re-releasing it closer to nomination time in LA and NY would have helped.

I'm happy to see Johnny Depp nominated, although I'm sure it bums him out to have to attend the ceremony. Maybe he can use the writer's strike as a way to get out of it. (Although I'm thrilled that the WGA and AMPTP are back negotiating as of today.) I would have liked to see James McAvoy and Kiera Knightly up, but I'm very glad that Saoirse Ronan was up, because her performance was pitch-perfect. I'm rooting for Casey Affleck (although I'm sure Javier Bardem will get it) and Assassination for cinematography. The foreign nominations were Eastern-European leaning (the only one I've even heard of is the Counterfeiters) so I'll have to go read up on the rest. It is also really nice that the acting kudos were spread out over so many films. Although it brings me back to needing to see many, many more things.

Also; it's interesting, but 3 actors mentioned in USA Today's "hey, Oscar!" made it into the nominations (sorry, Paul Dano).

Speaking of the strike, check out this WGA-solidarity clip featuring Oz's Dean Winters and Kathryn Erbe. I love Dean Winters! I'm currently catching up on 30 rock (like many programs, as I was abroad last year), and I was sorry to see him get dumped, although the way it was handled was brilliant. Bravo, Tina Fey. The clip also features Zeljko Ivanek (hey! I met him when he was in the Pillowman.)

There's a ton more movie news out there today, but I only have so much time online tonight. Quickly; First Look At What 'Watchmen' Will Look Like. Oscar's Biggest Snubs: A Post-Mortem.

Oh, and personally? I've got a position lined up for the end of this week and maybe into next week. And I think I might say, screw the resume, and start looking around for more reliable retail positions. Or at least maybe one as a part-time weekend gig for now. That's about it.

Musica; Starlight - Muse

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy blog.

New Blog! New Blog! La la la la la la!

Right. So. Seeing as my last blog (which was ostensibly a travel blog) kept veering off into movie news, I thought it would be a good idea to start up a new blog with an emphasis on movies. There will probably be a little bit of personal news and other fun stuff on here, but we'll see where it goes.

So to start everybody off properly; the first clip from Choke has hit the web! It screens at Sundance tomorrow and I can't wait for the reviews. This time last year we were hearing about Joshua (which was fantastic) and Snow Angels (which I cannot wait for).

You should all know starting off; favorite actor? Sam Rockwell. He's completely brilliant.

And on the awards side of things; Newsweek's Oscar round table. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but it'll be up first thing for tomorrow.

In my own personal news, I finished up my Office XP testing for a temp agency I've signed up with. I'm still cleaning up and organizing the house. I'm listening to Muse and Mark Ronson a lot. I'm broke. I've recently seen Atonement (breathtaking), Sweeny Todd (brilliant and very dark), and Sea Monsters in 3-D. My brother dragged me. In exchange, I got to watch the penguins in the aquarium and have lunch at Wagamamas. Works for me.