Wednesday, April 25, 2012

F, Marry, Kill - Summer movies

This is HILARIOUS to me. Vulture is playing F/M/K with summer films. Let's play, shall we?

The Superheroes: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Dark Knight Rises. F Spiderman. I mean, that costume. (!) I'm far more worried about Dark Knight than the Avengers (Loki v. Iron Man! Yay!). That said, I really love the first two batman movies - so there's your long term commitment. Thus, Marry Dark Knight (that's healthy), Kill the Avengers. That's for Iron Man 2. And recasting Edward Norton. Sorry, Joss.

Aliens: Battleship, Neighborhood Watch, Prometheus. Kill Battleship. Obviously. Marry Prometheus, because I could not be more excited for that cast. Which leaves us with F Neighborhood Watch. That works. Yay Richard Ayoade!

Quasi-reboots: GI Joe, Total Recall, Bourne Legacy. Kill GI Joe, because come-on. Between Colin Farrell and Jeremy Renner, I think Colin Farrell is the more tested leading man, although the effects-heavy world could go awry. Still, Marry Total Recall, F Bourne. Although, given that it is Colin Farrell, it should probably be the other way around....

Indie Rom-coms: Lola Versus, Safety Not Guaranteed, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Kill Lola Versus, because "girl getting over a failed engagement" does not do it for me. F Safety Not Guaranteed, because I like Aubrey Plaza and the funny internet bit it is based on, but I'm wary of Mark Duplass (mumblecore not being my thing). Which leaves us with Marry Seeking...., which, considering Patton Oswalt is involved, seems about right.

Big Budget Adventure: Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Snow White and the Huntsman. Hmmm... I love Charlize Theron playing a bitch, and the visuals look STUNNING for Snow White. However, I don't like Kristen Stewart, so kill that one. Abraham Lincoln has a cast (Benjamin Walker, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a director (Timur Bekmambetov - Wanted, Night Watch) and a producer (Tim Burton) that I love. Dark Shadows is Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, with the added bonus of Eva Green playing a witch. Marry Dark Shadows, F Abraham. Yeah, that sounds wrong.

There are a few more over at Vulture. Have fun!

The best thing at SFIFF so far

(Okay, the Tune-Yards and Buster Keaton shorts were pretty fantastic.) But so far, the thing I have been most blown away by was a short animation called 663114. Here is a clip. If you have a chance to see this, GO. I'll keep checking to see if it becomes available online.

(Also, DO NOT click through to its youtube page. The description gives too much away.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly blog hop hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. I got it from my brother, who got it from The Bathroom Monologues "by the fabulously talented John Wiswell."

Justine by Lawrence Durrell:

We have been told so often that history is indifferent, but we always take its parsimony or plenty as somehow planned; we never really listen... Now on this tenebrous peninsula shaped like a plane-leaf, fingers outstretched (where the winter rain crackles like straw among the rocks), I walk stiffly sheathed in wind by a sealine choked with groaning sponges: hunting for the meaning to the pattern.

Everyone is welcome to Teaser Tuesday. The rules are as simple as:

• Grab your current book
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Avoid spoilers! Don't give too much away or you'll ruin it for the very people you're suggesting it to.
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Summer movies

Yay! The Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie preview is here! This might be my favorite magazine all year. Either this one or the winter preview (mmm.... oscar bait...)

Here is what I'm either excited for or looks otherwise interesting:
May 4 - The Avengers. Obviously. I love everything I've seen of Joss Whedon's and I'm very excited that they are bring Loki back as he villain.
May 11 - Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp as vampire and Eva Green as witch.  Yes, please.
May 11 - Where Do We Go Now? I've heard raves for this. It's showing at SFIFF. Its about women in a town in Lebanon try to avert their husbands' religious strife.
May 18 - Hysteria. I've heard mixed reviews, but I'll be checking it out at the Film Fest. It could be cute.
May 25 - Moonrise Kingdom. I like Wes Anderson. I like Edward Norton. Should be good.

May skips: Men in Black 3. Despite Josh Brolin's Tommy Lee Jones impression, and Jemaine Clement's inclusion, this had too many tales of script woe in development. Battleship. Chernobyl Diaries. What to Expect When You're Expecting (whygodwhy). The Dictator. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. First Position. A Little Bit of Heaven. The Perfect Family. #Regeneration. Girl in Progress. Hick. Tonight You're Mine. Lovely Molly. Polisse. The Samaritan. Virginia. Hide Away. The Intouchables. Mighty Fine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Musical mix

I can't tell if it is because I've been watching Smash, or because I'm getting more and more excited for American Idiot to come to the Orpheum, but I've been listening to a lot of musical theater recently. So, let's make a mix! One song per show. You'll notice that, despite my love for rock musicals, there's no Spring Awakening on here. What can I say? I've never really liked it. I also only just got the soundtrack for Next to Normal, so no songs from that yet. And here are a few of the shows I don't know well enough to pick from: South Pacific, Carousel, La Cage Aux Folles, Follies, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ragtime, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy, Hello Dolly, Nine, Mame, Urinetown, most of Gilbert & Sullivan, etc., etc., etc...

The Introduction:

Prologue - Into the Woods.
Tradition - Fiddler on the Roof. 
Two really great ways to start a show. 

The Rock & Roll:

Rock Star - Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
Favorite Son - American Idiot. There are other songs I love even more from this show, but I think this one is the best example of improving a Green Day song with musical harmonies.
Greased Lightning - Grease. 
Pinball Wizard - Tommy.

The Funny Stuff: 

Don't Say Yes Until I've Finished Talking - Smash.
All er' Nothin' - Oklahoma. 
Getting Married Today - Company. 
Cell Block Tango - Chicago.
Gay or European - Legally Blonde.
Make 'Em Laugh - Singing in the Rain. 
I Believe - Book of Mormon. 
America - West Side Story.  
Oh, Better Far to Live & Die - Pirates of Penzance. 
Hernando's Hideaway - Pajama Game.
A Little Priest - Sweeney Todd.
Schadenfreude - Avenue Q.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


So - The San Francisco Independent Film Fest is upon us. (The 55th annual!) I think it is a pretty mixed bag, as far as fests go. On the one hand, it goes for two weeks, so there is a lot to see. On the other, it really is geared towards retiree-types, in several ways, but most annoyingly in their refusal to use Festival Genius. (Why, god, why?!? When there is software out there that programs a schedule for you, why make people do it by hand?!) Also incredibly frustrating in that it caters to the wealthy. The opening night film, at member's prices, is $75. Closing night is $30 for members. A pass for the festival, for members, $900. For comparison, the Boston independent film fest is $200. For everything (only one week there, but still).

The programming is eclectic. It doesn't just bring buzzy titles from Sundance, so some of the films are more obscure or unknown. It makes deciding what to see a little trickier. (Not always, though; Twixt? Cherry? Really, SFIFF?) The only five I was waiting to see before the lineup was announced were: Wuthering Heights, Alps, Where Do We Go Now, !Vivan Las Antipodas!, and Robot & Frank.

That said, here's a rundown on what I'm planning to see. I am not planning on seeing Farewell, My Queen (opening night - and interestingly also closing night in Boston) or Everyman's Journey (closing night). Because as much as I enjoy Journey (thank you, 2010 World Champion Giants™), I don't enjoy it $30 worth. 
First up, the special events. They haven't yet finalized the Peter J. Owens award (last year, it was Terrence Stamp). But Kenneth Branagh is getting the director's award, along with a screening of Dead Again, which I have been meaning to see. The Kanbar award is going to David Webb Peoples (of Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, and Unforgiven, which is showing). 

Unfortunately they decided to schedule that presentation of Unforgiven opposite a tribute screening for Bingham Ray of The Third Man, which is where I'll be. 

The Mel Novikoff Award is going to Pierre Rissient with Fritz Lang's House by the River

Peaches is presenting Tommy. The tUnE-yArDs are playing with Buster Keaton shorts, which I am SO excited for. And there will be a members only screening on my birthday, tba. 

In the 'midnight' category, we have Headhunters; "An art heist goes terribly wrong in this darkly comic, fast-paced thriller."

And the rest (all descriptions from the SFIFF guide):
Alps; Stepping outside of the manor into urban terrain, the audacious director behind Dogtooth returns with a tragicomedy about a tightly knit group that specializes in impersonating the recently deceased. You’ll never look at tennis or rhythmic gymnastics—or modern life and grief counseling—the same way again. [I still need to see Dogtooth!]

Chicken with Plums; Having told her own riveting story in Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi explores the life of her great-uncle, revered Iranian musician Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric), as he reflects on the past and future while pining for a lost love, in this romantic, richly textured adaptation of her own illustrated novel. [Rated a B on CriticWire]