Friday, June 28, 2013

This Needs to Happen...

...or I might die of disappointment...

It was announced yesterday that Julianne Moore is in talks to join the adaptation of the third Hunger Games book, Mockingjay as President Alma Coin.  This development cannot fall apart, because Lord help the actress who replaces Moore if negotiations go to hell. 

President Coin is a big player in the final book, so, if Moore is cast, I would love to see her go head to head with Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen in both movies (Mockinjay is to be split into two parts).  Moore is having a busy year with What Maisie Knew and The English Teacher, as well as the upcoming Seventh Son and Carrie remake.  She is currently filming Map to the Stars helmed by David Cronenberg.

What do you think of Moore as President Coin?  Good choice?  Have another actress in mind? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The New 'Annie': An Open Thread

Let's open the floor for discussion, shall we?  I am genuinely curious about what everyone thinks of the Jay-Z/Will Smith produced remake of Annie.  It was announced today that Cameron Diaz will be taking on the role of Miss Hannigan.  Sandra Bullock was long rumored to join the cast, but it looks like Diaz swooped in and grabbed the part.

Quvenzhane Wallis (you know, that adorable girl and Oscar nominee from last year's Beasts of the Southern Wild) is the title character while Jamie Foxx is playing Benjamin Stacks (is that the Daddy Warbucks character?).  The film is being directed by Will Gluck who previously directed Friends with Benefits and Easy A.

So, what's everyone thinking?  Are you excited for a remake of Annie to hit screens next year?  Are you scratching your head as to why they are even attempting this?  I was on board until I heard about Diaz, but that's just because I have only truly liked her in a handful of movies.  I didn't know why Bullock was being considered, but I liked the idea of her as Miss Hannigan when I heard that Diaz was cast. 

Sound off people! 

The Funnier Side of 'Shame'?

I was going to include the trailer for Thanks for Sharing in this week's Trailer Tracker, but it's already jammed packed (the new Trailer Tracker will hopefully be up.  Sharing stars Mark Ruffalo, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Josh Gad a group of people who are in some way or another dealing with sex addiction.  The whole time I watched it, however, I was thinking about Michael Fassbender in Shame

Ruffalo stars as Adam, a man in a twelve-step program for sex addiction when he meets Phoebe (Paltrow).  The Book of Morman's Josh Gad appears as Ruffalo's friend who seems to be going through the same problems.  Yay!  A buddy comedy about sexual addiction!  Well, not really.  The trailer hints that these men will find love and strong friendships along the way, etc. 

I don't think I can watch anything about sex addiction since Steve McQueen's Shame.  That movie kind of broke my in a way because of Michael Fassbender's performance.  That movie stuck with me for days.  Bonus full frontal shot of Fassy's elephant trunk.  Yes, I know Sharing is a comedy, but I feel like this is like the mainstream version of Shame.  I doubt there will be Oscar buzz around Ruffalo's performance as there was with Fassbender (don't even get me started on how my Fassy wasn't nominated 2 years ago...sigh...).

Three other things to note during the trailer. 

1.  Gwenyth  Paltrow's AMAAAAZING body.  Helllooo!!! 

2.  Am I the only one who didn't know Pink's real name was Alecia Moore?  She isn't listed by her popular pop star name.  Do what you gotta do, girl.  You break into that movie scene! 

3.  Hello, Patrick Fugit.  I've had a crush on him for years, and I always get excited when I see him in a movie. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Justice For All

I am totally distracted today because of the Supreme Court decision on DOMA and Prop 8.  It is truly a historic day, and I can't really articulate my feelings, but I really want to watch Gus Van Sant's Milk tonight. 

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NOW You're Boycotting Your Movies, Jim Carrey?

Jim Carrey is distancing himself from his latest project, the Everyman superhero sequel Kick-Ass 2.  He announced on his Twitter recently that, after the tragedy of Sandy Hook, he cannot condone the amount of violence highlighted in his newest movie.  I think Carrey should also try to erase some of his filmography. 

I joke, I joke.  He should apologize for The Number 23.  And Me, Myself & Irene.  And The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.  Ok, I'm done. 

Here are Jim's tweets:

Growing up with Jim Carrey, I always found him loud and crude and yet very lovable at the same time.  I find his statements very ballsy considering that you don't hear very many actors speak out against something they have worked on.  He means no disrespect towards anyone involved with the film, but I wonder if he will be able to get away with not promoting the movie later this summer.  Carrey's star may have diminished over the years, but I bet Universal was banking on Carrey's presence to help give the R-rated film a boost at the box office.

Mark Millar, the creator of the graphic novel that the movies are based on, responded to Carrey's comments on his own website.  Millar begins by expressing his love of Carrey's other work, and he goes on to say that he respects Carrey's viewpoints on gun violence.  Near the end, though, he says the following:

"Our job as storyteller is to entertain and our toolbox can't be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie.  Imagine a John Wayne picture where he wasn't packing or a Rocky movie where Stallone wasn't punching somone repeatedly in the face.  The audience is smart enough to know they're all pretending and we should instead just sit back and enjoy the serotonin release of seeing bad guys meeting bad ends as much as we enjoyed seeing the Death Star exploding."

I remember when I saw the first Kick-Ass and I was legit taken aback by Chloe-Grace Moretz's character, Hit Girl.  The stuff coming out of her mouth made me blush, and that little girl is unapologetically packing some serious heat.  I remember really enjoying the movie, though.  I thought it was kind of daring and extreme.  I am sure that the bar will be raised, and even more blood will fly in the second installment.  We will see in August. 

I do look at violence in films different after Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado.  Carrey, always the outrageous actor, took a bold move and put his foot down.  We will have to see if this gets any bigger.  But, seriously, Jim.  Mr. Popper's Penguins

Monday, June 24, 2013

Too Darn Hot: Mondo Posters Keep On Coming

Movie posters are one of my favorite things in the world--when they aren't generic.  I hate when posters just featured heads or faces of the actors that are starring in it.  But when a poster is artistic or original, I get super excited.  Art group Mondo has been releasing their awesome takes on posters for a while, and the latest to be released is for the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy buddy cop comedy, The Heat

The design is rather, well, explosive.  It feels like a poster for a female version of Beverly Hills Cop.  The title is boldy scrawled across the bottom in vivid yellow, and there is a small kitten diving with its paws up on the bottom left.  It just makes me smile.  I was a bit reluctanct on The Heat, so hopefully the poster won't be better than the movie. 

The theatrical posters for the movie suck.  They couldn't think of something better than Bullock and McCarthy standing in front of a red background?  It's lazy.  Not to mention ridiculous for all the McCarthy   photoshopping going on.  Mondo's take blows these away. 

Mondo's movie poster designs seem to be popping up more frequently this summer.  They had two almost-as-gorgeous-as-Henry-Cavill Man of Steel prints debut two weeks ago, but, unfortunately, you won't see them hanging in your local multiplex. 

Am I the only one who wants better posters out there? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Oh, Henry! The Hotness of the New Superman

I saw Man of Steel yesterday, and I was completely distracted by one thing: the sheer hotness of Henry Cavill.  I have never wanted to get pushed out of a window more solely to see if this man will zoom out of nowhere and catch me.  I think it would be worth the risk.  In the meantime, I am going to be really shallow and just look at hot pictures of him.  Join me!

Sweet merciful Jesus.

I just died.  

And probably my favorite one...

Holy Christopher Reeve he's gorgeous!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

All I Can Think About Today...

Sophia Coppola's The Bling Ring hits Pittsburgh today, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I mean, it was my number one most-anticipated movie of the summer.  Get with it!  It's not getting the best of reviews, but anything Coppola directs gets money from me. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ode To a Fuck-Up Or Why I HATED 'Frances Ha'

"I'm horrible!  Isn't that funny?!  Write that down!"

I probably should have skipped Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach's black and white showcase of a total fucktard.  I do not like Greta Gerwig, and, I admit, I have no idea why.  There are very few performers whose presence makes me want to wretch, but Gerwig's is one of them.  My feelings towards Gerwig are similar to my feelings towards Julianne Hough.  Or broccoli--if I were an 8 year-old boy.  I LOVE Baumbach, though.  The Squid and the Whale is one of my all-time faves.  Frances Ha feels like Baumbach's mid-life crisis.

I should probably warn you that this might contain spoilers.  I can't help myself from spoiling something when I hate it.

Gerwig plays Frances, a modern dance apprentice who lives with her best friend Sophie in New York City. You see, they are best friends.  BEST FRIENDS!  Frances constantly says, "We're the same person, but with different hair."  I find this statement alarming.  Single White Female-ish even. Sophie is the hipster-est hipster that ever hipsted.  She has these huge glasses that would even embarrass Sally Jesse Raphael.  This immediately took me out of the movie.  The combination of Sophie's eyewear and her ugly sweaters made me immediately want to punch every character in the junk.  Frances and Sophie sleep together in the same bed (bestiiieeees!!!) and smoke cigarettes on the fire escape and talk about how they are going to earn "SO MANY honorary college degrees."  I hate them and their dreams.

Sophie eventually tells Frances that she is going to move in with her boyfriend Patch (because his name couldn't be John or Bill or Sam or even Seamus, for fuck's sake), and this sort of begins Frances's downward spiral.  Frances can't afford to live in her apartment alone, so she has to move out.  At the age of 27, Frances isn't getting enough work as an apprentice in her dance company.  Fingers crossed that she will be asked to become a member of the company.  Because that's realistic.  I am giving you a finger Frances, but you won't like it.  She moves in with Benji (Michael Zegen) and Lev (Adam Driver), two guys who should seriously consider making out and putting it online.  That way they could make more money and not have Frances live with them.  By the way, who names these characters?!  Benji?  Lev?  AHHHH!!!  SOOOOO HIPSTER!!!

Benji is a writer who is working on some samples for SNL.  He doesn't work, and relies on his parents.  Ungrateful little turd.  I am not exactly sure what Lev does.  All I remember is him bringing back skanky girls to bang him.  Driver should also only be shot in black and white, by the way.  I thought he was strangely hot on Girls, but he looks normal in this and I like him better.  Benji constantly tells Frances that she is undateable, which is really rude.  If I was a girl that couldn't figure out what to do with her life and was only mindly attractive, I would punch every Tom, Dick and Harry who called me undateable.  Frances is paying less rent for living on the boys' couch, but when the Christmas dance show comes around, she will be making more cash.  Oh, wait.  No, she won't because she is then told that she isn't going to be in the Christmas show. 

What's a semi-attractive girl to do?!  Move again!  Silly, mumblecore Frances!  Look how hilarious it is for her to move from place to place!  You know what, I am not even going to recount the whole movie, because it makes me angry.  The moral of the story is this: don't be a fucktard and figure out what you're doing with your life.  I lack a lot of direction because I don't know what I want to do with my life, but the moment I slightly resemble Frances, I expect everyone to collectively throw me in front of a bus.  The fact that this movie is met with such critical acclaim frustrates me. 

I tried to like Gerwig in this movie, but she makes it really hard for me.  I don't think she's funny, I don't think she exudes charisma, and I don't want to watch her play a lost and confused character ever again.  A story circulated around that Baumbach emailed Gerwig asking her to explain what people in their twenties are going through.  Allegedly, she emailed him a massive reply back that was around 30 pages long.  People in their twenties aren't going through that much, honey.  You're making it up.  Overanalyzing it.  Just making it complicated for yourself and translating it into a pretentious screenplay that features lines like this:

"Will you tell me the story of us?" 

"I don't know how you don't like him.  He's magic."

"He's an artist at transporation." 

What I think is funny is that I hated this movie for the exact same reason that everyone else hates HBO's Girls.  I love that show, but everyone in this is vaslty more obnoxious.  No character in this read remotely real or sympathetic.

"Blah blah blah I don't know how to describe what I do for a living, because I don't really do it blah blah blah I smoke American Spirit cigarettes blah blah blah I have no direction but my parents will pay my rent while I try to option a script for Gremlins 3 blah blah blah I am so meta and hipster! I bet everyone will love my Gremlins 3 joke blah blah blah..."  I couldn't even appreciate that it was in black and white.  It just made me want to watch Manhattan

You're not lost Frances, you're just bullshit. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Before Midnight': An Exquisite Romance

Richard Linklater's Before Midnight is the best film of the year so far.  Easiest statement I've made about movies this year.  Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy return as Jesse and Celine, and this time they are in Greece.  Do I need to go over the fact that this is the third film?  Ok, fine.  They met on a train in Before Sunrise in 1994, and they came back for more in Paris in Before Sunset in 2004. 

Midnight opens with the couple driving through Greece to visit friends with their young twins, Ella and Nina, in tow.  Jesse just dropped off his son (from a previous marriage) at the airport, and he begins to wonder if maybe he should ask his ex-wife for joint custody.  Celine wants nothing more than for Jesse to be near his son, but she doesn't want to move back to Chicago.  This is one of the several small arguments the couple gets into throughout the movie.

I am not trying to say that they fight throughout the movie.  Jesse and Celine are at a completely new place in their relationship.  Because Hawke and Delpy have played these characters twice before (and co-wrote the screenplay with director Richard Linklater), they are one of the most natual couples I've ever seen.  They flow seamlessly through conversations, and they aren't afraid to show the evolution of their relationship.  The chemistry between Hawke and Delpy is so sweet and alive. 

You would think that the quality would diminish after so many years, or that the writing would be lacking compared to the previous chapters.  I feel like this one might be my favorite, because it feels like there is more at stake.  The Before movies have always been so talky, but they are like a fine wine -- only better with age.  The opening scene (set in the car as they drive) is one long continuous take.  Candid and romantic in its relaxation.  The pair talk about how they wonder if they are good parents and discuss their family life.  A similar scene happens about halfway through the movie where they walk and talk about how they see themselves in the future.  Celine wonders if they will be married as long as an older relative.  She then asks Jesse if he will be able to stand her for another 56 years.  I will also like to point out that Delpy is gorgeous as ever.  Celine makes comments that she's gotten fat after having two children, but she positively glows throughout the movie.

If Jesse ever leaves her, I will stay with her for 56 more years. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Gang of Stoners + Hermione Granger + Mayhem = A Rapturously Good Time!

This is the End is the most fun I've had all summer at the movies.  I've been pretty down on this summer's slate of movies, and that's because the movies haven't been all that memorable for me.  Yes, Star Trek: Into Darkness was awesome, but it's a standard action flick.  I am one of the few people who really liked The Great Gatsby, but, after multiple viewings, I am tapped out on dacadence.  This is the End is exactly what I wanted and needed this summer. 

The last movie that I remember getting exactly what I was promised was Zombieland.  I wanted a good zombie comedy, and, by jove, I got one!  The same goes for This.  I want a self-referential, frat boy apocalypse comedy, and I am happy to report that this movie delivered on every level for me.  You may be thinking that I am over-selling this movie, but I am not sure I could at this point.  You may tell me that you don't like actors like James Franco, Jonah Hill or Seth Rogen.  Trust me, I don't like Danny McBride either, but I didn't mind him in this because he plays the douche I assume he is in real life.  No, I'm not a stoner, but I find a comforting kinship with these guys.

Jay Baruchel, Rogen and the rest of the gang play themselves during a huge party thrown at Franco's new house.  Everyone is there.  Mindy Kaling is lusting after a coked-out Michael Cera and Emma Watson is rubbing elbows with the current crunchy kings of comedy.  Soon enough, their fun is interrupted by a giant sinkhole and people getting beamed into the sky by a heavenly blue light.  Most of the star-studded cast is killed off, and we are trapped in James Franco's house with most of the supporting cast of Knocked Up.  I could think of a laundry list of things worse than that.  

This movie is absolutely bonkers, and holy hell is it a good time.  Even if you hated everyone in it, you should at least check it out.  I guarantee you will laugh a little bit.  Just when you think they have gone far enough, they go even further.  I don't want to spoil too much, because I'm sure you've heard enough from friends or red band trailers online.  

Easily one of the funniest, and best, movies of the year.  That's all I will say.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fifty Shades of Suck: Poor, Unfortunate Souls

What does a homosexual get when he reads a best-selling erotic novel with his high school best friend?  A sex contract, apparently!  Megan from Megoblog and I got to the chapter I was looking forward to the most in Fifty Shades of Grey--the sex contract.  I wasn't looking forward to the fantastical, over-the-top sex, but the documents about the sex.  That says a lot about me, I guess.  When we got to the end of the contract, we had to sign it.  We had to.  I seriously wonder how many desperate housewives signed their own book in a secret attempt to get closer to the Christian Grey. 

Megan and I read chapters ten and eleven, so you have lots to listen to this weekend.  Just in time for Father's Day.  And what father wouldn't want to hear two insane people reading about a smoking hot guy and his emotionally inferior counterpart?  Sure beats a tie, if you ask me.  Listen to chapter ten here, and then if you are so inclined, mozy on over to chapter eleven here

In these chapters, we finally get to see Ana mingle with the other people in her life (yes, there are other characters) while she mulls over the sex contract Christian gave her.  This is a serious document.  I would say it is the most infamous contract signing since this:

I imagine she had the same expression on her face when she signed it...

As far as casting the film goes, Megan and I originally said Jane Fonda or Blythe Danner for the role of Christian's mother, the awesomely named Grace Trevelyan Grey.  We then remembered that he was in his late twenties, so I am going to do with Sharon Stone.  She's still sexy, and she would be a perfectly camp choice for the role. 

Speaking of movie casting, Megan and I realized we desperately overlooked a candidate for Anastasia Steele.  This actor has the same maturity level, and, if you ask me, is one of the more believable choices:

I might laugh more in this chapter than in any other.  I couldn't contain myself (especially in chapter eleven). 

Carly Rae Jepsen totes peed when she read this.  You know it.

While learning of the kinds of things Christian would be binding Ana with, we thought author EL James really dropped the ball. 

Christian's Red Room of Pain could be holiday themed!

Just in time for Father's Day...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The People's Princess = Naomi's First Oscar?

I squealed with glee when I discovered the teaser trailer for the upcoming Princess Diana biopic, Diana.  I think I was more excited to catch a glimpse of a potential Best Actress nominee and not the movie iteself (although I have been researching Princess Diana a lot lately online), because the movie has the potential to be by-the-numbers or Iron Lady-like.

This is the sheer definition of a teaser trailer.  We don't get to see much of Naomi Watts as Princess Diana until the second half.  It's mostly a bunch of vague shots of Diana accompanied by some generic music.  This is like the Jaws of biopic teaser trailers.  You only catch glimpses until the end.  What we do get is a bunch of stuff to remind us how HUGE Princess Di was before her death.

Will Diana secure Naomi her third Oscar nomination?  She does very well playing strong characters in visceral movies, so it will be interesting in seeing her in a gentle role. 
I LOVE this shot from the trailer:

If anything, they got the top and side of Princess Diana's head perfect.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Category Fraud Thy Name Is Bates Motel

During Oscar season, one of the things that I hate is category fraud.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is when a studio positions an actor for an awards campaign that doesn't really fit the size of the part.  It would be as if they campaigned Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Supporting Actor for Lincoln last year.  I was browsing one of my favorite sites when I saw the above For Your Consideration banner for A&E's Bates Motel.  Something is a liiiiiittle off...

There are several reasons why category fraud happens.  Sometimes an actor has more than one shot to land a nomination so they look the other way during the campaigning.  A performance that is of a considerable side might be tossed into a supporting category in an attempt to get the actor two nominations  Back in 2008, Kate Winslet was receiving raves for performances in both The Reader and Revolutionary Road

Winslet was the lead in both films, but relegated to a Best Supporting Actress campaign for her work as a Nazi in The Reader.  Her performance in Revolutionary Road might be my favorite from her, though.  She received Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations for both films, respectively, and she went on to win both Globes that year.  It was Winslet fever, and my temperature was skyrocketing!  When the Oscar nominations came out that year, Winslet was nominated for only one -- Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Reader.  The film also went on to receive a surprising Best Picture nomination.  In that case, the adament campaigning didn't work.  People obviously thought her work was better in The Reader, and didn't give in.  Revolutionary Road was too much of a downer for them, I suspect. 

Sometimes a newcomer gains traction for their performance in a film, but even though they are the protagonist, they are relegated to Supporting Actor/Actress status.  Tom Hollander, the lead from last year's The Impossible, gained some buzz for carrying the tsunami drama, but some felt that he wouldn't be able to compete in such a strong category.  Thompson on Hollywood's Anne Thompson has sometimes expressed her thoughts that newer talents should be put in the supporting categories. 

That brings me to the campaigning for Bates.  Freddie Highmore should NOT be positioned for a Supporting Actor Emmy.  It's just mindless bitching, I know, but I think this shouldn't be an issue.  They want to secure him a nomination for his work as a young Norman Bates, and I can see why.  Highmore is fantastic in the A&E drama.  Paired with Vera Farmiga, they make such a strong couple (is it weird to call them that...).  Highmore might not be able to land a nomination in the drama category, especially up against Emmy heavyweights Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, and Michael C. Hall.  The Emmys don't really welcome change all that much either.  Perhaps Highmore will do better in Supporting Actor, but I just think it's stupid. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Should I See This Weekend?

No, seriously...I'll be your Lois Lane.  Any.  Time.

I am really behind on my movies, so I think I might have a movie day on Saturday or Sunday.  But what to see...what to see...

I think I am seeing a Thursday midnight showing of Man of Steel, so that is why it is not listed below. 

Sleight of Bland

I feel like a fuddy duddy, because I didn't really like Now You See Me, the new magician heist thriller.  The movie is making a lot of money, and I REALLY wanted to like it, but I didn't.  It felt generic to me, and the razzle dazzle fizzled.  

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco play four magicians who are thrown together by a mysterious benefactor, and, together, they become a huge Vegas sensation within one year known as The Four Horsemen.  During a show in Vegas, the Horsemen pull up a volunteer from the audience and transport him to a Paris bank (or did they?!).  At the end of their show, they then shower the audience with millions of dollars.  Suck on that, Danny Ocean!  An FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) reluctantly teams up with an Interpol detective (Melanie Laurent) to find out if the illusionists are really pulling off elaborate heists, or if they are indeed performing some of the greatest (and most lucrative) magic ever to be seen. 

I think the movie winked at me too much, as if it knew it was clever.  "We're like Ocean's Eleven...with magic!!!"  By the end of the movie, it felt like it was based on the twist at the end.  I didn't care if any of the characters lived or died or pretended to live or die.  That's a shame because I love everyone in it, Ruffalo and Harrelson especially. 

I just wanted them to pull the damn rabbit out of the hat and get it over with.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fifty Shades of Suck: Bed, Bath and Beyond Blowjobs

It feels like forever, hasn't it?!  Well, it kind of has.  In my defense, I started rehearsal for a show last weekend, so Megan and I haven't had a chance to meet during the week.  But, never fear!  Fifty Shades of Suck has returned with chapter nine.  Listen to it here!!!

In the last chapter, Anastasia Steele had the greatest first time of all time.  Of all time.  I'm serious.  In this chapter, the debauchery and sexy sex times continue.  Megan from Megoblog and I wonder later if this piece of alleged literature will only be sex from now one. 

Here is the look I gave Megan halfway through the podcast:

This podcast will ruin two things for you.  I won't say exactly what they are, but all I will say is this:

 Aaaaaand this:

One of the things I think EL James rips off is Cruel Intentions.  Before Christian Grey goes down on Anastasia (spoiler?), he says, "I want to kiss you...there."  That is a blatant rip off of this!

If you are just discovering Fifty Shades of Suck, my galpal Megan and I are reading EL James's inexplicable hit Fifty Shades of Grey out loud and providing our own snarky commentary.  If you need to catch up, have a listen to each of the podcasts below!