Thursday, July 31, 2014

NOW a Warning?! 'Death Becomes Her' Came Out Today!

Ah, Death Becomes Her.  It's easily one of my favorite movies of all time, because it was one of the first things I saw Meryl Streep perform in.  By the time I discovered Death, I was already a big Goldie Hawn fan, so this was the motherload of all movies to a budding homosexual film lover.  Death Becomes Her came out 22 years ago today!

My mom loved watching this with me, and she definitely supported my multiple rentings of it from Prime Time Video back in good, ole Ellwood City.  I actually remember my mom saying, "Meryl Streep needs to do more comedies" and "Isabella Rossellini is SO.  BEAUTIFUL."  After Meryl's youth-obsessed Madeline Ashton drinks the potion and Rossellini warns her makes me laugh out loud every single time:

As I think of how much I love the movie, I can't help but think/wonder a few things:

1. Can someone please actually write the musical Songbird!?  I want that to play across community theaters all over this nation of ours.

2.  I want an update of Madeline and Helen's condition.  Can Meryl and Goldie at least do a quick reunion like Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis did with Thelma & Louise?


3.  Will I ever be as fierce as Rossellini's Lisle Von Rhuman?  Update: Never.  I've always wanted a robe with a collar that dramatic.  

4.  I've been wanting to do a shovel sword fight since I saw this movie.  Interested parties should get at me.

5.  In celebration of Death, we should all gaze upon the gorgeous photos featuring RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon as Madeline.  She joined up with fellow contestant Ivy Winters for some Mad-Hel inspired pictures, and it is still my favorite post-Drag Race photo shoot ever.  If they ever, EVVVER do a Death Becomes Her musical, Jinkx Monsoon needs to play Madeline on Broadway.  And the West End.  And on tour.  She'd be brilliant.  

So, raise a glowing glass vial of Lisle's potion in honor of Death Becomes Her.  This thing never gets old.  

Wish Granted. 'Into the Woods' Gets Stunning Teaser


I'm not ashamed to say that my day has stopped, because of this trailer.  Into the Woods gets a fantastical, dramatic teaser trailer, and it's just great.  I got chills when I heard Sondheim's score playing in the background.  I just can't.  I'm dying right now.  

I looooove this shot. 


You know happy it makes me that they didn't push James Corden to the back because he's not a "household" name?  It makes me very happy.  He's so adorable.  

Choking back some vomit...crisis averted...


Everyone knows I was terrified that Rob Marshall was directing, but this looks stunning.  The orchestrations give me chills every time I watch it.  I can't fucking wait to see this movie!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

'Into the Woods' Character Pics Drop

It's been a while since the first official tease of Meryl Streep as The Witch came out last year, but this definitely changes things.  Disney released a slew of images from the upcoming musical, Into the Woods, and the production design looks fucking great.  A teaser trailer is rumored to be attached to Guardians of the Galaxy and Get On Up this weekend, so I know where I will be on Friday morning.  We get to see almost every main character in the 10 pictures that came out.  The only one that looks kind of hidden is Johnny Depp as The Wolf.  

I love how stagey and shadowy this picture looks.  

"You want me to get LENTILS our of the ashes?  How bout I give you this resting bitch face instead?"

Future Makeup & Hairstyling nominee?  I think so.  

That's it, Billy.  Ride that horse.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who is This Hans?! A Very Cute Guy, That's Who!

Well, Once Upon a Time has found its Hans.  Since I obviously can't stop talking about anything Frozen-related, I have to write about it.  The not-so-charming prince is going to be played by Tyler Jacob Moore.  Moore is most known for playing Tony on Showtime's Shameless alongside William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.  He's done some other television work as well, but it appears this will be his most publicized role to date.  

Moore sort of looks like a mixture of Armie Hammer and Ryan Gosling.  I ain't complaining, girl.  He will join Georgina Haig (Elsa), Elizabeth Lail (Anna), and Scott Michael Foster (Kristoff) in the upcoming Frozen story arc.  Does anyone have any casting suggestions for Olaf?  


I feel very unmotivated this week.  My job hunt is very frustrating at the moment, and it's affecting my desire to sit at my computer and write.  I'm just being a big baby, so just ignore me.  I'll post something about trailers or a review soon.  Ugh.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Katniss Promises She'll Fight in New 'Mockingjay' Tease

The new teaser for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I (yeah, that title is already too long) features two of my all-time favorite things: Julianne Moore and female-driven dystopian drama!  We've had two small teasers for the latest installment, but nothing has really been seen of the newest film itself.  A special preview was shown on Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego.  

The minute long tease shows us District 13 President Coin (Moore) expressing her doubts of Katniss Everdeen's ability to lead the rebellion against The Capitol.  Philip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch Heavensbee assures her that people will follow Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss.  We don't get to see Peeta or Johanna like we did in the first two propaganda teasers.  The future is looking pretty bleak.

I'm not going to lie.  As soon as I saw that Mockingjay crop circle I started looking for Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix.  

'Boys' Will Be Boys

Jersey Boys seems like a man's musical.  There's no big, fluffy production numbers, sequins, or showgirls in sight.  It's the kind of movie musical that a man could say he went to see without his masculinity being threatened.  After all, Jersey features a predominantly male cast and has plot strings that involve the mob.  I originally thought that Clint Eastwood would be a natural choice to direct the big-screen adaption of the Broadway smash, but I'm starting to wonder if Eastwood ever thought he was in over his head.

Confession time: I've never seen Jersey Boys on stage, so seeing it on the big screen was my first time learning about the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  All I really knew about it was that little old ladies love it and the word fuck is used a lot.  We meet Frankie (John Lloyd Young) as a 16 year-old living in New Jersey in 1951, and he's already known around the neighborhood for his unique singing voice.  Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) is Frankie's no-good friend and the film's cocky narrator.  He's responsible for not only eventually putting Frankie at the center of a singing trio, but he always ends up getting Frankie in trouble.  Thinking ahead isn't Tommy's strong suit.  

The narrator switches to Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), a songwriter and fourth member of the group.  Narrating to the screen works on stage.  You feel a connection to the characters, and it can feel a lot more intimate.  In Jersey Boys, however, it doesn't work.  When Tommy or Bob would start jabbering away to us, I was waiting for the other characters to notice and to ask them who the hell they were talking to.  

Jersey Boys doesn't really feel like a musical.  It's a biopic of Valli and the Four Seasons--which is totally fine.  I wanted something bigger and more lavish.  As the credits roll, all the characters come out and dance with each down a city street.  They have instruments and they interact with each other.  It's vibrant and colorful.  This movie is drained of all color and energy.  It's pale grey and silver and black.  The musical aspect of it doesn't even kick in until twenty minutes into the film, and the performances are nice to watch.  They're pleasant enough, but those little snippets of energy can't save the movie.  

I applaud Eastwood's decision to cast all stage actors in the roles of The Four Seasons.  Young, as Valli, is earnest and his voice is great.  Piazza's Tommy is so frustratingly stubborn, and I loved Mike Doyle as Bob Crewe, the record producer who records their music.  Normally, a fey character like Crewe would annoy the living hell out of me, but his presence contrasts nicely with all the tough guys surrounding him.  The one person who isn't given enough to do is Renee Marino as Mary, Frankie's first wife.  She and Young's first date is great, but she disappears a quarter way through the film.  Move over, Mary, this is a guy's musical.  If they ever decide to do a Patti LuPone biopic, please cast Marino.  

Movie musicals don't come around a lot, but, when they do, they can be great.  Thanks to a confusing timeline and muddy palette, this isn't one of them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bullying Doc 'Same Difference' Contrasts Coming Out Experiences

The coming out experience coupled with the high school experience can be very dangerous.  Teenagers, especially those in middle school and early high school, can be very vicious and unforgiving.  I don't think anyone in our community will be able to forget seeing headline after headline about gay teens committing suicide in the last few years.  You could barely check CNN online without seeing another notice of a gay teen taking his or her life.  The bullying pandemic is discussed in the documentary Same Difference, and the film is currently still looking for funding.  

Difference mainly focuses on two very difference gay high school students.  Graeme Taylor seems like a very articulate young man, and he is surrounded by a very loving, supportive environment.  He has friends that support him, and it appears that he is very open.  His experience is compared with the high school experience of Justin Aaberg, a 15 year-old Minnesota teen who hanged himself in 2010.  Aaberg was one of nine students who committed suicide between 2009 and 2011 in the Anoka-Hennepin school district.  The fact that nine students took their own lives is unfathomable.  The Minnesota state health officials deemed the district as a 'suicide contagion.'  Same Difference also delves into the investigation that followed in the school district.  

The two young men featured in the film: Taylor and Aaberg, respectively.

I briefly chatted with the director and producer of Same Difference, Josh Sweeny.  I actually know Josh from college (when I was an awkward theater major and he was a not-so-awkward dance major), and I know he's been working on Difference for a while.  When I asked him what drove him to make this movie, Sweeny said: 

"When I was a teen I was afraid people were going to stop loving me.  I had the hardest time coming much shame.  Being gay is the number one best part of my life, and it's led all of my best experiences.  I want little boys and girls to have the chance of going through the coming out phase without any shame.  That's why I made this film.  Someday soon, the majority of queer kids are going to tell their parents with excitement and joy instead of fear.  I want to be part of that shift.  

As of right now, Same Difference is short of its funding goal of $135,000.  Sweeny, along with co-prodcer and cinematographer Kyle Wentzel, have a donation page on IndieGoGo.  You can watch the trailer for Same Difference on their donation page.  At the end of the trailer, Sweeny and Wentzel go into more detail about what the money is going towards.  The trailer looks really emotionally engaging, and, hopefully, Same Difference can earn some more support.  You can also like their Facebook page, and follow the film on Twitter. 

Random Poll: Who Is Going to Kick Your Ass This Weekend?

Two big action movies come out today.  Both titles are the name of its respective lead.  Each title character kicks everyone's ass around them.  My question is...who are you going to give your money to: Dwayne I'm not going by The Rock anymore Johnson or Scarlett Johansson?  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why So Stubbly?!

Director Zack Snyder has tweeted a picture of Ben Affleck in the Caped Crusader's cowl on Thursday evening.  I'm prepared for all the fanboy bitching, but I think Affleck looks pretty good!  He's definitely got the chin for it.  

I'm game for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (and that's saying a lot since I kind of hate Snyder's other work).  Are you?

To Be Blunt, I Wanted 'Edge' to be More About Emily

Edge of Tomorrow came out in early June.  It looked like standard sci-fi nonsense, so I was determined to skip it.  It was deemed a box office disappointment, but it lingered at theaters.  I heard some people were surprised by how much they liked it, so I added it to the list of movies I wanted to see.  Edge will end its run here on Thursday, so I was determined to check it out.

I will admit that I enjoyed Edge much more than I anticipated.  I liked the film's energy, and I was surprised that it was humorous at times.  Tom Cruise's William Cage isn't necessarily likable, and he's inexperienced in combat ("I don't even like the sight of blood," he tells Brendan Gleeson early on in the film).  If you've seen the trailers, you know that Cage has to relive the same day over and over again.  It's Groundhog Day if Groundhog Day was about an alien race destroying mankind.  

As Cage realizes what is happening to him, one of the recurring images is of a bus driving by with Emily Blunt's character embossed on the side.  She has a huge blade slung over her shoulder and the title FULL METAL BITCH scrawled next to her war-weary face.  As Cage keeps repeating going into combat, we see her face more and more.  I wanted the movie to be about Blunt's Sergeant Rita Vrataski, and I will tell you why.  

When Cage goes through an invasion on the beach for the third time, he sees Blunt's Rita, and she tells him to "find her when he wakes up."  He eventually does, and she begins to train him.  It turns out that she went through the same recurring process when she went into battle.  The baddies in Edge are called Mimics, and getting doused in an "Alpha" Mimic's blood will cause you to reset the day over and over again.  It happened to Rita when she went into battle at Verdun, and she was able to kill thousands of Mimics.  She became the face of the war against the invasion, but she lost the ability to reset when she received a blood transfusion.  The more Cage resets, the more Rita trains him.  Eventually, Cage becomes an experienced fighter, and he and Rita set forth to take down the Omega to stop the invasion.   

Let's get one thing out of the way.  I am not necessarily a Tom Cruise fan.  He's a capable action hero, but he's no longer an Everyman.  I don't think people really want to see him in this kind of film anymore.  Would it be so bad to reverse the roles?  Couldn't this story have been Blunt's Rita resetting and becoming the hero?  By the time Cage has become a serious soldier, Rita takes a step back and becomes sort of the sidekick to Cage.  I don't care about Tom Cruise becoming a better solider.  I am the first to admit that Blunt is one of my favorite actresses, but it feels like they don't know what to do with her.  She was a secondary character in Looper (even though I thought she was great), and now she has to play second fiddle to Tom Cruise.  

When we first see Full Metal Bitch, she seems rather mysterious, and Blunt doesn't talk for the first brief scenes she's featured in.  Why would you take a potentially great female character and relegate her to Tom Cruise's kind of love interest.  Oh, yes, she becomes a love interest by the end.  When William and Rita take a moment to talk before they go in to destroy the Omega, they kiss.  It comes out of nowhere.  I oddly though of When Harry Met Sally... when they locked lips.  I guess men and women can't be friends...especially when they are battling an alien race.  Every time Cage meets Rita again, she is on the floor on her stomach and she looks at him straight in the face.  Each time it softens more and more.  Are you really going to go from Full Metal Bitch to Full On Swooning when you see Tom Cruise walk through the door?  

People have been crunching the numbers about this summer's disappointing box office numbers.  Would Edge of Tomorrow have done better if Cruise and Blunt switched roles?  Surely, there would have been talk about Cruise taking second billing to Blunt, a lesser household name.  I bet the story of the "Angel of Verdun" would have been a lot more interesting than Cruise blowing up aliens.  

Again, I had a decent time while watching the movie, and I'm glad I put it on my list of blockbusters to see.  Maybe I'm partial because I love Blunt so much, but perhaps Edge could have been a surprisingly good summer escape and a showcase for a great actress.  

The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Trailer is Here...

Ah, Fifty Shades of Grey.  The timeless story of boy meets girl.  Well, virginal idiot meets self-made man...self-made man lays lifestyle on said virginal shows girl red room of pain (should that be capitalized?)...and then girl tries to change said man because being into S&M means there's something wrong with him.  What a fairy tale.  

Before you think I'm just one of those people who judges a book by its fanbase, please remember that Megan and I read all of Fifty Shades in our weekly podcast.  That's right.  We suffered through that book, so we can make fun of it as much as we damn well please.  

What's the first trailer like?  It's kind of feels like an episode of Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries.  Let's face it.  We all want to get to the salacious bits, so let's look at some screenshots!

I love how they give Christian Grey the Jaws treatment in the first few seconds of the trailer.  Don't show his face!  Let's build tension!  We want those moviegoers, to quote Anastasia Steele, down there.  Right from the very beginning Anastasia announces that she's uninteresting.  Way to give it away, Ana, sheesh.  

BAM!  Women and gay men climaxing in movie theaters all across America!

But we want to see more, right?  Surely, the first teaser wouldn't show us lots of sexual stuff?  WRONG!  Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the RED!  ROOM!  OF!  PAIN!!!  

If you want to see these images all in motion, check out the trailer.