Monday, July 31, 2006

Blogosphere Multiplex: FOURFOUR

The Multiplex Interview series has been missing in action for four weeks. But today it returns with a bang for a very special episode with Rich of FourFour fame. For Rich-deprived readers (please do something about this so we don't have to pity you any longer!), he rose to fame with a fresh combo of unexpected humor and near-psychic insight (he can crystallize thoughts you didn't even know you had. You're screaming "exactly" while you're laughing your ass off at a surprise element). Oh and those recaps for America's Next Top Model and Project Runway helped, too.

10 questions with Rich of FourFour

Nathaniel: How often do you go the movies?

Rich: I try to go every week, which basically makes me a failure. I haven't been since the week of July 4 (Superman Returns). I plan to change all that this weekend. Swear!

Nathaniel: What's the biggest draw for you --what or who will always get your ass in that seat?

Rich: Haha, sadly, the answer is awfulness. If I think something is going to be a large-scale disaster, I'm THERE. Alternately, Jay Hernandez's juicy butt is something I'd pay to see (even clothed) without question.

Nathaniel: Unfortunately both the ass and the Jay are underused. In what other areas do you feel Hollywood is utterly failing?

Rich: That's a hard question to answer because I don't really see things that way -- big-budget garbage is always going to be big-budget garbage. It's always going to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and it needs to be evaluated on that level (so, basically, I can use the term "garbage" affectionately). It's more the over-precious indie shit that gets under my skin because it at least has the capacity to turn out something other than treacly blubbering that tries waaaaay too hard to be quirky.

Oh, but one thing that I really, really do hate about Hollywood is PG-13 horror. If a horror movie is PG-13, you know that the gore is going to be lame and that it'll probably take itself way more seriously than it should. There's this whole holier-than-slasher mentality that's just detrimental to the horror industry, this farce of the thinking-person's horror, when most of it (like The Ring) is far stupider than any b-movie hack-'em-up. PG-13 is a horrible institution in general. I guess it at least lets you know that what you'll be experiencing is a watered-down version of what you COULD be experiencing.

Nathaniel: Don't get me started on the MPAA.

It warms the cockles of my heart whenever you post about Winston and Rudy. The love is palpable. I think cats get a bad rap in movies, always cast as villains. Not that they aren't diabolical creatures --anyway, do you have any favorite feline characters or moments from the movies?

Rich: Hm, even though my mother is completely shameless about her love for talking-animal movies, I'm proud to say that I didn't inherit that interest. I like the song "We Are Siamese" from Lady and the Tramp, though.

Nathaniel: On to another mutual obsession: Project Runway. Or, for our multiplex purposes here, "Project Runway: The Movie". Plot? Casting? What do you see...

Rich: I see a stark, sparse and mostly science experimental film about Heidi's psyche. It'd mostly be images of her posing and running through fields, but I could see various contestants swooping in from time to time. I wish Kubrick were alive to really make this the way it needs to be made.

I wouldn't alter casting one bit -- the established personalities are essential to the Project Runway concept.

Nathaniel: Kubrick would make it work. Ba-da-dum. I'll be here all week. So this interview is going to be posted during Scarlett Johansson Week. What do you make of her or Hollywood's fascination with her? --she's in everything.

Rich: I have nothing but love for Scarlett. I love Ghost World like I love a person, and I pretty much love everyone involved unconditionally (much like the way I hate pretty much everyone that was involved in Good Will Hunting unconditionally). She seems like a cool girl, and it's nice to see someone with a seemingly understated personality get attention, since, you know, it's almost always the tramp who screams the loudest.

Also, she has a great rack.

Nathaniel: I know. Who can blame Isaac Mizrahi for getting the grabsies? Scarlett aside, who are your favorite actors and actresses?

Rich: God, I feel stoned when answering these questions. I never think about these things. Well, rarely. Samantha Morton is probably my favorite working actress. I'd watch her sleep. Sharon Stone seems to adore chewing up cheap and nasty scenery, so props to her. Basically anyone in the whole Christopher Guest pool of talent is great -- I hasten to isolate any, as they're more powerful together as a machine. Comedic Voltron, they are (though as trite as it is for a gay man to say, Parker Posey really, really is worth watching no matter what). After Hustle & Flow, Terrence Howard will always have a place in my heart. Oh, and any of the Jacksons. They're always fun to watch play pretend, though it's usually not in movies.

Nathaniel: Good choices. But Rich, if you rarely think about these things in relation to movies, what do you find yourself thinking about (cinematically speaking)

Rich: I guess I do think about these things, but generally only in relation to the film at hand (i.e., do I believe/am I moved by the actor right now?). And then, I'm also just as concerned with theme and aesthetic. I guess I'm often thinking of the bigger picture, but not the bigger bigger picture in terms of how a given film applies to cinema overall. This means, for example, that I never come up with year-end Top 10 lists. There are exceptions to my inability to apply what I watch, of course (I think Mysterious Skin is a better asset to queer cinema than Brokeback Mountain), but I'm maybe less intellectual than I'd like to be.

Another thing that I look for is singularity -- is the movie saying something original and/or is the movie presenting what it has to say in an original way? There's so much noise in the world. I don't have much respect for those who readily join the chorus.

Nathaniel: Multiple Choice: Who would you most love to see hosting the Oscars? Tyra Banks, Bobby & Whitney, or Janice Dickinson?

Rich: This may be the toughest question I've ever been asked in my life. Not Janice -- I love her and all, but 30 minutes is too much of her, let alone a 3+ hour ceremony. I think I have to go with Tyra here -- while I'd love nothing more than to see Bobby and Whitney together onstage, you never know how huge of a trainwreck they're going to turn into. Their display could just end up being sad, more than anything. Tyra is just reliably stupid and goofy. She's a clown for our times and god damn it, I love her for that.

Nathaniel: They make a movie of your life. What's the title? Who plays you? What's the title? What's the rating?

Rich: I'd want a movie of my life to be a porno parody of a Miyazaki movie -- something equally sweet and nasty. Spirited A-Gay or Rich's Moving Penis. Since there'd be wall-to-wall sex, I think I'd have to elect to play myself -- if I've gotten to the point where someone wants to make a movie of my life, I think I've earned the right my own on-camera sex.

Nathaniel: Spirited A-Gay I love it. Thank you Rich.

Once again readers, check out Rich's deservedly popular blog "fourfour" You'll be addicted within a post or two.

Also in this interview series:
The Gilded Moose * Jay Lassiter * Dylan Meconis * Martha @ Cinematical * ultranow * fourfour * six things * Gallery of the Absurd * How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons * Ron L'Infirmier * Thomas & Co.

Film Experience Greatest Hits (for newbies):
Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain * She's a Bitch (@ the Movies) * A History of... Sharon Stone

Tags: movies, cinema, fourfour, Janice Dickinson, film, Project Runway, Jay Hernandez, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Samantha Morton, Ghost World, Hayao Miyazaki, Mysterious Skin, Parker Posey, horror, Sharon Stone, Scarlett Johansson

It's Scarlett Johansson Week

I'm taking a blogless vacation next week (there'll be guest bloggers to entertain -their identities TBA). In order to not collapse trying to come up with stuff to talk about this final week before the break, I needed a theme. Given her current ubiquity, Ms. Johansson came immediately to mind. Let's gaze at Scarlett. Drink her up from every conceivable angle.

Stay tuned for discussions of Scoop, The Black Dahlia, a memo to casting directors, Scarlett co-star tangents and more. To kick off the festivities please vote in the new poll regarding her best performance. Which is it? Will it be a Translation landslide?

tags: Scarlett Johansson, movies, films

Sunday, July 30, 2006

1961 "Smackdown"

It's that time again. Last Sunday in the month = a "Supporting Actress Smackdown" with StinkyLulu and the entourage. The year is 1961. Watch this clip

It's five theatrical minutes with a really fine vintage crop: the legendary JUDY G, history-making Rita Moreno, Mrs. Kurt Weill Lotte Lenya, Oscar winner Fay Bainter, and Una Merkel! When you're done watching the fun clipreel, see what the boys have to say this afternoon over at StinkyLulu. You can comment there about your favorites in this race and vote on next month's lineup, too.

(you can discuss here, as well. I'd particularly love feedback on these clipreels)

tags: Judy Garland, Rita Moreno, Tennessee Williams,Oscars, Academy Awards, celebrities, movies, cinema, films,

Say What? Woody

I asked you to amuse us with dialogue or a caption. Here is Woody Allen on set with Colin Farrell & Ewan McGregor for the untitled Scoop followup. The winner was this unexpected one from "anonymous"

[img src]

I also thought Pedro's was cute.

Thank you to everyone who goofed with us on this. It's always interesting to see what you come up with. And this one's appropriate because next week is Scarlett Johansson week on the blog. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

it has a great beat and you can link to it

Feeling so musical today...

Oh My Trill meets John Williams, yes that one, the frequent filmexperience punching bag (it's affectionate abuse. It really is. He did after all write the scores to Star Wars, Superman and more... I can play Schindler's List on the piano)

IndieWIRE with news that the Dixie Chicks documentary "Shut Up and Sing" will be at the Toronto Film Festival. For a split second the other day I thought of dropping everything and going this year. But finances are too tight, damnit.

Low Resolution on the Robert Palmer videos from the 80s. I hate those videos but this post is funny.

*And for those of you who've been wondering why I haven't linked to the latest in 'gay pop star gossip'. It's mostly because I don't care very much. And I don't have much to say other than this: George Michael is an idiot. And congratulations to Lance Bass (my fav post regarding this).

Name That iTune Dozen

COMPLETED: After 10 hours...

The Brothers of the Head giveaway got me all melodic. It's music day! Let's play that game ModFab puzzled us with a few weeks back. Name the song and the artist for each of these tunes which came up (semi) randomly on my iPod.

First person to give the correct answer in the comments gets the credit. I'll strike it out and put your name up (with a link if you got one). If any lyric is slow to be solved, I'll add clues. Surprisingly, Madonna does not appear in this puzzle.

1. "so listen very carefully, get closer now and you will see what I mean..."
It says "I Just Fall in Love Again" by The Carpenters on the the tracklisting. But that title is never in the song. Other people say it's called "There's a Kind of Hush" which makes a lot more sense. Guessed by chadrocks and keith backs him up that that's the title. What up with my CD?
2. "thick legs in shape. rump shakin both ways. make you do a double take "
"Lose Control" by Missy Elliott. Guessed by ModFab
3. "You got yourself some action --said you got yourself a body. you got yourself an ass with a mind of it's own, bring something to the party"
"Freeek!" by George Michael. Guessed by Agustin
4. "you're beautiful, good to talk to. You make an impression. When you touch my skin, i smell disaster."
"The Walk" by eurythmics. Guessed by ModFab
5. "thought I couldn't breath without you, I'm inhalin'. You thought I couldn't see without you, perfect vision..."
"Survivor" by Destiny's Child. Guessed by Martha
6. "don't gimme no grapejuice cuz that don't got much sting. I need a concoction to make the tongue tied sing"
Guessed by Aaron
7. "through the hourglass I saw you, in time you slipped away..."
"Take My Breath Away" -Berlin guessed by Martha
8. "I bought some aspirin down at United Drug"
It's "All That Jazz" from Chicago as sung by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Guessed by Klemen
9. "have you ever seen a picture of jesus laughing? do you think he had a beautiful smile? "
"Why Should I Love You" by Kate Bush featuring Prince. Guessed by Glenn
10. "listen to the girl as she takes on half the world. moving up and so alive in her honey dripping beehive"
"Just Like Honey" by Jesus and Mary Chain. Guessed by ModFab
11. "ink on a pin. underneath the skin. an empty space to fill in. well, there're so many sinking now... you've got to keep thinking you can make it thru these waves."
"Blue" by Joni Mitchell. Guessed by Kyle (did Sarah Maclachlan remake that? In that case Ziyadanswered this too.)
12. "I am likely to miss the main event. if I stop to cry and complain again"
"Better Version of Me" by Fiona Apple. Guessed by chadrocks

Winners! CD Giveaway

Brothers of the Head opened today in select markets and looks like something special. I asked all contestants in this soundtrack giveaway to list their favorite movie soundtrack. The following movie music lovers names were drawn randomly from all the entries. They just won this new rockin' soundtrack!

Here they are with the explanation of their favorite previous soundtrack. Maybe they'll let us all know what they think of the Brothers of the Head CD once it's in their hands.

Le Fabeleux destin d'Amélie Poulain by Yann Tiersen. I don't know how to express my feeling for this music of this soundtrack... I LOVE the soundtrack, I love how it fits in the film, and how it touches and reaches me everytime that I hear it. I Love all the tracks, the most one "La Valse D'Amelie" (piano version), it's melancholic, it's reaches very deep impact on listeners. The whole soundtrack is great... it makes you feel like you have nothing to worry about, thus bringing comfort to your busy mind. So far, this is the best soundtrack I have ever heard. Listen to this soundtrack it's like to be in Paris, anywhere, anytime

The soundtrack to Wim Wender's movie Until the End of the World. I'll give ya some reasons why I love it: 1. The soundtrack's artists are an amazing assemblage 2. The flow of the music is brilliantly cohesive 3. Though it's a perfect soundtrack to listen to alone in almost any circumstance, it's also great for parties big and small (and I have used this one for LOTS of "special" occasions...wink..GREAT makeout music), and 4. After having finally seen the movie several years after, it added a whole new depth to it all, and if you haven't seen the It's long, but awfully good. In fact, I'm still hoping that the mammoth unedited edition will someday be available.

Since you are drawing the winners randomly and not based on the quality of their choice I will be completely honest and profess that my favorite movie soundtrack is Sliding Doors. "Have Fun, Go Mad", the first track, can still make me instantly happy when it randoms up on my iPod. "Turn Back Time" elevates Aqua beyond one-Barbie Girl-hit-wonderdom, at least to me. And while it was beyond over-played the next summer, "Thank You" introduced me to Dido and I had the album No Angel 4 months before anyone ever heard of Stan. I think I bought a total of 3 or 4 albums from artists based on their Sliding Doors tracks.

I was tempted to be cool and go with Reservoir Dogs or Romeo + Juliet, but why bother? Girly Brit-pop is nothing to be ashamed of, dammit!

The most common response in the entries was Trainspotting, a CD which seems to have affected / thrilled a lot of people (which I also own & love). The shortest response came from Chris who wrote "Magnolia: Does one ever need more reason than Aimee Mann?" Chris didn't win but I hear that loud and clear --terrific terrific CD.

Whats your favorite movie soundtrack readers? And feel free to post your comments about Brothers of the Head here, too. Are you seeing it this weekend?

Friday, July 28, 2006

What I Like About You

I recently asked you fill out a survey and a few hundred of you participated for which I’m very grateful. I sometimes feel like I’m writing only for myself and I’m a tough critic. I can’t please myself all the time and I can’t please all of you all the time, either. But it’s nice to know that you exist, pleased or not, with the film experience in all its forms and moods. It's my baby. Me proud papa. Thanks for being invested enough to spend a few minutes sending in your own considered opinions.

Things I’ve Learned.
51% of you are here daily and read everything. (I hope the other 49% of the collective "you" are scrolling down to see what you missed.) I wonder if it’s the same 52% of you who also go the movies every week!? Awards/Oscar Buzz (duh) and Countdowns/Lists (!) are the big draws but most of the recurring bits have a good number of fans (except the movie horoscopes –which you’ll notice are already gone --too much work if people aren't lovin' em). 78% of are demanding actual honest-to-god film reviews. Duly noted. I feel like a stubborn rebel in that I constantly find ways of sharing my feelings about movies without actually reviewing them. But in this case it's rebellion of the "without a cause" problem. Unless laziness is a cause. I’ll work on this.

Promise I Can Totally Make
I got quite a few comments suggesting that I just continue to follow my muse rather than fish for what people would love. Rest assured I will. The request questions are not for people-pleasing/pandering purposes but merely for stimulus. It’s surprisingly difficult to do a daily site and writing doesn't happen in a vacuum.

What Else?
As for other sites you read, I'm pleased to note that a lot of you love the usual suspects that I often link to (or have ties to) like ModFab, The Gilded Moose, Oscarwatch, Four Four, Nicks Flick Picks, The Flick Filosopher, etc... You also have really great taste in movies. No surprise. Your 'favorites' lists have been fun to read. I'm not going to get into your requests and interesting comments because I'd be typing all night. But... Deeply appreciated. It'll serve as a well from which I can return for a cool drink and a splash of inspiration.

Thanks again.

Box Office, Brad, and Boobs

Cinematical informs us that Brad Pitt’s next project after new fatherhood, Jesse James and Babel promotion (check out the new poster. Wheee.) and another Oceans romp is looking to be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for director David Fincher. This long gestating development-hell plagued film is about a man that ages backwards. I’m crossing my fingers and offering gifts to the cinematic gods to see this through to a real greenlight. Why? Well the story sounds worthy of imaginative filmmaking and Pitt does great work under Fincher’s hand. Se7en and Fight Club are his two very best performances, say I.

The Stranger Song is a new movie/pop culture blog you should check out. They have a smart and interesting piece on the critical/box office divide in response to AO Scott’s NY Times piece which was in response to the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest box office explosion. Got it? I completely agree that box office does not automatically equal public love and it was a relief to read someone else addressing this issue articulately.

Movie City News's guru David Poland talks about the ever shifting MPAA ratings system and the overall lack of sex at the movies. On this point I agree. Even supposed slutfests like Basic Instinct 2 don’t deliver in this area. I watched that on DVD last night and not only was it just awful in all the traditional ways a movie can be bad but, apart from its filthy mouth, it was pretty tame and dull. And re: Sharon Stone's one major nude scene in the film. Maybe a lesbian or heterosexual man can explain to me the appeal of fake boobs? I don't get it. Do people really like them? The huge amount of boob jobs in Hollywood seem to indicate that someone does. The appeal of large breasts is obvious but fake large breasts? Please to explain if any boob man is reading.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fives a Crowd: Brangelina in Wax

You have undoubtedly already heard that Brangelina and their infant Shiloh have been immortalized in wax for Madame Tussauds. It’s been covered at Defamer and Just Jared among many other places. Though I always found the idea of wax figures to be more appropriate for horror films than tourist giggles, I was finally dragged to M. Tussauds a couple of years ago by a visiting friend. I will admit that I did get my share of tourist giggles out of sitting next to Madonna on a park bench, gazing up at a very impressive RuPaul, flipping off George Bush, etcetera.

But I still think it’s creepy.

What’s bothering me most about this latest publicity coup for the already ubiquitously public duo, is the lack of their other children. I’m betting that if I were an adopted child or a proud adoptive parent I would be even more horrified and angry right now. They don’t have one child, they have three! It’s the only case I can think of where MORE wax figures would ease my mind. What kind of message does this send out?

Ah well, Maddox and Zahara will still have plenty of opportunities to have fame thrust upon them.

tags: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Maddox, Madame Tussauds, celebrities, adoption, Brangelina, gossip,

Collette as a Triple Threat

Toni ! Toni ! Toni ! I’m always pleased to bring good news regarding one of the best actors out there. Those with superior discerning taste in screen talent (like you my dear readers --I’ve noticed plenty of Collette acolytes among your ranks) are nearly always fans.

I think it was about a year ago in interviews that Toni Collette started hinting at being ready to give up acting and work on a music career. Obviously retiring from acting did not happen (yay!). She has two new films opening. The first, a Sundance hit, Little Miss Sunshine, has just arrived. The second is the Robin Williams thriller The Night Listener, a sponsor of this very page (click on the ad to the right to learn more). To listen to the NPR story --you can even hear Toni song --this link.

Not that she hasn’t sung beautifully before. She was sensational and Tony nominated on Broadway as flamboyant dancing showgirl “Queenie” in The Wild Party. I buy the CDs to most Broadway shows that I like and it’s probably the one I’ve listened to the most over the past few years.

*thanks to reader Jason for the tip*

previously Toni-loving links:
#10 Actress of the Aughts

Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine, The Night Listener,movies, film, NPR, Broadway

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hump Day Hottie Cutie: "Jenny"

We interrupt the standard Wednesday horniness because we're too young for that you pervs!

I’ve been wandering in a bit of a daze as of late. That may explain why upon arriving to the theater on Saturday morning to see Monster House I had someone never retained the knowledge that the movie was in 3-D. When the cashier asked me for money “$12.50!?!” I nearly went on a tirade about movie theaters raising their prices yet again in Manhattan.

[To explain: it seems like it’s a 25¢ to 50¢ jump every six months –enough to raise the blood pressure when there are more and more commercials every year, too. They ought to be offsetting the cost to the audience].

But then the cashier handed me a pair of glasses and I wasn’t even thinking about the money. Or if I was I was counting the money from my paper route to pay for the ticket. I was suddenly 12 years-old again which is the last time I remember wearing those glasses.

"Jenny", one of the “stars” of the surprisingly creepy/fun Monster House is just the sorta girl I went gaga for when I was 12 -- take charge, whipsmart, and pretty to boot. (I must’ve liked being bossed around ? I don’t know) But all this childhood stuff came rushing back to me: scary houses, Halloween excitement, babysitters, goofing around with my best friend, and that weird puberty period when you’re still a kid but think you’re grownup. Jenny is like some sassy amalgam of galpals past, first recipients of my innocent adoration. It was like Emily, Roseann, Christine, or Tammy & Wendy (the twins) were playing her whilst Scott (my childhood best bud) and I were in the roles of "Chowder" and "DJ"

All of this is a long way of saying that I thoroughly enjoyed Monster House. Its my preference for the Animated Oscar this year. It’s as funny as Over the Hedge but feels fresher. The anthropomorphic house is a lot more visually pleasing than those not-quite-cars with tongues and teeth (ewww) in Pixars recent hit. The movie also made me feel far more nostalgic for simpler times than Cars did, even though the latter film works much harder for that same “oh for days gone by” reaction. Best of all there's no fat on Monster House. It moves at a great clip. It’s confident, smart, and looks great –-hey, just like Jenny.

Jenny is too young to be a 'hump day hottie' --hence the title change-- but you are not too old for this movie. It's intelligent enough to win adult fans (I suspect the box office legs will be good) and there's fine voice work from all the actors. I particular loved Maggie Gyllenhaal's bitchtastic babysitter but most everyone is well cast here including, I am happy to add, my beloved Kathleen Turner.

Anyway back to topic. It's totally right that both Chowder and DJ go all goo-goo eyed for Jenny. What little animated boy wouldn't? And besides, all redheads become total hotties once they're all grown up. Everyone knows that.

just for kicks
Ultranow with another inappropriate (plus funny) Monster House post.

Previously on "Hump Day Hotties"
Uma Thurman -tall, beautiful, orgasmic. Cheyenne Jackson -extreme stage hottie crossing over to film. HDH Season One - Jake Gyllenhaal, Lady Tottington, and more...

Monster House, movies, film, animation


Supersummer Deep Focus on 2006's directors and blockbusters.
Supergay European Films on the upcoming French oddity Poltergay
Superwoman Oh No They Didn't! with the first logical explanation I've heard as to why Madonna can't get radio play for Get Together -despite being more popular right now than she's been in years and despite the song being completely awesome.
Superman But I Always Liked a Good Storm loves the big Kryptonite plagued lug and doesn't care who knows.
Supermovie IDLRZ on Little Miss Sunshine
Supertrainofthought Jake Weird rides the peace train.
Supertease popbytes with a look at John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus
Superwhat? Sci-Fi's new series "who wants to be a superhero" begins. Perhaps the superhero genre has reached the saturation point.

Superannoying is this post. I'll stop now.

This Might Be A Long Day

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Virtual Friend

So Friendster was fun years ago. I loved making movie character pages and goofing with their profiles but Friendster got soooo upset at that. And not loving creativity is a sure sign that you just suck and should not be supported. Now everyone and their dog has a myspace page so I made one, too. I still don't get how it's any different than Friendster? But that's not important. I feel like a huge dork so add as me as your friend so I don't have to eat lunch alone in the online cafeteria.

I Am Not Alfred Hitchcock

I am not Alfred Hitchcock. I just wanted to clear that up lest you be confused. I know, I know -- I obsess on icy blondes a lot (Pfeiffer. Thurman. Deneuve. etc...) just as the famed auteur did. But I am not, in fact, him. Nor was I Hitchcock in a previous life. I was already alive when he died in 1980. There’s no Audrey Rose situation going on in here.

Reasons why you may have us confused:
We fetishize blonde actresses.
We appear in our own work.
We were raised in religious homes.
We love Fritz Lang and Luis Buñuel
We wear suits to work.
We’ve never won any Oscars.

But beyond that, you see, the similarities end. We’re really nothing alike at all.

I would never pose with a silly prop. OK, maybe if I had a movie to promote...
He has the shortest speech at the Oscar ceremony on record. When he was given a Thalberg award he just said “thank you” The orchestra would have to play me off.
He liked to terrorize people with their own phobias. I would be more likely to console them after Hitch send them their box of whatever they feared most (mice, snakes, etc...)--the bastard.
My favorite Hitchcock movie is either Psycho, Rear Window, or Notorious (I’m so indecisive). His is Shadow of a Doubt.
He is from England
I am not afraid of heights.
Truth be told, I'm not a big Grace Kelly fan.
He had dogs. I have a cat.
My profile is nowhere near as memorable as Hitchcocks.
Neither is my waist size.
I am (probably) not a genius.

tags: Alfred Hitchcock, movies, cinema, films, Oscars

Links Episode #131

Movie Marketing Madness on the awesome discomfort of Michael Mann films and the marketing buildup to Miami Vice
Cinematical on what’s next for Donnie Darko auteur Richard Kelly once he's fully rejiggered Southland Tales
LA Times Patrick Goldstein’s “Call it Shyamaladenfreude”, an article on the unraveling psyche of M Night. A hot topic on this blog this past week. [src]
Sunday Mail on "50 movies to see before you die." [src]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dakota, Meryl, Scorsese, and Heidi Klum

[Nat Note: Sorry about the infrequent posting. If you need an explanation just go to this old post. That should explain it.]

Joe Reid and I chatted last night about everything from Dakota Fanning's views on Ingmar Bergman to M Night Shyamalan's new radio program --er, movie. (Well, it was very talky)

We also share breathy anticipatory sighs about The Prestige, The Children of Men and The Fountain as well as gloom over their box office prospects. Basically we talk about everything. All train of thought with very little editing. You can pretend you were there. We begin with Project Runway...

READ THE CONVERSATION And if you want to continue it, return and comment. You know how to do that.

tags: Dakota Fanning, movies, cinema, Project Runway, M Night Shyamalan, Meryl Streep, celebrities, movie trailers, box office, Academy Awards, Oscars, Julianne Moore

Today in BioPic News

My least favorite film genre just keeps on ticking. As frequent readers know, I have issues with biopic features. This partially stems from the contrarian in me since I am an Oscar addict and Oscar voters find this type of feature endlessly appealing. Real life famous people do make for great screen characters –I’ll give the genre that. But unless the screenplay is exceptional they’re often difficult to sit through as whole films. Biopics just don’t seem to understand the value of story arc, structure and originality. It’s the most predictable and plodding of all genres… and not just because we often know the outcome of the interchangeable stories.

BioPic News

Lance Armstrong
For those who stalk love Jake Gyllenhaal and have been wondering what is up with the buddy buddy Tour de Francing with Lance Armstrong, Deadline Hollywood has an answer. There’s a biopic in the works and Jake wants to play Lance. There are so many paparazzi photos of Jake in spandex that I bet you could create an entire motion picture just stringing those photos together. Like an animated flipbook of Jake on a bike.

Mariane Pearl
This one is not a biopic in the pure sense --just a true story. But I wanted to mention it. As you have no doubt already heard Angelina Jolie will play the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. The film will be produced by Brad Pitt. It’s a role that was originally going to Jennifer Aniston so...yeah, expect more press salivating over this love triangle for years to come. (I’m on Team Jolie obviously .) This is good news primarily because it's a role that will actually require Angelina Jolie to act rather than coast on her charisma. Lara Croft is fun and all but sheesh…

Bruce Lee
USA Today shares news that the martial arts icon will be getting another biopic. The article doesn’t mention that he already got one with Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story back in the early 90s. I liked that movie at the time but I have no idea if if was really any good or not ~ I haven’t seen it since. But I remember thinking that Jason Scott Lee was a real find. After a brief heyday, his career sadly went the way of straight-to-video inspiring various “ whatever happened to…?” articles. But good luck finding someone who’ll play Lee as well and look as good doing so.

The conqueror not the cannibal. Cinematical reports on the latest regarding Vin Diesel's obsession.

Barbara Baekeland
IMDB still has a page up for Savage Grace the story of the murder of f***ed up heiress Baekeland which even claims that filming began last week. I'll believe it when I see confirmations elsewhere. This page has changed so many times. Cast. Filming. Not Filming. But it's always kept busy Julianne Moore as the lead. If anyone has any info as to why this movie has taken so many years to get off the ground and if it is, actually, FINALLY filming... please do let me know.

Other Biographical Oscar-Bait still in the works:
Sharon Stone Catherine Zeta-Jones as Lana Turner in Stompanato, Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevera in Guerilla, and Uma Thurman Gwyneth Paltrow as Marlene Dietrich, and Liam Neeson as Abraham Lincoln to name just a few.

New Charts. And Next Week.

The Oscar Prediction Chart Updates are finished. Exhausting. I'm sure there are goofs and errors from my eyes going all fuzzy and the tedium of it.... as well as a few blank spots that I will fill in when time frees up. So if you see mistakes feel free to let me know. Or if you just want to talk about the Oscars do so in the comments.

Thoughts on Lady in the Water, Monster House, another conversation with Joe Reid, navel gazing with Hitchcock, 1961's Supporting Actresses, Scarlett Johansson musings, thoughts on the reader survey about the site, plus all the usual goodies.

I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Seven Links

ModFab on movies that we wish were open now.
Reverse Shot on the Frank Borzage retrospective. Go see 7th Heaven!
popbytes on new superhero stamps. (I'm wondering why PlasticMan?)
Velvet Hot Tub brings the funny re: the autoerotic McConaughey.
Cinematical on new projects for slow-as-molasses Tarantino.
I Don't Like Renée Zellweger on World Trade Center
In Contention on Babel

And finally a new pic from Sony of Venom from Spider-Man 3. If I was any more excited for summer 2007...

Oscar Prediction Updates

You can now read the Oscar prediction chart updates for:


Again, I'm just thinking aloud. Obviously things don't get serious until some major contender emerges in each category (this is why Best Actress is the most exciting at the moment --we already have one).

Return and discuss.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Queen (and other ladies in waiting)

In the past forty years of Oscar royalty we’ve had Queens Elizabeth I (twice), Queen Victoria, Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Anne Boleyn all in the running for acting prizes. If you expand the search into ladies who are queens in their own mind, the list of characters expands considerably. Royal status provides ready-made high drama and “look at me” acting opportunities.

I don’t remember why I didn’t include Helen Mirren in the original list of my April Fools Oscar predictions -- I may have mixed up her cable film Elizabeth I with her role as Elizabeth II in The Queen (yes she’s cornering the market in English monarchs in 2006) -- but now that I’ve updated the Best Actress Predictions page, you’ll see that she’s fighting it out with Streep & Winslet for the golden boy. The current lineup I’ve listed might be too much wishful thinking. It’s three actresses I deeply love, one I highly respect (this one), and one I don’t care for but who is starring in a film version of a play I deeply dig, so who knows… I might love her too.

After checking out the chart update, let me know what you think in the comments. This is too many prestigious actresses in one lineup right? Oscar loves to give the actual statue to starlets who've just proven themselves (Paltrow, Theron, Berry) instead of seasoned wonders (Mirren, Bening, Streep, Winslet) so perhaps the next Oscar goes to a less respected actor (Judd, Beyonce, Cruz) instead.

The Pfeiffer Takes It All

What the f*** is going on? No Michelle Pfeiffer news for years and now it just doesn't let up. A star on the walk of fame, new production stills, magazine covers, press releases, a Stardust website. And still more casting rumors: Next up Mamma Mia: The Movie? I'm just going to pretend that our blog-a-thon sent this Pfeiffer-Mania surging across the country to Hollywood. I better see my name in the 'thank you's when the credits scroll.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Natalie & Nathaniel

I'll Link To That

Slant’s Ed Gonzalez on the M Night Shyamalan screenwriting grab bag. I love this. I’d like to see some for other directors. Speaking of M Night… WOW Report let’s you know what Haley Joel Osment has been up to…a car crash apparently. Weird to see him all grown up in the photo.

popbytes on superhero stamps. I’ve never understood stamp collecting but I do admit that I enjoy seeing what gets put on stamps and what doesn’t. But to have 10 superheroes only and Plastic Man and Hawk Man get stamps? I call foul. Speaking of superheroes… My New Plaid Pants on the new casting rumor for Batman Begins 2 (er…Batman Continues?). Heath Ledger!

Cinematical covers the MPAA’s anger over IFC’s MPAA-questioning documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated . It will --appropriately for its title I may add—never, in fact, be rated. They’re releasing it without one.

And finally… I’m spending every Wednesday night gleefully watching Project Runway and now a few days later I can gleefully read Four Four’s recaps. Life is good.

Fill in the Blanks

I'm busy which means you get to amuse / edify each other. Fill in the blanks:
Johnny Depp is to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest what ____________ is to _____________

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pfeiffer: Catch That Wave

Now that the one and only has dipped her cool toe back into cinema water, the media ripples are expanding. It’s thrilling after four years of nothing. Surfs nearly up. I just hope the films kicking this wave off (I Could Never Be Your Woman, Stardust (pictured left -wheee), and Hairspray!) are worthy swimmers. (Sorry for this obnoxious beach motif, but it’s freaking hot … [insert more whining here])

Pfeifferian Web Goodness

Gorgeous Pfeiffer Morrissey Bond has the new InStyle magazine cover and interior photos lots of new pics of the beauty looking sensational and relaxed. Yeah! If it’s not on your newsstand yet, be patient. As soon as Keira Knightley’s skeletal mug comes down, Michelle’s airbrushed mug rises up.

People talks to La Pfeiffer about the surgeons knife. Will she or won’t she? Don’t do it, ‘chelle! Never toy with perfection. Besides did you see what they did with McKellen & Stewart in the X-Men movie. That’s clearly a better option. It’s not permanent. There’s no blood.)

TheaterMania on the Hairspray casting. For those readers who’ve asked --Yes, I’m totally relieved they’re changing her song. It was the one moment in the Broadway show that I thought was a bust. But I still don’t understand the director choice. If I ran Hollywood…

Really Scary is covering the San Diego Comic Con. Expect more Stardust news to filter out into the blogosphere after the Stardust panel is held this Friday.

And, finally, under the umbrella of ‘I’ll discuss anything even tangentially related to Pfeiffer’ lets talk co-stars.

Stacey Dash, best know as ‘Dionne’ from Clueless, who stars opposite Pfeiffer in I Could Never Be Your Woman (due in Sept), will be posing buck naked in the August issue of Playboy whilst talking about the film. I may be the only one buying it for the article. (Not that Dash isn’t a looker.) Claire Danes, one of the very very few actors to have worked with Pfeiffer twice (To Gillian… and Stardust), is in talks to co-star with Toni Collette and Vanessa Redgrave (triple your pleasure, obviously) in what sounds like Focus Features’ 2007 Oscar hopeful. One of the other Pfeiffer repeaters is eternal hottie Rupert Everett (A Midsummer Nights Dream and Stardust). Here are a couple of interesting posts about audience response to out gay actors like Rupey at After Elton and Crocodile Caucus.

Previously on "Nathaniel Loves Michelle"
Stardust (Again)
"beautiful and very scary"
You Can Walk All Over Michelle
The International Michelle Pfeiffer Blog-a-Thon
Top 10 Actresses of the Aughts

tags: Michelle Pfeiffer, movies, cinema, Rupert Everett, Stacey Dash, Claire Danes, celebrities, Stardust, hairspray, plastic surgery,

We Are Siamese If You Please...


Next Friday an indie called Brothers of the Head arrives in greater cities near you. Here is the trailer. It's the story of conjoined twins and their rise to punk rock fame in the 70s. Early critical word is quite positive. People seem impressed with its rebel spirit.

Send an email to with "brothers" in the subject line before Thursday July 27th at midnight EST. Include the following:

a. Your Name
b. Shipping Address (private -only to be used if you win)
c. The name of your favorite movie soundtrack with a few words about why you love it so... (I might post these on the blog so if you don't want anyone to know you love Can't Stop the Music don't tell me you do)

The winners will be randomly drawn on Friday, July 28th.