Friday, October 05, 2007

Now Playing 10/05

I am off to see Margot at the Wedding. wheeeee [/bragging]

L I M I T E D
Finishing the Game Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow) directs a comedy about the casting process to finish Bruce Lee's last picture (unfinished when he died) Game of Death
The Good Night -Gwyneth's brother Jake directs her in his first feature, a lucid dream dramedy which also stars Penélope Cruz, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg and Danny DeVito
Michael Clayton -The Clooney makes another sober bid for awards season play with this legal drama written and directed by Bourne franchise scribe Tony Gilroy. Co-starring Oscar-bound (?) Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom) and the always welcome presence of avant garde icon gone mainstream Tilda Swinton

Plus documentaries including rave magnet My Kid Could Paint That about an explosive few months in the art world that mainstream media egged on, Tony Kaye's (controversy freak!) abortion doc Lake of Fire, a look at the exhausting topic of religion vs. the gays For the Bible Tells Me So

W I D E
Feel the Noise a would be rapper on the run from thugs. Let's hope it is not as generic as its tag line "dream out loud"
The Heartbreak Kid Ben Stiller, comedic assault #347. That guy sure stays busy. But I detect some misogyny from the trailer (wives bring a man down... ewww, woman are gross if you have to live with them.... etcetera hard-ee-har-har). No thanks, Ben
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising based on the fantasy series from Susan Cooper although this is the second novel of that series. Why start at the beginning? It's fun that Hollywood has discovered the fantasy novel --truly an inexhaustible supply of source material though separating the jewels from the shiny fakes will be difficult-- but it's sad that they'll probably be careless with them. They've made a lot of changes to this one and change is fine if its driven by artistry (see Peter Jackson) and not a lack of imagination or commercial concerns (i.e. the neutering of the entire thematic drive of The Golden Compass which is so heavily about organized religion in literary form and which will be about what exactly onscreen... the special effects?)

E X P A N D I N G
It just got easier to see In the Valley of Elah, Into the Wild, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Across the Universe. The Darjeeling Limited (related post) and Ang Lee's Lust, Caution both added a few markets but most of you will still have to wait.

How long is it until you can take Wes Anderon's red yellow and orange Indian voyage? How long is it until you can witness Tony Leung Chiu Wai & Tang Wei's Cirque du Soleil worthy flexibility for yourself?


35 comments:

pivo (from Rio, Brazil) said...

I´ve watched "Lust, caution" yesterday.


FFBAC (FOR FILM BITCH AWARDS CONSIDERATION): Tang Wei for "breakthrough female performance".


P.S.: Speaking of Film Bitch Awards, prepare yourself for Vanessa Redgrave's stunning cameo in "Atonement".

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention that Bruce Lee's Game of Death was the film with the tracksuit. You know the tracksuit I am talking about, right? It's the tracksuit!

The problem with all these fantasy movies if they all look just the same as each other. At Stardust the other night I saw trailers for The Seeker, Spyderwick Chronicles and, while not in the same vein, a movie about Loch Ness. It was sort of ridiculous and they all look terrible.

Rural Juror said...

I'm so sad Malin Akerman has to play the bitch in The Heartbreak Kid. She deserves better than Farrely Brother flatulance.

Michael Clayton looks great to me, and I'm usually not a fan of George Clooney.

As for My Kid Could Paint That, that looks VERY interesting, not the least b/c it's amusing a 4 year old can make that much money in 'modern art'

Nick said...

I saw Margot at the Wedding at Telluride last month and really enjoyed it.

I loved Kidman's fabulously bitchy and caustic performance, but I think I loved Jennifer Jason Leigh's unusually subtle, relaxed and un-mannered performance even more. A surprising new side to JJL's acting style in this one - has she been meditating or is she just happily married? Jack Black is good, funny, doesn't intrude on the ladies too much. Baumbach's writing is razor-sharp too. Hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for your take on Margot, Nate - don't keep us waiting too long, please!

RedSatinDoll

JA said...

But Malin Ackerman gets to play with The Silk Spectre in Watchmen next! I imagine humiliating herself with queef-humor maybe helped her get noticed, or something; that's the hope I'm clinging to where Heartbreak Kid is concerned, at least.

I'll second what Pivo said; Tang Wei is wonderful in Lust, Caution. As is Tony Leung (no suprise there). The movie itself... disappointing.

Anonymous said...

What I got from the "Heartbreak Kid" isn't that Stiler's wife brings him down just b/c she's a woman and wives/women are evil. It's that she's looney tunes and he didn't realize this until they tied the knot . . . comedy ensues. Maybe she tricked him into marriage by playing normal, and that plays into some misogyny of women as core liars, but I don't think the film's going to go for that kind of drama. I'm not paying to see it, but Stiler knows his audience and what it expects out of him, which is worth something I guess.

Nicole said...

hmm, is it just me , but does Michael Clayton look boring?


I get to see Jesse James...hahha ( one of the perks of living in Chicago), I don't know if that's is a good thing or not though.

Everything else eh.

Oh and Inkheart, yet another fantasy story, will be out next year. Unfortunately I've read it and it is awful.

Donald Kwan said...

This is Donald from Hong Kong, can tell you "Lust, caution" is a smash hit both in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Surely will be the most popular box-office crown of Chinese movie this year here.

crudes said...

Can't wait to see your feedback on Margot at the Wedding. I'm nervously keeping my fingers and toes crossed for Jenny this year. Goooooo JJL! :D

Catherine said...

Oh, Nate. Michelle Pfieffer was on Tonight With Jonathan Ross this evening (U.K.).

Kamikaze Camel said...

It's not like there ain't plenty of "men are slobs who don't do anything around the house" tv shows and movies out there.

steve said...

Loved Margot and Lust, Caution. Saw them a while ago. Kidman's Margot MIGHT beat Kidman's Anna. I haven't decided. This is such a fun year, already (although I thought last year was pretty sweet, too). My only A's thus far are for I'm Not There and Jindabyne.

Anonymous said...

Aside from that 2 year period in the early 00's, where she got a lot of awards notice for The Others, The Hours and Moulin Rouge, I find it ridiculous how consistantly Kidman is taken for granted by critics groups and oscar voters, especially when she's doing her best and most interesting work. How can Judi Dench and Charlize Theron (fine actresses both) get easy oscar nominations for easily forgotten and generic performances like Mrs Henderson Presents and North Country, while Kidman struggles to gain any awards traction for her stunning work in Dogville (ignored by pretty much everyone, yet the best performance by an actress that year, imho). Kidman is getting raved all over the place for her turn in Margot At The Wedding, yet very few people predicting her for an Oscar nomination. She's got the reviews, so what more can she do?

I can't wait till she's old and withered, so they can start nominating her every time she takes a dump onscreen (like La Dench).

Rural Juror said...

To answer the previous poster, it's because most of the movies Nicole takes on (including Dogville) are crap.

Anonymous said...

Dogville was brilliant. And I spent the first 30 minutes thinking "what the hell is this film with chalkboard houses and pretend animals?".
Very unconventional film, that's worth the effort in the end. It did pretty well with critics as well (unlike Birth, where they liked the performance, but not the film).

Besides, she was gypped of a nomination for To Die For, and by general consensus, that's a pretty good movie. Eyes Wide Shut is a more divisive movie, but she was worth a supporting nod there.

To be fair to Nicole, most of the movies made by lead actresses today, aren't that good. It's a trend that good vehicles for women are hard to find. Cate Blanchett is supposed to be going through some sort of career hotstreak, yet 2 of her last 3 major starring vehicles have gone down in flames with critics (The Good German, The Golden Age). We all know how lousy most of Julianne Moore's films have been in the last few years. Jodie Foster's best film in the past 6 years, has been a Denzel Washington vehicle (Inside Man), where she plays a supporting role.

Kate Winslet seems to to pick the best vehicles for herself. But she tends to stick to a comfort zone of roles more than someone like Kidman, who is more experimental. Then again, Moore sticks to a comfort zone as well (housewife/mother) and that really hasn't helped her in terms of finding good vehicles.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon It's obviously because when Kidman does interesting work she's playing unsympathetic "difficult" women and she doesn't have the natural star warmth (different kind of star) to offset that --notice her two oscar nods are coming from films where something offset: MR! didn't have that trouble to begin with (sympathetic character) and in The Hours where she's quite a pill she had the whole baity biopic impersonation thing going on which counteracts ALL other factors with Oscar.

It's sad but people need actresses to be a little more cuddly or at least older when they're playing sharp tongued women (a la Dench)

Eric said...

So Nat,
what did you think of Kidman's performance in Margot ? Is she really great ? Birth great ?

amir_uk said...

"I can't wait till she's old and withered, so they can start nominating her every time she takes a dump onscreen (like La Dench)."

Still cracking up at that one anonymous 6.30am - it's so true though - unmask yourself so I know who you are!

Kidman's Anna in Birth is in the pantheon of the modern greats - or so it should be. The film is very accomplished too. Why did people have a problem with it? Baffling.

Michael Clayton opened here last week and most of the critics I've read/heard are tipping George Clooney for an Oscar nom - haven't seen the film yet myself though.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm on the fence with rural juror. Nicole Kidman hasn't been nominated since her Oscar win b/c she hasn't deserved to be. She'll be nominated again when she does baitier, better work.

Kamikaze Camel said...

"baitier" and "better" are two entirely different things altogether.

Anonymous said...

Anon1.28, baitier work doesn't mean better work and she has done much better work than what she won for. Birth, Dogville, Fur all put The Hours into shade and while not as wonderfully glorious as MR!, she has surpassed that one, too.

Anonymous said...

Baitier work? no wonder actresses are stuck doing shrill, awful work when they know they probably won't be rewarded for doing work that doesn't scream "give me an Oscar". Actors don't have that problem.

NATHANIEL R said...

y'all are talking about Marion Cotillard now or something ;) *ducks and hides*

Anonymous said...

We want to know about Kidman and Leigh in Margot at the wedding !

Anonymous said...

I think if Nathaniel is not careful, he might just find that if he doesn't write something about MATW very soon, some really strange things will start happening to him, like ordering a cup of coffee and getting tea instead! lol

Anonymous said...

B- for MATW?

Jodie foster said...

Is Kidman better than me in this ?

Anonymous said...

I love it when posts that had no connection to Ms Kidman at all turn into full-fledged Kidman-commentaries...as it should be *hee*.


I particularly appreciate the comments by anon 8:36, and regarding the point you bring up Nathaniel about Nicole playing "unsympathetic" characters, it seems odd (and sad) to me that a male actor can make a career of playing unsympathetic and unlikable characters (at least on the surface) and be praised for it, and furthermore, no assumptions are made that because he "plays" unlikable in "reel life" that he is unlikable in "real life" - whereas a woman - ok, specifically, Nicole - is assumed to be a bitch in real life if she plays one onscreen. If Nicole played more cuddly characters, begged for our sympathies in the way Reese or Julia does, maybe more people would like her? To my mind it's the greater feat to play an unlikable person (Susan Stone Maretto, Grace in the Others, for example) and still find something human within them that keeps them from being entirely monstrous (or the opposite, Grace in Dogville who is a very sympathetic character who does something monstrous and in the end is no victim - but is no villian either. Her response to a horrid situation is equally horrid but ultimately understandable.) We may find ourselves sympathethizing with them, but that sympathy does not come easily or comfortably - because it implies the darker areas of our own lives and personalities that we would really rather not admit to. Her characters are not the Greek heroic ideal of the mirror and touchstone of what is best about human nature, a mirror of our successes but rather a mirror of our failures and our struggles. That's the area which Nicole's performances most readily occupy, and why she is so uninteresting when it comes to characters that are supposed to be likable from the get-go - whether that's Ada in Cold Mountain or Isabel in Bewitched; there is simply no place for Nicole to take such characters.

RedSatinDoll

Anonymous said...

Jodie, be satisfied that The Brave One made more money than Invasion and leave it at that, don't be greedy, lol.

NATHANIEL R said...

Nicole is very good in Margot! extremely complicated character... and we all know she does good work when a director challenges her.


just to tide you over until i type something up ;)

anon 12:18 ---so that's why my lunch order was wrong!

jodie foster -- stop stalking me! you can't have all moviegoers as devout fans. I hated your movie. deal with it ;)

Anonymous said...

Ok, now you are making me REALLY antsy to see your full review. Too few reviewers so far, btw, have talked about how off-putting they find the script or whatnot and have given very little attention to the performances - except JJL, who they praise - because of course, we all know she's more likeable in this film than Nic. But anyway, I await your review with pleasure (if little patience.)

BTW - I got a gigglesnort from your kiss-off to "Jodie", Nate. Good stuff.


RedSatinDoll

jodie foster said...

You can all laugh at me right now, but I'm the one who's gonna laugh all the way to the bank when I win the Oscar for portraying Leni Riefenstahl in 2010 ! Mark my words ! I learnt German when I was six, in case you all forgot, right after my 26th movie.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Amazing!

Anonymous said...

"baitier" and "better" are two entirely different things altogether.

Yeah genius, I know that already. But to the Academy, they're one and the same, and the reason why Nicole Kidman hasn't been nominated since "The Hours".