Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Bad, The Bad and The Ugly

I don't know how many of you caught my tweet a week back when I finally got through Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (more on that soon if I can stomach it)...


..but the following three things are probably living in its toxic proximity. Sometimes I like to mush all the bad things together, roll them around in my mouth until they're one giant blob of suck, which I can then spit out and be done with. This is the way I deal.

Suck 1 Nicole Kidman signed to Cage/Schumacher Flick.
This was announced almost exactly 15 years after Batman Forever opened. Weirdness. If Nic' really wants to travel back in time to 1995, shouldn't she be thinking more along the lines of Gus Van Sant's To Die For?

It's evident to most thinking people -- those that don't reflexively hate on her at least -- that Ms. Kidman has great taste in art flicks and abyssmal taste in mainstream projects. The Latest Evidence: Trespass, from the makers of 8MM. It really shouldn't be this hard to choose your mall films inbetween the ones you're doing for your craft. If you're looking for something mainstream, cozy up to any number of respected directors who are mainstream at heart (or half the time) but still always shoot for art or quality. I'm talking about your Scotts, Scorseses, Spielbergs, Soderberghs, Finchers, Manns, etcetera. You might not get to be in a $200 million grosser but chances are, the movie won't be universally hated. But starring opposite Nic Cage with Schumacher directing you? Dear god, why? It's like asking for trouble.

Schumacher is capable of making a good movie (Tigerland) and Kidman already knows him (Batman Forever) but it's the combo of Cage & Schumacher. That screams BAD MOVIE. Nic Cage, my arch nemesis, already dragged Julianne Moore down with him (in the truly exerable Next) and now Nic' too? Who's next on his hit list?

Nicole and Baz in January 2002. Good times! --->

Suck 2 Baz Luhrmann still hasn't decided on his next project.
The Playlist acts like the abundant possibilities (The Great Gatsby, a Bollywood style musical, or a historical epic) are good things and he'll start filming in 2011 and maybe we'll even get a musical (!) If I know Baz this is not good news but bad, bad news. He's had two years of downtime and he still hasn't decided on his next project? He hasn't even narrowed it down by genre? There's at least three possibilities and likely more? That means we're at least a year away from a decision. Then someone has to write a script and then the studios have to decided whether or not to bankroll it and then Baz has to tinker with it endlessly in pre-production. It'll be 2015 before we get another movie. That's at the earliest and only if we're lucky. Mark my words.

<-- Joss with "Echo" and "Angel"

Suck 3 Continued MGM Fallout.
Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods is delayed again. It's not that I care so much about a 3D horror film but that I'm always rooting for Joss and whenever there are hold ups (as there continually are here and there will continually be on The Avengers) that means more and more time away from his true calling: series television. MGM's woes throw kinks in other things, too. The James Bond franchise was totally reinvigorated when Daniel Craig put on the tux. And just as it was worth caring about again... denied. That legendary lion hasn't roared in some time but the nostalgic part of this cinephile's heart really wants it, too.

Talk me through this sudden dark mood. What would you have Nicole Kidman do? Why must Nicolas Cage contaminate the filmographies of so many fine actresses? Will Baz ever get back to work? Will there ever be another 'Craig, Daniel Craig' Bond film? Will Joss ever realize that he should go to pay cable for a new television series?

25 comments:

Hayden said...

Rabbit Hole had better bring Kidman a little bit of critical recognition...if it bombs, that will mean she'll have gone at the very least five years without a great performance, and at least eight years since her peak (2004).

Hayden said...

It seems "Nicole Kidman the Movie Star" gets pressured into putting out more films than "Nicole Kidman the Actress" should.

Ryan T. said...

Joss Whedon in pay cable would be a dream come true. Which means, it won't happen. Sigh.

At the very least give us Dr. Horrible 2 while we await Cabin in the Woods and/or Avengers.

City_Of_Lights said...

I can't form a real opinion until I see the Cage/Kidman film for myself because I saw The Invasion and thought it was a decent flick. I took it for what it was.

I think the reason she's doing these films is that she needs funding, and a presence in the movie industry, for Danish Girl, The Springfield biopic and I hope to God eventually The Rivals(with her and Marion C)

She should keep working. Honestly I will watch her in anything. And who else can say they've got a Sandler flick, a Cage action movie, an HBO Hemingway flick, and a Broadway play based film about grief all in their pocket. She's got eclectic written all over her and I love that.

The haters will hate regardless.

/3rtfu11 said...

Kidman has awful decision making skills when it comes to the mainstream. She gives bad studied performances in Hollywood movies. For an actress who can actually act – The Peacemaker certainly wouldn’t let you know that.

On a personal note I feel all of my theatrical experiences with Nicole movies are failures because I hated all 3 of them – Batman Forever, Cold Mountain, Dogville.

Do you recommend The Birthday Girl or The Human Stain?

I love – Fur, Birth, Eyes, likes Margot, dislike but respect The Hours.

/3rtfu11 said...

Kidman has awful decision making skills when it comes to the mainstream. She gives bad studied performances in Hollywood movies. For an actress who can actually act – The Peacemaker certainly wouldn’t let you know that.

On a personal note I feel all of my theatrical experiences with Nicole movies are failures because I hated all 3 of them – Batman Forever, Cold Mountain, Dogville.

Do you recommend The Birthday Girl or The Human Stain?

I love – Fur, Birth, Eyes, likes Margot, dislikes but respects The Hours.

/3rtfu11 said...

Kidman has awful decision making skills when it comes to the mainstream. She gives bad studied performances in Hollywood movies. For an actress who can actually act – The Peacemaker certainly wouldn’t let you know that.

On a personal note I feel all of my theatrical experiences with Nicole movies are failures because I hated all 3 of them – Batman Forever, Cold Mountain, Dogville.

Do you recommend The Birthday Girl or The Human Stain?

I love – Fur, Birth, Eyes, likes Margot, dislikes but respects The Hours.

John T said...

I'm still more depressed about Alice becoming only the sixth film of all-time to gross $1 billion.

Jenn said...

I've gotten into the habit of getting very nervous every time Nicole tries mainstream. And before we start worrying about this Schumacher one, what about the Sandler/Anistion flick she just finished filming? It's said to be out next early February-ish; if Rabbit Hole is award-worthy, this flick better not work against her during the award season. (if it does, I'll scream at rooftop and make sure Siberians hear me).

Baz, please, do us a favor and start making gorgeous movies. Please? With a cherry on top?

adam k. said...

That old Sally Hawkins post was rather prescient. This year, it was even worse.

Tilda Swinton (Julia) - your favorite - nowhere near the party

Abbie Cornish (Bright Star) - another favorite - misses the boat

Meryl, who you thought/hoped all year would finally win, was cursed by your love. And was it another Nathaniel-loved perf that stole her thunder? Carey? Gabby? Helen even? Nope. Sandra.

I'm scared for this year.

I wasn't as high on Sally Hawkins in '08 as some were, but she definitely deserved to nominated. I was basically just happy for Winslet's win last year, since there was no one I was passionately supportive of in a "THIS DESERVES TO WIN!" sort of way (and the alternative was a disappointing Streep perf).

Iggy said...

Funny, real story. A few days ago I was watching Batman Forever on TV with my teenage niece (it makes me feel so old, until I remember it's my sisters the ones who're old :)). So, she asked me, why do these terrible movies happen? I think I'd have preferred to be asked something about sex education, condoms, etc. How do you answer that?. She said they should've let Burton go on with the Batman movies (she loves Pfeifer as catwoman). She hasn't seen Nolan's.
The point is, my niece is a very smart young woman with good taste in movies except for her occasional fandoms (i.e. She loves Alice because it's Burton's) but I wouldn't say her tastes are above average. So, if any average teenage moviegoer sees a few minutes of a movie and comes to the conclusion it's terrible. Why, oh why some projects, some directors, some actors are still greenlit?

I think Kidman doesn't really care about her mainstream movies and leaves the decissions about them to her agent. She must have a terrible one, by the way, if he/she can't see how bad something sounds.

john said...

To be honest i bet Kidman seeks this out, nothing can beat an actress with a divisive fanbase/ film career.

john said...

p.s. Iggy, Kidman's agent is Kevin Huvane, the man who also represents Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Uma Thurman, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston amony others.

Simon Dang said...

I actually think Luhrmann has choices (a), (b) and (c) but only revealed their genres for that auction.

Baz likes to travel for inspiration before deciding his next move and has been on an expansive tour of Asia. I'm not too sure what that says about the direction he'll head in but I genuinely think he's closing in on something.

You're definitely right but, it'll be years before anything from him hits screens.

Alison Flynn said...

Just finished Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland which I started watching in 1996.

ROFL.

I couldn't even get past the first 30 minutes of the movie.

Iggy said...

@John

I had no idea about that, I was just trying to speculate to cheer up Nathaniel by blaming someone else for her bad decissions. Failed.

I'll shut up from now on.

Bye

badmotherfucker said...

I have an idea: we place Kidman in a room with 2 scripts -- one good, one awful -- and see what happens. If she so much as glances at the bad one, we shock her!

adri said...

Poor Baz. His last movie wasn't well-received either by the Australian press (who objected to the title "Australia",saying it didn't convey the whole Australian experience- what could?)or the North American press, who couldn't absorb its mix of genres. He must have been devastated. No wonder it's taking him a while to pick a next project.

And I think "Craig, Daniel Craig" is going to go the way of Timothy Dalton. No-one just wants to say it. With Dalton, it was the same game plan, edgier and more realistic. Never works. Especially in the "Bourne" era.

Philip said...

Why, Nathaniel, why???
This is the most depressing post I've ever seen.
I need Baz back in my life. :(

vatz said...

I think the funeral for Kidman's career has occurred and we're all in denial. (that includes me)

NATHANIEL R said...

vatz -- maybe. i remember that happening to me with Kathleen Turner (sigh) but i hold out hope for rabbit hole.

i mean, in truth, even if it has died... that glorious run from 2001-2004 is one of the best glorious runs ever and she'll always have that.

vg21 said...

Nathaniel, I'm happy you couldn't stand Alice either. I mean, it wasn't just me. I really didn't like it and I think the basic problem might be the writing. Those sentences sounded weird. No one says such things. Everything just didn't make sense, though the visuals were stunning.

Anonymous said...

if this is the best hollywood can offer to a rare amazing talent like nicole then we have a lot to worry about.
and I won't put high hopes in rabbit hole...I'm scared to be disappointed.
and please, funeral? what funeral? you're exaggerating. kidman has one the best position in hollywood, don't forget she has 43 years old. how many women can have a similar career at 43 years old?

Nana said...

Nathaniel, no, her career hasn't died.. But that glorious run had to end and you should stop to have huge expectations everytime Nicole does something. Just take things for how they turn. Those days will never came back, it's stupid hoping everytime to have them again. When something is really amazing is bound to end. Always.

Alison Flynn said...

Wow. I just saw the grade you posted for AiW. Are you going to post a review? Or is it too painful? I'll be looking forward to reading if you do post one.