Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ed, Dennis, and Brad

The Top 100 Countdown, the Actors of the Aughts, has resumed. It'll be happening daily now until we finish with numero uno. Where were we? OK... "Pollock" himself, Ed Harris, Angelina's boytoy Brad Pitt, and comeback kid man Dennis Quaid kick this round off...

Read the Rest...
Two more will be posted tomorrow. I am too tired to finish this group of five. So you get three.

Must. Sleep. Now.

Weekly Movie Horoscope

I'm here once again to read the stars and give you guidance. Though this week should technically be all about ME (it being my birthday week) I'm such a giver that this horoscope is still all for you. I'm not even going to work in an obnoxious theme about which gift you should buy me to prove that you really love me. Instead, since the weather is suddenly very warm, we're using movie stars, beaches, pools, and sunny film reminders for each sign.

Bask in it!

Weekly Movie Horoscope
May 31st to June 6th Nathaniel's Birthday Summer Begins Edition

Aries (3.21-4.19)
You may be feeling as bold and impulsive as DeDe poolside in The Opposite of Sex. But before you charge into something messy like seducing your brothers boyfriend, think it over: you want to be clear about your feelings. These things have ripples, you know. Otherwise you're at the top of your game. Even when you're reckless, you're charming this week.

Taurus (4.20-5.20)
With Venus taking up residence in your sun sign for a good stretch, it's a great time to treat yourself well. Even if you haven't a penny to your name currently, feel as entitled and gorgeous and worldly as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley. Stay positive and avoid pledging your well-known loyalties too quickly and you'll entirely avoid their unhappy ending.

Gemini (5.21-6.20)
With Venus in your chart you may find yourself extra spacey and day-dreaming this week. You might discover yet another personality in yourself (I know!) like 'chicklet' did in Psycho Beach Party. Pay attention to these dreams but don't sleep in. Amazing personal changes are coming and you need to stay alert, wide-eyed, and open to them.

Cancer (6.21-7.22)
To your left is one of the most popular film stills from Liz Taylor's entire career. It's from Suddenly Last Summer but that photo-op is misleading. Liz isn't enjoying her life at the beach much in that gothic, twisted drama. Your challenge: Don't punish yourself or be controlled by someone else this week. That way lies madness. Focus on leisure and socializing, only the rewarding kind.

Leo (7.23-8.22)
"Whoa!" All I can see when I look at you is Keanu "Johnny Utah" Reeves in Point Break. Recognition is coming your way. Maybe you'll solve a complicated case? Both Venus and Mars are on your side so you'll be pumping with adrenaline and ready for extreme leaps and roars. Try to see past the surface with people. They may be hiding something. Added bonus this week: You look sensational when wet.

Virgo (8.23-9.22)
You've reached Heaven's Mouth. Make like Ana, Tenoch, and Julio in Y Tu Mama Tambien and soak it all in (even if that feels a bit risque). Passionate surprises in your lovelife await. Be open-minded and willing to negotiate and opportunities for fun in the sun (figuratively or literally who cares) will be abundant.

Libra (9.23-10.22)
This is a strong week for you with finances. Money matters and you need to make smart decisions. But that's boring. So let's talk about your love life. The energy is great for a passionate embrace on the beach like Deborah Kerr & Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity. Don't worry about the messiness of it all: sand in your swimsuit is a small price to pay for pleasure.

Scorpio (10.23-11.21)
Mars is approaching your solar chart (first time in two years) so turn on the charm and you'll see plenty of action. Don't make a big deal out of obstacles. Think Joe/Josephine/Junior in Some Like It Hot. You're even sneakier and more willful than Tony Curtis so you'll land your own Marilyn, whoever that may be. If you have to dress in drag or pretend you're a millionaire to do so, so what?

Sagittarius (11.22-12.21)
Work, work, work! Fun, Fun, Fun! Find energy for both and you'll bloom. Cameron Diaz does in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. She has to sell some pretty clunky double entendres while dripping wet with surfboard in hand, but sell them she does. With a huge grin. It's a job but she's having a ball doing it. It's also a great week for travel so suit up or plan ahead.

Capricorn (12.22-1.19)
Your can-do efforts will be nigh unstoppable this week. You could even survive in your own Blue Lagoon. And you'd be a lot more smarter and more resourceful about it than Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields I'll tell you that. It's a perfect week for you to tie up loose ends --swimming naked can wait.

Aquarius (1.20-2.18)
Patience is a virtue Aquarian and so is balance. It can be tricky to balance the needs of a big career and a lifelong friend in need but if Bette Midler can do it in Beaches for collagen-lipped Barbara Hershey you can make time for both, too. Stay positive and generous and this summer will glow in your memory for a long time to come. That's the story of. That's the glory of love.

Pisces (2.19-3.20)
With the temperatures rising, careful not to overexert yourself. Anything could happen so stay hydrated, watery one. Rather than point to something similar to you I'll point to a talisman of warning. Should you come across a wet, horny, luscious barely-clad thing like Gael Garcia Bernal in Bad Education be on your guard and trust your intuition. People are not always what they seem.

As always, if you have a movie-loving friend in need of guidance, let them know about these weekly horoscopes. Share the film experience.

tags: movies, film, celebrities, horoscope, zodiac, beach, summer


they're serenading me
Blather Blog 'A Personal Pet Shop Boys Retrospective.' I should do one of these for Madonna. She really does provide the soundtrack to my life.
Hollywood Rag on Mariah Carey's $1 Billion Legs. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but I hardly think her legs are the reason for her appeal. Isn't it her vocal chords and her weird girliewoman ("Butterfly" "Glitter" "Charm Bracelet" etc... *gag*) psyche.
popbytes has the Brittany Murphy video for that track I linked to earlier 'faster kill brittanycat' --I heart Brittany Murphy. Let's hope she has a bigger role in Sin City 2

oh and yeah, this is a movie blog, so...
Nicks Flick Picks has discovered the perfect Oscar shortlist: Best Actress, 1974.

Modern? Yep. Fabulous? Undeniably.

Though I really hate to draw attention away from MY birthday... I really have to bow down before the ever inspirational ModFab which turns 2 today!

Go wish that super popular toddler a happy birthday. I mean it. Say something sweet in the comments. ModFab's also got a swell Boy George video post that will keep me busy for awhile today AND (as if this weren't enough giving) a preview of the new Broadway season (Audra! A Chorus Line!! Charles Busch!!!) .

Modern Fabulousity lives up to its name on a daily basis. I hope you're a regular.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


So X-Men: The Last Stand, despite its suckiness, made a helluva lot of money over the weekend. That depresses me really. I knew it would do well. I'm not sad that it did well. I'm sad because Hollywood is stupid enough (just watch) to think this means that Brett Ratner was a great choice to direct.

Ed Wood coulda opened this thing huge. When it comes to the opening weekend of sequels, it's about three things: 1. The marketing. 2. The competition. 3. The previous film and the public's feelings about it. X-Men: The Last Stand had a decent marketing campaign, no wide opening competition (none whatsoever), and everyone and their dog loved X2. The giant opening was a no-brainer.

Credit for this opening weekend should go to Bryan Singer and the quality of X2. But Hollywood is dumb.

tags: movies, XMen, Comic Books, X-Men, Marvel, film, Box Office

"Exploring" My Technical Difficulties

I was recently given the heads up that my blog has gone kinda haywire in Internet Explorer. I've erased my edited template and started from scratch with a standard template... but for whatever reason if you're looking at this blog in Explorer it doesn't seem to understand correct background colors, left aligned text, sidebar, etc...

I do apologize. I am a visual person and had no idea it was this hideous in IE. I promise you my blog is a "10" in Firefox and Safari. I am looking for a solution but for those readers on Explorer I HIGHLY suggest Firefox and Safari --they work so much better for everything --not just for looking at my little ol' blog.

Bloody Brawl

That Actors Countdown that y'all are voting on is getting bloody. Right now there are three men battling for the top spot: Russell Crowe, Heath Ledger and Sean Penn. Only three votes separate their totals as I type. With nearly 600 votes counted so far it's that close. Crazy, right?

Javier Bardem is running a distant but strong fourth. He could surprise to take third place should his fans rally. Paul Giamatti is on his third round having advanced each time --he's finally collapsed from exhaustion in these polls but fifth place is likely. This will obviously be his last round, though. If the three leaders keep this up, they'll all be advancing to the final round in June.

Imagine these glistening sweaty brawls. Who should come out on top? Who should be pinned mercilessly on bottom for a good pummeling? You decide. It's up to your votes. This is the last week to log them. The poll can also be emailed should you want to call in reenforcements.

The countdown continues tomorrow as the top 25 begins... Stay tuned.

tags: Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe, movies, film

I Could Never Be Your YouTube

What you're looking at here is a preview clip / brief interview with Paul Rudd about macking on LaPfeiffer in the new film I Could Never Be Your Woman

This clip is a little romcom cutesy for my taste but I love Rudd's "YES" response to Michelle Pfeiffer's 'Mrs. Robinson' quoting. As I've written before buzz seems to be fairly positive about this but Amy Heckerling has made both very good (Clueless) and very bad (Loser) romcoms in the past so I'll withhold judgement for now. The cast is good. If the screenplay is clever this could be something. If it's not... at least we'll get to look at Rudd's cute mug and savor the Pfeifferian goodness.

Bad news though: the film's release has been pushed into the fall from its earlier July debut. Pfeiffer's comeback you'll have to wait even. longer. for. If you're holding your breath, dont. Curse that MGM/UA team... *sigh* I hope they know what they're doing but the past few years don't give me much faith in their distribution/marketing efforts.

(Thanks to readers David and George for the heads up.)

tags: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, movies, film

Blogosphere Multiplex: Thomas & Co.

Welcome to the Blogosphere Multiplex! Once a week I'll be nabbing a random blogger to grill with ten questions about their own film experience. These aren't necessarily film bloggers, just bloggers of note from around the sphere. First up, Thomas from Thomas & Co..

Thomas and I recently exchanged links. Like JLo some years back he's 'on the six' --i.e. he's a green liner here in Manhattan. I'm on the red across town. But never mind our geographical differences. Thomas & Co is a two time nominee for "best personal gay blog" -- I'm turning all shades of green as we speak. Not for my abandoned subway line but for the honors. How come I don't get nominated for anything? Anyway enough about me. Thomas first won me over praying for the death of Brandon Davis and invariably I dig gays with fierce politics.

10 Questions with Thomas

Nathaniel: How often do you go to the movies?

Thomas: As much as I love movies, hardly ever. I just can't help but think of all the dirty butts and greasy heads that have sat in those seats, not to mention the sticky floors. It's almost as bad as an adult movie theatre, but not sexy. I usually only go to art house screenings and openings of films friends have made. Otherwise, no f**king way. However, I will put my mouth around a strangers pole and blow. Double standard, no? That's America for you.

Nathaniel: A suggestion for a new name: "TMI & Co" -- kidding. OK name dropper, what's the best film you've seen recently that involved a friend?

Thomas: Well, "best" film, would have to be "Million $$$ Baby." My pal Margot played the mom. However, my favorite films to watch are the ones in which my BFF, Octavia, appear. We went to school together in middle, high, and univ. The last one I saw was "Beauty Shop." She always pops up in little comedic roles. I f**king die everytime she shows up on screen. One time, watching "Being John Malkovich," she made a cameo and I screamed and threw my popcorn in the air and then got in a bitch slap fight with a local critic sitting behind me. Then there are, of course, all of mis primos and their fabu work in the Latino Fan Club films. Muuuuahhh, chicos!

Nathaniel: I screamed and threw popcorn in the air during Malkovich too --or at least I did in my head. L-O-V-E that movie. Since we've just met you probably don't know about my aversion to Hilary Swank with whom your pal Margot has performed twice. But I forgive her. She's also worked with Nicole Kidman four times so that more than makes up for the guilt by Swank association I think. But I digress... How about actors you don't know. Favorites?

Thomas: Now, I don't know about your aversion to Swank, but w/o knowing, I kinda get it. I think there is something really vulgar about her. I don't know what it is, but I also get the feeling she is a voracious carnivore in regards to her career and life.

Hmmm. Favorite movie, or favorite actor? Well, I'll answer both. Movie: Ma Vie En Rose. It just brings me joy in a way no other film has, and then there is ANYTHING Almodovar. He could film himself pooping and I would love it. Actor: I'm such a huge Meryl fan (any "Cry in the Dark" fans out there?).

Nathaniel: You'll find many Meryl fans at the Film Experience. As for Almodovar, which is your favorite? I know it's difficult to choose but try.

Thomas: Okay, Okay. I feel like I'm not being faithful to my blind devotion to Pedro, but okay, damnit. I'll choose one just cuz you're making me. "Dark Habits," "Kika" (cuz she introduces herself whilst being raped - brilliant!) and "Bad Education" (pure Gael Garcia Bernal gratuity). That was one, right?

Oh shite, I spilled my vodka stinger! *hiccup* ps - to all you other Almodovar films, Papa loves you all, sweeties.

Nathaniel: (Mmmmm gratuitous Gael) What do you make of the blogosphere's total hysteria re: Jake Gyllenhaal?

Thomas: Yaaaaaawn.

Nathaniel: What heresy is this? OK, moving on from Jakey-poo.... Multiple choice: California Mountain Snake? Sidewinder? Cottonmouth? Copperhead? or Black Mamba?

Thomas: OMG!!! Snakes scare me! I don't like things piercing my skin, like needles, and that is the only way in which a snake injects it's venom - it's dirty, needle-like fangs!!! Is this a lead in question to Snakes on a Plane? If the choice is which to go up against: I think I'd choose the cottonmouth, since I grew up with it and have seen them before. They're not too agressive, I recall. If the choice is which to eat: fried sidewinder. Mmm-mmm good. If the choice is which to kill by cutting off its head: all of them.

Nathaniel: I think Cottonmouth is the only one you kill by decapitation. At least that's the way Black Mamba plays it. I know this isn't the season for the question but the gays dream of Halloween well in advance. Ever been a movie character on the queerest of holidays?

Thomas: No. However, I have been lots of characters under the sheets.

Nathaniel: I'm scared to ask for an example. So I won't. What's the movie you're most looking forward to this year?

Thomas: Volver, of course.

Nathaniel: I'm more than ready for it, too. Which movie do you most often find yourself quoting?

Thomas: Waiting for Guffman

Nathaniel: "Corkyyyyyy!"

OK, now. Last question! They make a movie of your life. Who should play you? What's the title? What's the rating?

Thomas: Molly Ringwald. "Pretty in Pink." PG. Oh, fudge! It's been done. Then, Jack Black. "Are you there God? It's me Margaret - The Musical Movie." NR

Nathaniel: Hee. My hearty thank you to Thomas & Co for participation in this first edition of the "blogosphere multiplex" interviews. Next week you'll be hearing from... Ah, you'll just have to wait to find out. If there's any hot blogger you'd love to see interviewed, let me know. Your suggestions for victims interviewees are welcome.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Annette and Rupert

Today marks the birthday of two of my favorite thespians. They were born just one year apart making them 47 (Rupert Everett) and 48 (Annette Bening) years-old today. Nothing else really binds them together. They've never worked together. Only one of them is married to Warren Beatty. Only one of them used to be friends with Madonna. What do they have in common then? Well, they've both starred in separate versions of Dangerous Liaisons that aren't the famous one.

Basically they share only this birthday (and perhaps a secret justifiable hatred of Oscar voters) but it was a good excuse to put up a picture of their combined smoldering.

Cannes't Hardly Wait

(How's that for an awkward post title? I amaze myself.)

Whenever the Cannes Film Festival ends I am left with two feelings only: Frustration and Anticipation. The first state of mind obviously springs from how long I know I will have to wait to see the films (sometimes well over a year --if they ever see release at all --given the state of international distribution) and the second is the natural byproduct of all that waiting.

So if you have any pull with the cinematic gods, please wish all of these films quick distribution. Lengthy waits do nothing to help films capitalize on their Cannes buzz. If you need an example just consider the twist of fates for last year's Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and Match Point. They both looked like buzz giants until well over six months of "they're freaking brilliant!!!" buzz curdled into backlash and 'who cares?' as they opened in late December.

If you haven't really been paying attention or waiting for folks like me to wrap it all up for you. Here ya go. The rundown.

Trinity of Power
The films that will get the most momentum from Cannes are the following big winners: The Palme D'Or winner was Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley a period piece set in Ireland which stars the still-ascending Cillian Murphy (previously celebrated at the Film Experience here and still to come in the Top 100 Actor Countdown). You can be sure this film will make it to US screens. Internationally celebrated Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) won the directorial prize for his third multi-narrative accident tragedy Babel --gee, um. do you think he'll mine this territory for as long as M Night Shyamalan relied on the trick endings? The title Babel presumably comes from the multi-lingual multi-cultural communication mishaps therein. Given Babel's trio of headliners (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal) there was never any doubt that this would attract media attention and make the international rounds but here we have a nice shiny prize to help the film in its eventual quest for Oscar glory next winter.

Finally, Pedro Almodovar's Volver was well received too. Pedro's apparently still on that giddy masterpiece-making roll. It's the only film to win two prizes; a screenplay award and a collective Best Actress win (which should give some good copy to FYC ads for Penelope Cruz in the Oscar Best Actress race and might even help that international treasure Carmen Maura in the parallel supporting actress contest. If AMPAS is still in love with Almodovar. And why wouldn't they be? Who in their right mind wouldn't be?

If It sounds vulgar to view awards at the world's greatest film festival in light of future Oscar competitions, give me the benefit of the doubt. Awards and their perceived aftereffects are realities of the market place and distribution deal incentives and the like. I'm not ever intending to suggest that a Cannes win isn't a lovely end goal in itself. But this is awardage we're talking about. It is a vulgar process: also exciting, unpredictable, addictive, and glamourous.

Other Prizes & Buzz Hits
Big awards aren't everything. Exposure is the main goal. If you get a buzz boost or a sale or raves or a minor award, you've won. The end goal is presumably to get the films out there for the filmgoing community to see. To that end the following films had a good festival. The Algerian drama Indigènes, which seems to be referred to as Days of Glory in some articles (?), won a collective Best Actor prize (one of the recipients was Sami Bouajila the title character in the minor gay hit The Adventures of Felix a few years back.) so we might get to see it here stateside. Although it certainly took The Son, a previous Best Actor winner, a million years to make that same Atlantic jump.

Second place or "Grand Prize" went to Flanders, another brutal Bruno Dumont film (of Humanité fame). "Jury Prize"went to the British film Red Road by Andrea Arnold. You may recall that last year Miranda July tied for the Golden Camera (the prize that goes to a best first-time director) for her loveable Me and You and Everyone We Know. This time the prize went to a thirty-one year old Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu A Fost Sau N-A Fost? also known as 12:08 East of Bucharest. Norway's Bobbie Peers won the best short film prize for Sniffer.

Some films play out of competition or just don't win awards but still win due to the buzz generated. John Cameron Mitchell's long lonnnnng awaited follow up to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus was quite well received. You may recall that that film was titled The Sex Film Project for a long time and the story-filled casting process was chronicled in detail by Salon some years back. The explicit onscreen pansexualilty will undoubtedly cause it trouble with American distribution but we'll get it eventually. Other films that seem to be doing well word-of-mouth wise are the Mexican film El Violin, a Norwegian comedy The Bothersome Man, Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, and Joon-ho Bong's monster movie The Host.

Critical Cat Fighting to Continue
The two most divisive American titles, The Donnie Darko follow up Southland Tales and Sofia Coppola's stylized Marie-Antoinette (with the divisive Kiki Dunst as the titular teen queen) won't reach American theaters until the fall or later. But whenever they do arrive, expect critical battles to ensue. They may have a rival in provoking disparate reactions in the Italian film A Friend of the Family.

tags: Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola, movies, film, Cannes, Marie-Antoinette, Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Gael García Berna, Pedro Almodovar, Volver, Cillian Murphy, Penélope Cruz, Southland Tales

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Succes d'estime

Cannes winners announced. More on this later undoubtedly. Coolest prize sight unseen "Best Actress" going to the cast of Pedro Almodovar's Volver. Go Pedro! (He also won the screenplay prize making Volver the only film emerging as a double prize winner.)

Baby Jolie-Pitt!

Brangelina's girlchild has arrived. Read all about it @ ModFab and popbytes

1942: War Brides, Spinsters, Evil Moms

And now... just what you've *all* been waiting for --And by "all" I mean those individual readers as Oscar-obsessed as I, which is, I'll readily admit, something of a condition --another OSCAR NOMINEE CLIP REEL !!! This one takes us back some sixty-four years (whew). The nominees were:

Gladys Cooper is Bette Davis tyrannical mother in the excellent Now, Voyager, the first of three career nominations. Like her competitor Whitty, she was also a "Dame".
Agnes Moorehead is 'Crazy Aunt Fannie' in The Magnificent Ambersons, her second film with Orson Welles. 'Fannie' brought her the first of four nods (followed by six Emmy noms for "Endora" on Bewitched.)
Susan Peters. She's hot for her uncle (no, really) in Random Harvest. A rising star at 21 but this was her only nomination. She suffered a tragic paralyzing accident three years after this breakthrough.
Dame May Whitty played the town titan 'Lady Beldon' in Mrs. Miniver and received the second of two career nominations.
Teresa Wright also from Miniver playing a headstrong young war bride. This is one of three noms. She was also in the Best Actress shortlist this same year for Pride of the Yankees.

After watching --head on over to Stinky Lulu for the "Supporting Actress Smackdown" Four Oscar enthusiasts (including yours truly) are debating the individual and collective merits of this particular grouping.

Find out which performances we liked best...

tags: Academy Awards, Oscars, movies, film, entertainment

Say What? Enchanted

Say What Sunday I asked you to add dialogue or a caption for this new Amy Adams film, Enchanted

And the winner is... Abhi and Pedro
(i've opted for a tie, both Grey's Anatomy inspired... but as usual i had fun reading all these ideas and i hope y'all keep making me giggle each week. And sister morphine, it really could be an Austin Scarlett original, couldn't it?)

She Wears the Pants

On this day way back in 1923 the Attorney General determined that women could wear trousers at any time. I know it's bizarre to think that that was once illegal (or at least highly objectionable) but there you go. Times change.

I thought Katharine Hepburn would have to usher the day in, being one of the first famous actresses to help normalize the fashion for our nation's women... although I could have just as easily gone with a photo of Marlene Dietrich --another *ahem* cross-dresser of the 30s if you consider women in pants to be gender-bending --which you probably don't but which people clearly did back in the day.

If I had more time, I'd offer you a gallery of glamourous women in pants to celebrate but since time is short feel free to list your hottest film memory of a woman in pants in the comments. Mine would probably have to be ONJ in Grease --there's all those apocryphal stories that they actually sewed her into those hot pants. Whatever they did, it works.

I had chills. It was electrifying.

tags: Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, movies, film, fashion, Grease

Saturday, May 27, 2006

a seriously random collection

Dlisted on Anna Wintour's screening of The Devil Wears Prada
ModFab keeps corralling photographic beauty for you to admire. Check out the latest gallery and vote for the best one. Beautiful stuff.
novaslim on the Desperate Housewives / Alfre Woodard problem.
Oscarwatch on the perplexing (and Oscar-momentum killing) reaction to Over the Hedge
Pheras offers a beautiful 'what if' scenario for the world...
popbytes is kicky and fresh this holiday weekend. Madonna tour review, Gwen's baby boy, and "Faster Kill Brittanycat"
This Is What We Do Now has great blogging tips and is really excited for summer (me too. only not quite this excited)

* some words on linkage: See the sidebar "have a tip? suggestion?" e-mail link? Use it if you spot something you think I should share or have hot movie dish or anything. I can't promise to answer all e-mails but I do read them.

Maybe She Lets Her Eat Cake?

Kirsten Dunst on Sofia Coppola:

"She really gets me as a woman and an actress, and she captures who I am more than anybody else I've worked with."

"When I watch myself in Sofia's movies, it's scarier, because I feel more vulnerable, but it's closer to who I am. It's more than closer to who I am. It is me.'"
I personally don't care what the reviews are like. I am still breathlessly awaiting the Marie-Antoinette film (see old post). The Virgin Suicides is what started my Dunst love so I trust that Sofia knows what to do with Kiki this time, too.

tags: Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola, movies, film, Cannes, Marie-Antoinette

Friday, May 26, 2006

"Both of you... It's wonderful!"

Last night I watched Mrs. Miniver for the first time but I had already read the details in Inside Oscar. That might have been a small mistake. I knew that Greer Garson fell in love with the actor playing her son Richard Ney --a story the tabloids ate up back in 1942. Garson was huge that year. Think Nicole Kidman in 2001 and then amplify it. Not only was she in the highest grossing film of the year (this one) she had a second huge hit too in Random Harvest.

For those who haven't seen this Oscar-showered film, here is a little clip. Greer Garson plays the title character. Her soon to be daughter-in-law Teresa Wright is at the top of the staircase with her (they both won Oscars for this). The happy fella in the scene is the aforementioned loverboy, Richard Ney. The knowledge that he and Garson were having a little affair made this clip unintentionally funny to me.

"I sort of don't know which way to turn..." (hee)

I watched Random Harvest and Mrs. Miniver back to back and am officially (at this moment) head over heels for Greer Garson. Nick had just watched them both as well since we're preparing for StinkyLulu's 'Supporting Actress Smackdown' this Sunday. Nick told me that Garson was lots of fun to watch and it's true. Both of these roles are the type that could be played very Jennifer Connelly-ish, a la mopey and tragically. Instead Greer brings real spark and unexpected humor to very traditionally stuffy roles like "grieving wife" and "war mom." I loved her in both films (though she is not, as the star, the actual subject of this upcoming 'supporting smackdown')

Mrs. Miniver is top notch all the way around, too. It takes some flack for being a "propaganda" film, debuting as it did in the middle of World War II and being filled with valiant and patriotric Londoners during the blitz. And it does in fact end with a clunky "fight for freedom" speech and a title card about purchasing war bonds. Yet within the war framing I found it to be a lovely, funny, and moving family drama. It won me over right at the beginning: Clearly the war is about to start and there will be upheavals aplenty but the filmmaker (the great William Wyler) still wants you to treasure (and not judge) the frivolity of Mrs. Miniver buying a silly hat that she can't really afford. The hat as it turns out is hideous but if you love freedom you'll want Mr & Mrs Miniver to have many more days filled with silly impulse shopping.

Weekend Choices

Going out or staying in? Your new movie/DVD options:

In Theaters: At Least on the Coasts (links go to trailers)
Cavite A thriller set in the Phillipines.
An Inconvenient Truth buzz giant doc w/ Al Gore on global warming.
La Moustache A potential wannasee for fans of last year's TFE top ten'er Kings and Queen since it reunites that film's stars, Emmanuel Devos (FB silver medalist) & Matthieu Almaric.

In Multiplexes
XE: The Last Stand I've probably said enough pre-viewing. Keep scrollllling. There's plenty more here from past postings if you like Marvel's misfit mutants.

New to DVD This Past Week
Oh never mind. Go to the movie theater! It's a holiday weekend.

If you insist on staying home, rent an old movie. TryMrs. Miniver or The Magnificent Ambersons two greats from 1942 which will be discussed on Sunday with myself, Tim, and Nick over @ Stinky Lulu's. plug. plug

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Everything About It Is Appealing (?)

I really cannot believe my ears.
My eyes I trust more. But still...

Homo Eclectic WTF Disco Part 2 - Ethel Puts On a Show"

p.s. a good companion to this insanity is to head on over to Music is My Boyfriend for their Broadway week postings... love it.

Good Vs. Evil: Star Wars Edition

On this day in movie history... way back in 1977 Star Wars or, Episode IV: A New Hope if you will, opened. Though I am now loathe to admit this, I'm all about exhibitonist sharing herein and George Lucas was kinda my idol for awhile in the early 80s. I even read a book about his life. I think it was called Skywalker or something (?). I don't care to look it up now. For the force works in mysterious ways and Mr. Lucas definitely went to the dark side. It turned out autobiographical-like only he was Vader rather than Skywalker.

From the mid 70s until the early 80s George Lucas was a young movie god. He didn't actually direct much but he along with Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg were the bearded young turks who were going to change the movies. They did. But George's impact proved the least film related. Other than the behemoth SW franchise his impact lies in special effects and merchandising: mastering the ways in which you can milk the most out of your fans whilst providing the least actual product which with to do said milking.

Contrary to what younger moviegoers may believe the George Lucas backlash did not begin with The Phantom Menace it begin with the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Up until Princess gold-bikini Leia choked Jabba the Hut (one of the great screen villains if you ask me) everyone was having a ball. Those teddy bears felt like jumped sharks to a lot of folks back then. Not me really. But what did I know?

Like a good portion of the world's population I got more than a little excited and nostalgic when the Phantom Menace trailer arrived. But you have to be careful what you wish for. For Lucas had most definitely become a Sith Lord. When you start giving the world Jar Jar Binks and over-explaining beloved myths and destroying Natalie Portman's ability to act, you are most definitely horned and betailed and at home in the fiery pits of hell.

[Ewok image drawn by Bob McLeod -ed]

tags: Star Wars, George Lucas, movies, film

Link is the New Blog

As Little As Possible X3: The Last Straw?
Cinemarati The Devil Wears Prada trailer review
Defamer CGI Facial Rejuvenation & Faye Dunaway
Dlisted "You Know You Wanna Hit This"
European Films Blog Volver review
GreenCine Daily Marie-Antoinette @ Cannes
Pink is the New Blog Gerri Halliwell's baby girl gets a name much crazier than "Apple"
popbytes gives much love to the Dixie Chicks. I share his sentiment.

To Sir With Love

One of the greatest actors of all time turns sixty-seven years young today! I thought it appropriate to use an old picture to celebrate. Because even at sixty-seven, there's just no stopping him. His most recent movie is number one at the box office as I type this and his next to be released (opening tomorrow) will steal that top spot this weekend giving him the #1 and #2 movies in the world.

What a way to celebrate your birthday, huh?

ModFab calls him a "gay superhero" and who would disagree? May he live another sixty-seven years and continue to make the world a better place with his gargantuan talent, good humor, and brave outspoken humanity. And next time he's up for an Oscar with some hot young thing on his arm at that timid ceremony, AMPAS better give it up for one of the best actors who ever hit the stage or blessed the silver screen.

Happy Birthday. We Love You!

P.S. If you're still scratching your head as to who I'm talking about, you need another cup of coffee. Drink it up and explore his official site, one of the most extensive celeb sites out there. Oh, and he's still to come in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown, too.

Stardust Watch

"...the witch-queen reined in her goat-drawn chariot and stopped and sniffed the chilly air.

The Myriad stars hung cold in the sky above her.

Her red, red lips curved up into a smile of such beauty, such brilliance, such pure and perfect happiness that it would have frozen your blood in your veins to have seen it. "There," she said. "She is coming to me."

And the wind of the mountain pass howled about her triumphantly, as if in answer."

That passage is from about the halfway point of Neil Gaiman's excellent fantasy novel Stardust currently being filmed in Iceland and London. The witch queen is to be played by Michelle Pfeiffer and as with pre-adaptation readings of White Oleander the mind boggles imagining the excellent performance La Pfeiffer will undoubtedly deliver. This witch queen is a very very dark character. Lots of violence inside of her.

In the only paparazzi shots we've seen so far Pfeiffer seems to be clad in a green dress with her usual blond hair. The witch queen of the novel has black hair and wears a lot of scarlet. As Glenn vividly reminded us in his blog-a-thon post, red is definitely her color. If her hair is indeed blond for the entire film, I hope they at least clothe her in the scarlet attire described in the book. If not, I'll have to have words with this woman.

I can't wait to see this as a movie. If, like most big budget productions they're using a 'template' I'm just praying that it's Lord of the Rings rather than Narnia as a template because this is most certainly not appropriate for all ages. It's very much an old school fairy tale: i.e. grim, lots of dark humor, death, blood, and sex.

For trivia buffs: Pfeiffer is not known for working with any actors or directors repeatedly. Stardust reunites her with not just one but two previous co-stars. So it's no longer just Jack Nicholson, Jeff Goldblum, and Al Pacino who've done double duty.

Who are the two actors joining this very exclusive club?

tags: Michelle Pfeiffer, Neil Gaiman, movies, fantasy, Stardust

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cannes: I Got Nothing.

Not that any of you have been asking but I apologize for the lack of updates regarding the Cannes Festival. My mind has been elsewhere and it's always so much info to take in and evaluate.

I will tell you this much though. The film most likely to be reevaluated after the fact? I'm thinking it's Southland Tales, Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko follow up. Nick was just here and we both agreed it's the film most likely to follow that critical reversal journey. We've been hearing nothing but griping and 'it's a failure!' and all of that. But film festivals are like reality tv shows. They follow very typical patterns.

For example. There's almost always a film that everyone seems gaga over that goes home emptyhanded. There's almost always a film that wins an awards that refuses to make even the teensiest impression on anyone outside of the festival. And there's always a film (or two) that survive initial unanimous dissing. They find great critical favor once every realizes that the festival played games with their heads and critical faculties. If you've ever been to a festival (not just Cannes) you'll know what I'm talking about. The air is different. The films bleed into one another. Watching multiple films a day for weeks can work a strange alchemy on the brain's chemicals.

If the initially unlucky but suddenly lucky film isn't Southland Tales there'll be something else everyone seems to hate that we'll all love six months from now.

From Legolas to Maximus

As you may have noticed, the first 75 lucky actors placing on the Top 100 Countdown have been announced. This is the third round of voting for your own "readers ranking" of the actors who've been working it in this new millenium. (previous results can be seen here)

In this installment of voting, you have a choice of 26 men. Who has given you the most cinematic pleasure in the past six years? Pick your favorite from this pre-selected batch and VOTE for them.

The early leaders are badboys Russell Crowe and Sean Penn. Heath Ledger and Javier Bardem are close behind. A little further back are Joaquin Phoenix, Jeff Bridges, Elijah Wood, and the rest. Voting is still young. There's time to make a difference so let your vote be heard. You can also e-mail the poll to spread the word

tags: Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Denzel Washington, Javier Bardem, Hugh Grant, Owen Wilson, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeff Bridges, Liam Neeson, Leonardo DiCaprio, movies, celebrities, actors, lists, Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Lord of the Rings, Paul Rudd, Alessandro Nivola, Russell Crowe, Chris Cooper, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood

Weekly (Mutant) Horoscope

Just 2 days until X3 opens... And you know what this means. A themed horoscope to help you evolve over the next seven days. You don't need a cure, you just need to accept your mutation. For those unfamiliar with the vast array of merry mutant cited, I've provided links for your edification.

Weekly Movie Horoscope
May 24th -May 30th The Homosuperior Edition

Aries (3.21-4.19)
Your mood will probably be scattered --everything from frustration to pleasure to daydreaming. I'm seeing Havok for you this week... Venus is making a move on Monday which should bring you success --maybe you'll finally get out from under a sibling's shadow or your significant other's 'issues'. Don't let that hothead temper create a rogue plasma blast.

Taurus (4.20-5.20)
Your chart wants you changeable. That's not your natural thing, oh bullish one. But try it. Though you're normally more of a Colossus you'd be better off aping his love Kitty Pryde this week. You'll want to play it agile and loose this week --walking through walls sure could come in handy. The word "no" will also remove barriers.

Gemini (5.21-6.20)
New Moon this weekend: If you've been feeling stuck, these next three weeks are the big ones.Take a road less travelled. Look at Storm for a second. Nobody expected her to go through that mohawk/punk phase while she worked through those Dark Phoenix issues. It'll do you good to go similarly wild this week (while still keeping your wits about you)

Cancer (6.21-7.22)
I'm not sure where to begin Cancer. So many things this week. You're taking your mutant identity cue from Gemini: think Multiple Man. That's the best way to work out conflicting impulses this week: feeling shy but wanting to be touched. Arguing with parents or bosses but also wanting their approval. Look for deeper meanings and multi-task.

Leo (7.23-8.22)
Enthusiasm can work like adrenaline and you've got plenty pumping. Think of yourself as Wolverine and then imagine his berserker rage minus the violence and with an emphasis on his camaraderie with his favored teammates, bub. You'll be as powerful and quick as a "fastball special" if you do. But please: decide just how serious you are about your own Jean Grey, whoever he/she may be.

Virgo (8.23-9.22)
Like Professor Xavier you are spending too much time worrying about others. Take this week to restore some balance to that equation. Remember when he had that passionate love affair with Lilandra? Make sure you get similar pleasure. Bird? Alien? Human? Whatever. Decide what you want and go for it. Get up from that wheelchair. Walk!

Libra (9.23-10.22)
It's all about the mental stimulus this week, Libra and what better way to portray both that and the scales than by invoking the ultimate in dark/light telepathic hotties Jean Grey and Emma Frost. They've both had considerable trouble with their own duality, not to mention each other. You'll be steadier provided you stay focused, pay attention to details, and avoid simple mistakes this week.

Scorpio (10.23-11.21)
Remy LeBeau, also known as Gambit is the character to identify with this week. Embrace your dynamic personality. Creativity is a hotspot for you when the New Moon hits. With all that kinetic energy you can muster the possibilities are endless. Direct these energies at your lovelife but be careful what you're asking for. You'll probably get it as the cards fall where they may.

Sagittarius (11.22-12.21)
Even if you feel like you're screaming you have to vocalize your desires. Loudly. Banshee is your man. Remember when he left superheroing to be with Moira McTaggart on Muir Island? I'm not suggesting you make a change as drastic but house of partnership is key right now. If you're not already partnered it's coming. Don't take anything for granted. Anyone can lose their voice.

Capricorn (12.22-1.19)
As with the influential Magneto you've never been one to give under the weight of pressure. Think of yourself as metal. Nothing about you needs to break but use the power to bend yourself further than usual. A major cycle in your life is ending. You know how comic book characters have a million alternate realities and forgotten story threads. Tie everything up quickly.

Aquarius (1.20-2.18)
Northstarwas the first out gay superhero. You're a trailblazer too so embrace your originality. He was also rich, famous, and desired as a sports star (though criticized for using his extra powers to win). Abundance is headed your way too provided you do the same. Use your natural gifts without guilt. This weekend's new moon in your House of Romance: keep it playful and quick.

Pisces (2.19-3.20)
Like Rogue there may be obvious obstacles to bliss in your personal and romantic lives. But you can touch people so don't feel too sorry for yourself. Push yourself extra hard this week. You have greater power than you think. A major cycle may be ending but try to rework a current situation with a lighter spirit and rewards are bound to come, sugar.

tags: movies, XMen, Comic Books, X-Men, Marvel, film, celebrities, horoscope, zodiac