Friday, June 22, 2007

Now Playing (06/22/07)


Black Sheep Horror comedy
Broken English It's hard to trust pre-release PR hype but word has it that Parker Posey delivers with a "startling and mature performance" (not sure if that's Coming Soon's own words or a PR summary) although anyone who doubts Posey's ability to render complete characterizations instead of just seizing big laughs musta missed Personal Velocity. This indie also stars Gena Rowlands, Melvil Poupaud, and Drea DeMatteo.
Klimt John Malkovich plays the artist in this biopic

White Palms This gymnastics drama (pictured right) was Hungary's entry in last year's Oscar race for Best Foreign Film
NY is getting Michael Moore's latest a week early. Can't wait to see it but I don't have health insurance right now so I know it's going to upset me. And I also really wonder about the people attacking Michael Moore left and right. You mean you don't want people to talk about how f***ed up America's healthcare is? Yes, let's bury our head in the sand on account of our petty vendetta's against a loudmouth. Smart move, talking heads, smart move.
You Kill Me is a comedy from John Dahl (Joy Ride, Red Rock West) about a hitman (Ben Kingsley) trying to quit drinking. I wonder when Gandhi will go back to playing good guys? And I wonder why the hit man is such an enduring character for movies -- certainly one of the most glamourized or ubiquitous screen professions. Weird, right?


1408 John Cusack enters a haunted room dreamed up by Stephen King, famously talented horror novelist yet inexplicably awful Entertainment Weekly columnist. But if you're looking for psychological horror why haven't you seen Bug yet? Go before it leaves the cinemas.
Evan Almighty Steve Carell collects two of every beast and builds an ark. I think the trailer is quite possibly the worst I've seen in years, utterly killing any previous desire I had to see it. And yes I once had said desire. I'm not sure what's wrong with me either, don't ask.
A Mighty Heart Angelina Jolie's Oscar bid. She plays the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Best Actress Updates coming real soon people. Patience.


J.D. said...

Hopefully I'm seeing A Mighty Heart, and I must say I'm surprised how wide it actually is; I expected it to start small and snowball. It may be Angelina, but it's also Paramount Vantage. They did this with Babel and that didn't pass $23 million.

And what? Unless you're in NY or LA, Bug left weeks ago! I mean, really!

Jason Adams said...

I checked on Bug last weekened, I hadn't gotten the chance before to see it, and it was only playing at one 10pm showing at one theater here in NYC. So I think I'm screwed and will have to wait for DVD. Which sucks, I really did wanna see it.

But I agree with you totally on Evan Almighty, Nat. I too might've seen it - Steve Carell! - but that trailer was just HORRID. Like, so bad it's basically killed the goodwill Carrell had from 40 year Old Virgin, which was a stock that should've lasted him awhile. But no, no, noooooooooo way am I gonna see that flick with that scrapes-my-brain-out trailer. Ugh, awful.

Boyd said...

Two other foreign films are opening in NY: Valeska Grisebach's amazing Sehnsucht (Longing) and the acclaimed (though liked rather than loved by me) French adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, simply called Lady Chatterley. An noble Englishwoman never spoke French so eloquently.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I don't understand your desire to shelter Michael Moore from any and all critisicm. Why, exactly, should we place the entirety of our hopes for enlightened discourse on the shoulders of a guy who just makes shit up? Can't we do better than him?

Anonymous said...

If I'm in the mood for something really, really bad, I'll go see "Evan Almighty" this weekend. I am obsessed with Steve Carrell...and even though the trailer is indeed, one of the worst ever, and the sneak previews I've seen on television make the trailer look golden, I still have this disgusting urge to support my dear Steve. Apparently, the studio was heavily marketing this film to church groups - which only makes me roll my eyes more.

I'll go see "Sicko" at some point during the next week, but not this weekend. I figure that the AMC Lincoln Center will be mobbed since it's the only screen the film is showing I'll wait until mid-week or next weekend. I'm definitely not a MM fan, but I'm kinda interested to see what he does in this film.


john p

if michael moore is not the best we can do , how come there aren't other famous documentarians making a huge stink about how shitty things have gotten ?

(i'm talking high profile here --i realize there are many other documentarians working)

why do we always have to go through this. people would rather take potshots at an easy target filmmaker than discuss the issues that actually affect them.

newsflash to the haters: MICHAEL MOORE means nothing to your life. But sucky healthcare systems do.

the people who went over fahrenheit 9/11 with a fine tooth comb. Seriously WHAT is the impetus behind this? Is it because they agree with george bush's idiocy? or is it because they're too freaking scared to think about what's happening in the world.

and trying to dismantle sicko is even worse and more confusing. Do people like this healthcare situation we got here? Is it really ok the way it is. Who agrees with that? I've never met anyone --republican or democrat who thinks its swell as is --shouldn't we talk about it rather than trying to demean him?

why do we have to go through this every time ...

Unknown said...

I'm looking forward to those Best Actress updates. I saw La Vie en Rose last weekend and was blown away by Marion Cotillard. Reminded me of Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues. I wish I had her on my BA list.


i haven't seen the movie yet so i'll shut up now ;)

adam k. said...

Marion's on MY best actress list ; )

So is Angelina. So I'm feelin' pretty good right about now. But I was an idiot and left off Julie Christie. So that sucks.


well it will be a real shocker if all three january to june contenders make it.

there's a LOT of women still to come.

adam k. said...

Hm, that's true, usually only one from this time period makes it. But there isn't usually...

a legend
a megastar
and a very baity real person musical role

Though is it just me, or did Julie Christie not make as big of a splash as was planned? Maybe just cause it's not awards season yet, but Away From Her just seemed to come and go without a whole lot of fuss.

Anonymous said...

Yep, "Bug" opened on 1,661 screens and closed on all but 93 of them three weeks later. And Ashley Judd is in my Oscar Five. I will not be bitter, I will not be bitter...

Still, I am not sure that those who, like Adam K. and Sam, have one or more of the top five on their lists should get too very excited about their chances in June. I still stand by what I said back in March/April - I would be surprised to see more than two of the consensus top five be there at the end, and would not be surprised at all to see none. There is way too much race left to be getting all warm and fuzzy now. Of course, Nathaniel's Best Actress contest is a lot like other long-timeline competitions - you cannot win it early, but you sure can lose it early.

I will not be bitter, I will not be bitter...

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping it is Christie that makes the cut from the Jan-June contenders (one of which almost always makes it).

Cotillard wasn't all that (lip-synching, gimmicky mimicry as opposed to real acting); haven't seen Jolie yet - but she won an Oscar when she really shouldn't have, so that won't help her plight for me. Oh and Christie was just pure magnificence. I'd be surprised if one, let alone two performances best her this year.

Talk about shooting myself in the foot with the contest - picked Cotillard over Christie - but I still don't care. I'd rather have deserving nominees!

Anonymous said...

Whether you agree with Michael Moore or not, I think everyone has to admit that he knows how to make an entertaining film. I happen to agree with him so it's even better.

And I'm scared for Steve Carell b/c Evan Almighty is gonna flop....HARD.

c.p. iñor said...

I don't think I'll do well on my best actress predictions...

And none of those films will get here soon enough to see them...

ps. it's Meryl's bday!

Anonymous said...

Angelina Jolie is spectacular in this film. The early hype isn't exaggerated, and she's worth an Oscar nomination.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big Angelina fan ( I don't hate her or anything, she just doesn't interest me) I'll rent it.

The ONLY actress, as of now ,I want to see nominated is Keri Russell.

Anonymous said...

Nat - you hit it on the head when you said 'famous'. There are plenty of documentarians who are capable of making cogent arguments without resorting to the chicanery that Moore does, but it apparently doesn't pay well to approach things that way.

I say this as a casual fan of Moore. I loved Roger and Me. I just wish he realized that his targets are so ripe for dissection on their own that manufacturing and distorting facts isn't really necessary. I'm interested to see Sicko - I'm a product of the Canadian health system and it still bewilders me that the idea of public medicine is still anathema to so many.

I'm not interested in raking Michael Moore over the coals - I just think that, as the most popular documentarian ever, he could stand to get a head check from his supporters now and again. He's in a unique position right now to use his rhetorical gifts to ask some serious questions and not just pander to the people who already agree with him. My two cents.

Glenn Dunks said...

John P, what should Michael Moore be making documentaries about? If all he's doing with Sicko is pandering to his lefty fanbase then what should he be tackling in his next film? As Nat said the health care debate in the US isn't about who's republican and who's democrat, it's about who's rich and who's not. It's a matter of basic principal. I can't believe that regular people like Nat don't have health insurance. I have health insurance (bloody fortune too, but I can deal).

Also, I wonder if Thandie Newton will be seeing A Mighty Heart this w/e? teehee ;)

Anonymous said...


I'm not disagreeing in any way with Moore's choice of subject matter - health care and the lack thereof is something that should be thoroughly explored - but it's his methods that leave me just a little apprehensive about seeing Sicko. I think that's an important distinction.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion on Michael Moore. Like many, I'm rather dispirited that Moore became the defacto spokesperson for the left in the USA (though recently one wonders if he's been usurped by the tandem of Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert). Yes, he discusses important subjects - whether the nature of gun violence or American Healthcare, but I'd argue his tactics do just as much to demean his subject matter/himself as any right wing commentator. I actually enjoy his muckraking style - highlighted in the brilliant documentary The Corporation (which everyone needs to see), but sometimes it smacks of intellectual dishonesty. If we dislike it in Fox News, why should we accept it in Michael Moore? Because we like him? How is that not an unfair double standard?

That said, very few people understand PR better than Moore.

re: Christie and Away From Her

I don't know. The film was a strong critical success (for Christie and Pinsent, along with Polley). It's a film that'll play terrifically on the small screen (all important for that screener campaign). Because it stars Julie-frickin'-Christie, I think it'll be one of those screeners that voters will try to watch, and because it deals with issues strongly related to age, I think it'll appeal very welll to older voters. I'd be very surprised if Christie doesn't get nominated.


john p --it IS an important distinction. I guess my strong reaction is just something i've had trouble with personally when dealing with politics for the past however many years.

it seems to me that the right wing coalesces lots of power because they all march together and ignore truths and nuances of thoughts and whatever. When you have massive armies only supporting you, unquestioning, you can get a lot of work done.

unfortunately the work that's been done has been totally detrimental

on the other hand, the left wing has the tendency to argue about everything...and pick each other apart. It's healthier in that nobody expects everyone to salute and fall in line (freedom of thought, diversity and all) but it also prevents the left from becoming a political force. They're too busy disagreeing

it's tricky. The left's values are essentially closer in spirit to what americans believe --but the vast majority of americans don't believe that because the right wingers are SO much better at getting their message across, amassing power because they don't trouble themselves with nuance, balance, or diversity.

it's maddening really.

my 4 cents.

J.D. said...

I respect Moore for his films, but he is a huge a--hole. Anyone who's arrogant enough for the film he was almost certainly going to win another Oscar for, take it out of the Documentary submissions and FYC it for Best Picture most likely is.

But for Sicko, if FOX News can rave it, it's a little concerning, but only in the obvious. That could very well mean that the film is (for once) a Moore doc that is so beyond party polarization that it speaks to all of America, and America wants healthcare. I don't see why anyone wouldn't want it.

Dog Ear said...

I actually wound up seeing YOU KILL ME in NYC this weekend.

Even though you were busy on Monday, I should have tried to call you while I was in town. I would up in Manhattan a lot longer than I thought I would.

I actually want to see the counter-points to SICKO. I want to hear some horror stories from the countries with socialized medicine.

-----The Other Nat-----