Friday, February 27, 2009

Now Playing: Slumdog Crosses Over and the Jonas Bros Do Whatever It is That They Do

In case you've been tied up with Oscar mania and are ready to go back to the actual movies, there are new ones. Whether or not it's safe to go back (yeah, that time of year) is another issue entirely. Links go to trailers.

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The Reader
nd Slumdog Millionaire are taking their highly publicized Oscar wins to their highest screen counts yet and asking for the public's stamp of approval. Kate Winslet is a Time cover girl and Slumdog is on the cover of EW. How much more money does Slumdog have in it? It recentl cracked 100 million.

This isn't really about the theater counts but I'd love your opinion on what's going on with Entertainment Weekly these days? If you ask me they're phoning it in now that they have almost zero real competition. They skipped both pre-show Oscar covers this year which is, I guess, neither here nor th
ere in a lackadaisical gold man year, but their lists (usually a highlight) are getting lazy. That "best directors" list (which I didn't even post) was several dozen kinds of embarrassing -- hardly worth the discussion it garnered and which it only garnered because they have no real competition at this sort of thing. A recent list of final movie appearances they're pushing, 'inspired by Heath Ledger', is also annoying. The Dark Knight is not Ledger's last film. The EW staff is too smart not to know this and they don't really claim it is... so one assume they're just planning to regurgitate this list again when The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus comes out (see previous post). I'm considering cancelling my subscription. I prefer more human movie coverage anyway. Not some corporate mandate for content content content ... even when it trumps common sense. Or am I just grumpy?

Crossing Over Wayne Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared) directs Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Jim Sturgess and Ashley Judd in this drama about cultures clashing, shady border business and illegal immigrants. Why is it being dumped into theaters? It has big stars and the kind of sledgehammer topic that turns Oscar voters on (see also: Crash, Traffic)
Echelon Conspiracy Greg Marks directs this thriller that sounds a bit like Eagle Eye in the mysterious threatening cell phone communications department. Shane West plays Shia Labeouf (joke. no need to correct me in the comments). With Ed Burns, Ving Rhames and Jonathan Pryce.
Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead A documentary about a capital punishment activist.
The Trouble With Romance an ensemble indie romantic comedy that restricts itself to one floor of a hotel for its action. I've always wondered why more indies didn't build tight stage-friendly locations right into their concept. Saves on budget. With Jordan Belfi, Kip Pardue, David Eigenberg and Sheetal Sheth among many others.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li "Based on the Video Game" is such a great selling point right? I'm confident that one day someone will make a great movie based on a video game. I mean, we didn't see Pirates of the Caribbean coming, did we? If a theme park attraction can become a super fun movie (the first one only I hasten to specify), why can't a video game? Not that it will be this one. Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) stars as Chun Li. Apparently she's half Chinese. I did not know...
Jonas Bros a 3D concert movie. Obviously we've moved into another boy band phase in pop culture (sigh). I hope they save their money. Eventually they will be searching for reality TV gigs like N'Sync is now (Justin Timberlake excluded).


Anonymous said...

That EW cover makes me want to barf. I can't believe it, it's like they're squeezing every ounce of attention from this as possible. It looks like some shameless tabloid mag cover in the vein of a celebrity birth or marriage. Yuck!


like the octoplet mom! only Dev & Freida popped out 8 shiny 13 1/2 inch gold men.

Anonymous said...

There's a well-known theory that the worst economic times make for the best (and least corporate) artistic times. But I'm distressed this recession can't kill the Jonas Brothers. Can't even slow them down.

E Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E Dot said...

HAHA, love that comment Nathaniel. Can you put yourself on the featured quote sidebar?

Anyway, I completely agree with EW's shameless antics. Even last year, they deigned to grab Diablo Cody as an EW columnist when she has no qualifications to write an actual column. Yes, I like(d) her, but they only hired her because she was on the highly publicized bandwagon. If anything, it makes me less of a fan...

P.S. I cancelled my subscription months ago.

Anonymous said...

I think the recession is to blame. EW staff would like to keep their jobs i'm sure and that means broadening their appeal to more general readers in order to make money. How else do you explain that twatlight cover during what should have been the Oscar edition?

Glendon said...

PLEASE do not group Crash with Traffic beyond the similarity of their names.

Anonymous said...

Also, Wayne Kramer's first two films did enough to convince me that it is a good thing that a limited audience is exposed to his latest.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I see nothing wrong with the EW cover. Whether u love or hate the film it won 8 oscars on Sunday. If that doesn't deserve a cover, I don't know what does.

Anonymous said...

I think Nathaniel's point still stands. I don't subscribe to EW, but I used to be an inveterate magazine buyer so I'd spend about the same a year on EW as an actual subscription. Then I narrowed it down to the "big issues." Then just the year end issue. Now I don't even do that.

But I love Slumdog enough that I'm tempted to buy that one.

changetheworld360 said...

Lol about the octopulet mom. ;)
Another thing about EW: Is it just me, or have they switched to more graphics and less actual content? Every week, I open up to a page, and I see some dumbass chart taking up half the page, where there could have been an interesting article instead. As an amateur journalist, I understand the need for a publication to showcase a more appealing layout, but it takes away from the level of information provided. I'd rather have the info.

Robert said...

Eh I'd say nix the subscription. EW can't find a way to cover the art & entertainment of film intelligently.

If only they could find the right mix, like this place can.

Don't mean to sound like I'm kissing ass... but it's true.

Neel Mehta said...

Love the presence of some brown on the EW cover -- it's about damn time -- but I'll admit it's a little weird that it came at the expense of that pretty good photo of Sean, Kate, and Penelope.

Cancel (or at least don't renew) your subscription. EW is no longer readable, and its website offers lame, random lists in the form of photo gallery slideshows.

Esther said...

Yeah, I agree about EW. I used to have a subscription but there's just so little in it anymore that I dropped it. It seemed like there was less writing, more pictures. Just less substance. I'll still occasionally buy a movie or tv preview issue or the end of the year issue. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I get Nat's points about EW, but john's comment bemoaning the fact that the Best Picture is highlighted in the cover of an entertainment magazine makes me want to barf.


here's some TUMS for everyone. Share.

Anonymous said...

I think we're going to see Slumdog milked for at least another month or so from major theaters.

I know a couple people who work at the local theater in my small town and they weren't even going to bring Slumdog in until it got the nominations, then they brought it in for a "couple weeks" the same week that Taken got it's wide release, and it's still here and I don't think it's going anywhere for a few weeks.

And then we wait for the DVD release in a few months to start the whole advertising bonanza up again.

Anonymous said...

why all this hate for slumdog? it did WIN 8 oscars this year...y dont u go out n watch the movie?
im not trying to be offensive, yes ew is not a good mag at all now...but dont hate them cuz they happen to put two new young actors on their cover!
n pls i'd rather read about these 2 then the other octoplet mom
n honestly. go c the movie. its amazing.