Monday, December 06, 2010

Links. Episode #∞

Noupe interesting overview of current movie poster design trends.
Black Book interviews the lovely Farran of 'Self Styled Siren' on classic movie blogging.
Go Fug Yourself "Unfug or Fab" catches up with Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban-Kidman.
Cinema Blend Emma Stone gone blonde for Spider-Man's "Gwen Stacy".
Back Stage Blog Stage Rob Reiner wants to make the stage musical Next to Normal into a movie. He wants this badly.
Low Resolution makes a case for an undersung Twilight player Jackson Rathbone. Wait, what? "It's seriously that shallow of a post. I can't defend it." Hee.
Pussy Goes Grrr looks back at Pedro Almodóvar's Matador and King Vidor's Duel in the Sun.

Oscar buzz Cinema Blend Winter's Bone collected two more trophies at the Torino Fest. It's all about the little wins.
New York Mag Speaking of that Ozarks drama. It tops David Edelstein's top ten for the year though he gives over 36% of the list to documentaries. You know, I liked Winter's Bone a lot (bullseye B+) but I admit that I don't quite get how it's winning "#1s" in so many places. Was no one else bothered, for example, by how pristine white that banjo is at the end? It's as if it had just been picked up from the store brand new at top price. Nitpickers unite!

The Hollywood Reporter 5 films nominated for Best Movie at the Annies (for animation): Tangled, The Illusionist, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon. Of course two of them will have to go at the Oscars since there'll be only 3 nominees (my predictions). You may remember that Disney and Pixar dropped their support of the Annie awards this summer over disagreements on the way films were honored and the makeup of the nominating body which is said to be highly populated by Dreamworks employees.

 Disney/Pixar got their Annie nominations in the top categories, but not elsewhere. For instance, the "Best Character Animation" category is entirely Dreamworks and "Animated Effects" is 80% Dreamworks. I worry that the Dreamworks-bias of the Annies will end up reflecting badly on any potential wins How to Train Your Dragon receives which is a real shame as it's such a worthy feature.

Parabasis looks back on Season 1 Buffy, and the balance between stand-alone vs. serial stories.
blastr Frank Darabont fires the writing staff of The Walking Dead. Weird way to celebrate the first season of a huge hit, right? (Not that I think it's very well written what with the paucity of interesting characters.)

Have you seen this making of preview of HBO's Game of Thrones? As stated before, I think it's an ideal property for television as it's so sprawling in scope, longform in plotting and character development and ensemble driven in every way. But I still worry about the sets, costumes and the budget.

I have a real problem with wigs in fantasy movies. Must get over that. They distract me. It's the Storm in X-Men problem. I'm supposed to be seeing hair and I see wig. Gemma Jackson is the production designer (Oscar nominated for Finding Neverland). The costume designer is Michele Clapton who hasn't done anything on this scale previously though she's worked on recent UK television events like The Diary of Anne Frank and The Devil's Whore.

Swan dive? Finally, there seems to be a small but growing contingent of people who are not as impressed with Black Swan as the rest. Will they be burned at the stake in our internet film culture which doesn't value actual discussion so much as the dogpiling of raves and pans as if there is only ever one opinion worth having on any movie? Here are three thoughtful non-rave reviews worth discussing from Bryant Frazer, Nick Davis, Kenneth Turan and Timothy Brayton all of which fall into the "It has it's moments but..." category.

If you'd like more "!!!" instead, since most seem to be feeling that way, try the recent raves from His Eyes Were Watching Movies and Serious Film.


SVG said...

I watched the Game of Thrones thing and I was disappointed with the production design too. I thought it would have a more distinctive look-- at the moment it looks like the bog-standard fantasy medieval hotch-potch.

Anonymous said...

Blonde Emma Stone = Jaime Pressly
just saying...

Anonymous said...

The Next to Normal Film scares me. I don't know of a film actress working (or at least one that would bring in an audience) that could handle the vocals AND acting TOGETHER for Diana.

Right now I'm thinking Uma Thurman... but she could barely handle the music in The Producers.

NicksFlickPicks said...

According to Emma Stone, she, like Amy Adams, is a natural blond who dyes her hair red.

I'm getting curious to see Black Swan again since writing that review almost two months ago. I'm expecting my reaction will basically be the same, but I always wind up re-watching Aronofsky movies at least two more times. Give him credit for making his compulsions contagious.

Andrew R. said...

I stopped caring about the Annies when they gave Best Film to Kung Fu Panda over WALL-E.

As for Black Swan's iffy reviews, I thought Frazer's review was good even though I haven't seen the movie and it's very dependent on you having seen it, you posted Nick's review a very long time ago and I still think it's pretentious (and I like most of his other reviews, even when I disagree with him), Turan's review was dull but valid, and Brayton's review wasn't really negative.

I'll probably fall into the rave crowd.

Yen said...

Rob Reiner? They're just asking for that adaptation to fail and flop. Damn.


Nick -- i saw it again on screener and it really loses something outside of the theater environment . In other words it's definitely a "crowd" movie, though lots of people seem to think it's highbrow --i'd totally disagree on that. Just because ballet is the environment, that doesn't mean it's highbrow :)

Robert said...

Thanks for the link! Even though I loved Black Swan I quite enjoy reading the negative reviews...they're really interesting and make a lot of good arguments. I saw it with a great crowd though, I wonder how my reaction would change a second time?

Orion said...

Why doesn't "Black Swan" play well on DVD? Wouldn't that hurt Natalie Portman's best actress chances since most Academy voters see these films on DVD screeners instead of in theaters?

Kevin said...

Nathaniel--I keep getting the feeling you don't really like Black Swan that much despite your A- review. Is it because you were so psyched for it that it didn't really live up to your expectations? Because I was excited for it too (a little too much, probably), but it still managed to blow my expectations out of the water.

Andreas said...

Thanks a lot for the link!

I think I might need to rewatch Winter's Bone, because the first time I was so overwhelmed by the tension, the foreboding mood, and John Hawkes' incredible awesomeness; maybe on my next viewing I'll catch the banjo and other little details.

Is it just me, or is 2010 a depressingly weaker year for animation than 2009 was? Granted, I haven't seen most of the potential nominees yet, but we had Coraline, Ponyo, Sita Sings the Blues, Up, etc., etc. - hopefully some of these will measure up!

Volvagia said...

Next to Normal scares me too, and not because no actress (Depp did a great job as Sweeney and he WAS NOT TRAINED) can handle the part. Can Rob Reiner really go this dark? ROB "STAND BY ME" REINER? I'd buy Cronenberg, I'd buy Raimi, I'd buy Ang Lee, but based on what he's done well (Stand By Me, This is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally), I can't see him succeeding here.

Anonymous said...

Even with blonde hair, I look at Emma Stone and still see Mary Jane Watson. I dunno...I guess only time will tell.

adri said...

Oooo - Nickolaj Coster-Waldau is in "Game of Thrones", one of the most attractive actors currently around. He plays Jaime, who is an unsympathetic character (as I recall, although things can rapidly switch around in this story). I loved his short-lived TV series, "New Amsterdam".

I thought this review by Apollinaire Scherr in the Financial Times was interesting because it looked at the movie from a dancer's point of view. He makes the point that the Black Swan is actually the easy part, it's all flashy technique and surface. He says the White Swan is way harder because she does have an inner life, which you have to show while still performing a part of extreme technical difficulty.

"If Nina can do the white swan she can do anything, because the Swan Queen has an inner life". Apollinaire Scherr,


volvagia -- i'd disagree that Depp did right by Sweeney. it's one of the best roles in the musical theater canon and he just had nothing on Cerveris who played the role recently on Broadway. If you can't sing the role properly, you can't act it to the degree it should be acted.

kevin -- i do like black swan but it's still fresh... i'm still making up my mind.

orion -- i just think it's a "crowd" movie. Nothing wrong with that!

mrripley said...

hey it's better than having no moments at all like winter's bone apart fom john hawkes bits and dale dickey's face!


Lexie said...

Loved "Winter's Bone." Hope it gets into best picture at the Oscars. Nods for Jennifer Lawrence, Dale Dickey, and especially John Hawkes would be lovely.

And Emma Stone as a blonde! So purdy.

Volvagia said...

Well...Depp did take influence from Iggy Pop. Yeah, that's right, a punk rocker. A guy who holds vocal notes for, what, three seconds max? Depp's best song: Epihany, the one song where all the vocal notes are under three seconds. He knocks that one out of the park. Otherwise? The vocal part of the performance is good, not great. It's on the shoulders of Epiphany alone that I would include him on my ballot.