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Showing posts from April, 2012

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

One hand. That's all it takes for me to count how many Westerns of prominence have come out in the past decade: Open Range, 3:10 to Yuma, The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and True Grit. This seems like a great shame considering how illustrious the state of the Western was not even forty years ago.

There are no actors like John Wayne anymore, instantly recognizable in spurs and a ten-gallon hat. The heyday of the Western was somewhere around the 1940s, when John Wayne was recognized by virtually the world. Children played Cowboys and Indians and nearly all arguments or conflicts of the ill-tempered were decided by the draw of a gun. The storylines and action were so popular that the appeal of the genre went overseas to Italy. Spaghetti Westerns became a staple of the genre with American stars like Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda. The peak of this movement came with the Man with No Name Trilogy directed by Sergio Leone, just one of many re…

Watch 12 Minutes of 'Sound of My Voice'

Fox Searchlight has put up the opening twelve minutes of the critically-acclaimed Sound of My Voice online for all viewers to see. The film is still in limited release, but for those of you who want an earlier look at the film this will have to do.

In Sound of My Voice, Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), a couple and documentary filmmaking team, infiltrate a mysterious group led by an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling). Intent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the followers from her grip, Peter and Lorna start to question their objective and each other and they unravel the secrets of Maggie's underworld.

'This Is Forty' Trailer Promises More of Everything You Loved in 'Knocked Up'

Paul Rudd's daily life becomes fodder for Judd Apatow's sort-of-sequel to Knocked Up: work-out, get involved with his children's schooling, picking fights with Melissa McCarthy, making Leslie Mann look at his nethers, etc.

'Django Unchained' Reveals First Look at DiCaprio and Foxx

The wait is over. The first stills of Django Unchained were released today with the three main characters on full display. Above are Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) walking around what used to be the set for Deadwood. Foxx self-describes Django as “Richard Roundtree meets Clint Eastwood.”

Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie: a mentally-unbalanced plantation owner, who enjoys creating sparring matches between his toughest slaves. If you were wondering whether DiCaprio would play it safe with this role, the hammer wielding and fondness for gladiatorial combat should answer that.

Thus far, it looks like Tarantino has nailed the aesthetic of the film and its inhabitants. Waltz and Foxx fit in with ease in the backdrop as bounty hunters on the road to freeing Django's wife. Speaking of which, if you had told me yesterday that Leonardo DiCaprio would look this comfortable as a crazed slave-owner, I wouldn't have believed you. No one has admired hardware in…

Enthralling 'Lawless' Trailer

Tense. Riveting. Bold. Everything that you want from a Nick Cave-scripted film about bootlegging in the South. "Do you know what a Thompson Sub-Machine gun does to a mortal?" may be the best line that I've heard in a long, long time. This summer is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory.

'New Year's Eve' Giveaway

Warner Bros. wants to remind you that April is a great time of year to re-kindle the resolutions that may have been set aside during the new year. As added incentive Warner Bros. will be giving away a Blu-ray to celebrate the film's release on May 1st. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the post to be entered into the raffle.

I Admire Your Luck, Mr. Bond

James Bond has always been a gambler of sorts, he loves to push himself beyond any normal means of rationality, he takes chances, and usually finds himself in the black. An addictive personality, Bond allows himself to experience the pleasures of the world: women, fine alcohol, cars, guns, and gadgets. Yet some of 007's most exciting moments have come at the card table.

In The World Is Not Enough Bond indulges in a little blackjack in order to get information about the murderous Renard from Valentin Zukovsky. The scene is brief, but it is a staple of the Bond franchise: gambling scenes happen at the start of the films in order to introduce characters. When 007 takes part in a game, he usually loses during the first hand, but makes a spectacular comeback in the second bet to embarrass potential antagonists. Along with The World Is Not Enough, there were Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, Goldeneye,Diamonds Are Forever, Octopussy, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and perhaps…

Johnny Depp Hints Lone Ranger Is Tonto's Bitch

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnny Depp revealed a few keen insights on his upcoming character in Disney's The Lone Ranger. While discussing the aesthetic properties of his vision of Tonto he elaborated that he will not be portraying a stereotype:
The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to [mess] around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least — especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger’s assistant. As you’ll see, it’s most definitely not that.

How Depp plans on emasculating Armie Hammer's Ranger is beyond me, but I look forward to the passive-aggressive mind games next May.

'The Dark Knight Rises' Has Over One Hour of IMAX Footage

Emma Thomas, producer of The Dark Knight Rises and wife to Christopher Nolan spoke with The Wall Street Journal recently about the length of IMAX footage used for TDKR:

“There was a huge irony that we were told it would be too difficult to shoot a Hollywood movie on IMAX when we had this gigantic camera department, grips, electric, hundreds of people working for us,” says the director, whose agreement to direct “The Dark Knight” was contingent on Warner Bros. allowing him to shoot the film in IMAX. “These were cameras that had been to the top of Mount Everest, to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, but people thought we couldn't make a feature film. It was absurd.”

Nearly every film this summer is going to be in 3D, but only TDKR is pushing for this kind of special experience in movie theatres. Now, cue the people who are outraged that the film is not entirely in IMAX.

(Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal)

Review: 'Cabin' Only Seems Like All the Familiar Places

You think you know the story, you think you know the players, you think you know the outcome. What makes Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's Cabin in the Woods unique is that we don't know anything.

Dana, Curt, Marty, Jules and Holden are all heading to Curt's cabin for the weekend. All the players are to be expected: the good girl, the jock, the pothead, the popular girl, and the bookworm. On the way there they run into a creepy gas station owner, get spooked, and continue on anyway until they eventually reach their destination. Once there, the cabin in question seems like it was last inhabited during the Roosevelt administration and the paintings that adorn the rustic lodge are something that Charles Manson would find cozy. Wait, that is a little odd isn't it? Nearly all of these stories are identical in nature. That can't be coincidence can it?

And the audience finds out it isn't from the onset of the film. Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitfor…

Bond Celebrates 50 in Style

If you are in the San Francisco area from April 20th to the 22nd, be sure to stop by the Castro Theatre and watch some of 007's best films.
Friday April 20:Dr. No, 2 and 7 p.m. withOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 4:10 and 9:05 p.m.Saturday April 21:From Russia With Love, 2:30 and 9:30 p.m.,Diamonds are Forever, 4:45 p.m.,The Spy Who Loved Me, 7:05 p.m.Sunday April 22:Thunderball, 1 and 8:15 p.m.,Live and Let Die, 3:30 p.m.,

'Magic Mike': The Movie You Never Knew You Wanted

Channing Tatum has very quickly become one of the more accepted actors of his generation. Movies like G.I. Joe and Dear John never made him much in my mind, but his turns in 21 Jump Street and Haywire have made him more endearing. I look forward to what Steven Soderbergh will do with this material (based upon Tatum's own exploits as a male dancer).

Last 'Amazing Spider-man' Poster

No frills, no unnecessary CGI, just Spidey.

(Courtesy: Yahoo Movies)

Silent Women and The Plastic Age

In January 2012 Frederica Sagor-Maas died.  You might not remember or even know her name, yet she was a screenwriter, playwright and author who surpassed all of her contemporaries to live to the ripe old age of 112. 

Sagor-Maas was the daughter of Russian immigrants to America.  She rose to prominence during the early 1920s when she left her position at Universal Pictures to go to Hollywood where she took on the challenge of adapting a novel called “The Plastic Age” by Percy Marks.  This adaptation was turned into a hugely successful film starring the darling of the cinema at the time - Clara Bow. 
The Plastic Age 
“The Plastic Age” was a notable film for many reasons.  First, it was adapted by a woman.  Second, the main thrust of the film was celebrating the age of flapperdom.  A decade of free living, drinking, dancing, new fashions, hairstyles and so on.  The 1920s were the first real decade of freedom for women in all walks of life, and thus the cinema had to reflect this notion.


My Favorite Year: 2007

A borderline homicidal gunman, a cantankerous oil tycoon, a disgraced attorney who took out the trash for wealthy clients and three points of the spectrum of character gunning it out for millions of dollars. These are not the characters you expect to see celebrated during the galas of award season, yet there we were, taking it all in.

At the end of the day, 2007 could very well compare with years like 1939 (Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Wizard of Oz, etc.), or 1948 (Hamlet, The Red Shoes, Treasure of the Sierra Madre). It is damn near the best year any era. We had Paul Thomas Anderson's magnum opus in There Will Be Blood,  the examination of celebrity and idolatry told withing the legend of Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James, the Coen Bros. look at the failure of good men in a world that needs them most in No Country for Old Men, Tony Gilroy's treatise of frailty in a corporate-driven world and David Fincher's taut portrayal of obsession in its many forms in

Spider-man Reboot Will Further Push Off the Inevitable

It appears that Marc Webb's reboot of Spider-man will take a little longer than expected to set up Peter Parker's backstory—like 2 to 3 films. In an interview with MTV Webb commented:

“I wanted to give the audience something new, so that started off with getting underneath the parents’ story, which will unfold over probably a few movies,” Webb told MTV News during a recent interview. “We don’t totally wrap up that story in this first movie. It’s sort of an ongoing mystery. That was something that was interesting to me.”
Looks like we'll be wearing the rose-colored 3D shades a little bit longer.

(Courtesy: MTV)

'Looper' Poster Debuts

Sony released the first poster for Looper today, exclusively to /Film. I had questions about whether or not they would be able to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt look similar to Bruce Willis, but it appears that Rian Johnson and Co. have done it. The teaser trailer hits the web April 12th. 
(Courtesy: /Film)

'Pain and Gain' The Little Indie Film That Could

Today we got a first look at Pain and Gain, the Fargo-esque drama about two bodybuilders who end up in way over their heads. The director is little-known Michael Bay, who is being given a huge budget considering how unknown he is. It will be interesting to see if he pulls off this weighty drama starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Rob Cordry.

(Courtesy: Collider)

Get Glue Caption Contest Winner

Here we are at the end of March and the batch of Get Glue stickers will finally find its home. And the winner is... Andrew Crump!

Congratulations on your win. We will be contacting you as soon as possible to get you your prize.

Ryan Gosling Retires

First Steven Soderbergh, now this. Ryan Gosling announced his retirement today. He was quoted as saying that his appearance in Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run remake will be his last film. "I want to focus on creating a family for myself," he had hinted at this in a previous interview from September when he said, "I don't want to act much longer...It'll be over whenever the inspiration dries up." It's sad to see such a talent go, but in the future hopefully he will return to work.