Feb 28

The post no one was waiting for

Best Picture
Who I think should win: Her
Who I think will win: 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor
Who I think should win: Bruce Dern / Christian Bale
Who I think will win: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Best Actress
Who I think should win: Cate Blanchett
Who I think will win: Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor
Who I think should win: Jared Leto
Who I think will win: Bradley Cooper

Best Supporting Actress
Who I think should win: Sally Hawkins
Who I think will win: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Director
Who I think should win: Alfonso Cuaron
Who I think will win: Alfonso Cuaron

Best Original Screenplay
Who I think should win: Bob Nelson (Nebraska)
Who I think will win: American Hustle

Best Adapted Screenplay
Who I think should win: Wolf of Wall St
Who I think will win: 12 Years a Slave

Nov 20

Paragraph of the day

New York Post edition

Jennifer Lopez is about to be spoofed in a new porn flick that takes obscene liberties with her hit song “Jenny From the Block.” The XXX flick, titled “J-Ho: Jenny on the [Rhymes with Block],” will be an adults-only parody of her career. Playing J.Ho will be Jasmine Byrne, a Lopez look-alike who previously starred in “Britney Rears 3” and “Angels of Debauchery.” “I always loved . . . J.Lo, doing her singing and acting and . . . I jumped at the chance to do it,” gushed Byrne.

That I didn’t think of “Britney Rears” is bad enough, but that I wasn’t the first one to think of “J-Ho: Jenny on the Cock” is just criminal.

I’m sorry, my peoples. I have failed you.

Nov 20

Hot Fuzz

I just saw the teaser poster for Hot Fuzz:

Hot Fuzz

The guy on the left? That’s Simon Pegg. You know, that hilarious guy from Spaced and Shaun of the Dead? The guy on the right? That’s Nick Frost Ed from Shaun of the Dead. Ed!

I’m psyched for Hot Fuzz just based on Pegg’s involvement, though I really think they need to get working on Day of the Ed.

Oct 30

Serious case of the stoooopids

Fox/Universal Studios edition

It appears that Universal Studios recognize that the followers of the cult favorite TV show Firefly would be a great source of viral marketing for the movie based on the show, Serenity. They put together a huge viral marketing campaign, in part with Special Ops Media (a company…. However, as with so many of these things, it appears that the marketers at Universal forgot to tell the lawyers at Universal, who recently decided to send out cease and desist letters to a bunch of the guerilla marketers they had pushed to promote the film. Adding insult to injury, the lawyers also demanded $8,750 in “retroactive licensing fees” from at least one individual.

Of course, the Brownshirts are taking the appropriate tactic – retroactive billing for their viral marketing efforts on behalf of Fox/Universal.

Oct 27

Shut Up and Sing

Looks like an interesting documentary re: the Dixie Chicks and the insanity fueled by the nutters when Natalie Maines said they were ashamed Bush was from Texas… which led to boycotts, protests, death threats, and “independent” radio stations refusing to play their songs.

Shut up and sing

The reaction from the jingoist nutballs was so incendiary, so ridiculous, so disproportionate to the innocuous comment by Maines, that it deserves a nice, long, objective look on the hows and the whys. I hope this documentary does that.

Note: NBC and CW Television (= UPN & WB) are refusing to air ads for the documentary. This after CNN and NPR refused to carry ads for Death of a President (the fake documentary about the assassination of W). Censorship, anyone? (and I’m being serious here, not in the fake “censorship”! way people who don’t understand censorship cry). Oh, and if you really want to get mad at the censorship in our country, observe how nearly every instance of refusal to carry ads by major media networks is for the benefit of the Bushevik administration.

Oct 24

I don’t know how this happened, precisely

but Kevin Smith totally stole my life

That being said, UCLA has brought me on as a visiting professor this semester.

Naturally (or bizarrely, as some of my critics would point out), it’s in the School of Cinema and Television – a field I know a thing or two about (as I’ve watched many movies and TV shows). So, for the last month, I’ve been spearheading a class called “Sucks Less, with Kevin Smith”, in which we produce a weekly TV show entitled, ironically, “Sucks Less, with Kevin Smith”. It starts airing this Thursday on MtvU (the college-campus only arm of the Viacom-owned Music Television empire), as well as on MtvU.com and, in an uncharacteristic-for-me nod to what’s being called “new media”, also on the Amp’d Mobile Phone. This means we’re producing Episodes, Webisodes, and Mobisodes – which, while sounding ambitious as fuck, simply means we’re producing one show that airs on three different platforms. Eat your heart out, Dick Wolf.

Right on, Kev. He’s still my doppleganger:

“My tastes, for better or for worse, fall far outside the mainstream,” I argued. “And if I could write/create for the mainstream, I’d be a one of those successful filmmakers. So, really – you guys want someone else.”
“Yeah, but we like your sensibility.”
“But my sensibility isn’t in line with the masses.”
“What makes you say that?” I was asked.
“I’ll bet you’re tying to get Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as hosts.”
“We are,” they replied.
“Okay. I’d rather see David Cross be the host. You’re voting for the most popular kids in class, I’m voting for the class genius. And there’s nothing wrong with your instincts; I just don’t share ‘em.”
“Fine. But there’s gotta be something you can do in the Mtv family. We’re edgy, too. Have you ever seen ‘Wonder Showzen’?”

See? Eerie.

The first bumper from his class:

Oct 16

Anchorman – 1/5

I finally got around to watching “I like scotch! Scotchy scotch scotch scotch” Anchorman this weekend and…

it is quite possibly the worst movie I have seen in the past five years.

I don’t give zeroes, so consider this a low, low 1 star out of 5.

As best as I can tell, it was a vehicle to see how far Will Ferrell could carry a crappy movie. The answer? About 10 minutes. From the boring opening to the stylish-but-not-nearly-stylish-enough 70s schtick, it was pure, unadulterated crap. The dialogue was abysmal, the characters were amateurish, the plot was nonexistent, the acting was pure dogshit (natch), and the only single redeeming feature was Steve Carell – and he seriously needs to watch out for that typecasting thing (though I think he may be big enough to avoid that wrecking ball. Evan Almighty should tell us one way or the other).

You know, if I wanted to watch a 2 hour movie about a moron in an absurd setting – but one that was actually funny – I’d pop in Happy Gilmore or Billy Madison.

Will, I know Adam Sandler, and you, sir, are no Adam Sandler. At no point in this rambling, incoherent mess of a movie did you come close to engaging the audience or obtaining even a chuckle. I award you no points, and may FSM have mercy on your soul.

Oct 10

Here’s a woman who should be running Hollywood

Sarah Polley

Although only 27, Canadian Sarah Polley has proven with her feature film directorial debut that she can tackle any subject — even one about the complexities of an elderly couple in the final stages of their marriage.

Away from Her is based on the short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro, about an elderly man trying to deal with his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease and feelings of guilt about his past misdeeds.

Just because she has a movie coming out isn’t the reason why she should rule all. No, this is why:

Her disenchantment with Disney was rooted in an incident during the Gulf War, when she was invited by Disney to appear at a Children’s Awards Show in Washington, D.C. With the United States still engaged in the Gulf War, 12-year-old Polley wore a peace symbol to the event, refusing requests from producers to take if off. She has reportedly been blacklisted by Disney since then.

In 1995, she lost several teeth to riot police while protesting against the Provincial Conservative government of Mike Harris in Queen’s Park, Toronto. [citation needed] She was subsequently involved with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Not wanting to be seen stealing the spotlight, she has recently scaled back on her political activism but remains one of the most engaged young actors in North America.

Hard. Core.

The role eventually played by Kate Hudson in Almost Famous was supposed to be Polley, but I like her best in Go and Dawn of the Dead.

Rock on, Sarah. Give them Hollywoodies a kick in the nuts as you race on by.

Oct 08

That’s an indictment on the industry

Sofia Coppola has a new movie coming out (Marie Antoinette, with Ms. Dunst (!!) as Antoinette), so she’s doing the rounds. This puff piece from the ‘Guardian seemed a tad over the top, even for a puff piece.

The Oscar-winning Lost in Translation made her the most powerful woman director in Hollywood and icon of cool for her generation.

OK, first – I dig Sofia Coppola. For a nepotista who was given a horrible big intro to the biz, she’s done exceedingly well. … but icon of cool? In this universe. I mean, sure she’s gotten a nose job and slimmed down since Godfather 3 (which would put her in the ‘hip’ circles, and Lost in Translation was a great movie, but cool? How many other movies in the new wave/existentialist mode have you seen lately? How many shots have been copied? Dialogue? Scarlett Johansson’s career has taken off, but that’s because she’s freakin gorgeous and can act a bit.

Let’s grant arguendo that she’s cool, but if she’s the most powerful female director in Hollywood, then I think that is sufficient grounds to burn that city up. It’s insane that an industry that is so propelled on the backs of a multitude of the looks (and sometimes talent) of starlets is less progressive than the US Senate.

I don’t really have a way to wrap up this post. I could go on the systemic hurdles facing women in Hollywood … but that would take a good few thousand words and I’m just not feeling it anymore. Feministing, anyone?

Update: must be a meme. See, e.g., EW

Oct 08

Here’s a test for the wingnuttosphere

If you’re so fired up about the principle of freedom of speech and are outraged by the craven surrender of the German opera’s performance of Idomeneo, I fully expect to hear the same rage directed a little closer to home where the major movie distribution chains are refusing to carry Death of a President.

Newmarket Films set itself an unusual challenge when it decided to release the controversial faux investigative documentary “Death of a President” just six weeks after acquiring the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.

But it might face an even more formidable obstacle because several major theater chains are refusing to play the film, which mixes real news footage with dramatized segments depicting the fictional 2007 death of President Bush.

Newmarket, the 12-year-old Los Angeles-based film financing, production and distribution company, plans to open the film October 27, just in time for the November 7 election.

“Yes, it’s controversial,” Newmarket co-founder Chris Ball said. “It’s quite a compelling political thriller. In many ways it is sympathetic to George Bush. It talks about a rush to judgment. In no way is it a call for violence.”

Or are you really just cherry picking your moments of outrage, in the manner best fit to incite your bigoted belief system?

Sep 29

How can I get me some of that action?

Sure the news is more than a month old, but Sony paid Ken “Black Hawk Down (sucked!)” Nolan $3 million for a scriptment.

Sony Pictures will pay “Black Hawk Down””Black Hawk Down” screenwriter Ken Nolan $3 million for his 75-page “script-ment” (less than a script but more than a treatment) of Whitley Strieber’s as-yet-unpublished alien sci-fi novel “The Grays,” marking one of the studio’s largest payments for a treatment.

$3 million for 30-40 pages. Nice work if you can get it.