Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo!

Happy Halloween! This is me as Finn from Adventure Time (one of the TV shows EVERYONE should be watching). What were you today?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sparkling Diamond.

You all know how much I love Breakfast at Tiffany's but believe it or not i'd never written a full review for it! Now go check out my review for Paramount's 50th Anniversary Edition over at PopMatters.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

End of a Style Era.

Check out my official review for L'amour fou, over at PopMatters. This doesn't mean you get to disregard the haiku I wrote about it a few days ago though...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mysterious Kin.

Head over to Popmatters and read my review for the truly magnificent Incéndies which sadly reminded me that time and time again, Oscar concentrates on rewarding the sappiest, least intellectual cinema...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Style Sunday.

Va-va-WOW, if Kate Beckinsale was half as interesting onscreen as she is on the red carpet, she'd be one of my faves. This stunning Julien MacDonald works in every way Kate Winslet's recent string of structured bodices has failed: it's architectural but still looks like fun! (Kudos on the lose tresses and natural makeup!)

Color me completely impressed, shocked even, by how fantastic Lady Gaga looks in this simple Stephane Rolland cape-dress (of course the very notion of a cape-dress is strange enough but when it comes to Gaga, it's the closer to normalcy as we'll ever get). Anyway, gotta love how she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's famous Givenchy looks, while adding some of her own spark. I never thought I'd feature her in this column, so I'll give you that. Well done Stephanie!

Do you think this Kate rocks the severe look better than the other one? Can Gaga be showing signs of gentrification?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Short Take: "Beautiful Boy".

Maria Bello and Michael Sheen bring gravitas and urgency to Shawn Ku's tale of suburban decay as the parents of a depressed teenager (Kyle Gallner) who one day opens fire on his college campus, killing several classmates and professors. What's left for his parents other than to explore what went wrong. Considering they're a couple at the edge of separation, it might be a detriment of sorts for Ku to suggest that tragedy might be what these two people needed to realize they still loved each other. The film is pretty much a depression-fest in which we see Bello and Sheen's characters go through the phases of grief individually and together. To say that all their pain becomes excruciating would be to make the film a favor and it's a shame that unlike the superior Rabbit Hole, it rarely bothers in conveying a feeling that these characters existed for more purposes than to serve this tragedy.

Grade: **

Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.

Why would anyone try to make a Lars von Trier film feel like a cross of The Craft and a Bewitched prequel (Kiki looks like a young girl becoming aware of her powers...ooh I see some X-Men in it too!) especially after the original - and somewhat controversial - first poster created one of the most iconic images of the cinematic year.

After the awesome trailer reminded us that less is more, the graphic campaign for The Woman in Black is a joyful example of how imaginative marketers can create a mood without recurring to cheap, stereotypical techniques. Gotta love how the sepia creepiness of the eyeless children (I maintain to this day that there are few things as scary as ghost children) is almost enough to take our attention away from the ghastly presence that seems to be overtaking them! The play this film is based upon is a wonderful combination of horror and comedy, so far it seems the filmmakers are tapping onto this. 

So, what's scarier? The lazy Kiki work or the eyeless children?

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Festival Time!

I'm taking a few minutes from my non-paradisaical stay on the country's Pacific coast, to remind you all that the Beneath the Earth Film Festival is happening right. this. very. second.
Go here to watch this year's official selection , the organizers have come up with a truly great array of short films, all battling it out for the ultimate Best Film award. Since I'm a Grand Jury member I can't reveal my favorites but I'll honestly say that all the films have something special to them. I can tell you this in advance: y'all know I'm an actress kind of guy, no? Well, most of the films in the selection have impressed me because of the performances of their actors!
What are you waiting to check them out?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Short Take on "What's Your Number".

It's a shame that this movie begins with a joke that feels rehashed from the vastly superior Bridesmaids (people in the theater whispered it without realizing that both movies were probably in production at the same time) and kicks off its proceedings by wondering about the sexuality of a character played by Zachary Quinto (and on the week when he decides to come out!). Truth be told, all in all the film isn't any good, it feels like an episode of Sex and the City gone bad and it hides some disturbing chauvinism under the face of being who you are and defending your right to have sex with as many people as you want. The film still sells audiences the good old fashioned idea that finding "the one" is some sort of panacea that everyone should dream about! Even women who enjoy having sex can be rescued by the notion that out there there's someone willing to forgive them for their previous sluttiness and make honest beings out of them.
Why then, might this movie be worthy of even a minute of your time? Anna Faris. The way in which this woman puts herself through all sorts of incoherent episodes in the name of comedy makes her the ideal heir to a long tradition that features women like Mae West, Carole Lombard and Lucille Ball. Watching Faris' expressive eyes can sometimes deliver a funnier punchline than the words her character is given! Not to mention she even makes the endlessly dull Chris Evans seem funny (and with his shirt on!).
She crafts delightful chemistry with every actor in the film. Her scenes with Martin Freeman are hilarious, her encounters with real life husband Chris Pratt makes you wish they invited you to their home and entertained you with their humor and her moments with Joel McHale encompass the terrors of dating with such sweet sincerity that you can't help but fall for her.
Why hasn't anyone given Ms. Faris the movie she actually deserves?

She-Devil.

What I said about Madeleine Stowe the other day...should be applied to Elizabeth Hurley in Gossip Girl as well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get the Lowdown on the BFI Film Festival!


London plays host to the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Festival every year. And every year the pick of the so-called ‘best’ new films to come out recently get special screenings as the biggest names in Hollywood descend on the English capital for a two-week movies extravaganza, which is currently in full flow. 
Week one saw the likes of Jade Law, Seth Rogen, Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Gordon-Levitt turn out to tread the red carpet. The premiere of Law’s new movie 360 got proceedings off and running, but of all the new films 2011 has yielded so far, this is not one that is likely to live long in the memory. That’s because the plot – a romantic drama involving 10 intertwined love stories – has, quite frankly, been done to death in recent years, although Anthony Hopkins does at least do his best to bring a touch of class to the film. 
Law may have stolen the limelight on the opening night, but it’s the combination of Rogen and Gordon-Levitt in 50/50 that has so far impressed most. The duo have been receiving gushing praise for their roles in the story of one man’s struggle to come to terms and stay alive after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It’s poignant yet funny and fantastically uplifting. There are some who even think it could do well when the Golden Globes and Oscars are dished out. 
 And so we arrive at week two of the BFI Film Festival and all eyes are now on George Clooney and Tilda Swinton over the coming days when The Ides of March and We Need to Talk About Kevin respectively get an airing.
Clooney directs and stars in The Ides of March, a political thriller packed with intrigue lies and backstabbing. Clooney may be relatively new to this directing lark, but he seems to have got the hang of it already, while his acting skills remain as sharp as ever.
As for Swinton, her performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver's award-winning novel, is so compelling that many are tipping it to be crowned best film at the BFI London Film Festival Awards on October 26, which is the climax of the cinematic festival. John C Reilly also shows his versatility as he and Swinton play parents with a troublesome relationship with their son, who embarks on a killing spree in a high school.

Battling it out with We Need to Talk About Kevin in the best film category is 360, The Deep Blue Sea, The Kid With A Bike and the much-anticipated Shame, the story of a 30-year-old addicted to sex from British director Steve McQueen. It’ll be a close call between Shame and We Need to Talk About Kevin for the coveted title, but the latter shades it for us.
Two people who already know they’ll walk away with silverware at the BFI Film Festival are David Cronenberg and Fiennes as the duo will both receive the BFI Fellowship for their sterling service to the film industry down the years. Cronenberg directed films such as the The Fly and History Of Violence, while Fiennes has appeared in a host of successful movies, including Schindler’s List and several of the Harry Potter franchise.

- This has been a special guest post by Vue.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ranger Survival Guidebook.


Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.

This teaser might be the best poster I've seen all year long. Simple but interesting, with a superb use of color (blue takes the eroticism out of the unmade bed) and a spectacularly subdued font, it encompasses everything that makes Shame such a fascinating project. You want to dive into this bed, in the same way you're repulsed by its filthiness. I am dying to see how the larger American audiences, who are historically conservative, receive this movie about sex addiction! 

Ready to get in bed with Fassy and CaMu?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Short Takes (Haiku Edition)

Due to some taxing personal events during the past few weeks, my writing is something I've been neglecting. The movies - as always - have remained a beacon of hope amidst these dark times and needless to say so, I've been sucking on to them like a unicellular creature would to some more advanced life-form. I apologize for not having been as friendly in the blog-o-sphere as usual and I apologize for not writing. Both you and this medium keep me alive, and today felt like a good day to resurrect. I give you reviews for some of the latest films I've seen in haiku form (Today also felt like a good time to try out some new literary techniques...)

Limitless (dir. Burger, 2011) **

Magic pill powers
don't explain why Bradley
is a movie star.



Bad Teacher (dir. Kasdan, 2011) *

Cam as rotten fruit
punches Lucy out of
comedic classroom.


L'amour fou (Thoretton, 2011) ***

Legacy of style
sold in heartbreaking auction
fashionable tears.


Larry Crowne (Hanks, 2011) **

Old school charm abounds
but Julia and Hanks feel like
our folks making out.



 What have all of you been watching?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Queen V.

Whoever decided it was a good idea to resurrect her career, might've done this TV season its biggest favor yet. Are you watching Revenge too?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Model Citizen.

For the course of over four decades, Bill Cunningham has been one of the most iconic figures produced by New York City. His simple style, refined simplicity and love of fashion are remarkable. Meet him in Richard Press' lovely Bill Cunningham New York, one of the best documentaries I've ever seen!
Read my review over at PopMatters.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Unlocking the Myth.

Head over to PopMatters and read my brand new review for Jean Cocteau's Orpheus.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Style Sunday.

Kiki is a delight in this organza Honor dress. Really whatever she's been doing since Cannes seems to be working perfectly. She's so radiant and ladylike recently. Gone seem to be the days of dressing for costume parties. The best accessory this time? Her million dollar smile.

Also, Kate Winslet, really? Again with the form fitting mini dresses? This LBD dress is flawless but I'm beginning to suspect she has all these gowns tattooed to her body. Please woman buy some more fabric!

Is Kate going blech as Kiki's becoming stylish at last?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.

The entire internet was buzzing this week with the first trailer for the Oscar-baity Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Most of the news surrounded three people Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Stephen Daldry. Which is why you just have to love that they're not even in the poster!
The title placement, the subtle font and the whole layout makes this seem more interesting than it has any right to be. If you got two Oscar winners and still focus on the new face, you must have something interesting cooking up, no?