June 30, 2009
-Definitely continue to leave us feedback by commenting on the Poscast page, by commenting here, by leaving general feedback on the site, or by contacting us on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks again for the continued support and happy listening!
I absolutely loved this grown up romantic drama, which features one of Mr. Phoenix's best performances (and hopefully not his last). It has a lot in common with a low key Woody Allen film, just without the comedy. I absolutely adored this film and imagine you will as well.
-Also out this week we have the dumb John Cena action flick 12 Rounds, Fred Durst's directorial debut (even though it's his second to come out) The Education of Charlie Banks, which is flawed, but not bad at all, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which is a legend I'd like to forget, The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, which is what it is, and Uwe Boll's Tunnel Rats, which is an Uwe Boll movie, enough said.
-My Vintage pick this week is the classic comedy Real Genius. Val Kilmer absolutely cracks me up everytime as a slacker with a brilliant mind. It's a movie that never fails to pick me up when I'm feeling down, so it should do the same for you! (It's also one of my favorite movies to quote)
-What will you be watching on DVD this week?
June 29, 2009
Today's News: Cuts to Bruno, more on the bigger Best Picture field, an IMAX record for Transformers 2, Jason Lee joins Kevin Smith's latest, and more
-Do we have some MJ related cuts to the upcoming Bruno?
-Check out Variety's take on the expansion of the Best Picture field to 10.
-Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sets an IMAX record.
-Speaking of Transformers (and be on the lookout for my review soon), The Hollywood Reporter has a story on the divide on the film between audiences and critics.
-Add Jason Lee to the promising cast of A Couple of Dicks, the new film from Kevin Smith.
-The results of the L.A. Film Festival come out.
-A remake of An American Werewolf in London?
-Add Amy Adams to the cast of the potential Oscar vehicle The Fighter.
June 28, 2009
-Feel free to talk about who you're backing in the comments section...
Next we have the slasher film Sorority Row:
And finally we have the musical documentary It Might Get Loud:
June 27, 2009
“For some years now, the Board has struggled to balance the desire to truly honor worthy individuals with the time limitations that the Oscar® telecast imposes on these honors,” said Academy President Sid Ganis. “By creating a separate event for recognizing these outstanding people in the movie industry, we’re insuring that each honoree will be given his or her full due, without compromise.”
The Academy’s Board will hold a special meeting in September for the sole purpose of selecting the year’s honorees. There will not be more than one Hersholt nor more than one Thalberg Award voted in any given year. No more than four testimonial awards will be given in a single year.
“We wanted to achieve more flexibility with these awards,” explained Ganis. “But we also need to maintain the integrity of them. By setting the limits that we have, the members of the Board feel they have achieved the appropriate balance.”
A black-tie dinner event for about 500 invitees will include film clips as well as remarks from the honorees’ colleagues and admirers.
Previously, these awards were voted at the Board’s December meeting.
Next, Cloudy with a chance of Meat Balls rains on the animated parade:
June 26, 2009
82nd Academy Awards®
Beverly Hills, CA — The governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved the rules for the 82nd Academy Awards at their meeting earlier this week (6/23). In addition to the previously announced change in the Best Picture category, a significant change was made in the Music – Original Song category.
The governors approved the Music Branch Executive Committee recommendation that if no song achieves a minimum average score of 8.25 in the nominations voting, there be no original song nominees and thus no Oscar presented for the category. If only one song achieves the required minimum, it and the song with the next highest score will be deemed the nominees. If two or more songs achieve the minimum score, they will be the nominees though no more than five nominees can be selected. Previously, the rules dictated that there be no more than five but no fewer than three nominees in the category.
In addition and as previously announced, the Best Picture category will have ten nominees instead of five.
Other modifications of the rules include normal date changes and minor “housekeeping” changes.
Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors for approval.
Academy Award® nominations in all categories will be announced on February 2, 2010. The 82nd Academy Awards presentation will be telecast live by the ABC Television Network on Sunday, March 7, 2010.
Importantly, despite his iconic status, he became entangled with scandals, and lost much of the mystique that surrounded him for decades. His followers abandoned him, and he was left in an expensive oddly named mansion, collecting things until his untimely death. Sounds familiar right? Michael Jackson's life and tragic death are eerily familiar to Charles Foster Kane's. They both dominated a particular avenue of culture (music/media). They were both larger than life figures, who at the height of their celebrity, fell to scandals. Moreover, they both tried to seclude themselves into fantasy mansions. They collected a ton of items around the world, and eventually died alone.
All of the fame and the fortune did nothing to keep their demons away. For two guys who had it all, it seemed like they had nothing. Both realized that their childhood memories provided the most comfort (Michael before he was a celebrity at 10 ). Just like Rosebud is the greatest mystery in cinema history, Michael Jackson will forever be remembered for his music, but a mystery to most of us.
Waltz with Bashir
This is a very interesting film, one that I liked more on a second viewing than I did on a first. It's an animated documentary about one man's experience with the Lebanon War. Give this film a shot and behold what it has to offer.
-Also out this week we have the mediocre fantasy drama Phoebe in Wonderland, the boring Brendan Fraser family adventure Inkheart, the stupid sequel The Pink Panther 2, and the unfortunately themed Confessions of a Shopaholic. None of these films are particularly worth your time, so just skip them.
-To make up for the lateness of this article and the lack of much on DVD this week, I'll offer a handful of options on DVD for my Vintage pick. There is Peter Jackson's version of King Kong, Steve McQueen's Bullitt, The Wackness, There Will Be Blood, Collateral, and/or Million Dollar Baby. All are unique films, and all are rather brilliant in my eyes, so check them out if you haven't already.
-What will you be watching on DVD this week?
Today's Trailers: Ricky Gervais' The Invention of Lying, Richard Kelly's The Box, Spread, and Daybreakers
And finally, we have the futuristic vampire action movie Daybreakers:
-Thoughts on these pieces of genre fare?
Today's News: Anitchrist is coming, so is a leaner Boat that Rocked, as well as the Watchmen Director's Cut, Ryan Reynolds gets buried, and more
I for one, can't wait...
-The Boat That Rocked is being edited so it doesn't flop like it did overseas.
I like Richard Curtis, so I'm hopeful Focus Features can find an entertaining movie there...
-The Director's Cut of Watchmen will have a one week theatrical engagement.
I'm curious enough to check it out...
-Ryan Reynolds signs up for a film called "Buried".
The plot is listed as follows: Reynolds will star in "Buried," playing a civilian contractor who's kidnapped in Iraq and awakens buried in a coffin in the desert, armed only with a cell phone, a candle and a knife. Count me in...
-For better or worse, Hitman 2 is coming to big screens...
I'm sure it'll suck, but you never know...
-And finally, the SAW franchise takes over Universal Studios?
June 25, 2009
-I think this trailer just boosted not only the chances of the film and of Swank, but mainly that of Richard Gere, but that's just my gut instinct...what do you think?
Below are the dates:
NEW YORK (Kathryn Bigelow-Director & Mark Boal-Writer)
7:10 - Landmark Sunshine (6.26) - Ed Douglas/COMINGSOON
9:00 - Landmark Sunshine (6.26) - Karina Longworth/SPOUT
7:10 - Landmark Sunshine (6.27) - Jeffrey Wells/HOLLYWOOD-ELSEWHERE
9:00 - Landmark Sunshine (6.27) - Alison Wilmore/IFC
1:45 - AMC Loews Lincoln Square (6.28) - tbd/TIME OUT
4:55 - AMC Loews Lincoln Square (6.28)
7:40 - Arclight Hollywood (6.26) - Jeremy Renner (Lead Actor)
7:30 - Landmark West Los Angeles (6.27) - Jeremy Renner
1:50 - Landmark West Los Angeles (6.28) - Brian Geraghty (Lead Actor)
4:20 - Arclight Hollywood (6.28) - Brian Geraghty
June 24, 2009
On the down side, 10 might be too much. Will the academy have to reach for the 9th and 10th spots (8th?)? In a given year, how often do we get 10 movies that are Oscar worthy? Some years we do, many years we don't.
Today's Posters: Shutter Island, Up in the Air, From Paris with Love, The Last Airbender, and Daybreakers
Up in the Air:
June 23, 2009
Columbia Pictures is in advanced talks with David Fincher to direct "The Social Network," the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film for Columbia Pictures about the formation of Facebook.
The film will focus on the evolution of Facebook from its 2004 creation on the Harvard campus by sophomore Mark Zuckerberg to a juggernaut with more than 200 million members.
Scott Rudin and Michael De Luca are producing with Trigger Street's Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti.
The aim is to begin production later this year.
Fincher last directed "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
-An odd choice, but I trust in Fincher...what do you think?
Today's Trailers: A Teaser for M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, a Trailer for Miyazaki's Ponyo, and a Promo for HBO's The Pacific
-A decent teaser, though Night's been in a freefall as of late...
-Miyazaki being Miyazaki...
-I just hope it reaches Band of Brothers quality...
-Thoughts on these trailers?
Today's news: The Zookeeper gets some animal voices, a new Grisham book is being adapted to film, Macbeth rises again, and Cher returns to screens...
A lot of readers are busting my chops for stating that Minority Report ("MR") is the best Spielberg film. To clarify, I wasn’t trying to bad mouth the Color Purple or Schindler’s List or any of his other classics (the “Spielberg Classics”). I love a lot of Spielberg’s movie, so that’s not an issue. Also, the "best" is a term of art. My definition will probably differ from yours, but I consider a film to be the "best" when it's technically flawless and substantively engaging (a dope plot).
From a technical standpoint, Spielberg is operating at the highest level. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the editing, cinematography, or direction of MR. It moves like a fast paced novel, and he doesn’t waste any frames. It’s fluid, succinct, and visually stunning. (Note: Spielberg generally works with the same production team).
Perhaps MR is not culturally “important” as the Spielberg Classics. Maybe, but I think that response is weak. Who determines what films are “important”? Is it solely contingent on the substance of the plot? The impact? Box office numbers? There is no set standard in determining what films are more important. It isn't objective. If this criticism had any weight, there would need to be an objective standard in determining the "cultural importance" of a film. I don't think that standard exist, hence I'm convinced by this line of reasoning.
Someone might interject, and argue that MR did not deal with a substantive historical issue like some of the Spielberg Classics, and I’d disagree with that too. MR attempted to tackle an important philosophical issue. The freewill/determinism debate has gone on for centuries, so it’s erroneous to play down the magnitude of its importance. I might also add that it's one of the key reasons people decide to dismiss religion, which has led to much strife between the believers and non-believers. Yes, race issues and the Holocaust are important issues, but they aren’t by default the most important. Moreover, the significance of an issue will change depending on the person. So, if you are more interested with philosophy in film, then a movie like MR will resonate more with you.
Maybe one will argue that the acting in MR wasn’t on par with the Spielberg Classics. Maybe. Who determines that? Is there some sort of scale that we can place performances on to determine the best one? Personally, I thought the acting in MR was brilliant. Tom Cruise was at his best (probably gave a better performance in Magnolia). Colin Farrell also gave one of his better performances. Max Von Sydow was the true gem of the film. (and Samantha Morton is brilliant as Agatha - Thanks Fred).
What arguments are left? Realistically, the burden of proof is not on me. Unless there is some objective way to determine what films are the best, then most arguments don’t hold weight. I’m not saying The Mask 2 is better than The Spielberg Classics. I’m arguing that MR is his best film because it appeals to me more so than any of his other films. I’m not arguing that MR is of a better production quality (It’s the same group of dudes), but that philosophically it was more interesting.
Some people like Amnesiac more than OK Computer. I'm one of those people . . .
June 22, 2009
Judd Apatow's "Funny People," starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, will unspool at Montreal's 13th Just for Laughs Film Festival a week before its U.S. release.
Co-stars Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza will attend the screening July 25; the comedy goes wide Stateside July 31.
The fest, which unveiled part of its program Monday, opens July 10 with Gallic star Jean Dujardin at the screening of his "OSS 117: Lost in Rio" -- one of a slew of French pics at the event.
Broken Lizard members Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske will be on hand July 22 to introduce "Broken Lizard's the Slammin' Salmon," which stars the troupe and Michael Clarke Duncan, at its Canadian preem.
Helmer Bobcat Goldthwait will be at the fest for the screening of "World's Greatest Dad," starring Robin Williams as a teacher who wants to become a professional writer.
Thesp Joshua Leonard will tubthump "Humpday," which also stars Mark Duplass. Writer-thesp Charlyne Yi will be on hand to introduce her pic, "Paper Heart."
The 18-day fest is the film component of the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival.
-It's no secret that I'm a champion of the script and think that it has some real potential in this year's Oscar race...in about a month we'll all have a better idea though...
This has a good cast, but looks like it'll be the most depressing movie I've seen since Downloading Nancy, which says something...
June 21, 2009
Link to biggest snubs' podcast: http://www.awardscircuit.com/Podcasts/podcast3.html
Universal and Reese Witherspoon are going into the pharmaceutical business.The studio is developing "Pharm Girl," an aspirational comedy centering on one woman's odyssey through the drug industry. "Bad Santa" scribes Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are writing the screenplay and in talks to direct. Witherspoon is producing via her Type A banner and attached to the lead role. The project centers on a woman (Witherspoon) who gets a job at a pharma powerhouse but begins to see the underbelly of the industry as she rises through the company's ranks. Tracy Falco and Maradith Frenkel are overseeing for the studio.The modern pharmaceutical industry has played a villainous role in Hollywood pics dating to "The Fugitive," and several years ago it was at the center of a conspiracy in the Focus Features thriller "The Constant Gardener."The CAA- and Management 360-repped Witherspoon, who came to prominence in comedies like "Election" and "Legally Blonde," segued to a more dramatic role with her Oscar-winning turn in "Walk the Line." But she has recently kept the focus on comedies, starring opposite Vince Vaughn in "Four Christmases" and signing on to a new comedy from James Brooks at Columbia; she's also considering starring in Fox's sci-fi comedy "Used Guys."As a producer, she has been ramping up her slate: In addition to "Christmases," which she produced, she and Type A are attached to produce thriller "Bell Witch" and romantic comedy "Around the World in 80 Dates," both at Universal.Ficarra and Requa, repped by WME and BenderSpink, most recently helmed and wrote "I Love You Phillip Morris," the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor dramedy about the romance between a con artist and a man he meets in prison.
-Doesn't sound bad at all...thoughts?
June 20, 2009
-It actually makes me anxious for Transformers 2 (which I probably won't be reviewing, for obvious reasons, unless it surprises me, of course), if you can believe that...
June 19, 2009
Last night, at around 8:10 pm, a little girl of maybe 9 walked out onto the stage of the house that Carnegie built, her mother standing in the wings, watchng. When she got to the mic, she introduced herself: "My name is Harley Quinn Smith. My dad wanted me to say some curse words, but instead, I'll leave it to the master." And for the next three hours, Kevin Smith held court in Carnegie Hall.
If you've never been to one of the hundreds of Q&As Smith has done around the world -- or seen any of the Evening With Kevin Smith DVDs -- the format is simple: The writer-director gets on stage, does about 20 minutes of warm-up, and then fields questions from the audience. And the stories that get woven into the answers are what draws people to these Q&As by the thousands (the Carnegie Hall show was sold out). Smith is a born raconteur, able to spin the barest of questions (like, "Will you ever act again?") into 30-minute seminars on how his Catch and Release costar Jennifer Garner has the sense of humor of C-3PO ("Goodness gracious me!") despite being married to Ben Affleck, who tells tales that make Smith sound like a choir boy.
On stage at Carnegie Hall, he spoke of being overruled by Bruce Willis on the set of A Couple of Dicks ("When Bruce talks, you listen...especially when you're making a movie with a cop or a gun in it"), the late George Carlin's dream role ("I wanna play a clergyman who strangles six children -- I think I can pull that off"), and his legacy ("Longevity kills specialness: If I'd made Clerks, rode that for five years, then disappeared, they'd have built monuments to me"). Provided you don't mind torrents of foul language, sex described in pornographic detail, and arcane pop-culture references -- he even dropped a Doug Henning joke last night -- it's a good time had by all.
The thing that struck me the most, however, was not how funny his Q&As are, but rather how honest they are. Kevin Smith is, by all accounts, a big dude. He's the first one to admit it: "I sweat when I f---in' breathe!" Someone asked him a nothing of a question -- I can't even remember what it was, it was so inconsequential -- and Smith used it to tell of when he hit rock-bottom, weight-wise. It was a 45-minute odyssey of his adventures with a public toilet -- complete with hilariously, sadly graphic details -- that ended with him breaking said toilet, snapping it free from the wall, with his ass. It's a mortifying story but, at the end of the day, an empowering one.
Honesty has power, precisely because we hardly ever see it. When Smith gets on a stage, he strips himself bare for all to see (metaphorically; at Carnegie Hall, he was wearing a bathrobe). He uses humor not to deflect attention away from his self-image issues, but to bring attention to them -- the heat of that attention functioning like a crucible, burning away the inessential and almost purifying himself in the process. No subject is off-limits, no topic is verboten. That kind of honesty is rare, especially in our public figures, and those unaccustomed to it have problems with Smith and what he does. A young female reporter for Time Out New York, armed with a slightly holier-than-thou attitude, got up to the mic and asked him for dating advice. Without missing a beat, Smith explained to her that because he looks the way he looks, he needed to bring something else to the relationship table. So he -- how can I put this? -- spent long hours mastering the ancient marital art pioneered by Colonel Angus (say it fast). Withered by the polite candor of his response, this young woman sat down, and Smith moved on to the next question. Check and mate.
-Like I said, I was there and had an amazing time. All these stories are even better in context, and on a side note, both his wife and daughter, whom I briefly met, are as nice as can be...
When "Ghostbusters II" reached the bigscreen 20 years ago, the expectation was that it surely would be followed by another edition of the comedy franchise.
That never happened, as principals never could quite come to terms on a deal.
But they did reunite recently for a videogame --and while videogames are usually an ancillary afterthought as studios reboot franchises, in the case of "Ghostbusters," the vidgame is resuscitating the idea of a film sequel.
Sony officially says the game and film are independent projects. But they're encouraged that the game, through its development process and release, has helped reinvigorate the franchise.
A June 16 launch of the "Ghostbusters" game in Dallas saw hundreds of fans crowding a GameStop store -- and Amazon.com currently ranks it as the top-selling title for the Xbox 360 and the second best-selling title for the PlayStation 3.
While Sony won't go so far as to say the success or failure of the game will determine whether "Ghostbusters 3" moves forward, it will at least be a factor in the decision. Work is underway on the script for a third film.
"For now, we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise," says Mark Caplan, VP of licensing at Sony Pictures. "The game and the Blu-ray (release) will have a big impact on all of us. And we'll decide what to do from there."
Given the number of years since the last movie, Harold Ramis, one of the stars and writers of the original, was a bit circumspect. He recently told AMCTV.com, "I won't say I'm skeptical, I'm just not counting on anything. For me, I've loved the 'Ghostbusters' -- the whole concept of it has been great in my life. I'm happy to do another movie if the script was worthy. If it never happened I'd be fine."
Work on the game began three years ago, after Sony combed its library for game-friendly titles. "We looked at the library of properties that we have at Sony Pictures, and we felt 'Ghostbusters' had all the properties inherent in a film that would translate to a videogame. It had built-in recognition and had suitable content for a wide audience," Caplan says.
The effort marks the first major videogame deal on behalf of one of Sony's library titles, with advances for longterm deals of this caliber typically reaching into the tens of millions of dollars.
The studio also has a freshly minted Blu-ray DVD release of the original, and a promotion running that includes a chance to win a trip to Comic-Con.
For the game, the studio enlisted Terminal Reality, a Dallas-based game development studio. A lingering question was whether the audience would still be there.
They got their answer, ironically, when another developer, unaware that Terminal Reality had secured the license, leaked footage of its take on a "Ghostbusters" game online, and it generated a huge response.
When legitimate licensed footage was released, the excitement didn't wane.
"There's no question that the game being announced and coming out has really brought Ghostbusters back into the spotlight," says Brendan Goss, the game's executive producer.
The path to retail shelves was rocky, though. Sony turned down proposals from three other developers before deciding to move forward with Terminal Reality. And despite bouncing from publishers Sierra to Activision-Blizzard to Atari, reviews have been generally favorable. Critics say the game effectively captures the camaraderie and humor of the films.
"When we started this project, we said, 'We have to create a high-quality authentic experience for Ghostbusters,' " says Drew Haworth, creative director of the game. "We do not want this to come across as another license-exploiting, crap movie-videogame."
The "Ghostbusters" game features most of the talent from the film (with only Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis declining to lend their voices) and uses a new graphics engine developed by Terminal Reality to recreate the film's distinctive visual effects. The script -- with more than 10,000 lines of dialogue, much longer than a film screenplay -- was co-written by Dan Aykroyd and Ramis. Ramis, Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson all put in two or three days of work on dialogue.
"We wouldn't have done this game six years ago," Sony's Caplan says. "I just don't think the technology was there."
-Very interesting...I'm about to get the game, so hopefully it's good...anyone have the game yet?