Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From The A.V. Club:
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings as the titular characters, celebrates an eternal phenomenon: the lifelong love of music that begins in adolescence. The film follows Dennings and Cera's tentative courtship over the course of an adventurous night in New York. Cera, a sensitive bass player, still pines for his manipulative ex-girlfriend. ("I know you, I know your make. You're an emo-punk-band boy," Dennings shouts at him in one scene. "They could make action figures out of you—drummer not included.") Dennings plays the ultra-hip daughter of a famous record producer. How it will end is never really in question, as they spend the film going to clubs, talking about music, and occasionally letting it speak for them. There's also no question of whether other actors could have played these roles: Cera builds on the sweetly hapless character he developed on Fox's Arrested Development, and Dennings is equally natural as an insecure smartass. The roles aren't far removed from their natural personalities, lending an authenticity to characters that could otherwise fall flat inside the teen-movie template. After a pre-release screening for the public in Chicago, The A.V. Club talked to Dennings and Cera about flannel, music, and being total poseurs.
Interview found here.
Monday, September 29, 2008
See, kids? Superhero movies are classy now! According to Variety, the man of many parts, Kenneth Branagh, is set to direct Thor for Marvel Studios. I am pretty confident no one saw this choice coming -- there has been nary a whisper on the project since Matthew Vaughn left, and I really thought he'd probably swing back to it after Kick-Ass.
But somehow, this actually seems like the right fit for Branagh, who's taste has often leaned towards the bombastic. After all, scriptwriter Mark Protosevich told the Daily Herald last year that he saw the story of Thor in Biblical terms: "It's going to be like a super hero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It's the story of a Old Testament god who becomes a new Testament god." That takes a Shakespearean sort of eye, and while Branagh's directorial resume is middling, his best (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet) suggests he might just be able to deliver on the action and wit Thor calls for. Check out the embedded Much Ado clip after the jump (a bit NSFW) and see if that doesn't feel a bit like a comic book movie.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This just in: Legendary actor Paul Newman passed away late last night of cancer. He was 83. Throughout his career in Hollywood, Newman was nominated for countless awards, including Oscars (nominated for ten and didn't win until his seventh time ... and stayed home the year he won!), an Emmy and even a Grammy. Newman's most memorable roles came in films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money (for which he won an Oscar), The Hustler, The Long Hot Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke ... and so many more. In his down time, Newman was married to Joanne Woodward for 50 years, and is also very well known for his philanthropic ways, his race car driving and business ventures (Newman's Own ...). His final role came as the voice of Doc Hudson in Pixar's Cars.
Ah, I finally see this movie, after months of anticipation.
I have to say, I'm just a tad let down. Granted, it's very hard to top No Country For Old Men, and I never expected anything of that calibur, but this film lacks in some areas.
The trailer gives this vibe that Brad Pitt is the main attraction. While that's true in one respect, he doesn't get nearly as much screen time as he deserves. Pitt truly steals the show as an oblivious gym employee who gets caught up in government blackmail. He's frightfully endearing and funny. As if I could be more in love with Brad Pitt.
The rest of the cast is solid. With so many different storylines overlapping, it leaves the viewer wary of what's going on, and it threatens the movie. However, due to some ingenious film work by the Coen Brothers, there are two scenes involving David Rasche and J.K. Simmons which sums everything up nicely and saves the guesswork for the audience. Starts solid and ends solid. The middle is just a little flabby, but altogether, this is worthy of the Coen stamp.
This is just a plain old average movie. It's about a crotchety dentist Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) who dies for 7 minutes during a simple medical procedure, and as a result, can see the ghosts of people who still have unfinished business on Earth before they can "move on". Oh, and he's supposed to help them with that. The person with the least amount of people skills in the world. Except when he meets the wife (Teá Leoni) of Frank (Greg Kinnear), who is getting remarried and it is Bertram's job to split them up, but instead he falls in love with her.
What is unbelievable about this movie (beside the ghost thing) is that Ricky Gervais goes from rude and tactless to charming and witty so fast, it seems so laughably scripted. Most of the acting is very very average and the story itself is flimsy. The ending is so saccharine it's dumb. I suppose Gervais and Kinnear have good on-screen chemistry that makes for some good banter, but other than that, there weren't many laughs, just a few giggle-worthy moments here and there.
A true blue September release.