AT FIRST SIGHTs: ‘Black Swan’ trailers up, ‘Blood Simple’ gets a remake

I was just gonna Facebook status these, but then I was getting kind of wordy and I thought to myself, ‘Gee I wish I had an appropriate venue for sharing movie news and thoughts…’

I wrote about Black Swan what feels like ages ago, finally some pictures were released of Natalie Portman bird’ed out and now tada! a trailer hits.  And it is as Aronofsky as you could hope.

And by Aronofsky I mean troubling and intriguing and I’ll probably only see it once while certain images will be burned in my brain for forever (thanks but no thanks Requiem for a Dream…)
Check it:

See what I mean?  What do you think?  Brain Donors meets District 9?  Just me??

And then also!  Thanks to FilmDrunk for this- Blood Simple is getting a Chinese remake by none other than Zhang Yimou.  BOOM.  That’s awesome.  I only know of Zhang Yimou because I took that one class in college, so in case you didn’t have the same requirements as me, let me inform you, he’s serious biz.

A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop is a pretty cool title if you can forget that there was ever a thing called Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.  AmIright??

I seriously can’t wait to movie night Blood Simple in preparation.  Who’s in??!!!  (Ahem, Aaron, I’m lookin’ at you…)

GOODIES: Oscar Nominations, first glance

Chickitycheck ‘em out!

I’ve perused, I haven’t delved in deep nor talked it out with my bro so there is still a lot of opinion to be had.  But let me start by saying WHAT THE EFF!  WHERE IS ‘STAR TREK’!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!

I’m like, upset.  Because when the Academy first announced that it was going for a ten slot best picture race my first thought was ‘ok ok, that’s weird, but maybe Pixar or a worthy blockbuster will finally get nominated.’  Well ‘Up’ got its very well-deserved nomination, but as for the worthiest blockbuster of the year?  NOPE.  Yes, I am looking straight at you, ‘Avatar.’ I don’t care that you have made a kafillion dollars, groundbreaking technology and a recycled story does not a best picture make!  Look, I’m aware of the situation, even though I personally enjoyed  it more, ‘Star Trek’ never stood a chance at winning while ‘Avatar’ is a front-runner, but still, it stings.

And a personal beef: ‘Star Trek’ also not nominated in the Best Original Score category which is a gross omission, even more disgusting, James Horner made it in.  But I think that gives more room for Giacchino to take it for ‘Up’.   I’ll riot.  I. Will. Riot. if Horner wins.

And Vanity Fair also has its big Hollywood Issue out.  They have a nice Annie Leibovitz spread of Directors and Actors, here is the link and here are my faves: (but first, comments on those I purposely didn’t include, James Cameron stands alone?! Barf.  Penelope and Pedro, really, them AGAIN?!  Bore.)

STUDS!  They. Could. Go. All. The. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

This is why Jeff is a shoe-in.  Warm-hearted charmer.

As of today, this is officially not Oscar related.  Which is fine by me, I thought it was a fine movie. Just fine.  Nice pic, tho!

Ok, that’s it for now, there is surely more discussion to come.  This is a big moment for us, bloggers and blogees!!  OSCARS 2010!!!

GOODIES: National Lampoon’s Matt Zaller – new to me!

HuffPo posted this video of Will Arnett being interviewed by Matt Zaller for ‘When In Rome’ promotion, and since he’s funny, I watched.  (While we’re here, I will say this: I’m gonna see this movie and probably in the theater and it will probably be somewhere around adequately entertaining maybe and nothing more definitely.  Kristen Bell is a doll and I love her.  So there. VMars for life.)

Now you watch:

Chuckles!  More please!!

Happy to oblige:

You’re welcome!

MAKE-UP SEX (also AN AFFAIR): Caprica

Yes, it’s been ages. So sorry for the prolonged period of celibacy. But I’m back and – whaddya know – first post of the year I’m having an affair. With television.

DISCLAIMER: I have not, nor do I plan to, watch Battlestar Galactica. Sci-Fi heads be warned. However, I don’t think this invalidates my upcoming Caprica rant. So, without further ado…

Zoe Graystone - more or less.

Caprica had been hyped to death by geeky friends everywhere, so I thought I’d give it a go. It seemed promising enough – the print ads were stunning and it is, after all, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica and I know enough people who love that show. AND – thanks to Star Trek’s resurgence – sci-fi is sooOOooO in. Unfortunately, Caprica has been found wanting. Allow me to expand in categories.

WRITING. Caprica’s main problem. This makes me sad because the premise promises so much. The story is there – it’s just told ever so slowly and ever so painfully. I can overlook a slow start. After all, it was a pilot and much had to be explained. Only, it never picked up. The characters dragged their feet getting to where they had to go, not to mention their really awkward interactions with each other once they crossed paths.

Mr. Graystone and Mr. Adama

CHARACTERS [[SPOILER ALERT]]. Newcomer Alessandra Toressani as Zoe Graystone is adorable. She could be the third Deschanel sister with her wide eyes and adorable-ness. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of her since she blows up and is reincarnated as a giant robot thingee. Here’s hoping that her electronic voice is as easy to latch on to as her physical self. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stolz) and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) as individual characters are fine – but (again, I fault the writers) their roles as good and evil incarnate are far too apparent, far too early. Not to mention we’re beat over the head with it. Finally, little Adama (played by Sina Najafi and grows up to be Commander Adama in BG) is barely even a character. He’s unattached and unfeeling. Not exactly the leader of the ship on which I would like to be.

STYLE: So, if anyone aside from myself remembers the short-lived ‘Kings,’ you’ll remember how bloody well done it was. A modernized biblical setting where characters and concepts were rooted in religious parables. Stylistically, it was PERFECT. The line between historic and modern was clear and consistent, if something was referential, we knew it. Caprica seems a bit confused. The Graystones are unattainable, living in a future to which we have no relation while the Adamas come from some other planet (the name of which I can’t even bother to look up) but which MUST look like 1950s New York – and they MUST know the Corleones.

At the end of the day, the writing is key. Unfortunately, these writers just don’t make the cut. I’m going to go ahead and skip this one – lest I get sucked into the show of no return. Anyway, that role is already filled by a little ditty called Heroes.

Photos via SyFy.

STALKING: ‘John Carter of Mars’

Let me take you through a timeline.  More like a chronology, I’m horrible with dates.

First- I hear that Andrew Stanton of Pixar fame is going to make a live action film.  Sign me up.  Enough said.

Second- I get wind that he’s co-writing the screenplay, based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, with none other than Michael Chabon, my boy!!  I don’t even care what it’s about, opening weekend, I’m there.

THIRD- and this is a big one, who was then cast to play John Carter himself???  Well let me tell you.  None other than ‘Friday Night Lights‘ (my new jam) very own Riggins, number 33, TAYLOR KITSCH.  Not familiar?


He fine.

The cast also includes studs Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and Dominic West (McNulty!!!).  That’s more talented manliness than you can shake a stick at.

FOURTH- and this brings us up to date, A press release came out last week saying that principal photography had begun with a release set for, get this, 2012.  UM.  I WILL BE 30 BY THEN!!!!  That feels epically far away.  TWO FULL YEARS, who knows where we’ll all be in two years?!   Well… there’s a good chance we’ll all be somewhat close to here, still going to movies on a regular basis.  So assuming this blog will stand this specific test of time, I plan to keep you updated as all hell and with any luck the movie will live up to a fraction of the expectation two full years of intense stalking can cause.  ‘John Carter of Mars’ consider yourself ON WATCH.

Here’s the full press release:


BURBANK, Calif. (January 15, 2010) – Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS.” Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings.  Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants.

Produced for Walt Disney Pictures by Jim Morris (“WALL•E,” “Ratatouille”) and Colin Wilson (“Avatar,” “War of the Worlds”), the live action/animation film marks Academy Award®-winning director/writer Andrew Stanton’s (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) first foray into live action. Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Disney•Pixar’s “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award and Golden Globe® for Best Animated Feature (2008); Stanton was nominated for an Oscar® for the screenplay.  He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Award-nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2003). He has worked as a screenwriter and/or executive producer on Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” (which he also co-directed), “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.”

“I have been waiting my whole life to see the characters and worlds of ‘John Carter of Mars’ realized on the big screen,” says Stanton.  “It is just a wonderful bonus that I have anything to do with it.”

The stellar ensemble cast is led by Taylor Kitsch (NBC’S “Friday Night Lights”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, Lynn Collins (“50 First Dates,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) as the warrior princess Dejah Thoris and Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man,” “Shadow of the Vampire”) as Martian inhabitant Tars Tarkas.  The cast also includes Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways,” Spider-Man 3), Polly Walker (upcoming “Clash of the Titans,” “Patriot Games”), Samantha Morton (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “In America”), Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Body of Lies”), Ciaran Hinds (“Munich,” “There Will Be Blood”), British actor Dominic West (“300,” “Chicago”), James Purefoy (“Vanity Fair,” “Resident Evil”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”). Daryl Sabara (“Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” “Spy Kids”) takes the role of John Carter’s teenaged nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The creative team includes Oscar®-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (“Public Enemies,” “The Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins”), costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Apocalypto”), cinematographer Daniel Mindel (“Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Spygame”) and video effects supervisor Peter Chiang (“The Reader,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).


Word is they want to do a fourth Bourne movie but Paul Greengrass isn’t attached and Matt Damon is like ‘mmm, I don’t know…’ Ok, truth time, I’m too lazy to look up the latest on this story, but my point is still relevant.  Let’s just say, those two were too busy making this movie to do a fourth Bourne:

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… This looks good and all, but they’re joking right?  Sure, he seems to have an intact memory and a different name but this looks pretty much EXACTLY the same as the previous two Bourne movies no?  Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a … really? thing.

Other thoughts:

I can guarantee I will be confused through 30% of this movie.

Always happy to see Beadie on screen, big or small.  Fun fact: Actors from ‘The Wire‘ are the most gratifying to spot in other roles.  Fun fact 2: It is accepted to eternally refer to them as their ‘Wire’ character names.

And the title: ‘Green Zone’ – that sounds safe.  Or environmental.  Please don’t be environmental.

BIG DATE: Golden Globes! 2010! Trophies!!

Francouis Duhamel/ The Weinstein Co., David James/ The Weinstein Co., Dale Robinette/Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, WETA/ Twentieth Century Fox, Summit Entertainment

Oh, Awards Season, how I love thee.  The Golden Globes are on Sunday, the maybe not as accomplished but a whole lot more fun step-sibling to the Oscars, so let’s get down to it and do some picking.  I’m gonna star who I think will win, more stars means more sure of myself, less stars means you know, less…

Best Motion Picture — Drama
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
***Up in the Air

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
**Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

*Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air (or this guy)
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
***(500) Days of Summer
The Hangover
It’s Complicated
Julie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal (Will Sandy split the vote here for Drama, or will Meryl…)
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated
*Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Julia Roberts, Duplicity

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
*Matt Damon, The Informant
Daniel Day Lewis, Nine
Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
***Mo-Nique, Precious
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Penelope Cruz, Nine

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon, Invictus
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
****Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Best Animated Feature Film
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The Princess and the Frog

Best Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces
A Prophet
****The White Ribbon
The Maid

Best Director — Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (Here’s hoping)
*James Cameron, Avatar
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds (trying to read the minds of foreigners… maybe Quentin here?)

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture
*Up in the Air
It’s Complicated
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds (maybe they’ll give him this if they don’t give him director…)

Best Original Score — Motion Picture
**Michael Giacchino, Up
Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant
James Horner, Avatar (I will cut someone if this wins)
Abel Krozeniowski, A Single Man
Karen O. and Carter Burwell, Where the Wild Things Are

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
“I Will See You,” Avatar
***”The Weary Kind,” The Crazy Heart
“Winter,” Brothers
“Cinema Italiano,” Nine
“I Want to Come Home,” Everybody’s Fine



Big Love
***Mad Men
True Blood


Glenn Close, Damages
January Jones, Mad Men
** Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer


Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
*** Hugh Laurie, House
Bill Paxton, Big Love


30 Rock (of course maybe)
* Glee
Modern Family
The Office


* Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Lea Michele, Glee  (is there an all of the above option?)


*** Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
David Duchovny, Californication
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee


Georgia O’Keefe
** Grey
Into the Storm
Little Dorrit
Taking Chance


Joan Allen, Georgia O’Keefe
Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
** Jessica Lange, Grey Garden
Anna Paquin, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby


Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance  (No idea.  None.)
Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind
Chiewetel Ejiofor, Endgame
* Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm
Jeremy Irons, Georgia O’Keefe


Jane Adams, Hung
Rose Byrne, Damages
* Jane Lynch, Glee
Janet McTeer, Into the Storm
Chloë Sevigny, Big Love (Would be equally happy for this bitch.  Love.)


Michael Emerson, Lost
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
William Hurt, Damages
* John Lithgow, Dexter
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (Just.  Please.  No.)

GOODIES: You call yourself a fan?

Loving stuff is fun.  Making clubs are fun.  Getting high and watching ‘Seventeen Again’ on opening night with two other closeted lovers of Zac Efron is really fun.  Organizing such events is why I create and keep up with and recruit members to things I am commonly referring to as ‘Crush Clubs‘.  But there are many designations and I need some help.  Lemme break it down…

First up, the standard ‘Crush Club‘ – so far I have three.  The Channing Tatum Crush Club, or CTCC, counts me and Amanda as members.  The Zac Efron Crush Club, ZECC, includes me, Amanda and Nina officially.  And the Robert Pattinson Crush Club, RPCC, is mainly me and Cindy.  Necessary criteria is pretty simple, they’re cute and talented enough to tolerate watching most films they make.
Picture 3Picture 4Picture 5

I know what you’re thinking, where is Shia LaBeouf??  Well he’s actually an AA – Artist Appreciation. This is a one member club, just me, how sad.  What designates an AA?  It’s kind of a mix of I think they are talented, spunky, I wish them lots of success, and let’s be friends.  It’s more of a nurturing pride for than a crush on.  Joseph Gordon Levitt just earned himself an AA after I finally caught his monologue from SNL.  He’s cute enough for a CC, but far too petite for me.

Next up, a ‘Lust Club‘.  I came up with this because basically Chris Pine needed stronger wording.  He’s got the skillz, the cocky attitude and he looks like this in a beanie:
Picture 2
Can’t even handle it.  CPLC, who’s in?

Here’s where I need your help.  I don’t know if I should throw ladies under the Crush Club and Artist Appreciation banners or if they get their own designations…  I could easily give Emily Blunt and Rachel McAdams their own AA‘s…  It just feels like something’s missing, like they’re not being rewarded enough for their hotness.  Any suggestions?  Fellas??
Picture 2rachel_mcadams-state_of_play-1

And then finally, and this is the most important to me, what do I do about Daniel Day Lewis?  No one comes close to my totally unhealthy love and admiration for this guy.  What do I even title it?  Platinum Idol??  Diamond League?  Ha, the DDLDL.  His Holiness?
Picture 1

I do think I need something for the kind of the older generation of geniuses… Hugh Laurie, Frances McDormand (Erin’s pick)… Where does Paul Rudd fit in?  I have much to figure out.

I’m also considering an Auteur Idol – the director series.

I wanna know who you’d nominate for what and that’s what the comment box is for!!

*leave it blank*

Do tell!!!

MORNING QUICKIES: 5 movies in 5 days

Thankfully 3 of them were screenings so that equals FREE.

My review for ‘Up in the Air’ is right there below this.  That was Thursday…

Friday was ‘An Education’ and Saturday we saw ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ Proper Morning Afters to come…

Sunday was ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ and let me tell you, what. a. DELIGHT!  Sometimes things and people converge in a way that I think the art god is like ‘here you go, Angela’ like it’s just for me and if someone else likes it well congrats to you but this right here is MINE.  (See: the band Them Crooked Vultures.)  So Wes Anderson doing Roald Dahl is a match made in my own private heaven and it turned out sassier and more fun than I could have even anticipated.  I don’t even understand really… How do you make something that off the cuff, random, silly, amusing, clever, absurd and charming in the most laborious medium possible?  Well, I guess Pixar does it on a regular basis, but still.

fantastic-mr-fox‘I asked him if we were due for a hard winter.’

And so maybe I am genetically predisposed to love but there’s something in there for you as well, promise.  I took Dan and Andy and they both liked it, sure the beer beforehand and my unceasing giggle probably helped…

I give it 10 ‘Cuss Yeah!’s.

And then Monday was ‘New Moon’.  Before I entered the theater I had my capsule review all ready.  It was gonna be something like, ‘If you went to see this then you liked it.’  But then I went to see this, and I didn’t like it.  I was frankly, bored.  I know I know.  I know it all, I know this book is lame and so they didn’t really have a choice and that Bella is a mopey drip and that Jacob is a totally enticing option except that he’s not cause he has the face of a baby, crazy abs or no.  Spending 3/4ths of the movie in their not-a-love-story was such a yawn.  The Volturi were badass, Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen were having fun, but they were in the movie for like A second.   So I’m sorry that 100% of the guilty pleasure I took in ‘Twilight’ was completely wrapped up in the dirty and intriguing creature that is Robert Pattinson.  There, I admit it.

4 ‘watch check’s, 2 hot body ‘dyyyyyyaaaaamn’s, 3 ‘really Bella?’ eyerolls, 1 R.Pattz hair drawing: Picture 1

MORNING AFTER: Review of ‘Up in the Air’

Julie and I got into a Variety hosted screening of ‘Up in the Air’ (thank you Editors Guild!) that included a QnA sesh with director Jason Reitman and stars Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.   I love screenings (they’re free!) and I love Q and A’s (the inside scoop!).  Jason Bateman was slated to attend but was a big fat no show, so you heard it here guys, he is NOT perfect.

The movie was definitely on the side of Yes, veering into ‘really good’ territory.  It’s success lied in the chemistry between George Clooney and his co-leading ladies, it’s timeliness, and it’s authenticity.  It was sincere but not schmaltzy.  Funny, touching, and in my opinion- genuine. It helped that – QnA inside tidbit! – George doesn’t wear make up. I appreciated his under-eye bags.  Not so genuine was Vera Farmiga‘s botox face, seriously woman, you’re playing your age, you’re supposed to have a wrinkle!  It was distracting.

Picture 1

The ladies weren’t that interesting, hate to say.  This just in: George Clooney is a joy to work with!  Jason Reitman should score an adapted screenplay nom, easy.  From the sound of it the book provided a skeleton of a story and he provided the meat.  Kudos and congrats to all involved.  See you come award season.

Scale of 10:

3 Relatable Heartbreaks – both career -wise and love-life-wise.
Picture 3Picture 3Picture 3

5 George Clooneys, he takes up a lot (read: all) of space in this movie and as this picture illustrates, he is the perfect mix of ladies love him, dudes want to hang with / BE him.
Picture 2Picture 2Picture 2Picture 2Picture 2

and 2 mirrors – this movie asks you to take a look in one and ask yourself what’s important in life.

This just in! Human connection is a good thing!