MORNING AFTER: New Yawn, I Meh You

Get it.  I was unimpressed.

When I posted the trailer for ‘New York, I Love You’ I was anything but confident about the final result.  And sure enough, this thing fell flat.  But beyond my predictions that it would be too sappy and aren’t-we-all-connected-you-know-what-I-love-about-New-York-y, it was also labored, clunky and eye-roll-y.

I could use a thesaurus right about now, can A.O. Scott lend me his?

What am I saying?  I’m saying it rarely worked and I didn’t appreciate the tinkerings with the format.  ‘Paris, Je t’aime‘ gave a simple assignment – set it in Paris.  ‘New York, I Love You’ was like, set it in New York, make sure it’s about love, connect to another character in another short film, please include a major gimmick… This is just a guess, I wasn’t at the meeting… And I think it got bogged down by all of that.  There were mini scenes in between the shorts with characters colliding, and I just feel like this effort to connect everyone – this guy shares a cab with this guy who had sex with this chick who uses this dry cleaner also used by that first guy – just made you wonder, ok, why?  WHERE IS THE MAGIC?!  The fact that the kid who lost his virginity to the actress and the woman who slept with Bradley Cooper have the same pharmacist doesn’t really matter to me unless there’s a point.  It’s distracting OK?

Last gripey comment – they did not include the director in credits before or after the individual films, they did a full scroll at the very end.  This was, in a word, ANNOYING.  Maybe it’s just me and my nerd I-wish-I-were-Rain-Man sensibility but all I could do was try and remember what I read, who directed what, who was in each one, which one the reviewer liked and so on…  The short with Orlando Bloom had a mystery woman on the other end of a phone call for basically the whole thing.  I could not relax and watch until I had figured it out, until I was like ‘Aha!  Christina Ricci!!’  Then I’m like “Wait, so who was she to him again?”  This is a problem I have, and it was seriously aggravated by their withholding.

Final thought- this thing HAD to have been financed by big tobacco.  New Smoke, I Inhale You?  Everyone was smokin’ it up and I get that as a conversation starting device, but really…

For the record, cause duh it’s basically a competition, Allen Hughes gets the prize with Bradley Cooper and Drea DeMatteo as two strangers who find themselves in an unlikely romance – it was attractive, relatable and included nudity.  So give them the trophy.

Look what I found!  Big old pat on my back for remembering Alexander Payne directed my fave from ‘Paris, Je t’aime‘:

Oh man.  I pretty much laugh/cry throughout that whole thing.  From her walking outfit to her sighs…

DATING: ‘Black Swan’ gets Swan-ier. Cause they’re pretty, get it?

Moons ago I wrote a post about Darren Aronofsky working on a project called ‘Black Swan.’  Natalie Portman was in line to play the lead.  Somewhere between then and now, Mila Kunis was announced as her co-star and rival ballerina as the plot goes.

Um, hello, all together now: JACKPOT.

nataliemila

I saw this picture today and realized that these two are begging for a ‘who’s hotter’ poll and I’m here to oblige.  For the record, Team Mila all the way.

Now it’s your turn, but I don’t want to make the options boring, so let’s play the childhood classic -  F, Marry, Kill.  And we’ll throw in Kate Gosselin to fill in the gap.

FLIRTING: Harold Faltermeyer to score ‘A Couple of Dicks’ ??

Oh, Kevin Smith, please don’t tease…

This is big news in my world, mainly because of the company I keep.   From Dan’s ‘president of the Faltermeyer fan club’ status to Andy’s ability to barely plunk out the ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ theme on the piano to Amanda’s phone ring to finally Aaron’s kindred spirit-i-ness to Kevin Smith.

Empireonline.com:

Faltermeyer, of course, is the German composer whose compellingly catchy synth compositions elevated the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and Tango & Cash to an entirely new level of wondrous 80s cheese – perfect, then, for A Couple Of Dicks, in which Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan play two cops on the trail of a stolen baseball card.

Smith said he’d been using a piece from ‘Fletch’ and he loved the way it fit.  Would you like a reminder?

Here, I found you some pictures from the set, stare at these as that ‘Fletch’ piece plays and then I think we should all hold hands and pray for this magic to come to life.

coupleofdickssetphtoo-550x370

zz3c087d23

Ahhhhhh!  That dog is gonna F that phone up!

And if our hand holding doesn’t work?:

Now, of course, there’s no guarantee at this point that Faltermeyer will take the gig – “What I’m looking for is that old Harold Faltermeyer sound that I grew up on,” said Smith. “If he’s moved on from that sound, I’ll respect that. I’ll go get a Casio and fuck it up myself!” – but it sounds like the perfect marriage of composer and subject.

AGREED.

MORNING AFTER: ‘More Than A Game’

MTAG

(Dru Joyce Jr., Sian Cotton, Coach Dru Joyce, LeBron james, Willie McGee and Romeo Travis – photo courtesy IMDB)

So first things first. This isn’t a REAL morning after since Angela hasn’t seen it and we’re not discussing it. Second, I’m not the hugest basketball fan on earth. In fact, I just recently got into basketball and I root for the Lakers. Little did I know, it didn’t matter how little I knew – this film fits its title perfectly. It’s more than a game. It’s the real Lebron James and the first team with whom he played…his boys, his best friends. It’s about all of them.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a documentary that’s blown me away. This one does all the right things in all the right places. It tells a story, a good one for that matter. It highlights this amazing found footage, puts it into context, makes us feel like we were there and helps us understand it all. On top of that, it utilizes After Effects in exactly the right way and punctuates it with perfect sound editing. Ok, I know. Can I rave about it anymore?

No. Go see it. Basketball fan or not – this is a story about friendship, goals and life – something to which we can all relate and from which we can draw inspiration.

“Para-scary Activity”

"What happens when you sleep?"

"What are you going to do???"

Ok, so this movie was shot on a shoe-string budget for around 10-15K, was just picked up a few weeks ago by Paramount Studios, limited release last weekend (interesting marketing scheme preaching: “not playing Paranormal Activity in your city? Demand it!”), and frequently compared to the Blair Witch Project. I saw Blair Witch…this is way better.

I like scary movies but hate going in thinking i’m going to get freaked out and then leaving thinking my time could have been better spent walking through downtown’s skid row at 3am on a tuesday night.

Although you may think i’m being biased when i plug this movie because I’m from San Diego (where the movie takes place) and it’s distributed by Paramount Studios (where i’m currently employed), but you’re wrong. Even before going into the movie i asked a friend, who had already seen it and who’s opinions actually matter to me, whether it was indeed scary or not.

These were her words: “Seriously, it’s super creeeeeepy. The story builds very slowly but if you can make it through ’til the end, it will be worth it.”

I can echo those same sentiments but would like to add: the characters are pretty lame and irritating (but i’m sure that was part of the effect). If you can get past that and sit through some horrible dialogue, i will guarantee you that you will have nightmares.

in my case, no nightmares, but it sure as hell took a long ass time to get to sleep…for almost 3 consecutive nights!

In short, go see it. If it’s not playing in your hood, do like the poster says and “DEMAND IT!”

TIFF: That’s Canadian for ‘film festival.’

September 18th goes down as my first international film festival experience.

And it started early in the day. My first elevator ride upon arriving at the hotel was shared with none other than Indie darling Peter Gallagher.

That's me!

"Why, hi there."

It was a short ride but still he managed to charm with his floppy hair, sport pants and spectacles.  I was like ‘shooo we gonna be seein mad celebrities up in here!’  Amanda was like ‘he looked familiar.’

What other superstars did the Toronto International Film Festival plan on throwing our way?  None.  But we did see a horde of youngins’ (mom accompanied) waiting outside our neighboring hotel.  Me: ‘Who are you guys waiting for?’  Lady: ‘The Jonas Brothers. *eyeroll* Not me. *shrugs to nearby young ladies* Them.’

Our first film screening was ‘The Invention of Lying.’  Co-written and starring Ricky Gervais.  Cast includes Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Jennifer Garner, others.  It’s about a world where no one knows how to lie, but then Ricky’s character invents the concept when he almost gets evicted.  He gets very rich, invents religion, un-invents religion, bags Jennifer Garner.

It had some funny moments but some major problems, for sure.  Mainly, the universe in which this story takes place is very mean spirited.  Sure, ok, I can’t lie, but why am I also really really negative?   There was no goodness in the world until the lies started coming.  I find that to be a strange conceit.  And also, I think Ricky and I need to have a nice chat because he has some serious body dysmorphia.  The guy doesn’t let 10 minutes go by without someone mentioning how fat he is.  Bro, a slight belly does not obesity make.

I could go on, but you won’t see it, I doubt many people will, so I’ll stop.

Then!  It was time for our screening of ‘Hipsters‘ directed by Valery Todorovsky, straight out of Russia, co-produced by our very own Leonid Lebedev.  Julie’s dad y’all!

hipsters_01

It was indeed this bright.

And very entertaining.  And this is where we voted it as ‘best movie ever’ :

IMG_1112

So then the next day… we went to Niagara Falls.

Ok, well, I got in one full day of an international film festival.  It’s a start!

Oh Patrick, we DO owe it all to you.

The Swayze

The Swayze.

You’ll be sorely missed.

AT FIRST SIGHT: Or as I like to call it – Talkin’ with Dudes

I recently made a list of people I wish success upon.

It reads like this:

Bobby Cannavale (Cupid was a big failure, but he made me chuckle.  And he sings karaoke and plays poker regularly with Paul Rudd.)
Josh Charles (I did not make it 3 episodes into ‘Sports Night’ but still, he seems cool.)
Dominic Cooper (NOT Dominic West.  Minus 10.)
Frankie Faison (He’s from ‘The Wire’ – insta-cred.)
Will Forte (MacGrubes forever!!!)
Benjamin Gibbard (I own exactly one Death Cab for Cutie album.  Counts.)
Timothy Hutton (Oscar winner!  ‘Ordinary People’ is the JAM.)
John Krasinski (Duh-town)
Chris Messina  (I had to look him up, Julie’s husband in ‘Julie & Julia’.  He can stay I guess.)
Max Minghella (Your dad was the bomb!)
Christopher Meloni (When a dead hooker has no one else to call…)
Lou Taylor Pucci (You can stay too.)
Ben Shenkman (Withhold your ‘who the?’s until the end of this post.)
Julianne Nicholson (another one on the order side of ‘Law & Order’ – always the cooler side.)

So imagine my surprise when I saw the recently released trailer for :

Picture 3

Poster says: Click on me, I will take you to the trailer.

What a coincidence right?!  JK, but for real, there’s some real quality up in this thing.

And if not exactly quality, there’s definitely a lot of ‘awww, that guy, I like him.’

(Please insert here whatever cool thing someone would say about David Foster Wallace who had actually read stuff by him.)

(Why did Will Arnett not make the poster?)

(Oh and in case you didn’t know- Ben Shenkman is the climax blurter.)

Good luck to you Mr. Krasinski, I feel the urge to support your endeavors.  Let’s all go, we can get dressed up.  Like hideous men.

DATING the Toronto A List

Toronto

‘The Joneses’, ‘Mother and Child’ and ‘The Trotsky,’ photos courtesy THR.com

Hollywood is a buzz with news from Toronto. While the Summer blockbusters have left me a little unsatisfied (with the exception of District 9), The A List on THR.com, citing potential TIFF super stars, has me all a buzz. Click here to check out the THR article.

FLIRTING with ‘The Box’

The Box

What should we do James? I don’t know Cameron. We’re both beautiful and sexy…hey look! Money!

This past Labor Day weekend, I got roped into watching 27 Dresses. The entire time, I kept thinking ‘Watch out! He’ll kill you with red beams from his eyes!’ Sorry James, you’ll always be Scott Summers to me. Speaking of which, here he is in a flick with one of my least favorite actresses, Cameron Diaz.

I remember watching a trailer for The Box ages ago, but production got pushed back for one reason or another. Strangely enough, I do want to watch it – not necessarily because I think it will be good, I just want to know what happens. Cause it looks freaky. Here: