Archive: June, 2011
The publishing world has been waiting with bated breath for J.K. Rowling's announcement about her latest project, "Pottermore." It can exhale: "Pottermore" isn't more Potter, as in an eighth book in the wildly successful series. According to the Guardian, It's a web-based scavenger hunt.
Well, that's one way to grieve the end of the book and movie series. Will you mourn? How?
When movie franchises die, are they inevitably resurrected as games?
The sound was like 10 squadrons of seagulls about to dive-bomb a July 4 picnic. Ranging in age from 7 to 37, a few thousand females and a handful of males thronged the King of Prussia Mall where Selena Gomez, pop singer and star of the movie "Monte Carlo" made an appearance.
"She's awesome!" said Olivia Monahon, 9, who attends Woodstown Middle School in New Jersey.
"She inspires me to be a better person!" chimed in Mary Mcelhone, 16, of Upper Darby.
Clothes make the man and the suit makes the superhero.
One of the many disappointments of Green Lantern is Ryan Reynolds' Lanternsuit, a CGI-unitard superimposed over his (mostly) nekkid body, more Cirque de Soleil than Superhero. Lacks the mystery of of the Batsuit, the Transformers chic of the Iron Man rig, and the cape-and-tights beefcake of Superman's outfit.
Got me thinking: Which are the most effective Super suits?
Two years ago the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doubled the number of best-picture contenders from five to ten. Yesterday its board passed new eligibility rules that would yield anywhere between five and ten nominees in the best-picture category.
Instead of nominating ten films that received first-place votes on the initial ballot, the Academy will nominate films that receive at least 5 per cent of first-place votes.
Dear Mr. Plummer:
Who was it that said at twilight, colors are at their most intense? It's an apt description of your screen career in the past four years.
From your crusty voicework in Up and My Dog Tulip, to your buoyant performances as the Faustian father in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, as Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station and as the septuagenarian dad who throws his own coming-out party in Beginners, I can't think of another actor whose performances are so vibrant, so vital.
When dinosaurs roamed the earth and Groucho Marx stalked Beverly Hills (that would be 1945), the mustachioed jokester pioneered an early form of social networking.
As the Marx Brothers' A Night in Casablanca, a spoof of the popular Humphrey Bogart picture, was in production, attorneys from Warner Brothers (the studio that produced the Bogart "Casablanca,") requested information about the one where Groucho plays a trench-coated guy name "Humphrey Bogus."
Smelling a publicity bonanza, Groucho wrote an open letter to Warners as though the studio were suing him and his siblings for appropriating the name of the Moroccan city. And since the best defense is a good offense, Groucho reminded studio attorneys that since the Marx Brothers predated the Warner Brothers, there might be litigation.
The Awl has a listicle (list + article = listicle) considering the best movie closing credits songs. (Hat tip, A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago) Was surprised that "I'm a Believer" from Shrek, "La Vida Loca" from Shrek 2 and "Beyond the Sea" from Finding Nemo weren't included. Was even more surprised when I checked that "Nobody Does it Better," the theme song to The Spy Who Loved Me, was used in the intro rather than outro credits.
Other personal faves that did not make The Awl's cut include: Stevie Wonder's "Beauty of the Land" from Jungle Fever, The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" in Love, Actually, "(Build Me Up) Buttercup" in There's Something About Mary, "I'll Be Seeing You" as the coda to Crimes and Misdemeanors and "We'll Meet Again" serving as the outro to Dr. Strangelove.
Tricky thing, choosing a great outro. Sometimes irony works (think "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" sung by the crucifixion chorus in The Life of Brian). Other times, the song amplifies the theme of the film, as "I Believe When I Fall in Love" sums up High Fidelity (pictured). Your nominees?
The Super 8 camera -- the home-movie technology so popular from the '60s through the '80s - was like the portable typewriter in the era of the heavy electric machine. For the likes of filmmakers from Steven Spielberg to Steven Soderbergh to M. Night Shyamalan to JJ Abrams (whose "Super 8," a sweet sci-fi film set in the early 1980s, opens today) Super 8 was the amateur technology that helped them become professionals.
Super 8 movies have an intimacy, a color spectrum and a homemade quality that provoke all kind of emotional responses, some of them mentioned in Elizabeth Weingarten's lovely article from Slate.