Saturday, December 20, 2014

Archive: May, 2011

POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 2:53 PM

 Billie Burke played Glinda, the Good Witch of the East, in Victor Fleming’s 1939 landmark fantasy, The Wizard of Oz. And it looks like Michelle Williams, finally jettisoning her downbeat indie persona   (Wendy and Lucy, Blue Valentine, Meek’s Cutoff – just shoot us already!), will hop on the broomstick for  Oz, the Great and Powerful,  which Sam Raimi, late of the Spider-Mans, is getting set to direct.

Disney is the studio,  Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards) and Rabbit Hole Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaireare  the writers, and here’s the rest of the lineup: Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz as Glinda’s evil sibs, and James Franco as a circus wrangler mistakenly landed in the Emerald City, where he gets pinned by a giant yellow brick for 127 hours and then saws off his own… no, wait,he lands in the Emerald City,  where he gets mistaken for, yes, a wise and worldly wizard.    

POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 4:19 PM
Will Ferrell kicks back with his belongings in "Everything Must Go." Note the can of Pabst atop the styrofoam cooler.

Does Morgan Spurlock know about this? In POM Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the documentarian dives deep into the world of media marketing and product placement, revealing how companies fork over big bucks to get their cars and computers, sunglasses and pomegranate beverages into the movies -- and into the hands of movie stars. But it’s hard to believe Pabst Blue Ribbon paid up to have Will Ferrell, as a lapsed AA-member whose just been fired and kicked out of his house, downing can after can of the all-American brew. And in Hesher, a wobbly indie about a menacing metal-head who invades a grieving family’s home and upends their lives, Joseph Gordon-Levitt likewise clings to a PBR as he gives a third-act eulogy laced with profanity and doom. Pabst Blue Ribbon, the beer of losers?

POSTED: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 2:04 PM
Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal -- the duo who brought gut-churning verisimilitude to the screen with 2010’s best picture Academy Award winner, the Iraq War bomb squad drama The Hurt Locker -- have been planning a feature about the Navy Seals commandos that stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound on Sunday night. Variety reported on Monday that the project -- which another trade, the Hollywood Reporter, says has been tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden -- will now most likely be fast-tracked to capitalize on, well, the successful outcome of the mission.

Boal, a journalist who embedded with troops in Iraq, has close contacts with the Seals, and has been tracking the black ops team for months. More than 75 of the elite band of U.S. fighters were involved in the helicopter drop-down in Pakistan and the 40-minute firefight which ended, according to reports, with a bullet to the head of the Al Qaeda leader. Variety says that casting is under way for a summer shoot. Who will play “Geronimo” – the operation’s code name for its prime target, bin Laden – is anybody’s guess.

About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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