AV Club: Book versus Movie: Into the Wild
I'm not saying that "Once", as a series of moving pictures on a screen, isn't better than 99% of the movies released theatrically in 2007, I'm just saying that it's not a real movie because NOTHING HAPPENS. Two kind of boring looking people meet and fall in love and sing songs and everything is great and then it's over. There's never any real conflict or emotional stakes. It's just a really long, good music video for songs you won't hate if you don't hate Coldplay. The one about the boat is pretty catchy. But that's it. So just stop.
...And it's still the best movie ever made about love. I watched it last night for the first time in about two years, and I see the ending completely differently now. It's an even better movie than I thought it was when I thought it was the best movie I'd ever seen. Anyway: Eternal Sunshine: Still Wonderful.
But has anyone noticed that that 4-episode arc in which Anna Faris guest-starred as Monica and Chandler's future kids' trashy birth mother from the last season of 'Friends' sure is showing up in the movies a lot lately (Juno)? Anyone? Just me?:
* Via Jezebel: Thanks to the wonders of online video, we now know what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett J in Lost in Translation. (I really wish it had been "rosebud is a sled.")
* I tried to comment on this Has David Cross Sold Out thread on The Onion, but it wasn't working and then I remembered I have a platform: everyone begrudging David Cross a regular income should state where they work and which multinational or otherwise evil corporation signs their paychecks. It's a kid's movie. DC still does free and benefit shows all the time, and work like this presumably allows him to do that stuff and develop more funny entertainment for the nice people. Deal with it. (Note: I know the actual post wasn't saying he sold out, the stupid commenters were.)
I'm apparently too busy consuming media to blog about it, but here is some media I've consumed recently, most of it good. (I don't get anything for this.):
Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander
The Kept Man by Jami Attenberg
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Juno (I went in expecting to hate it - it had some annoying tics and was kind of twee, but I think it's theater-worthy.)
The Savages (But it's not really a comedy)
Bad, Bad, Very Bad Movie:
Margot at the Wedding (you're still going to see it, you'll just wish you didn't)
Last night me and Stephanie watched Singles. Has anyone ever noticed that as time goes by, Singles gets better and Reality Bites gets worse?
Update: Also, if you're exactly our age, remember when you had to have a crush on either Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder? We were both Vedder girls all the way.
Remember when this clip from The Wicker Man (2006) was circulating?:
I came down with a hurt back last week (hence no Kid Nation recap) and I couldn't resist watching the movie everyone calls an unintentional comedy classic on HBO. There was no need - everything you need to see is in the youtube clip (and in the last 20 minutes.) One thing, though: from now on when someone asks a question to which the answer is an obvious "yes", I'm going to answer: "Does Neil LaBute hate women?"
Yesterday I watched the PBS Nature doc The Silence of the Bees. It's basically that New Yorker article in documentary form, but the fact that the bees are disappearing rather than dying (they're not finding the bodies, granted they are small bodies) gave me an idea for a straight-to-video topical horror movie:
TAGLINE: "The bees aren't dying...they're gathering."
Teenagers looking for a place to party break into an airplane hanger on an abandoned military base...and discover Where the Bees Have All Gone. Intelligent workers, gross fat scary queens, etc etc etc. And, like, millions of bees all coming together to make big stinging monsters. The teenagers must contain the bees and save humanity or whatever.
I loved it, but I've been waiting 9 years for someone to make a movie out of the book I've read at least 20 times (and to which the movie is very faithful.) It would be awesome if this movie/book caught on with a new generation. Yes, it's a cautionary tale, but since almost everyone in the developed world needs to learn the opposite lesson, it's also an inspiring one. It's definitely the kind of movie people will be talking about and debating for hours after they see it.
Here's the trailer.
So last night me and my friend Stephanie watched Hannah Takes the Stairs on Movies OnDemand (did you know that it's on MOD for $5.95 and has been since the day it came out in theaters?) It's impossible to say whether I would have enjoyed the movie as much if I'd paid $11 for it and had to watch it in a theater without the luxuries of wine and a pause button (ETC), but we were both thoroughly entertained and talked about the movie for a while after it was over. OBSERVATIONS:
I was really good about managing my expectations on this one, so I'll just say: I recommend it. I laughed many times and so did the other people in my theater. But that said, I have friends who hated it. I kind of chalk that up to context (see: category tag) and difference in sense of humor (I love a good in-joke, others like broader comedy. Actually, I kind of love both, but the former is so rare in movies.)
I guess I didn't just say "I recommend it" but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is as unfortunately very susceptible to the whole high expectations/low expectations phenomenon as I am. One thing is certain though: Paul Rudd is totally not sexy in it.
Pretty much completely unrelated: maybe this bothers me because I worked at a movie theater in college, but why is it that people who would never dream of allowing a straw wrapper to fall from their grasp without immediately picking it up off the dirtiest of city sidewalks think it's perfectly okay to leave a movie theater aisle totally destroyed by their garbage? I'm not even talking about strangers, I'm talking about the friend I saw the movie with yesterday! Totally not okay. And I am willing to passive-aggressively call out my friend in a public forum in the hopes that just one person will have an epiphany.
I sent this (completely absurd) email out to a couple friends this morning. Now that we all have our tickets I'm willing to share this totally not-at-all-secret screening info. I'm un-generous that way (Note: it's also playing there tonight.)
Are you ready to experience "THE ULTIMATE"!?
It was the end of July, 2001 - remember those hot, heady days, sticky with innocence and covered with a sweaty glow of retarded laughter? Little did we know, during that sultry "summer of the shark attacks" that our world would soon be turned upside down, and not by Representative Gary Condit or a shark. How could we know, as we sat in cold, nearly empty theaters around the country, memorizing lines and practicing our slow claps, looks of pure wonder and joy on our faces, that we were watching the embodiment of irony's last, death-rattly gasp before it was busted to bits by forces we did not, could not, still don't, understand?
Tomorrow night at midnight at Landmark Sunshine Theater on Houston Street, we can relive the glory of Wet Hot American Summer on the big screen, surrounded by other drunk comedy fans in the full theater that beautiful movie always deserved.
And if you pass this up, the next time I see you I'll say: "You taste like a burger. I don't like you anymore."
So busy! Here are some things I've recently consumed and recommend:
* Notes on a Scandal (the movie) Yeah, it's been out a while, but wow. I would recommend it to anyone. Genius. Also, I'm not the kind of person who usually notices this type of thing, but even on my crappy old $40 craig's list TV, the use of color in this movie is amazing.
* But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn. Don't be turned off, as I briefly was, by the subtitle. Reading the book, you realize it was slapped on there by the publisher. It's a great summer Friday read, albeit a little tidy at the end.
I bet it's his face! I guess I have to start watching "Heroes." Also, everyone I know who has seen his movie "Rocket Science" (out 8/10) says it's really good.
Pretty much everyone I know saw Knocked Up this past weekend, and everyone I've talked to has said some version of "It was more heartwarming than I expected." Most of them mean that in a slightly pejorative way ("heartwarming" not being a compliment in my circles). I said it, too, though I might have lost my pejorative-use-of-heartwarming privileges when I got misty at the end (so did all my friends, though.)...
(Spoiler Alerts: the following half-assed analysis of the movie's stance on gender relations may spoil the next five minutes of your life, or possibly certain aspects of the movie if you've lived under a rock for the past month.)
(Awesome update at the bottom) After an amazing perfect Sunday in Battery Park this past weekend, I am determined to spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors in the city this summer (I'm not in the summer share tax bracket). One of my favorite things to do in New York in the summer is see a movie in Bryant Park on a Monday night (I love the HBO dance!)
Anyway, I haven't been for the past few years because the slate of movies has been disappointing, or I've been out of town when the better ones were playing. But I just checked out this year's schedule and OMG the first one is ANNIE HALL!
If I have to take Monday, June 18 off work in order to get their early enough to set up a blanket in a prime area for my friends, I am willing to make that sacrifice.
UPDATE: I was just researching other outdoor movies this summer and just died:
Thursday, July 5 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park: THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Let's just put it this way: I'm not not joining hands and hearts and voices, voices hearts and hands and seeing Dirty Dancing tonight on a big screen with 10 or so of my most nostalgic friends and acquaintances tonight. We'll be the ones with the itty-bitty wine bottles taking up the whole fourth row. I REALLY hope someone (not me) dances in the aisles at the end.
Also, they really need to make a hip-hop version about "freaking" or whatever's getting kids expelled from proms these days.
UPDATE: one of the 10 friends just sent this. They're british, so it's okay:
Last night I saw the Belgian film "Le Moustache." Today I tried to look it up to see what other people thought of it, but it has no IMDB entry, or even a Wikipedia entry.
I'm starting to think that there was never a movie called "Le Moustache."
(That's sort of a "you had to see the movie" joke.)
UPDATE: it's because the name of the movie is "La Moustache". Why would the word "moustache" be feminine?
Anyway, I'm dumb.
Suggestion for this weekend: see The TV Set. Here's a great scene:(Be sure to stay in the theater at the end for a "scene" from 'Slut Wars' starring a self-effacing Seth Green.)
This Film is Not Yet Rated :
My Blurb: 'A must-see for fans of free speech and Maria Bello's pubic hair.'
Tiny review: Like "An Inconvenient Truth", it's a scary movie that everyone should see. Jack Valenti is a fascist. This movie really angered me. Also, you get to see stuff that was cut out of movies.
The Last Kiss:
My Blurb: "Are you fucking kidding me with this whiny pointless shit? Oh wait, "Screenplay by Paul Haggis." My bad."
Tiny review: This movie was full of yelling and screaming. It made me want to put pillows over my head and take a valium. Rachel Bilson plays the reason why so many hot girls don't understand why guys never call. (Hint: the first mixed CD should always be made by the dude. Other hint: sluttiness.)
Final Destination 3:
My blurb: "Oh yes, there will be malfunctioning tanning beds."
Tiny review: Well, uh, my friend came over when there was 20 minutes left in the movie and I made her watch it with me instead of being a good hostess, so I guess that's my review.
I started out sending these to my friends individually but it was easier just to send it to myself and link it:
I guess they want people to mention that the new release date is March 2nd.
I just got an excited email from my old roomie Sarah saying: "finally! that movie that was shot outside our buidling!" with a link to the trailer for Across the Universe, the movie that was partially filmed on (a completely transformed) Rivington Street in fall of 2005:
I don't see any Rivington Street in the trailer (which was supposed to fill in for the West Village, apparently), but you can still see remnants of the set painting on certain storefronts betweeen Suffolk and Attorney. (Curbed has pictures from back when.)
(The movie doesn't really seem like my cup of tea but the trailer is good.)
Found by Junkiness:
Yesterday, after watching the teaser trailer below, I was thinking about that old email argument between Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and Mark Brazill (That 70's Show). I was wondering if it was still really funny and an insightful look behind the scenes of comedy writing. And guess what? It is.
Mark Brazill was like the proto-blog-commenter.
Also, seems like he's, er, um: not up to much lately.
(Matt Tobey: "I guess he's still trying to get 'That 90's Show' made.")
My colleague at the Comedy Central blog finds news of a definite Harold and Kumar sequel. With Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Andy Samberg and the return of Neil Patrick Harris. But they're not going to Amsterdam, they're going to The American South (surely a Borat-influenced studio decision.)
Speaking of (sort of), I took this over Christmas on the way to my friend Shaw's homestead outside Valdosta, Georgia, about 45 minutes from Tallahassee. Just looking at it makes me a little homesick:
Even if, like me, you've been waiting since Go for Timothy Olyphant to play a romantic lead, you should still not see Catch and Release. Here's my one-sentence review:
When the DVD comes out, there will be no special features because all of the scenes that should have been deleted were left in the movie.
(However, you should Netflix and FF through Kevin Smith's "comic relief" because Timothy Olyphant is, objectively, the hottest actor in the world.)
I'm not a jealous person, especially of my friends, and I know travelling for work isn't "fun" per se, but do all of them have to get to go to Sundance for free and blog about it? I mean, geez, in alphabetical order:
Jessica Coen's Sundance Blog at Vanity Fair (Actually it's the Oscar blog w/ Sundance Posts below, but she's writing both.)
Whitney Pastorek's Sundance Blog at Entertainment Weekly (video!) [and here (text!)]
Which reminds me of an old song: New York is So Cool: Download X-1_NYissocool.mp3
Black Snake Moan: You watched the trailer on Golden Fiddle (and if not, do so now), now read the official press release (which was JUST RELEASED TODAY!!) (italics theirs, bold mine):
There was a time when Lazarus (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) played the blues; a time he got Bojo’s Juke Joint shakin’ back in the day. Now he lives them. Bitter and broken from a cheating wife and a shattered marriage, Lazarus’ soul is lost in spent dreams and betrayal’s contempt…Until Rae (CHRISTINA RICCI).
Half naked and beaten unconscious, Rae is left for dead on the side of the road when Lazarus discovers her. The God-fearing, middle-aged black man quickly learns that the young white woman he’s nursing back to health is none other than the town tramp from the small Tennessee town where they live. Worse, she has a peculiar anxiety disorder. He realizes when the fever hits, Rae’s affliction has more to do with love lost than any found. Abused as a child and abandoned by her mother, Rae is used by just about every man in the phone book. She tethers her only hope to Ronnie (JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE) (wtf???), but escape to a better life is short-lived when Ronnie ships off for boot camp. Desperation kicks in, as a drug-induced Rae reverts to surviving the only way she knows how, by giving any man what he wants to get what she needs…Until Lazarus.
Refusing to know her in the biblical sense, Lazarus decides to cure Rae of her wicked ways – and vent some unresolved male vengeance of his own. He chains her to his radiator, justifying his unorthodox methods with quoted scripture. Preacher R.L. (JOHN COTHRAN) intervenes, but it is Lazarus and Rae who redeem themselves. Unleashing Rae emotionally, Lazarus unchains his heart, finding love again in Angela (S. EPATHA MERKERSON) (it just gets better and better!). By saving Rae, he frees himself.
(I was once briefly a film publicity assistant, so I'm pouring out a little Night Train tonight for the poor schmuck who had to write that.)
I'm such a Patton Oswalt completist that I netflixed and watched Failure to Launch last weekend. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Patton's 40 seconds are (the only) funny 40 seconds, though.)
That's it. That's my blog post. I just want to cover up Britney (don't we all.)
Since this is apparently a high-traffic day or whatever, I'd like to draw attention to two awesome things:
1. A movie: The Devil and Daniel Johnston
2. A book: The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right
Robert Lanham (author of The Hipster Handbook) gives you everything you need to know about the powerful puppeteers brainwashing our most gullible citizens (ie, most of them), in his hilarious satirical guide. His website, Evangelicalright.com is a must-daily-read for me. (When I first found out about Ted Haggard, I knew Robert was somewhere (probably Williamsburg) doing the same dance of joy I was.)
The two things I said to my friends immediately after "Marie Antoinette"'s final credits rolled:
"Is it pronounced "maird or merd?" and
"I wish the Katrina victims had done that to the Bush family"
sh*t merde! I gave away the ending!)
"the isolation of the cocaine alkaloid was not achieved until 1855." - Wikipedia
(Though it has been pointed out that Chuck Taylors, Bow Wow Wow, The Strokes, New Order, saying "thanks" or "kinda", and looking and/or smelling remotely attractive weren't invented until after the 1700s either.)
Also: We get it! There's a Hollywood/celebrity metaphor going on there! Yawn.
I just didn't buy it, sorry. Sofia should spend more of her daddy's money on wine for the nice people to drink and less on ten hour music videos with no sympathetic characters. I still like The Virgin Suicides, though.
Last spring, I watched the entire Up Series over a few weeks and wrote about it on the Jane Magazine blog. I'm still obsessed with this series of documentaries that follows an eclectic group of English children every seven years throughout their lives. The latest in the series, 49 up, has just opened in American theaters. You can watch the trailer and learn more about the films here.
I found this apt description in an online review of the series:
"It is our privilege...every seven years, to be given so intimate and respectful a window on the journeys of these dozen souls. And to be led in turn, inevitably, to examine our own lives, and to look at the lives of those around us with a longer view, a perspective that's something close to Divine."
That quote is from Christianity Today. (That's how transcendent this series of films is -- I agree with Christianity Today!)
Anyway, 49 Up is now playing:
In New York: at the IFC Center
In Los Angeles at Landmark Nuart Theatre
(Check local listings for other screenings.)