I’ve said this once before but the just-out Graduate Bluray, which looks very good but not magnificent, has prompted a restatement. One of my all-time favorite cuts (floating air mattress becoming a post-coital moment on a hotel bed) begins at 2:12. When’s the last time a mainstream film used a cut of this type? It’s almost like there’s a federal law with penalties stating that editors can’t go there. Unless I’m forgetting something.
Asking again: if anyone has a PDF screenplay for James Brooks‘ untitled romantic comedy, please get in touch and we’ll swap. I have lots of scripts. Variety‘s story about Jack Nicholson being cast as Paul Rudd‘s blueblood dad got me going. Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson will costar. Brooks’ story reportedly “involves a love triangle, with Rudd (playing a white-collar executive) and Wilson both vying for Witherspoon’s affections,” etc.
Land of the Lost “is halfway toward amusing, which means it’s just as close to awful” writes Slate‘s Nick Schrager. “Given not only its adult tone, but also the impudence it shows its source material, this remake of the nostalgia-beloved 1974 Sid and Marty Krofft TV series — here reconfigured into the tale of Dr. Rick Marshall’s (Will Ferrell) journey sideways in time to a parallel universe where the past, present, and future collide–often flirts with the type of wild-abandon absurdity that demarcates Ferrell’s successes from failures.
“Such nonsense, however, is dutifully interspersed with straightforward poop jokes, smashing chases, and screaming CG effects that feel limply desperate, misguided concessions to an audience that one can assume would be just as content to have Ferrell goofily deconstruct the very nature of such an unnecessary project. Dadist ridiculousness is what Land of the Lost practically begs for, yet stuck somewhere between off-the-wall foolishness and turgid conventionality, what it mostly delivers instead is mirth-challenged mush.”
The legend is that whenever disaster movie director Irwin Allen yelled “cut!” on the set, the next words out of his mouth would always be “is everyone okay?” Allen’s The Towering Inferno (’74), which he directed the action sequences for (while John Guillermin handled the straight-dialogue scenes), is pricey merd, of course. And yet I’ve watched it several times for the cheap and tawdry thrills (i.e., watching actors pretend to die horribly), and because of a sense of oddly enjoyable revulsion I get out of hearing the awful Maureen McGovern sing “We May Never Love Like This Again.”
Fox Home Video’s Towering Inferno Bluray comes out on 7.14.09.
I’m a huge fan of that little “I’m okay, baby” look that the damp-towel-protected Robert Wagner gives his girlfriend (Susan Flannery) before running out of an office suite and immediately getting roasted alive — delicious! Plus I’ve never been able to get enough of watching Flannery, Jennifer Jones, Robert Vaughn and Richard Chamberlain fall over 100 stories to their deaths. And I’ve always respected the fact that instead of succumbing to cynicism over taking a straight-paycheck job, costars Steve McQueen and Paul Newman man up and deliver solid, earnest performances.
“In the DVD commentary, it is pointed out that because both McQueen and Newman were promised the same pay and identical number of lines of dialog,” says the film’s Wikipedia page. “One actor had to go back to the studio to shoot additional scenes to equalize the final number of lines of dialogue.”
The Maysles brothers’ Meet Marlon Brando (’65) gets more entertaining every time I see it. The man was so far ahead of his time, so properly and good-naturedly disdainful of the old p.r. hubba-hubba routine, such a hound, so clearly attracted to any woman of color, so quick to narrow his eyes as he absorbs the yakkety-yak. No embed code but well worth watching.
Jett and I missed last night’s 7 pm showing of the first two episodes of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which will debut next Monday. But we attended the party — a Peggy Siegal event at the Parker Meridien — and ran into Jackie star Edie Falco, director Paul Schrader, former Fox News entertainment reporter and standup comic Bill McCuddy, Richard Jenkins and an assortment of journo pals. Here’s the entire first episode, and Ken Tucker‘s review in the current EW. Here‘s Movieline‘s Stu Van Airsdale with his quotes and two cents.
Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco (l.) and friend at last night’s premiere party at Manhattan’s Parker Meridien.
Richard Jenkins, Roger Friedman
Alfred Hitchcock made a mystery guest appearance on What’s My Line? in 1954. At the end of his stint some very lascivious dialogue [here‘s an mp3] transpired between himself and host John Daly:
Daly: “With a great many other thousands of people I’ve enjoyed Rear Window and last night I was in Atlantic City and I met miss Grace Kelly, who is one of your stars.”
Hitchcock: “What did you do about it?”
Daly: “Well!….I had my wife and three children along and said it was very nice to meet her and said to Mrs. Daly she’s a very handsome gal.”
Hitchcock: “What a pity.”
That’s Hitchcock for you — decorously lewd to the last, always alluding to the libidinal, etc.
It appears that In Contention‘s Kris Tapley has credibly confirmed that the title of Clint Eastwood‘s forthcoming South African rugby-and-racism drama (formerly known as The Human Factor or Playing The Enemy) is Invictus — a Latin translation of invincible. The source is William Earnest Henley‘s 1875 poem “Invictus.”
I’ve been in the tank for “Invictus” since my teenage years because of the phrase “bloody but unbowed,” which Henley coined for the poem. Ditto “I am the master of my fate” (used ironically by Claude Rains‘ cynical gendarme in Casablanca) and “I am the captain of my soul.”
Former South African president Nelson Mandela spoke respectfully of this poem, which kept him going during his 27 years of apartheid imprisonment.
But Mandela aside, let’s be honest and concede that Henley’s poem, which voices an eternal and profound truth about toughness and tenacity in the face of great adversity, has often been embraced and touted by right-wingers.
On top of which Cummings recites it to a bedridden Ronald Reagan, who no doubt took it to heart in his own private life (anyone of any fortitude who’s dealt with setbacks would) and look what he turned into — a popular and inspirational right-wing president who sewed the seeds of our current financial malaise in the early ’80s. The father of our misery, according to Paul Krugman.
And Eastwood is a rightie, of course — a fine fellow, a gentleman, a man of honor and respect and a jazzman par excellence, but nonetheless a man of conservative resolve who stood by McCain during last year’s campaign and confessed a certain affection last fall for the demagogue Sarah Palin.
Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood on set of what is now apparently being called Invictus.
I’ve had my own moments of “Invictus” resolve, deciding absolutely that the bastards won’t take me down, etc. I was at that point when things were going pretty badly in late ’79, when money was low and my girlfriend had dumped me. I was so depressed at one point that I slept for three or four days straight. But I’ve never succumbed to that kind of lethargy since, and one reason is that I know for a fact that when the going gets tough the tough get going. No one is more ardent in this belief than myself.
Nonetheless, Henley’s poem has been claimed by right-wing types — let’s not have any ambiguity about that.
I’m conveying a certain confusion with this post, I realize — voicing a spiritual affinity with Henley’s words while implying that the righties who’ve wrapped themselves in his poem are tainted and perverse and on top of this throwing in a lament about Reagan’s ruination of our economy etc.
I’m primarily saying that Henley seems to have been made into a right-wing patron saint by the deifying of his classic poem, and that’s fine as far as the core meaning of his words are concerned. But people should always be on the lookout for hidden right-wing agendas. The free-market righties are — certainly have been in recent years — a selfish and fiendishly belligerent bunch whose economic attitudes have let loose the wolves, given a massive green light to the worst ripoff artists in history and brought this country (indeed, the world) to its knees.
Page link, HuffPost riff: “President Obama answered by saying, in his best deadpan, that Conan O’Brien ‘will do an outstanding job’ and that he had discussed in the Oval Office ‘how to manage this transition between Leno and Conan.’ He did warn Conan, however, that there would be no bailout from Washington if he ‘screws this up.'”