This 5.31 video announces Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Megan Fox‘s replacement on Transformers 3, at the invitation of director Michael Bay. I’ll tell you right now she’s no actress. Her beautiful face has that poised, porcelain look that some models have; her eyes say come-hither but not much else. Rosie makes Fox look like Jo Van Fleet. Nice gams though.
As we began our Sicilian journey it seemed important to visit Forza d’Argo, a small, centuries-old village near Taormina that Francis Coppola used for scenes in The Godfather, Part II. It’s the village that young Vito escapes from while local mafioso are seeking him out. The film conceals the fact that it overlooks the Ionian sea — quite an eyeful.
With 3D Blurays sure to catch on eventually, I’m guessing that sooner or later the first wave of Hollywood’s 3D movies (released between ’53 and ’55) will eventually hit the home market. The 3D version of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M or Murder (which I’ve seen once in a theatre) would be well worth the price. Ditto the 3-D black-and-white version of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. As well as Hondo, Miss Sadie Thompson and Money From Home, the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy.
But I’d especially love to see a 3D version of Gorilla At Large (1954), a hokey thriller about an actor in a gorilla suit (his name was George Barrows) terrorizing Anne Bancroft under a circus tent. Cameron Mitchell, Raymond Burr, Lee J. Cobb and Lee Marvin costarred. It’s one of those so-shamelessly-cheeseball-it’s-mildly-hilarious B flicks. Everyone knows the drill on these.
The question is whether or not distributors decide that transferring half-century-old 3D films, which used a fairly primitive technology that may not be easily transferrable to digital, is achievable without costing an arm and a leg, and whether projected revenues from the home-3D market are deemed sufficient from a business perspective.
The GAL trailer’s golden moment is a line spoken by Cobb: “All I know is there’s a couple of gorillas around here, and one of them’s a killer.”
I’m hoping that I Knew It Was You, Richard Shepard‘s doc about the late John Cazale, is going to air on HBO more than just once — i.e., tomorrow night (6.1) at 8 pm. That’s the only showing I can find on HBO’s site but maybe I’m just too lazy to find the others.
In any event, here’s a review that I posted about 17 months ago:
Richard Shepard‘s I Knew It Was You is a longish short (40 minutes) about the late great John Cazale. He was a brave, talented, funny-looking character actor with a big forehead who didn’t last very long, but left a deep and lasting impression.
Cazale’s masterwork was creating the legendary Fredo — a pathetic but touching figure — in the first two Godfather films. He also played the psychotic, fruit-loopy Sal in Dog Day Afternoon, a surveillance guy named Stan in The Conversation, and another guy named Stan in The Deer Hunter.
And that was it. Five films. A career cut short due to the 42 year-old Cazale dying of cancer right after shooting his Deer Hunter scenes in April 1978. Tough break and horribly sad.
But Cazale is remembered by people who know from great acting, by fans of classic ’70s films, and obviously by his friends and co-workers, most of whom appear in Shepard’s film — onetime girlfriend Meryl Streep, costars Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Gene Hackman; directors Francis Coppola and Sidney Lumet ; and modern admirers Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Brett Ratner (who’s also one of the producers).
I Knew It Was You isn’t what I or anyone else would call a shattering work of game-changing genius. It’s just a straight, honest and eloquent remembrance of a very worthy and gifted man. Neat, trim and clean. Anyone who remembers and treasures the way Cazale made Fredo into one of the saddest and most emotionally vulnerable little men of the modern cinema needs to see this.
Nobody explains why Cazale’s Conversation and Deer Hunter characters had the same name. I’m sure there’s a story behind this.
The way Cazale crumpled down to a curb, hung his head and cried out “Papa! Papa” after Marlon Brando‘s Vito Corleone was shot on a street in Little Italy is, for me, indelible and unforgettable.
Like all great artists, Cazale drew from his own hurt and history and put it right out there. Hiding and pretending and putting on a slick movie-actor front weren’t in his vocabulary. He was a man of respect, loyalty and courage. Think of what he might have done if cancer hadn’t come along.
A web journalist interviewed me last week about the way Jesse Eisenberg, whose latest film is Holy Rollers, seems to play the same guy all the time. That led me to conclude that this isn’t just true for Eisenberg but also Michael Cera and Jay Baruchel. They’re the leading lights of this spindly-Jewish aesthetic, I think — the smart-sensitive nerd triumvirate of 21st Century cinema.
(l. to r.) Jesse Eisenberg, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera
They tend to play the same kind of thin, hesitant, cerebral types. Always susceptible to romantic delirium at the drop of a hat. Always with a girl who’s a little bit (or a whole lot) hotter than they deserve to be with, or could hope to be with in real life. They could easily step into each other’s roles. Same manner, similar neck size, height and weight, similar phrasings and dress styles.
They’ve all been deballed and almost girlified down, these guys. The culture has told them “this is how we need you to be.” Or rather girls have said this — girls who prefer soft and open and sincere to “manly,” whatever that amounts to these days. For most under-30 women, I suspect, old-school manly means not being emotionally reachable or accomodating — crusty, a touch of the hard-boiled, strong but lacking empathy.
If a 1963 incarnation of Steve McQueen was to return to earth, he wouldn’t have much luck with Kristen Stewart, I bet. She’d probably roll her eyes and chuckle and mutter “hah…whoa…a little too distant and hung up on himself.” (Megan Fox might fuck him though.)
However much men might talk about their admiration for McQueen and leaf through coffee-table books of his black-and-white photographs, they know his routine is more or less outmoded. Entombed even. Ditto the Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Bruce Willis, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman models. All gone from the landscape, except as an opportunity for a spoof or satire of some kind.
Which is how Willis’s John McClane was played in Live Free or Die Hard. As a hide-bound geezer, clinging to the macho code for dear life. Justin Long, whose persona isn’t quite as distinct as Eisenberg-Cera-Baruchel and therefore hasn’t caught on in the same way, played an approximation of today’s male — bright and alert and courageous as far as it goes, but divorced from the mentality and the culture that produced McLane types in the mid to late 20th Century, and using his Obama-generation attitude to poke at Willis’s pretension.
The Expendables is being marketed, I think, in a semi-satirical vein. As a hyper-violent old-school goof. That was how Stallone’s last Rambo film was processed, or so it seemed when I saw it in Santa Barbara a couple of years ago.
The young Dustin Hoffman would fit right in with Eisenberg and those guys, I suppose. I think that’s why Hoffman took the David Sumner role in Sam Peckinpah‘s Straw Dogs — to show that he had more going on than just that smart, sensitive, internalized short-guy thing, to show he had the stuff to beat a guy to death with a golf club and feel good about it afterwards.
Could Eisenberg, Barchel or Cera have sold this quality in Rod Lurie‘s Straw Dogs remake, if Lurie had chosen to precisely duplicate Hoffman’s mathematician character? (Which he hasn’t, by the way.) I seriously doubt it.
I asked Jett about the Dweeb Pack, and he said they’re analagous to the anti-machismo, no-power-chords strain in today’s indie rock, which is about as far away from basic Lou Reed guitar, bass and drums rock as you can get. I realize (having been instructed by HE readers) that plenty of indie rockers play solid-beat, live-percussion, jangly-twangy rock, but the stuff I’ve heard on my sons’ iPhones seems so cut off from 20th Century blues-rock traditions — girlish, aerie-fairie, kind of whoo-hoo-heeyo — that it makes me wince at times.
There’s a fundamental disconnect factor at the heart of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Universal, 8.13) that no one I’ve read has mentioned, so I guess I’ll have to. Why do fans of comic-book adaptations always seem so undiscriminating, so willing to unconditionally embrace despite distinct warning signs telling them to hold up a sec? Because this issue is about as big and broad as a barn door.
Directed and co-written by Edgar Wright (in and of himself a slight problem due to the broad-stroke animality of Hot Fuzz) and based, of course, on Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s six-part comic book series, Scott Pilgrim is about the title character, a sensitive, bass-playing dweeb portrayed by Michael Cera, grappling with seven angry ex-boyfriends of a would-be girlfriend named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
As I understand it, the exes are all friggin’ furious that Ramona’s pleasures are no longer accessible and are fiercely resentful of any replacement, even though they themselves comprise an awful long conga line to start with.
Now, we all know about the occasional wacked-out ex-boyfirend who can’t let it go. I had a brief thing with an extremely dishy lady in the ’80s who was dealing at the time with an unstable ex. So unstable, in fact, that when I visited her one night he called up and then came over and rang the bell (she told me to ignore him) and then started pacing back and forth on the front lawn, calling out to her and talking to himself and generally creating a pathetic spectacle. So I know whereof I speak. Girls sometimes choose badly, some guys can’t handle rejection, and sometimes you have to put up your dukes.
It did occur to me as this psychodrama was unfolding, of course, that anyone with a looney-tunes ex might be a little screwy themselves, or perhaps be a little dishonest or manipulative or flaky. You are who you go out with. This episode wasn’t enough to put me off (she was beautiful and curvaceous and breathtaking in bed), but it did give pause. I know that if she’d had two ex-boyfriends knocking on the door I would have said “wow, this is really weird” and “something isn’t right.” And if she’d had three guys pleading for forgiveness and restitution I would have said “okay, she obviously likes guys fighting for her affections” and taken a hike.
O’Malley was obviously resorting to comic exaggeration by giving Ramona seven angry ex-boyfriends, but even if you scale that number back to three or four it still means that Scott Pilgrim hasn’t a lick of common sense. Even guys in the fifth or sixth grade know that a girl who always has a bunch of guys swarming around her is trouble. (I certainly knew this by the time I was eleven or twelve.) And therefore Scott is a fool. He doesn’t understand that any woman with seven fulminating exes is almost certainly suspect on some level — a narcissist, a power-tripper, a Scarlett O’Hara.
So after watching the Scott Pilgrim trailer you’re left with the question, “Do I want to hang with a guy this stupid for 110 minutes?” And the answer, of course, is fuck no. And I mean especially if he’s played by Cera. Give me a break with that guy already. I was sensing he might be over almost two years ago (i.e., in September ’08), and I think that view has since gotten some traction.