I missed the 4.12 announcement about Lindsay Lohan snagging the role of Victoria Gotti in a feature biopic about the latter’s late mobster dad. So Lilo isn’t doomed after all. If you have any compassion or charity in your heart you have to feel fairly good about this. Second chances don’t come along that often.
I’ve tried three times to write a Scream 4 review, but the K-Mart-level cynicism and detachment in this film is so dull and yet nauseating I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t put words to screen. To think that these movies actually used to be about playing it half-straight and making people feel scared from time to time.
(l. to r.) Scream 4‘s Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell.
I happened to watch part of Gore Verbinski‘s The Ring on TV the other day, and that is still very frightening at times. Scream 4 isn’t fit to kiss the ass of this film, much less the original Ringu.
I realize, of course, that that soullessness is critical to Scream 4‘s satiric (and yes, occasionally comedic) intent, but I couldn’t begin to even think about laughing, much less smirking. The actors are required to act like zombies in this thing and that’s what they actually seem to be — young soulless attitude ghouls with the ability to walk and talk and convey indifference to everyone and everything, especially those in the audience.
I too felt dead in my willingness to sit there and watch this shit. If Ghostface has jumped off the screen like Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo and tried to finish me off, I would have run like hell because I want to live another day, but any honest person who pays to see this thing would be obliged to say, “Aaah, fuck it, go ahead, I deserve it.”
Neve Campbell is a good actress who cares and tries and therefore deserves a pass, but I came out of this film despising the ground that Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere walk on; ditto Rory Culkin and Eric Knudsen.
65% of the critics have given Scream 4 a pass so far. How can they live with that much cynicism? How can they breathe?
So what happened to the original title of Yasmina Reza‘s God of Carnage play in its transition into a Roman Polanski film? Sony Classics announced this morning that they’ll be releasing Polanski’s Carnage, which costars Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz, at the end of the year. But without explaining why they (or producer Said Ben Said) have dropped the words “God of.”
3:45 pm Update: A publicist for the film just told me that the decision to change the title “was made by the producer [Said Ben Said] and Polanski.” She also said she hadn’t been told why they made the title change, and that no additional information would be forthcoming. I also tried to get an answer directly from Sony Classics — zip.
One possible answer is that somebody in marketing is afraid that right-wing yahoos might be offended by a Roman Polanski movie that mixes the words “God” and “carnage.” This is belied, of course, by the fact that Reza’s play has been a huge coast-to-coast hit for the last two years with thousands of Average Joes (including hinterland tourists) paying to see it and laughing their asses off. But perhaps the Polanski name plus the title might turn off a certain segment of the audience, and so they’re playing it safe.
That or Sony Classics is afraid that God of Carnage sounds too much like a video game. And just plain Carnage doesn’t?
Here’s my original reaction to the Broadway play, posted in March 2009.
There’s no allusion in Reza’s title to any vast, all-encompassing entity, of course — it refers to a secular deity that brings out our savage instincts. You’d think that even dumbshit yahoos could figure this out.
“Each generation gets the monster it deserves. The Depression era received King Kong. The Atomic Age got Godzilla. The 1980s saw a mob of faceless, personality-vacant slasher killers dominate the screens. And the 1990s saw the rise of intellectually brilliant sociopaths like Hannibal Lecter charm audiences. In the Bush era — an age of rampant stupidity, greed, open political corruption, illegal wars, and religious/political demagoguery — we get Daniel Plainview.” — Derek Hill.
I would add that the ’40s got The Invisible Man and Val Lewton‘s catwomen and zombies. Who/what was the reigning monster figure of the ’60s and ’70s? This needs to be kicked around.
Not a single line or move in this entire four-day-old Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right” bullshit video is funny. I didn’t crack a glimmer of a grin at any of it…blecch. Nothingness, insincere “quote” humor, silly, strained and totally flat on its feet. The people involved don’t have clue #1 about being funny, and the actors (Rogen, Black, McBride, Ferrell, Tucci, Sarandon, etc.) need to look in the bathroom mirror. A huge embarassment.
The first time I saw this What’s Up, Tiger Lily? clip was 35 or 40 years ago and the last time I posted it was in September 2007, but it’s ten times funnier than anything in the Beastie Boys video, and it’s only mildly amusing in and of itself.
The official lineup of the Cannes Film Festival dropped early this morning in Paris, and my straight-from-the-heart first reaction? Honestly? The selections seem enticing but they’re not quite enough. The festival needed but didn’t deliver one or two of those “who expected that?” selections. Almost everything chosen had been predicted or spitballed by guys like Screen Int’l‘s Mike Goodridge, etc.
Why couldn’t the festival have snagged Steve McQueen‘s Shame? Or Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire? Or Jonathan Levine‘s 50/50 (a.k.a. Live With It and/or I’m With Cancer)? Or Tom Hanks‘ Larry Crowne? Or Tomas Alfedson‘s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? Or something along those lines. Oh, well…maybe something exciting will debut in the market section.
HE’s most anticipated Cannes selection: Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Drive, described here and there as a “minimalist” crime thriller about a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver, costarring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and Christina Hendricks.
HE’s remaining highly anticipated Cannes selections (in this order): (a) Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin That I Inhabit, (b) Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, (c) Paolo Sorrentino‘s This Must Be The Place, (d) Terrence Malick‘s somewhat devalued The Tree of Life, (e) Takashi Miike‘s Harakiri, (f) Lars von Trier‘s Melancholia, (g) Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes‘ The Kid With The Bike, (h) Gus Van Sant‘s Restless (in Un Certain Regard), (i) Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris and (j) Lynn Ramsay‘s We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Eyesores: Kung Fu Panda 2 and especially Rob Marshall‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Floating/Come Again?/Need Some Help: Julia Leigh‘s Sleeping Beauty, Radu Mihaileanu‘s La source des femmes, Nanni Moretti’s We Have A Pope, Bertrand Bonello‘s L’Apollonide, Joseph Cedar‘s Footnote, Naomi Kawase‘s Hazenu no Tsuki, Markus Schleinzer‘s Michael, Alan Cavalier‘s Parterre, Maiwenn‘s Polisse.
Other Un Certain Regard Selections: Ariang (dir: Kim Ki-Duk), Bonsai (dir: Christian Jiminez), The Day He Arrives (dir: Hong Sang-soo), Et maintenant, on va ou? (dir: Nadine Labaki), Halt auf freier Strecke (dir: Andreas Dresen), Hors Satan (dir: Bruno Dumont), Skoonheid (dir: Oliver Hermanus), The Hunter (dir: Bakur Bakuradze), L’exercise de l’Etat (dir: Pierre Schoeller), Loverboy (dir: Catalin Mitulescu), Martha Marcy May Marlene (dir: Sean Durkin), Miss Bala (dir: Gerardo Naranjo), Les neiges du Kilimandjaro (dir: Robert Guediguian), Oslo, August 31 (dir: Joachim Trier), Tatsumi (dir: Eric Khoo), Toomelah (dir: Ivan Sen), Travailler fatigue (dir: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra), Yellow Sea (dir: Na Hong-jin).
Out-of-Competition, Special Screenings: The Artist (dir: Michel Hazanavicius); The Beaver (dir: Jodie Foster); La conquete (dir: Xavier Durringer), Labrador (dir: Frederikke Aspock), Le maitre des forges de l’enfer (dir: Rithy Panh), Un documentarie sur Michel Petrucciani (dir: Michael Radford), Tous au Larzac (dir: Christian Rouaud).
Here’s a rundown of all the movies, DVDs or Blurays, TV shows (i.e., Man From Uncle episodes), books and screenplays consumed and paintings painted by Steven Soderbergh from 2.1.10 through 3.23.11, day by day. The coding is as follows:
With Sony distribution joining forces with MGM, the James Bond franchise (presumably in the form of Bond 23 with Daniel Craig starring and Sam Mendes directing) is alive again. On 10.5.12 the 007 franchise will be a half-century old. It won’t die. I thought the brand was over when George Lazenby came along, but the dry comedic tone of The Spy Who Loved Me re-energized it. Then I thought it was over 20 years ago and along came the Pierce Brosnan phase. And then Casino Royale revived things again. So what do I know?
It was announced late today that Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of the nation’s 16th President, in Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln, which begins filming next fall for release in late ’12. The Oscar-winning Field obviously resembles the former First Lady and will, I’m sure, play her with snap and spunk to spare. But if I’d been casting, I’d have given the role to Marcia Gay Harden.
No offense but I think Field is too old to play the role and that Harden would be exactly the right age for it, and that her appearance wouldn’t stir audiences to talk and whisper the way Field will, I fear.
I realize, of course, that photos of Mary Todd Lincoln have always shown an anxious and clenched and worn-down appearance, and that one result was that she looked older than her years. But Lincoln, I’ve learned, will focus on the years 1863 to ’65, when Mary was 45 and 46 years old. Field is 64 and will be nudging 65 when filming begins six months hence.
In actuality Mary Todd Lincoln, born in 1818, was nine years younger than her husband Abraham, who was born in 1809. Daniel Day Lewis, who will play President Lincoln, is 53 now and will be 54 when filming begins — ten years younger than Field. (Lincoln was 56 when he was assassinated in April 1865.) So in Spielberg’s version Mrs. Lincoln will not only be played by a woman 20 years older than the real Mary Todd, but nearly ten years older than the real-life Lincoln.
Harden, an indisputably brilliant actress, is 50 — a little more than two years younger than Lewis. She would be 51 when filming begins. She would be about five or six years older than Mrs. Lincoln was at the time, but no biggie — makeup and lighting would fix any problems. But age gaps of 10 or 20 years are another matter. I’m not saying Field’s age will be a significant issue, but her appearance will, I suspect, have to be worked around to some extent.