If I could lethalize the Yahoo Search virus by clapping my hands three times, I would clap my hands three times. It attached itself to my Chrome browser months ago, and no matter what I do (and I’ve tried and tried) I can’t get rid of the godawful thing, and it’s easily the stupidest search engine I’ve ever had the misfortune to use. I hate what it delivers, I hate that stupid purple scheme, just glancing at the logo makes me sick. Yahoo Search attaching itself to Google is like that infant alien wrapping itself around John Hurt‘s face.
The total number of January 2016 releases that I might be able to sit through without too much difficulty is…uhm, three. Okay, make it four. But really only two. I’m talking about (a) a pair of actioners about tough guys doing the rugged heroism thing, (b) what appears to be just another stupid, vulgar boner comedy, and (c) a troubled western that probably isn’t much good but you never know. Be optimistic.
The only 2016 commercial release that I damn well know will be good if not excellent in a droll, understated way and which I’m expecting to see next month (even though it won’t open until February 5th) is Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Hail Caesar!
The safest January bets are Michael Bay‘s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Bengahzi (Paramount, 1.15) and Craig Gillespie‘s The Finest Hours (Disney, 1.29). Neither will offer much in the way of thematic undercurrents, but at least they’re dealing with real-life events and will therefore need to deliver the goods in an “execution dependant” way.
I expect competency, at least, from Bay’s film, which is about that 9.11.12 mob attack upon an American compound in Benhgazi that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Will Bay include a line or even a scene that points the finger at then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for not having done all she could to prevent this disaster? Seems doubtful. Bay is primarily a technician. He’s never come within 100 yards of political content in his previous films. He just wants to ride the smooth seas.
And then there’s Dan Mazer‘s Dirty Grandpa (Lionsgate, 1.22), which costars Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro and may, I suspect, turn out to be oddly likable. No predictions, just a hunch. Because DeNiro has lately been on a kind of roll.
Since my late teens I’ve never been sick for more than a 48-hour period. Okay, 72 if you’re talking first symptoms to full recovery. This damn thing I have now has been going since last Tuesday night, for God’s sake. Conditions are somewhat better today as I’m at least strong enough to tap out a few items. “You’re all alone with what goes on inside your body” — a line from Olivier Assayas‘ Late August, Early September. (Hat tip to Joe Leydon’s 7.7.99 review.)
My illness didn’t really kick in until Wednesday so I’ve no excuse for missing Dave McNary’s 12.21 report about the release date of Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur movie (technically titled Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur) having been moved from 7.22.16 to 2.17.17. If a downmarket CG action-epic is likely to bomb in mid-July it’s going to bomb just as badly if it opens the following February, so the reasoning behind the Warner Bros. date-shift probably has something to do with needing more time to finesse the CG plus saving dough on p & a costs. King Arthur, in any event, is the new Jupiter Ascending — the Warner Bros. space-fantasy that was initially slated to open in July 2014 but was bumped to February 2015. 2015 has really been a banner year for Warner Bros. — an all-but-certain loss when Ritchie’s pic opens, Jupiter Ascending has lost well over $100 million, Pan (which I didn’t even bother to see) having lost between $130 and $150 million and Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. having lost a bundle also. Things could turn around next year with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts, but who outside of fanboys is honestly looking forward to seeing the latter two?
I was just thinking that it’s a shame that Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow‘s De Palma, a five-years-in-the-making documentary which screened in Venice and New York last September, won’t be screening at Sundance ’16. Every Christmas I get a little hungry for fresh watchable movies, knowing full well that I won’t have this satisfaction until I hit Park City, which isn’t for another three and a half weeks.
I initially assumed that the beautiful mountaintop avalanche that Leonardo DiCaprio witnesses during the final third of The Revenant was digitally created. Then I read in a 12.22 N.Y Times interview with director Alejandro G. Inarritu that it was entirely real. David Segal writes that Inarritu “is known for exasperatingly high standards and fiendishly complex stagings, which in this movie included a helicopter-induced avalanche that had to be perfectly timed with several actors and a horse.” Not quite — just Leo and a single horse share the shot. A helicopter triggers an avalanche, one presumes, by hovering over virgin snow at the top of a mountain and thereby pushing loads of the stuff off a cliff. Another way to have done it would have been to fly a physical effects guy to the peak and have him detonate an explosive. A seriously impressive feat by any standard or measuring stick.
A 12.25 N.Y. Daily News story reported that this 12.20 video of an Indiana woman, Eva Goeb, experiencing an emotional meltdown upon catching sight of Lily, a newly-adopted granddaughter, had attracted almost 4 million viewers. Right now the count is at 4,464,053.
The occasion was a surprise holiday visit by Goeb’s son Donny, a military officer stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, and his wife Miranda. The couple hadn’t told Goeb they’d managed to adopt and decided “hey, let’s surprise her!” I’ll never understand people who go to all lengths just so they can watch friends or family members go into shock when the big moment happens. Donny obviously succeeded in this regard, and perhaps with a secondary motive. The YouTube page announces that Donny is looking for gofundme assistance to get through “over $30,000” in adoption costs.
HE reaction: It’s very nice that an infant girl has been adopted by good parents and that grandma is overwhelmed, etc. But my first reaction was to feel sympathy for Lily. Imagine her feelings of shock and perhaps fear as Goeb, obviously a practiced emotional showboater, shrieks and slobbers. In my eyes Goeb is the kind of gunboat mom who will suffocate you with affection and attention, and who will always insist that her feelings be exhibited to the max and therefore known to the world (or at least to the neighbors).
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This morning I read a 6.9 profile of MGM CEO Gary Barber by Deadline‘s Peter Bart (“A Resurgent MGM Builds...More »