As previously noted the second season of Joe Penhall and David Fincher‘s Mindhunter pops on 8.16, or a week and a half hence. Netflix usually provides critics with early online access, but not this time. I learned today that Los Angeles-based critics will get to see the first three episodes in tandem in a nice theatre…very cool.
A 20 year-old film can’t be referred to as “old” — a little faded or dusty, okay, but you can’t call it rickety or bent over. I understand that if you were born 31 years ago (like my son Jett) a film from the early ’90s might be, from your perspective, flirting with the outer perimeter of memory. My understanding is that for a film to be regarded as genuinely, seriously withered by Millennial or GenZ standards, it has to have been made in the ’80s. That, trust me, is ancient-ass history…yellowing with antiquity. Where does that leave the ’70s and ’60s, much less the classic studio era of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s? Up in the attic, it seems. Packed away inside cardboard boxes.
Typical GenZ sentiment: “I saw this moth-eaten, older-than-shit movie about bad-ass bank robbers the other day. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro…some other guys I didn’t know. Forget the title but it was pretty good.”
“Leaders” other than Donald Trump have fanned the racial hate embers, I’m sure, but we all know the current President is the most influential dispenser of this ugliness, by far. So why did Barack and Michelle Obama pussyfoot around by saying “we should soundly reject [such] language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders“? We all know what they meant. Would it have killed them to just spit out the words “President Trump is the worst offender”? Beto O’Rourke has rewritten and refreshed the book on this kind of thing. No more general allusions — say it straight and plain — Trump is a racist dog.
Released between ’66 and ’69, Dean Martin‘s Matt Helm films (The Silencers, Murderers’ Row, The Ambushers, The Wrecking Crew) were lightweight James Bond spoofs, but even within that cynical realm they felt cheap — third-rate, oddly antiseptic, visually tepid flotsam. And not even vaguely amusing.
Below is a passage from The Wrecking Crew (’69), portions of which are seen in Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. It’s a lame, Man From Uncle-level martial-arts fuel between Sharon Tate and Nancy Kwan, and presented in short clips during Margot Robbie‘s “Sharon Tate catches an afternoon show inside Westwood’s Bruin theatre” sequence.
It’s an immediate drop-out because the bleached-blonde Robbie and the red-haired Tate resemble each other only slightly, which makes you wonder why Tarantino didn’t re-shoot the Wrecking Crew footage with Robbie and a Kwan stand-in.
But the scene plays even worse when you watch it without the “Robbie chuckling in her theatre seat” inserts. Right away you’re thinking this is extra-level godawful. Tate was a flat and wooden actress — she had no special gifts or moves, no sparkle in the eye, nothing going on inside. The combat choreography (Bruce Lee was credited as “karate advisor”) feels absurdly phony. Hugh Montenegro‘s music is atrocious — every note and stanza announces “this movie is bullshit.” Director Phil Karlson shoots like some disengaged second-unit guy — no edge or style. Sam Leavitt‘s cinematography decimates with overly bright lighting.
Who the hell would want to shell out $29.95 plus shipping for a Twilight Time Bluray of Wild In The Country (’61), which was the last half-serious dramatic attempt by Elvis Presley before he succumbed to that godawful run of lightweight formula flicks that characterized the remainder of his Hollywood output? Who would want to even watch it?
Read the Turner Classic Movies profile — serious people were involved, but it was a clunker with songs.
Based on a long-in-the-works novel by J.R. Salamanca, who also wrote the source book for Robert Rossen‘s Lilith (’64), it’s about a surly, indifferent malcontent who turns out to be a writer of some merit. The usual complications interfere, of course.
In August 1960 Clifford Odets signed to write the screenplay, with Philip Dunne to direct. Filming was to start in November. (“It pained me to hear him rationalize writing the screenplay,” said Odets’ colleague Harold Clurman.) But poor Odets was canned during filming.
Presley was allegedly intimate with Tuesday Weld during filming.
Costar Millie Perkins in Peter Guralnick‘s “Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley” (from TCM): “I saw Elvis looking around that set and summing up people faster than anyone else could have, and I felt that after a short period of time he was disappointed in Philip Dunne…He tried very hard to make this film better than his other movies and you saw him trying and asking questions…I remember doing this one scene in the truck, and we were supposed to be driving home from a dance or going to a dance, and in the script he was supposed to break into song, turn on the radio and start singing. And to me it was like, ‘Yuck’….finally the director walked away, and Elvis looks at me and says, ‘God, this is so embarrassing. Nobody would ever do this in real life. Why are they making me do this?’ So there we were, both of us having to do something and we just wanted to vomit.”
A decision has been made to screen Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman as the closing-night attraction of the 2019 BFI London Film Festival on Sunday, 10.13. This will be two weeks and two days after The Irishman has its big world premiere at the New York Film Festival on Friday, 9.27. I’m guessing this was the best date for Netflix’s p.r. schedule, arranging for the cast and crew to fly to London and submit to the usual dog-and-pony. If I had to guess the basic plan would be to open The Irishman in a few hundred grade-A urban theatres sometime in mid October, and let it play for a month or so (or a bit longer), and then debut it on Netflix sometime in mid to late November. Theories?
Yesterday, for perhaps the first time since he announced his presidential candidacy, Beto O’Rourke bluntly said what he really and truly felt as opposed to what he believed he ought to say within the bounds of political propriety and p.c. terminology. And he did so with a couple of shots of take-it-or-leave-it profanity…thank you! It was as if he’d told himself a second or two before he said what he said that “this is what I really and truly think so fuck it…plus I’m so low in the polls it can’t matter so how can I lose?”
As a onetime Beto booster I feel cleansed, rejuvenated, invigorated. A reporter asked an idiotic question — “Is there anything in your mind that [President Trump] can do now to make this any better?” — and Beto, to his everlasting credit, replied to the tune of “sorry but are you fucking insane? I mean, is this a trick question or what?”
Actual Beto quote: “What do you think? You know the shit [Trump has] been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know…like, members of the press, what the fuck? It’s these questions that you know the answers to. Hold on a second! I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country. So you know, I just…I don’t know what kind of question that is.”
I didn’t get video, but here’s audio of the question and Beto O’Rourke’s answer. This came after an emotional vigil in El Paso, as O’Rourke circled behind a building looking for his wife. pic.twitter.com/VBk8xoE1lz
— Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) August 5, 2019
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) August 5, 2019