“But really, what makes Pontypool worth watching is that fascinating (and often underutilized) actor, Stephen McHattie. With his sunken cheeks and eyes that burn with a kind of canny madness, McHattie, playing the reluctant hero, is completely believable, a guy with demons who suddenly finds that the world is even scarier than his interior landscape. Language is a virus, Laurie Anderson once sang – and Pontypool takes that notion to frightening extremes.” — Hollywood & Fine‘s Marshall Fine in a 5.29 review.
“The harrowing truth remains unchanged from what it was before Dick Cheney emerged from his bunker to set Washington atwitter. The Bush administration did not make us safer either before or after 9/11. Obama is not making us less safe. If there’s another terrorist attack, it will be because the mess the Bush administration ignored in Pakistan and Afghanistan spun beyond anyone’s control well before Americans could throw the bums out.” — from Frank Rich‘s column in today’s N.Y. Times, called “Who Is To Blame for the Next Attack?”
If you were casting around for an actor to play a good-time 30something guy with a beard, a barrel chest and a wisecracking mouth, would you go with The Hangover‘s Zach Galifianakis or Humpday‘s Joshua Leonard? Appearance-wise the differences are mainly about weight (Galifianakis is bulkier) and hair color (Leonard’s hair is blondish). Is the Galifianakis similarity the reason Leonard’s beard was shaved off for the Humpday release poster?
If you’re in LA, Jack Morrissey says it’s absolutely essential to visit the Rubber Room’s Monsterpalooza at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center, which features the work of Drag Me To Hell model/prosthetic guy Greg Nicotera (also the creator of “Bruce” in Jaws and Dirk Diggler’s appendage in Boogie Nights). But today’s the last shot! Here’s Nicotera talking to Time Out.
My son Dylan and I happened to be standing on 6th Ave. and 36th Street around 7:35 or 7:40 pm when President Barack Obama‘s motorcade came howling by. He and Michelle had been to dinner at a West Village restaurant called Blue Hill, and were on their way to the Belasco theatre for a performance of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
I didn’t know what was up at first. Something obviously was with all the cops around and the cross streets blocked off. More and more people began to congregate on both sides of Sixth Avenue. The word got around fast. By the time the motorcade made its way through the area it almost felt like we were watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Lots of sirens, a good 20 or 30 motorcycles, eight or nine cops cars vans and SUVs came before and after the two Presidential limousines. People clapped and cheered when they finally came by. Which one carried Barack and Michelle? Most likely the second.
With all the hullaballoo over the last several months about John Madden‘s Killshot being delayed, regionally released (barely) and generally being shown little love by the Weinstein Co., you’d think there’d be a bit more reaction to this adaptation of an Elmore Leonard thriller coming out four days ago on DVD. Apparently it’s a bit underwhelming, but are there any HE reader reactions?
“Killshot hasn’t enjoyed the easiest road to a suitable release,” wrote DVD Talk‘s Brian Ondorf. “Filmed nearly four years ago, the picture suffered through endless rounds of editorial indecision, reshooting, and the embarrassment of a pathetic five-screen theatrical release earlier this year. While the feature’s unpleasant personal history shouldn’t be at play during a viewing, it’s hard not to spot the sloppy stitch marks on the motion picture. While certainly endowed with a few startling moments of tension, Killshot is messy and unfocused, taking the stinger out of this Elmore Leonard adaptation.”
This is going to be a super-busy catch-up weekend watching this one plus Drag Me To Hell and Pontypool in theatres.
The first message I read after landing this afternoon was from former Newsday film writer Lewis Beale, to wit: “Don’t know if you’re back, but you should check out Pontypool, a Canadian low budget zombie flick. It plays like a horror film written by a semiotician. Utterly unique.”
N.Y. Times critic Stephen Holden wrote that “when one infected character is reduced to spouting gibberish as she suicidally hurls herself at [a] glass booth that has become a fortress against the zombie terror, the notion that we are all being driven mad by an incessant verbal deluge makes nasty comic sense.”
Got into JFK from Barcelona around 1:30 pm. Currently sitting in the terminal that houses Iberia Airlines, waiting for son Dylan’s plane to arrive at 4:07 pm. Sitting next to a Starbucks, a Subway and other manifestations of corporate sterility. It was awfully nice to be away from all that. Yes, corporate chain branding is ubiquitous worldwide, but the climate feels a tad earthier and more home-grown in Europe.