Is in fact this Marmaduke trailer more infuriating than the one for Furry Vengeance? HE reader Josh insists that Marmaduke is the 2010 champ thus far. It doesn’t, however, have Brendan Fraser fighting a weight problem, and that, for me, is significant.
20th Century Fox is releasing Marmaduke on June 4th.
There’s something extremely engaging and heartening about this re-print of a Vanity Fair article, written by Brooke Hayward, of a conversation she had in ’01 with ex-husband Dennis Hopper and daughter Marin about their life together from the early to late ’60s. It’s hard to pin down exactly why it feels so levitational but it is.
“Double Standard,” 1961, silver print, Dennis Hopper collection, Los Angeles.
I found their recollection of Hopper’s heroism during the 1961 Bel Air fire especially moving. Brooke tells Marin about how “your dad ran up and down Stone Canyon saving everybody.” And then Hopper recalls “a double-page picture of me in Paris Match — ‘Unidentified man, hero of Bel Air fire’ — with a Juan Gris in one hand and a Picasso in the other, coming out of this woman’s house.
“Everybody had abandoned this house with the roof on fire, and I kept thinking, Somebody’s in there. I ran in, and this woman was sitting on the toilet. I said, ‘You’ve got to leave.’ ‘No, no, I’m staying, I’m staying. I don’t care.’ Anyway, I got her out of there, and that’s when, I guess, they took the picture!”
L.A. Times/Envelope columnist Pete Hammond heard last weekend from the Cannes people that he was good to go with his press pass. But I was only just told today. I first became accustomed to being one of the last kids to be chosen in grade school, because my last name ends with a “W.”
Prenom/First Name: Jeffrey
Media/Publication or outlet: HOLLYWOOD-ELSEWHERE.COM
“Nous avons le plaisir de vous confirmer votre accreditation pour le 63e Festival de Cannes. Vous pourrez retirer votre badge a Cannes sur presentation de cette confirmation et d’une piece d’identite. L’entree des bureaux des accreditations se situe entre l’Office du Tourisme et l’entree principale du Palais des Festivals.
“Merci de consulter votre dossier d’informations pratiques personnalise, accessible avec votre reference de dossier, a l’adresse http://reg.online-festival.com. Vous y trouverez a partir du vendredi 9 avril des documents d’informations ainsi que votre bon de transport aeroport de Nice-Cannes.”
CBS Films’ The Back-up Plan (4.23), the Jennifer Lopez romcom, is partnering with the American Humane Association for pet adoptions across the nation in 12 select markets. And Participant Media and Summit Entertainment’s Furry Vengeance (4.30) has announced a campaign to “bring a message of wildlife and habitat preservation to over 16,000 schools – approximately a half a million students around the country,” according to a release.
The idea is to counter-balance the karma of the films themselves with socially nourishing acts. Better this, I suppose, than just doing a take-the-money-and-run.
I reported on March 7th about having seen the trailer for Furry Vengeance, the latest from director Roger Kumble, and coming away with an impression that it may be “the most infuriatingly awful film of the year thus far.”
Wilson Morales reported yesterday about Chris Rock embarking on a rewrite of Akira Kurosawa‘s High and Low — an emotional variation of Ed McBain’s King’s Ransom — for Mike Nichols to eventually direct. This reminded me of Nichols’ other project, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith‘s Deep Water by Joe Penhall. If anyone has Penhall’s script, I’d love to read it.
This Focus Features trailer — a slick professional job — sells the notion that Lisa Cholodenko‘s The Kids Are All Right is tart and punchy and taut like a trampoline, bouncing its material high in the air. It’s an okay film, but it’s more like a blanket spread out on the back lawn on a Sunday afternoon in the shade with glasses of lemonade and NPR on the radio.
I saw The Kids Are All Right in a slightly haggard and pressured state at Sundance and would like to give it another shot. I didn’t hate it or anything. I’d just like to see it in a fresher, more robust state of mind.
Okay, I Love You, Phillip Morris will get a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it theatrical release after all, despite previous appearances to the contrary. And yes, I should have taken note yesterday. There are brief portions of Phillip Morris that are almost on the level of Frank Ripploh‘s Taxi Zum Klo. Which may have had a little something to do with the distribution delay. Or not.
The falling-guy gag is funny and it’s nice to see Michael Keaton again, but otherwise Adam McKay‘s The Other Guys (Columbia, 8.6) is more of the same bullshit. Be very afraid of the guy who directed Step Brothers, which had no sense of restraint or finesse –just pure upchuck.
I don’t care if most viewers liked McKay’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby — it was a coarse yeehaw comedy that farted in my face and called it a joke. I didn’t even laugh that much at Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, although there are some who’ve referred to it with fond affection. So forget this latest thing, which is clearly aimed at the gorillas.
I had mixed reactions to Alexei Barrionuevo‘s 4.10 N.Y. Times story about James Cameron‘s visit to a section of Brazil’s Amazon jungle populated by the Na’vi-like Arara tribe, who live along the Xingu River. Once there Cameron stated his opposition to the proposed Belo Monte dam, which “would flood hundreds of square miles of the Amazon and…devastate the indigenous communities that live along it,” Barrionuevo reports.
What I mean is that it feels “right” and a tiny bit weird at the same time. What is environmentalism if you don’t stand up and do something along the lines of what Cameron is attempting? And yet there are faint echoes of hubris in the image of a rich American director flying down to Brazil and proclaiming that a genuine life-or-death, money-and-greed situation is a reflection of a creative vision that led to an enormously successful film.
Cameron’s heart is obviously in the right place, and I agree with his likely assessment, which is that the dam is a stand-in for unobtanium, the Avatar MacGuffin. Meaning that the dam probably is an arrogant initiative by a relatively small group of government bureaucrats who are looking to favor (and be greased by) certain contractors, and with zero regard for the blight it will bring about.
What American settlers, railroads and legislators did to American Indians in the mid to late 1800s, today’s Brazilian government is doing to tribes like the Arara.
“The snake kills by squeezing very slowly,” Cameron said to more than 70 indigenous people during his recent visit. “This is how the civilized world slowly, slowly pushes into the forest and takes away the world that used to be.”
Why, then, did I ask myself certain questions after reading this story? Most of them having to do with the contrast between a clean cinematic narrative and the mucky-muck of real-world political maneuver. Avatar is one thing, but this is real — can Cameron or any other rich, committed environmentalist (or environmental group) really stop the dam?
We’re trained to believe that when “progress” wants to step in, nature has to back off….but does that always have to be the case?
Cameron is right to see this as an Avatar-like situation, but what would the reaction be if the Arara went all Na’vi on the dam builders and took some workers out with poison darts? Is the Belo Monte dam completely about unnecessary corruption, or is there an economic upside that at least mitigates the situation? If so, is there a more ecologically responsible or compassionate way to bring power to the region?
Movies are movies, but life is a little more gnarly and complicated.
Marshall Fine agrees that Kick-Ass‘s Aaron Johnson, who plays the title character, “is a wimp, a weenie, a wuss…the least interesting thing about it.” And that the film “is stolen quite handily by Chloe Moretz, as the foul-mouthed, blood-spilling, wall-crawling Hit Girl.
“In her violet wig and leather jumper, armed with spears and handguns, she’s a one-woman demolition derby when she confronts D’Amico’s men. And when she starts talking smack, her casual use of filthy language is hilariously off-color and incongruous.”
The key thing, as I said on 4.1, is that Moretz “isn’t compromised by the fact that her Matrix-like fighting skills and multiple triumphs over able-bodied, full-grown men (particularly during the finale) are completely ludicrous. What matters is that she has the character and personality of a super-tough chick who doesn’t mess around. Presence, conviction, charisma…got ’em all.”
But like most critics, Fine is reluctant to disparage the idiot-nerd-fantasy violence for fear of seeming unhip, although he does acknowledge that standard-issue physics-defying Hong Kong/Matrix bullshit ballet — an absolute staple of all but a few action films — “has become, in one short decade, a cliche.”
I feel it’s much worse than a cliche — it’s a pestilence, a plague. Thanks to comic-book movies and their geeky pudge-bod ComicCon fans and their online advocates/apologists, “violence you can believe in” is all but out the window.
“I don’t mind the way this movie stretches reality,” Fine says, “although the contrast between Kick-Ass‘ reality with Hit Girl’s fantasy skills makes it seem as though they’re in two different movies.”
A typical Uday Hussein-style bathtub has gold-dipped (or in some way gold-simulated) fixtures. The tragedy is that this particular Hussein is located in a 16th floor room in the formerly classy Plaza hotel. Once a showplace for brahmin taste and tradition, the Plaza was bought in 2004 by El Ad Properties, a subsidiary of the Israeli El Ad Group, and you know the rest. A liking for gold is generally the mark of a cultural peon, or in this case the design strategy of a Middle Eastern concern looking to cater to nouveau-riche customers unencumbered by taste.