Congrats to Andrew Garfield (and his agent) for landing the role of Peter Parker/Spiderman. Good break, good money. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t mean to be a killjoy but it really doesn’t. It never matters if you’re the guy replacing the original star (i.e., Tobey Maguire) in the fourth film in a diminishing superhero franchise. Will people flock to see Garfield-as-Spidey? Yeah, possibly. Maybe, probably. But it won’t matter.
Vulture: Have you read the reviews for The Last Airbender?
M. Night Shyamalan: No, I haven’t.
Vulture: Well, are you aware of the reviews?
Shyamalan: No, actually.
Vulture: Well, for the most part, critics have not been kind. Are you just ignoring them? Will you read them this weekend? Have you just not had time?
Shyamalan: Are you saying that in general they didn’t dig it?
Vulture: In general, no. Roger Ebert, who liked The Happening, did not. The first line of his review is, “The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category that I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.” How do you react to something like that?
Shyamalan: I don’t know what to say to that stuff. I bring as much integrity to the table as humanly possible. It must be a language thing, in terms of a particular accent, a storytelling accent. I can only see it this certain way and I don’t know how to think in another language. I think these are exactly the visions that are in my head, so I don’t know how to adjust it without being me. It would be like asking a painter to change to a completely different style. I don’t know.
Vulture: Critics haven’t been kind to your last couple of films. Do you still worry about reviews?
Shyamalan: I think of it as an art form. So it’s something I approach as sort of immovable integrity within each of the stages. So if you walk through the process with me, there’s not a moment where I won’t treat with great respect. So it’s sacred to me, the whole process of making a movie. I would hope that some people see that I approach this field with that kind of respect, and that it’s not a job.
Mel Gibson has done it to himself again, in spades. Just when he was finally starting to chill down Hollywood Jews over his 2006 anti-Semitic tirade, now he has to spend several more years trying to convince African Americans that he didn’t actually mean it. Radar claims to have “heard the tape,” so when does the mp3 file go online?
On the other hand: While I have no sympathy for Gibson and can only feel appalled by his racist broadsides as well as his stupidity in saying anything inflammatory to anyone that he’s in a contentious legal battle with, he was clearly sold out, most likely by former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva or someone acting on her behalf. It’s the same kind of thing that happened to Alec Baldwin when someone loyal to Kim Basinger sent out that tape of him yelling at his young daughter. Not everyone loses their temper and says venal stuff that they’re sorry about later on, but many of us have — let’s face it. Gibson did this to himself, but an ex-lover (or an ally of same) sending out a tape of a private rant is dirty pool.
What possible reason would Lionsgate and Studio Canal have for putting out a new Bluray of Carol Reed‘s The Third Man if not to appeal to those who were turned off by Criterion’s grain-monk Bluray of this legendary 1949 film?
Joseph Cotten in Carol Reed’s The Third Man.
I realize that the Criterion version is out of print and all, but it only emerged 18 months ago (i.e., on 12.16.08) and I’m sure it was bought or at least sampled by most of the Reed freaks out there so it’s not like the market hasn’t been sated. So why else would this brand new Bluray be set for September release if someone wasn’t persuaded that numerous Bluray fanatics agree with my rants about Criterion’s grainstorm version?
Let’s hope that (a) the Lionsgate Studio Canal version is not going to be the same Criterion transfer and (b) that whoever re-masters it will use at least some restraint in finessing those hundreds of millions of sand pebbles that are currently smothering the faces and wardrobes of Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Wilfrid Hyde-White and the rest of that post-war Vienna gang. Not to mention those old Vienna locations and that ferris wheel and all those ants on the ground.
A journalist friend told me last weekend that he believed that the Russian spy ring story that broke three or four days ago would increase interest in Philip Noyce‘s Salt in the same way the Three Mile Island disaster did a favor for James Bridges‘ The China Syndrome, only to a lesser degree.
I dismissed this because of the anachronistic comedy aspects of the story (a N.Y. Times story said the the spies “could have been more efficient [in their search for information] by surfing the web” and that “none of the accused face charges because in all those years they were never caught sending classified information back to Moscow”) but maybe I’m missing something.
Does this story push Salt into the national conversation in any way, shape or form? Not among HE readers but among rurals, none-too-brights, Average Joes, people who meander around the mall, etc.?
I kept waiting and waiting for the mother of all grand-slam insults, and the only ones that popped through were two old-timers: (a) Joe Pesci‘s elephant dicks line from Raging Bull (starting at 5:03) and (b) Jack Nicholson ‘s withering analysis of female character in As Good As It Gets (starting at 4:23).
The best insults are (a) those that are delivered so deftly that the victim doesn’t realize he/she has been zinged until three or four seconds have elapsed, and (b) those that are coaxed out by the victim, and therefore spoken by the author with some reluctance.
My favorite is from Paths of Glory (1957) when George MacReady‘s General Mireau delivers some pompous line about French patriotism, and Kirk Douglas‘s Colonel Dax mutters that Samuel Johnson felt differently about it. MacReady asks him to explain and Douglas says it was nothing. MacReady angrily insists and Douglas says Johnson’s line about patriotism being “the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features, 7.9) had a premiere last night at the Sunshine Cinemas followed by a swanky Peggy Siegal after-party in lower Tribeca. Me and another photographer swooped in when Ed Norton showed up to chat with costar Mark Ruffalo, but Norton wouldn’t pose more than three or four seconds.
I was on an express train two nights on my way to Times Square, and fearful that I might be late for a screening. The train stopped at 34th Street due to “congestion up ahead,” the recording said. We waited and waited. Then the local came along so I hopped on that. As soon as I sat down the express train I’d just left took off, and then a recording said the local would be delayed due to “congestion up ahead.”
A mom who needed money and made a mistake. Too many miserable expressions. It airs on Lifetime on 7.19 Here’s the trailer.
Jacques between Mott and Elizabeth — 6.30, 8:55 pm. Jett and I sat next to Gabriel Byrne, who was chatting with a nice girl who wasn’t at all common (she had a well-born, well-educated demeanor) but “flirty…she looked about thirty.” And then 90 minutes later at the Kids Are All Right party I ran into Byrne’s ex, Ellen Barkin.
In a 7.1 piece, The Guardian‘s Ryan Gilbey states that there are five milestones in film animation worth nothing — silent cartoons (J. Stuart Blackton‘s first-ever animated fim in 1906, a 1917 full-length Argentinian feature by Quirino Christiani called El Apostol), Disney features, Japanese fantasies and Pixar’s digital innovations. There just be more to the grand history of animation than that. More chapters, more details, more names…c’mon.
The broadest response, I’m guessing, to the just-posted trailer for Matt Reeves‘ Let Me In (Overture, 10.1), a remake of Tomas Alfredson‘s Let The Right One In, is how visually similar the two films seem. Greig Fraser‘s cinematography has less in the way of hard fluorescent lighting than Hoyte Van Hoytema‘s lensing of the original, but otherwise they’re almost identical.
My first gut response was that I was glad to see Chloe Moretz holding down the little-girl vampire fort as I had a negative…okay, disinterested reaction to Lina Leandersson in this role when I first caught Alfredson’s original. And also that Kodi Smit-McPhee, the kid from The Road, is sending off some vibrant emotional signals in the role played in the original by Kare Hedebrant. Let’s hope that Smit-McPhee’s character is portrayed as slightly less wimpy.
It’s also interesting that the Let Me In trailer appeared about a day after as the first AICN research-screening review was posted by a guy named “NAMSNAD.” The writer seems half-and-half about it. One pop-out remark is that some of the edgy material in the Swedish version has been sanded down by Reeves (hardly a surprise — American remakes of European films always seem to soften or modify in some way). Another is that “it seems as if [Reeves] was just content with making an almost shot-for-shot re-make of the original that Twihards would go to.”