If this is real, it reminds us that on top of all of her other problems, Lindsay Lohan suffers from appalling taste in projects. I was able to watch about 20 seconds of this trailer before blacking out. Director-writer-costar Vince Offer might have crafted a masterpiece and is deliberately concealing this fact for some crafty reason. But if not, he needs to be seized, taken outside and shot.
I went straight from Penn Station early this afternoon to the Regency hotel (Park and 61st) for an Animal Kingdom sitdown with director-writer David Michod. Before my scheduled interview I ran into costar Ben Mendelsohn, who plays one of the most squeamishly creepy bad guys I’ve seen in quite a long while. We talked briefly and I snapped a couple of shots.
Animal Kingdom director-writer David Michod — Monday, 8.2, 4:10 pm.
Crime-movie aficionados are guaranteed a different kind of meal when they sit down with Animal Kingdom (Sony Classics, 8.13).
For one thing you never actually see any of the Cody brothers, a Melbourne-based crime family of four, commit any money-making (or money-stealing) crimes. Court testimony that has everyone on pins and needles for a good portion of the film is never heard. Bang-bang stuff happens, but infrequently and very quickly and is never milked for maximum cinematic impact a la schlockmeister Robert Rodriguez. It’s mostly about paranoia leading to poisoning, but it’s also about the things you’re expecting to see never quite happening as you might expect.
The Cody gang members are played by Mendelsohn (as Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody), Joel Edgerton (as Barry Brown…shit, I just realized his last name isn’t Cody), Luke Ford (as Darren Cody), Sullivan Stapleton (as Craig Cody) and the heavy-lidded, not-especially-bright-looking James Frecheville (as the kid of the family, Joshua Cody). But the scariest of the bunch is Jacki Weaver‘s Janine Cody, a Lady Macbeth with serpent claws and a lizard tongue flicking in and out of her mouth.
Animal Kingdom also features Guy Pearce in a steady, rock-solid performance as an investigating detective who tries to loosen Josh’s family ties.
Animal Kingdom costar Ben Mendelsohn — Monday, 8.2, 3:35 pm.
It’s almost irritating that such an unusually realistic film as Animal Kingdom is opening the same day as Mesrine: Killer Instinct, the summer’s other exceptional crime pic.
I would argue nonetheless that Animal Kingdom is a bit more original than Mesrine, which, despite its matter-of-fact grit and pared-to-the-bone narrative, is basically a variation on The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond. I would go even further, actually, and suggest that of all the films opening on 8.13 (with the exception of the unseen Eat Pray Love), Animal Kingdom is the least likely to make you feel burned by an over-reliance on formula.
As I noted on 6.18 (and at least once before that), it’s roughly similar to Jamie Foley‘s At Close Range. But it delivers its own kind of creepy Australian chemistry. There’s never a moment when you don’t sense an uh-oh feeling outside the door or around the corner. The brewing and churning of sudden gunshots, suffocations, betrayals, etc.
Animal Kingdom is mainly a dialogue movie interwoven with short violent bursts rather than vice versa, but it feels anxious and unsettling every step of the way. As I said before, the Codys “don’t act or look the part but you can’t help but believe — trust — that they’re quite dangerous when push comes to shove, or when they slip into a foul mood.” And one of them wear mullets!
Donna Daniels handled today’s Animal Kingdom press junket for Sony Classics.
If you find this Sly Stallone/Shira Lazar spoof interview amusing, you may also find The Expendables a reasonably okay rock-out ride. The trailer doesn’t quite do it for me…sorry. Lazar is too conspicuously “reading” her awful lines, for one thing. But it works as a metaphor for the feelings that many celebrities have about junket-whore TV interviewers.
12 or 13 days ago Anton Corbijn‘s blog about the making of The American revealed that the film did some “late stage” extra shooting in Abruzzo, Italy (presumably within the last few weeks) and that this final phase introduced a new character played by veteran Belgian actor Johan Leysen. “It was a wonderful experience and Johan’s work in the film will be the icing on the cake,” Corbijn writes. Last-minute shooting with a brand new character? Hmmm.
I spent the weekend with an old friend who lives in Little Compton, Rhode Island. An affluent hamlet, large trees and sprawling extra-large lawns, private beaches, flat Hamptons-style typography. Last night we visited her slightly older sister, who lives a full and ordered life but doesn’t “get out” much and rarely if ever goes to movies. But her eyes brightened when Eat Pray Love came up, which older sis definitely plans to see. Moments like this tell you more than any tracking report.
Nobody in my realm has seen Eat Pray Love…no screenings, no nothing. And yet it opens 11 days hence (8.13), or the same day as The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Animal Kingdom, etc., which have all been liberally screened. We’re obviously past the appropriate time to let people like me see it unless…you know, there’s a problem. I’m not implying anything; I’m just wondering.
Eat Pray Love is incidentally rated PG-13 for “brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity.” Whose ass, I wonder? Richard Jenkins would naturally be out of the running so the most reasonable assumption would be either James Franco‘s or Javier Bardem‘s.
Myself, my friend’s older sister (not to be named without permission) and a guy she was seeing at the time. Pic taken way back when in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“In its willingness to simply show people having feelings without talking about them, Ruba Nadda‘s Cairo Time (IFC Films, 8.6) is reminiscent of Sofia Coppola‘s Lost in Translation,” writes Marshall Fine. “Yet, thanks to a marvelously nuanced performance by Patricia Clarkson and a smoothly engaging one by Alexander Siddig, we feel both the heat of the Egyptian desert and a warmth growing between these two people.
“The film lives and breathes through Clarkson. With her butterscotch hair, sleepy eyes and quietly husky voice, she’s [playing] a woman in full possession of herself — but one who longs to let herself go, even if just a little. It’s a stunning performance of many facets, in which Clarkson conveys as much in a look as many actresses struggle to reveal with overt histrionics.
“Cairo Time seduces the viewer with its beauty, with its wealth of emotion that doesn’t have to be discussed to be felt. It pulls you into another world so deeply that you are disappointed at having to leave it at the end.”
In other words, it’s an adult-romance chick flick that’s probably too subtle and intelligent to pull in the mainstream older-female audience that paid to see the last Sex and the City flick and can’t wait to see Eat Pray Love. What does the average over-30 female moviegoer think about heavy breathing with a good-looking Egyptian guy with a nicely trimmed beard? I wouldn’t know, but don’t you need to dispense giddy-giggly GTO humor and lush material fantasy to snag this group?
Jason Bateman with a slight “eew” expression vs. Jennifer Aniston not responding to him or whatever’s in the cup but to Bateman’s hair. And right away you’re thinking, “What’s she seeing in his hair? Or is it…what, something crawling on the wall? Something’s not right here.” On 7.30 Real Time with Bill Maher writer Chris Kelly riffed on this and other aspects of the poster for The Switch (20th Century Fox, 8.20).
“What typeface do you want?”
“Oh, I don’t care, whatever you’ve got, as long as it doesn’t say comedy, or anything else about the movie.”
“Done. And the images?”
“Again, don’t care. This thing’s a dead loss. You got any pictures of Jennifer Aniston, but sort of busy and uninteresting, like a screen grab, so people will know this is one of those in-between Anistons with like Woody Harrelson, that goes straight to video?”
“We can do that. Who’s the guy?”
“Some guy from TV. Whatever picture you’ve got is fine. Just so long as their eyelines don’t match.”
“Got it. Hey, What’s he doing?”
“That’s a cup of his own spooge.”
“Wow, that’s really unappealing. Why’s he smelling it?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he thinks if it smells bad he’s got cancer. Who gives a shit. Just paste it in.”
“You got a lot of white space…”
“How many times do I have to tell you, I. Don’t. Care.”
“I’m just saying, you’ve got room for a tag line.”
“Okay… uh… from the people who brought you Juno and Little Miss Sunshine.”
“Is that true?”
“Yes. The people who made those movies were Americans, and the people who made this movie were also Americans. The American people.”
“Okay. Here you go. What do you think?”
“I think I don’t care.”
“So you’re happy?”
“Yep. Thanks. This is a really nice Kinko’s.”