Warner Bros. publicists are asking critics to hold their Hereafter reviews until Sunday midnight, so that’s all for that one. (I just came out of it about an hour ago.). I’m now in line for a 5:30 pm screening of Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours. Three parties follow — Sony Classics at Creme Brasserie, Robert Redford/Conspirator gathering and a Fox Searchlight shindig.
I would argue that Matt Reeves‘ Let Me In, which I’ve just come out of, is at least as good as Tomas Alfredson‘s Let The Right One In, which Reeves’ film is a remake of. I’m guessing that this view will be regarded as heresy in some quarters, particularly since there’s no denying that much of Let Me In feels like a scene-for-scene, and in some portions a shot-for-shot “copy” rather than a remake.
But it’s very carefully copied with a meticulous, unhurried, highly absorbing style, and there is a Reeves signature of sorts here and there.
Hollywood remakes of European-made hits tend to not be as good — they needlessly gloss them up or water them down or otherwise miss the basic vitality. Let Me In doesn’t do this, in my view. It doesn’t diminish — it respects and pays tribute to the original by keeping what worked — adhering as closely as possible for the most part — and enhancing here and there.
The truth? I liked it better than the original, in part because I’m a much bigger fan of Chloe Moretz‘s Abby (i.e., the little-girl vampire) than the young Swedish actress in Alfredson’s film. Moretz can do no wrong in my book. “Hit Girl” and now this — she’s really got it.
Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter is starting momentarily so that’s all she wrote for now.
(l. to r.) Stone director John Curran, costars Milla Jovovich and Ed Norton at party for the 10.8 Overture release at Toronto’s Roosevelt Room (which is basically a place right out of Brian DePalma’s Scarface — you expect to see Tony Montana sitting in a corner table and lighting a Cuban cigar with a hundred-dollar bill, and it seems to be staffed by older Guido-type guys). Robert DeNiro, wearing a beard, showed up after the food was served.
Biutiful dierctor-writer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, star Javier Bardem during party for the film at Toronto’s Soho House (161 Spadina) — Friday, 9.10, 11:25 pm.
The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper at an elegant sitdown dinner for the much-praised Weinstein Co. release at Toronto’s Windsor Arms hotel.
Javier Bardem, Santa Barbara Film Festival director Roger Durling at Biutiful Soho House party.
Accidental photo discharge during Windsor Arms King’s Speech party.
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger star Josh Brolin chatting with Javier Bardem, whose left leg Brolin put a load of buckshot into in No Country For Old Men — Friday, 9.10, 11:10 pm.
There apparently can be no universal standard of happiness (or contentment even) regarding Blurays of Carol Reed‘s The Third Man. First there was the infamous Criterion grainstorm Bluray edition that gave me (and perhaps others) so much anguish and frustration, and now there’s another source of agony — the Studio Canal Third Man Bluray (out 9.21). And yet it must be said that Nate Boss‘s High-Def Digest review is hilarious.
Boss is a colorful impassioned writer. I like him because he hates like I do.
“Let me just say I wouldn’t have minded a brown tint, caused by a layer of barbeque sauce smeared across the picture, compared to the sometimes blurry, borderline sterile and inhuman veneer found here,” he notes halfway into the review. “Early reports and screenshots showed this release having a significant amount of grain removed from the picture, and as much as I hate to give any credit to screenshots, they were right.
“Jackets and their intricate stitching appear smeared, while the stitching on Major Calloway’s shoulders is illegible, even in a closeup of his arm. The sewers never looked cleaner, and that’s just dirty. There is no disputing how different this release looks from the Criterion edition, but these changes, they’re not for the better. Another blow to the StudioCanal Collection name. A big, big blow. If there weren’t a previous release, this wouldn’t have been as big a deal, but since we know the potential, it’s downright unforgivable.
“There’s quite a smattering of dirt, debris, and lines all over this release, significantly more than the previous version, with some amazingly large or heinous onslaughts leaving one to wonder how much it would have cost to license the Criterion supervised restoration. Brightness levels can still shift, as they did before, but shadow details take a humongous drop. Where black on black in the darkest shadows used to be quite easy to discern, now it’s just one big mess. The picture retains some nice depth, but detail levels take a hit. Edges appear pretty clean, free from halos of any kind. Aliasing pops up from time to time in the jackets of the actors, in varying degrees (the tighter the pattern, the more problematic it can be).”
I think even I, one of the most grain-averse people on the planet, might prefer the Criterion Bluray edition to the Studio Canal version. Honestly? I watched it again last month and even though the grain in some of the scenes makes me sick, it at least doesn;t have the kinds of problems that afflict the Studio Canal version, according to Boss.
“The most fascinating aspect” of Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator (which won’t have its TIFF press screening until Sunday) “is the historical resonance of the story it tells,” writes L.A. Times columnist Patrick Goldstein. “After Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed, America was traumatized, much as it was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And as the film makes clear, the 1865 War Department, run by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline), is determined to quench the country’s thirst for vengeance, even if that means bending the law and sending a seemingly innocent woman to the gallows.