My Porter Air flight leaves for Newark in 110 minutes and I haven’t fully packed yet, or even gotten fully dressed. That’s how I roll. At least the airport is less than a mile away. 3:45 pm Update: I made it with time to spare. I’m currently sitting in the Porter lounge and, uhm, typing this on the laptop. 5:20 pm Update: Just landed at Newark.
Poor Warrior under-performed last weekend, and odds aren’t with it this weekend either. The pre-opening word wasn’t just that director-writer Gavin O’Connor had made a near-great sports film, but that it was Best Picture material and that Tom Hardy might be singled out for some awards action. (I fully agreed on this last point.) So why did it fizzle? My guess it that the title scared women off — it suggested a film that would be all about muscle and blood and machismo. Other theories?
In their latest Oscar Talk, presumably recorded a couple of days ago, Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson review the stand-out Toronto Film Festival films. I’m sympathizing with Thompson’s admission that she missed this and that, etc. Toronto is a tough beat if you’re going to file a lot of stuff every day.
Updated: As I listened on my Macbook Pro this morning I could’ve sworn I heard a passage in which they both flatly declare that Brad Pitt‘s Moneyball performance — the charismatic pinnacle of his career, vulnerable and angry and charming and delivered with such relaxed movie-star assurance — isn’t an Oscar-friendly, likely-Best-Actor thing. Tapley has since said no, he doesn’t feel that way and he’s a Brad fan…fine. But Thompson did say it, and she couldn’t be more wrong.
A “bruised-but-sweet flip side to Once‘s dreamy love song, The Swell Season — a handsome black-and-white film — sensitively captures frictions between characters who continue to love and respect each other. Performance footage may be briefer than some in the audience expect, but what there is is choice, capturing the contrasting kinds of vulnerability — Marketa Irglova‘s shy but gutsy, Glen Hansard‘s eloquently raw — that make the pair distinctive.” — from John DeFore‘s 4.22.11 THR Tribeca Film Festival review.
Roughly 13 months ago I took a couple of Manhattan street shots of director-screenwriter David Keopp filming Premium Rush, a bicycle messenger drama costarring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon and Dania Ramirez. Even back then it had a locked-in January release of 1.13.12, and it still does.
Check out this 8.20.11 N.Y. Times piece by Elizabeth Lesley Stevens about an allegation by novelist Joe Quirk that his book, “The Ultimate Rush,” about “an adrenaline-fueled messenger who tears through the city on rollerblades as he tries to deliver a mysterious package,” was/is the basis of Koepp’s script in some kind of serpentine way.
When Bill Clinton left office we had no wars and a nice budget surplus. After two terms with a corporate-kowtowing faux-Texas yokel we were in two hopeless wars and had $4 trillion added to the national debt plus a laissez-faire deregulatory wink-wink attitude towards corporate profiteering that led to the big crash of ’08.
And then Obama came in on a wave of hope, pushed through a relatively weak, watered-down health care bill, killed Osama bin Laden but failed to show balls in his dealings with the Republicans’ radical Tea Party wing. He’s now seen as a fairly weak go-alonger — a center-right corporate boot-licker.
And Americans, on top of detecting this lack of steel, are worried that our ponzi-scheme, funny-money economy will collapse yet again. So there’s actually a real chance that a majority may decide next year that the solution is Rick Perry, another Texas hee-haw, faux-religious primitive who mainlines corporate funding and makes even Bush look relatively moderate. Despite the absolute certainty that Perry will bring back the same old corporate-favoring, climate-change-denying policies and then some. Obama is dispiriting, yes, but Perry is suicide. And we might actually go there.
What a comedown from the elation of the 11.4.08 election. What an overall drag. If only Obama had a little of that scrappy, manipulative, bullying-S.O.B spirit of Lyndon Johnson. If only Eliot Spitzer had kept his dick in his pants or at least had been smarter about it.
My one ray of hope is that in a mano e mano, Obama-vs.-Perry race, voters will realize that Perry is just too nuts. Maybe. In a 9.15 Hollywood Reporter piece, Tina Daunt quotes a disappointed-in-Obama Hollywood executive as follows: “If Obama is suddenly in a competitive race with Bachmann or Perry, I’ll max out so fast it will make your head spin.”
Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Drive starts today with a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, making it easily the best-reviewed opener. Boxoffice.com is projecting a $12.7 million weekend tally in 2886 theatres, or $4400 per situation. The cool people are onboard, but the styrofoam ADD crowd isn’t…or not yet. Justin Lin‘s Fast Five, a synthetic, bloated car flick that’s unfit to wipe Drive‘s boots, took in $86,198,765 in 3644 theatres when it opened last April…go figure.
Here’s my one and only issue with Drive, apart from my general aversion to artery-slashing. It has two brilliant, super-cool, high-threat driving scenes. (It also has a nice happy-drive moment along the L.A. river bed plus a brief nighttime chase scene plus a movie-set stunt crash sequence.) My issue is that I wanted more visceral thrills . For a movie with this title, I would have preferred three high-octane, acute-danger sequences instead of two. That’s my only beef.