This morning Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, Boxoffice.com’s Phil Contrino, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg and I kicked it around. I talked about The Amazing Spider-Man, and Contrino talked about Spider-Man numbers. We talked about Beasts of the Southern Wild, and then we finished off with some Best Picture spitballing. Here’s a stand-alone mp3 link.
Yeah, I saw The Amazing Spider-Man at 3 pm yesterday afternoon at the AMC Century City plex…and what of it? What have I got to do with it? Isn’t it enough that I went? I didn’t hate it. I could’ve done without the lizard but it’s…well, it’s not too bad. Better than Sam Raimi‘s last two Spider-Mans. Certainly better than the last one. But c’mon…another origin story?
I really, really liked Andrew Garfield‘s performance as Peter Parker — deft, skilled, quietly charismatic. Emma Stone delivers her usual pluck, Rhys Ifans provides soulful anguish, Dennis Leary is a pain-in-the-ass flatfoot, Sally Field over-emotes, Martin Sheen looks out of breath, etc.
But it’s just another loud throbbing 3D tentpole, delivering the same atmospheric whomp, the same vibe, the same aural-visual gutslams that say “you’re watching a really expensive flick with the requisite heart beats and thematic uplift, and with a big loud CG lizard with a tail that whips around and smashes test-tube beakers…and what do you care? All you want is the same basic fundamental crap that you’ve always shown up for time after time, and that’s why you’ve once again paid $35 bills for two tickets plus another $15 for two popcorns and a Coke.”
I felt like such an asshole, such a chump, such a pathetic stooge as I walked in. Sony and Marc Webb got my money, all right. Close to $50 bucks so I could put on my 3D glasses and munch the popcorn and slurp the Diet Coke and sit in my seat and go “mmm-uhm-hmmm”….whatever.
I always stay to the right when I’m driving down a two-way residential street. One, because that’s the law and two, because I want people coming towards me to know they’ll have room to breathe when we pass each other. But day after day, time after time, the vast majority of people driving toward me have no such notion.
They’re driving right down the middle of the street, coming right for me…like it’s their street or like we’re on a narrow driveway and they have no choice. I see them coming and say to myself, “Uhh, guys?…two-way?…hello?” And they keep on coming. And then at the very last second they swerve to the right, leaving me just enough room to get by. Jerks.
The bottom line, it seems, is that they’re much more concerned about clipping a parked car (knocking off a sideview mirror, for example) than being polite to other drivers. Their attitude is “okay, don’t get worried…I’ll pull over a second or two before you get close…but until that happens, I’m gonna stay as far away from the parked cars as I can.” Assholes.
My loathing of Comic-Con (7.12 thru 7.15) means I’d never apply for press credentials, but I really want to attend the presentation of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit at 48 frames-per-second. I want to see if the regulars like the 48 fps experience like I did or like the Cinemacon-ers did (i.e., 70% negative). So I asked my Warner Bros. pallies about snagging a special pass…nope, sorry. So that’s that.
But I’d like to see if the high-def video-like footage we saw in Vegas has been tweaked or slightly grained up to some extent. I heard from a couple Cinemacon sources that the Warner Bros. guys, smarting from the negative reaction, were talking about massaging the look of it.
It’s only fair to point out that In Contention‘s Kris Tapley wrote his own “Matthew McConaughey has turned his career around” article on 5.17.12, or six weeks before N.Y. Times contributor Dennis Lim wrote the same thing on 7.5.
Then again I said 16 months ago that McConaughey appeared to be on the right track, as indicated by his Lincoln Lawyer performance. But Tapley, it would seem (and unless somebody knows different), was the first name-brand columnist to say “olly, olly, in come free” and “stop beating up on McConaughey for making too many vapid romcoms.”
I never wrote much about Michael Winterbottom‘s Trishna (IFC Films, 7.13 theatrical, 7.20 On Demand) during last September’s Toronto Film Festival, where I first saw it. But I saw it again last night at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center, and I’m telling you it’s an expert, beautifully composed and highly atmospheric re-telling of Thomas Hardy‘s “Tess of the d’Ubervilles,” and the latest addition to my Best of 2012 list, which now numbers 19.
Trishna star Frieda Pinto during last night’s post-screening q & a at the Pacific Design Center.
If you ask me Trishna is just as high-calibre as Roman Polanski‘s Tess, his 1979 adaptation. Winterbottom’s version is set in modern-day India, and is subtly shaped and almost oblique in a traditional “dramatic” sense with only one confrontation scene. It’s a social drama — a tragedy — in which all the potent stuff is suppressed and for the most part unspoken, but no less noticably for that.
Frieda Pinto gives the finest performance of her career, hands down, as Trishna/Tess — quiet and subdued but highly focused and curiously intense. She has no big scenes except at the very end, but she’s never less than genuine or convincing or, I feel, heartbreaking.
Pinto did a post-screening q & a with L.A. Times guy Mark Olsen. I snapped about 40 shots of her, looking for a perfect four or five.
And as a side-dish immersion in 21st Century Indian culture. Trishna is a sensual feast that just keeps turning you on with delicate lighting and aromas and fleet cutting. It’s the first film set in India that, unlike Slumdog Millionaire, made me think about actually going there. It’s like walking by a great Indian restaurant, this film. It almost feels like something projected in Aroma-rama or Smellovision.
Pinto, L.A. Times contributor/moderator Mark Olsen during last night’s q & a.