Three years ago I tried to explain the reasons why I hated the original Horrible Bosses. And now this new trailer for the sequel is renewing my loathing, or rather reminding me how much I despise Charlie Day‘s voice. Three years ago I described his character as “a little male hygienist with a high-pitched voice who probably has a schlong the size of a rook on a chess board.” I can’t roll with and certainly can’t laugh at puny, unmanly, pencil-dick guys. I have to believe or at least be effectively sold on the idea that they’re at least somewhat manly in all the usual ways. Short guys (example: Peter Dinklage) can be manly as hell. It’s all in the mind and more particularly “the size of the fight in the dog.”
With Robert Zemeckis‘s Forrest Gump opening on IMAX screens today (9.5), it’s been re-assessed by four critics — Ben Mankiewicz, Rotten Tomatoes’ Matt Atchity, TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde and Christy Lemire — in a What The Flick? episode. Old news ’round these parts. I’ve been dumping on Gump for years, the last time in a 7.10.14 post called “How Do Those Chocolates Taste Now?”
A little less than three months ago I wrote a short wish piece about Criterion’s forthcoming Bluray of Jack Clayton‘s The Innocents (’61), or more precisely about how sublime it would be if Criterion was to do to The Innocents what Disney did with its Bluray remastering of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, i.e., eliminate the CinemaScope mumps effect. For years I’ve been lamenting this face-broadening, weight-adding syndrome that was caused by the use of old-style anamorphic CinemaScope lenses between ’53 through ’60. And now it appears that Criterion has stepped up to the plate and actually de-mumpified this horror classic. Screen captures provided by DVD Beaver‘s Gary W. Tooze make it clear that they’ve not only de-mumpified but added extra information to the framings. Hats off to Criterion’s Peter Becker and his team. This is the noblest and coolest thing they’ve done since releasing that triple-aspect-ratio Bluray of On the Waterfront, which pointed out the general wrongness and fraudulence of Bob Furmanek‘s 1.85-favoring theology once and for all.
I loved and respected almost everything about the late Joan Rivers except for the work she had done over the last decade or so. So I’m posting these shots as an affectionate reminder of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Joan. Her God-given face was wonderful — anxious, open, often fraught with vulnerable emotion — and I really missed it when it went away, or more precisely was smothered under implants. Rivers had a great life but also a great face, once. No offense, just saying.
Sometime during last night’s Toronto Film Festival after-party for The Judge (Warner Bros., 10.14), director David Dobkin told a journalist that he’d quite deliberately inserted some humor and audience-pleasing moments to balance out the somber stuff. I submitted to The Judge early last evening at a press screening, and the levity and the humor (which I knew was coming) didn’t feel all that irksome. I wasn’t enthralled by the film but I didn’t hate it either. Well, it pissed me off now and then. I particularly despised the urine-on-the-leg-in-the-men’s-room gag in the very beginning, which is in the trailer.
You always have to ask yourself “how would Robert Bresson have handled this scene?” If Bresson had been born a bit later in the 20th Century and had decided to accept an occasional Hollywood gig to help finance his French-soil art films, and if Robert Downey, Jr. had persuaded him to direct The Judge instead of Dobkin, there would been a moment when Downey asks Bresson if he’s cool with his Chicago attorney character whipping around from a urinal and peeing on the leg of the prosecutor. Bresson would have sighed and looked at Downey with a mixture of Christian pity and contempt and said, “Well, look, Bob…c’mon. We all understand shorthand, but leg-peeing by the lead character during the first five minutes? You know what coarse and unsubtle are, I presume? Why did you hire me? To obediently shoot the film you have in your head or to class things up a bit? If you want a leg-peeing scene you should have hired David Dobkin.”