If you’ve seen the semi-classic Them! (’54), you know what those giant ants sound like….”wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah!” mixed with a theramin. This same exact sound filled the IRT Lex platform underneath Union Square today. It was awful…ear torture, brain madness. Worse than a car alarm. People in the video seem to be doing their best to ignore it but try standing there and listening to this godawful racket for five or six minutes straight, as I did.
The embargo date for David Ayer‘s Fury (Sony, 10.17) is Thursday, 10.9, so look for the first reviews to pop on Wednesday night, 10.8, at 9 pm Pacific. Brad Pitt quoted about Shia Wackazoid: “Oh, I love this boy. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen. He’s full-on commitment, man. He’s living it like no one else, let me tell you. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great actors. He’s one of the best I’ve seen.” That’s a gracious thing to say. Pitt knows LeBeouf has been in a corner and baring his fangs, and that what he needs right now is a little love.
A somber, colorful period drama…Peter Weir-ish, handsomely shot, assured direction…what’s not to like? Four years after the slaughter of Australian soldiers in Gallipoli, an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe) travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons who may have been killed in battle. On top of which Crowe apparently falls in love (i.e., has it off) with Olga Kurylenko, playing a Turkish woman owns the hotel in which he stays. Directed by Crowe, written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight. Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie, the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit dp who won an Oscar in ’02 for The Fellowship of the Ring. Opening in Australia and New Zealand on 12.26.14. The only dicey thing about it is the title.
“It’s a work of chilly wit and bleak metaphor, an artifice that invites the kind of analytical response where we pull on our chins and discuss how other people, more naive than we, will receive it.” — from Andrew O’Hehir‘s Salon review of Gone Girl, which I saw again last night…perfect, deadly, as exquisitely made as a mainstream thriller can be but at the same time a reflection of everything we are (or are afraid to admit that we are)…a laugh and a gulp…”that’s marriage.”
A pompous asshole flaunting his entitled worldliness in an asinine fashion. Didn’t Christopher Walken create this guy several years ago on Saturday Night Live? That aside, Jeff Goldblum takes possession with style.
It was obvious to everyone except the brainiacs at Focus World that the marquee value of David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars would be enhanced if Julianne Moore could attract some Best Actress heat for her manic meltdown performance as an aging movie star. Focus World would not be moved….no! No late-December Oscar-qualifying run (a journalist friend told me that Focus World’s decision was set in stone), no Best Actress campaign. Mainly because they don’t have the money. And yet two days ago Cronenberg declared that shafts of light have broken through, the stone has cracked and Focus World has changed its mind. “They’re going to do a qualifying run — I think it’s in New York and L.A. — so that it will legitimately qualify for the Golden Globes and the Oscars,” he told Vulture‘s Jenna Marotta. “There was a lot of discussion. You know, they really felt that they could do a better job releasing the film in 2015, in January or February. And then, of course, the discussion was, ‘Yeah, but wouldn’t it be great if Julianne got an Oscar nomination, since she won Best Actress at Cannes?’” Moore will benefit from a two-pronged effort, of course — the Maps qualifying run plus a semblance of a Best Actress campaign, Sony Classics-style, on behalf of her Alzheimer’s performance in Still Alice.
The coolest thing about John Wick (kionsgatee/Summit, 10.24) is that Keanu Reeves‘ rampage is over a dead dog. It would be 18 times cooler if his deceased wife hadn’t given him the dog as a gift…if he was simply pissed beyond belief that the bad guys killed his four-legged friend. But of course it’s not on that level. The people who made it (co-directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, screenwriter Derek Kolstad) obviously aren’t that hip. John Wick is clearly another serving of undisciplined revenge porn in the Taken/Equalizer vein. Or so says the trailer, at least. No restraint, no Tombstones coolness. The gunshots in the trailer alone blow HE’s Ten-Shot Rule all to hell. My non-scientific estimate is that at least a couple of thousand rounds will be fired.
David Leitch is a director’s name; Chad Stahelski is the name of an electrician, a pool-maintenance guy, a surfer.
From Greg Ellwood‘s Hitfix report about yesterday’s viewing of Exodus footage plus a q & a with Christian Bale: “While I was still trying to wrap my head around it I went and rented The Life of Brian, which is a favorite film of mine,” said Bal. “The point being that not only do I enjoy that film a great deal, but anything you are approaching from a very earnest point of view can unintentionally be the Life of Brian very quickly. It was sort of a guiding light for me. And I must confess that ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ is always humming in the back of my head.
“And then immediately after that I rented Mel Brooks‘ History of the World, Pt. 1 because you have to get that out of your system. You have to understand, ‘What is it we could make funny?’ You have to have humor. With something that is as earnest as this. And this heavyweight as this you have to have an element of comedy in your every-day shooting or it just becomes exhausting.”