To me, the heartache of Aura’s sudden passing meant getting another kitten right away. I’ll never stop feeling sad about Aura’s cruel fate (she died after only eight years and a couple of weeks) but you have to get back on the horse. This morning I bought a five-week-old bluepoint Siamese kitten, whom we quickly named Anya. She’s a baby — being fed special young-kitten formula out of a bottle, crying a lot, likes to be constantly held or to sit next to a warm human body. But she’s smart and spirited and very emotionally responsive, like all Siamese. Yes, I know that kittens should stay with their mom until eight or ten weeks of age, but the guy was selling and she only cost $250 so I wasn’t about to school him or look a gift-horse in the mouth.
I don’t expect much from Janus Metz Pedersen‘s Borg vs. McEnroe as a whole, but I want to see it. The hot-tempered, possibly wackadoodle Shia Labeouf playing John McEnroe, the ’70s and ’80s tennis champ known for his emotional tirades and disputes with judges…perfect. Plus I always liked the way McEnroe would emit that combination cry-groan thing with every serve. I expect a classic expletive performance. Hair-trigger McEnroe was beaten by the cool and dispassionate Bjorn Borg at the conclusion of the 1980 Wimbledon Men’s Singles final, but he had his revenge two months later, beating Borg in the five-set final of the 1980 U.S. Open.
It’s such a boring day that I’m writing a piece that will put people to sleep. Last March an extended trailer for Alex Garland‘s Annihilation was shown at Cinemacon. It wowed a lot of journos (myself among them) and exhibs. I’d also been reading online that at the very least it has an absolute killer ending. But despite the Cinemacon presentation, Paramount announced it would come out in early ’18.
For whatever reason Paramount just research-screened Annihilation the other night. Why, I’m wondering, would they test-screen a film in late June 2017 when it’s reputedly going to open ten months hence, or in March ’18? If I didn’t know better I’d say Paramount is possibly re-thinking things and may change their minds and open it at the end of the year after all. Maybe.
I’m presuming Paramount is sticking to the ’18 plan, but it sure would be nice to see this dark Garland fantasia, based on Jeff Vandermeer’s 2014 novel, pop in November or December.
Natalie Portman (last woman standing), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, David Gyasi and Sonoya Mizuno.
From a 7.14.15 Gizmodo interview with Garland, posted by Charlie Jane Anders:
Garland: “What I’d say is, that I’ve worked on different kinds of adaptations in the past. One of them was called Never Let Me Go, which was based on a book by Kazuo Ishiguro. Relatively speaking, what that film did was it kind of held up a mirror to the book. It was a slightly distorting mirror, in some respects, but basically it’s holding up a mirror…a sort of movie mirror, I guess.”
For the last few weeks Woody Allen has been sussing casting picks for his 2018 film, which is some kind of late=teen or early-20something relationship film. I’ve known the name of the male lead for a while now, but the drag-ass agents don’t want anything announced until solid offers have gone out, etc. Suffice that every hot-shit actress around 19 or 20 has been eyeballed or seriously discussed or whatever. Not so long ago one of these candidates, I’ve been told, was Hailee Steinfeld. But at roughly the same time (i.e., mid to late May?) Steinfeld was offered Paramount and Travis Knight‘s Bumblebee movie, a Transformers spin-off thing. I’m not sure what the strategy was or wasn’t on the Woody side, but word around the campfire is that Steinfeld’s agent told her she couldn’t afford to do a Woody, that after the lousy $18 million earned worldwide by Kelly Fremon Craig‘s Edge of Seventeen (which I mostly hated) she needed to to go for the green, and so she said yes to the fucking Bumblebee.
Don’t look now, but Chris Nolan‘s Dunkirk opens in less than three weeks. Given my very special relationship with Warner Bros. publicity, I’ll probably be among the last to see it. That’s okay — I’ll just process the fawning reactions of the Nolan geeks, and then come in at the last minute like Mr. Truth Squad (i.e., “the kiss-assery stops here”).
Meanwhile Indiewire‘s David Ehrlich has ranked Nolan’s previous nine films, worst to best.
The worst is The Dark Knight Rises, Ehrlich says, and the best is The Prestige. What?
Not only do I not agree about Nolan’s 2006 magician film, I can’t even remember much about it. I remember I felt a wee bit trapped as I watched it. I recall the dandy duds and grim expressions of Hugh Jackman (i.e., The Great Danton) and the obsessive pisshead manner of Christian Bale (Alfred Borden) and the downish, lemme-outta-here vibes and Wally Pfister‘s gaslamp cinematography. For some reason my most vivid recollection is David Bowie‘s cameo-sized performance as Nikola Tesla, although I recall thinking “Jesus, Bowie really doesn’t look like The Thin White Duke anymore.”
I’d not ranking The Prestige at the bottom of Nolan’s films. I’m not even ranking it because it never rustled my curtains. I’m not saying I don’t respect it. I’m saying I didn’t give that much of a shit when it opened ten and a half years ago, no offense, and I care even less now.
Ehrlich’s bottom to top: 9. The Dark Knight Returns, 8. Following, 7. Insomnia, 6. Batman Begins, 5. The Dark Knight, 4. Interstellar (great merciful bloodstained Gods, Ehrlich!), 3. Inception, 2. Memento, 1. The Prestige.
HE’s bottom to top: 9. The Prestige (not last but floating, inconclusive, a phantom flick), 8. Interstellar (bored and infuriated by the story, double-hated Nolan’s sound design), 7. Inception (cool concept, too long, nice FX, too underlined and drawn out at the end, couldn’t understand Ken Watanebe to save my life), 6. The Dark Knight Rises, 5. Following (which I didn’t see until 2015), 4. Insomnia, 3. Batman Begins, 2. The Dark Knight, 1. Memento.