Stanley Kramer and William Rose's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was arguably already dated when it opened on 12.12.67. It wouldn't have been dated if it had opened, say, in '62, '63 or even '64. But '67 was too activist, too strident, too Stokely Carmichael'ed, too rioted, too Black Power-ed, too Vietnam War-ed, too Sgt. Pepper-ed and too psychedelicized. It just didn't fit. Login with Patreon to view this post
CNN This Morning's Don Lemon has never played the role of a straight-arrow, buttoned-down news anchor type. As an out gay man, he’s occasionally flirted with a somewhat nervy and even flamboyant demeanor at times, closer in spirit to Andy Cohen than Anderson Cooper. Login with Patreon to view this post
Last night I caught my second viewing of Air, and it seemed to gain somewhat. It certainly didn’t diminish. My third viewing will be with subtitles, and then it’ll really gain.
I especially loved how Matt Damon‘s eloquent emotional pitch to the Jordan family near the end is off-the-cuff, and in so doing echoes the second half of Martin Luther King‘s “I have a dream” speech, which was also largely improvised, and is discussed early in the film. This is called “refrain” — one of the most solid and dependable tricks in the book.
But one minor thing has stuck in my craw.
Director Ben Affleck‘s decision not to show Michael Jordan is an understandable one. “”He exists above and around the story, but if you ever concretize him, if you ever say, ‘Yes, that’s Michael Jordan,’ they’ll know it’s not, really..it’s fake,” Affleck explained in a People interview. I thought if they bring everything they thought and remembered about [Michael] and what he meant to them to the movie and projected it onto the movie, it [would work] better.”
And so Jordan stand-in Damian Delano in only seen from the rear, and Jordan’s voice is only heard once on a phone line (“hello”). The physical Jordan/Delano presence only happens toward the conclusion (i.e., during the afore-mentioned Nike pitch meeting plus one or two others). But here’s the thing — the camera’s avoidance of Jordan’s face and Affleck not even allowing us to hear a few words from the guy also feels “fake.” The dodge feels too conspicuous. It intrudes upon the reality of that climactic moment and the overall third-act flow.
I don’t know what the solution could have been or if one was possible, but if I’d been directing I would have persuaded the present-tense Jordan, 60, to record a few lines of dialogue. Maybe a few quips, maybe a pungent observation of some kind,. Hearing the Real McCoy certainly would’ve helped.
On the other hand would it have been that hard to find a young Michael Jordan look-alike? We all know that movies are fake from start to finish — what matters is conviction and bringing your best game to the table.
It could have been argued by the producers of The Longest Day (’62) that Dwight D. Eisenhower was too big of a historical figure and that people would instantly know that Henry Grace, the set decorator who played the nation’s 34th president in an early scene, was just some joker pretending to be Ike.
Of course audiences knew that, but the second that Grace’s face appeared on the big screen, it worked. Audiences appreciated the effort and approved for the most part. Grace’s voice was dubbed by voice actor Allen Swift.
...okay with me. If it sells beer to more people, what's the problem? Macho dudes have long felt attached to the Bud brand, but times change. I've never harbored a great deal of affection or identification for Bud Light or any Anheuser-Busch beverage, for that matter. I've been sober for 11 years now -- what do I care? Login with Patreon to view this post
I’m sorry, but I think it should be our sworn duty to identify and shame wokester fanatics. I’m thinking particularly of Jeff Zhang of Strange Harbors, who yesterday accused Jeff Sneider of racism because a gentle mocking of “a Black It,” given that Maine (the setting of all the It adaptations) is one of the whitest states in the country.
Nobody raised their eyebrows at Ryan Coogler‘s plan for a diverse X-Files. Pretty much any classic franchise or well-known TV series can be rebooted with a Black cast, I would suppose, but for social realism’s sake it’s probably not the most persuasive idea to set the rebooted project in New Hampshire or Switzerland or the Czech Republic.
Noteworthy Zhang line: “[We should] bully these racist morons out of our industry.”
"Though we often ask artists to reflect on the events of the day for the weekly cover, the magazine has not, until now, turned to a courtroom sketch artist, whose job it is to depict what a scene looks like when cameras are forbidden in federal criminal proceedings. Jane Rosenberg, the artist behind the cover for the April 17, 2023, issue, was one of three approved sketch artists in the courtroom on the fifteenth floor of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, on April 4, 2023, when the former President Donald Trump was arraigned on thirty-four felony charges of falsifying business records." -- from a Francois Mouly piece inj the current issue of The New Yorker. Login with Patreon to view this post
- All Hail Tom White, Taciturn Hero of “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »