Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange will celebrate its 50th birthday on 12.19.21. I don't know if I'll be able to summon fresh interest as I've seen this cynical, ice-cold film too many times, but the new 4K Ultra HD Bluray from Warner Home Video -- a fresh harvest, sure to look better than the current Bluray version -- is too appetizing to refuse. I bought it today on Amazon. The street date is 9.21.21. Login with Patreon to view this post
Many of us look forward to films directed by or starring Clint Eastwood because we know (a) they’ll feel as if they were made in 1984 or ’89 or ’96…way back before the superhero era, (b) they’ll basically be meditative and character-driven, and will most likely be peppered with sardonic humor, and (c) they’ll focus on values and decency and Clint’s ornery old cuss being challenged or put through the ringer by a bad guy or two. It’s also a safe bet that an attractive older woman (40s or 50s) will give Clint’s character a wink.
The Cry Macho trailer seems to suggest Gran Torino meets The Mule in Mexico…something like that.
I think Cry Macho (Warner Bros./HBO Max, 9.17) should be bannered as a milestone film. How many legendary, brand-name, Oscar-winning actor-hyphenates have directed and starred in a film at age 91? Has this ever happened in Hollywood history? The Macho script has been around for three-plus decades. Clint almost made it in the late ’80s and then backed away. It has to have something pretty good going on or why did it get made after all this time?
This film appears to have some kind of resonant quality…something that may stick to the ribs…maybe.
In admittedly using Knox’s conviction, imprisonment and acquittal on a murder charge in Italy as a jumping off point for an otherwise fictional story, director and co-writer Tom McCarthy has somewhat callously dredged up a lot of bad business and has re-implanted the idea that there’s something possibly sketchy and wanton about Knox herself. And Knox resents this. Who wouldn’t in her position? I can’t imagine anyone telling Knox that her complaints are unwarranted.
It’s odd, however, that in an 8.4 interview with Variety‘s Chris Willman Knox states that (a) she hasn’t seen Stillwater yet (it opened last Thursday night) and yet (b) she would “absolutely go see it, especially if they invited me…that would be nice.”
Knox tells Willman she’s been informed how the story unfolds (“I did some invest-imigating”), but if you were Knox and giving interviews to everyone about a completely valid complaint about a just-opened film, wouldn’t you take the time to pop into a megaplex and see the damn thing already? Doesn’t that make basic sense?
For one thing it’s conceivable that Abigail Breslin‘s performance as the vaguely-Knox-resembling Allison Baker might radiate certain emotional currents that Knox might be receptive to and which might influence her general thinking…no? Experiencing a film is essential.
Where exactly was the upside in Knox not slipping into a showing last weekend? I really don’t get this part.
In mentioning the hypothetical idea of Focus Features inviting her to see the film, Knox seems to imply that this is her due. (“Since we’re stirring your life up and sending you back into a decade-old nightmare, it’s the least we can do.”) She also seems to be suggesting that personally paying to see the film would be adding insult to injury.
I wouldn’t futz around with this stuff if I were Knox. I would have bought a ticket to one of the very first commercial showings last Thursday night — no ifs, ands or buts. If you have a beef with a movie, you have to watch it.
The great Marcia Nasatir, a brilliant, pioneering producer who nudged her way into the chauvinistic Hollywood culture of the ’70s and became, in ’74, the first female vp production at a major Hollywood studio (United Artists), has passed at age 95.
Nasatir’s proudest producing achievement, certainly the one for which she’s best known, was Lawrence Kasdan‘s The Big Chill (’83).
At UA Nasatir also had a hand in finessing and/or guiding along One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Carrie, Coming Home, Three Days of the Condor, Rocky and Carrie. She moved to Orion in ’78, and then to Carson Productions, where she exec produced The Big Chill. As an independent producer, Nasatir oversaw and otherwise nurtured Hamburger Hill, Ironweed and Vertical Limit.
I knew Marcia to shmooze with at parties in the ’90s and aughts — always gracious, always witty and wise. And I loved “The Real Geezers,” her video movie-review series with Lorenzo Semple that ran in the mid to late aughts.
Jeff and Tatiana in a brief discussion about Ridley Scott's House of Gucci (11.24, UA Releasing). A presumably sophisticated (and possibly darkly satiric) nest of vipers melodrama + a serving of Northern Italian wealth porn. Based on Sara Gay Forden's "The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed." Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino, etc. Login with Patreon to view this post
Tweeted two days ago by @GrahamB47 (with grammar improved by HE): “Name a director whom you went all in for at first but whom you’ve since moved past, either because they dropped the ball or your relationship to their work changed. NOT for ‘being a creep/criminal’ reasons.”
HE answer: Terrence Malick, hands down. And if I may interject the opposite, there’s one director who not only didn’t let me down but delivered one of his greatest-ever films at age 85 or thereabouts — Roman Polanski.
Jordan Ruimy: Oliver Stone, James Cameron, M. Night Shyamalan, Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton.
Instead they should gracefully complement or enhance. Bill Maher‘s new glasses (dark, thickish frames) are too domineering. They don’t work with his features — the glasses say “look at us first, and then Bill’s face.” One look and you’re thinking “uptight, stuffed-shirt, resident zoologist glasses.” Like the ones Cary Grant wore in Bringing Up Baby.
If you want thickish, distinctive frames you should go with cool colors — solid blue or red. And maybe go with adjustable amber- or gray-tinted lenses. Black frames, trust me, are too “Gig Young in the late ’50s.” They make Maher look bookish, and they add five or ten years.
About a decade ago I was friendly with a Southern conservative woman who never went anywhere without her loaded Glock. Always in her handbag or the glove compartment of her car. She loved how it made her feel -- safe, protected -- but was she actually ready to kill someone who might try to rob her or worse? Login with Patreon to view this post
I've had this feeling all along that Pablo Larrain's Jackie, which is just about five years old now, somehow underserved the mystique of the great JFK mourning weekend (11.22.63 to 11.25.63). I was seriously impressed by Noah Oppenheim's 2010 screenplay, which was originally going to be directed by Darren Aronofsky with Rachel Weisz playing Jackie Kennedy. Oppenheim told the story of what happened that weekend and pretty much how it went down a beat-for-beat, conversation-by-conversation basis, Login with Patreon to view this post
Great achievement in almost any field is always about the forsaking of easy, casual pleasures, and is always the result of fire in the belly, serious devotion, relentless discipline, hardcore thinking, early to bed and early to rise, etc. And if you don’t have those rigors in your own mind and system, you damn well need someone who (a) cares, (b) believes in you and (c) will crack the whip.
King Richard (Warner Bros., 11.19) is the fact-based story of how Richard Williams pushed and shaped his daughters, Venus and Serena Williams, into becoming tennis superstars. The trailer for suggests straight, focused naturalism, which is what everyone wants anyway.
You know Smith will be Best Actor nominated — locked.
At age 88, Ellen Burstyn has been a combination class act and locomotive for over a half-century (and over 60 years if you count her TV work). She shifted into a big-time film career after her performance in Peter Bogdanovich‘s The Last Picture Show, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 10.22.21, and she’s managed to star or costar in mostly cool, tasteful, adult-angled dramas (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Resurrection, Requiem for a Dream, W., Pieces of a Woman) over the succeeding decades.
And now, God help her, Burstyn has been sucked into costarring in David Gordon Green‘s $400 million Exorcist trilogy.
Not because she’s even vaguely interested in revisiting the character of Chris MacNeil, the Hollywood actress whose daughter turned into a demon in William Friedkin‘s The Exorcist (’73), but because she can’t turn down the huge paycheck. She has to take this gig in the same way that Lionel Barrymore had to allow Edward G. Robinson and his gangster goons to stay in his Key Largo hotel — he couldn’t say no to the money.
Key passage from Brooks Barnes’ 7.26 N.Y. Times story about Universal + Peacock spending over $400 million for three new Exorcist films from director David Gordon Green (“Hollywood Head Spinner: Universal Spends Big for New Exorcist Trilogy“):
“Universal is not remaking The Exorcist, which was directed by Friedkin from a screenplay that William Peter Blatty adapted from his own novel. But the studio will, for the first time, return the Oscar-winning Ms. Burstyn to the franchise. (Two forgettable Exorcist sequels and a prequel were made without her between 1977 and 2004.) Joining her will be Leslie Odom Jr., a Tony winner for Hamilton on Broadway and a double Oscar nominee for One Night in Miami. He will play the father of a possessed child. Desperate for help, he tracks down Ms. Burstyn’s character.”
Odom: “Excuse me…are you Chris MacNeil? My God, it’s you! How are you? Are you good? I’m asking because my daughter’s been possessed by Pazuzu and I’m wondering if you’re up for kicking that demon’s ass like you did back in the early ’70s.”
MacNeil: “I’m fine, thanks, but I didn’t do anything. I persuaded a Jesuit priest named Damien Karras to exorcise the demon, and he asked an older priest, Father Merrin, to help him. I didn’t do a thing. All I did was scream and weep and plead for help.”
Odom: “Yeah but you know all about demons and shit, right? You know how to deal with the moving beds and green vomit and all that. You’re experienced.”
MacNeil: “I don’t know anything. I just went through a horrible ordeal a half-century ago, and now I’m almost 90. Find your own exorcist.”
Odom: “But I need your help.”
MacNeil: “Fuck is wrong with you? Look at me…what am I gonna do?”