Sunday, October 31, 2004

Random Thoughts: Finding Neverland


Exceptional performances from a top notch cast and lush production design enhance an effective, old fashioned tear jerker that will be sure to take award season by storm. Johnny Depp is James Barrie, who coming off the failure of his latest play finds inspiration in the four boys of a dying woman (Kate Winslet.) That inspiration leads to Peter Pan being born. Director Marc Forster (Monster's Ball) goes less depressing, more inspiring this time, though both films end with 2 people sitting down conversing. (stupid observation i know). He handles both sides of the spectrum perfectly, though personally I prefer the bleak. Since I am an emotional robot, I did not cry, though I will admit to being moved by several sequences in the film. The kite scene, though not at all meant be sad, comes to my mind. Depp is good, though very restrained for Depp. Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie have small but memorable roles. Among a cast of well known master classes, Radha Mitchell as Barrie's wife, Mary, and Freddie Highmore as Peter are wonderful surprises. Best performance in the film comes from Winslet as the dying mother, who as usual makes a tricky performance seem so effortless. One can only hope that in late January, she'll get a supporting nomination for this film as well as the leading nomination for Eternal Sunshine. Technical aspects of the film are among the year's best. The score is particularly grand, beautifully assisting the film without ever being intrusive. This is something that seems an impossible feat for a movie of its kind. Production design and costumes both are period piece simple and highly imaginitive when appropriate.

Happy Halloween!

Have a great Halloween! Eat some candy, carve a pumpkin, eat some apples, light some candles, watch some scary movies, enjoy the beautiful, golden leaves and come as you aren't. Watch the Simpsons' special next week!

Horror Week: First Look - The Woods

Agnes Bruckner (Blue Car, Murder by Numbers, Alias) has 2 horror films coming out over the next year. First is Backwater, which I reported on earlier. It is from the director of I Know What You Did Last Summer and is produced by Kevin Williamson (screenwriter of Scream, Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer.) Next, and more importantly, comes The Woods. The Woods is the reason why The Village was The Village as MGM had the rights to the title before M. Night Shyamalan. The Woods is scheduled to be released Sept. 2, 2005. In addition to Bruckner, it costars Patricial Clarkson (Far From Heaven, Pieces of April) and genre icon Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness.) It is a Suspiria-esque tale of a private school in the 1960's where weird things start to happen. Check out the film's official website.

Horror Week: The Horror Move Channel - You Can Help

An interview over at AICN has allowed us to get more information regarding the development of the horror channel. The gentleman being interviewed said visit the forums at their website to tell what you want to see.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Horror Week: The Fog Remake


"Let's see, so far we've had remakes of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, DAWN OF THE DEAD, AMITYVILLE HORROR, THE GRUDGE amongst many others and now comes word that Revolution plans on remaking John Carpenter's THE FOG. Can a remake of KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE be far off? The good news though is that Carpenter is involved in this current incarnation of his classic 1980 film so there is hope. The original film followed the events of a thick fog that rolled in to a Northern California town bringing with it the ghosts of a bunch of seamen (hehe, I said seamen) who had died as the result of a similar fog 100 years back. Cooper Layne (THE CORE) is writing the script and while Carpenter won't direct the remake he will be involved creatively with the project. And getting back to the aforementioned glut of horror remakes, Carpenter says he's even contemplating remaking horror icon HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN!! Is nothing sacred? Next thing you know they'll want to get Freddie Prinze, Jr. to star in a remake of THE SHINING. The studio is looking to get started filming in February prepping for a Halloween 2005 release. Another Carpenter remake, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 with Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne, will hit theaters next year (the trailer will debut in front of AFTER THE SUNSET on November 12th)."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Box Office Predictions: Oct. 29 - 31

1. The Grudge - $21M / $70M / $110M
2. Ray - $19M / $19M / $100M
3. Saw - $10M / $10M / $32M
4. Shark Tale - $9M / $148.5M / $172M
5. Shall We Dance - $6M / $33M / $48M
6. Friday Night Lights - $4M / $52.5M / $60M
7. Birth - $3.5M / $3.5M / $12M
8. Ladder 49 - $3M / $66M / $72M
9. Team America: World Police - $3M / $27.5M / $31M
10. The Forgotten - $2.5M / $65M / $69M

where's catherine zeta-jones when you need her?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Horror Movie OctoberFest: Round 3

The Hole - 4/10
Yes, boys and ghouls, you get to see a 16 year old Keira Knightley's tits. They are bigger than I expected, but you've probably already checked them out online. That will save you the money of renting this film which loses all potential in its sloppy execution. Four kids go into an underground former bomb shelter and only one comes out days later. That would be Thora Birch in a pretty shitty British accent. The film's biggest problem is that its first 25 minutes are probably the best, but when you consider the direction the story takes, they should have been deleted. I don't like the way the story was told even if some of it has a bit of creepiness to it. It would have been smarter to go with just them going into the hole instead of all the flashbacks. Knightley actually gives her best performance to date her, but unless you really want a movie to go with your KK tits, skip it.

House - 4/10
I found most of this to be dumb. I just didn't get into it. The Vietnam stuff felt out of place. The comedic moments just weren't funny, with the exception of George Wendt. The story at the end didn't make much sense. This is a semi-classic and I was expecting something better. It almost felt like a kids movie with an R-rating thanks to those evil, puppet fat things. William Katt is pretty good, though, and there are some neat visuals. That's it. He also shows his tits, but again, no movie around it.

Sleepaway Camp - 2/10
Ugh. From what I gather people like this movie. I'm guessing in a "so bad, its good" way. Someone took the most uninteresting scenes from Random Teen Sex Romp and Random Teen Slasher Movie and put them together (randomly!) into this awful "movie." The identity of the killer is so painfully obvious that you just know its going to be the exact person you think it will be instead of being someone else. Did that make sense? Whatever. I'm sure that ending may have seemed surprising a decade before The Crying Game. Did I spoil the ending? Oops. Well, now you won't have to waste your time watching this unless its some sort of sick initiation thing or drinking game. No Keira Knightley tits here to redeem anything.

Tales From the Darkside: The Movie - 7/10
A pretty cool collection of three short, gory films that features people like Christian Slater, Deborah Harry, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi. The first tale follows a mummy being set loose in the modern day. For being almost 15 years old, the movie's effects for the mummy are solid. The second one is about a black cat that curses anyone it comes in contact with. This leads to a grisly scene of the cat crawling inside someone's mouth and back out later. Yummy. The final tale is about a monster in New York that makes a man promise to never tell anyone about him or the monster will kill him. That one was the most interesting with a tragic ending. The mummy one however is the best. It was cowritten by George Romero and features the most names of the cast. All three stories are linked together by a young boy telling them to a witch (Harry, who is really bad) in order to buy time before she cooks him. Its pretty fun, equal parts trick and treat. Very bloody, too.

Wendigo - 7/10
One of the more original films I've watched during OctoberFest, Wendigo is a 2001 indie film featuring Dawn of the Dead's Jake Webber, a never sexier Patricia Clarkson and Malcolm In the Middle's endearing Erik Per Sullivan as a family vacationing in the Catskillz and the local hick wreaking havoc on them. Actually, its not even about that. It covers a variety of topics including family, curses and culture clashes spinning its own original tale, not at all a conventional horror film. The direction at time gets way too hyper (think Mothman Prophecies, only way more over the top) which dampens a lot of the film, yet the story is well told thanks to the screenplay. The actors playing the family are all very good and are well developed enough that the audience is scared because of their fear.

Horror Movie Week: Exorcism Movie Cast Grows

(According to most sources, the movie is titled The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel.)

From the Hollywood Reporter:
Campbell Scott, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Jennifer Carpenter are joining the cast of an untitled exorcism project based on true events. The horror thriller, in development at Sony's Screen Gems label, was inspired by the Catholic Church's official recognition of the demonic possession of an 18-year-old German college freshman. The young woman died during her exorcism, and a priest stood trial for causing her death. The script, written by director Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman, unfolds "Rashomon"-style, with different points of view recounting the events.
Scott ("The Secret Lives of Dentists") has been cast as a district attorney, while Aghdashloo ("House of Sand and Fog") is a doctor. Carpenter ("White Chicks") plays the possessed freshman. Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson have already been cast. The movie is scheduled to shoot Nov. 16 in Vancouver.

October Oscar Predictions:

(Predictions 2 of 5)

Best Picture:
The Aviator - Finding Neverland - Ray - Sideways - Vera Drake

Best Actor:
Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator
Jamie Foxx - Ray
Paul Giamatti - Sideways
Liam Neeson - Kinsey

Best Actress:
Scarlett Johansson - A Love Song For Bobby Long
Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake
Audrey Tautou - A Very Long Engagement
Uma Thurman - Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Kate Winslet - Eteranl Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Supporting Actor:
Thomas Haden Church - Sideways
Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby
Freddie Highmore - Finding Neverland
Clive Owen - Closer
Peter Sarsgaard - Kinsey

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett - The Aviator
Laura Linney - Kinsey
Virginia Madsen - Sideways
Natalie Portman - Closer
Kerry Washington - Ray

Best Director:
Marc Forster - Finding Neverland
Mike Leigh - Vera Drake
Mike Nichols - Closer
Alexander Payne - Sideways
Martin Scorsese - The Aviator

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Closer - Finding Neverland - A Love Song For Bobby Long - Sideways - A Very Long Engagement

Best Original Screenplay:
The Aviator - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Kinsey - Ray - Vera Drake

Happy Birthday To Me!

21 years ago I was born into the world. Why exactly it was in York I am still wondering! Anywho, I just thought I would share with everyone that your blogmaster, or just master depending on preference, is 21 now.

I also checked IMDB to see who I share a birthday with:

Ed's Tom Cavangh (36 today)
Blow and Beautiful Girls director Ted Demme (who sadly died 2 years ago at the age of 38)
10,000 Maniacs lead singer Natalie Merchant (41)
Veteran B-list Actor Cary Elwes (42)
The Practice's Dylan McDermott (43)
Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson (46)
Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (57, but I suspect she might be a robot)
Original Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith (57)
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak (58)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit's Bob Hoskins (62)

..and my personal favorite:
Will and Grace's wise cracking maid Rosario - Shelley Morrison (68)

Also, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simspon were married 2 years ago today. No word yet on whose birthday they'll get divorced on.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Horror Week - New Trailers: Boogeyman, Hide and Seek

Boogeyman here.

Barry Watson (7th Heaven) Emily Deschanel (Cold Mountain, sister of Zooey) and Xena's Lucy Lawless co-star in this horror film coming next February from Sam Raimi. The trailer was attached to all prints of The Grudge but here it is just for you. Looks better than I thought, and was a big surprise to see in theatres as the movie was rumored to go direct to video. I'm digging the countdown thing at the end.

Hide and Seek here.

Dakota Fanning certainly has starred with a lot of talented people. Joining the list that already includes Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlize Theron, Denzel Washington, Mike Meyers, and Kevin Bacon is Robert De Niro. He plays her father in this film which follows the young ingenue showing her incredible acting range by dying her hair brown. The supporting cast includes Famke Jannsen, Dylan Baker and the MIA of late Elisabeth Shue. Seriously, where has she been?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Moviegoers Hold No Grudge Against SMG, She Slayed 'Em

Score one for the Buffster. Opening to a pick-your-jaw-up-off-the-floor $40 million, The Grudge was the far and ahead winner this week and the first non-political/religious surprise blockbuster of the year. It doubled the expectations of the studio and most analysts. The film, which barely cost $15 million in production costs, now seems destined to have a sequel. Give them credit. Sony has the best marketing team. Turns out making it look like a sequel to The Ring only helped. One wonders what kind of damage The Ring 2 could have done had the film been produced quicker and released this week as originally planned. Another observation is the box office streak of Grudge's central star, Sarah Michelle Gellar:

I Know What You Did Last Summer - $72M
Scream 2 - $101M
She's All That - $64M
Simply Irresistable - $5M
Cruel Intentions - $40M
Scooby Doo - $150M
Scooby Doo 2 - $90M
The Grudge - Estimated Final - $110M

Granted, none of those films performed what they did thanks to her name, but she has a pretty good eye for projects that will make money. Its enough to make her post-Buffy career alive. Mighty impressive when you consider that she's still not exactly a household name. Even more impressive when you consider the recent performanc trend of films starring Ben Affleck, an Oscar winner and an A-lister. His Surviving Christmas, unsurprisingly and much deservingly, tanked with only $4 million in 7th place.

SNL Lays Down the Law

It is Saturday night and I must be hungry cause I could sure go for some Jude.

Puns over here on in.

Cold Open - Crossball - Grade: A
Hilarious! Forte as Zell Miller. I'm crying.
Monologue - Jude Sings - Grade: A
I love it when the ladies sing and dance on stage. Throw in Ashlee Simpson and close it with "Hey Jude." Fantastic! Sidenote: He mentioned Nicole Kidman.
Air Captain - Grade: A-
Why would you bite a fireball? Is Jude parodying his own non-hit movie? Indeed.
(Toilet Vacuum and Presidential Debate are both not good. Debate went on for too long - again! - and, really, they need to drop the lesbian thing. Hilarious during the open, not any longer. Why don't they instead go after the Cheneys for being so ashamed of their daughter?)
Paris Hilton Apologizes - Grade: A-Maya has Paris nailed down pat. It is the most flawless impression yet from Rudolph. Jude as Nikki is great. Love how Rachel shows up as Nicole Richie.
Ashlee Simpson - Pieces of Me - Grade: A
I'm not ashamed of this: This is my favorite song of the year. I sing along with it everytime it is on the radio in my car.
Weekend Update - Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Their Extreme Hotness - Grade: B
Last time they were great, this time it was okay. Not enough good jokes. Great end though. You're welcome!
The rest of it, with the exception of the Donald Trump Halloween Promo - was pretty Bleh. It was almost redeemed by that horrendous screw up. Simpson was about to begin her second song when the music played was from the first song that she song. It was more of an embarassment for Simpson than a funny Debbie Downer style thing. I love how she started dancing, then just walked off stage. She blamed it on the band. Awkwardness is bliss.

I'll give this episode a B+.

I hope next week's is even better. KATE WINSLET!!!! Eminem is musical guest, but he's not as important as Kate. KATE WINSLET!!!!

(Just checked some boards. Apparently, Ashlee's career is over!)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Horror Movie OctoberFest - Round 2

Carnival of Souls - 8/10
The film worlds of David Lynch and George Romero collide in this harrowingly surreal cult classic from the 60's. A group of young people (played of course by actors in their late 30's - and you thought today was bad!) go racing and one car crashes over a bridge. One girl somehow comes out of the water in what seems hours later. She's disoriented and has no recollection of what happened, and continues with her life as if nothing happened. She begins having visions of dead people as she begins her new job as a church organist. The organ music in the film adds to the impact, and the film's black and white photography looks beautiful on the Criterion DVD. The whole thing is quite bizarre and there seems to lack a point. A twist ending that makes zero sense, yet isn't at all surprising after having seen Jacob's Ladder and Soul Survivors.

The Changeling - 5/10
My interest in this film began when hearing interviews with Neve Campbell for whichever Scream film saying that this was her favorite scary movie. The film contains some great moments of terror, yet downtime is a definate bore. The story setup is fairly cliche (man loses family, man moves into house, creepy things happen.) George C. Scott is really good.

The Haunting - 8/10
Far more a character study than the fx-driven remake, I think this is one of the best written ghost movies I've seen. Amazing is that the film was made in the early 60's and has a major lesbian subtext in it. The remake made it more blatant, taking away something. The actress who plays Nell was great in the role.

John Carpenter's The Thing - 8/10
Carpenter's work of late has been slightly lacking, so its best to go back and discover the classics. I was a tad bit disappointed that Carpenter didn't do the score for this one, though. His scores for The Fog and Halloween are excellent. This film became a benchmark for makeup effects in its day, and while looking slightly silly now, they all are effective. And quite gross. You like people exploding and alien people coming out (even better here than it was in Alien?) This is your movie. The film's only drawback is that its characters are almost all cliches. Surprisingly, that doesn't take away from the intense standoff toward the film's end. I would also like to mention the severe underratedness of Kurt Russell in the film industry. This is, I believe, one of three collaborations he did with Carpenter, the other 2 being the "Escape From.." films. I hope a fourth one isn't too far away.

The Witches of Eastwick - 4/10
How did I not like this movie? It features a cast that has 22 Oscar nominations and 36 Golden Globe noms between them. I liked the first 10 minutes but it was downhill after that. What happened? Well, I think the whole thing was very uneven. Jack Nicholson was typical Jack Nicholson and had fun with the role of the Devil - something the film never actually confirms. Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer were decent, but really had nothing to do. Susan Sarandon had the most fleshed out role and the only other time I've seen the master class actress this sexy and vivacious was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As far as sexy witches in New England searching for a man go, I'll take Practical Magic.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Casting News

+Nicole Kidman joins Russell Crowe in the Aussie drama Eucalyptus. Geoffrey Rush costars.

+Kate Winslet joins Jude Law, Sean Penn, Mark Ruffalo and Meryl Streep in the film All the King's Men. The social drama begins filming next month.

+Tim Robbins, Julie Christie and Sarah Polley join the cast of The Secret Life Of Words. The movie is the story of a female survivor of the the Yugoslavian War and her journey on an entirely male oil rig.

+Jennifer Garner is in negotiations to topline the romance Catch and Release for writer turned director Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich.)

+Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Meg Ryan and Uma Thurman will star in a remake of the film/play The Women. The film focuses on a woman (Bening) who finds her husband is cheating on her with a younger woman (Thurman) and uses her female friends to exact revenge. The film is written and directed by Diane English.

+Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx will star in an adaptation of the 80's series Miami Vice for director Michael Mann.

+A small ounce of respect has been lost for Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Honsou and Steve Buscemi. They will star in Michael Bay's next action film The Island.

+Brandon James Routh has been cast as Superman for Bryan Singer's forthcoming superhero film. Routh is a TV bit part veteran having appeared on Gilmore Girls, Undressed, Will and Grace and Cold Case. Lost's Evangeline Lilly and The OC's Mischa Barton are rumored to be competing for Lois Lane.

Box Office Predictions: Oct. 22 - 24

1. The Grudge - $20M / $20M / $74M
2. Shark Tale - $14M / $136.5M / $170M
3. Shall We Dance - $9.5M / $25M / $58M
4. Friday Night Lights - $8M / $48M / $68M
5. Team America: World Police - $6M / $22M / $32M
6. Ladder 49 - $5.5M / $61.5M / $72M
7. Surviving Christmas - $5M / $5M / $12M
8. Taxi - $4.5M / $30M / $37M
9. The Forgotten - $4M / $62.5M / $68M
10. I Heart Huckabees - $4M / $7M / $18M

ha ha ha we both fucked nicole kidman ha ha ha

Monday, October 18, 2004

For all you people of quiet desperation....

Birth Poster and Release Date

Birth has been bumped up a week to October 29. New Line is apparently dead set on dissing the controversy and dumping the film. Release Dates almost only get moved back this close to the date, so a week up seems extremely odd. Here's the cool poster:

I Know What They're Doing This Halloween

Jim Gillespie and Kevin Williamson, the director and writer of I Know What You Did Last Summer, have reteamed for Dimension Films' Backwater. The horror film - currently filming in New Orleans - follows a serial killer named Mr. Jangle who haunts the Louisiana swamps. Backwater stars Agnes Bruckner as the film's main character. Bruckner was previously seen in Blue Car and Murder by Numbers and will next be seen in Lucky McKee's The Woods, co-starring Patricia Clarkson and Bruce Campbell. Backwater's supporting cast includes Garden State's Method Man, Insomnia's Jonathan Jackson and Bijou Phillips (aka that girl always partying with one of the Hilton sisters.) Backwater is due out 3rd quarter 2005.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Chris Rock To Host 77th Oscars

Chris Rock will host the 77th Oscars. Duh, didn't you read the title of this blog entry. This does not excite me. I really have nothing against him, but he's wrong for the job. He's more suited for the MTV Movie Awards/Music Video Awards/Ghetto Trash type jobs where the people deserved to be made fun of. Will this be a repeat of 2002's Oscars where every "black joke" Whoopi made the camera cut to Denzel or Halle? Jamie Foxx will be the go-to guy this year. The reaction from Oscar fans to this announcement is pretty furious. Very much the same thing I just said: nothing wrong with Rock, he's just not right for this. Their number one choice is Ellen Degeneres, whose hosting at the Emmys the other year was viewed as a perfect audition for the job. She's much better at the light and bubbly personality that the job entails. There was also buzz that Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson could cohost based on their excellent presentations of Oscars past. Oh well. Just as long as Paris Hilton isn't doing red carpet coverage (or anywhere in a 10 mile radius of the Kodak) we're good.

New Trailer: The Ring 2

This is a damn great teaser. Here's why:

+Sissy Spacek, Carrie herself, returns to horror and does a deliriously creepy opening narration. What a perfect way to introduce the film!

+Elizabeth Perkins = the creepiest nurse since Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill: Vol. 1

+that awesome tagline: Fear Comes Full Circle

+the hyper, brief flashes

+the fact the movie has two sexy Australians: Naomi Watts and Simon Baker

The Ring 2 opens March 18, 2005.

Go here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

October DVD of the Month: Arrested Development - Season 1

October is a fairly dead month this year for DVDs. Later on this month, I will offer my Halloween movie suggestions with a list of great horror movies. That will be your retro renting guide, so here's the new one:

Arrested Development? What's that, Darren? You have never mentioned that here! For the retarded among you (come on, raise your hands!) here's a guide:

Arrested Development is the winner of 3 2004 Emmy's: Best Comedy Series, Best Writing In A Comedy Series and Best Direction in a Comedy Series. This was not enough. Nominations for one cast member wasn't enough. Everyone deserves to be nominted. There's not a weak link among them.

AD follows the wealthy and slightly insane Bluth Family. After their patriarch is jailed for insider trading and some light treason later on, its up to the only sane one, Michael, to save the family business: real estate development. Problem: the rest of the family. Michael has worked for the company for years and finally takes charge after his father is put in jail. Michael's son is George Michael, who works at the Bluth banana stand, a striving business in today's low carb world. While Michael's father, George Sr. is in jail hocking new religion and tweaking the nipples of undercover feds, Michael's mother, Lucille, is at home keeping the illusion of being happy and extremely wealthy. She loves taking care of her accidentally - scratch that - drunkenly adopted son, Annyong (which is "Hello" and not his name, despite what the family believes.) Everyone else, she loves screwing with them and their lives. Her daughter and Michael's sister is Lindsay Funke (pronounced Fyun-kay.) Lindsay is a shopoholic, obsessed with appearance and almost never working. When she is, it is normally upper class wife charity drives including H.O.O.P. (Hands Off Our Penises - an anti-circumcision movement) which puts her on the Jewish Defense League's shit list. Lindsay also enjoys strange business investments such as beads, Dip-A-Pet (custom pet coloring), and "Mommy, what will I look like" a business that shows parents what their kids look like in several decades mostly for the worse. Lindsay's husband is Dr. Tobias Funke, a man who quit his psychology practice to become an actor. His sexuality is a mystery to the family. Nevertheless, Tobias and Lindsay have a daughter, Maebe. Maebe is a constant troublemaker who made up a fictional disabled sister, Surely, to get some sympathy money. Maebe is also the source of affection for George Michael, her cousin. Michael and Lindsay's brothers are Gob (like the biblical Job) and Buster. Gob is an "illusionist"/out of work magician/self proclaimed ladies man. He's willing to help the family out, which normally entails him banging George Sr.'s nutty secretary, Kitty Sanchez. Buster is a highly educated mess, childlike and a major mama's boy. Buster is frequently jealous of Annyong who gets most of Lucille's affections. To make up for this, he dates Lucille Austaro, Lucille Bluth's arch nemesis, after accidentally flirting with her at a party. It is convenient for Buster and "Lucille #2" because she lives in an apartment right across from Lucille Bluth.

I hope you laughed several times during that season 1 overview. If you didn't, the idea of Julia Lois-Dreyfus as a blind lawyer with a seeing eye dog named Justice, Heather Graham as a ethics teacher who loves Sadam Hussein, Carl Weathers as Carl Weathers and Liza Minelli as Lucille #2 should make you chuckly. But more importantly, you must check out this DVD. It is over 8 hours of comedy (that's almost 4 movies!) and I guarentee you will laugh more in a single episode than what you did during any movie released in the past year. Here's some great one-liners from this series.

Lucille Bluth (on homosexuals): "Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire."

Lucille Bluth (on Buster's lack of companionship with his siblings): "Everyone's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster."

Lindsay: "Michael, if this is a lecture on how we're all supposed to whatever and blah-blah-blah, well, you can save it, because we all know it by heart."

Lindsay: "I'm tired of trying to find happiness through lies and self-medicating. If you need me, I'll be at the bar."

George, Sr: "You should have seen the face he made when - well, he's my twin brother, I'll show you!"

Annyong: "Annyong."

Kitty Sanchez: "Can we please talk about something other than my breasts?"

Publicist: "There are very few intelligent, attractive and straight men in this town."
Tobias Funke: "Well, that leaves me out."
[Silence, everyone stares]
Tobias Funke: "She did say single, right? I-I-I thought she said single."

And Angie's favorite...
Michael: "Let's hope it doesn't come to that."

Arrested Development - Season 1 is available to own on DVD October 19.

Box Office Prediction: October 15 - 17

1. Shark Tale - $18M / $114.5M / $150M
2. Team America: World Police - $15M / $15M / $35M
3. Friday Night Lights - $12M / $37.5M / $64M
4. Shall We Dance - $11.5M / $11.5M / $50M
5. Ladder 49 - $8M / $53M / $70M
6. Taxi - $6.5M / $22.5M / $32M
7. The Forgotten - $4M / $55M / $62M
8. Raise Your Voice - $2M / $7M / $10M
9. Shaun of the Dead - $1.2M / $11.5M / $14M
10. The Motorcycle Diaries - $1M / $5M / $15M

take that gerbil out of my ass, bitch

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Horror Movie OctoberFest: Round 1

April Fool's Day - 6/10
Yes, yet another 80's slasher movie for a holiday. Those crazy 80's folks missed Yom Kippur. The film is very, very predictable but there's a great sense of fun in the ongoings, particularly at the start. The guests are arrived and are subjected to the rich girl's high jinx. Once those dwindle off, the film goes into standard slasher fare and on to the predictable outcome. It is not very scary, but most of the film is clever, with tongue in cheek fun thrown in. An instantly forgettable cast, not a "they were in this?" among them, are at least convincing.

I Spit On Your Grave - 7/10
This film, also called Day of the Woman, is infamous for frequently being called "the worst film ever made" by Roger Ebert. Others weren't as harsh upon its initial release and since the film's 26 years in existence it has gained a large cult following. The film bares more than a passing resemblance to Wes Craven's Last House on the Left. The first hour you watch in horror as a woman is beaten, raped, teased, and bloodied up, then the same thing all over again. About four times. It is not a pleasant experience and at times feels like a snuff film. The woman eventually makes it back to her cabin and waits a few weeks to exact her revenge on the hillbillies and then the film turns exploitation. The low art genres crisscross creating something unexpectedly watchable (sorry, Roger!) and something that would look at home in a Quentin Tarantino DVD library.

Nattevagten / "Nightwatch" - 5/10
German thriller about a grad student who takes a night job at a morgue as a series of murders go down that make him look like the killer. The morgue itself has atmosphere to spare, but unfortunately the film doesn't do quite enough with the setting. Most of it seems cliched and the whodunit element leads to another "talking killer" scenes that have become so standard with the genre. The identity of the killer is a surprise, however, but is unveiled far too early in the film to have as much punch as it should have. The film was remade by the same director into 1998's Nightwatch, starring Ewan McGregor, Patricia Arquette, Nick Nolte and Lauren Graham. I would have also Netflix'd the the remake based soley on the last name, but since it is from the same director and all the reviews that outline the plot make it sound exactly like its inspiration.

Resident Evil: Apocalyse - 5/10
I enjoyed this film, I was entertained throughout it. If it were in late night cable some time in the next few years, I will watch it. Hell, I meant rent it. Does this make it a good movie? Not at all. Its junk food: delicious, juicy and completely bad for you. Is it a guilty pleasure? I don't really like that term, as I think that you should feel guilty for what you like. The film is overly directed. Every scene begins and ends in music video style which is very tiring. Plot holes are instantly spotted. It has the token black guy, something that desperately needs to be axed in the genre. No shot lasts longer than 5 seconds. Yet, I had fun. I guess I love the zombie genre too much. Milla Jovovich kicks major ass as a mini-Sigourney, and I would to see her tackle a real role in the future. Sienna Guillory is pretty good with what she has to do but is probably here because Kate Beckinsale was busy doing some other gothic shit. The film's quality makes it a 3, while I enjoyed it as a 7. I gave it a 5.

The Wicker Man - 7/10
Even after 32 years, The Wicker Man's message, surreal imagery (gotta love those animal masks!) and bizarreness still stack up today. A horror film that isn't, it is about an investigator's search for a missing, possibly dead girl among a very strange town. How strange are they? Well, in the film's best bit, a very naked, very blonde and very dubbed Brit Eckland dances around naked while singing a song to seduce the investigator who is in a different room. This whole scene is just so out of nowhere that I had no other way to react to it than laughter. (Not in a bad way, mind you.) That number will stay with you for days. I wasn't expecting musical to play such an integral part in the film, but there's several other tunes in the mix. The film's power hits hard at the great ending, which I won't spoil. Despite the film's originality and curiousity it inspires in the viewer, I felt very detached from the events and found myself not caring for what was going on. Despite this, the whole story is very relevant today. So much so that a remake was in development several years back that would have starred Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie (I'm hoping in the Eckland part) and Winona Ryder. Ryder's role is a mystery as several other female characters are in this story, but none of their roles were substantial enough to earn that kind of talent. Perhaps the plan was to make the part of Rowan Morrison a woman instead of a young girl.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Super Man Christopher Reeve Dies

Go here.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Alfie Bumped Back Two Weeks

I really tried to make a sexual innuendo with the title but I just couldn't come up with anything good. All I had was "October 22 No Longer a Jude Sandwich" and "Paramount Bumps Jude From Behind." Alfie, the Jude Law starring Paramount remake of the classic Michael Caine film, has been bumped from its October 22 release date to November 5. The reason being that the studio felt the film would benefit as counter-programming to Pixar's The Incredibles, since Alexander vacated that slot for the November 24th 5-day weekend. (Guess Colin also got hit from behind!) Opening Oct. 22 are The Grudge and Surviving Christmas, while the other Jude Law film I Heart Huckabee's expands to wide release. I think this improves Alfie's chances at becoming a hit. It seemed certain to be a sleeper either way.

Current Alfie Box Office Predictions:
Opening Weekend - $18M
Total Gross - $75M

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Random Thoughts: Laramie Project, Shark Tale, Without a Paddle

The Laramie Project - 7/10
This adaptation of the play follows the residents of Laramie, Wyoming and the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. The teleplay is unusual in that it is transcriptions of the actual residents of the town, with the concept of the writers trying to document the incident thrown in. No words were changed even if they don't exist, such as my favorite: intoxificated. The cast is large and filled with talented actors including Peter Fonda, Christina Ricci, Laura Linney, Joshua Jackson, Janeane Garafalo, Amy Madigan, Dylan Baker and Camryn Manheim among many others. Madigan gives the best performance as the first cop on the scene of the murder who may have been infected with HIV. Any power the film exudes comes straight from the events it is based on but luckily the method of which its told is interesting enough to make it a good film.

Shark Tale - 3/10
The computer animation trend reaches its low point in DreamWorks latest entry in the until now successful streak. A top notch voice cast is wasted as all of them seem to have been typecast based on their offscreen personality (i.e. Will Smith as the jive talking fish; Angelia Jolie as the sexpot; Renee Zellweger as the sweet and naive love interest; Robert De Niro as the ethnic, intimidating bad guy; Jack Black as the goofy, child-like sidekick.) Perhaps the biggest surprise when considering all that talent and creative energy is how dull the overall project is. Nothing of interest happens, and the film lacks imagination. It is made to look even worse of last year's Finding Nemo. Shark Tale does have two clever gags: Katie Couric repeatedly pops up as a news fish named Katie Current. The second is a newspaper advertisement seen twice: It is a movie ad with a picture of a hook reading "Before you die, you eat the hook." I ruined those ten seconds so that you don't have to waste the other 90 minutes of your life.

Without a Paddle - 3/10
The fact that this movie became a semi box-office sleeper is really sad. People must be that easily amused or have found any one of the three annoying leads bearable to sit through this unfunny comedy for 100 minutes. Dax Sheppard, who I've never even heard of (apparently he was on Jackass,) is really, really annoying and makes Sean William Scott's Stiffler character from American Pie seem enormously tolerable. The other two characters are so cliched they practically disappear from the screen. Not helping the situation is that Matthew Lillard and Seth Green have played the same token characters repeatedly in their careers. Its one of those movies that feels so derivative of the olders and betters of its given genre, you are best off just to go directly back to the source. That even may be a movie that was not that great to begin with.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Box Office Predictions: October 8-10

1. Shark Tale - $25M / $82M / $135M
2. Friday Night Lights - $16M / $16M / $50M
3. Ladder 49 - $14M / $42M / $68M
4. Taxi - $13M / $16M / $40M
5. Raise Your Voice - $8M / $8M / $22M
6. The Forgotten - $7M / $48M / $60M
7. I Heart Huckabee's - $2M / $2.4M / $20M
8. Shaun of the Dead - $2M / $10M / $14M
9. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - $1.8M / $33.5M / $38M
10. Woman, Thou Art A Movie I Have No Idea What the Title Is - $1.7M / $4.5M / $7.5M

no! i'm going to be more typecast!

Kate Winslet Is Better Than You

In the tradition of random actress oriented blog entries such as "Jennifer Garner Is the Cutest Thing Ever" and "Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman Are Cunts" comes "Kate Winslet Is Better Than You." Kate Winslet is the mother of two and is married to Sam Mendes, an Oscar-winning director whose credits include American Beauty, Road to Perdition and the Nicole Kidman headlining play The Blue Room. Kate is already a triple Oscar-nominee and stars in the highest grossing movie of all time, Titanic. She made her film debut 10 years ago in Heavenly Creatures from director Peter Jackson (the Lord of the Rings trilogy.) Kate, like Kidman in 2001, is having a phenomenal year given two roles of a lifetime. The first is as the flame haired Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Kate's performance is the greatest and soon-to-be most iconic one by an actress in a comedic/"love interest" role since Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. Up next is Finding Neverland, a biopic about Peter Pan author J.M Barrie as played on screen by Johnny Depp. Kate stars as the dying mother of the young boys who inspire Barrie. Kate Winslet has accomplished all these things in a career that is shaping up to make her the greatest actress in the history of the cinema. Today, she turns 29.

better than you

Wolverine Spins Off

Spinoff! Has there ever been a greater word in the English language? David Benioff (screenwriter of 25th Hour, Troy and the upcoming Stay starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor) has been hired to write the script for Wolverine's solo session (not that kind!) Hugh Jackman will reprise his character for the film which probably won't hit theatres till 2052. So does this mean Wolverine is in or out of the planned X3? As of right now, no one is sure. Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men films, is currently working on Superman over at Warner Bros. The Wolverine film will follow Logan as he moves to Seattle and hosts a radio show where he helps mutant callers with their problems. He lives at home with his retired father and his neurotic mutant brother stops by often. No, that's not true.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Scream Queen Janet Leigh Dies

Janet Leigh, who appeared in the most famous moment in horror film history, died yesterday in Beverly Hills. Her daughters - Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis - were at her side during her passing. The actress was 77. Her last screen role was opposite her daughter in 1998's Halloween: H20, a fact this article fails to mention:

"NEW YORK - Janet Leigh, the wholesome beauty who co-starred with James Stewart, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra in films of the 1940s to 1960s and achieved her most lasting fame as the victim of a shower slashing in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," died Sunday at her Beverly Hills, Calif., home, the New York Daily News reported on its Web site Monday. She was 77. The actress' daughters, Kelly Curtis and actress Jamie Lee Curtis (news) were at their mother's side when she died, Jamie Lee Curtis' spokeswoman, Heidi Schaeffer, told the newspaper. Leigh had suffered in recent months from vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, the Daily News said. Schaeffer did not immediately return calls before business hours Monday from The Associated Press. The Beverly Hills Police Department, the Los Angeles County coroner's office or Leigh's agent, John Frazier, could immediately confirm the death.

A stunning blonde beauty, Leigh enjoyed a long and distinguished career, appearing in such films as "The Manchurian Candidate" in 1962 and in Orson Welles' 1958 film noir classic "Touch of Evil." But she gained her most lasting fame in "Psycho" as the embezzling office worker who is stabbed to death in the shower by cross-dressing madman Anthony Perkins. The role earned her an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress. Leigh wrote in her 1995 book "Psycho: Behind the Scenes in the Classic Thriller" that the filming was easy until the last 20 seconds when she had to express total horror as her character was being slashed to death. She often said she hadn't been able to take a shower since the movie. "It's not a hype, not something I thought would be good for publicity," she insisted. "Honest to gosh, it's true."

Her other films included "Act of Violence," "Little Women," "Holiday Affair," "Strictly Dishonorable," "The Naked Spur," "Living It Up," "Jet Pilot," "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Safari." Leigh appeared with daughter Jamie Lee in the 1980 thriller "The Fog" and made occasional television appearances in her later years. She had married Curtis' father, Tony Curtis (news), in 1951 when both stars were at the height of their fame. They divorced in 1962."

-The Assiocated Press

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Random Thoughts: The Tube

Angie is all about TV lately with her blog. Saving up for a wedding has left her with the one and only tube, but there's plenty to watch. I have not watched Lost at all. I was planning on watching the two hour recap that aired last night on ABC but that didn't quite pan out. Now, unless it comes to DVD in a year, I probably won't see it. The weird thing is that I feel that watching Lost will somehow lead to the show being more popular, thus J.J. abandons Alias completely and then I'm screwed. I did something similar when Buffy moved to UPN: I blacklisted Gilmore Girls even though I hadn't seen Buffy in quite some time. Stupid, right? Now look what happened!

I haven't watched Joey at all, which received mixed to mostly positive reviews. I don't really miss Friends that much cause its on TBS all the time and I have four seasons of it on DVD. The ending was very satisfying for me, so I'm all good. With the absense of Friends, there were really only a few shows left on the air that I watch, TV shows that Angie calls "appointment TV." As follows:

Arrested Development
Gilmore Girls
Saturday Night Live
Will and Grace

(In addition to these, I still watch Roseanne in syndication as well as The X-Files. That's actually about all I watch on TV believe it or not. People always say I watch a lot of TV which I don't think I do. I digress. Also, I'm addicted to Great Hotels on the Travel Channel. I love hotels, but you probably already knew that!) 3 of the shows have already debuted new episodes. Arrested, like most of Fox shows, restarts in November and Alias returns in January. I do watch The Simpsons, but since it is not an arc-y show, I can watch random episodes. I will definately watch the episode where Patty comes out of the closet and marries a woman after Springfield legalizes gay marriage. Of the 3 shows that have premiered, how are they faring?

Gilmore Girls - B+ (so far for 2 episodes in season 5)
ABC Family just started running reruns since the show is now officially in that wonderful TV term: syndication. I caught several episodes today, but the show starts from the beginning weekdays at 5PM. Great. I hope they run it late nights, too. The season premiere of GG felt more like a season finale, and the second episode felt more like a season premiere. The first episode was fine, but when compared to the show's other episodes was kind of weak. The second episode picked up and was an improvement. Perhaps I just want Rory to get back to Yale so we get more of Paris. Paris is a cross between Reese Witherspoon's character Tracy Flick in Election and any classic Woody Allen character. I just love her. She's been MIA for the first two episodes. For those of you who love great writing, GG is probably the best written show on television. Yes, believe it or not, fake people have more interesting things to say than those bores/stereotypes on reality shows. The GG town of Stars Hollow is filled with so many loveably neurotic characters that it adds a whole new color to the lush New England town (filmed in Hollywood, damn it!) The show is heading in a good direction this season. Rory is a homewrecker, Luke and Lorelai are hooking up. The elder Gilmores are splitting up. It will create a very interesting, and always watchable show. If you haven't heard me rave like a madman about Lauren Graham before, here goes: Lauren Graham for the past couple of years has been the hottest non-Jennifer on TV. With Aniston gone and Garner not coming back till January, Lorelai Gilmore is the sexiest woman on television. She's hysterical. Give her an Emmy already. She's funny. She is probaby my favorite funny lady on TV this side of Tina Fey.

Saturday Night Live - C (so far for episode 1 of season 30)
SNL premiered this past weekend with an episode that while being superior to last year's horrid Jack Black/John Mayer opener was still a dismal effort. It had its moments, as ALL SNL's do. The "cold opening" - that's actually the official term for the pre-credits typically political sketch - was funny, a bit long though. The monologue was charming with an appearance by Alec Baldwin. Then they did exactly what they shouldn't have: Debbie Downer. It probably would have been best to let this one go as a butgusting flub, but you just knew they were going to milk it. Mistake! The next sketch proves why John Kerry should be president: Seth Meyers as him and better yet, Maya Rudolph as Teresa Heinz Kerry. (Hey, that's reason enough for me to elect someone.) After this was Weekend Update which is ALWAYS worth watching even if the episode isn't. First off, I read that Tina Fey was doing it solo this year, which would have been fine for me. I love Miss Fey. Her delivery is perfect. Imagine my surprise when a few hours before 11:30 I learned that Amy Poehler would be co-anchoring. I love Miss Poehler. I actually have no clue who I prefer more. It was my original hope that these two would do it (Update!) together, if not Seth Meyers. Because of Seth's Kerry duties, Amy was probably the ideal candidate. Her first stab at Update was a bit rusty, but she'll pull through. I remember the first time I saw Fallon and Fey. I thought it was awful. It seemed so bad. Then, I loved them. Poehler was adorable when she cheered herself on her first joke. The two look smoking together behind the desk, and with so many generic real newscasters poluting the airwaves with their seriousness, it is a joy to see Fey and Poehler's offbeat sexiness.

Plus, that Monster referenced floored me.
Fey: It'll be like that movie Monster.
Poehler: Does this mean you're gonna kill me?
Fey: No. It means I'm gonna kill other people. You get to be my girlfriend.
Poehler: COOL!

Will and Grace - C+ (for first 3 episodes of Season 7)

Last season was made up of about 67% dismal episodes and 33% episodes where I was laughing out loud. Since we are 3 episodes into this season, that ratio is holding up. The season premiere was great. I watched it twice and laughed very hard both times. The second yielded some laughs at the beginning but couldn't get much out even when Arrested Development's Gob (Will Arnett, Amy Poehler's real life husband!) showed up as Jack's competitor for a spot on Janet Jackson's dance team. The third episode saw the return of Molly Shannon as the insane Val, who Grace joined at AA meetings cause they had free food and Grace could talk all she wanted. The other storyline saw Will and Jack being used as test audiences to a gay network being put on the air. These sound like comedic gold, but something was lacking. It may be that the shows original producers sabotaged most of Season 6 and are now no longer part of the show at all. Who knows? This show is taking lots of flack from critics for its (over)use of guest stars. Personally, I love this show when it just goes completely over the top instead of when it is just a sitcom. The guest stars add to the former. See the episodes with Sandra Bernhard (Grace singing Midnight Train to Georgia makes me piss myself almost), Madonna, Minnie Driver, Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and my two personal faves: Matt Damon's gay chorus episode and the series best episode which finds Mira Sorvino playing the only woman Will has ever slept with. I love the characters on this show and think they are so perfectly played that when watching them struggle, it hurts. Here's hoping W&G finds its groove again.

So this leads up to the only new TV show I have seen this season:

Desperate Housewives - A- (for first episode)

Cheerily upbeat and tinged with some nasty acidic humor, Desperate Housewives is a delicious concoction of soapy serial and deviously comedic self parody. It manages to be campy and - get this! - well made, going after all the things we love about soaps: watching the rich screw their lives over and suffer. It does this with such witty writing and deadpan humor. The show contains at least a half dozen quote-worthy lines. I have no idea if this show will catch on, but I asked my mom what she thought of it afterwards and she smiled and said "that was pretty good" which in my mom's terms is a very high recommendation. I'm hoping it does catch on, as the show gives up a few deliriously cliched setups that you just can't wait to see what the creators will do. The cast is flawless. My favorite - no surprise! - is Marcia Cross. You know she's gonna do something crazy. She's that evil Stepford (hey! they even mentioned Stepford!) bitch, and Cross muc the same way she did on Melrose Place hits the role out of the ballpark. I also surprisingly enjoyed Teri Hatcher and her banter with her daughter. You don't have to be Desperate to watch these Housewives. Lame, I know.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Paltrow Gets $3.6M for 'Every Word'

Old news, but ah well...

...The star will earn a staggering $3.6 million to sing one three-minute song on the big screen, making her the highest paid actress ever for a cameo appearance.

Paltrow, who is putting her acting career on hold to be a full-time mother to baby Apple, will receive the massive paycheck for playing singer Peggy Lee and singing "This Thing Called Love" in a star-studded biopic of legendary writer Truman Capote called "Every Word Is True."

A source says, "No actress has earned this sort of money for just one day's work. When you're talking about someone as beautiful and iconic as Gwyneth making her filming comeback after having her baby, then it's the performance that counts.