Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It'll Grand Slam Your Heart

.
You know what the world needs right now? If you said "love sweet love" you're a goddamn hippie, but you're not too far out of bounds. The word "crowd-pleaser" has been lobbed at Battle of the Sexes already and lots more than once, and it's a solid call - like the best Sports Movies this one, which tells the story of tennis legend Billie Jean King's infamous 1972 match with the washed-up Bobby Riggs, is going to make the audience you're sitting with clap and cheer once that final reel rolls along.

But the movie's both better, and a little worse, than just that. On the one hand it's a really lovely love story, and my favorite scenes by far are the ones where Billie Jean (Emma Stone, truly firing on all cylinders) gets to know the hairdresser, flung out of space, who's awakened all kinds of feelings she hadn't been expecting (played a dreamy soft Andrea Riseborough, who once again proves that she will always be the best thing in any given movie while simultaneously elevating everything around her). Their chemistry is so palpable that the film introduced a mustachioed Mike Vogel to come between them and I actually really wanted him outta there! (And since it's a literally blink and you'll miss him cameo the movie clearly agreed - Vogel 's not even credited! The only clue I have that it was him is this link.)

That said with pleasing the crowds you've sometimes got to sand the edges for mass consumption (just maybe don't ask Darren Aronofsky about that specific topic this week) and so Steve Carell hamming it up tends to drag on a few seconds too long every time (although given who the real-life Bobby Riggs really was perhaps exhaustion with his antics was the only way to really play those scenes). And there are probably maybe too many characters rattling around in this thing, but who would I give up? Certainly not Sarah Silverman's cigarette-snapping Phyllis-Diller-ian hairdo on legs. And certainly not Elisabeth Shue radiating rich Californian sunshine in every frame.

And certainly not Lewis Pullman, who plays Carell's sweetly disappointed son Larry in a series of lovingly photographed yet always surprising, time after time, demonstrations of how to correctly fill out this strange era's strange snug fashions, as demonstrated perfectly above in them tennis shorts (via).

But oh wait, I do know who I could've done without. Because with sanded edges comes a spoon-fed "Magical Homo" character like the one Alan Cumming plays. And yes I know that tennis dress designer Ted Tinling was a real dude and was very much involved in the events, probably exactly as depicted  - he was a close friend of BJK's and she's happy with the movie so if it rings true to her who am I to complain? It's just his final scene in the film, delivering a message of long-distance hope for the future, read on-screen to my eyes and ears, verisimilitude be damned, as forced and false - the sort of thing students of cinema future will look back upon with a cringe; an It Gets Better era Stepin Fetchit. 

So the movie gets the love, the sweet love, right, but it could probably have used a little more of the hard fight ahead burned into its DNA - it ends bittersweet but I really needed just a tad bit more taste of that bitter on my tongue as I walked out the door. It was a long road ahead for Billie Jean, and as she tread first so tread we all still today.
.

I've Got Something You Can Punish

.
I know I trend towards narcissism (I am a blogger after all) but I really am starting to think that Jon Bernthal took my longstanding distaste towards him (thanks to all the Ham & Cornpone he spread across The Walking Dead) as some kind of a dare -- in the past couple of months he went and got The World's Best Haircut, and now here in the trailer for his upcoming standalone Punisher series on Netflix as seen above he's gone and slathered his beefcake in blood, something we've expressed a dark taste for before. (Don't you psychoanalyze me.) Oh, Jon. I just don't know what to do with you. (I totally know what to do with him.)
.

The Punisher doesn't have a drop-date yet 
but it's supposed to hit before the end of the year. 
.

Pics of the Day

.
Tom Hardy is currently hard at work training to play the big super-bad space-gunk known as Venom, and some photos of him at the gym in a delightful unicorn tank-top have made their way onto the internet (via) that need to be shared far and wide. What a delight. Oh and there's also several behind-the-scenes videos out there too of him kicking and punching and rough-housing in said unicorn tank-top - you can click here to view those.


NYFF Diaries: Day 2

.
A post shared by Jason Adams (@jasonaadams) on

.
The New York Film Festival has begun press screenings for their 2017 fest, which runs from September 28th through October 15th, and yesterday we decided we'd try to keep y'all in the loop with what we're seeing each day, since the blog will be quiet otherwise during those screenings. (Here's Day 1 if you missed it.) Eventually we'll review these movies for The Film Experience, but for now, this is just a preview. And here's what we're seeing today!

September 20th
Mrs. Hyde (dir. Serge Bozon) 

I've never seen any of Bozon's films before but how could I resist a loose re-telling of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic split personality tale of Jekyll & Hyde starring Isabelle Huppert as a downtrodden mathematics teacher who is struck by lightning and gains strange superpowers? I mean who would even want to resist such a thing?
.

I Am Link

.
--- Hammer It Home - Collider chatted with Luca Guadagnino and his Call Me By Your Name stars Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet at TIFF about the film and found out from the director that his original cut was four hours long! You can watch the video of their chat here. Fingers crossed that the four-hour cut sees the light of day on the blu-ray and the additional hour and a half or however much it is is nothing but real-time footage of peach-fucking from everybody. Everybody! Timothee, Armie, Luca, me! Aaanyway how about that new picture there? (click to embiggen; thx Mac) Good stuff. I've got less than two weeks til I see the movie! Let's not blow up the world before then, at least, please.

--- RIP HDS - I wish I had time to write up something good on the passing of Harry Dean Stanton, one of the greatest actors we've ever had the pleasure of spending pretend time with, but if you want a good What To Watch then head on over to Rolling Stone where my pal Sean and a couple of his fellow contributors listed HDS' ten best roles. Truth be told I am not allowed to write anything until is ee Paris, Texas, which I still haven't -- they're doing a week-long series on HDS at The Quad here in NYC starting this weekend and I'm gonna try to make it to the screening there.

--- Russian Dynasty - Matthew Weiner of Mad Men fame is making an anthology series for Amazon called The Romanoffs, which will follow a different (fictional) person around the world who thinks they're a descendant of the infamous Russian family. Was do I, as a non-Mad-Men fan, care? Because the cast he's lined up includes Isabelle Huppert, Aaron Eckhart, Christina Hendricks, Andrew Rannells, John Slattery, Jack Huston, Amanda Peet, and Corey Stoll. (Although if it was just the first and last names I'd be there honestly.) (thx Mac)
.
--- Poison Pals - There's a chat with three of the VIPs of New Queer Cinema in this month's Out Magazine (I guess they're celebrating their 25th year so they're looking back - they chatted with producer Christine Vachon and directors Gregg Araki and Tom Kalin, about what it was like on the ground making gay movies back int he 90s. True story: my first job in NYC was very very close to being Vachon's personal assistant. Now there's a separate timeline.

--- Hooray For Hiroyuki - Two big roles for the hot and perennially under-used Hiroyuki Sanada hit the other day, which we were really hoping for after he low-key stole Life from the bigger names - he's signed on for the next Avengers movie, although given those movies now have a literal cast of millions I don't think we should get our hopes up that he'll have much to do. No word on who he's playing but the folks at the link seem to think the Yakuza will play a part in the Infinity Wars movies. And continuing the theme of "hire the Japanese actor to play stereotypes" Sanada's also signed on to Westworld's second season and everybody's just assuming he'll be a part of the neighboring Samurai-world, which we got a glimpse of last year.
.
--- Small Town Surrealism - If you still don't want to stop thinking about David Lynch's Twin Peaks third season well then come sit next to me, friend-oh. Here's a pair of worthwhile links to feed the beast -- first up this chat at Vulture with the real-world owner of the Laura Palmer house who ended up getting a surprise small role in the finale is a true delight; she comes off as the coolest lady slash nerd around. And secondly even though this long-form piece on the show for Harpers was written before the show ended ( I think they said it had only aired thirteen episodes by the time they published) it's one of the finest, sharpest pieces I've read anywhere about the pleasures of Living Through Lynch.
.

Five Frames From ?

.




What movie is this?
.

Good Morning, World

.
Alex Pettyfer shared this image exactly a week ago today, and I was going to post it the day after and then I was going to post it the day after that but since it said "Wednesday" right on the image I figured why not save it for Wednesday, and here we are. Thankfully we still exist. (Hopefully we still exist?) Phew. 
.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Today's Mood

.
First things first just LOOOK how enormous the six foot five inch Armie Hammer's hand is in that picture. Thank you, Jason Isaacs, for sharing. But a second and perhaps even more significant thing - did you see Jason's screed against the presence of noxious little man Sean Spicer at the Emmys? I am so glad SOMEBODY called that shit out - go follow this hero on Instagram immediately.
.

Which is Hotter?

.
I just realized via Vanity Fair's review of the Kingsman sequel that this is yet another movie that stars Taron Egerton in a one-piece snowsuit buddy-buddying up with a Daddy-type...

... after having made that Eddie the Eagle movie with Hugh Jackman last year. This is a very specific fetish for a Hollywood Exec out there to have, but clearly a Hollywood Exec out there has it because it keeps getting lots and lots of money tossed at it to be realized on screen. So let's pay attention...
.

.

10 Off My Head: Siri Says 2007

.
I wasn't planning on having time to do one of our "Siri Says" series today what with my NYFF screening eating up half of the afternoon, but then I asked my phone for a number and it gave me "7" and I thought I could probably rattle off a list from The Movies of 2007 pretty easily because I already did that before -- 2007 was the first year I tried to do such a thing, right here in this post

But it turns out that 2007 was a really really good year for the movies, you guys, and I kind of couldn't narrow this down to just five. It has to be ten. Hell it could've been 20 I think - there are titles in the runners-up that in a shittier year could've pushed their way to the front. And my list has actually changed a little bit in the 10 years since these movies came out, too. (And yes, all of these movies turn 10 this year.) So here is my revised list.

My 10 Favorite Movies of 2007

(dir. David Fincher)
-- released on March 2nd 2007 -- 

(dir. Brad Bird)
-- released on June 29th 2007 -- 

(dir. William Friedkin)
-- released on May 25th 2007 -- 

(dir. Andrew Dominik)
-- released on October 19th 2007 -- 

(dir. Coens)
-- released on November 21st 2007 -- 

(dir. Frank Darabont)
-- released on November 21st 2007 -- 

(dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
-- released on December 10th 2007 -- 

(dir. Mike White)
-- released on May 11th 2007 -- 

(dir. John Carney)
-- released on June 15th 2007 -- 

(dir. Paul Verhoeven)
-- released on May 18th 2007 -- 

----------------------------------------------

Runners-up: 300 (dir. Zack Snyder), Black Snake Moan (dir. Craig Brewer), I'm a Cyborg But That's OK (dir. Park Chan-wook), 28 Weeks Later (dir. Fresnadillo), Sunshine (dir. ), Superbad (dir. Greg Mottola), Eastern Promises (dir. David Cronenberg), Stardust (dir. Matthew Vaughn)...

... Hot Fuzz (dir. Edgar Wright), Grindhouse (dir. Tarantino & Rodriguez), Michael Clayton (dir. Tony Gilroy), The Golden Compass (dir. Chris Weitz), The Orphanage (dir. JA Bayona), Away From Her (dir. Sarah Polley), Hostel: Part II (dir. Eli Roth), Juno (dir. Jason Reitman), The Darjeeling Limited (dir. Wes Anderson)

----------------------------------------------

What are you favorite movies of 2007?
.

Rami Malek Eight Times

.
Even though we're side-eyeing Bryan Singer's Freddie Mercury bio-pic -- although I've heard they don't want it called a "Freddie Mercury bio-pic ," they want it to be known as a portrait of the entire band Queen, and of course they do because the entire (surviving) band is responsible for the story they're allowing to be told -- kind of hard these days thanks to that tad too glossy first picture of Rami in mustache we are rooting for Rami because we like Rami, so let's look at Rami. We've seen and posted one very fine photo from this photo-shoot before but thanks to this Tumblr (and Mac for sending the link) for sharing these here several more; see the rest after the jump...

NYFF Diaries: Day 1

.
Okay so I start attending NYFF press screenings today, which means for you people that big chunks of my day, mostly every day, for the next couple of weeks, will be eaten up by me not being here but being inside a theater unable to provide you with your minute to minute updates on what pants Jake Gyllenhaal is wearing today. Oh noes, says the cat hanging off a stick. But instead of just leaving you hanging, which is what I usually do, instead I'm going to share What I Am Seeing Today. (Or try to. We'll see if I manage doing this day in day out.)

I won't actually be reviewing the movies here since I am covering the fest for The Film Experience, and those reviews won't be going up until the fest starts (NYFF runs from September 28th until October 15th). But maybe something I'm seeing will sound good to you and you can try to score tickets to the festival's public screenings if you're in town. Let's share the wisdom...

September 19th 
Before We Vanish (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is the director of the 2001 film Pulse (we just posted about that movie when the new fancy blu-ray came out) which ushered in the J-Horror boom as much as Ringu or any other titles from that era. He went off and became a fancy man for a few years with movies like Tokyo Sonata but he's been trending back towards his genre roots again lately (last year's Creepy, for example, although I wasn't a fan of that). Before We Vanish is a sci-fi horror film that sounds a lot like an update on Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Lifeforce - three aliens come down from space and start draining humans of their essences.

Before We Vanish screens on September 30th at 9pm and October 1st at 6pm. Right now both screenings are "Standby Only" but NYFF often releases new batches of tickets at random times or even schedules new screenings later in the fest for movies that sell well so follow the fest on Twitter to keep appraised of that.

And follow me on Twitter
and on Instagram for off-blog updates!
.

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Roland: There would not even the possibility of nuclear war, or any war, if millions of men had been prepared to stand up against authority, as I did, and refuse to join the army - refuse to take orders. It's mindless obedience that's the killer. I've broken the rules. All the rules. Because someone has to say no. 

I was just going to wish the director Sally Potter a happy birthday today but then our so-called President went and threatened to blow up the world and now this quote seems terrifyingly purposeful. So happy birthday, Sally Potter... may we all make it to see your next.
.

Five Frames From ?

.




What movie is this?
.

Good Morning, World

.
A happy 33rd birthday to Kevin Zegers today - his Instagram is mostly pictures of his kids these days with the random "LGBT ally" stuff sprinkled in (there's some nice trolling of Kirk Cameron too) so I had to go aways back through to find these two shots, but they were worth the effort I think. Kevin still works plenty but I do think he should've gotten more and better work post-Transamerica, don't you? He showed a lot of promise in that movie, for the adult post-Air-Bud portion of his career.


Monday, September 18, 2017

We Love You James Marsden

.
Although he has yet to post a Birthday Suit Selfie on his Instagram today, it is indeed James Marsden's birthday - we're waiting, James. Tick tock. TICK TOCK. Until then we'll entertain ourselves with 1) today's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" over at The Film Experience, which is hitting up Jimmy's role in the much-beloved 2007 movie Enchanted (can you believe it turns 10 in another month?) and 2) a dozen or so sexy adorable pictures of James after the jump...

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Donnie Darko (2001)

Rose Darko: Kitty, do you even know 
who Graham Greene is? 
Kitty Farmer: I think we've all seen Bonanza

A very happy birthday to the divine Beth Grant today!
.

The Emmys That Weren't

.
I had a friend's birthday party yo attend last night so I wasn't able to watch the Emmys -- somebody tell me the most important things I missed so I can seek them out, please. What happened? I know that Laura Dern won but I am waiting to watch her speech until the Internet dubs her so it sounds like she says "Enlightened" instead of "Big Little Lies." Also I think I might be bad luck now because so many awesome people won last night - maybe we watching awards shows is a jinx? In summation, here's some extra gay: