Friday, September 20, 2019

Brad Bends Time

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This weekend belongs to our boy Brad Pitt -- you can read our review, lukewarm though it may be, of Ad Astra right here -- and we're one hundred percent cool with that. So we'll give him the top slot (heh) here on the site as we venture off to a bunch of NYFF screenings for the rest of the day -- Brad will be staring at you from there all weekend long, I suppose! Enjoy!
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Thomas the Twink Engine

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No I don't entirely know what this post's title means; it just made me laugh so go with it. Anyway I'm surprised by how much I want to see the Downton Abbey movie, out in theaters today -- I know I want to see it both because I'm very annoyed I haven't gotten to see it already and because looking at my calendar for the next couple of weeks I've no idea when I will be able to fit it in and that's even extra annoying. Woe is moi. I'm surprised because I had to bail on Downton about halfway through the series, it'd gotten too redundant for me with its soapiness. And yet a two-hour event movie, as a way to revisit with old friends, it sounds real comforting. Also, there's supposedly gay stuff.
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We knew there would be when they released those trailers, which I covered here, and they flashed us some sweet "Thomas the Footman" kissy kissy action (Oh how we love thee, Rob James-Collier) but it's good to have confirmation of said stuffs. Hey remember this?

I'm still annoyed they never brought Charlie Cox back. Anyway this is my call to y'all -- if and when you see the Downton movie do share your thoughts in the comments! Without getting too spoilery, I mean. I mean it's a soap so I don't entirely care what happens, I'm going for the costumes and pomp and gay kisses -- it's not like I'm not terribly emotionally invested in any of it.

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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A happy 43rd birthday to the actor Jon Bernthal today, who used to drive me right up the wall with some of his acting choices -- his accent on The Walking Dead was truly nightmare fuel -- but who then got a really fucking hot haircut which forced me to reevaluate my entire life and all of my choices. Really, it was that simple. There was before this haircut and there was after that haircut, and after that haircut everything had changed. He doesn't have that haircut in the wild and woolier moments seen here in these gifs from The Punisher, but who gives a holy fuck -- like I said, things have changed! Happy birthday, Jon! (And if you want a bonus shot of him worth the click click here.)




Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of Elordi

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If you're not going to Fantastic Fest in Austin this weekend -- and I am not going to Fantastic Fest in Austin this weekend -- then I don't know when you, or I, will have the opportunity to see this here new horror flick called The Mortuary Collection. But since the film stars the TV series Euphoria's breakout hunk Jacob Elordi...
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... it only seems right to bring the movie to our attention anyway. Right? The film's an anthology of four horror tales all written and directed by Ryan Spindell and each set in adjacent decades, starting in the 1950s and working up to the 1980s. (Sounds like Jacob stars in the 1960s portion.) The connection between everything is that all the stories are being told to a girl by a weirdo mortician she's stumbled upon, who's played by the great Clancy Brown.

Okay no that's not "the great Clancy Brown" that's just another picture of Jacob Elordi, but let's not pretend that's not what we're here for. Anyway here below is the teaser trailer for this movie which we're not sure when we'll see, but it looks like some fun, and also did we mention Jacob Elordi?
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The War For America's Ass

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When it comes to Fantastic Four I've always been more interested in Marvel figuring out how to make a movie starring Chris Evans as both the Human Torch and Captain America at the same time -- hell they had Chris Evans wrestle with himself last time, anything's possible! -- but I guess for the time being the Fantastic Four reunion we're going to get is just Jamie Bell starring opposite his reboot co-star Michael B. Jordan in a new movie. A new Tom Clancy franchise, specifically -- Jordan is playing John Clark, a character who's been in 17 Clancy books, in a film called Without Remorse; Bell is joining him as another CIA agent, the one who recruits him into the fold. And by "fold" I mean "the folds of his sex comforter" because hey, a boy can dream right? I don't know. My brains hurts, man. In summation...


Quick On Three Before The Storm

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I don't know if you heard me one or two of the five billion times I mentioned it in the last week but I'm currently immersed in press screenings for the New York Film Festival. Which is great! That said I've got today off and I'm not quite immersed in writing those up yet so I figured this is probably my last chance, before my brain's one hundred percent washed away by that, to toss out a few words on some movies that have nothing to do with NYFF that I nonetheless managed to see recently and actually, you know, have words for. A few anyway. 

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan -- As appealing as some individual moments in here that are coming at us from the ridiculous pool of talent that Xavier Dolan managed to gather up for this, his English-language debut -- Natalie Portman has a couple of lovely moments and you can't point a camera at Kathy Bates without coming away with something interesting -- man this thing flounders. My only thought at its end was what, pray tell, was the point of all this? 

Dolan seem to've felt forewarning on that front in the process of making the movie because he actually gives a character a speech about Why All This Matters -- that no it's not War And Famine but beautiful people feel things too, dammit! But that only serves to underline the vacuousness, like setting off fireworks at a three-alarm fire. Dolan has always been self-indulgent and self-obsessed but he's made that work to his advantage before -- Donovan feels like he's squeezed the rag dry. Definite bonus points for Kit Harington making out with Chris Zylka, though!

Tigers Are Not Afraid -- Even if Guillermo Del Toro hadn't been its biggest fan and sung its praises left right and everywhere it would have been impossible not to bring up Guillermo Del Toro, since the debt this mystical film about Mexican orphans owes his work -- specifically his kiddie ghost stories  Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone -- is plain.

That's not meant as any sort of slight, since writer-director Issa López has acknowledged the influence and more importantly she turned it out -- out enough that she manages to stand clear of his big shadow, even. Tigers Are Not Afraid is a low-key marvel, surprising and rough and emotional, at times darkly beautiful to behold. Like Del Toro she's not afraid to walk into those dark places and confront the things she finds there -- there are moments here that held me and held my breath in awe and sheer terror. S'real good!

The Dead Don't Die -- Well I think I have a new favorite Jim Jarmusch movie? That's not saying an especially lot given he's never been a film-maker I've connected too fiercely with -- he comes off as so posturing to me; like Patti Smith you get the feeling he couldn't possibly remember a person's name if they have never been mentioned in Interview Magazine. And yes that's describing my impression of him as a person, but that East Village brand of smug has heretofore bled all over his work, even when he's tackling a genre film like Only Lovers Left Alive, which Tilda aside -- always Tilda aside -- didn't strike me as having to say much of anything except the worn out "Vampirism is Drugs!" thing. 

But his zombie movie here seems a different beast -- maybe it's just that he's older and gotten the Cred he's plainly felt so owed for so long, but The Dead Don't Die finally just feels relaxed in the best of ways. Perhaps it's the Adam Driver Factor -- I feel like that big dude could loosen even the tightest of wads. The vibe is just so pleasantly off-kilter -- something about the humor so dry it's deserted smacking up against the wet slap of cartoon gore and severed heads straight on hit my sweetest of spaces. It's the correct sort of goof, for me, for me now.


Thursday's Ways Not To Die



















For some reason TCM has been on a James Bond kick lately -- I'm assuming the movies do well when they screen them since they get on these "kicks" a couple times a year -- and that's how I caught this sequence with the character called Jaws (Richard Kiel) killing a shark, no doubt playing up the tenuous connection to Steven Spielberg's Jaws, which'd broken up the box office a year earlier.

They answered the question of who would win in a fight before anybody knew to ask. Supposedly Jaws was killed by the shark in the original cut of the film but test audiences demanded he win, so they reshot it. That said even though I was delighted by this sequence I'm no Bond expert -- my love for Daniel Craig is the only thing that got me to go back and re-watch any of them and so far I've only managed to watch the Sean Connery ones, making this was my first dalliance with Roger Moore. Golly this was goofy! Should I try to watch another Roger Moore one? Tell me in the comments, please.

Hit the jump for links to all the Previous Ways Not To Die...

Chang Chen Four Times

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(via)
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Max: Do what Ruby Keeler would do!

Well that is actually terrible advice, since Ruby Keeler was a clomp-footed charlatan. But it is the model turned thinspiration turned actress turned America's Next Top Model judge Twiggy's 70th birthday today and so we're quoting Ken Russell's Busby-homage The Boy Friend to honor her -- it's one of her few movies roles so whatcha gonna do? Twiggy, by my recollection -- I haven't seen this movie in a bit -- was about as good a dancer as Keeler was though, so I guess the conflation's apt. That said we have always liked Twiggy way more than we've ever liked Keeler -- maybe it's that Twigs didn't push the acting thing too hard. What are your thoughts on Twiggy the actress? Here's some footage from this movie to cheer us all up:
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The Monsters, They Are Invisible

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I went through a big Chuck Palahniuk phase about fifteen years ago and read everything I could get my hands on -- it's since died down, way down, I haven't read anything of his in ages. But my favorite was always Invisible Monsters, the soapy and insane story of a high fashion model (with multiple names) who is disfigured in a shooting and spirals out of control, like way, from there. The story relies on all sorts of contrivances involving mistaken (or fudged) identities that are real easy to pull off in a book where the characters are inside of your head... 

... but notsomuch in a visual medium a la television where the characters are right in front of you, which gives me pause with today's word that they're working on turning it into a TV series. Writer Jennifer Yale, of the show Legion specifically, is who's working on it. It's good it's a woman working on the show, I'll grant them that, because it's a story explicitly about constructed femininity -- I do wonder how some of the stuff it covers (the other main character is a transgender woman) has aged, but I haven't read the book in a decade, perhaps it's aged well. I honestly don't know how you pull this off, though. There was word in 2010 that they wanted to make a movie -- I wouldn't be surprised to see it suffer that nothing fate again. But I might go re-read the book so that's something!
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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