Tuesday, August 21, 2018

90 Days

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That is how many days you have until Park Chan-wook's miniseries adaptation of John le Carré's book The Little Drummer Girl starring Florence Pugh (as the girl in question) opposite Michael Shannon (as the mustache seen above in question) and Alexander Skarsgard (as the gams in question) premieres on AMC. If you don't feel like getting out a paper calendar and putting a big red X across ninety days to figure that out it premieres on November 19th, and the six part series will then run two hours a night for three nights in a row through the 21st, aka Thanksgiving Eve. Let's hope the only turkey we get that week's on the dinner table, wokka wokka. (thx Mac)
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She Isn't Gone

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That picture of Alex Wolff is a couple of years old I think - it was well after the time he was on In Treatment at least, but man that show was a real quality factory for up-and-comers what with Dane DeHaan and Mia Wasikowska and Allison Pill all up in there, wasn't it? I didn't watch that show so I'm on-board the Wolff train late, but happily, thanks to the one-two punch of My Friend Dahmer last year and then of course this year's instant horror masterpiece Hereditary, which is out on VOD today! Go watch it once twice then ten more times, like I did, and now I have those horrible horns from the finale stuck in my head once again...


Nic'll Destroy Ya

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I loved Karyn Kusama's film The Invitation the moment I saw it (my review) but that love has only deepened and strengthened with time, and I now count it among the finest films of the decade. It is terrifying, and in its terror has brutal and unnerving things to say about us as humans in this time and this place - like the best horror films always do. Anyway I'd have been excited about Kusama's new film Destroyer anyway given it stars Nicole Kidman and Sebastian Stan (see a pic of him in character here) and Toby Kebbell and Tatiana Maslany and Scoot McNairy, but in the wake of The Invitation this is even more of a desirable object than it might've been. This first official image of Kidman, who's playing a detective, comes via Vanity Fair - click on over for some quotes from Kidman with more specifics on the character she's playing too. Destroyer is out on Christmas.
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Pics of the Day

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The 2012 film version of On the Road starring Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart seems as if it's been kind of forgotten, but I recall thinking it was pretty good (here's my review) and Hedlund in particular. Now that he's being taken more seriously than just as a pretty boy (mostly thanks to Mudbound but the forthcoming Burden is supposed to seal that deal if the Sundance buzz is on point) perhaps the world should reassess? Not that the "pretty boy" part of the equation doesn't factor in here obviously, given I'm sharing these set photographs of him half-naked (click 'em to embiggen) that I'd never seen until yesterday...

But still. Boy's got talent, and this movie's worthy of another look, I think. Kristen Stewart, Kirtsen Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Viggo Mortensen's Penis, Amy Adams, Gay Tom Sturridge... they all agree. Anyway I had Hedlund on my mind thanks to Vulture, which shared this new short film from Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols which stars Garrett alongside Michael Shannon and Scoot McNairy and I suppose I should just shut up now because obviously you're already gone having clicked on the link to watch a short film with all those names attached, as well you oughta... wait, don't go! I will post the movie here for you...
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Leave Us To the Devils

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I hate summer, I think I have mentioned that once or twenty times here before, and August is worst of all (I mean at least my birthday is in July) -- but August does have one thing going for it, and that thing is on display today. I just posted the trailer for Slice, a new horror film, and now I've got the trailer for Hold the Dark, also a new horror film. So August? It has the promise of fall floating there in its ether, and fall is good, great, the greatest of all the seasons. Full of sweater-weather and horror movies, oh my!

Anyway Hold the Dark. Hold the Dark was directed by the great Jeremy Saulnier, whose previous movies Blue Ruin (review) and especially especially Green Room (review) I am big fans of - Hold the Dark stars Riley Keough as a woman whose child is devoured by wolves in rural Alaska; her husband (played by Alexander Skarsgard) is a soldier off at war so she hires Jeffrey Wright's character to hunt those nasty beasties; meanwhile James Badge Dale is there as the sheriff. And then Skarsgard comes back and yadda yadda things seem to go a lil' loopy. 
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I read an interview with Saulnier recent;y where he said he used real wolves at all times, which sounds promising - CG still doesn't get it right - you can sense the difference every time. Anyway Saulnier has already proven himself a master at ratcheting up tension to a nigh unbearable degree - there are moments in Green Room where I'm pretty sure I went blu-faced from not breathing. This trailer promises lots of chances for that. It's giving me a Ravenous vibe, which is always, always welcome. Hold the Dark is a Netflix film and it'll drop on September 28th. And I'll be wearing a damn sweater while I watch it!


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Dial M For Marinara

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I am so in love with the idea of a slasher movie called Slice that's about a killer killing pizza delivery boys that I don't even know where to go from the top - I just want to make happy noises. It's brilliant! Simple and brilliant and perfect - I hope the folks making this just got out of the way of their simple brilliant idea and made the best Slice they could make. And throwing Joe Keery and his glorious head of hair in there...

... ain't hurting. The film also stars Zazie Beetz, Chance the Rapper, and Y'lan Noel (who looks like this, you should recall) and it's directed by Austin Vesely, who I guess has directed a bunch of Chance's videos. The movie looks nuts, y'all - like Sorry to Bother You meets Scream? I don't know, just watch:
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A24 also dropped the poster, which I also love:

No date on the movie yet but it's safe to assume given all this PR material it'll be this fall, I think. Anyway any horror nerd worth their salt should immediately be reminded of the scene in 1982's insanely strange Slumber Party Massacre (the legit feminist slasher movie written by feminist icon Rita Mae Brown) where the pizza boy gets murdered and the teen girls go ahead and eat the pizza he's delivered... from on top of his corpse. Classic!


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Gallipoli (1981)

Camel Driver: How did [the war] start?
Archy: Don't know exactly,
but it was the German's fault.

A happy 74 to director Peter Weir today!
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Good Morning, World

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I don't really recommend heading over to watch the trailer for this movie called Melvin Smarty that Tyler Hoechlin made that's been sitting in a dust-bin for six years because it's two plus minutes of your life that you'll never get back that you're gonna want back, believe me, I want mine back, but these pictures of Tyler in the movie are worth a glance, no? (click to embiggen and thx Mac) Just seriously, spare yourself the trailer. I beg of you.


Monday, August 20, 2018

These Are Henry Golding's Pants Now

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Did y'all go see Crazy Rich Asians this weekend or what? Thoughts, if so? If you missed my review last week here that was, and besides all of those exhausting words (blecch) we also celebrated the movie, a good time had by all, with some pictures, too. Pictures of Chris Pang right here and pictures of Pierre Png right here and then of course pictures of leading man Henry Golding right here

And uh, right here, as in here, this very post which you are now staring at. These shots are from Esquire magazine and I saved them for today instead of loading them into last week's post because we all knew we'd be celebrating a good weekend for the film, and celebrate it we shall. With pictures - no more words! Hit the jump for five more...

Whore Nun Whorenun

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Even though I'm nervous somebody might spoil last night's episode of Sharp Objects -- and yes I'm worried about that even though I'm not the biggest fan of the show; nobody wants a spoiler! -- I went ahead and wished Amy Adams a happy birthday at with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" at The Film Experience. But instead of facing her down with her nasty mama Patty Clarkson on that show I faced her down with her nasty sister Meryl Streep in Doubt, because nuns. Go vote! And bonus, some Chris Messina:


Chris Hemsworth Eleven Times

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We just shared last week Chris Hemsworth on the cover and the pages of Esquire and now here we are a few days later and he's the cover man for GQ - who does he think he is anyway? Some sort of Norse God chiseled from marble with charm to spare or something? Sheesh. Anyway this PR blitz does seem a little on the early side...

... his movie Bad Times at the El Royale isn't out until mid-September (watch that trailer here), but we're sure not gonna complain. Hell we're gonna dig around and post extra shots of Chris in a wetsuit, if recent developments are any indiction. Never sated! Speaking of hit the jump for this whole new shoot...

Quote of the Day

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The living legend Udo Kier plays the Puppet Master (can I make the "Titular Role!" joke twice in one day?) in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, the latest flick in that series (it's out on VOD right now, by the way) and AICN caught up with the actor to talk about that and about... well what do you ask a man that's worked with Werner Herzog and Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Lars von Trier and Dario Argento and on and on and on for the past fifty years? You ask him about all of it, and he'll happily reminisce (thx Mac). He gives several good quotes over the course of the chat, check the whole thing, but I especially enjoyed his answer to the question of what his favorite role has been... 

"... Commercially, which is Dracula [in Blood For Dracula]. Artistically, it was The Kingdom with Lars von Trier, where I play a baby. I'm going to be born onscreen. They build us this enormous body of the woman, and I was inside her stomach on a piece of wood with four wheels. My face was all blood and slime, and I heard the word ... and Lars says, "We cannot rehearse that because they have only one model." So then I heard the word 'action', and I push myself to come out with my head, and I went right away, going crazy, "Waaahhh!" That was maybe the most insane thing I remember that I ever did. I mean, who can say that they were born on screen?"
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Great Moments In Movie Staches

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We haven't talked about Steven Yeun 
in Sorry to Bother You nearly enough.


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Betty: George, look at me.
Look at my face.
That meeting is not for me.
George: You'll put on some make-up.
Betty: I don't want to put on make-up.
George: It'll go away. It goes away.
Betty: I don't want it to go away.

A happy 62 to this week's banner girl Joan Allen
our forever beloved. Somebody give her a job worthy
of her talents! She hasn't worked in two years dammit.
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Fight Cub

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One of the best feelings you can have upon finishing a movie is the feeling of, "I wanna start that motherfucker right again right now!" And it's one of the hardest feelings to find, which makes it all the, what do the kids call it, sweeter. If you're lucky you'll feel it a few times a year - if you're really lucky, well, more than a few. We've been lucky this year. I had that feeling with a few titles off our list of 2018's best so far, and I had that feeling this weekend when I sat down and watched Upgrade... and then sat down and watched Upgrade a second time the very next day.
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It wasn't supposed to be this way! I thought the film had a terribly goofy trailer, but upon watching the movie itself (a lesson I've learned too many times to keep forgetting - don't trust trailers) I get what the problem was - it's a goofy movie with a goofy ass idea and only by skipping on the exact right pattern of stones across the goofy ass precipice did writer-director Leigh Whannell manage to land this gangly beast on the right side of awesome. And that's a process you can't really transmit trailer-wise - you've gotta watch the whole step step step jump to get there.

And now I mourn not having seen this movie in the theater. This is a new action classic - truth, it's gonna stand the test of time and take its place deservedly alongside the 80s genre beasts it clearly holds in high esteem, great boot-scuffing shit like Robocop and The Running Man that've got a method to their mayhem. Upgrade has, in the wise words of Jerri Blank, something to say, and it carves its techno-babble doom-speak deep into your flesh. Run your finger along the wounds and really feel it.
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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Okay so tons of y'all were talking about the new Netflix rom-com To All the Boys I've Loved Before this weekend but I haven't watched it yet - it was the tweet at the bottom of this post that convinced I need to. That is Noah Centineo, also seen above via his Instagram, and he obviously deserves a more in depth post but I'll save that for 1) once I watch To All The Boys, and 2) once I am not running criminally behind thanks to the subway. For now tell me about To All The Boys if you watched it already in the comments, please!
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Nature Nurtures Versus

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The rituals of pubescence can get weird. Like a dog rubbing its junk on everything weird. I remember going to my friend Jason's house after school and flipping through his father's Hustler stash and then we'd "wrestle" each other and scream "Friction, friction" as we play-acted out sexual positions. Those years are confusing for everybody but there's a special terror in it for queer kids - fear and loathing and danger at every turn. The things you most want to touch might very well slam your face into the floor if you try, while their parents sagely nod along.

We the Animals, Jeremiah Zagar's adaptation of Justin Torres' magnificent fictional memoir, brought those old feelings rushing forth - the sensation of being a part of something one second and then suddenly being thrust violently outside of it the next, through no doing of your own. In a way that's universal for everyone I suppose - the experience of discovering yourself, as an individual, I mean. But for heterosexuals there's usually an entire support structure standing there with smiling faces and wide open arms - wreaths of welcome clotted with baby's breathe and tulle and the school dance apparatchik. Little gay boys are on their own, and the knives are out the second they catch you looking. You learn to divert your eyes, look downward deep.

The film plays like a slow dreamy unraveling of those support structures - the feeling of falling, falling, falling upward, gravity inverted. You're both in the dirt and above the trees, neither nor - mud stuck and flying out of space. It's disorienting, dizzying, confusing as fuck. You get the stars mixed up with the fleas, ticks and Saturn's rings. You become dangerous in your solitude - mean, a sharpened stick at one end and oiled up rags set to blaze on the other. You wanna stab and burn it all - better to strike first, fangs born, than be stricken. 

Watching We the Animals was like little I've experienced before - getting our stories told still feels so insane, so unique and unexpected, I'm not getting any more used to it. Every time feels a gift, a blessing, and then the calm cool fury comes - a fury that we've been denied this commiseration, this artistic understanding, for so goddamned long. It's as dizzying as it ever was - I'm still that little kid alone in his room with a million feelings I don't know what to do with and getting shot back there keeps reminding me how much I never got to figure out. 

Zagar gets furiously naturalistic performances out of his three boys - the verisimilitude of being there on the ground with them, knees scabbed and sand in your ears, a swift flat slap to a bare backside, you can feel the worms between your toes and the hard sheets. They've got their insane rituals, their stories and makeshift belief systems, that carry them through the day - the logic of them each sussing themselves out as we see their specifics, how they built these things up from parts they're not even aware of themselves. How childhood is a pile of furniture, a series of makeshift forts, play-acting out the world.

And slowly the piles, they tip, shift, the earthquake of adolescence shakes it all to the floor again. A kiss in a basement, a flood. The fuzzy snap of fireflies in electric porch zappers. Your mother locked in her room, bent all up and hissing like the radiator; your father digging your grave in his confusing tighty-whities in the backyard. He holds you in his arms and tells you you're beautiful and you play dead, a princess flung out of the tower, a heap of hair on the ground. What does any of it even mean? Well we're still working on that, son.


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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