Thursday, April 02, 2020

Jake Puts His Ass Up For Tom Holland

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He did it, he did it! Yesterday Tom Holland challenged Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds (oh and his best buddy Harrison too, who did it last night) to do what he did, namely put on a shirt whilst also hand-standing. We covered it here, rather thoroughly, including how Jake immediately teased him and us back... we weren't sure Jake was gonna do it (Ryan Reynolds chickened out), but here it is!
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Blessings be upon us all. Also I love how at the end of the video Jake hysterically challenges Hugh Jackman and 50 Cent and his sister Maggie to do this. LOL please Maggie! We need to see it. (And then she should challenge the hubby Peter Sarsgaard.) We are blessed.

Pics of the Day

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The first batch of official photos from Ryan Murphy's forthcoming Netflix limited series Hollywood have dropped today -- see our previous posts about the show right here -- and they have made it clearer than ever that Mr. Murphy is going to be leaning in to the version of Tinsel Town history that we heard from the juicy (and possibly made up) autobiography of Scotty Bowers, the supposed gas station gay pimp of the Golden Age.

On the left there is the gorgeous David Corenswet (who is probably the only takeaway from Murphy's series The Politician) and on the right that's Murphy stalwart Dylan McDermott -- neither's character according to IMDb is named Scotty but one of them (David, really) oughta be. That said most of the main characters seem to be made-up, while they'll be surrounded by people playing Rock Hudson, Rock Hudson's creepy super-gay agent Henry Willson (who's being played by Jim Parsons), the gossip writer Hedda Hopper, et cetera so forth.

The seven episodes of Hollywood -- which also features Patti Lupone,  Darren Criss, Jeremy Pope, Samara Weaving, Laura Harrier, Holland Taylor, Jake Picking, and Joe Mantello -- will premiere on Netflix on May 1st. So just try to survive for four more weeks, y'all! Then we'll have a new show to binge while we're trapped in our houses still. A silver lining, that. Silver... like nitrate film, or whatever! I'm clever! Oh god get me out of this house, I am losing it. Hit the jump for a few more pictures...

Thursday's Ways Not To Die

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Man I would love to properly explain to you what is happening here in this scene from Lucio Fulci's 1982 thriller chiller Manhattan Baby, I really would. If I had a clue! This is the big climactic ending of the movie, I should know what's happening! Or at least why what is happening -- a man is being attacked by his taxidermy -- is happening. And yet!


Here's what I can tell you. This dude who's about to reenact Tippi Hedren's attic scene in The Birds -- just 1) with taxidermied birds instead of real ones, and 2) inside of a Fulci film which means about 1000% more gore -- is named Adrian Marcato, and yes...
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... that is indeed the same name as the head Satanist in Rosemary's Baby, good work. Not that that name comes to mean anything, but it's a nice shout-out. He's not a Satanist, he's just an antiques dealer. He is also kind of an exorcist? In the scene before this he somehow managed to cast an evil spirit out of a little girl who got a necklace in Egypt and no I am not going to try to explain this gibberish movie any further than that. The point is...

 ... dude 'bout to get Birded. And since as I mentioned this is coming at us from a Lucio Fulci film not only will there be a ton of gore, the scene is also ENDLESS. It's like four straight minutes of bird puppets flying around and pecking at this dude. Yes, it's awesome. Super awesome, you should go buy the blu-ray and watch it properly. But looong. So I'm taking the rest of my somewhat condensed version here after the jump now...

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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A happy 43 to Michael Fassbender today! Not sure what effect our "current situation" will have on his return to acting this year, if any -- it seems that both his action-comedy Kung Fury 2 and his soccer flick with Taika Waititi called Next Goal Wins (mmm) were both finished with filming before the world locked down, so maybe some nice editor is out there right now getting these things ready for us when we live. (ETA ha that is totally a typo -- I meant to write "when we leave"... but I'm totally leaving it in because, yeah.) Although I imagine there will be a pile-up of content once all of the gears (hopefully) get to grinding again. So yeah, as with everything, we will have to wait and see. We're getting good at that. Anyway -- hey! Remember Shame? I bet you do.


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... helping Tom get that shirt back off.

Our spider-twink Tom Holland has just upon his Insta (thx Dennis) kicked off what I hope is the next thirst trend among ripped male celebrities -- and given the names he drops at the end as his challenge pass-off (Jake!) I'm thinking it might get too good too fast -- by putting on a shirt whilst also doing a handstand. And it's really too good for just gifs, given all of the grunting sound effects that go along with it, so I downloaded the whole thing to YouTube. Enjoy.
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ETA oh right, I should add Jake's response:

YES, JAKE. THAT IS THE CHALLENGE. DO IT.

Aaron Altaras Three Times

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I had expected upon its beginning that this post was only going to be me giving the stylist on this photo-shoot some of those so-called "mad props" for styling Aaron here -- who we fell hard for thanks to the gay soccer romance Mario a couple of years back -- to look like all the boys I had crushes on in mid to late 90s alternative music videos -- this look is pushing some buttons. But then I saw that Aaron has a brand new show on Netflix, one that actually looks real good, and I figured I oughta touch on that as well. But first...

... one more picture. (You really wanna see this post though.) Okay onto the show. It's called Unorthodox and it's actually a four episode limited series not a "show" but such meanings, they're meaningless now. Unorthodox tells the story of an Orthodox Jewish woman who escapes from her ultra-conservative Brooklyn family and arranged marriage to Berlin where she tries to find herself; I guess it's based on a true story. Aaron, who gets a few "hey look at this cute boy" shots in the trailer, appears to be, well, a cute boy she meets in Berlin. Here's that trailer:
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It's very Disobediance minus the lesbianism. The show's been on Netflix for a few days now so maybe one or more of you have watched it already and would like to share a thought or seven in the comments? Anyway I have every intention to binge it as soon as possible, that trailer alone made me cry, so perhaps I'll come back and say more depending on how moved I am. Speaking of something moving me, here's one more picture of Aaron for the road...


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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The legend Toshirô Mifune was born one hundred years ago today!  I've posted far less about this star in the heavens than I should've at this point seeing as how I'm a huge fan -- it seems I take to Twitter more often when it comes to him.
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Anyway thankfully Nathaniel and friends at The Film Experience have picked up my slack and spent the past week celebrating the man's centennial with a heap of ongoing content -- click on over to TFE to revel in it. And by "it" I mean Mifune's breathtaking talent...

... and beauty. And then watch one of Mifune's films today. 
I might try Terence Young's 1971 western Red Sun with Mifune...

... acting opposite the unlikely bunch of Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress, and Alain Delon! Just cuz the whole thing's online right here and that makes it easy. Anybody seen it?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Her Name Is Shelley Duvall

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I don't intentionally keep writing up movies about isolation for my "Great Performances in Horror Actressing" series over at The Film Experience week after week (see also: Repulsion last week) but it keeps happening and, uhh, it makes some sense. This week I wrote a lil' ode to Shelley Duvall's top notch work in The Shining, which is by my estimation one of the single greatest feats of acting in any movie, period. I do think that the opinion on her work here has, over the past few years, greatly swung around to my side... but I'm gonna keep on yelling it just in case.
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5 Off My Head: Weathering These Storms

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Even in the middle of a real-life Disaster Movie it turns out I'll get sucked into a Disaster Movie if it's on TV, even if it's a terrible one I have nevertheless seen a billion times before -- look no further than the hour I spent with Dante's Peak, beloved Dante's Peak, just the day before yesterday.  (Is that the prequel to The Day After Tomorrow?)
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As a lifelong devotee of this often terrible -- or at the least terribly derivative -- genre, you come to know the tropes... hell you come to rely on the tropes. They're part of what makes the experience so satisfying time after time after time, decade after decade after decade. People often complain about the gooey moral centers of Disaster Movies -- the way they go out of their way to center and confirm the strength of the old-fashioned family unit, Dad and Mom and Son and Daughter and Dog, can't forget the dog.
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There's always the generic family drama that you don't care about, you just want to get to the Good Stuff of the earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanos, the alien attacks and Sharknados. And if you go all the way back to the very first proper Disaster Movie, 1933's Deluge, this is still the case -- it turns a story about earthquakes and tsunamis devastating the entire globe into a love triangle! Of course...

... Deluge also ends with the extra third of that love triangle walking into the ocean to sacrifice herself, so this history is, uhh, complicated. Anyway in my forward-thinking brain those criticisms of conservativism are correct. And yet... my lizard brain don't give a hoot -- my lizard brain loves this shit. Save everybody and give me a damn gooey ending dammit! Reunite everybody in front of a sunrise, flags waving, generically patriotic music blaring obnoxiously as hugs happen in slo-mo -- I want all of it. That said some of these movies have done more with the tropes than others, and here's a list of some of my personal faves.

5 Great Disaster Movie Happy Endings
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Mars Attacks! -- This list you're reading right now exists because I started thinking about Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! and its glorious deranged ending. Granted Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! has a gloriously deranged beginning and a gloriously deranged middle part to go with that gloriously deranged ending. But that ending! It's exactly what I picture the end of our current situation will be like. We all step out into the outdoors from some dark cavern, blinking our eyes in the too bright sunlight, a bunch of woodland creatures fly up, Annette Bening will be there in a wig and Tom Jones will start singing. That's what is going to happen right? I was promised Tom Jones.

Gravity -- I thought about including one of the most bombastic examples of the ending I described up top, like say your Armageddon ending (which is like 75% slo-mo and flags) or your Independence Day, which has people of every color across the globe yee-hawing over the downed saucers (which probably crashed on and murdered millions in the process). But I prefer Cuaron's little spin, with Sandra Bullock clutching that weirdly primordial patch of wet clay -- he shoots our natural soil like we're in a Star Trek episode, making home feel very foreign. Also for all of Gravity's emphasis on Sandy's astronaut being a Mother this ending does stand apart from the usual tropes in how internalized it keeps itself -- all that matters is this woman manages to stand and take a step, and another.
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Titanic -- Fuck you, haters! This is my list and I'm gonna include that old broad making an "Oopsie!" sound as she throws a priceless artifact into the ocean if I wanna, dammit. In all seriousness I will defend Titanic to my dying breath -- which hey might be tomorrow, so maybe this is it! -- and I love the sequence where the camera floats through the submerged ship and it comes to life and we see Jack and Rose dancing down there together once again. Yeah this is more "bittersweet" than "happy" but Rose gets a good life with horses and shit, and I'm crying just typing this, so fuck you! Heartless monsters!

The Impossible -- While I think the above scenes from James Cameron's and Alfonso Cuaron's epics are wonderfully acted it's the final moments from director J.A. Bayona's 2012 film about the 2004 tsunami that gets the Gold Medal performance-wise for Naomi Watts' deeply affecting portrait of terror and grief and relief and every other fucking thing that washes over her in these final moments.
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And extra bonus points for Naomi brightening
our current situation with cake. We all want cake.
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Starship Troopers --Starting and ending this list on subversive notes seems about right, and it doesn't get much more subversive than Paul Verhoeven's Fascist Satire about gorgeous fuckable human beings gleefully conquering and torturing all those filthy foreigners -- to the winner the spoils, ya goddamn buncha bugs! Whaddya wanna do, live forever???

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What are your favorite Disaster Movie Endings?
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Jake Gyllenhaal Eight Times

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Free Jake! Free Jake! Free Jake! No Jake isn't in prison -- at least not more than any of us are right now thanks to Coronavirus... and excuse me while I take a moment or two imagining being trapped in quarantine with Jake right now... excuse me I said I needed a moment OR TWO. Just count to two hundred, please. 

Okay. What were we talking about? Oh right -- Free Jake! This billowy locked photo-shoot is for the latest issue of Another Man Magazine, and they're being nice enough to put this entire month's entire issue online for free. You just have to sign up over here (thx Mac) and they'll email it to you on April 6th. There's other stuff in the issue but come on. Free Jake! Speaking of hit the jump for the rest of this shoot...

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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