Thursday, February 23, 2017

Good Morning, World

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Today is the 35th birthday of the Indian model turned actor Karan Singh Grover, who's done, as the saying goes, a lot of television plays and commercials. Seriously though I hadn't heard of him until I was scanning through the list of the day's birthdays on IMDb and his picture jumped out at me...

... his picture jumps! Anyway unfortunately I don't really have the patience or state of mind this morning to do the sort of great big gratuitous post that he deserves - if you google him you will find an endless assortment of photographs, and his Instagram is pretty endless as well - but I do want to share the series of modeling pictures he did for an underwear brand because he had a beard when he did them and it is the look. Hit the jump for it...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Great Moments In Movie Shelves #95

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I suppose it's not terribly weird that there's no library in The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining - most hotels, even ones of its immense magnitude, don't usually bother with a library. But the absence of books in frustrated author Jack Torrance's life still seemed purposeful to me as I thought about it, and then as I started looking at pictures I realized that we actually see Shelley Duvall's Wendy framed by books a few times in the film.

Especially in the early scenes in their apartment, before they go to the Hotel. Wendy is the reader in that family - Jack's just the writer. It's her job to experience the terrible stories of terror that Jack creates. (Terrible. Terrible.) And it's her job...

... to figure out how to work the radio inside of the Hotel, thanks to its shelves of complicated looking manuals. It's Jack's job to...

... skip the reading.
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One Thing Is Clear...

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... about Guy Ritchie's King Arthur movie
judging by the new trailer for it:

It is going to spend an inordinate amount of time...

... leering at dude crotches.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Pic of the Day

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A new pack of images from Terrence Malick's upcoming film Song to Song have been released over at The Film Stage, including that one there of Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender only two feet away from rubbing genitals. So close! Try harder!

Oh and if you missed the film's trailer, with all its 
delectable Fassy-Gosling dancing, click here for that.
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Here Comes Candy!

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I can't believe I missed this and none of you a-holes told me that I missed this -- seven days ago the trailer for The Devil's Candy, director Sean Byrne's long long looong awaited follow-up to 2009's smashing great horror flick The Loved Ones starring Ethan Embry was released! I have gone seven days without it in my life. Seven wasted days! Damn you all!
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Anyway even better than that we finally (the movie's been finished for well over a year; it played Toronto in the fall of 2015) have a release date -- we'll get to see it on March 17th via VOD and select city theatrical engagements. Honestly if it's playing in a theater here in NYC I will go see it in a theater. And then if its as good as I want it to be (and have heard it is) I'll just go home and get it on demand and watch it ten more times immediately.

Oh and if you are in NYC the folks at the Brooklyn Horror Fest are doing us a solid and screening the movie two weeks early at Videology in Brooklyn, so maybe you want to do that.
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Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... getting my back jumped on 
by Alexander Skarsgard.

Alright people, who watched the first hour of Big Little Lies this weekend? I watched it last night and I am totally totally totally in the tank for it already - it's like Desperate Housewives: Oscar Edition, which I did not know was a thing I needed until this show told me it was, and then I was like HELL YES. Have any of you read the book? If you've read the book please don't spoil anything, but I'd love to hear everybody's thoughts. And in summation - they are all just jealous of Laura Dern! As they damn well should be.


Who Wore It Best?

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As noted last week our Thomas Jane love affair's been reawakened thanks to SyFy's The Expanse, which never met an opportunity to get him shirtless that it didn't eye-fuck the heck out of. Well today's Tommy-boy's 48th birthday and after a bit of investigating I discovered I have never made us choose between his 2004 brand of Punisher and Jon Bernthal's recent take on the skull-loving villain for Netflix's Daredevil series. So let's!


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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Julio: The help becomes
more impertinent each day. 

Great director Luis Bunuel was born on this day in the year 1900. Does anybody else get this film and Bunuel's 1972 film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie mixed up in their heads? Angel is about a group of rich folks who find themselves unable to leave a party, while Bourgeoisie is about a bunch of rich folks who can't seem to get the party started. 

I suppose somebody's (probably a lot of somebodies) written a thesis about his different intents with these decade-spread flicks but not having actually watched either of these movies in several years I am not the person to do that right this second. But if anybody has any thoughts about them, feel free to share in the comments! I went through a big Bunuel phase, watching everything I could, but it was awhile back - somebody here in NYC needs to do a screening series.

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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Two photo-shoots of Instagram-famous actor Nico Tortorella have appeared this week - one for Gay Times and one for Rogue Magazine (thx Mac) - and they both feature his fine furry assets in spades. No I am not talking about the interviews attached to them - I learned my lesson; I don't read anything Nico has to say since what he has to say nearly always ruins the fantasy. 

But he is a genuinely fine actor (I saw him on stage last year and was surprised at how good he is) and he looks like he looks, so we'll just stuff our fingers in our ears when he's not speaking somebody else's lines, and deal. Hit the jump for seventeen more pictures...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5 Off My Head: Siri Says 1983

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I was kind of hoping that Siri would give us a year a little bit closer to our current this week when I asked her for a number between 1 and 100, and for once she cooperated - 83 she said, and so today we celebrate The Movies of 1983. I was five going on six that year so most of these movies (another dark bunch of movies) I didn't see until much later -- there's only one film among the runners-up that I probably saw at the time. (And you probably can guess which one.) We've already done our five faves from the year before (right here) and the year after (right here) - the early 80s are almost gone altogether! - but this time around here are...

My 5 Favorite Movies of 1983

(dir. David Cronenberg)
-- released on February 4th, 1983 --

(dir. Mike Nichols)
-- released on December 10th, 1983 --

(dir. Martin Scorsese)
-- released on February 13th, 1983 -- 
 
(dir. Robert Hiltzik)
-- released on November 18th, 1983 --

(dir. Paul Verhoeven)
-- released on March 24th, 1983 --

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Runners-up: Return of the Jedi (dir. Marquand), Risky Business (dir. Brickman), Scarface (dir. Brian De Palma), The Hunger (dir. Tony Scott), Terms of Endearment (dir. Brooks), A Christmas Story (dir. Bob Clark), Zelig (dir. Woody Allen), Of Unknown Origin (dir. Cosmatos), Something Wicked This Way Comes (dir. Jack Clayton), Cujo (dir. Teague)

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 What are your favorite movies of 1983?
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All of Us Are One of Us

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If you've ever seen Tod Browning's 1932 horror classic Freaks then you know who Schlitzie is. If you've never seen Freaks, well, you need to get on seeing Freaks. But even if you've never seen Freaks then you still might know who Schlitzie is, at least if you've been around these here parts of the blogosphere before, because I have posted about him often. (We try to recognize his birthday every September 10th.) Anyway Schlitzie was a circus performer with microcephaly who steals Tod Browning's whole damn movie with his charm, and I'm not alone in this fondness -- he's become such a cult icon that he's about to get his own damn documentary! Read about the project at that link and then click on over here to donate a buck or two to help get it made. The world needs his story!
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Comfortably Dumb

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I like weird things. I like going to the Mutter museum and staring at deformed fetuses in glass jars. I like the scene in The Abominable Dr. Phibes where we see how Vincent Price's skull-face is hidden under his human mask. Well so clearly does the director Gore Verbinski, but Gore Verbinski has never met a fun scary idea that he couldn't just strangle the fuck dead. A Cure For Wellness could have been an entertaining 90 minute creep-fest but instead what we get is going on three hours of interminable incoherent bullshit. 

Oh Verbinski certainly has a way with dream-like imagery - the endless corridors of a steam-bath haunted by four-legged creatures and black pools of water; a manic dance of white robes swirling and twirling fiendishly. They just don't add up to anything. Wellness is kind of like if the videotape from The Ring had been one of those 90s two cassette bundles like how James Cameron's Titanic was packaged - its just that by the time the curse has gotten to you you've already fallen asleep out of boredom.

He also doesn't know how to make his nightmare logic consistent -  watch something like Suspiria and yes, what the characters do might not make any sense, but there's a horrible inevitability to it; it makes its own fateful sort of irresistible sense. Nothing anybody does in A Cure For Wellness makes the slightest lick of sense but there's no captivating mystery to it; I could have written the entire movie after the first 20 minutes of set-up. Instead it just feels as if the film was filmed enough to make twelve versions and then they grabbed the footage off the floor in armfuls and said, "This will do! This is movie shaped!"

It's got a terrible case of Wander-Around-icitis - Dane DeHaan could've gotten to the bottom of what's going on if he'd simply ended any conversation he begins, instead of mid-conversation just walking off in another direction on some random tangent. And that's all that ever happens - the laziness on display in keeping him going in circles is staggering. There's just not enough mystery to unravel though, so he just walks in circles, hitting the same notes again and again and again until I just wanted to go set the damn castle on fire myself so we could get to the end we'd seen coming for hours.

The frustrating thing is that Verbinski does like the things I like and a good movie could have been assembled with these ideas... if he hadn't been in charge. Watching Wellness I thought often of what Ken Russell - an actual mad-man - would've done with this material. But everything Verbinski does, even down to the most deviant, feels worn to the nub, as if he and a boardroom of executives drew up pie-charts and diagrams about how much tooth-abuse or incest was a millisecond too much. His weirdness is by committee.

And he's a humorless filmmaker, so a role that Vincent Price would've gloriously sissified up here gets turned into a black hole of anti-charisma by Jason Isaacs in a parade of starchy white jackets. We know thanks to Harry Potter that Isaacs is game for some sneering camp, so its clear direction was at fault, especially since it sucks the like out of Dane DeHaan as well - these are actors possible of flourish, of having actual derangement in their eyes, but A Cure For Wellness isn't interested. It's anesthesia for the imagination.

Michiel Huisman Three Times

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The Game of Thrones actor is on the cover of Official Hommes this month -- earlie I posted a couple shots not seen here on the Tumblr but the magazine has been slowly dribbling out more and more images as they day's worn on. If I were a patient man I'd wait and see what else was coming, but I ain't. So if anything of note does arrive - like maybe a shot of him laying artfully on some sheets in only tighty-whities, I am just spit-balling here! - stay tuned and I'll update this post when such a time comes, if I don't just drop dead first that is.


Cate Does Own Me

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So apparently Cate Blanchett performed a couple of numbers for the crowd at the Stonewall Inn this weekend for charity - for the Newtown Action Alliance actually, who you should go donate to right this second - and one of those performances made its way online. A warning: you will be at least 15-25% more fabulous after watching her sing "You Don't Own Me." Read more about the night here.
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Beginners (2010)

Anna: You can ask me anything.
Oliver: Anything? What's that there?
Anna: That's a tree.
Oliver: Yeah.
Anna: And Cars.
Oliver: Uh-huh.
Anna: Another building like this one.
Oliver: Right.
Anna: People in the building like us.
Half of them think things will never work out.
The other half believe in magic.
It's like a war between them.
Oliver: How do you know so much about people?
Anna: Oh. Well, you have to learn how to read their faces.

 A happy 34th birthday to Mélanie Laurent!

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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You'll Always Sound Precocious

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That old picture of Hamilton co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonathan Groff about to kiss is only tangentially related to this news but tangentially is enough for me! As you may know Lin-Manuel was cast in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel that Disney is making against all of our better judgements - well, our better judgements might just be foolish because besides him they have lined up a really quite impressive group of actors for Mary Poppins Returns, none more so than the fierce lady who joined the cast over the weekend... which I wrote about over at The Film Experience yesterday. Click over to read!
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Good Morning, World

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Jai Courtney was kind enough to gift us 
with a little fur this weekend via his Instagram
I just wish we could see all the pictures piled there!
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