Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fassy's Burning Rubber Again

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I don't know why it took them all the way until the fourth chapter of Porsche's "Road to Le Mans" online documentary series, which details a bit of Michael Fassbender's race-car-driving side-career, to figure out that sneaking in a minute or two of Michael stripped half out of his jumpsuit would make all the difference, eyeballs-wise. But it does! I sure wasn't paying attention until last week's epic episode did just that, and now this is Appointment TV. Watch:
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And of course I again giffed the good bits after the jump...

If Any Of You Watched The Mandalorian...

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... can any of you give me a good reason to keep watching The Mandalorian? Please, do convince me. Cuz I was bored out of my damn mind by the first episode. And no "Pedro Pascal" as much as I love him is not a good reason, because this show has him wearing a helmet the whole time. If they start instituting communal bounty hunter showers on Dagobah and Poe Dameron shows up then you can say Pedro Pascal is a good reason but not a second before...

Who Wore It Best?

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find bike trails


A happy 47 to Josh Duhamel and
a happy 38 to Russell Tovey today!
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Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... helping Aaron Taylor-Johnson get clean.

A brand-new red-band trailer for A Million Little Pieces has popped up this week (following the first one we shared back in August) just before the film gets what seems like to my undiscerning eye like a relative dumping, on December 6th -- there's not much here that wasn't in the old trailer except for that flash of Aaron naked, but... well, Aaron Naked is never just a "but." Watch:
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I don't really have anything new to say about this movie that I haven't said at this point? It seemed kind of ill-fated since its inception -- why the hell make a movie about a book that's basically been discredited, and a dozen years ago at that? And who the hell needs another Drug Recovery Movie for that matter? I don't know, Aaron takes his clothes off, whatever. Hit the jump for a couple more gifs while I try to find a way to say nice things about things today (I know I'm not batting great at this point!)....

What is the Opposite of Safe

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A farmer points downriver at a smattering of white stones glittering strangely from within its bed, nestled like skulls beneath those Dark Waters of the title -- little beacons of misplaced opulence, like pearls in mud, they speak of something wrong, something very wrong indeed. Something very wrong indeed has seeped into the ground, into the water, and rotted everything out from the tooth-side up in a small West Virginia Anytown USA; something that coats itself in the banal beige sheen of Corporate America, many-faced and glad-handed, tentacles prepped to slip down every crisp white sleeve sewn into existence. 

The rot in Todd Haynes' beautifully-shot but haphazardly-executed takedown of poisonous malfeasance isn't satisfied with just chewing through its quarter-drawn townsfolk though -- it spills everywhere, an acid spill on the page, a script so see-through with holes I worry for its well-being. I'm calling 9-1-1 on this thing; it's coughing blood on my carpet. (Mad Cow POV... really?) How a screenplay this shoddy makes it to one of our greatest film-makers unmolested I can't fathom, but it's poisoned from the bottom up -- knee deep cliches sanded clean of substance. I could've drawn this movie's plot out in manure with a pitchfork beforehand and been better off. Haynes already made the premiere horror fable for our suffocating age with Safe, which had ten times this to say without ever saying a whit or a whisper of it this bluntly -- plainly, Dark Waters isn't fit to keep company with Safe, not by a long shot. Shun the newcomer, old friend! Shun it!

Don't get me started on the bromides so broad they knock half your cheek off when you lean closer -- at one point Anne Hathaway's Angry Wife asks her Work-Obsessed Husband Mark Ruffalo if she hasn't always been there, a supportive force in his life, and I guess we're supposed to be on her side at that moment but I very nearly stood up in the middle of my screening room and screamed, "No! No! No!" Up until that point Anne Hathaway's Angry Wife has only shown up in the film in order to make Work-Obsessed Husband Mark Ruffalo feel Guilty -- she's given up everything for you, Work-Obsessed Husband Mark Ruffalo! How dare y'all, how dare y'all, how dare y'all.

I certainly felt riled, intellectually and emotionally, by the real life tale buried beneath ten tons of Movie Shit here -- it's impossible not to want to wipe the smirk off of Victor Garber's smarmy but well-appointed face as the parade of drab-dressed and bedraggled cancer-yokels passes by, their tales of woe as thick as the muck on their cuffs and shoe-bottoms, as thick as their cornpone piggly-wiggly accents. The people must rise up, the people must toss the tar-haired corporate monsters into the acid pits of their own making -- these are indisputable facts worth their own weight in cinematic rah-rah-isms, no doubt. But give the people enough credit to see the signs themselves; that shit, it sparkles! You don't need to hold their faces down under the contaminated filth of Every Movie That Ever Came Before for them to get it; we all end up drowned, identifiable features scorched off, that direction.


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

To Live (1994)

Xu Fugui: If Youqing does as daddy says,
our lives will get better and better.
Our family is like a little chicken.
When it grows up, it becomes a goose
and that will turn into a sheep.
The sheep will turn into an ox.
Xu Youqing: And after the ox?
Xu Fugui: After the ox is Communism,
and there will be dumplings and meat every day.

A happy 68 to the great director Yimou Zhang today -- even though it's streaming on Netflix I still haven't gotten around to seeing his latest film Shadow yet; have you? It looks unbelievably gorgeous -- replacing the greens of House of Flying Daggers or the reds of Hero or the golds of Curse of the Golden Flower with blacks and grays -- and the fact that it's actually gotten a 4K blu-ray release here in the US tells me it really must be something special...


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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I had never heard of a horror film from this year called The Cleansing Hour -- which is about online possession hoax-sters getting their comeuppance via a real demon-type -- until photos of Ryan Guzman here in this scene from said film started making the thirsty rounds (via, thx Mac). But now that I looked the movie up to make these gifs I can tell you that this scene is actually so much weirder than you can tell here, and I'm probably going to have to find time to actually watch this movie properly now. So weird, you guys. But until then let's just make due, good due, and climb right under the covers with Ryan after the jump...


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tune of the Unknown Sad Gay

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I think it's safe to say this is a little bit of A Gay Cinephile Event here in New York this week that's very clearly worth my mentioning -- Anthology Film Archives is screening the "long-lost masterpiece of hardcore gay erotic cinema" from 1980s France called Equation to an Unknown starting tomorrow and running through November 20th. The film was very clearly a big influence on the filmmaker Yann Gonzalez, whose recent gay slasher Knife+Heart I absolutely adore -- Anthology quotes Gonzalez in the press materials even:

"The most melancholic porn film I’ve ever seen. It’s very sad, and aesthetically beautiful. Just a young man wandering through several depictions of love and choreographies of love-making; it’s like a ceremony, a ceremony of fantasies, especially the last sequence where the main character recalls all his previous fantasies, which come one by one around his bed and make love to him. I think it’s one of the most beautiful film sequences of French cinema.” 

The great folks at Altered Innocence just restored Equation, so this'll be a pristine new print -- as you can see in their NSFW trailer below the film looks stunning (in that very specific period porn sleaze milieu, that is);
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Alongside the film for the first three nights (that is to say tomorrow through Saturday) Anthology will also be screening the 17-minute short film Le Journal d'un combat from director Guy Gilles, which apparently documents the process of Francis Savel, Equation's director, painting a painting in 1964 (and it's apparently narrated by Alain Delon!) All these arty gays of their moments mixing it up -- nothing's changed!


Pics of the Day

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Well I'm usually loath to share photos of myself, especially mid-sentence and standing beside somebody as adorable as Taron Egerton, but whatever, you only live once and the internet hasn't murdered me just yet. I was worried I'd jinx myself when I mentioned on Monday that there was a Rocketman event happening this week but none such jinx materialized and whoa was me, sidled up against Taron last night. He put his hand on my shoulder! In all seriousness I only had a couple of minutes with him and I was per usual struck dumb within almost the entirety of that interaction -- I managed to sputter out that I've seen the film four times now and love it and he was obviously appreciative.
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Thankfully my boyfriend was there, and not just to take my picture -- he's actually good at the thing called "conversation" and brought up the first big party-scene in the film that really resonated with us (I mentioned it in my review) where the Sad Gay gets left all alone as all of his friends take off to hook up; who hasn't been there? And I'd never seen it depicted on-screen, at least in the context of the closet, before. Taron then told us a bit about an old roommate and good friend of his who is gay and how he (Taron that is) used a lot of their relationship, and what his friend was going through, for those moments of introspection and loneliness. Anyway he was lovely and I really hope he can keep himself in the Oscar talk, his work in Rocketman is some of the best acting we've seen this year. Oh and you can see one more photo on my Instagram...


Little Man Turned Prince

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Even though it felt like absolutely nobody was watching the PBS' 2017 version of Little Women with me at the time -- I watched it because it had Julian Morris and I watch Julian Morris Everything -- enough has already come out of the cast since it aired that I think it'll probably be looked back at a lot more in the future than twas in the past. 2019 was a big year for Maya Hawke, who played its Jo March, and it looks like 2020 will be big for its Laurie -- Jonah Hauer-King has just gotten himself cast as Prince Eric in Disney's live-action Little Mermaid movie.

We cottoned to him as Laurie (calling him one "saucy fop" -- a very high compliment indeed -- at the time) and we think we'll further cotton to him as the prettiest of all the Disney Princes (says us). Hauer-King can also be seen in that WWII show World on Fire that we told you about recently (because it co-stars newly homosexual Brian J Smith) but other than that I haven't seen him in anything -- will I see this Little Mermaid movie? I'm not sure. I've avoided almost all of the other Disney live-action remakes, but I do kinda wanna see Melissa McCarthy do the sea-witch Ursula, I have to admit. Jamie here is the handsome frosting on that tasty-sounding cupcake. We'll see. Hit the jump for a few more photos...

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Ash: What's that white stuff around his mouth?
Kylie: I think he eats soap.
Mr. Fox: That's not soap.
Kylie: Wha- why does he have that...
Mr. Fox: He's rabid. With rabies.
A happy 10 to Wes Anderson's stop-motion masterpiece!


Five Frames From ?





What movie is this?

Good Morning, Gratuitous Jonathan Tucker

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It has happened before but it's not often that I will have to graduate a post containing a single photo-shoot from being titled "So-and-so Five Times" up to a good and proper "Gratuitous" post, but sometimes, when we're really lucky, the number gets out of control -- I mean I suppose I could have called this post "Jonathan Tucker Thirty Times" since I do indeed...

... have thirty photographs of our favorite Tucker here to share thanks to our favorite Duran (that'd be the photographer Tony, via his website) today. Indeed there are actually about twenty more photos at that link -- I tried to edit the shoot down a little bit but you might not feel so inclined and who the fuck can blame you.

Tucker inspires the extra effort, and devotion. On that note out this weekend is the new Charlie's Angels movie and in the grand tradition of those things -- following Sam Rockwell in the 2000 version and especially especially Justin Theroux in its sequel -- he's appears to be another villain you can't decide whether you wanna kill or fuck, or both simultaneously. I am so down. Hit the jump for the rest of this really very pleasurable shoot...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I've Seen the Future, Brother, It Is Redrum

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"That's odd. The blood usually gets off on the second floor." 

Try as hard as I might that line from The Simpsons' Shining parody was always skittering around the edges of my brain while watching the 40-year-delayed sequel Doctor Sleep, until eventually, like that indefatigable blood itself, I couldn't hold it back any longer -- it came pouring out everywhere all over everything. So heavy is the weight of iconography attached to the Overlook and its dark descendants -- they cannot, they will not, be contained. 

At times that spooky weight worked in Sleep's favor -- when we do finally make it back to the Hotel, as we must, you do feel the same passage of time that Adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) seems to -- we too now have creaks in our musty bones and crevasses around our exhausted eyes; the  radiators are quaking and the little boys in chunky astronaut sweaters are no more on either side of the screen. It goosed its old riffs good. But more often than not I felt Doctor Sleep crumbled under the weight of its impossible expectations and the blood, loosed, drowned the poor dear. 

It's not a bad film. (Rebecca Ferguson, that queen, certainly does her best.) But it actually doesn't even entirely feel like a "film" to me -- it feels more like a miniseries, something director Mike Flanagan has proven himself a sturdy captain of with his Haunting of Hill House series for Netflix, about to disclose its own second anthology. On Netflix Doctor Sleep could have been another hour or two longer and I would've gobbled it up with absent-minded and perfectly mild satisfaction on my face -- dull-eyed and entertained.

On the big screen though, as those familiar strings descend and the REDRUMS pile up and multiple actors are forced to do their best Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall impersonations, I don't know, I just kept being forced into the corner of thinking upon other people's really strange and daring creations. Flanagan is a good, solid filmmaker who in 2019 can't possibly live up to the shit Stanley Kubrick pulled with that 1980 film. It's a task for a crazy person; Mike Flanagan isn't that.

The film's better than it has any right being -- Flanagan's made a career out of that exact sentiment time and time again. There are scenes of genuine fucked-up-ness in Doctor Sleep that a totally by-the-numbers person wouldn't have accomplished. But there's nothing truly scarifying, and there's not much that I think will stand as its own legacy, un-borrowed from betters. Even the film's grossest practical effect is a thing Flanagan himself pulled with his last King adaptation Gerald's Game (which remains  at this point the best thing he's done).

Doctor Sleep is an entertaining tribute to a monumental thing. It's a bowl of colorful fruits laid out in front of a forever monolith, one that reaches black to the stars and blots out so much that came after --the gods will not be angry for this sacrifice. But I'd rather we build our own gods, defiled and deranged and pink with present tense, to suit our modern purposes. The blood came and went awhile back; I long for some new flesh. 


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Georgie: Let's say I try my small way to help.
Bernie: That's what my ex-wife used to keep me reminding of, cheerfully. She had a theory that behind every great man there was a great woman. She also was thoroughly convinced that she was great and all I needed to qualify was guidance on her part.
Georgie: Still does not prove that the theory is completely wrong. I imagine one can go through history and find a few good examples.
Bernie: It's a pity that Leonardo da Vinci never had a wife to guide him, he might have really gotten somewhere.

Did Bing Crosby just come out? I've never seen The Country Girl, really all I know about it is that Grace Kelly stole Judy Garland's Oscar for it, and wasn't that enough of a slap in the face of every homosexual? We don't want Bing Crosby, noted child abuser, thrust upon us as well. Keep him, straights! Anyway I guess this is my way of wishing Grace Kelly a happy birthday on what would have been her 90th. I love Grace but only for her Hitchcock movies... as if three stone-cold classics (including my tied-for-favorite movie of all-time, Rear Window) can be an "only." 

online survey

Florian David Fitz One More Time

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(click to embiggen) Whoa now! Hello there! Look at this extra special brand-new photo that MNPP commenter "schmiedepaul" just dug up for us off of GQ Germany's website! I thought maybe I should just update today's earlier post of Florian's photoshoot and add in this photo, but there's no good way to do that while giving this photo, THIS PHOTO, the proper spotlight that it deserves. So its own post then. But I recommend clicking back to the rest of the photo-shoot too, which is slightly less butt-naked but still a fun time. Bless you "schmiedepaul" and bless you Florian and bless you, the entire country of Germany.
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Take Us To School Again, PTA

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Paul Thomas Anderson has never won an Oscar. Including producing and writing nominations Anderson has been personally nominated eight times, but he's only made it into the Best Director pack of nominees twice, in 2008 for There Will Be Blood and ten years later with Phantom Thread. Three people who were working with PTA have actually won Oscars -- Phantom Thread won Best Costume Design, There Will Be Blood for Cinematography, and some guy named Dan won one for Acting once -- but by my quick scan that seems to be it? Three actual Oscar statues for all of Paul Thomas Anderson's movies, from Hard Eight up to Phantom Thread. What a goddamned obscenity.

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I don't normally frame, well, anything via Oscar statistics -- I just rambled about my relative indifference towards them recently -- but rambling about something makes that same something be on my mind whether I like it or not, and so I find myself greeting today's news of a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie unfortunately and frustratingly through that lens. Not through the lens of "Ooh this will be a Genuine Artistic Achievement, just as has been everything he's touched!" All I find myself thinking instead is, "Cancel every other movie and pave PTA's way to the damned stage already." I'll try to be better about this while you read here what his new movie will actually be about, aka the important stuff:

"Paul Thomas Anderson Sets 1970s High School Movie for 2020 Production
The untitled project, centered on a high school student, is planning to go into production next year. Paul Thomas Anderson is returning to his San Fernando Valley roots to make a new film set in the 1970s, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The untitled film will be centered on a high school student who is also a successful child actor. Anderson will write, direct and produce the project through his Ghoulardi Film Company banner. Sources say casting is underway to find the lead and the project features a multitude of roles and could be ensemble in nature or have intersecting storylines.
Sources say Anderson's project, named in the California Film Commission's list of 13 films shooting in the state next year, is planning to go into production in February 2020. Representatives for Anderson declined to comment."

Obviously the thrill here, besides just one of our greatest living film-makers getting back to the grind -- not that his time's been wasted what with him directing one of Thom Yorke's greatest music videos and all -- is the bit about this being an "ensemble" movie, since he hasn't done a proper one of those since, well, you could make a case that he hasn't really made a proper Ensemble Movie for 20 years since Magnolia. There are a lot of actors and characters in Inherent Vice and to a lesser extent The Master but I wouldn't call either of them that -- like Blood and Punch-drunk and Phantom Thread there's mostly a central (male) figure, and an opposing (and/or complementary) one. If he's really feeling like making another Boogie Nights -- also set in Southern California in the 1970s -- well that'd sure be a nice thing, I think. Don't y'all?


Florian David Fitz Nine Times

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It's kind of weird to see the German actor Florian David Fitz without his constant (nude) companion writer-director-actor-nudist Matthias Schweighöfer after they spent most of the past, uhh, two years I think, promoting their comedy film 100 Things (and we spent just as much time posting about it). That movie still hasn't been released here in the US, although you can buy a differently-regioned DVD from abroad, one that naturally features them naked on its cover because what else is that movie. 

But I guess he's still a hit in Germany since GQ's put him on their "Men of the Year" cover (via), and especially we're grateful for it since it comes with a photoshoot that all about mustaches, half-off sweaters, and leather pants. Those are literally 73% of our favorite things! Hit the jump for the rest...

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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