Friday, May 17, 2019

Say Goodbye, Jon Snow

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We started today with Nikolaj, it only seems right to book-end it with a little Kit -- as you have maybe heard the series finale of Game of Thrones is this weekend; Sunday night at 9pm to be precise. So if you've got a hair appointment you'd better reschedule! You already missed getting your hair did with Tom Hardy anyway so who cares about hair cuts anymore? It might be nice to grow out a luxurious Jon Snow mane though, in remembrance of things past. There's not much else to do this weekend -- I'm not on the John Wick train; I do want to see Tilda Swinton and her daughter in The Souvenir though -- so Game of Thrones will have to do, I guess!


One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back

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Today I am the bearer of both good and of bad news, simultaneously -- I am an epileptic fit at your fingers. Because, good news, we finally have word that Michael Fassbender is going to act again! He is according to The Playlist, in talks to take one of the roles in the remake of The Wild Bunch! But that brings us to the bad news, and the bad news isn't just the idea of remaking The Wild Bunch in the first place -- the bad news is who's remaking it. Mel fucking Gibson is remaking it. Here is live footage of me reading this news:

Why??? What have we done to deserve this??? Somebody email me a million copies of that Tyra Banks "We were all rooting for you" gif immediately and maybe I'll feel like my mood has been captured, but only maybe. I don't think I can even satisfy myself with the thought of Michael Fassbender being in cowboy pants again -- I mean I have no doubt that Mel Gibson will personally make sure that Fassy's cowboy pants are snug in all the right places, he'll put a needle and thread between his lips and sew that shit up as obscene as he can get it himself. But that's not enough. Fuck Mel Gibson. I need a goddamned drink.
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Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... springing forward with Jack O'Connell.

The Last Magazine has a new interview and photo-shoot with Jack -- I'll share the latter here but you can read his chat at this link (thx Mac). It's timed to the release of his new movie Trial By Fire today that's got him co-starring with no less than the fire herself, Laura fucking Dern -- it tells the true-life story of a man who was sentenced to death for killing his family who probably didn't do it. I have heard good things about the movie but I've been so goddamned depressed lately I don't know if I've got this one in me right now. What I do have in me is Jack O'Connell... sorry, I just wanted to write that sentence. What I mean is what I have got in store for us all is Jack O'Connell inside of me... sorry, I lost my train of thought again. There are more pictures, after the jump!

It's Daemon Time

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Once Game of Thrones ends this weekend HBO has a couple of big nerdy projects down the pike that might possibly fill that nerdy void -- one would be their Watchmen series, and the other is their team-up with the BBC trying to do a right proper adaptation of Phillip Pullman's glorious His Dark Materials books. That "right proper adaptation" dig was clearly aimed at the 2007 film, which took a point perfect cast and threw them into a mess of an unfocused thing that obliterated the most fundamental aspect at the heart of the series -- its bone-deep atheism -- because that is of course deemed impossible in this dumb country called America. Well now the UK has taken their shit back from the dumb Americans and made it their own, and we're just borrowing it from them, so ha, hopefully Mr. Pullman's getting the last laugh.

The cast for this re-do is very good -- James McAvoy's a fine choice for Lord Asriel, and even though Nicole Kidman was the platonic ideal of the "Mrs. Coulter" character I can't wait to see what Ruth Wilson does with her; I just saw Wilson on stage beside Glenda Jackson in King Lear this past weekend and she not only held her own, she might have, gasp, been the best thing on stage? 
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Anyway this is the second trailer I've posted for the series -- see the first one, from the BBC, right here -- even though as far as I can tell we still haven't got any sort of release date for it either in the UK or here in the US yet. But you'll hear from me the minute we do! Until then here, watch, luxuriate, it looks like they might have gotten it right, you guys:
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Oh and in case you haven't read Pullman's books I highly recommend them, and he's actually started an entire new trilogy (which overlaps with the original in terribly interesting ways) recently -- the first part of The Book of Dust series came out in 2017 and it's already got me riveted to where he's taking everything. The second book called The Secret Commonwealth is coming in October! ETA and I just now read this at io9 -- the BBC has already renewed the series for another eight episodes! I don't know what that means about what this first series contains, book to screen wise -- if it's one season per book, or what -- but the more the better. There's enough material here to last as long as Game of Thrones, at least.
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I Wish it Would Rain Down On Me Now

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I'm sure that the cast of Woody Allen's banned-in-America latest A Rainy Day in New York is real real excited it's getting a release overseas this fall -- Timothée Chalamet (who donated his salary to charity) and Jude Law and Elle Fanning and the rest of 'em are probably looking forward to answering those questions. Whatever, the film's dropping in France in September and a bunch of other countries after that (and inevitably it'll leak online for the rest of us who care after that), and now there's a trailer. Watch:
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

It Follows (2014)

Yara: When I was a little girl my parents would not allow me to go south of 8th mile. And I did not even know what that meant until I got a little older. And I started realizing that. That was where the city started and the suburbs ended. And I used to think about how shitty and weird was that. I mean I had to ask permission to go to the state fair with my best friend and her parents only because it was a few blocks past the border.

One of the best things about David Robert Mitchell's horror masterpiece It Follows -- which came out five years ago today! -- is its sense of location. Alongside Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive in 2013 (and to a lesser-noticed degree the horror film Boo! from last year) Detroit, as its sunk under its own history, has proven a stellar spot for scare-flicks; the urban decay and isolation, all of those empty lots and windows staring back at you. You feel boxed in by ghosts, and It Follows makes tremendous use of that strange surreal sensation. 

And after finally seeing Mitchell's follow-up film Under the Silver Lake, which isn't a horror film at all but which shares that same profound understanding of place and atmosphere and strangeness, I'm already ready to christen Mitchell as one of our finest young surrealists around. He gets weirdness, a world following its own incomprehensible logic, as well as anybody making movies today.

The last we heard (heh, wait for it) about Mitchell's next project follows this though -- it's supposed to be another horror film, one called They Hear It (there it is) that;'s about a sound that drives people to madness. It's not a new idea -- for just a couple of recent examples Stephen King did it in Cell, and there's the great Pontypool of course, and even though it's not technically about that Berberian Sound Studio feels like it's about that. But if that does turn out to be Mitchell's next project (its announcement was a year ago, and A24 totally ditched Under the Silver Lake in the time since then) I could see him making fabulous use of a theater's speakers to unnerve us. I welcome it!


Christopher Abbott Four Times

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I didn't have the chance to watch my screeners yet but George Clooney's Catch-22 miniseries with Chris Abbott here premiered on Hulu this very day so now y'all can beat me to the punch -- if you do and want to share an opinion with me on it do so here in the comments, like you're my friend and shit. I'll try to watch some this weekend. If you missed the trailer click here and if you missed the first batch of porny pictures click here -- a reminder: this thing looks hella gay-baity. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (via)
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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The Dark and Sparkling Night

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News broke last night that Robert Pattinson had been chosen to play Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Mr. Batman for The Batman, the latest aka the hundredth take on the darkest of knights from director Matt Reeves. Then news broke about thirty minutes after that that he hadn't actually been cast, he was on a list, a list of what sounded like two names, his name and the name of Sir Nicholas Hoult. The drama of it all! Well dun dun dun this morning it sounds like the original report was fairly on point, as Us Weekly (don't judge, they have a "source") says the former Twilight actor is close to snapping on Ye Olde Cowl. How do I feel about it, you ask?
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Yeah if you thought there was even a whiff of petulant fanboy coming out over this you don't know me -- I've been giving Rob ripe hosannas for his acting work for just about eight years at this point, even since my second viewing of Cosmopolis when I realized what he was doing was working like gangbusters, and I've been Team Rob ever since. It helped that I didn't watch a single Twilight movie probably, but I don't begrudge that series its fans -- I always felt the snide side-eyes it got were sexist machinations anyway.

But in all seriousness Pattinson has done stellar work over the past decade -- he gave far and away my favorite performances in Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert and in James Gray's The Lost City of Z. I didn't actually love either of those movies, but Rob's performances in both were wonders, enough reason to sit through both films on their own. Then came Good Time, which caught most people who pay attention to smart, independent films up to what he was capable of and then some.

I gave him an acting prize for his work on the Zellner Brothers' film Damsel last year, which otherwise got soundly ignored from what I saw but his work was goofy and weird and wonderful there too; I still recommend you seek it out. And then of course comes Pattinson's turn with internationally acclaimed auteur Claire Denis this year with the marvel that is High Life. Robert Pattinson doesn't need your approval! He's doing just fine.

In fact I think he's probably too good for a Batman movie, although I think Reeves is one of our best blockbusters movie makers so if you're gonna go big he's not a bad guy to trust. The main question becomes at this point for me -- does he really want to do this? It's a big commitment, he's going to be dragged back into the spotlight, and that all seemed to make him hella miserable last time around. I mean that's not my question to ask really -- I am sure he's asked it of himself and is perfectly capable of making a decision, as he is an adult. I've just grown so fond of the past several years of his career I want more of that. (PS see more of those beach pictures right here.)
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I Am Easy To Find

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I have done a really really lousy job keeping track of The National's new record this time around -- I mean it's called I Am Easy To Find, so you think I'd do better! Alas I always make the easiest things the hardest. Story of my something something. Anyway yes it's out today, as in right now, and I was listening to it on the subway this morning and the title track started playing and...
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... no shit, I just started sobbing like a ridiculous person. Perfect way to end the week, scaring the lady crammed beside you on the A train at eight-thirty in the morning. Ehh it's New York, she was probably just glad it was only tears.

The reason I'm annoyed at myself for not being on top of this record though, beside it being so immediately good to my ears, is I haven't yet posted the short film that 20th Century Women director Mike Mills directed for the record -- I hadn't realized it was online and I could post it. I haven't even watched it myself! So I don't know if it includes the title track, the one that's got me sobbing, but we can find out together. It stars Alicia Vikander and here, here it is:
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Good Morning, World

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Well this is the last Nikolaj Coster-Waldau picture post that I will ever post while Game of Thrones is on the air! That feels like a crazy sentence to write, given all the many Nicky picture posts I have posted over the past several years, but it's true! Unless HBO has been punking us all season and they make a surprise announcement that there will be another season of episodes coming up, which, well, I don't think a lot of us would complain given how rushed everything has been this year. Aaanyway I still hope they stick the landing on Sunday, even though I go into every episode having no idea how they can cram all they need to cram into it and then I have left every episode realizing, "Oh, they can't, they just pretend they did and then fill in the gaps in their after-show." But I have some hope alive, just like I have some more pictures after the jump...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Marwan Kenzari One Time

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Wait the live-action Aladdin is out next Friday? I literally had no idea. I mean that's by design, since I decided after the one-two punch that was its trailer and the Lion King's trailer that I am dunzo with Disney's excremental soiling of their legacy titles. But I still thought I'd be avoiding the Aladdin mess for longer into the summer than this. Now what will I do with all my free energy? Go stare at my great big gratuitous post on its nevertheless sexy ass Jafar actor Marwan Kenzari from back in the day, you suggest? Good suggestion. Great suggestion. Bye!
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Hemsalo Ruffaworth

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Mark Ruffalo was kind enough to gift us via his Insta with this behind-the-scenes shot of him and his little Avengers co-star Chris Hemsworth messing around in the make-up trailer -- no, no, not "messing around" that way (sad face) you perverts, but messing around with a bunch of wigs, like men do. Excuse me -- like superheroes do!
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Quote of the Day

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Sure everything seems shitty right now, but there is a new John Waters book coming out next week so it's not, it's not all shitty, only... mostly shitty minus the John Waters book stuff. Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder hits the stands (god that sounds antiquated -- the stands!) on May 21st, and Waters is doing the rounds (including a book tour, I'll be seeing him here in NYC!) and there's a brand new chat with him over at the Washington Blade very much worth checking. The bit I have chosen to highlight is the (depressing -- like I said, everything's shitty) bit he had to say about his Polyester star Tab Hunter:

"Well, he voted for Reagan, you know. He used to shock me. He was for Trump, too. He used to laugh when he told me, because he knew how crazy it made me. I love Tab. You know, that’s the thing. He was from a different era. Completely from a different era... I think was always a Republican. Oh yeah, he was in the closet forever. He had to be. It was illegal. You know. He was loved by every woman in America. It would have ruined his career. And he wrote about all that in his book... I stayed friends with him right up until the end. I just talked to his husband recently. Tab was great. He was a team player too. Lovely to Divine. Matter of fact, he liked the experience so much he went and made a movie with Divine afterwards, called “Lust in the Dust.”
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Which is Hotter?

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I think it's kind of weird I couldn't turn up a photo of Saint Laurent actors Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel and Gaspard Ulliel together except for that shot above -- you'd think even just being famous French actors whose projects besides have no doubt repeatedly overlapped there'd be more, but alas we'll make due. Anyway Bertand Bonello's sumptuous film of fashionable disco disarray is turning five years old tomorrow and if you've not been paying attention, well, we love it.

Here's our five year old sort of review -- weirdly that link is actually supposed to be a review of Abel Ferrera's film Pasolini, which fiiiinally got a release here in the US last week after a, you guessed it five year delay -- it was supposed to be a Pasolini review but I got distracted talking about Saint Laurent because s'so good. And even though I've written a lot about Saint Laurent ever since then that sort of makes me sad -- it deserves a proper review. I'll add it to the list! Until then let's be continue being basic...

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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Urban Cowboy (1980)

BuBud: Now, you gotta learn something -
there are just certain things a girl cain't do.
Sissy: Name one.
Marshall: I can name several, pissin' on the side
of a wall, gettin' laid while your pants are still on...
Sissy: Why would you want to?

A happy birthday to Debra Winger today!
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Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...
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... endlessly wandering the subways until my body turned to dust just hoping for a glimpse of Michiel Huisman in that t-shirt, just a glimpse, then my eternal soul could finally be at peace. (pic via)

And with regards to this weekend's finale...
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The Bitches Are Back

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Rocketman is premiering at Cannes today so we should have the first opinions on it shortly -- the crew's been swanning about the red carpet just now; Richard's suit is kinda boring but Taron swung for the fences (I guess his stylist took notes on the sneering reception his Met Gala suit got):

Are the shoes blue or black? If they're dark blue I like them. Anyway once we wait to hear the word from the critics there let's entertain ourselves with the brand new song that Elton John & Taron himself just premiered -- that's right, they recorded a track together! It's called "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" and you can listen below:
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The entire soundtrack hits on May 24th and you can pre-order that right here -- you can also see the track listing there, showing all the songs that Taron presumably sings in the film itself, and sure enough it's all the hits, but there are a few big surprises in there. If you want to hit the jump I'll share the list with you...

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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I guess I totally forgot to write anything about this news -- Queer as Folk creator (the good QAF in the UK, not that American crud) Russell T. Davies has a new series for the BBC called Years and Years and it stars Russell Tovey (and Emma Thompson and Rory Kinnear, among others) and it premiered on Tuesday night. You know, over there. Don't know when it's hitting the US (ETA it's apparently an HBO show here in the US, and will premiere on June 24th!) but I watched it all the same and I am good and hooked one episode in. I hadn't watched any of the trailers beforehand so I had no idea where it was going at all, a feeling the show revels in -- I recommend going that route yourself. It surprised me. Anyway Tovey's playing gay again (thank god), which you'll seef below -- he gave an interview this week (thx Mac) where he talked about the "graphic sex scenes" and said:

“This is the world we're living in so we should be able to see this and your children should be able to... Everything has to be shown because, otherwise, if you don't show diversity, if you don't show gay sex, if you don't show men in love, or women in love, or whatever, then how the hell do you normalise it?” 

Hear hear, Russ. And in the spirit of his wise words let's normalize it some more right here after the jump with more gifs (although there are spoilers so keep that in mind)...