Friday, March 05, 2021

Rendezvous Ourselves Right Into the Weekend

I have spent most of today feeling like a train ran me down, and not the fun kinda train either, hence the truly inadequate posting -- I'd intended to get more reviews from the "Rendezvous with French Cinema" series, now up and running at FLC, posted! But my brain just hit a wall, stomped its little brain feet, and is refusing to participate with shit. And so I know sometimes I promise to post over the weekend and then I ghost y'all but really, check back over the next couple of days, I think if I allow myself a good veg out tonight and sleep in tomorrow I can catch myself back up. 

For now I previewed the series right here, and yesterday I did review two films that are now playing -- read my thoughts on My Donkey My Lover and I right here, and read my thoughts on Red Soil right here. Hopefully over the weekend I will share my thoughts on some others I have seen (all the titles are over there >>> in the right-hand column in my "Watched" list now in case you're curious), including the one called Faithful, which stars our fave Vincent Lacoste, seen up top. Hi Vincent! "Rendezvous" runs through March 14th!

The Beach Bloom

Oh, wait! I'd said my goodbyes for the night and then suddenly these photos of Orlando Bloom romping at the beach fell into my lap! It might not be as savory a collection as that last time him and Junior went paddle-boarding, but they'll do. So here's one more thing, or rather nearly two dozen more things -- after the jump a collection of Orlando doing what he does best...

Pics of the Day

I don't know if I can justify pre-ordering this until I re-watch the film and have a clue what the music sounds like -- I have no recollection of it -- but man alive is the packaging for Waxworks Records' upcoming Alice Sweet Alice soundtrack vinyl making the case for a buy all on its own. I mean I love love love this 1976 proto-slasher already -- seriously underrated! And have you seen Arrow's recent restoration on blu-ray yet? My god it's like a new movie, and this movie didn't even need to be this pretty to rule before. Now it's just bonus awesome. But this vinyl is killing me, in the best of ways. 

The Final Vision

Don't worry, I am not going to spoil WandaVision! Except for the sight of Paul Bettany in that turtleneck. (Anybody else discover they have a thing for Vision thanks to this show?) Anyway I already said this on Twitter this morning, but it bears repeating. This here is just an open post for those of y'all who've watched today's episode already, like me -- I got up early and watched it before I left for work, lest I be spoiled, because that is apparently life in 2021 -- and would like to say how you liked the episode and the season in the comments! I personally am happy. And I'll be happy to say more if anybody asks for more in the comments.

Miguel Ángel Silvestre Four More Times

As predicted on Tuesday with the first four photos even more photos of Miguel showed up from Esquire Mexico, and and promised I am here to share. And this gives me a chance to ask, since I meant to on Tuesday -- did any of you end up watching 30 Coins on HBO Max? Miguel's horror series created and directed by wacko-auteur Álex de la Iglesia? I talked about it briefly last month, right on here. Oh and here too. It was very soapy, in the broadest sense, but there was also a ton of insanely horrific monster-crafting in between the nonsense and I'm glad I watched it for sure -- don't think I'll soon forget some of the fucked up shit that show flashed at me. If you watched let me know, or go watch it now and then let me know, and hit the jump for three more sexy Miguel man pics...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Well this is good luck for every one of us -- not only do we get those spectacularly hot still photographs of In the Heights and Hamilton actor Anthony Ramos in just his Calvins for the new Calvin Klein underwear campaign that I shared earlier this week, but we also get a video of Anthony moving and grooving and bouncing about his absolutely stunning business...

... all over the damn place in same! This is why the word "blessed" was invented -- Anthony is blessed, and we are blessed by Anthony. It's a perfect circle. (Just like his bum!) Hit the jump for twenty-plus more gifs plus oh right the chefs-kiss video in question...

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Give This Ass a Chance

One of those movies that sweetly sneaks up on you before you realize what it's done, My Donkey, My Lover, and I (screening as part of FLC's "Rendezvous with French Cinema") stars Laure Calamy as Antoinette, a school-teacher who's first introduced to us as a bit of a nutter -- dominating her room full of elementary kids so that she's the star of their pageant (including a bit where she gets mostly naked in front of them in order to change outfits) she is too much too much from the get-go, and that's before we find out she's sleeping with one of the married parents of her students. 

But Antoinette's unapologetic and sunny enthusiasm grows on you quick (Calamy is absolutely winning in the role) and even as we watch the character make outrageously ill-thought-out decisions -- the entire film's about her stalking said married parent on his weeklong family getaway, hiking in the mountains astride the titular ass which she is wildly unequipped to handle -- we find ourselves rooting for her to figure out her right angle, and find a route through to something like actual happiness. 

And thankfully the film never tilts too hard into whimsy -- it's cute and charming but in a delicately balanced way, never overdoing the comedy, or somehow, astonishingly, never pushing Antoinette's ditziness into the off-putting. We watch her spill the beans with a big smile on her home-wrecking purposes to a room-full of people she has literally just met, and Calamy makes it all work, down to the last drop. You can see why any (straight) man would be willing to toss decorum over for this delightful nut, and you can also see why she's so much better than the hand she's dealt herself at the same time. 

And then somehow it becomes one of the sweetest animal movies I've seen in ages to boot? Antoinette's push-pull relationship with Patrick, her Irish donkey partner on this improbable romantic trek, will absolutely win you over by the end -- there's a bray in the last act that will crumble the heart of the coldest donkey hater. I'd watch a thousand adventures of Antoinette and her best ass friend, I tell ya!


My Donkey, My Lover, and I is screening through March 10th 
on FLC's website. Check out this year's "French Cinema" line-up here.

Jermaine Fowler Two Times

I wasn't at all familiar with Jermaine Fowler until I saw this photo-shoot he did a couple of weeks ago for Interview Magazine (more over here), and then I got even more familiar with him last night when I realized he plays the role of Eddie Murphy's "bastard" in the Coming To America sequel, titled Coming 2 America naturally. I am one hundred percent sure that the original 1988 film is a movie I've never mentioned here on the site but it's definitely one I've seen a billion times because it was one of the ones that 12-year-old me and my cousin would rent from the video-store repeatedly to feel like we were experiencing grown-up things. Boobies and sex jokes, oh my!

I hadn't seen that film in very many years though, so I re-watched it last night right before I watched the sequel -- speaking of my review of the sequel just went up this afternoon at Pajiba. The sequel's not bad? It's definitely too long but I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. And it's funny -- I'm totally afraid people are going to think I'm ridiculous for liking this movie. I'll proudly profess love for the shittiest horror flicks but a cheesy comedy sequel is a bridge too far, apparently. Anyway go read my thoughts -- C2A drops on Amazon tomorrow. 

Endlessness Finds Its Beginning

I had a feeling was so and sure enough a quick search uncovered the fact that I first posted the trailer for About Endlessness, the latest flick from Swedish weirdo Roy Andersson, way way back in September of 2019 -- if you wanna calculate how long ago that was how about the fact that I posted it alongside the trailer for the movie Jojo Rabbit? Does that get the feeling of the passage of immense oceans of time across to you? Anyway I became such a fan of Andersson and his singular cinema thanks to his 2014 masterpiece A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence that the wait for this one was excruciating on day one... and then the damn pandemic happened!

Anyway I am pleased as punch-drunk to share the news that About Endlessness is giving up the endless ghost at last, and will finally be released here in the US (theaters and demand) on April 30th. And they've just re-released the trailer (it is ever so slightly different, although it hits mostly the same beats) and here, I share it with you now, today, on March 4th 2021. Let it be noted! No more shenanigans please! (And yes I just called a deadly pandemic a "shenanigan" so feel free to cancel me immediately.)

Red Soil Rich with Heart

What is it that's so compelling and cathartic about a good environmental crisis thriller? I speak of the Silkwoods of the world, the Erin Brockovichs -- the "normal person takes on an evil polluting corporation" films where we watch someone uncover the horrors done to an entire community in the name of greed? I guess it's the Goliath-hater inside all of us, and in this case probably fed by the white hot panic stirring inside us every day as we turn on the news and see more cancer, more climate change, and feel helpless. They're stories of our moment with a solid villain and an infuriating process that gets in the way -- the unraveling of which can be, in the right hands, hella cinematic and thick with heady revenge highs.

Screening as part of the "Rendezvous with French Cinema" series here in NYC for the next ten days Farid Bentoumi's film Red Soil is just such a film, and should be set right astride the best of the genre -- it's better than Todd Haynes' 2019 well-shot but muddled stab at it with Dark Waters anyway, and if you can do something better than Todd Haynes I'd say you're doing a damn lot right. Red Soil tells the true story of a nurse named Nour (the tremendously transfixing and empathetic Zita Hanrot) who goes to work at her father's chemical plant, only to discover that the place is a death trap.

Per usual Nour is met with mountains of red tape, but Red Soil is smart to make Nour's father Slimane (played by the terrific Sami Bouajila) the primary force walling her off -- watching their sweet relationship fracture due to his stonewalling, all in the name of his paycheck, is heart-rending; in the way of all good familial dramas (think of it akin to Asghar Farhadi's output) you can see and feel both sides, to a sometimes excruciating degree. Not that it's not clear who's in the right here, but Bentoumi makes it clear that being "right" has huge casualties of its own. There are no simple paths in the disassembling of societal structures, especially ones so enmeshed with the fabric of a community as this one.

Everyone in this town works for the plant -- everyone in this town also stands to get deeply sick due to it, too. And the film isn't afraid of facing the question at the heart of people put into these situations, which is "Is my life worth more than this?" A lot of people just simply don't think so, so beaten down has the system made them, and so they accept their own exploitations in exchange for a home for their families. We'll gladly step into the meat-grinder as long as what comes out can keep the people we love fed. Red Soil makes enthralling drama out of one family forced to measure their future, their worth, and how we should all number one top of the day just look out for one another whatever the consequences.


Red Soil is screening through March 10th on FLC's website
check out this year's "Rendezvous with French Cinema" line-up here.

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Paul: You wouldn't believe what I've been
through tonight. You just, wouldn't believe it.
Gail: Oh, I'm a ice cream vendor. Mr. Softee.
Paul: What? I... you misunderstood me.
I didn't ask what you did for a living. I said,
you wouldn't believe what I've been through tonight.
Gail: It's not boring. And I have my own
Mr. Softee truck. It's not... it's not boring.

The cast of women in After Hours is so ridiculously deep with talent that I always half forget that Catherine O'Hara is even in it, at least until she shows up in very nearly the last act and is her typically wonderful self. This role's actually not "typical" for her since she's not wearing wigs or doing voices, but you can't call her character a "normal person" by any stretch of the imagination; O'Hara injects so much easy weirdness into her line-readings you know within seconds that meeting her is yet another disaster-in-the-making for Griffin Dunne. (How is this movie STILL not on blu-ray???) Anyway this is just more proof we don't even need that O'Hara's a goddamned legend and the run of statues she's picked up over the past year or so for Schitt's Creek has been one of this period-of-time's few delights. Happy birthday, Queen Catherine !!!

Today's Fanboy Delusion

 Today I'd rather be...

... chilling with Noah Centineo and friend, again.

I posted a video of Noah doing the ice-bath thing with this totally trainer of his a few weeks back, so why not post this new one? There is literally no reason. Nothing is keeping us from exploiting Noah exactly as much as he exploits himself on social media! Huzzah! On that note even more than these ice baths I recommend the slow-motion video I posted of Noah's trainer giving him an excellent pounding even more recently -- their relationship is already a 2021 bright spot!

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

I really appreciate the fact that Sebastian Stan looks like he's got a bug in his eye when he tries to sexy wink. It's like one of those "Stars! They're just like Us!" features. Hey we all can't all be Jessica Rabbit. Anyway Seb shared this shot from the set of last year's legendary Men's Health photo-shoot on his Insta yesterday for some reason that I think wasn't entirely "here are your old friend, my nipples" but that's how I took it. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres in 15 days!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Good Afternoon, Gratuitous Niels Schneider

A couple of weeks ago I gave y'all a heads-up that the line-up for my beloved "Rendezvous with French Cinema" series here in NYC, which screens at Film at Lincoln Center every spring, had been announced -- from March 4th through 14th, virtually this year again, due to you-know-what. I did this by highlighting some of my fave beautiful French actors in the line-up, because I am me, and I do things my way. A few days after that I shared the trailer, along with word that tickets were on sale -- well the big show begins tomorrow! And so I'm back on my damn nonsense.

I've been lucky enough to see a few of the movies and I'll be tossing up thoughts on them over the next few days -- one of them was Emmanuel Mouret's film Love Affair(s), starring Niels here, and I recommend it if you at all like Very French Movies... and why else would you be reading any of this? It's all beautiful people in beautiful flats and country-homes talking about their intersecting love lives endlessly with artfully-messy bookshelves piled behind them -- living the dream, I tell ya. Anyway I meant to grab a single photo of Niels for this post but ended up being me and gathering like 40 instead, so y'all go buy some tickets (the series can be viewed anywhere in the US this year!) and I'll share all my Niels photos after the jump...

Major Majors

Huzzah, another excuse to post a Jonathan Majors picture, and I don't believe I have posted that one before (click it to embiggen) -- yesterday came news that JM's going to star in a Marine movie! Well a post-Marine movie anyway, about the lasting effects of PTSD, but I can't imagine there won't be flashbacks involving him in uniform, and that's what matters. The movie will be called 892 -- does anybody have an inkling what that number refers to, besides "the number of photos of Jonathan Majors I have posted before, probably"? -- and is coming from relative newcomer director Abi Damaris Corbin. It will film this summer. Hey guys if you need like a place to film for free you can film in my living-room, I got nothing else going on. I will also allow Jonathan to sleep in my bed. I am just that good a person.

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

 ... you can learn from:

Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

Zootie: It's a dog-eat-dog world, 
and there's not enough dog to go around.

I have no idea what the context of that quote was, besides it was spoken by a chimpanzee voiced by Glenne Headly. But isn't that enough? I say yes. Hell yes. Has anyone watched the Babe movies lately? I've really been feeling an fancy lately -- I haven't seen them since they came out way way way back when. It's actually  kind of surprising how long ago that was when you run the numbers? Christ I'm old. 

But not as old as the legendary director George Miller, who's turning 76 today, and we wish him a happy. But then George Miller is 76 and about to direct another action-epic with his Furiosa prequel starring Anya Taylor-Joy in the Charlize Theron role (plus Chris Hemsworth cuz why not), not to mention has a film starring Tilda Swinton & Idris Elba coming out later this year, and I'm about to eat a limp lunch salad and stare at my computer screen for another six hours, so who's the real oldie? Oh that would be me, most definitely me. 

Pics of the Day

Calvin Klein has gifted the world with its new campaign this morning (and here we still haven't gotten over the one that starred Trevante Rhodes), which includes among others Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi (seen above) and In the Heights actor Anthony Ramos (seen below) -- on a side-note did you see that shirtless snap Ramos tweeted earlier this week? I recommend you click that link. I think that Ramos is gonna be a real big star, you guys. Real big. Huge. Hit the jump for more photos of both...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?