Thursday, December 03, 2020

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball's new "gay uncle" movie Uncle Frank starring Paul Bettany came up here on the site yesterday because we used five frames from it for our "Five Frames From ?" game -- the movie is now on Amazon Prime; you can watch the trailer if you need the trailer right here -- which reminded me that I really needed to skip back now that it's out and give some love to Paul Bettany's multiple tighty-whities scenes in the movie. And so...

... here we are. If for nothing else bless Uncle Frank for Paul Bettany with a mustache sitting around in tighty-whities. As came up in the comments of that "Five Frames From ?" post yesterday though the movie's a real mixed mixed-bag -- Bettany & Sophia Lillis are terrific, but the script could've used some work, especially in its last act. Too many characters, and too much straining towards simple answers to complex problems. But when it manages to focus in on its central pair it's fairly lovely. Have you seen it? Have you thoughts? Well I have more gifs either way, right on after the jump...

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

The Night Xavier Woke Up

I have just now realized, within the melee of 2020, I never did get around to writing a review of Xavier Dolan's most recent film Mathias & Maxime, which is a real shame -- I remember thinking it was his best effort since Tom at the Farm (which remains my favorite film of his). Maybe before the end of the year (where ever that falls, given the structurelessness of the movie calendar right now) I'll be able to give it a re-watch, share some proper thoughts then. For now there's news on what Dolan is doing next -- he's going to make a five-episode drama for Quebecois TV called The Night Logan Woke Up, described as a "psychological thriller [that] will chart the story of three friends whose lives are shattered after one of them commits rape." 

As controversial as that sounds Dolan seems steeped enough in the here and now to me to handle that subject with smarts, I think -- as aggressively in-your-face as his films can be they've never really struck me as provocative simply for provocation's sake. He's certainly no Verhoeven, for better or for worse. I mean the central relationship between a closeted movie star and a starry-eyed little boy in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan maybe could have used more provocation if you ask me? That one felt of hard edges sanded down, which was too bad. Especially with Kit Harington pouncing on Chris Zylka for god's sake. Give me a hard edge, Xav!

Josh O'Connor Five Times

Been having a real flip-floppy mood today, when what to my watering eyes should appear but a brand new Josh O'Connor photo-shoot! And not just any old photo-shoot, but a photo-shoot that repeatedly focuses on Josh's world-class ear-flaps! This was shot for The Guardian so I am sure there's chatter about The Crown, which no, I still have not started watching, but... but! My boyfriend told me the other day he thinks this has been a stellar season -- dost thou agree? That's me speaking British, by the way, in case you couldn't understand. It means "Do you agree?" Hit the jump for the rest...

Waters Flows Freely

Knew about these a few days ago but now I can link to them properly, instead of tweeting out a low-res image -- John Waters' Top 10 list for 2020 has arrived! Every year the Prince of Puke himself gifts us with his favorite films via Art Forum magazine, and every year they turn out to be the most delightfully idiosyncratic picks, as you'd expect from the man who filmed Mink Stole giving Divine a rosary-job inside an actual church. Atypically this year I've seen all but two of his eleven choices (he has one tie) -- usually that percentage is even more askew, but maybe my abilities to properly scout out the weird stuff beforehand are getting better. Huzzah, I'm comin' for ya, John!

As for what I haven't seen I haven't watched Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 yet (John always loves a courtroom drama about political terrorists), and I hadn't even heard of Netflix's true-crime doc American Murder: The Family Next Door. Any of you seen it? I would link to all of my reviews of his other picks, most of which I've reviewed already, but I don't want to spoil the surprises if you haven't seen the list yet. You can find any reviews of mine then at this link as always, where they're listed in alphabetical order. And now I'd just like to thank John for giving me an opportunity to post a couple pictures of Charlie Hunnam & Nicholas Hoult in True History of the Kelly Gang, a gift I'll always grab at. See lots more back here!

Quote of the Day

“It was the last thing I had, because everything else I’ve given to the world. My career was public, I was photographed, and all that stuff. My personal life just became the last thing that I had. Also, what was strange was that when people did find out that I was gay, there was a lot of articles and stuff written saying that I was hiding it, and I wasn’t... I just wanted to get online and I wanted to pick up the phone and say, ‘Do you realise I left home at 16 because I was gay?’ I went into the world as a kid, because I had to. I am proud and happy, and I’ve lived a very big life that I’m super happy with. And I’ve never been ashamed. And now all of a sudden I was being treated in this way and it was a scary moment because I was, like, oh God, this is horrible. This is not true. None of this is true."

That would be noted actor Luke Evans, in the new issue of Attitude magazine, which has crowned him "Man of the Year" for 2020. And... listen. Since Luke Evans gave his interview in 2017 where he talked about gay stuff for the first time since the start of his career I've changed my tone towards him, which was often, admittedly, aggressive. I don't remember when I started calling him "Noted Homosexual Luke Evans" but it wasn't long after he (or his people) tried to push a faux-mance with a female publicist in 2011, long after he'd originally talked about being a homo when he was on the stage on the UK early in his career. 

He, or again possibly just his people, were definitely trying to cram him into the closet for awhile, around the time of the movie Immortals I guess, and it was the single most obnoxious case of it I'd ever seen, and it had to be Noted. We had the receipts! I have no desire to hassle him anymore, I am happy he's out and doing his thing, happy to have him. Even if he hadn't come out, if he'd stayed private the whole time, I'd have left him alone. I don't try to out people -- he had already outed himself! I just felt the need to remind the world of that. You can't just keep changing the well-documented recent past, Luke. We've just been through this with our President -- we shouldn't have to deal with it from our beefcake as well. God forbid.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Yesterday I found myself suddenly out of nowhere thinking about Toni Collete's upcoming movie called Horse Girl -- when they hell are they going to release Horse Girl? -- and then before you know it I suddenly had found myself googling these photos of Alain Delon riding a horse in nothing but jeans in Mexico in 1965. Not that I don't worship the sod that Toni Collette treads upon, but I think that we can all agree the second inclination of mine there was far more in character for me. Hit the jump for several more... 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020


News broke a bit ago that Armie Hammer is going to star in a ten-episode miniseries called The Offer that is about the making of The Godfather for the Paramount+ streaming service, and I suddenly found my brains a'whirring -- that sounded hella familiar. And sure enough, twas -- back in September I told you that Jake Gyllenhaal and Oscar Isaac are going to star together in a feature film about just that exact subject! 

These are not, however, the same property. Jake & Oscar's movie is being directed by Barry Levinson, and is going to be about the hell that happened between producer Robert Evans and director Francis Ford Coppola. Armie's series will have Armie playing a different producer on the film, named Al Ruddy -- Ruddy is the one who accepted the film's Best Picture statue on stage.

Armie's actually kind of good casting, at least via that photo? I can see it. I can see Armie in that suit. I mean I can see Armie out of that suit as well but that's nothing new. Anyway one wonders now if both of these projects will happen -- if there's not going to be too much overlap, materially speaking. I mean I love The Godfather too but I don't know that this isn't some overkill. Thoughts?

What's Black and White and Mank All Over

Okay, and onto the next piece of mine elsewheres -- I have gone and reviewed David Fincher's latest, the one called Mank (you have no idea how much I always every single damn time want to write an exclamation point at the end of this movie's title), over at Pajiba today. Mank -- which tells the tell of how Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz came up with Citizen Kane -- is open in some theaters right this very second... you know, where ever the hell theaters are actually open. But it hits  the safe secure streaming home-service known as Netflix on Friday. It has its pleasures! Namely this grand dame right here:

He Picked Me, Mommy

I've got a couple of big pieces that've gone up today that I must now share -- and I'm going to do it in separate posts because hey, more posts that way! First up! For The Film Experience I wrote about Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan here on its 10th anniversary... okay its 10th anniversary is actually on Thursday, but I wrote about it today. If you feel the need to wait until Thursday to read it when you've got your ceremonial swan costumes on for your already-scheduled Zoom celebrations I totally understand. Anyway I am specifically writing about Natalie Portman's terrific work in the movie, and I dropped the bait that she deserved her Oscar on purpose because I knew y'all would take it, haha. I mean I think she did deserve to win, I didn't make that part up. I just so rarely wander into Oscar conversations of my own free will and I know that's a take some people have issues with. Me I say viva Portman! She got her statue and then went and became an even riskier actress after it, making us all blessed.

Jared Harris Always

This website that you are currently here staring at might seem perfect to you at first glance, but it is severely lacking in one fundamental form of content, and that form is Jared Harris Content, so I'm gonna make up for that a little bit today. Jared Harris, who I first fell in love with when he played the Russian cab-driver slash solid fuck Vlad in Todd Solondz's 1998 masterpiece Happiness...

... is one of your host's very favorite working actors, a fact that came into especially sharp relief over the past couple of years as 1) I binged the entire run of Mad Men for the first time over quarantine, and 2) both The Terror and Chernobyl television programs happened. Mad Men of course lived up to its stellar reputation (I already touched upon that when I finished) but those latter two programs, for all their unrelenting darkness, have become two of my favorite programs of all time...

... and a lot of that is due to The Jared Harris Factor. Making Jared Harris your lead is just about the smartest possibility any show-runner has at their fingertips, and I recommend every one making a TV show try. He'll take what you've got that's good and he'll multiply it by infinity. Which brings me to the inciting impetus for this hosannas- and hail-storm...

... Chernobyl is hitting blu-ray (4K and not 4K) this very day! I know the series won a bunch of awards and there's a good chance you've already seen it, at least if you had interest in seeing it -- a "depressing" and dark show about a nuclear disaster probably warded off a lot of viewers due to its subject matter right from the get-go. But I am here to tell you you should not miss out on this damn show! Even I was a little hesitant at first -- it's been a dark few years in case you didn't notice, and diving into dark entertainment sometimes felt like a big ask. But Chernobyl was, I thought, was worth the leap. I'm planning on re-watching it when I have the chance! Have I got any fans in the house? Of Harris and of Chernobyl specifically?

Robert Pattinson Seven Times

I finally got around to watching Christopher Nolan's film Tenet this past Sunday -- I tweeted a Twitter thread during the experience right here but the short version is it's a terrible dumb and boring movie and yet another massive waste of money perpetuated by one of film's biggest frauds... so no, I did not like it. Anyway Robert Pattinson can be seen standing around in Tenet occasionally, and because there was literally nothing happening on screen worth paying a lot of attention to my boyfriend and I spent some time trying to remember what fashion house it is that Rob's affiliated with -- the answer is Dior, and hey look Dior just released a new shoot of Rob! Something to wash the stink of Tenet out of our collective hair! Be thankful and hit the jump for the photos...

On Pinheads & Needles

Congratulations this morning re in order to queer horror legend Clive Barker, who just won the rights to his Hellraiser franchise back according to THR -- this means no more cash-grab low-budget nonsense; Barker has say on whatever moves forward. And there are already a couple of things moving forward -- David Gordon Green is supposed to be directing the pilot of a proposed Hellraiser series for HBO, while David Bruckner, the director of The Signal and The Ritual, is working on a new big-screen reboot. Of course there's been talk of getting Pinhead up and running for years now -- at least this means Barker's involved. Although...

.... here's where I admit that I'd never been that big of a Hellraiser fan for most of my life. And I still wouldn't say I am, but I did re-watch the first two movies during quarantine and they tickled me in a way they hadn't previously, so I guess what I am saying is maybe my body is ready for the exquisite pain now.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, Riz

I don't know if you've seen this on Twitter but I've been in the throes of projecting a lot of heavy wishing onto the director-actor relationship between Sound of Metal director Darius Marder and Sound of Metal actor star Riz Ahmed (you can see the thread down below) -- anyway this morning I was greeted with this blessed set photo on Darius' Instagram, wishing Riz a happy birthday, so I'm gonna keep on tinfoil-hatting the boys, and also wish Riz a happy happy while I am at it. I am hoping to write some thoughts up on Sound of Metal later this week -- it hits Amazon on Friday! -- but know that Riz gives his best performance to date and one of the best of this here crazy year in it. We should certainly be expecting him to get his first acting nomination for it. Watch the trailer here.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Until the Robins Come

Rumors slithered out of my best dreams and into the real world this weekend that "World's Best Director" David Lynch is working on a new production for Netflix -- a listing for something called "Wisteria" showed up on Production Weekly's list of future projects; specifically this is meant to shoot in May in Los Angeles and will be produced by Lynch's recent, frequent producing partner Sabrina S. Sutherland (she's worked with him on everything since Inland Empire). And that is all we know about that, although there have been rumors that Lynch's been planning something for awhile. Of course this could be another one of Lynch's short films -- he's done several of them post-Twin Peaks revival, including my beloved What Did Jack Do? which got randomly dropped onto Netflix back in January (and yes January feels like ten thousand years ago, I concur). Watch this space!

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

 ... you can learn from:

Misery (1990)

Annie: Paul, do you know about the early days at the Kimberly diamond mines? Do you know what they did to the Native workers who stole diamonds? Don't worry, they didn't kill them. That would be like junking your Mercedes just because it had a broken spring. No, if they caught them, they had to make sure they could go on working, but they also had to make sure they could never run away. The operation was called hobbling.

There is your brain before the "hobbling" scene in Misery and there is your brain after the "hobbling" scene in Misery and your brain after will never forget what "hobbling" means, that's for certain, making this one of the most enduring entries of our "Life Lessons" series. Thirty years enduring as of exactly today! Misery was released on November 30th 1990, and immediately become one of the best Stephen King adaptations of them all, if you ask me. Top 5 for sure. And Kathy Bates gets all the (deserved) love, what with that Oscar and all, but can we give it up for James Caan's performance as well? Dude gave us an astonishing symphony of sweatiness in this thing.