Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Price is Always Right

It's October 1st tomorrow, everybody! It's the most glorious month of the year! Granted the Halloween celebrations will be different in 2020 -- we sure are using up a lot of Evil Energy in real life -- but I still plan on getting festive. For one thing I'll be covering the online genre film festival called the Nightstream Festival which I told you about the other day -- that starts on October 8th. For another our great pal Stacie Ponder of Final Girl fame begins her annual "Shocktober!" shenanigans tomorrow, stretching through the entire month, and you might wanna keep your eyes peeled for somebody familiar to you... ahem

And for a third thing... well this has nothing to do with Halloween, but it does have to do with tomorrow, because I'm taking tomorrow off to do another "Catch up with my NYFF viewing and reviewing duties" like I did a day last week. I would say you might see me pop up anyway at some point but I make too many empty promises -- if I do, consider it a surprise. Surprise! It's the October Mood of Choice! 

Speaking of I thought I had mentioned this when it was announced but a search tells me no, I didn't -- did y'all see that the astonishingly excellent Vincent Price Collection just got re-released onto blu-ray this last week? It had come out several years back and then went out of print, so they've upgraded it with most excellent copies of the six films included, and they are probably the best Vincent Price movies there are -- The Pit and the Pendulum! The Abominable Dr. Phibes! The Haunted Palace! The Fall of the House of Usher! TWO versions of Masque of the Red Death, including the just recently unleashed Extended Cut! And Witchfinder General to cap it all off! I plan on nestling up with these discs for half the month, I do. So should you! I mean with your own copy, in your own home -- I am not getting COVID for this.

Idris Make Me Roar

First things first, how have I still not yet watched Idris Elba's 2019 Netflix series Turn Up Charlie, which appears to involve a lot of him being on the beach in and out of various tank tops and brightly colored swimming trunks? Woe is my fucking life, man. Have you, you person reading this, watched it? I mean given the above gif I could give an ever flying fuck if the show's actually good or not, but I welcome your opinion in the comments. 

Moving on, second things second! Idris has just signed on to star in a movie appropriately titled Beast, but it won't just be like two hours of him in a boxing ring like it could be (see this glorious previous post of mine for proof) -- they have a story in mind. Boring! Okay maybe not it sounds fun -- they're calling it The Shallows but with a lion. The Shallows, if you're somehow unaware of that feat of profound cinema, was that movie where Blake Lively got trapped on a dinghy by a killer shark. For serious though The Shallows was way more fun than it had any right being. And Idris Elba versus a fucking lion? Sign me up!

All In For Yeun

I'm getting a real hard We the Animals vibe off of the just-dropped trailer for Minari, A24's forthcoming awards-bait contender starring Steven Yeun which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance at the start of 2020, and if y'all remember how hard I fell for We the Animals you'll get how good that looks for Minari. Looks like Yeun plays a Korean man who drags his family to Bumfucke, USA (otherwise known as "Arkansas") to farm and find one another circa the 1990s -- I'm not familiar with any of writer-director Lee Isaac Chung's other work but this looks really gorgeous. Watch:

A24 says this is "Coming Soon" but they haven't dropped an actual
release date on us just yet -- we'll let ya know when they do. 
We love Yeun so much! Thank god he escaped The Walking Dead.

Quote of the Day

Interview Magazine has today gifted us with a nice big chat between our favorite Italian peach-fucker Luca Guadagnino and his We Are Who We Are composer Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) -- on a side-note I really hope they release that WAWWA score because that shit is baller) -- and they talk about several things of import, including that show, including Luca's recent break-up with his long-time partner Ferdinando Cito Filomarino and their forthcoming film together Born To Be Murdered with John David Washington (read about that here)... and then of course (and best!) Luca tells us a bit about his to-be adaptation of Scotty Bowers infamous autobiography, which got announced a month or so ago and which he's making along with unlikely-collaborators Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg of Superbad fame, and tells us of it in the way only he could:

"I can say a couple of things. Somebody sent me some tweets in which they claimed that it’s impossible that straight lads are going to write a movie about a bisexual pimp. Somebody even claimed that I’m straight. Number one, it’s very exotic that there’s a police of identity that decides who can do what based on the assumption of their inclination in the bed. 

Number two, some of the most exciting and titillating and unabashedly honest, emotional bromances that, of course, include a beautiful undercurrent of homosexuality, come from Seth and Evan. I’m thinking of the great Superbad and its beautiful finale. When we talked about adapting the life of Scotty Bowers, the first people we thought of were Seth and Evan. 

And by the way, because I’m a voyeur and a sensualist, I’m glad to say that both Seth and Evan are very sexy, so I cannot wait to work with them. I have to find a way to come to America to be close to them instead of working by Zoom or Skype so that I can be close to their sexiness. The movie is going to be outrageous, and it’s going to be savvy like Scotty Bowers was, and it’s going to be led by the principle of pleasure, which is always a good thing to do. Because pleasure and joy are more interesting than the imposition of enjoyment through a lens that is suffocating."

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

A History of Violence (2005)

Mick: Yeah. She used to have these crazy goddamn 
dreams where instead of her boyfriend, I was some kind 
of demented killer. I woke up one night, 
she stuck a goddamn fork in my shoulder. 
Tom: You're kidding me. 
Mick: Nope. I'm spurting blood. She's sitting 
there crying, going, 'Baby, I love you, I love you.' 
Tom: So, what happened? You broke up with her, right? 
Mick: No, I married her. 
Mick: Hey, it lasted 6 years. Nobody's perfect, Tom. 
Tom: I guess not.

A happy 15 to David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, released on this day in 2005. I really have to go back and re-watch this, I haven't seen it since 2005 and I have a feeling I'll appreciate it more now than I did at the time -- at the time I was kind of annoyed that Cronenberg seemed to be stepping away from the horror genre, but now, in 2020, I think I'll just be happy to see any Cronenberg at all. Dude hasn't directed anything in six years! Please David, make another movie! Although...

... we will supposedly be seeing Cronenberg on-screen playing Viggo's proctologist in Viggo's directorial debut called Falling, which also, on top of all that, has Viggo playing gay. (The film played at TIFF and I think got pretty bad reviews.) Anyway what are y'all's thoughts on A History of Violence? I know it was beloved by many at the time and my tepid opinion was an outlier, so please, take to the comments to tell me I was wrong.

An Offer We Can't Refuse

Well this is a lot of news for me to process as I sit here eating my Chipotle hard-shell chicken tacos for lunch (I do love me the crunch of a hard shell) -- the actors Jake "Jake" Gyllenhaal and Oscar "Oscar" Isaacs are going to be acting opposite one another, and somewhere besides that fantasy I have involving tear-away togas and leather straps! Somewhere real! They are going to make a movie about the making of The Godfather no less! (thx Mac) 

I should flip that photo so it lines up with the top picture and nobody gets confused but I am lazy, I'll just use my words to set your straight -- Jake will be playing the famed producer Robert Evans (on the right of the above photo) while Oscar will be playing Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, the big bearded lug on the left. And if you had "Sexy Francis Ford Coppola" on your Future Movie Bingo Card then I guess you won because nobody else saw that one coming. Barry Levinson is set to direct the movie, which will be based on a Black List winning script called Francis and The Godfather. Now thoughts turn to...

... who they'll cast as the film's cast, of course -- somebody playing Diane Keaton? Somebody playing Pacino and Brando? Will the fates finally align and we finally get to see Tom Hardy doing Brando proper instead of just making every character he plays a Brando impersonation? If anybody wants to make their best guessing assertions in the comments I'll have it, but who knows how much of the actual "making of the movie" we'll see (even though that's the fun part) -- this might be a lot of behind-the-scenes yapping with a cameo or two from the "faces." 

Armie Hammer Thirty-Five Times

Armie Hammer's on the cover of the new British GQ (thx Mac) and the chat with him in the magazine is mostly dark shit -- typical, given our world, and what he's been dealing with this year. I don't blame him. The part about his COVID quarantine with his family making him feel like an animal with its leg trapped in a snare? Jinkies. Anyway I'm glad he went and got himself some therapy, which he details in the piece, and we only wish the best for our Hammer. (Even if he gingerly steps towards the political both-siderism BS he recently pulled on Twitter, which, Armie, NO.)

Anyway since none of that stuff's fun to quote I considered quoting what he says about his mustache, seen in a couple of the photos -- he calls it "part hairy biker, part 1970s pervert" -- but then I saw the interviewer asks him about the CMBYN sequel and well obviously we need to quote that:

GQ: Any news on Find Me, the follow-up to Call Me By Your Name? 

Armie: Not really. I’ve been talking to Luca [Guadagnino, the director], but we haven’t got into it. I haven’t even read the book. I know Luca hasn’t got a full script yet, although he knows what he wants to do with the story, so I don’t know how similar or dissimilar it will be to Find Me the novel. I know if we end up doing it, it’s more important for me to focus on Luca’s vision than to focus on Find Me. The book will be a supplemental thing. 

GQ:  And the world will keep getting excited about this movie with Timothée Chalamet… 

Armie:  I know! The world will keep getting excited, which is a double-edged sword because the more excited they get, the bigger chances are of them watching and going, “This sucks!” But pressure makes diamonds, so here’s to more pressure! 

Armie any time you need a hug, you come find me, I got a hug, I got two even, for you. (As a related aside -- did y'all see that Timmy & Armie both have mini cameos in Luca's HBO series We Are Who We Are? It's true!) Now let us hit the jump for the rest of this shoot...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

The 2020 version of The Boys in the Band is out on Netflix today -- I reviewed it with scant enthusiasm yesterday, but I'm sure mileages will vary and some of you might like it -- it's gotten plenty of good reviews! Anyway I'm not here to talk quality -- I'm here to talk about Matthew Bomer getting naked in it. (Admittedly its own kind of quality!) When I watched the movie over the weekend I tweeted:

... because you quite plainly see some of Matthew Bomer's dick as he gets out of the shower. Anyway it's a quick flash and the moment's dark and distant (although zooming in and lightening it thanks to the wonders of technology gives the moment some more oomph, as you'll see below) but I was excited! That was sure more than I ever thought I'd see of Matt Bomer! But then that tweet traveled around and some expectations got... bigger than they maybe should have? I don't know, it's not my job to police y'all's imaginations, and I have review embargoes that limit what I can say. 

Of course this morning, after the movie's been online for 12 hours, I'm seeing some people furious that we didn't get more explicit nudity, and... best of luck with that, I guess? That seems an exhausting way to be, for me. I'm not picky or a nitpicker when it comes to this stuff, measuring light-scales and on-screen inches; you've got people saying we're just seeing a cock-sock? I don't know -- I am just always happy for whatever nudity we get. I am excitable! Don't kill that within me, please.

I always to a T regret when I get involved in these conversations -- it's like James Ivory screeching about Call Me By Your Name's dicklessness -- with a movie that sexy who the fuck is even keeping track of that? I'm sorry you need full penetration to get off but Matt Bomer doesn't owe anybody anything; I'm going to enjoy all we get and then live my life. I think we all learned a valuable lesson: just don't listen to me. Or how about I put it this way: just be grateful we're talking about the shaft of Matt Bomer's Penis this morning and not last night's godforsaken nightmare of a debate. I got plenty to say about that! On that note hit the jump for several more gifs...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Not The Hunger But The Thirst

A couple of weeks ago when I wrote about Mia Wasikowska's performance in Stoker for my "Great Moments in Horror Actressing" series at The Film Experience I mentioned that I was feeling myself on a Park Chan-wook kick -- well this week the kick keeps kickin' as I write up my thoughts on Kim Ok-bin's outstanding work in Park's 2009 vampire film Thirst over there -- click on over, read it! And then you should probably maybe plan on re-watching PCW's film The Handmaiden soon too because that's an itch I feel myself real on top of scratching...

Today's Fanboy Delusion

 Today I'd rather be...

... calling Josh O'Connor my little tomato.

(pic via) Do you guys think that tomato is being thrown at Josh and he is catching it, or is he the one throwing it away? I wish I had a lab-coat and a clipboard so I could analyze the science of this mystery. Also answer me this riddle -- how long did it take you staring at that picture for you to see the gigantic baby-pin holding Josh's jacket together? It took me a couple of minutes! In summation:

And It Played On, And On, And On

Falling somewhere on the vanilla center of the spectrum opinion-wise on a gay property doesn't really make for a great headline -- we're a fickle and fiery people, prone to large pronouncements, and lately it feels like we've got to hail something as everything or nothing, no in betweensies. I've noticed some anger and tension bubbling up in my reviews as of late -- see the generational nastiness that my Welles / Hopper review dipped into just yesterday -- and I guess that can be excused amid these fiery brimstone days, but mostly I'm just tired. Tired of so many conversations, but especially the ones that surround queer entertainment, where all life and joy and randomness and mystery and gestures towards uneasy ideas are stampeded over and flattened down to digestible meme content, Buzzfeed quizzes, tweets. 

You can of course grab me by the shoulders here and spin me around into the face of my own accusations, I'm as guilty as any. It just feels so extraordinary and life-affirming for me today, right now as I type this anyway, to stand here before you and decide to not choose a side, a Team Anybody, on the Boys in the Band culture wars. It's not worth it? The play's only really truly remembered because it got there first, a landmark status that superseded the need for terribly interesting characters or big ideas of any sort -- there are some fun quotable lines but we're not talking high art or even (I wish!) tremendous camp. The shiny new Ryan-Murphy-produced and Joe-Mantello-directed version hitting Netflix today is more of the same -- nobody's squeezing the life from or shooting to the moon anything that was previously resembling a stone-cold classic. 

These new actors all stand there and do their best to make these people seem like people and not the cardboard cut-outs they are on the page, and some of their best is really not good, some is perfectly fine, some is just fucking bizarre. I certainly laughed at Zachary Quinto's beamed-in-from-Uranus schtick more than once, and slammed up against Matt Bomer's pretty person wanness and Jim Parson's shrill lip-purses I can certainly say a lot was happening at once to pass the time. I don't begrudge representational history its depiction of closet-trauma -- I know from a meanness seeping down bone-deep, our viciousness an armor we spend an hour adjusting in the mirror before we leave home each day. 

I just find and have always found Band's presentation of it so... presentable. Such a flat here's this thing, and here are a dozen people standing in a room telling us about it. I can't really get worked up either way. It's a piece of our past and like a faggy Renaissance Faire we'll trot it out and remind everybody, mostly ourselves, of it once in awhile. Putting the fairy in the Faire, the belle in the Antebellum Reenactment, it is what it is and I'm just opting out of caring much either way today, if that's alright. Sure I saw pieces of myself on-screen, but I have seen pieces of myself in puddles on the sidewalk with more Art to them -- maybe you'll have better luck, care more, and for that I wish you the best. I'm sure there will be something for me to stomp my foot or jerk my dick about tomorrow -- there always is.

Edgar Ramirez Seven Times

Ahhhhh I had missed Edgar Ramirez's hair! Is that weird? It's not like I sneaked up behind him that time I saw him do a Q&A at NYFF and cut off a piece of it that I now wear in a locket around my neck at all times or anything. And it might seem like, with that suggestion right on my lips, that I am giving away the game, telling on a secret thing I actually did, but I am not. Really. No lockets here! And no you may not search my person. No, especially not there. Ahem. Anyway as I was trying to say before your weird hair-stealing fantasies ran away with us that Edgar's got real lovely hair...

... and since I haven't seen him in anything since that NYFF screening (which was of Olivier Assayas' film Wasp Network, now on Netflix) a year ago I haven't had the chance to sniff it excuse me look at it, look at it with my eyes. What a loss for us all! Thankfully GQ Mexico took these photographs for their latest issue, which is the next best thing to having sewn a pillow out of stolen hair that you sleep with every night. Hit the jump for the photos...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from: 

Scott: How tall are you?
Hotel Manager: I'm 6'4".
Stefan: I thought so. I feel
like Alan Ladd at Easter Island.
Scott: Where are you from, like
Nor... Norland? Norway?
Hotel Manager: Uh, I'm Irish-German.
Stefan: Like Robert Duvall in The Godfather. 
Scott: Bratwurst and shillelaghs. Paging Dr. Freud.

Happy 20 to Christopher Guest's greatest accomplishment, says me (and I'd know!) -- okay technically there are a couple of dates we could call its 20th anniversary, as Best in Show had its premiere on September 19th 2000, a limited release on September 29th 2000, and then went into wide release on October 20th, but I think it's possible I saw the film during its limited release here in NYC (only a couple of weeks after I'd moved here!) so I'm just gonna go with that one. If y'all want to gauge it by another date start your own blogs!

Anyway a couple of months ago I was desperate for laughs (hello, 2020) and tweeted out asking people for their favorite comedies -- I posted about this at the time, I am being redundant. (If you missed it though I recommend click on that tweet above, there are lots of fun recommendations.) But my point is the movie I ended up watching the second it was recommended was Best in Show, because it's probably my favorite straight comedy out there -- nothing makes me forget the world and just laugh myself senseless harder than the antics of these fussy dog lovers. 

What struck me re-watching BIS for the 100th time this last time was a thing that strikes me every time I re-watch it -- that I always come out of it with a new favorite performance. And yes twas John Michael Higgins who really bit into my funny bone this last go-round. I used to have a bit of a side-eye towards this performance because him and Michael McKean are after all straight men giving really stereotypical camp gay performances... but I guess in my old age I've gotten to a place where I can just appreciate them for being funny. They are both really fucking funny. With the world the way it is sometimes you just gotta cling to funny like a life-raft. 

Anyway on another day I'd name Parker Posey, or Jennifer Coolidge, or Catherine O'Hara, as my favorite performances in the film -- just the other day on a Zoom call with some of my best friends we got to quoting Christopher Guest's speech about different kinds of nuts and laughing hysterically. It's a rich film full of perfect shit! What parts do you love? Tell me in the comments!

Good Morning, World

(click to embiggen) Some days, some nights, some mid-afternoon teas, you just need a John-John fix (does anybody else hear "John-John" in the voice of Elaine Benes?), and last evening for me was one of them. I tweeted out four shots of the original prince of the tides John F. Kennedy Jr. in short-shorts (you can see that below) but I set aside this shot of him wandering the rocks of some no-doubt upscale schooning and fishing village in nothing but some tighty-whities for us this morning, as a treat. There are other shots from this moment that has thankfully been suspended in forever time thanks to modern technology, and you can find them if you lose yourself in our miniature but substantial enough JFK Jr. Archives at this link. I want back to this timeline.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

The Ring (2002)

Dr. Grasnik: See, when you live on an island 
you catch a cold, it's everybody's cold. 
Rachel: No offense, ma'am, but 
what the hell does that mean?
Dr. Grasnik: It means ever since that
girl's been gone, things have been better.

A happy birthday to Naomi Watts today!
I really didn't like the Ring remake (I'm Team Ringu)
but this line from it seemed... appropriate in 2020.


I'm a little worried that my NYFF review over at The Film Experience of the new doc Hopper / Welles -- which presents us with footage that director Orson Welles shot of actor turned director Dennis Hopper in 1970 while the former was working on his forever-delayed film The Other Side of the Wind -- might ruffle some feathers, since it turns into a bit of an anti-Boomer screed by its end. And that's not a knock on the doc, which I found fascinating, but maybe not for the front-loaded reasons -- something about the phoniness of Hopper's sketchy positioning of himself just rose to the level of "This is what happened to us to make the world burn" for me as I sat watching the doc while the West Coast was actually, literally on fire. I got real angry! I will submit to a hashtag "Not All Boomers!" here, but y'all do have a bit of a reckoning with your legacies, generationally speaking, coming, and I hope the good among you get that. Just check the polls and go talk to your damn people -- I've been screaming at all the ones I know for years now. I have alienated everyone my mother knows dammit!

Tom Mercier Ten Times

Hot damn this is exactly what this dragging Monday needed -- Synonyms and We Are Who We Are actor (sidenote: how are you guys liking the show?) Tom Mercier was photographed and interviewed for VMan magazine -- you can see the chat here but I've snatched the whole military-themed shoot... an appropriate theme given his soldier role in WAWWA, although even these are more costume than he's had to wear on that show at times. But still, hot stuff, hot hot stuff, let's hit the jump for the rest...   

Putting the Man in Mangrove

That is a photo of the actor Malachi Kirby, who has a good sized-role in director Steve McQueen's new film Mangrove, otherwise known as "the first fifth of his Small Axe miniseries" which is premiering on Amazon & BBC in November. That is not a photo of Malachi Kirby in Mangrove; this is a photo of Malachi Kirby in Mangrove...

... but you can see why I led with the shirtless photo. That said for the second time in a very brief morning I am admitting I don't know where a shirtless picture's coming from -- if you know what that top shot of Mr. Kirby is from feel free to share in the comments. My main point with this post is to direct you to my review of Mangrove at The Film Experience, which went up on Friday when it screened as part of the New York Film Fest. Well that and to tell everybody we should definitely know who Malachi Kirby is, too.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?