Posts Tagged ‘Ben Stiller’

Must See Movies: March

March 1, 2010

Spring is busting out all over, even if Squally is currently looking out at several inches of snow at this writing. While the past few months have offered slim pickings for cineastes on a budget, March comes in with returning masters and new discoveries. So many, in fact, that we’ve extended our usual handful to a mighty six. Among the delights in store: Zoe Kazan, fascist mistresses, Lolitas in platforms, and Ben Stiller turning his neuroses up to 11. Sorry funseekers, no Hot Tub Time Machine. Click on the titles for trailers and more.

The Exploding Girl
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Ivy (Zoe Kazan) juggles a distant boyfriend and a close pal while taking a break from college.
Fun fact: Writer-director Bradley Rust Gray is married to Treeless Mountain helmer So Yong Kim!
Why it could be great: Zoe Kazan’s had us since her delicate turn in Me and Orson Welles. And who doesn’t like a summer-set mood piece released in the middle of March?
Why it could suck: Oh.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Matt Damon reunites with director Paul Greengrass to fight the war in Iraq. Based on the acclaimed book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
Fun fact: Greengrass collaborated with onetime M15 agent Peter Wright on Spycatcher, a 1987 bestseller which lifted the lid on Britain’s Secret Service.
Why it could be great: Damon and Greengrass’s Bourne films made palm’s sweat glands work overtime.
Why it could suck: Iraq? Again?

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

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Trailerama: Greenberg

December 1, 2009

Slacker malcontent played by Ben Stiller in code: yellow dimwit mode romances Greta Gerwig. It’s Noah Baumbah, so the real question will be if the characters are utterly unlikeable as in Margot at the Wedding or somewhat bearable as in The Squid and the Whale.

The Slate: Megan Fox, Sex and the City 2, Endless Possibilities

April 3, 2009

megan-fox

  • Oh, that Mickey Rourke. He got a faceful of Marisa Tomei‘s ta-tas in The Wrestler. Now Megan Fox might have a toot on his trumpet. Hey, get your mind of the gutter. Mitch Glazer’s Passion Plays will have Rourke’s horn-blower taking a carnival beauty named “Angel” under his wing and protecting her from a gangster type. Angels? Trumpets? Wings? Geddit? While the thriller itself sounds skippable, bloggers everywhere thank Mr. Glazer for giving them an op to post near-naked Fox pictures. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • We’re not done with Mr. Big. Sex and the City 2 will come again in theaters on May 28, 2010, giving heterosexual men only a year and a month to steel themselves for another two-and-a-half-hours of drag queens who lunch. Warner Bros. and New Line haven’t given any more details, but as they come in, we’ll have more opportunities to indulge in inappropriate homophobia. Note to the fanboys: Sex and the City: The Movie made $412.6 million worldwide, easily out-grossing a certain comic book movie we’re all tired of hearing about. (Variety)
  • “Stringer” Bell is pumping up his resume. Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana are joining Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Losers. They’ll all play members of a special forces team who are left for dead, then try to erase their names from a CIA dead pool. Wait, doesn’t it usually happen the other way around? Elba will be doing cold and ruthless, Zoe will be doing wounded and tough, and Morgan is this Z-team’s Hannibal. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • If anybody wants Aaron Eckhart to play Two-Face again, they’d better have a word. The actor is filling up his future by falling into Rabbit Hole, which also stars Nicole Kidman. The play finds a family rocked by the sudden death of their four-year-old, and the audience thinking, “Hurry up and get on with your lives.” Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘s John Cameron Mitchell directs, so with luck there will be a song or two. (Production Weekly)
  • Meet the Parents director Jay Roach is currently helping Sacha Baron Cohen out with Bruno. So Paul Weitz is looking to jump into the helmer’s chair for Little Fockers, the third part of the comic trilogy. He’s the lesser known half of the American Pie team. Ben Stiller is expected to learn that Robert De Niro is his real father and Teri Polo will meet Ewoks. Actually, what we’ll really see is the sorry spectacle of Jake LaMotta doing changing diaper gags. (Variety)

Thespobits: Natasha Richardson and Ron Silver

March 19, 2009

natasha-richardsonNatasha Richardson has been entered into posterity’s log-book as Vanessa Redgrave‘s daughter and Liam Neeson‘s wife. But before becoming domesticated, she carved out an intriguing career for herself that has more than its fair share of things for cultists to get excited about. She essayed Mary Shelley in Ken Russell‘s Gothic, the title roles in Paul Schrader‘s Patty Hearst and Volker Schlondorff‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, and again for Schrader in his head-scratching adaptation of Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers. Richardson brought to the parts a beauty and an enigma that was all her own. Hollywood wasn’ for her, but motherhood apparently was. She leaves behind a grieving husband and two sons. Richardson was 45.

ron-silverWe don’t remember if he turned out to be the killer or not, but Ron Silver‘s performance in Kathryn Bigelow‘s Blue Steel is both sexual and filled with coiled menace. Reading his obituaries, it came as a surprise that he first got his start playing a neighbor in Rhoda. Silver was a smart guy–he got a Masters in Chinese History, and he applied that intelligence to the roles he played, whether it was Alan Dershowitz in Barbet Schroeder‘s Reversal of Fortuneor back-room boy Bruno Gianelli in The West Wing. He also had a considerable passion for whatever cause he supported. Silver is remembered on The Huffington Post by Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin, among others. He was 62.