Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

The Slate: Alice in Wonderland, Montgomery Clift and Bobby Fischer

March 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland reaps another $62 million to top Green Zone at the BO. People do not want to see movies about the Iraq War. Dancing Johnny Depp, however, is okay. (MTV)

Burt Lancaster: “He approached the script like a scientist.” Richard Burton: “You were never quite sure whether he would blow his lines or explode.” James Dean would call just to hear his voice. Brynn White on the enduring enigma of Montgomery Clift, an actor’s actor whose preference for second-tier auteurs may account for an after-life in the shadows. (Moving Image Source)

After flirting with that Heavy Metal project, David Fincher finally signs to make Pawn Sacrifice, about Bobby Fischer’s 1972 chess cold war against Boris Spassky. Will they keep in the anti-Semitism? Scripted by Steven Knight, creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and author of Eastern Promises. (Variety)

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Showbiz Kids: The Oscars, Charlton Heston and Steely Dan

February 3, 2010

Before we begin, there are two important things to remember about the Oscars. The first is the Charlton Heston Rule. That rule is that the Academy is made up of a lot of people like the late Charlton Heston—old fogeys with traditional tastes. Wonder why Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain or There Will Be Blood didn’t take best picture in 2008? It’s not a hard or fast rule, but think about what your grandmother might vote for. There are a lot of retired actors and techies out there who have a say in what wins.

The second rule has been inaugurated this year. It’s the Steely Dan Rule. What do the ‘70s jazz-funk duo have to do with the Academy Awards? You might remember in 2001, their disc Two Against Nature beat out stiff competition from Radiohead’s Kid A. The reason commonly given was that the producers, engineers and other tech-heads who made up the Recording Academy wanted to recognize the painstaking approach Fagen and Becker took in the studio. Two Against Nature didn’t win because it was filled with great tunes like “Do It Again.” It won because, to a group of voters who use their ears for a living, it sounded great.

It’s this latter rule which makes me think that James Cameron is going to have a good night. Avatar is pretty much a turkey as far as movies go and a staggering display of kitsch. There’s no denying, however, that legions of effects people have spent a lot of time making it look good. That effort will, Squally thinks, be honored by the Academy. Cameron also gets the credit for marshalling that effort. Say what you want about Avatar. Like Titanic it took a guy with a genuine Napoleon complex to put it on screen. The Hurt Locker may be the better movie, but it’s still a more modest achievement—especially in terms of box office. At least Kathryn Bigelow gets a chance to work again, which nobody was expecting after The Weight of Water Avatar’s victory, though, is somewhat bittersweet. That the movie should be honored with a best picture nod when wiser heads understood that its acting and script were somewhere around the level of that Tucker Max flick is a pop culture crime of the highest order.

So now onto the rest …

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Trailerama: Up in the Air

September 10, 2009

One year after our financial meltdown, George Clooney expects our sympathy as a corporate hatchet man. Hey, it’s tough living off those frequent flyer miles. The voiceover feels like more soothing version of Ben Affleck’s monologue in The Boiler Room while drawing our attention to one of Clooney’s strengths – he might be the only guy in Hollywood who reads the script before signing the contract. Juno helmer Jason Reitman wrote and directed this adaptation of Walter Kirn’s book.

Trailerama: Fantastic Mr. Fox

July 30, 2009

Respect to Wes Anderson. He hasn’t made the same movie again. He’s made a kids story that looks like it might have been directed by one of the Tenenbaums. The antiquated stop-motion animation is all texture; the art direction is intense; Clooney and co. deliver the gags with the regularity of Mussolini’s railways. What’s dubious is how well Anderson’s urbaneity will jibe with author Roald Dahl’s fox-eat-chicken universe.

David O. Russell Opens His Playbook

March 28, 2009

He’s been slugged by George Clooney and chewed out by Lily Tomlin, but David O. Russell is somehow still in business. New in the writer-director’s queue is Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook. He’s working on it for The Weinstein Company. TWC won’t comment. So is there trouble already?
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Tribeca Trailers: From Moon to Rudo y Cursi

March 19, 2009

In the latest batch of trailers from the Tribeca Film Festival, Sam Rockwell asks “Can you hear me Major Tom,” South Korea makes light of debt collecting, the Danes make light of steroids, an off-site goes off-kilter, there’s a Turkish spin on A Christmas Tale, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh produce a documentary on the child sex trade, and Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna still look pretty good together.

Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

Sam Rockwell goes stir crazy … on the moon.


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