Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Part 1

I was asked last week if I had heard about the movie based on Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. I had not. Which of course, made me very curious. I may not care to see a movie, but I most certainly have heard of it, know who is in it and the basic premise. I immediately looked up info about the book and film. No big stars or major studios are involved with the movie. I have not read the book, but I am a big fan of the genre (see my post about The Adjustment Bureau and my random association about futuristic-dystopian fiction. I still can not help but think that I should have worked more on that one before posting).

The movie begins on September 6th, 2016. The not so distant future, is a not all that unfamiliar one. References are made to the 2009 stock market crash. However, the Dow is now below 4000 and gas is $37.50 per gallon. What successful business men remain, are disappearing and everyone is asking, Who is John Galt?
There were moments that were a bit too melodramatic. I'll give it a pass because, even though I have not read the novel, I did take away a sense that the filmmakers made every effort to be true to the source material. The movie also feels like a play at times, taken by me as another sign that the flick is true to the book. More than anything, I just want to know what happens and how it ends. The movie is Part 1 of three. I do hope that the two remaining parts will be filmed, completed and released.

The movie was completed for about $15 million, relatively low for a movie. Today the director John Aglialoro announced that despite grossing $3.1 million so far, the critical bashing it has received, has given him second thoughts about continuing on with Parts 2 and 3. Of course, there is always the book. 

2012 Oscar date announced SUNDAY 2/26/12

The nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24th. Final ballots will be mailed to the Academy members on Wednesday, February 1st.

The ballots will be due February 21st (the Tuesday before the Sunday, February 26th ceremony).
The nominees luncheon is scheduled for Monday, February 6th.

Ohhh, so exciting!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Kind of A Funny Story

Who has two thumbs and likes It's Kind of A Funny Story way more than Due Date? This girl!

Shout out for Dana for telling me and Marla that IKOAFS was a good flick. Zach Galifianakis really stretches his thespian skills in it. The main character is portrayed by Teir Gilchrist; if you have ever seen United States of Tara, he is the son of Tara (and Aiden Shaw...I mean Max). It is a small, independent, dark comedy. The subject matter is not light but once the premise is set-up, many laughs ensue.

There was a musical number that was a BIG hit with the movie night crowd.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oscars 2012, Already?!

Yes, the Cannes Film Festival is May 11th to 22nd (11-22 May as the Europeans would note) and my Oscar guru Dave Karger already has his early picks for who will be getting Oscar love in 2012.

Looks like Sean Penn will be in attendance, he is in two of these early attention garnering movies. The only one that I was aware of before reading the article was Tree of Life, Terrence Malick's much delayed film starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn as his grown son. Other films noted: This Must Be the Place (also starring Penn), The Skin I Live In (director Pedro Almodóvar first flick with Antonio Banderas in 20 years), We Need to Talk About Kevin (with Tilda Swinton), and Martha Marcy May Marlene with Best Supporting Actor nominee for Winter's Bone, John Hawkes as a cult leader.  Check out a bit more in Dave's article.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Night 4/15/11

This Friday was Margarita Movie Night or Part Two of celebrating Marla's birthday. Last week Marla and I drank wine and talked so much that we never got to the movie. We rocked fresh lime and fresh strawberry margaritas this week. We eventually did get to Due Date, but Marla feel asleep early on. I don't think she missed much. I was not pulled in by the preview. A little Zach Galifianakis in Hangover mode, goes a long way. As a main character, it is just too much. In an ironic twist, it sounds like we will be watching It's Kind of A Funny Story this Friday. Galifianakis is also in that, but not as a lead. Looks like a much more promising, indie flick.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Green Threat to Color in Movies

I am happy and proud to say I purchase energy efficient light bulbs. Did you know that incandescent bulbs (the kind with filament made from tungsten, the little metal part that breaks free when the bulb is dead) are soon going to be all but gone from the world and more importantly from movie sets? Many countries globally have already begun phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs completely. While not completely phasing out incandescent light bulbs completely, between 2012 and 2014, the US will implement minimum efficiency standards, greatly reducing the use of less efficient bulbs in America. Before I read an article in Variety today, I would have hands down, 100% said that is fantastic! For once the world is in agreement and putting policies in place that will help the environment globally. If there are only energy efficient options, think how efficient the world could be. Then I learned of the effect on movies. Hold the phone!!

Without incandescent light, colors do not correctly show up on film. The movie industry, cinematographers and directors of photography (DPs) and the Academy are doing their best to find solutions using LED that will allow for the desired colors and shades to be visible on film. Our eyes adapt without a point of reference to color without tungsten so the mistakes are not visible to our naked eyes. Film does not lie. A seemingly white image, can be blue on film. The conclusion I came to after reading the article is that movies will be just fine with energy efficient lighting. Still, got me taking pause.

I really do not perceive Thomas Edison the way I did growing up. Guess Nikolai Tesla got the last laugh. I did not even know who Tesla was until I saw Christopher Nolan's 2006 movie, the Prestige. David Bowie was Tesla. Who ever played Thomas Edison? Glad you asked: Spencer Tracy. Not too shabby, but Bowie is way cooler. John C Reilly and Grispin Glover portray Tesla and Edison in a Funny or Die Drunk History video. I seriously recommend hitting stop at the 4:11 mark. The drunk guy pukes and it is gross, all the funny parts are precede 4:11. Prior to that point, there are some laugh out loud moments in the reenactments. The only point of interest after that it is that apparently Tesla died in a hotel room at the age of 82. And he really liked pigeons.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I really enjoyed Arthur. I commented on my first time seeing the trailer in a previous post and gave the details of how I have been a fan of Russell Brand's longer than any other stateside folks at that time. The movie definitely delivered. It was what the trailer promoted but was not only the lines/jokes from the preview. Jennifer Garner played very against her girl-next-door or even spy-badass types. Her character is not likable and there are jokes at her expense. She of course looks hot the whole time. Dame Helen Mirren continued her recent excellence in comedy (see last night's hosting gig on SNL and the impression given by previews for the movie Red). The relationship between Brand and Mirren's characters has depth, is well-written and their exchanges are often hilarious. The run-time of the movie feels good, satisfying in length but not too long. Good laughs, not a ton of laugh out loud moments, but enough. Specifically, enough from the not as-seen-in the trailer moments. I was surprised by the moments that had me welling up. I feel like I have been saying funny and heartfelt frequently as of late in my posts. If the shoe fits.
I recently watched the original Arthur, which like myself is 30 years old this year. I am a big fan of the more modern updates the new film has. Without getting too heavy for a comedy, it is much more socially responsible. If not in the script originally, I can't help but think Brand may have insisted upon seriously addressing his character's alcoholism. Brand often honesty, comedic, and self-deprecatingly discusses his life before and to sobriety. The movie also pays tribute to the original. Even with the updates and additional backstory and depth of the main character, the film follows the plot points of the 1981 movie almost exactly. I was waiting to see if I would hear Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do). I like the song more for the episode in Friends in which it is referenced than the movie but the new cover was good and well placed as the second song over the end credits. In paying close attention to see the band that redid the song (Fitz and the Tantrums), I also noticed curiously that Dermot Mulroney is credited as a performer on the track Hello I Must Be. Random and very interesting.

Also, I very much loved seeing the trailer for Larry Crowe (out July 1) with Tom Hanks and Julie Roberts on the big screen. It was my first time seeing the previews for Something Borrowed (May 6) and the full Super 8 (June 10) trailer. Those are the three I liked the looks of from the five or so that played. I also snuck in a six inch veggie delight from Subway. I did buy my small diet coke from the theater, so when they have more than almonds, pretzels and raisins exceeding 600 calories, we can talk about me eating their food when not seeking a treat.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Paul Rudd's b-day

I came across this article on Entertainment Weekly's website and I got a kick out of it. Paul Rudd is a priceless comedy jewel, ever since Clueless. I can identify several of their top ten quotes to commemorate his birthday today. How many, if not all, of the quotes can you place? Clueless, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, I Love You Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Anchorman anyone? I should figure out a way to do an answer key upside down. Mission, accepted and accomplished.
To celebrate Rudd’s eternal youth, here are the Rudd-ite’s 10 favorite quotes from EW:
10. “Slappa da bass mon!”

9. “I would rather listen to Fran Drescher for eight hours than have to listen to Michael McDonald. Nothing against him, but if I hear ‘Yah Mo B There’ one more time, I’m going to ‘Yah Mo’ burn this place to the ground.”

8. “Take it easy, Champ. Why don’t you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while.”

7. “You taste like a burger. I don’t like you anymore.”

6. “No, I like to rock n’ roll all night and ‘part’ of every day. I usually have errands… I can only rock from like 1 to 3.”

5. “If you get bitten by a shark, you’re not just gonna give up surfing, are you?”

4. “Gretchen… Hey, I was in the neighborhood. I thought I’d come by and take a s—.”

3. “You get mad if anyone thinks you live below Sunset.”

2. “Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.”

1. “It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries. Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.”

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Movie Night 4/1/11

We watched Morning Glory this Friday night at Marla's. I was eager to watch it again. I was able to see it in theaters with passes Emily acquired back in November, my original post. It was just as fun the second time around. The movie was very well cast, is heartfelt and funny. I really like Rachel McAdams' character. Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum and the rest of the supporting cast is excellent.