Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Fincher Birthday Top Ten!

So, today David Fincher turns 52.  We talk a lot about Fincher on this blog.  We love him.  Of all the modern filmmakers today, he’s probably my favorite.  He has crafted such a signature style, but he’s one of the most effective directors when it comes to allowing his material room to breathe.  His style never overtakes the film, but he uses it as a compliment, as a way to embellish.  I’ll be the first to admit that he’s had some rocky moments.  The Game is an utter mess, and Alien3, while not the disaster so many think it was (or have been told to think it was) just didn’t hit all of the right marks, and Panic Room feels like an admirable attempt at blending his two most prolific films (Fight Club and Se7en) but a sadly uneven attempt at that.  Still, amidst these missteps, Fincher has maintained his reputation as one of cinemas greatest talents thanks to his ability to excite all of our senses within a single frame.

David Fincher is always the brightest star of all of his films.

So, this brings me to my top ten for today.  I wanted to celebrate his career with a birthday top ten, but I didn’t want to just rank his films.  I’ve kind of done that before.  I considered ranking my ten favorite performances in Fincher films, and yet some of those are so obvious (some not) and so that got me thinking…Fincher is just SOOOOO good with his actors, even actors we would never think could pull off the roles they’ve been assigned.  He just knows how to make an actor look good.  Maybe it’s the hundreds of takes he takes that gives him the one good take he needs, but I chose to feel that there is something that emotes from his vast talent that just overtakes the actors and pushes them far above what they’ve been capable of before.

So, I want to talk about ten often overlooked performances in Fincher films.  This is an unranked list, because rating them isn’t really the point.  I just want to raise awareness.  Watch these films again.  Take your eyes of Brad Pitt and look at the actors who are sharing the screen with him!  Don’t focus on the Oscar nominee or the actor who nearly got that Oscar nomination (sorry Garfield, you would DEFINITELY be on my Top Ten performances in a Fincher film, but you are not here) but look deeper, to the performances that didn’t get the critical attention or don’t have the rabid fan base. 

And, here we go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gurl, be gone...

HOW DARE YOU!?!?!?!?!?!
I was originally going to lump this post with the news that Mike Epps is attempting to snag an Oscar nom by playing Richard Pryor, but then I realized that Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry are not the same person and so I decided not to even try and find a link, even though the link is obvious, and she's probably incredibly pissed about this post.

Does that make me racist, or does it just further prove the sad state of the quality of their work?

Anyways, I had to talk about this recent interview with Tyler Perry where he talks about singing show-tunes with Ben Affleck and being absolutely oblivious to the career of David Fincher.  This has got to be some of the most ridiculous admissions and stories told by any celebrity in an interview since Joaquin Phoenix looked like a homeless man.  From belting out Bette Midler (gurl, you're too hefty to keep that closet door closed) to saving a terrified crew member from the wrath of David Fincher (let that ego marinade a bit, my friend), Perry comes off like a GIANT douche.

But, it gets worse.  And I quote:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why do I get myself in these kinds of situations?

Apparently, teen novel adaptations are all the rage right now.  This year alone we have the first part of the conclusion to the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy (or is it a quadruplet or some other made up word like that?) as well as films like ‘The Giver’ and ‘The Maze Runner’ and earlier this year everyone went crazy (or at least a bunch of teenage girls did) when Jennifer Lawrence 2.0 (a.k.a. Shailene Woodley) starred in the big screen adaptation of ‘Divergent’.  I initially had no desire to see this, considering that I kind of loathe Woodley as an actress, but I used to hate Jennifer Lawrence too, and ‘The Hunger Games’ was partly to blame for my shift in opinion of her. 

Beside, this also stars Kate Winslet, and I’ve been in love with her since forever so I’ll stoop to watching just about anything in order to see her school everyone around her.

It’s a shame that ‘Divergent’ is a ridiculous, lazy, halfhearted, underdeveloped and over stylized absolute mess of a film, because it had the makings of something that could have been halfway decent and yet, well, this was outright awful.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blind Spot Series 2014: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

It's that time of the month again!  Another Blind Spot entry in the bag, another notch on my cinematic belt, another smile on this movie watcher's face!  I've said it once, I've said it seven times, and I'll say it again; these films have been so good to me this year!  This month I've tackled a real goodie, one that is beloved by many and marks my second Bogart (and my favorite of the two) that I'm seeing this year (for this series).

If you want to take a gander, here are the previous entries in this series:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Fistful of Thoughts...about some old news, dumb celebrities and truisms spoken too soon!

Bare with me.  I know that most of this is old news, but I've been so busy that all of these 'thoughts' I wanted to gossip about got shelved, but I still want to gossip about them!  So, whatever.  Let's rehash some stuff that everyone has already beat to death, but this know...let's do it here, on my blog!

First, can we just all agree that Jason Biggs needs to go away.  He is seriously the most annoying so-called celebrity working today.  I feel like boycotting Orange is the New Black for the sheer fact that it reignited his career and gave him this newfound sense of celebrity that he feels the need to rub in everyone's faces.  We don't care about you, your wife, your baby or your existence.  The fact that you try and sabotage every single talk show out there is repulsive enough as it is, but you are basically the second coming of Mark McGrath, and we all know that he is simply the WORST celebrity talk show guest ever.  Stop trying to make yourself interesting by supposedly hiring prostitutes for your birthday or whatever.  It just makes you desperate and gross.  

I want to punch him in the face.

So, when he got all that heat about his insensitive Malaysian Airline remarks on Twitter, I was actually relieved.  Revolt against this a-hole.  Make him go away.  Dig his grave.  His ridiculous response and subsequent apology was even more incredible.  Please, PLEASE, lash him for this. 

Thankfully, since this crap, I haven't had to endure him popping up on a couch somewhere talking about his awesomeness. 

So, Freddie Prince Jr. is still alive (who knew) and apparently Kiefer Sutherland is the reason he hates acting.  I love how classy Sutherland's PR team is.  Yes, Sutherland is apparently a jerk, but who cares.  He's a star (and THE star) for a reason.  Deal with it.  Go cry on your wife's shoulder...she has the time...neither of you are famous anymore.

So, Orlando Bloom is a local hero, right?  I mean, he missed, but at least he tried to punch Justin Bieber in the face.  I wish it wasn't about a girl.  Like, why can't we just think that he punched him for the rest of mankind?  Why can't he just have tried to punch him because, well, he's Justin Bieber?  This is what I choose to believe.  

So, Charlize Theron is a bitch, right?  LOL, I kind of love that though.  This story about her and Tia Mowry is like my favorite thing in life right now.  The fact that she couldn't be bothered to say hello while at spin class is so epic in its diva-ness that it may make her the most diva-diva in the business right now.  Like, WHO DOES THIS?  Her response was even better though.  LOL, calling Mowry a washed up actress, a, YES!!!  Thank you for being yourself, for being awesome and for not caring that you practically deserve to be hated by the rest of the world.  You are the classiest classless person working in Hollywood, and that is really, really cool.


And lastly, let's talk about how Barry Norman is a jerk.  Like, even if he's got a sort of point, was this necessary?  Don't get me wrong, I've called out hyperbole regarding deceased actors before.  I got heat when I posted about the legions of fans mourning the cinematic loss of Paul Walker, which baffled me since it wasn't a cinematic loss.  But, Robin Williams was a cinematic treasure, and while his later career was pitiful and he did make a lot of crap, isn't this a little too soon?  Do you think it makes you cool or edgy to buck the trend of honoring a fallen legend by posting an article designed to tear them apart?  It doesn't.  It makes you look like a heartless ogre.  Like I said, even if you have a point, NOW IS NOT THE TIME, and the format with which you made your comments is distasteful and disgusting.

Burn him.

OK, I've said my peace.  Your turn.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Fisti Recast-athon!

Alright, so I've been waiting to wrap up Twice a Best Actor before starting any blogathons, but since posting my list of The Ten Most Interesting Actresses, I've been wanting to start this.  I started the conversation with regards to minorities, especially women of color, getting interesting roles in Hollywood, and you took that and ran with it, throwing out names we should all be familiar with (thank you so much for the bounty of comments on that post!) and so I'm here to say...let's GET familiar with those names!

Here is my issue with Hollywood.  It seems like these talented women (the men have it much easier) are either relegated to minority-necessary casting (like, we NEED a black actress in this movie because the character is a slave) or they get shoved onto television, where they flourish in short lived TV shows that the average cinephile has probably never heard of.  It is very rare that a top rate director is going to use an actress of color in a role that doesn't call for one.  Just look at the Oscar nominated actresses to see proof of this.

Of the ten black actresses nominated for Lead Actress at the Oscars, only the character of Hushpuppy (played by Quvenzhane Wallis) didn't require a black actress, and even that could be slightly debatable.  

Look at the rest of them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Avengers can suck it!

So, last night my best friend calls me up and says “let’s go see Guardians of the Galaxy” and because he’s my best friend (despite going to see Lucy with his wife and NOT me) I readily said yes, even though I had never even heard of the comic book before the movie was announced.  Now, I want to get my hands on these comics.  You see, as a young boy, while the rest of my friends were into sports and collecting baseball trading cards, I was into Marvel comics and Spider-Man trading cards and pretty much dreamt of one day waking up with super-powers.  Yes, I was kind of a nerd, but I owned it and basically didn’t care at all.  But in recent years I’ve kind of gotten away from that obsession.  I grew up, got married, had kids and gave all of my super-hero memorabilia (TONS OF IT) to my younger brother.  I haven’t played a video game in about five years, and I haven’t read a comic book since I was like sixteen.  I’m so out of the loop.  I like super-hero movies, to a degree, but the recent barrage of them has left me somewhat indifferent, especially with regards to Marvel movies.  Maybe I take myself too seriously, but I like my superheroes with an edge, a darkness, and I like my superhero movies to feel grounded in something weighty.  I was a huge vocal fan of what Christopher Nolan did with Batman, and I was also a huge vocal detractor to what Whedon did with The Avengers.

I didn’t hate that movie, but the hyperbolic praise made me roll my eyes.

So, walking into Guardians of the Galaxy last night, I kind of expected to find myself indifferent.  It looked like fun, and the rise of Pratt has me curious, but mostly I expected Avengers redux, and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to writing a scathing review that got me a ton of hate mail.

No hating here, at all!

I find it rather funny that I’m pretty much ecstatic about this movie and I read online that a lot of fans are rather cool on this, despite critics praising it to the high heavens.  It never fails that I’m in the minority about things, but I have never had an issue with that.

For me, there are a few clear reasons why this film works better than the majority of superhero movies I’ve seen in recent years, making this possibly (OK, not possibly) the best superhero movie since 2008’s The Dark Knight.

And here they are.