Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about making history, staying pressed, beating dead horses and how Oliver Stone just said "fuck you" to Edward Snowden!


Oscars were Sunday, and a lot of puking happened, so this had to wait until today, but I hope to be back on track with making these a Monday habit come, well, Monday.  Anyways, there's a variety of stuff to talk about today, and I'm dying to know what you guys think about all of this, so let's dish!


For starters, it was only fitting that during Dolan Appreciation Week here on the blog last week, Xavier Dolan won the Cesar for Best Foreign Film!  YES, Mommy!!!  But, the real talk of Cesar was the history making win for Kristen Stewart, who took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her critically acclaimed turn in Sils Maria.  She becomes the first American actress to win the Cesar.  Adrian Brody was the first (and so far only) American actor to win.  This is a huge deal, and her emotional acceptance speech is everything.  

I'm really happy for her.  I have never been a fan, but that's mostly because I haven't really seen much of her work.  She's not an actress I've cared much to follow, and the stigma of Twilight (a film I've never seen, and never will see) hangs over her in my mind, but she is working her ass off to rid herself of that stain, and this is a great step in that direction.  She had a banner year last year, and I can't wait to see her many acclaimed performances, especially this one.  Will Oscar follow suit?  Probably not.  Sils Maria opens wide in the US in May, but I don't think it'll strike a chord with The Academy.  Still, I can't wait to see this!

Speaking of Oscar (we've been talking about that too much, haven't we?), let's dish about what a recent Oscar winner had to say about her life, post Oscar.  Apparently, Mo'Nique has been blackballed by Hollywood!  She made headlines for refusing to campaign for her Oscar back in 2009.  She wanted the Oscar to be about the work and not about the politics.  I applauded her, but it was also a dick move when you think about it.  I mean, she probably wanted to keep herself free to start her late show (which, like, died pretty quick...right?), but when you are in a movie that is getting Oscar attention, the rest of your team is depending on you to make a good show of it.  Her refusal to campaign was a reflection on the film, and it soured some peoples perception of her.  Now, she wants to cry all 'victim' and say that Hollywood hates her and is refusing to give her work, and she's trying to make it all about this stance she took, claiming that Lee Daniels told her so, but Lee also said she was a PAIN IN THE ASS to work with, so there's that too.  You can't bite the hand that feeds you, not when there are so many people out there desperate to play the game (cue Eddie Redmayne).

Segue:

OMG, have you seen this?



So, I didn't plan this, but a little over a week ago I watched all five Alien movies back to back to back (sort of), starting with Ridley Scott's masterpiece and ending with Prometheus.  It became so clear to me that this is a franchise that is thriving on nostalgia and not merit because none of the sequels stand up over time.  The original is still a fresh and exhilarating sci-fi masterpiece, but it's all downhill from there.

So, why are they going back for more?  And, if we have to go back, why the hell are they getting Blomkamp to do it?  Have you seen the Chappie trailer?  I'm scared.

Speaking of the killer of dreams, did you know that Oliver Stone just cast Nicolas Cage in his Edward Snowden biopic?  I'm not a huge Stone fan, but a lot of people were thinking this could be his big Oscar comeback.  Weighty biopic, obvious relevance, huge cast, December release date, Sunday's Oscar win for CITIZENFOUR...and then this news!  Cage is poison.  I'm viewing this as a sign of the film's overall fate.

And lastly, did you see this trailer?


Now, I hated Only God Forgives, but this could be interesting.  I mean, Refn makes more facial expressions in this two-minute trailer than Gosling did in that entire shit movie.  It also explains a few things, you know, since Refn doesn't even know what this movie is about.  But, did anyone else catch how narcissistic and misogynistic that all feels?  I mean, his wife says in the trailer that she went with him to film his process...and yet, he's the director of this documentary?  Refn is an interesting and divisive director...I'm curious how this is going to play out.

Thoughts?

Also...

Here's What I'll Be Reading Today:

Mario reviews Scenic Route
Irene discusses Narcissistic Characters
Jenna & Allie review Whiplash
Wendell reminds us that The Razzies also happened over the weekend
John reviews Mercenaries
Andrew jumps right into a new batch of Oscar predictions
Shane reviews White God
Steven discusses Julie Taymor

And lastly, I read this one already, but in the barrage of hate-filled reviews for 50 Shades of Grey, Allie has decided to give us Not Another Fifty Shades of Grey post, and I loved this!

38 comments:

  1. Oh wow. I personally liked most of the Alien films, but they definitely are not meant to be watched back to back in succession. I once had to do that with Alien and Aliens for an essay (we had to compare a movie and its sequel, I was looking at it as a possible topic but ended up going with Terminator and Terminator 2, the result of which is publicly available in abridged form: http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/12/sarah-connor-and-development-of-action.html). I can't say there's any one of them I truly hate. Aliens was pretty good, and personally I enjoyed Alien: Ressurection (I still haven't seen Alien 3, so I can't say if that's any good). Even Prometheus, while extremely flawed in its execution, still had some very good ideas and amazing visuals. It might not have entirely worked, but I will give credit to Scott for at least trying to bring something new to the Alien franchise instead of just having another movie about Ripley getting attacked by Xenomorphs. Still, I would probably agree that Alien is the best in the series. Then again, often the first installment is. That's why much as I loved Die Hard and at least some of its imitators in the 90's (Con Air, Air Force One) I never felt the need to bother with the sequels, at least not urgently. Maybe if I see one of them pop up on Netflix or something I could give it a watch but there's no urgent need to do so.

    From what I gather, a lot of the actors in Twilight seem to be trying to break away from those films. Robert Pattinson's doing okay with it, having gone on to star in several much better films. Kristen Stewart does have her moments as well; I thought she did okay in Panic Room (even if the script was extremely flawed, with an interesting setup leading to an underwhelming conclusion). I haven't seen a lot of her more recent films but she's certainly at least trying to branch out a little. Sadly, I'm not sure the same can be said for Taylor Lautner (though even before Twilight he never really was a great actor) who seems to have faded into obscurity since the franchise ended.

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    1. I have an Alien post planned, but it really all depends on if I have the time to compose it...which I may not. LOL, but watching them straight through was a very strange experience.

      I'm very happy for Stewart...and can't wait to see where her career goes from here.

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  2. Kristen Stewart won an ACTING award?? Wow, that is a huge surprise to me, ahah. I’ve only seen her in Twilight and that Snow White flick which and I really don’t care for her style at all. Maybe she warrants the win though I don’t know if I ever care enough to find out.

    Ahah I did see that Travolta w/ Alien comparison and it’s absolutely spot on!!

    Nic Cage in Edward Snowden biopic?? OY, that can’t be good news.

    Never seen anything by Refn and no love for Gosling for me.

    Fun Fistithoughts post, Drew! :D

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    1. Care to find out! Cesars are a huge deal, and the film is also a Assayas film starring Binoche...so it's a MUST SEE!!!

      Refn has some great films, and some really bad ones.

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    2. Oh it's got Binoche in it too? So ok then I might check it out for her :P

      Btw, you mentioned you're excited about Map of the Stars on my post. I just saw this review and I thought you might want to read it: http://www.latino-review.com/news/film-review-maps-to-the-stars

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  3. Thrilled for Stewart. She is so talented and so few people saw her daring indie work in Cake Eaters, Yellow Handkerchief, Speak...

    I think that Monique has problems because she is a woman. A man can be difficult to work with and he still gets hired. Crowe, Sheen, Penn - still getting work no matter what stories there are about them. But a woman is merely emotional or demanding? Oh no. We cannot have that.

    I think with Stone it's not Cage but Stone who is the poison. He was a joke for a long time now. And in a worse way than Cage

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    1. Well, a difference between Mo'Nique and the male assholes you mention is that...they were respected BEFORE they were assholes and have proven time and again to have talent. Mo'Nique, before precious, was mostly thought of as a tacky, tasteless joke, which made her Oscar run so sensational on its own because NO ONE saw that coming. But, when you are at that point in your career where you are given this incredible opportunity to actually turn it around and make it better...you don't bite those hands...you can't afford to.

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    2. It makes absolutely no difference in this situation when she became famous. If Eddie Redmayne started acting like a deranged prick right now he would still get offers. If Felicity won and acted like a bitch? Forget it.

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    3. You know that I wholly agree with you on misogyny in the industry, so it's not that I think that didn't play in here, because I'm quite sure that's part of it...but I also think that when you are given that kind of opportunity, whoever you are, you need to handle it with some class. Publicly announcing that you were going to be this kind of Oscar rebel every chance you got was not classy.

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    4. Yes but wasn't Phoenix doing a lot of the same and was still welcomed with nominations and open arms?

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    5. Yes, he did. He's also in a very different place, career wise. I'm not saying that it's fair, but if Phoenix was seen as a low talent actor and then he had this one role where he was amazing and he said "fuck you, Academy...fuck you, press...fuck you, studio" then he may have very well ended his career...but he's not seen as a low talent actor...he's seen as one of the very best actors in the industry. I also have heard very little with regards to his on set actions, so he may be a really nice guy to work with. Mo'Nique is being accused of not being so nice. That can hurt you. I mean, look at Edward Norton. He's been reported to be a complete ass on set...and it shows in where his career has gone.

      Like I said, I don't think it's fair...and I'm sure because she's a woman it's worse...but I also think she played her cards wrong here.

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  4. I'm happy for Stewart too. A lot of people write her off for Twilight and the fact that's she's insanely awkward, but she turns in good performances. The Cake Eaters, Into The Wild, Speak. She's got talent.

    I'm torn on how I feel about Mo'nique. I don't really understand why some actors complain about campaigning. If I were an actor, and I was given a platform to talk about a movie that I'm proud of even more so than I usually would, I think I would like that. Sati's right though, I think the fact that she's a woman contributed to her blacklisting (see Katharine Heigl) Ain't nobody got time for a hard to work with woman. *eye roll*

    Fuck Refn. I don't want to see anything from him again. Only God Forgives pissed me off THAT much. lol

    And Cage is poison. Unless you want your film to be campy, then by all means, cast Cage.

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    1. LOL, is Only God Forgives the only Refn you've seen? He's got some gems in there. He has a very distinct vision as a director and it only works some of the time, but when it works it's hard to shake.

      LOL, Cage...sometimes I question if he was ever good :-P

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    2. I've seen Drive and I absolutely loved that movie, but he got way too cocky with Only God Forgives. I swear I don't even like Gosling as much after that.

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    3. Only God Forgives is a HUGE mess of a film. Watch Pusher. It's one of Refn's first films, and it's a great compact little thriller.

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  5. The conversation on Mo'Nique is an intriguing one. I can't help but agree that there is a good deal of truth to what Sati says about gender bias (and possibly racial) playing a role in what's happened to her. Of course, her npt wanting to "play ball" during awards season also contributed mightily.

    I'm torn on how I feel about that last part. On the one hand I agree it would have been nice of her to be a team player and push her movie. On the other hand, I think it diminishes the Oscars if you have to openly campaign to win them. They should be purely about the work that shows up on the screen not who does the most press and/or kisses the most ass. For that reason i still commend her for not doing it and the Academy for still giving her the award. Think about it. In any other area of life we feel best about bestowing honors on those that are humble and didn't do whatever they did for an award. Yet, in typical ass-backward Hollywood fashion someone is vilified for not openly tooting her own horn.

    Oliver Stone and Nic Cage together? That ought to be interesting.

    Thanks for the link!

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    1. I think the biggest issue about Mo'Niques 'not a campaign' was how vocal she was about it. She mentioned the fact that she REFUSED to campaign every single chance she got. She could have just 'not scheduled stuff', but she made it this really big thing, and I think that is what soured many to her.

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  6. I'm frankly stunned that Kristen Stewart won any sort of award for acting. I've never seen the Twilights either but I did see her in The Cake Eaters and God did she stink. I also saw the Snow White film and Charlize Theron evaporated her from the screen. I checked her filmography and it turns out I've seen several things she's done and aside from the two I mentioned I have zero recollection of her, not promising. Perhaps she's been studying on reevaluating the process she follows to give a performance but I see nothing special there.

    Mo'Nique gives me a pain. I have no patience for actors/actresses who say the work is all they owe. Who are they kidding, they are in the business of SHOW. If they don't want to accept all that is entailed in that they should do something else. Absolutely the most important thing they can offer is as good a performance as they are capable of and their private lives should be their own but...they are manufacturing a product of which they are a component. Once it is complete they have to get out there and sell it by publicizing it. If they are fortunate enough to be acknowledged with a nomination then they should realize that playing the game to an extent will benefit not just them but the overall film involved. I'm not saying they should pimp themselves out like some dockside floozy the way Redmayne did but to do nothing is just as bad. Mo'Nique made her choice now she should accept the consequences and keep her mouth shut.

    I love Aliens more than the first film, Sigourney so completely came into her own in it, but I agree from there the series rapidly declined and they should let it lie.

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    1. I personally have not been on the Stewart train, as I said, but her reviews for all of her work this year have been insane. I mean, she just won the fucking Cesar, which is HUGE, and her performance in Sils Maria (which also starts Juliette Binoche and is directed by the great Olivier Assayas) has serious raves, not to mention great ink for Still Alice and Camp X-Ray, so I'm really intrigued.

      I think Mo'Nique's biggest problem was not the lack of campaigning but the VOCAL lack of campaigning.

      I have a whole post idea wrapped around my feelings on the whole Alien franchise...now if I can just find the time to compose it.

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  7. Wow, I'm probably in the minority over Only God Forgives as I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    Aliens is my favorite of the four films.

    Oliver Stone to me is done. He just doesn't have it anymore. He's a dinosaur that's been roaming around for too long with one bad film after another so fuck him and his bullshit liberal propaganda. Besides, I have no intention of seeing his new film since I already saw Citizenfour yesterday.

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    1. OMG, how was it?!?!?! Is it as good as they say? Was that Oscar deserved? I'm still waiting my chance to see it.

      And...ew...Only God Forgives was so...tacky.

      :-P

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  8. Mo'nique who? Stop blaming and look at yourself and see what you have done to your career. That's what I would say to her. Arrogance and entitlement are 2 things that one sees constantly and they should just get slapped. Who spells their name that way anyway? I have yet to sit through the first film never mind the rest and this is not because I think the film(s) are bad but because they are so scary to me I get nightmares. I will now have nightmares of John Ravolta. I am worried whenever Nicholas Cage is in any film because he just needs to be slapped. I say that a lot about annoying people:) As for the documentary-Gosling looks blank so any one else will look emotive:) I did see the first twilight film and my hubby and I both giggled-corny teen vampire flick. It seems like she may be able to act... time will tell

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    1. Yeah, my wife was PISSED at me for watching the Alien films back to back to back...she rolled over and went to sleep and kept yelling at me that she could hear the damn things breathing and wanted me to turn it off until I heard her snoring. LOL...

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    2. Hahahaaaa-My hubby just bought the stupid Alien Vs predator film-blecchhh. he wants al the Alien films. He can watch them on his own and I don't even want those films touching the other films I have in my collection:)

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    3. Eww...the AvP movies are so...awful!

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  9. Ever since I saw Citizenfour I have been intrigued by Edward Snowden. Casting Nicholas Cage...I am at a loss. If Stone's recent films were as good as his 90's work I would feel less nervous. But after Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Savages, I feel Stone has lost his punch. The thing about Cage is, he's a good actor. He's got Leaving Las Vegas, Raising Arizona, Adaptation, Wild At Heart, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans to prove it. It's the fact that he is choosing so many bad scripts and the movies that he chooses are awful.

    Ultimately I feel that both Stone and Cage's recent projects are not nearly anywhere the caliber of the work they once did. That is what has me worried.

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    1. Yes to everything you said, which is exactly why this is scary. Two former favorites in need of a comeback shouldn't throw their eggs in the same basket for fear one will ultimately bring the other one down.

      This should be interesting.

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  10. Thanks for the love! That's great news for Kirsten Stewart too! I'm not a huge fan of hers but she gets a lot of undeserved hate, so I'm really happy for her :)
    - Allie

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    1. You're very welcome, and I'm right there with you on Stewart.

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  11. As much as Cage has slipped into a caricature of his former self (for about a decade now), I still think that he could mount some sort of career resurgence. Unfortunately, Stone seems like he might in the same boat, so my hopes aren't exactly high for this one. Could be a Hell of a story, though...

    I never thought I'd say it, but F Refn. OGF was soooo bad, and then I gave Valhalla a shot, and it was arguably worse. Though that's like comparing throwing up in your mouth to shitting your pants.

    Thanks for the link!

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    1. LOL, poor Refn. Maybe the doc will be more interesting than his work!

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  12. thanks for the link love, drew! (just posted Best Actress, FYI)

    it's a shame that daniels, who clearly wants to work with Mo'Nique again, doesn't seem to be able to cast her (i'm guessing the money people won't comply). she was amazing in PRECIOUS and i feel like we're missing out on what else she can do. i just really, really hope her intended hattie mcdaniel biopic eventually gets made...

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    1. Yeah, it seems odd to me that Daniels can't work with her...and that the roles she was initially intended to play went to Oprah. LOL, maybe Oprah hates Mo'Nique for winning that Oscar.

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  13. I've been anticipating Clouds of Sils Maria since 2013. Can't wait to check out Stewart's performance. I liked her in Still Alice and On the Road, and she's actually on my shortlist for Best Actress for Adventureland. I LOVE her in that!

    Mo'Nique might not deserve the treatment she's received, but I think she's partly responsible for it. Sometimes you have to play the game.

    Haha, that pic. I love the first two Alien films (the first is still the best, though), and I like Alien 3 and Prometheus. Alien: Resurrection, on the other hand, is BAD.

    Oliver Stone had a great run for most of the 80's and 90's. I'd love another great film from him after all these years.

    I still like Only God Forgives. Bring on that doc!

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    1. Yeah, I'm really excited for where Stewart's career is headed. I really need to see Adventureland and On the Road (and Still Alice for that matter).

      Yeah, she shares in her plight.

      It's not that I don't like any of the other Alien films, it's that their quality clearly drops with each passing one (except Prometheus, which is probably the second best).

      Stone has always been a tad bloated, but his bloat has worked for him in the past. I hope he can find something good within himself again.

      LOL, I'm here for the doc, for sure.

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