Random Thread for February 2012

Standard

February made me shiver
With each newspaper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
And I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

80 responses »

  1. I was going to say that the best apple(s) I ever had came from Costco a month or two ago. The package was a “fresh crop” of Honeycrisps and they were amazing.

    But these new cinnamon-y ones look good too. Has anyone ever tried a Grapple? Those are just weird.

  2. Honeycrisps for me are when fall truly arrives. Best time of year. They even smell great, like fresh-picked apples off the tree.

    Cameos in the summer are also good, but not nearly as good as the Honeycrisps.

  3. Russell Crowe needs to decide between toplining Darren Aronofsky’s Noah or Jose Padilla’s Robocop remake. I’d be pretty interested to see him in either role, shame scheduling won’t work.

    It’s obvious he should go with Aronofsky, but I’d bet he’ll chase the money.

  4. Yeah, it’s been in development for a while. Oddly, with Aronofsky for several years.

    It seems like a weird choice for Crowe, but his career isn’t exactly where it used to be. I think Fassbender is in the mix too, but what movie isn’t he attached to?

  5. Made a big decision last month and decided to go back out on my own (2-3 hours a day in commuting time saved, yay!)

    I have to say that I have not seen this level of hiring, across multiple industries, this high in about a decade. It’s weird in light of the economic numbers, but hopefully good news for everyone as the year rolls on.

  6. James: The problem in this country is that there is no problem.
    “Oh, this country is in dire straits….so pass all the tax cuts for the rich that you can.”

    A Fassbender Robocop would be AH-mazing.
    I’m curious why you think Crowe should ‘obviously’ do Noah…

    I have nothing to say on the Apple discussion. I only eat Cortlands. But I’ll have to try a honeycrisp.

  7. You might have to wait until next fall to find more Honeycrisps, they’re only available seasonally. Any that you find now have probably been in storage for a while.

    I have to say that I have not seen this level of hiring, across multiple industries, this high in about a decade.

    Interesting … hadn’t noticed.

  8. No, haven’t gotten it yet, and yes, I remember the AR debate from when it was released. Shame on Warners for getting it wrong, although it appears that they’re at the mercy of Vitali, who as the linked article makes clear is completely ignorant.

    But, small potatoes in the end. Very few people could tell the difference between 1.66 and 1.85 in a theater – even I don’t think I could on a reliable basis. So while it would be right in an ideal world, it’s not the reason I haven’t bought it yet. That I’m afraid comes down mostly to budget and availability.

  9. Rob, really enjoy reading the Commentary Commentary series on Film School Rejects. Awesome series-

  10. Restoration guru Robert A. Harris has a bit of trivia that I was not aware of regarding Woody Allen’s Manhattan:

    Manhattan is also one of the most important films to affect the way that home video treats them, and how they are viewed.

    When Manhattan arrived on VHS, it began a video revolution. Mr. Allen, ever the perfectionist, required that it be released in a “letterboxed” format. What that meant is that the 2.35:1 aspect ratio image would be viewed between two gray mattes, one above, the other below the image. While this yielded a far smaller image on even the largest monitors, it preserved Mr. Willis” brilliant work. Later, in subsequent releases, the gray bars were replaced by black. It was the release of this film that also enabled us, as there was precedent, to request that Columbia release David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia in the same way.

  11. I hate to sound like a cranky old man, but have we really gotten to the point where it’s really all Hollywood has to release a reboot of a movie from the 2000’s(?!), I mean, are things now that ephemeral that reboots can occur in ten years without anyone saying ‘we just saw this’…isn’t that the ultimate expression of a ‘youth based’ culture? Everything is disposable enough that no one will care that this was just made, in a remarkably similar fashion, in 2002?
    Or maybe it’s just Spiderman.
    Also, is CG no better in 2012 than the somewhat suspect-looking nature of The Lizard? I thought technology has gotten much better than that…
    Maybe I’m just cranky a cranky old man.

  12. Maybe I’m just cranky a cranky old man.

    Oh definitely, but you may still be right anyway. This looks like it has a decent chance of FAIL, considering that the third Raimi movie was poorly received. This new one looks like studio desperation to me and if early word of mouth sucks it could die real fast – at least domestically.

    But therein lies the rub; this is essentially being made for foreign markets anyway. Each of the Raimi Spider-Mans made less domestically than the one before. A new one with a new cast probably wouldn’t be worth the risk if the last one hadn’t made over $550 million in foreign box office.

    Nevertheless, Sony has both this and MIB3 coming up, which are both utterly superfluous additions to seemingly stagnant franchises. I wonder how it’ll play out.

  13. I enjoyed Raimi’s films, although each entry was massively flawed to the point of being embarrassing to watch. I really can’t muster and excitement for the reboot, although I kind of hope it tanks to prevent this from becoming a trend.

    Warners is certainly going to move forward with a Batman reboot (particularly if the next entry is as shitty as it looks) no matter how TDKR does.

  14. I’m kind of fascinated to see how John Carter of Mars performs next month. Will it be a passable hit that doesn’t embarrass anyone or an industry-shaking nightmare (ala Last Action Hero, Hudson Hawk, The Golden Compass) that changes the way the town does business for a while?

  15. I’m still shocked Barry Sonnenfeld is back for MIB 3. What a terrible move.

    What difference does it make? I ask sincerely.

  16. He’s been in director’s jail for almost a decade for constantly going over budget and failing to deliver the goods. It seems he’s done both again this time, although to a whole new level.

    They probably won’t lose money, but they’d have certainly stood to make more with a more disciplined filmmaker.

  17. They probably won’t lose money, but they’d have certainly stood to make more with a more disciplined filmmaker.

    OK, so you’re looking at it from a budget perspective. I guess that makes sense. I thought you were saying that one hack director was better than another in a creative sense, as if MIB3 could have really been something had they gotten Shawn Levy.

  18. Exactly, MIB III never really stood a chance from a creative standpoint. Too many cooks in the kitchen unwilling to take risks.

  19. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass: but this produces the best coffee I’ve ever had at home:

    http://www.amazon.com/Aerobie-AeroPress-Coffee-Espresso-Maker/dp/B0047BIWSK

    While it’s marketed as an expresso maker, it really isn’t (not enough pressure) but it works on similar principle and produces something very expresso-like.

    I was considering buying a Nespresso machine, but I hate the disposable capsules (from a cost, selection and environmental standpoint). This is a decent, infinitely cheaper alternative that may not ideal but gets the job done.

    EDIT: also nice, contains 1/5 the acid of a cup of standard drip coffee.

  20. Whitney Houston dead at 48. She had the world at her fingertips for a few years, sad she had to spend the last decade or so in a self-destructive haze.

  21. When Manhattan arrived on VHS, it began a video revolution. Mr. Allen, ever the perfectionist, required that it be released in a “letterboxed” format. What that meant is that the 2.35:1 aspect ratio image would be viewed between two gray mattes, one above, the other below the image. While this yielded a far smaller image on even the largest monitors, it preserved Mr. Willis” brilliant work. Later, in subsequent releases, the gray bars were replaced by black. It was the release of this film that also enabled us, as there was precedent, to request that Columbia release David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia in the same way.

    I remember when they were shown on TV back in the 1990s that the films of Joe Dante (certainly Gremlins and Innerspace) were shown in that format – can’t remember any other films from that era broadcast on TV in that way.

  22. Re: MIB3, I haven’t seen the first two films but I thought the main problem with that was that the second film was widely considered to be a dud – plus all the years between sequels and it seems like a very odd choice to do.

    As for Sonnenfeld, I haven’t seen it properly since I saw it in the cinema two decades ago, but did enjoy the first Addams Family movie (the 2nd was so-so).

    On Spiderman, judging by the trailer at least Peter Parker looks an improvement on Tobey McGuire, who I found tiresomely sappy and a pushover in that role.

  23. Americans must have had cabin fever this weekend–41 million for the Vow, 39 million for Safe House. Star Wars I gets 23 million, and finishes in fourth.

    I thought the same thing. A hell of a weekend for mid-February. The top two especially made more than twice what I would have forecast.

    thought Cage was a real trooper to parody himself that way.

    What made it so funny to me is that I couldn’t tell whether he was amused, or wondering what he was doing there with those morons.

    Overall, SNL’s been pretty good the past couple years. Ups and downs, of course, but it’s always been that way.

  24. Just ordered these cookies for my friend’s Oscar party (at half off, due to a coupon). I’m looking forward to eating Michelle Williams, my friend Lora will be happy to sink her teeth into George Clooney.

  25. Haha……those are excellent.
    Though I’m feeling strange as I think about biting into the Rooney Mara one.

  26. 65 dollars and I’m looking at the illustrations wondering what Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair were nominated for this year.

  27. Warner Brothers is moving forward with a sequel to I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. Smith’s character was blown to bits, on-camera, in the original (and this is not a prequel).

    I’m kind of fascinated to see how the writer solves that problem.

  28. While Forget Paris, Father’s Day and My Giant didn’t help: I think City Slickers 2 is really the film that sank Billy Crystal’s big screen career. It was just so insulting to the audience, who ate up the (well-received) original. His stock never recovered.

  29. While Forget Paris, Father’s Day and My Giant didn’t help: I think City Slickers 2 is really the film that sank Billy Crystal’s big screen career. It was just so insulting to the audience, who ate up the (well-received) original. His stock never recovered.

    I don’t know if that’s true. He had a decent run as a star in the late ’80s/early ’90s, but it only consisted of three films – Throw Mamma from the Train, When Harry Met Sally, and City Slickers. I had never heard of Memories of Me until looking this up, but it appears to have tanked. And if anything, City Slickers II was a desperate attempt to recover from Mr. Saturday Night, which even I remember as a bomb.

    But he recovered with the Analyze movies, and even though America’s Sweethearts was poorly received, I think it’s a stretch to call it a failure. I think it’s fair to say that his choice of projects in general were highly suspect over his career, but I don’t see how City Slickers II had a bigger impact than anything else.

    I think it’s more plausible that he was simply a beneficiary of the comedy bubble of the ’80s, and his career tailed off as the bubble burst. Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase – all these guys had difficulties at around the same time, and that’s not even getting into the Andrew Dice Clays of the world.

  30. How do I edit comments? I know I’ve asked this before, but I don’t think I can.

    In the upper right hand corner of your comment is an “edit this” link. If it’s not there, I guess you don’t have rights, and I don’t know how to give them to you.

    65 dollars and I’m looking at the illustrations wondering what Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair were nominated for this year.

    I dunno. I think they’re fairly accurate, but of course when you know who they’re supposed to be it’s a lot easier. They certainly knock a lot of years off the Glenn Close image. Which one do you think looks like Matthew Broderick. The George Clooney one kind of looks like Barack Obama.

  31. Good link, JS.

    It gives me hope, a movie like this. It doesn’t insult your intelligence. It seems in this day and age, the industry wisdom [is that] movie audiences are dumb and TV audiences are smart. We watch these episodic long-form TV shows and we follow a plot effortlessly, but you got to dummy it all down for the people that go to the cinema.

    Sounds like a perceptive fellow.

  32. It’s like there’s been a complete reversal of what existed in the 1970s, where cinema was where you went for adult, provocative and intelligent entertainment while TV was usually conventional, bland, ‘family friendly’ and safe.

  33. Forgot to post this earlier … I bought the Blu-ray for The Piano a couple weeks ago, and it had a sticker on front of it that hypes “The Oscar-winning performance of True Blood’s Anna Paquin!”

    And I’m not sure what’s more notable about this – that Lionsgate is shady enough to market Anna Paquin to True Blood fans who are almost surely ignorant of the fact that she’s only 11 or so years old in the movie, or that Paquin is currently the only person associated with The Piano who is marketable to mainstream audiences.

  34. Looks like I’m going to miss Margaret again this week, as it’s wildly popular and selling out left and right. I actually went down to the Gene Siskel Film Center on Monday night to see it, but it was sold out even though I arrived 35 minutes before showtime. Now they just put on Facebook that they only have a handful of tickets left for tonight and tomorrow.

    I imagine they’ll bring it back in April if they can, so maybe I’ll get a shot at it then.

  35. This is the kind of film news you miss out on when the only movie news you read is Dark Horizons two-three times a week on the train.

  36. Erland Josephson, Ingmar Bergman’s best friend and star of Scenes from a Marriage (also the rabbi in Fanny & Alexander, and many others), died last night. We’ll see if the Oscars remember to cut him in tonight.

  37. Yeah, After the Rehearsal is also one of my favorites of theirs.

    Didn’t know that he was the manager of Dramaten (royal theatre of Stockholm) after Bergman during the 60s-70s. So for a while he was Bergman’s boss when he was directing theatre there. Some mighty clashes resulted from that, since they’d know each other since Erland was 15 and Bergman 20.

  38. The Dictator on the red carpet notes the Oscars have officially ‘Jumped the shark’.
    My answer: Tom Ford as host, and make it the fashion show it is anyway and OWN it and just make it two hours and be done.

  39. Wow that is pretty awful. It’s a little small so I can’t see for sure, but is Samuel L. Jackson trying to uncork a stubborn bottle of wine?

  40. Between the campaign for The Avengers and John Carter, I’m really clueless as to what Disney’s marketing department is doing to earn a paycheck.

  41. Even more confusing: the Paramount logo is all over the marketing materials and will be on the finished film despite the studio having no participation in the production, marketing or distribution (due to some weird contractual point).

  42. I happen to read Wells column today and found myself in agreement with about Tarantino: “Tarantino is mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physiologically incapable of delivering a film that comes from any kind of real place. He can only make films about other films, or more precisely whack off to them. He can only make movie versions of what Max Fischer did when he put on those “sampling” plays in Rushmore. He can only compose knock-off tributes to ’60s, ’70s and ’80s movies that he savored when young.”

  43. Agreed, that’s what I find so deeply frustrating about Tarantino. The other problem is that even his blender/remix style approach is getting old at this point (see: Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof).

    Kevin Smith is the same thing, although he never held Tarantino’s promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s