Random Thread for June 2012

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Happy birthday to Marilyn Monroe and, if memory serves, our own Jeanine!

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.

57 responses »

  1. Ordered the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray the other day as Amazon had it for a ridiculously low price for a few hours ($29.00 bucks for a set normally $79.00).

    I’ve barely begun to delve into the package (which contains at least 8 cuts of the films, an absurd 60 hours of bonus material, etc.) but I have to say that the transfer of Alien is the best I’ve seen of a classic film on Blu-Ray by a mile. It looks like it was shot last year…just astonishing.

  2. Dead serious. That’s the advertised length of all the bonus features and documentaries put together. I think each film has multiple documentaries that run, individually, between 2.5-3+ hours each. It’s ridiculous, obsessive overkill, but I admire the effort.

    I’ve really eager to watch the “Wreckage and Rage” documentary on the Alien 3 disc. It focuses on the troubled production, particularly the breakdown of the relationship between David Fincher (making his first feature) and FOX execs. It apparently makes all parties look terrible, so I have to commend the studio for including it. That documentary alone is 181 minutes (!) by the way.

  3. Only six, which isn’t bad. Back in the DVD days, it would have probably been a minimum of double that.

  4. Anyone else notice that Prometheus is doing almost the same thing with the pre-order Blu-Ray as MIB3 did?

  5. Saw Snow White – it’s entertaining if scatterbrained. It has a lot of ideas, but doesn’t pay all of them off and doesn’t give us the required amount of exposition for some elements. But it looks nice, Theron and Hemsworth are fun, and Stewart doesn’t ruin it.

    Saw Avengers for the second time, first time in 3D. A lot of the 3D is very slight and some actually made the action look smaller to me – like models moving around. I actually liked it better the second time around because I could ignore the flaws in a way I couldn’t as I was discovering them the first time. And Scarjo’s ass looks great in 3D. Good lord.

    I’ve taken Jame’s lead and ordered the Alien porn knock-off The Alien Analthology Blu-rays. It comes with a complimentary box of kleenex. Looking forward to it.

  6. Snow White is still going to lose an insane amount of money. This year should really serve as a wake-up call to Hollywood regarding budgets.

  7. Broadway Danny Rose is on the local sports channel (MSG) right now. Kind of random, not sure what the connection is.

  8. Apparently they’re launching a “Monday night movie.” With the Rangers and Knicks in the off season, they seem to be low on programming.

  9. Unsurprising in light of the Avengers’ success: DC is resurrecting their Justice League film, teaming characters such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman against a common foe.

    I’d have to imagine the chances of the project being any good are remote. Other than Christopher Nolan’s films, the studio hasn’t made an artistically successful film in the genre since Batman ’89…maybe? Does V for Vendetta count?

  10. Marvel is moving ahead with a Black Panther movie.

    Will the Justice League movie have Hawkman and Aquaman (played by Vincent Chase, or course)?

  11. Michael Jai White for the real movie, Lex Steele for the porno. Or Michael Jai White for both.

  12. How did I not know there’s a new Oliver Stone movie? And that is looks awesome. What am I, living under a *rock*?!

  13. Huh, I think it looks awful. Stone probably used to be my favorite director – he was probably my first favorite director, I guess – but those days are long gone.

  14. I’m surprised he was your first favorite director. I would have thought Bergman or Tarkovsky or…I don’t know. That’s all kinds of excellent. I can’t say how many times I ingested Born on the Fourth of July back in ’89. The camera angles, Richardson’s amazing cinematography, the writing, the tone, the shifts between each separate element…for some reason, the scene in the diner, was it?, in the early stages of the movie, when they’re all talking about the state of the world and when he first comes home in a wheelchair as close to perfect movie moments as I’ve known.

  15. I would have thought Bergman or Tarkovsky or…I don’t know.

    What a strange opinion you must have of me.

    Anyway, the deal was that Natural Born Killers was released when I was 16, Nixon the next year, and of course JFK was a big hit at the time (I was in middle school when I first saw that). So it was pretty much those three – I hadn’t really paid much attention to directors before then, but the mix of visceral thrill with political fury was impossible not to notice. After that, I started paying more attention to who was making what, and by the time I got to college a couple years later I could tell you just about the complete filmographies of every filmmaker with a movie in theaters at thet time.

    By the time U-Turn (which I hated) came out, Stone had already been supplanted by Michael Mann. Heat blew me away, and I noticed that he had also made The Last of the Mohicans. Zemeckis was a big figure by that time, also.

  16. So, just for the sake of discussion, Brian: how would you rank your top five directors right now? I’m sure Wes Anderson would be one. I guess Haneke would rank high as well.

  17. Good question.

    Five of the top of my head, five currently active directors, not necessarily in order of preference, without thinking about it too much:

    Wes Anderson
    Michael Haneke
    Coen brothers
    Darren Aronofsky
    Olivier Assayas

    The caveat I’d offer about Haneke and Assayas is that I still haven’t seen a lot of their films.

  18. Wes Anderson
    Michael Haneke
    Coen brothers
    Darren Aronofsky
    Olivier Assayas

    No Christopher Nolan? You even liked The Prestige.

    Most of my favorite directors are dead.

  19. I’ve been struggling with the question, Nick. My two favorite living directors, based on their body of work, would be Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and although each were nominated for a Best Directing Oscar last year they can’t be said to be in their prime.

    I suppose of directors in their prime, I’d go with Wes Anderson, the Coens, and Alexander Payne, although the latter is much more inconsistent.

    These are the directors I would go see any film by, no matter how bad the reviews.

  20. No Christopher Nolan? You even liked The Prestige.

    I was going to list him as a tie with someone, but couldn’t figure out who, and it seemed like a copout anyway. That’s the problem with listing only five, but he’d be the next guy in.

    Michael Mann’s still pretty high on the list, as is Sofia Coppola. Curious to see another movie by Jeff Nichols; another one as good as his first two would put him pretty high. Of course I’m a big fan of Scorsese as well.

  21. 1. Michael Mann
    2. Paul Thomas Anderson
    2. Kim-Ji Woon
    4. Johnnie To
    5. Quentin Tarantino

  22. Coen Brothers
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Shion Sono
    Alexander Payne
    Steven Soderbergh

    My two favorite living directors, based on their body of work, would be Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and although each were nominated for a Best Directing Oscar last year they can’t be said to be in their prime.

    Exactly. I’d rate them in my top 5 of all time, but certainly not based on the last decade or so of output. Ditto Mann.

  23. So six months before the “final” chapter hits theaters and Lionsgate is reportedly already discussing plans to reboot the Twilight franchise by mid-decade. No word on whether it will be a full remake or a Casino Royale-esque reboot with new actors stepping in to fill the void.

    This is obviously well overdue a whopping four years in to the series’ run. I mean, the audience was in 7th grade when they started and now they’re going to be Juniors! Life has changed dramatically! Like, they had first generation iPhones back then and shit. Where is Twilight for the Siri generation?

    Anyway, I don’t think anyone expected that December would truly see the end of the Twilight saga (no studio is going to walk away from that success) but a reboot/remake whatever is slightly surprising at this juncture. I figured that they’d just hold out a year or two and wait for Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner to realize that they’ve walked away from the cushiest job they’re ever going to find.

  24. Reboot/Remake? That makes no sense. What does make some (limited) sense is to simply carry on with the characters, like they did with James Bond when they ran out of books to adapt. At least J.K. Rowling wouldn’t let them continue with Potter, which I’m sure they would have loved to do.

  25. Chiming in with my top(-ish) six active directors whose movies earn an automatic guaranteed watch from me…

    Wes Anderson
    Bong Joon-ho
    Asghar Farhadi
    David Fincher
    Kim Ji-woon
    Park Chan-wook

  26. I am struggling to get more than 3 names, but I will watch anything by the still-living:
    Christopher Nolan
    Wes Anderson
    Baz Luhrmann (even though Australia was awful)

    EDIT: remembered another one – Hayao Miyazaki

  27. I would also definitely have put Hayao Miyazaki, but he claims he’s retired (although, on the other hand, he’s done that for almost two decades now).

  28. Will there be a better film in 2012? Probably not, although having that title bestowed on it months before release isn’t an enviable position. It’s going to have to be twice as good to live up to the hype in the minds of critics/audiences.

  29. Monsters University looks like a depressing affair. Like something Disney would have made as a DTV feature a decade ago. I guess it can’t be worse than Cars 2, although it is a prequel….

  30. I don’t know if anyone else invested the time to watch it yet – but Love Exposure will be coming to Blu Ray in August via Third Window Films. I’ve only seen it via a pretty-shitty import DVD so I’m pretty thrilled. The release will also include an hour of deleted scenes.

  31. Monsters University looks like a depressing affair. Like something Disney would have made as a DTV feature a decade ago. I guess it can’t be worse than Cars 2, although it is a prequel….

    I’m not really excited to see a Monsters sequel (or prequel, I guess), because it’s not really my favorite to begin with. But the trailer is pretty typical for a Pixar teaser, and doesn’t look nearly as desperate as the first Cars 2 teaser (this one).

    That said … I’m sad to see Pixar descend into a cash-grabbing sequel factory. Perhaps it was inevitable when their two greatest auteurs decided that they wanted to do live-action, but it’s still disappointing that their response to that seems to have been not to focus on developing new talent but rather to recycle the catalog.

  32. Tim Roth will star in a David Cronenberg-directed/produced television series about a “radical, self-educated surgeon who will go to unorthodox lengths to uncover the secrets of the human body”…which sounds awesome. Hopefully it’s more like Dead Ringers and less like House (or Roth’s 2008 series, Lie to Me).

  33. Re: the Woody Allen doco, that’s screening here in Australia last weekend and next. If nobody else is planning to, I’ll do a review of it to post here.

  34. I got further into Tree of Life than I did into Anonymous. What the hell was the reason for the greenlight on that thing? Not even interesting from a ‘curious about the time period’ way.

  35. The tagline for the new Alex Cross picture (with Tyler Perry replacing Morgan Freeman…which seems like a terrible decision based on the trailer) is “Don’t cross Alex Cross”. It’s so stupid and fun that I wish it was the title of the movie.

  36. This looks like the dramatic version of Flirting with Disaster. This looks awesome. If this is as good as it looks, Russell will move to number three on my list of five faves.

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