Random Thread for January, 2018


This should shock no one:



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.

23 responses »

  1. I enjoyed Jumanji (not really a remake, it’s a low key sequel with a few direct references to the 1995 film) for what it is. Word of mouth seems terrific and with Star Wars showing unspectacular legs, it was pretty easy for a Jumanji to swoop in and capture a big piece of the family market.

    I’d expect they’ll announce the third one before the month is out.

  2. A couple of random things. Let me promote Filmstruck, a streaming service that is ideal for revival house habitues. It’s less than $5 a month. It’s like having access to Film Forum in your device. They also carry the Criterion collection.

    Second. This is shaping up to be the most fascinating Oscar race I’ve ever seen. The DGA announced their five nominees, the directors from Dunkirk, Get Out, Shape of Water, Three Billboards, and Lady Bird. You could make an argument that four of these films could win Best Picture. (I don’t hold out much hope for Dunkirk). But what the DGA did was kill off any chance ot The Post winning Best Picture. I’m too tired to double-check, but I believe that an overwhelming majority of Best Picture winners were nominated for a DGA (and even more DGA winners win the Oscar for Best Director).

    My hunch right now is that Three Billboards will win Best Picture, unless the blowback about its handling of racial issues becomes a hot topic. In that instance, Lady Bird would be a safer choice. And Guillermo Del Toro may win Best Director, but a movie about a sea monster might be too genre for the Academy. Of course, a Lady Bird win for Best Picture without Greta Gerwig winning Best Director would create howls of protest.

  3. Now that the SAG awards have been given, it appears that Three Billboards is still the favorite for Best Picture. Of course, the nominations don’t come out until Tuesday. Frances McDormand appears to be the favorite for Best Actress, over Sairsie Ronan. A lot of this mystifies me. I likedThree Billboards, but it hardly seemed a Best Picture type to me, as it is uneven. There is also a lot of controversy about its attitudes about race. Sometimes I just don’t get these kinds of things, like Slumdog Millionaire or The Artist or Argo.

  4. Personally, I think one of the key factors in what makes a successful choice for BP winner is how much it stays in movie fans memories and relevance in the years and decades afterwards.

    As maligned as it was and still is, for example I’d say Forrest Gump is a film people still remember and rewatch.

    But as for the trio of winners you mentioned above, I doubt any of them have the same impact as particularly lasting pieces of cinematic work or films that people still fondly remember.

    Especially so for ‘The Artist’ and I speak as someone who saw it and enjoyed it at the cinema. But it’s such an insubstantial and lightweight film that I have no interest in rewatching it and I reckon very few others would be going back to it in the years since its win.

  5. I see that Shape of Water won the PGA, which gives it a place at the table. A lot of people think Del Toro will win director, but that the movie is too sci-fi to win Best Picture, and I don’t disagre.

  6. Gerwig is going to win Best Director. Portman’s comment about the lack of female directors at the Globes will help.

    I may like The Edge of Seventeen better than Ladybird, though.

  7. A woman, an African-American, and a Mexican all in the Best Director category. The first woman nominated for Best Cinematography. James Franco’s omission can surely be chalked up to sexual harrassment claims. Nothing for Wonder Woman (but a nom for Logan).

  8. Thought for a while that ‘Get Out’ would be a major player due it capturing the public mindset as well as any film this year but it’s still a remarkable achievement for a February release to even get nominated these days.

    Having seen ‘The Boss Baby’ and thinking it was a passable time waster at best, pretty amazing it got a BP animated nomination; I guess that’s a reward for its surprise BO success as much as anything. Seems I’m not the only one surprised as it’s trending on Twitter!

  9. Regarding animation, once again a Lego movie gets passed over (they had one good one, one terrible one this year).

    The last film to win Best Picture without a screenplay nom was Titanic, twenty years ago.

    As for Best Picture, there are reasons that each film won’t win:

    The Post, Darkest Hour (no director, screenplay nomination, no editing nomination, no SAG ensemble nomination)
    Dunkirk: No screenplay, no SAG ensemble
    Get Out, Lady Bird: No editing nomination
    Phantom Thread No Screenplay, no editing, no SAG ensemble
    The Shape of Water: No Sag ensemble
    Three Billboards: No directing nom

    Shape of Water is only battling 22 years of tradition (the last film to win without a SAG ensemble nomination was Braveheart). Only three films have won without being nominated for Best Director: Grand Hotel, Driving Miss Daisy, and Argo).
    The last movie to win Best Picture without being nominated for Editing was Ordinary People, 37 years ago.

    So, maybe they’ll open the envelope and say, “None of the above.”

  10. Boss Baby, which was ok, scoring a nomination over Lego Batman and even Dreamworks other 2017 release (the inventive and underrated Captain Underpants) is genuinely surprising.

    I have no idea what’s going to win Best Picture, but my gut would probably be Lady Bird.

  11. In one of the more curious stories surrounding a film critic, Richard Roeper (replacement for Gene Siskel on At The Movies in the 2000s) has been suspended by his newspaper over allegations that he purchased fake Twitter followers to boost up his Twitter followers total on his account.

    Why on earth anyone in his position would do that is beyond me. If you’re going to be pushed out of a film criticism role best do it like Bosley Crowther and stubbornly have disdian for a groundbreaking film like ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ and write endless articles about it.

  12. Anyone with even a remotely ‘large’ amount of followers on Twitter buys them. Everyone. All people. That’s ridiculous that he would be suspended over it.
    Every person with a check by their name is at least half fake followers. At least.

  13. “Something about Richard Roeper always rubbed me the wrong way.”

    I’ve read that he’s not entirely pleasant to deal with, so you’re probably onto something. Still, it’s absurd. As Filmman noted: very celebrity or wannabe does it.

    Anyway, Luc Besson is going exclusive with Netflix. He’ll direct and produce his next few movies for the streaming giant, who are also exploring a purchase of Besson’s EuropaCorp and/or it’s library.

  14. As I said, I think this is a great move for him. It will force him to streamline his budgets (though it seems, according to what you said, they’re still pretty healthy budgets). But I can’t wait to see what he does when he moves back to normal budgets. I sense some pretty kickass action films coming.

  15. Agreed re: Besson. While I really enjoyed Valerian (despite two awful lead performances) it’s clear that Besson needs to be reined in.

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