– With “Sweet Smell of Success” getting the Criterion Collection treatment, Danny Leigh at The Guardian compares the classic to Oscar hopeful “The Social Network.” An excerpt:
Because in a year where so many award favourites have at least one obvious forebear (Black Swan and The Red Shoes, The Fighter and Rocky, True Grit and True Grit), the dark influence of Mackendrick’s classic lives on in The Social Network – the greatest story ever told about the print media channelled into the best film yet made about the internet. Both, after all, revolve around ultimately tragic villains wielding huge amounts of power through their control of other people’s personal information, Hunsecker with his column and Zuckerberg with his website.
The connection feels most obvious in Aaron Sorkin’s script with its great dialogue calling to mind the zinger-packed exchanges of Hunsecker and Falco; it’s hard to hear The Social Network’s rat-a-tat-tat opening scene and not sense the ghost of Clifford Odets hovering over Sorkin’s MacBook.
– Did the recent Motorola commercial seen during the Super Bowl plagiarize elements of a 2009 short? Filmmaker Michael Sarrow sees some similarities between his own “Do Not Disconnect” and the spot for Motorola’s Xoom tablet. “Both the ad and the short film feature a girl breaking out of a world where everyone is plugged into their white headphones and there is zero human interaction. The ending sequences are nearly identical,” Sparrow writes in an email pitching coverage. He wants no compensation so ultimately this is just a fine way to get people to see his otherwise unknown short. Which is fine. Watch them both after the jump and judge for yourself if there’s any case to be made.
– There’s a plan to digitally pull Marilyn Monroe back into the movies. And we’ve already seen John Wayne‘s whole image used posthumously, for beer ads. Therefore, I see this alternate reality version of “Kill Bill” completely becoming a this-reality version. See other re-cast movie posters, including ones for “Watchmen,” “Inception” and George Pal’s “The Uncanny X-Men,” on artist Sean Hartter’s blog [via BuzzFeed].
– Cinema Blend goes after ’10 Actors Who Don’t Care About Movies,’ including obvious choices like Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. Here’s the one I might take some issue with:
Chris Rock is Michael Jordan. He’s Katie Couric, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, Joaquin Phoenix and about a thousand other virtuosos who sadly found out unparalleled talent in one field doesn’t automatically translate to success in another. You see, Chris Rock is one of the greatest stand-up comedians ever. With all apologies to Bruce, Prior [sic] and Carlin, I would even listen to arguments on why he’s the single greatest comedian of all-time. Rocking the mic like a vandal, he’s pompous and deadly, coarse, yet ultimately smooth, like sandpaper polished with honey. But none of his astounding vocal talents work on the Big Screen.
Somehow, the CB team has forgotten, even in the second paragraph of this entry, to mention Chris Rock‘s apparent interest in foreign films, especially his desire to remake them. That should be a part of their argument. But also they might want to wait and see how he does in Julie Delpy’s “2 Days in New York,” which seems like an interesting career choice for the guy otherwise starring in stuff like “Grown Ups” and the continuing “Madagascar” animated franchise. Also, he’s getting into documentary now, which kind of blends his stand-up with light journalism, and oddly only as star rather than first-person filmmaker. I’m also anxious to see how the Richard Pryor biopic he’s producing turns out.
– This video, seemingly made to prove “Hereafter” deserves its visual effects Oscar nomination, doesn’t change my mind. If only they played the “Top Chef” theme song over the part with the afterlife sequence you’d understand why, too.
– Jacob Hall at Cinematical asks if it’s ever okay to really kill animals on film. Obviously only in documentary situations, and even then it’s at times questionable, such as in the early Edison spectacle “Electrifying an Elephant.” People still seem to have problems with slaughterhouse footage and ritual killings. I think the following example is okay, too, despite being in a fiction film:
What can be said about ‘Apocalypse Now’, which features the death of an ox in a native ritual? Francis Ford Coppola didn’t orchestrate the killing, but when his local jungle extras had a celebration unrelated to the filming, he turned on his camera, captured it documentary style and inserted it into the climax of the film. Is that evil? Is that-immoral?
– Also at Cinematical, Jenni Miller ponders the question of why Hollywood is getting more ‘Grimm” with its fairy tale films:
The reinvention of fairy tales for the movies is nothing new, but this current trend neatly dovetails with the desire to cater to a smart, young female audience with increasing financial clout, an audience that wants stories where our protagonists go into the dark and scary woods and come out the other side as women.
– TK at Pajiba lists ‘The 10 Most Cheesilicious Sword And Sorcery Films,’ including childhood favorites like “Willow,” “The Neverending Story” and “Beastmaster.” I’m sad to say, though, that I somehow have escaped “Hawk The Slayer,” discussed here:
Easily one of the weirder entries, Hawk The Slayer hits almost every sword and sorcery cliche there is. Magic swords (complete with mystical a mystical gem called, I shit you not, the “mindstone”), giants, elves, dwarves, a murderous wizard ridiculously named “Voltan,” played by Jack fucking Palance. It’s awful. It’s glorious. You thought Palance overacted in Batman? YOU KNOW NOTHING! Hawk The Slayer should be required viewing. They should ask about it at job interviews.
– With the “Robocop” statue becoming a reality for the people of Detroit, Movieline shares a slideshow of 9 other movie-related statues, including a very odd, colored life-size replica of Johnny Depp.
– Everyone is sooooo excited that Shane Black will direct “Iron Man 3.” And maybe if he gets Val Kilmer to be a “Macgruber”-like villain, there will be even more excitement from the blogosphere and even less interest from the majority of the moviegoing population.
– “Thor” counts as a sequel, or at least a spin-off. It’s part of a franchise, anyway. Anyway, take a look at the latest trailer, which sadly reveals that Kenneth Branagh is even less able to make Natalie Portman seem like a good actress than George Lucas.
– “Cinema Verite” counts as a remake, or at least a dramatized version of events previously seen in documentary form. Specifically it’s about the making of the pioneering reality series “An American Family.” Looks pretty bland compared to the “Grey Gardens” redo, but at least it also doesn’t feature Drew Barrymore impersonating Little Edie. Here’s the trailer for the HBO production:
– Fox Animation has acquired the rights to “The Story of Ferdinand” for a computer-animated feature, possibly directed by Carlos Saldanha (“Ice Age”). I fear it, but at least we’ll always have the classic children’s book and the following classic cartoon adaptation from Disney:
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