Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Not only is this a perfect excuse to see the movie again, this is an excellent way for New Line to keep the movie in the public eye ... and ears. Stars Nikki Blonsky and Elijah Kelly will kick off the special showings with a launch event in New York City August 1.
In related news, the Hairspray soundtrack is currently #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and is the #1 album on iTunes. Over on the singles chart, "You Can't Stop the Beat" is #88 on Billboard's Top 100.
Also on sale is the official Hairspray "companion book", filled with never-before-seen pictures and removable goodies like "Corny Collins Council" trading cards and "Har-D-Har Hut" stickers. The book would make a perfect gift for anyone, like, say, your favorite blogger ...
And for a way-cool three-way comparison between the original movie, the stage musical and the movie musical, head on over to Broadway.com.
Click here to purchase either the Hairspray soundtrackor companion bookfrom Amazon.com.
Links via HairsprayMovie.com, Playbill.com and Broadway.com.
Antonioni made his mark on international filmmaking in the 1960's with his acclaimed L'Avventura trilogy (featuring his muse, Monica Vitti) and the highly influential Blow Up, a watershed moment for the swinging decade. Following the infamous Zabriskie Point, Antonioni rebounded with The Passenger (starring Jack Nicholson), considered by many one of his finest works.
Although not as prolific as some of his contemporaries, Antonioni's seductive visual style and minimalist vision placed him among the elite of international iconoclasts. His impact and influence on world film is immeasurable.
In a nutshell (mmmm ... nutshells), I felt that the movie, while funny at times, lacked anything unique to say as a feature film. The show has been on the air for going on 19 seasons, and it's clear its glory days are behind them. Perhaps if the movie had been made earlier in the series' run, or was handed over to a fresh writer (instead of nine-plus people who have been churning out the "d'ohs!" for years now), it may have turned out a better movie experience, not merely a good extended TV episode.
Meanwhile, for a look back at the best Simpsons movie parodies, visit the Film Babble Blog. And for the gay view on the franchise, the San Francisco Bay Guardian lists the 10 reasons why they love Springfield, and PlanetOut.com offers their own "Ultimate Gay Simpsons Quiz".
UPDATE: The Simpsons Movie is now available on DVDfrom Amazon.com.
The latest and greatest available on DVD this week:
- 300- That is the number for DVD this week, and apparently they are releasing that many different versions of the homoerotic/homophobic (poe-tay-toe/pah-taa-tah) epic starring Gerard Butler and a bunch of well-oiled extras. And riding on its coattails:
- The History Channel Presents Last Stand of the 300
- Hot Fuzz- The buddy/cop comedy from the creators of Shaun of the Dead.
- Starter for 10- Starring dreamy James McAvoy.
- Pathfinder- Starring Lord of the Rings' Karl Urban.
- Shooter- Starring Marky Mark.
The Classics Aisle:
- Film Noir Classics Collection, Volume 4- Ten new-to-DVD movies are included in this new set from Warner (titles also sold separately in double feature packs):
- Act of Violence and Mystery Street
- Crime Wave and Decoy
- Illegal and The Big Steal
- They Live By Night and Side Street
- Where Danger Lives and Tension
- Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Volume 1- The spinach-eating seaman finally gets a decent DVD collection.
- 20 Million Miles to Earth- Please note: This two-disc 50th anniversary edition is colorized, but Ray Harryhausen says it's OK.
- Get a Life- The tale of a gay guy's search for "a straight guy willing to turn gay just to be with him" (such demands).
- Whole New Thing- A whole new take on the typical coming-of-age story.
- Looking for Langston- Director Isaac Julien's provocative look at black gay icon, Langston Hughes.
TV on DVD:
- The Best of The Kids in the Hall, Volume 2
- Dallas: The Complete Seventh Season
- The Archie Show: The Complete Series
- Space: 1999 30th Anniversary Edition Megaset
- Thunderbirds Megaset
- The History Channel: Haunted History of Hollywood
- Learn to Dance with John O'Hurley & Charlotte Jorgensen
- John Wayne's Tribute to America
- The Rhineman Exchange- Check out the cast for this mini-series from 1977: Lauren Hutton, John Huston, Roddy McDowell, José Ferrer, Larry Hagman, Stephen Collins, Claude Akins, Rene Auberjonois and Werner Klemperer. I have no idea if it is any good or not, but who cares?
Click on the individual links to purchase them at Amazon.com.
Link via WashingtonPost.com.
- Trick 'r Treat (pictured) looks like good scary fun ... so why isn't it opening this Halloween?
- Apparently, all former metal heads take the natural career progression from rock music to slasher flicks. Following in the footsteps of Rob Zombie, Twisted Sister Dee Snider directs his own splatterfest, Hatchet.
- For more gore for your buck, check out the R-rated trailer for Resident Evil: Extinction, via the good folks at Cinematical.
- Don't miss Clive Barker's explanation how he came up with the title for Midnight Meat Train, courtesy of The Movie Blog.
- First The Shawshank Redemption, then The Green Mile, then The Mist, due out later this year; Frank Darabont sure has a thing for Stephen King. Darabont will next tackle The Long Walk, an adaptation of one of King's Richard Bachman books.
- Underworld 3, any one?
- Question: what would happen if a horde of vampires descended on a town without sunlight for a whole month? 30 Days of Night is the answer.
- In more vamp news, Fox 2000 pays a pretty penny for the rights to The Passage, a trilogy of terror set in an apocalyptic future.
- Looks like Jessica Alba inherited Sigourney Weaver's Ghostbuster kitchen appliances in The Eye.
- And whoever designed the international poster art for Saw IV sure knows how to get ... ahead.
In their latest attempt to provide their customers with the utmost in specialized choices, TLA has recently added a new category, "Men in Briefs". Reasoning that most A-list actors avoid the big screen full monty (Ewan McGregor notwithstanding), this section will include a vast array of cinematic treasures with one simple common denominator: movie stars in their underwear.
A surprisingly limited selection for now, "Men in Briefs" features some of the quintessential entries into the annals of male undergarments on film, such as John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Tim Robbins in Bull Durham (pictured) and Tom Cruise in Magnolia (but no Risky Business?) And let us not forget White Squall, which pretty much defines this whole sub-sub-sub- genre.
Yes, you too can discover that Clay Pigeons' Vince Vaughn "favors tight, white boxer briefs that hug his crotch and legs nice and snug!" and that both Keanu Reeves and Steve Martin (ew) "show nice packages" in the "warm comedy" Parenthood. I betcha that ain't quoted on the box ...
Nonetheless, no matter how breathlessly they describe Jackie Chan's "god-like body", there is no way I'm watching that. And by "that", I mean Jackie Chan's First Strike.
Monday, July 30, 2007
- Michelle Pfeiffer, who looks absolutely fetching in her goat-drawn chariot (pictured), stars in Stardust as a witch who will go to any extreme to retain her eternal youth (not unlike some people I know). Robert De Niro co-stars as a pirate who may-or-may-not be gay.
- If you, like me, were a little nonplussed by the original trailer for The Golden Compass, then do yourself a favor: watch this. This extended footage (first seen at the Con) ditches the trailer's stretching to connect it to The Lord of the Rings (way to set yourself up for failure, New Line) and instead focuses on what appears to be the film's strongest asset, the story. Whatever doubts I had are gone; this looks like a must-see. Plus, with a fierce Nicole Kidman and a scruffy Daniel Craig, how could you go wrong?
- Fans of Korean giant dragon movies, take note: Dragon Wars is coming.
- A fantasy movie based on a series of popular children's books that "center on a group of young children as they’re introduced to a magical world"? ... I don't know, David Strathairn, The Spiderwick Chronicles sure sounds like Harry Potter to me.
- For the upcoming remake of Death Race 2000, tough guys Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson take on the roles originally played by David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in Roger Corman's original. And who is their ultimate nemesis? Joan Allen. Seriously.
- Hey, fanboy, wanna be in Fanboys?
- If you were as impressed with The Descent as I was, then director Neil Marshall's next film Doomsday should spike your radar ... even if it does sound like 28 Weeks Later.
- "Booed at Cannes". There is just no way Richard Kelly's Southland Tales can ever get away from that fact. But it sure as hell sounds interesting.
All you have to do is click on the picture above to enlarge it, then simply right click your mouse and select "Set as Background". (You can also save it to your computer and set it up from there if you prefer.) The size is 1024 x 768, but you can modify it if needed in your own photo-editing program.
Each month I will bring you a different theme and, as you can see, August is "Cult Movie" month. Films pictured range from midnight movie staples (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Pink Flamingos, Eraserhead) to camp classics (Valley of the Dolls, Mommie Dearest, Showgirls) to off-the-wall comedies (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, This is Spinal Tap) to more current cult converts (Donnie Darko, The Big Lebowski, Scarface) to the truly unique (Grey Gardens, surely more then a mere documentary).
In his lifetime, Bergman won many world film prizes, including the Thalberg, the César and several at Cannes. However, all it takes is a casual glance over his filmography to see the true impact the Swedish auteur had on international film:
Smiles of a Summer Night. The Seventh Seal. Wild Strawberries. Through a Glass Darkly. Persona. Cries and Whispers. Scenes from a Marriage. Face to Face. Autumn Sonata. Fanny and Alexander.
Masterpieces all. A true genius has left our midst.
From the list of 100 nominees, made up of well-known out politicians, celebrities and people who have made a difference to the GLBT community over the past 40 years, you can vote for as little as five and as many as 40.
Film-related nominees include:
- Edward Albee: Playwright, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
- Pedro Almódovar: Writer/director, All About My Mother
- Mark Bingham: 9/11 hero, depicted in the film United 93
- Charles Busch: Actor/writer, Die, Mommie, Die!
- Ellen DeGeneres: Oscar host/actress, Finding Nemo
- Donna Deitch: Director, Desert Hearts
- Melissa Etheridge: Singer/songwriter, An Inconvenient Truth
- Harvey Fierstein: Actor/writer, Torch Song Trilogy
- David Geffen: Producer, Interview With a Vampire
- Christopher Isherwood: Novelist, source for Cabaret
- Elton John: Singer/songwriter, The Lion King
- Cleve Jones: Subject, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt
- Larry Kramer: Writer, Women in Love
- Tony Kushner: Writer, Munich
- k.d. lang: Singer/actress, Salmonberries
- Greg Louganis: Athlete/actor, It's My Party
- Ian McKellen: Actor, Gods and Monsters
- Armistead Maupin: Writer, The Night Listener
- Harvey Milk: Subject, The Times of Harvey Milk
- Rosie O'Donnell: Actress, A League of Their Own
- Pratibha Parmar: Director, Warrior Marks
- Marlon Riggs: Director, Tongues Untied
- Vito Russo: Author, The Celluloid Closet
- Christine Vachon: Producer, Boys Don't Cry
- Gus Van Sant: Director, My Own Private Idaho
- Bruce Vilanch: Writer, Oscar shows
- Andy Warhol: Director/producer, Flesh
- John Waters: Director, Pink Flamingos
"Flame on" is right. As hotshot pilot Johnny Storm/high-flying super-stud the Human Torch, Evans scorched the screen in the two Fantastic Four movies with his cocky charisma and smoldering good looks. Why else would I, after watching the first Four, run home and watch Cellular?
I am not alone in this Evans adulation, as witnessed by online shrines and his number two (with a red-hot bullet) ranking on AfterElton's "Hot 100". So what sets Chris apart from a dozen or so other hunks de jour? Some would say those pouty lips or the furry pecs, but I would say it is the whole package ... plus all those photos (like the one above) that pose him like some previously unknown blue movie star from back in the day.
- If the awesome trailer wasn't enough, now word has it Cate Blanchett will doff her royal duds in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the second in a planned Elizabeth trilogy.
- Benicio Del Toro looks hungry for another Oscar. Not only is he going the "real person" route in the role of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, but he is also re-teaming with his Traffic director Steve Soderbergh on the film, titled Guerrilla. To see how he compares to all those dorm wall posters, here are some onset pictures.
- And let us give all due praise to Anne Hathaway. Unlike a certain fellow Disney flick alumna, our girl Anne is gaining more and more fame for the right reasons. After her sparkling debut in The Princess Diaries movies, Hathaway turned in fine 'adult' performances in Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada, endearing her to us for a lifetime. Now she takes on the role of a lifetime: Jane Austen in Becoming Jane.
Since Hollywood has already mined most of Austen's works, they have now turned to the life of the author herself for the next swooning big screen romance. Hathaway, looking resplendent in her period garb, was born for this part; and the presence of James McAvoy (not too mention Julie Walters and Maggie Smith) doesn't hurt either.
Becoming Jane opens in select cities this Friday, nationwide August 1o.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Enjoy! And here's to the next 100 posts.
- The new teaser for Blue Sky's Horton Hears a Who starts out impressive ... until the elephant opens his mouth and out comes Jim Carrey. And it just goes further downhill once you hear the Who, and it's Steve Carell. I swear, what happened to the good old days when the most famous person in an animated film was Thurl Ravenscroft? And aren't Dr. Seuss characters supposed to speak in rhyme?
- I'm still not sold on this whole mo-cap thing. Tell me, what is the point of making animation so photo-realistic, as in the Beowulf trailer, instead of just doing it in live action?
- In the paw steps of Garfield and Underdog comes Alvin and the Chipmunks ... and they don't look much better.
- The Weinsteins are trying to get their feet wet in animation with Igor, a computer animated comedy that sounds like warmed-over Shrek leftovers. And, yes, it will have a star-studded cast (sigh), including the recently added Eddie Izzard, replacing Jeremy Piven as a mad scientist.
- And the film that will likely be more entertaining then these other four combined, Pixar's WALL·E, was presented at Comic-Con by its director, Andrew Stanton (who won the Oscar for Finding Nemo). Hopes are high for this one, and from what has been said about it, it looks to be another winner. Plus, the title character doesn't speak like a famous person.
Yep, soon you too can play the Dirty Dancing video game. Not that you would want to ... or that there's anything wrong with that.
In related Dirty news: Toronto prepares their own version of the London stage version. And the Dirtyness goes on ...
- Disney continues their wholesale raiding of that "vault" of theirs with the recently announced "re-imagining" of Escape to Witch Mountain. Gee, could the success of a certain boy wizard have anything to do with it?
- The Invasion is the latest in remakes of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the third!), but it stars Daniel Craig (along with Nicole Kidman, above), so we'll see it any way.
- First Halloween, now Terror Train??? Can't anyone respect the cinematic heritage of Jamie Lee Curtis? (Although Rob Zombie's Halloween looks promising; check out the creepy trailer.)
- Asian action film fans brace yourself, this ain't pretty: Joel Schumacher may direct an Americanized remake or Breaking News.
- From the "Do We Really Need Another Christmas Carol" file (believe me, its an expando file): Robert Zemeckis, who seems to be overdoing all these mo-cap movies of late, will direct Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge in the latest take on the tale (damn you, Dickens descendants, for allowing it to slip into public domain!). Zemeckis has also recruited his Back to the Future buddies to co-star. Get ready for Christopher Lloyd as the Ghost of Marley (OK, I can see that) and Michael J. Fox as ... Tiny Tim??? Yikes.
- On the TV to movie front: Johnny Depp is eyeing a big screen redo of Dark Shadows. This will be, amazingly, Depp's first role as a vampire.
- If The Simpsons can do it, why not Family Guy?
- Surprising considering how lame the recent teaser trailer was, scenes from Steve Carell's Get Smart was met with enthusiasm at the Con. Smart co-star and Borat refugee Ken Davitian also talked up his upcoming 300 spoof, Hunting and Fishing.
And now we all have the image of the corpulent Davitian in Spartan Speedo's and a cape burned into our brains forever.
The Independent Film Channel heats things up in August with the documentary series Indie Sex, presenting the various ways that sex, both straight and gay, has been portrayed in American and international cinema.
The four-part series (starting Wednesday) will focus on such themes as "Censored", "Taboos", "Teens" and "Extremes" and features the typical round-up of filmmakers on the subject, such as Shortbus' John Cameron Mitchell, The Living End's Gregg Araki and John Waters (who seems to enjoy this second career as a talking head).
Films covered range from the classic (Blue Velvet, Last Tango in Paris, Midnight Cowboy) to the reviled (9 ½ Weeks, Porky's, Showgirls), with a few gay-themed works (But I'm a Cheerleader, Chuck and Buck, Edge of Seventeen) to liven things up.
MUST-SEE OF THE WEEK: Once again, Fox Movie Channel comes through for us with Cavalcade, the 1933 Best Picture Oscar-winner that is not available on DVD. The film, based on Noel Coward's play, stars one of my favorite character actresses, Una O'Connor (pictured above, with Herbert Mundin). It will air next Sunday.
Over on LOGO, the "gay Christian teen" documentary Camp Out airs Saturday, followed by another doc on Sunday, Farm Family: In Search of Gay Life in Rural America. Both films are not yet on DVD.
And finally, TCM starts their annual "Summer Under the Stars" programming (each day is dedicated to a different star's films) this week, but before that, be sure to check out Test Pilot on Tuesday. Not only does it star faves Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Myrna Loy, but see if you can detect the hidden gay subtext that I'll cover in an upcoming "Out of the Celluloid Closet".
To go along with the month long theme, I'll not only list the "star of the day", but attempt to pick my personal favorite film set to air that day, as well as any rarities (not on DVD) that need mentioning.
- Wednesday - Elizabeth Taylor: A Place in the Sun.
- Thursday - Peter O'Toole: Lawrence of Arabia. Also showing: The musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Otto Preminger's Rosebud, which Robert Osborne dubs "bizarre".
- Friday - Joan Crawford: Mildred Pierce. Also showing: The doc Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (narrated by Anjelica Huston and featuring gay icon Charles Busch), Flamingo Road, Autumn Leaves and Berserk!
- Saturday - William Holden: Stalag 17. Also showing: Executive Suite (with Barbra Stanwyck).
- Sunday - James Stewart: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
UPDATE: All this week is "Movie Week" (with movie-themed questions) on the syndicated Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, plus the celebrity edition of Jeopardy! Check local listings for showtimes in your area.Click on the network links to find the show times in your area. All programming is subject to change.
- Rachel Weisz (who nabbed her Oscar and ran) is out; Maria Bello is in as Brendan Fraser's ladylove for the third Mummy movie, rather clumsily titled The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Here's some more casting news for the flick, courtesy Obsessed With Film.
- Per our sources, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian looks like "more of the same". And from this peek at the concept art, we would have to agree. This second chapter, which is currently filming in Prague, will be released next May, with subsequent chapters to follow suit.
- Cars 2, any one? Can't say that I blame them; the merchandise is doing alarmingly well.
- More from the Mouse House: To wet your appetite (or possibly quench it) for another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Disney may turn to TV for the next adventure of Captain Jack Sparrow.
- From the "Nope, Nothing to See Here" file: Borat 2. As one of the few people who loathed the first movie, I say "thank goodness".
- From the "Don't Count on it Anytime Soon" file, Robert Rodriguez sub-file: Sin City 2 and Grindhouse 2. Hey Robert, maybe the following quote has something to do with the delays "due to issues apparently involving the Weinsteins": "we [would] kill Harvey Weinstein in the movie". Ya think?
- And from the "Who Asked for That?" file: Meatballs 5. I had no idea there was more then two ...
My first thought on the subject was of me and Big Edie watching Queer as Folk together ("See ma, it has Sharon Gless in it."), but that was a TV show (and she covered her eyes through most of it). Then there was the time I forced my metal-head brothers to listen to Erasure on a long family trip. Still not a movie, still doesn't count.
Then I recalled a particular weepy night long ago when, after watching Untamed Heart ("He ... (sob) ... left her (wail) ... his records!") with my brother and sister-in-law, I thought, "hey, let's continue down this road to despair" and popped in Longtime Companion. Despite more tears, I feel that they understood me a little more as a gay man, not just as their gay brother.
Visit Planet Out to submit your story, the best of which will be featured shortly on their sister site, Gay.com. I will link to that article when it is posted.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
In any event, the teasing continues with this poster image, released this weekend at Comic-Con, showing the other end of the carnage seen in the trailer. My opinion on the beastie that beheaded Lady Liberty? I say it's ol' Smokey ...
Winners in their film competition included The Bubble (pictured), Itty Bitty Titty Committee, In Sickness and In Health and Life of Reilly.
For more information on the festival and a full list of winners, visit their official site.