MSN Movies Blog

The AV Club picks 19

By Kim Morgan Nov 17, 2010 3:44PM
The Onion AV Club writes up a great list of 19 movies that double as film criticism.

There are some great pictures and some surprises on here (and some omissions, like "8 1/2," "Sunset Blvd." or "Contempt"), but it's a fascinating list.

Here's one of the picks: "Rear Window":

"Alfred Hitchcock always had a knack for toying with his audience's baser instincts, but never more trickily than in 'Rear Window,' a movie about voyeurism that allows viewers to enjoy the cheap thrills of the peeper by experiencing them vicariously through nice guy Jimmy Stewart. Stewart plays a photographer who's nursing a broken leg in his apartment and passing the time by watching the people in the building across the alley, piecing together the story of their lives from what he sees and hears through his window.

"The plot is driven by a murder that Stewart suspects one of those neighbors of committing, but that's really just a hook to allow Hitchcock to film long scenes of Stewart playing people-watcher, ever-limited by what's in the frame of his window, and what he imagines is going on outside his scope of vision. It's a sly metaphor for how people watch movies—or television, given that Stewart has multiple 'channels' to scan, in the form of his neighbors' windows—and it's simultaneously critical and sympathetic."


Even sea creatures ...

By Kim Morgan Nov 16, 2010 7:03PM
This story is strange, sweet and, when you think about it, not that surprising.

Why? Because porpoises are wonderful, and who doesn't love Dick Van Dyke?

Here's more from The Guardian:

"On screen, Dick Van Dyke has been rescued from untimely death by flying cars and magical nannies. Off screen, the veteran star of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and 'Mary Poppins' had to rely on the help of a pod of porpoises after apparently dozing off aboard his surfboard. 'I'm not kidding,' he said afterward.

"Van Dyke's ordeal began during an ill-fated trip to his local beach. 'I woke up out of sight of land,' the 84-year-old actor told Craig Ferguson on his TV chat show. 'I started paddling with the swells, and I started seeing fins swimming around me, and I thought "I'm dead!"'

Van Dyke was wrong. 'They turned out to be porpoises,' he said. 'And they pushed me all the way to shore.' The porpoises were unavailable for comment."


Not a surprise: The Chilean miners will have a movie

By Kim Morgan Nov 16, 2010 4:38PM
This could be the true story of a group of men overcoming obstacles and living against the odds or ... Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole."

Since "Ace in the Hole" is a cynical masterpiece, I'm thinking the movie version of the trapped Chilean miners will not be too near Wilder country.

Instead, it's looking toward the land of Brad Pitt.

Here's more from TheWrap:

"Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment is in talks to buy film rights for the story of the trapped Chilean miners, who themselves may be negotiating roles for themselves, a local news outlet in Santiago reported on Sunday.

"A lawyer for the miners told the daily El Mercurio that Pitt’s company has made a multimillion-dollar offer for the film, and that several rescued miners could be cast.

"The 33 miners were rescued last month after surviving two months trapped deep underground.

Edgardo Reinoso told the paper that his clients have been flooded with proposals, averaging about 10 per day.


Vanity Fair wonders why other famous Brits have not been cast in 'Harry Potter'

By Kim Morgan Nov 16, 2010 2:52PM
I love this piece from Vanity Fair titled "Why Haven’t These 76 British Actors Been Cast in a Harry Potter Movie?"

It's tongue in cheek, I'm presuming, since the list is so exhaustive, but it's interesting, too. It made me wonder. Indeed. Why haven't many of these actors appeared in the "Harry Potter" films? They wonder, too, and also supply a few reasons in some of their own categories.

From Vanity Fair:

"The first installment of the final Harry Potter film will be served in theaters this Friday, stuffed for the holidays with our favourite character actors. J.K. Rowling insisted on having authentic British actors portray her authentic British wizards, which meant craft services for all of England for the past 10 years.

"But not every high-end British actor made the cut. A look at the rejects reveals many actors involved in other high-profile franchises were either too busy — or not invited — to board the Hogwarts Express. In other cases, it appears that 'purebloods' were perhaps punished for fraternizing with American 'mudbloods.'

"Here is our list of the famed British actors who couldn’t even buy their way into Hufflepuff.

"James Bond actors:
Pierce Brosnan
Daniel Craig
Sean Connery
Timothy Dalton
Judi Dench
George Lazenby
Roger Moore"


Carey Mulligan is confirmed in Baz Luhrmann's 'Great Gatsby' project

By Kim Morgan Nov 16, 2010 11:38AM
Unless the director can slow down his editing, mute his color palette and temper his love of big, grandiloquent moments (not bad things in the right movie; see "Moulin Rouge"), I will kindly ask Baz Luhrmann to put down the F. Scott Fitzgerald and back away very, very slowly.

I've asked too late. Luhrmann, who will work as director, writer and producer on the adaptation of the Fitzgerald's classic "The Great Gatsby," has found his leading lady in Carey Mulligan. Mulligan will obviously play Daisy Buchanan.

Here's more from Ace Showbiz:

"'Regarding the role of Daisy Buchanan, I was privileged to explore the character with some of the world's most talented actresses, each one bringing their own particular interpretation, all of which were legitimate and exciting,' Luhrmann says in a message to Deadline. 'However, specific to this particular production of "The Great Gatsby," I was thrilled to pick up the phone an hour ago to the young Oscar-nominated British actress Carey Mulligan and say to her: "Hello, Daisy Buchanan."'

"Additionally, the filmmaker who will serve as director, writer as well as producer for the film gives a picture of Mulligan which he took when the actress auditioned for the role of Daisy."

But who will play Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby? Read on:


15 films chosen for the Animated Feature Film category

By Kim Morgan Nov 15, 2010 4:55PM
Only three will be nominated, but it all begins with a nice 15.

The Academy has just announced the 15 animated feature films accepted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for next year's 83rd Academy Awards. 

Here's the list. Which of these would you choose/predict?

“Alpha and Omega”
“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”
“Despicable Me”
“The Dreams of Jinsha”
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Idiots and Angels”
“The Illusionist”
“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
“My Dog Tulip”
“Shrek Forever After”
“Summer Wars”
“Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”
“Toy Story 3”

Well ... this is pretty easy to predict, don't you think? For the three I will say "How to Train Your Dragon," "Megamind" and "Toy Story 3."

The winner? Oh, no, that's too easy. Hint: It has a number in the title, and the number is neither 1 nor 2.


And no Angela Lansbury for her either

By Kim Morgan Nov 15, 2010 4:42PM
Interesting ... I wonder why she dropped out of this project?

It can't have anything to do with Angela Lansbury. I hope not. Angela Lansbury is awesome.

Here's the report from Coming Soon:

"Katherine Heigl has canceled plans to star in the upcoming 'Adaline,' reports Deadline, though the film will still move forward with another actress in the lead.

"A sci-fi/fantasy from director Andy Tennant ('Hitch'), 'Adaline' would have featured Heigl as a woman who, after an accident, loses the ability to age. After spending much of her life alone, she eventually meets a man whose love could cause her to lose her immortality. "Despite Heigl's departure, the film still plans to shoot in mid-March with a search already under way for the actress's replacement.

"Angela Lansbury is also attached to the film, said to be playing the lead character's daughter."

Behold and Ahoy!

By Kim Morgan Nov 15, 2010 1:29PM
Above is the teaser one-sheet for "The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" that debuted this morning.

The movie staring (of course), Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow will find the famed pirate (according to the press release) "on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth when a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz) forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane)."

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