MSN Movies Blog

Jack Black gets his cameo/meta Muppet on ...

By Kim Morgan Dec 20, 2010 4:56PM
I feel like the whole world has gone meta. Everything feels meta to me. Even my own life on here feels meta. I felt meta driving on the 101 today.

So when Jack Black says he's going "meta" for the new Muppet movie, I think ... well, what does that mean?

Here's more from ComingSoon:

"As production moves forward on Walt Disney Pictures' The Muppets, EW was able to catch up with Jack Black and ask him some questions about his cameo role.

"'I will be playing myself,' Black told the site on the red carpet of his new movie 'Gulliver's Travels.' 'It's kind of like "Being John Malkovich." It is a new twist on the Muppets. Very cerebral and meta.'

 

The filmmaker goes through his fave moments and movies

By Kim Morgan Dec 20, 2010 4:52PM
Director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz" and "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World") put together an end-of-the-year list at The Playlist that's a good one. 

It's comprised of favorite moments, performances, musical cues, etc. and then his picks for the 10 most underrated, underseen movies. A few made my top 10 list.

Here they are:

"My Top 10 Underrated or Underseen Movies of 2010

1. “Four Lions” – If this was a bigger hit, I’d worry for the safety of its makers. It’s a ballsy satire that never wimps out. Chris Morris made my favourite TV comedy show of all time, “Brass Eye” and his debut feature is no less ballsy and hilarious.

2. “Enter The Void” – The most stunning visuals of the year for me.  A rewarding, if grueling experience where the viewer essentially takes the POV of a drug tripping ghost. This is an out of body experience in every way possible .

3. “Splice” – This film was awarded a Cinemascore of F on the basis of two audience losing sex scenes that caused audible ‘What the f---’ cries when I saw it in the cinema. I applauded them. This is a great twisted little piece of science fiction that deserved to be lauded for its smarts and guts.

4. “Tiny Furniture” – This film announced a great young voice in Lena Dunham and its beautifully detailed look at New York’s directionless youth was fresh and funny. Unlike its mumblecore predecessors, the camerawork was nicely composed and thought out. Hugely impressive for its budget.

5. “Never Let Me Go” – This film did not get nearly enough credit for having the courage of its convictions. It’s rare to see a piece of science fiction this spare and intelligent in 2010. Mark Romanek made a haunting piece of cinema that was both emotional and brilliantly chilly.

6. “The Last Exorcism” – The TV spots did something of a bag switch with this one. The actual film is not what was advertised, it was better. It’s original title of ‘Cotton’ better sets you up for the mock documentary tale about huckster evangelist Patrick Fabian whose faith is tested by the deeply troubled Ashley Bell.

7. “MacGruber” – In 2007, Akiva Schaffer brought us “Hot Rod.” In 2010, Jorma Taccone directed “MacGruber.” Now Andy Samberg has to make another cult comedy in 2013 to complete the Lonely Island trilogy of underrated movies destined to become stoner classics. “MacGruber” is so f---ing stupid, yet I cannot deny I watched it every night on the ‘Scott Pilgrim’ press tour in every hotel I slept in. The team up montage, the begging scene, Will Forte excruciating response to the accidental massacre of his team and the two aforementioned unforgettable sex scenes are comedy highlight of the year.

8. “Life During Wartime” – Todd Solonz’s sequel to “Happiness” barely got released and yet it was as sharp and as strong as any of his work. The theme is this is one of forgiveness and the film has a memorable haunted mood. It sometimes feels that you’re watching all the characters in some waking purgatory, so spooky are the performances of Shirley Henderson, Michael Kenneth Williams and Paul Reubens. While the complete cast swap of this sequel is probably down to not being able to bring back all the original actors, it actually seems meant. I’d like to see Solondz return to these characters in 2023. It can be like his very own [Michael Apted doc] “7 Up.”

9. “Please Give” – Somewhat overshadowed by the equally great “The Kids Are All Right,” Nicole Holofcener’s ensemble comedy is sprinkled with ace work from Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet and the brilliantly crabby Ann Guilbert.

10. “Frozen” – “127 Hours” and “Buried” made more festival noise, but Adam Green’s ski lift bound thriller was a just as worthy addition to the single location Lifeboat genre. Making the most of the tiny budget, the film gets maximum impact with its sickening twists. A great one to watch with friends and scream ‘Don’t do that!’ at the screen.

 

Big studio deal to create sequels of many films

By Kim Morgan Dec 20, 2010 11:18AM
OK. A sequel to "Swingers" could be interesting. I would assume these fellas would have stopped swing dancing by now, or have become uber dorks still obsessed with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but I doubt it.

I actually love "Swingers," and I have this feeling Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn could make it something even funnier and edgier (see their underrated, wonderful "Made") than the first one. Yes. A sequel I'm all for.

But the rest on the docket? Not so sure. I mean, please, God, no! Not another "Bridget Jones" movie! And "Rounders"? What?

Here's more via The Huffington Post:

"Good thing Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays, because the Oscar-winning movie based on his life is about to get a sequel.


"The Weinstein Company and Miramax -- the studio the Weinstein brothers founded and then sold -- announced a gigantic partnership deal on Thursday (via The Hollywood Reporter), agreeing to create sequels of the smash hit films that the Weinsteins produced for the studio before starting their new production company.


"A number of big films are set to see second installments added to their canon: 'Shakespeare In Love,' 'Bad Santa,' 'Swingers,' 'Rounders,' 'Bridget Jones's Diary,' are some of the most famous names to be in line for the part two treatment."



 

Will 'Black Swan' and 'The Fighter' creep out voters?

By Kim Morgan Dec 17, 2010 4:01PM
TheWrap asks an interesting question: Will two much-talked-about, recently released films, "The Fighter" and "Black Swan," be too weird for Oscar voters?

Perhaps in years back. But, we must remember, there are 10 categories this year. Could the Academy possibly pass up the masterfully insane "Black Swan" (which was my No. 1 movie of the year) for ... "Grown Ups"?

They better nominate the film. The movie deserves a nomination, and they kind of have to.

Here's more of this amusing and right-on take from TheWrap:

"Two weeks ago, I issued a plea for some craziness in the Oscar race, for contenders that are not just strong and exemplary films, like 'The Social Network' and 'The King's Speech,' but messy, unruly movies, to bring a little excitement into the race.


"Now I'd just like to say: Thank you, Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell. Thank you, 'Black Swan' and 'The Fighter.'


"But are Oscar voters going to take your raw energy, glorious messiness and delicious insanity seriously, or are the hot movies of the moment just too damn weird for the Academy?


"'Black Swan,' which happens to be my favorite movie of the year, is a mix of backstage drama, creepy horror and over-the-top musical moments that builds to a hysterical climax as exhilarating as it is insane. (It does for, and to, Tchaikovsky what 'A Clockwork Orange' did for, and to, Beethoven.)


"'The Fighter,' meanwhile, is a gritty drama from the streets of Boston, but Christian Bale's skeletal, haunted visage makes it horrifying -- and as HBO footage of the real-life character he plays proves, the actor's trademark weight loss actually took him well beyond the worst look of the real guy.



 

Check out the latest, and apparently final, poster

By Kim Morgan Dec 17, 2010 11:50AM
The final poster (I think) for the upcoming Seth Rogen action-adventure film, "The Green Hornet," has been released. And it looks pretty ... good.

The movie, directed by Michel Gondry, will be released in 3-D, 2-D and IMAX 3-D theaters on Jan. 14. Along with Rogen, the film also stars Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour and Tom Wilkinson.

 

MSN's Glenn Whipp discusses this year's lumps of coal

By Kim Morgan Dec 17, 2010 11:40AM
MSN's Glenn Whipp looks at not the bright spots of this year, but the bummers.

Here's his piece on 2010's Cinematic Bummers:

"We've arrived at the time of the movie year where the big studios release their holiday crowd-pleasers and their indie counterparts haul out hopeful Oscar contenders. It'd be easy to sit here and count our blessings and check off the 101 reasons why we think 'Black Swan' is the best movie of the year. But where's the fun in that? Instead, let us examine the lumps of coal in this year's stockings as we present the 10 biggest movie bummers of 2010."

He begins with ...

"Backlash to Jennifer Aniston backlash

"When critics expressed a certain fatigue with Jennifer Aniston in August upon the arrival of her second awful comedy of the year, there arose a backlash and charges of misogyny. If critics could not appreciate Aniston's effortless comedic work in 'The Bounty Hunter' and 'The Switch,' then they must hate women, too, not to mention rainbows, sunsets and puppy dogs.

But what if there's another option? What if these people just don't like bad movies starring actresses whose limited talents are much better suited to the small screen? What if moviegoers have seen Aniston make a dozen of these affronts and are developing the small sense that Aniston's name on the marquee is the equivalent of the skull-and-crossbones warning on that bottle of weed killer sitting on the garage shelf?


"I don't hate Aniston. But I laughed more during a single TV episode of Courteney Cox's 'Cougar Town' than in the three hours I spent watching Aniston on the screen this year. And I'm not optimistic that her next movie, a romantic-comedy with (shudder) Adam Sandler, is going to change my thinking on this. She's not exactly stretching herself, is she? At least Renée Zellweger gave us a mean Granny Clampett imitation and spun it into Oscar gold for 'Cold Mountain.' Where's your Granny Clampett, Jen? I know you have it in you."



 

George Clooney to star in Alfonso Cuaron's space thriller

By Kim Morgan Dec 17, 2010 11:33AM
This is interesting. Clooney has now been cast in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity." I love Clooney, but I liked the idea of Robert Downey Jr. for this one. I also liked Angelina Jolie for the lead, but, alas, Sandra Bullock will star.

I also keep thinking of Clooney in "Solaris," where he was very good, so ... well, this is probably a great choice. I'm hopeful.

Here's more from EW:

"George Clooney has landed at 'Gravity.' The actor's rep confirms to EW that he will star in Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' 3-D space thriller 'Gravity' as an astronaut that lives through a disaster.

 

Terrence Malick's stunning trailer

By Kim Morgan Dec 17, 2010 11:26AM
This trailer gives me such goosebumps in the theater, I'm almost afraid to see the movie. Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life." My God. "Beautiful" is not a strong enough word:



 
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