Movies with dare-you-to-look scenes
Here's one from the list. A movie that furthered the fear of cavity fighters everywhere. "Marathon Man."
"Regular dentists are bad enough. But Nazi dentists? Nazi dentists who don't use novocaine?! It's hard to imagine a more perfect form of evil. So when Laurence Olivier slaps young Dustin Hoffman down in a dental chair and proceeds to interrogate him — 'Is it safe?' — with the help of his whirring, buzzing friend, Mr. Pointy, you'll be forgiven for feeling a little clammy and lightheaded."
Jessica Alba's newest enemy: Screenwriters
What'd Alba say? This:
"Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say."
Oh my. Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, Clifford Odets and Paddy Chayefsky just rolled over in their graves. Actually, they'd roll over to write something less hackneyed and then hope and pray Miss Alba could deliver the line properly.
Screenwriter John August ("Big Fish") felt the sting, and he wrote a stern yet amused response on his blog:
"Oh, Jessica. Where to start?
Scripts aren’t just the dialogue. Screenplays reflect the entire movie in written form, including those moments when you don’t speak. Do you know the real reason we hold table readings in pre-production? So the actors will read the entire script at least once.
Following your logic, you’ve never been in a movie with both good actors and amazing writing. That may be true, but it might hurt the feelings of David Wain, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller.
You’re saying your co-stars who delivered their lines as written are not 'good actors.' Awkward.
You’re setting dangerous expectations. So if an aspiring actor wishes to be “good,” she should say whatever she wants to say? That’s pretty terrible advice.
Screenwriters can be your best friends. We are pushovers for attractive people who pay attention to us. I wrote that bathtub scene in Big Fish because Jessica Lange made brief eye contact with me. So if you’re not getting great writing — and honestly, you’re not — ask to have lunch with the screenwriter. I’ve seen you on interviews. You’re charming. That charm could work wonders.
Robert De Niro to receive Golden Globe lifetime-achievement award
"The honor was announced Tuesday by Kevin Spacey. The award will be presented to him at the 68th annual Golden Globes on Jan. 16.
"De Niro has won eight Golden Globes Awards in both the comedy and drama categories. He's also won two Academy Awards and the Kennedy Center Honor.
"Previous winners include Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg and this past year's recipient, Martin Scorsese.
Real actress, real woman
This is lovely. Janet Maslin on the late Jill Clayburgh, a wonderful actress whom women (and men), saw themselves -- even found themselves -- in.
She left us too soon.
From the New York Times:
"Has any actor’s career ever been more powerfully affected by a prefix? It was the 'un' in 'Unmarried' that established Ms. Clayburgh’s creative power. Women’s roles had been changing irrevocably, and a new assertiveness was being established and understood. But the usual story lines of that era followed female characters’ quests for independence and authority. Heroines rebelled. They picked themselves up and moved out. They took action. They weren’t acted upon.
"Their roles were often sharply defined, but Erica’s was not. Paul Mazursky, the writer and director, had a divorced friend who described herself as "an unmarried woman" on a mortgage application. Extrapolating from that, he envisioned the story of a Manhattan wife set adrift. But Ms. Clayburgh’s shaping of the character was utterly and unmistakably her own, just as surely as its impact on female movie audiences was universal. And the unaffected nature of the performance became its most distinctive feature.
How do you feel about 'The Smurfs'?
I rather enjoyed that the animated series "The Smurfs," a show in which I learned a lot about classical music, remained sealed in a time vault of memory. Unless magically capturing the mood of the 1980s, these perfectly strange blue creatures of youth should be left alone.
If only Brett Easton Ellis had written the script for the newest take.
But then I wonder what fans of the "Smurfs" creator, Belgian cartoonist Peyo, who debuted the first "Smurfs" comic in 1958, felt about the television series? Or how about viewers of the first "Smurfs" movie, "Les Aventures des Schtroumpfs" (1965), or those crazy for the second "Smurfs" movie, "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute" (1976)? How did they feel?
Yes, I need to calm down. With that, check out the teaser trailer for the movie, opening next summer.
The actress is in talks
According to Wikipedia, it was no dream.
And then I thought, wasn't that a disco hit by the late Andy Gibb, the other brother of Maurice, Robin and Barry? Or was that also a dream I had one night? Oh, no, that was "Shadow Dancing."
OK, my Lee Daniels and brothers Gibb obsessions aside, actress Rebecca Hall ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona," "The Town") is in talks to star in "Shadow Dancer," adapted from the book by Tom Bradby.
Here's more from Variety:
"Pic will be directed by 'Man on a Wire' helmer James Marsh and is produced by Unanimous Pictures' Chris Coen. Ireland's Element Pictures is also on board to produce, along with Blighty's BBC Films, while Gallic shingle Wild Bunch is also backing the project.
"Story, adapted by Bradby, follows the tale of a young woman, a former IRA terrorist turned informer for Blighty's MI5. Her brothers are both heavily involved with the IRA and her husband was killed by Brit security forces. But when she is arrested over an aborted bombing attempt in London, she is forced to reveal her past if she wishes to see her children again.
Who will be next year's Oscar host?
This is the query floating around the Net (as last year's Oscar winner Sandra Bullock likes to call the Internet), and a good one. I have no idea.
TheWrap looks at the wondering and comes up with some contenders:
"The show’s producers, Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer, have been in place for more than three months now, and we’re now past the time when the last Oscar hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, were announced.
"According to Deadline, Cohen and Mischer offered the gig to the well-received 2009 host, Hugh Jackman, who declined; I’ve been told by someone on the production side that Justin Timberlake’s name was in the mix early on as well.
"So who will they get?
"These thoughts were inspired by musings at In Contention, where Guy Lodge puts in a vote for Steve Martin (his favorite past host, and mine) hosting not with Baldwin, but with Tina Fey, and by reader suggestions there and at Awards Daily and The Envelope and Hollywood Elsewhere."
The animated picture is tops at the box office
In second place was Todd Phillips "Due Date," a movie that didn't hit the critical pay dirt of his previous R-rated adventure, "The Hangover," but the pairing of Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianakis drew in audiences, grossing $33.5 million.
At third was yet another critically mixed picture, Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls." In spite of showing in fewer theaters, the more serious drama for the prolific Perry racked up $20.1 million. Impressive.