Archive for May 2009

Regarding Terminators

May 29, 2009

terminator-salvationThe only review I can give of Terminator Salvation is to say that I saw it on opening night in the hopes that Christian Bale would be hot and that robots would have awesome fights, and in these regards my expectations were more than met.

That said, if you’ve seen it already or don’t care about spoilers, here’s a Terminator Roundup:

First, we’ve got a gossipy article (via metafilter) about the evolution of the script that reveals that Christian Bale was originally approached to play Marcus (a terminator!), but Bale preferred the character of Heroic Resistance Leader John Connor.  Trouble was, John Connor had almost no screentime in the story as written.   In accordance with Mr. Bale’s unprofessional and fucking distracting whims, the roles of the leads (Marcus and Kyle) were dramatically scaled back so that John Connor could be the star of the story, and the new narrative was basically improvised, on the fly, during filming.

This is why the movie doesn’t make any sense, and there’s a fun discussion of the pleasures and frustrations of TS at the AV Club that you might enjoy.

Funnily enough, a similar situation arose in the development of Terminator 2.  According to this David Foster Wallace essay (what didn’t he write about?), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star had so risen between the making of the first and second films that he had the cache to insist that he play a good guy this time around.  The difference between T2 and TS is that James Cameron actually bothered to go back to the drawing board and construct a story around the actor’s demand.

I hate to break it to you

May 23, 2009

So a film adaptation of my favorite novel is coming in October. It’s a very quiet, tense, loving and hopeful story about filial affection and duty. Moreover, I trust John Hillcoat’s ability to translate some of this to the screen. However, Harvey Weinstein apparently cares about stupid stuff like box office so he decided to cut this trailer that makes it look like this crazy action flick…starring Charlize Theron? Her character exists for a split second in the novel! Anyhow, I’m still really looking forward to seeing this – I’m going to pretend this trailer doesn’t exist.

The Antichrist Is On The Way!

May 21, 2009

antichrist“Since it premiered at Cannes on Monday, we haven’t been able to stop talking or thinking about ‘Antichrist,” said IFC Entertainment president Joanthan Sehring in a statement. “It is a towering work of cinema by one its greatest directors.  We are incredibly excited to bring this film to America and expect it to have a major impact on audiences not only in America but worldwide.”   – indieWIRE

If you’re a familiar with Von Trier’s work, then you understand why the prospect of an offensive and deliberately provocative Von Trier film is so awesome.  It’s like describing a cheetah as being “fast” – cheetahs are always fast so you know that a fast cheetah must have a goddamn  rocket strapped to its back.  That’s what this movie is going to be like!

If you’re curious about the films that may-or-may-not be coming our way over the next year, the Cannes coverage at the AV Club is predictably wonderful… and you might want to check out local critic Wesley Morris’ blog for another view, although I caution you that I had to stop reading the “Antichrist” entry because there are spoilers, and that makes him a bigger dick than LVT himself.

You Ought to Watch Wendy and Lucy Straight Away.

May 8, 2009

wendylucy_01Netflix has added a new feature where they recommend movies based on weirdly specific intersections of past viewing. Today it accused me of favoring Critically Acclaimed Violent Crime Movies and Understated Dramas Featuring a Strong Female Lead. (I wouldn’t have thought of things that way, but damned if they aren’t correct). Anyhow, if you enjoy the latter category as much as I apparently do, you’ll be thrilled to learn that Wendy and Lucy is available for streaming. Oddly enough, the only movie I can think to compare it to is Smiley Face with Anna Faris. They’re both about young women who made mistakes and now must endure the cascading avalanche of consequences – but more importantly, they’re both movies where one woman’s face has to carry an entire film. Smiley Face is hilarious, and Wendy and Lucy is horrifically sad, but both actors tell stories that are more than worth your time.

Fans design their own Criterion covers

May 1, 2009

A lot of these are really good!

My favorite so far.