This time there's no foolin' and no going back...this blog is over. Thanks to everyone who came by the last three years and hopefully got a chuckle. Now check out my new blog over here.
Posted by Melvin Ayatollahofrock'nrolla at 12:31 PM
Angelina and Brad recently took a trip to Syria to visit refugees displaced by the Iraq conflict. Angie evidently saw something she liked because it's being reported that she has begun the process of adopting one of the poor sunburned victims of George Bush's illegal oil war.
Ah, but this deal isn't going down as smoothly as the last few adoptions/births. Sources say Brad was against adding a 7th kid to the brood, and Angie went ahead without him. People with knowledge of the situation say only Angelina's name is on the adoption papers.
Numerous questions arise in the wake of this news. 1: What color is an Iraqi refugee baby officially and how does this affect the legendary balance? 2: How long before Brad putters off on his motorcycle to find a piece of ass who isn't a deranged baby hoarder? 3: At what point does Shiloh begin her bid to become legally emancipated? 4: How will Octomom react to this shocking news? For that matter, how will Balloon Boy react? 5: When will I stop repeating these silly, unfounded rumors as if they were fact?
Among other things, Matt Weiner's critically acclaimed Mad Men has been a boon to previously obscure actresses like Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and January Jones. Whatever you think of Weiner's show, there's no question he conceives interesting female roles, and casts the right women in the parts.
Now, an actress who is not obscure but also ain't exactly on top of the heap artistically is about to find out if she can receive a bump from Weiner and his magic pen. If you can see the picture above, then you've already figured out who I'm talking about.
Yes, Jennifer Aniston is set to star in a new project by Matt Weiner. No it is not a TV show. It is instead an indie-level romantic comedy he wrote years ago and is expending some of his Mad Men juice to get made. Aniston will star alongside alleged former partner Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifanakis, with whom she has not been romantically linked as far as I know.
I don't know if this movie will be any good. I do know that Matt Weiner's name will always get me to go see the movie. Even if the name Jennifer Aniston makes me to run screaming in the other direction.
Offering further proof that there is no such thing as a comic book too lame for Hollywood to adapt into a movie, mega-producer Joel Silver is looking to live-actionize Sgt. Rock.
Actually, Silver has been looking to get a piece of Sgt. Rock for awhile, but was hesitant to gamble on a WWII-era period film in a time when most people don't realize history goes back more than four weeks. But Silver has licked that problem in classic Hollywood style: by changing the setting from WWII to The Future.
Not sure exactly how this change will be accomplished. Perhaps they will just entirely ignore the Sgt. Rock I vaguely remember from the dentist's waiting room when I was a kid and pretend it's always been set in The Future. Or maybe they'll have Sgt. Rock discover a Nazi time machine that zaps him ahead a couple hundred years.
Or maybe some Romulans will come through a time portal and change history so Sgt. Rock is turned into a cyborg who is then deep-frozen and wakes up like Luke Wilson in a future so stupid people think you have to water crops with Gatorade. I'd actually pay to see that.
Steven Spielberg and Will Smith had been planning to profane Chan-wook Park's classic revenge film Oldboy ("Yes, animals were harmed or killed during the making of this film") by doing a Hollywoodized remake (think lots less really graphic violence, lots more standard Smith watered-down street punk jive) but the deal has now fallen apart.
This is good news for those who hate Spielberg and Smith and all they stand for, but bad news for fans of the original who had been looking forward to that exquisite arthouse-snot moment when they got to verbally destroy their lame friend who never saw the Korean version but just looooooooved when that cutie Will Smith beat up all those bad guys.
Darren Aronofsky has a soft spot in his heart for victims of bad plastic surgery. He helped resurrect freakface Mickey Rourke's career by casting him in The Wrestler, and now he has plucked Barbara Hershey from the realm of the forgotten and dropped the Jocelyn Wildenstein wannabe into the mix for his forthcoming ballet-centered thriller Black Swan.
I can't tell who who or what Hershey will be playing, but I can tell you that Black Swan concerns a ballerina, played by veggie queen Natalie Portman, who has issues with a dancing rival played by Mila Kunis. Various sources indicate that Aronofsky might be going the twisted Fight Club route here...by having Kunis's character exist only in Portman's imagination.
Those of us who hoped The Wrestler marked a turn away from the fanciful and jack-offy for the talented Aronofsky are apparently in for a disappointment. He can make up for it by having Hershey staple something to herself.
Mad Men is over for another season. The final episode ended with Betty on her way to Reno to get a divorce from Don and the major players of the Sterling-Cooper gang breaking away from the old, soon-to-be-sold-off firm to form their own new agency from scratch. As Don's fake family continued its disintegration, his real family escaped being scattered to the wind, and actually came together stronger than ever.
I'm not going to lie: I teared up a little when Don and Roger said goodbye to the Sterling-Cooper offices. Never again will they, or we, gaze upon that glorious wood paneling, those oft-slammed pastel-colored doors, that sexual-liaison-obscuring translucent glass.
So many memories: The wild election night party when Harry fucked Hildy, and someone puked in Peggy's garbage pail. Pete fucking Peggy on the couch. That British twat getting his foot cut off by the John Deere. Don paying the elevator guy to pretend the lift was out so he and Roger had to walk up all those stairs and Roger puked and almost had a heart attack. Roger having a heart attack while fucking that twin.
So much fucking. So much puking. So much blood. So long, Sterling-Coop.
If I were Roger Ebert or some other twatty critic, I would describe Cinema Paradiso as Giuseppe Tornatore's valentine to the movies. I would discuss how the film is steeped in a child-like love of cinema that warms our hearts and refreshes our souls and makes our gall bladders purr like kittens that just had a nice bowl of warm milk and crawled off to a corner for a snooze. I would mention how nostalgic and bittersweet the movie is, and broadly comic and irreverent, and romantic at times and wistful and all the rest of those nice critic-friendly adjectives.
I might make passing mention of the kids fapping to Brigitte Bardot or the whore who has set up shop in the back of the theater for when people get bored of the latest Visconti meditation on the shittiness of the human condition. By way of adding color.
Because I'm me, I'm going to start with the fapping kids and ignore the nostalgia. Cause nostalgia is for weenies, and thankfully Cinema Paradiso, though fairly reeking of the n-stuff, has enough other tones going on to keep you from wanting to gag as if you were watching an episode of The Wonder Years. I like the fapping kids, and I'll tell you why: because their inclusion demonstrates a willingness to be frank about certain human tendencies, and this frankness is what makes Cinema Paradiso so damn adorable.
Yes, adorable. Not heart-wrenching or soul-stirring or any of that other jive. But cute. Like when teenage Toto breaks into the confession booth so he can have a few moments alone with his would-be lady love Elena. I like good old-fashioned sacrilege, especially when it's not laid on too thick. I like a movie that can portray a priest as a silly old fuddy-duddy without putting too fine a point on it (he's an asshole, but he means well). I like any flick that allows a pre-teen actor to smoke, flip people the bird and leer at slides of Rita Hayworth.
Were I to choose an adjective that sums up Cinema Paradiso, that adjective would be "life-embracing." It is also faintly mystical, but it's an earned mysticism, not the residue of mumbo-jumbo. It's a mysticism of movie images reflected via mirror onto giant outdoor walls, a lovelorn kid reclining next to the water in complete dereliction of duty, boats and sand and all that European shit. There's also a lot of comic child abuse, and comic child abuse never fails.
I got a small chuckle out of this Twilight parody trailer starring Taylor Swift as K-Stew (Swift wishes) and some SNL dude as Robert Pattinson if he were Frankenstein instead of a vampire. The afraid-of-fire thing is a retread of that old Phil Hartman Frankenstein bit, but, SNL recycling its own crap is nothing new, so...
I vaguely remember the original Taking of Pelham One Two Three. It was one of those gritty '70s thrillers that flooded the world in the wake of The French Connection. It starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. There was a subway train. Some guff about passengers being kidnapped for ransom. Walter Matthau wasn't being funny like in The Odd Couple.
Fast-forward to this year. Pelham One Two Three is once again being taken, but this time it's Pelham 1 2 3 (the fewer words people have to read, the better). Walter Matthau is Denzel Washington. Robert Shaw is John Travolta. There's still a subway. Same guff about people being kidnapped for ransom. Only now, instead of that character-centric '70s grit, there's a bunch of Tony Scott histrionics (complete with shoehorned-in car chase, for the big droolers in the crowd) and Travolta doing his me-so-bad-ass routine (which was already old in Face/Off). Thank goodness for Denzel Washington and his patented authenticity. And a script that has been thought about just enough to make you not feel entirely insulted. Except for the ending, which I won't get into.
Another upgrade from the days of Pelham One Two Three: there's lots more bright, blinky, flashy stuff. Computers. Cell phones. A subway control center modeled after the war room in Dr. Strangelove. What did criminals do before WiFi? Shoved heaters in people's guts and told them to put 'em up, I guess.