You’d never know it, but Bill Paxton is becoming quite the nerd hero. He’s producing a graphic novel, Seven Holes for Air, which he hopes to have picked up by a studio so he can direct it. At Comic-Con this year, Tom Cruise pulled him up on stage during a panel for his new Read More
The 85th Academy Awards
The opening scene of Baltasar Kormákur’s 2 Guns is a rehashing of the “tip or don’t tip” argument from Reservoir Dogs. Undercover DEA officer Trench (Denzel Washington)—close to his big score, the flipping of a major Mexican crime lord—is persuaded by his patsy accomplice, undercover Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent Marcus “Stig” Stigman (a positively gleeful Mark Wahlberg) to stop being a Scrooge and leave an extra $20 at the table for the waitress at a local diner.
Which would be fine, if Messrs. Wahlberg and Washington didn’t then gleefully burn the entire establishment to the ground, mayhem that culminates in a giant fireball explosion that the two men walk away from with the calm swagger of guys starring in a fictional universe where tinnitus doesn’t exist.
Why spend 10 minutes on opening dialogue about a tip that will be burned into ash moments later? It may seem like a quibble, but it illustrates the kind of nagging senselessness that will keep any viewer with half a brain from enjoying this otherwise affable-enough summer popcorn flick.
Update: Well, now we have an extra hour and a half of the red carpet! Talk amongst yourselves!
What is it about the Academy Awards? Intellectually, it’s hard to muster up that much enthusiasm about who “wore it best” (Ang Lee) or how modest Katniss will be in her acceptance speech, hopefully avoiding a First Wives’ Club reference that sounded like she was hating on Meryl Streep this time. And yet … we still feel compelled to watch. Maybe it’s because secretly, deep down, we still find it fascinating that the guy who does the voice of Stewie looks like the host of a reality game show about finding true love by having a dance-off on a stripper pole.
Or maybe it’s because we’re just suckers, who deep down believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild might still possibly have a chance against Argo or Lincoln.
Come join us, will you, on this the most magical of evenings for producers, people who are married to movie stars, and dress designers? We’ll be hosting a live chat below. Just click the big countdown button and you’re all set. Got it?
Tonight is the 85th Academy Awards, and for all intents and purposes it should be a good one. Look at all those serious films, and the one movie by Quentin Tarantino! And with big snubs for Best Director for both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, does that mean one of them will be be sweeping up the Best Picture Award as a consolation prize? And most importantly, is it too late to write in a ballot for Javier Bardem in Skyfall? Because he was great.
Reuters reports that Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser and proprietor of a Tampa theme park, is upset over its brand’s portrayal in the film Flight. The film depicts Denzel Washington as a heroic pilot who just happens to be an alcoholic who flies drunk–drunk on crisp, refreshing Budweiser.
Denzel Washington is such a sturdy, reliable actor that his name on the screen has become synonymous with that of hero (with the obvious exception of Training Day). So it’s hard to buy him as a doped-up, alcoholic heel in Flight, an edgy thriller about the responsibility—and inherent culpability—of commercial pilots entrusted with the lives of millions. I’d place my trust in Denzel in the cockpit any old day while humming “Fly Me to the Moon” at the same time. So it’s not easy to accept him as one of the irresponsible jerks who dangle their passengers in harm’s way. You just sort of trust him to do the right thing, and when he finally does, after more than two hours of soul-searching and moral hand-wringing, you might, like me, have double trouble with plausibility. So I have some minor problems with Flight. But don’t let that deter you. It’s the first film in over a decade by director Robert Zemeckis that guarantees originality, tempo and thrills. You go away satisfied and up to your eyeballs in entertainment.
The Eight-Day Week
While Anderson Cooper was learning about his afternoon talk show being cancelled–no, not just for Hurricane Sandy, but forever–two late night hosts made the brave decision to continue their shows at NBC and CBS as if a giant storm wasn’t ranging outside.
The only problem? Neither Jimmy Fallon nor David Letterman had a live audience–a first, in both their histories–to laugh at their jokes. But what could have turned into that creepy David Lynch episode of Louie was actually an amazing bit of performance art as the two jokesters performed to the dead silence of a mostly-empty room. *Yanks collar* “Tough crowd!”
And tonight brings one of those big movie premieres that bedeck the red carpet run-up to Oscar season. (Not that we’re complaining—seeing these things a month early makes the popcorn taste all the more savory!) It’s the world premiere of Flight, an increasingly rare live-action Robert Zemeckis film (the Forrest Gump guy has since largely Read More
The Lunch CROWD
Movies about covert CIA operatives make their own clichés, and in a violent and pointless waste of time and money called Safe House, they come in twos, like double vision. This movie wouldn’t be worth the effort even if it were about something, which it isn’t. Correction: It’s about how Denzel Washington is not above trashing his reputation when the salary works, even if the movie doesn’t.
The pool was closed for private parties last week, but the grill was bumping. On Monday, Chelsea Clinton came in for lunch with Sandy Weill. The Post reported that she went to Michael’s, though, so maybe I need to get my eyes checked–or the media needs to fact-check. Ha! I’ve been working for three weeks Read More