Morning Media Mix
Emma Roberts stumbles as literary ingénue-cum-sex shop clerk. Read More
Save the date! The New York Times Company and John Henry have set October 15 as their target date to close the sale of the Boston Globe and New England Media Group. It was first announced that the billionaire investor had won the bid back on August 2. (Boston Business Journal)
The BBC will axe 75 more posts as part of “cost-cutting plans” laid out in 2011. It plans to shrink its staff by 600 come the 2016/2017 financial year. (The Guardian)
There are a few reasons to be excited about The Frozen Ground, Scott Walker’s unfocused and ultimately disappointing debut feature, and they are Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and 50 Cent.
The film, which takes place in and around Anchorage, Alaska, in 1983, makes some amusing casting choices. It stars Mr. Cage as a morally upright state trooper named Jack Halcombe. Just two weeks before he’s set to leave the police force for a job with an oil company, he gets hung up on catching a serial killer, Robert Hansen (a stolid Mr. Cusack), who for years has been raping and murdering young women and then burying their bodies in the wilderness. Mr. Cent is also here in a relatively minor role as a loser pimp named Clate Johnson, and Vanessa Hudgens plays a 17-year-old prostitute who manages to escape Hansen’s abduction early in the film; she’s the only person who can testify against him.
So there you have it: the basic plot and actors that make this movie enticing. But viewers looking for a gritty crime drama or—based on the potent combination of Mr. Cage and Mr. Cent—a kind of parody will not find either here. The Frozen Ground takes itself too seriously for that.
One by one, the punishments suffered last month at the Toronto film circus are arriving to pollute the screens at home. Next week, get ready for a diabolical torture called Seven Psychopaths. For now, avoid at all costs a trash-wallow about sex and inbred Southern racism called The Paperboy. The director is Lee Daniels, who shocked and turned off a sizeable portion of the public three years ago with Precious. Maybe shock for the sake of nothing else is what he stands for, but regardless of what you thought about his disturbing feature debut, it was light years ahead of The Paperboy. This raunchy dreck, cut from the same disposable toilet tissue as the recent trailer-trash creepfest Killer Joe, is a leap downhill from Precious.
A transcendentally awful slab of chicken-fried camp replete with Nicole Kidman urinating on the near-naked body of Zac Efron, The Paperboy was booed in Cannes, laughed down in Toronto and inserted in the New York Film Festival for no other purpose than to stir up controversy. It has no place in any of them.
Hollywood actor John Cusack has developed some strong opinions on the mortgage crisis. He’s been doing some reading, even talking to a few experts, and is reasonably well-informed about a plan some California cities have to use eminent domain to seize troubled mortgages.
Those of you curious to hear what Lloyd Dobler thinks about a complex policy initiative can now satisfy that curiosity in a poorly-produced, 15-minute long video of John Cusack discussing these issues. Mr. Cusack shares his expertise during a painfully long HuffPost Live video, kicking off the first day of Huffington Post’s video news initiative in true Huffington Post fashion. Appearing via Google Hangouts, Mr. Cusack has a badly organized discussion with Arianna Huffington, segment host John Zepps, a random homeowner in California and John Vlahoplus, the guy who’s pitching the plan and the lone expert in the group.
Cineastes who love Nicole Kidman but not her decor and restraint have something to look forward to; The Paperboy, Lee Daniels’s follow-up to Precious, has its U.S. trailer, and Ms. Kidman has dropped her chilly reserve. Here, she dons skimpy dresses and dances with an underwear-clad Zac Efron (another actor reinventing himself in the pulp Read More
Sobering statistic of the day: There have been 13 weekends in 2010, and in only four was a non-3D film the top choice for ticket buyers. Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon was the beneficiary of the dimensional boom this weekend, leading the charts with over $43 million. As we do each Read More
File this under bad planning: it seems like every week Hollywood offers up yet another schlocky horror movie to the court of public opinion, but today—on the always-spooky Friday the 13th—there isn’t a horror movie in sight. Someone cue up the Price is Right horn! As we do every Friday, here’s a handy Read More
Running time 158 minutes
Written by Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt
We Were Warned. So sayeth the tag line for the latest from Roland Emmerich, master of destruction. And you know what? We were! Back with Read More
How much worse can things get for journalists?
Newspapers and magazines are closing; the ones that remain grow thinner by the week as if somehow cursed; freelance budgets are being slashed and staffers accustomed to taking it easy are being forced to write like their livelihoods depend on it. (Hint: They do.) The Read More