“Just as a flower cannot choose its color, we are not responsible for what we’ve come to be. This is what it means to be free.” Stoker, the first English-speaking film by Korean horror-flick director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), practically hemorrhages that kind of pretentious, dumbfoundingly meaningless writing. But it does have a dark, satisfyingly sinister Read More
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.
new york film festival
Last year, the New York Film Festival threw galas in honor of two great cinema auteurs, David Cronenberg and Pedro Almodóvar, on the occasion of screenings of their respective new films, A Dangerous Method and The Skin I Live In. This year, the festival is throwing a similar fete in honor of the Southern-noir pulp Read More
Red Carpet Real Estate
Who needs two sprawling New York apartments? Not Nicole Kidman. The Hollywood star has finally sold one of her New York apartments, the airy spread at 176 Perry Street.
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
Now that Tom Cruise is single again, we found ourselves looking back to the innocent beginnings of his relationship with Katie Holmes–and no, not just the part where she disappeared for weeks and then showed up on his arm in Italy! We refer, instead, to the apocryphal “audition process” that Ms. Holmes won over other starlets like Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Scarlett Johansson. Who knows if this really happened; don’t sue us! But if Mr. Cruise were to audition a fourth wife, here are the ladies he might like to consider.
pop culture apocalypse
The Mayans were right. We’re all going to die this year. And those of us who aren’t going to be zipped up to Kirk Cameron’s version of Heaven will be left behind to deal with the reckoning here on Earth.
Of course, the first signs of any impending apocalypse comes via celebrity news.
Letter from Cannes
Nicole Kidman pisses on Zac Ephron’s face! Eva Mendes cradles a Parisian sewer troll! A nude Kristen Stewart jerks off Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund—at the same time! Kanye West unveils the future of cinema inside an enormous white pyramid! Film festivals usually mete out their lunacy with more deliberation. This year, though, after a subdued week of world-class cinema, Cannes got weird fast.
Lee Daniels, director of Precious, is currently in Cannes promoting the thriller The Paperboy, but he’s already planning his next film, an adaptation of a Washington Post article on a long-serving black White House butler who lived to see the election of Barack Obama. Early reports indicate that the butler, Eugene Allen, Read More
How many ways can a film go wrong? Too many to list, and Trespass finds them all. This pointless, unintentionally campy home-invasion thriller, directed by Joel Schumacher, is as bad as it gets, and as one dumb red herring follows another, it just gets sillier and sillier. By the end, the audience at the screening I attended was roaring with laughter.