Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guitar Hero: The Movie & Facebook: The Movie, or How Sorkin > Ratner

Via Vulture we have noise being made for two projects based on 21st Century Pop Culture icons:

If you're on Facebook (and, really who are you if you're not?!) you can check Aaron Sorkin & The Facebook Movie Group.
"Welcome. I'm Aaron Sorkin. I understand there are a few other people using Facebook pages under my name--which I find more flattering than creepy--but this is me. I don't know how I can prove that but feel free to test me.
I've just agreed to write a movie for Sony and producer Scott Rudin about how Facebook was invented. I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is, so I've started this page. (Actually it was started by my researcher, Ian Reichbach, because my grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do and she's been dead for 33 years.)"

And of course, not one to be leave stuff we love alone (ahem*XMen3*ahem) Mr Brett Rush Hour Ratner has given the following soundbite:

“I love ‘Guitar Hero’ and I think it’s a part of pop culture. I would love to do a ‘Guitar Hero’ movie, if Activision would ever let me. I’m trying to convince them, but why would you have a movie screw up such a huge franchise? Not that I would make a bad movie. So that would be cool, to do a ‘Guitar Hero’ movie. It could be about a kid from a small town who dreams of being a rock star and he wins the ‘Guitar Hero’ competition. One of these dreams-[come-true] kind of concepts.”

I'm torn over which movie I'd a) actually watch, and b) actually enjoy. I mean, walk-and-talk scenes will only do so much for those Facebook hallways but seriously, how much can Ratner blow up and underdevelop in something as inane as Guitar Hero?

Sigh. I guess we can all wait for casting calls for both movies to show up soon. I can see it now: Bradley Whitford in Facebook: The Movie and the kid who plays Chris Rock in Everyone Hates Chris in Guitar Hero: A dream-come-true movie. ::snore::

Friday, August 29, 2008

Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth, or How I swear! I'm not obsessed!

Two Cheno blog posts in a row? Overkill or Amazing? It is the latter... especially when Cheno is singing about Chrystal Meth - just don't mind the amateurish special FX:

See more Kristin Chenoweth videos at Funny or Die

Favourite Lines:

- "But we can't go wrong if we 'splain it with a song"
- "Most of the guys that you've kissed you probably found on Craigslist"
- Chrystal Meth jargon including "Poor Man's Cocaine"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lovely way to spend Xmas, or How Cheno loves the Gays

[Via The Piemaker]

Cheno + Xmas Carols = A more bearable experience than, say, Josh Groban singing Christmas Carols. Yes, I'm sure for some people this won't reach the heights of Holiday-themed songstress CDs that'll make a good November/December iTunes fave (think Ms McLachlan's Wintersong) but Ms Chenoweth is already on loop on my iPhone playlist (what with Wicked and all) so I'm kind of excited for this...


Cheno + Gay Tunes = My head is exploding. I mean, no disrespect to Barbra, but Little Miss Blond Tony Winner singing 'Papa can you hear me?' sounds like something out of a drag queen's wet dream mixed in with a Judy Garland + True Religion jeans cocktail... so gay it is a bit painful, if altogether exciting.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, or How Penelope will fuck you up!

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Directed and Written by Woody Allen
Starring: Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Patricia Clarkson

Okay so the title is a bit of a mouthful. But then, this is a Woody Allen comedy, n'est-ce pas?

VCB begins with - what else? - Vicky and Cristina moving into Barcelona for the summer. Christopher Evan Welch, acting as Allen's narrator/voice-over lets us into Vicky and Cristina's minds and attitudes towards art, life and love. Now, while at first I found the voice-over a bit too much, I stopped noticing it after a while, and realised that it was organically tied to the way the plot and the characters moved forward rather than a cop out for giving us information we wouldn't have gotten any other way.

The plot is deceptively simple: boy meets girls, invites girls for a trip and a threesome, girls follow through with the former but not the latter, both girls 'fall' for the boy. (The film really stresses the differences between Hall's Vicky and Johansson's Cristina: one is sensible, the other is erratic; one is romantic, the other is a romantic... and the moment the film splits in two we see what the choices they make do for their personal relationships with men: Vicky with her cookie-cutter (and utterly BORING) fiancee and Cristina with Juan Antonio - the boy in question.

But the story doesn't really pick up until boy's ex-wife comes into the picture. The moment Penelope Cruz walks on screen, the picture gains a level of energy and vibrancy that only Ms Cruz could have brought with her. Her Maria Elena is unstable, frantic, psychotic, sensual, dangerous and sexy all at once. You can say all you want about Woody Allen (that his films are pretentious, that he's not that funny or that sexy, that he's a mysogynist) but I dare anyone to watch the scenes Cruz has on this film and deny me the fact that Allen is a master at eliciting such natural and electric performances from gifted actresses as he does with Cruz (and I would add Hall and Johansson here too, but Cruz is the woman to watch). Just like her character adds a sense of balance and artistic flair to Juan Antonio's painting and Cristina's photography, Maria Elena's imbalance offers Allen the perfect touch to give this 'romantic comedy' an edge without which it would have just been a sexy (albeit quite sexually neutered) romantic fling film with pretty stars in an even prettier setting. A

Thursday, August 21, 2008

SomeEcards, or How It's what I think... only Funnier!

How had I not come across before? It's pretty much amazing how much time I wasted just today on it. Enjoy my fave three - and yes, it's because they hit close to home... and make it funny!

Amy Amelia Swank, or How I'm Seeing Double

Just remember:

Amy Adams >> Hilary Swank

That said, the baity role of Amelia Earhart will probably score Ms Swank a third Oscar for all we know, while more deserving actresses continue to dust their Oscar-less shelves **coughAnetteBeningcough**

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hair, or How yes, let the sunshine in!

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado
Music by Galt MacDermot
Directed by Diane Paulus
With Ato Blankson-Wood, Steel Burkhardt, Jackie Burns, Allison Case, Lauren Elder, Jonathan Groff, Allison Guinn, Anthony Hollock, Kaitlin Kiyan, Andrew Kober, Megan Lawrence, Nicole Lewis, Caren Lyn Manuel, Patina Renea Miller, John Moauro, Darius Nichols, Brandon Pearson, Megan Reinking, Paris Remillard, Bryce Ryness, Saycon Sengbloh, Maya Sharpe, Kacie Sheik, Theo Stockman, Will Swenson, and Tommar Wilson.

Maybe it's because I'm not into hippies. Or because I'm not American. Or because I have been living in a bubble for my entire lives (said bubble responds to Canada! or Colombia! depending on the year) but Hair had always eluded me as a musical I'd be interested in. Funny how Jonathan Groff and a free ticket can change that.

Paulus' production - set at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, with its open space and grassy stage - begins with all the members of the cast dancing their way from all sides of the theater towards the stage, to the tune of Aquarius. Not to sound like a squinty Oscar winner but they had me at "When the moon..." -

After that, the vignettes that make up the show had me enraptured (despite the middle aged audience around me which seemed a bit too intent on reminiscing - and singing-along! - through the entire performance). And of course this was just reinforced, what with the witty script, the on-stage nudity, the amazing singing and the vibrant choreography. It even made me forget I was watching hippies... which, really, have never been my thang.There was so much energy on stage that I wasn't surprised when at the end they invited the audience to join them in a dance-fest to 'Let the Sunshine...'

There's more to be said, I'm sure. But as with any other wonderful theatrical experience, nothing beats the real thing. So catch it soon, before they run out of excuses for more extensions (after its third extension, Hair is running til Sept 14). A

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Come back to me!" or How it's a Brit-summer for me

Maybe it's because I studied at a British private school at home, but I do believe that the British do it differently... and by differently of course I mean better. Now to isolate what I mean by "it"... well, that would take up too much precious time. So let's leave it in ambiguity.

Back to my point: it seems as though (inadvertently of course!) I have been ensnared by stories set in or about Britain and I have to say, there is something alluring about that culture with its love affair with, well... impossible and restrained love affairs. That and a love for language and its power that I seldom encounter in American writers who go more for laconic, economic fiction/films. But enough of my wild generalizations, reviews of sort follow:

Atonement (film + book)
Yes. I had to go read McEwan's novel just to finally see for myself how McEwan's fiction created Briony Tallis (a character I fell in love with via Ms. Ronan, Ms. Garai and Ms. Redgrave - see here for my initial reaction to Wright's film). Needless to say it surpasses Wright's film (which I looove - I'm a sucker for ill-fated romantic affairs) and at times I just wanted to linger on McEwan's passages - even if I could have used less Dunkirk and more steamy library sequences.

The Remains of the Day (book + there's a film?! I had no idea... Netflixin' it now)
Ishiguro's prose; so straightforward yet so charged with insight and a level of subversive social commentary that is brought home (in all its irony!) by the unassuming narrating voice that delivers it. Oddly how as I'm writing this I realize that it makes a nice pairing with Altman's film - what with both dealing with English 'serving-class' and the (dis)advantage that that position comes with when it clashes with the personal and the social.

Gosford Park
Now, I know Altman is no Brit but Fellowes seems to have brought his Brit-cred to the screenplay (based on Altman's idea). All I need to say is: Maggie Smith! Actually, I'll just add Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillippe, Clive Owen... and oh, who am I kidding? Is this not the best assembled cast ever?! Good thing the material matches and surpasses it, if that is at all possible.

Match Point
I am very excited about Vicky Christina Barcelona even if I'm not a big fan of the title, but have found it very annoying how everyone keeps saying that it's Allen back in his A-game and see how journos everywhere have just taken Match Point as a hitch. If I ever find myself having random hitches in my career that match this steamy (and killer!) thriller, I'll count myself blessed.

The Line of Beauty (book + awaiting the Miniseries from Netflix while I finish the book...)
Now, I'm still working on Hollinghurst's novel but so far it's been a wonderful read: where else does one read steamy sex scenes involving English curly-haired boys as well as passages that linger on architectural beauty and Henry James? Exactly. Also, just like Altman and Ishiguro, Hollinghurst could easily be paired with Allen's film - social escalation, Upper English class setting... though let's hope there's no shooting Scarlett in this one.

Now, what English set or inspired novel/film should I tackle next...?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mad Angel, or How I'm Seeing Double

Only something like this would get by me for (count 'em!) 16 episodes before I took notice:

Manuel's Apt.
Early Monday morning.

Manuel turns on his computer. Starts browsing blogs as per usual. Lingers on Whedonesque. Specifically this post: Vincent Kartheiser and the boys of Mad Men do a Style layout for Playboy. Of course, Manuel clicks on the link, enjoys the spread (trying to forget he is currently surfing the Playboy site!) and begins to wonder: why have the Whedonites linked to this? What Whedon-show was Pete Campbell in?

You'd think at this point it would just be a matter of putting 1 and 1 together. But no... Manuel has to go to IMDB.
[Ed Note: seriously... he should be ashamed of himself, how did this get by him?!]

And then, it hits him...

Pete Campbell is Connor!

Needless to say this explains a lot:
- Why Manuel has always felt that Pete is kind of annoying in a 'I know you from before' kind of way.
- Why Manuel always thought that Pete's Daddy-issues were kind of familiar in a not-involving-Oedipus kind of way.
- Why Manuel always seems to forget about Angel S4. (Joss might have unwittingly made him a part of Angel's Wolfram & Hart memory-blanking thing...)

And now, I will try to forget this information as soon as this post is done (since I have started feeling for Pete after Season 2's second episode, and no bastard and annoying son of Angel is going to ruin that for me!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

mB's Theater! or How it's the 12 Movies Meme

Got linked for this Meme a while ago over at Valley Dreamin', but have been a bit too busy what with moving and stuff. Now, here goes.

The Rules:

1) Choose 12 Films to be featured. They could be random selections or part of a greater theme. Whatever you want.

2) Explain why you chose the films.

3) Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so I can have hundreds of links and I can take those links and spread them all out on the bed and then roll around in them.

4) The people selected then have to turn around and select 5 more people.

And now, I give you mB's Theater!

Day One:
Angels in America (Millenium Approaches & Perestroika)

Because I can't help but think seeing this in a big screen would be even better!

Day Two:
Intimacy (Closer & Heights)

I have always seen these two as complimentary films: Also - pretty people!

Day Three:
Whimsy Musicals! (8 Femmes & Once More With Feeling)

Just because I love the lengths both these musicals go to at once give homage and refresh the Musical Genre

Day Four:
Weddings! (My Big Fat Greek Wedding & My Best Friend's Wedding)

Because seeing it proves that this heteronormative tradition belongs in a Comedy.

Day Five:
Animation (Monsters Inc. & Spirited Away)

A girl. Monsters. Now watch how the style and narration and message differ.

Day Six:
Sleep & Memory (Sleeping Beauty & Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

A gem from my childhood and a gem from my twenties. I'd be interested to see how they play together.

And now, to link people:

Vance from Tapeworthy
... and everyone else I would have tagged has already done this. I need new blogging friends: any takers?

BtVS Animated Series, or How that was a missed opportunity if I ever heard one!

How cool is this?

Jeph Loeb (W), Eric Wight (P), Georges Jeanty (P/Cover), Andy Owens (I), Michelle Madsen (C), and Jo Chen (Cover)

On sale Nov 26
FC, 40 pages

Acclaimed comic-book writer Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween) was set to executive produce, alongside Joss Whedon and animator Eric Wight, the proposed Buffy animated TV series. While Buffy fans won't be viewing that show anytime soon, Loeb, Wight,and Whedon offer the next best thing a comic inspired by the animated series!

Jeph Loeband Eric Wight takethe reins on Buffy Season Eight with this very special one-shot joiningseries artist Georges Jeanty, in a twisted tale picking up from the time-traveling Buffy/Fray crossover.

2008 Eisner Award winner Best New Series.

Executive produced by series creator Joss Whedon.

Jeph Loeb writes Buffy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I wake pies and make the dead, or How I can't wait!


Things I love from the "trailer":

- Jim Dale's narration!
- The nun outfits!
- "I have something to say to you! to you! to you! and your hump!"
- The bees!
- "I'm sorry for your loss... and I do take credit card"
- Ned's wardrobe!
- A pig?
- The cross-like table at the nunnery!
- "I wake pies and make the dead"
- The silhouette that ends the snippet of Lonely Tourist Charlotte Charles!
- "Conspiracies... how dramatic"
- Clowns?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008