Monday, June 21, 2010

Go See: "I Am Love"

What a wonderful departure from a big Hollywood blockbuster hit. May I introduce you to, "I Am Love"? This italian subtitled film, which was directed by Luca Guadagnino, (who also directed Tilda Swinton in two other films), is probably one of the most beautifully shot films that I have seen in ages, with thanks to cinematographer Yorick Le Saux. If his name doesn't sound familiar to you, well, you're not alone as I'm not privy to as many foreign films, particularly french films as I'd like but he was the Director of Photography on the film, "Swimming Pool", starring the british actress Charlotte Rampling. Even the music caught my attention, and it normally doesn't, so cheers to composer John Adams.

This film displayed a major distinction between the uber, uber rich Recchi family to all of the many white gloved servants they had that ran their household. This film was passionate, sexy and the ending was filled with build-up upon build-up. It had a steady pace to it which is ideal for weighty films and overall, I think I'm newly obsessed with the filmmaker and the whole breadth of the story.

If you opt for a more refined review than mine, check out Todd Eberle's review on the Vanity Fair's website.

But take a look at this elegant trailer...!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Go See: "Sex and the City 2"

It was every girl's dream come true, for the second time...bringing back the lives of four women who we emulated and lived vicariously through every Sunday night and for a full two hours. Yes, I'm talking about "Sex and the City 2", which was definitely enjoyed more for the clothes, than for the storyline. It's so hard to outdo the original and that goes for just about anything. But seriously, ladies (and gents who were forced to go with their significant others or gay men), can we just say that they had us at the "Liza Minnelli" hello, dulled us with the cheesy humor in the middle and wrapped it up at the end? I almost believe that the highlight of "Sex and the City 2", was the Liza Minnelli dance performance of "Single Ladies" at Stanford and Anthony's wedding. She still has legs that go for miles and can move! Take a look and no, you can obviously tell that this is not an official clip of the film. Shhhhh...! But you will love it!

Don't despair, there are new discoveries in this film such as the hot desert hunk, Max Ryan who plays Samantha's love interest in the desert, and the exciting and bra-less Alice Eve, who plays Charlotte's nanny. And let's not forget cameos by Penelope Cruz and Miley Cyrus playing, well, Miley Cyrus. If you loved the original "Sex and the City", then get your closure and see the sequel. You will still love it, I promise!

Monday, June 7, 2010

'Summer Vacation' Movies

Every day I learn something new and if I don't, you might as just declare me as D.O.A. In the entertainment industry, I am often reminded of the ups and downs of people's behaviors. Who you think someone is, isn't always who they appear? But maybe they're just "acting". Welcome to Hollywood, baby!

It is at those moments where I want to consult my inspirational daily cheerleader, TUT which are little Notes from the Universe. They are daily affirmations that tell me how amazing and great I am. Aw, squish!

And to take my mind off of those excruciating moments, I let my mind reminisce about my fondest memories of summer vacation (can you just hear the song - "Summertime" by Will Smith - lingering in your head?) themed movies such as National Lampoon's Vacation with Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Not everyone can have flirty moments with Christie Brinkley or have a crazy cousin Eddie. Okay, can you tell I'm a child of the '80's?

Or what about those crazy/reject kids who had to go to "Summer School" with the hottie Mark Harmon or the skinny actress Kirstie Alley. If summer school was that entertaining, I would've gone by choice every year.

Quite honestly, though, I grew up around cornfields and trans-ams in the suburbs of Grove City, Ohio (a small town southwest of Columbus) so my childhood summers were more reminiscent of this film, "Children of the Corn". But don't think we actually killed people for our summertime fun, it was more like cruising the malls or swimming at a friend's house. Please, as if!

President Obama Receives Peace

I thought I'd switch around our gears and think politically, which I rarely do and I admit, I'm embarrassed to admit it. So, food for thought - what do we think about President Obama accepting a Nobel Peace Award...?

He is the 4th president to receive the Nobel Prize, after Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter. After only having been in the presidential throne for less than a year, perhaps it was a bit quick and hasty to honor the Prez. But overcoming the fact that he's the first african american president promising a "change" for the American people, brought about a new wave of hope for the future of this country.

In Obama's words, he said, "Let me be clear. I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."

I love to get a different perspective of the news from across the globe, which is particularly why I am a bit obsessed with the BBC. In this article from The Times, you can tell it already started with a slight bias as the article is titled, "Barack Obama's peace prize starts a fight". "Gasps" were heard in the audience when they made the announcement. Lech Walesa (the former president of Poland) who won the Peace Prize in 1983, delcared: “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far.” And our own US-born Rush Limbaugh stabbed Obama in the back by saying, “This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama."

They can say what they will, but I believe it was an honorable award to bestow upon the Prez. He does signal a new belief system that was so badly tarnished by George W. But seriously, in all honestly, don't you think we'd all feel better if our President was someone noble and compassionate, who helped save our land from aliens? Like Bill Pullman in "Independence Day",

or the romantic president portrayed by Michael Douglas in "The American President".

If only we could really vote on this...!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Go See: "Get Him To The Greek"

It's rare when that really funny movie comes along that almost evokes tears because you're laughing so hard. And while I tried not to have high expectations for this film, "Get Him To The Greek" it pretty much met all of my funny bone expectations and more. I was wondering how they were going to cross-over from the origination of the character, "Aldous Snow" who was artfully played by Russell Brand in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", but the writers handled it quite well.

Now, it's almost a policy of mine to never read a review of any film before I see it. I generally want to see a film because of the talent, director or subject matter and not because it had a good or bad review. To me, it's all bollocks because I see everything. But after I saw this film, I ended up reading a review by writer Andrew O'Hehehir in titled "Get Him To The Greek": 30's screwball bromance. I actually agree with him in most of his point of views of this comedy. O'Hehehir makes a good point that in the big blockbuster comedies these days - the celebrity cameos become the ringers of the show. From "Today Show's" Meredith Vieira to Metallica's Lars Ullrich and Nobel-winning economist and NY Times Columnist Paul Krugman, (and yes, I had to wikipedia who that was!), these star-studded cameos sometimes make the film. Do we need to bring up "Iron Mike" aka Mike Tyson in "The Hangover"?

O'Hehehir equates this film to 1930's slapstick style of comedy (think Preston Sturges or Ernst Lubitsch) sans the over-the-top partying, sex with girls in the bathroom and drug and drunken displays of bromance comraderie. However I would agree with him when he said - "If jokes like that had been conceivable back then, wouldn't Sturges have used them?"

See for yourself - but don't take my review for it. Go see for yourself!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Mourns Two Stars

Another Hollywood star, rather, stars, fell over Memorial Day Weekend this year. Dennis Hopper, actor, director, philanthropist and photographer, passed away on May 29th.

Hopper directed and starred in the film, "Easy Rider with Peter Fonda, where he won an award at the Cannes Film Festival and then nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It wasn't until a featured role in the film, "Apocalypse Now", that he gained much more attention. He went on to work in various films including "Blue Velvet" and "Hoosiers" which won him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Role.

He was a bit of rebel in the 60's as an actor and turned to photography. He became quite accomplished and his work has been in galleries and in various forms of the media over the past 40 years. Take a look at Douglas Kelley's interview at a gallery displaying his photography.

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As a child of the 80's, how could I forget one of my favorite shows, "Diff'rent Strokes". Who could resist that lovable kid, Arnold?

Gary Coleman, was always a fighter and on May 28th, he fought his last fight after struggling for years with a congenital kidney disease.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tropic Thunder = Non-Stop Laughter

It really never ceases to amaze me that every time this crazy flick called, "Tropic Thunder" is on cable, I can not stop watching it. The cast of characters is just too much for one to handle. From actor and director, Ben Stiller, to Robert Downey, Jr. to the scene-stealing Brandon T. Jackson. Oh, and did you recall that the special effects, prosthetic wearing actor, Tom Cruise. Hilarious!!!

Each character plays the stereo-typical mockery of themselves as actors. It's great and especially those who work in the industry and live and breath Hollywood, definitely know what I'm talking about.

Oscar Catch-up

So, I'm still trying to catch up on all of this year's Oscar nominees and winners. I recently watched "Crazy Heart" on a flight from NY to LA on Delta. Loving those individual monitors on the backs of the seats. I was really impressed by Jeff Bridges's performance. I always knew he was talented but man, get him onstage with a guitar and he really becomes that country singer we never knew existed within him. The wonderful Maggie Gyllenhaal played such a raw but loving character that I just really don't want to go any further.

I had to say I had no idea that Colin Farrell was in this film and then to find him singing, I have to say - again, I was impressed. And not bad for the first time director Scott Cooper.

Go See: "Ondine"

Oooh, it's good to be back! I went to a screening of the film, "Ondine" tonight in Beverly Hills. Did you know that on Tuesday nights at the Laemmle Music Hall, they offer popcorn deals. I'm talking getting a medium tub of popcorn for $1.50. It made my day - and my dinner.

So, what better way to start off with is with this indie foreign film starring Colin Farrell speaking in his native Irish tongue. "Ondine" is directed by fellow irishman Neil Jordan who is also known most recently for directing "The Brave One", starring Jodie Foster. This is an almost enchanting tale about a fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net. His imaginative daughter believes that she's a mermaid but a larger secret is revealed.

Let's see if this intrigues you!