Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Indie-Mainstream Phenomenon

I hate how mainstream is becoming indie and indie is becoming mainstream. We saw it last year with the Oscars, would Brokeback Mountain or Capote even been nominated let's say even 15 years ago. I miss the days when you went to certain theatres for certain movies. I hate now how I go to the local Megaplex and see such treasures as Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen in the listings. I want to see Blood, Gore and Guts Part III there or Boy Meets Girl in a Shopping Mall: The Reunion. So now, those cute little theatres with the coffee and various biscottis are now stuck with showing extremely out-there, out-there films or to buy in on this bastard of cinematic genres, and many are doing the latter to my dismay. Soon, the subtitled films will turn to the dark, oh I mean, mainstream side.
Actually, I respect the Oscars for this trend. It shows that Hollywood is now gaining some intelligence as a whole, but don't they understand that the American public needs crap so that they can go on in their daily lives. I don't want to go see a movie that shows anything remotely realistic. I want to go and see complete fantasy. For if I see very relatable performances and stories, then I will go home and think "why is my life not like that?", "why didn't I get the happy ending?", "if I'm so similar to her, don't I deserve success as much as she does?", etc. I want to go see a film that heightens my expectations on life, but really doesn't. It's like watching a horror film and being scared shitless of the clown. The whole time you know that it's not real, but it still effects you.
The problem with the more "real" acting and storylines is like the nightmare of that clown that just won't leave you alone. It eats away at you until one day you start seeing the clown in your day-to-day life; at the end of your bed, in your desk at work, sitting at a table right behind your date's head, etc. What's the point of making a film if it's only actors acting out a documentary? Where's the creativity, the resounding meaning? A movie must have a purpose, and life to this point has no answer to what exactly its purpose is. A movie makes us believe that, yes there is a reason that I get my coffee here every morning so that someday my Prince Charming will spill his latte all over me and wisk me away to his fairytale castle, this is of course after we make complete asses of ourselves in hilarious hijinks.
Even though I go into such an elaborate description, I know that it will never happen and that it is not real. I know this because actual life is never that easy, that simple, that well-defined. It is confusing and fuzzy and that is all that you can rely on in this world. And films give us life, but in our own terms, in a way that we can relate and possibly attempt to understand it. In film we see specific actions and reactions, but in life there is not always cause and effect. There is not always reason. That's why sometimes I think God is a screenwriter and earth is a script that keeps getting sidetracked in sub-plots. At some point, hopefully before the end of the third act, we will see a point, a theme, a something that connects it all together.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hugh Jackman: a Hot Talent or a Talented Hottie? Part I

There I said it. Now that that's out of the way. I am going to write about the talented, nay, glorious Mr. Jackman. Our love affair has been going on since 2001, when I first saw this roguishly handsome man stumble, nay, glide onto the silver screen in Someone Like You co-starring a befuddled Ashley Judd, a despicable Greg Kinnear, a long-legged Ellen Barkin and a recovering smoker Marisa Tomei. I did not see the first X-Men, so I was caught completely unaware. He has the charm and poise of Cary Grant, but the ruggedness of a young Mel Gibson. He sweeps the leading lady off of her feet while still remaining the scoundrel. Add Image
I would love to write him a period piece, something like the oldest plotline of The Fountain, which came out a week or so ago and co-starred the classic Rachel Weisz. Oh, I wish I was her. My first real movie obsession was The Mummy. I just kept watching it and watching it. I couldn't help myself. I wanted to be her and be with Brendan Fraser.
Anyways... I think that Hugh should do a Flynn-like period piece. I could see him as Don Juan or as Essex or even as the legendary Robin Hood. He can captivate the audience without giving all the story away. With that little grin, we know there is something more lurking there underneath the surface and we just want to dig it out. He can command the stage and screen as those of you know who saw him in The Boy From Oz or even heard that he won the Tony. I can't tell you how happy I was that night. Hugh won! I want to write him something that will capture the audience's hearts. I want him to be the shining knight who serves his lady love to the death.
In The Fountain, he bore his soul. There was this one moment where the camera focused on him that he weeped. He showed raw and deep emotion. Emotion that one rarely sees anymore on screen. I actually began to tear up, which I have only done in theaters for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera because I really felt for poor, not so deformed Gerard Butler, Ever After because I saw it with my Dad, and De-Lovely when Kevin Kline was singing "So In Love" to a dying Ashley Judd. And I think that Hugh could do that, but also be able to not make it too sappy, afterall he pulled off The Prestige where he mourned his wife with a ferocity that startled me. He is just overall a very passionate man, in life and in his acting.
I have to run now, but Hugh Jackman will be a theme, not a constant topic of my blog. And also the pictures aren't loading so I'll just double them next time which will be later this week, I promise...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Woody Allen: Genius or Has-been?

Don't get me wrong with this blog. I love Woody Allen dearly. I think he is, or at least was, a genius. I first fell in love with What's New, Pussycat? That screwball comedy starring Peter O'Toole, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen "in that order" as Allen said in his old stand-up.
Then of course when you mention Woody Allen you have to say Annie Hall. Personally, I think that Annie Hall is one of the greatest films of all time with its original screenwriting shown in moments as "Where are they now?" and "What they are really saying". My Harvard Beginning Screenwriting actually showed both clips. So to all those Allen fans out there, I am one of you. I even have his stand-up recordings, which actually make his latest films the more painful.
Now, you may wonder why I chose Allen of all topics. Well, I'll tell you, because I wasted $9.25 on a ticket to see his latest movie, Scoop. Now, I wasn't expecting it to make the AFI top 100 list, but I did expect something. The casting was marvelous. Hugh Jackman as a dashingly rich Brit who might be going around killing bob-haired brunettes and leaving tarot cards behind as a mystical Jack the Ripper. Scarlett Johansson enters as a nerve-wracked Brooklyn journalism student who is given the scoop of the lifetime. Now this is where it gets funny. Now, why would Jackman fall in love with, or at least sleep with, an awkward and bespectacled Johansson. He could have the pick of British society. He says he's attracted to her "realness", but I don't buy it. I can understand maybe shagging for a couple nights, but Allen turns it into a full-fledged romance. And of course Allen has to be Johansson's friend/guardian as the magician Splendini also from originally from Brooklyn. Let's rewind a bit.
Johansson is chosen to be part of Allen's magic show. When she is put into the box, where to the audience she disappears, she sees a ghost of a top-notch reporter. This reporter tells her that Jackman is the infamous Tarot Card Killer. This of course after Johansson slept with a famous director and didn't even get a story. She is quite comical, and not in the good way.
Allen even tries to insert his old routine in this story. He at one point uses the bit, "I was married once. It didn't work out. She thought I was immature. I had an excellent rebuttal, but she didn't call on me when my had was raised," which was a major joke in his act from the 60s.
I won't go into the rest because then I would be spoiling the entire film. Simply put, Allen doesn't know how to end a film anymore. We, the audience, were stunned. We stayed through the credits even, praying that this wasn't it. That he wasn't going to end it so lamely, so bluntly.
My relationship with Allen has been whithering over the past couple years. I still go see his films, but that doesn't mean that I always loved them. It was a bad sign when he was trying to romance Julia Roberts in Everybody Says I Love You. I chuckled at Hugh Grant in Small Time Crooks. I dealt with Melinda and Melinda, as both an Allen and Ferrell fan. I even really liked Match Point, especially the incredibly sharp cheekbones of a certain Jonathan Rhys Meyers. But if a writer/director makes such a debacle like Scoop with such an amazing cast and interesting premise, I say retire or make something that is actually good. Maybe it's just that he can't write a comedy anymore. I hope that his new untitled project with Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor has a better outcome.
I still will be there in the audience. Actually, I will always be there in the audience. I will be there until there are no more to see. That's the Allen mystique. You know the movie is going to be terrible, but you keep coming back for more and you have no clue why. It might be because you think that maybe this will be it, this will be his last and greatest. Or you may still go because he can still sign the biggest and most talented actors. But you still show up and you still have material to complain to your friends, neighbors and co-workers the next day.
I leave you now with a great view of Hugh Jackman's back...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

First Post

This is my first post on my very own blog. This is so cool and I hope all you lovely readers will think so too. I will post again as soon as I can, but now I have more homework than God. Of course, I'm exaggerating. Wipe the sweat off of your brow you uber Christians.
Now, I have to read about blacklisting during the 1950s, or should I say red-listing. And then finish a very enjoyable physics lab. Oh the sarcasm.

This may be the beginning of a wonderful friendship.