Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Favorite Actor Monday: Day Late and Dollar Short Edition

Shelley Duvall looks like a real person, and happened to start working in Hollywood the first year of the last decade in which that was possible: 1970. She's so damned interesting to watch. People always mention Kubrick and Nicholson when they talk about "The Shining" but what about Shelley Duvall?

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (Robert Altman, 1976)
3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977)
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
Popeye (Robert Altman, 1980)
Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981)
Frankenweenie (Tim Burton, 1984)
Roxanne (Fred Schepisi, 1987)
The Underneath (Steven Soderbergh, 1995)

I haven't seen "Brewster McCloud," "Thieves Like Us," "The Portrait of a Lady," and "Twilight of the Ice Nymphs" yet, which explains their absence.

Monday, February 26, 2007


The Oscars don't really have much of anything to do with movies, but here are my brief reactions anyway.

The filmblog-nerdniverse is in consensus that Ellen DeGeneres was not very good. I don't agree. I thought she was really funny. They are also in consensus about it being one of the most boring Oscars ever. Have they forgotten the year the final "Lord of the Rings" movie won every goddamn category? That was a boring show. While I agree that most of the speeches this year were on the dull side, at least one movie didn't dominate the evening. I liked the lack of obvious frontrunners, and the variety of winners.

Ennio Morricone is a musical genius and deserved his recognition. However, who in the sweet merciful christ thought it was a good idea for Celine Dion to sing over one of his old instrumental pieces? That's sort of like having Dane Cook perform a Bill Hicks routine.

What the f. was Quincy Jones wearing? It appeared to be some sort of muu-muu/Slip N' Slide hybrid.

Al Gore's dick is bruised, swollen, and raw from the constant sucking it received last night. (That last sentence is neither a conservative nor liberal joke, but a moral one.)

Tom Hanks may never again be in a good film, but his reply to Chris Connelly's inane Access Hollywood-style question backstage after presenting an award was almost enough to make me forget "Forrest Gump." I'll try to find it on YouTube and put it up here later.

I'm glad Martin Scorsese won, even though "The Departed" is probably my least favorite of his movies (though "Gangs of New York" might be worse). I don't know why I care. The guy gets to do what he wants for a living, he's made some fantastic movies, why the hell does any successful person need even more validation when someone like me is collapsing under the weight of my own colossally mundane failures? I need a goddamn award for having a shit job and somehow dragging myself there most days. But I do care. I'm glad he has finally received his shiny naked gold man. I guess I'm as prone to collective celebrity hoopla as the next guy.

Finally, a quote from one of my favorite critics (and current New York Times DVD reviewer) Dave Kehr about last night's Celebrity Backslappapalooza 2007:
"No argument with Helen Mirren — but why is it suddenly the accepted attitude to treat the Queen of England as a saintly, quietly suffering underdog? But that, too, is the Academy: a bunch of proud liberals right up to the moment they’re allowed to kowtow to the British aristocracy."

Favorite Actor Monday to come later tonight, or maybe tomorrow.

UPDATE: I couldn't find the Tom Hanks thing on YouTube, but I did find this.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Favorite Actor Monday: Nearly Tuesday Edition

Let's hear it for Gene Hackman. That's all I got today, people. Sorry. It's been a lousy day.

Lilith (Robert Rossen, 1964)
Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
Downhill Racer (Michael Ritchie, 1969)
The French Connection (William Friedkin, 1971)
Cisco Pike (Bill L. Norton, 1972)
Scarecrow (Jerry Schatzberg, 1973)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974)
Night Moves (Arthur Penn, 1975)
Superman (Richard Donner, 1978)
Reds (Warren Beatty, 1981)
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)
Crimson Tide (Tony Scott, 1995)
Get Shorty (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1995)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)

He, and Frances McDormand, are great in "Mississippi Burning," but it's not such a great movie. Same goes for "Hoosiers." Except replace Frances McDormand's name with Dennis Hopper's.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Favorite Actor Monday

Laura Dern was so good in "Inland Empire" that she reminded me again how much I like watching her act. For whatever reason, I tend to overlook her, until the next time I see her in something and she bowls me over. I need to stop doing that.

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
Wild At Heart (David Lynch, 1990)
Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne, 1996)
two episodes of "King of the Hill" (2002, 2003)
Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)

Dern is in Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World," a movie I like a lot, but her character is unfortunately terribly written, so I can't recommend her in it. Her characters are also pretty forgettable or silly in "Jurassic Park" and "Mask." She plays Girl Eating Ice Cream Cone in Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." I like that movie, and I like ice cream, but I don't remember her acting or eating ice cream in it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Favorite Actor Monday: Monday Bloody Monday Edition

Tom Savini is primarily a special effects technician and makeup artist for a lot of really great horror movies (and some incredibly shitty ones), but he also does a lot of acting. Though he mostly plays small roles, he's always memorable. He's a very funny, naturalistic actor, though he's also adept at playing batshit nutzoids. Tom Savini, I like the cut of your jib.

Recommended performances:
Martin (George Romero, 1977)
Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
Knightriders (George Romero, 1981)
Creepshow (George Romero, 1982)
Innocent Blood (John Landis, 1992)
From Dusk Till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996)
Land of the Dead (George Romero, 2005)
"Worst Episode Ever" episode of The Simpsons (2001)

Recommended special effects/makeup work:
Deathdream (Bob Clark, 1974)
Martin (George Romero, 1977)
Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980)
Alone in the Dark (Jack Sholder, 1982)
Creepshow (George Romero, 1982)
Day of the Dead (George Romero, 1985)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Tobe Hooper, 1986)
Monkey Shines (George Romero, 1988)

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