Getting fanboys even MORE excited, a new Watchmen trailer was released via yahoo. Exciting: Explosions, sexy Silk Spectre, explosions, more Rorschach, more explosions. Not so exciting: Dr. Manhattan wearing a mankini. They already apparently abandoned the giant squid, now no blue balls? I digress; at least we are seeing a Watchmen movie get made, finally. I hope this dispute between companies gets figured out by the release date, or you will have many-a-fanboy torching cities and screaming revolution resorting to re-reading the graphic novel.
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Guinness World Records and Netflix have moved into Time Square to host the world record movie watching marathon from October 2-7. To break the current world record of 120 hours and 23 minutes, the contestants will watch 56 films clocking in at a little over 121 hours, over 5 days of continuous cinematic bliss. The previous world record holder, Ashish Sharma of India, will be there to defend his title, along with winners of a contest held on the massive social network www.facebook.com. You would think that such film connoisseurs would be watching beautiful artistic films by Ozu, or cult classics such as Reservoir Dogs or Trainspotting, but so far the popcorn flick lineup has been: Iron Man, Best In Show, Ghostbusters, and The English Patient (wait, wtf?). Here’s hoping they choose some classics, after all, there are 52 films left. Pretty ingenious by Netflix; sponsor a Guinness world record event, and have your company name and logo plastered all over Times Square.
Think you could sit through 121 hours of continuous film for $10,000 and world record fame? I would have to catch a cat nap during the scheduled 10 minute bathroom break in between films.
Persepolis is a biopic of sorts, about an Iranian girl, Marjane, during the Iraq/Iran war and the conflicts of the Shah regime and their control of the Iranian citizens. A very heavy subject matter for a film that is animated, but it is done beautifully, with the nuance and charm needed to perfectly meld animation with the devastation of war. The film begins in 1979, with a precocious Marjane filled with optimism, striving to one day become a prophet. She is filled with such hope and innocence, she tells her grandmother in one scene that in the future, pain and suffering for the elderly will be illegal, when her grandmother asks how, Marjane simply replies, “it will be banished.” The first Act of this film is filled with these cute and sincere moments, and it is not until her uncle, Anoosh, is released from prison, when the dark nature really starts to come through.
The western influence in Iranian culture is evident throughout the film, and while illegal, you see teens trying to rebel by buying black market cassette tapes of Michael Jackson and Iron Maiden, wearing “punk shoes” Nike sneakers, and even wearing the sewn adage “punk is not ded” on the back of a denim jacket. Marjane becomes enthralled with western culture, as one scene shows her head-banging to Iron Maiden in her room. As any concerned parent would do, Marjane’s parents send her away to Austria once danger becomes all too real when a bomb strikes down a family friend in the adjacent apartment building.
The film takes on many dark subjects, from unqualified “leaders”, to hypocrisy within the public perception of men and women, and Marjane’s realization that the rest of the world takes their freedoms for granted. For the most part, the animation is black and white, to portray the arbitrary outlook of the Iranian regime. It is a shame that the Iranian government boycotted this film. There must be too much truth for them to handle. The film succeeds in showing you the loving and nurturing side of the Iranian people, and how they only want to protect their families and change the situation they are in, but what can you do when you have others to think about? Do what you are told, and conform; happens every day. You can’t change where you were brought up, or what nationality you were born into, but you CAN create your own future.
[Persepolis is available on DVD.]
What do you do get people thinking about Spiderman again after the abysmal third instalment of the lucrative franchise? You set up an eBay auction for a meet and greet with the cast, an invitation to the premier, and a chance to be in the movie. Let’s add the cherry on this preemptive viral sundae, it’s for charity. Sony Pictures, you sly dog you; creating buzz before Spiderman 4 is even greenlit, and showing you have heart, how precious. Frankly, they need to do all they can to wipe that taste from my mouth about the dancing emo Peter scene in Spiderman 3, which was probably one of the worst movie-going experiences I have had in the last five years. /Film found a nifty stipulation:
“Slyly, included in the fine print is “If experience cannot be fulfilled, Sony Pictures will provide alternative set visits/premieres based on the provider’s availability”. How pissed would you be if you spent tens of thousands of dollars and they changed the film to the Goosebumps movie? The current high bid (as of this writing) is $5,000 and the auction ends on September 5th.”
How much would you pay?
Woody Allen does Latin. Yes, that’s right Latin — no more geriatric New York, no more contemporary London — but enthralls the audience with Gotti churches, gothic cathedrals, and a hint of Spanish guitar. Woody has arrived in the breathtaking lushness of Barcelona. Of course, the film opens up in the trademarked black and white credits, but Woody does the new location with such conviction that the only sense of Barcelona the audience is neglected is its smell.
Two American girls, Vicky (Rebecca Hall, The Prestige), and Christina (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation) travel to Barcelona for the summer to shack up with their friends, Mark (Kevin Dunn, Transformers), and Judy (Patricia Clarkson, Good Night, and Good Luck), spanish estate. Vicky — engaged, conservative — is there to pursue her education, while Cristina — single, creative — is soaking up in Spanish wine and culture. It’s not too long before they are approached by, the ever studly, seductive painter, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men) at dinner who proposes a threesome within seconds of hello. Typical Woody Allen so far. The real brilliance starts to unravel with the introduction of Juan Antonio’s ex- wife, Marie Elena (Penelope Cruz, Volver), who possesses a lightning bolt of love and hate for Juan Antonio — she tried to stab him. New relationships are made, and old relationships are jolted.
The film isn’t shy of Allen’s witicisms, and notorious one-liners. To see the luscious Cruz transition from delivering such moronic lines from spanish to english is absolutely superb. Throw in the most sensual actress of today, Scarlett, literally in the middle of it — can you say threesome? With Bardem, the god of seduction and spanish charm — guys will be envious for months — Allen created something new, even for him. An absolute homage to Barcelona, Allen conveys it beautifully.
As many of you know, I am a big proponent of rock posters; original screen prints that are hand crafted and released in signed limited editions. “Died Young, Stayed Pretty” is a new documentary being released by filmmaker Eileen Yaghoobian, 4 years in the making, about the sub-culture of these eccentric talented artists. Some of the more popular artists you will see in the film, which debuted at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival, are as follows: Tyler Stout, Print Mafia, and Rob Jones. If you know nothing of this lost art, some of these original prints can go for up to $400-500 on eBay. I can’t wait to see this film, check out the trailer below.
[Props to my buddy Jimmy for the heads up.]
Radiohead, why hath thou forsaken me.
Shame on Chuck. With further research, it looks like there will be no new original music from Radiohead in the upcoming film adaptation of the novel Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, as previously reported. Kind of a bummer, but what WILL appear on the soundtrack is “Reckoner” by Radiohead, along with select tracks from Death Cab, Shout Out Louds, and Twilight Singers; an impressive array. We will forgive him just this once, but if you say The Pixies will be doing the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Rant and don’t follow through, we will have to go Buster Casey on your ass.
Posted in books, Film, Movie News, Music, Music News
Tagged Choke, Chuck Palahniuk, Death Cab For Cutie, Film, Music, Music News, Radiohead, Shout Out Louds, The Pixies