Friday, June 29, 2007


Yes, that's right. Everyone's favorite feature has been postponed.

My life is insane now (I just went from school from 9 to 4, and then worked 'til 11). So not much blogging. WHO'S CUTER is also moving to another day (we'll see which day is good now), though it'll still be weekly.

Anyway, short story from last week: Phoenix won (though Depp closed it out quite strongly). Another post about River will be coming soon, along with the wrap-up from last week's contest.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I start film school in 7 hours...

...and I'm quite nervous. CAN YOU TELL!?

I guess you guys can't, cause you weren't watching me pace for twenty minutes just now. But I've been kind of a wreck, which I guess is why I'm posting on my blog instead of sleeping (oy).

Part of the reason I'm nervous is that not only do I have to do 8 hours of film school (8:30-4:15) tomorrow, but immediately after that, I have to do god-knows-how-many-hours of waiter training (which I've also never done). So it's gonna be a very long day, after two solid weeks of doing nothing much at all. Yikes!

I'm sure it'll be fine, though. Nevermind the fact that I've never done 8 straight hours of any kind of school EVER (well, since high school). That'll be interesting. And nevermind the fact that I'm technologically retarded and might break something on my first day (I mean in film school, not in waitering... but of course, breaking plates is very possible, too).

We'll see how that all goes. I may update y'all later, if the news is good.

Oh, I also just wanted to mention how nice the Netflix people are. Two of my movies apparently have been lost in the mail system all month (being forwarded to my new address, except not), and Netflix is totally crediting me back for last month instead of charging me. And then, since the guy accidentally sent MORE movies to the wrong address, he gave me next month for free, too (since it'll take a while to be able to void that and send new ones again to my real address).

I was really worried that I'd have to pay for She-Devil and Death Becomes Her, cause I have no idea where the f**k they are. But they were like, "oh don't worry, sometimes stuff just never gets forwarded" and they gave me all this free time. Amazing.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Yay, a job!

OK, so I think I just got a job waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant. I'm pretty excited. Though I've never actually waited tables before, so I'm not sure I know what I'm getting into. It always sounded like it would be fun, though. And I really really like this restaurant.


Johnny and River are still duking it out.

The race has suddenly tightened up. But River's still ahead by one point.

To see some Johnny, click here.

To see some River, click here.

Then vote, if you haven't done so already. I'm liking this matchup.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

T minus 2 hours until...

...with live intro by David Lynch via webcast.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Meryl... and ME!

Yay for Meryl turning 58! I know this is a few minutes late, technically, but I just didn't get around to it earlier. I haven't been as obsessed with Meryl lately as I usually am; these days, I'm more focused on the men. But I'm sure I'll come back around once Meryl's many 2007 films open.

And speaking of birthdays, happy birthday to ME as well! I will be 24 as of 1:09am this morning. As I've stated before, I pride myself in being born only a few hours after The Great One (give or take 34 years). I like to think that she and I share some spiritual connection.

Wow, can you believe Meryl hasn't won an oscar in the whole time I've been living? She won her Best Actress oscar in 1983, a few months before I was born. That's crazy. But anyway, yay for Meryl and for me (except damn, I'm now in my mid-20s and am still not famous... gotta get on that).

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Why doesn't Ewan do musicals anymore?

I miss it! And seriously, why has he not even made a good movie in like four years? Too much Star Wars and bad action films. What a waste. You should just sing & strip, Ewan. Sing & strip, always. It's your calling.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Johnny's even hotter after you've seen him as Bon Bon.


If you don't love River after seeing this, you have no soul.


WHO'S HOTTER: River Phoenix or Johnny Depp?

A sad fact: River Phoenix overdosed at a club owned by Johnny Depp. If Johnny hadn't owned that club, would River still be alive? That's debatable. But I thought it was enough of a cosmic connection to warrant pitting these two against each other this week (sorry for the morbidity of this post).

Which of these two über-cool, smoking-hot, shades-wearing sex symbol icons does it for you? In order to help you forget the tragic spectacle of River's overdose (in case you just read the story in that link), I'm providing a whole extra post of photos for each man. Enjoy.

Soooooo... JOHNNY or RIVER? Vote and discuss here in the comments.

And the hotter is...

(over a week passes)

River Phoenix. Johnny made it close, but in the end, River still emerged victorious. I do love Depp, but I'm glad he lost to the great martyred body of water whose spirit rose from the ashes in the form of his brother Leaf... or something. Seriously, though, I love River Phoenix. This contest got me back into a big River phase, during which I actually bought My Own Private Idaho and a book called In Search of River Phoenix: The Truth Behind The Myth, by William Richert. I actually feel bad exploiting River's image for personal enjoyment, since he was known to be averse to the "cult of the image". But it's only because I love him deeply, and because his image always communicated so much. Just look at his eyes.

I direct fellow fans to the very interesting sites Rio's Attic and The River Phoenix Pages. I'll also report back on how good the book is. There really is a "myth" of River Phoenix that transcends both himself and his celebrity. Not since his fellow fallen star James Dean has an actor been made into something so much more after being taken so early. RIP, River Phoenix. You'll always be dearly missed.

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open letter to Lindsay Lohan

Dear Lindsay Lohan,

THANK YOU for taking rehab seriously this time. I really hope it's true. Because I, and many others, still love you deep down, despite my/our extreme disappointment with your recent behavior. I/we still believe that you're good at heart, that the charming, spunky, adorable little girl we were first introduced to 9 years ago is still in there somewhere, far beneath the spoiled, trashy, cocaine-addled exterior.

I, for one, think your decision to cancel your massive 21st birthday bash in Vegas was a wise one. Don't tempt fate, Lindsay. You KNOW what happens when you party too much. It's not good. That's not what you should be doing/looking like on your birthday. It should be a new beginning! Think of it as the start of your new life and career as a successful, respected, responsible adult actress. It's still possible. Really. You don't have to go out this way. Don't throw away your amazing gift.

Please, just spend the day recovering in rehab, with good friends and family and a little cake with 21 candles. NO ALCOHOL. NO DRUGS. PROMISE ME THIS. If you must celebrate some new freedom you have as a 21-year-old, go drive a rental car or something (...actually, you might need to be like 24 to do that. But I'll get back to you with something clean and healthy you can do, I promise... though if you DO go out and drive a rental car, please make sure you're sober while doing it).

Okay. I think that's enough preaching. Peace be with you, Lindsay. All we want is for you to get better.

Love and kisses,

~Adam, a true fan

P.S. you were totally robbed of golden globe nominations for both Freaky Friday and Mean Girls (and maybe even The Parent Trap, too, but that was a strong year)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm going to the South Florida premiere of Inland Empire, with a live intro by David Lynch via webcast!

You heard me. Here's the proof.

I'm so excited. I was kicking myself for missing it last spring when it was at Providence's Cable Car Cinema (with couches!), thinking I'd never get another chance to see it on the big screen. But now, this is even better!!! My friend and I are going up to Miami Beach this Sunday to witness the amazingness that is Inland Empire. With a LIVE introduction by David Lynch! Amazing.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Random analysis of the day:
GG Best Actress (Comedy/Musical)

For some reason, today I feel like working out who the potential Golden Globe best actress nominees might be (in the comedy/musical race, at least... drama always has way too many candidates at this point). Let's brainstorm:

One likely nominee is Keri Russell in Waitress, a film I just saw this evening. She's very endearing in the role, though I wouldn't say brilliant; other actresses could've played this part, maybe better, though she does just fine, for the most part. Both the performance and the film have been getting very strong reviews, and honoring her would seem a logical way to reward the film as a whole. I don't see it getting a best picture globe nod, but Russell herself seems a good bet. The HFPA does like her, after all (remember her shocking globe win for Felicity?).

Another very likely candidate, sight unseen, is Helena Bonham-Carter for Sweeney Todd. This is the kind of role I'd expect to see here in the lead category, even if it gets demoted to supporting for the oscars, unless her part is cut down significantly from the Mrs. Lovett of the stage version. And even if the film goes over badly, she and Depp can probably expect globe attention... Bonham-Carter especially, since she's a proven musical talent, and would be highly unlikely to totally bomb in her role... even if Meryl Streep, Imelda Staunton, Toni Collette or whoever might've done better.

A third actress I'd be surprised to see left off is Marion Cotillard of La Vie En Rose. An oscar nod will be tricky, but a nomination here seems all sewn up. The film is already doing well critically and commercially, despite some people's negative reactions, so it's hard to imagine her missing here. She could even win it. Respected biopic about a famous singer, with an actress getting rave reviews? We know this category loves that.

And finally, I expect Laura Linney to place here, too, for The Savages. There's always one nominee in this category who's in a film that's really neither a musical nor a comedy, and Linney fits that bill this year. Critically lauded indie dramedies do well here, and this film looks funny enough to call itself a "comedy." The big question is whether it actually will. I'm betting: yes. But if it doesn't, Linney could probably muscle her way into the race over in the drama field, too. We'll see.

Anyway, if I had to put these four in order of likeliness, I'd probably list them like this:
1) Cotillard
2) Bonham-Carter
3) Linney
4) Russell
5) ???

...but it's hard to see any of them not placing. The question is where that 5th spot will go. And right now, it could go pretty much anywhere.

Hairspray has an apparently VERY lovable female lead in newbie Nikki Bronsky, and also a second possible nominee in Michelle Pfeiffer, if her role is large enough. Speaking of Michelle Pfeiffer, she's got another summer comedy vehicle, I Could Never Be Your Woman, in which she's most definitely the lead. Other possibilites include heavyweights Nicole Kidman (whose title role in Margot at the Wedding could earn her some attention) and Susan Sarandon (also sporting a title role in the upcoming Bernard and Doris). And if Knocked Up continues to slay 'em at the box office, you can't count out its star Katherine Heigl. And finally, if the globe voters really, REALLY like Once, then it's not impossible that young Markéta Irglová might land a spot (though that one's probably wishful thinking).

That's everyone I can think of right now. Am I forgetting anyone? There are surely more names that'll pop up at the end of the year... but there's plenty of competition already. As it is, at least five of the ten women above will wake up empty-handed on nomination day. Which five (or more)? It's anyone's guess.

Look who was just invited to join AMPAS...

The list is here, via Awards Daily (formerly Oscarwatch).

My first impressions:

the Jennifers. Hudson I understand because she just won... though I don't think her opinions about film should be taken as seriously as veteran film industry professionals. Aniston I'm more annoyed at because... why? Sure, this makes sense from a fame and TV accomplishment standpoint, but what has she done in FILM that actually merits this? Sigh.

Steve Carrell & Daniel Craig. YES. They may not be smart enough to nominate them, but do they know who the cool people are.

Eddie Murphy. This is rather overdue. He does make his share of Norbits, but he's been a huge figure in the industry for some time now. Glad he's finally a member of the club.

Christopher Plummer. WHAT!? This is only happening NOW? Jesus. See my comments above for Eddie Murphy, and multiply them by ten.

Maribel Verdu. This makes me all kinds of happy... I don't see how they could've been under any pressure to do this, but they did it anyway. Love her. Plus, it's always nice to see respect for deserving foreigners.

J.J. Abrams. I don't recall his doing much in film, but I still like this. I guess it's rather hypocritical of me to say that after I just complained about Jennifer Aniston, but there you are.

Burwell, Desplat, Navarrete & Santaolalla. Awesome. All four of their music branch invitees should really help liven up the branch. God knows it needs it. At present, it's SO obnoxious... though it has been improving of late. I'm especially happy about Burwell, who still has yet to be nominated despite an impressive body of work. And I'm rather shocked about Santaolalla only being invited this year. Didn't he already WIN deservedly in 2005? And wasn't he already oscar-worthy for Motorcycle Diaries the year prior (which did in fact win an oscar, albeit not for Gustavo)? Oy.

There are others who I'm happy about, but they were nominees this year, so it's no surprise they're being invited. Who do you think did/did not deserve it? Thoughts?


another Jennifer Holliday interview

This one's my favorite.


Two more days... vote for Ryan or Leo. Any Leo fans out there should make themselves heard, cause Ryan's kicking serious ass.

That is all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I just bought Batman Returns and watched it.

It was on sale for like $9 on amazon, so I figured, "why the hell not?" (it came in the same package as my Once soundtrack). I'd seen it once as a little kid (when it first came out), and I remembered it being cool, dark and scary. I'd also noticed that it was one of Nat's top five films of 1992, so I thought I'd probably love it.

But I just watched it tonight, and didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. There were lots of interesting things happening, and the performances were all good (especially La Pfeiffer), but as a whole, it just didn't feel special. Certainly not Spider-Man 2-level. The villains were all sympathetic, which was nice, but they still felt less like real people and more like, well, comic book villains. I applaud the visual ingenuity, as well, but on the whole, the film felt rather stagnant; it just didn't thrill me.

I guess my main quibble is that, entertaining as it was at times, it mostly felt like a bunch of fun gimmicks that didn't really hold together. Plus, it wasn't always that entertaining. The tragedy of Catwoman did get me a little, but my being truly involved emotionally was more the exception than the rule. I'd blame part of it on the film's age - the effects of the time were not as great, and there've been more interesting comic movies since then, so I'd imagine this seemed more innovative before - but I think it's also just that the film was not too inspired. Pieces of it touched on greatness, but the whole seemed less than the sum of its parts. It didn't really have a great story angle or themes to make it feel "mythical," and Burton tried to make up for that by adding on a lot of fluff.

This film actually exemplified my main issue with Burton: that unless he's working with an exceptional story (e.g. Edward Scissorhands), his films are usually long on style and short on substance. His quirk and invention are fun, but not really focused. And it annoys me, truth be told. This is why I really worry for his rendering of Sweeney Todd. He may find inspiration in the strong material, but it could also just be a jumping off point for him to get pointlessly weird and gothic. We'll see.

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I liked the film - even a lot, at times - but I guess I'd hyped it up a lot in my mind, and I ended up a tad disappointed. I guess it serves me right for buying a film I hadn't seen in fifteen years. Maybe if I watch it again, I'll change my mind? Who knows.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle?

Everyone, please watch this when you have time. It's kind of important. No, not because global warming is destroying the world. Because global warming might not be destroying the world. Might not. I don't think I really believe this thing (it's apparently been discredited in most circles), but it's quite thought provoking nonetheless.

At first glance, it's pretty convincing. It systematically lays out the means by which (allegedly) an unsubstantiated myth, first proposed a few decades ago, has recently became gospel among many. It also addresses the issue of scientists being "bought" by oil companies, with several scientists in the film claiming they've been accused of being "bought" but in fact haven't been. Still, once I read up on it, I found that it's basically been dismissed as anti-environmentalist "propaganda," and that it misrepresents many facts. But it's just hard to know what to believe anymore.

So do I still worship Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth, which this film claims is a sham? I dunno. Perhaps my fervor about it seems to have been misplaced. Or perhaps not. I need to watch it again with more critical eyes, and really read up on this issue. Cause as of now, I don't know what to think. I think I'm still on Gore's side of the fence, but it's all such a sea of confusion.

Please do watch the film, though. It's a little over an hour long, so sitting through it is a commitment. Once you start, though, you won't wanna stop. It kind of draws you in, even if you're being critical. Feel free to discredit it, if you have valid reasons. My instinct is that it shouldn't be trusted, but this is such a serious issue that I don't want to dismiss anything. It seems silly to believe this one documentary instead of my everything else I've heard, but it does make some very good points. Even if the filmmakers do have some kind of agenda to mislead. Anyway, please at least watch it, and if you have opinions, please give feedback. I know this is a film and entertainment blog, but sometimes I feel the need to be more serious.

Here's the film, in 8 parts:

I just don't know what the hell to think anymore. The global warming issue is confounding.

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OK, Once songs are up for real now.

I was experiencing some technical difficulties.

But now my 6 favorite Once songs are there on my Box, ready for all to hear. Listen if you dare... and comment if you listen... or you can comment even if you don't.

Who else has seen this film, anyway?


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Once: the soundtrack, the Oscar odds

OK. So I've done some research on Wikipedia, and I think I've figured out which songs are eligible. I've been wondering about this a lot lately, and actually asked about it on Once's IMDB board. But then I realized: I'm a smart guy; why don't I just look it up myself? So I did.

Here are the 13 tracks on the Once soundtrack. Non-originals are scratched out. My favorite songs are in bold. Comments about each track, and it's Oscar likeliness, are to the side:

1) "Falling Slowly" (f**k. coulda won the oscar)
2) "If You Want Me" (maybe? I could see this happening)
3) "Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy" (not even really a song)
4) "When Your Mind's Made Up" (dammit. this might've had a shot)
5) "Lies" (great song, but wouldn't have been nominated anyway)
6) "Gold" (I wish... too lyrical, and too unassuming)
7) "The Hill" (too sad, too tiny, too personal)
8) "Fallen From The Sky" (nope)
9) "Leave" (not a huge loss)
10) "Trying to Pull Myself Away" (not happening)
11) "All The Way Down" (good song, but no)
12) "Once" (I don't see this happening, but it is the title song...)
13) "Say It To Me Now" (I love the song, but it's just not oscary)

A quick glance at this list shows that there's only one real possibility for oscar play. That'd be "If You Want Me," a dreamy little number from the middle of the film, one of only two songs with Markéta Irglová on lead vocals (the other is "The Hill"). It's also distinctive in that it's the only musical sequence in the film that's not entirely realistic; it's the only time the film touches on the kind of "out of nowhere" Hollywood musical abandon that it otherwise eschews for stark naturalism. Judging from the IMDB boards, many people truly love this song, and while it's not my personal favorite, it is ONE of my favorites, and definitely one of the stronger ones. I could definitely see it being performed on the Oscar telecast, which is more than I can say for most Once songs (at least the originals). That said, it's not really their kinda song - too dark and moody - and if nominated, it'd have no chance of winning.

Then, of course, there's "Once." This song is played over the credits at the end, REALLY at the end, after other songs have played over the credits. It kind of has a tone of winding down, and there's no real climax. I think it's one of the weakest songs on the album. It's still great, don't get me wrong, but next to the rest of the stuff, it's not that special. So I hope they don't go campaigning this one, expecting it to be "THE ONE" that gets the film a nomination. Cause it's just not that great of a song. But it is the title song, so I'm thinking they might try to get it noticed.

My personal favorite original song is "Say It To Me Now," the last one on the album and first in the film. It's a lovely little song about longing, sung by Glen Hansard right at the beginning, and admired by Markéta Irglova. It's a part sad, part confused, part angry, part cathartic. And kind of awesome. But it's also very "man on the street with his guitar." Just not an Oscar song at all.

And unfortunately for "Falling Slowly," the film's centerpiece song, it's already been featured on two albums. I'm guessing that means a big "NO" on Oscar elegibility (ditto "When Your Mind's Made Up," the other big highlight of the film). It's really a shame, too, cause when you see Glen and Markéta's characters arrange this song then perform it, you just wanna throw awards at them. Except you're too busy welling up. It's THAT wonderful... especially in context. There was something magical about watching the genesis of that song, watching them come up with it right there in the music store, and play it together for the first time (of course that wasn't REALLY the first time, but they made me believe it was). From that moment on, I was hooked.

Anyway, I'm putting my favorite Once songs on the "Box" tool, so you can check them out in the sidebar. Though you might not want to if you haven't the film. Part of the magic of it is just hearing that music for the first time. I didn't even know Once was a musical, so when I heard "Falling Slowly," I was floored. Total surprise. And I LOVED that.

So, to the uninitiated: SPOILERS!!!

Listen at your own risk. You've been warned.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

My bet to win it all in the Actors Tournament:

He's got credits up the wazoo, and can work a runway. He was Nathaniel's #1 actor of the aughts. And he's just a hell of a talent. In his corner:

Wilde (1997)
Gattaca (1997)
eXistenZ (1999)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, oscar-worthy)
AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001, nomination-worthy)
The Road to Perdition (2002, nomination-worthy)
Cold Mountain (2003, nomination-worthy)
I Heart Huckabee's (2004, oscar-worthy)
Alfie (2004)
Closer (2004)
The Aviator (2004)
Breaking and Entering (2006)

Enemy at the Gates (2001), Sky Captain (2004), All the King's Men (2006), and The Holiday (2006) were also in there, but weren't exactly brilliant work. Regardless, that killer run from his breakthrough in 1999 through the big blitz of 2004 was really something. What other actor can top this resumé, and this level of hotness? I'm curious to see.

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WHO'S CUTER: Leonardo DiCaprio or Ryan Gosling?

This week features two more blonde heartthrobs: Ryan and Leo. They actually have a lot in common. Both were 2006 oscar nominees, both are tall & blonde, both have been in the biz since childhood, both were sent through the teen heartthob meat grinder, and both came out the other side as serious actors. I thought I'd document their shared career evolution, for your enjoyment.

Here they both are trapped in teen heartthrob hell:

And here they both are being angsty about it:
("growing pains," you know... hardy har har...)

And now here they are, grown up, in all their scruffy glory:

And now, just for good measure, here is each man showing his woman a good time. And HOW. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be Kate or Rachel...

Anyway, yes, they have all these things in common, right down to the matching cheesy romance flicks. But there are many differences, too. For instance, I've always found Leo rather feline, while Ryan, at least to me, is much more dog-like. Do other people see it? Which do you prefer?

Sure, Leo'd win easily among the general populace, but this crowd thinks a bit outside the box (for proof, see last week's result by clicking here). I'm confident that these two are pretty well matched.

So, who's cuter, readers? Ryan or Leo?

And the cuter is...

(a week passes)

Ryan, by a mile. I had not anticipated this landslide victory, though I think you all know I'm with you. Anyone who's seen Half Nelson will have trouble not falling in love with Ryan Gosling (come to think of it, Glenn has not seen it, which probably explains his vote). No offense to Leo, who I do find very attractive, but he lost this one fair and square.

In honor of Ryan's adorably canine tendencies, I've provided a photo of him with his animal alter ego: a doggie. Along with a few more, because I clearly just can't get enough. I love this guy.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Actors Tournament is on!

For anyone so inclined, do check out Joe Reid's new Actors Tournament over at Low Resolution. His Actress Tournament last year was, like, the highlight of my summer. Hilarious and addictive. Unfortunately, some bad shit went down between Christian Bale and Ewan MacGregor, and between Tom Wilkinson and Elijah Wood. I was not okay with it. I left my feelings known in the comments.

Also, only one more day for Jude vs Brad, part of my own little version of an Actors Tourney. Jude is ahead. Not much time left to change that...


I have a crush on Ryan Gosling.

OK, is it just me, or is he gorgeous? Just had to get that out there. He's been growing on me ever since Half Nelson, but I found him scarily attractive even then. I think he's now sped past both Heath and Jake in my esteem (in both looks and talent). I can't wait to see what he does next. What is this Lars and the Real Girl movie? Just the idea of Ryan playing someone named Lars kind of turns me on. Wow, how awful. This is not the way to get Ryan to star in the movie I need to write in which he'd play Meryl Streep's son. So I think I should stop typing stuff now. Peace out.