Monday, November 28, 2011

More on Movies

Just to follow through on my recent movie posts, I'd like to tell you about what I have seen recently and enjoyed. 

Oh what a lovely film by Mike Mills! I thoroughly enjoyed Beginners for all it's lovely visuals, creative editing, quirky characters and touching story. I'm a huge, long-time fan of Ewan McGregor (Big Fish) and once again he does a tremendous job as graphic designer Oliver Fields. Oliver is rocked by the recent death of his father and his announcement just a few years prior that he was gay, despite being married to Oliver's mother for 44 years. As Oliver deals with the loss and his father's recent openness, he falls for a lovely French actress, Anna (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds). As he navigates through coming to terms with his parents marriage, his father's cancer and homosexuality, he also tries to make deeper connections and learn of the different types of love in life. It's just a wonderful film! You must see it if you haven't!

I saw another wonderful film just the past weekend w/ my bf and friends - The Muppets! As a former puppeteer, I knew there was no way I would be disappointed by this film. It's the Muppets - how can you go wrong?! 

Brothers Gary (Jason Segel, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Walter have grown up watching the Muppets and finally get the chance to tour the studio when Gary decides to take his long-time girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams, Enchanted) to visit Los Angeles. When they learn the theater is threatened by closure by a greedy oil tycoon, they simply must reunite everyone in order to save it! The celebrity cameos and fun songs are well-worth watching it alone but as the plot implies, it's a great tribute to what the Muppets were and still are to adults and children around the world. Highly recommended to everyone!

Have you seen any great movies lately? Are they any coming out that you're particularly excited for? I'd love to hear about them. I always have my ears and eyes open for new suggestions!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Movie Buzz: Melancholia

So I hadn't heard about the film Melancholia until last week. I've always been a fan of it's star, Kirsten Dunst, possibly because she's the celebrity I most resemble (with the right haircut/color). Do you have a special place for any  stars just because someone said you look like that individual?
This is the latest from Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark) who wrote and directed the film. The pitch: "A beautiful movie about the end of the world." Most reviews claim it to be a beautiful film but they're mixed as to whether the film is successful in delivering romanticism or psychological disaster. 

The film centers on two sisters and as a result has two parts. The first centers on the gloomy Justine, played by Dunst, on the day of her wedding to Michael (Alexander SkarsgårdTrue Blood). A far cry from her usually upbeat roles, this one shows her subtlety and range. She embodies much of von Trier himself, a self proclaimed melancholiac, and even pulled from personal depressive experiences. As a strange planet hurls toward Earth, Justine finds herself getting stronger, possibly because she's always longing for an undefinable something and therefore has nothing to lose. 

The second half of the film focuses on Claire, the "normal" sister, unraveling as the end of world draws closer. Claire, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams), actually has something to lose if the world ends - her son (Cameron Spurr). She and husband John (Kiefer Sutherland, 24), play host to the Justine's wedding at their waterfront castle and ultimately take in the sister after a disastrous reception.
I'm curious to see how the film actually plays out and might just be one of those films that you want to see on your own. Then again, I'll probably want to discuss it with someone... I'll cross my fingers that it piques the bf's curiousity too! Please, if you see it, let me know what you thought - I'd love to hear. I've included the trailer for those that I've already intrigued and/or confused. 

Other interesting reads on this film: the Interview on the the film's website plus this review. 

Movie Buzz: Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman is another film that I'm really excited to see. This is the darker of the two Snow White movies coming out in 2012 (Mirror, Mirror being the other one). According to IMDb, the story is a twist on the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale - "the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. " Acclaimed commercial director Rupert Sanders is bringing this story to life in his first feature film along with producers Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) and Sam Mercer. You're probably familiar with Sanders' work without even realizing it, in commercial like Axe: The Fall and DirecTV Robots
I'm a little partial to this film because I saw an early test for the film that was quite visually intriguing. Then I received the opportunity to interview for a position working on the film in the UK. The concept artwork hanging in the production office was incredible! Unfortunately, I didn't get the job but I'm still as interested as ever in seeing the finished product. The first trailer came out early this month and has only fueled the excitement. 

I'll admit that I was very skeptical about the actors as they were announced (and re-announced in the case of the Huntman). I was thinking they'd probably choose an unknown to play Snow White but they picked Kristen Stewart instead. I know the girl is getting a lot of flack for the Twilight series but I can't hate her when she's only been cast in angsty teenage roles. However, I do think this film will help better determine her actual range. I was also questioning the choice of Charlize Theron for the Queen Ravenna. As soon the first images hit the web though, man did my mind change in a hurry! She might be my favorite by far. 

In fact, there's a good chance this might turn into my 2012 Halloween costume - I just love it! There will probably be several good costumes that come out of this movie. 
The film also stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Eric the Huntsman and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as the Prince. Playing the dwarfs are Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Izzard, Ray Winstone and Eddie Marsan (as twins), Stephen Graham and a mysterious eighth dwarf. The Universal Pictures production is scheduled for a June 1st, 2012 theatrical release.
Additional images, mostly on set, can be found here, here and here
Also, there's a great story about Kristen Stewart punching Chris Hemsworth here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Movie Buzz: Sally Potter's Bomb

I am excited about several films right now... Let's start with the furthest one away - 
Bomb. I just read about this upcoming period film written & directed by Sally Potter and am really intrigued with the story and the cast.


The story centers on two 16-year-old girls living in early 1960s London, caught amid the political change of the Cold War and the social change of the sexual revolution. 13-year-old Elle Fanning (We Bought A Zoo, Super 8) has been cast to play Ginger, the brainy rebel wanting to save the world from nuclear annihilation. In actuality, her family is more likely to explode - Alessandro Nivola plays Ginger's father, a free-thinking, charismatic writer who enrages his daughter by having an affair with her best friend, Rosa, played by newcomer Alice Englert (Singularity).

I'm becoming a big Elle Fanning fan and can't wait to see what she does with a part like this. As Potter told Deadline, "Elle has a subtlety and range beyond her years. Her unaffected enthusiasm for work is a joy. She can move you to tears and then light up the room with her radiant smile, the perfect presence at the center of this volatile story." Doesn't she even look beyond her years in the pics above?
I haven't seen any of her work but am very curious about Alice Englert too. This 17-year-old (below) is the daughter of director Jane Campion and filmmaker Colin EnglertPotter noted that Alice "is a beautiful, intelligent young woman with the movies in her bones. Together, playing teenage rebels, they are sure to be a pair of firecrackers." Can't you just picture the two of them lighting up the screen together?!

The BFI and BBC Films production is scheduled to start shooting in February 2012 in and around London and the South Coast. Ms. Potter is joined in her effort by producers Christopher Sheppard and Andrew Litvin.

Information gathered from CinemaBlend, IMDb, and IndieWire. Top pic from here, Elle images from Interview & Marie Claire, Alice images from Vogue Italia & Harper's Bazaar