Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Macbeth: Was Michael Fassbender born to play Macbeth? [trailer #2]

In less than a month our friends across the Atlantic get Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Elizabeth Debicki, and Sean Harris on the big screen on October 2nd. Here in the states we’ll have to settle for this second trailer until the movie makes it screen debut on December 4th. Then, after what’s being called a limited run, Macbeth will be available to stream on Amazon. I hope you have a really big screen to capture all the blood, gore and drama! 

‘Imaging the link between sex and violence’ 

According to my source at the Washington Post, Shakespearian scholar and author of Will in the WorldStephen Greenblatt, said “The trailer seems in touch with several features that make the play attractive to contemporary audiences: lots of blood and gory battle scenes; a strong, erotically charged relationship at its center; an intense interest in the costs of masculinity; a way of imagining the link between sex and violence.”

Shakespeare invented the horror genre?

Well, yeah! That’s why we want to see the movie and why we’re all amped that Michael Fassbender, with his hot-blooded masculine streak and his ability to postal, is MacbethGreenblatt told the WP that the filmmakers seem to understand the cinematic quality of what superstitious theater people refer to as “the Scottish play”: “Shakespeare virtually invented ... the horror movie.” 
In his review for The Telegraph, Robbie Collin insists not only that Fassbender was born to play the part, but that “After seeing Fassbender and Cotillard in these roles, the thought of ever seeing anyone else play them fades into irrelevance.” Considering all those actors whove come before as Macbeth [Orson Welles, Peter O’Toole, Kenneth Branagh and Patrick Stewart] and Lady Macbeth [Sarah Bernhardt, Vivien Leigh, Judi Dench, and Helen Mirren] to name a few, and all those wholl play the part in years to come, that is high praise indeed.

Directed by Justin Kurzell, this adaptation of Shakespeares Macbeth has reportedly been stripped down by Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie and Todd Louiso. We’ll have to see how that works for the purists.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First trailer for The Danish Girl: Extraordinary

I believe I am a woman” 

Last week we saw the first image of Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elba in The Danish Girl. Today we are getting our first look at the extraordinary trailer and it’s clear this is no ordinary film. Redmayne and costar Alicia Vikander under Tom Hooper’s direction are telling a transformative tale and telling it with enormous understanding, depth and sensitivity. Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Amber Heard also star. Lucinda Coxon wrote the screenplay adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel based on the true story about the first person to undergo transgender surgery. It’s a painful and heartbreaking process.


The Danish Girl premieres at the Venice Film Festival this Saturday, and at the Toronto International Film Festival September 12th before opening in theaters here in the states on November 27th. January 1st for the UK. Click here for additional release dates.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy 66th Birthday Richard Gere: Our Days of Heaven ... A story told in Richard Gere movies

Another hunky hottie who got his start in the 1970’s gets a little older today. Richard Gere turns 66, today August 31. But you know what? Hes still hot. 

Happy Birthday to An Officer and a Gentleman most of us women would still be happy to spend our Nights in Rodanthe with. Just to hear him call me Pretty Woman would leave me quite Breathless, I assure you. I wouldnt go Looking for Mr. Goodbar if he was around, Id never be Unfaithful and I sure as hell wouldnt be a Runaway Bride. Are you kidding me? 

No, Id travel Miles from Home to spend Autumn in New York with him. Hell, Id even go in summer, when its hot as Hades! Imagine sprawling on a blanket in Central Park with Richard Gere and listening to a Rhapsody in August! Gershwin, Rachmaninoff. It wouldn't matter who. It would be paradise, unreal, unearthly, something like Time Out of Mind.

Later we could go to The Cotton Club and if he asked Shall We Dance I’d say yes, yes, yes ... even though I’ve got a Primal Fear of humiliating myself on the dance floor. 

Of course that disappears after a drink or two—not enough to go Beyond the Limit and get pulled over at an Intersection for a DUI by Brooklyn’s Finest, just enough to relax, maybe even get into a little fantasy play. He could call me Amelia and I’d call him Mr. Jones, my American Gigolo. 

We could even pull some elaborate prank just for the thrill of it, maybe a Hoax on the guys working down in Arbitrage, with him pretending to be my Benefactor, some guy named Henry and Me, I’d pretend to be the owner of a rare manuscript called The Mothman Prophecies including the mythic Hachi: A Dog’s Tale in which a wise dog foretells the best investment opportunities. 

Like The Flock of fools they are, they’d fall for it, at least for awhile anyway. When they wised up and realized Hachi wasn’t actually any ordinary dog, he was The Jackal, they’d send out The Hunting Party on The Double looking for us but guess what? I’m Not There! I wouldn’t want to stay in town during The Bee Season anywayway too many smarty pant kids in town, spelling impossible words like Bloodbrothers. I mean is that really just one word or is it two?

And Richard? He’s already back in Hollywood meeting with Dr. T and the Women who run his fan clubcanceling his appointment for Botox and assuring all the women who adore him that he’ll never change, never dye his silver locks, even if they want him to make a sequel to Sommersby. Which let’s face it, they don’t. 

We have an arrangement to meet this coming winter at a certain Red Corner and then we’ll fly off to Chicago. The cold won’t bother me none either, cuz he has the Power to heat up the night. I’d even stay in a seedy Second Best Marigold Hotel with him, if he only asked cuz baby when it comes to, shall we say Internal Affairs, he shows No Mercy. And the time we spent together, from The First Knight on, would surely be Days of Heaven

In the Final Analysis, they havent all been the greatest movies in the world, there’ve been some clunkers mixed in with the classics—I’m hoping your upcoming Oppenheimer Strategies is one of the latter—but you dear Richard, have certainly been one of our most watchable stars. Thanks for all the magic moments.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Five of My Favorite Ingrid Bergman Movie Moments

I love what director George Cukor said about Ingrid Bergman: “She never lost that innocent quality of wonder.” I think the director of Gaslight, the only film he and Bergman made together, got it right.

Classic Clips

Since yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Ingrid Bergman’s birth—and eerily, memorializes the day of her death—I started to gather some clips from Bergman’s greatest film roles for today’s Sunday Slacker video. I found lovely moments from Indiscreet, Casablanca, Notorious, The Inn of the 6th Happiness, and an intense scene from Gaslight, before I happened upon this gorgeous homage video from RubyDee717. For me the only thing it needs is more Cary Grant!  

Ingrid Bergman Homage

Indiscreet 1958 

Casablanca 1943 

Notorious 1946

The Inn of the 6th Happiness FINALE 1958 

Gaslight 1944

I know, I know! There are so many fabulous Bergman movies. What fave of yours am I missing? 
For Whom the Bells Tolls? Spellbound? Cactus Flower? 
Give it to me straight in the comment section.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 100th Birthday Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman 
Born August 29, 1915
Died August 29, 1982

I could eat Johnny Depp up in ‘Chocolat': It’s our Saturday Matinee

What was eating Johnny Depp?

Is Johnny Depp back? Ive been pondering the question a lot lately as spots for the upcoming Whitey Bulger biopic inundate my TV. I guess the second part of the question has to be, back from what?

Back from the scarf store

Back from wherever he stashed his scarves and a slew of confounding career choices. You can find dozens, probably many dozens, of articles on line on the subject: Where Johnny Went Wrong, What Happened to Johnny Depp, Johnny Depps Downward Spiral. They all say the same thing: he used to be so cool, he of the Edward Scissorhands—sharp cheekbones and cheeky, hip attire; when did he turn into such a laughable caricature of himself? Tim Burton gets a lot of the blame, Pirates of the Caribbean gets its share. 

Wigging out

Whatever the cause, Black Mass, the bio-pic might be the cure. At fifty two, its a more mature Depp than weve ever seen, made more mature with the help of old age makeup and wigs. Can you imagine Johnnys glee as he sat in the hair and makeup chair and realized that he got to play with fake hair AND play a serious part! An actors idea of heaven.

Couldn’t you just eat him up?

Okay, enough about the new Johnny, and the bad Johnny, for today’s Saturday Matinee let’s watch the sexy, cool, boho Johnny we knew and loved in Chocolat. Based on the book by Joanne Harris, Johnny Depp plays Roux, a passerby of sorts (he docks his houseboat nearby) who drops in on the tiny French village where Juliet Binoche (Vianne Rocher), the mysterious new girl in town, upsets the uptight locals by opening a tantalizing Chocolaterie during Lent. The chocolates are supposedly full of magical elixirs with healing properties.

Winning the Taste Test

Directed by Lasse Holstrom—the guy must be a foodie, he also directed 2014s foodies fave The Hundred Foot JourneyChocolat was nominated for Best Picture, Best Screen Adaptation and Best Musical Score. Juliette Binoche was nominated for a Best Actress while Judi Dench got a nom for playing Viannes chocoholic landlady. It didnt win a thing but it did give us one of Johnny Depps tastiest roles.

The impressive cast of Chocolat also includes Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugh O’Conor, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare and John Wood, all of whom, along with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp, received a cast nomination from SAG. 

What do you think of today’s #SaturdayMatinee?  Delicious? If not, what’s your favorite Johnny Depp role?

Chocolat is available to stream in the usual places: Amazon, YouTube, GooglePlay and Vudu. You’ll have to check Netflix.

Here’s what I thought of Johnny Depp’s  The Rum Diary disaster.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Black Mass: An Unholy Alliance of the Talents of Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon & More

Is Johnny Depp back?

The first trailer for Black Mass had me rooting for what looks like the return of the real Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. Now that the September 18th release of the movie is just a couple of weeks away, weve been seeing a trio of 30 second spots playing out on TV, highlighting the sick, nasty nature of the notorious gangster.

The Unholy Alliance

For those of us not up on the details of this fine specimen of human garbage—although there’s still time to read Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill—we’ve also got An Unholy Alliance, a 4 minute featurette that gives us an inside look at the key characters and what made Whitey tick. 
 It’s a business opportunity. Get the FBI to fight our wars against our enemies. While they protect us, we do whatever we want to.” 

Take a look ... 

An Unholy Alliance featurette

 Black Mass trailer
TV Spot #1
TV Spot #2
TV Spot #3

Here in L.A. it’s going to cost me somewhere between $13 and $15 to see Black Mass in theaters. Are you going to fork out the cash to see Depp & company? What’s your local ticket price? 

Pair of Posters Foretell the Coming of the Scottish Play: Marion Cotillard & Michael Fassbender in Macbeth

Putting a new spin on Shakespeare

We’ve been following the journey of this latest iteration of Macbeth since we first learned Marion Cottilard was going to play Lady Macbeth with a French accent. We were a little bewitched, bothered and bewildered to tell you the truth. Then we read some early reviews from Cannes and saw the trailer and were blown away. 

Two Posters but where’s the US release date?

We’re still waiting for a definite release date here in the US—so far all we know is sometime in December—while our mates in the British Isles will get the pic October 2, the rest of the world shortly thereafter. For now we do have these two stunning new posters. I’ll repost the trailer for your Friday viewing enjoyment and can’t wait to hear what my friends across the Atlantic have to say about the film.

Are you an Anglophile?

You might remember that Scotland tried to break away from Great Britain earlier this year but for now Scotland is, in fact, still part of the United Kingdom and indeed, the British Isles. That makes these two new posters for ‘the Scottish play’ right on point for British Isles Friday hosted by Joy Weese Moll.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Poster for ‘The Danish Girl’ starring Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander

Eddie Redmayne is The Danish Girl

Who else can’t wait for The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander? How do you like this first official poster for the film slated to open November 27th here in the US? We had our first look at Eddie as Lili Elba—one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery in the 1930’s—back in February. Redmayne looked quite as lovely in that first shot, as he does here, which is to say quite as lovely as costar Alicia Vikander. Vikander plays Lili’s wife, Gerda, an artist who asked her husband to pose as a woman when her model stood her up. 

A Les Miserables reunion

Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) the cast of The Danish Girl includes Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, Sebastian Koch, Emerald Fennell and Adrian Schiller.

No trailer yet, I’ll keep you posted.

Camelot starring the Inexhaustible Vanessa Redgrave #TBT

Some actors fade away, some just keep clicking along

The Secret Scripture—one of the movies I’m most looking forward to this year—stars a handful of fine young actors: Rooney Mara, Theo James, Aidan Turner, Jack Treynor, Omar Sharif Jr. and the not quite as young, Eric Bana. It also stars the legendary Vanessa Redgrave. Redgrave is 78 years old and just keeps on rolling along; working, working, constantly working. In her fifty year career as an actor, she’s appeared in over 130 films and television shows. In fact theres been a hardly a year when she hasnt worked. That doesnt count her stage work. 


Thats what she is. Today, Im looking back at one of my favorite Vanessa Redgrave roles, throwing it back to the 1967 when she starred as Guinevere in Camelot

Who will rescue Guinevere?

Based on both the stage play and the novel The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Camelot was an altogether dazzling film, filled with magic, sets that looked straight out of a fairy tale, costumes fit for a queen. A lush and vibrant musical score. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences thought so too, the film won Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Musical Score.

The ultimate love triangle.

And what a story for the ages. A tragic queen who deeply loves her King Arthur but is in love with Lancelot. Its painful to watch Vanessa Redgrave’s Guinevere regretfully betray Arthur, played with distinguished pathos and beautiful resignation by Richard Harris. The actress never looked more beautiful.

Never could I leave you.

Perhaps that’s because she and co-star Franco Nero really were falling in love, not just as their characters Guinevere and Lancelot but in their private lives as well. Redgrave left her husband, Tony Richardson, and had a child with Nero, but they weren’t really fully together until four decades later when they finally joined hands in a marriage-like commit-ment in 2006. Just look at them! Gorgeous in Camelot in 1967 and still gorgeous in this still from Letters to Juliet from 2010.

The original trailer sucks!

You could watch the trailer which I’ve included below but frankly it stinks. I usually complain that today’s trailers tell us too much, give everything away but this one tells us nothing. It reminds us that the music is from the acclaimed Lerner & Lowe but does little more than share a brassy rendition of the main Camelot theme song which is a shame when you think about how many fantastic songs are in the film. 

My sister and I memorized most of them when our dad brought us the score to the Broadway musical: How to Handle a Woman, The Lusty Month of May, Take Me to The Fair and the lush If Ever I Would Leave You which accompanied the love montage showing Vanessa Redgrave in all her glory, through all the seasons. 

Richard Harris singing Camelot is my kind of magic

The trailer gives us nothing, zero of that. There’s little inkling of the drama to come. Better to watch the following clip featuring Richard Harris as Arthur singing Camelot. The king is in disguise as a commoner when he first meets Guinevere. If you’ve never seen it, or haven’t seen it for awhile, I think you’re going to love it. And when you’re ready, the movie is available to stream on Amazon, GooglePlay, Vudu and YouTube.

Camelot/Musical Clip


Love it? Hate it? Let me know!