February 25th, 2014
They're gonna need a bigger Jaeger.
They're gonna need a bigger Jaeger.
Food Stylist Chris Oliver's work in film and TV doesn't just involve preparing food for people:
On Boardwalk Empire, I had to do an edible arm that they have to throw and the alligator eats it in the scene. They are heavy, 50 pounds easily. I had to make a cast of it and make it so it's throwable and wouldn't dissolve in the water.
(See also her story of a close encounter with a tiger that wasn't going to be satisfied by fake food.)
[Via The Dissolve]
The Hollywood Reporter has posted a copy of Aningaaq, a short film that serves as a companion piece to the scene in Gravity in which Sandra Bullock's character attempts to contact ground control but can only raise a man who doesn't speak any English and has no clue of what she's trying to say. It's rather good.
[Via The Dissolve]
I'm probably the last filmgoer over the age of 30 in the western world to have heard about this particular example, but I still think it's worth sharing. It turns out that Stanley Kubrick was something of a stickler for detail when it came to preparing for one of the pivotal scenes in The Shining:
Never one to stint on artistic integrity and veracity, Kubrick used no shortcuts for the relatively simple scene. As artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin discovered during recent research in the Kubrick archives in London, instead of having the sentence typed on only the few sheets seen by viewers, the director asked his secretary Margaret Warrington to type it on each one of the 500-odd sheets in the stack. What's more, he also had Warrington type up an equivalent number of manuscript pages in four languages – French, German, Italian, Spanish – for foreign releases of the film. For these, he used idiomatic phrases with vaguely similar meanings:
Un "Tiens" vaut mieux que deux "Tu l'auras."
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen.
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Il mattino ha l'oro in bocca.
The early bird gets the worm.
No por mucho madrugar amanece mas temprano.
Even if you rise early, dawn will not come any sooner.
To be fair, I can see Kubrick's point. What if Shelley Duvall had improvised during the scene, really nailing her character and the moment when Wendy Torrance found out what her husband had been up to in a barnstorming take that absolutely, positively had to make it into the final cut … only for the cool, cruel eye of the camera to reveal that Jack Torrance had only been obsessively typing for five sheets?
All of a sudden, he's not a weak man who has succumbed to madness in the middle of a long, cold winter of isolation but merely a writer undertaking a few minutes of loosening-up exercises at the keyboard before getting to work on his novel.
[Via The Millions]
Guest-posting at Alyssa Rosenberg's blog, Max Gladstone wants us to Meet The Real Loki:
Let's talk Loki. Norse myths are some of the world's craziest, and while the good folks at Marvel have given us two solid cinematic Lokis so far, and look set to deliver a third, there's a lot of Loki that never makes it on screen.
You see, Loki's a weird character in the Norse pantheon. He's not evil always, or for its own sake – this is something Marvel's first Thor movie got right. He is, however, tricksy. And vengeful. And too smart for his own good. In Norse myths, Loki's as likely to take up the role of "only Norse god who can think his way out of a paper bag" as he is to present as "archenemy of Thor and all that is holy."
With that out of the way, here is one of my personal favorite Loki tales. Feel free to imagine the Triple-H of Hiddleston, Hemsworth, and Hopkins in the central roles below if that tickles your fancy.
Okay, so. Back at the beginning of time, the gods wanted a fortress. But no one wants to build a fortress themselves! The gods remain stymied until a nameless workman wanders into Valhalla and gives Odin an offer: "I'm really good at building fortresses, and in fact I'll build one for you – if you pay me with the sun, the moon, and Freia, goddess of beauty."
This being the beginning of time, Odin hadn't heard this particular scam before. [...]
Given the way Loki resolves the problem in this legend, I don't think we are going to see Tom Hiddleston acting it out in Thor 3, but I'd be delighted to be wrong about that.
If only his TARDIS had a working chameleon circuit, his other time machine could be a DeLorean too…
When I read last year about Australian billionaire Clive Palmer's plans to build a new Titanic, I somehow failed to note the biggest hostage to fortune of all:
The Titanic II will also sail the seas for real, with a spokesman for Palmer's Blue Star Line promising that "It will be the most safe cruise ship in the world when it launches." How can Palmer be sure? "Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it, but it's not going to be designed with a hole in," he's said. "It's going to be designed so it won't sink and it'll be designed as a modern ship with all the latest technology to ensure that that doesn't happen." Period costumes will also be provided to help set the mood for passengers.
The reason this story has resurfaced is that Palmer has announced plans to make a feature film to coincide with the ship's 2016 launch:
"In the third quarter of next year, we'll announce broader details about the new movie – a director, stars," he told the Sunshine Coast Daily. "It will be about Titanic II's first voyage. It will be a bit of a love story, so bring a hankie along. It's going to be bigger than the first Titanic from James Cameron. It's going to bring people together from China, Europe, the U.S. and Australia. It's going to bring about more peaceful co-operation and concentrate on what brings us together rather than what divides us."
How amazing would it be if the director could persuade Kate Winslet to star. At least this time she wouldn't have to spend weeks up to her neck in a giant water tank being shouted at by Jim Cameron.
I know the remake has been receiving mixed reviews in the USA, but I'm still sufficiently intrigued to see how it measures up to the original that I'll probably catch it when it opens in the UK.
The makers of The Sleepover describe it as a 'proof of concept' for a longer film set in the same town.
Me, I'm happy enough with what they've got here: to-the-point, horrifying and with a punchline worthy of Sunnydale.
[Via The Dissolve]
Nevermore by Stuart Gordon looks worth throwing a few dollars towards:
Master Horror director Stuart Gordon, brilliant actor Jeffrey Combs and inspired screenwriter Dennis Paoli – the team that brought you From Beyond and Re-Animator – team up again to bring you a brand new feature film – NEVERMORE
The incredible Jeffrey Combs stars as Edgar Allan Poe, haunted by spirits of the dead and the imp of the perverse as he attempts one last recitation of The Raven to save himself from a life of crushing poverty and soul destroying alcoholism. [...]
In a just world, Jeffrey Combs would be as well known to the non-geek public as Bruce Campbell.
[Via The Dissolve]
It's a pity that most reviews of Cold Comes the Night spent much of their time discussing the presence of Bryan Cranston and what a shame it was that this film didn't provide him with a part of the calibre of Breaking Bad's Walter White. No question about it, Cranston delivers a professional, solid performance as a Russian criminal undergoing something of a professional crisis even before he finds himself forced to improvise when his partner gets himself killed en route to delivering a large sum of cash to their bosses. The thing is, it's Alive Eve who excels here in the starring role as a single mother bringing up her daughter in an insalubrious part of town in a low-income job. The social services threaten that she'll lose her daughter to foster care within a fortnight if she doesn't take steps to improve her living situation, and then a volley of shots in the night brings Cranston's determined, ruthless but oddly vulnerable mobster to her door and everyone finds themselves doing what they must. What follows is a twisty ride through noirish territory as things go to hell for pretty much all our main characters over the next couple of days.
I've only seen Alice Eve in a couple of films but never got a sense before this that she was much more than another pretty blonde object of desire for the male protagonist to pursue, but in this she's easily the equal of Bryan Cranston, and of Logan Marshall-Green as a bent policeman with whom Eve's character shares a past. Actually, compared to the last time I saw them on screen,1 the performances from Eve and Marshall-Green served to remind me that even capable actors can only do so much in supporting roles when faced with a so-so script and a disappointing story.
Don't get me wrong, nobody on this film is likely to be drafting an Oscar acceptance speech next February as a consequence of their work here. Even so, a solid cast, a seedy storyline and a sharp script can still make for a quietly satisfying little story. Cold Comes the Night doesn't seem to be getting wide distribution at the moment, but it's certainly worth a look if it comes your way.
In a curious way the central figure in the splendid new film of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers), is the house in which the events unfold. Not that the house – Whedon's own – is particularly remarkable. It is a comfortable, sprawling Santa Monica McMansion, no doubt very expensive, with more than a touch of a suburb about it. But that is the point: we are not in faraway Sicily, where Shakespeare set the story, or in glorious, technicolor Tuscany, where Kenneth Branagh set his admirable film adaptation twenty years ago. We are rather on familiar ground, and, as if to conjure up the ordinary accoutrements of modern American upper-middle-class life, the camera dwells lovingly on the kitchen counter and the wine glasses and the piles of dishes and the stairs that lead up to the pleasant patio and, discreetly hidden, the video screens scanned by the bumbling employees of a security company – Whedon's clever incarnation of Messina's night watchmen.
All of this familiarity makes the circumstances that set the story in motion in Shakespeare and in his sources seem particularly discordant and weird. They were strange enough to begin with. [...]
I'm indebted to Andrew Collins in his weekly Telly Addict video for the Guardian for pointing out how familiar one of the regulars in Bates Motel looks:
If I didn't know that Tony Perkins was long gone, I'd be thinking that he'd been invited to guest on the show as a bit of stunt casting. Spooky.
Fresh from the Toronto International Film Festival, NOAH Short does a nice job of portraying a teen relationship drama via the medium of the main character's computer screen.
NB: NSFW due to some male nudity/sexual exhibitionism in places during the scene showing the main character browsing Chatroulette.
[Via waxy.org links]