Saturday, April 29, 2006

politics, cinema, comics, & the end of the world

i recently went to see Thank You For Smoking, which i thoroughly enjoyed & highly recommend. originally this post was going to go into more detail, about child actors & how unusual it is for them to look like actual children, & about rhetoric, the power & tradition thereof, the debate about health & smoking & advertising, specifically relating to the recent wave of smoking bans in public places, including NY & NJ bars etc. (soon smoking over coffee or drinks will be a rural midwest relic of a bygone era while those more cosmopolitan places alter the whole atmosphere of going out--odd because smoking used to be the cosmopolitan thing...) & of course (briefly) about how Katie Holmes spends most of her time onscreen in compromising positions & why this suits her.

but then i became distracted by all these other movies coming out.
besides, you should just see it.


the upcoming documentary Wordplay about crossword puzzles & the puzzlers who play them looks, & i steal a line from a reviewer here, "exhilaratingly brainy". besides, it's got Jon Stewart, & some politicians, & a guy in a crossword puzzle hat.

then there's Neil Gaiman's upcoming projects: a film version of Stardust, this sort of fairy tale that i loved at first read, with Claire Danes, Robert DeNiro, Alfred Molina, & Michelle Pfeiffer, & a film version of Beowulf, which is using that 3-D motion capture tech a la Polar Express & is also directed by Robert Zemeckis, & has so many interesting cast members that i'm not even going in to detail, except to say that Crispin Glover, of all people, is playing Grendel. apparently though, the motion-capture technology is already way ahead of what it was at last glimpse, so this should be promising.

moving on to cartoons, comics, animation, blah blah blah:
i'm sure everyone knows by now that there's a Simpsons movie coming out.
but, you know, in case you didn't.
& of course, X-Men3, which doesn't really require me to say anything either.

& now, of course, the end of the world:
this June we have a rare occurence: the day of the devil. you know, 06/06/06.
(when you can spend the day listening to Slayer in solidarity, or, conversely, if you want to, spend the day praying that the world doesn't end.)
anyway, i suppose, if they had to remake the Omen, that is the day to release it.
the original is one of my favorite movies ever, & since anyone who knows me will tell you i can't stand to watch (most) horror flicks, that's quite the thing. but i can't help it, it's campy & classic & i just love it when Gregory Peck gets all suspicious.

also relating to the end of the world, in a possibly-Biblical-but-very-real sense, we have An Inconvenient Truth. (here's the official site.)
Global warming is my pet cause (because most of the world i've known will soon be under water) & apparently i have at least that much in common with Al Gore, who seems to have developed a certain degree of coolness since he was voted not-president, e.g. the creation of Current TV.
more on global warming:
--10 States Sue EPA (from today's news.)
--participate in the BBC climate change study.
--so can we please save our environment now?

& yet one more apocalypse, this time from (choke) Mel Gibson:
by the by, the Mayans, at least i think it was the Mayans, had an exact date for the end of the world, sometime in December of 2012, not sure of the details or whether it's the end of the world or the end of the calendar.
is there a difference?
& we all know how good they were with calendars.

on a lighter note, the latest cinematic innovation may very well be smelly movies.

13 little fish:

Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

"The six smells, which include forests and citrus, are released under cinemagoers' seats." - yay! now everyone can feel like they're farting citrus! hmm, ok - the other four smells of the New World (besides forest and citrus): tobacco, dirt, blood and probably shit

jenn - this is a link-tastic post which may take a while to get through...

10:55 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

ah but it's worth it...

11:40 AM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Wordplay sound interesting. Recently watched Word Wars which was about Scrabble players and it was funny...and sort of sad...but overall a fun movie. Since Spellbound everyone seems to be trying to cash in on word related documentaries.

I have an excited dread about Stardust as a movie. Gaiman has been very upfront about how this is not his Stardust, but a work based on his story. Of the changes I've read so far I'm not thrilled, however I am hoping that it will turn out to be a marvelous movie that stays true to the spirit of the book. Not real thrilled about Danes either but will give her the benefit of the doubt until the film comes out. I think she's a good actress but she looked so bad in Terminator 3. Hopefully she looks better (not emaciated) in this role.

11:42 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i know what you mean, carl.
there's always something vaguely pathetic about watching people who are fanatically devoted to anything, really.
ah pathos.
we couldn't have romantics without it.

for me stardust already exists in multiple media, so the movie seems like a logical projection...besides, Alfred Molina is one of my recent Favorite People.

i love claire danes. can't help it, was a complete My So-Called

c'mon, people, check out the trailer for Inconvenient Truth.

3:14 PM  
Blogger JP swam up to say...

All right! I'm going to wear out my Still Reigning DVD on the 6th of July!

1:26 AM  
Blogger JP swam up to say...

June, june, that's june.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

I think the casting for Stardust is by and large great and I loved Danes in My So Called Life and Romeo and Juliet, I just hope she's gotten past that recent hollywood trend of being emaciated...for awhile there she looked pretty rough. And it does exist in different media but the comic and novel are exactly the same as far words, one just has pretty pictures to go with it. I hadn't read LOTR before I saw the movies and I love them both so I can't identify with those avid book lovers who had issues with the movies. Stardust will be my first experience with that and I hope I like the movie for what it is as I am devoted to the story as is.

10:32 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

jp, i have no idea what you're talking about.
should i?
what are you talking about?

carl, the thing about movies made from books, is that they're never the same. that's, i dunno, one of those gray areas that allows freedom of movement, sorta.
my favorite example would be the harry potter movies...they're all different, with different directors withing the franchise, & they're all different from the books.
they have to be, there's so much room for detail in books...& there are scenes or moments in a text that are brilliant as written but would translate horribly to the visual, though Stardust being what it is i don't think that'll be quite the same problem, though i haven't read it in awhile--i was going to wait to post the movie details until i'd borrowed it from a friend & reread, but i got carried away.
plot changes & absence of details are to be expected in adaptations; it's whether they stay true to the spirit of the thing & the tone etc that's important, as i see it.
e.g. my least favorite part about the film version of Hitchhiker's Guide was the fact that they made Trillian Arthur's love interest.
so unneccessary & completely out of the story loop.
all the other complete inventions were, you know, in keeping with the tune as it were. but that, no.

6:27 PM  
Blogger JP swam up to say...

Still Reigning is a concert DVD of Slayer performing their classic album, Reign In Blood in its entirety. Interestingly, yes, that's the same song Tori Amos once covered.

11:54 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i think i have that tori song somewhere...
i see now.
i'll probably just watch the omen. both of them.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Bad news that I thought you might want to know Jenn See, if you haven't already read it yourself, regarding Stardust. This is copied directly from Gaiman on his blog:

"Alfred Molina actually isn't in it, and was never actually cast -- I don't know why the IMDB lists his name. And while there are some changes to the story, alas -- most of them what you get from having to compress a book into a movie -- it's still the same story. Or it was the last time I saw a script. But I think you'll have to wait until June 2006, or keep an eye on places like Ain't it Cool News, to find out more specifics of plot."

Just an fyi.

1:08 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

ah damn the lies!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...


Actually I am disappointed as well and would have much rather had Molina in the role that De Niro is playing.

10:48 PM  

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