Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I Love Werner Herzeg (and his "fights" with Abel Ferrara and Chuck Norris)

I mean, let's face it: Herzog is a nut. Or a mad genius... whatever. However you phrase it he's always been, let's just say, as eccentric as he is talented. And yet these days he sounds like the most reasonable guy in the room.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Astronomy is dirty!

Oh, please: Does this “Weird but True” item from the New York Post sound like a world class prank or what?

"Space geeks have something new to snicker about. Astronomers, including one named John Johnson (above), have discovered planets orbiting a star called Sextanis 24 and have named the planets "Sex B" and "Sex C." 'This new planet pair came in an unexpected package,' said Johnson, of the California Institute of Technology. He apparently said that with a straight face."

But it appears that it’s basically true: It just sounds less smarmy in real science speak, which could the make the plot of a bona fide, hard-core porn movie sound dull.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stop the presses: Nicolas Cage is bughouse crazy

I have to hand it to Nicolas Cage: His antics have actually made me feel sorry for Joel Schumacher. I don't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for Schumacher, whose lengthy career defines the word "uneven." Yes, I have a soft spot for The Lost Boys. I like Tigerland and Phone Booth, and I confess to loving 8mm for many, many reasons, none of them good: I could put it on right now and fast forward to Peter Stormare's scenes as demonic pornographer Dino Velvet. (An aside: I always thought his name was pronounced store-mar-ee, until I heard him introduce himself in a behind-the-scenes segment on the DVD of a piece of crap called Insanitarium and he said it Store-mere.)

The story so far is that Cage (the star of 8mm, as it happens) signed on to Schumacher's Louisiana-set thriller Trespass, about a husband and wife kidnapped by lowlife thieves, in the role of the husband (Kidman was cast as the wife).  Then Cage decided he'd rather play the head lowlife. Then, after being recast, he did a vanishing act -- two weeks before the movie's start date -- prompting a flurry of articles about the frantic search for a replacement. And now it appears that he's come back, but wants to return to his original role.

Yeah, I'd really look forward to working with that guy, especially since he officially stopped acting after Leaving Las Vegas. I mean it's one thing to show up, do your schtick and collect a paycheck. It's another to show up, do your schtick and collect a paycheck after putting the rest of the cast and crew through the tortures of the damned. Sean Penn may be a pain in the ass, but no one has ever said he was unreliable or gave less than his best, which has been consistently pretty damned good for going on 30 years. The bast anyone seems to be able to do with Cage is put him in roles as crazy as he is and hope the result has train-wreck appeal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Argento posters, stripped to the essentials

So, apparently there’s this fad among artists and designers for creating elegantly stripped-down posters for well-known films -- Google “minimalist movie posters” and see for yourself.

An Italian designer/photographer named Federico Mauro took it upon himself to do designs for the entire Argento canon. See them here.

Overall I think they’re very cool, and no Argento fan will have to read the title copy to match these elegantly unadorned images to the appropriate film.

And I have to say that I’m amused by the way Mauro appropriated the knife design used on early Giallo posters (itself appropriated from the Italian cover of Roberto Saviano's book Gomorra) and assigned it to The Bird With the Crystal Plumage.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Clouds and Kitties: Reviews

My reviews of Cats vs. Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Charlie St. Cloud and are online now and, well, what is there to say?

Cats vs. Dogs is a typical Hollywood's kid pic: Noisy, coarse and pretty stupid. But the credits sequence is a stunner: Read more here — Cats vs. Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The Zac Efron showcase Charlie St. Cloud is the answer to a dreamy teenage girl's dream: For everyone else — especially anyone who's seen both The Sixth Sense and the Swedish film The Invisible — it's a mopey slog.