August 31, 2006
Frears proves himself ever versatile...

"The Queen" is a fantastic, tight, gripping piece of work. Mirren's performance is capable, but not the knock out everyone has been expecting by any means. I'll get into a full review over the weekend, but Frears's latest is one more breath of fresh air in what continues to be a fabulous year for cinema. With a precious few exceptions, it seems, many directors have hit it out of the park. From Macdonald to Innaritu, Forster to Frears, Murphy to Dayton/Farris, 2006 is really stacking up for this viewer.

August 29, 2006
Titles Schmitles

A couple of things - because it's really starting to bug me. First, Milos Forman's distribution-less film is "Goya's Ghosts," plural. Not "Goya's Ghost." Second, Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" follow-up is called "Marie Antoinette," WITHOUT the hyphen.

And why does Variety want so badly to stick a "The" in front of "Inside Man?"

Anyway, tell a friend. Please.

Does Emanuel Levy understand the meaning of the term "embargo?"

This is the third time he's struggled to write SOMETHING about Todd Field's "Little Children" when New line has been pretty plain about wanting no commentary until the film bows at Telluride.

Anyway, my review, held as promised (you know - ethics), will be published 9/2, so be on the lookout.

Toronto Tankers?

Remember "Elizabethtown" last year? I'm wondering which films could open and die at Toronto this year, and it's difficult. They all look at least modestly rewarding (as far as the awards film in play go). "Bobby" is in a dangerous situation, being a "work in progress" and all. But that could just be precautionary. "A Good Year" has the whiff of being pedestrian, therefore bloated expectations (what with the release date being where it is). And "Breaking and Entering" seems vulnerable to me for some reason.

I don't know. Thoughts? Anyone even READING the blog anymore? I don't update nearly enough to get the talk circulating, however, we're working up a new layout and scheme so that'll probably get my creative juices flowing in the coming weeks.

August 22, 2006
Suddenly it's hitting me...

The Oscar season started WAAAAY too soon this year. I'm already exhausted...

Charming. Magnetic. Murderous.

And the best fucking film of the year.

August 20, 2006
And another one...

Latest New York Times story:

"The (Tinsel) Town That Ate Superman"

August 17, 2006
Gerard Kennedy jumps on board with "Tech Support"

In the words of two-time Oscar winning sound editor Randy Thom, awards such as Best Sound Editing, though often referred to as “technical” awards, “are given for artistic decisions. And sometimes we make them better than others.”

Considering the fact that most of the individuals responsible for a film’s creation are not “above the line” talent but rather technicians behind the scenes, it seems more than appropriate that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extend nominations and Oscar awards to these unsung masses. But such individuals seem to be woefully unrepresented by the world of awards coverage, both sanctioned and unsanctioned.

Can you envision the Coen brothers’ “O Brother Where Art Thou?” without Roger Deakins’s textured cinematography? Would Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” be the same experience without the extraordinary sound work provided by perennial AMPAS favorites Michael Minkler and Wylie Stateman (as well as their respective teams)? Is Oliver Stone’s “JFK” remotely the same film without the tapestry-like film editing of Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia?

Furthermore, the technical branches of the Academy represent a sizeable share of Academy membership. Their opinions of films in play are bound to affect the overall flow of an Oscar race. As such, the fact that these branches are more or less ignored in the media is a startling fact indeed. “Tech Support” at In Contention hopes to shed light on these individual races, which combine to establish nearly half of the yearly Academy Awards ceremony.

Read the rest!

August 15, 2006
Clint's films get a Japanese trailer

Looks like the two Clint Eastwood Iwo Jima films ("Flags of Our Father" and "Letters from Iwo Jima") have received a Japanese trailer showcasing scenes from each one. Take a look:

The cinematography looks fantastic, and at the end of the day, maybe these will be powerhouse films of the genre after all.

August 10, 2006
The wisdom teeth are gone.

Don't expect much outta me today.

August 09, 2006
Letterman vs. O'Reilly

I'm extremely late to the table on this one. I happened to be reading through a back issue of The New Yorker today and the article mentioned this showdown between David Letterman and Bill O'Reilly on "The Late Show" and I didn't recall the event, so I looked it up on the internet and the first thing I came to was a blog entry with the video. So I gave it a look and damn if Letterman didn't hand O'Reilly his ass.

Yeah, it's tough to stay above the current events water sometimes when you're neck deep in entertainment journalism - stuff that, by and large, doesn't matter. So forgive the excessive tardiness, but this just made my day.

Anyway, I should link to that blog entry, which has a link to the video:

August 05, 2006
Latest New York Times Piece

Written by yours truly. For those who may be interested:

‘How to Eat Fried Worms’ (Ick! Yuck! Ugh!) Lures Boys With a Tasty Tale

August 04, 2006
Long Week

AGAIN. Ducking out early this week, but there's also not much to talk about. I've seen some things I can't comment on, but at least I'll be able to scratch the surface of that with Monday's "Page to Screen" column.

I caught "The Illusionist" at last night's Movie City News screening, which I might review, might not, who knows? It was a solid film, nothing fantastic, but a good starting point along with "Interview with the Assassin" for director Neil Burger. And Jessica Biel is surprisingly good in the film.

Anyway, check back next week for some "Page to Screen" action, another Oscar column, charts, etc. Go see "Talladega Nights" this weekend, because it's just...funny. Gerard will be kicking off "Tech Support" on Thursday, August 17, so stay tuned for that as well. I think that about clears the plate.

Enjoy the weekend. And if you read the New York Times, be sure to give my Sunday piece a look (on New Line's upcoming "How to Eat Fried Worms").

August 02, 2006
"Flags of Our Fathers" gets a poster...

Pretty much what you'd expect:


August 01, 2006
I've never sat in a theater with tears welling up in my eyes for nearly two straight hours...

...until now.

Full review of Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" tomorrow.

UPDATED: The full review.