While doing my daily browsing on ew.com, I made a very exciting discovery. Richard Linklater, auteur of the greatest high school movie ever made, “Dazed & Confused,” has a new movie coming out about college. More specifically, it’s about a group of college kids lost (“Dazed”) and mystified (“Confused”) during their first weekend of college in 1980.
After months of reshoots and other controversies, “Where the Wild Things Are,” based on the book by Maurice Sendak, finally got a trailer. And might I say, it looks awesome. Rather than putting it in the hands of one of the idiots who thought “High School Musical” was a good influence on children, the classic story is being handled by Spike Jonze. This is the same Spike Jonze who’s wild imagination brought Charlie Kaufman’s scripts of “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” to life.
Hayao Miyazaki, the visual mastermind behind such anime masterpieces as “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away,” has made his next film. It is called “Ponyo,” and it has been set for a U.S. release date of August 14.
It’s been five years since Quentin Tarantino’s last feature length film, “Kill Bill: Volume 2″ and two years since he collaborated with Robert Rodriguez on “Grindhouse.” Now, the brilliant auteur who likes to take long breaks is finally back, with a film carrying the gloriously misspelled title of “Inglourious Basterds.” Why is the title misspelled? This is one thing I cannot comprehend about Quentin’s new movie. However, I can determine many things about this movie from merely viewing the trailer.
Actress Natasha Richardson, of the legendary Redgrave family and husband to Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List”), has died. She succumbed to brain damage that resulted from a skiing accident after being taken off of life support. She was 45.
Ryan O’Neil might’ve carried the three hour weight of Stanley Kubrick’s extraordianry “Barry Lyndon” quite well, but take away the Kubrick, and you have an actor who pretty much sucks at delivering lines. Here’s a scene from “Tough Guys Don’t Dance” in which O’Neil gives the worst line reading I’ve ever heard in a film. But, you can also blame it on the writing. What lazy writer thought the line “Oh God, oh man, oh God, oh man” was passable dialogue? See it to believe it:
Jon Hamm can be serious (“Mad Men”)*. Jon Hamm can be funny (“30 Rock”). Now, he’s seriously funny as Lex Luther in this parody of the current financial crisis from “Funny or Die.” I was going to use this space to discuss my thoughts on Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer on “The Daily Show” last night but I feel like so much has been written about it that there’s little left for me to say except, well done Stewart. It’s early in the year but I already think you may be destined for an Emmy, a Peabody Award, or a Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps. Anyway, enjoy this clip. And I seriously believe that once “Mad Men” ends (hopefully not soon) Jon Hamm should pursue a career in comedy. He could make it:
Ever heard of the term skin deep? Patrick Bateman might seem shallow and merely skin deep, but not when you look from his perspective. But then again, isn’t that the case for every human being? This is the focus of the superb “American Psycho.”
Okay, I know, it’s already March. But I felt at some point it was necessary to talk about my top ten movies of 2008, and last week’s Oscars made this slightly more relevant. And what a year it was. There was no “There Will Be Blood” or “Knocked Up” but there were many great ones. Films began to do one thing they haven’t done in a while: give hope. And in this world, we could really use some more hope. Here it is, the top ten films of 2008: