Rio, from director Carlos Saldanha [the Ice Age Trilogy], is a fun romp in Rio de Janeiro at Carnivale time. It’s an engaging film that is mostly set in a detailed Brazilian jungle that uses 3D to exceptional advantage.
Once again it’s the big dance – The Academy Awards [ABC, 8/7C]. Hundreds of movies have been screened and the alleged best of the best have been selected for quality of production, design, performance, direction and all that good stuff. Box office is up – because of 3D surcharges and increased IMAX presence, while the number of bums in seats has decreased noticeably. Questions arise, yet again, as to whether the quality of films has dropped, overall and the Academy Awards are looked to as an indication of that.
Inevitably, there are movies that should have been recognized but aren’t, and some that should not have been recognized, but are. Most of the time, though, there’s little agreement on what those movies are. Hence my annual look at the picks [sticking with major categories, this year] and the ensuing opinion slinging.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Warners announced, this morning, that Anne Hathaway has been cast in the role of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s Drak Knight rises. In the same announcement, Tom Hardy’s role was revealed to be Bane, the luchador-masked, super-steroid-pumped villain who broke Batman’s back in the comics.
“I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies,” Nolan said in a statement.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscars telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.
With “Awards Season” in full swing, we come to my favorite awards show to watch – The Golden Globes [the Globes’ new look featured, above]. Where else can you see an award winner rush from the little girls’ room to the stage, trailing a piece of toilet paper from her shoe [Christine Lahti, you are immortal because of this], or another award winner insist upon giving his award to the actor who inspired him to become an actor [the only award Jack Lemmon ever got that was voted for by a panel of one – and who knows how many other actors he inspired…?]. Thank you speeches that come from the heart or, on occasion, from a few too many drinks… The Golden Globes are fun because you get more moments from real people than all the other awards shows combined [excepting, possibly, The Spirit Awards]. Plus, the Globes honor movies and television – so there are twice as many opportunities for entertainment. So, here, after the jump, here are the nominees and my choices.
Now that I’ve had time to recover from the 2008 World Fantasy Convention, I find I’ve needed to get a bit caught up on the movie front. Both Zack & Miri and Rachel Gets Married are faring poorly at the box office and that’s a shame.
Zack & Miri Make a Porno
Zack & Miri Make a Porno is Kevin Smith’s latest film and is about best friends who are a hair’s breadth from being out on the street. Zack [Seth Rogen] seizes an idea from something Miri [Elizabeth Banks] says – even though she was saying it was something they shouldn’t do – and decides they should go for it. The pair decide that they shouldn’t let their moment of sex on camera change things between them, but of course it does.
Kevin Smith’s script is sharp, concise and combines the sweet and the gross in ways that remind us that he was doing films like this long before Judd Apatow became famous doing similarly themed material. Besides coming up with what seems like it just might be the ultimate poop joke, Smith mines real emotion and, yes, a sweetness that contrasts nicely with balances the film’s over the top material. It’s a good movie. Go see it [stay through the credits – you’ll be glad you did].
Final Grade: B+
Rachel Gets Married
Jonathan Demme returns with a film that returns Kim [Anne Hathaway] to the bosom of her family on the eve of her sister, Rachel’s [Rosemarie DeWitt] wedding. Kim is just out of rehab and her presence is unsettling for everyone, as there layers of pain and dysfunction to be revealed over the next few days. Those levels are so deep that the marriage of Caucasian Rachel to African-American Sidney isn’t even an issue.
Jenny Lumet’s script is solid, but – outside of Kim, at least – pretty low-key. One of the reasons that the film works is that the casting is excellent, especially Debra Winger as the sisters’ mother. Another is that the film often veers in unexpected, but real ways – as with the dishwasher competition between Sidney and his soon-to-be father-in-law [Bill Irwin]. Despite having the deepest emotional reaches to plumb, Hathaway’s [who really does deserve an Oscar® nomination] Kim is the glue that holds the film together, rather than the big scene stealer.
How cool is this movie? Robyn Hitchcock plays at the reception! ‘Nuff said.
Final Grade: A-
Warner Bros. Pictures, Mad Chance Productions, Mosaic Media have announced that a sequel to their 2008 hit comedy Get Smart is in the works.
Get Smart, which was originally a 1960’s comedy series that parodied spy movies, starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart and Barbara Feldon and the sexy Agent 99. In the 2008 updated version, comedy actor Steve Carell took on the role of bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86 for the secret government organization known as CONTROL and Anne Hathaway stepped into the role as his beautiful and more competent partner, Agent 99 whose first name still remains a mystery.
As agents for Control, Smart and 99 battled the evil forces of KAOS, an insidious organization out for world dominance.
The sequel to "Get Smart", which will begin production soon, will be directed by Peter Segal who also direct the first movie.