Sunday, December 29, 2013
the Disney Organization managed to fashion a compelling musical out of a classic musical ("Mary Poppins" circa 1964) that I myself never really cared about... The gimmick is simple, Poppins' author P.L. Travers (played my Emma Thompson in another one of her Bitchy Brit turns) travels to LA to co-write the screenplay to the Disney adaptation and must endure the sentimental palmyness of Tom Hanks's Walt Disney and his creatives all the while remaining desperate even paranoid to protect her characters who are of course heartbreakingly real to her. Its a pair of tight performances from Thompson and Hanks, and the supporting cast (Bradley Whitford, BJ Novak, Jason Schwartzman and Paul Giamatti) all shine throughout. My only complaint is that this being a Disney "Behind the Scenes" drama/comedy/musical it must have a happy ending...Thompson's P.L. Travers seems to be reconciled to the resulting film, the real P.L. Travers HATED "Mary Poppins" and handed down a firm fatwah against any further film adaptations of her famous flying nanny by anyone at all. Oh and just a quick shout out to a younger player Annie Rose Buckley who plays P.L. Travers as a kid growing up in Australia she has almost all her scenes with Colin Farrell (as Travers' dissolute father) and she holds her own with aplomb.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Details can be duly sussed here. It's late and I'm tired and outrage and disdain is a cheap commodity indeed...so I'm gonna confine my remarks to two points. It was always my theory that Gilligan was deliberately screwing up the castaways many many escape attempts in order to evade the draft and skip out on combat service in Viet Nam. Look at the re-runs if'n you don't believe me, Gilligan is easily of draft age, no college deferment, no dependents, he sure as shit wasn't no clergyman, prime cannon fodder back in the Imperial High Noon of the Great Society. No wonder he was always wrecking the rafts and messing up the various signaling devices built by The Professor... Now if I was writing the notional script for the upcoming film, I'd reconfigure the island so that all the other castaways have various sins on their consciences...crimes sufficient to sent to that Tropical Purgatory with no less a warden that that deceptive ineptoid, Gilligan. Its an idea that draws a bit from Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner", cuz drawing from the original sitcom would be an exercise in well worn futility at this point.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
an Israeli Actress as Wonder Woman in their upcoming Big Budget catastrophe "Batman versus Superman" (or whatever the hell it is called this week). Regardless of the sheer status upgrade awarded to the Descendants of Abraham for finally grabbing off a solid piece of the DC Comics Big Screen Universe, I have to wonder just what effect this will have on the Arab Boycott? Does this mean mass burnings of Justice League Comics? DVDs run over by hijacked steamrollers, sales plummeting of star spangled spankies in Beirut? I dunno...Certain Parties have a historic choice, wallow mindless anti-semitic obstructionism or just possibly sit back and watch a Girl Next Door from Haifa bench press an SUV...Sadly my money is on the former, it's a just a question of what embarrassing form it will take.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Redoubtable Harvard Film Archive is screening "Alexander the Great" (1956) starring Richard Burton on Sunday December 22nd at 7pm. People forget Richard Burton got his start in sword and sandal costume epics and this film in particular, represents an overblown high point to a genre too often dismissed. This is also one of those titles that Channel Zero would love to revive, but of course we do not have access to the HFA's Big Indoor Screen or their reliable fan base for that fact. But then we never ever indulge spite towards the Big Players, they at least have the resource to maximize a rare title's audience potential.