Wednesday, February 25, 2015

'Avengers' Poster Assembles...Everyone...

The poster for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped yesterday, and the clutter cluttered my brain. Surely, there are character posters in this sequel's future, but first everyone is crammed into one 27x40 sheet. It's kind of like the worst class picture ever taken. Am I the only one who thinks this? 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My 6 Favorite Moments from The Oscars

My annual Oscar reaction usually comes a bit late, and this year is no exception. I usually have to rest and digest everything I spent a year obsessing over, and this year I decided not to do a critique of the awards show itself. Instead, I picked my five favorite moments from the ceremony. 

Lady Gaga Shocks the Hell Out of Everyone
Mother Monster seems to always face critics, but they were shut up on Sunday night when she took the stage to pay tribute to The Sound of Music's 50th anniversary. Scarlett Johansson introduced her to the crowed, but it seemed they weren't super anxious to hear her perform. The medley started off high and clear, and you could almost hear the collective sound of everyone's jaw dropping in America. 

Now we shouldn't be surprised by Gaga's vocal prowess. She studied music at Tisch, but her artistry has always overshadowed her raw talent. With her recent Grammy win for collaborating with Tony Bennett and now this, could Gaga be writing a new chapter in her career? If you get approval from Julie Andrews (and a hug, no less!), you are doing something right.

NPH Haters Can Suck It
No one gets unanimous praise for hosting the Oscars. Just ask James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Either they don't take enough risks or the material is bad, they say. When Billy Crystal saved Oscar after the Brett Ratner debacle, people said he was too old and a bit out of touch. What do you people want?! 

I was in Neil's corner from the start, and I was excited for him to finally scratch the Oscars off his hosting bucket list. For the most part, Neil kept it light and breezy, and he kept the show going. The entire gig felt very wink wink and self-aware. Sure, that Oscars in a glass case went over like fart in a space suit, but any way to get Octavia Spenser more screen time in any medium is fine by me. Oh, and he was in his underwear. The ball is in your court, Hugh Jackman.

All Those Moving Speeches
Patricia Arquette, J. K. Simmons, Graham Moore, and Common & John Legend all brought worthy speeches to the podium.

Everything is Awesome with a LEGO Oscar!!!

When The LEGO Movie failed to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature, director Phil Lord tweeted this: 

When Tegan & Sara and The Lonely Island took the stage to perform the nominated song "Everything is Awesome," no one expected the dancers to pass out Oscars made out of LEGOs! Celebrities were reasonably impressed, surprised and overjoyed. Especially Oprah.

Supporting Actress nominee Emma Stone stoically clutched her block Oscar after her clip for Birdman was shown. This was a running gag that kept paying off throughout the night. 

But seriously...I want one...someone make that happen...I'm not kidding...

Eddie Redmayne's Genuinely Adorable Reaction
The race for Best Actor was very tight this year, but Eddie Redmayne walked away for his heartbreaking portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He took the stage and kept freaking out and it was adorable and sweet and silly and cute. It was kind of like if Hugh Grant was serious for a hot second.

Screw your love of Marius. I'm in love with Eddie Redmayne himself.

Julianne FINALLY Gets Her Golden Guy
Anyone who knows me feared that I would never see Julianne Moore win an Oscar. When the good notices for her performance in Still Alice came out of Toronto, I was skeptical. Moore is always fantastic and emotionally engaging, so why should I get my hopes up that she'd walk away with Oscar? Well, this was her time. Moore kept winning and winning, and she finally received her golden man on Sunday night. 

I've played this win over and over on my DVR, because I love how emotional she is and how grateful she comes across. Moore isn't an awards queen, so it's rare to see her take the podium so much. You can tell by that immediate standing ovation how love she is in the industry, and it just makes me so happy. No recent win in Oscar history has made me feel so joyous. Congratulations, Julianne! You definitely deserve it. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Best. Poster. Ever.

Let's get real. This first poster for Magic Mike XXL is perfect. The makers know what their audience wants: pure, unadulterated, male nudity. Channing Tatum is sweaty and shirtless...and that tagline...totally appropriate. 

I have nothing else to say. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Jennifer Westfeldt!!!

Every time I see Jennifer Westfeldt's name attached to a project, I immediately get excited. She sort of reminds me of a mixture between Portia De Rossi and Lisa Kudrow. Not only is she charming, but she is funny and she just glows on screen. Today she turns 45. 

Megan fell in love with Kissing Jessica Stein, Westfedlt's big breakout. She played the title character, a single woman who begins a relationship with another woman for the first time. Not only did she star in Kissing, but she also wrote the screenplay with her co-star Heather Juergensen--they were robbed of an Original Screenplay nomination, by the way. 

Westfeldt made her directorial debut with Friends with Kids, an underrated charmer about a pair of friends (Westfeldt and Adam Scott) who decide to have a kid together. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Westfeldt's very own beau, Jon Hamm. More recently, she was seen on the last season of Girls (as John Cameron Mitchell's widow who insists that her husband wasn't gay--even though she knows everyone thought he was) and Children's Hospital

Someone give her a television series! Or let her write and direct more!!! Until then, let's all wish Jennifer the happiest of birthdays!!! 

Prepare for the Madness of Frozen...Again...

Trust me, I love Frozen as much as the next guy (the amount of Olaf merchandise in my house is a good indicator of my obsession), but I am not sure I am prepared for everyone to Buzzfeed-article-level-freak-out over the new animated short that will debut in March. The first pictures from Frozen Fever just dropped, and, honestly, it's exciting to see the characters again. Now I have a legitmate reason to go see Cinderella when it comes out. 

USA Today released a new set of photos from the short along with a brief synopsis. Queen Elsa decides to throw Anna big birthday bash, but Elsa gets hit with a cold. Pandemonium ensures, because, you know, Elsa's version of a cold never bothered me anyway is a bit more extreme. The original cast (including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad) have all returned to provide their voices for the 7-minute short. The Academy Award winning composers of the parent-nagging ditty "Let It Go" wrote another song specifically for Fever

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm Definitely Gonna Call Kate McKinnon

Let's get one thing out of the way right now: if you don't think an all-female Ghostbusters is a good idea, just move along. I am sick of people (mostly guys) complaining that they are messing with a classic film. If I can sit through the barrage of superhero crap, you can settle for a reboot of a successful franchise.

The news broke earlier today as to which quartet of funny ladies would appear in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot. Not only did he cast frequent collaborator Melissa McCarthy and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig, but be snagged two current Saturday Night Live cast members: Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. While I am pumped for the entire project, the inclusion of McKinnon has me the most excited. I recently declared her my favorite cast member on the AwardsDaily TV Water Cooler Podcast, so this news is especially exciting for me. 

A while back, I made a list of actresses that Feig should have considered, but that was way before I was familiar with the majesty of Kate McKinnon. She's the best character actress that SNL has to offer right now, and she can definitely hold her own against anyone in the current cast. McKinnon is the Meryl Streep of weird, sometimes-heavily-accent characters. It's also very obvious that she doesn't care about looking like in idiot--see the Jim Carrey "Chandelier" parody. 

It's also very exciting that Feig included Jones, a recently added SNL cast member. She can be brash and blunt, and it obviously helps that she can probably tower over the other girls. 

While some of the hardcore Ghostbusters fans seem to have a problem with the ladies in the reboot, I am going to focus on the idea that I do love: Kate McKinnon. If you need to be swayed, check out any of her sketches. She had me with her bulging eyes and her unapologetic tenacity. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Will a Threesome Overshadow an Important Message?

Right on the heels of GLAAD announcing their Media Award nominees, the first images from the upcoming drama I Am Michael have hit the web. The film made headlines a while back when it was announced that the film would feature a threesome between stars James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Charlie Carver. Will the film's steamy scene overshadow the serious subject matter? 

I Am Michael tells the true story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who publicly renounced his homosexuality following conversion therapy in the mid-2000's. Glatze formerly worked at the twink rag XY before founding the short-lived periodical, Young Gay America where he met his long time partner, Bennett, played by Zachary Quinto. After Glatze denounced his homosexuality, he went on to marry a woman in 2013.

According to Quinto, I Am Michael allows the audience to make up their own mind and doesn't push its message in your face. He says about the film, "It invites you in, it presents you with drama, conflict and emotion, and then it sends you on your way to form your own opinion about something." That's a very interesting stance for a film featuring out actors. One would imagine that the film wouldn't approve of Glatze's self-proclaimed change, but perhaps a neutral stance would make a better film. 

Michael debuted at Sundance late last week, and Variety's Peter Debruge described it as "remarkably even-handed" and "admirable in its seeming impartiality." The review also went on to praise the casting of Franco, but wasn't too keen on director Justin Kelly's clinical approach to the material. The Guardian was less kind in its review

I came across this headline today on The Huffington Post. Sure, it's total clickbait (Carver explained that the room was extremely hot), but does this kind of story undermine the issues brought up in the film? Is it just a ploy to get people interested in seeing it or generating buzz? I feel like this kind of press would get in the way of a film mainly made to create a dialogue. Perhaps if the film is getting bad reviews this is the best way to get people to see it. 

I Am Michael is set to play the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.