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A review of last night's "Smash" coming up just as soon as bismuth is my favorite element...
I've complained before about the Razzie Awards, a goofy institution that long ago had the fun sapped out of it by its voters' narrowness of focus and constant recycling of the same targets. This year's awards, curiously shifted to April Fools' Day, are a case in point: how many times do we need to keep beating up on the "Twilight" franchise when there are more egregious (not to mention original) offenders out there? As if to illustrate how devoid of inspiration the Razzies have become, they nominated the same five films for Worst Picture, Director, Screenplay and Ensemble. Spread the
love loathing a little, people.
Evidently, I'm not the only one to feel this way. The folks at Movieline have decided to beat the Razzies at their own game with the inaugural Soily Awards, a self-described "attempt to reconcile the year's highest-profile Hollywood misfires with their truly uninspired brethren." 20 critics and journalists were polled, including yours truly, and while the resulting nominations aren't quite as cutting as they could be, they at least make for more amusing reading than the Razzie list.
It's a rule of on-camera interviews that you don't really want to sit down with more than two people at the same time. Groups of three can be hard, even when all three people are ready and willing, because of the logistics of it. You're talking about four to six minutes with four people in a conversation. That's a sprint, no matter what, and it worries me walking into a room.
I feel like I've interviewed Elizabeth Banks many times now, and she's one of the most unassuming, easygoing people you can sit down with. I get the sense she understands how fundamentally silly this process can be, and she always appears to be having fun with it. I talked to her about "Hunger Games" when we met for "Man On The Ledge," and when I sat down with Woody Harrelson for "Rampart," I couldn't resist a little bit of talk about Haymitch, his character in this film.
If the supermarket tabloids are any indication, I've gotten a pretty strong hint about who Ben picks, but hey, you never know with these reality shows. In any case, I'm not overly sure I care too much. Ben has been a uniquely dull bachelor, and I have to think that whoever gets the proposal at the end of the show will wake up the next day, shake her head and say, oh my Lord, I just got engaged to the Geico caveman as voiced by Kermit the Frog.
If Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable outlet doesn’t survive, it won’t be because its namesake isn’t doing her share.
After being largely hands off the first none-too-successful year of the channel’s life, Winfrey is doing everything she can to hoist the sales. Last night, she had the first interview with Whitney Houston’s family, following the superstar’s Feb. 11 death.
[More after the jump...]
Todd Rohal had an unnaturally long period of time pass between the production of his first film, "The Guatemalan Handshake," and his second, "The Catechism Cataclysm." Five years between movies can seem like a lifetime for a filmmaker, so it was nice to see that after "Catechism" played the festival circuit last year, just now arriving on home video, Rohal's already got a new film ready and it premiered here on Saturday afternoon. He has definitely picked up the pace, and I'm glad he's managed to shake that awful inertia that can be really tough on a filmmaker, so I feel kind of bad when I say that my main criticism for Rohal right now would be "please slow down."
Both of these recent films, "Catechism" and "Nature," are built on strong simple ideas that easily could have been used in a big-budget mainstream comedy. They're both driven by character-driven comedy and blatant absurdity, and there's definitely a consistent voice from film to film. I like his sensibilities and there are many things in both of the films that made me laugh. But both films also strike me as deeply undercooked in some essential way, like we're watching a rough assembly instead of a finished edit. They are shaggy to the point of sloppy, and I feel like one more pass at each of the scripts might have teased the great ideas into an actual great execution.
The battle rounds continue, and I can only hope there are some smarter decisions this week than last week. Not that all of the decisions were easy, mind you. I'm still wishing other judges could snap up whoever gets eliminated. Sort of like Go Fish, but with a much better payoff.
Being engaged to a model apparently does wonders for your confidence. John Legend vows he’ll be the best you’ve ever had in his new song from “Think Like A Man.”
Opening with what sounds like a sample of Moby’s “Porcelain,” “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” is one of Legend’s sexiest numbers. He vows he’s going to “kiss that” because he knows you’ve “missed that.”
[More after the jump...]
I'm starting to get a little confused about which festival I'm attending, because while everything I see in Austin this week says "SXSW," it's got a distinctly "Fantastic Fest" vibe going on.
I have a feeling part of that's just been the choices I made about what to see and when. I've been at most of the midnights, and so far, my days have been occupied largely with things other than movies, like yesterday's live-chat with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard or the panel I moderated for "Holliston," a crazy new sitcom for FEARnet starring Joe Lynch and Adam Green.
But it seems significant that "The Cabin In The Woods" was the opening night movie, and it seems right that the Secret Screening turned out to be Scott Derrickson's new film "Sinister," starring Ethan Hawke and not set for release until later this year. The film has local ties in the form of co-screenwriter C. Robert Cargill who worked at Ain't It Cool with me as "Massawyrm," and it almost felt like a cast and crew screening when the film played at midnight on Saturday, even with technical delays that had the film starting a full hour late.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
It's Monday, which means you get a brand-new, hour-plus edition of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we talk a bit about the return of "Community," discuss Ashley Judd's new ABC drama "Missing" and catch up with recent episodes of "The Walking Dead," "Justified" and "Parenthood" (whose finale we would have discussed last week had we been less groggy).