Monday, March 1, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
Taking Up Room. For a complete list of participating bloggers, visit the link at the host site.
Fantastic Four (1994)
I don’t recall where I first learned there would be a movie based on Fantastic Four, my favorite childhood comic book—in one of Stan Lee’s editorial “Bullpen Bulletins,” perhaps. I specifically remember seeing a flyer at my local comic shop announcing the guy who played Reed Richards would appear for a signing.
As time passed, and it became clearer the movie would not come soon to a theater near me, I was disappointed. This was before the renaissance of comic book movies that began with Blade and X-Men and Spider-Man and continued with Iron Man and the cinematic universes of Marvel and DC. Films like Batman and Robin and Superman IV taught me to lower my expectations.
Then the FF film went straight to video, and bootleg copies popped up at conventions. At one, a dealer played it on a small TV screen and I finally caught a snippet.
I believe it was the scene with the Human Torch flying. (I say “the scene” because it’s the only one in the movie!) I recognized it as the Torch; that was encouraging, no? Maybe it would’ve looked better on a big screen. Maybe it needed to be seen from the beginning for me to truly appreciate. It wasn’t fair to judge based on an out-of-context clip from a bootlegged copy shown at a noisy and crowded comic convention.
Besides, I had seen a few photos of the cast: they got the costumes right (except the “4” logo was so low it was practically on their stomachs), the Thing was massive and rocky like he was supposed to be (even if he kinda looked made out of papier-mâché), and they really overdid it with the grey in Reed’s hair, but the most important things were the acting and the story. As long as I could believe in the whole thing, the rest wouldn’t matter. One day I would see it and judge for myself.
It couldn’t be that bad, right?
Monday, February 22, 2021
“With New York City reopening, the studios will hopefully have more confidence to keep their release dates as planned, which is a huge step in the process of recovery for the entire exhibition industry...”
I’m of two minds about this.
I knew this day would come sooner or later, and of course I’m thrilled, but at the same time I’m trepidatious. How can I not be? Spending two hours inside an enclosed room, immobile, without outside exposure, with a large amount of strangers who may or may not keep their masks on, is less enticing now than it was last summer when I was so sure I’d go back right away and follow all the social distancing protocols and blah blah blah.
Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with small groups of friends prepared me for this moment, I suppose (Virginia and I also went to a museum last fall), but I honestly didn’t think it would come quite so soon.
I’ll return, but I won’t run right out on the first weekend.
The bigger takeaway from this, of course, is what this means to the movie industry in general. Local theaters—the chains, indies and revival houses—will stay in business after all. How they’ll compete with the streaming services is another question, but at least they’ll have gotten past the worst of it.
Monday, February 1, 2021
...and that was just January.
What a month, huh? Our long national nightmare is finally over, though the mess DT left behind will take years, if not decades, to clean up, and a whole lot of people out there will try to impede the process... but now that adults are in charge of America again, we stand a good chance at making some progress. To ease us back to movie-related discussion, if you haven’t seen this video from Arnold Schwarzenegger—the former California governor, remember?—take a look at it.
More on the other side.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
|Movie serial actor Buster Crabbe|
Friday, January 15, 2021
Critica Retro e Spellbound by Movies. Para uma lista completa dos blogueiros participantes, visite os links nos sites de hospedagem.
One of the brightest lights in recent Brazilian cinema has been director Fernando Meirelles. The São Paulo native discovered film through his father, who made 8mm parodies with his family and friends. In college he studied architecture, but also sustained his interest in filmmaking. He entered indie TV and experimental film after graduation, which led to advertising. He co-founded the ad firm O2 Films.
In 2002, he co-directed, with Katia Lund, the movie City of God, a crime picture based in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, based on a novel inspired by actual events. O2 Films was one of the production companies. The film was an international sensation, and was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In subsequent years, Meirelles made the Oscar-winner The Constant Gardener, as well as the films Blindness and 360 and the HBO series Joint Venture. When the Summer Olympics came to Rio in 2016, he directed the opening ceremonies. In 2019, Meirelles adapted the play The Two Popes for Netflix.
Popes loosely tells the story of the relationship between Pope Benedict XVI and the future Pope Francis, back when he was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in the wake of the 2012 scandal over corruption within the Vatican. Anthony Hopkins plays the former and Jonathan Pryce plays the latter.
Meirelles recreated the Sistine Chapel in the famous Cinecitta studio in Rome. This podcast explains how he did it. St. Peter’s Square was computer-generated. Additional filming was shot in and around Rome as well as Argentina.
Pryce and Hopkins were both Oscar-nominated, for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Pryce spoke some Spanish and Hopkins spoke some Italian and a little Latin. They both came across very convincingly.
I can’t say the story moved me that much, not being Catholic, but the contrast between the two holy men and their differing visions for the future of the faith was presented well. The reality behind the popes and their connection to each other is different, but this is, after all, a dramatization. The adapted screenplay by Anthony McCarten was also Oscar-nominated.
Popes is an ambitious production depicting a crucial turning point in religious history, told on a small, almost intimate scale.