Thursday, February 26, 2009

The definitive word about "Watchmen"? And a thankfully foul trip to "Adventureland"

Actually, the funniest thing I could find out there is possible proof that even Eliza Dushku knows that Joss Whedon's thoroughly contrived "Dollhouse" is gonna end soon, and maybe very soon.

Making plans for what she will do next, Dushku has acquired the rights to the life story (however one actually does that) of late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, which she will produce, and has hired director Ondi Timoner to helm the project. This could certainly be cool, but its really just the timing that intrigued me.

But here today, as it has been for many, many days now, it's all about "Watchmen," and a new Web site I found that's a must-bookmark for movie geeks. Called Hitfix, it's run by a dude who used to write for Aintitcoolnews under the name Moriarty, but sometimes went and now goes by the name Drew McWeeny.

The site is as crammed with movie news and gossip as any, but it has two other things going for it, both courtesy of the creator himself. The first is a compilation of newsy links called The Morning Read, which in its most recent incarnation contained the news from E!'s Kristen Dos Santos that lone holdout Michael Cera has dropped his opposition to appearing in an "Arrested Development" movie, and shooting on the project should begin by the end of the year (I would have gladly dedicated an entire post to this welcome news, but I'm more than a little burnt out on the subject, and also still not thoroughly convinced the project will ever actually come together.)

And the second great thing, also part of Mr. McWeeny's (or whatever his actual name is) Motion Captured blog on the site, is that he reviews movies, and to give credit where its surely due, does so extremely well. Most of the reviews at Aintitcool are just the most unreadable sort of drivel, but his were always not only thoroughly enjoyable but also very informative, with a clear opinion at their core.

As devoted (and probably much more so) a "Watchmen" fan as me, he released his assessment this week, and I was extremely happy to see that it's a rave. Though it's more than a bit long, it's also a great read. Here's the final paragraph, for the time-challenged out there:

But more than anything, what I found most bracing about the experience of finally seeing this onscreen is that it pushes the genre further than it's ever been pushed before. It demands more of viewers than any superhero movie previously released. It sets up a moral question at the end of the film that can't be easily answered, and it doesn't even try. It expects you to have your own reaction, and it treats viewers like adults, a rarity from any Hollywood film, much less one featuring characters with names like Nite Owl and Hooded Justice. And, amazingly, it works as a movie. It has its own rhythm, taking its time to lay out this complicated story, but it constantly delights with details both small and grand, and the cumulative impact is far more emotional than I would have expected. This isn't a case of a film being "good enough," and I'm not "just glad there's some version of it finally." It is a triumph, a movie that amazes on its own terms, and a major jump forward for Snyder as a filmmaker.

Wow. I already couldn't wait to see this, but now it's guaranteed to be just about the only thing on my brain for the next week-and-a-half or so until I finally get to see it for myself. To read the rest of Mr. McWeeny's review, click here.

The Dude and the art of obsession

Being someone who gets up every morning and spends an hour or so reading whatever movie news I can find, I certainly can appreciate obsession, and very few people have taken it to the gloriously high level that Chalupa, a k a Ben Ranfeld, and his wife, Liz, have at the Lebowski Podcast.

And as the name clearly implies, this site is all about Chalupa's favorite movie, "The Big Lebowski," and the Coen brothers in general. Along with the podcast itself, he also pens a regularly updated blog on all things Coen and, well, just about anything else that crosses his mind.

But the podcast is easily the best thing here, and amazingly, it celebrated its 2-year anniversary (back in January, like I said, I'm late) with the 25th episode, a review of "Pineapple Express" and, of course, a look at how it's similar to "The Big Lebowski." You can click here to hear the whole thing, which I highly recommend, but a couple of highlights are a discussion of how to pronounce the word "Apatow" and Liz raving about easily the funniest scene in any movie from 2008, that notorious fight scene in Red's apartment.

It's just a fun way to waste (and I certainly mean no disrespect by that, because I love nothing more than wasting time) some time, and can quickly become addictive, so definitely check it out if you haven't already.

And finally, a glimpse of "Adventureland"

With, of course, "Watchmen," "I Love you, Man" (March 20) and this comedy (March 27) from the director of "Superbad" all coming out this month, I have to say the beginning of 2009 as a movie year is getting off to a whole lot better start than 2008 did.

The flick, written and directed by Greg Mottola, is the semi-autobiographical tale of a summer he spent as an employee at the titular theme park. It stars Jesse Eisenberg from "The Squid and the Whale" (remember him?), "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart, the very funny Bill Hader and the even funnier Martin Starr, a k a Bill Haverchuck from "Freaks and Geeks."

The redband trailer you can watch below should certainly be watched with headphones on if you're at work, because it isn't just chock full profanity, it revels in it. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Thursday. Peace out.


Chalupa said...

Loved the trailer for Adventureland. Now I'm going to have to try and catch it when it comes out. I always enjoy seeing Martin Star getting some work along with the guy from Squid and the Whale and the girl from Into the Wild.

Last but not least, thanks so much for plugging the podcast.

Reel Fanatic said...

No problem, Chalupa ... I'm a regular visitor myself, so I certainly felt good in recommending it

jeremy said...

Did you see the Coen Bros. clean coal PSA?

Chalupa said...

Yeah, that was great.

Reel Fanatic said...

What's that Homer Simpson line, "It's funny because it's true." .... thanks for that

Past Expiry said...

Check out this cartoon about the Watchmen movie!
*CARTOON*Feel free to post on your blog or "tweet"