Say what you will about the guys running Iran, but they
are indeed media savvy. How do you get thousands of people off the streets and
into the house and put an end to all these pesky demonstrations? Why, you
broadcast the most popular trilogy of all time on the TV. According to this
anonymous posting from someone in Tehran
one of the state television stations is offering marathon showings of "The Lord
of the Rings."
Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and now Michael Jackson. In one
week it's like an entire issue of "National Enquirer" has been wiped out.
I was never a big fan of Jackson's
music, but I certainly respected his impact on Pop Culture. How could you not?
Not only are there an overwhelming number of references in the mainstream media, but he makes appearances in
the most obscure independent and foreign movies.
The distributors of "The Stoning of Soraya M," according to
the "Hollywood Reporter," face a delicate opportunity as
the release of the film coincides with the ongoing turmoil in Iran over
the disputed election. The film is based on the true story of the 1986 stoning death
of an Iranian
woman accused of adultery by her husband who wanted to get rid of her for a new
What with the crashing economy, the North Koreans having a nutty and Iran
melting down - to name just a few of the crises spinning at the moment - the
status of the death penalty would seem to be near the bottom of President
Obama's list of priorities. Nonetheless, he'll have no choice but to take a
stand on the issue pretty soon, since the cases of six federal death row
inmates will probably see their stays of executions expire in the next few months.
What with the increasingly tense protests against the
disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmedenijad, not to mention the ongoing threat of their nuclear program, the state of filmmaking is not the first thing people think
about when the subject of Iran is raised. Nonetheless, I think it's germane,
and so does Vadim Rizov at GreenCine.
The deserved success of "Up"
and other Pixar CGI epics unfortunately overshadows the visual glories of
animated films made the old fashioned way, laboriously by hand. Films like
"Pinocchio," "Dumbo," "Snow White." And
"Aladdin?" Well maybe not so much "Aladdin," if only
because it was in part responsible for deep sixing one of the most ambitious
and dazzling feats of animation ever attempted, Richard Williams's "The Thief
and the Cobbler
Are there no undivorced dads in the movies any more? And do
they all end up going to some imaginary realm to find with their inner child
and so be able to reconnect with their children? My theory: these movies are
written, produced and directed by divorced Hollywood dads who are overworked
and are trying to find with their inner child if not to reconnect with their
inner child than at least to dredge up some material the kids in the audience
(or their parents might) like and thus earn enough to make child support
Well, I guess that clinches it: film criticism, at least in print journalism, is dead.
say no less than the head marketers of MGM/UA and Universal studios, as quoted
in a recent New York Times article (by way of Jeffrey Wells's "Hollywood
Elsewhere" website). And, as we all know, the purpose of film criticism is to
sell the product of major studios.
Truth, they say, is the first casualty in war. Sometimes it's also the last.
Some seventy years after the Soviets and the Nazis signed a
treaty agreeing to invade Poland
and split the country between them, Colonel Sergei Kovalyov, a Russian
historian, recently published an article which appeared on the official website
for the Russian Ministry of Defense entitled "Fictions and Falsifications
in Evaluating the USSR's
Role On the Eve of World War II" in which he explains how the war as all
NOW I remember what I wanted to ask Ed Helms about "The Hangover" when the
two-minute warning from the publicist put me in panic mode. True, he said that
all the "deleted" photosof the boy's lost night in Vegas - shown in a montage
over the credits in the end - were posed. But were they simulated? In
particular one involving Zach Galifianakis
and a woman old enough to be his mother.
A lot can happen in two minutes. Especially if you talk
really fast. Plenty of time to slip in a gratuitous question about misogyny.
PK: Alright. So you went back in forth actually from "The
EH: Yeah. Five days a week in Vegas and two days a week in
"The Office." I worked like 45 days in a row.
PK: Since we only have two minutes, I'll give you three
topics, Mike Tyson; tiger; and getting tasered in the nuts.
If some prognosticators are right (or if you want to believe
the people at Warner Bros.),
the sneak, sleeper hit of the summer will be Todd Phillip's
("Old School") "The Hangover," a crude, lewd, vomit-spewed comedy about four
guys who go to Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up not remembering a damn