People love watching famous people accept trophies. So, every so often, The Huffington Post’s Chris Rosen and ScreenCrush’s Mike Ryan will speculate about these trophies and which famous person might win one. It will be fun. Let’s talk some trophies! Today, we pick up where we left off last week and continue to discuss why 10 Best Picture nominees isn't working and we discuss the Oscar potential of 'Gone Girl' (which premiered last Friday at the New York Film Festival)
What’s interesting here is that I can’t imagine director Gabe Polsky knew quite what he was making when he first embarked on ‘Red Army.’ What is essentially a history of the Soviet national hockey team becomes much more about the then Soviet, now Russian relationship with the United States over the last 35 years. ‘Red Army’ just might be one of the best Cold War documentaries ever made even though it’s about hockey, of all things.
The greatest movie trailer of all time is the first trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.’ This is not up for debate. This is not a subjective opinion. It just is. The trailer for ‘The Phantom Menace’ is so good that I firmly believe its goodwill bled over to the actual movie, inflating some early opinions of a movie that we all, now, realize isn’t very good. (I readily admit that I loved ‘The Phantom Menace’ the first time I saw it.) Here’s a fun thing to try: Forget everything you know about ‘The Phantom Menace’ and just pretend this is a brand new trailer for a ‘Star Wars’ movie.
It was interesting that when Jason Reitman and I discussed the recent merits of Adam Sandler – who stars in Reitman’s new film, ‘Men, Women & Children’ – Reitman turned the tables back on himself, mentioning the box office failure of ‘Labor Day.’ And, surprisingly, openly talking about the failures of ‘Labor Day.’ Reitman’s point is that even if it looks like Sandler might not care about a movie like, say, ‘Jack & Jill,’ Sandler still desperately cares about that movie. Because, as Reitman points out, people picked on ‘Labor Day,’ but that doesn’t mean Reitman wasn’t trying to make his best movie. Sure, that didn’t happen, but you don’t know until it’s made.
‘Gotham’ is not a good television show. As we discussed last week, it could be a good show, but it needs to embrace the fact that it’s pure camp and stop trying to pretend that it’s a Serious Drama. And, again, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a campy superhero property; it could be fun! (Then again, there technically isn’t a superhero in this show because Bruce Wayne is a little kid. Never mind.) Anyway, for the meantime, ‘Gotham’ does take itself seriously and as long as it does, we will list the “moments that unintentionally made me laugh out loud” in every episode.
To date, the most successful movie that Noah Baumbach has been involved with grossed $530 million worldwide. This is an astounding and somewhat surprising figure until it’s revealed that the movie in question is ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – a movie that Baumbach co-wrote with the writer of the other two 'Madagascar’ movies, Eric Darnell. As a director, Baumbach’s most successful movie to date is 2005’s ‘The Squid and the Whale,’ which grossed a little over $7 million domestically. This will all change when ‘While We’re Young’ – which premiered in Toronto and was the New York Film Festival’s Surprise Screening on Sunday evening – reaches theaters next year. Noah Baumbach has made a commercially viable film.
The 40th season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ has arrived (as well as the fifth season of ‘SNL’ Scorecard -- and I just can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years) and, boy, what a difference a year makes. Last year’s season premiere featured six new cast members and was one of the clumsiest shows in recent memory. (Hey, remember ‘New Cast Member Or Member of Arcade Fire’? Gah.) This season, we have two new cast members and, more importantly, a significantly smaller cast. This was the first ‘SNL’ in over a year where I felt some actual intimacy with the cast. Look at newcomer Pete Davidson: he was everywhere! It was almost as if this incarnation of ‘SNL’ was built just to make us forget about last season. It didn’t completely work (I’ll never forget you, Rick Shoulders), but with a first-time host like Chris Pratt (who is a natural) and what feels like a much more focused show, this was a really great start.
Throughout David Fincher’s adaptation of ‘Gone Girl,’ it was almost as if my subconscious was telling me that this movie shouldn’t be as good as what I was watching. That’s not a slam on Gillian Flynn’s novel (obviously; I haven’t read it), it’s just that the book is presented in such a unique way, which would at least seem almost impossible to pull off – just in a basic book vs. movie sort of way. Look, I understand that this following statement can be said about most movies, but in a less capable director’s hands – and with a less capable cast -- this movie could have easily have been garbage. Actually, this movie should have been garbage.
There’s something to be said for a documentary that can be interesting to a potential audience member who had no prior interest whatsoever in the topic of the documentary. In this respect, James Franco’s ‘Saturday Night’ – which chronicles the making of one episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ from start to finish (which is now available on Hulu Plus) – sort of fails. But, to be fair, I’m not sure that was ever the point. If someone has no interest in ‘Saturday Night Live’ whatsoever, ‘Saturday Night’ isn’t going to be particularly appealing; it’s the definition of “wonky.” On the other hand, for people who do like ‘Saturday Night Live’ (this reporter falls into that category), boy, ‘Saturday Night’ is an absolute delight. It ranks alongside Tom Shales' and James Miller’s ‘Live From New York’ as a must see/read for ‘SNL ‘ fans.
People love watching famous people accept trophies. So, every so often, The Huffington Post’s Chris Rosen and ScreenCrush’s Mike Ryan will speculate about these trophies and which famous person might win one. It will be fun. Let’s talk some trophies! Today, we talk about why a movie like 'Guardians of the Galaxy' can't be nominated for Best Picture.