Friday, June 27

Heath Ledger

Like with a handful of Hollywood deaths (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood), I could tell you where I was when I heard that Heath Ledger died.  Some of you may find this silly because, after all, I didn't know Heath Ledger or any of the others.  And to just get some borders around this one, I haven't a clue as to where I was when I heard my father died and I certainly knew him.  But one thing all of the actors I mourned had in common is that they died way too soon... two from automobile accidents, two under highly suspicious circumstances.  Another is that they were people I was mad about and whose new films I was not ready to give up.

Tuesday, June 24

The Directors: Ang Lee

As of this writing, he has only made a dozen films but they have enabled him to become one of the most important and respected directors in America and around the globe. Furthermore, no Asian director has ever touched his kind of success on both sides of the Pacific. Most all of his films have picked up honors from film groups worldwide.  Actors want to work with him and if they have worked with him, they want to do it again. The same can be said for writers, producers, cameramen, costumers and most any technician interested in being involved in a film on some grand scale.  His gift to me was directing my favorite film of all time.

Saturday, June 21

REVIEW: Jersey Boys

Directed by Clint Eastwood
2014 Musical Biography
2 hours 14 minutes
From Warner Bros.

John Lloyd Young
Erich Bergen
Vincent Piazza
Michael Lomenda
Mike Doyle
Christopher Walken

Friday, June 20

Off to the Canadian Rockies

It started innocently enough.  For some reason I got it into my head that it might be fun to attend a gay rodeo.  I mentioned it to a friend who agreed he'd like to come along.  We Googled appropriate sites and came up with one in Calgary.  Of course it wasn't lost on me that Calgary was where Brokeback Mountain was filmed.  Hey, why not figure out some location sites for BBM and combine seeing them with the rodeo? 

Tuesday, June 17

Brokeback Mountain: Favorite Movie #1

2005 Drama
From Focus Features
Directed by Ang Lee

Heath Ledger
Jake Gyllenhaal
Michelle Williams
Anne Hathaway
Randy Quaid
Linda Cardellini
Kate Mara
Scott Michael Campbell
Anna Faris
David Harbour
Graham Beckel
Peter Robbie
Roberta Maxwell

Friday, June 13

Picture Quiz IV

Ok, let's give this one a try.  You know you're doing pretty well with these Picture Quizzes.  Don't lie.  There's no scoring... just figure out the names of these 10 movies and you're just too smart for your own good.

Tuesday, June 10

REVIEW: The Immigrant

Directed by James Gray
2014 Drama
2 hours
From The Weinstein Company

Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix
Jeremy Renner
Dagmara Dominczyk
Angela Sarafyan

Friday, June 6

The Wounded One

Born as Phylis Isley in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1919, she was pathologically shy as a child.  Her parents, who had a traveling tent show during good-weather months and owned and ran a movie theater during winters, thought she should perform as a way to curb her shyness.  She balked but would eventually acquire a raging ambition to become an actress, but the shyness never really went away and was joined by severe emotional and mental problems she would have for the rest of her life.  By the time she made an impact on the silver screen, we knew her as Jennifer Jones.

Tuesday, June 3

Original Casting Ideas

I get into actors in their roles.  I am quite taken with who is considered for such and such a role or perhaps who should have been considered.  Often great plans and studies are put into play before someone is cast... always important to find just the right actor.  It's certainly true that insightful casting can bring about more of those dollars into the studio's coffers.  And I have always had such great fun reading who was originally considered for a part or actually signed for it or even who starting filming but dropped out.  Here are some of my favorite casting original ideas or might-have-beens.