BAKER STREET | REVIEW
by Eric J Baker
Kristen Stewart’s critics aren’t wrong: When she isn’t being plain old bland, she’s being morose. She’s not an exotic beauty, nor is she the all-American girl next door. Yet still she manages to captivate us. Maybe it’s that half smile she gives up about an hour into every one of her stone-faced performances. It’s like we’ve been given a great, unexpected gift. And the occasional twinkle in her eye would be a full-frontal nude scene from another actress.
Stewart: There’s a happy girl in there somewhere. (Ph: W Magazine)
Stewart brings her weary good looks (imagine her in a movie with Ben Affleck called Pretty, Tired People) to the role of Snow White in Universal Picture’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which opened this weekend. This Tolkien-esque take on the familiar fairy tale involves a serial usurper named Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who, like me, needs beautiful women around to feel young. However, whereas I am satisfied with a charitable smile or the occasional act of harmless flirtation, Ravenna sucks the life right out of these girls.
THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES
by James Killough
If I had gone by the trailer alone, I would never have seen The Avengers, just as I never saw Thor or Captain America. These films aren’t made with me in mind, so why should I shell out sixteen bucks even for my favorite seat, C-22 in the middle of the handicapped section at the Arclight Hollywood? Much as I love movies, that would be the definition of dysfunctional behavior.
Michael Fassbender: Android perfection.
I was just going to let Eric Baker review The Avengers until it became clear almost two weeks ago that it was a juggernaut that was going to make film history, and that suddenly turned it from an ordinary early summer blockbuster into an event this blog had to cover.
THE WEEK FROM MY VIEW
by James Killough
It was heartening to see that so many Americans haunting my sector of the Innernet—i.e., politics, foreign affairs, entertainment and Manhunt.net—were so accepting and philosophical about the apparent Islamist victory in Egypt this week. They seemed to understand how hypocritical it is for a nation like ours—which until 2008 had an evangelical Christian president who followed God’s direct spoken commands, and which unilaterally supports the essentially fundamentalist Jewish state of Israel—to get up in arms if the Muslim Brotherhood forms a government in Cairo.
Screamin'-at-ya gay and borderline cheesy, Muto Manifesto is still beautifully shot and laid out. The text is pretentious, but it's French, so never mind. Click on the image for more.
This was a something of an unexpected outcome in Egypt; the Arab Spring was fueled and fanned by leftist, secular factions, not by the Egyptian equivalent of our own Nation of Islam. But ain’t that always the case: the lefties do all the work, and the righties tell them what to do. I doubt we’re going to see a return to the veil in Egypt anytime soon, but the trains will probably run on time.
THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | REVIEW
by James Killough
There is nothing inherently wrong with A Better Life, the new film by writer-director Chris Weitz, also known in some industry circles as the Man Who Killed New Line Cinema, although I suspect he just delivered the coup de grace with his underperforming Golden Compass. He got right back in the Hollywood crap saddle with New Moon, which I don’t think I’ve seen, or maybe I have but I was thirty-five thousand feet over Greenland in a Xanax cloud, and my attention was derailed by why I am more attracted to Kristen Stewart than I am to Taylor Lautner.
If my shrink were playing a game of association with me and said, “Taylor Lautner,” I would instantly reply “guinea pig.” I think it’s his nose.
I know, I should have put a pic of Taylor Bloody Lautner with his shirt off here. But I can't bring myself to do it. So I'm putting in Mexican actor Gabriel Garcia Bernal and asking, What's up, man? Where have you gone? We love you.
A Better Life isn’t just about immigrants from Central America, both Salvadorans and Mexicans, it’s about Los Angeles, the real city, not the West Side/Hollywood bubble that is most often portrayed in film and on TV. Continue reading