Showing all posts tagged: film

Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, return for Devil Wears Prada sequel

12 July 2024

Well, this will be something. A sequel is in the works for The Devil Wears Prada. By the time it is released, assuming production starts sooner rather than later, the follow-up will pick-up almost twenty-years after events of the original film. That’s a long time in the fashion world.

So far, Meryl Streep — as Miranda Priestly — and Emily Blunt — as Emily Charlton — have indicated interest in reprising their roles, but Anne Hathaway remains unsure about returning as Andy Sachs. An early outline of the storyline suggests Priestly will face off against a now successful Charlton.

We can only wait to see how Sachs fits into that dynamic, should Hathaway decide to be involved.

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Put your Palace Cinema wine glass in the cup-holder carefully

25 June 2024

Whether they are a part of an on-going series of light-hearted clips by Australian cinema group Palace Cinemas, remains to be seen, but the two I’ve caught to date, on their Instagram page, have been pretty witty.

The first is in response to the apparent problem of patrons nicking the cinema’s wine glasses. Why would anyone do that? An Australian chain of discount stores sells six wine glasses for less than five dollars. So why take the cinema’s? It should also be noted the cinema’s glasses have their logo emblazoned upon them. People visiting your house are going to know where they came from.

Fun fact: the wine glass clip cleverly riffs off the old Piracy is a Crime ads, that used to screen, some years ago now, prior to cinema screenings in Australia*.

The second clip is a glimpse of a cinema employee’s work day. Just be careful with the cup-holders…

* Interesting, I tried to click through to the Piracy is a Crime video through a DuckDuckGo search engine result. I was greeted by a “www.youtube.com is blocked” error message. YouTube is of course owned by Google/Alphabet. Are they blocking access to the video platform via competing search engines?

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Before Sunrise turns thirty, my theory about what happens

20 June 2024

It’s a favourite around here. Because don’t we love meeting someone we connect with at first sight? But Sunday 16 June 2024, marked the thirtieth anniversary (Facebook link) of the premiere of Before Sunrise, directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. Another two films followed, with about nine years separating each of the three stories.

Obviously the thirty-year anniversary has intensified speculation about a fourth movie. But that remains up in the air, apparently. In 2018, speaking at the SXSW Film Festival, Hawke, who played Jesse, said he thought the film series “felt complete”. By earlier this year though, he seemed to have changed tack, and said there were “ideas” for another instalment.

Delpy — who portrayed Celine — however, has declined to reprise her role. But I think the scene where Celine and Jesse meet on the train, in Before Sunrise, maps out their life together, and points to what eventually happens. In their carriage, we see a young couple, a middle-aged couple who argue incessantly (ah, Before Midnight), and an elderly couple, sitting contentedly, together.

I think, if ever an instalment of Celine and Jesse in old age were made (would Before Twilight be an apt name?), that’s where the story might ultimately end. And there we have it, the conclusion of the Before film series, without the need to make any more (yes: parting is such sweet sorrow) titles that risk compromising the integrity of the earlier instalments.

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Can you use Vison Pro in a group or social setting?

14 June 2024

Or when snuggled up on the sofa, say watching a movie, with your better half?

I feel isolated when watching media, and it’s also much harder to snack and get cozy.

This is a point — raised by Hacker News/Y Combinator member archagon — and is not something I’d thought of, in regards to the whole process of using mixed-reality headsets. Since I don’t do this — use devices like Vision Pro — all that often, I wouldn’t know what this sort of experience might be like.

But maybe I’d put the headset aside, at such a time.

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Wake Up Dead Man, by Rian Johnson, with Daniel Craig: Benoit Blanc returns

7 June 2024

Great news for fans of 2019 thriller/comedy/whodunit, Knives Out… a follow up is on the way. Daniel Craig will reprise his role as private detective Benoit Blanc, in Wake Up Dead Man, due for cinematic release sometime in 2025. Check out the teaser/trailer, though it’s more teaser than trailer.

Good to hear CSI KFC’s voice again. I liked Knives Out so much I watched it three times.

It was also good to see Craig in a James Bond like role that was not James Bond. I gave up on the Bond films years ago. The world needs more filmmakers like Johnson, who create and write their own original characters. Rather than maintaining the apparent status quo, which sees the same old story rebooted and retold decade after decade. I’m looking at you James Bond. Or rather, I’m not.

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My 2001: A Space Odyssey remake joke post trained Google AI?

22 May 2024

Two and bit years ago, I spotted an entry on Fandom about a “remake” of the Stanley Kubrick sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Being a 2001 fan, I naturally wrote about it. I’ve had a lot of fun with the post ever since. People stumble upon it every now and again, and link to it (and my warmest thanks to you all, by the way).

The thing is though, despite the Fandom suggestion a remake had already been completed, it never happened. NOR are there any plans whatsoever to do so. Who would dare? The original Fandom post was a joke. Some light hearted humour. I mean, a 2001 remake, featuring half the cast of the original Star Wars films? Come on: who are we kidding here?

Though I would pay money to see a 2001 remake with Harrison Ford voicing Hal. “Listen your worshipfulness, I’m not opening the pod-bay doors, coz I heard you bitching about me earlier.”

Anyway, the other day I noticed another little traffic flow into the post. I froze in trepidation however, when I saw the source this time was from Reddit. With some apprehension, I clicked through to Reddit, expecting to read a post hauling me over the coals for daring to suggest a 2001 remake was in the offing. Or worse.

Instead, I learned that some Redditors had discovered either my post — or, more likely — the Fandom entry, had been fed into the recently launched Generative AI version of Google’s search engine. Which was treating these satirical posts as fact. In other words, Generative AI search results were saying that 2001 was remade in 2022.

If ever there were a story about the dangers of runaway, rampant, artificial intelligence, could 2001 be anymore prescient? What more can I say, other than to quote half the cast of the Star Wars films: I have a bad feeling about this.

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Angel Baby, a story of doomed loved, and changing Australian accents

14 May 2024

A scene from Angel Baby, a film by Michael Rymer, depicting stars Jacqueline McKenzie and John Lynch.

A scene from Angel Baby, a film by Michael Rymer, depicting stars Jacqueline McKenzie and John Lynch.

Angel Baby, trailer, is the 1995 debut feature of Australian filmmaker Michael Rymer. You may have seen some of his other work: Battlestar Galactica, Hannibal, both TV series, and/or his 2012 feature, Face to Face, but likely you’ve not have heard of Angel Baby.

Filmed in Melbourne, Angel Baby tells the story of a doomed love shared by Kate (Jacqueline McKenzie) and Harry (John Lynch), both of whom are battling severe mental illnesses. I won’t say too much more about it, except to note this is an example of under-appreciated Australian cinema.

And, possibly, an exemplification of how Australian accents have changed over thirty years. I say this because I was amazed at how distinct, how strong, some of the actor’s accents were. I live in Australia, and am surrounded by people with Australian accents.

That’s obviously a no-brainer — well, to an extent — but it means generally Australian accents should sound “neutral” to me, because I’m exposed to them daily. Mostly, that is. I spend several days a week in Sydney, a diverse city. Here, Australian accents are only a sample of the many I hear daily.

Perhaps this accounts for why I found some of the accents in Angel Baby so pronounced, so unmissable, because in reality I am not wholly immersed by them. But it seems to me, to detect an accent, local to the region you reside in, which may otherwise seem indiscernible, you need to go outside that area, to begin to perceive it.

I spent several years in London, England not Canada, and after a few months could easily detect Antipodean accents. It was an odd sensation to speak on the phone to lifelong friends living down under, and notice their accents. To notice, effectively, my accent. I wonder if you can pick up my accent on the phone, to lift a line from the Waifs’ 2002 song, London Still.

Australian accents are said to fall into three main categories: broad, general, and cultivated. The Australian accents I detected in Angel Baby had to be in the board category. Of course, there are any number of explanations as to why the accents seemed pronounced.

Could it be I was hearing not wholly familiar Melbourne variations of the Australian accent? Or could it be some of the actors were asked to emphasise their accents, Angel Baby being an Australian production, and all. Perhaps Rymer wanted people, particularly overseas audiences, to make no mistake they were watching an Australian film.

But I also began wondering if the internet was playing some part in my hearing Australian accents on Australian soil? Angel Baby was made in 1995. The year after 1994, which Angela Watercutter, writing recently for Wired, described as the last year before culture began to migrate online.

Could it be imagined Australian accents were among this migration, where they began to blend with every other English language accent, every other accent full stop, and begin altering? Of course, accents from other global regions are still distinct. I have no trouble discerning, for example, Irish, North American, or English accents.

Or those of other cultures, because different accents stand out. But might thirty years of internet culture, monoculture perhaps, be making a difference? Unlike thirty years ago, today we are constantly hearing, constantly absorbing, the voices of speakers from across the globe, on the web, and social media.

Might this be resulting in accents — I don’t know — dissolving into each other a bit? Are we unwitting students of elocution lessons, being served up through the world wide web? Accordingly, a “normal” Australian accent of thirty years ago, may sound quite different today. But who knows? Perhaps I am only imagining this would-be diction.

One thing is certain though. If you have the chance, look at Angel Baby. If you’re a Kanopy member, it may be available in your region.

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Aaron Sorkin penning a sequel to The Social Network in response to January 6

3 May 2024

I squeezed in two screenings of The Social Network — the 2010 film by David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, dramatizing the founding of Facebook — on the day it was released in Australia. I went up to the local cinema the morning it opened, so I could write about it here, then returned to the same cinema for an evening viewing.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m no fan of Facebook itself, but various trailers, and the pre-opening hype, had me excited. Facebook was once a start-up, a small business, and the dramatization of the early days promised to be a doozy. The movie sits in my home library now, and I still look forward to rolling it out once or twice a year.

Even today, I still wait in anticipation for the night-club scene, where Justin Timberlake’s character Sean Parker, utters the line this is our time. The track playing during the scene, Sound Of Violence, by Dennis De Laat, is still on my Spotify favourites playlist.

There’s no two ways: I’m a fan of The Social Network.

And news the other day that the film’s co-screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, was penning a sequel, saw me getting euphoric all over again. But I suspect the sequel, of “some kind”, will strike a far more sombre tone than the original. This because Sorkin believes Facebook played some part in the 2021, January 6 insurrection, in the United States:

Sorkin would not answer why he blamed Facebook for Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol, but he teased: “You’re going to need to buy a movie ticket.” “I’m trying [to write a movie about it],” Sorkin elaborated. “Facebook has been, among other things, tuning its algorithm to promote the most divisive material possible.”

I wonder if the original cast, Jesse Eisenberg (as Mark Zuckerberg), and Andrew Garfield (as Eduardo Saverin), among them, would reprise their earlier roles? It’d make for a great opportunity to catch up with some of the key players, and see what they’re up to nowadays. It might also add a lighter touch to what could otherwise be sullen proceedings.

As such, I see a role for the Winklevoss twins here. They’ve been busy since The Social Network days. In addition to rowing in the 2008 Olympics, they founded a cryptocurrency exchange, and a venture capital company. But that’s not all. They also formed a band, Mars Junction, which they describe as “a hard-hitting rock band”.

Check out this short clip of them performing at a gig about two years ago. Perhaps, in the proposed sequel, it could be imagined the Winklevoss’ had bought a house next door to Zuckerberg’s, and both parties find themselves in conflict again. This time though, over loud Mars Junction band practice sessions that annoy the hell out of Zuckerberg.

Of course, I can’t see that happening, but I can dream. Whatever, I’ll be looking out for the sequel once it is released.

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The best big screen stories of star-crossed lovers

24 April 2024

From Letterboxd: definitely there was love, oh but the circumstances… try Carol, Never Let Me Go, Brokeback Mountain, and Ammonite, on for size. Even the not so well received One Day, recently adapted as a TV series, makes the grade.

Let’s not forget Portrait of a Lady on Fire either. But what puzzles me is the inclusion of Before Sunrise. After all, did we not eventually change our memory of that day? Unless we’re looking at the story in isolation, and ignoring the sequels, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight.

On the subject of Before Midnight, it has been eleven years since its release. The Before films were coming along every nine years, but the main players, namely Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and series director Richard Linklater, were unsure whether to proceed with a fourth instalment.

Delpy declined to take part in another film when asked by Linklater, but a bit later Hawke said there were still “ideas” for another story.

Will they, or won’t they? This sounds like a great premise for a love story to me.

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Could Christopher Nolan make an exceptional horror film?

28 March 2024

Pretty much anything British/American film maker Christopher Nolan touches, turns to gold. The Batman saga, Inception, Interstellar, Oppenheimer, Tenet, Dunkirk, The Prestige (which I wrote about way back in 2006), Memento. You name it, they’re all winners. Then consider how well Nolan can go from one genre to another, almost seamlessly, be it action, sci-fi, period, war, whatever.

Word then that he’d like to try his hand at making a horror film will probably come as no surprise to aficionados of Nolan’s work. But only if he can find a “really exceptional idea”.

That’s because making a good horror film is a lot like making a good comedy film: difficult. Gore and jump scenes have limited currency because they’re so common. What drives a great horror movie is suspense. “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,” as Alfred Hitchcock once quipped. The really exceptional idea would therefore need an abundance of suspense. And a layered, labyrinthine story, but that’s something Nolan already excels at.

But horror is not my thing, even though I have a few horror titles in my old DVD library. Even if Nolan made a truly Nolan-esque horror film, I’m not exactly sure I’d go and see it.

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