Category Archives: Film

Getting Real about James Franco’s many endeavours

Alright, alright, alright, I’m sick of hearing about how James Franco is a man who wears many hats or juggles many projects, or “straddles many roles” — as most recently described in the New York Times.  Actor, oscar host, phd student, author, painter, screen writer, film director. His day starts at 4 am and ends at 2 am. EVERYONE BE IMPRESSED.

I think we are overlooking the fact that he isn’t really doing any of the above particularly well. His book isn’t exactly a best seller, his art exhibit left many scratching their heads, and during his stint at the Oscars, he could be described as bored, stoned, aloof, apathetic, but certainly not entertaining. Yes he took a red-eye back to New Haven after the Oscars to make his 9 am class the next day, I guess that’s kind of impressive, but I would be more impressed if he had shown a little more enthusiasm at the Oscars (or at least acted — remember acting James? like he gave a shit), and THEN he made it to his class AND he stayed awake (unlike the audience at the Oscars).

And then I have to read about how he is not only pursuing a PhD in English at Yale, but is also simultaneously on track to earn a master’s degree in film from New York University this spring. He already also holds a master’s degree in writing from Brooklyn College. I mean who needs that many degrees? It’s like he is doing it for sport. Good for you, you can afford to pay for not one, but 3 liberal arts degrees that you will never use. Did this man not receive enough praise and attention growing up?

I think James Franco needs to stick to what he does best and that’s looking smoking hot.

He nails it every time, even when sporting a gross 70’s porn stache.


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Getting Real about eye contact with Matt Damon

Tell me where it hurts

Are you going to be in San Francisco this weekend?

Do you enjoy a well-catered lunch?

How are you at faking infectious disease symptoms?

What if Dr. Matt Damon was curing your infectious disease while Dr. Jude Law was giving you a lung transplant?

Oh and the only thing on your calendar from February 9th – 19th is watching Kathie Lee and Hoda on NBC




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RETRACTION: Getting Real about the Oscar countdown

UPDATED 1/18/2011:  The Illusionist is not something anyone should ever pay to see.  Take my word for it.  And no one in the Academy will vote for it, not even Sony.

From the creators of the Triplets of Belleville comes the Illusionist – please note Christian Bale and Ed Norton do not make any appearances.

Currently the film is only in limited release – because animated features not Pixar or Dreamworks related freak distributors out.

The Illusionist is up for Best Animated Feature at Sunday’s Golden Globes but this little film is more concerned with beating out Toy Story 3 for the Oscar in February.

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Getting Real about awards season 2011

Maybe it is the fact that I am actually interested in upcoming theatrical releases versus Netflix “watch it now” and the travel channel.  It could also be the Mrs. Beasley’s baskets that have started to pour in and will inevitably lead to my wearing a size up from now until January.  Maybe it is all the “for your consideration” ads taking over my screen on .  And there is also a direct correlation to Trader Joe stocking candy cane JoJos and my waking up early to open the advent calendar.  PEOPLE AWARDS SEASON IS UPON US!!!

Pull out your Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera and start learning to love lemon juice and cayenne pepper cleanses

Let’s look at our calendar shall we.

TUESDAY November 30th:  Indie Spirit nominations announced – I’m always interested to read about the films I have never heard particularly the ones made by some kid with a flip cam for $10,000

FRIDAY December 10th:  Golden Globe nominations close

MONDAY December 13th:  Screen Actors Guild nominations close – this is where every actor in the Guild votes for themselves a la the duets episode of Glee

FRIDAY January 14th:  Oscar nominations close – the major PR players are making sure every person casting their vote has seen their client’s performance at least three times

SUNDAY January 16th:  GOLDEN GLOBES – it’s really only about the clothes and a good Rachel Zoe meltdown

TUESDAY January 25th:  Oscar nominations announced – this is when I show up 3 hours late to the office

SUNDAY January 30th:  Screen Actors Guild Awards – industry prom king and queen are announced

SUNDAY February 13th:  BAFTA Awards – Hollywood’s attempt to humor the UK Film Industry

TUESDAY February 22nd:  Oscar voting polls close

SATURDAY February 26th:  Indie Spirit Awards

SUNDAY February 27th:  OSCARS – hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway – I’m not overwhlemed both are nice to look at, frankly I’m just happy it is not Betty White


Best Pic: The King’s Speech – The Social Network – 127 Hours – Black Swan – The Kids Are Alright – Toy Story 3 – The Fighter – Winter’s Bone

Best Director: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) – Danny Boyle (127 Hours) – Tom Hopper (King’s Speech) – David Fincher (The Social Network)

Best Actor: James Franco (127 Hours) – Colin Firth (King’s Speech) – Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) – Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Best Actress: Annett Bening (The Kids Are Alright) – Natalie Portman (Black Swan) – Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) – Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) – Julianne Moore (The Kids Are Alright)

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Getting Real about ‘The Social Network’

So earlier this week I was standing in the coffee shop near my work anxiously waiting for my americano when I saw fliers for a free early screening of The Social Network (with a cast Q&A to follow). While I had little interest in seeing the movie, they had me at ‘free’. I didn’t really have any expectations going in, although I did get pretty excited when I saw Jesse Eisenburg standing outside the theater doors and couldn’t help but stare at him (actively suppressing the urge to says something stupid) while I was getting padded down by security. I looked around eagerly for JT, but alas he was not there. He was probably too busy shopping with Jessica Biel and making guest appearances on SNL, whatevs.

Celebrity sightings aside, the movie itself was really well done. The plot moves seamlessly between Zuckerburg’s coinciding court depositions (he was at once being sued by his best friend, and his classmates who claimed he has stolen the idea for facebook from them) to scenes recounting the events leading up to the hearings. Highlights include:

The writing — the dialogue is razor sharp and chock-full of witty quips that had me actually laughing out loud. (Movie) Zuckerburg sure is an asshole, but hey, assholes can be pretty funny (in an asshole kind of way).

Great cast of mostly newcomers —
Jesse Eisenburg being a definite stand out. We knew he was good at playing the socially awkward teen and the rambling nerd (the two often times overlapping) but this performance takes it to a new (much more nuanced) level. Sorry Michael Cera, a career can only last so long playing plain old awkward, I think you peaked with Arrested Development.

Trent Reznor’s original score lends each scene the perfect amount of intensity.

The geek factor — scenes where programmers are doing competitive coding while taking shots every 3 minutes, and also what movie about math/programming/science is complete without a scene where the main character is working out an algorithm on a window sill. Don’t these people own whiteboards? Notebooks? No? Ok.

The opening scene — really exposes Mark Zuckerbug’s insecurities and (arguably) his motivations, and most notably his utter lack of social graces. It was a rapid fire of one cringe-worthy remark after the other culminating in his girlfriend calling him an asshole and walking away.

So the question arises, is Mark Zuckerburg really that big of an asshole? Zuckerberg is obviously not thrilled about the release of the movie and “coincidentally” will be making a rare public appearance on Oprah that same day to make a 100 million dollar donation to Newark’s public schools. Can somebody say publicity stunt?

After the screening Alan Sorkin was asked about the truth factor and responded that all content in the movie is based on well documented, true events except for the little details and exchanges between characters (or people) where there is no way of knowing what actually occurred. It was not his intention to have the audience side with any particular character, though it was hard to feel sympathy for Zuckerberg until the very last scene. Sorkin notes that it’s in this scene that Zuckerberg’s character goes from being the anti-hero to the tragic hero. However this scene, the one and only time we witness a vulnerable side of Zuckerberg as he sits alone after the deposition is over, also happens to fall into the category of details Sorkin had to have made up because he had no way of knowing what actually occurred. So it’s quite possible to leave the movie theater believing Zuckerberg in fact is a gigantic ass. Tragic indeed.

I guess that’s Hollywood -1 , Zuckerberg – 0 (plus 23 billion that is).

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Getting Real about Natalie Portman winning the Oscar this year

You may have been wondering what ever happened to Natalie Portman?

hello nightmares

Let’s go back in time to the early 2000s when Portman was queen of the indie film scene. Starring in cult classics like Garden State, Closer, V for Vendetta and the short film Hotel Chavelier opening for the Darjeeling Limited where Wes Anderson let Jason Schwartzman live out the ultimate JewBro fantasy of getting Nat to your hotel room wearing nothing but a bathrobe.

Then in 2007, “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” happened and so began Portman’s demise. Earning an embarrassing 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, a reviewer from the Associated Press commented “Wake me when it is over”.

Career Suicide

Thank god this Harvard grad was smart enough to take a hint, realizing that starring in G-rated movies does not earn you any street cred with notable directors.

Enter Darren Aronofsky, who has a history of reviving the careers of washed-up actors*. Aronofksy casts Portman as the lead role of Nina in Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan. Nina is a principal ballerina with the New York City ballet. She lives with her obsessive ex-ballerina mother who pushes her to not eat and practice plies for hours. Nina is in contention for the lead ballerina in Swan Lake, but the newest addition to the company, Lily (played by Mila Kunis), is winning over everyone’s hearts including the company director who Portman may or may not be sleeping with.

Anyways just watch the trailer… p.s. it is terrifying and you will have effed up dreams about ballerinas

Black Swan opened the Venice Film Festival yesterday to a standing ovation and rave reviews from critics across the board predicting this film will earn Portman her first Oscar. The film is in contention for the Grand Lion which Aronofsky won last year with The Wrestler. Fox Searchlight will release Black Swan in the U.S. on December 1st.

A few things I thought about after seeing this trailer.

Is it a coincidence that Mila is dating Macaulay Culklin who once played the Prince in the New York City ballet’s production of the Nutcracker?
Do actresses love starring in dance movies b/c they have an excuse for getting freakishly skinny?
Do you think Natalie Portman still listens to The Shins?

*see Mickey Rourke in the Wrestler, then see Mickey Rourke with his Oscar


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Getting Real about “Twitter” the movie


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Getting Real about Justin Bieber in 3D

"Baby, baby, baby"

Paramount Pictures has just announced what we can all looked forward to this coming Valentine’s Day…

The Justin Bieber biopic in 3D!!!!!!!!

Davis Guggenheim of An Inconvenient Truth is in talks to direct

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