Tag Archives: movie stars

What a character

I saw two movies today.  It was a double feature Saturday —

My favorite kind.

The films were The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, and Trouble with the Curve starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.

Obviously the latter had the big name stars.  But I would argue the former featured more interesting acting choices.

Clint Eastwood harumphed his way through Curve, playing an ol’ curmudgeon that appears to be the extent of his repertoire.  It’s just an older version of Dirty Harry.  Or the Outlaw Josey Wales.  Or any role he’s ever played.

‘Cause he’s only got the one.

In Perks, Ezra Miller plays a lovable, gay, sometimes cross-dressing stepbrother to Harry Potter’s Emma Watson.  It took me to the end credits to realize that he was the same actor who played the title character in last year’s award-winning We Need to Talk about Kevin,  a sinister teenager who used a bow-and-arrow to orchestrate a massacre at his high school.

He was unrecognizable in Perks.  And it’s not like he had dyed his hair or changed his physique.  He simply committed to a different character choice so completely, it almost changed the contours of his face.

Something tells me Clint could never lose the squint.

Not again

Making movies cost the big bucks, it’s true.

So perhaps we shouldn’t judge producers too harshly when they remake blockbusters from years past to ensure box office success…like The Great Gatsby or Footloose.

This may also explain ‘sequel-itis’…although quality seems to figure less in that equation.

Case in point:  New Year’s Eve from director Garry Marshall.

New Year’s Eve is the sequel to last year’s horrible Valentine’s Day, a romantic comedy jam-packed with stars, cliched story lines and performances that were shallow to say the most.

(Sorry; it was that bad.) 

I’m not surprised actors are drawn to the sequel; it’s the easiest money they’ll ever make.  And Garry Marshall probably just used the Valentine’s Day shooting script and changed the California locations to New York City.

But why do it at all?

Critics skewered the first film, and audience reviews were only slightly warmer.  And while Valentine’s Day did break $100 million at the box office, there were a lot of celebrity salaries to pay.

Well, after seeing the trailer, I think I’ve figured it out.

Garry has directed a train wreck of a film…and we all know how hard it is not to look at one of those.

Cha-ching!

F’ing hilarious

A lot of TV and movie stars are treading the Broadway boards this year.

Daniel Radcliffe.  Chris Noth.  Frances McDormand.  Keifer Sutherland.  Edie Falco.  Chris Rock.

That’s right — Chris Rock.

His name kinda jumps right off of the list….or it did for me.  I never expected to see Chris Rock on Broadway.  But once it was announced, I knew I would attend his show, regardless.  It was a must see.

Last night was the night.  The play?  The Motherf’ker in the Hat.

Yep….that kinda sounds like a play Chris Rock would be in.  And it is as funny as you would expect, too.

The subject matter is dark.  Chris and Bobby Cannavale are addicts in recovery.  Chris has been clean for 15 years and is Bobby’s sponsor.  Both men are in relationships that intertwine in complex, hilarious and often dangerous ways.

Bobby is brilliant on stage, a comic dynamo that drives the play.  Elizabeth Rodriguez, who portrays Bobby’s girlfriend — also an addict — meets him beat for beat.  When the two of them go at it — and, boy, do they go at it — it’s an amazing thing to watch.

Chris, in his stage debut, is a bit wooden.  You can see him thinking really hard about what he is doing.  A fight between he and Bobby is particularly funny because the choreography is so exacting. [Hit him here.  Roll over.   Grab the gun.  Sit up.  Look stage right.]

But Chris is still funny in the show because he is Chris — a strong stage presence that holds his own amongst his more experienced castmates.  He is more successful on Broadway than most first-time TV and movie stars because he is big and sure and boldly himself.

Who is the motherf’ker in the hat?

Oh, I can’t tell you that.  It’s so much fun finding out for yourself.

Watch and win

If you love all things shallow — as we do here at The Sticky Egg — plump up your couch cushions and get comfy.

Shallowness is being serenaded, crowned and presented with sparkly awards this weekend on TV.

It begins Saturday night with the 2011 Miss America pageant — LIVE from Vegas! — and wraps up on Sunday with the ever-entertaining Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Ricky Gervais.

If you think about it, these two programs are a lot alike.

Both get their fair share of criticism.  Miss America because it’s a pageant, which many feel is an antiquated idea in this day and age with its swimsuit competition that displays the contestants’ “good health and fitness.”

And then, the Golden Globes, whose nominees are voted in by the Hollywood Foreign Press, which consistently selects those actors and projects who launch the most effective (translation: swaggeriffic) campaign.

Both programs also seem a bit dated.  Miss America‘s production values have always been a tad behind the times — far less glitzy and polished than the Donald Trump-produced Miss USA and Miss Universe.  And the Golden Globes still features a sit-down dinner at their show, which most other awards have abandoned due to the danger of mixing celebrities, alcohol and live television.

Personally, I’ve always found the folksiness of the Miss America broadcast to be part of its charm.  I like making fun of the contestants and the show.

If it gets too slick, where’s the funny in that?

Same goes for the Golden Globes.  The stars drinking at the show practically guarantees that something is going to go wrong on live television, which is way more interesting than the overly-produced Oscars.

So, pull up a chair — or your DVR — and watch all the beauty queens and movie stars put themselves out there for crowns and trophies.  There will be tears.  There will be joy.

And there’s bound to be a bobble or two — do you really want to miss that??

Incognito

I hope the people who make movie trailers actually go to the theater and watch the audience reaction.

It can be a real eye opener.

Case in point:  I went to “Inception” last night — what a wild ride that was — and saw two new trailers before the show:  one for “The Town,” one for “Devil.”

“The Town” stars Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.  Set in Boston, it tells the story of a group of bank robbers, a bank manager they get involved with and the FBI agent who tries to take them down.  The trailer said it was from “the director of ‘Gone Baby Gone.'”

“Devil” puts a group of apparently random people in a high-rise elevator and stalls it.  Then all hell breaks loose.  There are no real name stars in the film; the trailer just touts it as being “from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.”

Two interesting choices.

The first trailer did not specifically name Affleck as its director.  Did they suspect there might be negative connotations?  Some holdover from his earlier work in “Gigli” or “Jersey Girls?”

The second — which I think had the audience until this point — elicited groans and laughter when they threw M. Night Shyamalan’s name into the mix.  The movie appeared to lose all credibility with those three little words.

So, if anyone is listening — I think a teeny edit to the “Devil” trailer could make a big difference at the box office.

And M. Night — the slogan for “Devil” is “bad things happen for a reason.”

Try to keep that in mind…okay?