Monday, March 22, 2010

Buy, Read, Watch

I read Elizabeth Gilbert's soul-searching travelogue Eat, Pray, Love two years ago.  Although it occasionally meanders into preciousness, I found her to be a very endearing and thought-provoking narrator. 

Gilbert is almost unbearably honest about her crushing divorce and subsequent depression, but also, often surprisingly funny.  Her book has been turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, making one of her increasingly rare leading role appearances.  The trailer is here.  (I tried embedding but it cuts the video in half.)

Incidentally, the song they're using is Dog Days Are Over by Florence & the Machine, which seems to be having a moment.  It popped up on last week's Gossip Girl, too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Titanic" to be re-released in 3D

Yes, the dialogue may be bad at times, and it's not cool to like it anymore, but I still harbor a love for Titanic.  It's one of those movies where if I happen to come across it while channel surfing, I just can't turn off.  Following the massive success Avatar enjoyed, it's no surprise that James Cameron has decided to re-release his other billion-dollar baby in 3D.  Personally, I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You're a furry little gnome and we feed you too much.

General love for all things Golden Girls continues, first with Betty White finally being announced as an upcoming host on SNL, and now with this website, That's What Bea Said.  Finally, a one-stop source for quotes from the funniest divorced Brooklyn teacher with a whoopee cushion selling ex-husband who ever lived!

To file under "random discoveries of the day," I'd like to add that when you search Google Images for a picture of Bea Arthur, the first result is of a painting John Currin did, which is titled "Bea Arthur Naked."  Holy crap.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roger Ebert Speaks

There's no doubt that Roger Ebert is the most famous and popularly influential film critic in America today.  Syndicated in over 200 newspapers, author of more than 15 books, and the co-host of two popular movie review shows with now deceased colleague and friend, Gene Siskel, Ebert is also the first film critic to win a Pultizer Prize for Criticism.  Sometimes Ebert is criticized for being too lenient on movies, but defends himself, I think rightly, for judging pictures based on merits within their genre and the expectations of their intended audience.

Ebert has been fighting thyroid cancer since 2002, and over the course of his treatment and a series of surgeries, he's lost his lower jaw and the ability to speak, drink, or eat.  It is strange and sad to think of a man who became most famous for his never-ending stream of chatter on movies will never speak out loud again, but to see Ebert's recent appearance on Oprah or to read this revealing interview in Esquire, he seems a truly happy man.

Reading the interview, I found the description of his unbridled excitment and enthusiasm for films to be both endearing and moving, not to mention his determination to continue communcating with fans and his loved ones, and his general outlook on life.  I also liked that he's not presented as a saintly sage with important life lessons.  He's still a person.

Moment where I geek out: I once got an email from Roger Ebert!  During my senior year of college, I wrote to Ebert in response to column he wrote about The Shawshank Redemption, wherein he mentioned that women don't usually like prison dramas.  I told him I'd happened to love that movie, and asked if he'd heard any advance word about The Green Mile, which, like Shawshank, was directed by Frank Darabont and based on a story by Stephen King, and was about to be released.  So either Ebert himself, or an assistant who signed RE at the bottom, responded with a nice message and told me he hadn't heard anything about it yet.  The email was maybe two sentences long, but I thought it was awesome nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I heard things

Vanity Fair is a reliable source for deep, dishy articles on celebrities and film classics, and this month they have a fascinating one on the making of Raging Bull.  Some of it will be familiar to anyone who's read Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, but it's an illuminating read nonetheless. 

I haven't watched Raging Bull since film class in college over ten years ago, but I vividly remember how enthralling it was to look at.  It was mt first experience with a boxing film, and I never anticipated how beautifully shot or moving it would be.   

While reading the above article, I was tickled to learn that Scorsese and De Niro had worked on the script in a hotel I once stayed at.  And when you combine that coincidence with my mom's conviction that one of her cousins was once married to one of De Niro's, then obviously, he and I will have a lot to talk about if we ever meet, and he'll no doubt want us to hang out all the time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The return of "Gossip Girl"!

I just realized that tonight marks the first new episode of Gossip Girl in three months!  For a sneak preview, watch the above and read these comments from Executive Producer Josh Schwartz.  Also, nice synergy that the episode title, "The Hurt Locket," is a nod to last night's Best Picture Winner.

What do you smell like, man?

Thanks to Tivo and DVR's, you rarely have to watch commercials these days, but sometimes there's an ad you actually seek out.  Old Spice premiered their new commercial during the Super Bowl, and it's the funniest I've seen in a long time:

For more, visit the Old Spice site.  Thanks to their new spokesman, I've learned that a lady should smell like salt water taffy and butterflies.