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TrendSpouting: 3D Blamed for Latest Problem with Movie Theater Industry

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 23, 2011 10:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
First "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" under-performs even with 3D prices and now this. Is it Roger Ebert's birthday? Today's TrendSpouting deals with an ongoing problem with the theater industry.

What Does "Bridesmaids" Mean for Women - If Anything?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 16, 2011 7:08 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Is "Bridesmaids" really a game changer for women, on both sides of the film screen? And is 2011 the year we fight more about depictions of females in film than anything else? The debate over "Sucker Punch" was interesting enough, especially once "Hanna" came in as its supposed answer -- as was to me the odd feminism of "Hall Pass" -- but now we have a comedy that should be more clearly respectful to and of women, and people are still arguing against its significance to gender politics. Because it shouldn't matter. Because angles like Rebecca Traister's claim at Salon last week that seeing the movie is a "social responsibility" for women. Yesterday I saw inklings of a heated discussion on Twitter, but alas that is not the place for great debate. Apparently the proper venue is podcasts, which I guess makes sense, but I've never been one for listening to them. Attempts to comb the blogosphere this morning for interesting contributions to the conversation were met with disappointment. "Tree of Life" is generating too much attention with its own divided responses, apparently.

TrendSpouting: Suggestions for Scorsese and Lars von Trier's "Five Obstructions" Redo

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 13, 2011 8:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
At Cannes late last night (or early this morning? the time difference confuses me) an official announcement was made that Lars von Trier would make another "The Five Obstructions" documentary, this time with Martin Scorsese. We all heard something like this before, little more than a year ago, when it was rumored-then-denied that the two filmmakers would unite for a "Taxi Driver" redo. I responded at the time (elsewhere) with a list of other suggested -- yet unlikely -- directorial collaborations (also see Film School Rejects' excellent year-old list of 10 Films (and Directors) That Lars Von Trier Should Obstruct). I named the original "Five Obstructions" one of the best docs of the 2000s (specifically it's labeled "the best participatory/first-person doc"), so I'm definitely looking forward to a remake/sequel.

Bradley Cooper Deemed Not Goth Enough for "The Crow"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 13, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A funny thing about the goth subculture is that guys always love when a hot, popular girl turns to the dark side. But nobody ever seems to want or expect the jock or preppy boy to start wearing fishnets and makeup and all-black wardrobes. That's why the kids would be very excited if there was a female equivalent of "The Crow" and they heard Scarlett Johansson or Olivia Munn was playing her (actually Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander might be that equivalent, though she's less of a pin-up type). But Bradley Cooper potentially cast as Eric Draven in the actual "Crow" reboot? Well that's almost enough for the goth kids to protest (but they'll obviously just sulk harder instead). I can joke, by the way, because I had a t-shirt with this image on it throughout high school.

Is the Ending of "Source Code" Too Dark?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 11, 2011 1:36 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Yes, I'm looking at the ending of "Source Code" again, because while I was thinking relatively positive in my interpretation, others are focusing on a darker possibility. Actually, it's not just the theories of moviegoers, but the filmmaker himself. Duncan Jones has been pretty public about his views on the ending of the film, which was initially scripted by Ben Ripley and reworked some by the director upon his hire. Apparently he even mentioned the dark, morally questionable factor when I saw his Q&A at the Museum of the Moving Image, but I failed to record that part.

"Sucker Punch" Sexism: How Men are Co-Opting the Feminism Debate

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • March 28, 2011 12:08 PM
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  • 19 Comments
Never mind whether or not "Sucker Punch" exploits or empowers women. I think the end of that debate exists with Angie Han at /Film, who acknowledges that feminist cinema has room for the re-appropriation of sexuality as a weapon so long as the characters have "a distinct personality, a history, an inner life. These make her a character you care about, even while you're admiring how smoking hot she is" (she says this is not what "Sucker Punch" does). Besides, boys will be boys regardless, whether they're staring at Ripley's buttcrack just before she kicks ass in "Alien," or finding pleasure in even a non-erotic bath during "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles," or commenting on the ugli-fication of Charlize Theron for "Monster." If "Sucker Punch" had the girls all sporting the Ellen Page-inspired "asexual chic" look or wearing burlap sacks, it would still be filtered through the male gaze -- as well as the female gaze.

Is the PG-13 Cut of "The King's Speech" Really a Big Deal?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • March 25, 2011 6:26 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Next week (April 1st) The Weinstein Company releases its censored PG-13 version of Best Picture Oscar winner "The King's Speech." And a lot of people are furious about the idea. It's been talked about for a while, but now the re-cut, which reportedly substitutes the more tolerable word "shit" in for the completely evil "fuck" about 42 times, has a release date and will be the only available version of the biopic in U.S. theaters starting one week from today. Despite the fact that it's TWC's highest-grossing (domestic) title yet, Harvey and co. want to get additional cash from the more puritanical American audience who wouldn't see the film in its R-rated form. Is this really a terrible thing?

Subtitles are Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: Why Every Good Film Should Be Released As-Is

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • March 21, 2011 1:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Should the "Critters"-like, Edgar Wright-produced English film "Attack the Block" be released in the U.S. with subtitles? This question was met with much debate late last week and through the weekend, as the film picked up an audience award at SXSW and continued to gain fans and positive reviews. Today's Film Blog Water Cooler quotes some of the points around the web and offers up my own subjective take on the issue.

Mountains of Madness: Universal Branded with Blame and Film Fans Faulted with Failure

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • March 8, 2011 6:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I'm not too familiar with what "At the Mountains of Madness" is or was going to be. So I don't really care that it's now a dead project. As far as I'm concerned, regardless of its cast, director, producer, source material or any hope and hype from the blogosphere, the adaptation up until now has had, like any other film in the making, a 50-50 chance of being either good or bad. There's a reason Spout doesn't follow the usual pitch-to-product track of films. And it's not just that one or two film lovers can't handle the load. Or that sites like The Playlist are perfect enough at that part of movie blogging. It's that it pretty much kills a part of my interest in movies.

"Logan's Run" Remake Wins Over Skeptics By Wooing Ryan Gosling

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • February 10, 2011 11:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
So much for the original idea of a new adaptation of "Logan's Run" being skewed younger than Michael Anderson's Oscar-winning 1976 film. Like that version, Warner Bros.' remake (produced by Joel Silver, scripted by Alex Garland) will be about a future society in which people are put to death at the age of 30 (in the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, the age cap is 21). Deadline has reported that 30-year-old Ryan Gosling will star as the title character, a kind of death enforcer who goes on the run when his expiration date arrives. Ironically, Gosling now seems too old for a part after being fired from another adaptation ("The Lovely Bones") for being too young for his role. Just for comparison, by the way, original star Michael York was around 33 when he played the part.

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