bennet_7: (HIMYM: Spoiler alert! The robot falls in)
This feels weird to feel but I am actually looking forward to a Ben Affleck film since I read this Wired article on the origins of the plot. Basically, during the Iran Hostage Crisis, six embassy workers managed to escape and hide out at the Canadian Embassy for a couple of months until the CIA orchestrated an escape plan involving a fake science fiction film to get them out. Naturally the CIA's involvement was kept secret so Canada has been taking the credit for the last thirty years (the wikipedia entry on the subject is entitled Canadian Caper). But Ben Affleck's film looks like it's going to redirect the spotlight back to the Americans involved, specifically the CIA and the Hollywood film industry (natch).

Here is a tutorial on how to get around Release 88.

More Yuletide recs under the cut )
bennet_7: (Robert Downey Jr WILL SET YOU ON FIRE)
Having just finished my first semester of my master's I thought to treat myself to a movie tonight. Thanks to the fact that earlier this week The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo had a London première where Rooney Mara wore one of her various seasonally inappropriate cut-out dresses, I thought that that film was out already. Not so. So I went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows instead.

(Sidebar: I kind of want to see Mission: Impossible: Ghost: Protocol for Jeremy Renner being a badass in a suit? And also Simon Pegg being funny? And the movie as whole looks kind of fun? Even though it has Crazy Pants Cruise? HELP?!)

Spoiling Sherlock Holmes to hell and back )
bennet_7: (TToI: Turning it all the way up to 11)
I really don't like Great Expectations. So naturally there are going to be two new adaptations of it next year.

First up we have the BBC's effort which stars Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. The trailer is wonderfully atmospheric and contains a haunting version of "Carol of the Bells"...



...but do we need a eighteenth adaptation of this particular novel? Or a nineteenth that will be released in cinemas and have Helena Bonham-Carter as Miss H? I think not (though of course I will see them). There are plenty of other great novels that are out of copyright that have either never been adapted or haven't been done in thirty years, but instead we get the same four over and over again: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Great Expectations.

Much better news is that Peter Capaldi is joining season two of The Hour. That show just got more awesome and will hopefully help sate my longing for Malcolm Tucker and The Thick of It.

Woo!

Oct. 13th, 2011 11:33 pm
bennet_7: (CA: Carter. Peggy Carter)
Thor 2: Electrical Storm Boogaloo will be directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins!

The announcement also says that Natalie Portman and Hiddles will both be back, so YAY for that too.
bennet_7: (Default)
This is about a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. Actually, it's a plea to watch a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. For some of you, knowing that it's about an eighty year old photographer who has been chronicling New York's street fashion for decades will be enough to induce you to seek it out and watch it: you like fashion, you like photography, you like New York, you just plain like documentaries. But even if this film doesn't immediately sound relevant to your interests, give it a chance because it's a wonderful story, a very human story, about a man who has a passion, who has integrity, who doesn't allow himself to be bowed by other people's opinions, and who is kind in a cut-throat industry and and cut-throat city.



Bill Cunningham is fascinated by fashion and one of the few photographers to be invited to sit in the front rows of designer shows instead of being crammed into the press gallery at the end of the catwalk. But what he truly loves is how regular people take what the designers produce and wear it, reinterpreted through their own viewpoint, on the street. He spends most of his life riding the streets of New York on an old Schwinn bicycle or walking the pavements so that he can dart off at any moment to get the perfect picture of someone's outfit. He doesn't care if they're rich, famous, or a complete nobody - he only cares about the clothes. By taking so many pictures he notices trends that everyday people are generating - sometimes it's a colour or element. This he makes the focus of his "On The Street" feature in The New York Times. On other occasions he chooses to focus on something that fascinates him like shoes or the rain ponchos people wear in bad weather.



At night he goes to photograph charity galas, choosing them not for their guest list but for which cause he wants to devote column inches to. No matter who is there, he always finds something interesting, something beautiful, and the rich and fashion elite recognise and respect him for his choices. Anna Wintour says early in the film - and it's in the trailer so it's not too great a spoiler:

"I think everyone knows Bill and understands who he is and what he represents will always be thrilled to be photographed by Bill. I mean, I've said many times that we all get dressed for Bill."


But Bill himself is a man of contradictions. He doesn't wear clothes that are expensive, designer made, or particularly stylish. Most often he can be seen in the blue smock worn by the street cleaners of Paris because it's got a lot of convenient pockets. Nor does he accept any of the perks that are offered to him, not wanting his integrity to be compromised. He lives in an apartment in Carnegie Hall that is crammed with filing cabinets full of negatives, sleeping on a tiny camp bed, and uses a bathroom across the hall.

Bill's life is strange, but he obviously feels that it is incredibly rich because he gets to do what he loves. He's warm and funny, ready to laugh and be delighted, and thoroughly engaging when on screen. His story is fascinating and his contribution to fashion and photography will surprise you.

If you want to watch the film but are at a loss where too find it, drop me a line. For those that don't mind a little more spoiling, I hope this picspam whets your appetite for more.



It isn’t what I think, it’s what I see. )
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Pepper your eyes are red too)
I just got back from seeing Captain America: The First Avenger. Hopefully LJ will keep its shit together long enough for me to get down my thoughts.

Overall, I liked it. I didn't think much of the direction as I felt the film lagged at times and I was never quite sure of the plot. Spoilers ) But where the film did succeed was in getting me - someone who has never read a Cap comic - to care about most of the characters.

Chris Evans normally plays smug douchebags, but I thought he was good as the nobler-than-thou Steve. Sincerity isn't easy to portray and he sold me on Steve's good intentions. I really loved Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter, Special Agent and extreme badass. Sadly the film did not pass the Bechdel test - I don't think Peggy even talked to another woman about men - but Peggy herself was one of the best love interests since Pepper Potts. She was brave, intelligent, a crack shot, and damn good at her job. Plus, Hayley Atwell actually had the figure of a woman in the 1940s - curves instead of prominent clavicles - so that was nice to see.

More spoilery thoughts on casting, characters, and relationships )

I adored the costuming. Originally it was supposed to be in the hands of Jeffrey Kurland, whose work I loved in Inception, but Anna B. Sheppard ended up on the job which is great because I'm a fan of hers too (how much do I covet Bridget von Hammersmark's wardrobe in Inglorious Basterds? So much). The various versions of the Captain America uniform were great and I particularly loved Red Skull's leather coat (amazing tailoring), Bucky's last navy ensemble, and Peggy's red dress and leather jacket.

Because of timing, I had to see it in 3D and it looks decent in that format. The effects are great and the CGI work on Chris Evans to make him appear a foot smaller is a bit stunning (my mother thought that they'd gotten different actors). All in all, I enjoyed my time with Captain America and co....but I'm really looking forward to The Avengers.
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Suit reaching out)
Last night I went and saw X-Men: First Class with a friend and I liked it so much that when my parents decided to go see it tonight, I went with them to see it again (also, I never turn down a parentally-funded outing). And even though I would have liked a lot more time in between viewings, I still had a really great time.

Overall, I'd say it is a better movie than Thor as it had greater emotional depth and the arcs for some of the characters were more complex and darker too. The plot, though it had a few elements I didn't like, was generally very strong. It certainly wasn't as light-hearted as Thor but it still had some hilarious moments and most of the actors displayed great comic timing with their line readings.

The actors were mostly pretty great. James McAvoy is wonderful as the young Charles Xavier, managing to pull off the character's innate wisdom and unflinching sincerity while also imbuing him with a youthful swagger that is absolutely charming. Michael Fassbender is equally great, capturing Erik's vulnerability as well as his ruthlessness. I expect that Charles/Erik will be huge, but though they have great chemistry I don't think I could ship them: the film demonstrates quite well how their different philosophies must separate them.

When it comes to the women, I really liked Raven aka Mystique and Moira MacTaggert. Both were strong, intelligent, independent, and had their own goals. Spoilers for relationships and discussion of January Jones as Emma Frost )

Nicholas Hoult is grade-A adorkable as Hank McCoy and Kevin Bacon was clearly having a blast as Sebastian Shaw. Spoilers )

I loooved the guy's costumes. Excellent suits, yes, but also really good sports wear and by that I don't mean the grey sweats some of the characters ended up in. Charles had several lovely sweaters and Erik's casual threads were excellent. I did not like how often we saw women in underwear and I found Emma Frost's entire wardrobe very eye-roll worthy. Riptide was always dapper as fuck, which I appreciated, and Sebastian Shaw owned a lovely collection of cravats.

And now, some random spoilery thoughts )

Finally, there's no scene after the credits end so there is no need to stay unless you find the Take That song that plays over them insanely catchy.

What does everybody else think? I say: bring on the sequels.
bennet_7: (Dork (Jimmy Stewart))
If you didn't really understand the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (I certainly didn't. Honestly, the only subject I ever failed was Economics 101) then HBO's recent TV movie Too Big to Fail does a pretty good job of unpacking what went down on Wall Street while still managing to be fairly entertaining and suspenseful. It's making the rounds of the usual places and I recommend it. Fans of The West Wing will definitely get a kick out of all the wheeling and dealing.
bennet_7: (I: The Pointman)
It's rare that contemporary costume design in a film makes you sit up and take notice. Sometimes while watching a movie I'll think to myself "Hey, that's a cute dress!" or "How can she run in those heels?" or "How the hell can that character afford this wardrobe?!" but it is few and far between where I look at contemporary design and feel admiration and appreciation for the costumes as a whole.

Inception is one of those films. From start to finish I am in awe of designer Jeffrey Kurland's work. He had the difficult task of creating costumes for a largely corporate world set five minutes in the future and that could have resulted in everyone wearing futuristic suits of the same cut. Instead, the looks in this film are modern takes on classic silhouettes which magically equals fashion forward somehow. There are a few great stand out pieces, some subtle referencing of fashion archetypes that serve as characterisation shorthand, and there are a lot of unglamorous everyday looks that give authenticity to the characters' lives.

Clothing, especially the suits, is a huge part of the Inception fandom: there has been a tonne load of suit!porn, writers generally mention what the characters are wearing, it frequently informs the characterisation (especially of Arthur, but also Eames), and there has been a lot of fantastic art drawn to showcase the characters' outfits. There have even been a couple of great guides with [livejournal.com profile] hackthis's tutorial How to dress your man/character and [livejournal.com profile] butterflythread's essay on Dressing Arthur. Fandom, on the whole, loves Kurland's work.

You want to know who isn't loving it? The critics who hand out awards for such things. Now I never expected Kurland to win any awards because contemporary design is rarely recognised when there are period and fantasy films to contend with. Any film featuring kings and queens of the past is a shoe-in for a nomination (crowns! ceremonial robes!); add in films about classic literary figures or based on the work of classic literary figures (corsets! frock coats!), musicals (sequins! fringe!), fantasy epics (armour! tunics!), and sci-fi (uniforms! shiny!), and contemporary design starts to look like something you could buy at the mall.

The last time a film with contemporary design won the Oscar for best costumes was 1994 and as that film was The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert it still featured a high quotient of sequins and fringe. The Queen and The Devil Wears Prada were both nominated in 2006 and the former had the benefit of royals and being a biopic, while the latter was actually about contemporary fashion and its importance, and they still couldn't win (losing out to Marie Antoinette, natch).

Warner Brothers has done some campaigning on Kurland's behalf (see here and here for the 'For your consideration' ads) but, generally speaking, in order to win the big awards (or even get nominated for them) you need to build up momentum by getting recognition from the smaller, earlier awards. And as of this posting Kurland has received just one nomination for his work. This is in the contemporary category of the Costume Designers Guild Awards (because they do have specific categories for contemporary design as well as period and fantasy) and will face stiff competition from Black Swan, which has also been nominated for a BAFTA. The award ceremony will be held on the 22nd of February.

So the purpose of this picspam is to examine the work that went into these costumes, tease out what they say about the characters, and generally just heap praise upon Jeffrey Kurland because, dammit, someone should.



And hey, if you don't like Inception but you do like good looking men in suits then just sit back and enjoy the pretty. )
bennet_7: (iClaudius)
So I woke up this morning, reheated some leftover pizza (the breakfast of champions), and turned on the TV to watch while I ate. Our cable provider has this service that previews programs from different channels; I scrolled through the selection and discovered that the TV movie Avalon High was there in its entirety, courtesy of the Disney Channel.

TL;DR: Arthur ended up being a girl and I am pleased by that )
bennet_7: (I: I am Bertha try not to be Jane)
Honestly, I think we need another adaptation of Jane Eyre (this will make 22, 23 if you count I Walked With A Zombie, potentially 4 others in languages other than English) like we need another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (11, potentially 12 if Pride and Prejudice and Zombies goes ahead) - not at all. Next year we'll also be getting our 16th adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

But, but...this new adaptation has Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Want. Badly.

Here's the new trailer.

I don't know yet what to make of Mia Wasikowska as Jane; as the character isn't supposed to be immediately appealing, it's hard to get an impression of her from a quickly cut trailer. I am glad to see that Jane's childhood is a big part of the trailer - hopefully that will be the same for the film.

But Fassy as Rochester has that undercurrent of dangerousness that I think was sorely missing from Toby Stevens' performance in the recent BBC version - he was a bit too hammy. Rochester is meant to be morally ambiguous, potentially a threat. He's never been a character that I've swooned over but he is fascinatingly complex, so yes, I'm looking forward to this.


Just checked out IMDB and the only adaptation of Vilette was in 1970 and you have to go back to 1922 to get an adaptation of Shirley. There has never been an adaptation of The Professor nor of Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey. Sure, none of those novels are as good as Jane Eyre but they're still great stories.
bennet_7: (Generation Kill: We pimpin)
The trailer for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is out and I'm kinda disappointed. It looks like they've made quite a few changes from the book, giving more material to the minor characters instead of focusing on Nick and Norah. Now the book wasn't perfect but it was charming (and that bit at the hotel - good lordy!) and I was really hoping that the adaptation would be faithful.

So instead, go watch this vid of Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man (which wasn't a strict adaptation itself, but the changes made it better) and their rampant but amusing alcoholism.

"I really shouldn't give him a birthday present at all. Sneaking off like that, getting drunk...without me."
bennet_7: (Rushmore: Heaven and Hell)
A list of things I am excited about:

1. Jason Schwartzman has been cast in a new HBO comedy pilot that sounds freakin' awesome.

The Jonathan Ames-penned "Bored to Death" centers on Jonathan (Schwartzman), a struggling thirtysomething writer with a drinking problem in Brooklyn who, following a painful breakup with his girlfriend, decides to emulate his heroes from the novels of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. He takes out an ad pretending to be a private detective and starts taking cases -- solving some and making others worse.


Kind of sounds like something Max Fischer would do (in between putting on self-penned plays at the local community centre of course).

If it happens, I am so on board.

2. The Brothers Bloom, which looks insanely cute and quirky, but that's ok with me.



From the director of Brick, get excited now people!

3. Generation Kill is just the most amazing thing on television right now. By turns it's hilarious and heartbreaking and it's really putting the war on Iraq in a different perspective for me. I don't think it would work as a movie, but as a mini-series it's amazingly compelling.

Check out this trailer:



The series is based on real people and real events so here are a couple of vids featuring the marines and the actors who play them.

Under the cut )

4. Who is sick? let's you put yourself and your symptoms on the map - literally - so you can see who else in your area (or really, any area) is ill. Tragically, there is no option for 'sore wrist' which is all I am suffering from right now. But the next time I get sick (which hopefully won't be til next year because I'm doing Jane Austen and Ancient Egypt this semester and plan on having a good time) I will be using this site.
bennet_7: (Doctor Who (Donna says NO))
Dear Universe,

Did I kill babies in my previous life? Are you mad at me because sometimes I drive to school when I totally could have taken the bus? Are you offended by the colour of my hair, the way I correct people on the pronunciation of my name, or the fact that I think the custom of tipping when you're not in a third world country is stupid?

I mean, seriously: why do you hate me so much? Why do you punish me with stuff like this?

Yours,
Bennet

Icon dump

Jan. 17th, 2008 03:26 pm
bennet_7: (iClaudius)


In this post: Doctor Who 29 (The Voyage of the Damned), Northanger Abbey 26 (mostly Henry Tilney, as played by the wonderful JJ Feild), The Office 9 (US, mostly 3.21), Half Nelson 4, Pushing Daisies 7 (1.02), and assorted miscellany.

Also, I'm going through a black & white phase so there are quite a few variations in the mix.

This way! )
bennet_7: (Jesus on livejournal)
I have not updated in ages which is so weird because I check LJ practically everyday. But for me LJ is about escapism and I don't much care to rehash the boring details of my life when I could be finding new David Tennant picspams to drool over, searching for that perfect Pushing Daisies fanfic, or popping in on bat shit crazy fandoms like Twilight to point and laugh (They're so earnest and pissed off - it's great (am I being mean? I think I am).

Anyway, here is what is new with me:

1. University is over until March next year. My exams weren't great and I haven't checked out my results yet. I'm hoping that my class work will help me maintain my HDs but I'll probably get knocked down to Distinctions which will suck but I suck at exams and that's life.

2. I'm going to Egypt next year for about two weeks. I'm really excited but I'm going by myself (I'm doing an 8 day tour when I get there but I will be on my own for several days) and so that excitement is heavily tinged with nervousness. But it's all booked and paid for (except for two nights accommodation in Alexandria - any recommendations, let me know!) so there's no backing out now. Plus I've been wanting to do this since I was 7.

3. I just can't believe that the writers strike is still going on. I thought it would be sorted by now.

4. We have a new Prime Minister in Australia! And we're ratifying Kyoto! Our days being America's lap dog are over! Go us!

5. TV-wise, I'm loving Cranford and Top Gear (thank hypothetical deities for the BBC!) After ten episodes of not watching Moonlight but being a member of a Moonlight community I finally watched Moonlight. It's terribly cheesy but I kinda like it and you can actually see it improving.

Finally, I am not a fan of Jack Black. But every time I watch this trailer, I not only laugh, I feel happy and hopeful. Maybe it's the magical powers of Mos Def and Michel Gondry working to tone down Jack Black's Jack Blackness. Whatever it is, I can't wait for this film which looks to be not only good but great.

bennet_7: (Anne/Gilbert)
So. I commented on one of [livejournal.com profile] dangermousie's posts using this icon here. She asked me where it was from and I replied, saying it was from Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel and created by [livejournal.com profile] ginger001.

This led me to feel slightly nostalgic for the excellent first movie and fairly decent sequel so I popped over to IMDB to see if there were any production stills. I did a search for "Anne of Green Gables" and came up with this:

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2009)

My jaw hit the floor. They couldn't possibly be making another sequel, could they? I absoluteley loathe the third film this team made based on the Anne books. It in no way resembles the series except for the fact that there is a red-haired girl named Anne and a guy named Gilbert. It's set during World War 1 and Anne goes to Europe disguised as a NUN and sorta develops feelings for a guy who IS NOT GILBERT!!!

That's not even the half of it. Suffice to say, the third film is incredibly bad, doesn't resemble the books and I wish it never existed.

So I had to learn more about this 'New Beginning' and IMDB was no help, aside from the title. Google didn't let me down though and I have discovered that this isn't going to be a sequel - it's going to be a prequel.

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, the story of Anne's life prior to her arrival at Green Gables, will be written and directed by Kevin Sullivan.

The movie will be based on hints in the original book about what Anne's life might have been like, Sullivan told CBC News Wednesday.

"Montgomery alluded to Anne's beginnings, and with the 100th anniversary [of the first publication of the book] coming up I began to think a bit more about all the unanswered questions behind Anne's beginnings," he said.

"I'm constantly questioned about it by fans all around the world. So many people have been asking me if I ever planned to do anything with Anne again, so I began to give it some serious thought." source


So basically, he's going to write his own back story for Anne, based on the details that Montgomery does give in the books, rather than try and film anything that Montgomery did write.

Swell.

I'm sorry but after that third film I just do not trust this man. The Anne series is my absolute childhood favourite (the books have their own special shelf) and though the first film was magnificent, subsequent efforts have not been deserving of Anne's legacy.

I want to break something into itty bitty pieces.

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