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Posts tagged ‘The Joy of Typing’

“Steve Jobs” is a Mess, Except for Kate Winslet, Who Will Get Its’ Sole Oscar Nomination

Kate Winselt Stave J. 1Ok. So I finally did it. I went to see “Steve Jobs,” a film I have been resisting since TIFF. And I have to say, that except for Kate Winslet’s surprising, dowdy turn as  Jobs’ dogged, dedicated,  Slavic Gal Friday, I really pretty much hated it. It was the mess I thought it would be, and if it hadn’t been for Winslet, I would’ve walked out.

How many times in the first third of this epic landslide of verbiage did I fall asleep? At least, three, and I woke up only to find them STILL TALKING!!! And they talk and they talk and they walk and they walk. I thought I was watching a re-run of “West Wing.” This was so flat, and so dull, and so confusing, it made me nostalgic for “The Joy of Typing.” (Look it up) I never thought I would type this sentence, but I missed David Fincher.

At least, HE made a film about the Internet look interesting. This is just flat, flat, flat. And poor Kate Winslet has to hold the whole film together, by running on every five minutes and saying “We’ve got FIVE MINUTES!”

You see, her boss Steve Jobs is always running late, and it’s her job as his right arm to keep things moving and Brave Kate does so, and nearly saves this cod-fish of a movie.

It’s everything I thought it would be. And less.

And poor Michael Fassbender is just mis-cast in this career-ending role. I predict he will NOT get a Best Actor nomination for playing this majorly unsympathetic asshole geek.Nor will this film break into the Best Picture race. Aaron Snoreking, I mean Sorkin, has given Fassbender REAMS of dialogue, or should I say monologue? to just endlessly spout in a monotone so deadly, I couldn’t believe it was the same actor I’ve esteemed so much in so many other movies.Like “12 Years a Slave,” “Shame,””Hunger” and many, many others.

You can’t make an interesting movie about the Internet! It’s impossible.

And as far as the Academy is concerned, they hate the internet, and resist it in every form it takes as an intrusion and distortion of their lives. Some the Voting Members don’t even HAVE a computer, but are too embarrassed to admit it.

And the first third of the movie, when Steve Jobs was young, well, young-ish, is so convoluted and abstruse, that I can’t imagine the AMPAS-ers watching much more than fifteen minutes of it, if that.

That’s unfortunate, because it does get better, a little. And Kate W. does get her big Oscar-y breakdown scene, but it’s past the half-way mark, when she finally tells Steve Jobs what she really thinks of him. Winslet loses it in grand style, and who doesn’t like a scene where the secretary FINALLY tells her boss to go to jump in a lake.(I’m understating it.)

This “Steve Jobs”  is flopping majorly at the box-office and being yanked off screens right, left and center. There was ALREADY ANOTHER Steve Jobs movie called just “Jobs” starring Ashton Kucher, and that bombed, too.

Who was the genius who thought that two bombs are better than one?

But Kate is great as she always is. And she’ll be the token nomination that this mistake of a film gets.

Why did I pay to see it when I knew going in it might be as bad as it was(I was warned), well, I’m an Oscarologist and like it or not this film has been talked and talked and bandied about as an Oscar contender. It’s been part of the Oscar conversation since TIFF. But the talk stops right here.

 

 

Noomi v. Rooney ~ The Dragon Tattoo Battle begins!

With the release of an unusually long trailer for the upcoming American re-make of Steig Larsson’s great “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” various sites on the web have started REVIEWING it AS IT WERE THE WHOLE NEW MOVIE. So I will, too.

You can see it at www.awardsdaily.com It’s on the first page now, but in a very short while it will be page two.

And there was also another “teaser trailer” released(or was it pirated? Or both?) a while back. And that’s somewhere on Awardsdaily, too.

The first trailer was very quick and had a definite throbbing pace and was scored to excite and provoke interest as early as this past summer. It ended with the tags of  “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas” and “She’s Back” and showed virtually NOTHING of the unknown Rooney Mara’s performance as Lisbeth Salander, one of the greatest female fictional characters ever created.

I’ve read all the books as you dear readers, dear cineastes know. And reviewed them all here in this blog. And even got to have a fantastic interview with Noomi Rapace herself, which is still up on my channel www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

I loved the movies and the books and was overwhelmed and thrilled with Noomi Rapace’s great performance as Lisbeth.

But now comes the American re-make of it. Produced by Sony and directed by David Fincher, who brought you that bummer of a non-movie about the Internet & Facebook, who I still can only refer to as “The Joy of Typing.”

Don’t get me wrong I don’t totally HATE David Fincher, but I did HATE that movie. I really did like his “Zodiac” I saw it twice. And also enjoyed “se7en” quite a few years ago.

And yes, he does seem the right “fit” as a director for this dark crime novel. But the question is – WHY REMAKE IT AT ALL????? Answer – Money.

Noomi Rapace’s performance is an astounding screen performance. And I certainly didn’t think it could be duplicated or surpassed.

And the long-ish, just released trailer just confirms this to me. Rooney Mara’s interpretation of Lisbeth, as it is revealed in this trailer (and yes, it’s JUST  a trailer) was very disappointing to me. She plays Lisbeth as a Swedish accented recalcitrant lesbian. Yes, she’s very, very dyke-like in this trailer.

And Noomi Rapace always exhibited a kind of glamour and sex-appeal despite her outlandish hairstyles and outre garments. And she seemed tough, for sure. But never simply a lesbian.

NOT that I have anything against lesbians! I LOVE THEM! Some of my best friends are. And as I gay man, an out gay man, I am very sensitive to these issues.

And this is going to be one of the big ones come Christmas.

Does Rooney Mara’s interpretation(which is Fincher’s direction all the way) justify or carry a big movie like this one certainly seems to be shaping up as?

Steig Larsson’s millennium Trilogy is an astounding successful literary phenomenon. And the movies were beautiful, haunting. And Noomi was sensational, unforgettable as Lisbeth.

This trailer, which astoundingly gives away A LOT of the movie’s plot, shows her in a very bad light, I feel. She looks anorexic, and while Noomi’s multiple piercings made her look sexy, Rooney’s in the nose, eye-brow and lip make her grotesque, and difficult to watch. And she’s SUCH a dyke that it seems impossible that she is going to be believable in the heterosexual section of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” What they’re left with here, then, is a BIG GAY MOVIE. Which is great. We can’t have enough of them. But I don’t think they realize that’s what they’ve got here. And more importantly I don’t think that’s what the late Stieg Larsson meant.

BUT thank goodness! The plot thickens with the news that Music Box, the original trilogy’s distributors, are going to put out a boxed set of the original Swedish films, PLUS something like two hours of unseen footage. Just in time for Christmas! So we’ll be able to see and own all of those beautiful Swedish movies and see what was cut. You can read all about it at www.indiewire.com in Anne Thompson’s Thompson on Hollywood section.

Noomi evidently has the female lead in the sequel to the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes actioner. Also out around Christmas. So she’s employed.

And don’t tell me her not getting cast in the American remake as the role she made world-famous, Lisbeth Salander, didn’t break her heart. Because I think it did.

But if Rooney Mara’s performance is as weak and enervated and mannish as it seems in the trailer, well, Noomi Rapace may have the last laugh if the film tanks. It looks like it’s going to make money, but is it going to be an Oscar favorite? Judging by this trailer, I don’t think so.

But of course a trailer is not an entire film. We have to wait and see. But since everybody and his brother is reviewing this spoiler-filled trailer as if it WERE the movie, then I just HAD to tell my readers what I thought of it which was…not much.

Best BAFTA Sound. Best Editing.

Best Sound at the BAFTAs just went to “Inception” and Best Editing to “The Joy of Typing”….grrrr….

Unlike the Oscars, EVERYONE gets to nominate in all categories for the BAFTAS. Which are being held as we speak, in the Royal Opera House in London. The entire membership votes on every little thing. For the nominations!

THEN for the actual awards themselves, the separate branches vote on their separete categories. And all get to vote for Best Picture.

This is the REVERSE of the Oscars where the different branches nominate their own, Actors nominate actors, editors nominate editors. THEN, as is happening right now, they ALLL get to vote on everything that’s nominated. Which is the exact opposite of what the BAFTAS do, and explains why,as we can see happening already, a sweep is less than likely with the three just-handed-out awards going to three different movies.

In America, at the Oscars, they just have to go-check, check, check. Or “tick all the boxes” as Colin Firth said to me in Toronto, on a different topic…More soon.

The suspense is killing me.

Oscar Race Now a Royal Flush. The Queen of England likes it. She really likes it!

OMG! Game, Set and Match!

Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, just saw “The King’s Speech” and has issued a statement (and entered the Oscar race for the first time herself!) saying she found it among other things “moving and enjoyable.”!!!!!

*faints*

*recovers*

OMG! *bows and courtesies at the same time* Your Majesty!!!

The Royal Family, never, NEVER comments on films, let alone biopics of a family member, in this case the Queen’s late father and mother, George VI and his queen, also named Elizabeth, and she LOVED it evidently. She found it “moving and enjoyable” and many other things that you can read about over at www.indiewire.com

I just can’t believe it! I thought this was going to be a quiet weekend for TKS, what with it not qualifiying for the WGA(Writers Guild Award) on a technicality. So it was going to be a low-key weekend for Colin & co. Then BAM! This bombshell lands! And I couldn’t be more surprised and delighted.

“The King’s Speech” tells the story, a very painful story, of a reluctant king who stammered, and yet wanted to do the right thing by his country. Then WWII breaks out, which is how the film ends…

And I just think and I’ve said this ever since I saw this brilliant, moving film at the Toronto Film Festival in early September, that I thought it was one of the best films I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE!

I didn’t expect to respond to it as profoundly as I did, which is a tribute to all involved, the list of names I don’t have to repeat yet again, but all EVERYBODY, EVERYONE is going to get showered with first the BAFTAS, all 16 of them, then the Oscars, all 12 races. I said it was going to be a sweep.

And I was just settling down to explain why in my Oscar blog here, but Her Royal Highness swept in and just did all my work for me. She explained why “The King’s Speech” is going to be the King’s Sweep. As in EVERY SINGLE OSCAR. Every single category.

I was going to break them all down one by one and now I don’t have to. The Queen of England just did it for me. Any Academy members, who one hears from all corners, that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it already, and now with the Queen telling them what to do, will write “The King’s Speech” down and as Colin Firth put it to me, in another context, “Tick all the boxes.”

NEVER! NEVER has the Royal Family broken its’ code of silence which is the historic stance they take to anything written about them. They NEVER respond.

But for the QUEEN to tell voters all over the world that SHE LOVES THIS MOVIE ABOUT HER PARENTS, by god, they are all going to return the compliment and vote every single nominated member in.

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone said this at first, as noted a few posts back. “It’s coming for everything.” www.awardsdaily.com Then she back pedaled on this week’s Tom O’Neill Gold Derby to basically only Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Original Screenplay for David Seidler.

THEN she wrote one of her 4000 word State of the Race pieces, beautifully, eloquently, and elegantly as always and called it “A Tale of Two Movies” Admitting TKS would get BP. So that pushed her win count to four. Mine has remained at 12 for 12, not since “Ben Hur” or “Titanic” THAT kind of sweep…and now, we have a real reason ~ The QUEEN OF FUCKING ENGLAND likes it! She really likes it!

So the Academy members can just relax and check all twelve boxes. And they will gladly do as the Queen commands. More than any other American group except the Tony voters, the Academy is Anglo-philic to a fault.

Tom Hooper just won the DGA. Done. Sasha (and me, too) thinks that Geoffrey Rush is in, over Christian Bale. DONE.  And the Up in the Air, confusing as always Best Supporting Actress category is now Helena Bonham-Carter’s to lose. If the QUEEN OF ENGLAND said she loved how her father was portrayed, AND HER MOTHER, TOO. Helena B-C wins it, as I always said she would. DONE.

Everybody agrees on David Seidler. And the costumes and the art direction which MIGHT have gone to “Alice in Wonderland” are now also part and parcel of this Royal Flush. Best Editing is always won by the film that wins Best Picture, so that’s in TKS shopping cart, too….

Best Cinematography…well, MAYBE the overdue Roger Deakins would have been the choice, given his many nominations and no wins, but now people are starting to talk about the incredible use of the wide-angle lens that the genius director Tom Hooper uses in TKS to such devastating effect. Making for one thing the 6’3″ strapping Colin Firth look like a small, scared man, which King George VI was. Well, the more that gets talked about and seen. And EVERYBODY is now going to watch that screener, if they haven’t already, and check off every box.

And what’s left? The Score. Check. Sound Mixing, all those crowd scenes in front of microphones, all the stuttering scenes, every splutter, every click, every stammer, though those are a brilliant actor’s(and director’s) creation, every single throat catching murmur…and the silences, too. That’s all sound mixing. CHECK.

I think we’re about done now.

And looking at those below the line categories I would say that only Roger Deakins is any real threat, so 11 nominations out of 12 MIGHT happen. But they’ve been snubbing Roger Deakins for decades, and maybe they’ll snub him here, too.

It’s going to win EVERY SINGLE BAFTA AWARD next week in England. And so not to be out done, the Academy will just hand over all the Oscars, in its’ arsenal, too.

Chris Tapley, over at www.incontention.com just floated the boat that MAYBE Michael Arndt will get the Best Adapted Screenplay for “Toy Story 3” which I personally loved. And so did a gagillion other people all over the world…And then “The Joy of Typing” could end up with NO-THING! Which is pretty much exactly what it deserves.

Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England herself, is now telling Oscar AND Bafta voters what to vote for, and this annoucement is SOOO perfectly timed, too. Basically obliterating the WGA pre-ordained “Typing” triumphs this weekend.

God Save the Queen!!!!

Queen of England saw “King’s Speech” & LOVED IT!

Never has a member of the Royal Family seen a film and commented publicly on it! See www.indiewire.com Anne Thompson, of Thompson on Hollywood just shot me the email blast that went out to the world. “Your move, Social Network!” said Anne, and I quote.

GAME OVER! My TV show is coming on in NYC on Ch.56 on Time Warner Cable in Manhattan. It’s on Bill Dawes, “Lombardi” and football! My first EVER Super Bowl Show!

Must dash! But you can see it on YouTube at www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

Chris Tapley joins Sasha Stone in Predicting TOM HOOPER to win the DGA!

NEWSFLASH! I just checked the excellent Oscar site www.incontention.com

and Chris Tapley, whose site it is, has now ALSO switched his prediction to TOM HOOPER of “The King’s Speech” to win Best Director tomorrow night at the DGA!

That is not, of course, the pre-ordained choice of LAST week, which would, of course, be David Fincher. Of “The Joy of Typing.”

This after Sasha Stone was going that way, too. On www.awardsdaily.com

And who am I to disagree? Tom Hooper! FTW!

Chris points out that the DGA ballots were just due in today, or was it yesterday? So they had the advantage (inspiration?) of knowing how the PGA went down on Sunday and the 12 Oscar nominations for the “King’s Speech” on Tuesday.

TOM HOPPER!!?!??!!!!WOOOOO-HOOO!!!!

And I’m still seeing snow flurries!

DGA and SAG awards this weekend. NYC buried in MORE SNOW!

What follows up the Oscar Nominations in this the first Awards Season of my blog? SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW!

It’s not snowing at the moment but there are traces of flurries here and there. It just never seems to STOP snowing! I’ve never seen a January like this! And it’s not over yet! There may be more coming this weekend.

It’s lovely to look at and a great excuse for not going out. Then the dreaded CABIN FEVER sets in!

And you do go out. I had a dentist appointment at a relatively distant location yesterday (but still in Manhattan) and I fell down FOUR times crossing the various street corners which have been plowed or rather NOT been plowed.

The Mayor got the streets plowed this time. But then the snow gets piled PARTICULARLY high on the street corners. And then the sun came out and you were dealing with piles of slush and I did not have the right footwear for this weather! So I was soaked from the ankles down. Shoes and socks were like walking, clinging puddles, they were so thoroughly wet-through.

Moral: Always carry AN EXTRA PAIR OF SOCKS, OR TWO, when going on these marathon treks!

The dentists almost didn’t want to go through with the procedure I was in such a state when I arrived, but they checked my blood pressure and my temperature and everything was shockingly normal, so we all decided to go ahead with it.

I was not wearing gloves (which were in my pocket, d’oh) when I kept falling over, so I was basically putting my bare hands into mountains of  snow, but as shockingly cold as each of these snow grabs were, my hands came up clean! Like I had just washed them!

Another NYC  lesson- take the SUBWAYS not the buses in weather like this.

Today was much better as it was relatively mild and the snow was even more plowed than yesterday and a lot of it had melted. Wednesday night, it went from rain, to snow, to sleet, all within a half hour’s journey.

But New Yorkers are very hardy and the dentists’ waiting area was PACKED yesterday! Nobody, it seemed was missing their appointments!

So, yes, after all the anticipation and hype surrounding the Big Reveal of the Oscar nominations, it’s been pretty much of a lull. The quiet before the storm of Awards this weekend will bring.

The DGA awards which are the Directors Guild, are expected to go with David Fincher for “The Joy of Typing.” It seems pretty much a foregone conclusion. But wait! Sasha Stone, our resident Oscar Goddess, has switched her prediction to TOM HOOPER, the amiable, young director of “The King’s Speech”!?!?! Has momentum shifted as much as I think it has?!? I couldn’t believe Sasha was saying that, but she LIVES in LA, and is like the Oracle of Delphi, and very adamant, and controversially so, this year about TJOT.

So this shift, and her defection for the Gurus o’ Gold, or rather, her abstaining…is well, startling…But Sasha knows what she knows, and being as she herself puts it “in the middle of the maze” I do listen to her…Although this year, I always thought it was “The King’s Speech” right out of Toronto, as all you reading this blog all know.

And Sasha was beyond zealous in her advocating for That Other Movie.

One thing is certain. All season long we AGREED on Colin Firth for Best Actor for “The King’s Speech.”

Now this tectonic(sp?) shift that occurred on Sunday-to-Tuesday morning, with “The King’s Speech” winning the PGA(producer’s guild) in a Awards season shocker. Then it getting 12 Oscar nominations, more than any other film on Tuesday morning, sure shook things up in Bloggerland. But it was something I’ve known all along.

“The King’s Speech” is an EXTRAORDINARY movie. In every aspect. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was being moved so profoundly by a story that on the surface wouldn’t be something that would’ve affected me, and audiences all over the world, like it has been doing. But it does!

Me, I think Tom Hooper’s a bloody genius. And if “The King’s Speech” is going to win Best Picture, as it seems now, it MIGHT, then Hooper should be named Best Director by the DGA.

Hooper also directed the Award-winning TV mini-series a couple of season’s back “John Adams” starring my faves Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. I really must get a hold of it and see that. Paul and Laura both won Emmys. Hooper directs actors to award-winning performances.

And you know what that means? Actors LOVE him! And Actors are the largest branch of the Academy.

The Director’s Guild is however, a breed apart. When I was predicting the Oscars on my TV show, I shied away from the Best Directors category, because I always found the Directors, en masse, a difficult body to figure out.

By my sites, Tom Hooper is the Best Director of the Year and OMG! Colin’s performance as the stuttering King George VI is, as I told him on my show, “one of the great screen performances.’ And it is! Colin has won just about EVERY SINGLE MAJOR award so far this season.

And then we have the SAG Awards on Sunday night. One of the bothersome things about the DGA is that they don’t start til 8pm West Coast time and the Best Feature Film Director is given out dead last, at around 2AM EST, OR LATER.

Usually, I just pack it in, and wake up to whatever the news may be, on Sunday morning.

Now the SAGS are broadcast(check your local listings) at start at 5pm PST and that’s 8pm here. So it’s easier to do.

Are the SAME FOUR ACTORS going to continue their lock-step to the podium, as Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock,  Christophe Walsh, and Mo’nique did last year? If so then we’ll see Colin and Natalie and then Christian Bale and Melissa Leo triumph. But I wonder…

I still maintain that Bale isn’t well liked in the business and Melissa Leo hasn’t gone head-to-head with that monstrosity muppet Hailee Steinfeld yet. And Steinfeld could win here….The buzz is swirling around her. And the buzzards of Hollywood are too.

I don’t get it…but…there it is…

And for Best Ensemble? Which is the SAG equivalent of Best Picture? It’s either “The King’s Speech” or some think “The Fighter.”

EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of SAG, who’s paid their annual dues, can vote in this contest, that a HUGE voting body, and “The King’s Speech” and “The Joy of Typing” are the only two movies sent to EVERY SINGLE MEMBER as a DVD screener.

And if Colin Firth is an actor’s actor, then “The King’s Speech” could very well be considered an Actors’ Actor of a movie. And so…on Sunday…the winner is…Well, it’s probably NOT the “Joy of Typing”. Even Dave Karger at EW www.ew.com.

says it’s either TKS or “The Fighter” but he’s not hearing “The Joy of Typing.”

If “The King’s Speech” wins Best Ensemble and Tom Hooper wins the DGA, it really is all over already. And all I can say is Long Live the King!

And of course, check out the detailed results on www.awardsdaily.com

I wish Sasha and I were in agreement on what we consider the best film of the year, and most years we have been, but not, sadly, this year. But that’s what makes horse races. Which is what the Oscar race is, let’s face it.

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