TraThursdayLer — October
If there is any role that’s tougher to fill than an American trying to play a Frenchman, let me know what it is (an American trying to play Japanese doesn’t count — Mickey Rooney tried, it’s less considered a tough role and more, you know, obtusely racist). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is receiving praise for his performance (according to the marketing) from critics for his work in The Walk, a film based on a documentary based on a true story.
I’m skeptical. When a trailer tells you it dazzled critics and so on, it’s because that’s the feeling they are trying to evoke in you, the potential customer. Apple once told me if I looked like Justin Long I was a Mac, but if I looked like John Hodgman I was a PC. Must be true. The commercial said so.
Not to mention, have you seen any other pieces of promotional material — other than this one — where Gordon-Levitt actually speaks? As in, we get to see the words come out of his mouth? I haven’t seen it. I’m pretty sure the studio thinks no one will see The Walk if they put his face to that voice speaking in that accent.
The Walk is hedging its bets on the capabilities of a set of programmers. The spectacle relies entirely on computers. Sure, Gravity did the same — but that was in space! This is something someone actually did. You can see the footage for yourself. The story of a person walking a tightrope wire between the two World Trade Center buildings doesn’t need a green screen — or an American actor.
My only thought is if you don’t see this in IMAX, you should probably never see it.
If there is a trend in storytelling I can’t be more enthusiastic about, it’s the focus on the culinary arts. Years of watching Chopped have convinced me that the business is madcap, aesthetically beautiful and dramatic. Jon Favreau hit the mark with Chef last year. Babette’s Feast is an all-time underrated film. You can’t forget Big Night. We eat with our eyes first, as they say.
Bradley Cooper dips back into the dramatic role pool, playing a disgraced chef trying to win back his dignity in the shape of three Michelin stars.
The trailer looks solid, hitting its marks. As a friend of mine would say as a substitute for his ire, 'It's fine.' Burnt is aiming to hit the authenticity hard. Naturally, it betrays itself because Cooper looks way too cool; his hair looks great, blah blah. He looks very much the Icarus character, too big for his britches, ready for his pride to fail him. This feels like a role Tom Cruise would have filled in the 90’s. I don’t mean that as a compliment. It doesn’t feel like much of a risk.
The biggest issue I have is this: I feel like I’m watching The Trip without the fun. You have the close-ups of the food and the prep behind the scenes. I hate that the trailer doesn’t end on a frantic moment then fades in on Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon competing for the best Michael Caine impression. That bums me out.
Based on the excellent book of the same name by Michael Lewis — a writer whose films are making their way to the screen both good (Moneyball) and bad (The Blind Side) — the story focuses on the four men who bet against (the ‘short’ in ‘big short’) the marketplace prior to the 2008 financial collapse and made billions; with a ‘b’.
How a movie can star Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling baffles me. I can’t wrap my head around it; how do they fit into one movie together? You have Carrell, who looks most comfortable in Dad Pants, Pitt, whose been trying his best to convince people he wears them, Bale, an oh-too-serious actor who would gain thirty pounds to fill out a pair, and Gosling, a sex symbol who would make a fashion statement by wearing his to Starbucks.
Which characters they each play confounds me even more. Gosling plays the hotshot, not Pitt. Pitt plays the everyman, not Carrell. Carrell plays the businessman, not Bale. Bale plays the maverick, not Gosling. What the hell is going on here? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
Yet I can’t wait to see this. One shot has Gosling breaking the fourth wall. I love that. It's also directed by Adam McKay (yes, of SNL and Anchorman...also, Pearl's daddy). Maybe those crazy pills may just be doing me some good
Stop what you’re doing (unless that is reading this article). Watch this trailer.
Isn’t that just about the most gorgeous damn thing you’ve ever seen?
Filmed in the Kananaskis Country of Alberta, The Revenant has been plagued by PR problems; chaos on set, drama behind the scenes and more. Word is director Alejandro González Iñárritu — The Reigning! Defending! Undisputed Academy Award-winning director of Birdman! — and his DP, Emmanuel Lubezki — The Two-Time Reigning! Defending! Undisputed Academy Award-winning cinematographer of Birdman and Gravity! — drew the ire of everyone involved with the project by taking entire days to get a single shot. Sounds like what Francis Coppola went through for Apocalypse Now. But I don’t care: you just cannot substitute imagery like that.
That they crammed that much hardcore plot and imagery into one movie boggles my mind. Leo gets set upon by a tribe of aboriginals, attacked by a bear, buried alive and has his son murdered, all to set the stage for his journey in this revenge tale? All filmed in the snow and slop of the most treacherous terrain on this continent? Oh. My. Gawd.
This is maybe the movie I am most anticipating. I could see it going off the rails. I could see it ascending into the clouds. Either way, it’s going to be hella fun to watch.
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb #DoAndroidsDreamOfCulture