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“The Making of ‘Nation’s Pride’”

With a debt of gratitude to Dennis Cozzalio here is our belated presentation of “The Making of ‘Nation’s Pride’,” i.e., a fake promo for the movie within a movie of “Inglourious Basterds.”

It ain’t perfect. (If you thought Eli Roth’s performance as “the Bear Jew” was lacking, wait till you see him as the shades wearing Nazi director Alois Von Eichberg — oy vey!) but Sylvester Groth as producer Joseph Goebbels and Julie Dreyfuss as his, er, muse, Francesca Mondino  are great. This is just the thing for those of us who just can’t get enough of what I think is almost certainly going to be this year’s most irresistible movie.

And, as a bonus, here’s the a film clip from the film within a film, directed by Eli Roth (and, fortunately, not starring him).

clomid, synthroid, zithromax, accutane, celebrex

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Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

DC Premiere’s latest animated movie, “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” isn’t so much a movie as it is a really long episode of “Justice League of America.” Based on the six-issue limited series by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, “Public Enemies” finds the country in such a terrible state of distress that the people are willing to elect Lex Luthor as their new president. When Luthor begins enlisting superheroes to work for the government, Superman becomes suspicious of his ulterior motives. Using the impending arrival of a meteor from Krypton as a distraction, Luthor frames Superman for the murder of Metallo and places a $1 billion bounty on his head. Now, every villain from Silver Banshee to General Grodd is hot on his trail, and the only person willing to take his side is his good friend Batman. Unfortunately, the movie is so damn short at a mere 67 minutes that Batman is hardly given his time to shine. In fact, while he may share top billing with the Man of Steel, this is first and foremost a Superman movie. Not that Superman fans will complain, but for those hoping to see a little more from the Caped Crusader, prepare to be disappointed. The public enemies of this film aren’t the titular superheroes, it’s the suits in charge of putting together this half-assed adventure.

Click to buy “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”

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Jimmy Carter, is that you?

Jimmy Carter
There’s no ignoring the Polanski poo-storm right now, but really all that’s happening is an increasingly heated stream of opinion on which on one side people focus on what went wrong with the legal case, and the fact that a defenseless Swiss film festival was used as a means to the end of capturing the filmmaker. This side, which is circulating a petition worldwide may well be guilty of giving short shrift to Mr. Polanski’s crime(s) which, however you describe it, was extremely serious, possibly heinous. And it’s true, there’s no “great artist” excuse for criminal behavior. His life and work are separate matters.

At the exact same time, as Christopher Campbell ably summarized yesterday, the overheated rhetoric is really flying on the “jail Polanski forever” side. He is an “admitted child rapist.” (Polanski confessed to unlawful sex with a minor. The victim’s testimony does allege forcible sex, but it has not been corroborated.) People who support his release are soft-on-child-rape elitists who believe that famous people are allowed — nay, should be encouraged — to run around providing young teens with drugs and forcing them to have sex. People are talking about multiple boycotts against all the famous petition signers. (They probably should have just skipped asking Woody Allen to sign the thing.) Nope, no hysteria here.

Anyhow, amidst all this insanity, comes a comment on an Indiewire post about the petition from a J. Carter, which precedes more of the ongoing emotionalism. It’s without a doubt the most clearheaded and fair comment I’ve seen on the matter by anyone, anywhere, and I’m damn tempted to run it all here, but it’s too long. To read all of it — and I hope you do — just see the second comment at Indiewire. However, I will give you the capper.

If people wish to see justice done in the name of the children, note that there is an important Declaration of the Rights Of Children at the UN… The US has refused to sign this declaration, and if some of the people on this board , who are understandably upset, would take a moment to urge their appropriate representative to support this Declaration, then some good could be done from this.

Amen. As it turns out, the only other country who has not signed on is Somalia. You can read more about the declaration at Wikipedia. And, J. Carter, whoever you are, I think you’d make a fine ex-president.

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Dancing with the Stars 9.5 — Round Two: Results Show

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I’ve got a feeling tonight is the end of the line for either Kathy Ireland or Chuck Lidell. Kathy, because she hasn’t progressed since Week One and Chuck, because the larger American public doesn’t connect with him. Plus, you know his MMA buddies aren’t flooding the lines with their votes. Kelly Osbourne and Tom DeLay are on thin ice, but I think they’ll survive this elimination round.

Baz Lurhmann is sitting in for Len Goodman once again and he’s asked Mya and Dmitry to perform their Jive from the night before. Watching Mya, it’s clear she has more natural dancing ability than any of the other celebrities. What song is this, by the way? The female voice-over sounds like Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth.


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The Biggest Loser: evil gameplay returns

If you watch NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” regularly, you know that a few seasons ago, Vicky and Brady — well, mostly Vicky — were doing all they could to win the game, at times with no regard for teammates and housemates. It was all gameplay all the time. Last season big Ron did the same thing while appearing to be the gentle father figure. Well, the new season has its game-player, and it’s Tracy from the purple team. Yeah, the same Tracy who started the season in a hospital because she couldn’t breathe on her own after jogging a mile. We’ll get into all that soon..but meanwhile, here is your recap….

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Hell’s Kitchen: final four revealed

I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling watching this season of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” that Gordon Ramsay would prefer to scrap this batch of contestants and start over again. Last night’s dinner service surely was evidence that this is how he’s feeling. But maybe it’s just Ramsay being Ramsay–that he’s as hard on even his best employees. Anyway, here is how it went down…

At the start, Dave was pissed off at Tennille for throwing Van under the bus last week, leading to Van’s elimination. Dave wasn’t pissed that she chose Van, he was pissed that she chose Van after saying she wouldn’t.

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A Farewell to Gene Hackman

Don’t worry, Gene Hackman, is still very much amongst the living. It’s just that the 79 year-old Hackman casually discussed his retirement from acting in favor of writing historical novels while talking to Taylor Antrim of the Daily Beast today. (H/t Anne Thompson) Of course, there’s always the chance some great director can lure the Hemingway-loving Hackman out of retirement for the right role, but I’m going to assume he’s for real about giving up acting and thank him for all the great  — sometimes better than great — work.

Without ever really being an Alec Guinness or Peter Sellers-style acting chameleon, Hackman had one of the most amazing ranges of any actors of his era. He played thoroughly screwed up antiheroes, serious and comical villains of innumerable types, and ocasionally simply nice and/or likable guys. He was equally interesting playing all of them — even the nice ones. No doubt one of the best ever.

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Sons of Anarchy 2.4 – Eureka

If there’s one thing that continues to impress me about the Sons of Anarchy, it’s the way in which these guys conduct their business. The whole idea of participating in a charity ride as a cover to do their gun runs is pure genius. Not only do the cops stay out of their way, but they also look like heroes to the community. Nevertheless, something was bound to go wrong, and when Bobby brought out his worse for wear Fat Boy to ride on the job, it was pretty much a given that it would play a part in the incident. No sooner had the Sons picked up the guns and started north to drop them off when Bobby’s bike kicked back a cloud of smoke, forcing Tig off the road and into a ditch. The accident wasn’t as bad as it looked, but Tig was still busted up enough to require medical attention.

Unfortunately, his insurance plan didn’t cover him at the hospital, and while they were all waiting around for transport to a hospital that would stitch him up, a van full of bounty hunters swung by to pick him up. As it turns out, Tig has an outstanding warrant in Oregon (one that even he’s forgotten about), and while Clay and Jax butt heads over whether they should continue with the drop or rescue their captured comrade first, Tig buys them some time by provoking the bounty hunters to beat him up, knowing that they can’t turn him in until he’s patched up. The rivalry between Clay and Jax has been heating up ever since the death of Donna, but this is the first time that it’s directly affected everyone else in the club. Fortunately, Piney could care less about Clay’s orders these days, so he grabs a flatbed truck and, with the help of Jax, Chibs, Juice and Half-Sack, busts through the motel where Tig is being held to rescue him.

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Clay isn’t at all happy about their recklessness, but what’s most upsetting to him is that Jax refuses to be a team player. When your stepdad orders the murder of your best friend, only to kill his wife, however, you can kind of understand why Jax may still be holding a grudge. I cannot wait until he finally exposes what really happened to the rest of the club – especially now that Opie is acting all hunky-dory around Clay – but the chances of that happening anytime soon are pretty slim. Of course, the fact that Clay has threatened to kill Jax if he brings it up again certainly isn’t going to change his feelings on the matter. Quite the contrary, really, since it only goes to show that Clay will take out anyone who gets in his way. My guess is that Clay and Jax will continue to butt heads until Gemma is left with no other option but to unite them by exposing her secret.

For the time being, Gemma is trying to deal with the situation on her own. When her attackers send a taunting message through the mail in the form of a Michael Myers mask, however, Gemma decides to confront them by returning it to the store on the name of the bag that it came in. Apparently, she doesn’t realize that the store has since been replaced by Ethan Zobelle’s cigar shop, which means that she never actually knew who attacked her in the first place. I find that a bit implausible since they made a point of showing AJ’s tattoo during the rape scene, but regardless, Gemma definitely knows the truth now, and so does Chief Wayne, who had the best scene of the night when he confronted Ethan in the cigar shop. Gemma, meanwhile, follows AJ to some sort of meeting with the intent of killing him when she hears him talking to his kid on the phone. Conscience is a bitch, but just because Gemma isn’t willing to shoot someone with a family doesn’t mean Clay feels the same way. In fact, if he’s willing to kill his own stepson, shooting AJ should be a walk in the park.

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Zombies, Ondie, Polanski, and a neglected cell phone

Movieland abides.

* Anne Thompson thinks “Zombieland” just may break the horror comedy curse — given the success of “Shaun of the Dead,” there may be something about zombies that just somehow outweigh today’s horror fans’ fear of anything remotely humorous. Anyhow, the short clip and others (Ms. Thompson has some more) looks good. Still, as Mr. Squeamish guy who had to get dead drunk to watch the original “Dawn of the Dead,” every time a movie with a certain amount of gore gets good enough word-of-mouth/reviews, I get conflicted. Not easy being me. Right now, though, I’m thinking this one might be worth sneaking the contents of my bar into the theater for, even if I’m already concerned the “nut up or shut up” catchphrase could get very old very quick.

* Ondie Timoner’s terrific and ominous new documentary, “We Live in Public,” opened in L.A. last week. I wrote a mammoth interview post on it, it did good business this weekend according to Box Office Mojo and, dang it, I’m claiming I gave it the PH bump! (If it’s good enough for Colbert….) Anyhow, you still have time to check it out before the run ends Thursday.  With some decent luck, many more engagements all over the country may follow.

* If you’re a member of the “lock ‘em up now and show no quarter” side of the Roman Polanski debate, you’ll be happy to know that the 76 year-old director is likely to be in a Swiss jail for a period of weeks as he fights extradition.

* The video of Hugh Jackman skillfully dealing with the incessant ringing of some fool’s cell phone during a live performance as co-star Daniel Craig waits patiently has been everywhere. Since “here” is part of “everywhere,” here it is, via Cinematical.

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Dancing with the Stars 9.4 — Round Two

DeLay

Along with millions of high school girls, single women, wives, and complacent husbands, I’m currently in front of my television awaiting the newest episode of “Dancing with the Stars.” I find it more enjoyalbe to write about this type of show in the moment, rather than trying to piece a recap together the day after airing. Isn’t “Dancing with the Stars” more exciting than thought-provoking, anyway? Oh, I see lots of tan flesh. Here we go.

“Moulin Rouge” director Baz Lurhmann is serving as a guest judge tonight and the live audience is thrilled. Unfortunately, my current favorite elderly Brit, judge Len Goodman, is absent. I hope he’s not gone long as he’s the funniest part of the show.

Joanna Krupa with Derek Hough

This performance, the first of the night, was pretty sloppy. I didn’t know “jive” was also a dance — I thought it was just a type of trash-talking. Funny enough, judge Bruno Tonioli says the dance is supposed to be “clean.” Joanna’s rendition definitely was not. Wait…what’s with the high scores?

Natalie Coughlin with Alex Mazo

Hell yeah. The couple is dancing to “I Want You Back,” made famous by the Jackson 5. I love this song. Natalie Coughlin is, without a doubt, the cutest celebrity on the show. Against “I Want You Back,” I thought this dance looked pretty fun.

Chuck Lidell with Anna Trebunskaya

Chuck Lidell and a cute Russian woman dancing the Tango to “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. I’m positive this will never happen again on television.


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