Loose ends

Carlito's Way -- Al Pacino and Sean Penn

I haven’t been paying quite as much attention to the cinephile end of the movie blogosphere as I should lately, so we’ll start there.

*  It’s never too late to check out the Brian DePalma blogathon that wrapped up yesterday at Tony Dayoub’s Cinema Viewfinder.  I’m actually not a member of the DePalma cult that includes everyone from the late uber-critic Pauline Kael to Quentin Tarantino and probably 70% of the male cinephile population. I dig a few of his movies a great deal and the oddball horror/suspense musical satire, “Phantom of the Paradise” has a special place in my heart. On the other hand, I have serious problems with even some of his most well-regarded films including, or perhaps especially, especially “Blow-Out.” There’s a cheapness to his films and tendency to wallow in despair that I can’t support.

Of course, that’s just me and Dayoub wrapped up yesterday in grand style with a fairly personal piece about “Scarface” (vastly overrated by many; I’ll take the Howard Hawks “Scarface” over it any day) and “Carlito’s Way” (which I think is underrated and overall just a solidly good movie). Anyhow, stroll around the site and you’ll see pieces by some of the true superstars of cinephilia.

* Speaking of great film lovers, you won’t find detailed appreciations of DePalma coming from The Self-Styled Siren — nor of Michael Mann or Sam Peckinpah.  Her bailiwick is classic era films (ending roughly around 1965) with an eye towards melodrama and comedy. Though her identity remains a secret, her fans are legion and definitely includes your humble host.

Her latest post is an attention grabber: “Ten Melos the Siren Would Watch Instead of Mad Men” which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a fascinating list that males who want to expand their minds beyond the usual guy movie obsessions should definitely contemplate. And, yes, there’s a vigorous debate over “Mad Men” in comments, as well as an unsolicited cocktail recipe from me. If you’ve been looking for the inevitable backlash over the acclaimed series, which I personally love as much as anyone, there’ll be no more enjoyable place to find it.

Some news after the flip….

* When Oprah meets Sam (and writer Christopher Hampton of “Atonement” and “Dangerous Liaisons”) Oscars are on everyone’s mind. But will the movie they all make be any good?

* Wanna see a “futuristic robot boxing movie” from the director of “Night at the Museum“? THR says your lucky day may be coming.

* Variety also has a look at the first day of the ongoing 3-D summit. Basically, most agree that the big problem right now is that there simply aren’t enough seats to support the number of success the format has had. Today, however, we learn that keynoter Jeffrey Katzenberg wants more, more, more. Personally, I suspect there’s a limit and I’d hate for every major film to be in the format.

* Speaking of Variety and THR, aka the Hollywood Reporter, Nikki Finke has an apparent scoop that could affect the content of what I do around here. She reports that Variety will be going behind a “paid wall” next year and that THR will be scrapping its print edition later this year and then going behind a similar wall.

Finke thinks it’s a reasonable model, but the move will also make her own growing online power all the more formidable as the number of sources of hard industry news for the general public decreases substantially. Oh, and she’s also going to be name-checked on Entourage later this month. Now La Finke has really arrived.

  

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