Losing Philip Seymour Hoffman

The sudden death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is a tragedy for his family and friends, and it’s a great loss for his many fans. He was a brilliant actor, and here’s one of his best scenes from “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

Is ‘The Master’ overrated?

“The Master” is getting a ton of buzz. It has a phenomenal cast with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, and director Paul Thomas Anderson is the new darling of Hollywood. As you can see from the photo is has a very cool movie poster as well, so you can see people grabbing movie poster frames to showcase this poster on their walls.

The critics love the film as well, as you can see from the 85% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Yet the audience rating is only 62%, so this is one of those films that impresses the critics with its artistic achievement but doesn’t entertain as many fans.

Perhaps the film is misunderstood by some, but after having seen it, it strikes me as grossly overrated. Frankly the film is boring as hell. The acting is superb, particularly the performance of Joaquin Phoenix, but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s talent is wasted here. His character, Lancaster Dodd, is supposed to be the master, yet his appeal as a cult leader isn’t convincing. It’s not because Hoffman can’t pull off the role. It’s just that Anderson gives him absolutely nothing interesting to say. It’s all gibberish, and thus the entire premise of the film falls apart.

You have to see it for yourself to make up your mind, but I suggest you save your self the money. Save your money on the poster as well. Perhaps you can watch the film later on HBO. At least you won’t feel like you got ripped off.

  

Related Posts

Mary and Max

Falling somewhere between Nick Parker’s charming “Wallace and Gromit” shorts and Tim Burton’s more adult stop-motion films, the 2009 Sundance hit “Mary and Max” is a hilarious and poignant tale about two very different people from separate sides of the world. Eight-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle (voiced as a child by Bethany Whitmore and as an adult by Toni Collette) has no friends in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, so one day she randomly selects a name out of the United States phonebook and writes them a letter to ask where babies come from.

That person is Max Jerry Horowitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a 44-year-old overweight New Yorker who also has no friends apart from the imaginary one he created as a kid. Against his better judgment, Max decides to answer Mary’s question, thus jumpstarting a 20-year long pen-pal friendship that explores everything from love, religion, and even mental illness. Though the film is told in a storybook manner with narration by Barry Humphries, “Mary and Max” has some surprisingly mature messages at its core. Mary may only be a child, but that doesn’t stop Max from speaking bluntly, which as we later learn is a result of his Asperger’s Syndrome. Pretty heavy stuff for Claymation, but thanks to a wonderful script by director Adam Elliot and key performances from Whitmore and an unrecognizable Hoffman, this is one animated film that every adult fan of Pixar should rush out and see.

Click to buy “Mary and Max”

  

Related Posts

Friday movie news dump: the first Salinger movie, the Sundance beat goes on, etc.

Hey folks. I’ve got a relatively limited amount of time today and, just to add to the drama, the usually excellent free wi-fi at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf slowed down today to a relative crawl for a time while I was researching this. Let’s see how much I can cover.

* Just as I was ready to wrap things up, we have a breaking story. As I sorta alluded to yesterday regarding J.D. Salinger, it’s inevitable his death will pave the way for some new films. It turns out I was, if anything, way behind the curve. Working screenwriter Shane Salerno — whose work, like the planned James Cameron-produced “Fantastic Voyage” remake, bends toward the geek — has been working on a documentary about the writer who became almost as famous for his escape from the public eye as for his actual work, and it’s apparently nearly completed. Mike Fleming has not only broken the news of the formerly under-wraps project, he’s seen most of the movie

* Of course, Sundance continues slogging away, and word of acquisitions by film distributors have been making their way round the usual spots. Indiewire’s Eugene Hernandez has news on the well-regarded “Blue Valentine” with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. He also gives a quick nod to such other highish profile films as “The Tilman Story” (a documentary about the late Pat Tilman), “The Kids Are Alright” (not to be confused with the old rock-doc about the Who) and “Hesher,” a not very appealing sounding film that nevertheless has Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead. The “Valentine” sale is of particular interesting as it was the troubled Weinstein Company that picked it up. Coincidentally, the company named for Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s parents, Mira and Max, has gone on the block.

miramax

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts

Sundance and stuff

* The Sundance Film Festival, easily the second most influential film festival in the world, both for better and for worse, unveiled its 2010 schedule this morning. Anne Thompson takes a close look at the impact of Jim Cooper, who is now running the festival after the departure of Geoff Gilmour. At the one and only Sundance I attended back in 2005, I heard a number of catty, though possibly not inaccurate, remarks to the effect that Gilmour had gone a bit Hollywood in a somewhat James Lipton-esque way. Apparently, things are changing and change is often a good thing.

* Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film is supposedly not about Scientology and, therefore, Philip Seymour Hoffman will not be playing a variation on L. Ron Hubbard. Still, sounds cool. Boy, I wish I had time to check out Anderson’s last film and huge creative departure, “There Will Be Blood,” a second time right now. Jason Zingale’s review might have been short of adoring, but that one has really stayed with me. P.T. Anderson might not be the second coming of Orson Welles, but then, Welles wasn’t exactly the second coming of John Ford either.

* Roman Polanski isn’t going to be set free this week, but he is going to the Milky Way — the name of his digs in the swanky Swiss ski resort town of Gstaad.

* Rupert Everett, who made a bit of history a decade or so back as the first borderline A-list actor to be openly gay, has warned younger actors not to follow suit in new book promo interview in The Guardian. Personally, I’d advise gay performers to take his words with a gigantic grain of salt. Everett is a first rate actor I always enjoy watching but he has, to put it kindly, a big mouth and has said many really questionable things over the years while also saying some really smart things. Not being gay or a famous thespian, I’m perhaps not qualified to judge, but being out sure hasn’t hurt Neil Patrick Harris any lately. I guess the real test will be if the highly accomplished ex-Doogie is  ever allowed to play a more or less serious romantic lead opposite a female.

Nikki Finke has the thoughts of “coming-out PR guru” Howard Bragman:

There may well have been other reasons Rupert didn’t become the leading man he imagined himself going to be. But this isn’t about your bank account. This is about your soul.

* Bloody Disgusting has word that the remake of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “The Birds” is getting a change of directors and will be heading in a direction that will be, yes, more bloody and disgusting.

* In Michael Powell’s horror classic, “Peeping Tom,” a silent-film era cameraman is driven to become a serial killer by the bizarre, fear-inducing experiments performed on him as a child by his psychologist father. A linguist named d’Armond Speers might have been less cruel than the dad in the movie, but speaking only Klingon to his son for the first three years of his life seems like it’s taking some kind of risk. Fortunately, as passed along by Geoff Boucher, it appears the kid turned out normal, linguistically speaking, anyhow. That’s good. Still, I wonder what the word in Klingon is for “meshugeneh.”

fishermansworf1

  

Related Posts