Something we missed…Betty White badgers Ryan Reynolds, butters up Sandra Bullock, on “The Proposal”

With Betty White at last hosting SNL tonight in just a few hours, it seemed like a good time to reach back a bit in time and present this humorous little Funny or Die viral video in which the astonishing Ms. White exercised her trademark gift for combining sweetness and brutality. I actually hadn’t seen this until just now, and also didn’t see “The Proposal,” so I could be wrong, but something tells me this is funnier than most of the movie.

Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds: Behind the Scenes of The Proposal from Betty White
  

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Wednesday night at the movies

I’ll be taking tomorrow off, so this’ll have to hold you….

* Several blogs, including The Vulture, are commenting on Disney’s refusal to greenlight a sequel to the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds hit comedy, “The Proposal.” Apparently, Disney is only interested in either franchise pictures with commercial spin off possibilities (i.e, toys and video games) or small-budget youth-themed films.

Ryan  Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in

* So, after everything we’ve seen from him over the last eleven years or so, I’m supposed to believe George Lucas getting more involved will improve the reportedly troubled “Red Tails”? I just hope he stays far, far away from the actors.

* The Playlist has a fascinating peak at an apparent early draft of P.T. Anderson’s not-about-Scientology screenplay.

* The late John Hughes will get a special Oscar tribute this year.

* Nikki Finke on the latest version of the often remade Wuthering Heights. They might as well just go all-out and make Heathcliff a vampire in this one, from the sound of it.

* The British trade, Screen Daily, is the latest pub to go behind a paywall. Anne Thompson has some salient thoughts.

* “American Pie 4” may come to us from the “Harold & Kumar” writers. “Middle-Aged Pie”? (H/t /Film.)

* Remember that wacky/fascinating rumored Lars von Trier/Martin Scorsese remake(s) of “Taxi Driver” rumor I mentioned a couple of days back? Not at all surprisingly, it was just a rumor.


Benecio del Toro chills out in
* Devin Faraci of CHUD provides a listen to that unused rock music score for “The Wolfman.” Yup, it’s hard to imagine how it could possibly have worked with a period horror film, but then I probably would have told Quentin Tarantino that using an eighties David Bowie song in a World War II movie wasn’t such a great idea, either.

Actually, much as I love “Inglourious Basterds,” I’m still not convinced about that particular touch.

  

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All About Steve

Sandra Bullock may be experiencing her best year ever with box office hits like “The Proposal” and “The Blind Side” (not to mention rumors of an Oscar nomination), but that doesn’t excuse her for starring in junk like “All About Steve.” As Mary Horowitz, a blabbermouth crossword puzzler who begins stalking a TV news cameraman (the titular Steve, played by Bradley Cooper) after she’s convinced they belong together, Bullock attempts to play the character as a quirky social reject but comes off looking mildly retarded instead. There are certain things that someone of her supposed intelligence simply wouldn’t do, and though the film tries to exploit her eccentricities for comedy, there’s nothing particularly funny about it. Cooper and Thomas Hayden Church (as Steve’s news reporter-in-crime) fare a little better in their scenes without the actress, but you still can’t help but feel bad for them. “All About Steve” might have been a pretty decent dark comedy with the right script, but director Phil Traill relies so heavily on his goofy protagonist to propel the story that he shoots down any chance of that happening the minute Bullock walks on screen.

Click to buy “All About Steve”

  

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Golden Globes movie nominations: “Up in the Air” leads the way

I’ll start with the facts on the Golden Globe movie nominations, which came out this morning, and move on to just a bit of opining about the awards themselves later on. (Will Harris has his thoughts on who should win among the television Golden Globe nominees down below.)

As the above indicates, Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” collected the most nominations from the awards given annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation (HFPA) with six nods. Just behind it was most of the other films that are emerging as this year’s awards usual suspects. The Broadway musical adaptation from director Rob Marshall, “Nine,” got five nominations; “Avatar,” and “Inglourious Basterds” received four nominations each. Following with three nominations were “The Hurt Locker,” “Invictus” and “Precious,” as well as two names that are somewhat new to this year’s awards sweepstakes, Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” and the upcoming star driven comedy from Nancy Myers, “It’s Complicated.” (Thanks to Nikki Finke, or her inevitably long-suffering assistant, for providing not only a complete list of nominations, but also a convenient awards tally not only by film, but also by studio and TV network.)

Neither “A Single Man” nor “Invictus” made the cut for “Best Picture – Drama.” Meryl Streep and Matt Damon both got two acting nominations, with Streep competing against herself in the “Best Actress – Comedy” category for “Julie & Julia” and “It’s Complicated.”

One factor that somewhat complicates covering the Globes is that they separate dramas from comedies and musicals. This year, “Up in the Air,” which bills itself as a “dramatic comedy” but which a lot of people seem to see as simply a mature and relatively low-key comedy with topical overtones, was nominated in the drama category. This prompted the AP (via MSNBC) to opine that the nomination in that category could give it more “weight” for the Oscars. I have to say that, while it’s so wrong in some many ways, there may be some truth to that and getting the meme out that the film is more drama than comedy might help Oscar voters to nominate it.

up-in-the-air-movie-review2

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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Box office wrap-up: “Transformers” sequel blows up real good

The news this week is about as simple and unsurprising as you can get: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” has done some pretty spectacular business, netting an estimate of $201.2 million, just shy of the all-time record $203.8 million “The Dark Knight” earned on its initial five-day release. Could that $2.6 million difference be the difference between outstanding reviews and really bad ones? Nah, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see a big drop off here, or maybe that’s wishful thinking based on my oft-repeated feelings about this particular franchise.

As per Variety, “The Proposal” came in at the #2 spot, dropping 45% from its opening for $18.5 million in its second week. And this summer’s ongoing audience and critical favorites continue to do outstanding business. “The Hangover” is thought to have taken in $17.2 million in its third week, while “Up” continues to exercise the astonishing power of the Pixar touch in the #4 spot with about $13 million in its fifth week.

This week’s only non-“Transformers” wide release, “My Sister’s Keeper” (referred to by newly rich superblogger Nikki Finke as “simpering,” but which our own Jason Zingale actually kind of liked), came in at the #5 spot with an estimated $12 million. As we mentioned last time, that’s actually a couple million more than some expected.

John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, It also wasn’t a bad weekend on the indie side. The critically acclaimed Iraq war action-suspense drama, “The Hurt Locker,” performed well in its four theaters on the coasts, netting about $3600 per screen. In wider release, the high pedigree prestige comedy, “Away We Go,” perhaps benefited from the TV appeal of stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, and got into the #10 spot with $1.7 million in just under 500 theaters.

Back tomorrow with more on the about to be concluded LAFF

  

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