Tag: Esquire

An uplighting Friday night movie news dump (updated)

It’s kind of a slow movie news day, but we do have some items that all have a sort of poignant yet upbeat feeling to them with a united theme of love and death: perhaps the things in the world that give life its meaning.

* It’s official: Quentin Tarantino has bought himself a movie theater. Specifically, the New Beverly Cinema where I and countless other L.A. cinemaniacs first encountered many of the greatest movies of all time and where, more recently, I had a grand time meeting some of the folks behind “Inglourious Basterds.” This all comes courtesy of L.A. cinephile extraordinaire Dennis Cozzalio, who explains how word of Tarantino’s involvement, which preceded the sad and unexpected death of  Sherman Torgan, became known. This one makes me all misty.

UPDATE: CHUD-man Devin Faraci has more, as it turns out. I wasn’t even sure he lived out here. (The bar at the Yarrow, located conveniently to where most of the press screenings are, is probably my fondest memory of my one hectic Sundance. Good beer, yes, but I practically lived on their cheeseburgers and coffee.)

* Roger Ebert‘s further reflections on the moving Esquire piece from earlier in the week. Nice to know he might not be “dying in increments” any more than you and I might be.

* RIP Kathyrn Grayson. Her operatic voice makes her singing something of an acquired taste for non-opera lovers like myself, but Ms. Grayson made it a taste worth acquiring with solid acting chops and a darned amazing voice in countless MGM musicals. Unfortunately, the gods of YouTube aren’t providing anything usable from her best and sexiest film, 1953’s “Kiss Me Kate.” Instead I found this fascinating moment from the patriotic 1943 wartime propaganda musical, “Thousands Cheer.” This is probably not Pat Buchanan‘s favorite movie moment, but it’s the kind of patriotism I have no problem supporting.


Glenn Kenny has more, and he’s right:

She was charming, she was graceful, she had the voice of an angel, and—not too put too fine a point on it or come off as loutish or anything—she was supes hot, in a way that still retains its impact for contemporary sensibilities.

Fat Tuesday at the movies

Do the bon temps actually roulez in Hollywood? It’s more like they just kind of unspool.

* My good friend, Zayne Reeves, was kind enough to make sure I didn’t miss this rather extraordinary Esquire piece by Chris Jones on Roger Ebert’s current life. I’ve been spending my share of time around illness myself over the last several weeks and I can’t think of a more quietly, beautifully sane way of dealing with the strange cards life can deal us. Though I’m just one among very, very many he’s shared kind words with, I’ve always felt lucky for the very brief e-mail correspondences I’ve had with Roger over the years, Now I feel luckier.

* Reviews of the fourth Martin Scorsese film to star Leonardo DiCaprio, “Shutter Island,” are starting to trickle out. Glenn Kenny has a good one. “Good” both as in “positive” and also as in “worth your time reading.”


* Doug Liman will be directing a film about the 1971 Attica prison riot/revolt/uprising, now best remembered by film lovers as the chant from “Dog Day Afternoon.” It’s a story he has a personal connection with through his late father, attorney Arthur Liman. Nevertheless, the director of “Go,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “The Bourne Identity” seems to be moving in a sort of John Frankenheimer-esque direction overall, too.

* Speaking of the man who yelled “Attica! Attica!,” Al Pacino has stepped into a part recently vacated by Robert De Niro. You just can’t seem to keep those two guys apart for very long.

* Nikki Finke is having a very fat Tuesday indeed. Earlier today she reported on Carl Icahn trying to snap up Lionsgate for himself and a deal between Warner Brothers and video kiosk powerhouse Redbox, not to mention the news that the Oscars this year may not be including the original artists in the Best Song category.

There’s still more; a 3-D movie based on Erector Sets. Sure, why not. Next up: “Slinky 3-D,” I’m sure. Now, if they really want to get a rise out of the family audience, they might consider adopting Mickey Spillane’s novel, The Erection Set. From the description I just linked to, it would really be something in three-dimensions.

* Writer-director Paul Feig is reteaming with his old “Freaks and Geeks” colleague, Judd Apatow, for a film starring and cowritten by Dave Medsker’s-ultra-fave, Kristen Wiig writes Borys Kit. Let’s hope it’s better than a typical SNL skit these days.

* I started with Roger Ebert and I’ll end with an item via his must-read Twitter-feed: the Film Preservation Blogathon being organized by my old Chicago-based cinephile blogging mate, Marilyn Ferdinand. If you care about movies, this is the place. It’s also a fundraiser (a first for a blogathon, as far as I can remember) so if the idea of losing a film — any film — forever bugs you as it should, considering donating. You can do worse than starting with this post by Ferdy’s partner in good works, the Self-Styled Siren aka Farran Nehme. And, courtesy of another cinephile colleague from the days when I had time to blog about old movies all the live-long day, Greg Ferrera, we conclude with….a commercial.

The Next Food Network Star: easy to spot duds

Even after sifting through hundreds and thousands of applicants, the ten finalists who make it to the TV portion of “The Next Food Network Star” are there for a reason–they impressed several judges along the way with their combination of cooking ability and the way they present themselves on camera. But something funny happens when they get to this pressure cooker known as national TV….and the first few weeks of each season usually expose the pretenders. Last night was no different, and the same will likely go for the next few weeks.

The show began last night with an initial challenge, and the theme for this week was magazines. Bobby Flay was ready to greet the nine finalists along with Ryan, an editor from men’s mag Esquire, and they had a rapid fire challenge in which they had to uncover a serving tray and create a meal from what was on said tray. Since this would be geared toward Esquire’s male audience, the ingredients were some kind of meat, and another weird ingredient.

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Clint Eastwood is still a badass

Clint Eastwood is getting rave reviews for his recent tough guy performance in “Gran Torino.” Clint offers up some great quotes in a recent interview in Esquire which will only add to his badass reputation.

We live in more of a pussy generation now, where everybody’s become used to saying, “Well, how do we handle it psychologically?” In those days, you just punched the bully back and duked it out. Even if the guy was older and could push you around, at least you were respected for fighting back, and you’d be left alone from then on.

I don’t know if I can tell you exactly when the pussy generation started. Maybe when people started asking about the meaning of life.

Classic stuff.

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