Jon Favreau says no, I say yes

Movie news during the holiday season...pardon me for a second HOLY CRAP CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY AND I AM WOEFULLY, WOEFULLY UNPREPARED...is really slow. Everyone is winding down, studios are counting piles of money bigger than your house, and nobody really says or does crap. That means we get little notes like these two tiny things:

1.) Jon Favreau is not directing Iron Man 3. This sounds more shocking than it is and more terrifying than it should be. Iron Man 2 was good. Iron Man was great. That is the general consensus, and unlike anti-government extremists who grab their guns at the mere sound of the ending suffix "sensus," I have to agree. Part of the reason the first film worked was surprise, that's for sure. The rest of it was the chemistry between all involved. They played fast-and-loose with the script and came out winners because Robert Downey Jr was the man and Favreau was flexible enough to make it work. The second film was an exercise in overconfidence. It was TOO scriptless, TOO disjointed. It could have used a bit more actual, logistical work. It was still fun, but it proved that you can't just wing it every time and hit a home run. Cowboys and Aliens will tell us who the real Favreau is as a director. If it has the same problems as the second Iron Man, then I'm fine with him leaving that franchise. He's got another huge project lined up, called Magic Kingdom, which will involve all sorts of Disney characters. Speculation has it Marvel didn't want to pay Favreau big bucks, Favreau didn't want a fight, and the rest is history. I think it could be fine. Provided they get the right guy in place for the third film, all is well. I actually hope this means they get someone a little more hands-on and we finally see the Iron Man movie I was promised in the first film: He fights Mandarin in a real, full-blown fight while the drinking issues are addressed. Could be great. Anyhoo, best wishes Johnny F. You'll be just fine.

2.) I liked True Grit. I can't give you a full review because the movie doesn't open for like a week still, but I am permitted to dangle first impressions. I think audiences will be surprised how much fun the movie is, how much of a pure crowd-pleaser it is, and how well paced it is. I also think they're in for a surprise as to the genre. This is a Western. Not one of those new-fangled hybrids that impose modern mentality on Western framework. No, this is a WESTERN. It could have been shot 50 years ago. I know some smart-ass is saying "It was shot 50 years ago, back when they made the original." Well that's the point. The point is you can still make damn good Westerns today and they still work. One more thing about the original: John Wayne was the Denzel Washington of his era. He had talent to be sure but most of that was just charisma. He had no range, he played every part the same, and even if you like him you have to admit both of those things. Jeff Bridges is twice the actor Wayne was, and you're going to freak over how great his character is. The only reason he wasn't nominated for the Golden Globe (and the only reason the young girl wasn't nominated either) is because The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the dumbest collection of whores and sycophants not holding elected office. Look for my full review soon, but just know that you have something awesome to look forward to.

Follow me on Twitter or I'll have Rooster shoot you in the back.


entered on 12/15/10 at 05:17 PM | read comments »


Cutting Room for December 15

  • STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Unless you’re reading this in the bathroom. Then, you know, finish … but hurry. Why? Because Thursday, Dec. 16, is the last day in the Kickstarter Campaign for director Dan Mirvish’s Between Us, a dark comedy based on an Off-Broadway play. The film is scheduled to be partially shot in Omaha. Mirvish directed Omaha (the movie), so it’s only right we return his continued love with some financial “Why-thank-yous." That’s right, the film needs our donations to move from “good idea” to “Hey, that movie rocked.” Head to bit.ly/bSQc9j, where you can find out a boatload of information about the flick and where you can donate money to help it happen. For even more information on the whole shootin’ match, check out filmthreat.com/features/28294 for a great interview. There’s no time to waste, so get to clickin’ and donatin’. And just think, you’ll be doing more to help movies get made in Nebraska than any legislative body in the state ever has!

  • Three cheers, or more like 25,000 cheers, for Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org)! The National Endowment of the Arts just announced the theater will receive $25,000 in grants to continue their exhibition of repertory film and special programs. Not only is the grant a proud feather in the cap of the non-profit movie house, it will help ensure that important events, such as the LGBT-themed “Out in Film” series and the exploration of Latino, Latin American and Spanish cinema “Cinemateca II” series, continue to enlighten and expand our community discussions. Way to get your grant on, guys.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Check out Ryan on the radio on CD 105.9 (Fridays at around 7:30 a.m.), on his blog at thereader.com/film/C19 and on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


entered on 12/15/10 at 12:01 AM | read comments »


Next year, evil gets smokin’ hot

My best friend since middle school, Andrew, and I have never really fought. I mean, yes there was a disagreement about my athletic ability to jump out of a pool and a minor kerfuffle over whether or not there were actual lions or supernatural ones in a certain Val Kilmer movie, but those things didn't lead to body blows or gunfire. But we're men. Marginally so, one would argue given our various interests and dispositions, but biologically we have proof. So every once and awhile, when there are competing movie projects, he and I back a horse in the race arbitrarily and put our entire energy into that conflict with the other. There was the Volcano vs Dante's Inferno battle, the Antz vs Bug's Life war, and of course the bloody Deep Impact vs Armageddon conflict. Sadly, in almost every instance, each of us liked the other's assigned film better. But we may get another shot at this thing, as we have an upcoming cinematic battle fit for kings! We have Snow White and the Huntsman versus The Brothers Grimm's Snow White. Yes, we will have a duel of manly men, a verbal sparring match over which Snow White-based film is superior. Bow before our collective machismo.

And there is casting news afoot that would see two notable ladies square off too. While the former will be more action oriented, the latter will be directed by Tarsem, so both are attracting interesting lasses...not for the Snow White role, but for the Evil Queen. The Huntsman may feature....

Not to be outdone, the Tarsem project may land...

Holy casting conundrum, Batman! I don't even know what project I hope I am forced to back? I mean, Theron did that great interview on "Between Two Ferns," but Roberts has a better body...of work! Roberts has an Oscar, and Theron once dated a guy named Oscar! Theron is one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood, and Roberts lives in Hollywood! Roberts hasn't made a movie worth watching in ages, while Theron has...okay they're even there.

If both projects survive to the point of creation, Andrew and I will wage war once more. One of us will be Team Blondie, the other Team Redhead. Neither of us actually caring about the stakes. It's huge, folks. Get ready.

Follow me on Twitter or I'll back the project that's competing with YOU.


entered on 12/14/10 at 06:24 PM | read comments »


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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Cinéma Very Tame

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly...

more »


Grade A-Holes

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public...

more »


Lucy Goosey

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it...

more »


Fuzzy Focus

Time has whittled mainstream memory of the original late 1960s/early 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise down to an image of...

more »


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