Hero, heroine.

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"You sound like a very scary guy."
At the London Times, Kevin Maher has an entertaining piece inspired by the aging 4s (those would be "Live Free or Die Hard," "Indiana Jones 4" and "Rambo 4") on the various tricks make-up artists, stunt coordinators and trainers use when dealing with creakier leading men:

If your movie revolves entirely around the unblemished perfection of your central macho middle-aged actor there is, of course, the miracle of “digital enhancement” – removing wrinkles digitally in a postproduction suite. “I know plenty of actors who’ve had this done, and plenty of editing suites that are doing it. It’s quite common now to simply lose the wrinkles in postproduction, especially on tight close-ups. A lot of actors now will be digitally enhanced.”

While we’ll have to wait until June 27th to see how audiences favor these, er, matured franchises and film heroes, Scott Bowles at USA Today notes that in comic book adaptations, success seems guaranteed no matter what your reviews, as long as you have a male lead. He cites "Catwoman" and "Elektra," as well as a phrase we’ve never come across before:

The question of women’s roles in superhero stories — dubbed the "women in refrigerators" debate after a Green Lantern issue in which the superhero’s girlfriend was found dismembered in an icebox — began on comic pages and websites but has spilled onto the big screen.

At the Film Experience Blog, Nathaniel R. leads off an Action Heroine Blog-a-Thon that offers a nice counterpoint to the above discussion, or, actually, 47 counterpoints. And over at the Sydney Morning Herald, Andrew Taylor turns to gender in another genre, the biopic, suggesting that not only do we seems to prefer biopics of women to be about "misery, hardship and tragedy," but that

Oscar, its French equivalent, Cesar, and their award statuette cousins love misery. They also appreciate an actor who endures a little of that hardship herself. [Angela] Bassett pumped iron for two hours a day to replicate Tina Turner’s muscular physique for What’s Love Got To Do With It? Similarly, [Nicole] Kidman reportedly walked into a river over and over again for her suicide scene in The Hours.

We’re not sure we agree with all of his points — biopic misery has been pretty equal opportunity lately.

+ Diet hard! Ageing action heroes turn back the clock (London Times)
+ Male heroes draw comic fans (USA Today)
+ Action Heroine HQ (Film Experience Blog)
+ Hollywood’s female formula (Sydney Morning Herald)

Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Company

When life gets you down, just ask yourself: what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.

15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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In the works: Acid Test.

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Merry Pranksters.
In the works: Tom Wolfe’s psychedelic road trip tale "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" is headed to the screen, with Gus Van Sant attached to direct. Van Sant, cast the book’s main subject, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" writer Ken Kesey, in his strange, strange 1993 film "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues," and dedicated 2002’s "Gerry" to his memory. [Variety] Another book adaptation: John Irvin will direct "The Garden of Eden," based on the posthumously published (and critically frowned-upon) Hemingway novel. [Hollywood Reporter]

Over in remakeland, Elizabeth Banks has been cast as the stepmother in Charles and Thomas Guard’s take on Korean horror film "A Tale of Two Sisters." [Hollywood Reporter] Jesse Bradford will star in "The Echo," a remake of the Filipino horror film "Sigaw" that, as is the recent fashion, will be directed by Yam Laranas, who also directed the original. [Hollywood Reporter] And producer Diane Nabatoff has signed a deal to remake French sleeper hit "You Are So Handsome," which stars Michel Blanc as a farmer who takes in a Romanian mail-order bride. [Variety]

And Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany will star together in "Born," a thriller that’s, rather awesomely, about a claymation animator haunted by his creations, and that’s also co-written by the odd pairing of Clive Barker and "It’s All Gone Pete Tong"‘s Paul Kaye. [Variety]


Acquired: "Starting Out In The Evening," the last InDigEnt film, has been picked up by Roadside Attractions for a November release. The film, which stars Frank Langella and was directed by Andrew Wagner (of "The Talent Given Us") premiere at Sundance in competition. [Hollywood Reporter]

First Run Features has picked up another Sundance 2007 film: Daniel Karslake‘s "For the Bible Tells Me So." The doc, which examines the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity, refuting scriptural interpretations damning same-sex pairings and generally poking at a hot-button issue, will be released in October. [indieWIRE]

Living in a lonely world.

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All you see is black.
"Sopranos" creator David Chase, having skipped town for France in order to avoid all the outcry following the show’s already infamous finale on Sunday, offers a few words to New Jersey’s Star-Ledger about how the ending isn’t a set-up for a "Sopranos" venture onto the big screen.

"I don’t think about (a movie) much," he said. "I never say never. An idea could pop into my head where I would go, ‘Wow, that would make a great movie,’ but I doubt it.

"I’m not being coy," he added. "If something appeared that really made a good ‘Sopranos’ movie and you could invest in it and everybody else wanted to do it, I would do it. But I think we’ve kind of said it and done it."

Thank the gods — this is hardly our purview, but we loved those last few minutes and can’t imagine a theatrical follow-up that could top them. Matt Zoller Seitz makes an excellent point at The House Next Door:

No gangster story has ever ended like this. The lack of resolution — the absolute and deliberate failure, or more accurately, refusal, to end this thing — was exactly right. It felt more violent, more disturbing, more unfair than even the most savage murders Chase has depicted over the course of six seasons, because the victim was us. He ended the series by whacking the viewer.   

+ ‘Sopranos’ creator’s last word: End speaks for itself (Star-Ledger)
+ Sopranos Mondays: Season 6, Ep. 22, "Made in America" (The House Next Door)

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