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 â€œdigital enhancementâ€ â€“ removing wrinkles digitally in a postproduction suite. â€œI know plenty of actors whoâ€™ve had this done, and plenty of editing suites that are doing it. Itâ€™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.â€
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 â€” dubbed the "women in refrigerators" debate after a Green Lantern issue in which the superhero’s girlfriend was found dismembered in an icebox â€” 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 â€” 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)