Allison Hope Weiner at Entertainment Weekly interviews ol’ Mel, whose expression of racist outburst sympathy for Michael Richards has him quoted on the news wires again. It is, regardless of what you think of Gibson of this point, as interesting a read as you’d expected from an interview with someone who sees fit to make a $40 million movie entirely in ancient Mayan:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At one point there’s blood spraying from a man’s head. Some people might find it funny because of the old Monty Python bit: It’s just a flesh wound!
MEL GIBSON: [Laughs] You’re right. Did you ever see Annie Hall? Woody Allen is standing in a movie line, arguing. And Marshall McLuhan comes in and is like, ”Hi, I’m Marshall McLuhan,” and wins the debate for him. Then Woody turns to the camera and says, ”Boy, if life were only like this.” That was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. So I’m at a screening in New Mexico and I showed Apocalypto, and this lady puts up her hand and says, ”That blood spurting â€” come on, that is just so fake. It’s absolute rubbish.” And I’m thinking, ”Oh, s—, maybe she’s right.” And all of a sudden this guy from the back of the room says, ”Excuse me. I’m a doctor.” And he comes down and says: ”It’s the such-and-such artery, and it runs along the base of the temple, and that is exactly what would happen.” I looked at the lady and said to myself, ”You bet your ass, lady.”
We’re oddly charmed despite ourselves. At the Reverseblog, brevitytheenemy writes that the film is "by no means the grand folly we’d all hoped – which is not to say that it’s any good."
At Wired News, Jason Silverman complains that "Hollywood has all but stopped producing challenging sci-fi films like The Fountain. Instead, Tinseltown funnels more and more resources into mega-budget, formula-driven and generally mediocre superhero and fantasy films."
Via Jill Goldsmith, Michael Fleming and Ian Mohr at Variety, George Clooney will star in "White Jazz," an adaptation of the James Ellroy novel to be released by Warner Independent, and will direct "The Belmont Boys," which "follows seven thieves who first meet at the horse track and nearly pull off the job of a lifetime. They reunite 30 years later, to finish what they started."
One of the most memorable scenes in Manhattan has Allen and Keaton gazing at one of the city’s amazing bridges in the small hours as Gershwin flows along in the background. Allen says: "This is just a great city. I don’t care what anybody says." Well, duh. But who is the "anybody" to whom Allen is referring? Who specifically doesn’t think New York is a great city? Osama bin Laden? The fact is, framing the Manhattan skyline at night with George Gershwin playing at top volume in the background is a cheap trick, like framing Big Ben at midnight with the entire population of Great Britain singing God Save the Queen, and then asking if anyone is unimpressed. Nobody needs Woody Allen to tell them what a great city New York is. Gershwin told them 50 years earlier.
(Whit Stillman, director, 1994)
Two young Americansâ€”a Navy officer and a sales executive for an Illinois company that makes motorsâ€”grapple with the sexual revolution and anti-Americanism in Spain. Ted Boynton (Taylor Nichols) just loves his job: "Like everyone, I’d seen Arthur Miller’s play [‘Death of a Salesman’], and, as a youth, had the usual deprecating attitude to business and sales. That changed when Professor Thompson’s business course convinced us that even the mundane world of business had its romance."
Also, The Remarketer has a list of top ten servers in movies â€” yes, computer servers. Hah! Oh, we hate ourselves.
Finally, Dave White at MSNBC has a list of substitutions for your typical holiday movie choices.
+ The Year of Living Dangerously (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Sneak Peek – APOCALYPTO (Reverseblog)
+ Hollywood Eats Sci-Fi’s Brains (Wired News)
+ Clooney finds partners in crime (Variety)
+ Dreamgirls Wakes Up (NY Observer)
+ Manhattan music mystery (Guardian)
+ 10 Best Business Movies (The American)
+ Servers in the Movies – Our Top Ten (The Remarketer)
+ The coolest Xmas movies youâ€™ve never seen (MSNBC)