“The Social Network” LAMBcast

6 11 2010

For those of you that missed hearing my beautiful voice since the summer, you’ll be happy to know that I recorded an episode of the LAMBcast about a month ago that is just now hitting the web.

The subject?  “The Social Network,” of course.  When I stopped to think about it, I realized that David Fincher’s film is the only movie that I felt has merited serious thematic discussion all year.  We all had our “Inception” theories, but we all legitimately care about the social message being conveyed to us here by Aaron Sorkin.

So expect me to praise it enthusiastically, expect me to uphold my assertions that it really isn’t that much like “Citizen Kane,” and expect to hear me give me full take on what I think we are meant to take from “The Social Network.”  It’s a great listen and a fascinating conversation; I highly recommend you check it out.

So CLICK ON MARK ZUCKERBERG below to be taken to the link to listen!





My “My Best Friend’s Wedding” Cast WON!

29 10 2010

Who, me?  Again?  Oh, stop it.  Seriously, stop it.

Thanks again to every LAMB voter who crowned me king of casting AGAIN.  I really do appreciate it.  Maybe I should go into casting as a career … the other day I recast “The Social Network” using the actors from my school’s acting company.  It’s something I sure like to do.

I’ll offer up a brief bit of rationale behind my casting – and who knows, maybe you can steal my crown!

Rachel McAdams was my choice to take over helming the movie from Julia Roberts.  She’s a fantastic actress with great comedic talent, plus she looks GORGEOUS.  Even if she stunk in the role, I’d forgive her as long as she looked good.  She is in the mainstream consciousness, but a huge role like this could propel her to superstardom.  I have adored her in movies like “Wedding Crashers” and “The Family Stone,” and I just hope the rest of America could catch up with me – er, her.

I had the hardest time casting Michael, the man of her dreams who happens to be engaged to another girl.  I settled on Ryan Reynolds, who has been heating up the rom-com circuit recently and could easily do a pretty good job with this role.

The two biggest no-brainers were the scene-stealing supporting roles of Cammy, Michael’s ditzy fiance, and George, Jules’s gay friend who steps in to make everything more complicated.  It was obvious from the get-go that Amanda Seyfried would have to play the part since she has proven herself so great at playing the dumb blonde type (“Mean Girls”) as well as being someone beautiful that an audience can care about (“Mamma Mia”).

And do I even need to explain choosing Neil Patrick Harris as George?  He’s one of the funniest people at work in the business and this role was practically made for him.  If there’s ever a Broadway version of the movie, he will be instantly cast.

Watch for the next edition of LAMB Casting, when the blogosphere attempts to recast “Forrest Gump!”  (My choice.  We’ll see how it goes.)





Making it FBO*

21 09 2010

* FBO stands for “Facebook official,” a nice tidbit for those not entirely up-to-date on Internet slang.

I created my Facebook fan page back on my first anniversary about two months ago, but I haven’t really been using it for much.  It’s been a nice gesture to “like” my site on the social network, but I haven’t done much to make it worth the few milliseconds it took of your life to click “like.”

That changes TODAY.  I am introducing my first Facebook-exclusive feature, the Throwback Tuesday (a phrase borrowed from some blogger who should step up and claim credit for it).  On Tuesdays, I will repost my reviews of movies being released on DVD that day, provided that I have in fact seen something being released that day.

I’ll probably introduce more features to be Facebook only, but for now, I’m sticking with this.  So if you aren’t a fan of me on Facebook yet, you should do so now.  I’ll even provide a convenient link in the picture below.

And while I’m still on the topic of social networking, I have added integration to Facebook at the bottom of each post.  So if  you really feel compelled by something you read here, feel free to click the icon and share it with your friends!  Simple enough, right?





FINCHERFEST is coming / “The Social Network” Poll Results

17 09 2010

We are TWO WEEKS away from the release of “The Social Network,” and I am about to FREAK OUT!!!  After hearing ecstatic review after ecstatic review, my anticipation just continues to build!  It’s now the background of my phone and computer.

As you may recall, I announced at the beginning of the month to spend a week dedicated to examining Fincher’s seven previous films leading up to “The Social Network.”  That will start either Thursday the 23rd or Friday the 24th, depending on how the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” column plays out.

But I want to make this more than just about me.  I alone cannot provide a full and complete survey of Fincher’s work, so I must call upon other bloggers to share their thoughts on Fincher and his movies.  If anyone has reviewed any of David Fincher’s films or written anything about him, I am inviting you to submit it to be published as a link alongside my reviews. Please send any and all submissions to mls4615@yahoo.com or leave a link in the comments here.

Just as a review, those movies are:

  • Ali3n (1992)
  • Se7en (1995)
  • The Game (1997)
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • Panic Room (2002)
  • Zodiac (2007)
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Hopefully by the time I start receiving submissions, I’ll have a banner ready to send to everyone who wants to submit so they can post it to their blog as well.  I’ll probably also submit this to be plugged on the LAMB as well.

And while we are on the topic of David Fincher, I might as well announce the results of the poll I attached to my Oscar Moment on “The Social Network.” I presumed it to be the frontrunner, which it may very well be, and asked if it will win Best Picture.

The results were interesting.  The first 5 people to vote all said “no.”  However, the last two said “yes.”  Winning is hard to call in September, but this is where I’d put my money if I were a betting man.

So submit, submit, submit!  Once the post runs, I won’t add any new links.





Films You Didn’t Know You Needed To See @ Kai’s The List

28 08 2010

Sound familiar?  Kai of “The List” rounds up a group of people every month or so to elaborate on “Films You Didn’t Know You Needed To See.”  I do that every Friday with my “F.I.L.M. of the Week” column.  So when I got the invitation to contribute three movies to Kai’s August edition, I couldn’t very well decline!  So I doctored a little bit of three posts from my series.  My choices were three movies that emphasize the L in F.I.L.M., little-known.

Here were my three picks and the write-ups as they will appear over at Kai’s site.

“Cats Don’t Dance”

I watched “Cats Don’t Dance,” a fun-loving musical that was a staple of my childhood, after a particularly hard day. I remember how much I loved it when I first saw it at the age of 5, and that passion has not faded a bit as I watched it for the first time in years.

The movie is a celebration of dreams as Danny, the singing cat from Kokomo, heads to Hollywood to light the world on fire. But things are not what he imagined, and he soon finds that life isn’t easy for an animal actor – especially when his co-star is a tyrannical child actor who refuses to be upstaged. He refuses to be crushed, keeping his optimism while bringing together a large group of animals to recapture their dreams. There are some hilarious characters, including a hippo voiced by Jennifer Tilly and a surly goat voiced by Hal Holbrook, as well as some rousing musical numbers (thankfully all are easily found on YouTube).

It may be a movie for kids, but I think it has one of the most profound quotes I have ever heard in a movie of this style: “They can smash your cookie, but they can never take your fortune.” It’s a great helping of nostalgia for me, but I think anyone can enjoy “Cats Don’t Dance.” It really is that disarming.

“Friends with Money”

If you look at the poster for “Friends with Money,” see Jennifer Aniston and instantly think, “This movie is going to be stupid,” be prepared to think twice. It’s an incredibly, perhaps surprisingly, deep look at the effects of money and social class on four friends in Los Angeles. It rounds all the bases, touching on all the big issues that an obsession with money can bring.

Each of the women (Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack, and Jennifer Aniston) undergoes a metamorphosis over the course of the movie’s 88 minutes. Holofcener creates four wonderfully elaborate women whose stories unfold before our very eyes. The character study is incredibly effective and entertaining, largely due in part to the wittiness of the script.

And bring on the puzzled looks – the star of “Friends With Money” is Jennifer Aniston. Her Olivia is by far and away the film’s most complicated character, and in the hands of Aniston, she is completely realized. We can buy every move she makes and feel the emotion behind each line. All you Jennifer Aniston haters out there, watch this movie. You may not be silenced, but it should shut you up for a little while.

“Waltz with Bashir”

When I explain the genre of “Waltz with Bashir,” it will probably sound like an oxymoron. An animated documentary?!? How does that even work? But at some point in history, peanut butter and jelly sounded like a strange combination. Someone had to be bold and try it, and Folman should be remembered as a pioneer of a new style of filmmaking that I really hope will catch on. Using animation in a documentary is a fascinating way to make people’s memories come to life, especially ones that might be too costly or difficult to shoot in live action. Nothing is wasted and no holds are barred.

Folman’s documentary revolves around a very intriguing concept. As a young man, he fought for Israel in the Lebanon War of the 1980s. Fast forward to the present day, and Folman has absolutely no recollection of anything that happened during the fighting save one memory of he and some comrades emerging from water completely naked. He begins to visit some people who might be able to jog his memory, asking them about their experiences. The stories slowly become more and more brutal, and Folman begins to remember.

If you decide to watch “Waltz with Bashir,” prepare yourself. It’s not an easy movie to sit through, but it’s a rich and rewarding hour and a half. Hopefully other documentary filmmakers have seen that Folman’s film is unbounded in its possibilities, and other stories that we could barely imagine will find life on celluloid.

Go check out Kai’s entire post by clicking HERE.





My “Interview with a LAMBpire”

13 08 2010

I got a cool feature over at the LAMB this week thanks to winning May’s “Cast the LAMB” for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Andrew from “Encore Entertainment” is bringing back an old feature from the LAMB archives called “Interview with a LAMBpire.”  All great puns and wordplay aside, it’s a great idea and nice reward for the win.

I’m going to make you go over to the LAMB and check out the interview, but here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Andrew: Annette Bening was one of the actors you chose for your winning LAMB Casting Entry. Is there any type of role you’d like to Annette tackle that she hasn’t so far?

Marshall: Really raunchy comedy – The Kids Are All Right doesn’t count because she in essence played Carolyn Burnham from American Beauty. It should be something tasteful (I’m not telling her to star in the latest spoof from two of the six writers of Scary Movie), but something that is going to shock us. We should still think that she’s giving a great performance; however, I’d also love us to think, “THAT is the woman from American Beauty? Wow.”

I talk about Marion Cotillard, Jason Reitman, school, and all sorts of other things.  So head on over by clicking the picture below!





LAMB Alert: Julianne Moore “Acting School”

3 08 2010

Thanks to “The Kids Are All Right,” I’m going through a HUGE Julianne Moore phase right now.  I’ve been making an effort to see all her major roles, especially the Oscar-nominated ones, since seeing the movie.

And I also had the added motivation of the LAMB Acting School’s spotlight on Moore.  As usual, I submitted my reviews on Julianne Moore – three from recent reviews and three from the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” series.  If you aren’t done celebrating Moore like I’m not done, then be sure to check out this great event.  Hopefully the celebration last until Oscar night … fingers crossed!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Here’s what I reviewed/submitted:
Boogie Nights
Far from Heaven
Children of Men
A Single Man
Chloe
The Kids Are All Right