Blogathon Alert: And you think I’m celebrating Nolan…

15 07 2010

Well, I’ve done it.  I have reviewed each and every one of Christopher Nolan’s movies leading up to “Inception,” which hits theaters in about 10 hours.  Rewatching and revisiting all the movies have reminded me of how truly visionary he is.

But as far as celebrations go, I have done nowhere near as much as Bryce over at “Things That Don’t Suck.”  He has put together a massive blogathon, compiling all sorts of reviews and features on Nolan and his movies.  It’s truly incredible to see all the great stuff that has been written, and trust me, there’s no dearth of it.  So click on the banner below to see not only everyone else’s work, but Brice’s own reviews and opinions on Nolan.

It’s time to get our minds blown, folks.

LAMB Alert: “My Best Friend’s Wedding” Casting

29 06 2010

As you may recall in my post announcing my victory in the “LAMB Casting” contest for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” I had the option of choosing the next movie to be recast.  I have chosen. I decided to take “LAMB Casting” in an entirely different direction that I hope will be fun and enjoyable for all.  The movies that have been recast in the past have been very serious, Oscar-type movies like “Doubt” and “The Color Purple.”  My choice is in an entirely different genre: romantic comedy. “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” released in 1997, remains one of my favorite romantic comedies because it is charming, funny, and does not adhere to the formula.  It features Julia Roberts, who was achieving superstardom at the time, and Cameron Diaz, just beginning her own rise.  Dermot Mulroney, the romantic interest, used the movie as a catapault out of indies and into mainstream.  And then there’s Rupert Everett who is just an absolute laugh riot. I want to encourage every LAMB to participate in the event because it’s just too much fun to miss out on.  So as a kick-off of sorts to the challenge, Andrew from “Encore Entertainment,” did a little write-up of each of the roles to be recast.  Read it and submit your cast.

Julianne Potter, our heroine originally played by Roberts: assertive and outspoken, but still insecure it shall be tough to one up Julia
Michael O’Neal, our leading male but not the hero originally played by Dermot Mulroney: good looking and bland (as far as I could tell) really Mulroney was a bit of a bore, let’s see what you can do to improve
Kimberly Wallace, the ingenue originally played by Cameron Diaz: ostensibly naive but not an idiot, personable but just  a little annoying Diaz was golden here, but there are some good options out there
George Downes, the best friend originally played by Rupert Everett: smart, suave and a lot of fun this will be the tough one I think…

Let the games BEGIN!  I’ll say a little prayer for you.

LAMB Alert: Tom Cruise “Acting School”

27 06 2010

There’s another exciting event going on over at the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB).  About this time last month, I alerted you to a series called the “Acting School” to celebrate the career of Robert Downey, Jr.  This month, it focuses on Tom Cruise.

It’s a great event and there are most assuredly going to be many amazing posts, so I implore you to check it out.  I myself have two pieces in the event written especially for it – mainly because I had no reviews on my site of any of his movies.

The entire series of posts is called “Cruise Control” (because I love wordplay), and I decided to split it into two parts to provide two unique glimpses at the actor.  The first post focused on the Cruise that could have been, highlighting roles the actor almost took.  The second post, on the other hand, focused on the Cruise that I know based on his movies that I have seen.

So go over and celebrate the career of Tom Cruise by celebrating all the fantastic bloggers that submitted their own pieces.  Click on the picture below to be taken to the event.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

I’m on the LAMBcast!

20 06 2010

For those of you that have ever wondered what I sound like, wonder no more. I have ventured into the world of podcasting on the Large Association of Movie Blogs’ “LAMBcast.” Three short weeks ago, I was a neophyte who had no idea how the LAMBcast worked. Now, I have gone from a participant to a discussion leader.

On LAMBcast #24, the topic on hand was film adaptations of video games in the wake of the release of “Prince of Persia.” The conversation was lively with plenty of poking fun at Hollywood’s less than stellar output in the genre. I thought I had little to contribute because I have (wisely) steered clear of video game movies, but I was surprised at how much I had to say.

On LAMBcast #25, I had a great time talking about the movies I’d seen on DVD in recent weeks. Unfortunately, technology backfired and the discussion didn’t record in a way that would be pleasant to listen to. So if you want to hear me play “Last LAMB Standing,” feel free to spend your 12 minutes doing so.

On LAMBcast #26, I led a discussion on comedies tying into the release of “Get Him to the Greek,” a movie which I gave a solid A.  First, we talked about the movie and then went into discussion about what makes a successful comedy, both at the box office and with audiences.

I would strongly recommend listening to them, not only because I am on them but also because they are fun and informative to listen to.

There are four ways to listen to the LAMBcast; unfortunately, none of them are on “Marshall and the Movies.”

1. Listen on Podomatic, the site where the podcast is hosted
2. Find the LAMBcast on iTunes
3. Listen on the embedded player on the LAMB
4. Listen on the embedded player on Blog Cabins

I’m sorry I can’t figure out a way to get WordPress to embed that darned thing, but I’ll work on it for future podcasts.  Click on any of the links above for some good listening!

My “Virginia Woolf” Cast WON!

16 06 2010

Back in May, I alerted you to a contest I was participating in, “LAMB Casting,” over at the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB).  The premise was to recast a classic movie with modern actors.  The last contest asked bloggers to take their best crack at creating a new cast for Mike Nichols’ censorship-defying “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Andrew from “Encore Entertainment” was in charge of the event, and he created some great graphics as well as great write-ups on each of the casts submitted.  Go over to the LAMB and check out his hard work, or better yet, go look at his site itself.

Andrew’s comments on my cast were as follows:

Marshall’s cast is the most Hollywood, and that is a compliment. I can see this one being made and the casting of Ms. Bening is largely responsible for that. From Carolyn Burnham to Julia Lambert to Deidre Burroughs how could I not think she can handle this? I’ll admit George Clooney does nothing for me, and though I’m somewhat sceptic of his ability to succeed Richard Burton he would probably surpise me. It would be interesting see good-boy Jake playing Nick, but it is the sort of role he could make work and his pairing would Amy Adams would be believable (who gets chosen once again).

My Favourite: Annette Bening

Sure enough, in a close race, I (or really, my Hollywood cast) won by two votes.  So, for my victory lap, I’ll explain my casting choices.

As soon as I heard that “LAMB Casting” was covering “Woolf,” I knew two things.  The first was that the cast needed to be all highly respected and established actors, preferably Oscar nominees since the entire cast received nominations back in 1966.  The second, and probably most key to my victory, was that Annette Bening had to be Martha.  She’s the best actress at suppressing rage underneath a fairly calm exterior and still making it terrifying when it inevitably explodes out of her.  Carolyn Burnham, her character from “American Beauty,” was incredibly influential in my decision.  Her constant frustration with her husband and the mediocre life they live clearly takes its toll on her to the point that she completely alters her lifestyle to keep from boiling over.

The other quick decision was casting Amy Adams, an Oscar nominee for “Junebug” in 2005, as the more innocent yet feisty Honey.  Few others can play that level slightly above ditzy, and none to more acclaim than Adams.  As for being sweet and lovable, look no further than “Enchanted.”  She hasn’t really taken on a role that shows us her wild side (the closest she got would probably be “Talladega Nights”), but the movie would definitely prove a chance for her to wow us with something new.

As for her husband, Nick, I was looking for someone with a good amount of charm and someone fairly “good looking” by Hollywood standards.  Thinking of Oscar nominees, Jake Gyllenhaal kept coming to mind.  His first big role was the modest and humble Homer Hickam in “October Sky,” which is enough to convince me that he can handle the at first polite Nick.  But as the movie progresses, he’ll have to become more serious and stand head-to-head with Bening.  He could clearly match her in intensity, as roles in movies like “Brokeback Mountain” and “Brothers” have shown.

My last role to cast, George, was kind of a toss-up.  I couldn’t really think of anyone with the same qualities as Richard Burton, who was very grave and serious basically throughout – a counterpoint to his wife who’s drowning in alcohol.  Ultimately, it came down to finding someone who could have some compelling arguments with Bening and wouldn’t be totally overshadowed by her either.  I settled on Clooney because “Up in the Air” showed us that he can share the spotlight with women, and I think his generally friendly personality might lend a little bit of lightness to George that wasn’t there with Burton.  And after that final scene in “Michael Clayton,” I know he can make one heck of a great argument (start the “Michael Clayton” video at 3:30 to see Clooney in action).


So, in closing, let me give a big “Marshall and the Movies” THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my cast.  As a result, I now get to pick the next “LAMB Casting.”  Any suggestions?  My initial thought was to keep the Mike Nichols theme going and recast “The Graduate,” but that has such a small cast.  I’ll field any ideas, no matter how crazy, in the comments below.


16 06 2010

The perks of a commitment to constant commenting (alliteration fully intended) are manifold, and this is my hard work manifested.

After placing second in Anomalous Material’s May commenting contests (to none other than the winner of my own commenting contest in April, Ripley from “Four of Them”), I was given a choice of many prizes.  I chose a blog review on the site, similar to the LAMB’s Brutally Blunt Blog Blustering.

I really want your honest opinion on how to change it – from bloggers and normal moviegoers.  CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW to be taken to Anomalous Material where the blog review is taking place.  Leave your honest thoughts, no matter how cruel they may be.  If you absolutely hate my blog and want me to stop immediately, phrase it nicely and leave it as a comment.  I asked for this, so I’m prepared to hear whatever you think.

Head on over to Anomalous Material and review me!

And while you are at it, check out the “Greatest Comedy of All-Time Tournament.”  It’s a massive, 128-movie bracket to ultimately determine what blog readers think is the funniest movie ever.  Basically, it’s like March Madness for moviegoers on steroids.  It’s a pretty massive undertaking, so go give Red and Castor your votes and time.

What an ambitious project. Do yourself a favor and participate.

LAMB Alert: Robert Downey Jr. “Acting School”

31 05 2010

On the first morning of summer, I got up and watched “Sherlock Holmes” just because I could.

Speaking of “Sherlock Holmes,” there’s going to be another cool event going on at the LAMB involving the movie’s star, Robert Downey, Jr.  He’s the reason I decided to give it a second view after my less than glowing first opinion.  The movie works largely because of him, and it was commercially viable also because of him.  He has perfected the smug and slightly standoffish character, and Americans can’t seem to get enough of it.  $275 million and counting for “Iron Man 2” speaks as a testament to it.

But Robert Downey, Jr. has made plenty of other contributions to acting other than this character, and his two Oscar nominations have come from playing something entirely different.  In 1993, he received his first nomination for “Chaplin,” a biopic where RDJ played the famed silent movie star.  Just two years ago, he received his second nomination for a very risky comedic role in “Tropic Thunder,” playing (as the movie puts it) “a dude playing the dude disguised as another dude.”  It’s risks like these that have made Robert Downey, Jr. a unique and lauded actor.

The LAMB is celebrating the man, the actor, and the roles.  It’s really worth checking out because there are reviews of all of his movies as well as spotlight pieces on Robert Downey, Jr. and his work.  I contributed the two reviews I have written of RDJ’s latest movies, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Iron Man 2.”  I wasn’t particularly complimentary of the actor in those two movies, but I really do admire him.  In “Iron Man,” he had a dry wit and strange charm while constantly projecting an image of authority.  He showed a very tender side in “The Soloist,” a very good movie that few people saw.  And while I loathed “Tropic Thunder,” I found his turn to be strangely satisfying.

So come join in the celebration; click the image below and you’ll be directed to the event.