Weekend Update – Golden Globes 2011 Live Blog!

15 01 2012

4:00 P.M.  E! has already started their Golden Globe coverage, so I guess it’s time for me to begin as well!  Time for the best of Hollywood (and television) to come out and get rewarded (or robbed).  Predictions will slowly trickle in as the stars grace the red carpet, but I’ll be writing from the arrivals to the awards to Ricky Gervais’ harsh quips.  With recaps, opinions, and insights, make “Marshall and the Movies” your companion for the Golden Globes!

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Random Factoid #538

17 01 2011

8 for 10 on my Golden Globes predictions, not too shabby!  (Darned Mila Kunis and Jake Gyllenhaal for blowing my perfect 10.)

It was a nice night (as is any with Natalie Portman at the podium), but a lot of people had issues with Ricky Gervais.  For what it’s worth, I thought he did a great job – no more offensive than last year.  He took shots at people who needed to be proven vulnerable, like the HFPA, Charlie Sheen, the lauded cast of “Sex and the City,” and “The Tourist.”

Except for perhaps his introductions of Tim Allen and Robert Downey Jr., every joke was in fairly good taste.  They weren’t just potshots; they made you think about why we care so much about certain institutions and celebrities.  It’s at this point in the factoid where I’ll refer you to “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” a documentary about the fantastic comedienne that makes many profound observations about the nature of good comedy.

I’m not expecting something as crude from Franco and Hathaway in a month, but I’m hoping for at least as good of a show.

F.I.L.M. of the Week (October 16, 2009)

16 10 2009

The “F.I.L.M.” (First-Class, Independent Little-Known Movie) of this week does not precisely fit its billing.  It is not independent (in fact, it’s a studio movie), but unfortunately it is little-known.  Released just last September, “Ghost Town” is one of 2008’s hidden jewels.  It is a witty and wry comedy with a simple yet fantastical premise.  While undergoing a surgical procedure, Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) dies for seven minutes.  He walks out of the operation with a strange side effect – he can see and communicate with the souls of the dead.  While our natural inclination as skeptical moviegoers is to assume that we know the plot just by hearing the premise, “Ghost Town” defies the clichés.  The result is a sentimental movie that tickles the funny bone but warms the heart (and potentially rupturing the tear ducts).

As mentioned earlier, Pincus is unwillingly able to talk to dead people.  One such soul, Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), takes a special interest in Pincus.  Frank wants to use Pincus to tie up some loose ends from his former life.  His widow, the gorgeous paleontologist Gwen (Tea Leoni), is engaged to a man who doesn’t deserve her.  However, the misanthropic Pincus is hardly an ideal wooer, and it will take all that is in him to unleash something resembling charm.  As he grows to know Gwen, patches of sensitivity are revealed beneath his Scrooge-like coating.  But even more unexpectedly, through the ghost that follow him and bark demands incessantly, Pincus begins to discover what a tremendous impact his life could have on everyone around him.

I love a movie with a message, yet it is nearly impossible to find one that has good values without being overly preachy.  “Ghost Town” strikes just the right cord, pushing its message but not getting in your face with it.  The lessons that Pincus learns are applicable to our everyday lives, and they can be summed up in a quote from Albert Einstein: “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”

I implore you to give “Ghost Town” a view sometime soon.  It plays all the time on HBO, so there’s no reason not to watch; resist the temptation to watch some other mindless movie.  If you want some light entertainment with a soul, this is your movie.

What to Look Forward to In … October 2009

29 08 2009

We give the movie industry late August and all of September to recover from the busy summer season, but in October, it starts to kick it into gear again.  Unfortunately, my most anticipated movie in October, Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” was pushed back to February.  But the month still puts forth several great movies for all tastes.

October 2

This week, I can promise you that I will be throwing my money not at a new release, but at the re-release of two staples of my childhood.  “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” will hit theaters again for a few weeks.  1 ticket.  2 movies. 3-D.  Need I say more?

The week also gives us “The Invention of Lying,” which could be a sleeper comedy hit. The movie stars Ricky Gervais, who was the lead of the British version of “The Office.” Around this time last year, he starred in “Ghost Town,” a comedy with a heart that you need to go rent now, that was dismissed by audiences. I have high hopes for his latest, in which he plays a man who tells the world’s first lie on an alternate Earth. He continues to wield the power to suit his own selfish needs. The movie also features Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, and the always funny Tina Fey.

And not to mention, the week delivers Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, “Whip It.” The movie stars the irresistible Ellen Page (“Juno”) as Bliss, a teenager weary of the beauty pageants that she is forced into by her parents. One day, she discovers the world of roller derby and she finds the happiness that she has been so desperately seeking. The movie boasts a hilarious supporting cast including Kristen Wiig (“SNL”), Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, and Barrymore herself.

And it just keeps getting better.  The Coen Brothers (“No Country for Old Men”) are back with their latest feature, “A Serious Man;” they also wrote the original screenplay.  The movie seems to be a big risk.  It features no marquee names other than the Coens themselves. The trailer is cryptic, giving no indication of what to expect from the movie. I don’t mind an aura of mystique, but this is an aura of confusion. The movie is being marketed as a dark comedy, and I pray that it is the polar opposite of the Coens’ last foray into the genre, “Burn After Reading,” which I didn’t find funny at all. The movie starts in limited release and then will slowly expand from New York and Los Angeles.

The other major release of the week is “Zombieland,” a horror-comedy with Woody Harrelson.

October 9

The only exciting movie hitting theaters across the country this weekend is “Couples Retreat.”  A comedy centered around four couples at a luxurious tropical resort that is revealed to be a marriage therapy clinic, it appears to provide something for everyone.  It has pretty women (Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis) AND funny guys (Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau).  The movie is the directorial debut of Ralph Billingsley, best known for playing Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” and the screenplay is written by Vaughn and Favreau.  Hopefully it can provide some good laughs in a season usually replete of hilarious comedies.

Opening in limited release is “An Education,” a movie that has been garnering massive Oscar buzz for months now.  Most of it has centered on the breakout performance of lead actress Carey Mulligan.  In the movie, she stars as Jenny, a 17-year-old in 1960s England who is set on going to Oxford.  However, an older gentleman (Peter Sarsgaard) comes along and sweeps her off of her feet, introducing her to a lifestyle that she immediately loves.  But reality bites, and Jenny is left at a crucial crossroads.  The movie has also generated buzz around supporting actors Alfred Molina and Rosamund Pike (the red-haired villain of “Die Another Day”).  Raves are also flying in for the screenplay, written by author Nick Hornby, writer of “About a Boy” and “Fever Pitch.”  And with the 10 nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, many people say it has a good chance of claiming one of the ten.

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