LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After weeks of Internet buzzing that the new Superman movie portrays the Man of Steel as gay, the director of the film issued a strong denial on Friday and said it was the most heterosexual character he has filmed.
Superman "is probably the most heterosexual character in any movie I've ever made," said Bryan Singer, director of "Superman Returns," a new movie about the crime-fighting superhero that opens June 28. "I don't think he's ever been gay."
In recent months, the movie's ability to lure its target audience has been questioned by Internet buzz probing the superhero's sexuality.
Young men are the movie's target audience and the film needs to attract millions of them to earn a profit and relaunch the "Superman" film franchise.
A major gay magazine, The Advocate, ran a cover story with the headline: "How Gay is Superman," and the Los Angeles Times weighed in with its own story on whether being gay might hinder or help the movie's box office receipts.
After all, gay romance "Brokeback Mountain" won awards and raked in $178 million worldwide.
So he wears a leotard and flies around in a red cape. Big deal, Singer said, noting Spider-Man wears tights. The X-Men do too, and they aren't gay. Singer ought to know, he directed 2000's "X-Men" movie and 2003's "X2: X-Men United."
Singer said his version of the Man of Steel, who is played by Brandon Routh, is a "very romantic icon" -- handsome, virtuous and vulnerable.
In the movie, Superman comes back to Earth after a five- year absence. Early on, audiences learn the love of his life, hard-charging reporter Lois Lane, has moved on from her infatuation with him. She has a new boyfriend and a child.
Yet when he re-enters her life, Lois still has that sexy gleam in her eye, and he can't wait to fly her to the moon.
"We were all scratching our heads," said Paul Levitz, president and publisher of Superman owner DC Comics. "He's not a gay character."
I just never was exposed to The Band as a kid. (In Ormond Beach, Fl, where I grew up, all we heard on the radio was southern rock. Seriously, they didn't even play Springstein or The Dead.
Oh, they played a little Ted Nugent, too. Cat Scratch Fever. Yikes!
At any rate, I just saw the movie, The Last Waltz. It is a rock DVD of The Band's last concert here in SF in 1976, and they brought the most amazing performers (Dylan, Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, and they played the most tremendous backup.
The Joni Mitchell rendition of Coyote was incredible. Usually, she is mellow with just that acoustic guitar, but in this, she's backed up with the best electronic backup band you have ever heard. Man, what a sound and what poetry and what reaming guitar!
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Neither the Godfather nor 007 can top Rhett Butler when it comes to being the most quotable character in the movies.
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," the rakish Butler's famous line from the 1939 classic "Gone With the Wind," as spoken by Clark Gable, was named the most memorable movie quote in a poll by the American Film Institute.
Results were released on Tuesday in a television show that aired on the CBS network.
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" from 1972's "The Godfather" was No. 2, and Marlon Brando, who spoke those words, also claimed No. 3 with his line from 1954's "On the Waterfront:" "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am."
The American Film Institute, a top U.S. film education group, annually conducts a poll of favorite movie moments, genres and characters. This year, AFI asked some 1,500 creative industry professionals for their favorite quote.
"They get into our (everyday language)," said AFI director Jean Picker Firstenberg. "They become a common language that we all can relate to and empathize with."
Judy Garland as Dorothy in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" telling her little dog, "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," came in at No. 4. Completing the top five was Humphrey Bogart as nightclub owner Rick Blaine from 1942's "Casablanca" with: "Here's looking at you kid."
The top 100 quotes were dominated by classic movies, with the most recent from 1983's "Sudden Impact," in which Clint Eastwood, playing tough cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan, tells a crook, "Go ahead, make my day." That quote came in at No. 6.
Super spy 007's "Bond, James Bond" from 1962's "Dr. No," which starred Sean Connery, landed at No. 22.
Firstenberg said quotes from classic films most likely topped the list because it took a long time for the sayings to work their way into popular culture, but once they do, the words tend to stick around for decades.
Did any of you all see it? As usual, I live to read your comments! gs
My favorite quote from the movie comes from Posey, who plays an insane rich girl who thinks she's Jackie O and is having an incestuous relationship with her brother. Mother asks if it's okay if she takes the meds and drinks alcohol with them. Jackie-O insists that it's fine: "They switched me. I used to be orange and now I'm brown. I got pills to match my eyes. Color me beautiful."
I saw Mike Nichols' Closer tonight. It made me feel kind of ... how do you say ... dirty. A brutal movie.
Here's what The New Yorker had to say about it:
The new Mike Nichols film, “Closer,” starts with a man falling in love with Natalie Portman. From this we may assume that the movie is concerned with universal, a-priori truths, although there is a scene in a lap-dancing club when the a-posteriori version comes in handy. The man is Dan (Jude Law), a writer of obituaries for a London newspaper, who wears a hangdog suit as if in half-mourning for his subjects. Portman plays a slip of a thing named Alice, a stripper by profession, just in from New York. If she knew how much soul, as opposed to body, she would be forced to bare in the course of her stay, she might have turned around and flown home.
The next thing we know, the two of them are sharing a full life and a cramped apartment. In fact, we have bounced ahead in time, but at no point in “Closer,” the plot of which unrolls over four years or more, does a title flash up saying “One year on” or “Two weeks later.” The plan, presumably, is not to confuse but to cram—to yank the film away from the romantic decorum that views love as a narrative, with clean beginnings and ends. What we get, instead, is knots of desire, clumped together and hard to tease apart. The first tangle comes when Dan sits for a photographer, Anna (Julia Roberts). They exchange a kiss. From here, Nichols and his screenwriter, Patrick Marber—who has adapted his own play, of the same name—make it their business to erode the sentimental status quo. If you want caring and sharing, forget it. People share here, but they share betrayals and bodily fluids as if they were viral strains. Anna meets a doctor named Larry (Clive Owen) in the blue dusk of an aquarium—an ominous site, for anyone who remembers Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth plotting in front of a fishtank in “The Lady from Shanghai.” Anna marries Larry, but that kiss with Dan was the start of something bad. Larry himself is no angel, and his devilry is destined to leave its mark; once he encounters Alice at a show of Anna’s photographs, another stage is set.
“Closer” began in the theatre, hitting a nerve in more than thirty languages around the world. Language is the battlefield, or the minefield, here—our foursome talk of almost nothing but sex, yet there is no sex, unless you count Alice’s bendy, no-touching display in a professional club—and I would be interested to learn how Anna’s tirade, in which she compares the seminal flavors of our two heroes (“the same as yours, but sweeter”), went down in Serbo-Croatian or Mandarin. Here, I guess, there will be a titillated shudder as Julia Roberts delivers the line: all that sour dirt in the mouth of America’s sweetheart! But the shock will fade, and what really matters is how wretched Roberts seems in the portrayal of a wretched being. Roberts is at her loveliest when she is funny, she is at her funniest when she is happy, and she is never at her happiest in this film. Jude Law, likewise, looks frayed by the wear and tear; you can believe him and Roberts when they’ve had enough, but not, crucially, in the earlier scenes, when they should be engulfing each other and ravenous for more.
All of which leaves Natalie Portman and Clive Owen to carry the show. Portman is becoming hard to cast: her beauty is by now so extreme that its sole purpose is the feeding of obsession. (George Lucas loads her with silly costumes and puddles of makeup, as if to wish the beauty away, to stop it from throwing his sexless galaxy out of whack.) Owen alone, in “Closer,” rises to the challenge, and his scene with Alice in the club is the core of the picture—she in frills and pink wig, he meaty, stubbled, and stripped of cant. Larry scorns his wife when she tags him with “middle-class guilt,” and rightly so; he is a working-class boy made good, and emotionally unafraid—that is why he hits so hard on Alice, whose tears are as brisk as his rages. Toward the end, a snuffling Dan confronts Larry in his office, and I was embarrassed to see how comprehensively Owen, resplendent in tie and pinstripes, wipes the floor with Law, whose voice goes high and husky under the assault. Larry’s gibes are guided like missiles, and the meanest of them is unanswerable: “You writer.”
Given this firepower, why does “Closer” the movie leave fewer scorchmarks than “Closer” the play? I saw it in the theatre, with Clive Owen in the part of Dan (small wonder that his Larry is so triumphant: he knows Dan’s soft spots all too well), and the impression was one of terrible momentum—four characters in search of a pileup. The film feels elegant by comparison, more circular than headlong. At first, the director of photography, Stephen Goldblatt, reduces London to its harsh constituent grays—steel, stone, cloud—but before long we are wafting into exhibition spaces and airy lofts that could be anywhere. My favorite Nichols film is still “Carnal Knowledge,” whose Jules Feiffer script was as venomous as Marber’s. The Nichols of 1971, however, was bold and speedy, keeping pace with Jack Nicholson’s contempt, whereas the more civilized Nichols of 2004 seems a beat behind the lines, waiting for peace or charity to break out. They never do. As for the funniest sequence, when Dan visits an anonymous sex-chat Web site and, pretending to be a woman (“Blonde. Epic tits”), cyber-seduces a gullible Larry, all we get is meek, over-the-shoulder shots of their screens, whereas onstage the entire backdrop was illuminated, until our field of vision was replete with their electronic filth. It was just like being at the movies.
I saw We Don't Live Here Anymore tonight at the independent theatre in West Portal (San Francisco). This might be the best film I've seen in a couple of years. Peter Krause plays this amazing sociopath, Naomi Watts and Laura Dern rock, and the editing is cruel and beautiful.
The great actress Laura Dern looks like an Alice who has wandered a bit too far into Wonderland. Dern has a lengthy, skinny torso, a long neck, and a back like a drawn bow, and when she stretches that body in anger or sensual delight and then lets it snap or crumple—as she did in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” (1990) and as the slatternly, beer-swilling Ruth Stoop in “Citizen Ruth” (1996)—you feel as if something primal were happening right in front of your eyes. Modern in sexuality, classic in rage, this actress reaches for extremes. In the vivid domestic drama “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which is easily the best American movie so far this year, Dern gives an enormous, fully emotional performance, but she never ceases to play her character, a housewife in a troubled marriage—she never becomes a diva. Terry Linden lives in an old, dark-panelled house in a small New England town with her husband Jack (Mark Ruffalo), two little kids, and a pile of laundry that mounts like an accusation. Terry, it seems, can’t quite stay on top of the housework. Instead of cleaning up, she fondles a wineglass in the afternoons, in part because Jack, whom she’s still crazy about after a decade of marriage, is beginning to slide away. She comes after him, he attacks her for being lazy, and the two slam away at each other like middleweights. A halfhearted English professor at a local college, Jack is overwhelmed by his adoring wife—he feels he isn’t worthy of her in some way, and his guilt is making him cruel. He’s cheating on Terry with her best friend, Edith (Naomi Watts), who’s married to Hank (Peter Krause), a colleague of his at the college.
I reviewed software and hardware products for a few years, mostly for industry pubs like PC Week and PC/Computing. PR people besieged me with samples, my office, trunk and home garage were filled with every version of TurboTax, every make and model of hard drive, you get the idea.
How to decide what to review? I had a philosophy. I automatically reviewed a product in print only if 1.) It was hyped in the news and everyone was waiting for word on how it worked. OR 2.) The product was great, even if it was obscure. OR 3.) The product was just piss-poor, even if it was from a major company known for good products.
I digress, but not much.
As I was watching The Cooler tonight, I debated whether I should even grant it a mention here in this blog. I have been reviewing things here. Like the amazing Counting Crows concert at the Warfield, or that dark Pieces of April on Thanksgiving. I loved them.
I hated this.
If I did a four-word review on The Cooler, it would read: "Inexplicable. Improbable. Just crappy."
Too bad I was never allowed to four word reviews of various versions of Windows, when they came out : )
Anyway, if you see the movie, recall that I hated it, and let me know if you agree and why. So there you have it.