Posts Tagged ‘peter gabriel’

One Blonde and Two Guest “Blondes” Go To a Movie: Hugo

December 21, 2011

One blonde and two guest “blondes” review a movie and sometimes ramble about themselves:

ALISON SAYS:
The movie revolves around Hugo, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station. I saw Hugo with Nate and Pete (our guest “blondes” for today) and all three of us came out at the end of the movie in awe. I loved Hugo, absolutely loved it. It’s probably one of my favorite movies of the past ten years. It’s hard to put into words the wonder this movie inspires. I’ve never seen anyone do with 3D what this movie did. Sure, there’s been some pretty 3D movies, but sometimes while watching a 3D movie, it can just feel like a gimmick rather than an important element of storytelling. But in Hugo, the 3D isn’t just a gimmick, it helps tell the story and it’s absolutely beautiful. It feels like you’re in a storybook. You get to soar over the streets of Paris. It ignites your childhood wonder and makes the audience feel completely immersed in this world. I can’t think of a better example of movie magic. It really did feel magical watching this movie.

Besides being a tale of wonder and of finding one’s path in life, this also felt like Martin Scorses’s love letter to filmmaking. There was such a passion and love of film evident in every frame of the movie. I think this is Scorsese’s best work. It’s a beautiful film, both in story and in visuals. Did I mention yet that I really, really love this movie?

LA Viewers: Go see this film! Immediately. And pay the 3 bucks for 3D. Even if you’re not a sap like me, you’ll still find yourself believing in magic.

Non-LA Viewers: You want to be transported to a world of magic and filmmaking wonder, don’t you? Get your butt to the theater now! I said now!

Our two guest “blondes” today are Nate Winslow and Pete D’Alessandro:

NATE SAYS:

I associate Martin Scorsese with a lot of things: De Niro when he still cared about things, Daniel Day-Lewis’s mustache in Gangs of New York, gangsters, really long Steadicam shots, death-by-stabbing, a
liberal use of the word “fuck,” and being, in general, disgustingly talented.

Something I don’t associate him with: fairy tales about innocence and discovery.

And then I saw Hugo. And now I don’t really want him to make another movie where Joe Pesci stabs someone—I want him to make PG movies about the power of storytelling and the discovery of cinema by a mismatched pair of child adventurers in a magical, secluded train station.

Walking in to Hugo, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d heard the rumblings that it was Scorsese’s ode to cinema and to the power of storytelling and that it was the best use of 3D since the invention of that Grand Gimmick, but then I also couldn’t get past the fact that something about the trailer reminded me of The Terminal.

It’s something hard to pin down, though—I can happily report it’s nothing like The Terminal—and it’s honestly something I never expected from Scorsese. I wouldn’t say it’s whimsical, exactly, but it really is his shot at a fairy tale. The train station where the majority of the film takes place isn’t your standard Grand Central: it’s an entire world, heightened, not-quite-connected-to-reality. Its inhabitants are enlarged and exaggerated, the look and feel of it almost surreal. The tone, the pacing, it’s grounded somewhere outside of our real world.

An Oz. A Neverland (not the ranch). And much like both of those realms, the world that Scorsese paints is infused at every turn with magic: the magic of adventure, the magic of innocence and most of all, the magic of cinema. When you think about it, coming from a man who stands for so much in the preservation and praise of filmmaking, two of those things suddenly seem like no-brainers. It was the powerful feeling of genuine childlike innocence that took me by complete surprise, though. That’s something I associate with Spielberg in E.T. mode, not The Departed-era Scorsese. Consider me blown away: I have seen very few movies more powerful and simply affecting in theaters this year than Hugo.

Hugo, at its core, is a story about discovering the magic of movies. Two children discovering the literal power of cinema and visual storytelling for the first time—and it’s beautiful. Every frame is luscious,
every frame is bursting at the seams with the very thing Hugo is about. If this is Scorsese turning over a new leaf in the latter stages of his career (something without Leo?? Perish the thought!), I support this
leaf with every ounce of my being. Bring on Scorsese’s Pixar movie.

PETE SAYS:

Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” If that’s true, Hugo was filmed on a new format called “You-Forgot-What-Special-Effects-Were-For.”

It’s about a young boy who lives at a train station. He has a mission to rebuild a machine, even though he has no idea what it does. If that’s not a terrible pitch for Hugo, I don’t know what is.

It’s really about a young boy trying to do what he’s meant to do. Purpose, destiny. Thematically, all well and good, but the real reason to talk about Hugo is what it says about filmmaking.

Hugo is a movie of few explosions. (Sorry to those Michael Bay fans.) But the “effects,” for lack of a better word, do something no 3D film has done to date.

3D can be used to add a new set of storytelling tools to a movie, just the way that cinematography and editing added elements the theater could never provide. Hugo is the first movie to take advantage of
those tools.

I can use a lens to achieve a separation between two characters at the ends of a long hallway. I can edit between that distance and the characters reactions to highlight how they feel. I can zoom out to drive it home further. And, as of Hugo, I can separate these characters using distance in a third dimension.

If you’re going to bring something new like 3D to a movie, make it say something. Another quote this movie drives home: “Writing about art is like dancing about architecture.” Hugo demonstrates that film
can deliver a message in a way no other language could.

Admittedly, I’m a sucker for those pieces that examine themselves. But when it’s done right, I feel a little smarter for having gone along for the ride.

Now that I have done no justice to previously unimagined cinematic techniques by writing about them, go see Hugo in the theatres, and pay extra for the 3D experience.

Two Blondes Watch Their Tivo: The Golden Globes

January 12, 2009

Two blondes watch their TiVo and pass judgment on Hollywood:

ALISON SAYS:

MEGAN FOX
Did anyone else notice Megan Fox’s nervous blabbering on the on red carpet during the pre-show?  She said her boyfriend, Brian Austin Green, wouldn’t attend the Golden Globes with her because: “He’s a man.”  Sounds to me like a certain TV actor is jealous of their significant other’s movie career and rising level of fame.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS
There was one point during the show where NPH gave the camera a big wink.  I chose to believe that wink was directed at me and meant that NPH and I will be best friends forever and share laughs over why Renee Zellweger wore such a crazy dress.

KATE WINSLET

Kate Winslet = awards and awesomeness.  She’s always classy both on the red carpet and when accepting her multiple much deserved awards.

Kate Winslet

RUMER, DEMI & ASHTON
When Rumer Willis was introduced as the Golden Globe gal, the camera cut to Demi and Ashton, who each waved in a loving, parental way.  I think it’s awesome Demi found a hot, younger man.  I think more women should.  But once that younger man waves to your daughter in a dad kind of way(who isn’t much younger than him), it loses the sexy appeal and just feels weird and icky.

MARISA TOMEI

What was up with the flouncy blouse?  After seeing The Wrestler, we all know you have a kicking body.  Why not show it off?  We also now know you have immense talent, so you don’t need to hide your hotness to be taken seriously.

MEN WITH EARRINGS
A lot of men still seem to have earrings, especially ones who were attending the Golden Globes.  Bruce Springsteen, the guy who directed the movie from Israel, Colin Farrel.  And those earrings aren’t doing them any good.  It just makes them seem that much older and like they’re hanging on to a fad from decades ago.

DOWNEY AND HIS SUNGLASSES

Why was Robert Downey Jr wearing sunglasses while sitting inside?  That’s Jack’s schtick.

30 ROCK

I am wiping a tear of joy from my eye and sighing with deep content.  Sure, the economy is tanking and the world may go up in flames at some near point in the future, but we still live in a world where 30 Rock exists.  I was very happy to watch their many wins.  One of my favorite parts had to be when Alec Baldwin won and they cut to the 30 Rock table and there was Kenneth clapping.  Okay, I know he’s an actor and has a name, but he was clapping just the way Kenneth would over excitedly clap and smile.  And it made me all warm inside.

HUGGING P DIDDY

Is he still called P Diddy?  Either way, how adorable was it when that tiny composer from Slumdog Milionaire hugged Sean Combs?  So cute.

DREW BARRYMORE
Drew Barrymore’s hair was just a tad too tousled, where it kinda made her look crazy.Drew's crazy hair


DEXTER

Michael C. Hall was robbed. He should have won for Dexter.

RICKY GERVAIS

I had kind thought I was a little sick of Ricky Gervais, but after his hilarious performance and commentary tonight, I remembered why I loved him in the first place.

JONAS BROTHERS

Are they attractive?  I’m too distracted by their chastity bracelets and waxed to perfection eyebrows to tell.  I know they have legions of screaming fans who would disagree with me, but I find them so incredibly boring and lacking any kind of charisma.

WALL-E
I personally think WALL-E should have won for best feature film, not just best animated feature film.  It is the best film I have ever seen and probably ever will see.  And I loved this quote from Andrew Stanton’s acceptance speech, in regards to his children: “You inspire every emotion I ever try to capture on screen.”

THE DEPPSTER
Johnny Depp seemed like someone doing an impersonation of Johnny Depp.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

I haven’t seen it, but I’m now going to get my ass to the theater ASAP.

mickey_rourke
MICKEY ROURKE
After seeing The Wrestler (review to follow), I do agree with the Hollywood Foreign Press that Mickey Rourke deserved Best Actor.  His performance was amazing.  Sure, his win was a little soured by the fact that he was wearing sparkles, a wallet chain and blond streaks on purpose and not as part of a costume for a character.  The man may be strange and tacky, but he’s also very talented.

JESSICA SAYS:

OK, I just got off work and the red carpet show has already been happening for 30min.  Thank goodness for TiVo.  First up…

JONAS BROTHERS
Nancy O’Dell, I’ll take your last question to the brothers, what keeps the ladies from them?  Vows of chastity.

RAINN WILSON

Love the shades.

MILEY CYRUS
Try not to adjust your boobs when you’re standing in front of a camera.  Just a tip from me to you.  I know you’re young and still learning.

AMERICA FERRERA

She looks v. pretty. Thank you, America, for holding it down for the girls who aren’t a size zero.

By the way, why is Tiki Barber one of the hosts for this?  I mean, he is handsome and looks good in a tux, but he’s a football player.  It’s not like they need someone to break down the spread offense at the Golden Globes.

AMANDA SEYFRIED

None of the women are wearing any color to speak of so far.  Amanda is, what, the fifth woman onscreen so far and no colors.  She looks pretty, but I’m getting bored.

STEVE CARRELL
I love you, but lose the beard.

BLAIR UNDERWOOD

I hope my sister, T, is watching this because she had the biggest crush on him back in the LA Law days.  He still looks good, T.

OK, I’ve just noticed that they have fake camera flashes set up.  There are, what appear to be, strobe lights set up on stands.  Were the actual camera flashes inadequate in some way?  Is it just to make people feel more famous than they actually are?

OK, that’s it for the red carpet show.  My verdict:  boring.  Everyone looked pretty, but I wasn’t wowed by anyone.

I’m totally adopting, “Hello?  Mamma talking, mamma talking,” from Jennifer Lopez to use when I want people to be quiet.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture
Yay!  Kate Winslet won!  I haven’t seen The Reader yet, but I LOVE Kate Winslet.  Marisa Tomei was awesome in The Wrestler too.  Plus, I love to see people get so emotional and to hear the crowd really erupt for someone like they did.

Best Original Song
If Miley Cyrus wins an award over Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen, then the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. has no taste in music…pfew!  The Boss won.  All is right with the world.

Best Supporting Actor – TV
*fingers crossed*please be NPH, please be NPH, please be NPH…Tom Wilkinson.  OK, he’s a very fine actor, but I didn’t see John Adams, as I don’t get HBO (I know, pity me).  It’s just that I have a serious crush on Neil Patrick Harris, and yes I know he likes boys.  I don’t care).

Whoa!  Renee Zellweger’s hair!  Crazy.  What happened?  It looks like she slept in those pink foam curlers my mom used to have from the 1960’s.

Don Cheadle is introduced as the star of Hotel Dogs?  Really?  I get they are trying to promote that movie, but they mention Hotel Dogs and not Hotel Rwanda?

Actor TV Series – Drama
Oh, John Hamm is sexy.

I love that Ricky Gervais scolded the crowd again for being noisy.  Plus, in this one instance, I think the Holocaust jokes were funny and not too cringe worthy.

Best Actress Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
How cute was Sally Hawkins?  I haven’t seen Happy-Go-Lucky yet, but it’s at the top of my list (but yes, the speech did drag a bit).

Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture
Heath Ledger.  An extraordinary performance and I truly think he would have won if he was still with us.

Best Actor – Television
Yay!  Alec Baldwin!  Two in a row.  He may be a little crazy in real life, but he is hilarious in the show.  If I was foreign, a journalist, and a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc., he totally would have had my vote.

Seriously, what the hell is Renee Zellweger wearing?  Is she in mourning over something that I don’t know about?  It could explain her hairstyle, as I believe some people cover all the mirrors when in mourning.

gallery_main-reneezellweger-2009-golden-globe-awards-red-carpet-photos-01122009-02

Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy
Yay!  30 Rock.  Like I doubted it would win for a minute.  Hahah!  “Deal with it Cate Blanchett!”

I wonder who makes the seating chart for this show.  Like, what happens if you are the only person from your show nominated?  Next to whom do they seat you?  I think I just saw Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) sitting next to Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters).  Could that be a left-over table?

Best Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy
Seriously.  Tina Fey is adorable and I worship her.  “You can find a lot of people there that don’t like you and I would like to address some of them now…DianeFan, you can suck it.”

Cecil B. DeMille

Honestly, has Steven Speilberg been someway involved in every film in the last 30 years?  That’s what it felt like watching his montage.  I bet he has had a hand in at least one film on everyone’s top 10 list.

Sacha Baron Coen, you should know better.  Hollywood can’t take a joke about itself.  Don’t you remember what happened to Chris Rock at the Oscars when he made a joke about Jude Law?

Best Actress Motion Picture – Drama

Kate again!  I really love her.  She is smart, funny, pretty, and very good at what she does.

Best TV Drama

Well, they didn’t nominate my top two choices, Lost and Friday Night Lights, so Mad Men comes in third in my mind.  If you haven’t seen it, give it a gander, it’s worth it—smart, compelling stories shot in a visually interesting way.  Plus, you can marvel at Christina Hendricks’ figure.  Wowza.

Best Actor Motion Picture – Drama

Mickey Rourke, I just saw The Wrestler (review to follow soon).  He really is remarkable in that film.  Plus, his personal story at this point is almost equally compelling.  I can not imagine anyone else being able to play that part.  Winner for most uses of the word ‘balls’ in a thank you speech, Mickey Rourke!  My picture went blank there for a few seconds at the end of his speech.  Did he say something that bad or was that just a technical glitch?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Slumdog Millionaire.  I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t really comment.  It looks good.  I hear they end the film with jazz hands, so that sounds fun.  I feel like a see a fair amount of films, but I haven’t seen this or Vicky Christina Barcelona.