A bit of Nine awesomeness...

Over here at 'JKM' we're a little bit excited by the film Nine (as opposed to the film 9, the upcoming post-apocalyptic animation, that also looks good but is less of 'my thing').

Nine stars Daniel Day-Lewis and here's a still from the film that's up on MTV Movies. The film is a musical - woo, and indeed, hoo - that's somehow based on the old Fellini film 8 1/2 (which is rather good, should you have a couple of hours to spare one night).

The trailer is amazing and is here in case you missed it last time it was posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_5_lzags3I&feature=fvst

I'm just pleased that in this pic, DD-L appears to be...wait for it...enjoying himself. I've no doubt that the movie will have its moments of intensity since it's about a film director losing his marbles but still, to watch The World's Greatest Actor (TM) in lighter mode is a really mouth-watering prospect.

Director Rob 'Chicago' Marshall has also laid on the glam big time, which won't do anything to stop the 'haters' hating musicals but for us...er...'lovers' it delivers exactly what we want. Fantasy.

Nine is out in November. Rob Marshall's then off, for some reason, to direct Pirates Of The Caribbean 4.

'Bulimia's soooo '87...'

Heathers is an 80s movie full of all kinds of awesomeness. Watch it now and there are the obvious titters at dodgy outfits and lack of 'cell' phones but its dialogue was, is and always will be spikily hilarious (see title quote).

No high school pic has been so darkly humourous since. Clueless had the lingo but was joyously fluffy. Napoleon Dynamite was a similarly cult hit but lacked the '18' certificate. Juno, its closest contemporary, probed where other teen pics dare not go but it still wasn't a comedy about SUICIDE.

Now that's dark.

So quite what the new TV version of the show that Fox are prepping will be like, who knows? It's got a Sex & The City scribe polishing it up as we speak but will US teen telly dare get as blissfully bleak as Heathers needs to be? (apologies for the Daily Mail-style rhetorical questioning).

But with the actually-quite-edgy Gossip Girl hitting big and Juno writer Diablo Cody about to release her second pic (Jennifer's Body - described by many, but not me, as 'the new Heathers'), the time is defo RIPE.

And how about that poster, readers?! Aaaaah, the days when Winona wasn't just a future light-fingered has-been and people actually thought that Christian Slater was the new Jack Nicholson.

I know, I know. The crazy 80s...

POLL RESULT! Your favourite 90s starlet with 3 names...

1. SMG
2. MJH
3. RLC
4. JLH
Or, in old money...

1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
2. Melissa Joan Hart
3. Rachel Leigh Cook
4. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Good news for fans of Buffy. Bad news for fans of Can't Hardly Wait (ie. me).

The September Issue

The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty may have skirted around the issue for a while but now there's a documentary that deals with it head on.

Anna Wintour is quite hard work.

The Brit-born, long-time editor of US Vogue is a legend in the industry and wears the huge shades to prove it. Meryl Streep basically was her in TDWP. Now she's the focus of an awesome doco called The September Issue that follows her and her 'people' around for a bit. It's very funny, insightful, a little bit depressing but ultimately amazing because it both confirms and denies many of the cliches you associate with the fashionistas. Us film critics like to call that 'insightful'.

Her headline-hitting dissing of Sienna Miller for being too toothy and having unruly hair I found personally a bit weird though. That's precisely why I like her (I know, I know - for some guys it's about big chests and long legs but for me it's all about the goofy girls... Freud would have a field day.)

Megan 'The' Fox is a bit attractive...

...which is basically what her new film, Jennifer's Body, is all about.

'Ooooh, I'm Megan 'The' Fox and I'm sooooooo sexy, look at my sexy bo-dy' etc etc

To be fair, after seeing the pic, I have concluded that she is officially The Most Attractive Woman Working In Film At The Moment. This makes me happy because I think that loving movies is so much about lusting after these god-like creatures on the screen. That's why it's brilliant that Johnny Depp glows in Public Enemies. That Rachel McAdams radiates in The Time Traveler's Wife. And now, that Megan shines like some kind of Greek goddess crossed with a hooker in Jennifer's Body.

She's even quite a good actress in it too. Oh, hold on... I signed a watertight embargo before seeing the pic so I shouldn't have written that. **A massive legal 'wrangle' with 20th Century Fox ensues**

Suffice to say though, Jennifer's Body is quite a big deal for MTF as it's a film that is about her, not about her and some huge robots. It'll be interesting to see if the lack of laddish hardware puts boys off going to see what is essentially a girly horror film (anyone else see Ginger Snaps?) or if the sight of MTF and Amanda Seyfried having some close-up snoggage is enough to put boy bums on seats. I suspect it is.

I'd love to say more but I'm scared of Rupert Murdoch and his studio henchman. But as this cheeky horror flick is written by Diablo Cody (Juno) then you can probably guess what I think about it. I'll write more when I can. It's out in October.

Zac Efron does a High School....Shakespearian Tragedy.

Zefron has hovered around the edges of 'growing up' with his movie choices for a bit now. Hairspray was only a supporting role but it was a smart and cheekily political flick - nice move. This year's 17 Again couldn't quite boast the same attitude but it was pitched definately at a teen, not a tween, audience. That's a big step up for a Disney boy.

Now comes the curveball. Me & Orson Welles will see Zac's hardcore fans watching a film that deals with a 1937 production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar by the legendary actor/director Orson Welles. Hmmmm, it's hardly Keep Your Head In The Game, is it?

Well, yes. But that doesn't stop it being interesting for people who manage to not wet their Wildcats knickers at the sight of Zefron's floppy locks. Or even for those that do and who have a bit of patience.

Setting a fictional coming-of-age tale in the midst of a real event (Welles' Mercury Theatre troupe was groundbreaking) means that there's a lot of facts to get up to speed on before the heartwarming stuff really kicks in but luckily director Richard Linklater knows what he's up to. He is the guy who made coming-of-age classics Before Sunrise and Dazed & Confused after all. Me & Orson Welles is definately a case of slow and steady winning the race.

Sure, Zefron's a bit too earnest and stiff at the moment, no doubt from years of training at the Mouse House. But he's not bad. His naive character of Richard is meant to be a bit like that anyway, a wannabe actor who finds himself in a groundbreaking production after bumping into Welles outside the theatre one day. His poodle-like pursuing of theatre secretary Sonja (the luminescent Claire Danes) is genuinely 'awww, bless him' stuff.

Others are better though, most obviously newbie Christian McKay as Orson Welles, the respected thesp whose ego was as big as his talent. The spot-on New York sets (mainly filmed in the Isle Of Man) and Shakespearian snippets also rock. From the first shot, you're slap bang into another theatrical era.

So be patient and Me & Orson Welles gets there. It reminded me a bit of Mrs Henderson Presents. And whilst that was also hardly contemporary or cool, its casting of (then) teen eye candy Will Young ensured it a bigger take than anyone expected.

So there you go. Zefron is the new Will Young! (You're fired! Ed.)

Who's the Queen Of Rom-Com: THE RESULTS

Hot off 'the press'. 

1. Sandy Bollocks, 2. Reese Witherspoon, 3. Julia Roberts, 4. Matthew McConaughy. 

The Wayans Family - 'a tribute'.

Right. After sitting through the suicide-inducing Dance Flick yesterday I thought the least I can do is try to work who's who in the labyrinthine Wayans family. 

It's the most recent films I'm interested in and I think I've nailed down everyone who's been involved. That said there's still Elvira Wayans, Vonnie Wayans, Diedre Wayans, Chaunte Wayans, Cara Mia Wayans, Michael Wayans, Kyla Wayans, Shawn Howell Wayans, Amai Wayans, Jolie Ivory Wayans, Keenan Ivory Wayans Jr, Nala Wayans, Bella Wayans and Daphne Ivory Wayans who don't quite fit into the puzzle. Damn you Wayans! 

Elvira and Howell Wayans

parents of...

Dwayne Wayans (music: Little Man. This pic is from Dwayne's MySpace site but it does look suspiciously like Damon Wayans I know)

brother of...

Kim Wayans (actor: Dance Flick)

sister of...

Keenan Ivory Wayans (director: Scary Movie 1 & 2, White Chicks, Little Man; prod: Dance Flick)

brother of...

Nadia Wayans (who has now 'retired' from Hollywood after 1 film with her brothers)

mother of...

Damien Dante Wayans (actor: Little Man; director: Dance Flick)

nephew of...  

Damon Wayans (who wisely doesn't get involved in his brothers films and is quite good)

father of...

Damon Wayans Jnr (actor: Dance Flick)

nephew of...

Marlon Wayans (actor: Scary Movie 1 & 2, White Chicks, Little Man, Dance Flick)

brother of...

Shawn Wayans (actor: Scary Movie 1 & 2, White Chicks, Little Man, Dance Flick)

uncle of...

Craig Wayans (actor: Dance Flick)

Some thoughts on the Wayans family:

1. Contraception is not big in their house.
2. Damon Jnr actually looks a lot more like his Uncle Marlon that his dad Damon. 
3. I think that's probably enough Wayans in the movie industry now, thanks. 

Broken Embraces is out 28th August.

Broken Embraces is 'noir'-ish love story and the fourth film Penelope 'Penny' Cruz has made with Pedro Almodovar. It's not her best performance ever (a little flat). It's not his best film ever (a little lacking). 

But boy does the camera love her. There are so many shots in this where P 'P' C has her back to the camera and then all of a sudden she swishes her head around to face you and each time a tiny little tingle runs down your spine. 

That's just how Pedro wants it. His frequent 'thing' over his career is to remind us of the power of cinema and like many of his pics, Broken Embraces deals heavily with the film world, with P 'P' C playing a wannabe actress beguiling all those around her. That she is so striking just reminds us why we love this stuff in the first place.  

Broken Embraces, therefore, is a good example of a film that's not the best film either the director or star has ever made, yet is still well worth seeing as it's about 8 times intriguing than most other stuff. *

* it's actually 9 times more intriguing that The Ugly Truth. 

Julie & Julia is good enough to eat...

Julie and Julia has many aromas. That continental whiff of Paris, where much of it is set, virtually wafts off the screen. The smell of cooking - since it is about two cooks - also feeds your nose at least every couple of minutes. But mainly this film reeks of class. 

It's not cool, edgy or revolutionary. It's just classy. Casting the most Oscar-nominated actor ever, Meryl Streep, certainly helps. She plays real-life 1950s American foodie Julia Child with unparalleled vigour. Haughty, flamboyant and hyperactive, it's the proverbial 'masterclass' in comedy acting from a star who continues to dazzle and devour her roles, even though she's got nothing left to prove. Maybe that's the reason. 

Childs is the inspiration for contemporary New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to take up cooking, following her mentor's legendary cookbook to the letter and blogging about her experiences. Where Meryl is old-school and larger-than-life, Amy is the counterpoint - a dowdy, everyday Queens resident from a less glamorous age, just trying to find direction in life. The two never meet, but their decades-apart stories buffer each other like bosom buddies. 

Ultimately Julia & Julia is a love story. The love of food, the love of writing, the love of inspiration. It's what the film companies like to call 'life affirming' (Hollywood emo-babble but it really is). Streep's braying bubbliness is one of the funniest things you'll see this year. Amazing. She's like an early Nigella without the finger-licking and lingerie. It's panto dame stuff but crucially, and beautifully, interrupted by subtle moments of genuine sadness (most notably at her inability to have children). Only Meryl can make the line 'I DO know how to boil an egg' a comedy classic. 

The pic's recreation of her post-war world of pearls and plaid is as lavish as Julie's Noughties boho is down-to-earth. Meanwhile, writer/director Nora Ephron doesn't leave a word or a shot out of place. Hello Academy Awards - this may be a 'mum movie' but as we all know, mum's cooking is always the best... (with apologies to my wife). 

It's out 11th September. 

Where The Wild Things Are - new trailer!

It's directed by Spike Jonze. It comes out at Christmas. It will be amazing.


RIP John Hughes...

Very upset about the death of John Hughes. Ferris Bueller's Day Off has been my constant companion for many years now. I even wrote my Master's thesis on it (I passed on the second attempt. It's not easy convincing your lecturers that a movie with the line 'that guy is so tight if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass in two weeks you'd have a diamond' is worthy MA material). 

The one and only shining moment this weekend came when looking at stills of Hughes' legendary The Breakfast Club and FINALLY realising who it was that GMTV irritant Carla Romano looks like...

'And now over to our LA correspondent, Judd Nelson...'

How film companies work...

Some lines from my review of Knowing, starring Nic Cage, from when it came out at the cinema:

'Knowing does let itself down though. Potential endings come and go, with the flashier ultimately chosen in favour of the intimate. That's a mistake - dodgy endings stick in the mind a long time, even if the rest of the movie is pretty awesome.'

The quote on the front of the DVD:

'Awesome' James King, Radio 1.

That, readers, is how film companies work.