Movies: Tanked Soldiers, 3D Showgirls and Memorable Undies
Damn it. Why didn't everyone tell me Harry Shum Jr was in STEP UP 3D? Glee's best dancer (pity that he was apparently born mute) is a total selling point. I would've made the effort to catch a screening. Love him.
Step Up 3D, which was actually shot in 3D rather than converted later (imagine!), is opening against the Will Ferrel/Mark Wahlberg buddy comedy THE OTHER GUYS but as per usual the interesting stuff is in limited release.
CAIRO TIME stars Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig, two dependable attractive actors who rarely get lead roles. If you're a fan of either, it's an absolute must see. This subtle cross cultural quasi romance could well have been titled Before Sunset. That title was already taken so they went with something to situate you geographically. This isn't a transcendent classic like the famous Before... films with Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy. It's not half as talky either -- Patty's character is rather reserved and even the camera is nervous to approach her, only gradually moving in for closeups the further along the story goes. But the film is beautifully observed and if you thrill to the sight of the right actress in the right gown, Patty gets a beyond flattering lulu for the finale.
The festival hit LEBANON, an Israeli film about the 1982 Lebanon war, is another solidly built drama hitting the arthouses. The claustrophobic film takes place entirely inside a tank where four hot, sweaty, cramped, young Israeli soldiers struggle to keep their wits about them and survive increasingly nerve-wracking situations in a mission that's getting very confusing and dangerous. It's unfortunate that the movie doesn't make more use of the internal space of the tank itself -- even when the faces are this gorgeous a close-up isn't always the best option -- but it's a moving anti-war drama all the same.
But given the elation following the Judge Vaughn Walker's decision on Prop 8, maybe we should all go see THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT again this weekend. It's such a funny, authentically felt story about gay marriage and family. The timing of the wide release couldn't be better.
It's time for National Underwear Day. More, AFTER THE JUMP...
That's according to Fresh Pair. It's more like National Underwear Week the way they promote it. So even if it's a not-so-secret corporate sales ploy rather than a real holiday, it should be real. Who do you think of when you think of undies at the movies? Marlon Brando in a wife beater? Liz Taylor in a white slip? Christian Bale's American Psycho exercise routine? Eddie Cibrian giving Holly Hunter a massage in Living Out Loud?
The latter is a less classic association, but I'm not the only one who is obsessed with it. Holly Hunter is magic but that's...uh... probably not why people remember it.
It's the 48th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death this week. She's still magical. Mad Men, which has been all over the media these past two weeks, dramatized that national tragedy beautifully a couple of seasons ago. Season 4 is thankfully putting Mad Men's own Marilyn, Joan Holloway Harris (Christina Hendricks), back in the spotlight. We deeply appreciate this. Did you see her awesome conga line?
That Jennifer Aniston as Babs photo posted here at Towleroad earlier was mildly upsetting. You just don't mess with the classics like that. So it's funny that the Burlesque trailer also made its debut and looked so much like an unfortunate stepchild of Paul Verhoeven's gaudy 1995 masterwork Showgirls. Cher is a classic herself but if you're in competition with Showgirls you're bound to lose. Remember Cristal's sage advice: "If someone gets in your way, step on 'em. If you're the last one standing, they hire you."
Are you totally over 3D? That feeling is going around. Ticket sales are dropping and Disney recently cancelled their Beauty & The Beast 3D re-release plan. Obviously big ticket movies that people would line up for anyway will still be able to get away with those steep markups. But regular movies or re-releases? Unlikely. But if someone wants to convert Showgirls, have at it. Imagine those flying beads, epileptic sex scenes and cheesy foam volcano eruptions... in 3D.