Film | Kevin Spacey | Muppets | Nathaniel Rogers | Zachary Quinto

Movies: Martha, Musketeers, Muppets and Margin Calls

Zachary Quinto in "Margin Call"

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Will you get out this weekend and support newly out Zachary Quinto who stars in MARGIN CALL? Vote with your wallets! Eventually out gay actors headlining movies won't be a big deal at all but it has to start somewhere and it needs to start soon. (Imagine how great it would be to see Cheyenne Jackson, Jonathan Groff and whoever comes out next getting the supersizing their careers deserve?) MARGIN CALL was just nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble and also stars Kevin Spac... oops, does he cancel 'out' the voting with your wallets? Never mind! 

Martha4The must-see movie of the weekend is the indie drama MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (pictured left). It's about a girl who escapes from a cult in New York's Catskills. It's just fantastic and Elizabeth Olsen -- yes, she's the baby sister of the infamous Olsen Twins -- may be heading towards a Best Actress Oscar nomination. In an atypical way it's a perfect film for Halloween. It has none of the cheapness of a typical "scary" movie but it's incredibly menacing and uncomfortably sticky; you'll still be haunted by it weeks later. 

Also Opening: The imaginatively titled PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 has also arrived if you'd like a third round. It seems likely to make a mint again since, as a wise woman recently wrote

"Whether they’re “good” or “bad” is irrelevant—what matters is that they’re effective. You could make the case that they’re monotonous on purpose—they know they have a Pavlovian audience that’s trained to scare on cue. You could make the case that they’re monotonous on purpose—they know they have a Pavlovian audience that’s trained to scare on cue."  

Finally, Alexander Dumas's legendary story THE THREE MUSKETEERS which is no silver screen virgin gets the deluxe 3D remake rethink reboot. It's already been memorably jabbed by critics "more dumbass than Dumas" and its studio (Summit) has been jabbed by Milla Jovovich (the leading lady and the director's wife) who thinks they haven't promoted it enough.


 roadIf you grew up loving The Muppets (and who between, say, 30 and 50 didn't?) will you be horrified or charmed by the new MUPPETS movie? Has a backlash already begun?



Muppets-piggy  roadSeems that some of the original team aren't too pleased with the new takes on the iconic felt characters. Frank Oz, who used to voice Miss Piggy and told British site Metro

"I wasn't happy with the script. I don't think they respected the characters. But I don't want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie."

I'm still excited to see it but if they misrepresent Miss Piggy, there will be karate chopping.

 roadAntenna has an interesting piece on Glee and the show's failure at subverting traditional gender notions with the recent storyline about Kurt and Blaine's auditions for the school's production of West Side Story.

 roadThe most horrifying Anne Hathaway moment you've ever seen.

 roadMoving on to something decidely more adult, Fox Searchlight has a tough job on its (admittedly capable) hands, trying to sell the sex-addiction drama Shame to Oscar voters (both Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are sensational in it)... never mind the public, since it will most certainly get an NC-17 rating. Anyway, isn't it time that an adults-only rating wasn't a shameful thing for serious filmmaking?


 roadThe ever funny Pajiba is conducting ascientific study of hotness, the "exploding ovaries edition", though men are also welcome to record their reactions to these hot photos of actors playing daddy.

 road Joseph Gordon-Levitt may join the starry mostly-male cast of Quentin Tarantino's racially charged Django Unchained. Someone sent me the screenplay... but I'm not sure I want to spoil the movie? It's always such a gift to hear Tarantino's dialogue for the first time.


 roadMark Harris, the author of "Pictures at a Revolution" (always on top of my list of recommendations for those interested in insightful books about the movies) recently made suggestions of three Oscar rules that need to change. I'd love to co-sign. 

 roadFinally, if we can't always have out actors like Zachary Quinto playing gay roles, can we please have more straight actors like Hugh Dancy who is just so damn good at playing gay and can do it with so little angst? Mr. Claire Danes speaks with Out magazine about his career and the sexuality of his characters.

He's a wonderful actor. To tie this post up with a pretty bow, Mr. Dancy also happens to co-star in this week's must-see Martha Marcy May Marlene where he plays the husband to Martha's sister Lucy (played by the out actress Sarah Paulson). Olsen is the star attraction but Paulson and Dancy generate a compelling portrait of a marriage shaken up by an unexpected houseguest.

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  1. The Midnight Cowboy was the first film rated X-rated filem that won an Oscar for Best Picture. Of course, back then, X-rated would probably be R or PG-13 now.

    Posted by: luminum | Oct 21, 2011 7:00:03 PM

  2. Since when does Jonathan Groff's career deserve a supersizing? I prefer not to reward mediocrity.

    Posted by: tune | Oct 21, 2011 7:25:12 PM

  3. Hated "Martha Marcy May Marlene" with a passion.

    I have spent the better part of my 64 years avoiding psychopaths, and see no reason to hail a movie that supports them.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 21, 2011 7:34:48 PM

  4. How does one "play gay"? Such a weird and dumb thing to say.

    Posted by: slatefish | Oct 22, 2011 8:21:48 AM

  5. love Saylor ))) and Marshall =***

    Posted by: freelance academic writing jobs | Oct 22, 2011 9:25:02 AM

  6. Possibly a subtle difference to the general public, but massively important to the artist: Frank Oz didn't just "voice" Miss Piggy, he physically performed and basically created her character!

    Posted by: El | Oct 22, 2011 11:59:56 AM

  7. I remember when you recommended "Drive", the most boring, vapid, pretentious movie I have seen in the last 20 years and now you are praising "MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE" in similar terms.
    I have learned to never ever follow your recommendations for indie films, it seems you have found the cure for insomnia again. Now go take a nap.

    Posted by: Never_Again | Oct 22, 2011 12:17:15 PM

  8. Watched the trailer for Margin Call and, boy, listen for a memorable line in vain.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Oct 22, 2011 2:02:30 PM

  9. I saw Almodovars " The Skin I Live In" and it left me cold. The film lacked suspense so I don't know why everyone is comparing it to Hitchcock. "SPOILER" alert I already knew the big twist- which is revealed half way into the movie and unlike "The Crying Game" a masterpiece compare to this, it does not send the story to another level-perhaps Almodovar was trying to say something about gender and sexuality and the Stockholm syndrome which is the only way to explain the "patient's" behavior.

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 22, 2011 9:11:39 PM

  10. In spite of a wonderful performance by the Elizabeth Olsen, I thought "Martha Marcy May Marlene" left a lot to be desired. It isn't clear how the obviously intelligent Martha would end up in a cult. Something didn't add up.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Oct 23, 2011 12:29:49 AM

  11. A lot of people don't like "Drive" which I found interesting if yes a bit pretentious but Ryan Gosling is so hypnotic that I could watch him in almost anything...

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 23, 2011 11:07:10 AM

  12. Re: Drive. A lot of critics went nuts over "Drive" - perhaps surprised that any September release wasn't a steaming pile of crap. However, damned with faint praise, I agree with Never_Again - the movie was boring and pretentious. I'm in no rush to see "Martha, etc."

    Posted by: Dave Porter | Oct 24, 2011 10:41:43 AM

  13. Jonathan Groff's career deserve a supersizing? I prefer not to reward mediocrity.

    Read more:

    Posted by: Cheap Web Design Services | Oct 31, 2012 12:16:18 PM

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