These are my latest posts for AOL Inside Movies. Please feel free to click over and read these posts in their entirety.
Filmed in glorious 1940s Technicolor, ‘The Kid From Brooklyn’ was the second film in which Danny Kaye was paired with two of the loveliest dames ever to grace the silver screen, Virginia Mayo and Vera-Ellen.
Released in 1946, directed by Norman Z. McLeod and produced by Samuel Goldwyn, it seemed that everyone in Hollywood at the time wanted to hitch their sails to Kaye’s fast-rising comic star. He’d headed right for California after conquering Broadway in the 1941 musical ‘Lady in the Dark,’ and ‘Kid’ was his third Goldwyn-produced venture in a row. A knockabout and rollicking flick, it’s your free movie of the day.
London has spoken. Or at least the London Film Critics’ Circle, which for its 30th annual awards has announced a total of seven nominations for ‘An Education,’ Lone Scherfig’s coming-of-age feature that has now turned actress Carey Mulligan into an increasingly likely contender for a 2010 Oscar.
Mulligan received two of those seven nods — for Actress of the Year and British Actress of the Year — while Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike and Olivia Williams were selected in the British supporting actor categories, and Nick Hornby scored a nomination for his ‘An Education’ screenplay.
We can add the favorite films of master critic Roger Ebert to the ever-growing lists of 2009’s best. Writing his longtime column in the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert declined to rank his 10 best movies of 2009 by order of excellence, but instead simply went alphabetical. That was just the “mainstream” list; he also offered a separate list of the year’s indie films that impressed him the most.
That doesn’t mean the legendary reviewer was anything less critical in his judgments. Of ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ he praised Nicolas Cage, whose “stare-down with an iguana … needs no explanation.” He called the Jeff Bridges-starring ‘Crazy Heart,’ which wasn’t originally to open until next year, “This year’s ‘The Wrestler.'” And he went wild for Carey Mulligan’s performance in ‘An Education.’
“This makes me very angry.”
That catch-phrase — plus such lines as “At last, after 2,000 years of work, the Iludium PU36 explosive space modulator” and “Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth shattering kaboom?” — made Marvin the Martian one of the most loony of the Looney Tunes characters. Curiously, poor Marvin, who was first introduced in the 1948 short ‘Haredevil Hare’ (three guesses what famous rabbit starred), has never been showcased in a feature flick of his own.
With all the time and effort he put into beefing up for ‘New Moon’ — plus the acclaim he’s received, the endless drooling he’s enjoying and the affections of Taylor Swift — you can’t blame Taylor Lautner for being attached not to one, but two upcoming action flicks.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, Lautner will star in ‘Cancun,’ about a quirky college student who travels with a girl down Mexico way and discovers he must put his martial-arts skills to the test when a drug cartel kidnaps the gal and her friends.
Steve Carrell had better brush up on his Eastern European accents. That because, per the Hollywood Reporter, he’s slated to sync up with Tina Fey for a comic nuptial caper called ‘Mail-Order Groom.’ Fey will play a single woman who becomes over-the-top desperate for a husband, and orders one from Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia — well, the originating country, let’s assume, will in part depend on the type of accent Carrell adopts.
Can ‘Inglourious Basterds’ stand alone?
The Quentin Tarantino film has been honored twice in two days with industry nominations and awards, but each time has shared the limelight with another flick.
Yesterday, four Golden Globe nominations piled up for ‘Basterds’ — just two fewer than field-leading ‘Up in the Air’ and tied for second most with ‘Avatar.’ Now, per Variety, the Toronto Film Critics’ Association has unveiled its awards for the year, bestowing best film not just to ‘Basterds’ but to Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger,’ which follows the last weeks of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands.
The 1983 film adaptation of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ — your free movie of the day — has a reputation for not being good. In a word, that’s unfair: the reviews at the time of the film’s release were actually enthusiastic.
And it was just about brilliant for legendary theater producer Joseph Papp, who had successfully returned the beloved and rollicking Gilbert and Sullivan operetta to Broadway for nearly 800 performances starting in 1981, to take full advantage of the title’s popularity by dipping his toes into Hollywood waters.
Justin Timberlake — in a wonderfully jokey mood — was joined by John Krasinski and Diane Kruger this morning to read off the nominations for the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and the news has been reverberating back and forth across the continent ever since.
As always, there’s a mix of shock and amusement among film and TV actors, directors, writers and producers, and tons of quotable quotes are now coming forth from a tantalized Tinseltown.
Here’s our roundup of some of the more memorable nominee reactions thus far.
Sandra Bullock, Best Actress for ‘The Blind Side’ and ‘The Proposal’: “I am beyond stunned. Just to be included in the company of these amazing women I have so admired through the years, has left me slack-jawed with awe. It is truly an honor just to be nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press, and I will cherish this moment with all the artists I have worked with behind the scenes, who truly make me look good! Thank you very much.” (THR)