Welcome to The Morning Read.
And welcome to July. Goodbye, Karl Malden. It was a good run. Better men than I have already summed up his whole career, so I’ll just mention one particular performance I think is awesome. “How The West Was Won.” But in particular, you should see it on BluRay… in the crazy-ass Smilebox transfer, meant to simulate the Cinerama experience. I saw the film projected in Cinerama last year, and it was a powerful experience. Cinerama was a gimmick. It was just plain too hard to project right. But damn, it’s a cool effect. It’s like 3D without the glasses. And the BluRay transfer does an excellent job of reproducing that if you watch it on a big enough screen. The reason I say that particular version of that performance is because Malden was one of those great actors who made the switch from the old studio system’s version of “acting” to the post-method version of “acting.” He was a great anchor for other actors. He could run the pace of a scene like a metronome… precise. In charge in the things he played. Acting in Cinerama was both a very theatrical experience, and a very technical one. Malden knew that the point was to make the audience feel immersed in the screen, and each scene is staged on three planes. Malden, more than any other actor in the three hours of the film, played to the audience in his scenes, in a broad, inviting, theatrical performance that is also, in the later scenes, genuinely vulnerable. It’s a fantastic performance that could have only been okay, and it still would have been enough for that film. That was Malden. He always gave more than anyone had to give in his scenes. Because he could.
[more after the jump]
Want a great Malden tribute? Kim Morgan picked “Baby Doll” as the film that best defined his work, and she makes a good case.
Dig that new “Kick-Ass” image? It premiered over at /Film, where you can see the whole thing and read some Comic-Con details, too.
Lee Unkrich… director of “Toy Story 3… is a sadist. I can prove it.
RT @leeunkrich: I’ve gotten to see a lot of cool stuff throughout my years at Pixar. Yesterday I saw something REALLY cool. And no, I can’t tell you. Sorry.
RT @leeunkrich: You’ll just have to wait until June 18. Only 351 more days!
That’s just mean, man. You guys and your freaking “Willy Wonka” magic factory…
There’s never a time I’m online when I’m not sorta working on The Morning Read, clicking links, following Tweets, checking Facebook, digging through years of bookmarks of sites on film to see what updates… what doesn’t… and I’m amazed how many new bookmarks I can end up with if I skip one day of this column. All of this is stuff I’ve browsed in the last two days alone.
“Achewood” was particularly on point on the whole Michael Jackson thing. In the meantime, you want to see the very best Michael Jackson link I’ve seen in the last few days?
Tim League is co-producing a film? The Tim League? As in “the single greatest showman exhibitor I know”? Well, count me in, because if Tim’s involved, I suspect some truly twisted greatness ahead.
I thought “Scribblenauts” was a very cool use of tech for a game, and now, I think I’m equally impressed by “Treasure World.”
RT @marklisanti Happy birthday to Lindsay Lohan, the world’s first 23-year-old cougar!
Latino Review broke the news that Nimrod Antal will be directing “Predators,” and AICN just interviewed Robert Rodriguez about the choice. Devin Faraci… he’s not so sure. Confession time: I actually met with Robert during the “hire a writer” part of the “Predators” process, and my partner and I wrote a treatment for how we’d do it. Alex Litvak ended up getting the gig, but just from the conversations we had with Robert, I’d say his enthusiasm for the film is everything you could ever ask of a producer. Does that mean this absolutely will reinvent the franchise? No. But it won’t be for lack of trying, and I honestly do think there’s a chance this will escape some of the manhandling that usually occurs with Fox franchise pictures.
Okay, I recognize Kristen Stewart rocking the Joan Jett look… but that’s Dakota Fanning? REALLY!?
Feel like a list this morning? How about seven great cinematic hoaxes from Cinematical?
Shane Meadows is, to put it simply, awesome. I love this guy’s movies, and his interview with Empire today about his upcoming horror film makes me verrrrrry pleased.
RT @marklisanti BTW, I just opened up a Final Draft document called “23-Year-Old Cougar,” so don’t even think about taking the idea. It’ll be sold by 3pm.
Are you worried you don’t have enough nightmares in your life. Let me help you with that.
I am sorry I didn’t eulogize Jeff Goldblum when he died, but it looks like someone has finally given him the send-off he deserved:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Jeff Goldblum Will Be Missed|
R.I.P., Jeff. Indeed.
Still haven’t had enough fun with “Transformers 2” yet? You should check out Topless Robot’s F.A.Q. about the film, and then check out this new exclusive clip from the movie:
As a precursor to the reviews I’m running later today of the “Ghostbusters” game and the “Ghostbusters” BluRay, you should check out Chris Hardwicke’s piece about why Winston Zeddemore is THE Ghostbuster.
Several of you seemed to have really enjoyed the “In The Realm Of The Senses” review I wrote the other day. Or, more specifically, you were horrified by it, meaning it did its job. For a bit more fun with Oshima, the director, check out this story about a near-disastrous screening of “The Ceremony,” another of his films.
I’m not sure Zach Galifianakis needs career advice, but there’s some truth to this.
And finally, Anne Thompson certainly isn’t the only person to voice concerns about the look of “Public Enemies,” but I have a question: who decided that all period films have to look a certain way? That sort of rigid thinking, where there are rules about how things have to look, is preposterous, and there’s a big difference between saying “I don’t like the look of that film” and “They did it wrong because it doesn’t look like every other period piece I’ve ever seen.” When Stanley Kubrick used classical music under his images of outer space in “2001,” the reason it was such a jolt to the nervous system was because it flew in the face of how that sort of footage was traditionally scored up to that point. The juxtaposition of the very old and the futuristic made perfect thematic sense, but it was also something new, and according to the people screaming at Mann for how he shot his movie, no one is evidently allowed to make unconventional aesthetic choices. Right?
Anyway… time to get busy on this afternoon’s reviews.
Before I wrap up, we’ve just installed polls on the site, and I decided to try the software out with my very first poll. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be at the San Diego Comic-Con along with many of my web brethren. Some of us are on a panel about the state of movie websites, and we’ve all decided that we’re going to acknowledge the undeniable, tidal pull of “Twilight” traffic by wearing “Twilight” t-shirts during the panel. And today, I’m putting the choice of which shirt to get in your hands. Yes, dear readers, I want you to tell me if I’m representing Team Edward or Team Jacob when I sit on that panel. I’ll be checking votes until the day of the panel, and it’s up to you guys, so vote. And spread the word, “Twilight” fans. This is of obvious earth-shattering importance, and you can make sure I make the right choice. You’ll see the poll at the bottom of this column.
I’ll leave you with the wisdom of “Anchorman” director Adam McKay:
RT @GhostPanther Another thing people react too much to is untied shoe laces. I’m 41. I’m not in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I’ll get to it.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn’t.
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