Good Luck Chuck isn’t going to win any awards, that’s for sure, especially for real-world accuracy and honesty, but one thing I did really appreciate in the movie was its airport security bit. Films have been struggling, ever since September 11, with ways to portray the new hassles and humor of air travel. In Good Luck Chuck, when Dane Cook’s Charlie is making his requisite madcap dash to the airport to win back Cam (Jessica Alba), he gets stuck in a security line, with first his shoes and then a pocket full of change setting off the metal detector. Sensing Charlie’s urgency, the wand-waving guard instructs him to take off his pants to hurry matters along. When Charlie starts to oblige, the guard quickly interrupts him: “Why would you do that, you weirdo?” On one level, it’s a silly moment, nothing more, but it’s also a smart, sly goof on the sheep mentality we’ve come to embrace at said security checkpoints.
If there’s a notable silver lining to be found for cineastes in the
third installment of the Resident Evil franchise, it’s that a bravura, mid-film
zombie crow sequence may have squelched the need for Michael Bay’s
long-rumored remake of The Birds. In Extinction, Milla Jovovich returns
as dispassionate butt-kicker Alice, the former head of security for the
shadowy, powerful Umbrella Corporation. In a land where an experimental
virus has transformed most of the population into a mass of shambling
flesh-eaters, Alice herself is marked by biogenic experimentation that
left her genetically altered. While a shady Umbrella scientist (Iain
Glen) works to capture and/or kill Alice for his own purposes, she
hooks up with a roaming band of survivors (including returnees Oded
Fehr and Mike Epps and newcomer Ali Larter). A planned escape to Alaska
is scotched by a pit stop gone awry in Las Vegas, where O.J. Simpson
shows up and angrily demands the return of his sports collectibles.
For the original capsule review, from CityBeat, click here and scroll down.
For those in and around Chicago, the Block Museum of Art is hosting a special exhibit on Alfred Hitchcock entitled Casting a Shadow, from September 28 through December 9. In canny fashion, Hitchcock (and certainly his Hollywood financiers) presented himself as the sole author of his films. In reality, however, Hitchcock was a deeply collaborative
artist, working intensely with actors, producers, cinematographers,
screenwriters, editors and production and sound designers to feed the myth of what the public knew only as “an Alfred Hitchcock film,” sometimes even crafting storyboards after the completion of principal photography.
This exhibition — presented in collaboration with the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — makes use of drawings,
storyboards, paintings and other production documents, showing that the
director’s colleagues often contributed critical ideas frequently credited solely to Hitchcock. For more information, click here.
I just put a bullet in an episode of last night’s The Daily Show, which featured Jamie Foxx as its guest, promoting The Kingdom. Foxx has descended into full-fledged slap-happy celeb-promo mode, which means pretty much shamelessly milking the crowd everywhere he goes. Last night, that meant plenty of dancing in place before sitting down, playing with his own nipples, and an extended bit talking about the astrological sign he and host Jon Stewart share (that would be Sagittarius). Stewart had the best bit of the interview, when he asked Foxx what part of Toronto stood in for Saudi Arabia during The Kingdom‘s shoot; he also asked Foxx to come to the Oscars next year, saying of his previous hosting gig, “Your laughter was the only thing that sustained me during the first 10 minutes.”