I generally hate MySpace (and its beta TV site), but for a clip of Hilary Duff, as Yonica Babyyeah, performing “I Want to Blow You (Up)” for John Cusack’s character in the new film War, Inc., click here. One is reminded tangentially of Poe, and also not at all.
So Sean Penn is heading up the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, which kicked off this week, and he had some weird words for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
at the festival’s opening press conference, when asked about the American political landscape, and whether he would be offering any endorsements.
“I don’t have a candidate I’m supporting and I’m certainly interested and
excited by the hope that Barack Obama is inspiring,” Penn said, according to the United Kingdom’s Telegraph. But Penn then went on to
accuse the junior senator from Illinois of a “phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional” voting record, and added,
“I hope that he will understand, if he is the nominee, the degree of
disillusionment that will happen if he doesn’t become a greater man than he
will ever be.” Errr… OK, so… he has to be a superhero? Penn also then complained that he had been
“discouraged from smoking,
before lighting up and chain-smoking his way through the press conference.” Total bad-ass. Nutty, but bad-ass…
It’s a happy birthday to Transformers eye candy Megan Fox, who turns 22 today, and hopefully doesn’t celebrate by grabbing live-in beau Brian Austin Green’s package in public. She probably will, though. Sigh…
As the snap above by Steven White (or is that Shite?) amply demonstrates, Fox is a nice blend, and has herself set up nicely with a couple Transformers sequels, though she probably needs to back away from the text-passage tattoos and collagen. Big hoofers, too. And you know what that means… wait, what?
Don’t know what this means, but I had a dream last night where Jaws actor Roy Scheider was trying (twice!) to assault my late grandfather. The even more bizarre kicker? They passed away this year within one day of each other, by mere hours. I’m sensing some sort of direct line to the telepathic, though to my knowledge my grandfather wasn’t a 2010 or All That Jazz fan. Still, surreal connections like these are why dreams enchant us so, no?
How could interviewing Paris Hilton be a surreal and shameful experience?
How could it not? For the full self-flagellation, from FilmStew, click here.
I’d mentioned Ben Coccio’s Zero Day a while back, when reviewing the rampaging-young-lovers flick Jimmy and Judy, and happened to stumble across an old DVD review of the movie for Now Playing Magazine a shady outlet that left a trail of unpaid debts in its wake, so I figured I’d re-post it now — “just because,” as Perry Farrell might say. Of course, now this creates a whole new set of reviews of like-minded flicks I need to dig up and post. C’est la vie. To wit, slightly redacted from its original publication in April of 2005:
In the wake of the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, in April of 1999 — the last and worst in a string of coolly plotted adolescent murders that captured the nation’s attention over the course of about 18 months — a number of movies, not coincidentally all staunchly independent productions, have delved into teenage isolation and violence, from Paul F. Ryan’s Home Room to Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, and to some degree Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen. Add Ben Coccio’s film debut, Zero Day, to this estimable list.
None of these movies laid siege to the theatrical box office (Zero Day didn’t even sniff commercial release), but that’s not an indictment of their quality, collectively or individually. Quite to the contrary, these movies are unnerving — perhaps none more so than Zero Day — because of their casual misanthropy or disaffection. They tell you that it’s not about one person who brutally antagonizes them like a bully from a 1980s teen comedy, it’s not about one event that made snap. They tell you the truth, in other words. It’s about the collective weight of teenagedom.
Zero Day takes as its two protagonists Andre (Andre Kreuk) and Cal (Calvin Robertson) and, much more than even Elephant, models its narrative around Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the real-life shooters from Columbine. Conceived as a random pastiche of self-recorded video diary moments meant to be locked in a safety deposit box before their ominous “big-ass mission,” the film tells the story leading up to the boys’ riddling their high school with bullets in their own words. This means it is by turns petulant, flippant, taciturn and well-expressed. (The biggest departure from details released from the Columbine investigation finds Andre and Cal leaving their schedule up to the weather — they will launch their attack, they decide, on the first day the temperature dips below zero degrees.) The movie’s strength lies in its young (non)-actors’ preternatural calmness and confidence. Coccio, too, establishes a laudable intimacy with his handheld camera; some of the film is shot by Kreuk and Robertson, but the bonus materials make clear his shaping influence in its look and feel.
Speaking of which, DVD extras here are considerable, anchored by an amusing making-of featurette that mostly consists of extraneous material and Coccio’s on-the-fly directions to his charges. While this would have the potential to be irritating and masturbatory for many films, with Zero Day it offers a telling glimpse at the collaborative process and cozy, informal attitude on the set. A storyboard gallery and screen tests for both Robertson and Kreuk show how well plotted out some of the seemingly improvised moments of the movie are, and Coccio and Kreuk share a genial audio commentary track. Rounding things out are a liner note essay by film professor Henry Jenkins and an additional photo gallery from the film’s festival run. A more structured interview with Coccio would have been interesting, but perhaps reductive. After all, adult bafflement at the intuitive bonds on display in this worthy rental is I guess part of the point. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. B (Movie) A- (Disc)