Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Adaptability Central

After reading Memoirs of a Geisha, its suitability for adaptation is as follows:

Quality: 9/10

Golden's writing style and story-telling is very easy to follow and should hopefully manifest itself into the screen version.

Tense: 6/10

Inappropriate. Jumps tense a lot and recounts random stories in people's lives. Structure will have to be re-arranged totally.

Detail: 7/10

It's very detailed. Will be hard capturing all of the detail in a motion picture.

Overall Suitability: 7.5/10

Not an easy job but if anyone can do it, it's Marshall. Another showy picture to direct, he will thrive on this. He has his work cut out though.


No.. it's not the Paul Haggis-directed Oscar hopeful of 2005, with such an over-performing ensemble. I actually had a car crash today. Nothing serious.. went into the back of someone, but it shook me up a little. Was actually having a really good day as well, spent a ton of my overdraft lol, so it kinda spoiled it. But I'm high-spirited regardless I suppose.

No use crying over spilt milk.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Yes, a heavy sigh. Why? Two reasons.

1) It's all over. We've found the most snubbed achievement in film ever, and we've found it after months of polling.

2) I'm dismayed by the decision lol... so Cate Blanchett's performance in Elizabeth is the most snubbed performance ever, having lost in 1998 to a radiant Gwyneth Paltrow. Talking of Paltrow, she may get a nomination this year for Proof, if reviews get a little kinder overall. I'm interested to know, do you view her performance in Shakespeare in Love as bad? Or just inferior? Anyway, regardless, the snub polls have ceased.

So let us move on to the next poll (yes that soon), which is based on the directorial master Alfred Hitchcock. To celebrate Hitchock's masterpiece collection, which is released on the 4th of October, we gather to decide which of his films was the greater directorial achievement. I've included the main ones, Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window. Sorry if your fave isn't on the list but there is an 'other' slot. Fill your boots...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Film Update

Recently Viewed:

· The Ring Two
· Somersault

I had not planned to see The Ring Two. Ever. But circumstances led me to it -- there wasn't much choice. Anyway, I did, and I'm actually glad I did. Even though it was nowhere near as good as the original American remake, it had some good things to report. First of all, its effects have gone up a notch, and are pretty eye-opening, however, I felt this took the focus away from the suspense and more about the shock. The amount of suspense in this sequel was a dramatic reduction, with Watts calling out for her son a little too much. Also, the ending was a little too rounded for me, and the whole thing felt more Hollywood than the first one did, and Hollywood is not good.

Grade: C-

Somersault was less problematic but still a little flawed. I thought it was very good for a debut project. It has lots of psychological insight and the way that people can act in order to mask the painful truth. It's really touching and definitely demonstrates something that I haven't seen before. The thing I found a little disappointing though, was that the background of the main character was shaded over too much. It would've been better to know why she left home in the first place rather than start her psychological journey as a runaway. Doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, it was very well acted, directed, and generally was very engaging.

Grade: B-

Recently Reviewed:

· Constantine
· XXX2: The Next Level

These are the latest reviews, neither of which are generally very favourable although I would like to say that I was pleasantly surprised (or maybe just surprised) by XXX2. It's not all that bad. Constantine was pretty much what I expected -- an average-poor popcorn flick. You can catch my reviews on the main page of the site at the top.

Imminent Viewings:

· It's All Gone Pete Tong
· Monster In Law
· The Wings of the Dove

Hoping to be impressed by Helena Bonham Carter's oscar-nominated turn in The Wings of the Dove. I'm working my way through the nominees of '97 and so far have seen three. Kate Winslet in Titanic, which is good, but hardly a stretch, less so in her case. Helen Hunt, whose performance may be the most overrated in history. Again it's good, but please.. terrible win. And Judi Dench, who is head and shoulders above the other two so far. Maybe Helena can out-do her.

I know Monster In Law has had terrible reviews, and you're probably thinking "Oh dear". In actual fact, I'm slightly thinking the same thing, but I have a rule: If I like the concept of the film I'll see it, no matter how bad the reviews. It rarely ever works though, except with Pay It Forward as a notable exception. It's the same reason I'll see House of Wax next month. I love the concept of the wax corpses etc. even if Hilton and co. are utterly dreadful.

Finally, It's All Gone Pete Tong looks to be good, and it's British, which is always a plus. I like any attempt for British cinema to flourish -- yes, even the dated Pride and Prejudice, which is such a product so to speak, of the unrelenting 80's/90's heritage theme that came out of this tiny lil' country.

Anyway, That's All Folks. Catch you later.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gods in Alabama

Hey there..

I thought I'd take this moment -- while I'm tired and purposely deterring from achieving my insanely long 'to do' list which lingers ever more annoyingly -- to let you know about this book that I'm reading at the minute. I made a conscious decision a month or so ago that I would read more, I've got a decent amount of time on my hands so why the hell not? Anyway, I was down at TESCO, and decided to look at the book chart and this book, 'Gods in Alabama' kinda caught my fancy. Well, it was the most interesting there, though I really only got it because I wanted to read something. Anyhow, it actually turns out that it's really good, and I'm really enjoying it. It's not very long, 275 pages or so, but I think it's really witty and author Joshilyn Jackson really has a knack of being blunt and deep at the same time. I really think has given me an incentive to keep reading after this one is finished, I'm around 2/3 of the way through it at the moment. I guess that's why I love writing, if it manages to bring something out in people and make them think about things that they had always thought about in a completely different way, or look at life in a completely different outlook, then that's special. And it's powerful. Jackson has that gift. Buy this book.

All for now =)

A Tale of Two Cities

No, not Dickens, just two cities that feature prominently at the moment.

The first of these is the beautiful city of Venice, which I would very much love to visit some time. As you probably know, the Venice Film Festival kicked off a couple of days ago and is currently on-going. The festival is showcasing some Oscar hopefuls, the biggest of which is George Clooney's 2nd Directorial Achievement, 'Goodnight and Good Luck'. Other projects hoping for some kudos to build their Oscar campaigns are Ang Lee's gay cowboy drama 'Brokeback Mountain' and what is looking like Paltrow's big-time comeback, John Madden's screen adaptation of the play 'Proof'.

The other city in question is one of the most high-profile celebrities around at the moment, Sienna Miller. OK maybe that's cheating but what the hell. Anyway, so Sienna, who's had a very intense few weeks -- and I'm telling you now you won't find a tabloid in August with her absence -- made an appearance at the Venice FF for the showing of her film, 'Casanova'. After uttering the words "I've met a few Casanova's" it seems the media have started up again, suggesting that she has dumped Jude. Now I'm sick of this as much as everyone else with half a nerve, but Sienna, for gods sake, DUMP THE NO GOOD SLEAZY CHEAT. There. I've said it. Let's move on.

Indeed, it's difficult to see the press making quite as much fuss over Casanova if the whole 'Jude and the Nanny' thing didn't happen, which begs the question: Will Sienna's career flourish in Life After Jude? It worked for Nicole Kidman, at least to some degree, she clearly always had exceptional talent. But a high profile gives you juicy roles, roles that got Kidman noticed in a way she had been overlooked (e.g. in To Die For) before. I do not think for one second that Miller has even half the acting ability of La Kidman, but what she does have is possibly the most physical attraction of any actress around at the moment. In fact, for natural beauty, there's basically her on one level, and the rest on another. Because everyone knows her name (gettin' a Cheers moment right her), I think we're gonna find Miss (or Mrs?!) Miller gets a lot of Hollywood attention. Watch out Jude. You could be upstaged.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Yesterday I went out and bought myself a copy of Gwen Stefani's debut solo album, 'Love, Angel, Music, Baby'. I've been a fan of Gwen since her No Doubt days with tunes like 'Don't Speak', 'Hey Baby' and 'It's My Life'. Her voice has a recognisable presence and you can really feel that she means what she's saying.

The main reasons I bought it though was a) I liked Gwen's first four tracks that she released from the album (What You Waiting For, Rich Girl, Hollaback Girl, and Cool) and b) because I needed to buy another pop album. The pop industry has been rather dormant lately, and until its crowned Queen Madonna returns to liven the world once again in November, Stefani is doing a great job in filling her boots.

Some of the songs really sound like Madge, and the kinda stuff she used to do. I could never grow tired of it. Tracks like 'Serious', which is god damn amazing, and 'The Real Thing' have that 80's vibe but Gwen still gives it her personal touch. Like Mrs. Ritchie, Ms. Stefani does not have spectacular range of voice -- good but not spectacular -- but it's the charisma and originality that she gives to her songs that distinguish her above all of the pop pretender wannabes of which I won't even grace by placing their name in the same paragraph as these two maestros.
I'd give the album a 9/10, as it's excellent, barring a couple of mistakes, 'Bubble Pop Electric' and 'Long Way To Go'. I urge you to go out and buy it. Trust me.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Vroom Vroom..

"I got a brand new car. Looks like a jaguar. It's got leather seats. It's got a CD player player player player player player player player player player"

Sorry couldn't resist. I passed my driving test today! Absoloutely delighted. Of course this means I can drive into Uni as opposed to taking the [chokes in disgust] b-u-s. I'm not a snob, I just hate buses -- with a passion. My two years as a regular bus-user has included too many reliability issues, usually involving me standing in the freezing cold, and sometimes snowy conditions. I shudder even thinking about it. Anyway, doesn't matter now, as with six minors, I will be let loose on the roads soon -- well, whenever the insurance gets sorted. That's probably not great for any drivers and pedestrians out there but super pour moi.
J'ai fini pour le moment.

Oscar Updates


Newly updated Oscar predictions are now available to browse at your leisure. Some of the categories haven't changed much and some I had to shake up quite a lot. I'm relatively happy them, although buzz for The White Countess is slowly waning, but whatever, it could easily turn out to be the frontrunner come December. So anyway, here are my frontrunners for each of the eight main categories:
  • Best Picture: The Producers, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Best Director: James Ivory (The White Countess), Sam Mendes (Jarhead)
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line), Ralph Fiennes (The White Countess)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents), Natasha Richardson (The White Countess)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead), Matthew Broderick (The Producers)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Uma Thurman (The Producers), Scarlett Johansson (Match Point)
  • Best Original Screenplay: Match Point (Woody Allen), The White Countess (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Producers, Memoirs of a Geisha

Feel free to offload your views, either by commenting or emailing me. Take care.