Saturday, July 11, 2009

Loose Ends: "Big Fan" trailer, Ebert's epic rant, and more

So I've decided to start a new, semi-regular feature for a sort of general round-up of interesting movie stuff on the 'net, including new trailers that (up until now) have usually just gotten their own posts.

As I've stated more than once, here and in conversation, I think Patton Oswalt is one of the three or four best stand-ups working, period; pressed for the top five (which happens less often than you'd think), I'd say it's him, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, and Lewis Black. So I was excited when I heard that he was teaming up with Robert Siegel, who wrote The Wrestler, for a dark indie drama/comedy called Big Fan. It's out in August; the trailer hit this week.

Ebert, like about every critic working, panned Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and got the expected flack from the mouth-breathers. But here he's written a really sharp commentary about what he does, why he does it, and the entire process of become a savvy moviegoer. Choice quote: "So let's focus on those who seriously believe Transformers is one of the year's best films. Are these people wrong? Yes. They are wrong. I am fond of the story I tell about Gene Siskel. When a so-called film critic defended a questionable review by saying, 'after all, it's opinion,; Gene told him: 'There is a point when a personal opinion shades off into an error of fact. When you say The Valachi Papers is a better film than The Godfather, you are wrong.' Quite true. We should respect differing opinions up to certain point, and then it's time for the wise to blow the whistle."

Speaking of Ebert... the AV Club's "Inventory" feature is one of my favorites, and this week they've got a really good one on films and TV shows that poked fun at critics.

If you're interested in film editing and have twenty minutes to spare, check out this terrific video of one of the greats, Walter Murch. He cut Apocalypse Now, so what he says might be worth hearing.

Being so gay for Soderbergh, my heart sunk when news broke that his latest, a Brad Pitt starrer called Moneyball, got taken out behind the shed and shot in the head by Sony mere days before filming was to begin. Soderbergh's controversial rewrite sounded interesting, to me at least, based on several pieces I read about it. So I was all prepared to boycott the picture, if in fact it ever did get released, and then what do they do? They go and hire Aaron Sorkin to write the new draft. Fuck. Guess I'm seeing it anyway.

That's all for now...

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