Put Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, and Corey Stoll in a room, and you’ve got yourself one of the most talented, charismatic rooms in Hollywood. It’s too bad that The Seagull, Michael Mayer‘s plodding, histrionic adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play of the same name, puts that talent to waste.
Mayer and screenwriter Stephen Karam enthusiastically try to modernize an 1896 romantic drama that is steeped in the subtext and social environment of Chekov’s Russia. And while the camera swings with lively verve and the lush, picturesque setting lends a dreamy quality to the film, the many colorful characters are still stuck in a story that feels like it’s over 100 years old. At the end of the day, Bening and Ronan can only do so much, and The Seagull becomes a comedy of errors without the comedy.
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A movie based on Green Day’s concept album, American Idiot, has been discussed for many years now. The band’s hit 2004 album was first adapted into a musical. The Broadway production, which Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong appeared in for about three months (playing St. Jimmy), won two Tony Awards and performed exceptionally well when Armstrong played the character. According to the frontman, he’ll reprise the role again soon, because HBO has greenlighted an American Idiot movie.
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we act black, reveal the deepest secrets of our lives to complete strangers, get our minds blown up by Gondry and Chomsky, stare collectively at the male schlong, and wonder what’s in the water in Finland.
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Judging by the news that has come out over the last few days, three things are super-hot right now: remakes, Julian Assange and musicals.
On the musical front we’ve just seen Clint Eastwood sign to direct a new version of A Star is Born, and Bryan Singer is in the early stages of a possible Bob Fosse biopic for HBO. And now NBC has ordered a pilot for a one-hour musical drama called Smash, based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, who will exec produce. (I think the pic above is as close as he’ll get to jazz hands, though. Leave that to Bryan Singer and the Fosse film.) Read More »