This past week was a bit slow in terms of movie news thanks to the holiday, but there’s always plenty to talk about. Over the past seven days we found reasons to discuss the performances of Peter Cushing, the significance of Medium Cool (one of my faves) and of course the entirety (so far) of the Before (Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight) and Fast and Furious franchises. Meanwhile we wrapped up our 2013 Cannes coverage, consumed all of the long-awaited new episodes of Arrested Development and found new reasons to look forward to the future work of Sam Mendes, Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Doctor Who beauty Karen Gillan, who has just been announced as being cast as a villain in Guardians of the Galaxy.
I’ve highlighted a bunch of FSR’s content from the past seven days along with two outside links to notable pieces from our friends. As usual, if you have or know of a movie-related (or TV-related) piece of news commentary or feature that I should include in the Reject Recap, please send it my way.
Start your weekend right after the jump.
“As materially strange as one would expect a vampire film from Jim Jarmusch to be, Only Lovers Left Alive …is a winner largely because of Jarmusch’s pithy script, which ably integrates these centuries-old characters into the contemporary milieu of Detroit. Unexpectedly, it’s also a laugh riot, delivering some of the year’s heartiest laughs amid its dark backdrop, which are sure to go down a treat with the filmmaker’s fans. Even with a lackadaisical pace, it’s the sterling performances that really see it through; the trio of Hiddleston, Swinton and Wasikowska don’t falter for even a moment. What a rebuke to Twilight this is.” ‐ Shaun Munro
Check out the rest of Munro’s Cannes coverage:
2013 Cannes Film Festival Reviews
“Brian lands a car on a yacht in 2 Fast 2 Furious: While plenty of fuss has been made over some of the larger vehicles that pop up in the newest film (a tank! a plane!), the franchise’s obsession with big toys started early. Sure, sure, it’s very impressive that Vin Diesel drives a car out of a moving airplane in the latest film, but way back in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Paul Walker was driving cars onto moving yachts, all while Tyrese Gibson screams like he’s being murdered in the passenger seat and Eva Mendes somehow manages to look bored the entire time (this is why we got rid you, Mendes). This stunt sequence is insane, and it’s also the first real example that the franchise doesn’t give a good goddamn about physics or road conditions or wind factor or what have you. Ride or die indeed.” ‐ Kate Erbland
“The irony of a slow-to-develop show awkwardly finding the right home on the instant gratification machine of the internet comes with the built-in pleasure/opportunity of not having to endure a week before getting to the good stuff. Giving it one more shot after an hour-and-a-half is a lot easier than grinding your teeth through a stale three weeks. In that sense, the problems stemming directly from the show’s new format are hamstrung by the speed of the internet and saved by it. Hopefully those looking for the show they once loved won’t deepen the irony by waiting 7 years for Arrested Development to return, only to give up on it after 3 episodes.” ‐ Scott Beggs
More on Arrested Development:
The Arrested Development Drinking Game
“Despite the film’s compelling depiction of Liberace, and the particularly ’70s relationship between he and Scott Thorson, Behind the Candelabra is really interested in fame as an institution, as something that can be reducible to contracts and points of ownership, and as a state of being that one can be fully subsumed in without ever acquiring it themselves. Candelabra’s Liberace sees fame and public perception as something that can, and should, be highly regulated. Douglas’s Liberace bemoans the politicized bastardization of fame by the Jane Fonda types, and makes a business out of suing for libel anyone who tries to connect the private Liberace with the public one…Liberace makes another person into his image when he sees to Scott getting plastic surgery. There is no essential, corporeal, psychologically individualized Liberace: fame is instead a transferable state of being, a mere likeness that can be commodified and circulated.” ‐ Landon Palmer
“We’ve seen less than three days of her entire life, but we know Celine because we have the rare opportunity to watch her grow over the 18 years separating the three films. We see her speak, think, and react ‐ talking about everything from the joys of sex to the beauty of social work to the struggle of feminism. And we see how that changes as she grows from a woman in her twenties (Before Sunrise), to a woman in her thirties (Before Sunset), to a woman in her forties (Before Midnight). For all the series’ romance ‐ of which there is much, from the beautiful to the painful ‐ the series thrives because it allows us to see one woman and one man evolve over the course of their lives.” ‐ Monika Bartyzel (The Week)
“This is great news, because Skyfall was the best melding of traditional James Bond fun and the grittiness of the Daniel Craig-starring entries in the series we’ve gotten so far, and thanks to Mendes’ collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins, it was also one of the most beautiful films of 2012. Mendes and Bond together created a level of buzz and box office dollars that the long-running series hasn’t experienced in a long time, so it just feels right that he’s going to be staying on board. When all is said and done, could the work Mendes and Craig do over these two, likely three films cement Craig’s place as being the definitive James Bond of all time? Probably not, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch them shoot for that goal.” ‐ Nathan Adams
“[On Mint in a Box:] What could have been an unnecessary rehash of one aspect of The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a funny and sweet and sad little sketch all its own. Mostly because Vogt-Roberts executes the gag so well with just the right tone and precise beats from his cast. Right from the start you can see that this filmmaker, while often a co-originator of a story idea yet maybe not the actual writer of the scripts to his films, is the sort of director whose talents make something that’s good on the page even greater on the screen.” ‐ Christopher Campbell
“[Clash of the Titans] was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I’m a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it’s not my movie. Clash of the Titans is not my movie. And ultimately that’s why I didn’t do the sequel.” ‐ Louis Leterrier to Mike Ryan (Huffington Post)
More from Louis Leterrier:
Now You See Me Director Louis Leterrier: “Movies Are Never Finished”
“May 26th marked what would have been the 100th birthday of Peter Cushing, a thespian whose efforts on stage as well as screens both big and small left such a mark on viewers that it often seems as though he’s always been a part of popular culture…Cushing was a full-time film (and occasional television) actor. Yes, his career suffered the same ups and downs as all who tread the boards, his dramatic flair and his undeniable onscreen presence provided him with a wealth of opportunities over the course of his 47-year film career…some good, some underrated, and some just plain bad.” ‐ Will Harris
“Criterion’s long-anticipated release of Medium Cool isn’t the only A/V flashback to ’68 occurring this summer. Olivier Assays’s Something in the Air reflects on the student protests surrounding the similarly turbulent demonstrations in France in May of that year, while Season 6 of Mad Men has just entered the sweltering summer that will climax in the events in Chicago that August. Maybe it’s Congress’s seemingly eternal bottleneck, or the government’s paranoia-inducing surveillance of the press, or a general aura of well-justified cynicism, but the simultaneously dark and potentially revolutionary years of ’68 seem to demand contemporary reflection, even if it only results in pop culture nostalgia.” ‐ Landon Palmer