Burlesque (2010)

Burlesque is the newest movie by Steve Antin, starring Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell and Peter Gallagher.

Plot:
Small town girl Ali (Christina Aguilera) moves to L.A. to make it big as a singer/dancer. She ends up in a Burlesque bar owned by Tess (Cher), former Burlesque dancer/singer and her ex-husband (Peter Gallagher). Ali gets to know the barkeeper Jack (Cam Gigandet) and with his help she basically hires herself – as a waitress, at least at first.

The movie is about as bad as you imagine it to be. Which means don’t-spend-your-money-on-it bad. But with a fast-forward button at hand, it might be worth to spend your time on it.

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Superheroes – Meme Monday

[taken from here.]

I’m choosing to do the “who’s my favorite” version, not the “who would win in a fight” one. Maybe I’ll do that another time.

Male Against Male

1. Conan or Superman?
Superman

2. Spiderman or Silver Surfer?
I don’t particularly care about either.

3. Captain America or Batman?
Batman

4. Wolverine or Cyclops?
Wolverine

5. Daredevil or The Phantom?
The Phantom [because Daredevil has been utterly ruined by Ben Affleck]

6. Hellboy or Hulk?
Hellboy

7. The Flash or Green Lantern?
Green Lantern

8. The Punisher or Blade?
Blade

9. Zorro or Thor?
Thor

10. Blade or Spawn?
Blade

Female Against Female

1. Batgirl or Supergirl?
Batgirl

2. Elektra or Catwoman?
Catwoman

3. Wonder Woman or Phoenix?
Wonder Woman

4. She-Hulk or She-Ra?
She-Ra

5. Ultra-Violet or Wildstorm?
I have to admit I don’t know Wildstorm [the character. I know there’s a publisher]

6. Wonder Woman or Elektra?
Wonder Woman

7. Leeloo or Buffy?
Buffy

8. Queen of Swords or Xena?
Xena [never watched Queen of Swords]

9. Red Sonja or Nikita?
Nikita [never watched Red Sonja]

10. Storm or Wonder Woman?
Wonder Woman

Female Against Male

1. Buffy or Blade?
Buffy

2. She-Hulk or Hellboy?
Hellboy

3. Red Sonja or Conan?
I don’t particularly care about either.

4. Supergirl or Superman?
Superman

5. Xena or Spiderman?
Xena

6. UltraViolet or The Punisher?
I don’t particularly care about either.

7. Queen of Swords or Zorro?
I don’t particularly care about either.

8. Catwoman or Cyclops?
Catwoman

9. Nikita or Batman?
Batman. Always the Batman.

10. Phoenix or Silver Surfer?
Phoenix.

Jugofilm [Yugo Film] (1996)

Jugofilm is a movie by Goran Rebic, starring Merab Ninidze, Ljubisa Samardzic, Tamara Simunovic, Michael Jovanovic and Wolf Bachofner.

Plot:
A Serb emigrant family in Vienna: one of the two sons, Sascha (Merab Ninidze) goes back to Yugoslavia to pick up the grandmother since tensions are rising. But before they can get back, war breaks out and Sascha gets conscripted. About a year later, he manages to return to Austria, with a Bosnian wife, Suza (Tamara Simunovic) and a whole lot of war baggage. He thinks that he will be safe in Vienna, but he finds that the Yugoslavian conflict is also happpening in Austria – and in his family.

Jugofilm is a strong movie. It tells a good story and it tells it mostly well. But I really didn’t like the ending.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is Edgar Wright‘s adaptation of Brian Lee O’Malley‘s comic series. It stars Michael Cera, Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman.

Plot:
Scott (Michael Cera) is finally getting back into dating after a bad break-up. So he has a kind of non-relationship with high school student Knives (Ellen Wong). But then he meets Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) quite literally the girl of his dreams. They hit it off but then Scott learns that Ramona has seven exes he needs to defeat before he’ll be allowed to actually date her.

I very much expected to like Scott Pilgrim. But while I liked bits and pieces, the immensly crappy gender politics of it all overshadowed everything and drained the movie of all enjoyment.

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Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan is the newest film by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder.

Plot:
Nina (Natalie Portman) is a dancer in a struggling ballet company. Its director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) decides to put on a version of Swan Lake where the White Swan and the Black Swan are played by the same person. Nina auditions like everybody else, but in her need to control everything, she never seems to be able to really get the sensual seduction of the Black Swan. The pressure on her rises – from Thomas, from new company member Lily (Mila Kunis) with whom Nina strikes up a competition, from Nina’s mother Erica (Barbara Hershey), but most of all from Nina herself.

My expectations for this film was way, way, way up high. Not only is it the newest film by Aronofsky and stars two of my favorite actors (Portman and Cassel) and I hadn’t heard a single bad word about it in advance. Expectations couldn’t get any higher. And how completely satisfying is it that all of them were met?

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Der Wille der Sterne [The Stars’ Will] (2003)

[People, there’s no imdb entry for this film. I didn’t think it was possible, but it’s true. I think a little part of me died when the imdb failed me that way…]

Der Wille der Sterne (I think the original title might be Un gesto di coraggio. Or it might be the Italian title and the German is the original… honestly, without the imdb, I’m kinda lost. The English translation, in any case, is mine and from the German title) is a movie about Cecco d’Ascoli by Piero Maria Benfatti [who doesn’t have a really meaningful imdb entry either*], starring Tobias Moretti, Robert Stadlober, Remo Girone, Gianni Musy and Toni Bertorelli.

Plot:
Cecco (Tobias Moretti) came from Bologna to Florence and quickly finds himself in the favour of the local duke when he predicts the defeat of Louis IV via horoscope. His subsequent promotion galls Dino del Garbo (Remo Girone) who was supposed to get the job in the first place. Since Dino had already worked with Cecco in Bologna and had already accused him of heresy there, he quickly hatches a plan to accuse him again. Cecco is locked away while an inquisitor (Toni Bertorelli) sits in trial over him. Cecco strikes up a friendship with his cellmate Paolo (Robert Stadlober) which might yet be his biggest mistake.

The film suffers from a small budget, a rather bad script and a pretty talentless director. That the cast isn’t all bad is unfortunately not enough to save much.

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Links

Art

Staples, Push Pins and Packaging Tape.

Self-Portraits of one artist under the influence of various drugs.

Books

Philipp K. Dick Award Nominees Announced.

Thogomatic: random bad passages from good books.

As If I Didn’t Own Enough Journals Yet. *drool*

Comics

Filthy Figments: Dirty Comics from Women.

Movies

The Dark Knight Rises Casting News.

Red Riding Hood Trailer: Now with Gary Oldman.

Genevieve Valentine Re-Imagines X-Men: First Class.

The next trailer is not for the faint of heart:

All the Science Fiction films from Sundance.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring performed in its entirety by one guy.

Into Survival: Joey Comeau (of A Softer World) looks at horror movies.

This has got to be the best movie poster ever.

Best Fantasy Movies of the Decade. [Well, it’s one list. The inclusion of The Lady in the Water speaks against the sanity of its writer.]

[And Sam Rockwell was in the old TMNT movie? Holy crap.]

Razzie Nominees Announced.

Oscar Nominees Announced. And deadra basically sums up my thoughts. [Which is kinda creepy but also saves me a lot of work.]

Music

[taken from here]

TV

More info about J. J. Abrams’ new show Alcatraz.

Completely Different Things

Totoro Knitting: Absolutely adorable.

[taken from here]

The Wooo!pedia – why didn’t I know that this existed until now?

Kraken (China Miéville)

Kraken is the newest novel by China Miéville.

Plot:
Billy Harrow works in the Darwin Center. Among other things, he’s kinda responsible for a giant squid (in formaldehyde, of course) – which one day just vanishes from the museum. But that’s just the start of the weirdness in Billy’s life: he soon finds himself in the company of Dane, a believer of a squid cult Kraken Church, hunted by Goss and Subby – a more than macabre and scary duo in the employ of the Tattoo, the city’s mob boss – and desperately trying to avoid the end of the world that is connected to the vanished squid.

Kraken is a book that will sweep you off your feet and leave you completely breathless with its sheer inventiveness. Every time you think that you got the hang of everything, Miéville introduces a new idea, more or less mindblowing. It’s absolutely exhilarating.

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3 (2010)

3 is the newest movie by Tom Tykwer, starring Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper and Devid Striesow.

Plot:
Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been a couple for quite a while now and things are stagnating. It works but more because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t than because there’s a reason it should. But then first Hanna, then Simon meet Adam (Devid Striesow) – separately from each other. And both fall in love with him.

The cast is excellent and Tykwer approaches the story with a lot of sensitivity and a nice sense of humor. Unfortunately, I thought that it focussed on the wrong thing.

3neu

[SPOILERS]

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