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Sunday Film News Roundup — August 28th, 2011

August 28, 2011
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So, my big deal of the week (aside from the earthquake and hurricane and cats and dogs living together) was that I signed up for a month trial of Hulu+ to see about cancelling Netflix discs (since their spat with Criterion, the bluray selection has been severely disappointing and not worth the extra money on top of the new extra money they’re charging).

What I’ve found so far is about as much to like about Hulu as there is to dislike. I use a PS3, and the Hulu+ app for PS3 kind of sucks. It’s crashed a few times in the week I’ve had it and even locked the whole system up once while I was trying to seek through Jim Jarmush’s Mystery Train. Some streams hang without ever loading, and there are major buffering issues with HD (3Mbs/720p) content. (My connection is a residential 15Mbs/2Mbs cable line, so it’s not my end).

Still, I’ve been able to stream and watch things that I’ve always stashed in my Netflix queue and put off, like the Bergman God Trilogy, Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales, as well as watch stuff there is no other way to watch. It’s especially great for Japanese film, which as you might have noticed over the years I’m especially fond of. Not to mention a shitload of Chaplin, and stuff that is slated for disc but not out yet, like The Three Colors, Fanny and Alexander TV Cut, and the Sabu and Kaurismaki Eclipse sets.

So, I’m still on the fence, but leaning towards doing it.

Now, news:

-After almost two years of few leads and slow police work, family and friends of murdered film critics Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc have raised the bounty for the four suspects to a million Phillipine pesos (around $25,000) in a hope to finally bring the case to justice.

-Well, that was fast. Atom Egoyan, he of The Sweet Hereafter fame, is attached to direct a film about the West Memphis Three.

-Hopefully Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson finds the killer before Egoyan has a locked release date.

-The Flanneled One, George Lucas, has replaced the puppet Yoda from The Phantom Menace with a CGI one. Okay, we all knew something like this was going to happen, so let’s just get past it already. I think I’m the only person in the world who actually liked The Phantom Menace anyway.

-Ben Schwartz wins the hurricane twitter universe: @benschwartzy NYC a real rain is gonna come: Whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, junkies are all advised to stay indoors.  #TravisBickleHurricaneUpdate

-Sean Penn doesn’t understand his role in Malick’s Tree of Life. So Richard Brody explains it to him. (Having both seen the film and read the script, I think Penn’s comment is way, way off the mark.)

-Brody also has a piece on the twenty-year gap spanning collaborations between Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodovar.

-Hey, Teen Nick: Hey Arnold sucked just as much as your decision to re-cancel Clarissa Explains it All and Doug. (Rocko was great, but not nearly as great as Clarissa or Doug.)

-Gah, has it really been 10 years since The Royal Tenenbaums came out?

-You know what else will make you feel old? Macaulay Culkin turned 31 this week.

-Conan screenwriter Sean Hood explains what it’s like to watch your film flop at the box office.

-Jonah Hill is joining the cast of what sounds like a rip-off of The ‘Burbs, but I’m mostly linking this story to say I just can’t get used to skinny Jonah Hill, man. There is nothing funny about a physically fit man.

-Speaking of weird skinny, Carrie Fisher lost 50 pounds too and no longer looks like Elton John. W-T-F.

-Does Megan Fox really need to explain why she’s getting the God-awful, white trash eye sore Marilyn Monroe tattoo on her forearm removed? Better to explain why she got it in the first place.

-Some new photos from Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. No Rooney Mara nipple ring in this batch. Sigh.

-Christ, Ghostbusters III sounds like a worse idea than Ghostbuster II, which I only like because it was a part of my childhood.

-Here are some set pictures of Baz Luhrman’s the quintessential great Australian novel, The Great Gatsby.

-There seems to be some second guessing on whether these are really Francis Ford Coppola’s notes on a page of the Godfather novel. What, they didn’t have Post-It Notes back then?

-Brit Marling held out on working with bigger directors to act in another screenplay she wrote. That’s kind of refreshing, that she’s not going for the cash grab. Oh and one of those True Blood dudes might be in it or something.

-A short film about Fellini’s lost final film, Mastorna, about a man who is dead but doesn’t notice.

-Michelle Yeoh in Luc Besson’s The Lady, which will open the Rome Film Festival in a few weeks.

-The Artist was the black-and-white silent film darling of Cannes earlier this year.

-And youngest Olsen sister Elizabeth was the darling at Sundance this year, partly because of Martha Marcy May Marlene, which needs a nickname badly.

-The adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, featuring — who else? — Johnny Depp.

-The NYT premiers the trailer for the new Aki Kaurismäki film, Le Harve. Yes, you’ll have to sit through a commercial before watching it, which is ludicrous. A trailer IS a commercial, guys.

-Finally, here is a list of anticipated books to come out this fall/winter. If I had a time machine I would go ahead in time to a point where Murakami’s 1Q84 was already out because I don’t really want to two more months for it. Also out is Roger Ebert’s memoir, which you can read the first chapter of on his blog.

-Okay, really finally is the next movie sensation going to be Bees on a Plane?

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