Bill Murray’s career is a really interesting one. Whenever he does a moderately serious film, people should watch and learn. Murray is a master of his craft and is able to infuse his roles with the exact amount of humor and torture that they need. His role in Lost in Translation travels from quietly painful to exuberant and playful within seconds. His more comedic roles are as dry or slapstick as they need to be. He can seemingly do no wrong. Plus, the man is a legend. Seriously, you order a whisky, he gives you tequila. You ask for an autograph, he walks in slow motion with your friends. Hyde Park on Hudson looks like a lovingly crafted film. Murray and Laura Linney give warm and sincere performances. Hopefully this film gets some attention. The film is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2012
The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books (as is evidenced by many of my project alluding to it), so when I heard they were giving it another go as a film, I was ecstatic. Cast looked good, especially Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio. Then I heard Baz Luhrmann was directing and I started getting worried. I like Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet is a fantastic modernized version of the play and really take chances with color and presentation. Australia was… well. Luhrman is all about excess, which should fit perfectly with the themes of Gatsby, but it tends to lean toward the broad and modern. I can see him using “No Church in the Wild” and “Love is Blindness” as a way to connect the audience to the era of Gatsby, but there are enough similarities in the context of the story that the anachronism feels unneeded. It’s a film about the jazz age, play some jazz. Sometimes using modern music in a period piece works swimmingly (see There Will Be Blood and below), but I’m weary of its effects here. There is also an unseemly about of CGI in the trailer that leaves me cold. This film should engulf people in the time period, not point out that its a green screen. The film is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2012
Speaking of DiCaprio, he was supposed to play Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. I could see him playing it, but after seeing the trailer to Django Unchained, I almost wish he would have (Christoph Waltz was perfect in that role). DiCaprio completely steals the trailer, which is no easy task, with his debonair attitude and his over the top portrayal of a wealthy southern dandy. He just looks like he’s having fun as the character. Waltz looks like he’s giving another amazing performance and Jamie Foxx is putting it all on the table. The film looks like Quentin Tarantino at his most raucous. I would argue his first three films are referential to B movies of the grindhouse era, but everything past Kill Bill has been balls to the wall B-movie while still maintaining quality. The anachronistic music thus fits right into place with the film. It a blaxploitation film. Tarantino isn’t trying to make Oscar bait (although it probably will be), he’s just trying to make an amazing experience. The film is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2012.