Tag Archives: Cate Blanchett

Production begins on “The Hobbit”

I know it seemed like this day would never come, but, I’m very pleased to announce that after years of delays and behind-the-scenes drama, production on Peter Jackson’s two-part “Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Hobbit”, finally began today at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand. Hooray!

Even more awesome than this news are the super cool on-set pics Jackson posted on his Facebook page today. Whoo-hoo! Don’t you just wanna live in that sweet little hobbit house? And could that gorgeous, sun-dappled Shire look any more lush and inviting? Wow…

I know they just started shooting, but, I’m ready to throw on my hobbit cape and get in line for tickets, like, today. Bring it on, Mr. Jackson!

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“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

I should start by saying that I absolutely love almost everyone associated with this movie, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, David Fincher, hell, even the writer of the source material himself, F. Scott Fitzgerald. But the movie that this extraordinarily-gifted crew has cobbled together is just plain bad.

BENJAMIN BUTTON #1

I won’t go into detail because I know a lot of people who are seriously dying to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, and I was too. I mean, that teaser trailer rocked! But, sadly, trailers are not movies, amigos…

I think the kindest compliment I can give this syrupy-sweet, butt-numbingly long movie — seriously, it makes “Australia” look like a short film — is that if you liked “Forrest Gump”, you’ll love “Benjamin Button”.

And if you hated “Gump”, like Christine and I did (sorry America), then you will probably hate this movie too. Brad Pitt’s hokey, ever-shifting accent aside, there are so many Gump/Button similarilities that you could do a scholarly work on it.

Just to give you an idea of how liberally “Button” borrows from “Gump”, there is a sassy Momma character, a crazy sea captain best friend, a legless man, a thwarted longtime love born in childhood, and even a lame ongoing joke that rivals that annoying “shrimp this, shrimp that…” sequence from “Gump”.

BENJAMIN BUTTON #2

BENJAMIN BUTTON #3

And yet all that said, I gotta tell ya, “Gump” is a much better movie. Yep, it seems that that old hambone Robert Zemekis has Fincher beat in the epic crowdpleaser department. And since I am not one to ever shower Bob Zemekis with compliments of any kind, you know I must have really hated “Button”. Yikes…

So, come Christmas, save yourself a little hard-earned dough and rent “Forest Gump”, or better yet, check out a truly great movie like “Frost/Nixon”, “Milk” or “Slumdog Millionaire” instead…

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Countdown to “Indiana Jones 4”

Reviews be damned…I am literally counting down the hours and minutes till we get to see “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” tonight at the Arclight. By my last count, I have 5 hours and 46 minutes to go…and even though that sounds like a short time frame, when you’re really excited about something…it kinda seems live FOREVER!

Christine keeps telling me not to get too excited as I might be in for another bout of soul-crushing, post-“Phantom Menace” depression if the movie sucks…but you know what, I don’t care. I mean, sure “Menace” sucked, and I did weep openly for days afterwards, but I lived through it — even seeing it twice on opening weekend! — so nothing Lucas pumps out can ever burn me that bad again.

Of course, I haven’t seen “Crystal Skull” yet, so, that might change come Saturday morning…but either way, I’m just excited about the fact that the movie is finally coming out! So, back the breathless waiting…

I guess the best thing about the wait this week is that it did give me time to watch some of the previous Indiana Jones movies on DVD. I’m about half-way through “Temple of Doom” right now, and even though I know most people hate this one, I gotta say that is the one I probably watched the most as a kid.

Even then I knew it was kind of racially insensitive and downright lame in parts — especially the God-awful Kate Capshaw, who never could hold a candle to Karen Allen in my book — but I still loved it! Hell, even that annoying little Shortround kid even grew on me after a while…

So, as I try and finish up the trilogy before we head out tonight in our dusty fedoras and whips — just kidding about the whip part, I do have a fedora, but I doubt Christine will let me sit next to her if I wear it! — I’ll leave you with some of the super cool pics from Sunday’s world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” at Cannes…enjoy!

Oh yeah, and if anyone out there knows who the hot African-American chick (pictured above and bellow in yellow) with George Lucas is…drop me a line.

I’m not sure who she is, but any way you look at it, that fetching young lady is a huge upgrade from Lucas’s first wife, Oscar-winning “Star Wars” editor Marcia Lucas, so…rock on, Jedi Master George!

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