Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

Cannes Film Festival Poster (2012)

Wow…it’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. How busy, you ask? So busy that I didn’t have any time to blog about this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday. Yep, I said wrapped up, as in, the festival is over, the jury has gone home and I didn’t mention any of that nerdiness on my blog. Sad, huh?

I dunno if it was the lackluster slate of films in competition or maybe the fact that the star-factor of the jury left me kinda cold — even with Obi Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, on the panel! — but, for some reason, I just wasn’t that jazzed about this year’s fest. No Wong Kar-Wai, no David Lynch, no Woody, no Terrence Malick, hell, I woulda settled for another Tarantino master class, but, nope, not this year.

That said, the official poster for this year’s festival was freaking gorgeous, so, instead of babbling on and on about the films and filmmakers in attendance, this time, I’ll simply post the poster here instead. Enjoy!

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“Hi, Sally!” clips…

Oh, man…I am such a dick! It just occurred to me that by blaming the heat wave for the fact that celebrities were “dropping like flies” last week, I inadvertently mocked the heat-related death of the late, great film editor, Sally Menke. See, last week, it literally was the heat wave that killed Sally Menke as she was hiking with her dog in Griffith Park.

Urgh…so sorry, Sally. I totally suck. Here’s hoping this mini-tribute will more than make up for my earlier lameness…

Over the years, Sally Menke worked with such big-name directors as Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Stone, but, she is probably best known for the films she edited for Quentin Tarantino. The two began their fruitful collaboration on Tarantino’s first film, “Reservoir Dogs”, when Tarantino hired Menke because she was “cheap”. From then on, they were inseparable, with Menke being QT’s go-to editor on everything he’s worked on since.

Scoring Oscar nominations for editing “Pulp Fiction” and this past year’s rocking WWII sage “Inglourious Basterds”, Menke was often referred to as more of co-writer than an editor by Tarantino, who was always quick to give Menke credit for her vital role in shaping the plot and pacing of his movies.

Another cool thing Tarantino did for Menke was to make sure to shoot several outtakes during production with the cast and crew calling out “Hi, Sally!”. This became a tradition between the two of them and the footage is often hilarious. My favorite is a shot of the chick from “Grindhouse: Deathproof” hanging onto the hood of the car for dear life and chirping “Hi, Sally!”. So awesome!

Anyway, in honor of the passing of the sweet-faced, badass known as Sally Menke, here are just a couple of the best “Hi, Sally!” clips from YouTube. Enjoy…

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Oscar Nominees 2010

I know I am totally behind on my analysis of this year’s Oscar Nominations — my friend James calls me the king of day old new lately — but Greta is about midway through her first winter cold, and, wow, what an all-consuming adventure that has been. Seriously, I’ve never seen so much snot…

And, ironically enough, that kinda describes how I feel about this year’s crop of nominees. I mean, there were a few cool surprises (Maggie Gyllenhaal earning her first nod for “Crazy Heart” and the always-deserving Jeremy Renner pulling an upset Best Actor nod for “The Hurt Locker”) but overall, most of the big award-magnet movies this year left me pretty cold.

“Up in the Air” was a total snooze, I really dug the ladies in that movie — both of whom scored well-deserved Supporting Actress nods — but I kinda hated George Clooney’s character and the too-cool glibness of the script sealed my hatred of the film. Same thing with “Precious”. Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe were fantastic and deserve every award that comes their way, but the movie itself was a glorified (if R-rated) after-school special. Snooze…

The Coen Brother’s latest outing “A Serious Man” was another one of their crazy, impenetrable disappointments. Seriously, does anyone know what the hell that movie is about? I sure don’t, and I’ve watched parts of it twice! The fact that this shiny turd of a movie scored a Best Screenplay nod and a Best Picture nomination makes me think the Academy sees the brother’s names on the ballot every year and just checks them off out of habit. I mean, come on, guys, you don’t  have to nominate EVERY movie they make! Urgh…

Now, with my least favorite nominess out of the way, let me get to the movies I did love. “Inglorious Basterds” was freaking amazing. Not only did it look great, but the cast rocked — the insanely-good Christoph Waltz is a lock to win Best Supporting Actor and he totally deserves it! — and the script was incredible. Tense, dramatic and funny as hell, “Basterds” is probably Tarantino’s best movie so far, and being a QT fan from way back, that is really saying something.

Also loved Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” and was thrilled to see the movie recognized in the Best Picture category as well. I told Christine after we saw it that if there was any justice in the world, “The Blind Side” would be nominated for Best Picture, and, well, I guess justice ruled supreme on Tuesday. I kid you not, amigos, this is one the best Hollywood movies in years, so, congrats to everyone involved.

Also very glad to see Jeff Bridges in the race again for “Crazy Heart”. Bridges has served his time, and unless Renner pulls a major Adrien Brody-style upset, he is totally gonna win Best Actor this year. Bridges didn’t just play that character, he WAS that character. Awesome, awesome work!

Scoring her 16th nomination this year, Meryl Streep positively soared as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia”, and is probably the only genuine competition Sandra Bullock has in the Best Actress race. I’m hoping for another tie, but, barring that…it’s gonna be a squeaker.

Glad to see the Academy finally giving sci-fi some respect this year as well. I haven’t seen “District 9” yet, but the fact that a little indie geekfest like that scored so many nods — including those for Best Picture and Screenplay! — is very exciting for a sci-fi geek like me! Go, aliens!

And speaking of sci-fi, I gotta hand it to nutty old James Cameron, man, “Avatar” was incredible. Unlike the rest of the world, I hadn’t seen the movie until last night, and I was completely blown away.

I was so prepared to hate those freaky, blue bastards, but, wow, was I wrong. “Avatar” has more heart and soul in it’s weakest parts than several of the other nominees combined. And the effects? Gorgeous! Trust me, you have never seen anything like this movie before, and though it will face some stiff competition from “The Hurt Locker” in most of the major categories, I have a feeling “Avatar” will break the sci-fi curse by winning Best Picture. Yep, it’s that good.

Ooo…also very excited to see Stanley Tucci finally joining the Oscar Nominee club with his creepy turn as a murderous pedophile in “The Lovely Bones”. I really loved the movie and even though it was pretty much shut out everywhere else, was very glad to hear Tucci’s named called on Tuesday morning. Same thing with Tucci’s fellow first-time nominee, Christopher Plummer.

Yes, you read that correctly…Captain Von Trapp himself has never been nominated for an Oscar. Shocking, huh? And, even though I hear “The Last Station” is a total snoozefest, I gotta say, rock on Mr. Edelweiss!

And finally, though I have yet to see it, I was very pleased to see “An Education” score not only a Best Picture nomination, but also a Screenplay nod for Nick Hornby! Hornby is one of my favorite novelist, so, I’m guessing the script rocks. But either way, kudos to you, Señor Hornby!

To see the complete printable list of this year’s Oscar Nominees, click here. And, as always, dying to hear what you guys think of the nominated movies and such, so, fire away!

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2010 Golden Globe Nominees

With Greta teething like crazy, no one in our household has been getting much sleep lately. So, since I was still awake at 4:30AM this morning, I figured I may as well stay up to watch the Golden Globe Nominations at 5:00AM. I mean, what’s another half hour at that point, huh?

Well, apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press is as punctual as I am, because, even though their website said the nominations would begin at 5:00AM PST, they didn’t actually get to the good stuff till 5:37AM!! And trust me, trying to stay awake for those last 37 minutes sucked ass. Jesus, get it together, HFPA!

Anyway, there weren’t a whole lot of surprises this year on the movie side, except for the near total snubs of “The Lovely Bones”, “The Road” and “Where The Wild Things Are” — but it was cool to see three of our favorite actors (Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Matt Damon) score double nominations and, seriously, anytime Julianne Moore is nominated for an award is a happy day in my book. Now if she could actually win something sometime I’d be even happier!

Also glad to see Tarantino back in the thick of things with “Inglourious Basterds” raking up all kinds of Globes love, and though we haven’t watched our screener of “Up In The Air” yet, I am already in love with the movie from the trailers, so, kudos to Clooney and company on that front too. It was also very cool to see “Avatar” do so well and a smaller movie like “District 9” score a coveted screenplay nomination. Wow…who knew the HFPA dug Sci Fi? Awesome!

But the big news of the day was on the TV front where Fox’s “Glee” very-deservedly cleaned freaking house with three acting nominations and a nod for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy. Hooray! After years of kicking ass in everything she does, Jane Lynch is finally nominated for an award! Coolness! Go-to character actresses like Alison Janney better watch their backs in the years to come, because the white-hot Lynch is on a roll, baby!

Also very happy to see “Big Love” score a few well-deserved nominations (go, Chloë Sevigny!) and we were very excited to see two of our favorite new shows, “Modern Family” and “The Good Wife” score some nods. Rock on, newbies!

My only complaint today are the three nominations for Lifetime’s God-awful “Georgia O’Keefe” biopic. That movie really, really sucked. Not only did it totally squander the considerable talents of it’s two lead actors, Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, but it was so damn boring that it made Lifetime’s epic 2008 train wreck, “Coco Chanel” look interesting. And yes, I actually Tivo-ed (and watched!!) both of those lame-ass movies. Yikes…

But at the end of the day, the big story at this year’s Globes — which air on NBC on January 17th — isn’t gonna be about the nominees at all. I mean, with Ricky Gervais hosting and the booze flowing freely, who really cares who wins?

To see a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.

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Quentin Tarantino on “Idol”

The cheesy, Brian-Adams-heavy song selections aside, this week’s “American Idol” kinda rocked…and with the exception of Kris Allen, Adam Lambert and Lil Rounds, it had nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with our favorite guest judge in recent memory…Quentin Tarantino!

Yep, the badass filmmaker was back for another visit to “Idol”, and even though he didn’t get much screen time — neither did the judges in that horribly misguided effort to streamline the show, yikes! — QT did seem to have a blast “tutoring” the contestants. So, yay for that.

Tarantino on AMERICAN IDOL 8

And though the show was just as gloriously over-the-top as any true Tarantino fan could have hoped for, our biggest gripe with this week’s “Idol” is that they didn’t show a trailer for QT’s upcoming flick, “Inglorious Basterds”. Huh?

I mean, hello, why else was he there if not to promote his new movie? I don’t know if it’s because the movie is rated R and might offend the delicate sensibilities of the “Idol” audience or whatever, but I know we wanted to see a new frigging trailer! Man alive, you missed the boat again FOX

So, until a longer trailer pops up online, you can check out the rocking teaser spot for “Basterds” here. Enjoy!

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Tarantino Master Class @ Cannes

I’m not sure what all Oscar-and-Palm d’or-winning director Quentin Tarantino had to say in his Cinema Master Class at Cannes yesterday, but, from the looks of the picture below, I’ll bet it was fun!

Always interesting, the Cannes Cinema Master Class has been a staple of the festival since 1991. And in that time, the event has been hosted by such kick-ass filmmakers as Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorcese, Oliver Stone, Nanni Moretti and even my boy from Hong Kong, Wong Kar Wai. Cool, huh?

Apparently totally free and open to the public, the Cannes Master Class is a chance for world-class directors to talk about their process, the films they’ve made and in the case of Tarantino, the fact that he thinks every serious director should take an acting class. Hmmm…a novel concept…

So, though I couldn’t be there to applaud Tarantino in person, I’m sure the French film fans — who love him almost as much as they do Woody Allen — ate it up! Rock on, QT!

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