TORO! :: bull by the horns

an online compendium of culture and commentary

Posts Tagged ‘/film’

poster art for the cult set

Posted by rollinsloane on 29 February 2008

sweet warriors movie poster by tyler stout

Courtesy of the fine folks over at /film:

Two words: Tyler Stout.  This man needs some cinephile lovin, so pucker up.  In an age of Photoshop and shamefully juvenille studio graphics, this dude has managed to triumph with good old pen-and-ink, winning over the likes of retro-master Quentin Tarantino thanks to an f-ing rad gift for uber-detail.  With posters for movies, concerts and film festivals under his belt (not to mention fabric — there are some sweet hoodies on the market, s’all I’m saying), Mr. Stout has an impressive resume already going; as soon as I get my blockbuster monster-movie epics in the works (any decade now…), I’ll be enlisting him for some iconic design.


sweet movie poster for big trouble in little china by tyler stout


Posted in dude check it out, filmdom, huzzah | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

worst review quite possibly ever — I’ll even take Ebert over Elaine

Posted by rollinsloane on 17 January 2008

Whoever Elaine is over at /film, she ought to be anticipating the hook. This chick couldn’t review the Bratz movie with any eye for nuance. Her review for There Will Be Blood depends so heavily on simple tenses that even spectacularly unspectacular points about basic film production seem subtle: “The first thing I noticed about There Will Be Blood was the sound design. It’s something that many filmmakers don’t focus on anymore, but can really make a film stand out.” Ms. Elaine goes on to compliment the film’s “ominous feel of every scene,” “superb filmmaking,” and the fact that “the psychology of the film is unique” without any need for elaboration.

— Sloane

PS — check out LA CityBeat‘s Andy Klein instead.

Posted in 20 lashes, filmdom | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

blog round-up: why the heigl hate?

Posted by rollinsloane on 6 December 2007

Yeah, that’s right, she said it — Knocked Up was a little f-ing sexist. So what if Katherine Heigl also starred in it?

Here’s the OMG-so-controversial quote in Vanity Fair‘s most recent issue:

“[Knocked Up was] a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”

Wow. I know. So crazy. Like, cra-aa-zy. An actress taking a wider view at the mainstream summer comedy she strategically bagged in order to boost her career in order to not have to do mainstream summer comedy again. Nuts! The truly amazing part is that this is news at all, especially after the considerable couching of her criticism (“a little sexist,” “98 percent of the time it was an amazing experience”).

The blogosphere has nonetheless served up a tidy savaging for “hypocrite” Ms. Heigl. E! Online — characteristically disinclined to take a stance on anything other than someone’s borderline-garish red-carpet number — succinctly (and no doubt breathlessly) phrases the issue: “Should we praise her for being so honest and frank—or scold her for lashing out against what made her successful?”

AV Club’s resident Hater Amelie Gillette serves up this piquant witticism to put Katherine right back in her Judd-hating place:

“That’s a shame, Katherine. We can only assume that the other 2% of the time, Judd Apatow was holding a gun to your head while shouting, “Act more like a humorless killjoy, cause that’s how all women are and I’m going to prove it with this comedy that you’re starring in!” and laughing manaically.

Of course, not every movie is brave enough to look beyond female stereotypes and portray women as real, nuanced human beings, who, like, are always the bridesmaid and never the bride, you know? Your new movie should be called 27 Things I Noticed While Reading Betty Freidan, instead of 27 Dresses.”

Over-reaction, much? How do we go from “a little sexist” to Betty Freidan? I don’t remember the chapter of the Feminine Mystique that addressed cinema’s subtle chauvinism of likability. The fact is, even if the women in Knocked Up are successful in their careers and bedrocks of their families, in terms of personality, they’re indeed shrews. Apatow treats chicks as the straight man in much of his work, and it’s a different sort of sexism at play — mainstream-oriented comedies with guy-oriented sympathies.

The movies are still funny. They’re still successful. But when the boys bond over shrooms and Cirque de Soleil in Vegas and the girls over being rejected from a club, it’s hard not to argue that there’s a potent dichotomy in audience sympathy dictated by gender. Apatow didn’t need to hold a gun to her head — it’s in the script.

/Film does Gillette one better in the irrelevant criticism department, steaming off into a tangential diatribe demanding why no one complains that Jennifer Aniston fem-centered romantic comedies are sexist. A) That’s an entirely different issue related to neither Judd Apatow or Knocked Up and B) Of course they are. I’d argue that the Kate Hudsons and Sarah Jessica Parkers of the film world are doing the fairer sex a far greater disservice with their need-a-man-any-man conquest-driven comedies, but that branch of travesty is just another part of the dismal Men-Mars/Women-Venus general problem.

Knocked Up isn’t sexist, per se, nor is Apatow’s other work — his female characters just largely aren’t any fun. They’re flat, reduced to carbon copies of Sex and the City‘s shrill, club-craving Glamazons. The one stoner chick in Rogen’s on-screen circle of friends may giggle amusingly and get in a line or two, but she too is ultimately just a girlfriend, an appendage of one of his actual buddies. Superbad goes much the same goofy-boys, normal-girls way. Though Apatow’s females are arguably less cardboard than elsewhere in filmdom, they’re basically meant for sex and dating.

Gillette’s comment thread (generally pretty lively — the lady’s got an active readership) develops a compelling little journey down the rabbit hole of gender relations discussion. Go there if you’re really wanting more. My main contention with the anti-Heigl rush is, well, don’t we complain when starlets give nothing but glowing interview about how their director was just soooooo inspirational and honestly, like, a genius, and blah blah blah? All the news services remind their readers of Heigl hefty post-Apatow salary boost as if her statement’s an act of betrayal, but name me a single actor who hasn’t sold out to obvious schlock in the name of a payday. I for one am glad someone finally said something less than immortalizing, and the fact that this chick’s act of saying something was certainly contrary to her receiving another enviable paycheck in the next project of so-hot-right-now Apatow is testament to her personal integrity.

Suck it up, bloggers. Finally we’ve got an actress with a trap just as big as ours.


Posted in filmdom, long hard look | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »