“RETIREMENT IS FOR SISSIES!” roar the posters for The Last Stand (seriously? “Sissies?” In 2012? But I digress…), the first starring role for Arnold Schwarzenegger since stepping away from the silver screen for a, shall we say, problematic stint in the California governor’s mansion. Its mid-January release date doesn’t exactly scream box-office or critical confidence, but who knows; Mr. Schwarzenegger has been underestimated before, and usually comes out ahead. Either way it goes, we thought it would be interesting to run down some of the other big-name actors who hit rough or absent patches and tried to work their way back into the spotlight with a well placed role; after the jump we’ll take a look at five comeback vehicles that took, and five that didn’t quite get the job done. … Read More
Good news for people who like sexy stuff: amongst tomorrow’s catalog Blu-ray releases is Bound, the debut feature by future Matrix creators the Wachowskis, a cracklingly good noir-tinged thriller with a generous helping of seriously hot love scenes. Now that those scenes will be available in high-definition video and sound, we thought it might be worth taking a look at some of the sexiest movies ever made; they’re assembled (along with a dozen runners-up) after the jump, so feel free to concur, disagree, or amend in the comments. … Read More
Serious literary prizes like the Booker and the National Book Awards are all very well, but we’ll be honest and say that the award we really look forward to every year is the Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Fiction award. This year’s winner was announced this week — it’s David Guterson, for his novel Ed King, which described the titular character having sex with, um, his mother as follows: “It didn’t take long for the beautiful and perfect Ed King to ejaculate for the fifth time in twelve hours, while looking like Roman public-bath statuary. Then they rinsed, dried, dressed, and went to an expensive restaurant for lunch.” Right. But anyway, the whole sorry business got us thinking that there really should be an equivalent for film — after all, Hollywood has been responsible for some of the most hilariously awful depictions of sex you’ll ever see. Like the ones after the jump, for instance. (This is all hugely NSFW, by the way.) … Read More
“The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years,” says Michael Caine. That hasn’t stopped plenty of American actors from giving it a shot. This week, Johnny Depp appears in The Rum Diary, based on a typically boozy (not to mention druggy) book by Hunter Thompson. Even if you try to ignore the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp has had years of experience to hone his on-screen stagger. But he’s not the first – and definitely not the craziest – actor to bring the party to work. Below, we revisit some of the best drunken performances committed to film. … Read More
English portraiture meets pop culture in this series of digital paintings that one artist has created based on 329 19th century portraits of Russian Generals who defeated Napoleon in 1812. George Dawe was Russia’s first portrait painter of the Imperial Court. His creations have become the jumping point for Steve Payne’s new body of work, in which he digitally replaces the faces of the Generals with those of friends, family, and various celebrities. Payne found several photographic reproductions of the original paintings and has inserted the famous mugs of people like Sean Connery, Rob Pattinson, and Bill Murray. Some folks look right at home in their regal get-ups — the big surprise being Mickey Rourke who looks just as comfortable donning an epaulet as he does on a Harley. Sadly, Elijah Wood seems to be swallowed whole by his uniform, and Charlie Sheen is … well, Charlie Sheen. Check out more after the jump, and let us know who commands your attention most. … Read More
Sean Penn, never the wallflower, has some opinions he’d like to share about his latest film, The Tree of Life. His thoughts may surprise you! (If you know absolutely nothing about Sean Penn, that is.) The actor told the French publication Le Figaro, “I didn’t at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I’ve ever read. A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What’s more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly.”
While Penn’s complaints may have resonated with the refund-refused moviegoers of Connecticut, most have seen it as rather bad form—particularly for a critically-acclaimed picture that is still in general release. On the other hand, he’s certainly not the first actor to publicly diss his own work; we’ve collected some of our favorites after the jump. … Read More
Quentin Tarantino, that great rescuer of acting careers, strikes again. This time, he’s in talks to bring back Kevin Costner, the man who melted hearts 20 years ago in Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, and The Bodyguard before the embarrassment of Waterworld drove him into semi-obscurity. Beginning in the late ’90s, he was reduced to appearing in small films, buying minor-league baseball teams and casinos, and touring as part of the country band Kevin Costner and Modern West. So, it seems appropriate that Tarantino is going after the actor for a Western, Django Unchained. But, should Costner sign on, he won’t be taking his traditional, golden-boy hero role; his potential character, Ace Woody is described as a “sadistic trainer of the male fighting slaves who entertain the white patrons of Candyland as well as the female slaves who are forced to be prostitutes.” Intriguing!
The news of Costner’s possible Tarantino-facilitated revival got us thinking about some of the best — and worst — actor comebacks on TV and film. We rank them from wonderful to awful after the jump. … Read More
The Expendables opens today, and if you didn’t know already, it’s an action movie that features a leather bag brimming with bundled cash, a helpless woman with an accent, and lots of bad-ass dudes dressed in black running around killing other men lesser than themselves. Sylvester Stallone directs the cast of scowling veterans — whose average age must be around 50 — in a film that is sure to be about exactly what it looks like it’ll be about. We, however, wondered if this movie would be doing better with critics if the male action superstars were replaced by their female counterparts. Click past the jump to witness the possible genesis of The Expendables II. … Read More
Julian Schnabel was an art-superstar before turning his hand to writing, music, film, and architecture. A true renaissance man, Schnabel is now touting his large-format Polaroid photographs in a 100-image exhibition at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf, which runs through July 11, and an impressive, new Prestel monograph, which releases June 30.
Turning the 20 x 24 Polaroid camera on friends and family over the course of six years, from 2002 to 2008, Schnabel captured fleeting moments in his Manhattan, Montauk, and Brooklyn studios and other locations related to his art and interests. Schnabel’s pals Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, and Lou Reed are caught on camera hanging out with the artist, while Takashi Murakami, Max von Sydow, and Dick Cavett are documented dropping by the studio to visit. … Read More