Sunday Film News Roundup - September 4th, 2011

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I went on a little nostalgia trip this week, as IFC was playing House Party, the Kid N' Play epic about... well, you know... a house party. Aside from the side characters (especially the neighbor yelling out the window played by John Witherspoon), the funniest thing about the movie is how hilariously bad the framing is in the film just to accommodate Kid's hair. It's probably the first time I've ever seen it in widescreen, so it was strikingly noticeable this time.  His chin was almost at the bottom of the frame, while reverse shot of every other was a standard medium close up.

I got my last Netflix disc this week. I randomly went with In Cold Blood for some reason, ignoring the rest of my queue that will now just gather dust on Netflix's server. I've been an on and off Netflix customer, depending on finances, since early 2000, back when the envelopes were still yellow and the DVD selection was terrible (because barely anything had been released yet). It feels weird to be going into a future that will lack or at least have much less physical media.  Now get off of my lawn, you hooligans.

-Justin will be happy to know that Madonna's whitewashing Wallis Simpson biopic is bombing at the Venice Film Festival. (Here's more.)

-Not the news I wanted to hear at all: looks like the Adaptation Bluray will just be a port of the existing DVD, not the special edition that Spike Jonze has been promising for almost 10 years now.

-As more and more people see the leaked Star Wars blurays and point out the changes for us to be aware of, the website Saving Star Wars hangs George Lucas with his own words, delivered to congress during the colorization fad in the 80s: "People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society." He also seems to warn us about the future, "These current defacements are just the beginning."

-Speaking of which, I don't often read AICN, so I missed this interview they did with Señor Spielbergo a few months ago where he gave up a few tidbits: One, that a Jaws bluray is in the works, which is excellent. Two, that in the future none of his old films with be digitally touched up for bluray releases, unlike his buddy Lucas's. What that means for Indiana Jones, which he directed, but Lucas produced, I don't know. The only big change I remember from the DVD release is that they took out Harrison Ford's reflection in the protective glass between him and the snakes in Raiders.

-It's really time to stop complaining about Star Wars though, guys. There are much better things to complain about, like the fact that In the Mood for Love still doesn't have a bluray release. Sheesh.

-A message from NASA to stupid people: Apollo 18 is fictional, not a documentary.

-Why the AMPAS will regret hiring Brett Rattner: he is in discussions for Eddie Murphy to host the Oscars.

-Here is a nice interview with Jessica Chastain.

-And one with JB Smoove, who plays Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

-25 Inane Zooeyisms.

-Another blow to Netflix: no more Starz starting Feb 28th. I know, I know, Starz Play is a blight and I can't count the number of times I was excited that something was streaming only to be immediately disappointed that it was Starz Play. But they're taking everything from Disney and, possibly, Sonywith them when they go, not just Starz Play. The big gains that Netflix's stock has made (up 33% to coincide with the higher price brackets) has already been eaten into because of the announcement.

-A word to all streaming companies: if you fragment streaming availability any more than it already is, you all become completely useless and you all make less money.

-No go on that Say Anything sequel according to Cameron Crowe, though the idea of a Lloyd Dobbler cycle a la the Antoine Doinel cycle has me deep in though.

-Speaking of Say Anything Mr. Uncool himself posted the original script for the first scene, which extends the conversation a little in a very Cameron Crowe-y way.

-Kevin Smith: tortured guy?

-Here is a great story from Arthur Axelman about getting a phone call from Cary Grant.

-English film critic Mark Kermode on why blockbusters don't have to be dumb, and why Michael Bay is a horse's ass. I second this article, which made me feel all warm by affirming that I am a real critic because I've been called ignorant on the internet.

-Tom Tykwer looks to be back to his old ways in Drei (aka 3). Thank Christ.

-Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret is almost quaint in that it harkens back to a time when people still thought Anna Paquin could act. All evidence to the contrary in the trailer (and True Blood).

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