Rachel Syme on Michelle Pfeiffer's considered career

For The New Yorker, Rachel Syme interviewed Michelle Pfeiffer about her life and career which hasn’t followed the same kinds of paths most Hollywood actresses have taken (on purpose):

You’ve given different reasons over the years why you don’t love being interviewed, but the one that stuck with me is that you were always afraid people would “find you out.” That if you told too much, you’d be exposed as a fraud.

Well, that’s typically my fear about my performances, that this will be the performance I will be discovered as the fraud that I have known all along that I am. That really comes from not being classically trained. I didn’t go to Juilliard. I didn’t study a lot. I studied in workshops and things like that, but I didn’t come from the theatre. There was a real snobbery when I started acting. In fact, one of my first jobs was a television show, and I played the blonde bombshell where I had fake breasts and was in hot pants, I didn’t even have a name, she was just called “the bombshell.” I was working with a lot of actors who were all from New York. I just felt really unworthy, and I think that never leaves you.

In terms of my discomfort with doing interviews, I think it’s early on not understanding the difference between things that you say, and the way things look in print, and things coming off in a way that was not your intention. I think you just get really guarded. I just had a hard time even formulating a sentence because I was so guarded.

When people talk about Michelle Pfeiffer and wonder why she wasn’t “bigger” (whatever that’s supposed to mean in any context), I think of Daniel Day-Lewis. Now retired, he was an actor who chose his roles carefully, was notorious for his method acting and that time he went to Italy to become a shoemaker. He won awards and was applauded for his journey. But somehow Michelle Pfeiffer is questioned for being careful and considered and choosing her own paths alongside her career and parenthood. We know what the difference is between them (and it’s interesting that they both starred together in The Age of Innocence and how their careers diverged and converged since then) but the criticism is unfounded.

Oh, and that TV role where she played a blonde bombshell? That was in episode 12 of Delta House, a TV spin-off of National Lampoon’s Animal House. Stream that below.

Delta House - Episode 12 - Hoover and the Bomb (Animal House Spin-off/Sequel)

That time Bully Maguire went on Family Feud

Bully Maguire on Family Feud

I’ve already shown my love for Steve Harvey memes but I’ve recently got into “Bully Maguire” memes, involving clips of Toby Maguire’s rendition of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3. This one is expertly crafted, showing Parker trying to win a staff job with double the money. Look out for special guest star Harry Osborne.

Observer on The Rock’s Jungle Movie Cinematic Universe

The Rock is in everything and has been for over a decade now. Observer examined his latest film, Jungle Cruises, and how he’s built up a cinematic universe around jungle movies:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Jungle Cruise is a breezy swashbuckling adventure that delivers audiences an enjoyable dose of Indiana Jones Lite crossed with The Mummy 2.0. But we really shouldn’t be surprised by that. Johnson, Hollywood’s best rendition of a throwback butts-in-seats populist movie star, has quietly turned the wilderness into his big screen bread and butter. To date, he’s starred in five films where he does battle with the forces of otherworldly nature, all primarily set within jungles: The Rundown (2003), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), and Jungle Cruise (2021).

It’s wild (pun intended) to think The Rock has been in enough movies of this type to have a jungle cinematic universe… and that only constitutes a portion of his filmography. He’s already part of the Fast & Furious universe and he’s been in a few Disney movies. Oh, and he’ll be playing Black Adam in 2022 thus becoming a part of the DCEU. We need a data visualisation of this!

A guide to Palestinian cinema for newbies (by Hyperallergic)

Munir Atalla compiled a great list of Palestinian films for beginners:

[…] Interestingly, it has often been Palestine’s proximity to journalists, with their power and modern equipment, that has inspired us to take our narrative into our own hands. The result is that a fragmented mess of people — spanning those living under occupation in the West Bank, under siege in Gaza, as second-class citizens in Israel, and a worldwide diaspora — has created one of the richest and most productive collective oeuvres of the Global South.

And if you want more, there are a few Letterboxd lists to try including this Palestinian cinema archive, Rawad Amer’s Free Palestine.

Jeff Bridges on his experiences as Obadiah Stane in 'Iron Man'

While falling down a YouTube recommendation rabbit hole, I managed to rediscover one of my favourite Jeff Bridges scenes of all time:

"Tony Stark Was Able To Build This In A Cave! With A Box Of Scraps!" - Iron Man (2008) 4K Ultra

But the experience of playing Obadiah Stane in Iron Man wasn’t plain sailing for Jeff Bridges as he discussed in a Variety interview in 2016:

“I like to be prepared,” Bridges said. “I like to know my lines.”

Bridges discussed the difficulties when filming “Iron Man” back in 2007, when the script was constantly being changed or altered. He detailed several of the setbacks the cast and crew faced after parts of the script were disavowed by Marvel.

“It turned out that many times — 10, 12, 15 times — we would show up for the days work, not knowing what we were gonna shoot,” Bridges said. “All the guys in the studio are sitting there tapping their foot, looking at their watch, and we’re sitting in my trailer trying to figure out my lines.”

However, it was also during this experience that Bridges learned not to take the process so seriously.

“I made a little adjustment in my head,” Bridges explained. “That adjustment was – Jeff, just relax, you are in a $200 million student film, have fun, just relax.”

I love that he called it a $200 million student film which I’m sure riled up some fans. MCU films are more polished these days (I hope) and—SPOILER ALERT—while Obadiah Stane died in that movie, he did make a cameo in Spider-Man: Far from Home which was just the above YouTube clip as a flashback.

gal-dem on visual artists depicting life in Jamaica

Happy Jamaican Independence Day!

For gal-dem, Pacheanne Anderson compiled a list of filmmakers, artists, and photographers showcasing life in Jamaica from the Blue Mountains to the troubled streets:

There are of course many artists belonging to the Caribbean diaspora working and living in the US and UK such as Karen Mc Lean, Terrell Villiers and RIP Germain (all of whom are worth a mention in this arena). However, here, we are focusing on artists living and working on the island. Artists who take a close look into Jamaican lifestyle in all its facets, from the spirituality found within the bushes high up in the mountains, to the political and economic turmoil present in the depths of parts of its most celebrated towns like Kingston.

There’s some amazing work on the list so go check out the article on gal-dem. And Jamdown forever!

Defunctland on the history of Captain EO

Defunctland: The History of Captain EO

Defunctland gave a detailed account of Captain EO from idea to execution to eventual shutdown. Like with many Disney things, it was over budget at a time when they couldn’t really afford it (it all cost $23.7m to produce, before inflation—$1.7m per minute of the film), too many people were involved, and it didn’t meet the expectations of some critics. And watch out for more signature Michael Eisner jibes. But hey, Michael Jackson was good!

Jurassic Park (1993) in 4K Blu-ray vs 35mm film

CNXToonami did a side by side comparison of Jurassic Park in 4K Blu-ray vs 35mm film. It’s a bit cliché to prefer the old to the new by default (like vinyl vs digital) but the 35mm version looks really good here in comparison. In another referenced clip in 35mm, you also get to see the CGI dinosaurs and they look more realistic in this style.

Not all films look good in 35mm and, of course, they’re not made for it either but this is an example of good quality in an older format. I’d be intrigued to see how Jurassic World: Dominion would look, although we might end up with an 8K version by then.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Official Trailer)

VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE - Official Trailer (HD)

This trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage dropped in May and while I’ve already watched it, I’m just getting around to posting it here because I got busy I guess. That said, watching it a second time has improved my opinion. I didn’t enjoy the first Venom movie all that much but I love Venom and Carnage so I’ll take any excuse to watch them in a film together.

Tom Hardy reprises his role as Eddie Brock/Venom alongside Woody Harrelson (Cletus Kasady/Carnage), Michelle Williams as Anne Weying, Stephen Graham as Detective Mulligan, Naomie Harris as Shriek, and Peggy Lu returns as Mrs. Chen.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is scheduled for release in the UK on 15th September, and then in the US on 24th September.

The internet's thoughts on Space Jam 2

I’ve not watched Space Jam 2 yet (tomorrow night) but the signs are not good. So I’ve collected a list of reviews that I’ve not read but the varying titles intrigued me.

And an extra special mention to Dom Griffin who did a video review you should watch (I’ll view it after I’ve seen the movie).

I’ll add more to the list as and when.

Slate's interview with the "MORTAL KOMBAT!" guy

The dude who shouts “MORTAL KOMBAT!” in the movie and video game advert, Kyle Wyatt, spoke to Slate about how it all came about and how it affected his life. But if you were thinking it catapulted him to stardom in some way, you’d be mistaken:

So had you played Mortal Kombat at the point that you were recording the commercial? Did you have any idea what the commercial was for?

Had no idea, bro.

So they didn’t even tell you why they wanted you to specifically yell the words Mortal Kombat?

Oh, no, no, no, man. It was a gig. I was able to pay my rent that month.

Deep down, isn’t everything just a gig or a moment in our lives?

Mortal Kombat "Mortal Monday" TV Commercial

Another funny video about Daniel Day-Lewis's acting

Living With Daniel Day-Lewis

There is/was(?) something so intriguing about DDL’s acting, allowing for some very funny parodies. This one imagines Daniel Day-Lewis as a frustrating roommate, involving his portrayals of:

Goddamn it, Daniel Day-Lewis.