Screen Grabs July 25 No snappy intro this week, just a ton of great movie clips. Here we go!
If you’ve been following this column, you know how excited I am for P.T. Anderson’s upcoming film, and that’s only been heightened by the new extended trailer. Joaquin Phoenix reveals just how unhinged his performance is going to be in the scenes previewed here, while Philip Seymour Hoffman continues to offer the voice of cult-like reason. Amy Adams and Laura Dern are also in the mix, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides another creepy-crawly score following his work on There Will Be Blood. Come on, October!
Jayne Mansfield’s Car
If you can forgive him for what he did to Jian Ghomeshi, this directing/starring effort from Billy Bob Thornton could be a real winner. The 1960s southern tale features a stacked supporting cast of John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Shawnee Smith, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson and Robert Duvall on LSD (literally). It doesn’t have a U.S. distributor yet for some reason, but that shouldn’t take long to remedy.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
This film has been winning rave reviews across the board for its alternate reality New Orleans conjured by a child’s animation. Without spoiling any of the magic, a new behind the scenes featurette provides a glimpse at how the larger-than-life beasts (a.k.a. Aurochs) were created in greenscreen and by attaching horns to a tiny, fur-covered pig. If you weren’t interested already, this should do the trick.
French director Quentin Dupieux might be better known for his alter ego Mr. Oizo and the ‘90s electro hit “Flat Beat.” However, he also gave the world Rubber (quite possibly the first and only film about an evil, telepathic tire) and has bounced back with a follow-up that looks equally warped. Actor Jack Plotnick wigs out in the role of a man who loses both his dog and his mind, while surrounded by all manner of surrealism. Can’t wait.
Yes, it’s a shameless rip-off of Bridesmaids, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be any less hilarious. This over-the-top comedy from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay stars the female wrecking crew of Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson alongside reuniting the Party Down power couple of Lizzy Caplan and Adam Scott. It’s basically a Funny of Die sketch brought to the big screen, and ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
The Last Days of Disco
Whit Stillman’s latest film Damsels In Distress wasn’t perfect, but it did offer the first chance to escape into his fanciful, highly articulate world since 1998’s The Last Days of Disco. The good news for fans is that Criterion has dropped a new director’s approved Blu-ray edition of the latter featuring commentary tracks, behind the scenes features and more. These are the good times…
Sex, drugs and the seedy underside of L.A. have been Bret Easton Ellis’s wheelhouse since he penned his debut novel Less Than Zero at the age of 21. This film collaboration with first-time director Paul Schrader (writer of the classics Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) looks to mine similar territory, and has already stirred up controversy with its casting of Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen. Neither of them appear in this clip, but it is a stylish spin through the City of Angels.
Chicken With Plumbs
Iran’s Marjane Satrapi and France’s Vincent Paronnaud — the directing duo behind Persepolis — return with another dark, stylish fairy tale. This story of a famed violinist counting down his final days with the angel of death looks like it plucks (pun intended) from Amelie, A Christmas Carol and Michel Gondry. Look for it in limited theatres starting next month.
Man of Steel
Forget about Batman for just a second, because Superman is back too. The slow-mo dude-porn of director Zack Snyder (300, The Watchmen) may not exactly be my cup of tea, but at least this reboot looks more interesting than 2006’s Superman Returns. The cast here includes Henry Cavill from The Tudors as our hero, plus Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe. Check out two clips above, featuring “Pa Kent” and “Jor-El”, respectively.
Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
Drew Struzan might not be a household name, but there’s a decent chance his art is hanging in your home. The painter behind the posters for Back To The Future, Blade Runner, Star Wars and many more gets his own spotlight in this documentary featuring gushing testimonials from Hollywood big-timers. Put this one on Pinterest (OK, I’m done now).