Read On is a regular feature in which The Dissolve’s staff recommends recent film pieces. Because there’s always someone writing something notable about the movies somewhere on the Internet.
Grantland’s Alex Pappademas talks to Roar star John Marshall about making “the most dangerous movie of all time”:
“Around 1973, a teenage Marshall began shooting a movie called Roar. The writer-director was Marshall’s father, Noel, a former talent agent and the executive producer of The Exorcist. The film starred Noel; John; John’s brother, Jerry Marshall; Noel’s wife, Tippi Hedren; Hedren’s daughter, Melanie Griffith; and more than 130 wild animals, including lions, tigers, jaguars, and an elephant. Noel Marshall plays a naturalist named Hank, who’s been living in Tanzania and sharing his home with a pack of big cats for some not-particularly-clear research purpose. Hank’s wife, Madelaine (Hedren), and their children (John, Jerry, and Melanie) fly to Tanzania from Chicago to visit him, but Hank is called away to deal with an emergency before they arrive. The family shows up at Hank’s house unaware that they’ll be sharing it with assorted wildlife whose collective attitude toward humans ranges from playful to scarily aggressive. Oh, and all the animals are real, and largely untrained, and when they paw and pounce on their human costars, you can see real terror in the actors’ eyes — like actual Oh shit please God no terror.”
Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri thinks Kevin James movies have a Kevin James problem:
“As I recently revisited James’s oeuvre — not just his movies, but also his TV and stand-up work — I was struck by the profound gap between his prodigious talents and his films’ meager humor. It’s a dissonance that speaks to the boilerplate quality of the roles he’s been given. Even though he himself, as a persona, continues to shine.
That persona — the aggrieved Everyman — has been well documented. I even discussed it myself in my review of 2012’s Here Comes the Boom. At the time, I wrote: ‘[He] possesses a kind, Everyman-ish face that actually makes us not want to see him too hurt, or humiliated, or debased. He’s been mentored by Adam Sandler (whose Happy Madison company produced several other James vehicles, including this latest), but we don’t expect from him Sandler’s sociopathic mischief, or Ben Stiller’s owlish klutziness. James seems physically awkward, but likably ordinary. There, but for the grace of an occasional salad, go we.’ This may be part of his appeal, but it’s also part of his problem. Everymen are not inherently funny.”
The New York Times’ Mekado Murphy interviews the new THX trailer’s composer:
“‘I wanted the beginning of it to be mysterious, so it would tell a story,’ Dr. Moorer said. You would start with chaos that you couldn’t really hear into, but was constantly moving and evolving. And then slowly, like a flower opening, the form would take shape and crystallize into the big chord.’ He set up 30 digital ‘voices’ that would create the sound in the original trailer, which was as many as they could incorporate at the time. He used programming to adjust the pitch and amplitude of the voices as the sound progressed. ‘If you play it 10 times through, you’ll hear different things in that beginning portion,’ he said, ‘simply because it’s designed so that you can’t possibly hear it all.’ This structure, ending with the dramatic power chord, Dr. Moorer said was inspired by Bach’s ‘Fugue in B Minor’ and also by the Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life.’ ”
Yahoo’s Gwynne Watkins talks to American Psycho’s screenwriter, Guinevere Turner, about the film’s legacy and its “controversial ending”:
“From the start, the writers set a few ground rules for their film, which they saw very clearly as a satire. One was that Bateman, who works in finance, should never be seen actually working. Another was that the graphic violence should be implied, rather than shown, throughout most of the film. ‘There’s a really interesting thing that you do when you make the audience imagine what happened, which is that all of a sudden they’re sort of complicit – like, they’re thinking something grosser than what we actually think happened,’ Turner observes. She and Harron made an exception for the scene in which Bateman goes after a prostitute with a chainsaw as she tries to run away, and stumbles upon several of his previous victims. ‘We thought, “We should do one just [violent scene] to prove we’re not afraid to do this,” ’ says Turner. ‘And it’s sort of an homage to what this movie could have been.’ (That idea of ‘what this movie could have been’ was fresh in their minds, thanks to a brief period in which American Psycho was yanked from director Harron and offered to Oliver Stone, with a fresh-off-the-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio in talks to star.)”
Plus, the rest of today’s biz-ness:
- Here’s the latest Pan teaser
- The new Jurassic World poster features Bryce Dallas Howard and a very large dino
- Matthew McConaughey wept at the Star Wars trailer, as did we all
- Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch are returning for Independence Day 2
- Relativity has optioned The Girl Who Fell From The Sky