WEIRDLAND: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jessica Biel

Jessica on the set of "Nailed". Out on Beverly Hills - 24th July.Shopping at Canyon Country in Beverley Hills - July 25th, 2008.

Show your finger

Ellen Page is not alone in the "intense temper"-"I'll give you the finger" department:
Seth Rogen in "Pineapple Express".Emile Hirsch with Amanda Seyfried and Ben Foster.Nora Zehetner in "50 Pills".

"How to lose friends and alienate people" trailer video

"Pineapple Express" Review

"For those of you who have seen the 1959 classic Some Like it Hot, about two men who witness a mafia killing and then flee the city disguised as women to elude their chasers, Pineapple Express tells the same tale; with the exception that the two witnesses do not flee, only try to flee, from the neighborhood where the corrupted murder took place (and not dressed as women, but as unconscious stoners). Marijuana, the drug that makes our two main characters feel good, is illegal, but no one seems to pay attention to murderers, drug lords or crooked police officers.

Multitalented director, David Gordon Green (Snow Angels) gives viewers a unique experience. He directs with an eye that dismisses the ordinary. With a budget of $25 million (reportedly Seth Rogen wanted $50 million), Green squeezes every possible nickel out as he literally directs a comedy that is both epic in its style and in its visuals. Pineapple Express lays claim to a couple of gay drug dealers, exciting car chases, a drug war between Asians and crooked cops, gun blazing standoffs, a subpoena officer, and a beautifully orchestrated opening sequence in black and white about the illegalization of marijuana. Two stoner witnesses (Seth Rogen and James Franco), along with their friend Red (Danny McBride), are caught in the thick of all of this. It would be a miracle to find all of this stuff ever again assembled on screen at the same time.Pineapple Express is produced by Judd Apatow - the recent sensation and rejuvenator of the comedy genre- as he once again disperses his patented “Apatow Touch,” which is the ability to make the male gender bond under the most uncommon of circumstances. Teaming the marijuana buyer/murder witness/subpoena giver, Dale Denton (Rogen) with the marijuana seller/doer, Saul Silver (Franco) paves the road for a succession of hilarious sequences, with some occasional dry spells, between the two as they flee from lady cops, two hit-men, a drug lord, Asians and other outrageous people who are only involved in making money. Of course it produces laughs. But we don’t realize, until after we've left the cinema, just how subtle the film’s story is. That amidst the array of pot, explosions, sex and virgins, what the team of Apatow has created is a coming of age tale".
-Review by David DiMichele

"Something about Harry" episode

Last part of "Something about Harry" episode in "The Outer Limits", starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

Playing with guitars

Not only in "Juno" Ellen Page gave us her finger, in this photo sessions she does it again!And she picked her guitar in company of Bleeker: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also a consummated guitarist:
The leader actress in "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist", Kat Dennings:
Michael Cera as Nick plays in a queercore band The Jerk Offs.
Rivers Cuomo from Weezer:

Scarlett Johansson in "Nylon" magazine.

Two stills of Nick & Norah

"If I make this jump, then this is real, he is real. I will have broken the law for him and that will bind us together forever, outlaws, like Bonnie and Clyde. And look how that worked out for them." -"Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Puzzled By Success

"The Godfather" has fallen to the #3 spot, after nearly a decade at the top of the Internet Movie Database’s listing of the Top 250 Movies of All Time. As we reported a couple weeks ago, The Dark Knight overtook The Godfather’s throne, but this latest development is really interesting because it might show evidence of a fanboy mob at work. Could it be that Dark Knight fans are intentionally voting down Godfather in hopes of keeping The Dark Knight at the top spot? Why else would The Shawshank Redemption have overtaken The Godfather in a time when neither film is in the public forefront? The percentage of users who gave Godfather a 1 out of 10 (the lowest rating possible) grew from 6.1% to 6.4%, just enough to push Shawshank ahead, while the percentage of participating users who loved the film, giving it a 10 out of 10, remained the same (57%). It’s also worth noting that while any IMDb user can vote and effect a movie’s overall rating, only regular IMDb users can influence the film’s top 250 placement".

"The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan has told reporters in Tokyo that he has no idea why his Batman movie is breaking box-office records. "I would not be able to point to exactly what it is," he said. "If I knew that all my films would have been successful." Final weekend figures confirmed Monday that the movie has broken yet another record -- best second-week performance of any film. The movie earned $75.2 million, which brought its 10-day total to more than $300 million, according to box-office trackers Media by Numbers. (The results somewhat diminished the achievement of Sony's Hancock, starring Will Smith, which crossed the $200-million mark after four weeks.) The film is now taking aim at Titanic's record of $600.8 million in ticket sales -- by far the top money maker of all time".

"The Dark Knight epitomizes the problem specifically not by simply being a Caped Crusader trifle masquerading as Paradise Lost, but because it failed to do the simplest things movies have always done: tell a fucking story. The film is quite literally one violent set-piece followed by a 20-second snatch of exposition, to explain what significance the set-piece is supposed to have, repeated again and again and again, for over 2.5 interminable hours. Stories require character and incidents that happen to those characters and decisions those characters have to make, and us watching them make those decisions, and then the tragic/triumphant/ironic result of those decisions. The Dark Knight runs along literally like a series of disconnected cabaret acts, with what passes for narrative happening off-screen most of the time, and the ample screentime remaining filled up with chases and fights so haphazardly shot and cut you can’t tell where anybody is or what’s going on. We hardly see Bruce Wayne, the Joker (yes, Heath Ledger was fascinating) has no backstory or motivation, plot holes loomed like event horizons (sure, you evacuated that hospital), dialogue scenes never lasted more than a few seconds – in other words, anything that might substantiate the film as dramatic material fit for adults was almost completely elided. I’ll tell you the two moments I appreciated, both missable in the melee: Christian Bale’s dry, almost imperceptible chuckle at Michael Caine’s I-told-you-so mini-punchline as they walked away from the camera, and the way the hulking gangbanging convict played by Tommy Lister went back to his seat after tossing the detonator overboard, brooding over perhaps having sealed his own death by doing the right thing. You can see why: these tiny instances involved humans, reacting and revealing their history. That’s about it for the whole film.The much-lamented infantilization of the mass populace continues, and at what cost? How much public effort and energy and time is spent consuming this attenuated nonsense – watching it, watching PR stuff about it, ‘Net-surfing for it, blogging about it, texting about it, pursuing gossip about it, rewatching it, YouTubing it, ad infinitum – and not attending instead to a government that eats tax monies like a Moloch and kills people by the thousands? Movies can be art, and can connect us with human verities and empathies and experiences that might help us deal with the real world. That’s what stories have always been for. But instead we’re using film as the walls of a bubble we’re constructing around ourselves like the disturbed children of abusive parents. Old Hollywood movies have always had their fair share of bullshit, but they were about people, always (or until Star Wars). Not anymore". Source:

Fan pictures

Jake with Ted and Lisa on the Set of 'Nailed', in Columbia, South Carolina, Source: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and shygirl311 from Hitrecord.
Michael Cera and a fangirl in Australia, at the premiere of "Superbad".
Michael Welch and a fangirl. Kevin Connolly with fans.

Wholpin no. 6

"Movies began in the short form, but quickly shorts became nothing more than ballast for features, and then, come the '60s, were not even that. (Anthology-style TV series may count — think of each "Twilight Zone" episode as a 24-minute short — but look how that format has fallen out of favor as well.) Filmmakers continue to make them, largely as résumé-builders, but a substantial audience has never been acculturated to appreciate them.

We could use a broad variety of semi-annual DVD "magazines" releasing shorts into the public bloodstream, but Wholphin is already much better than that — like Eggers's other periodicals, it's a magazine/program with a distinctly ironic personality, an endlessly entertaining point of view and a rabid hunger for what's brand new and supercool, internationally, in this least market-impacted region of moviemaking. Not just any decent short is allowed through the door — the Wholphin philosophy runs toward the eccentric and politically radical, while largely excluding the abstract-underground school and the earnest political doc. Anyone at all would be well-served by catching up with volumes one through five (editions have come biannually since 2005), which have already included, amidst eye-popping nature footage (trap-jaw ants, drunk bees, etc.), re-dubbed Russian sitcoms and excerpts from idiosyncratic features, and some of the most spectacular and vital shorts I've ever seen: Anthony Lucas's "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello," Bill Morrison's re-edited lost film "The Mesmerist," Alice Winocour's lobster tribulation "Kitchen," Olivo Barbieri's eye-defying "site specific_LAS VEGAS 05," Ray Tintori's junkyard Oz neo-myth "Death to the Tinman," the Oscar-nominated mega-retro-animation "Madame Tutli-Putli," inexplicable chapters from Spanish astro-surrealist César Velasco Broca's "Echos Der Buchrücken" and so, fabulously, on. Wholphin No. 6 does not disappoint, from the electrifying science fiction of Catherine Chalmers' digi-vid insect close-ups (used, as Wholphin is wont to do, as menu-movies, as well as an independent entry, "Safari") to Matthew Lessner's "Darling Darling," a domestic absurdism starring Michael Cera and featuring multiple dubbing options, involving either John Cleese or Daniel Handler, but not both. But the best spoonfuls range from an excerpt from Weijun Chen's doc "Please Vote for Me," in which Chinese grade-schoolers are instructed to wage classroom campaigns that quickly devolve into all-too-familiar democratic skullduggery; Adam Keker's "On the Assassination of the President," a mock-classified-briefing film that whips up a computerized Pynchonian conspiracy lather in just six minutes; "Lucky," Nash Edgerton's slam-bang snatch of harrowment that barely gets from a locked trunk into a hurtling car's driver seat; and Randy Krallman's "Force 1 TD," which matter-of-factly, and sweetly, mates gangsta life and seeing-eye Shetlands. Each Wholphin comes with a rather McSweeney's-ish booklet of interviews and statements, where the queries most often answered are, how and why in the hell did you do that?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Prince of Persia's mythology

"The story is also loosely based on Persian mythology and the twin gods Ormazd (read: good) and Ahriman (read: bad). It seems that something's amiss with the Tree of Life--which holds the power of life and death--and an evil corruption is spreading across the land. Throughout your quest you'll need to heal the world one area at a time by destroying enemies that serve as a manifestation of that corruption, thereby ridding the land of it. The enemies you'll encounter in Prince of Persia represent physical manifestations of the corruption. They're neither human nor mechanical but instead are a result of the gooey, organic corruption coagulating into adversaries, which, unlike in previous games where you fought multiple enemies at once, now have to be taken out one at a time. The series has always had elements of acrobatics, puzzle-solving, and combat. However, on this outing the prince will have to rely more heavily on acrobatics to advance through the game. That isn't to say there won't be any adversaries or any puzzles to solve, but the emphasis will be more on exploration and using the prince's abilities to reach new areas. Standard Prince of Persia moves are back, but the prince also now sports a glowing, metallic glove that will allow you to perform an array of new moves, including the Grip Fall--a move that gives you a second chance in instances where you might otherwise have plunged to an untimely death.

The game has a partly open-ended structure, in that the order in which you explore each area is completely up to you. However, the path to each objective will still be linear. The developers didn't elaborate, but we were told that the order in which you complete the objectives will also have an effect on gameplay.

The game's world is divided into dark and light areas, which represent the two states of cursed land and healed land. One of the major objectives in one of the regions we saw was represented by a beam of light that extended high into the sky. When we came close to reaching the healing ground from which it emitted, we were confronted by a huge beastly creature called a hunter. After a short fight he was disposed of, and we were then ready to step into the light, presumably to vanquish corruption from the region, yet unfortunately for us, it was at this point that the demonstration drew to a close.

Prince of Persia will be making its way to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and DS later this year. Source:
"The new game's plot will return to the Arabian Nights and Persian mythology, specifically retelling the legend of twin good and evil deity brothers Ohrmazd and Ahriman. According to myth, Evil Brother (Ahriman) was once imprisoned within a magic box after a battle between the twins turned ugly, but he is accidentally unleashed upon the world when the box is opened by an unsuspecting desert bandit. As Ahriman ravages the world, the thief (i.e. the Prince) must rise to his destiny as a true hero by correcting his mistake and setting things right in the world. Ubisoft's description of this progression sounds almost Okami-like, with trees growing, life flourishing, and the land returning to health in real-time as Ahriman's evil is re-sealed by the Prince in mystical wells.

The new game's plot has zero connection with the events of the previous Prince of Persia games, making us wonder whether or not we're even going to be talking about the same type of princely archetype at all. Creative director Jean-Christophe Guyot describes the game as "Zelda-esque" with "old school, very contrasting levels" leading ultimately to more open and organic gameplay than in previous PoP games.
Combat has been given a similar overhaul, with a focus self-described by the development team as "less God of War and more Soul Calibur." Ubisoft says that the emphasis this time around is on strong one-on-one duels with villains who (we're guessing) correspond roughly to the kind of theatrical foe more commonly seen in a game like Metal Gear Solid". Source:

Join "The Prince of Persia" group in Facebook

The Prince of Persia E3 Trailer:

Joker make-up

Similar make-up, don't you think?
Who would be a good choice for the role of The Joker in "The Dark Knight" sequel?

"The Prince of Persia" graphic novel trailer

Prince of Persia Videoclips

"Destiny brings together two princes from different centuries of historic Persia in this fantastical epic graphic novel. As their city begins to fall, and everything they believe in crumbles and decays, they find that only they can stand against the twilight of their eras.

Created by Jordan Mechner, the creator of the Prince of Persia video games, this graphic novel is beautifully written by award-winning poet A.B. Sina and strikingly illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland".

Actual Footage of Mechner's Motion Study for Prince of Persia 1
© 1998 The Learning Company, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and Jordan Mechner. All Rights Reserved. Prince of Persia is a registered trademark and Red Orb Entertainment is a trademark of The Learning Company, Inc

Actual Footage of the Motion Study for Prince of Persia:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Michelle Williams and Spike Jonze

"Following the devastating loss of her ex-fiancé Heath Ledger in January, it is rumoured that Michelle Williams has finally found love again, and is dating Spike Jonze.

The actress and director worked together last year, when Williams won a role in Jonze's film, Syecdoche, and they quickly became friends.

Now US magazine Star is reporting that the Brokeback Mountain star has been spotted visiting the director's New York apartment on a number of occasions recently, and that an eye-witness spotted them kissing outside.

The source revealed, 'Michelle kissed Spike with a closed mouth on the corner of his lips. There was definitely a bit of caressing going on. She was clutching his arm.'Jonze is the ex-husband of Lost In Translation director Sofia Coppola, and has previously been linked to Drew Barrymore". Source:

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Tokyo

"Maggie Gyllenhaal dons a daring orange see-through dress by Jean Paul Gaultier at the Japanese premiere of The Dark Knight held at Tokyo International Forum on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.

The Dark Knight has been dominating the international box office with $65.6 million at 7,143 theaters in 43 markets, pushing its foreign cumulative take to $126.3 million. It’s international gross total stands right now at $126.3 million, and worldwide at over $440 million.

The Batman sequel will open on August 9th in Japan. France, Germany, South Korea, and Spain will also have their release dates in August". Source: