Every year around this time you hear some art house hipster complaining that the Independent Spirit Awards have somehow “gone Hollywood.” And while I can see how some people might think that — especially considering how much overlap there is these days between the Spirit Awards and the Oscars — actually, many of the films celebrated at the Spirit Awards are as freaking weird and independent as they come.
This year, there were two movies that got me excited enough to think about actually paying (!) to see them in a theatre. I know, shocking, huh? The first one was writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour’s B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night which, well, kind of had me at B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western. So cool!
And the second movie was Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. Starring Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) as a young Japanese woman on a quest to find buried treasure in the frozen American heartland, the movie looks just as cool as the concept sounds.
Scoring two Spirit Award nominations this season, one for Best Director (David Zellner) and a Best Actress nod for Kikuchi, Kumiko opens next month in select theatres and I, for one, cannot wait to see it. So, check out the badass trailer below and let me know what you think!
In case anyone was wondering why I didn't write up my usual, probing, insightful, film geek review of the Academy Awards this year, fear not. I did write one. It's just not posted here.
I don't remember if I've ever mentioned it here or not, but, I've been writing a weekly entertainment column called the APEX Hollywood Shortlist for the APEX Editor's Blog since November. The Shortlist covers weekly box office figures, award season news, the latest film festival news from around the world, you know, pretty much anything to do with movies. And honestly, it's kind of my dream gig. Crazy fun! And though I still cover the hell out of the aviation and inflight entertainment realm for APEX, Runway Girl Network and Aircraft Interiors, the Shortlist has been my bread and butter lately. So, check out my full Oscar night wrap-up at the link below and enjoy!
APEX Academy Awards Wrap-up (2015)
OK, I love me some Allison Williams (she is probably my favorite character on Girls) but, even I was a little taken aback by the news that she had been cast in NBC's upcoming Peter Pan Live! I mean, I'm sure she can sing and everything, but, if NBC's latest live “musical event” is as lame and over-produced as last year's The Sound of Music Live!, well, let's just say there's a pretty high probability that it's gonna totally suck.
And then I saw this super cheesy pic (above) of Williams in costume as Peter Pan and I knew that this movie wasn't just gonna suck, it also has serious train wreck potential. Which I always love, especially at Christmas! So, slap my wings and call me Tinkerbell, because this train wreck — which is produced by the reliably ham-fisted duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and also features Christopher Walken (!) as a singing Captain Hook! — is only gonna get better/worse from here on out. Simply put, I cannot wait!
Peter Pan Live! airs December 4th on NBC.
Great, as soon as I vent about wanting to tell my crying daughter to “shut the hell up”, Helen Reddy’s weepy-eyed classic “Candle on the Water” plays on our Disney Pandora channel in the background. And what do I do? I start crying! Oy, I am such a sap.
If you’ve never heard Miss Reddy’s Oscar-nominated tune, it’s from the groundbreaking 1970’s Disney film Pete’s Dragon. We recently rented it from the library and, groundbreaking or not (“Pete’s Dragon” is one of the first full-length feature films to combine animation and live-action), that movie is very f-ing strange. I’m talking almost unwatchable. Seriously, it’s CRAZY. But that sad-ass candle song still gets me every time. So, hold your children close, hit play on the video clip below and be prepared to weep like a little girl…or, you know, a grown man.
Either way, you’re gonna cry. Thank you, Miss Reddy!