Feature Response- An Ageless Diva of a Certain Age

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Reflections on the feature:

Excuse me, did someone say Cher? What first caught my eye about the movie “Burlesque” was the idea of Cher playing a Vegas show girl who continues to perform despite her age. The New York Times article, “An Ageless Diva of a Certain Age,” by Frank Bruni, explores Cher’s career and personal life while interviewing her after a long day of shopping.

The interview conducted in Cher’s Midtown hotel suite at the Four Seasons covers a wide range of events in her life. Bruni also references interviews with Stanley Tucci, Steven Antin and Mike Nichols.

Bruni digs into Cher’s accomplishments by researching her film career and music career. There is also a great deal of research conducted about Cher’s influence in the new movie “Burlesque,” as well as gathering information from Hollywood insiders.

This feature has a consistent flow of ideas with the structure of observation followed by a quote, is used frequently throughout the feature. The use of describing the scene of the interview is used to transition into new ideas. I was impressed by the wide verity of topics that Bruni discusses in his interview with Cher. The part of the interview about her family was too short and left me with some unanswered questions. How comfortable is she with her daughter becoming a man? Also how supportive and what is her relationship like with her daughter?

A look at the feature by paragraph:

The feature begins with an interesting lead of telling the readers Cher needs foot surgery. He then describes what Cher did earlier in the day while tying in her need of surgery. Bruni suddenly leaps from the introduction into describing what her plans are for the evening to give the reader a feel for what’s ahead for Cher. Bruni establishes the setting and what state of mind Cher is in for the interview.

The beginning part of the feature focuses on her age and the obvious question of how old is the legend. Bruni quotes a joke Cher made about her age which establishes the light hearted tone of the feature. There is a transition into describing her physical state and how Bruni finds it hard to see her as someone who is getting older. The brief but very vague recap of her remarkable career and her persistent nature establishes her as someone worth reading about. The first introduction of Cher’s new movie, “Burlesque,” is made and paints a clear image of the role she is playing and describes the energy she puts forth in the role.

There is another transition back to the physical scene of the interview. Bruni describes the less wild and different version of Cher he is experiencing. He comments about her physical appearance and how she has not seemed to age. Even her clothing reflects the youthfulness of Cher he is experiencing. He acknowledges how others seem to take care of the details for her. Then he takes us back to another visual of Cher in the interview which signals a transition.

Then there is a focus on the role acting has played in her career and the attitudes of Hollywood insiders. Bruni also highlights her future plans and describes Cher’s knowledge of her limits of exploring new genres. He then established her career and quotes Cher.  Bruni distinguishes Cher from other actors as someone who does not push her opinion on others. Bruni then uses another source, Mike Nichols, who reflects on the previous discussion of Cher’s limits.

Then there is a brief look into her personal life of her relationship with her daughter and her own love life. The feature transitions to talking about her use of Facebook and Twitter. An example of one of Cher’s tweets is used.

The look at her personal life is focused on her relationships with her celebrity friends. He cites an example of a specific friend, Winona Ryder, and uses a quote from Cher about her close friends past criminal behavior.

There is another look at the movie “Burlesque” and Cher’s influence in production. Bruni uses a quote from Stanley Tucci to discuss her relationship with cast members. The relationship between Clint Culpepper and Steven Antin on set is examined and a quote from Cher is again used after description. Cher’s performance in the movie is discussed in further detail and a joke from Cher highlights the young age of the cast.

Description of the scene is used to transition to examine her busy schedule of talk show appearances and to transition to the closing of the feature. Cher’s critic’s expectations and her personal expectations are discussed. The kicker brings the lead of the foot injury back into the feature.

“Morning Glory”

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Tonight I saw the movie “Morning Glory” and after the movie I re-read Ann Hornaday’s review of the film.  If you have seen the movie and the review, you will know why I will never seek anyone else’s advice when it comes to movies.

Boondock Saints…The Comic?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Apparently there is a comic book based on the cult movie “The Boondock Saints.” Actually not just one, but two. “Boondock Saints: The Head of the Snake,” released today by 12 Gauge Comics, is a sequel to another Saints’ comic series “Boondock Saints: In Nomine Partis.”

The story details what the vigilantes were doing between the first and second film. Here’s a preview of the comic.

I’m a fan of the first movie, but after hearing how terrible the sequel was, I’m wondering if this adaptation is necessary.

Cameron commits to Avatar Sequels over Battle Angel

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

This was reported in Variety but I located this on Anime News Network. Director James Cameron has officially said that his next films are going to be sequels to the Oscar-nominated ‘Avatar’. This is a pretty disappointing announcement to anime fans, because it had been thought that Cameron would be doing a live-action version of the early 1990’s manga and OVA series ‘Battle Angel Alita’ which he has been working on since about 2003. This is very disappointing, chiefly because the number of live-action anime adaptations in theaters have been both critical and financial flops including ‘Speed Racer’ which was done by the Wachowski’s of ‘The Matrix’ fame. A film like ‘Battle Angel’ with a director like Cameron who is well known for making successful films could have helped increase the credibility of live-action adaptations of anime. But with this news, we’re left waiting to see if the film will EVER get made.

Website Response: Ebert’s got everything you want

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Romantic comedies can be, well… predictable, and most reviews of romantic comedies can be, well…very predictable. Roger Ebert is not predictable critic and it’s refreshing to read a review that doesn’t shy around the truth because there are big name stars in the film. Humor always adds a little spice to what could be a boring negative review and Ebert executes humor in a tasteful and deliberate manner without losing his purpose on the website rogerebert.com.

Ebert’s review of “Life as We Know It” follows a structure of adding “Awww” before each new paragraph, which set up his sarcastic comments.  Ebert’s reviews aren’t limited to just one genre but they touch on many aspects of movie culture.  Diving into many different genres Ebert gives a unique perspective and is one of the top names in the critic businesses. If you have a little more time, the Review section is where you will get the most in depth information about a movie.

Ebert’s One-Minute Reviews are a quick-to-the-point review accompanied by a star rating. A complete opposite review of “Life as We Know It” is the One-Minute Review of “Hatchet II” (complete review)where Ebert rips apart this cheesy horror movie. Ebert says:

There are many good movies opening this weekend. “Hatchet II” is not one of them. Tickets are not cheap and time is fleeting. Why would you choose this one? That’s a good topic for a long, thoughtful talk with yourself in the mirror.

Ebert also dives into movie classics on his website under his Great Movies section. Ebert’s review of “Some Like It Hot” instantly influences the reader want to see the great classic.  His ability to analyze social issues in the movie makes this much more then a simple review; instead it’s a comparison of taste.

To contribute to this website I would pitch a section for actors and directors responses to reviews written by Ebert. It would be interesting to see why certain creative decisions were made and what inspired the actors and directors. A specific example would be interviews with the cast of “The Hangover” which would be hilarious with such an outgoing cast. Another pitch would be to have a section of Ebert’s all time favorite reviews of both good and bad reviews selected by the readers would be interactive. Lastly, I think a section of the top box office flops and commentary on why they didn’t do well would be interesting. All of these ideas would add a little humor and more interaction among the readers.

Awww, are you wishing that more critics and website would be honest about a movie, instead of trying to flatter the actors and directors?   Check out rogerebert.com and you won’t be disappointed.


“Howl” (2010)- Not your average biopic

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Based on a controversial 1956 poem by Allen Ginsberg, who is portrayed by James Franco, “Howl” premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and is now on a tour across the US.

The film is being described as anything from “gutsy” to  “inventive” to “stunning.”

If there is one indie film you are going to invest your time into this year, “Howl” should be in contention, if for nothing else than to see James Franco… talk about brilliant!

Zack Synder to Direct “Superman” Remake

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Warner Brothers is finally giving Superman another crack at a new movie franchise and they have chosen Zack Synder to direct it. Synder has already done two comic book movie adaptations with Frank Miller’s 300 and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. However, it will be interesting to see how Synder, who is famous for his violent movies, interprets the mythology of Superman.

The new Superman movie is also being produced by The Dark Knight‘s director Christopher Nolan. WB has also expressed interest in seeing Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm as the Man of Steel. However, Hamm has previously expressed that he has no interest in playing the Last Son of Krypton, “he’s invincible, so where’s the drama?”

Either way, I’m excited.

DiCaprio soon to be Gatsby?

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby” can have a sigh of relief if they cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. His strong and dramatic acting skills will surly capture the mysterious nature of Jay Gatsby. Check out this link to the story.

“Love and Other Drugs”

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are back together as an on-screen couple. We saw them co-star in “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005, now they are back together in a comedy flick: “Love and Other Drugs.” The movie is said to be out in theaters this November. Watch the trailer here.

“The Lyons Den” – Movie Critic Profile

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

My beat is comedy movies, and one of my favorite critics is Ben Lyons from E!’s” The Daily Ten”.  He has his own segment titled “The Lyons Den” that airs every other week or so during the half-hour programming of “The Daily Ten” on E! at 7:30pm.  He always gives his opinions on the new movies coming out and he’ll let viewers know which movies are worth watching and which ones are not even worth the $10 ticket price.  I love watching his interviews as well as his conccentration is generally movies so he is in charge of not only reviewing movies, but also interviewing the actors and actresses of the film.  He has interviewed probably everyone from Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt to Jhonny Depp. 

For the most part his reviews are mostly televised as opposed to written but he has done some written works that can be found on the E! website: www.eonline.com or directly enter http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/lyons_den/index.html for the “lyons den” section where you can view some of the videos of interviews he has done as well as other movie reviews written on the page.  Because of his personality he is able to attract viewers and has convinced me on watching certain movies I would  not have otherwise considered watching.  I do disagree with some of the criticism he has made but that’s only because each person has a different opinion for different kinds of movies but for the most part Lyons manages to give a convincing review of the promoting film.  Another thing Ben Lyons does well especcially during his “Daily Ten” segment is he always gives the good and the bad critiques of the movie without really giving the plot away.  He does his job well, but shows additional enthusiasm whenever the movie is a MUST-see and worth the time and money.