Join us on this brand new reel of COL: Movies as we step back to look at 2009’s “A Single Man” A Sad but beautifully poetic film based on the 1964 novel of the same name. Some feel its beautiful, some feel its depressing. Will we enjoy it or feel like throwing ourselves off a bridge? Next we Jump into the present to watch “Immortals” a movie helmed by “The Cell” Director Tarsem Singh, and “300” Producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton. Does it live up to its predecessor? Or do we wish it was buried under Mount Tartarus? Finally we look at the upcoming “The Darkest Hour” This Alien invasion Film is set to invade theaters on Christmas day, will we be rushing out to see it? All this plus movie news and more so grab your kleenex and your xiphos and join us for this reel of COL: Movies “If you weren’t such a goddamn puff, we could all be happy!”
- New Tomb Raider will be origin story
- Rocky Musical
- Unique marketing for MI4
- Walking Dead fans…check out last Sunday’s “Talking Dead” for Kevin Smith’s thoughts.
The Past: A Single Man (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh, 78% Audience
Director: Tom Ford
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
- Tom Ford’s directorial debut.
- Despite having produced many movies, this is the first time Chris Weitz has worked as a producer on a feature film, without his brother Paul Weitz’s involvement.
- Victoria Silvstedt auditioned for a role.
- Colin Firth was originally not available for the role and someone else was cast. Then there was a shift in the movie schedule and Firth was eventually able to take the part.
- Tom Ford revealed in an interview that the role of Kenny was originally given to a more famous actor (an article with E! Online states the original casting choice was Jamie Bell) who then didn’t show up to the costume fitting five days prior to shooting. Ford then remembered an audition tape by Nicholas Hoult.
- Don Bachardy, the long-time partner of Christopher Isherwood (on whose novel this film is based) makes a cameo appearance. According to Tom Ford, in a December 14 2009 interview with Terry Gross, Bachardy was a huge help all through the writing of the film and, in the scene, is wearing a pair of lucky red socks that belonged to Isherwood.
- Tom Ford explained in a Fresh Air interview that he created a back story for George’s suit based on the George character. He decided that George would have had his suit custom made on Saville Row on a trip home to England, which informed its cut and color. He also decided that, since ‘old-school’ British people of wealth tend to be thrifty with clothing, that his suit was a few years old. Ford even went as far as putting a label on the inside of the suit with his name and the date that it was made for him (1957).
- Tom Ford financed the film himself.
- The film was shot in just 21 days.
- In the original novel, George is only known by his first name. The original screenplay gives him a full name: George Carlyle Falconer. “Carlyle” is also director Tom Ford’s middle name while “Falconer” is both the surname of Ford’s first lover – illustrator Ian Falconer – and the name of a brand of sunglasses Ford’s company makes.
- In his acceptance speech when he won a BAFTA for Best Actor on 21 February 2010, Colin Firth revealed that he had been on the point of turning down the part and had the email to director Tom Ford in his outbox, waiting to be sent. Then a man arrived to repair his refrigerator and Firth reconsidered. He thanked “the fridge guy” in his speech.
- A scene in the film shows a large drawing by the artist Don Bachardy, the longtime companion of Christopher Isherwood.
- The scenes set at the college where George teaches were filmed on the grounds of what was once Ambassador College in Pasadena. Ambassador College was founded during the 1940s by then-famous radio preacher Herbert W. Armstrong to groom students for lives of service to their churches. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, enrollment rose enough that other branches of the school were opened in the UK and Texas, but by 1990, enrollment had fallen so much that the Pasadena campus was closed (all campuses had closed by 1997). Since 1990, the former Ambassador Pasadena campus buildings have been periodically used by a high school, for church services, and by the A Single Man film crew, and the property has been the subject of a long-stymied mixed-use apartment and commercial development attempt called “Westgate Pasadena.”
- “India”, the dog that George sees in the car, belongs to Tom Ford.
- The glass-and-wood home that George and Jim shared is a real house in Glendale, California: The Schaffer Residence, built in 1949 by the mid-century Modernist architect John Lautner (1911-1994).
- During the DVD commentary, Tom Ford says that when Jennifer (the little neighbor girl) speaks to George in the bank, some of what she says is based on Ford’s own childhood. For instance, she has a pet scorpion because Ford and his sister also had a pet scorpion when they were little; her older brother is named “Tom” because Ford’s own first name is Tom; she speaks of her brother Tom giving her hair treatments with eggs because that was something Ford did for his own sister many times; and she obliviously says that her brother Tom is “light in his loafers” (a slightly derogatory euphemism for being gay) because Ford is himself gay.
- While reading on the couch, Jim shows that he is reading ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Truman Capote. Cast member Lee Pace appeared in Infamous, which chronicles Capote’s life during the writing of In Cold Blood.
- Colin Firth is the only British actor playing a British character. His American partner and student are played by British actors Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult, respectively, while his British friend Charlotte is played by American actress Julianne Moore.
- Several times, George and other characters refer to their “invisibility” as a minority (in their cases, as gay men in early 1960s American society). George is referring here to the concept of social “invisibility” of black people put forth by Ralph Ellison in his classic novel ‘The Invisible Man’, which was first published about ten years before the events of this movie take place.
- Contrary to popular belief, Tom Ford did not design the costumes of the film. Arianne Phillips did.
- Tom Ford had Colin Firth wear Creed’s Bois du Portugal aftershave during the shooting of the film as Ford believed it would help Firth get into the character of George Falconer.
- Colin Firth’s character George mentions in a conversation with Nicholas Hoult that he once took mescaline and ended up shaving off one of his eyebrows. This actually happened to director Tom Ford; he was taking the drug with Stephen Spender when he went home, looked in the mirror and “thought it was taking over his face”.
- George’s pistol is a Webley revolver, which was a standard firearm issued to British and Commonwealth troops for three-quarters of a century, from 1887 to 1963 (the year after the movie takes place). Firing the .455 caliber Webley cartridge, it was one of the most powerful handguns ever made.
- Wait, did they actually sleep together?
- Depressing, Beautiful, or both?
- Julianne Moore gave us a mix of Patsy and Edina
- Mr. Potter – lol
- Steve – I hate Fuzz for picking this movie this week…I’ll explain why.
What We’ve Learned:
- Only Fools greet the day with a smile, and only fools could possibly escape the truth that now isn’t simply now.
- When living in a glass house… Curtains can be REALLY important.
- You can’t live in Los Angeles and be afraid of cars.
- Sometimes awful things have their own kind of beauty
- Lovers are like buses, sometimes you just have to wait a little while and another one comes along.
- Most things don’t work out the way people plan.
- One must always appreciate life’s little gifts.
- Experience is not what happens to a man, but what a man does with what happens to him.
Jeff: Kinda depressing but tugged at my heartstrings. I have mixed feelings, but still think it’s a worth see.
Ray: I found this film to be one of the most beautiful and sadly poetic things I have seen in quite some time. I can see how some people perceive it as being depressing, but really it has the opposite effect on me.
Steve: Definitely shows that people who think they’re at the end of their rope should open up their eyes to everything that is around them before giving in. If it were only that easy… Well acted movie, even though it was on the depressing side.
The Present: Immortals
Rotten Tomatoes: 36% Rotten, 75% Audience
Director: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt
- The film was previously named Dawn of War and War of the Gods before being officially named Immortals, and is loosely based on the Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy.
- Director Tarsem Singh said that he is planned the action film using Renaissance painting styles. He then went on to say that the film is “Basically, Caravaggio meets Fight Club. It’s a really hardcore action film done in Renaissance painting style. I want to see how that goes; it’s turned into something really cool. I’m going for a very contemporary look on top of that so I’m kind of going with, you know, Renaissance time with electricity. So it’s a bit like Baz Luhrman doing Romeo + Juliet in Mexico; it’s just taking a particular Greek tale and half (make it contemporary) and telling it.”
- The film had a production budget of $80 million ($75 million after tax rebates) to $120 million and cost “at least” $50 million to market.
- mmmm…Kellan Lutz (aka Posieden)
- The Cinematography of the Action scenes vs Everything else. “Renaissance time with electricity”
- What did you think of the movie’s telling of the myths?
What We Learned:
- The Gods wear a lot of crazy jewelry and head pieces.
- Mickey Rourke is truly typecast as Mickey Rourke in every movie he’s in.
- That bull shaped oven is a crappy way to go.
- Reminder ladies…you can get pregnant the one and only time you have sex.
- Leave the titans be!
Jeff: THIS IS SPARTA! All over again. I agree with both ratings of this movie. The critics are right and so is the audience, this was a fun action movie to watch, but they could have used the bow more and developed the story more.
Ray: Action Scenes.. Yay… Almost everything else… Booo.. unfortunately the Boo To Yay Ratio was much too High.
Steve: Solid mix of 300 and Clash of the Titans. Mickey Rourke was a surprise, but all in all I enjoyed it. Definitely has an epic feel and the 3D was well done.
The Future: The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella
The story tells of a group of five young people who fight to survive in Russia after an alien invasion, the catch being that the aliens are invisible energy lifeforms.
- Production was suspended for a planned two weeks due to the extraordinary air pollution caused by heavy smoke from the wild fires surrounding Moscow in August 2010. It eventually resumed three weeks later
- Another Skyline?
- New TV spot and picture gallery – http://www.cinemablend.com/new/TV-Spot-Stills-Sci-Fi-Thriller-Darkest-Hour-28029.html
Jeff: Meh, another sci-fi invasion movie. Neat concept for the invading aliens but feeling this will be a bad movie.
Ray: Cautiously optimistic……Timur can be hit (9,Wanted) or miss (Apollo 18, XXX Watch) with me…
Steve: Has the potential to be good. I like what I see from the trailer. Invisible predators are always creepy.