8 posts categorized "PEDRO ALMODOVAR"

Jun 27 2013
WIN IT: Pedro Almodóvar I'M SO EXCITED! Prize Pack Comments (28)
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Enter to win an I'm So Excited! Prize Pack! (The I'm So Excited! Prize Pack includes one I'm So Excited! flight attendant t-shirt, one I'm So Excited! inflatable travel neck pillow, and one I'm So Excited! pilot wing pin.) To enter, just comment below with your favorite Pedro Almodóvar character or actor. I'll pick 1 of you at random to win a week from today at 5PM ET. U.S. residents only.

Sony Pictures Classics presents
 
 
Written and Directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
 
Starring Antonio De La Torre, Hugo Silva, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Laya Martí, Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo, José María Yazpik, Guillermo Toledo, José Luis Torrijo, Lola Duenas, Cecilia Roth & Blanca Suárez.
A very varied group of people are in a precarious situation aboard a plane flying to Mexico City.
 
A technical failure (a kind of justifiable negligence, even though it sounds contradictory, but that’s what human actions are) has endangered the lives of the passengers on Peninsula Flight 2549. The pilots, hardened, experienced professionals are striving, along with their colleagues in the Control Center, to find a solution. The flight attendants and the chief steward are atypical, baroque characters who, in the face of danger, try to forget their own personal problems and devote themselves body and soul to the task of making the flight as enjoyable as possible for the passengers, while they wait for a solution. Life in the clouds is as complicated as it is at ground level, and for the same reasons, which could be summarized in two: sex and death.
 
The travelers in Business Class consist of a pair of newlyweds, partygoers, worn out by their wedding celebration; a financier and embezzler; unscrupulous in business but also a father afflicted by his daughter’s estrangement; an inveterate Don Juan with an uneasy conscience who is trying to say goodbye to one of his women (girlfriends); a rural psychic; a queen of the gossip magazines and a Mexican with an important secret. Each of them has a project in Mexico City, either to work or to escape. They all have some kind of secret, not just the Mexican.
 
Their defenselessness in the face of danger provokes a general catharsis among the passengers and the crew, and this ends up becoming the best way to escape from the idea of death. This catharsis, developed in the tone of a riotous, moral comedy, fills the time with sensational confessions that help them forget the anguish of the moment.
 
I'm So Excited! will open in select theaters June 28. Check your local listings. 
 
Nov 06 2010
Men & Women On The Verge Of Nervous Breakdowns Comments (2)

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Looking back over my blog's first five years, I realized—I need to invest my time more wisely! My longest favorite posts were worth every hour spent, while some of my lengthy explorations of movies and shows and current affairs that nobody cares about anymore and that I wasn't invited to cover just look like a lot of wasted energy in retrospect. This applies to my first topic in this post, the disappointing musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, based on the classic film by Pedro Almodovar, though not to my second topic in this post, the slight but endearing movie Violet Tendencies.

I wasn't invited to see and review Women on the Verge and it's not a show that invites deep analysis so much as faint praise—it's not terrible, it's not hard to sit through, but it's not good and it's not Almodovar.

PreviewScreenSnapz001The original (Carmen Maura) & the imitation (Sherie Rene Scott)

Already suffering stormy reviews (it's getting raped like Kika), Women on the Verge deserves them for the most part—it's a mess. The direction by Bartlett Sher (who's done universally admired work on The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and Joe Turner's Come and Gone) is inexplicably amateurish and scattered and the look of the musical is at times embarrassingly silly. Sher's going for whimsical and chaotic, hoping to take us back to Almodovar's Madrid of the '80s, but this is not accomplished by lame taxi cabs "driving" around onstage with ridiculous video-game projections behind them.

3.155202Hysteria? Yes. Hysterical? Only sometimes.

Tn-500_patti, stokes, justin 1025 2 I went back and forth with my feelings about Sherie Rene Scott as Pepa, physically reminiscent Carmen Maura from the original film; her sweet voice was pure and helped give her character heart, but I think it made me disbelieve the edge she should also have. Justin Guarini as horny Carlos was competent and charming but in no way brought to his role what Antonio Banderas did all those years ago. Laura Benanti has a classic song called "Model Behavior" in which her airheaded Candela leaves a series of phone messages for Pepa, but her performance of the character sinks in the second act to Chrissy Snow territory minus the snorting. Brian Stokes Mitchell is just phoning it in, albeit handsomely.

Patti_lupone--300x300 The one reason to see the show (as opposed to buying the cast recording, which will be filled with highly listenable tunes) is Patti LuPone, who completely connects with loony, deranged Lucia and whose performance of "Invisible" (similar to Chicago's "Mister Cellophane") fleshes out her character even better than Almodovar's film did originally.

But still, even with those highlights, the show is marred by a persistent feeling of pointlessness, by the mismatching accents (Scott's is almost nonexistent, others Charo it up hammily) and by the sense that while the songs have a great Latin cadence, the actors are incapable of channeling it. It's ultimately just Almodovar drag, and the fact that it doesn't work better is a drag, too.

So that is my short review.

From that to the movies, back over to the Quad for the New York premiere of the Casper Andreas-directed film Violet Tendencies, in which he's got his best title and best concept—The Facts of Life's Mindy Cohn as 40-year-old fag hag Violet, a girl who just wants to find a man who loves all of her, even her pussy.

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May 08 2010
Melanie Who? Comments (2)
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With the announcement that Antonio Banderas plans to reteam with Pedro Almodovar for The Skin I Live In (finally...!), Nathaniel over at Film Experience Blog offers a fond remembrance of the days when Antonio was an exotic import as opposed to a sassy cat cartoon, focusing in particular on those memorable Truth or Dare sequences that made all the coooolest fans wonder if Ant had been in bed with Madonna. 
 
Dec 15 2009
Golden Globes: Starfucking With An Accent! Comments (2)

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The Golden Globes are always fun as quasi-Oscar predictors, and because the Hollywood Foreign Press is unabashedly pro-star. They love giving nominations (and even awards) to big names not known for their acting chops, especially when those big names stretch ever so slightly. (Case in point: Madonna was nominated for and won a Globe, though went on not to even get an Oscar nomination.)

This is why someone like Julia Roberts gets nominated for something like Duplicity (um, exactly!) and why they adore giving wins to newcomers whose shows have made a big splash (remembering Keri Russell winning for Felicity, America Ferrera, etc.)

The year's biggest shock for me was the failure of Mariah Carey to get a nomination. She was never, ever Oscar-nomination-bound, not really, but the Globes seemed a possibility for her. Guess her international profile isn't as big as her profile. (This is a breast joke, not a fat joke, and as such is an expression of my civility toward a figure—in both senses—I dislike but whom did well in a movie that was my first or second fave of 2009.)

The complete list of Golden Globes nominations—my comments, if any, follow each category...

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Oct 12 2009
Truth Or Dare, Truth Or Dare: Do You Wanna Fuck Us? Comments (8)
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SafariScreenSnapz001Madonna looked like her old young self at a Paper dinner honoring Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz. Now that she's back in NYC, she is out and about. I heard, but can't confirm, she and Lola were at Kylie's show last night and that she smiled at Kylie's "Vogue" hat tip. 
 
Sep 17 2009
Film No Comments (1)

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Pedro Almodovar's film noir homage Broken Embraces, which has gotten raves in most quarters except his native Spain, has been left off the short list for Oscar consideration. Spain chose The Dancer and the Thief, Map of the Sounds of Tokyo and Fatties instead, passing over its most famous filmmaker.

 
May 18 2009
Cruz Control Comments (5)

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In Spanish Vanity Fair (Abril 2009), an exquisite new portfolio of (mostly) Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz, the leading lady in his new film Broken Embraces. I can't wait to see this new flick—I think he is my favorite director after Hitchcock at this point.

Sometimes, I'm so sad that my life could never pass for an Almodovar film. Other times, I'm grateful.

More after the jump...

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Apr 28 2009
Vote 4 Pedro Comments (2)

Brokenembrace14Penelope Cruz is back, but more importantly...

Brokenembrace7...so is Rossy de Palma!

Outrate has a slew of images from Pedro Almodovar's newest, Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces). Judging from the trailer (after the jump), it's got to be a Hitchcock pastiche or at the very least heavily inspired by Mr. Psycho...

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