Babies, Black Widow and women in joker costumes.
Black Widow on the big screen
I had to self-isolate recently because my brother caught Covid. It was a horrible experience - really affected my mental health and made me very lonely. I craved going to the cinema which I missed so much.
My appetite for watching films led to me to buy ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus as I couldn’t wait a week to see it on the big screen. I got up to the Nirvana cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and then switched it off. Because this is the kind of movie you have to see on the big screen.
A week later, I saw it twice at the cinema and was all the better for it. Scarlett Johansson looked hot on the big screen and Florence Pugh totally kicked ass. Cinema trumps streaming any day.
Scarlett Johansson is pregnant
More ‘Black Widow’ news now as Scarlett Johansson is reportedly pregnant with her 2nd child and 1st child with new hubby Colin Jost. The 36 year old actress is apparently keeping a low-profile during pregnancy and is “due to give birth soon”. She already has a daughter called Rose from a previous marriage.
I respect Scarlett for keeping her baby news private and not going the full Hollywood hoo-ha. Pregnancy is a private time and we should respect that.
Florence Pugh’s voice
Ever wonder why Florence Pugh’s voice sounds so deep and raspy? It’s cos she has Tracheomalacia which is when the trachea collapses and breathing is haltered as a result. This can cause noisy breathing, frequent bronchitis, a noisy cough and respiratory infections.
Pugh’s condition has apparently meant that, as a child, she made frequent hospital trips to Spain from Britain to help with her condition.
I love Florence’s deep voice. It’s so raspy and powerful and sounds so good when crying in ‘Little Women’. Her condition doesn’t change the fact that she’s the best actress under 30.
Interview with Ben
I got my first filmmaking guest on my podcast ‘What You Been Watching?’ this week. His name’s Ben Gummery and he’s the director of a brilliant podcasting documentary called ‘One Voice, One Mic’.
Me and Ben had a sit down and chat on Zoom about all things ‘One Voice, One Mic’, podcasting and the future of film criticism in the digital age. He was a very nice guest and gave some cracking answers.
He also shared my hate for ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ which made me a very happy cookie indeed...
Lily James as Pamela Anderson
Set photos have emerged of Lily James on the set of ‘Pam and Tommy’ draped in blonde hair to play Hollywood hottie Pamela Anderson. Her hair looks great - so golden and sexy - and she looks unrecognisable from her usual English rose self.
I’ve been unkind to Lily in the past saying she was too pretty to be believed as an archaeologist and too nice to be believed in Ben Wheatley’s ‘Rebecca’. But this looks like one of those skin-changing performances where you forget the actor and just see the person they’re playing. Hope so.
A month of trailers, finales, hypersexualisation and bisexuality.
Dick Donner is Dead
Richard Donner, the world famous Speilberg alumni and director of ‘Superman’, ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’ has died at the age of 91 according to multiple reports shared by his wife and production company.
Donner was a titan in the film industry and many of his collaborators have paid tribute to the great man. “Dick had such a powerful command of his movies and was gifted over so many genres” said Steven Spielberg.
Sean Astin who we all remember from ‘Lord of the Rings’, but starred in Donner’s 1985 film ‘The Goonies’ tweeted this message:
"Richard Donner had the biggest, boomiest voice you could imagine. He commanded attention and he laughed like no man ever laughed before. Dick was so much fun. What I perceived in him, as a 12 year old kid, is that he cared. I love how much he cared. Goonies Never Say Die."
Mel Gibson, who Donner worked with on all four ‘Lethal Weapon’ films, paid tribute to him in a statement to Variety: “Donner! My friend, my mentor, oh the things I learned from him! He undercut his own talent and greatness with a huge chunk of humility referring to himself as merely a traffic cop. He left his ego at the door and required that of others. He was magnanimous of heart and soul, which he liberally gave to all who knew him. If we piled on all the good deeds he did, it would stretch to some uncharted place in the firmament. I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom”.
Donner had the makings and potential of the next Steven Spielberg. He had his same eye for coming-of-age child-like wonder and passion for big-budget blockbuster filmmaking. The world have lost a total icon.
Kids don’t make good killers
Wasn’t the ‘Mare of Easttown’ finale such a load of crap? Admittedly I hadn’t been getting into the show despite my love for Kate Winslet, but it got really good over the last two weeks when those girls were trapped in the basement and then Kate was involved in a shootout.
The ending? A cop-out in the most extreme sense, but a kid cop-out is even worse. It turned out the little boy Ryan was the kid who killed Erin McMenamin. That’s it? A kid had a scuffle and shot her. I was expecting some madman with a big, scrabbly beard or something or a woman with horns coming out of her head. Kids just don’t make good serial killers and the ending was particularly uninspiring cos it just involved Kate going into a loft.
Sopranos is coming home
The trailer unveiled this week for ‘The Sopranos’ prequel ‘The Many Saint of Newark’. It’s still got the late James Gandolfini’s voice booming over the soundtrack and Alabama 5 playing ‘Woke Up This Morning’, but Tony Soprano - the big, fat mobster with mental health issues - doesn’t appear in this film.
It’s an origins story and James’ considerably slimmer son Michael Gandolfini is stepping into Tony’s role with John Bernthal as his hot-headed brother Johnny Boy Soprano and Vera Farmiga as the abusive mother Livia. Boy, she’s a b****h!
The trailer looked very good. I hope this isn’t one of those made-for-TV looking prequels. I hope it has a cinematic sheen of its own. ‘The Sopranos’ revolutionized cable television, but this show will have to compete with a fully-loaded gangster film canon that also loads ‘Goodfellas’, ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Irishman’.
Scarlett’s being sexualised
Scarlett Johansson, who we’ll be seeing in ‘Black Widow’ this week, has hit out at the hypersexualisation of her titular character in ‘Iron Man 2’. She does wear lycra that does enhance her boobs and bum, but that’s the least of her problems.
Speaking of her character, the actor claims she was treated like a piece of ass at first. “At one point, Tony Stark even refers to her as something like that at one point. What does he say? I want some”.
I do remember that scene vividly when Natasha and Tony first meet. She gives him a seductive look with her eyes and then he takes sips cos he’s thirsty - both for water and for you know what.
I hope Scarlett won’t be hypersexualised in ‘Black Widow’. It’s an empowering movie for feminist role models and she’s got Florence Pugh at her side too so how can anything go wrong?
Sophie could be bi
The tall and beautiful Sophie Turner is happily married to Jonas Brothers frotman Joe Jonas and they have a new baby called Willa. However, at the beginning of Pride Month, Sophie sparked speculation that she is bisexual.
The 25 year old actress posted a photo on social media with the caption “Time is straight and neither am I”. There were also a series of stickers alongside the text ‘Bi Pride’. These stickers included the colours of the LGBTQ flag reading “gay pride” and a character riding a bicycle alongside the the phrase “Move, I’m gay”.
If Sophie is bi, then good for her. It takes guts and courage to come out with this stuff. I had suspected she may have other feelings from reading social media forums and from the quality of some of her Instagram photos. Maybe becoming a wife and mum has opened her eyes to another side of her sexuality.