Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Black Sheep, it's your birthday! Happy Birthday, Lisa ... I mean, Black Sheep! Loyal readers, it is week three in the Black Sheep Reviews Birthday Giveaway ... First off, congratulations are due for last week's winners.

Charles Marcil knew that Joan Crawford played the Eva Mendes role in the 1939 original version of THE WOMEN.

Dinah Zeldin knew that LE BANQUET director, Sebastien Rose directed LA VIE AVEC MON PERE and COMMENT MA MERE ACCOUCHA DE MOI DURANT SA MENOPAUSE prior to LE BANQUET.

And there was some debate over just how much time Al Pacino and Robert De Niro spent on screen in Michael Mann's HEAT, but Matthew Belanger narrowed it down to under 10 minutes in the 3-hour epic. Technically, the one scene they actually share (discounting the one where they chase each other specifically at the end) is just over three minutes. Matthew is off to see RIGHTEOUS KILL.

This week, we are giving away passes to two more great films. One is generally considered to be one of this director's finest and the other is considered to be this director's misstep. I consider them both to be pretty darn good. As usual, the pass is for two people and is good any time as long as it is used in Quebec.

This is Woody Allen's third time working with Scarlett Johannson. The other two instances, MATCH POINT and SCOOP have both been reviewed by Black Sheep already. To win the double pass to Woody' latest success, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, tell me what grades I gave the other two Johannson collaborations.

Fernando Meirelles' latest film, BLINDNESS, explores how horrific humanity can get when it doesn't have to look in the eyes of another person. Name the author of the highly praised novel which the film is based on.

As always, send your responses to joseph@blacksheepreviews.com
This week's winners will be contacted today and passes will be mailed to them before the end of the week.
The contest is open all week and winners will be announced next Wednesday when two more passes will be up for grabs.
Thanks for playing and have a great week!

Dario Argento's Unlikely New Project

Electronic Arts has pulled off quite a coupe, announcing on Friday that they've enlisted none other than acclaimed cult director Dario Argento to do voice work on the Italian version of their new game Dead Space.

Argento--best known for films like Suspiria, Tenebre and Phenomena--is doing the voice of Dr. Terrence Kyne in the game, in which players find themselves trapped in an abandoned space station crawling with murderous genetic mutations. According to EA's press release, Argento has had a great deal of input into his character and into his voice acting.

"Dead Space truly captures the essence of fear in an entertainment medium," the director predictably says in the press release. "Not only is it the most terrifying game I've ever played, but it's also one that all fans of horror will appreciate."

Longtime Argento aficionados will tell you that the horror maestro has been known to contribute the narration for the original Italian versions of his own movies, including Suspiria, Opera and Inferno.

The American version of Dead Space (for PlayStation 3, XBox 360 and PC) ships in late October. In that version, the voice of Dr. Kynes is provided by long-time video game voice actor Keith Szarabajka, who recently appeared in The Dark Knight as the detective taunted by the Joker at the police precinct.

The Walter Towers

Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group's latest project in Prague, the Walter Towers look set to transform the skyline in the old capital and give it more of a contemporary edge.


One Man Mecha Helicopter

This has to be one of the coolest flying machines that has been invented so far. Japanese designer, Yutaka Igarashi has created a man-machine interface straight from the pages of sci-fi comics.


Mary Poppins Graffiti

Not sure if this is an old one but it's still good nonetheless.


Monday, September 29, 2008

True Blood Creator Reveals Top-Secret Horror Film Project

Alan Ball, currently hard at work on the vampirific HBO series True Blood, confided to MTV News earlier today that he is contemplating doing a horror comedy feature film. Shame on you, Alan--you should know that Kurt Loder can't keep a secret.

Here's what Mr. Ball, best known as the writer of the Oscar-winning American Beauty, had to say:

"[It's hard] to pitch in a high-concept way – it’s a dark, dark comedy about a woman who just gets fed up with being a doormat. And it’s got a body count!"

A movie about a disgruntled chick on a killing spree, from the guy who did Six Feet Under? Count me in.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Written and Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Davis, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Chris Noth

The days leading up to the premiere of the SEX AND THE CITY movie were very exciting for me. I was about to get this chance to catch up with four fictional girlfriends who changed my life and whom I hadn’t seen in years. The morning of the press screening finally came and, seeing as how it was a morning screening, I couldn’t sit there with a constant flow of cosmopolitans. To compensate, I got all dressed up and threw on my new shoes to boot. I was bubbling over with nostalgia and an energy shared amongst millions of fans who were also overcome with anticipation. And then it started. Soon afterward, my disappointment set in. Here they all were, up on the big screen, looking fabulous and doing just as good a job as they did for six years on HBO. Only something was missing. Intimacy. Subtlety. These are elements of the series that defined it, that elevated it from groundbreaking to timeless. Bringing the girls to the big screen and stretching their story over 2 ½ hours made those moments fewer and further apart. Unfortunately, now that they’ve come home to our living rooms on DVD (with an unbelievable 20-minute longer extended cut that elevates SEX AND THE CITY to unnecessarily epic proportions), the experience is no more satisfying.

Of course, now I can have that martini while I watch. And, to be clear, I didn’t hate the movie. I just had high expectations. Writer/Director Michael Patrick King and the rest of the gang certainly set the bar high for themselves so I can hardly be held accountable for wanting to live up to that standard. I even found writing about the film after its release to be pretty difficult. I could not resolve how to convey my disappointment without making it seem like the entire project should not have happened. On the big screen, the six years of these girls’ lives was reduced to a three minute opening montage on the off chance that a non-fan would actually end up in the auditorium. That was followed by over two hours of episodic (read, non-filmic) storytelling that furthered the characters in mostly interesting ways. Just like the series though, I appreciated the development of every character save for the central heroine, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). Her progress, on some bizarre level, reminds me of Frodo’s in the second LORD OF THE RINGS film – she starts out promising enough, goes through incredible trials and somehow at the end of a very long journey, ends up exactly where she started. (Bet you never imagined a SEX AND THE CITY/LORD OF THE RINGS comparison.) Growth is something I’ve come to expect and require from Carrie as she inspired so much of it in me and so many others. Watching her go backwards is just hard to accept.

Still, the film was an international success, finding some fans going back two and three times and the people behind the project clearly feel they did the series justice. They took four years between the series and the film because they wanted to ensure there was a strong story to be told so as not to disappoint the fans (this same explanation is being given for the potential of a sequel). The SEX AND THE CITY people know how tricky it is to stay in the public’s good graces and their appreciation of their audience is felt strongly on the 2-disc special edition DVD. MKP and SJP (King and Parker) share a 20-minute conversation about the experience that spans everything from performances to nuances and from fashion to fans. Costuming icon, Patricia Field, takes us on a tour of the unbelievable accessorized costume shop and overall design for the film that is elaborately daunting but well thought out in a surprising organic fashion. King returns for a commentary track that only further shows the sensitive side of the man behind the lens and how that sensibility finds its way into every frame. Before I knew it, my dismayed heart had turned, just a little. It just wasn’t enough for me to be completely carried away.




A few years back, a little known actor with a squeaky clean face headlined a remake of Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW for the MTV generation. The film was called DISTURBIA and it opened past all expectations to debut at number one and then stayed there for three consecutive weeks. Now, we all know how rare that is. The kid whose face drove hordes of young ladies into the theatres was Shia LaBeouf and before Steven Spielberg made LaBeouf his personal pet project, Dreamworks fast tracked another LaBeouf collaboration with DISTURBIA director, DJ Caruso. That movie was EAGLE EYE and it has finally made it to theatres. Only now LaBeouf is Hollywood’s hottest young actor so the question wasn’t whether they would be able to repeat the business DISTURBIA did. The question was how far it would beat it.

Just like DISTURBIA, EAGLE EYE surpassed expectations, surging to almost $30 million in its opening weekend, very high numbers for September standards. Reviews have been poor but since when did reviews stop anyone from enjoying their favorite eye candy. Longevity will prove LaBeouf’s staying power with this picture but a robust $8300 per screen average on 3500 screens is a great starting point.

Richard Gere and Diane Lane reteamed for the third time and proved that romantic audiences still crave more from this attractive, older couple. Adapted from the Nicholas Sparks novel, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE may have pulled in less than half of what EAGLE EYE did but it held its own and found its audience. Whether that audience was able to find its way out of the auditorium with the tears in their eyes clouding their vision is another question altogether.

Here’s a question for you. What the heck is FIREPROOF? This little movie starring 80’s sitcom idol turned born again Christian, Kirk Cameron, not only managed to open on 800+ screens but it opened in third place on Friday to finish fourth for the weekend. It almost managed a higher per screen average than EAGLE EYE. Perhaps I’m a pretty ignorant but I never even heard of this movie before Friday. Given the poor reception it has received from critics and audiences alike, I probably won’t be hearing about it for much longer but a $6 million opening weekend for a movie that cost half a million to make is certainly commendable.

The week’s only other Top 10 debut was a disappointment for auteur director, Spike Lee. His WWII drama, MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA opened to under $3K per screen and lacks the critical praise that would encourage growth in the coming weeks. That’s what you get for making a bad movie, Spike. Seriously, it’s bad. It's got to hurt too that FIREPROOF did so much better on even less screens. Ouch. Sorry, O paid $40 to see this at the Toronto festival so I'm a little bitter.

On the artier side of the street, THE DUCHESS scored an excellent expansion. The Keira Knightly star vehicle added 48 screens and saw its business jump over 200%. APPALOOSA held up well in its second week with a solid $10K per screen but no screens were added yet so its gross still dipped. Things are sure to pick up next week when it goes wide. Two other high profile indie releases debuted to disappointing results. Well, one was disappointing; the other was disastrous. CHOKE, the Fox Searchlight hopeful starring Sam Rockwell, earned just over $3K per screen to debut outside the Top 10. And proving once again that American audiences are still not willing to face films about their war, THE LUCKY ONES, in which three soldiers take a road trip while on leave, made under $500 per screen on 425 screens.

NEXT WEEK: Holy crap, what isn’t coming out next weekend? To name just a few, BLINDNESS goes wide, FLASH OF GENIUS opens on 1000+, HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE will try to get people to like Simon Pegg and NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST finds Nick & Norah falling in love with each other while we fall in love with them. Oh wait, I almost forgot … the Bill Maher religion mockery, RELIGULOUS opens on Wednesday and goes wide on Friday, APPALOOSA takes the West to the masses and the Jonathan Demme masterpiece, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED dips its toes into 8 shallow pools.

Jersey Joe Rime Layers

Jersey Joe Rime had a show in Chicago this month entitled, "Layers". His characters really reminded me of Ewok's style, of which I have been a big fan of fer a while now....


Dexter Returns Tonight

For those of you who need a reminder, the coolest show on TV--Showtime's Dexter starring Michael C. Hall--kicks off its third season tonight at 9. I discovered the show right after last season ended, catching up thanks to the wonders of Netflix and OnDemand. This time around, I plan to catch it in OnDemand once again, as soon as True Blood ends in December--at which point I will drop HBO and add Showtime (got to play it conservative with those premium channels on a writer's salary).

But for those of you lucky enough to already have Showtime, make sure to catch it tonight. If you're already a fan of the serial killer series, you need no convincing. If you've never seen it before, now's your chance to get on board. According to the pre-season buzz, including this preview on Ain't It Cool News, it's pretty easy to jump in without having seen the first two seasons.

To get you further psyched and continue today's Dexter theme, here are a bunch of fake magazine covers that Showtime created last summer to help promote the show:

That GQ one was attached to a whole mock pictorial that was included in the October issue of the real GQ. I happened to be skimming through it at the barbershop yesterday when I spotted it amidst the self-important metrosexual musings. Pick it up if you get the chance--the Megan Fox interview is nothing to sneeze at, either.

* * * * * * * * * *

Although he never played a horror role in his entire career (aside from one episode of Suspense he did as an unknown in the early '50s), The Vault of Horror must bow in respect to the classic coolness of Paul Newman, and acknowledge his passing yesterday morning. He was one of the 20th century's greatest leading men, one of Hollywood's true class acts, and my mom's favorite actor. Rest in peace.

Noxious Fumes Show

Doktor A brings another killer Steampunk creation to a group show at the Rivet Gallery. The theme of this exhibition being the iconic Gas Mask.



Written by Jeffrey Hatcher, Anders Thomas Jensen and Saul Dibb
Directed by Saul Dibb
Starring Keira Knightly, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling, Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell

Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire: I feel I’ve done some things in life too late and others too early.

It seems that with each passing year, there comes a point in time when we will inevitably find the young and beautiful, Keira Knightly, in yet another period drama. It also seems like every period drama these days, whether it features Knightly or not, feels the need to disassociate itself from the conventions of the past and assert itself as fresh, with a unique twist on the genre. This is particularly challenging when the story is one we’ve seen a number of times prior. The true story of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire, as told by director, Saul Dibb, in THE DUCHESS, is one where a young girl of “modest” heritage is married off to an esteemed Duke for a price. Her duty is to serve his grace and provide to him a male heir. As a woman, she is nothing more than a decorative commodity and should she not be able to fulfill her wifely promises, then she is essentially useless. Dibb is smart about it though. With the point already made before the film even begins, he chooses to focus instead on the reality of this kind of imprisonment – what it feels like for a girl beneath her binding bodice.

Knightly carries the weight of this film on her shoulders while carrying the weight of the wigs on her head with poise and prominence. Her big brown eyes go from playful to shy to distraught and defeated. When we first meet her, she is free and seemingly unaware of the heavier world outside of her backyard games. Before long though, she is face to face with adulthood. This particular face belongs to Ralph Fiennes as the Duke of Devonshire. It is here that Dibb steps in to add another layer to the played out trajectory. With an age difference that is only matched in vastness by the distance between them, the Duke undresses his Duchess and asks why women’s clothing must be so complicated. There is no better occasion for small talk than before two practical strangers go to bed for the first time. Knightly, trying desperately to hide her nervousness, replies with to the obviously rhetorical question though, claiming that this is the only way for women to express themselves in the times they live in. It is clear she is not sure that a reply is necessary or even allowed but it is also clear that she speaks to ensure that she is seen, that her person is present. Her clothing falls to the floor and the imprints of her corset can still be seen on the smooth of her back.

Dibb follows this form of unexpected intimacy and insight with commentary about celebrity and how little the adoring public truly knows about their icons. The Duchess of Devonshire, or at least the one in THE DUCHESS, was an immense influence on her people. Her presence at events guaranteed crowds while her fashion determined the trends. Even her association with particular people could sway public and political opinion. She embodied grace and extravagance while remaining humble and the public ate it up. In their eyes, her life was perfect but those who traveled in closer circles knew better. They knew that there was little love between the Duke and Duchess and increased strain as she was not able to provide a male heir. Even they didn’t know just how bad it was though. The wait staff on the other hand could have made millions on a tell-all. Like Stephen Frears’ THE QUEEN, Dibb shows us what goes on on both sides of the castle gates, highlighting the drastic disconnect between the two close worlds. The Duchess was made to make many horrific choices and concessions that would have broken many a lesser person. What makes them so harrowing in the context of the film is the plainness with which they are expected by the Duke and subsequently accepted by all involved.

THE DUCHESS is shocking on many levels. It is shocking how harsh it is underneath its polished finish and how new this old tale feels. It is shocking how well Knightly can hold her pain and her own. And it is shocking how little value and worth was once afforded the women of the world. But it is perhaps most shocking that the manner in which women were once seen as a male possession, with purpose and function that only serves the male agenda, still exists today, no matter how you dress it up.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Carlos Tevez Wallpapers

Carlos Tevez ImageCarlos Tevez Image

Carlos Tevez PictureCarlos Tevez Picture

Carlos Tevez & Sir Alex FergusonCarlos Tevez & Sir Alex Ferguson

Carlos Tevez Best PosterCarlos Tevez Best Poster

Carlos Tevez WallpaperCarlos Tevez Wallpaper

Carlos Tevez PictureCarlos Tevez Picture

Carlos Tevez Wallpapers

Carlos Tevez ImageCarlos Tevez Image

Carlos Tevez PictureCarlos Tevez Picture

Carlos Tevez & Sir Alex FergusonCarlos Tevez & Sir Alex Ferguson

Carlos Tevez Best PosterCarlos Tevez Best Poster

Carlos Tevez WallpaperCarlos Tevez Wallpaper

Carlos Tevez PictureCarlos Tevez Picture

Alexander Pato

Alexander Pato WallpaperAlexander Pato Wallpaper

Alexander Pato AC MilanAlexander Pato AC Milan

Alexander Pato for BrazilAlexander Pato for Brazil