Friday, 30 October 2009

The Jake Gyllenhaal vs Elmo face off and An Education - A Review

It's been brought to my attention that some people - and I mention no names - are making comparisons between Jake Gyllenhaal and Elmo, even suggesting that Elmo is ahead on the cuteness scale. I would agree that Elmo is undoubtedly hairier than Jake, and indeed redder than Jake, but is he cuter? Is he as good in the kitchen? What does he look like in spandex?

Please note that Leona Lewis, a winner of the X Files or X Factor, when asked about her latest celebrity crush did not go all gooey-eyed over Elmo: 'I fancy Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s hot, and I like tall, rugged guys.' Could Elmo ever be described as 'rugged'?

When Fran of Travis asked people to vote over Jake's hotness, did he compare a shirtless Jake with a shirtless Elmo? Oh no. And many thanks to Aggiegurl for posting a picture of this moment from the On The Road show. And thanks to Gretchen for finding it.

An Education - an interlude

I finally got to see An Education this evening, having had to leave the premiere screening early. It was brought home to me how much the whole feeling of a movie can change during the magical process of film making. I saw a scene being filmed in Oxford for this which would have completely changed the resolution of this story, for us and for the characters. Perhaps this scene wasn't filmed with any serious intention of it ending up in the final cut, but, irrespective of that, I saw it as such and when tonight I saw the closing scene, there was something missing from it. Obviously it's difficult to speak of this without giving anything away of the story and so I won't. But it made me realise how different a film can seem when you've been fortunate enough to have seen a part of it filmed.

As for the finished film in the theatre tonight, I wasn't entirely sure about it. I thought Carey Mulligan and Alfred Molina were fabulous (making me very keen to see Carey in Brothers and Alfred in Prince of Persia) but Peter Sarsgaard's casting proved an oddity for me. He was sexy and urbane and looked every inch the part when out on the streets of London and Paris. And yet, as soon as Peter moved indoors, for me, he was out of place. The accent didn't seem quite right, the humour was uncomfortable - the seduction of Jenny less believable, more awkward. Peter is a superb, charismatic actor and I'm still waiting for him to have the role he deserves. This was a step forward for sure. A giant step for Carey.

It's always strange seeing your hometown in a movie and Oxford is a character in its own right in An Education. I rather liked that and I'm very thankful it brought Peter and Carey here. I'm looking forward to seeing how this film, and its actors, does in the awards season. Could we see Jake and Peter competing for the same awards?

Includes pictures by IHJ, WDW and BBMISwear. Guest appearance by Elmo.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

PoP trailer online 3 November! We have snakes, tigers, arrows, demons, stunts, flirting, accents, sand, elmo, too much coffee

No time to put your feet up, there's a lot going on in Gyllendom again today and so we must get straight on with it. Consider this post a whiteboard or flip chart, with a flow diagram on it - Jake Gyllenhaal in the centre in a big bubble and lots of arrows sticking out of him, indicating Important Points to discuss. I have no laser pen thing to wave over it, so some imagination will be required.

First off - we do not have to wait until 2012 for the Prince of Persia trailer! No, we now only have to wait 5 days! A big improvement, I'm sure you'll agree. The trailer is to be released to anyone with a computer and some internet access on 3 November. By the sound of it, its release will be accompanied by a barrage of Q&As with Jerry Bruckheimer and Jordan Mechner. Nevertheless, I do not want to be the one to stop you from spending two hours (at least) in the company of John Cusack while enjoying the end of the world as we know it, so do still go and see 2012 if you want to get your first glimpse of Prince Dastan 20 foot high.

The movie and game sites are today spilling the beans on their first impressions of watching the trailer this week in the company of Jerry Bruckheimer, Jordan Mechner and Jerry's dog. The response is generally extremely good and Jake's interpretation of the Prince has been winning over many who had doubts - Jake has impressed with his athleticism just as the trailer has impressed with its hints of magnificent landscapes, action, deadly evil, smutty innuendo and a range of unpleasant creatures - to date, one tiger, one cobra, no camel, no ostrich. But lots of sand.

So, here, in no particular order, are some of the key comments from the reviewers today to add to the Jake Gyllenhaal Today Flip Chart Presentation.

Movieweb: 'it looked pretty damn good to me. We open on Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) standing atop a rooftop cathedral cross, in a slick 360-degree shot and then we learn through voiceover that the Gods have a plan for Dastan. We get a rather amazing shot of Dastan with the mysterious Dagger of Time... Still, this really does look like a film that could easily spawn a blockbuster franchise and - despite the numerous misgivings many had about the casting of Jake Gylennhaal - it truly does look like he pulls off this Dastan character in wonderful fashion, and they did a nice job in the trailer teasing the chemistry between Dastan and white-hot newcomer Gemma Arterton's Tamina.'

Fandango: 'One clip has Jake showing off his physical strength by scaling up a wall, while arrows whiz by all around him. Jake and Gemma have a few comical, flirtatious moments, trying to one-up each other in zippy comebacks, and in the trailer's last few cuts, we see a scene of the two of them in a temple that's falling apart. The sand around them starts to sink in, more arrows whiz by and a destructive whirlwind finishes it off.'

Collider: 'Another thing I really liked about the footage is it showed the way the movie is incorporating aspects of the video game. In some shots you’ll see Gyllenhaal jump from ledge to ledge like you do in the game. Of course it’s important to point out that almost any movie can be made to look great in a trailer. But with Jerry Bruckheimer’s track record, I’m extremely confident this is going to be a huge movie next summer. The trailer has blockbuster written all over it.'

Joystiq: 'There is plenty of "platforming" in here, where The Prince leaps, jumps, chimneys down walls, and narrowly escapes nefarious traps. That's a nice nod to the game, which first appeared on home computers back in 1989. You'll also hear a couple of familiar sound effects, like the psssshwt! of an arrow as it narrowly misses The Prince. The trailer was filled with heroic action featuring a very ripped Jake Gyllenhaal, performing everything you'd expect from the franchise's protagonist: sword fighting; wooing Princess Tamina, sweeping back his emo hair and ... err, more jumping. Lots of jumping. There's also a some witty repartee between Dastan and Tamina, a la Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood. What better movie to emulate?'

Destructoid: 'As a fan of the ridiculous acrobatics in the games, one of the aspects I was specifically watching for in the trailer was the stuntwork. As expected, the action is heavy on the CG, but as a result the free running in the trailer is as unbelievable as in the games, if not more so. Some specific moves shown off in the trailer will be familiar to fans of the games, while others are so fantastic that a game would be hard pressed to replicate them outside of a cut-scene or quick time event. Suffice it to say that I was pleased with the quality and density of acrobatic stunts in the trailer, and I hope that the movie maintains both... After watching the trailer, several other members of the gaming press seemed fairly excited for it. Rightfully so, as it does everything a good action movie trailer should -- it features fantastic locations, impossible stunts, a brief overview of an interesting story, and a hint of romance.'

A full account of the banter between Jake and Gemma comes from IGN and remember - this is Jake speaking the Queen's Tongue. I nervously await hearing what I'm reading.

'The trailer shows several scenes in which Tamina and the Prince bicker humorously. "You really enjoy telling me what to do, don't you?" the Prince asks. "Only because you're so good at following orders," Tamina responds. "Don't press your luck," he says. The Prince jumps into the air and is nearly targeted by the soaring arrows of nearby archer assassins. Tamina and the Prince are at each other again. "Who says you're a beauty?" he asks. "There must be a reason why you can't take your eyes off me," she snaps back, leaving him fluttered. A high temple guarded by some sort of demon. A character with red eyes and a snake is shown. In a related cut, the Prince appears to slow time as the snake attacks. Now the Prince and Tamina are wearing disguises and sneaking through the city. "Where's the dagger?" Tamina asks. "You're welcome to search me for it. You'll have to be very thorough," the Prince quips.'

IGN also likes how Jake delivers the Prince, who is 'played very convincingly by now-buffed-out Jake Gyllenhaal'. 'Gyllenhaal works as the Prince, despite our initial reservations. There's plenty of well-choreographed action sequences complemented by spectacular special effects. The chemistry between the characters is already apparent.'

Another interpretation of the dialogue at Coming Soon along with the final terrifying cliffhanger: 'The final clip in the trailer was the prince fighting off a rather large snake and the mouth of the reptile was open and about to bite him.' I recommend running in a zigzag pattern, Jake.

Love and Other Drugs! Yes, one minute Jake is a rogue prince who can flirt while defying snakes, arrows, demons, collapsing buildings and gravity - the next he's a viagra salesman in Pittsburgh. As we speak, the tweeting evidence suggests that Jake and Anne are filming in a church in Pittsburgh along with a load of extras who are being held in the Sanctuary. Fortunately for Jake and all, this is one of those churches that has a hot dog shoppe in the basement.

The next story reveals that it's no surprise that we have so few pictures of Jake on set in Pittsburgh. He's drinking so much coffee he's only seen as a streak of hot lightning running as fast as he can to the loo. Fortunately, this is to a cafe loo, which means he can restock on the coffee on the way out. 'It was our daughter Clare, celebrating her 10th birthday that night, who provided the best reporting of the evening. When I asked what she thought of seeing a famous actor on her birthday, she said, "It looked like he really had to go because he ran into Hoi Polloi." Coffee will do that to you, I explained.' You can read the full, very entertaining account here. It just shows how movie sets can divide families...

The recent picture of Jake Gyllenhaal and Elmo (strategically located in this post) has caused some to reflect on that fine distinction between a hug and a strangling neckgrip. Nevertheless, this photo of Jake and his furry red friend will go down in history as one of the cutest pictures ever taken by that device known to many as The Camera. While we do not as yet know the date of Jake's appearance on Sesame Street, an article today informed us that we must wait until December 2010 for the DVD of Shalom Sesame, which will also feature Jake.

Next year sounds like a bunch of Gyllentreats from start to finish. Those are the years I like.

That's it for now - presentation over. Thanks to IHJ and yesterday's links for the pictures.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

[Update] Jake and Elmo! Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway almost photographed together, PoP to be a PG13, and thoughts on Brothers

Updated to add what might well become my favourite picture of Jake ever - this is because I have a Moppets Thing and I have a Jake Thing - may I present Jake and Elmo! Can't wait to see more of you in November! Be still my heart...

Hold on to your Nike, dust off the spandex and get ready - this is an assault course of a post this evening, due to far too much going on in Gyllendom, and this is just a part 1. In other words, if there are too many bits and pieces in this post, please address your complaints to Jake Gyllenhaal, c/o Movie set (not the Russell Crowe one, the other one), Outside someone's house, Pittsburgh, USA. But we have pictures!

Talking of which... I may as well start off with Love and Other Drugs. Judging from various tweets, this movie set is managing to both thrill and dismay the city of Pittsburgh. The excitement of having a bona fide and hot movie star in one's street seems to be offset for some by the fact that Jake is affecting one's parking and he makes a racket at 5.30 in the morning. I would like it on record for all potential movie producers (including those of any PoP sequel), that I am more than prepared to put up with a pre-dawn din from Jake. I will even serve coffee and make someone else bake muffins.

Nevertheless, many of the Pitt's inhabitants love having a bit of Hollywood in their midst and today one lucky movie fan got a signed picture from Jake (plus a chat) and - at last! - a picture of the man himself! The full account of his encounter is here, as well a photo of the signed photograph, which includes a smilie variation. Many thanks to them for sharing their story. I hope that they succeed in getting a photo of Anne too.

Anne Hathaway is well and truly on the set now as is proven by a video which shows her looking very slight and young while wearing intriguing bootwear. Jake has also been seen on set today! There are many more pictures here.

More screenings of the Prince of Persia trailer are going on this week, not that we're hearing a peep about them just yet, but today there was some PoP news - it got a certificate and it's better than I'd hoped. While I would obviously prefer a full R rated romp, what we're getting is a PG-13. This is apparently unusual for Disney and suggests it may have an edge to it. The reason given is 'intense sequences of violence and action'.

There has also been a little bit more about Brothers, thanks again to Clifton Collins Jr who is receiving some attention due to his Star Trek credentials. The fact that he is about to appear in a movie with Oscar buzz has not escaped his interviewers.

Interview no. 1 - Q: 'Ok, so I wanted to ask you a little more about Brothers because its getting all this Oscar buzz for Jim Sheridan and Jake Gyllenhaal can you just tell me a little bit more about your role in the film? C: Yeah I play a commanding officer I more or less send Tobey [Maguire] out into the field and I kinda watch over him and I debrief him and of that nature you know the stuff that an officer would have to deal with in regards sending a soldier out and having to find out what his state of mind is. It’s and important film I think these military films, for me personally, they just rank so close to home in that my whole family was in Vietnam. All the males in my family my grandfather was in a different war but you know I grew up around it so I’ve always got this strong connection and I just think in apathy for all the great men and women that are out there fighting today.'

Q: 'That’s nice man that really really good to hear. The trailer for the movie just looks incredibly passionate and really deep. So, I’m really excited about it. C: As am I. The trailer is pretty heavy. I mean working with Sheridan is a freaking blast. I mean he’s Jim Sheridan! I mean wow, it’s just hard when your, like, a big fan of somebody you can’t just be the fan and you have to just try and be the actor, you know, but when you love what you do it’s kinda hard not to do a little of both.' The rest is here.

Interview no. 2 - 'This film is very special to me for many reasons both professional and personal. What can I say about Mr. Sheridan?? Shit, he’s Jim fucking Sheridan. Really amazing and I have to confess that I was in awe of him. He works very differently. REALLY trusts his actors, and is an actor himself. It’s obvious when you sit down and start throwing the ball with him, so to speak.'

'The subject matter of this piece is certainly something that all of America should pay attention too. Not to mention that aside, it is a truly an intense gripping story, maybe even “riveting”, I like that word critics always use it. :) I have to say when I got home, I sat down and watched In America with the director’s commentary, and my only regret in working with Mr. Sheridan is that I didn’t listen to the commentary prior to working with him, because although In America is a moving story, the commentary is just as moving if not more! It will bring you to tears to learn what Mr. Sheridan had to go through just to get here and survive...'

'Tobey is great, we’ve actually known each other for a while, but this was our first time working together. We have some pretty intense scenes. He was VERY committed to doing a great job, lots of prep, loosing weight etc. It’s an insane cast, and an absolute honor and privilege to be able to share the screen with SOO many talents. Jake [Gyllenhaal], the insanely talented Sam Shepard (I was just waiting for my chance to get at him, so many questions!). And of course the talented and super beautiful Natalie Portman. It was hard to not have a crush on her; she’s a very present and caring special lady!' More here.

Lionsgate's twitter - with its Brothers poster for an avatar - has woken up today, reminding people to check out the trailer and keep an eye on their twitter and facebook. Let us hope this is an indicator of some imminent publicity.

Pictures from links and IHJ. Thanks to all!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Prince of Persia trailer to debut with 2012 on November 13

A date for the diary - November 13. Actually, another date for the diary - 2012. The Prince of Persia trailer will premier with 2012 on November 13! All right, you'll have to sit through cities and civilisations cascading into rampaging oceans but what's a spot of CGI world annihilation when it's preceded by Jake Gyllenhaal on the big screen as the Prince of Persia? Good old Roland Emmerich.

We have a report that the 'Yesterday afternoon, Disney and OnePR treated games journalists to the first ever screening of the Prince of Persia film trailer.' We have no pictures yet but we have a good description: 'The majority of the trailer is Jake Gyllenhaal leaping off of things while Gemma Arterton narrates in a quasi-mystical voice about the Dagger of Time and its powers.'

'Like all action trailers, there's a lot of quick cutting between unrelated sequences. Someone opens a door, the Prince looks around like he's confused and the Princess – called Tamina, not Farah – walks around looking pretty and exchanges PG-rated flirts with the Prince. Some dudes in black robes show up, looking like they just walked off the set of The Scorpion King and there's a lot of sand and gold stuff.'

'An interesting scene I noticed being repeated was a glowing fiery vortex within the Dagger of Time. You can see it in the trailer when the Prince activates it during a fight to rewind time. You see it again at the end of the trailer only somehow the Prince and some other person appear to be inside the Dagger, swirling around the vortex. Seems like a climactic boss fight to me. Also a temple-looking place collapses – it's all very Indiana Jones.'

Hopefully, we will soon hear what happened with the Q&A with Jordan Mechner after the screening.

So, the gamers have seen the trailer, now let the Gyllenhaalics have a go!

Full report here. Pictures of the switching shoes thanks to IHJ.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

[Updated] Jake and Stephen Gyllenhaal in NYC - and 'if anyone tries to get into the kitchen with me, I'll kick their butt'

Update: It's been a while, but today we have new pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal - here he is out and about today (25 October) in NYC with father Stephen and a very big bag. Good to see you, Jake! Source.

On with the post...

With all quiet on the Gyllenfront, I thought I'd break into the attic, creak open the cobwebbed WDW archive chest and dust off a parchment from those distant days of 2002. Settle back with a big, fluffy cushion, a mug of cocoa perched on the armchair, and listen to Jake.

The scene is set: '"strangely lovable." That's Jake. Whether impersonating a coal miner's son who dreams of building a rocket in "October Sky" or a demon-ridden teenager in the glorious midnight cult flick "Donnie Darko," Gyllenhaal is unwaveringly lovable in a rummy, I-was-a-teenage-alien fashion.'

'Maybe it's the ungainly tension between the searching billiard-ball eyes, the sprawling piecrust lips and the sinewy track-runner frame. Whatever he's got, he has dodged the generic teen-comedy trap and created a uniquely off-center niche among his peers. And thanks to his character's moonstruck obsessions over Jennifer Aniston and Catherine Keener in "The Good Girl" and "Lovely and Amazing," respectively, he has also become a kind of media poster boy for younger man-older women romances. "Older women have been a lot nicer to me," he admits, sipping cranberry juice through a straw at New York's Bowery Bar. "You know, I like being a spokesperson for that type of relationship. It's not so racy. I don't know if anyone's read Oedipus."'

'"You ask me do I consider myself angst-ridden?" he says, betraying a residue of defensiveness that lingers after two weeks of cockamamie interview questions. "I'm drinking out of a straw. I don't know how angst-y that is. No, I mean I hope it's not ridiculous to say that I consider myself an actor. What I don't feel like people totally understand is that for me as a young actor, the parts that have emotional depth at the age of 20 or 21 are the ones who are 'screwed up,' the ones who have a breakdown the way adults would, the oddballs.'

'"I think Jason Biggs is a genius in that type of film. If I were to go into those, I would not do as good a job. I hope the movies I do will be true to those [particular] times in my life. It's the only way I can believe them. When I had done this recent chunk of movies, I was kind of grappling with these same sort of existential questions. Actually connecting to my mother and father and sister, rather than fighting like an adolescent. Not being happy or creative at college. I found myself in a depression for a little while, and these movies were a therapy in a way."'

'He considers himself more Jewish than otherwise. (His given name was the biblical Jacob and his middle name, Benjamin, belonged to his great-great grandfather.) He wasn't bar mitzvahed, in the traditional sense. "We had this weird cultural mix, a sort of christening bar mitzvah. Hooting and howling with my father, praying with my mother." (Swedish meatballs instead of cocktail franks?) "We had our share of goy white-trash food."'

'Cuisine is actually a big deal for Gyllenhaal, who reads Cook's and Savor magazines cover to cover and spent the better part of the summer working magic with vegetables from his parents' garden. "I'm trying to work my way to great cook status. The first rule in my family is that if you are going to spend money on anything, spend it on food. My dad and mom were heavily influenced by their travels in France when they were younger. Ever since I was born it's been: You get the freshest food wherever you can and you make something out of it.'

'"I went on a road trip with my friends from Boston to Toronto recently and we made this concerted effort to stop at little places with good food. You find interesting people when you find good food, people with an interest in the specific, and the sensual. And when we didn't, we would always be depressed. I just love the meditative, spiritual quality of cooking. But if anyone tries to get into the kitchen with me, I'll kick their butt."'

'Gyllenhaal concedes it's easier on his competitive relationship with his sister now that she is becoming a star. "I feel like we're becoming a kind of a force now. We were taking over the Toronto Film Festival. That was our fascist intention." It certainly didn't start that way. Gyllenhaal recalls when his parents put him and his sister in one of their movies as kids, and Jake's scenes were cut. That, we opine, should have been enough to keep him in therapy for at least 15 years. "It has."'

I have a sudden hankering for cranberry juice. Piecrust lips?

Excerpts from Newsday (September 2002), pdf available on request as always. Photographs thanks to IHJ.

Friday, 23 October 2009

A video preview of Prince of Persia - 'Gyllenhaal certainly looks the part'

IGN has published a video preview of Prince of Persia and, despite my sense that they were surprised that Donnie Darko would make a believable rogue prince, they are impressed. 'Gyllenhaal certainly looks the part of a kick-ass, free-running death-dealer'. IGN has also seen footage. They like it.

'From the looks of things, Bruckheimer, Newell, Gyllenhaal and Arterton are doing a fair amount of justice to the spirit of the franchise. The footage we've seen features just the right amount of adventure, magical time-freezing, demonic creatures and epic set pieces to convince us that the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will be one of the action blockbusters to look forward too next summer.' The video preview is here and you can also see it on the IGN site.

The truly stunning new old pictures on IHJ today are a welcome reminder of what we have to look forward to next summer when Prince of Persia comes out and Jake Gyllenhaal shines on red carpets and takes centre stage on our cinema screens and our magazine pages. These pictures, taken in Madrid at a Jarhead photocall, are simply gorgeous. And it's always a good thing to see Jake and Peter Sarsgaard together.

Peter continues to impress critics and audiences for his portral of David in An Education. You can read an interview with Peter here, in which Peter intriguingly says that there are some films he's made that he's never had any interest in seeing. 'I haven't even seen all my movies that I've done. There are movies I've done for financial reasons that I know I'm not going to like. I could tell you before I start the movie that there's a good chance I'm not going to watch the final version. That doesn't mean I don't take my work seriously, I work on it, but I don't consider part of my work watching the movie. That's just to gloat and feel good. If I'm going to watch a movie a couple times, I have to totally dig my work in it. Why would I watch a movie, even if I thought my work was decent in it, if I didn't think I was going to enjoy it? I just skip them.'

I would like to think that Jake has more fortune, freedom and choice with the roles he is offered.

I was also rather taken with this Peter anecdote which appeared on the net this week: 'I was at Bard College. It was around eight o'clock at night and Valentine's Day was the next day. I drove all the way down to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill through the night and arrived in the morning. I showed up on this girl's front step and I had written a short story to read to her, which was slightly ripped off from another writer. A guy who played for UNC Chapel Hill was there with her; he was a very large gentleman and that was her new boyfriend. I took off and went to a Tears For Fears concert and wept all the way through it.'

Tears For Fears can do that to you. More here.

As for Jake, there are suggestions that he and Anne Hathaway will be filming together next week - in a church.

Many thanks to IHJ for the wonderful pictures!