Monday, 31 January 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal on the coming together of 'incredible' Duncan Jones' and the 'crazy guy who did Donnie Darko' - and much, much more

Source Code has a doublespread in the March issue of Total Film. It includes a brief interview with Jake Gyllenhaal in which he shows yet again how eager he was to work with Duncan Jones, a director hailed as one of the most promising of his generation. When Jake is asked if he's a fan of Duncan Jones' debut film, Moon, Jake replies: 'Yes, I was a huge fan. That was what made me want to work with him. He rightfully holds the badge of one of Britain's new talents, because he is incredible.'

Did Jake get a grip on the plot when he first read the script? 'It's a hard one to explain. Ultimately the story is about a soldier who wakes up in somebody else's body, and has to relive eight minutes on this train over and over and over again, until he solves a problem that's going on.'

'So this is you in Jarhead mode? Jake: 'I'm more the person in that body than I am the soldier. But the personality of the soldier is there. The point of view of the audience is my point of view, as I see myself. But ultimately the other people on this train, and in this scenario, don't see me this way.'

More of a head-spin than Donnie Darko? 'It sort of it! But ultimately, it answers a couple more questions than Donnie Darko did. I think Donnie Darko posed more questions than it answered. And this poses questions and answers them. And also, there's this sort of hum to most of Duncan's work so far, and it carries this incessant hum that really gets into your brain after a while. And he really puts his touch on it. Duncan mixed with the crazy guy who did Donnie Darko!'

Here is what Duncan himself has to say: 'It has been a seismic shift on how I would normally work, but I think I have adjusted... Source Code is very different than Moon.. It's quite a bit different from a lot of films, to be honest, and I hope that when we are ready to show people, the patience will pay off.'

Cary Grant

Natalie Portman is continuing to pick up every award going, almost, for her compelling performance as Nina in Black Swan. Last night she picked up a SAG award and used the red carpet to repay Jake for his Palm Springs compliment, when he described Natalie as the Audrey Hepburn of her generation. Natalie told Access Hollywood: 'Well, he’s the Cary Grant of our generation. He’s so charismatic, and so dapper and smart. He’s wonderful.' You can see the interview in the right hand corner at the end of that link.

Talking of red carpets, a stylist for Kansas City has named Jake as someone to follow: 'If you like to take your style cues from celebrities, she recommends Jake Gyllenhaal — “he’s down-to-earth, athletic but knows how to get dressed up and put it together” — and Jessica Alba. “She’s eclectic, and she’ll play around with anything. I think Jennifer Aniston is always an icon, too.”' I know these pictures below aren't very red carpetty but I didn't want to leave out some of the new pictures from Jake and Atticus' walk on 29 January (thanks IHJ!)

Making more than fluff

I'm still catching up on Love and Other Drugs publicity and here are three video interviews from Australia. In the first one, in response to being teased as usual by his co-star Anne Hathaway, Jake describes the responsibility of being not only an actor but a movie star. 'I feel a responsibility, I definitely do, I think somewhere to make movies that I think are not just fluff and I feel a responsibility to make movies where I was brought up, to entertain and also to say something that I think I believe in and have some balls to be honest. Your work is your voice and so I consider whatever it is that I have to be an opportunity to say something.'

This draws a great response from Anne: 'A conscientious movie star, but a movie star nonetheless.'

The second video includes a discussion by Jake of what Anne brought to the role while at the end of this video, Jake is interviewed on the Sydney red carpet and admits that when it comes to partying, the Australians are hard to beat! Thanks to BBMISwear for the heads up!

And finally...

Many thanks to Eureka from sending in this photograph of a sign for Love and Other Drugs from a theatre in Madrid. But this is no ordinary poster. As befitting a very old cinema, this poster is hand painted and beautiful. One hopes films don't swap over too often.

Includes pictures from IHJ, Eureka and scans by WDW.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Atticus and friend take Jake Gyllenhaal out for a walk to show off Jake's new haircut!

Whenever I see Jake Gyllenhaal with a new haircut, I can't help hoping that it might be a blue flag, waving in an imminent new role. And when it's paired with a shave, then I don't just see one flag, it's a veritable display of bunting. But, that said, it's very nice to see Atticus out for a walk with a mate yesterday (29 January) in Beverly Hills. Luckily for us, they decided to take their owners with them.

Several things to note here in addition to the gorgeous new haircut (reminiscent of the Source Code look perhaps?): a) LA is having to endure another hot, sunny January, poor sods; and b) the Nike is back where it belongs.

The day before (28 January), Jake was back at everyone's favourite Medical Center, putting in some extra hours. Another hint perhaps of things a-happening? Or have I just eaten too many soft-centred chocolates?

And while we're talking new pictures - here are some more images of Jake at the Globes, where it looks like he was sitting at quite a table. I remember CZJ when she was knee-high to a grasshopper back there on Home Farm with Ma and Pa Larkin...

Many thanks to IHJ for the lovely new pictures! There are lots more there.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Zodiac - a film and performance to remember and Brothers released in Germany at last!

As the preparations get under way for the Oscars (see below), there are some reminders about of many of the other 'best of' films that never quite got the Academy Award vote of approval for reasons that are beyond fathoming. And probably aren't worth the effort of fathoming.

David Fincher has an Oscar nomination for his astonishing work on Social Network. While this is enormously well-deserved, it has caused some to wonder why an earlier movie of his, Zodiac, was completely ignored by those award-giving committees. While it isn't productive to dwell on such things, what is extremely rewarding is to think back on a film, which, for me, puts crosses in all of the right boxes. And it's good to think that Fincher's Oscar success this year may attract new audiences to another film - Zodiac.

Zodiac isn't just the perfect police procedural movie, for me it succeeds (so much so it's in my top three films that I have ever seen, maybe even the top one) because it excels and surprises in so many ways. Zodiac is a thriller with many scenes of superb dialogue and minute observation; it is a horror movie that terrifies through a distortion of a recognisable reality; it is an elegant evocation of 1960s' and 1970s' San Francisco. Through detail and song, Zodiac reproduces a past time in a memorable way, reminding one of the past through its accuracy and mood.

And then there's the acting. Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of obsessive Robert Graysmith is a landmark performance in his career. In the promotion for Zodiac, Jake spoke of the passions that affected his life - family, food, acting, films - and demonstrated once again why he is such a great actor of his generation - he understands fully the roles he plays.

But it's not just Jake here, of course. Robert Downey Jr, in one of the first of his come back performances, and Mark Ruffalo and the actor whose skills Fincher may have appreciated the most, Anthony Edwards. Plus Chloe Sevigny and John Carroll Lynch who had appeared with Jake in two earlier movies, The Good Girl and Bubble Boy.

Aside from the film, which hooked me from its very first scene, there is also a soundtrack to listen to over and over again and a commentary featuring Jake and Robert Downey Jr together - a joy to listen to. Jake - and not just Jake either, RDJ said much the same thing - has spoken of what he had to endure to make this film. Tens of takes for each scene and, as the movie was filmed digitally, anything extra was instantly deleted.

This was a new experience for Jake but, judging by his body language with David Fincher in Cannes in May 2007, all of this was forgiven and a new relationship born. Jake has spoken recently of his pride in working for David Fincher. Without doubt, this will be an experience to look back on and we have been left with an astonishing film.


Rather surprisingly, Brothers was finally released in Germany this week (27 January). Can there be any sense at all in releasing a film this far removed from its original debut? At least it ties nicely with Natalie Portman's huge Black Swan success.

And finally...

Includes pictures from IHJ and here.

My review of the wonderful Tangled now up on MovieBrit.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Up on Brokeback: A trip down memory lane to Moose Mountain

This week, 29 January to be precise, marks my 5th Brokeback anniversary. Five years ago almost to the day that I took myself off, on my own one night, to see a film that I'd wanted to see earlier in the month, when I'd been in Arizona, but had been unsuccessful. I wanted to mention it today because tonight, in Oxford, I bumped in to a special someone that I don't know well enough but who told me completely out of the blue that she lived by Moose Mountain. Here's the place I mean.

This is one of those fortuitous moments that you can never predict and which catch you out. I told her about my love for Brokeback Mountain and how that people I know have made some physical attachments with her home and she kindly said that this had made her night - hearing how much we have come to love her home, when she is over here, a long way from it.

Moose Mountain, close to Calgary in Alberta, is clearly a beautiful place, befitting the story that is played out on it in the film, even though under another name. A banal reason for its choice as a location was sheep. You can read about that here. But it was a place of beauty and isolation. It also gave cast and crew a vital extra hour of daylight.

The filming locations of Brokeback Mountain have now become a tourist industry in their own right and Moose Mountain has a prominent place on that list as the place in the film that became Brokeback, where Ennis and Jack fell in love and where Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger spent their time. I did a post on these locations almost 4 years ago, which you can read here.

But if you really want to find Brokeback, this is the place to go.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

My review of Black Swan is now up at MovieBrit.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A gallery of posters - 'Whats got four corners, a title and a guy running with a gun... a Source Code poster' (Duncan Jones)

Yesterday's release of the first official poster for Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan caused a bit of a rumpus, with not everyone liking it, including the film's own director Duncan Jones. 'For those asking... No... Source Code does not take place in an exploding Kinkos. lol' and 'Poster works better if you look at it while pressing this button.'

Fortunately, among Duncan's tweets: 'We'd never put a star like that in front of a dangerously explosive kinkos... its a stuntman.' And 'Jake is fantastic. I would work with him again any day.' There is also some good news that there will be more than one poster and DJ's making sure of one thing: 'Dont know about worldwide, but believe we will be working on something special for the UK.'

All this raises the question of what we want from a film poster, most especially when it's for a film with Jake Gyllenhaal in it. And so this post takes a trip through time, ala Source Code and Prince of Persia, to see how distributors have chosen to promote Jake's movies through the years, as Jake's fame has grown. And not just his fame either. As Fox and Disney understood, you have a star like Jake Gyllenhaal in your film, show him off. It wasn't always like that and it wasn't always Jake's face that got a look in (think Jarhead). If you like Jake in goggles, you're in luck.

So, let's open the door on the gallery of posters... See you at the end.

And so, which is your favourite? Does your opinion of a poster depend on what you think of the film? Posters can become iconic, of course, just take a look at the Brokeback Mountain poster. Posters don't need to feature Jake to stand out as dramatic works of art - the Zodiac poster, for instance - while others feature plenty of Jake but their message is lost - Rendition. Would you change the Source Code poster? And what will the 'special' version look like?

So many questions, so many posters from a career of almost 15 years!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Updated: Official Source Code poster! Love and Other Drugs released on DVD and Blu-ray 1 March 2011

Updated to add the official new Source Code poster!

Love and Other Drugs has a release date for the Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray - 1 March. Not long at all and then, courtesy of a multi-region player, you will be able to see as much Jamie Randall - aka Jake Gyllenhaal - with his bag on wheels and all his other charms, as you want.

This is what we are promised: Funny Extended Deleted Scenes; An Actor's Discussion: Relationship between Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway; Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway describes Maggie; Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal is Jamie; Selling Love & Other Drugs; Digital Copy. Amazon details are set to follow in a few days.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to love the sound of those deleted scenes. No indication of a commentary but 'an actors' discussion' could be just what we need. 'Beautifully complex' - that sounds intriguing... and perfect.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal back in LA, Oscar nominations livestreamed on WDW and a WDW adventure

After a few days of more veggie breakfasts, sea breezes and rocky outcrops than you usually get in a month of Sundays, I've made it back to Oxford and I'm now catching up. Firstly, Jake Gyllenhaal has made it back to LA, complete with a hat we've not seen for quite a while.

Tomorrow, the Academy Award nominations will be read at the traditional ungodly hour of 5.30am in LA (8.30 in NYC and 1.30pm over here in Blighty). With thanks to PoPSugar, you can watch the live streaming of the announcements here on WDW.

Update: You can see all the nominations listed here. Unfortunately, there is nothing for Love and Other Drugs. Congratulations are due, however, to Michelle Williams and to another particular favourite of mine, David Fincher, for their nominations.

We've been talking quite a bit here about what might be next in store for Jake and for us in the way of movies, and in this video from the Globes Jake gives us no help whatsoever. Just the suggestion that things may be taking shape away from the spotlight.

Thanks to IHJ for the new pictures and for these images from a Love and Other Drugs photoshoot.

A WDW Interlude

During the last few days I've been exploring the Welsh Marches and Pembrokeshire, as part of a celebration of Mr WDW's birthday. It may have been cold but the sun peeped out on occasion and the local ales could be seen to flow. I scaled more castle slopes than your average medieval army. And so, to go off piste, here are some pictures to let you know a bit of what I've been up to while removed from access to the World Wide Web.

Arthur's Stone and Hay-on-Wye

Carrig Cenna castle




St Non's and St David's

Lovely. But good to be back!