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Herald Sun Form Guide : August 6th 2009
heraldsun.com.au out of frame The organisers of the Academy Awards are in mourning after the sudden death of Motion Picture Academy of America employee Steve Miessner (right). The 48-year-old was a cult celebrity in the US for his recurring role in TV broadcasts as ‘‘The Keeper of the Oscars.’’ Before each Academy Award ceremony, Miessner would take sole custody of the gold statuettes as they arrived from the R.S.Owens foundry in Chicago.Onthe big night itself, Miessner would theatrically don a pair of white gloves and give the Oscars one final polish before handing them over to security guards. Truth be known: Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler pair up in a rom-com that’s found wanting. The Ugly Truth(MA15+) Director: Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) Starring: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter, Cheryl Hines, John Michael Higgins ★★ >He works blue. She sees red. Everything turns white. Fade to black ICANNOTrecall a rom-com with more of a split the tight control of the star and executive producer of the film, Katherine Heigl. She plays Abby, a prissy, hissy TV producer wholives solely for her job, if only to block out thosemanylonely momentswhenshe wonders whyshe has no boyfriend. The appalling department is a one-man operation belonging to Gerard Butler.Heplays Mike, an unreconstructed male chauvinist pig whooinks hisway through a high-rating segment on Abby’s show every morning. Abby’s idea of a great night out is candlelit dinner with a good-looking, well-dressed, reputably employed guy. Mike will settle for an inflatable pool full of jelly-wrestling bimbos, any time of the day or night. With the battle lines so cleanly drawn, what immediately hits the viewer about The Ugly Truth is justhowdirty it gets by conventional chick-flick standards. Weall know Sex and the City kickeddownthe boudoir door for feminine-friendly filthmany moons ago. Nevertheless, the whole deal back then was sweetened by the sussed-up sophistication of the cast and writers. The bad taste brandished by The Ugly Truth is far too blunt to be classified as cutting-edge wit. Initially,muchof the mucky stuff is flung about personality than The Ugly Truth. One minute it’s appealing; the next, appalling. Early doors, the appealing department is under by Mike, whose butt-slapping, body-ogling ways are so pre-1970s it hurts. Ageneric but effective enough comedy of contrasts comes into play across these early scenes. Mike says something shockingly wrong. Abby reacts righteously.He verbally drags his knuckles. She physically recoils at every word. It’s an ultra-basic premise, yes, but Heigl and Butler do the opposites-repel thing so convincingly that you feel you might as well go along with it. However,whenit comes time to set to work on the opposites-attract thing, The Ugly Truth loses a lot of that caustic charm. The storyline takes a wild swerve in direction, and suddenly, the once-headstrong Abby is no longer awomancapable of thinking for herself. Or, at times, thinking at all. In what can only be described as an odd remix ofMyFair Lady, Abby is the pliant Eliza Doolittle plonked in the sweaty palms of Mike’s horny Henry Higgins. Hegives her tips onhowto lure and land a man. The advice includes wearing a pair of vibrating underpants and eating hot dogs as suggestively as possible. Abby goes along with the experiment. And wouldn’t you know it? The hardened master gradually discovers he has been softened up by his student. One of the uglier truths about The Ugly Truth is that its screenplay was co-written by three womenwhohave really sold their genderdown the river.Wayto represent the cause, ladies. The cast do what they can with the shonky bill of goods handed to them. Butler arguably emerges from the mire looking better than Heigl, thanks to a slightly more credible performance and superior comic timing. visit > www.theuglytruth-movie.com Tyson (M) Director: James Toback (documentary debut) Starring: Mike Tyson ★★★½ >Them’s fighting words THESE 90 minutes spent in the company of former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson (left) hardly amount to anything resembling a conventional sports documentary. Instead, whatwehave here is a lavishly filmed equivalent of a session on the psychiatrist’s couch, with director James Toback doctoring his patient’s confessions to fascinating effect. In the early stretches of Tyson, Toback uses split screens and a woozy sound design to help us get a handle on his subject’s erratic thought patterns. Tyson has a habit of changing the subject and contradicting himself, often within the confines of a single sentence. Whendelivered in conjunction with his unusual voice—an oddcomboof lisp, rasp Herald Sun extra 7 stats entertainment >Most-anticipated films (July internet hits): 1 The Twilight Saga:NewMoon 2 Funny People 3 Alice in Wonderland 4 Avatar 5 District 9 Herald Sun, Thursday, August 6, 2009 45 + .» reel deal father, Jon Voight? >Sarah, via email Jolie and Voight appeared together in the first instalment of the Lara Croft:TombRaider series in 2001. Unless the pair heal their famous rift, there is no chance it will ever happen again. Q Missing twin: Sophie Lowe plays the feisty Kate. Beautiful Kate(MA15+) Director: RachelWard(feature debut) Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Maeve Dermody ★★★ >Piecing together a broken family’s portrait novel Cutter and Bone (by Newton Thornburg) to the Australian bush. FORher feature directorial debut, actor Rachel Wardsuccessfully transplants the American It is here, on a remote and run-down homestead, that a prodigal son has returned to makeamends with his dying father. Nowa successful writer in the big smoke, 40-year-old Ned Kendall (Ben Mendelsohn) has not set foot inside the familyhomesince he was a teenager. The reasons surrounding his absence are not immediatelymadeclear. However, you can tell something every bit as tragic as the cancernowravaging Ned’s father, Bruce (Bryan Brown), must have occurred. As he refamiliarises himself with hishome turf—with the aid of sister Sally (Rachel Griffiths) and the interference of girlfriend Toni (Maeve Dermody)—Ned casts his mind across the old days. At this point, the film splits into two distinct parts. There are, of course, the flashbacks that explainwhyNed’s memories are so painful to recall. These scenes feature his absent twin sister Kate (Sophie Lowe), a feisty, carefree young womanwhowas once also Ned’s closest friend. Breaking up these sequences is Ned’s struggle to reconnect with his dad, an ornery and domineering presence despite his fragile state. Makeno mistake, this is a well-worn structure around which to frame an intense and wordy drama. However,Ward keeps the tale’s trump cards—all linked to a terrible secret shared by Ned and Kate—expertly concealed for as long as is feasibly possible. The overall effect keeps the audience leaning forward intently to find theirownclues to the mystery at hand, and Beautiful Kate achieves this simple aim with great ease. Performances are solid across the board, especially Mendelsohn (who has had trouble finding good roles of late) and Griffiths (who should lend her class to more Australian films than she does). www.beautifulkatemovie.com.au and purr—Tyson’s words are capable of casting a captivating yet confusing spell. Toback turns this apparent negative into an emphatic positive by simply allowing Tyson to ramble at will, railing against old enemies and reflecting upon old allies as the memories pop into his head. Naturally, the doco’s prospects are given a powerful boost by the sheer number of bizarre chapters in Tyson’s life story. You couldn’tmake this stuff up. The Evander Holyfield ear-biting incident. The disastrous marriage to TV star Robin Givens. The rape charge that put him in jail for three years. The fights that he took too easy. The partying that he did too hard. Tyson is too honest and open to deny any of it happened, and rarely does the film give off the vibe that history is being rewritten here. The archival footage of Tyson in his ‘‘Iron Mike’’ prime is sparingly used, and that famous string of first-round knockouts with which hemadehis nameis still frightening to see to this very day. www.-tyson-film.com The verdict ★★★★★ Instant classic ★★★★ High quality stuff ★★★ In the zone ★★ Not so hot ★ Hit the exits played for only a short time in selected cinemas. >Betty, Clifton Springs Not too long to wait, Betty. Katyn has completed its limited art-house run around the country and is being readied for aDVD release in September-October. Q film InglouriousBasterds later this month. Comedian Mike Myers has been linked with the production since it was floated, but he does not rate a mention in any reviews or previews I have seen. >Steve, via email Mike Myers bobs up in only one scene in Inglourious Basterds, playing a military adviser to British prime minister Winston Churchill. Q Myers plays the character relatively straight, but not straight enough to be taken seriously. theBBCtelevision series Cavegirl. Have there been any developments? >Colin Marshall, via email This has been one of those off-again, on-again projects that tests the patience of anybody with an interest in it. The most recent flurry of activity was late last year, whenit was announced Thora Birch had signed for the lead role. Shooting was supposed to begin in South Africa in thenewyear. Since then, the project has reportedly stalled because of problems with the script. Q Rumours on the internet say this British version of the production will be scrapped and possibly retooled as a comedy for a Hollywood studio. Keep an eye on Cavegirl’s iMDB.com listing for any sudden changes. Q In the mid-1950s I saw a movie calledCarmenJones, starring Harry Belafonte. In all these years it has never been on television or comeout on video or DVD. Is there a reason for this? >William Brooks, Wangaratta Formanyyears, the 20th Century Fox-produced musical Carmen Jones was considered a lost cause by itsmany fans. Which is extraordinary, considering this unusual adaptation of the famous Bizet opera Carmen scored several Oscar nominations upon release. The good news is the movie was re-released onDVDin the US in 2002. It’s a little tricky to find via mail order, but can be secured with some intrepid searching of the internet. Don’t pay any more than $30, including postage. Reel deal: Leigh Paatsch, c/o extrahit,POBox 14999, Melbourne, Victoria 8001 fax 9292 1177 or email email@example.com win> The best question each week wins a double pass to Cinema Nova. + Afew years ago there were plans tomake a film version of I amvery excited about seeing thenewQuentin Tarantino Whenwill the Polish film Katyn be out onDVD?It Has Angelina Jolie ever been in the same movie as her FB123 C M Y K DHS 6-AUG-2009 PAGE 45 FIRST
August 5th 2009
August 7th 2009