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Movie Natters: June 24, 2009 Archive

What are you watching when you see "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"?

Posted at 11:46 AM on June 24, 2009 by Euan Kerr (0 Comments)

According to Ashley Milne-Tyte at Marketplace Morning Report "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is basically an infomercial for GM cars.

A pre-transformed Camaro in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (Images courtesy Paramount Pictures)

She quotes auto industry analyst John Wolconowicz: "You're gonna get a lot of instances where kids who are not old enough to buy a car are gonna ask Dad, 'let's go down to the Chevy dealer and see that new Camaro,'" he says. "And Dad might wind up driving out in a Malibu or a Silverado or something else that's more practical."

GM was meant to be pumping in millions of advertising dollars, but after filing for Chapter 11 protection the ad budget got slashed. The film will get less cross promotion, but it looks like a win-win situation for GM.

The Camaro becomes Bumblebee

You can read the report here

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Ten Best Picture Nominees: pleasure or pain?

Posted at 4:32 PM on June 24, 2009 by Euan Kerr (1 Comments)

So the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has returned to its practice of before 1944 and decided to have 10 nominees for best picture. President Sid Ganis told All Things Considered it'll mean a greater diversity of nominations, waving the possibility of a documentary, an action film, a comedy or even - gasp- a foreign film as a best picture winner.

It seems though that most people immediately think it just means the Oscar Broadcast will be even more interminable. Ganis (right) made the announcement standing before the list of nominees for 1939, which he says was a halcyon year for Hollywood. Seeing all the names inevitably produces the cynical question as to whether there will really be 10 films worthy of competing for the Oscar.

On reflection though, given the number of films being produced nowadays, this has to be a welcome development if only because it will give a nomination box office bump to more movies which undeservingly sink beneath the waves during Oscar season having not made the cut. It might also give a little more of a chance to films released earlier in the year.

The nominees will be announced on February 2nd 2010.

But what do you think? Ten nominees: pleasure, pain, or otherwise?

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Football Under Cover takes on a new resonance

Posted at 4:07 PM on June 24, 2009 by Euan Kerr (0 Comments)

Members of the visiting women's soccer team from Germany sign autographs for Iranian women in Teheran in 'Football Under Cover (Image courtesy Walker Art Center

Ayat Najafi and David Assmann's documentary "Football Under Cover" takes on new bite as a result of the current situation in Iran.

The film follows the convoluted journey which a German women's soccer team embarks upon when it learns there is a similar team in Teheran which has never been able to play against another team.

A seemingly simple desire to play a friendly game becomes a bureaucratic nightmare where months of preparation could be undone at any moment by any one of the myriad of officials in Iran. At one point they set a date for the game and make travel arrangements, only to learn the Iranian government has moved the game four months later without telling them.

On top of that the team has to prepare to play in 'modest' uniforms, including specially designed sports headscarves. They also have to get ready to play before the largest crowd they have ever had at their games, who because of strict religious rules is all women.

The film makers also follow some of the Iranian women who are hoping to play in the game. What comes to the fore is their overwhelming love of the game is really what causes them to go through the restrictions and indignities so they can play.

At times funny, and others sobering, the film is ultimately a celebration of the human spirit. It screens tonight at 8.45 at the Walker Art Center as part of the Queer Takes series.

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