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24 May

Before Midnight is director Richard Linklater’s latest installment in his Before series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.  If you’ve already seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, then you already know and love these characters.  In fact, you’ve probably been counting down the days till you get to see the next snapshot of their lives.  And if you’re part of the Lara and the Reel Boy, you’re excited to see what Ethan Hawke’s facial hair looks like too.  And if you’re one particular part of Lara and the Reel Boy, you got to see that up close and personal.

ethan and lara

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Facial Hair Friday, #75: IT’S MY PARTY

15 Feb

Today is my birthday.  That means that I can talk about whatever I want in Facial Hair Friday.  I mean, I can always talk about whatever I want.  But I usually try to keep it with something that is happening in movie news.  Or something.

But not today.  As it is my birthday, I want to talk about my favorite bearded actor.  Sir Sean Connery.

Here he is with two of the other coolest people ever: Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford.

Here he is with two of the other coolest people ever: Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford.

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Facial Hair Friday, #74: PRATT BLASTS OFF

8 Feb

I have been eagerly awaiting every tiny piece of news that comes out of Marvel Studios about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film.  For those not in the know, Guardians is going to be the followup to The Avengers and it will lead into The Avengers 2.  It will also  more than likely feature Thanos as the villian.  He’s the big purple space dude that you see after the credits in The Avengers.  

Sidenote – The fact that they are tying all of these movies together like they are a series of Saturday morning cartoons is the most thrilling thing in the world to the twelve year old that I still secretly am.

Anyway, the big piece of news this week was that they had cast the leader of the team.  The Guardians are made of several different aliens (including a giant tree and a hyper intelligent raccoon who loves explosives) and one human astronaut who ends up on the other side of the galaxy.  This astronaut is Peter Quill, who goes by the name Star-Lord.  I was a little bit worried about who they were going to cast because Star-Lord is the perfect combination of badass and funny.  And that’s hard to find.  But Marvel Studios knocked it out of the park with this one.  Your next Marvel Super-Hero is none other than Mr. Chris Pratt (and his fabulous beard).



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Facial Hair Friday, #73: FRANCO’S FRESH FACE

25 Jan

One of the movies that we are most excited about debuting at SXSW Film Festival is Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.  A little film starring girls from the Disney channel who go crazy over spring break, rob a bank, and start hanging out with a corn-rowed drug dealer played by James Franco.  And it just so happens that Mr. Franco has some pretty disgusting facial hair to go along with his corn rows.



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Facial Hair Friday, #73: Dashing Directors

11 Jan

Oscar nominations are out! And while I could use this platform to complain about who I really wanted in the race and how outrageous it is that the score for Cloud Atlas was snubbed, I’m going to just look at one aspect of yesterday’s announcements. The thing that most took me off guard: this year’s contenders for Best Director.

Over the past decade or so, (with the exception of the controversial Ang Lee / Traffic year, as well as Roman Polanski / Chicago) the Best Picture winner has been completely synonymous with the Best Director. This has really hindered the excitement and surprise of the final, most coveted award, “Ok, Tom Hooper won, so The King’s Speech is gonna take Best Picture over The Social Network. Yay.” It’s been pretty formulaic and disappointing, because they DON’T ALWAYS have to go hand in hand. And this year it doesn’t look like they will.

This year the films that have been most talked about for Best Picture winner: Argo, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty don’t even have their head honchos in the running! And those aren’t just first-time filmmakers– each has been nominated or won in the past. For these 85th Academy Awards we have two fresh faces: Benh Zeitlin, who at only 30 years old is up for his first feature film, The Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Michael Haneke, a 70 year old, Austrian veteran who is just getting the Oscars’ attention for Amour. There is also David O. Russell, who is brought back for the second time after The Fighter two years ago, and our wonderful veterans, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. And let’s face it. Steven has done so much for film, he should be nominated yearly. Whether or not he’s made a new movie. But I digress… Though I’m a bit miffed that Quentin Tarantino and Ben Affleck didn’t get nods, I still think it’s pretty rad that there’s such an amalgamation of Directors contending this year, and that they aren’t positively going to be taking home the Best Film Oscar.

And here I was going to make a collage of all the competitors, assuming they would be have beards, as all good directors do (with the exception of the lady ones, of course*). But instead only TWO of the fellows are scruffy, and so they are the ones who get to feature on this week’s Facial Hair Friday.


Michael Heneke                                                 /                    Steven Spielberg

Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Benh Zeitlin – GET ON IT.

Glad for something different,


*I must say, as happy as I was to have a female director finally take home the Oscar a few years ago, I’m quite relieved that Kathryn Bigelow isn’t even competing this year. Zero Dark Thirty looks almost exactly the same as The Hurt Locker! I mean, to have someone win for two consecutive modern war films– I couldn’t take it.

Facial Hair Friday, #72: HOLIDAY HARDINESS

21 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when cocoa and conifers perfume the air and our lives become occupied by gifts and Jesus and love. And Christmas movies. A yearly essential in the holiday season, of course, is Home Alone as well as its : Lost in New York follow-up. And no matter how many times I watch them (1 or 2 X every December for 20 years= 1,000 viewings) the second movie doesn’t get any less ridiculous. Strike that: the more I see them the more ridiculous Home Alone 2 becomes. The first half is much like the original film, filled with mischief and magic and Kevin judging a scary-looking person and taking it back in the safest lesson for kids ever– but then something happens in the second hour. Kevin, who in the first film was merely trying to protect himself and his house, crosses the line to the dark side. Though he could just call the cops on the Sticky Bandits, he instead lures them to a booby-trap riddled, abandoned mansion of torture. The violence starts off with a bang, as Kevin HURLS bricks at Marv’s face from three stories up– and it only gets worse from there. The ability to withstand such life-threatening torment has lead me to believe that Marv–who really gets it worse than Harry, let’s admit it–is superhuman. The reason (most definitely probably): his facial hair.

Home Alone 2 Marv

They should have called HIM Harry.

Such glorious chops, such a velvety mustache and beard. This, and the power of Chanukah, I believe are the reasons why Harry has stamina even Superman would envy. I mean, he survives sucking brick, falling down a giant hole repeatedly, drinking paint, plummeting from three stories up, a giant medal rod to the face, and, let’s not forget, electrocution. That, truly, is the high/low point of all the hijinx. This gangly doof gets electrocuted to the point of TURNING INTO A SKELETON AND SINGING OPERA and lives to tell the tale! Remarkable.

Marv Skeleton

Happy Chanukah, Marv,


Facial Hair Friday, #71: TRAILER PARK

14 Dec

Several very impressive looking trailers debuted this week.  And all of them had at least a little bit of facial hair in them.  Around here, that’s enough of an excuse to post almost anything.

So, here’s Morgan Freeman, and he has a beard.  This is from the trailer to the new film Oblivion.  It stars Freeman and Tom Cruise, and its directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy).



He looks pretty awesome there.  And the movie looks pretty awesome as well.  Its been a long time since I was excited about a Tom Cruise movie, but a cool looking sci-fi movie that’s not a remake or a reboot or a sequel definitely grabs my attention.  Here’s the trailer:

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Facial Hair Friday, #70: BACK TO THE DESERT

7 Dec

Mad Max is a favorite around here.  Both the original film and the franchise that followed were groundbreaking, exciting, and, most importantly, lots of fun.  And while its been public knowledge for quite a while that the fourth installment in the series is currently being filmed with Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson, we’ve never talked about here (or if we did its been so long I don’t remember it).  Currently titled Mad Max: Fury Road, the film also brings back director George Miller.  So far, everything is sounding awesome.  And to celebrate that awesomeness, let’s look at some of the fantastic facial hair our new Max has sported (followed by some crazy vehicles from the new movie).  Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Hardy’s facial hair:



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Facial Hair Friday, #69: THE FRONTIER OF MANHOOD

30 Nov

This December we will all get the chance to see Quentin Tarantino’s newest film.  Django Unchained is a pastiche of western, blaxploitation, revenge, and any other genre of film that Tarantino appears to be obsessed with.  Its also filled with wonderful, beautiful facial hair on almost all of the main actors.


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Facial Hair Friday, #68: A SMORGASBORD OF HAIR

16 Nov

I realize I’m a little late to the game (which is my style these days, apparently), but I saw Cloud Atlas yesterday. And I’ve got to say: I didn’t hate it. It is flawed and it is convoluted to be sure, but I found myself enjoying it– for the most part. Because the Wachowskis and Twycker undertook tying six major storylines together, some of them triumphed while others fell flat. Though that could easily be seen as a crucial failing, I found it to be a positive: when the film was focused on a plot I didn’t care too much for, all I’d have to do is wait a few minutes and it would be back to the characters I found more captivating. Besides which, even the stories with shortcomings had elements of intrigue and beauty. Now, this is not to be seen as a glowing review. I don’t know that I loved it, nor if I will even remotely like it the more time I’m given to dwell on the film. However, I found merit in Cloud Atlas and think that it, if nothing else, it is one of the most ambitious films ever made.

One of the most polarizing aspects is the fact that the filmmakers tried to incorporate every actor in each plot… as different characters… of different nationalities…which people LOVE. Though borderline offensive and somewhat distracting, I thought it worked for the overall theme in which everyone connects throughout time and space. But there were times when it got, well, bizarro. I mean, this movie has white people in Asian face, Asian people in white face, black people in Asian face, Asian people in Latino face, white people in green face, and yet, so as not to seem racist, I’m sure, no one in black face… surprisingly. The makeup, though uncomfortable at times, was extremely well done. And it gave the viewers countless glimpses of that marvelous thing we call Facial Hair.

The many (hairy) faces of Cloud Atlas.

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