Tag Archives: Movie Trailers

Mad Max: Fury Road – Final Trailer

7 May

George Miller returns to the Mad Max universe and presses the reset button.

Mad Max is back, this time without Mel Gibson! That might be the single most exciting detail to me. Mad Max needs to be a young man with nothing to lose, not an old man who is looking to rehabilitate his public image.

There has been a long wait for this film and it has been a long (and difficult) road for the cast and crew. From delays due to weather, to issues with the shooting schedule in Nambia, the project has been in the works for going on five years. But that is all behind us and we get to follow George Miller into his world yet again.

Fury Road represents Miller’s fourth trip to the Mad Max world. In 1979, Miller introduced us to the post-apocalyptic wasteland by sharing Max Rockatansky’s quest for survival and revenge. Two years later he took us back, as Max helped a small community escape a group of bandits. Finally, in 1985 we discovered the depths that humanity will fall to when all seems lost. In Beyond Thunderdome, Max helped rescue a band of children from a despotic ‘Desert Queen’. I liked each iteration of series more than the previous installment. Each time that Miller returned to Mad Max he seemed closer to fully realizing his imagining of a dystopian future. Unlike The Road, where the viewer is beaten down with increasingly more depressing situations, Max is drawn further into the insanity of humanity without a future. Imagine sitting alone in a room that is completely dark and sound proof. Sure, you might be fine for a few minutes, or even a few hours, but eventually you would crack. That is the vacuum Miller places humanity in. People are trapped in their own little groups because they have no way to travel to see other people. So, people’s actions become crazier without an outside influence to pull them back to reality and civilization.

The Trailer:

I cannot say it enough, I am so happy that Tom Hardy is in the movie. He strikes the perfect balance between, “looks like he could kick my ass” and “looks like he hasn’t eaten a hot meal in years”. There are more breadcrumbs packed into this trailer than any trailer for any other movie, yet we still don’t know a lot about the story. Charlize Thereon has a ROBOT ARM! That should set the stage for the absolute insanity in this movie. I also must confess that I dig it when movies and TV shows have their own weird slang language (think Serenity or Battlestar Galactica). That is present here…”3000 gallons of guzzoline…”. And then there are sand people on motorcycles? This looks crazy! And that is just the first 30 seconds of the trailer.

Hardy - Mask

Theron - Arm

Save…Your…Self…Save…Your…Self

Tell me that is not the most haunting music! For a movie that is about spectacular set pieces with explosions and cars flying through the air, what a great way to get you to feel. Eliminate all of the sound of motorcycles racing along sand dunes and monster trucks revving their engines, and you start to feel the loneliness. That is what Miller has been trying to capture in each version of Mad Max; when the artifice of civilization is stripped away, we realize that we are all alone. As if the song weren’t enough, we see the creepiest little music box and a character says she is “praying to anyone who is listening”. Could this feel more hopeless? If it weren’t for the fact that we knew Hardy already signed on to appear in several sequels, I might think that Max meets his end in Fury Road.

Back to the action..did that guy just jump onto a car with grenade-tipped spears? I think so! Is that a car exploding as it is sucked up into a massive tornado/dust devil? Yes it is! And by the way, that scene where the guy is swinging on a giant pole attached to one of the cars…yeah, that is a real stunt, not CGI! What a lovely day indeed!

The Verdict:

All of the Mad Max trailers have been exhausting to watch. There is just so much action. That begs the question, how does George Miller do it? From what I have seen, this would be amazingly demanding work. So many of the biggest scenes in the movie are real. How do you keep all of the action straight? How many takes do you need to get the perfect shot? I can only imagine the workload, but the 70-year-old Miller seems to have pulled it off. Lest you write this off a just a silly action movie, with muddled and hard to follow sequences, it appears that Miller has done a great job of giving us color cues to separate the action, locations, and characters.

kvkbv

Will it Suck? NO! I could not be more excited to travel back to Miller’s wasteland. Mad Max: Fury Road hits theaters May 15.

Mad Max - Wont Suck

New Trailer – Jurassic World

23 Apr

Universal hopes to recapture the wonder of 1993’s Jurassic Park, but can the excitement be brought back from extinction?

22 years ago, Steven Spielberg made us believe that dinosaurs could be brought back to life, and it would be simultaneously cool and terrifying. Jurassic Park demonstrated the danger of man’s hubris–believing that they could control the most fearsome creatures to ever walk the earth. And viewers bought into Spielberg’s vision–Jurassic Park netted more than $1 billion at the box office.

The tyrannosaurus rex, brontosaurus, and velociraptor became overnight stars. Who can forget the first time the dinosaurs appeared on screen? We were all like Dr. Grant (Sam Neill); speechless and awestruck. Sitting in theaters, we shared the wonder of seeing the long-dead reptiles live and in flesh, and we all felt the terror when the power went out and the dinosaurs took control. We all knew the science was unrealistic (seriously, DNA cannot live for tens of millions of years in a fossilized mosquito), but that didn’t matter. For just a couple of hours we were kids again!

And then something terrible happened. More specifically, two somethings terrible happened–The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. There is no getting around it, those movies were just bad, really bad. Now, 22 years have passed since the events of the first Jurassic Park and we return to Isla Nublar (not Isla Sorna where moves 2 and 3 take place). It is clear that the writers are hoping to pretend the events of the original sequels did not happen–something anyone who saw those movies can empathize with. And the producers are placing this billion dollar franchise in the hands of a director who has only one previous feature-length directing credit to his name. Colin Trevorrow helmed the cult dramedy, Safety not Guaranteed; a movie that grossed just over $4 million. Now, he is leading a movie that has a budget of more than $180 million. That’s a big risk…

The Trailer:

When your movie stars Chris Pratt, it is a good idea to lead your trailer with him. Pratt has been on fire since 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, and cemented his status as a blockbuster star with last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In Jurassic World, it appears that Pratt may be the “Velociraptor Whisperer”, but Jurassic World is a much better title. And comes a scene that is at the center of some online controversy. Pratt is telling a scientist–played by  Bryce Dallas Howard–how the dinosaurs are motivated by the need to hunt and…make dino-babies. Joss Whedon, the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, took issue with the scene, after a self-styled feminist pop-culture blog posted an article gawking at Pratt in the scene.

Park - concept art

Now we get the see guests in the park that John Hammond envisioned more than two decades ago, and what’s not to love? You can take a motorized hamster ball and drive it among dinosaurs; you can observe a goat being eaten from the safety of a glass tube that is designed to look like a tree trunk; you can sit in the ‘splash zone’ for a show featuring a blood-thirsty, prehistoric, Shamu; and you can stroll down the park’s main street for some shopping!

Swimming Dinosaur

We hear that the park was a hit, but people just are not impressed by dinosaurs anymore–large numbers of visitors only visit the park with the promise of a new exhibit. Now the company in charge of the park thinks they have a winning idea: they want to genetically modify dinosaurs!

A nameless scientist, portrayed by Omni-present B.D. Wong, says the new ‘attraction’ was “designed to be bigger than a T-rex!’ And apparently she really wanted to be an only child, because she ate her sibling. The brains at corporate also decided to make their new pet smart–she removed a tracking implant that she shouldn’t remember having implanted. As if that weren’t enough, she is like 19th Century American frontiersmen–she kills for sport. How do the humans respond to the threat? By using a two-pronged approach: one, loosing Chris Pratt and his band of velociraptor hunting buddies; and two, allowing Vincent D’Onofrio to unleash everything but tactical nuclear weapons to stop the beast.

Will it Suck?

Is there any demand for another Jurassic Park movie? Can the movie rise to the nostalgia-inflated heights of the original film? Will a new generation buy into the idea of a dinosaur theme park? Those are some big unknowns confronting a blockbuster in a summer as jam-packed as 2015. Last year, this movie cruises to a huge box office total. But this year, movie-goers have so many options–Avengers 2, Mission Impossible 5, Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, etc. If this trailer is any indication of what we can expect, the biggest crowds for this movie, may be in the movie. The trailer had plenty of action, but by creating a monster, you lose what captured the imaginations of audiences with Jurassic Park–the most fearsome animal ever gets loose and we can’t stop it! In 2015’s Jurassic World, Godzilla-lite causes chaos on some remote island.

Pratt and Raptors

Jurassic World releases June 12.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

3 Oct

By josh

When Woody Allen makes a film, it’s not so much an event as it is a calendar occurrence. Releasing a film a year for just about his whole career, you can’t say he’s anything but consistent. However, for a director who can seamlessly move from high-brow comedy (Manhattan) to drama (Crimes and Misdemeanors) to slapstick (Sleeper), sometimes all in one movie (Annie Hall), you can also make a case that he’s a chameleon. But, you’re always getting Woody, and his nervous, auto-biographical characters. He built a career out of his love for New York, went through a London phase, took a sabbatical in Spain, and now he’s back in England for his latest, a comedy, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.  

The story of a mother whose marriage has ended, a daughter whose marriage is ending, the new men in their lives, and the ones that just won’t go away; it’s a story of people – dysfunctional people – and it’s pure Allen. We open with Gemma Jones, recounting why her husband left her, and we get said husband, Anthony Hopkins, in the midst of a twilight-life crisis, looking great behind the wheel of a sporty convertible, hitting up the tanning bed, and courting a little blonde number. Naomi Watts plays the daughter, who has eyes for Antonio Banderas, but is stuck in a dead-end marriage to failed writer (and failed limo driver), Josh Brolin, who himself is falling for the girl in the building across the street, Freida Pinto. While I wait for you to catch your breath, I will say Allen is always good for getting complicated with relationships, so don’t let the tangled web confuse you. Moving on, Hopkins’ young love isn’t what it seems, Jones competes for affection with a dead woman, and Brolin and Watts probably are just better off without each other. Everybody got that?

It’s always great when we get a new Woody Allen film. That being said, the Allen as of late has been a middling performer. Each movie he puts out is a welcome addition to our junk-filled theaters, clogged up by the likes of Katherine Heigl and Matthew McConaughey (why haven’t those two worked together yet??!!), however, it’s less likely that we get an Annie Hall than a Hollywood Ending. Not to say that we don’t enjoy ourselves; we do. But it seems that Allen is only really knocking out audiences once a decade, with Mighty Aphrodite in the 90’s, and Match Point this millennium. The rest are merely good movies that get solid reviews, but fail to connect like they used to. But when you’re Woody Allen, and you’re constantly being compared to Woody Allen, it’s tough to keep up the pace.

The fun now is watching the actors he casts in his films. Much like last year’s Whatever Works, it was fun to see Larry David in an Allen film. It was interesting to see Scarlett Johansson fall in line with the likes of Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow in the role of “muse.” Here, we get Anthony Hopkins in a comedy; when’s the last time you remember seeing that (stop remembering The Road to Wellville)? Josh Brolin and Naomi Watts are new to Allen’s world; Watts seeming more a fit than the odd choice of Brolin. But that’s the fun of it – seeing new people tell a new story in the same way.

So, will it suck?

No – but it won’t be great. The best Woody Allen movies are the ones where neurotic people are put in ridiculous situations, and no one seems to see the obvious except the viewer, who gets to relish in watching everyone squirm. They’re fun to watch, and despite the fact that we’re getting the same type of joke over and over again, the joke is still funny, and it still seems fresh. Allen’s latest comedy can’t be said to be a wholly novel idea – we’ve already seen Husbands and Wives. And it’s not like Allen hasn’t trampled over complicated familial relationships before – we’ve already met Hannah and Her Sisters.  But it’s Woody, and yeah, so what if all his movies seem to give us the same thing, he’s still the master of the romantic comedy, and every film tells a new story in a familiar, comfortable way. It’s the old writer’s stand-by – it’s not in the story you tell, but how you tell it.

True Grit

2 Oct

By brian

Eye patch, check.  14 year old girl on a mission, check.  Reluctant hero, check.  Movie based on a 1968 western novel, check.  That is about where the similarities will end for the 2010 version of True Grit

The first thing we see, we see with our ears.  The mood of the spot is already set with the eerie singing of children who sound like they grew up in the time of the plague.  Their innocence is gone and, as adults, we know they won’t get it back.  A young girl who’s too small to fit the clothes she puts on, let alone carry out the ‘adventure’ on which she’s about to embark, picks up a gun.  Her father dead, she looks upon his body with steeled eyes confirming what her mind has already made up.  She must find the man who did it and make him pay.  Fatal revenge enacted at the hands of a child is always chilling to consider, and even more so when we see that Joel and Ethan Coen will pull her weeping soul out and dare us to turn away.

John Wayne made the character of “Rooster Cogburn.”  In this version we have Jeff “The Dude” Bridges taking the reins.  When you realize the same actor could play both a pot smoking, Creedence loving bowler with a concern for Feng Shui, and a battle hardened, liquor glutton who’s been kicked in the nuts by life, skepticism sets in.  But I don’t think another actor could take on this role today.  Some would argue that Josh Brolin could, but he lost that chance with Jonah Hex.  Besides, he’s already in the movie and that brings a broad smile to my face.  The Coens like to work with actors.  That seems dumb to say, but I mean aaactors.  They find something in somebody that no one else can see.  Whoda thunk John Goodman could shine after King Ralph?  Whoda thunk Jeff Bridges was more than a B actor after King Kong, TRON, The Fisher King and Blown Away?  I never would have thought Josh Brolin would have a career because he all but disappeared after The Goonies, and didn’t return until his out-of-nowhere rise starting in 2007 with Grindhouse and No Country for Old Men.   The Coens know how to do what no one else thought of – they’re inventors; adventurers in cinema.  That is why everyone will be talking about the young Hailee Steinfeld after this movie.  Oh yeah, and did I mention that Matt Damon’s in it too? 

So, will it suck? 

No….and a, “Hell No!” at that.  Bridges will be better than he’s ever been, which is saying a lot coming off his acclaimed performance in Crazy Heart.  Matt Damon will surprise us until we remember how good he was in Good Will Hunting and The Talented Mr. Ripley.  The Coens will be in the running for an Oscar.  And the eye patch will become what Michael Jackson’s glove was in the 80’s…okay, maybe not, but there’s going to be a lot of “Rooster Cogburn” costumes come Halloween 2011.

Due Date

30 Sep

By josh

Road trip movies are a legitimate genre in Hollywood, and they almost always revolve around an Odd Couple premise – two (or sometimes more) passengers must travel together, and they couldn’t be any more different – add water and shake for instant comedy. Let’s just go down a brief list – The Wizard of Oz, Thelma and Louise, Tommy Boy, Little Miss Sunshine, and the ultimate Planes, Trains & Automobiles – all feature a band of opposites who somehow survive the trip together, and at the end, the straight-laced characters learn to let their hair down, and the total weirdoes are revealed to be more than just idiosyncrasies. They all follow a formula, we’ve all seen it before, and the studios keep churning them out, the latest of which is Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis.

The film follows the simple premise – business-suited and Bluetooth-wearing Downey must get home to his wife in time to see the birth of his first child, and he must rely on the oddball and effeminate Galifianakis (yes, that’s a Lilith Fair t-shirt he’s wearing under that scarf) and his rental car to get him there. After trashing the car in a crazy highway accident, the two (plus Galifianakis’ dog) continue on together, hitching rides from strangers, and possibly stealing a highway patrol vehicle. While annoying with inane questions, or just outright mean, the two show a tenderness building, which, I’m just going to take a stab and say, will result in Downey inviting Galifianakis to join him for Thanksgiving dinner – I mean, the birth of his child.

Directed by Todd Phillips, this film bites wholly and evenly from the aforementioned Planes, Trains, where Downey replaces the uptight Steve Martin, and the plump Galifianakis wears the plus-sized pants of shower ring salesman John Candy. Downey must get home to his wife, and despite the obvious obnoxiousness of Galifianakis, reluctantly agrees to a ride. I’m guessing there was an overbooked flight and Hertz was suddenly completely out of stock. Oh, and the Greyhound drivers were on strike, and well, who really travels by train, anyway? The plot? It’s throwaway. The thing that’s going to set this apart (and is probably how they repackaged and sold it), is ironman Downey, and the new Will Farrell in Zach Galifianakis. These two are so hot right now you could put them in a Jane Austen period drama and still expect to sell tickets. Downey is the comeback kid who proved with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang that he still had charm, and with Tropic Thunder that he could make people laugh. And Galifianakis, who is utterly ubiquitous right now, toiled for years doing stand up and random weirdness, but after his breakout hangover, he’s absolutely killing it as the go-to funnyman, while still keeping up with random weirdness. For Due Date to be getting the attention it is, you’ve got to believe it’s from “The Hangover” plug at the beginning of the clip, and the fat, furry face of “that guy from The Hangover.”

Phillips, who directed The Hangover, has already gone down that road movie path with Road Trip back in 2000, and is responsible for assembling the Frat Pack for 2003’s Old School, so he knows how to use the oh-so-hot right now stars to effectively make dick jokes. But while The Hangover was funny, and had some memorable lines and situations, can Phillips keep making the same movie over and over again, just adjusting the stars and the settings? We’ve been getting a more adult Phillips as of late, with him moving away from college settings and focusing on bros in their late twenties on the eve of a wedding, and now thirty and forty-somethings with babies on the way; are we to expect a deeper funny? In the opening scene from the trailer, Downey recites a story about how his dad left him when he was young, and Galifianakis laughs and says “my dad would never do that, he loved me.” Is that ‘loved’ as in the past tense? Are we going to find out Galifianakis’ dad is gone, and he has no family left to turn to? Will we get Downey at the end sympathizing with the overgrown child, and inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner, I mean, the birth of his child? One can only guess, but my guess is yes.

So, will it suck?

No. It seems like every movie we see these days is a rip-off of some other movie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re all bad. Let’s just take the Planes, Trains homage in stride, and focus on its differences, in that it has Downey and Galifianakis this time around; two people that I actually find funny (sorry, I just don’t get Steve Martin). As anyone with an HBO subscription and brains knows, Galifianakis can actually act like a fairly normal person (Bored to Death), and not pigeonholed as a complete ‘ri-tard.’ A legitimate funnyman that’s finally getting his due, combined with Downey, who now that he’s clean can be respected again, in a Todd Phillips movie? Well, on paper it all looks good, and despite the trailer not really having too many laugh moments (the “check yourself” line by Galifianakis is borderline cringe-worthy), you’ve got to have faith that yes, this won’t be an award winner, but it’s going to do what a road movie was intended to do – take you on a wild-ass ride, but leave you sleeping soundly in your own bed at night.

IFC’s 50 Greatest Movie Trailers of All Time

2 Sep

ExtraTV.com has published the International Film Channel’s list of the 50 greatest movie trailers ever. Now, since this is kind of our bread and butter here, we thought we’d pass this along. A pretty good compilation of both classics, and some little known movies you’d never expect to find here. Take a look at the list and see if any of your favorite trailers made the cut.

The Social Network made the list landing at number 39, and the film hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but if this list tells us anything, it’s that a movie can totally suck, yet come off looking awesome in the trailer (Garden State, we’re looking at you….)

The Social Network

1 Sep

By josh

When I heard they were making a Facebook movie, I groaned at the thought of another movie based off a popular website that would go straight to video (did anyone see The Onion Movie? we didn’t). A movie based off a website that is essentially 500 million people talking about their day? I all but wrote this off as another way to capitalize on the next big thing. Then I heard David Fincher was attached to direct; now I’m listening. To attract a director with such clout to a movie that doesn’t have a clear plot, well, you’ve just got to trust he’ll come up with something. And something, he did. The official trailer is out, and the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his sketchy rise to billions looks to be the core of the film…

So the big question has always been “how are you going to make a movie out of Facebook?” and despite a really cool user-profile collage set to a haunting cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” fifty seconds into the clip, we still don’t know where Fincher is going with this. But then the story picks up at “Harvard University Fall 2003” and we get an emotionally charged recap of Zuckerberg screwing over his business partners and “stealing” the idea for the popular social networking website. Now, the whole story about how Facebook started up is speculation, but we’ll let Fincher tell us the whole thing. As far as the trailer is concerned, it’s clearly a Fincher film.

Fincher has a way of coloring his films – Fight Club was green, the “Freedom ‘90” video was blue – and The Social Network is yellow. What Fincher is trying to say with the color of the film, well that’s up to a full viewing to decide, but he has a distinctive style, and it’s all over this thing. As far as casting is concerned, Jesse Eisenberg takes on the role of Zuckerberg, and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the inventor of Napster, and one time President of Facebook, is a fresh site. Say what you will about Timberlake and his boy-band roots, he’s got a knack for taking on interesting roles, and as far as we’re concerned, as an actor he’s held up pretty strong, and has yet to sell out. I’m interested to see what he can pull off here, but with Eisenberg, I’m a bit skeptical that his skittish nerdiness won’t come off as tedious and annoying. Fincher, however, deserves top-billing with this project, and with such a young cast that doesn’t have the clout of a Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal or Robert Downey Jr., he’s the big name attached here.

 So, will it suck?

No. We’ve seen every Fincher film (with the exception of Alien3), and we are convinced that the man can do no wrong. He blew us away in Se7en, kept it up with The Game, hit a peak with Fight Club, and has been maintaining a steady plateau ever since. Working on a script by Aaron Sorkin, the pedigree on this film is rich, but that only takes care of the behind the camera action. The only question mark is the acting, and based on what we’ve seen from Timberlake in the past, with the supporting cast appearing strong here, our only concern is Eisenberg, who has had minimal experience leading a film, especially one of this caliber. But again, Fincher is the top draw here, and we have no doubt we’ll leave The Social Network on opening night already planning on adding the DVD to our library.

I’m Still Here

18 Aug

By josh

Hey, remember a couple years ago when Joaquin Phoenix quit acting to focus on his rap career?! You probably more remember him quitting acting to focus on his “going crazy” career, which for awhile now has been going quite well. He grew a beard, let his appearance go, and started a series of erratic behaviors that led to many quirky reports rolling in from the folks over at TMZ. From the beginning, however, we learned that whole thing was oddly timed to coincide with Phoenix’s “last movie ever,” Two Lovers, which he infamously promoted on David Letterman, coming across as a complete weirdo. We also learned that the transition from two-time Academy Award nominee to rap superstar was going to be filmed, and not by just any documentary film director, but good friend and fellow Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck. “Hoax” was the word that was bandied around from the get-go, with speculation of a “Borat-style” fakeumentary, with just a touch of Punk’d on the side, with Casey and Joaquin being the only ones in on the joke. However, they continued to adamantly insist the whole thing was real, and after awhile, with the huge torpedo-sized hole in Phoenix’s career as a testament, it was hard to believe anyone would keep up this kind of ruse for a cheap inside joke.

Well, now after two years of the experiment, we’re finally getting our first look at Affleck’s footage in the form of the official first trailer for I’m Still Here, which, if we’re to believe that everything is real, is a document of a man who throws everything away to chase his music dreams, and the opposition and personal turmoil that comes with it. Here’s the minute-long first look:

Well, where to begin? The clip opens up with a bearded Phoenix sitting at a table getting philosophical advice from someone(?), who is describing Phoenix as a “drop of water.” As the clip continues, we see shots of Joaquin looking like a troubled Zach Galifianakis, while the voice over continues to spout off wisdom, as it covers ground, which I’ll paraphrase by saying that Phoenix is a drop of water that has it all, but to experience God or some sort of religious experience, he needs to “change” and evaporate to complete the life cycle. Whoah, pretty deep there, guy! Throughout this “voice of God” we see Phoenix hanging out with celebrities, getting into fights, performing live and in the studio, breaking down, getting into more fights, experiencing nature, experiencing God, and one gratuitous gut shot that just screams “hey, look how far I’ve fallen!”

So what’s it all about? It looks like a documentary of some sort of Zen-like quest to find meaning using music as a guide, but the traveler on that quest is a critically acclaimed actor, and the music is rapping, and not very good rapping, from what we hear. How could this possibly be real? Both Phoenix and Casey Affleck have pretty impressive paper trails as of late, with Phoenix being hailed as the next great thing, and Affleck riding off two great back to back performances in The Assassination of Jesse James and the surprisingly good Gone Baby Gone, directed by his constantly-misleading big brother Ben. These two know what they’re doing, and embarking on an ambitious experiment that blurs the line between real life and fiction that improbably skewers Hollywood conventions, seems like a great pet-project for two up-and-comers who are already bored with the fakeness of Tinsel Town. The story arc is waaaaaay to contrived to be factual, with footage of the disillusioned superstar drastically altering his handsome good looks, taking on a rap career that is a complete departure from what he’s known for, breaking down, fighting it out with whomever he can get his hands on, before finally hitting rock bottom and finding God in the process. I’ve read that story a thousand times already, so whether this is truly life imitating art, or the other way around, I find it hard to swallow, given the pedigrees of the people involved.

So, will it suck?

Yes. I could easily say no at the same time, though. The trailer comes off as being really interesting, and the story leading up to this whole thing makes me want to see the final project, but with all the cons and put-ons that went into the making, was it really worth the effort that went into it? And let’s be honest, a couple of young punks trying to pull the wool over our eyes comes off as a little pretentious, don’t you think? At the end of the day, though, can we really be sure that the trailer we’re seeing is really the movie we’re going to get? With that ridiculously bad rap performance out in Vegas, I feel we may be getting more Dewey Cox than Johnny Cash. I’m tempted to put my money on seeing the boys twist us once again and releasing a comedy rather than a drama, so until the projectors start rolling in the theatres, I’m going to hold off judgment completely.

Let Me In

14 Aug

By josh

Hollywood has a nasty habit called the “remake,” and when they’re not stealing from themselves, they’re ripping off the foreign markets. Ever since the Lumiere brothers began making motion pictures in the late 19th century, American filmmakers have been copping ideas and remaking them for English speaking audiences, almost always ruining them in the process. For instance, I just watched The Vanishing – the original 1988 Dutch version – a masterpiece of a mystery thriller. Now for some reason, Hollywood decided to remake this movie, five years later, using the same director. I can only tell you the remake is a miserable hatchet job – with director George Sluizer neutering his own work – and the main culprit to blame can solely rest on the shoulders of the Hollywood system (and maybe a little bit on Kiefer Sutherland).

Fast forward fifteen years and head this time to Sweden, where Let the Right One In was released in 2008; a vampire movie so haunting in its stillness, that it made all the blood and gore scenes that much more visceral. A genre defining film, the story of a young vampire girl who befriends a lonely boy in a suburban arctic town, was a breath of ice cold air in the wake of the industrial vampire action movies that had flooded the market as of late (not to mention a certain teen vampire romance). Well, the Hollywood system wasted no time in remaking this for American audiences, as production began almost immediately after the film was first screened. Two years later, Let Me In, directed by Matt Reeves of Cloverfield fame, is ready for audiences, and the trailer mirrors the original surprisingly well:

The setting appears to be the same – small mountain town, where the white snow will only accent the red, red blood. The scenes depicted almost ape the original’s trailer, and it appears to be a true to form remake. The only notable difference – the industrial music that creeps throughout – leads to show the American audiences were pandered to in one instance. Where the original seemed to crawl at times, building suspense, the new one amps it up with a chugging score – the first, but only indication that Hollywood executives were scared that American ADD audiences would lose interest in such a slow paced film. A good initial sign, but skeptics will argue that one instance of pandering only begets several more once the full film is released.

One of the biggest things making this reviewer excited about the trailer, is the sight of Chloe Moretz as the young vampire. Moretz, as the adorably vicious Hit-Girl, was easily the best part about this year’s Kick-Ass (if you don’t count Nicolas Cage’s prosthetic moustache). A precocious little girl, Moretz is just as believable being nice as she is chopping off limbs, and her star turn gave her heat-seeking strength in Hollywood, and gave me chills watching her pump lead into henchmen. The hardest part about pulling off a role of a little girl who can at once be soft to the touch, and another minute savagely suck the blood of the unsuspecting, is finding the right person to play it, and I am more than convinced Moretz can do it. To her credit, Kirsten Dunst was a pretty believable bratty bloodsucker in Interview With the Vampire, but she doesn’t have the credentials of the c—t-spewing Hit-Girl, so Moretz, this one’s yours to lose.

So, will it suck?

No. It’s hard to say that any remake is not going to suck, but even if this movie hits half as good as the original, it’s going to be leaps and bounds above any of the vampire movies that have come out in the past 10 years. Plus, judging by the seeming shot-for-shot recreation by Reeves, it appears he’s remained true to the original. Now I know how awful a shot-for-shot recreation can be –no need to remind me – and as with the aforementioned Vanishing, even bringing the same director on board for the Hollywood remake can end in complete disaster. But what The Vanishing did wrong was to completely change the ending, and it’s clear that Hollywood is going to have their grubby hands on Let Me In, however I have hopes that Moretz and Reeves can carry through with only minor bumps and scrapes. Read my lips: the studio will speed the pacing up for American audiences, and there will definitely be a couple of the more conventional Hollywood scares conspicuously added in, but on a marquee of American vampire movies, Let Me In will stand out amongst the jumble of teenage schlock that they’ve been shamelessly handing us lately.

The Town

23 Jul

By brian

As the Green Band disappears, I’m thinking “Heat” slash “Point Break.”  Say what you will, but you know you liked “Point Break”….stop denying it or I’ll tell your Mom.  It’s the classic clever criminal versus the tenacious law man.  It may not be the most original plot, but you know what kind of frame work we have to jump off of and we can expect some of the obligatory chase scenes, back alley face-offs and interrogation room intimidation.  Even though we’ve seen this type of movie before, we’ve almost always been entertained by them.

This is also another caper movie with Boston accents.  No matter how authentic they are, they always sound fake.  Despite the bad taste it leaves, I stopped noticing it in movies like “The Departed,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “Mystic River.”  Good movies have a knack for making the ear-raking “Baastan” accent disappear.

As the trailer moves along, one can’t help noticing the star power in this movie.  First there’s Ben Affleck.  A schizophrenic actor who can easily post career making and breaking performances in the same year, it seems setting a movie in New England releases his acting brakes and he’s almost certain to kill the game.

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