Tag Archives: Will it Suck

Don’t be a tease! Another Magic Mike XXL trailer

9 May

Channing Tatum, his band of male strippers, and their thongs return for the sequel that no one was asking for.

It’s not fair to say that no one was asking for the sequel; producers were begging for a second Magic Mike. These days in Hollywood, a commercial success means a guaranteed sequel. And say what you will about Magic Mike, but it had women lining up to throw their money at the movie. On a budget of just $7 million, the film pulled in more than $110 million at the domestic box office. So three years later all of the main characters from the original film have to squeeze into their policeman and firefighter and naval officer “uniforms”.

If you are unfamiliar with the details of the original film (and I expect many of you are), allow me to catch you up. Channing Tatum reprises his role as Magic Mike, a self-titled entrepreneur who is looking to get out of the “taking your clothes off for money” business. So naturally, he recruits a 20-something to take his place when he he hangs up his ass-less chaps at the end of the summer. Naturally, there are several scenes where Tatum gets to exhibit his dancing skills–he actually was a stripper before giving it up to pursue a career in acting. As the movie ends, we see Mike leave the stripping profession to focus on his custom-made furniture business.

The Trailer:

In the most played out of sequel cliches, the trailer starts with getting the band back together. Mike of course looks unfulfilled by his furniture business–let’s face it, what could give your life more meaning than stripping. What follows is the stripper equivalent of an A-Team montage. We see that the rest of the ‘dance crew’ can help but feel the calling to remove their clothes to music. Joe Manganiello is given to the stripper spirit that he feels compelled to grind on a refrigerator in a convenience store. At this point it should be clear that this movie is hoping to capture the Fifty Shades of Grey crowd. It is essentially socially-acceptable mommy-porn.

Back to the trailer. Why are the strippers reassembling? Because there is a national(?) stripper convention in Florida! Because we all know that is a thing! And of course, they can’t use the same tired routines that they had three years ago–if there is one thing people look for in their strippers, it is unique choreography! And new routines always spell success!

Bring it On

The Verdict:

This movie looks all sorts of bad. I don’t see how there could be a single redeeming quality in this film. It does not seem to have any of the charm that made the first film bearable. It is a blatant cash grab and without any semblance of originality. How man times have we seen this same story? Team/group must recruit the former leader to reunite for a final performance/competition. Along the way there will be a creative/romantic problem that will be solved in the third act. The story ends with our group winning and the man character getting the guy/girl! If you are feeling the itch to watch a movie featuring male strippers, watch the endearing and funny Full Monty.

zJPnZN1431188837

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.

%d bloggers like this: