Thursday, July 31, 2008
Here's the international poster for 'Eagle Eye'. I like everything about it better than the domestic poster except for the terribly on-the-nose 'protag runs away from starburst/explosion' element. On the other hand, maybe ours (below) is just too damn conceptual for its own good. Hmm. That's a lot of thinking about movie posters. I should seek help.
Anyway, modify/soften the over-literal bit of above poster and you have a winner.
/film has new 'Watchmen' posters. Apparently, this guy's superpower is being able to watch a bunch of TV shows at the same time. So, exactly how does this foil the latest nefarious super-villain plan? Seems like they're scraping the bottom of the barrel for superheroes these days. Okay, whatever, I'm fine with it.
You know, I understand every single Far Side cartoon. Can I be a superhero? Think of the good I could do. Let's say there's this crazy cartoonist, we'll call him Obtuse Illustrator, who wants to confuse everyone with bewildering cartoons that have undecipherable captions so that he can take over the world -- I could totally stop that guy. Totally. I know, I could be called The Decoder, or something. Just an idea. Think about it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Beginning today Stephen King is making original short videos available for mobile devices through a partnership with Marvel Entertainment and CBS Mobile.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Beginning Monday, July 28, mobile phone users and web surfers can enjoy Stephen King's latest work in a groundbreaking series of 25 original video episodes. The series of video episodes was created through a unique partnership between Scribner and Simon & Schuster Digital, Marvel Entertainment, and CBS Mobile and is believed to be the first comic-style book adaptation specifically developed and produced for viewing on today's most popular small screen platforms.
At the same time, paid download customers will be able to purchase blocks of 5 episodes for $0.99 or buy a Season Pass for the entire series for $3.99.
The video is available at NisHere.com
Saturday, July 26, 2008
John C. Reilly, Adam McKay, and Will Ferrell talk 'Step Brothers' and other stuff with Terry Gross. Turns out Reilly played in a rock band called Shark Fighter -- Terry gets him to sing 'South Side Boy', which he co-wrote. Classic as usual. (34 minutes).
Friday, July 25, 2008
Have the bad guys taken over?Over at Vanity Fair, Julian Sancton has an analysis of why superhero movies are so hot lately entitled 'Why America Worships Superheroes'. One of the most interesting things about his write-up is the inclusion of The Joker from 'The Dark Knight' in the photo used to illustrate the piece. Joker, of course, is not a superhero but a super-villain. Of the four characters in the photo, the only one that isn't a superhero is The Joker. More to the point, conspicuously missing from the photo is...Batman.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
It's all about how Jerry survives the fall. If they came up with something good we'll buy the premise. If not, we might still buy the premise, but we won't like it -- not one little bit. People will line up to see this movie just to find out how the bad guys arranged to have Jerry survive that fall.
I'm liking how this movie is looking. I believe 'Death Race' was originally set up for Tom Cruise to star in, but the project stalled for several years and Cruise took the producer's chair giving Jason Statham the driver's seat. Could be Cruise thought he had outgrown this type of role -- I think his fans would have liked to have seen him in this movie. Cruise could use a movie like this right about now.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I have no idea what this is or what the title is but it would appear to be scheduled for release November 18, 2008.
The URL shown at the end of the trailer leads to a bizarre video without sound. The acting is pretty bad and there doesn't seem to be a point. Maybe it's the beginning of a viral campaign a la 'Cloverfield'. Whatever it is you can check it out here.
No way can they bring back Gort as he appeared in the 1951 original. The figure in the poster is an image projected onto smoke or mist that resembles Gort but this may be the producers' way of paying homage to the robot's character while doling out some misinformation. There may be a robot in the remake but I can't imagine it will look like Gort -- that's just too dorky for a movie today.
The thing about this movie is it has too much raunchy language and too many drug references for mainstream trailers to do it justice. It even has some violence (the inciting incident, no less) that's too graphic to hawk to people looking for a cool dumb stoner comedy. Until I saw the real-deal trailer at the official site I just didn't like this movie too much. Trailers were looking too labored on Apple, Yahoo, et al. I was thinking Judd Apatow (who produced) had run out of steam.
But when you're allowed to show drug references, along with the crude language, (and the inciting incident), without concern for who you might offend the trailer springs to life.
Right now this is looking like another hit for the Apatow/Rogen comedy express. This is 100% pure comedy -- no stems, seeds, political correctness, or any of that other shit. Don't waste your time with the watered-down trailers they're pushing around the web. Head over to Sony's crib for the real dope. (End of double entendres).
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Usually these ensemble pieces are too smart, too boring, and too pretentious to succeed. 'What Just Happened', on the other hand, doesn't seem to suffer these shortcomings -- it's not pretentious, not boring, and not (too) smart -- should succeed.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Keira Knightley hinted she was a movie star with her performance in 'Atonement'. I think she may confirm that with her turn in 'The Duchess'. She's been in big movies like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' but more or less as window dressing. She held down her part in 'Domino' but that wasn't a star-making role and I think she deserved better. 'The Duchess' looks like a turning point.
Yahoo has a hi-def version.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Variety is saying 'The Dark Knight' will finish the weekend with $155.4 million. That's what I predicted. (Actually I said $155 million -- I wanted to go with the exact $155.4 [I did. I know it sounds dumb to say that now, but...], however I thought it was just too too to guess down to that level).
"My, my. Perhaps we should have a parade," Joker seems to be saying with his oh so sarcastic applause.
If only I could be that accurate all the time...
Friday, July 18, 2008
MTV has the latest, best trailer yet for 'Mirrors'. First trailers were a bit hokey and watered down with the feel of a techno version of 'The Shining' without much foundation. Next version(s) went to the other extreme with very graphic depictions -- they were better but a bit crude and off putting. New version finds a happy median, implying more graphic elements but cutting away before the gore hits the fan, making for a much more effective trailer with broader appeal.
MTV also has what I believe is the first hi-def trailer. There's something about the simple fact that the image is bigger (and more clear) that makes the sequences creepier -- should be a scream on the big screen. Check it out.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Dark Knight director, Christopher Nolan, talks with Robert Siegel:
"Really, we wanted him to be the most frightening possible version of this character, the sort of edgiest possible,"
"What Heath had to do -- and I think he did it in a really incredible way -- is he had to balance the need for The Joker to be an iconic presence, but be a human being and be somebody that you can listen to and believe," Nolan says.
NPR has the interview here.
This one has potential, but if it's just another by-the-numbers thriller posing as a meaningful statement it will fall flat. It's not as if there aren't plenty of real bad guys out there to make a movie about. As Russell Crowe's character (CIA honcho Ed Hoffman) says, "It's a dangerous dangerous world..."
The trailer isn't getting much traction, though. People are skeptical. Story will have to deliver the goods on the very real and very dirty work the CIA engages in if 'Body of Lies' is to succeed. Ridley Scott certainly has what it takes. His 'American Gangster' had the ring of truth and subtle performances by Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe made it work.
The last thing people want to see is a fakey look at terrorism (see last year's 'The Kingdom' which was Hollywood schlock and a slap in the face, and lost money). If 'Body of Lies' doesn't deliver audiences will shoot it down.
Here's an interview with David Ignatius, the author of the novel (of the same name) on which the movie is based. Ignatius is a journalist with The Washington Post and has the connections one would need to create a credible story about CIA operations.
I hope they did this story justice. If not, I just don't need that crap in my life. If so, I'm looking forward to it.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'm not what you'd call a fanboy. When I was a kid I didn't even like Batman. But the guys in Marketing are doing such a good job it's hard not to want to see 'The Dark Knight'. Perhaps not at six in the morning, but I want to see it.
Comcast has some exclusive clips, making-of video, buddy icons, and hi-def screensavers (like the one above).
I'll know I've gone over the edge when I start buying action figures...
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
You got to admit, this shot of The Joker burning a huge pile of money is pretty good. You can't blame him -- I find burning big stacks of money to be therapeutic. I do it every chance I get.
Most are saying 'The Dark Knight' will pull down $90-130 million in its first weekend. I'll go with $155, which, according to my calculations, is not even close to how much The Joker is burning in this still.
Monday, July 14, 2008
You know how you'll be watching a trailer and you get the sense there's real quality to the story, and there is a good chance the script is based on a novel? That's what I got about ten seconds into the trailer for 'Elegy'; Sure enough, it's based on a novel by Philip Roth.
This one probably won't catch on at the box office but will make a good rental on a cool rainy night this fall.
That's a nice looking poster. There's a great looking hi-def trailer at the official site. This trailer is much higher quality than hi-def QuickTime trailers, which tend to have a hazy look with washed out colors and blocked-up high values, and a bizarre green cast. (If/when they get online movies to look this good, theaters will be in trouble).
There's something about DreamWorks productions that's a cut above. I guess when Spielberg is involved you come to the table prepared.
Over at Pop Dose, Robert Cass wishes Harrison Ford a happy 66th. This is one of my favorite movie stars -- a Golden Era leading man in an age of disposable icons. However, I agree with Cass when he asserts that Mr. Ford tried to hang on to his status perhaps a bit too long with more than a few roles (see: 'Firewall') in which he plays (as Cass rightfully points out, citing many a reviewer's assessment) yet another character who delivers cliche dialogue through clenched jaws with eyes burning of determination and the lips snarled just so.
With Ford not willing to budge on his asking price per movie and with the scripts (and box office) for said movies becoming more laughable, I thought his career was in crash-and-burn mode. But then comes Indiana Jones 4 and, just like that, Ford earns a reprise. He's putting the new lease on his movie star's life to use not by demanding top-dollar for a retread execution of a bloated cliche script, but by doing small pieces like 'Crossing Over' (pictured, with Alice Braga), and what looks like another character-driven drama, 'Crowley', in what one would hope and assume is an effort to re-establish himself as a viable commodity.
Good to see him back, albeit not exactly in the same form as a president kicking terrorists off Air Force One or a privateer blasting the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace to elude capture. By the same token, though, he's not in the same form as he was in 'Hollywood Homicide' (which, in this case, is first degree premeditated murder of one's career)... At age 66 doing movies like 'Crossing Over' is a very smart move.
Here's Cass' write up. A couple excerpts:
If you were to ask me "What did you want to be when you grew up?," I could lie and say "astronaut" or "baseball player" or even "actor," but the answer is "Harrison Ford." More than anything else, I wanted to be Harrison Ford. I grew up in the '80s, a decade in which the actor played Han Solo in two Star Wars films and Indiana Jones in three films. For a young boy, those were iconic characters...
...because he wouldn't drop his $20 million fee, those interesting scripts from young writer-directors never showed up in his mailbox...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Story of a girl dealing with her mother's worsening mental lapses due to Alzheimer's. This short took third place in the YouTube Project: Direct.
Director Ben Shelton with a making-of video.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
First they offered midnight shows, then 3 a.m. shows, then 6 a.m. shows. However, even those additional shows have not met demand. Most theaters report total sell-outs in all additional showtimes. So, theaters have added even more showtimes for 'The Dark Knight'. I cut this from the Metro Generic Multi-Cineplex listing online:
The Dark Knight
Rated R, 2 hrs 32 min
Showtimes: (bold indicates PM) 12, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45, 1, 1:15, 1:25, 1:50, 2, 2:08, 2:45, 3, 3:01, 3:19, 3:27, 4:11, 4:16, 4:45, 5, 5:04, 5:04 and half, 5:17, 5:48, 6, 6:11, 6:27, 6:49, 7:02, 722, 7:24, 7:57, 8:09, 8:22, 8:45, 8:59, 9:01, 9:22, 9:28, 9:37, 9:43, 10, 10:03, 10:21, 10:47, 11, 11:11, 11:12, 11:13, 11:14, 11:26, 11:42, 11:55, 12, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45, 1, 1:15, 1:25, 1:50, 2, 2:08, 2:45, 3, 3:01, 3:19, 3:27, 4:11, 4:16, 4:45, 5, 5:04, 5:04, 5:17, 5:48, 6, 6:11, 6:27, 6:49, 7:02, 722, 7:24, 7:57, 8:09, 8:22, 8:45, 8:45 and a half, 8:59, 9:01, 9:22, 9:28, 9:37, 9:43, 10, 10:03, 10:21, 10:47, 11, 11:11, 11:12, 11:13, 11:14, 11:26, 11:42, 11:55
Rated PG-13, 1 hr 32 min
Showtimes: (12:00), (12:15), (2:15), (2:30), (4:30), (5:00), 7:00, 7:30, 9:30, 10:00
Rated G, 1 hr 37 min
Showtimes: (11:15am), (11:45am), (1:50), (2:20), (4:25), (4:55), 7:10, 7:40, 9:50, 10:10
Okay, first, NYT has this photo I haven't seen before -- cool. Second, NYT has A.O. Scott's review -- um, that's good...reviews are, um...good. Third, NYT has a whole bunch of clips from Hellboy 2 -- that's very good. Give us clips, lots of clips, we'll decide whether we want to see the movie. Oh, and thanks for the review.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I wish I could draw. I'd really like to be able to produce storyboards (I'm working on it). Guillermo del Toro's notebook of sketches for Hellboy 2 characters has been getting lots of press. Here's Peter Bart's write up. Here is Bart and del Toro on Shootout.
Guillermo del Toro has made some of the pages available on his site.
I'm not sure I even get this. There's just something off about this one. There may not be a franchise here. Then again, I'm no expert -- I've never played the game. Still, this trailer doesn't click with me. Maybe future trailers will connect more.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Demand for 'The Dark Knight' is through the roof. First they added midnight showings to keep up with ticket sales, then 3 a.m. shows, now they're adding 6 a.m. shows.
From Market Watch:
With more than a week to go before the highly-anticipated release of "The Dark Knight," Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, reports that many of its pre-opening Thursday midnight shows on July 17 are already sold out in cities across the country, from New York to Boise, Idaho. Theaters continue to add 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. showtimes to meet the ticketing demand.
Pictured is Batman watching people file into a movie theater at six in the morning to see his movie. Unbelievable.
IGN has a very thorough rundown of 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' featuring an interview with director Rob Cohen (pictured):
When they sent me the script, I had been...I lived in China in the past when I worked on Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. And I love China; I have a home in Indonesia, I'm through Asia all the time, I'm a practicing Buddhist. I just have a love of all of this. And I said to them, "If you want like a different treatment of China where the Chinese are kind of funny, I'm not your guy. I'm going to do a movie that has a true love of Chinese culture." And Steve Sommers, Sean Daniel, James Jacks -- all of the producers said, "We want you to make your movie." And the studio was 100 percent supportive of that. So this is very different in tone.
You convinced me, Rob. Here's a sort of new trailer:
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Here's a pretty cool look at the making of 'Twilight'. If you're a fan of Stephenie Meyer's writing, here's the cover for the follow-up to Twilight, New Moon.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Deeply moving. Rife with subtext (I mean, this movie has gobs of subtext, and, a lot of overt text as well). Extraordinary writing, directing, and acting. "Easily the best film of the year," says Alan Green at MoovyBoovy.com...and, I agree with him.
Scott Malchus talks with Elvis Mitchell about his new show on TCM, Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence. This interview is a cut above.
You can find a cool TCM promo and excerpts from the first shows here.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
I haven't liked this idea too much. Based on a novel by Jose Saramago, the story is pretty intellectual and heavy. (I knew before I checked that this movie was based on a novel) -- not a good sign. This will be a tough sell. Release is in September when audiences are burned out from summer CGI spectacle, but still, it's hard to imagine people will want to see this one.
I do like the poster, though. There is a series of them with the same motif, but Moore's is the most compelling. I'm pretty sure the images used for this series are not stills from the movie but were created specifically for the posters. Hats off to the photographer (sorry I don't know who he/she is). It must be a bit daunting for a still photographer to direct a Hollywood actor.
Here is a trailer:
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I'll bet the only real connection between this movie and 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' (1951) will be the thematic 'mankind is set to destroy itself' and the iconic vision of a robot walking down the ramp of a spaceship.
At any rate, this looks like great eye candy for the thinking person, and has staked out the prime real estate of mid-December for release. I'm looking forward to it.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
It's not so much a poster for 'The Dark Knight' as it is a conceptual trading card for The Joker. It has what all good portrait photographers strive for -- it captures character and makes you feel like you know the subject.
What's notable is that, even though the focus is not on the eyes, it's difficult to look into them -- they hint so strongly of The Joker's malcontent and hidden motives. This is yet another tribute to Ledger's depth of performance. An unconventional, beautifully executed portrait.
Okay, not pizza. I don't think Domino's has the best pizza. But, for some reason, they have the best Dark Knight trailer I've seen. What a fine looking movie this is.
I'm still more interested in seeing The Joker than I am in seeing Batman, though. Ledger's performance transcends the medium of film itself.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
All around the net the talk re: 'Righteous Kill' goes like this: Element 1) De Niro and Pacino haven't been in full form for about ten years, and Element 2) I'm still kinda sorta looking forward to this movie.
Okay, fair enough. I have to agree these guys did some of their best work in Michael Mann's 1995 crime opera 'Heat', and, I'm hoping 'Righteous Kill' will be good.
However, early signs aren't so good. The two poster workups that have been released are flat, without direction, and lacking focus. Take poster 1, at the top:
The running ink running from the stars' names implies a slasher/horror element -- doesn't belong. Movie has a killer element, not slasher. Also, this is the kind of graphic used in small indy pictures -- doesn't belong on this poster. The ink runs into De Niro's face but not Pacino's -- implying De Niro will die, but Pacino will not -- not right (even if it's true). Also, the 'drips' are clearly drawn -- drawn to look natural (and creepy), like running ink, but clearly drawn -- it's forced and bad.
De Niro is standing in front of Pacino -- shouldn't be, they should have equality. Not only that, Pacino's face isn't fully in frame -- his hair is cropped out. (It's fair to say a movie stars' hair is part of his face). Hello. Who slapped this together? Very sloppy work.
The grainy look is not appropriate for a slick crime thriller that takes place today. Would be more appropriate for a political drama that takes place, say, in the sixties.
The snags of ink coming off the title at the bottom imply a psycho-technological element as in 'Silence of the Lambs' -- doesn't fit. This movie has a human psychological element, but not a tech-psycho element -- lacks focus.
The roller-painted red highlighting of the title at bottom is random looking at best. An afterthought, probably.
Okay, now poster 2:
First the headline: 'The most acclaimed actors of our time in the film event of the year'. Do you think we're stupid? Any movie that calls itself the 'film event of the year' is a lost cause. A movie has to earn that title after it opens, not before. This type of slugline is meant to separate the most gullible audience from their cash on the first weekend, before word-of-mouth kills the picture.
The selling point 'From the writer of Inside Man' just doesn't click. 'Righteous Kill' is being marketed to a broad audience -- they don't know what 'Inside Man' was. Besides, the poster screams 'De NIRO PACINO'. How can you follow that by trying to sell the movie as being written by a particular writer (unless the guy wrote a super-hot genre thriller and has the same name recognition as De Niro or Pacino). Lacks focus.
And, what is that backdrop? A tarp? What does that mean? All that does is confuse the viewer.
What's with the fancy handwriting? Are we supposed to read that? It looks like the preamble of a constitution. Are we supposed to wonder what it's there for? Is the movie about someone who writes in such a manner? This is a total gaffe. These people are trying to sell a cop thriller with fine curvy handwriting -- done with a fountain pen or an actual quill pen (dipped in ink and everything), no less.
I do like the way the title at bottom is cracked and corroding -- this fits. Implies the corrosion of moral values and the rules by which society works, the law. This element works.
These posters send a clear message: "Stay away, this movie barely holds together, spend your money on something else, don't be one of the chumps that has to admit they saw 'Righteous Kill' in the theater."
Come on, guys. Get your shit together and make a decent poster for this movie. This is just plain lazy. Movie opens in September -- you've got time to fix the damage you've done.
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