I have no idea what it's about, but 'Jim' looks like fun. Directed by Jeremy Morris-Burke, to be released October 8.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The question they asked: Are you less likely to see a Mel Gibson movie as a result of the recent scandal? 20% said yes, 76% said it had no effect.
CBS is spinning this as if everything's okay:
And the rest of the folks who answered the poll -- no change. Wouldn't you, really, need about 30 or 40% percent to say they'd be more interested in seeing a Gibson movie to even things out?
Seems like a huge hit to me.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Staying with the 70's spy/killer movie look, here's another poster for 'The American'. I'm thinking this will be a very classic movie star turn from Clooney -- the kind of thing cinefiles will appreciate. General interest seems to be simmering, though.
Based on a novel by Martin Booth, 'A Very Private Gentleman', (a very proper classic title) which begins:
Yes, he's British, born in 1944, and his writing reads just so. The clips I've seen from 'The American' have the same feel as Booth's prose. No fancy camera work, no slick too-cool body language, action scenes that play straight forward, with a sober directness when dealing with details of the killer's craft. Sort of anti-Bourne. Refreshing in its way. I'm looking forward for sure, but don't see this one doing huge box office. It's more of a rental/cable/TV type movie event.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Trailer for 'Julia's Eyes'. From the makers of 'The Orphanage', which was heavy on atmosphere but light on narrative energy. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes I feel like I'm watching a soap opera. 'Julia's Eyes' seems much the same but with perhaps a bit more forward motion. The trailer gets points for style, jury's still out on content.
I put up a trailer for 'Red Hill' the other day. Here's the poster. Just hideous, but I like it. The blood stain on the main guy's shirt is the stuff of B movies, and (his) lighting is too cool and comes from too low an angle. I'd make the title lettering rust red -- I mean, really. Character on lower right should either be in silhouette or not there at all. Vote for getting rid of him, and moving the 'house on fire with silhouetted guy' element to the right and shrinking down.
Looking forward to this one.
Usually, I don't pay much attention to this kind of product, but 'Triple Dog' has something going for it. Synopsis from IMDb:
That's a pretty good concept. Want to see a trailer. Could get more traction than you'd expect.
Don't know what this means for theater attendance. If movies are available day and date on an iPod, will people watch them that way?
There's a lot of backlash to the whole 'theaters are history' thing, but, if you owned a theater (or a chain of them) would you like Netflix's new app? If it were me, I'd sell and go into digital distribution. I know...I'm not you, but I'm just saying, is all.
I suppose you could assume everything will be hunky dory (yes, that's the correct spelling), that people will continue to flock to theaters despite increasingly convenient (and instant, and cheaper) viewing options, but it doesn't seem prudent.
If me and a friend were out on a Friday afternoon and wanted to see the new thriller opening that weekend, and didn't want to leave the bar we had ensconced ourselves in, I could watch on an iPod. Order another pitcher and enjoy the flick. Why not? Who needs to drive across town (or even a few blocks), pay, what?, $10-20 per person, to see the movie when you can just stream it from Netflix, or some other service, on your iPhone, or iPod, or some other device, instantly, right there, from your comfy table, at a really good price.
Of course, that kind of comprehensive day and date across-the-board, all media devices release may never become a reality. Never. Right? I'm just saying, is all...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
UnderWire looks at even more brainy sci-fi. Which raises the question, 'isn't good sci-fi supposed to be brainy'? Are there any (good) sci-fi movies with a premise that comes off as simple-minded or dumb?
Anyway, my fave is probably 'Blade Runner' but I liked the still from 'Waking Life' better.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I don't know how Danny Boyle can make this movie work. A guy with his arm trapped who eventually cuts part of it off to escape is a pretty tough sell. The thing is, this trailer works really hard to achieve high energy with all the quick cuts and heavy pulsing soundtrack -- comes off as over compensating to me. Like they're working hard to make the audience think it's a fast-paced adventure. Word of mouth may be bad.
Hope Boyle can do it, but it's seeming like this one won't put a lot of butts in seats.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I haven't liked any of the posters for 'Buried' up to now. They've been too literal -- a guy buried under the ground -- sometimes both gagged and with his hands tied (what's up with that? The guy is buried yet gagged. So, what?, he won't yell for help. But, dude, he's got a cell phone. Why'd you give him a cell then gag him? Is that really stupid or really cruel in a hokey way? Duh).
Anyway, you could feel the impossibility of his situation. He's buried, there can't be more than a few minutes air, the cell won't work because all the dirt will block the signal, etc. So, why see the movie? Previous posters sapped the sense of fun and suspense movies are supposed to entice us with.
This poster, on the other hand, draws me into the story. I'm wondering how and why this person found himself in a buried box with a lighter and cell phone, and, how's he going to get out. Who will he talk to on the phone? What will he tell them?
I had written off 'Buried' based solely on posters that were blunt and overly eager-to-sell-the-really-unusual premise, but I might see it now. Guess when you give away too much in the one sheet it's a turn off.
This poster works.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Here's a poster for 'Skyline'.
Okay, a force that pulls people up into ships like a magnet attracts metal. Why didn't I think of that. Nice.
What happens if you're inside a building? You get stuck to the ceiling? Nope. A closer look reveals a more direct solution:
Your body comes out of the building one way or the other... Ick. Wouldn't want to be the first one through a joist beam or window. Or the second for that matter. Brutal.
Looking forward to this one.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In case you've been completely pre-occupied building a log cabin way way out in the woods, the Oscar pitch for 'Piranha 3D' at Funny or Die is killing it on movie sites. Recommend immediate viewing. (Has FoD become one of the best things about the internet or what)?
Anyway, the video is funny funny -- I've watched a few times. Noticed the music the second or third time. In case you didn't already know, FYI, it's the Promenade from Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'. The short music appreciation rundown is: There are musical impressions of pictures at an exhibition. Between each picture, the viewer walks, or promenades, to the next picture. Each picture gets its own music but the promenade stays the same.
So, Pictures at an Exhibition -- 'Piranha 3D' for best picture. Get it? Aren't movie people smart?
Here's an early look at Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox in 'Passion Play'. Looks like exactly the kind of role Rourke brings to life effortlessly, and Fox seems to be a natural here. I can already feel it.
What's surprises me is Bill Murray is also in this cast. Now, the presence of Rourke (as a down on his luck jazz trumpet player), and Fox, is reason enough to see this one. But, the addition of Murray?! Huh? Are you kidding? And, word is Murray plays a cut-throat gangster...? Bill Murray as a...gangster? Not a comedic version of a bad guy, but a hardcore violent ruthless thug? I have to see that.
Okay. It's official, then. That combo of these actors playing those characters makes 'Passion Play' a must-see.
And, get this. Wondering how first-time director Mitch Glazer got Bill Murray onto his project? Turns out Glazer had a bit part(s) in 'Scrooged'. He is listed as having played 'Guests'.
Way to go, dude. Hats off. Looking forward to it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Usually, Euro posters are better than US one sheets, but that isn't the case with the new UK poster for 'The Town' directed by and starring Ben Affleck. Shoot-out element makes little sense -- they're not shooting at each other, and, cop on far left is shooting into the sky.
US version (below) that rolled out a few days ago is much better. Way more dynamic, and all the elements gel better.
Not bad. A few pixels tall maybe, but, not bad.
Monday, August 16, 2010
How cool are documentaries getting? They're like the most reliable entertainment we have anymore. Features are hit or miss, docs -- usually a lot of fun to watch. 'Freakonomics' looks like a lot of fun to watch. I may just watch it.
Vera Bermuda on the continuing trend of cuddly-cute guys as leading men. I think she's on to something:
That makes a lot of sense. But, then 'The Expendables' just crushed the weekend while Pilgrim vs. The World hobbled in with about $10 million, so, go figure.
But still...that makes sense. What she said.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
James Cameron re: slapped-together 3D:
About the upcoming 'Titanic' in 3D:
"We are going to release it in 2012 in 3D, but we are going to take every care to ensure it's as indistinguishable from having been photographed in 3D as we can." We won't succeed. It will wind up being 2.9D, but it will still be .9 better than the 2D we released before."
As part of the press for 'Flipped', Rob Reiner talked with CBS. It's fluff but I liked this exchange:
A: "Yes," replies the Hollywood icon. "On almost a daily basis somebody will call me that, and you know, I love that because I had such a great experience with the show, I'm so proud of it. I've often said, no matter what I do in life -- I could win the Nobel Prize and the headline will read: 'Meathead Wins Nobel.'"
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
From Brian Chen's review of 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' at UnderWire:
...doles out plenty of flashy eye treats and nostalgic Nintendo videogame tunes. But Scott and Ramona’s relationship gets very little screen time. As a result, the movie feels tragically superficial.
I'm sorry, but 'Tragically superficial'? Superficial to a degree which is tragic, or which makes the movie tragic? Sounds like the guy was brainwashed. This is teen-speak, yes? 'It was all, like, tragically superficial and everything. I totally couldn't believe it'!
Here's the rest of Brian's write-up.
NYT Magazine with Susan Spungen, culinary consultant for 'Eat Pray Love'.
What kind of food were you making for “Eat Pray Love”?
Pretty straightforward, typically Roman food. So this one big first day, we had bucatini all’amatriciana, we had spaghetti alla carbonara, trippa alla romana, veal saltimbocca, we had carciofi alla giudia — Rome’s greatest hits. For a restaurant scene, we had, like, 25 extras, 6 actors, it was about 100 degrees out … and they put us in a kitchen down the street instead of the one in the restaurant we were working in. We had to trek up a hill, over the cobblestones to get the food to the set. And on top of that, there were, like, 100 tourists and paparazzi standing in between me and the set.
Are those real nuns?
While the first poster for 'The Town' emphasized the ensemble/dramatic feel of the movie, this one makes a clear statement -- 'The Town' is an action flick. The imagery is arresting -- nuns in goofy masks with automatic weapons. If the heist sequence(s) live up to the visual impact of this one sheet, Ben Affleck may not have just a successful comeback on his hands, he may have a hit crime flick as well.
'The Town' has already been widely compared to Michael Mann's 'Heat'. I didn't buy it as being a possibility at first, but now I'm wondering. I know Affleck can deliver a movie with characters who are as conflicted as De Niro, Pacino, Kilmer, and the rest of the gang were in 'Heat' -- he does that kind of thing well. Like his nuanced directorial debut 'Gone Baby Gone', based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, 'The Town' is based on an award-winning novel by Chuck Hogan, 'Prince of Thieves', so depth of character should be there. But, can Affleck properly direct a bank job where you 'come in strong, through the front door' that will be as gripping and stylish moment to moment as the one in Mann's grand crime opera? Remains to be seen, however this poster suggests the goods are there, and I don't think Affleck would bluff us. He's just doesn't strike me a con-artist.
Hats off on a great poster. What we need now is a trailer that shows off Affleck's chops when it comes to directing action sequences. Deliver that and the box office will follow. Right now, though, the 'nuns with guns' thing works.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I like this passage from Glenn Kenny's review of 'The Expendables':
I also like this passage from Kenny's intro to his review of 'The Expendables':
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Remember when Lionsgate was considering releasing 'The Expendables' in a PG-13 cut to boost box office? Stallone went to war to make it clear the movie was conceived, written, and shot R-rated -- a good old-fashioned, no holds barred, gritty-ass rude-as-hell super-violent action movie. In the end the studio suits saw it Sly's way and 'The Expendables' is coming to theaters as originally intended. A lucky thing for us.
Have you seen the latest restricted clip for Expendables? It's a fight scene with Jason Statham (Lee) and Sylvester Stallone (Barney) against a bunch of bad guys in which Statham dispatches several goons with a knife, mostly by throwing it into a head or neck or chest or whatever, then running up, retrieving the knife from the dying or dead bad guy (usually while he's still standing) then killing the next one.
A PG-13 edit of this scene, assuming knives thrown into people's bodies cannot be shown, would be incomprehensible. It might go something like this:
Bad Guy #1 takes aim at Barney. Lee, several feet away, throws his knife. (CUT AWAY FROM FOLLOWING TO SECURE A PG-13 RATING):
Don't mention it, mate.
Bad Guy #2 takes aim at Barney. Lee, several feet away, throws his knife. (CUT AWAY FROM FOLLOWING TO SECURE A PG-13 RATING):
Don't mention it, mate.
If the bad guys are never seen being struck by the knife the scene goes: Bad guy aims at Barney, Lee throws knife, Barney thanks him, a different bad guy aims at Barney, Lee (who now has the knife again, although we never saw him retrieve it) throws the knife, Barney thanks him.
Thankfully, Sylvester Stallone put an end to silly notions of a PG-13 cutaway version of 'The Expendables' and we have a gloriously violent movie to look forward to -- if you're into that sort of thing. If not, close your eyes during the ultra-violent stuff -- it'll be just like the movie is rated a nice tame PG-13. Really. That works. I've done it. Trust me.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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