Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poster for 'Jim'

I have no idea what it's about, but 'Jim' looks like fun. Directed by Jeremy Morris-Burke, to be released October 8.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's the Film, not the Man...

According to this CBS poll, not that many people care about Mel Gibson's recent bad press.

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:

It’s the film, not the man, the vast majority of Americans (76 percent) seemed to be saying...

Okay, fine. But, that's still 20% who are less likely to see a Gibson movie. So, a product like 'Edge of Darkness' which did not recoup its budget and P/A, would have made about $64m instead of $80, which simply makes it a terrible loss instead of a modest loss.

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.

Another 'Red Hill' Poster

New poster for 'Red Hill'. Good guy/bad guy, with the setting and tagline in the middle strip. Much better than previous.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Literary Movie Review Corner

From Glenn Kenny's review of 'The Last Exorcism':

it su-uuu-uuuu-uuuu-uuuu-uuuu-cked

Based just on the trailer I'd have to agree.

FoD Caption Contest

Funny or Die caption contest.

Another Proper Poster

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:

High in these mountains, the Apennines, the spinal cord of Italy, with its vertebrae of infant stone to which the tendons and the flesh of the old world are attached, there is a small cave high up a precipice. It is very difficult to reach. The narrow path is littered with loose stones and, in the spring when the thaw comes, it is a running stream, an angled gutter two hundred metres long, slicing across the sheer surface of the rock face, collecting melt-water as the scar incised in the bark of a rubber tree channels sap.

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

Ving Rhames Would Like to Thank...

Way politically incorrect, way funny. Ving Rhames' Oscar acceptance speech for 'Piranha 3D'. The campaign continues.

'Resident Evil: Afterlife'

This actually looks okay. I'm a little surprised.

'Julia's Eyes'

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.

'The Horde'

Nice energy. Trailer for 'The Horde'.

'Red Hill' Poster

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.

'Triple Dog'

Usually, I don't pay much attention to this kind of product, but 'Triple Dog' has something going for it. Synopsis from IMDb:

On the night of a sleepover, a group of teenage girls venture out in a competitive game of challenging dares. As the antics escalate, and the dares become more extreme, the girls unravel the truth behind a former student's rumored suicide.

That's a pretty good concept. Want to see a trailer. Could get more traction than you'd expect.

Another Nail

Netflix announces its app for the iPhone and iPod. Now, you can stream movies on the go for $8.99 a month.

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...

'Never Let Me Go'

Everyone loves these. New posters for 'Never Let Me Go'. Beautiful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scorsese de Chanel

As with all of Martin Scorsese's work, this ad for Bleu de Chanel is easy to watch. Beautiful edits -- he really places the viewer within the scene.

'Red Hill'

A neo-western. Seems worth a look. 'Red Hill'.

'Catblock: The Ultimate Co%kblock'

With Dave Franco, a carbon copy of his brother James. Notice the posters for James Franco's movies on the wall.

3D Trends Within Trends

At Slate, Daniel Engber does analysis within analysis of 3D trending using charts like:

More Brainy Sci-Fi Movies

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

'127 Hours'

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.

'RED' Trailer

Apparently, Helen Mirren is the 'best wet work asset in the business'.

I don't have any problem admitting I'm a total geek for this movie. Is there any doubt 'RED' will be a hit?

'Monsters' Featurette

'My goal was...to make the most realistic monster movie ever.' -- Gareth Edwards.

'The Walking Dead'

Muscular. Full commitment trailer.

'RED' Poster

Separately they were good. All on one poster they're even better. Love this.

Teaser Graphic for 'Unstoppable'

Love the trailer but the poster for 'Unstoppable' has a long way to go. I know this is a teaser graphic but hope they don't stick with this layout.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finally. A Good Poster for 'Buried'

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

'Night of the Demons'

Trailer for 'Night of the Demons'. It's hard to do this type B horror and actually make it worth watching.

Trailer for 'Bonded by Blood'

There's something about the violence here. Not operatic or stylized. Very straight-forward. No wasted movements or energy. Even the title isn't prettied-up -- 'Bonded by Blood'.

'Irreversi' Trailer

Okay, I'm not sure exactly what's going on but this might have potential. Trailer for 'Irreversi'.

'The Big Dog'

I've been catching up on my Funny or Die videos since the Piranha 3D Oscar pitch rolled out. I like this one.

Trailer for 'Fair Game'

'You can't break me. I don't have a breaking point.'

Patricia Clarkson on The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell

'Let Me In'

Wow. Nice. Images from 'Let Me In'.

So Cheesy You Can Spread it on Wonder Bread

In honor of the impending 'Piranha 3D', UnderWire runs down the cheesiest horror/sci-fi movies.

The Body Count

I can't remember another movie that inspired as many pie charts and body-count graphics as 'The Expendables'. This one is by far the best.

From Termlifeinsurance.org

'Skyline' Poster

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

Hit Record dot org

Joseph Gordon-Levitt tells us about his media collaboration site, hitrecord.org

'Vanishing on 7th Street'

Looks like fun.

Poster for 'Black Swan'

'Mesrine: Killer Instinct'

Here's a clip from 'Mesrine'

Best Picture with Voracious 3D Piranhas Goes To...

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?

'Passion Play'

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

'Kanye Tweet Beats'

Rocketboom short: Kanye Tweet Beats


At first my gut instinct was 'Monsters' might be one to watch for. Then the posters and trailers started rolling out and progressively, the movie went from having potential to being a must-see.


I'm not sure. Might be good.

'Black Swan'

Trailer for 'Black Swan'

And the Winner is...

Awards drive for 'Piranha 3D'

Photography by Herman Leonard

Slate has some very nice pix by Herman Leonard, who died Saturday at the age of 87. If you like photography and jazz, it's worth a look.

'A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop'

A few days ago I posted a trailer for 'A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop', which is a Chinese remake of the Coen Brothers' 'Blood Simple'. It looked great, can't wait.

Here's the poster.

'Let Me In'

Here's a new poster for 'Let Me In'. Very nice. Slightly tweaked version of:

Mix and Match Posters

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.

However, I do like the character element of the UK poster better than the US counterpart. So, if you cut the characters from the UK version (and cool down the color and desaturate) and paste it to the US version you get something like:

Not bad. A few pixels tall maybe, but, not bad.

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Drew: The Man Behind the Poster'

Another very cool-looking doc.

'Machete Maidens'

You absolutely have to see this trailer.

'Star Wars' Deleted Scene


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.

'The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu'

Trailer and poster for 'The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu'.

Expendable Daffy Dudes

Vera Bermuda on the continuing trend of cuddly-cute guys as leading men. I think she's on to something:

So the Daffy Dude is the new leading man. We have done away with tough, suave, and dynamic, and replaced it with something much more realistic and attainable, but the thing is, while they’re undeniably cute and attractive to many, I’m not sure who the Daffy Dude functions as a romantic torch for. I have a suspicion he isn’t there primarily to be attracted to. I think the Daffy Dude is probably more attractive to other dudes, as he alleviates the pressure to be perfect.

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

Cameron on 3D

James Cameron re: slapped-together 3D:

"It's the studio making the decision and then handing it over to some company to process it through a sausage grinder and come up with some kind of faux 3D, or a 2 1/2D mess."

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:

Q: "People still call you Meathead?"

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

'Daydream Nation'

'The Garden'

The Garden from Jason Stefaniak on Vimeo.

'The Garden'. A short by Jason Stefaniak. This week's winner at Reel 13

'Love and Other Drugs'

Holy fucking shit. A romcom that's funny and gets under your skin. No fucking way.

'The Next Three Days'

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's, Like, Tragically Superficial

From Brian Chen's review of 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' at UnderWire:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a videogame movie even though it’s based on a comic, and that’s why this visually impressive cinematic adaptation ultimately fails.

...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'!


The script is punchy, but the ADD-like pacing lifted straight from the comic doesn’t quite work on the screen, and it only distances us further from the romantic relationship the movie revolves around.

Here's the rest of Brian's write-up.

The Food in 'Eat Pray Love'

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.

Nuns with Guns

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

Special Edition Posters

Wired on limited edition posters for 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' by Martin Ansin.

Allegro con Brio

I like this passage from Glenn Kenny's review of 'The Expendables':

Some critics have complained, as critics will, that the picture's action sequences lack spatial coherency, which is a wonky way of saying that you can't necessarily tell who's kicking the living hell out of whom in a given scene. This does tend to be the case, but one should add that this is only really a problem when the viewer actually really cares about which character is going to walk away from the fight, a state of affairs that the film rather neatly, albeit perhaps inadvertently, sidesteps.

I also like this passage from Kenny's intro to his review of 'The Expendables':

...he had just had a scrotum reduction procedure. Which procedure he was describing to Gilliam, not only loudly, but in not insubstantial detail. Gilliam listened attentively, with that raised-eyebrow look of perpetual surprise/amusement that you sometimes see on him in photos. Eventually the actor got around to explaining just why he had gotten a scrotum reduction procedure: "I just got tired of how every time I would sit down one of my balls would slide up the crack of my ass."

'Ironclad' Clip

'Ironclad' Sneak Peek

Trailer Park Movies | MySpace Video

Paul Giamatti and trebouchets -- gotta love it.

Ebert on 'Eat Pray Love'

Roger Ebert re: 'Eat Pray Love':

Like the meeting of a Harlequin romance and a mystic travelogue, but the 80% female audience seemed to eat it up.
Two stars.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

PG-13 Expendables?

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): The knife blade sinks deep into BG1's ear. He screams horribly.  Lee runs up before BG1 has time to fall to the ground, pulls the knife out of the guy's ear. BG1 collapses dead.


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): The knife blade sinks deep into BG2's neck. He screams horribly. Lee runs up before BG2 has time to fall to the ground, pulls the knife out of the guy's neck. BG2 collapses dead.


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.

When Lionsgate proposed releasing a PG-13 edit of 'The Expendables' the movie was already in post-production. Stuff shot as R-rated action couldn't have been edited down to PG-13 without sacrificing continuity. It would have been dismal. The movie would have been laughable and bombed, but might have been a cult fave as an R-rated director's cut DVD.

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.

'The Tempest'

Poster for 'The Tempest' with Helen Mirren.

'Your Lucky Day'

Your Lucky Day from Dan on Vimeo.

Excellent short. Beautiful job.

One Minute Vaca at the Fair

One Minute at the Fair from David Barker on Vimeo.

Press play. Visit the fair.

Trolling for Funding

Spec trailer for 'The Last Defender'. Nice job. Robots land on Earth to defend us against an unknown enemy which is on its way? Is that the pitch? It's greenlit.

Rock and roll, dude.

'Burlesque' Clip

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hardcore Existentialist Eye-Candy

Trailer for 'Enter the Void'. Is it just hardcore eye-candy or trippy existentialism?

The Chinese Remake of 'Blood Simple'

'A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop'. Billed as 'A remake of Blood Simple'. Start the popcorn. A must-see.

'Freakonomics' Poster

Poster for 'Freakonomics'

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