Monday, February 28, 2011

Lines From Movies Are Like A Box Of Chocolates

According to the latest DDB Life Style Study, the most popular line from movies was uttered by Forrest Gump. 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.'

The others:

There's no place like home – The Wizard of Oz

Carpe diem (Seize the day) – Dead Poets Society

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin' – The Shawshank Redemption

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night – All About Eve

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn – Gone With the Wind

Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth – The Pride of the Yankees

May the Force be with you – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

What we have here is a failure to communicate – Cool Hand Luke

Show me the money – Jerry Maguire

There's no crying in baseball – A League of Their Own

Houston, we have a problem – Apollo 13

I think that's 3 for Tom Hanks. Would have thought 'May the Force be with you' would have done better. Suppose 'Show me the money' is just too too these days. I've always liked 'Get busy living or get busy dying,' myself.

Hosting the Oscars

Kevin Fallon collects reviews of James Franco's performance hosting the Oscars from around the web. Fallon himself commits:

It's not hard to see why the Academy tapped the multi-hyphenate star, who was also a nominee for 127 Hours, to host the awards with Anne Hathaway. His goofy sense of humor and willingness to try anything, in theory, has a broad appeal—especially to the younger demographic. But his half-hearted attempt at the stint exposed Franco for what he really is: a jack of all trades, master of none. And certainly not of ceremonies.

Harsh toke, dude.

One Giant-Ass Leap

I just heard. Bob Weinstein has jumped the shark when it comes to viral movie marketing with the statement, in regard to 'Apollo 18', "There are secrets that are really true to the world. It’s not bogus. We didn't shoot anything. We found it. Found baby!"

In related news, there are plans to find footage from the other secret missions to the moon, Apollo 19, 20, and, oh yeah, 21. But, only if the box office from 'Apollo 18' is killer.

This is expected to start a new trend in movie making: 1) Find several thousand feet of high-quality film of something strange and wonderful, that's also an incredibly well-kept secret, that audiences will want to see, 2) Simply edit it, at almost no cost, to create a compelling edge-of-your-seat! narrative that will fuel frenzied ticket-buying, 3) Pocket the box office receipts despite the fact that the footage belongs to someone else, like, say, NASA.

THIS JUST IN: Certain unnamed Hollywood studios are considering discovering lost footage from the various (secret) manned missions to Mars.

Way to go, Bob.

Poster for 'White Irish Drinkers'

Apple has a trailer.

'Take Me Home Tonight' Cast Interview

Clips From 'Take Me Home Tonight'

There's maybe five clips floating around. I like these:

VF Oscar Party Pix

If you haven't already, check out the definitive coverage of the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Poster for 'Poetry'

I'm assuming the character is Korean for poetry. It accents the poster perfectly. Beautiful, simple, elegant -- yet deceptive. A close look reveals the technique required to create the figure. Exact angles, clean attack, precise dimension and relation of the strokes to one another, the nature or feel of the elements -- some wispy and yielding, some hard, solid, or perhaps stern. None of it an accident.

The summary:

A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class.

This from the review at NYT by Manohla Dargis:

This cruelty doesn’t exist in isolation, as becomes obvious when the father of one of the other accused rapists contacts Mija and sweeps her off to an afternoon meeting at a restaurant. Together, he and four other fathers have decided — with the school’s blessing — to give the dead girl’s mother a large sum of cash, a bribe for her silence. What’s done is done, one man more or less says, as another pours the beer. (“Ladies first,” he says, offering Mija a glass.) “Although I feel sorry for the dead girl,” a father says, “now’s the time for us to worry about our own boys.” Her face empty, Mija sits wordlessly. And then she drifts outside, opens her little notebook and begins writing: “Blood ... a flower as red as blood.”

The more you know about 'Poetry' the harder it is to resist. If such stories appeal to you, reading Dargis' review pretty much means you have to watch the movie. That's the way I felt when I saw the poster.

'Poetry' took the Best Screenplay award at Cannes. Written and directed by Lee Chang-dong.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poster for 'A Better Life'

A surprisingly effective image. Does a good job capsulizing the plot: A father, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, strives to keep his son from getting involved in gangs.


Trailer for 'Woochi'

Trailer for 'A Better Life'

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Poster for 'Rubber'

Possibly one of the most inventive ways around budget constraints I've seen. Must see this one. Probably destined to become a campy B cult fave. I love this one already.

Aaron 'Wheelz' Fotheringham

Aaron 'Wheelz' Fotheringham - Wheelchair Action Sports from Unit Clothing on Vimeo.

Unit, one of the world's fastest growing action sports brands, has just released a six-minute mini-documentary on one of their star athletes, Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham.

Wheelz, 19, has obtained a cult following globally for his antics with the Nitro Circus Live Tour after successfully landing 40ft Backflips, Double Backflips and Front-flips in the past six months… in a wheelchair.

The Las Vegas teenager is one of the most inspirational athletes in the entire action-sports industry; he hasn’t let spina bifida dictate his lot in life and has taken his custom-built wheelchair to places they’ve never been before, including skateparks, BMX parks and of course, the Giganta-Ramp.

Unit sat down with Wheelz during a recent trip to the USA and found out what makes the laid-back, humble teenager tick. Visit​unitridersaus to check it out.

Following on from the successful Nitro Circus Live New Zealand Tour Wheelz is back in Vegas and preparing for the Nitro Circus Australian Regional Tour, which kicks off on March 9 at Albury’s Lavington Sports Ground.

Courtesy: Unit Clothing

Producer: Allan Hardy

Music: 'Hello World' by Amely​amely

Tiny Clip from 'Source Code'

'Meek's Cutoff' Trailer

First trailer was dismal. This one gets the job done.

Nic Cage Gets Award for Being Everywhere

'Rio' Trailer

At 2:30, that's about all I can take. Pretty, exhausting.

Hulu Freebie

'Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue'. Doc is pretty much required viewing.

Trailer for 'Nostalgia for the Light'

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet's regime.

'Take Me Home Tonight' Featurette

Did not like this movie too much at first, but new trailer and this featurette are making TMHT look like one of those movies you remember for a long time, that mean something to people. Like 'Animal House' or 'There's Something About Mary'.

A lot of smart moments. These guys will show up in a lot of comedies.

Friday, February 25, 2011

'Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue'

'The Evolution of the American Horror Film'. Sounds like a cool documentary.

'Bill Cunningham New York'

I've seen trailers for this before, but they did a pretty poor job. Apple has a nice one.

Poster for 'Super'

Directed by James Gunn with Rainn Wilson.

Searching the Past for Traces

'Nostalgia for the Light' poster.

Apple has a hi-def trailer. Here's a summary from IMDb:

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet's regime.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

MPAA Bias Against Indie Films?

Timothy Noah with the case of bias by the MPAA when doling out harsher ratings for indie movies:

For some time, critics like Kirby Dick (director of the anti-MPAA documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated) have argued that movie ratings are biased in favor of Hollywood insiders. Sex and violence in studio-made films, it's been said, are given greater leeway than sex and violence in the latest sensation from Sundance. The most recent puzzler was the NC-17 rating initially given Blue Valentine, distributed by the Weinstein Co., for an emotionally intense but emphatically unerotic sex scene that wasn't remotely explicit. (The scene is so achingly sad that its only likely effect on teenage carnality will be to discourage it.) In that instance, the MPAA came to its senses and reversed its decision, assigning the movie an R rating. Would the MPAA have ever assigned its most punitive rating to the film had it been made by a major studio? It didn't back in 1973 when it gave an R rating to Blume in Love, a Warner Bros. release that included a scene that differed from Blue Valentine's mainly in that the husband rapes his (ex-)wife.

More Oscar Sturm und Drang

Lynda Obst on the Oscar race:

Am I stretching dangerously, or could The King's Speech subtly use the older generation's hostility to the Net as a kind of backlash against The Social Network? Can you cater to those who can't use email, like my dad, who when I try to tell him he can get thousands of pictures of his family if he took only one simple lesson looks at me as though I were asking him to fly to the moon?


Just as I was thinking about this, my son Oly called to ask for whom I was voting. He was lobbying heavily for The Social Network. It was as though he was live from a conceptual Tahrir Square of Hollywood, registering his disgust at the backlash to their movie. "Don't vote for that BBC retread, Mom. Think about it. Who's ever going to watch The King's Speech a second time? It's like when Goodfellas lost to Dances with Wolves—who ever saw that again?

Twitterverse Calling 'The King's Speech' an Oscar Winner

Cnet on Tweetbeat's analysis of tweets that mention Oscar nominated films.

According to the number crunchers, 'The King's Speech' gets the most tweets, coming in with 31.4%. Next is 'The Social Network' with 13.7%.

Something I find a bit odd as you'd figure most tweeters are younger, which would suggest 'The Social Network' would get more buzz. But, not so, apparently.

In the Best Actress race Natalie Portman is killing the competition being mentioned in over 50% of tweets. Coming in a distant second is Nicole Kidman with 16.7%.

How Many Producers Does It Take...

Cory Turner on how many producers it took to get 'The King's Speech' made:

...Lane wrangled actor Geoffrey Rush into the mix as the therapist behind the king's stuttering speech by sending a copy of the stage play to his house, where it awaited him on his doormat one morning as he came downstairs for breakfast. Rush read and liked the script, and let the two producers put his name on it. For that, he's not only in the credits as an actor, but also as an executive producer.


So Harvey and his team flew to Savill's offices in London, where they parked themselves there until they convinced her to let them become backers, Savill told me.

"I know them incredibly well, so I know the modus operandi, but it's incredibly effective, actually," she said of their persistence.

Harvey and Bob Weinstein got themselves executive producers' credits, and then there were nine.

'Paul' Red Band

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good Actor, Bad Movie

Just got around to reading A.O. Scott's piece from Sunday bemoaning that, this time of year, we suffer "the spectacle of great actors appearing in bad movies". He offers as an example (with many others) Nicole Kidman's appearance in 'Just Go With It'. Scott says, "Is that Nicole Kidman, of “The Hours” and “Rabbit Hole,” towering over Jennifer Aniston and facing off against her in a high-stakes hula-dancing contest...?"

I think that's a bit of an over simplification. Nicole Kidman is a great actor to be sure, but JGWI is not a bad movie, as Scott puts forth. It gets the (intended) job done, and is doing very well at the box office. So, yes, if it's well-liked, by lots of people, who encourage their friends to see it, a given movie can't be all that bad, even if all the critics say it's horrible.

I think, in general, the same can be said for other 'good actor/bad movie' examples cited by Scott. Great actors, sure, but bad movies? Not so much. Unless, of course, they don't make much money. Then, they're probably, indeed, quite bad.

I liked this passage:

And it is what good actors bring to movies, even bad ones: discipline, conviction, the ability to help us suspend our disbelief by persuading us that they believe in what they are doing. The more preposterous the situation, the more impressive the feat of seeming to take it utterly seriously. There are other measures of excellence of course — emotional subtlety, psychological acuity, wit — but this kind of unwavering, fanatical commitment is surely a sign of greatness. You might almost say that greatness shows itself precisely in the discrepancy between the performance and the material. If that is true, then it is something like a mathematical certainty that the greatest actor in the world today is Nicolas Cage.

Nicely put. I mean, look at the above still from 'The Rite'. Could Anthony Hopkins be any more convincing? What focus. What craft. What discipline. However, despite his conviction, the situation and his character -- a priest hell-bent (as it were) with evicting the devil through exorcism -- is probably not preposterous enough to make Hopkins' acting in this particular movie all that great. It's just okay acting. So so. Ho hum. If he were playing a priest who had just busted out of hell in order to perform exorcisms, well, then, maybe...

Here's Nic Cage immersed in the moment in 'Drive Angry 3D'. Could he be any more in character? I've always been struck by it. Cage doesn't act, he inhabits, but not in that refined craftic way so often alluded to when critics praise this performance or that. He's more like a kid playing make-believe with a friend in the living room or backyard. To Cage, it's not a conceit in a screenplay, it's the real thing.

He's not acting in the technical sense, he's pretending. He's a professional pretender. It's like he really did escape from hell to avenge a murder and kidnapping, or really is following clues in a wild adventure to find a national treasure, and a film crew just happened to be there to capture the action.

If anyone provides what we need to suspend disbelief, it's Cage. If anyone regularly delivers disciplined performances in movies with preposterous plots, it's Cage. If anybody believes in what they're doing (no matter how silly), it's Nicolas Cage. As such, if anyone is a great actor, it's Cage.

As Scott says (as have many others) Cage never "phones in a performance." I think his fans love him for it.

If his movies get any more preposterous, Nic Cage will become the greatest living actor in the history of cinema sometime in the next couple years.

Poor Anthony Hopkins.

'Certified Copy'


Trailer for 'We Are What We Are' (Somos Lo Que Hay)

Perhaps best watched later in the day. Some of the most graphic passes I've seen in a trailer.

Must watch.

English language Hollywood remake inevitable.

Love that. That look she gives the guy at the end.

BLA Clip

'Bad (fucking) Teacher'

(I recommend 1975 for a year of birth to get past the wall of security).

'Cougar Hunting' Trailer


'Source Code' Trailer

With some pretty cool 'insertion into the code' effects.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Desert Flowers

Liya Kabede (who portrays Waris Dirie in 'Desert Flower') and Waris Dirie. Trailer, making of pics, at National Geographic Entertainment.

poster, trailer

Trailer for 'Box of Shadows'

Looks pretty fun. Will check it out.


The Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

AMPAS - Animated Shorts. Watch more top selected videos about: Academy Award, Animation

Clip From 'Battle: Los Angeles'

Pretty good combat scene. Had not expected this level of cinematography.

Director Jonathan Liebesman (Texas Chainsaw Massacre [2006], Darkness Falls) seems to have the chops for it.

'Desert Flower' Trailer

Poster and my thoughts from a couple days ago.

'Sucker Punch'

Gives us a few more clues as to plot.

Lee Unkrich on 'Toy Story 3'

Here's Brad Balfour with 'Toy Story 3' director Lee Unkrich:

Q: Because you go back to these 20th-century toy icons, this series never feels digital. I first saw Toy Story 3 in 2D, purely as a movie, not as a 3-D experience.

LU: Then we've succeeded because that's all we ever set out to do. A lot of people talk about the technology and how good it's gotten. Yes, the technology has gotten better -- the computers are faster and we're able to do more detailed graphics -- but what's advanced is the artistry of the people at the studio.

We've got artists working on this film who have been with us since the beginning, so they have 16 years of making films at Pixar and have just gotten better and better and better. They're at the top of their game and are able to create, from a purely visual standpoint, a film that I think just looks gorgeous, textural and organic.

Poster for 'Box of Shadows'

Part Poe, part Lovecraft. Here's the pitch:

"Life is good when you're dead." Box of Shadows is the story of a group of college friends who discover a 15th-century coffin that allows them to experience the world as ghosts. While their first adventures in the spirit world are playful and innocent, the "Box of Shadows" soon brings out the group's most dangerous impulses and desires. The friends find themselves pulled into a world of evil where they learn the line between life and death is there for a reason.

Could be fun. Director Mauro Borelli has been the concept artist/illustrator for 'Battleship', 'I Am Number Four', 'The Last Airbender', 'Pirates/Caribbean' and many others, so look for a unique visual stamp. I think this guy will deliver.

Love the title. Wish I had thought that one up.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Over at IndieWire Anne Thompson posts a handwritten list of David Fincher's fave movies. I'm struck by the inclusion of 'Godfather 2' (along with the exclusion of 'The Godfather').

Wha? Does anybody include this picture on the all-time favorite list? While excluding the original? Hard to figure.

Shooting 'True Grit'

Vanity Fair with 'True Grit' cinematographer Roger Deakins:

Is Roger Deakins this year’s Peter O’Toole? The Coen brothers’ go-to cinematographer has been nominated for nine Oscars over 16 years, for films that include The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and No Country for Old Men, but he’s never clinched a win. And while Deakins brushes off this bewildering oversight—“I’m fortunate I get to make these films,” he says—industry insiders do not. As the L.A. Times recently put it, “[c]an Roger Deakins finally have an Oscar, please?”

Score for 'True Grit'

NPR with composer Carter Burwell on the score for 'True Grit' which was disqualified from Oscar contention (as was his score for 'The Kids Are All Right') for having popular music (from the time the movie is set), in this case, hymns.

NPR audio: 10:06

Poster for 'Desert Flower'

'Desert Flower' is based on the true story of Waris Dirie, who fled Somalia to escape brutal and traditional treatment of women.

In London, she became a cleaning woman and worked at McDonald's. She was discovered by fashion photographer Terence Donovan and became a supermodel, then UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.

Apple has a beautiful trailer.

Moving. I'm not sure 'inspirational' does this justice.

Waris Dirie.

Clip from 'Hanna'. Music by The Chemical Brothers

OMG! Flying Saucers Over LA!

From 'Battle: LA'. Cool...

'Small Town Murder Songs' Trailer

Solid, secure. From the first frame this trailer announces a movie that must be seen.

A director's film. Ed Gass-Donelly has total control of the material. He elicits moments that stop you in your tracks.

Beautiful work by Peter Stormare and the entire cast.

A rare trailer.



The trailer is ratty, but I like it. (not as much as the first one, though)

'Apollo 18'

Really, this is just another low-budget horror. One location, very few actors, some device that allows you to get away with lower production value (here, the 70s hand-held film look). In the vein of 'Elevator', 'Devil', and 'Buried'.

Trailer looks good, getting lots of embeds. Should make gobs.

'Kidnapped' (Secuestrados)

Trailers for this are looking very interesting. The kind of dramatic set up I like. Full of potential.

'Zero Bridge' Trailer

Some very affecting human moments. I think this is one to watch. Here's the producers' write up:

Zero Bridge is a hopeful, human portrait of a teen pickpocket whose chance encounter with one of his victims upends his escape plans in this gritty, moving story about daily life in Kashmir.

This is the first dramatic narrative feature film about contemporary daily life in the Indian-controlled city of Srinagar, Kashmir. It was filmed entirely on location with a local cast of first-time, non- professional actors performing in their native Kashmiri language by a technical crew of one: the director.

Zero Bridge Trailer from on Vimeo.

Acting is non-technical yet compelling. I don't think this could be done by trained actors. Feels like a series of captured moments.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Poster for 'Zero Bridge'

'Dark Knight Rises' Fan Made Poster

Poster design by Josh Gilbert. Would move Batman out of the center, cut a bit of the excess negative space at bottom, but very good.

Poster for 'Small Town Murder Songs'

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Poster and Release Strategy for 'Girl Walks Into A Bar'

Saw the trailer yesterday. Was impressed. Here's the poster and unique release strategy.

'Girl Walks Into A Bar' will premiere free online at YouTube's ScreeningRoom March 11th.

Not sure what to make of this. What's the strategy. How do they plan to make money. Is this just a way of working up word of mouth in order to get butts in seats for the theatrical release?

This from the press release:

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Shangri-La Entertainment announced today it has entered into an agreement with YouTube and Lexus to present the Sebastian Gutierrez film "Girl Walks Into a Bar" free, exclusively on YouTube premiering Friday, March 11 at The presentation marks the first time a major motion picture was created exclusively for Web distribution.

The picture stars: Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Aaron Tveit, Robert Forster, Amber Valletta, Gil Bellows, Kevin Zegers and Alexis Bledel

Certainly qualifies as a 'major motion picture' any way you slice it. That's also being given away. Apparently it will play at SXSW in March, presumably a prelude to a conventional theatrical run (where you buy tickets).

Will be interested to see how this plays out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

'GII Winter Expedition'

Possibly the most inspirational thing I've seen for some time. Required viewing for a cold winter's day. Stunning, beautiful.

At about the 5:00 mark, notice how they are so high outer space starts showing through the sky -- it's closer to black than blue.

GII Winter Expedition | Dispatch # 4 | The way up to the summit from story.teller on Vimeo.

Watch The North Face athletes Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards as they achieve the first winter ascent of GII.

Produced by STORY.teller COLLECTIVE
Filmed and edited by Cory Richards

Music by Green Button Music -

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt Talk 'The Adjustment Bureau'

'Girl Walks Into A Bar'


The Impact of Global Warming

Beyond the mountains of the Western Himalaya, Sonam, an old nomad man, lives with his tribe in one of the most adverse and isolated regions of the planet, but a sudden change in the climate is drying most of the rivers and transforming several valleys in deserts, threatening his people's survival.

Stunning trailer for 'The Broken Moon'. Very disturbing. This is our future, and it won't be 50 or a 100 years, it's here now.

'The Forest Guards'

Docu follows the whirlwind year of six home-schooled children and their ingenious invention for the detection of forest fires. What starts as a local environmental solution develops into an invention that could have a major global impact as they win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their idea at the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

Charming looking doc.

All the Best Stuff is on Cable These Days

There's lots of talk about how more and more of the best features (and one-hour material) appears on cable/TV. From the looks of the trailer this could be another example.

With Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, and James Gandolfini. Come on...

HBO Presents 'Cinema Verite'. Beautiful trailer.

'Something Borrowed'

I Hate Superhero Movies, but...

He said his name is...'Thor'

When I heard there was going to be a Thor movie I could have cared less. But...trailer looks fantastic. Just great. May even watch in one sitting. (High praise, indeed).

Clip From 'Source Code'

New Poster for 'Battle: LA'

Okay, like, not bad. They're kicking us when we're already down.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

'The King's Speech' Screenwriter re: Stuttering

Jamie Portman with 'The King's Speech' screenwriter David Seidler about his stutter:

The enemy U-boats closed in. One vessel, with Italian prisoners of war locked in the holds, sank. The other two ships survived a terrifying attack. The experience traumatized young David who wasn’t even three yet but was already disoriented by upheavals in his life.

He emerged from the U-boat assault with a terrible stutter. It continued to torment him until he was 16. So it’s no surprise that he feels a powerful rapport with King George VI, whose battle against a debilitating stutter he chronicles in The King’s Speech, a movie that has emerged as a potent Oscar contender.

'Insidious' Poster

Okay, very 'midnight theater', but good.


Now, Without Fedora

'The Adjustment Bureau' posters keep rolling out. Here's Matt Damon with words all over his face.

Still not working. Still without warmth, charm. Still does not impart a sense of story or make you want to see the movie.

Above graphic is perhaps a tad better than:

...just because we can see Damon's eyes. (I know the whole 'fedora-wearing man of mystery' thing precludes eye contact, but in this case it doesn't make the image foreboding, just distant and off-putting).

They get points for consistency, though.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Clip from 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

Quick Cut Trailer for 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

I'm sensing trouble with the story here. Super-fast cuts are used to promote action pictures, especially ones with lots of eye candy vfx. TLL clearly isn't that kind of movie. It's loaded with dialogue-heavy scenes, I suppose a certain amount of procedural police/courtroom stuff, and some violence.

TLL doesn't deserve the quick cut trailer treatment. It doesn't fit for this type movie.

Problem is, first trailer was much more conventional, with far longer cuts, and the story it was selling bored me. Going the other way hasn't helped. What is it about the story that can't support a normal trailer?

If they're trying to entice the target demographic, which is used to seeing flashcut trailers for movies like, say, 'Fast and Furious', I don't think it'll work. Those guys can sense when they're being taken for a ride. If the target demo is 30-somethings, well, they're looking for story, and the trailer doesn't really promote that. Besides, does that age group really want to see this movie?

It's a jangly campaign for a movie that occupies a gray-zone as far as who it appeals to. Curious to see what the strategy will be for rollout of future promo materials.

Marisa Tomei is certainly a draw.

Clips from 'Rango'

Love the expressiveness in the possum's face.

As far as subtle facial expressions, this is probably the most natural mo-cap animation I've seen. We've come a long way from the 'doll-eyed' look. Probably even better than 'Avatar'.

'Hanna' Poster

Winning. Perfect.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

'The Adjustment Bureau' Poster

Just not working. This graphic (as well as all the clips, trailers, and posters I've seen so far) will drive people away. They're running out of time to create interest in this film.

Poster for Pedro Almodóvar's 'The Skin That I Inhabit'

Here's the spiel from IMDb:

Based on Thierry Jonquet's novel "Mygale", this revenge tale tells the story of a plastic surgeon on the hunt for the men who raped his daughter.

Mygale is French for tarantula.

Sordid material, to be sure. Revenge movies are often too base to take seriously, however, with such an exotic graphic, coming from Almodóvar, with Antonio Banderas playing the surgeon, 'The Skin That I Inhabit' is very appealing. So far, the only still I can find:

Very appealing...

Poster for 'The Hunters'

Very b-horror, but I like it.

Trailer has similar vibe. Could be fun to stream from your fave online video store.

Oedipus ...starring vegetables (2004) short film in HD

The story of Oedipus, in 8 minutes, performed by vegetables, in the tradition of Ben Hur. A sword and salad epic, in classic CinemaScope. Featuring a Potato, a Tomato, Broccoli, Garlic, and Billy Dee Williams as the Bartender. It took two years, a volunteer crew of more than 100 people, and post production resources donated by Industrial Light + Magic and Skywalker Sound. One of the first stop-motion films shot on a digital still camera. Official Selection: 70+ film festivals on nearly every continent, including Sundance, Seattle, São Paulo, Rome, and Hong Kong. Acquired by the Sundance Channel. can also watch the behind-the-scenes documentary:​19151071

...and see the storyboards:​19151003

...oh! and visit for even more...

Oedipus ...starring vegetables (2004) short film in HD from jason wishnow on Vimeo.

'The Hunters' Trailer

Fully committed. Might be worth a look see.

New TV Spots for 'Sucker Punch'

Clips from 'Jane Eyre'

I like the look of this movie. Very bleached, cool colors. Moody. Nice.

Tons of dialogue. Could use more car chases.

Clip from 'Hall Pass'

I'm getting the feeling this may be the funniest moment from 'Hall Pass'.

Yahoo has a bunch more.

Monday, February 14, 2011

'Battle: Los Angeles' International Trailer B

With perhaps two or three (fantastic) seconds of new footage.

Clips from 'The Adjustment Bureau'

This one (below) moves a bit. Upper right hand corner at :38 needs some attention.

Editing (below) needs work. A tad ragged.

Yahoo has a couple more they rolled out today.

Clip from 'Rango'

'Rango' Making of Footage

'Cracks' Trailer

Has been lurking for some time. Shot in 2009, will release in US this March. 'Heavenly Creatures' meets 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'. That title, though. 'Cracks'?

Test Footage From CGI-Animated 'Thundercats'

'Monogamy' Featurette

Rashida Jones' music video for 'Monogamy'.

'Black Death' Featurette

'Incendiary: The Willingham Case' Trailer

Another compelling documentary. Here's the blurb:

Incendiary is the true story of the conviction and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the arson murder of his three children in 1991, and of the resulting scientific, legal and political firestorm that rages today. A potential landmark death penalty case, Willingham's execution based upon junk science begs re-examinations of other arson convictions, criminal prosecution for obstructors of due process, and a re-evaluation of the law's ultimate punishment. Equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama, INCENDIARY documents the haunted legacy of a prosecution built on 'folklore'.

Acting vs Effects

Tom Shone's rundown of the balance between the craft of acting and the magic of visual effects needed to bring many stories to life:

"Star Wars was in, Spielberg was in," Scorsese told author Peter Biskind. "We were finished." Were they? In many ways, Raging Bull feels like Scorsese and De Niro's response to Lucas' space epic, an anti-blockbuster built to resist the gravitational pull of the death star by means of a spectacle no less visceral or intense: You give us exploding stars [[planets?]], we give you a ballooning Robert De Niro.


Natalie Portman's turn in Black Swan is a sensational instance of celebrity self-graffiti, a stunning instance of performance-as-special effect, and a fascinating palimpsest of meta-casting taken to the nth degree: The posters might as well read "Come see Natalie Portman earn her Oscar." But great acting?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BLA Eye Candy

They might be pushing too hard here.

'Atlas Shrugged' Part I Trailer

I just don't see anyone wanting to see this in a theater.

'Battle: Los Angeles' Trailer

With a few seconds new footage.

Clip From 'Rango'

Great clip. Movie is looking fantastic.

How did Gore Verbinski get the camera inside the bottle?

'Happythankyoumoreplease' Clip

I don't know...

'Lovers of Hate' Trailer

Getting great write ups.

I'm curious.

'Take Me Home Tonight' Featurette

Riffs on 80s movies.

Dumb, but a lot of heart.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poster for 'Incendies'

Trailer was riveting. Doesn't happen often. Movie has garnered nominations for the Prix Jutra, Genies, and is in the running for the best foreign film Oscar.

Will see.

Appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator

Christopher Orr on 'Just Go With It':

Most of the depressing trends in contemporary Hollywood—the sequels, the reboots, the inferior remakes of foreign-language films, the gradual (if likely temporary) 3D-ification of genre after genre—are easily explained by greed, lack of imagination, or some combination thereof. But a reliably disappointing subcategory that lacks any obvious rationale is the reimagining of good, if perhaps not quite classic, films associated with the latter 1960s and early 1970s.


To this unhappy fellowship may now be added Just Go With It, a remake of the 1969 Gene Saks film Cactus Flower. The movie differs most appreciably from its recent forebears in two ways. First, it had the decency to forego the title of the original film in favor of something more aggressively generic. And second, Just Go With It—the title itself seems a plea to audiences—is so unremittingly awful that it makes nearly impossible any meaningful comparison to the original.

Well. Par for the course when it comes to most Jennifer Aniston products.

Orr's write up is a gem. I usually don't like to cut/paste too much -- feels icky -- but this turn is too good:

The structural alterations, however, pale in comparison to the tonal ones. Cactus Flower was not a "serious" movie, but it was a grown-up one. Just Go With It, by contrast, offers an interminable (and, for our purposes, necessarily incomplete) litany of jokes about breast implants, penile implants, butt implants, erectile dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, testicular injuries, erections, masturbation, overweight women, old women, women with big noses, men with big noses, gay men, lazy Hispanic nannies, lazy Hawaiian nannies, sex with sheep, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of sheep, coconuts rubbed against breasts, coconuts rubbed against crotches, coconuts gripped between ass-cheeks, hands accidentally placed upon boobs, hands accidentally placed in toilets, hands accidentally shit upon, precocious children blackmailing adults, precocious children mimicking cockney accents, and precocious children dropped on their faces in the mud.

Wow, funny. Okay, that's all the text I'll be lifting from this particular piece. (Technically, above paragraph is only a few sentences). Please go read Orr's work. It's very nicely cut.

Did not know JGWI is a remake of 'Cactus Flower'. I don't go in much for older movies, usually. They're just so dated in most cases. Got curious and checked it out. With Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn, this one looks like required viewing. Will check it out.

Really. Go read Orr's review. It'll make your day.

Google Celebrates Edison's Birthday

Google celebrates Thomas Edison's birthday. Not that I care, necessarily, but I like the graphic. See? It moves and the light lights up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trailer for 'Incendies'

You know when a trailer makes you need to know what happens? This one does that.

Can't wait.

'The Adjustment Bureau' Clip

NYT on Pixar

Melena Ryzik and Carpetbagger on working at Pixar, including a video tour of production facilities.

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