Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Posters That Make You (Meaning Me) Think -- 'Friends with Kids'

The first thing I know after looking at this poster is 'I gotta see this movie', and right away I'm like 'what'?

I mean, I don't watch this kind of thing. There's some people, some have kids, there's issues related to having kids, lots of talk about having kids or making babies loaded with subtext and pop references, funny situations loaded with subtext and pop references, several scenes in restaurants and bars (drinks in hand) where they talk about having kids and how their lives are so very different (in a funny way) than when they didn't have kids, a character with no kids who everyone envies except he/she is not really happy but only kinda happy and wishes he/she had kids of his/her own even though he/she can see how messed up the lives of the people who have kids are, and in the end everyone learns lessons about what's really important in life (both theirs and those who either do or do not have kids)...not so much for me.

So, why do 'I gotta see this movie' again? Because of Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig. They've become must-see since 'Bridesmaids'. Plus, there's Megan Fox who I like and think can do good work, despite all the bloggers that tell me otherwise. She's up in Judd Apatow's 'This is 40' next, so -- come on. Plus, she plays a character named Mary Jane in this movie. Really -- that's got to mean something.

At this point I will see any movie with Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig. That may change, it's got to change -- at some point. However, it may not. It may never change. Movies with these two funny, smart, believable actors may forever be must-see. We'll see.

For now, we have this poster. The check box thing is kinda clever, you gotta admit. Admit it!


The Seventh Art Video Movie Magazine Goes Up

What is it? Here's what they say:

The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker set in a casual environment.

And, here's the first issue, a talk with documentary filmmaker Ron Mann.


'John Carter' Concept Art

Several pieces rolled out at It's Art Magazine. I especially like this battle ship/aircraft carrier aka The Moving City of Zodanga


Vanity Fair Rolls out the Hollywood Issue

On the cover: Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, and Brit Marling -- all wearing shiny, really shiny, dresses.

The most interesting thing? To me, it's the fact this wasn't shot by Annie Leibovitz. Mario Testino was behind the camera this time (the first time). Is there anything to read into that? Who knows...

Here's the shot. Click image for larger version. Go here for some videos (Rooney Mara talks a bit).


Spanish Poster for 'Shame'

Really, very nice. Way more sense of story/character than US posters. Best yet.


More Morning Popcorn: 'Safe House' Making-Of Featurette

Gets off to a slow start but worth a look. Check out the 3-minute mark.


Morning Popcorn: Trailer for '7500'

Spoiler/Synopsis: People get on a plane with a supernatural force. Crazy stuff happens.


'Chronicle' NYC Flying People Viral Vid

Flick getting more traction all the time.


Steve Martin's 'Roxanne' Newspaper Bit

One of the most original and memorable bits of shtick. Using a wide shot with the guy's back to the camera so we'd hear the reaction, not so much see it in his face, and fill in the rest ourselves was a good choice. I actually went back and saw the movie a second time (yes, in the theater) just for this bit.

You know it's funny if it makes you laugh, all these years later, even though you know what's going to happen.


Monday, January 30, 2012

New 'Lodging Ahead' Poster and Trailer for 'Conception'

The problem is the movie follows nine couples. That's 18 people. (Although, I suppose, considering they're couples, it's still only 9 storylines). But still, it's 18 faces/names -- that's a lot to track. Can that work? Will anybody want to subject themselves to that?

Here's the new poster. Look at all those names. Look!

The tag "It takes more than sex to make a baby" comes off a tad obvious, evokes a 'duh' response. The mostly plain layout doesn't do much, just sorta lays there (apologies). The bed looks like one of those highway signs for 'lodging ahead' and isn't sexy or provocative or...anything -- it's just there. Shouldn't there be two people in that bed? At least that would look like a highway sign for 'lodging ahead, you can stop and have sex like you've wanted to for the last 100 miles'. The sperm penetrating the O is easily understood but it's kinda clinical, evokes a very subtle 'ick' response -- however, it gets the point across.

The original poster was better:

And "Every body has a story" is a fair play on words which also hints at the plenitude of plotlines. The sperm motif wasn't bad, either. Less literal, more conceptual (Once again. apologies. Really, very sorry). I liked this poster. It made me think the movie might be good.

The synopsis doesn't help:

'Conception' is a clever, romantic comedy that proves it takes more than sex to make a baby. From a couple fighting the odds of fertility to young teenagers losing their virginity, the film follows nine very different couples on the night they conceive, showing that sex can sometimes be more neurotic than erotic. The hilarious ensemble cast includes Emmy-winner Julie Bowen and Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”), David Arquette (NEVER BEEN KISSED), Jason Mantzoukas (“The League”), and Alan Tudyk (DODGEBALL).

Very sitcom-y, although we're reassured the movie is both clever and hilarious. Nice... If they had said it's "the funniest movie ever" I'd be there for sure.

Set for a February 24 release. Here's the new trailer.

Tough to follow, yes? Not that engaging? Wears you out? Feeling like you need to pull in for the night, catch some z's? I think you can -- right up the road a bit.


'The Last Belle' Animated Short Film

I'm dawdling around and stumble on this post over at Big Screen Animation about Neil Boyle's 'The Last Belle', which is a short that's painted by hand, cel by cel.

Here's the trailer:

This from the official site:

The Last Belle is an animated short featuring two characters journeying towards a blind date: WALLY, who suffers a nightmarishly drunken trip through London as he races against the clock to the rendezvous; and ROSIE, who waits in a bar dreaming of how wonderful her date is going to be… if he ever shows up.

Although the film is set in contemporary London, the techniques used to bring it to life hark back to the 'golden age' of animation, with over 35,000 individual pieces of artwork drawn, painted and photographed painstakingly by hand. For the production process Director Neil Boyle assembled a team of veteran and younger film artists who enthusiastically swapped their skills and knowledge, with the aim of keeping alive older techniques, while also lending them a modern edge.

The Last Belle features the voice talents of Sienna Guillory (The Time Machine, Resident Evil), Colin McFarlane (The Dark Night, Torchwood) and Amanda Donohoe (Castaway, L.A. Law). The music is by award winning composer Stuart Hancock.

Charming. It's a lot of work, but I prefer it over computer 3D animation.


First Trailer for 'The Cold Light of Day'


Clip from 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

Usually, I can't sit through this kind of fluff, but this flick looks good.


'Cuban Color Temperature'

Need a break? Check this out.

Cuban Color Temperature from Ezaram Vambe on Vimeo.


Not Your Average Thrasher Vid: 'Leeside Skateboard Mayhem'

This is good. Really. This'll put a smile on your face.


Morning Popcorn: Poster for 'Resident Evil: Retribution'


Morning Coffee: Watch First 7 Minutes of 'Drive'



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Teaser and Trailer for 'Thale'

Another great looking film from the Norwegians, who gave us 'Trollhunter' last year (currently undergoing a Hollywood remake).

Couldn't look better. Done with that typical European ease and assurance. A low-tech approach with little (if any) CGI yields a natural film where everything looks real and rings true -- exactly what you want in a supernatural creepshow.

Here's the teaser:

Here's the full trailer which just came out:

A mock-up poster:

Seems very possible we'll see a Hollywood remake of this as well. Just the kind of storyline they dig.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Poster for 'The Hunter'


Trailer for 'The Hunter'

Looks like a fantastic time at the movies.


Two New Featurettes/Trailers for 'Act of Valor'

I've always like this, thought it would find an audience, but considering recent events I'm thinking this flick will get solid traction. Just looks fantastic.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poster and Trailer for 'Brake'

I watched the trailer yesterday -- did nothing for me. 'Buried' on wheels, if you will, but more coarse, direct, blunt...something. Came off total b-flick, stream-only, watch a few minutes at a time.

This poster, though, very nice. Makes me wonder...maybe the movie is okay.


Trailer for 'MS One: Maximum Security' aka 'Lockout'


Animated Poster for 'The Avengers'

No. This doesn't make me feel dorky at all. It's okay to like it. Go ahead. You know you want to like it and watch it for, oh, at least 30 seconds. Go right ahead.


Making-Of Featurette for 'Man on a Ledge'

Nicely edited.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lovely Storybook Poster/Banner for 'The Woman in Black'



Character Posters for 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'

Yeah. I know what you're thinking -- or I prolly do. 'Like, dude, I don't care.' That's what a lot of people said about 'Bridesmaids' when it rolled out...

Director Kirk Jones has done some good work with 'Everbody's Fine', and 'Waking Ned Devine'.

These posters work. Gotta admit. 

International Trailer for 'Red Lights'

Rollout has been shaky, but I have hopes for this one. Good news: 'Red Lights' was just picked up for US distribution by Millennium Entertainment. Bad news: the flick got a 'lackluster reaction' at its Sundance showing according to Anne Thompson, who says, "The film delivers genuine thrills and strong performances from the two leads and Sundance no-show Robert DeNiro as a powerful and dangerous blind telepath (Elizabeth Olsen is just ok in a slight girlfriend role) and could be edited into submission..." and goes on to imply it may not do too well in theatrical release but could score on VOD.

Daniel Feinberg said in his review: "Red Lights" is a generally infuriating and occasionally intriguing muddle of a movie that spins wildly out of control in its final half-hour, climaxing in a two-minute montage of voiceover and exposition that either does or doesn't turn the rest of the movie upside-down in maddening fashion.

Okay, fine. Let's hope the flick gets a killer edit and scores. 'The Devil Inside' was called worse than 'muddled' and look what happened there. In the end, though, it doesn't matter to me -- I love this type stuff. Looking forward.



'Iron Sky' to Premiere at Berlinale Film Festival

Here's Timo with a trailer and the announcement. Shh! Timo's talking!


Trailer for 'Seeking Justice'

I hated the posters, but this trailer seems to have a spine. I clicked start thinking I wouldn't care much, but...not so much. Looks okay.

Apple has it in hi-def


Clips from 'The Grey'

Okay, okay. The wolves look silly. We get that. Still, clips/trailers are good. Good camera. Looks like they put together a decent product -- tough considering the storyline. Can't wait to see this.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' Featurette

Fun. Really.


New Poster for 'The Raven' has Wings


New Trailer for 'The Woman in Black'

Occurs to me this is much like 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark', but that film seemed so theatrical -- everything, all the characters, were kept at a distance. Sequences played kind of sterile, kinda 'play-acty', and a little predictable. 'The Woman in Black' is coming off storybookish but real, within that scope at least. That is, Daniel Radcliffe's character seems like someone we can care about whereas, in Afraid/Dark, the characters seemed like a put-on. And yes, it's not like they've reinvented the wheel -- the bits from 'Woman/Black' are predictable as well, but they seem fresh and play edgy, but not too intense for kids. 'Woman/Black' also seems like more fun, while 'Afraid/Dark' played a little stiff. As such, people may warm to this product more than the other.

This new edit is nice, with several seconds new footage.


Liam Neeson Interview/Featurette 'The Grey'

Several seconds new footage.


Clip from 'Red Lights'

It's not much, but it's a start.

Red Lights Clip by teasertrailer


Red Band Trailer for 'The Grey'

I'm still surprised how effective this footage is. First teaser and poster made this look clunky and by-the-numbers at best. Now, it's looking like something to catch.

Yes, the wolves are kind of a distraction. In wide shots they look drawn, very CGI, and in close shots it's clear they're mechanical. But -- maybe they just represent the 'notion' of wolves. Maybe, they're not supposed to look real and nobody in the production -- not actors, the studio, director, nobody -- cared what the wolves looked like.

Cartoony wolves aside, this is tight, and does a good job of conveying the character's struggles with the cold, hunger, etc. As an exploration of 'man against nature' it works.


'Coriolanus' Clip

Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler pretty much bring it here.


Spanish Poster for 'Red Lights' (Luces Rojas)

The ongoing parade of international posters for our movies that beat our posters for our movies...

Thematic red background. Boilerplate eeriness, intensity -- however, it works here. I especially like De Niro's eyes -- he makes that work when someone else would just look cartoonish. 

Far better than the US teaser.

With scribbled psychic test figures against a white background and the clunky tag "Is anybody there?" this is fairly off-putting. 

Poster aside though, I'm thinking this one will deliver. With that cast -- Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, and Cillian Murphy -- it'll be fun to watch in any case.

What's interesting about both posters is Elizabeth Olsen's name doesn't appear. It should. With the buzz around 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' and, to a lesser extent, the upcoming 'Silent House' she's become a factor. 'Silent House' opens March 9 -- if it does good business, Olsen's involvement will give 'Red Lights' a boost (opens March 2 in Spain, later in the US). If that's the case I'll bet Olsen gets more attention on upcoming US posters and in trailers.

Another thing working for this flick is director Rodrigo Cortés. He got a lot of good notices for 'Buried', which did good business as well.

Teaser trailer didn't create much stir, but it wasn't bad. I'm looking forward to this rollout.

Monday, January 23, 2012

YouTube Announces Your Film Festival

To be run by Ridley Scott, the film fest will accept shorts of up to 15 minutes. These will be judged by Scott and his team, who will select 50 films. These 50 will be voted on by YouTube viewers who will choose 10 finalists which will show at the Venice Film Festival this year. The winning film will be selected by Scott and the other judges at Venice.

Top prize is a $500,000 budget and a chance to turn your short into a feature-length movie with Scott's production company. Entries can be submitted starting February 2.

Details at YouTube's site.


Clips from 'Man on a Ledge'

Not bad.

Not quite as good.

Okay, I'm not going to say this is bad, but it's the kind of action that makes it into drinking games.


'Prometheus' International Poster Shows More Depth

Love the depth and, well, 3D feel. 

Better than the US version:

George Clooney's Post-Globe 'The Descendants' Poster

And why not? He just snagged best actor in the best picture at the Globes.

A far cry from this uncertainty:

Makes you wonder what poster we'll get after the Oscars.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Milla Jovovich for Marella Spring 2012

And here she is with a very different look in 'Resident Evil: Retribution'

Set for release September 14. You can see more of the Marella 2012 line here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Preview/Trailer for 'Man on a Ledge'

Watching this I realize how heavily expository it is. The major reveal is included as well. Not good things for a trailer. Still, even though you know so much, it doesn't seem to move well, doesn't have a lot of energy.

Not great signs.


New Poster for Jason Statham's 'Safe'

More Charming International Posters

These posters for 'Shame' and 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' are simply more charming and engaging than the US counterparts.

Character-centric, more human, more real, just plain better. Something I've mentioned before.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Watch a Crow Snowboarding on Roof

'Cute cat' videos can get tiresome but this is good.


Zippy New Trailer for 'Act of Valor'

I'm thinking this is gaining a lot of steam.


Mash-up of Lionel Richie's 'Hello (Is It Me You're Looking For)'

Movie dialogue mash-up of Lionel Richie's 'Hello (Is It Me You're Looking For)'. From Vimeo user ant1mat3rie.

Hat tip Gawker


Quote of the Day

I was struck by this from AP reporter David Germain. In regard to Jean Dujardin winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in 'The Artist' Germain said:

Dujardin became the first star in a silent film to earn a major Hollywood prize since the early days of film.

That made my day. Great write-up.

Clip From 'The Woman in Black'


Monday, January 16, 2012

Trailer for Hulu's Original Series 'Battleground'

Directed by Richard Linklater. Hulu has 13 episodes ordered at 22 minutes each.


New 'Iron Sky' Trailer and a Message from Timo

Shh! It's starting! Timo's talking!


Poster for 'Friends with Kids'

Haven't decided about this. Trailer is okay -- movie could go either way. Poster is pretty good, though. Kinda indie, kinda commercial -- just right probably. Features people drinking booze -- kinda rare.


Poster for 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tom Lowe's 'TimeScapes'

Have you seen this guy's work yet? Here's a bit of Vincent Laforet's write-up:

There are few people in this world that are as special as Tom Lowe.   Most of you know him as one of the pre-eminent time-lapse photographers/filmmakers out there who has been redefining the medium for years now on Timescapes.  (Tom was named  Astronomy Photographer of the Year last year.)     Tom has worked with Terrence Malick and many other pre-eminent filmmakers in fact (and given how humble Tom is – he’ll probably be upset I mentioned Terrence’s name.)   Tom is also an author, a Gulf War Veteran and generally a Zen master.   Tom has lived outside of his pickup truck for more than a year, on top of freezing mountains and in the desert for months at a a time.  Granted he’s gotten to witness some of the most beautiful sites that our land offers.

Tom is out to raise the bar even higher now – with his 4K film "Timescapes" that he’s been working on tirelessly for close to two years now.    He’s been shooting with Kessler motion control cranes and dollies,  lenses from Canon / Leica / RED / Duclos, and Arri Master Primes, with RED’s Epic camera,  the Canon 5D MKII  and the PL-modified Canon 1D MKIV by Denz as well – to produce some of the most gorgeous footage I’ve ever seen shot on this continent in the last decade. 

Here's a look at the results (best played at 720p -- control will appear on lower right of player after you click play):

You can pre-order 'TimeScapes' here.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Still of Noomi Rapace in 'Prometheus'


Trailer for 'Upside Down'

First 'Melancholia' now this -- Kirsten Dunst is becoming the queen of quirky movies. Of the trailer all I can say is 'wow'.


New Storybook Poster for 'The Woman in Black'

This campaign is going well. I like the storybook illustration quality of this.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trailer/Featurette for 'Act of Valor'

Here's another movie, the biggest yet it seems, to be shot on a Canon 5D SLR. Others include Quentin Dupieux's 'Rubber', the thriller 'La Casa Muda' (remade as 'The Silent House'), a complete episode of 'House', and the opening title sequence of 'Saturday Night Live'.

Footage looks great. I'm thinking this will hit with audiences.


New Trailer/Featurette for 'The Woman in Black'

Pretty much a collection of stock shots, but so well done. Will go great on a rainy Sunday.


Poster for 'John Dies at the End'


Poster for 'Detachment'


Trailer for 'Detachment'

Adrien Brody is so good. Comes fully loaded with Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, and James Caan.


New Trailer for 'Chronicle'

New footage, new plot elements. Must-see if you're a fan.


Trailer/Featurette for 'MS One: Maximum Security'

 I know, but I can't resist this type flick.

MS ONE - Maximum Security : Making-of Snow the... by Lyricis


Trailer for 'West of Memphis'


New Poster for Woody Harrelson's 'Rampart'

Great new poster. Must-see. Must-freaking-see. Harrelson plays a cop trying to deal with the fallout of the LAPD Rampart scandal. This is a cool story. When I first saw trailers I figured it was all a bit of Hollywood hyperbole. It looked good -- didn't come off comic bookish, but just seemed a little convenient. But...not. Not even.

From the Wikipedia page:

The Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were implicated in misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities.[1]

CRASH? There's a dated acronym. Sounds set up to fail. There's more:

On November 6, 1997, $722,000 was stolen in an armed robbery of a Los Angeles branch of Bank of America. After one month of investigation, assistant bank manager Errolyn Romero confessed to her role in the crime and implicated her boyfriend, LAPD officer David Mack, as the mastermind. Mack was sentenced to 14 years and three months in federal prison. He has never revealed the whereabouts of the money, bragging to fellow inmates that he will be a millionaire[7] by the time he is released.

It goes on like that. Reads like a bad TV script. Worth a read.

Love the detail. You might have missed it:

'Rampart' is looking very nice. Set for release February 10. Can't wait.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another Beautiful French Poster. This time, for 'Ghost Rider'

As usual, a foreign poster that's better than ours. This looks like a touching little indie drama about a flaming skeleton who rides a motorcycle across country to, say, visit his son, who he's never met, and try to make amends with his ex for the wayward years he spent chasing loose women and committing nefarious deeds.

(Excuse me a moment, I've got something in my eye).

It just looks like a movie I'd want to see. How do they do it? The French are especially good at coming up with compelling one sheets no matter what genre the movie may be or what the budget was. Like this one for 50/50:

In case you've never seen it or purged it from memory, let's review the US take:

See what I mean. Can't compare to the French one.

Compare this US poster for Peter Weir's 'The Way Back':

To this french version:

Differences are subtle, but add up. For instance, in ours two characters make eye contact with the viewer while two don't. An inconsistency. In theirs, none are looking at us.

In ours the men are cleaner shaven, in theirs they look much more haggard, which certainly fits with the plot.

The color balance in ours is much cooler. Theirs is warm, inviting, almost lush, and evokes a more emotional response.

In theirs, the background (behind the three men) is more dramatic, interesting, even striking. In ours, the background imagery is more plain, stripped down, even boring.

The bottom panel in ours shows a man with his arms raised as if in celebration. Why? The movie is about an arduous journey on foot undertaken in winter. It's not arriving someplace and celebrating. The bottom panel in the French poster is a far better match to the movie's plot, depicting ragged figures trudging across the landscape kicking up dust and being watched by a bird of prey.

Taken together, these small differences make one graphic compelling and the other almost off-putting. What's worse, the effect is sub-conscious. You'd hardly be aware what you were feeling and would simply write off the movie as something to stream or rent if you only saw the US poster.

I see this kind of thing and comment about it all the time. Foreign posters are almost always better than ours. I protest. I want good posters, too. I deserve it. Nay! We deserve it!

First Poster for Peter Jackson's Doc 'West of Memphis'

This from Wikipedia:

The West Memphis Three are three men who were tried and convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment. During the trial, the prosecution asserted that the children were killed as part of a satanic ritual.[1][2][3] A number of documentaries have been based on the case, and celebrities and musicians have held fund raisers in the belief that they are innocent.

In July 2007, new forensic evidence was presented in the case and a status report jointly issued by the State and the Defense team stated, "Although most of the genetic material recovered from the scene was attributable to the victims of the offenses, some of it cannot be attributed to either the victims or the defendants." On October 29, 2007, the defense filed a Second Amended Writ of Habeas Corpus, outlining the new evidence.[4]

After a series of appeals regarding the DNA evidence,[5][6][7] including an argument before the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2010, the West Memphis Three reached a deal with prosecutors. On August 19, 2011, they entered Alford pleas, which allow them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. Judge David Laser accepted the pleas and sentenced the three to time served. They were released with ten-year suspended sentences, having served 18 years and 78 days in prison

Here's the poster:

New Clip from 'The Woman in Black'

I love this. We need more of this.


New Clip from 'The Divide'

More intriguing all the time.

Here's a couple more clips.


First Trailer for Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Apple has it.

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