Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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 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.
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).
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
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.
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.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
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
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This poster, though, very nice. Makes me wonder...maybe the movie is okay.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Director Kirk Jones has done some good work with 'Everbody's Fine', and 'Waking Ned Devine'.
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.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This new edit is nice, with several seconds new footage.
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.
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.
With scribbled psychic test figures against a white background and the clunky tag "Is anybody there?" this is fairly off-putting.
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.
Monday, January 23, 2012
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.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Not great signs.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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:
That made my day. Great write-up.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
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
Friday, January 13, 2012
Footage looks great. I'm thinking this will hit with audiences.
From the Wikipedia page:
CRASH? There's a dated acronym. Sounds set up to fail. There's more:
It goes on like that. Reads like a bad TV script. Worth a read.
'Rampart' is looking very nice. Set for release February 10. Can't wait.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
(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!
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. 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.
Here's the poster:
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