Tuesday, October 01, 2013

My (New) New Blog Address -- or -- How Stupid Was That?

Okay, I went and moved to my new blog and was sure to tell everyone who reads MoovyBoovy about the change with a link and everything. Then, I changed the name (and, of course, the web address) of the new blog and, as such, anyone who had linked to the old address will be hitting thin air.

So, here's the (new) new address:


It's a small change but I like '101 to LA' better than '101 tola'. So, if you still come here to MoovyBoovy and you're still interested in following me, you can at the address above. If I lost you forever, well, I guess that's that.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Like An SNL Skit About Something That's Not That Funny That We See All The Time Anyway

'A.C.O.D.' is a pretty bad title. It's a made-up acronym. Yeah, sure, there are (adult) children of divorced parents, however nobody refers to these people as ACODs, and I don't see too many people stepping up to the box office saying, "Two tickets for ACOD, please."

Then, there's the acting. Adam Scott's technique is a throwback, a collection tics and stammering that it's safe to say went out of style some years ago, that really is only seen in SNL skits anymore, if then. He's good at it, well-practiced I believe would be the best assessment, but I don't think anyone will buy into his character or will want to sit through scenes like this for 90 minutes.

Then, there's the situation: This guy decides to marry a girl he's been dating for four months. Who cares? Marry her. Get divorced in five or six years. The situation doesn't come off as 'situational' comedy. It's more like everyday life. I'm sure they mine the situational quirks for all they're worth, but it feels flat.

You know what would make this into a, technically speaking, situational gag? If she didn't speak English, or if she were one of two conjoined twins, or from another planet. Now, that's "Situational".

Okay. I'm not going to be publishing on MoovyBoovy much longer. If you'd like to read the rest of this you can at my new blog


Thursday, September 19, 2013

My New Blog

If you'd like to keep following me, here's my new blog.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Moving To Los Angeles

This is my last post on this blog. I'm moving to 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to LA. (I know, a little corny but...)

I want to write about a variety of stuff and MoovyBoovy has always been strictly about movies. At the new blog I'll cover photography, filmmaking, screenwriting, cooking and wine, short stories and longer form fiction in installments, maybe some gardening, as well as whatever else strikes my fancy.

The change corresponds with a move from Seattle, where I've lived for several years, to Los Angeles. The trip to LA should take a while. I'm in no hurry whatsoever. In fact, I'm prepared to stay on the road for six to eight months. As such, at first, there will be tons of travel related posts and landscape photography. I'll also post video of the trip most days.

Once in LA my movie blogging should take a turn. You'd think living in the center of the motion picture industry would do that. My industry-related write-ups should become more substantial. At least, I hope so.

I see myself doing a lot of travel after settling in so 101tola will remain a travel blog to some extent. I'll be leaving soon. Hope you'll tag along.

New Footage from 'Carrie'

Potentially so good.

Pretty Much Gotta-Watch Trailer for 'Last Days On Mars'

If Liev Schreiber is in it I'll check it out. Popcorn, lots of butter.

If you liked that, check this out from Space.com posted a couple days ago. Seriously, click play.

A Little Bit Dumb, A Little Bit Fun

Okay, don't admit it. Just keep telling yourself, "This is too dumb for me. This is too dumb for me."

I love it. They got it right.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

So, It's A Tie? Or, They Die?

In Scott Bowles' write up about Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone's new romp 'Grudge Match' director Peter Segal mentions using old footage of both actors training for 'Raging Bull' and 'Rocky'. Cool. That alone would be interesting to see. I'm looking forward.

Segal also mentions shooting multiple endings in order to keep the real ending secret. In one, during the boxing match Stallone's character wins. In another, De Niro's character wins. In a third, they both die.

That's right. Die.

Here's a clip from the link above:

That also appeared in the printed newspaper.

I find it hard to believe either of these actors would agree to have his character die in the end. However, how could one win and the other lose? For comedic value, and seeing how there's not too many other choices, I could see both guys dying in the ring. That would be funny. I can hear them laughing now.

However, at this link it says they tie at the end.

Ties, not dies. Ties. T-ies.

Okay, that's better. How else could you end a movie like this? It has to be a tie, right? De Niro vs. Stallone = tie. Has to be.

But maybe, they both collapse and it looks like they're dead, and the crowd is shocked, then they wake up and realize what's happened and it's really embarrassing and they agree their boxing days are over, shake hands and go have a cup of tea. That would be good. That's what I'd go with. If it were me.

Now that that's settled, on to the really important stuff.

(I'm moving. My new blog is 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to Los Angeles. I'll be double posting here and at the new blog for a while, then retiring MoovyBoovy.)

The Violence in 'Prisoners'

I agree with Hugh Jackman -- real violence is far more gruesome than the silly operatic fights in action or superhero movies. Still, I don't really believe 'Prisoners' will go there. Maybe, but I doubt it. It's just too ugly.

Jackman mentions a scene with a hammer. Really? This movie will depict someone getting hit with a hammer? There may be intense moments, very focused acting, but when it comes down to it I'm thinking there will be a swing, a scream, then a bloodied face (or hand or whatever).

An angry man of Jackman's size, stressed out, not thinking, filled with repulsion toward Paul Dano's (character), desperate to get information about his missing daughter, could easily destroy someone's face with a single hammer blow.

I do hope they deliver. We see too much prettied-up stagey fights and violence in movies. If a movie is going to go there it should be, in many cases, much more realistic. It's not about gore, it's about taking responsibility. You have to own up to what you depict. Say, "This is real. This is what happens when you hit or shoot someone. They don't just walk away. There are consequences."

'Star Trek Into Darkness' Title Sequence Making-Of Video

Kinda tech-geeky, but cool.

Star Trek Into Darkness Title Design from Andrew Kramer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't Blink, Don't Breathe, Mesmerizing

Wow. Nice footage. Great edit. Seriously, you don't blink during this.

'Rush' is looking like a classic good time at the movies. People will love this.

They're Both Likeable. The Counselor and the Other Guy

Yeah, they're bad. They've done bad stuff. I still like them. Good acting/direction -- when you care about the bad guys.

Good writing as well -- Cormac McCarthy wrote the screenplay. But, dialogue comes off busy. Is that just these characters, here, in this scene, nervous and too talky or is the whole script like that? I wonder.

I like the camera here, too. Dariusz Wolski gets that 'you are there' feel without going all jittery. Looks like some on sticks, some on shoulder -- nice mix, doesn't work well much of the time.

This movie is put together.

Lush Looking 'Rush'

They really did a nice job capturing the look of the 70s. I'm sure cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle shot on film but post was likely done digitally. End result is lush and crisp with colors that are both muted and saturated -- the best you could hope for. I also like the grainy look. Apt for the period.

German 'The Counselor' Character Poster for Javier Bardem -- More Funny Hair

 The guy plays characters with funny hair. Just saying.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Looking More Like Something Worth Watching

The campaign for 'The Family' got off to a rough start. Early trailers played up the movie as a standard fish-out-of-water caper and it was flat. So flat. I couldn't really watch them. The movie looked dumb.

Thing is, this was a classic case of trying to make an edgy (I'm guessing) comedy with some pretty hardcore violence, or at least graphics acts of violence, look like a fluffy comedy that the average person might like. And it is, except for the violence.

Sure, it's not gritty. This isn't an exposé of gang/mafia life, but it does depict some pretty brutal stuff. It may not replicate all those beatings and acid baths, but it makes like the real thing. So, those first trailers weren't being honest and, as usual, they came off like they had something to hide. I thought it because the movie didn't have teeth. Turns out it was that the movie does, in fact, have teeth, and it looks pretty damn funny.

Liking much better. I want to see this now.

Oh, and, dear Marketing: Don't pull your punches.

I'm moving. My new blog is 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to Los Angeles. I'll be double posting here and at the new blog for a while, then retiring MoovyBoovy. 

Admit It. It's A Bad Title

Really? 'A.C.O.D.'?

Enjoy this title primer-slash-attempt to salvage this movie.

ARE YOU AN A.C.O.D.? - watch more funny videos     

I'm moving. My new blog is 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to Los Angeles. I'll be double posting here and at the new blog for a while, then retiring MoovyBoovy.

Dramatic, But Real Enough?

Based on the true story of Eric Lomax, who was a British Army officer and prisoner in a Japanese camp in WWII.

Not sure what to make of the trailer. Apparently, the rating for the US version hasn't been decided. That's crucial. With movies like '12 Years A Slave', which seems to look history in the eye, a PG-13 version of 'The Railway Man' may not play well.

This particular trailer lacks a strong hook.

I'm moving. My new blog is 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to Los Angeles. I'll be double posting here and at the new blog for a while, then retiring MoovyBoovy.

Monday, September 09, 2013

The New 'TV' -- or -- Why Movie Theater Attendance Is Down

Definitions are changing. Not that that's a secret. More often these days, the best movies are found on 'TV' (which now goes in quotes).

The only thing about this new HBO series that's television-esque is the title -- 'True Detective', which may as well be the latest boilerplate cop procedural to roll out on the networks. However, with Matthew McCanaughey and Woody Harrelson, directed by Cary Fukunaga, and written by Nic Pizzolatto, the series has the look of a feature movie.

I used to hate TV. Long story short: I thought it was stupid and couldn't stand to watch. Now, much of the time, I think movies (in theaters) aren't worth my time and, about 45 minutes in, having gotten dressed, driven to the theater at a given time, stood in line and purchased a ticket, etc., I regret going out to see them and wish I was at home watching something I like on DVD or, increasingly, television.

The tables have turned. The future of movies at the theater is looking more bleak all the time. With stuff like 'True Detective' it's little wonder theater attendance is down.

I'm moving. My new blog is 101-to-la, as in highway 101 to Los Angeles. I'll be double posting here and at the new blog for a while, then retiring MoovyBoovy.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Funny. I Actually Laughed

And, I actually wonder what's going to happen (next). Where does this story go?

Looks good. Wanna see.

Give A Man A Mask And He Will Tell You The Truth -- aka -- 'The Fifth Estate'

The quote by Oscar Wilde is: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

If journalism is The Fourth Estate then, yes, online writing, where bloggers say what they want, publish any information or opinion they see fit, all without being accountable to any regulatory entity or held to a professional standard, is The Fifth Estate.

While much blogging is rambling or ranting or simply irresponsible gibberish, it can be argued that much of what we read in newspapers, on major news websites or television networks, is colored, if not tainted, by some slant or another, by some political association, or by some executive (corporate or otherwise) or editor whose concern is not, strictly speaking, centered on finding and reporting the truth. 

If the conventional journalist is constrained by professional politesse or fear of losing their job (or even being prosecuted and jailed), then can we fully trust him or her? Is it not, in many cases, the non-professional writer, the blogger, who is most honest, least afraid to voice an opinion?

Have we arrived at a time when it's no longer traditional journalism, major newspapers, networks, and websites, which keep puppet masters on their toes? Perhaps that task has been taken up by the lowly blogger, often untrained and perhaps fairly called a hobbyist who doodles in their spare time, anonymous and (yes) masked, who publishes, usually irresponsibly, without concern for repercussions, on the internet, discussion boards, and social sites.

Does it take a hacker, a fearless publisher (whose identity often remains secret), to remind us of what is really happening?

When it comes to informing the public of what the powers that be would rather remain unknown, it may have, in the last decades, become necessary to depend on masked rogues to do the reporting. And, by doing so, is this person a criminal?

I like this featurette. The subject is perhaps too nuanced for normal trailers, which didn't do much for me. A more in depth examination sells the movie better. Really, I can't wait.


Yeah, we may actually see lines for this one. Think of it. Lines of people wanting to see a movie. How often does that happen anymore?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Very Rare Quality

'12 Years a Slave' seems uninterested in treating the audience in a normal fashion. That is, the movie doesn't pander, doesn't strive to entertain, doesn't chase box office, and (seemingly) is prepared to faithfully recreate a very ugly chapter in U.S. history. '12 Years a Slave' looks completely removed from the overly polite, too glossy, and overtly commercial portrayals we're used to.

This movie should be as rewarding to the average viewer as it will be to the cinephile or, for that matter, the historian. I don't think a movie about slavery has done that. This is new. If the movie is as compelling as this footage director Steve McQueen is to be applauded.

Another Hit For 'Gravity'

These trailers rock. Just when you thought you couldn't be more impressed...

James Cameron has said this is the "best space photography ever done, I think it's the best space film ever done..."

I haven't seen the movie but, yes, this is the best footage depicting outer space I've seen.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

'Mitty' On The Moon -- This One's For You, Pal

The release of these posters, one or two a day, is about as good, almost as entertaining, as most movies.

We all connect with Walter Mitty, the office schlub who wants out, wants to do something, anything. He sits at his desk performing his drab job year after year, month after month, week after week, Friday after Friday, and the dreaded Mondays.

Who hasn't been there? These posters are for everyone who has -- which is all of us.

Great Trailer. Don't Know About The Movie

'Runner Runner' has a great title, great premise, but lousy trailers...until now. This one, largely due to tight editing, looks good.

So, is it a typical popcorn B-flick with predictable twists and situations in which characters play their cards exactly as we've seen before, or is 'Runner Runner' a tight suspense thriller?

If I had only seen this trailer I'd be looking forward to the movie.

Now, Which Martial Arts Keanu Reeves Movie Is This Again -- 'Man of Tai Chi' Trailer

He's in so many. It's, like, his thing. This isn't '47 Ronin', though. 'Man of Tai Chi'. That title...so doesn't flow. Neither does this trailer. Looks okay, but not too smooth. All things Tai Chi should be smooth, yes?

Movie opened first in China (where it didn't sizzle). That could become the norm the way things are going. For this flick, though, it was probably just a safe play.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

'Under the Skin' Trailer

Wow. Freaky, engaging. Here's hoping. From director Jonathan Glazer, who did a nice job with the edgy 'Birth'.

And Another Poster for 'Mitty'

It's a good campaign but, possibly, coming up with posters that illustrate how the average desk job can be stifling and how the average desk-jockey dreams of breaking into a more exciting life is like shooting fish in a barrel. But...yes, good campaign, good posters, looking like a good movie.

Spanish Language Poster for 'Mitty'

Just good. Great concept.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Here's A Story

'Linsanity'. Love that.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mitty Soars

It's hard to come up with good posters. So many are flat, predictable. This one works. Captures what the flick is about.

I'm liking this movie.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Non-Digital, Gritty

'Getaway' will make money. This should come in #1. They've put together something people want to see.

How, though, is this different from 'Fast/Furious' and why should it draw an audience? I think it's the realness of the stunts. We're just tired of CGI, too-smooth, weird looking action. Not that FF is loaded with CGI, but... Okay, so that leads me to the next thing -- It's not as comic-bookish as FF. Real? Realistic? Maybe not, but more real than FF.

There's also a level of immersion in the action that comes from having all those cameras. An average of 25-30 per take? That's coverage. I think people will respond.

That begs the question -- FF doesn't immerse the viewer? Not so much. There's a distance to the FF camera work (possibly due to striving to avoid destroying expensive cameras). FF has a gloss 'Getaway' doesn't have. Slick and clean vs. gritty and messy.

Then, there's the nature of antagonism. In FF, it's operatic. Gang vs. gang. Kinda impersonal, kinda so-what. In 'Getaway' it's mano a mano, albeit via video uplink. I think people want to see that. The 'Voice' vs. this poor slob in a muscle car. Audiences will want to see how that turns out.

Another Mesmerizing Trailer for 'The Turning'

It's got a natural energy I wouldn't expect from this kind of effort. It flows, but without trying. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Remake That's Looks Better Than The Original

It's weird. Yes. Especially considering how good 'Somos Lo Que Hay' was. Jim Mickle directs (the original was directed by Jorge Michel Grau).

Mickle did good work visually with 'Stake Land' and the footage here is totally nailed down. Reviews are good.

Come On. He Kills The Monster While Saving A Puppy?

I guess standard-issue heroics aren't enough anymore. Movie is looking good, though.

'Dallas Buyers Club' Trailer

Massive. Wow. Matthew McConaughey is so money right now. Good to see Jennifer Garner again.

New Trailer for 'Carrie'

Eeesh, this looks good. Love the look at 2:22. Nice, contemporary, scary. Music works well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kevin Spacey Re: TV/Movies/Content/Story And Giving The Viewer What They Want

If you haven't seen this it pretty much sums it up.

Asian and German Trailers for 'Captain Phillips'

Nicely done and, yes, better than what we got though the voice work in the German trailer isn't very smooth.

Friday, August 23, 2013

'The Monuments Men' Poster -- Sometimes, All You Need To Do Is Show Who's In The Movie

It's like that poster for 'Last Vegas' we got a couple days ago. Just a shot of the leads dressed for a night on the town. And, because of who they are, the shot works, sells the movie.

Same here. Maybe not as much focus, but it works. Well, let's put it this way: If this poster doesn't sell the movie nothing will (probably).

The Buzz Of The Day: You Know Who Will Play You Know Who

I guess I'm not an expert. I'm first to admit -- I ain't no fanboy. Don't have the vocabulary, don't know the storylines, don't...really...care.

And, sure, Jeremy Jahns is erudite to say the least. The guy knows his geeky stuff. However, I disagree. Ben Affleck strikes me as the perfect Batman. Thinking about it though, as Jahns mentions toward the end of the video, Affleck makes the perfect Bruce Wayne...but Batman? Maybe, not so much. I'll give him that.

The thing I don't get, for sure, is the tentative title of this flick: 'Batman vs. Superman'. Wha? How does Batman fight Superman? (I'll give you a moment).

Nonetheless, I'm willing to wait and see. I'm thinking they'll knock it out of the park. And, if not (please, no) Affleck can start his comeback all over again.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' -- Finished in 2006, Coming to Theaters October 11 (2013)

That's right. Finally. Mandy Lane arrives this October, in time for Halloween. Ooooh.

'Thanks for Sharing' International Trailer

It's the perfect blend of indie sensibility and commercial appeal. Plus, it just looks smart. (Thinking about it, that's not such a tough thing these days).

And, that cast. Love Mark Ruffalo. He nails every role to the floor. The guy could recite the alphabet and audiences would be slack-jawed. Gwyneth Paltrow is fairly radiant. She and Ruffalo click. Tim Robbins brings all that technique (I thought he quit or something).

Director Stuart Blumberg is trustworthy here, with this subject. Come on, the guy wrote 'The Kids Are Alright', and there's something about him that says, "Don't worry. I know what I'm doing with this."

And that story: A sex addict in group sessions meets hot babe and is afraid of their relationship being ruined by his condition. That can't have a pat ending. Can't. Not possible. Like, just what ending could you tack onto this that people could see coming?

'Thanks for Sharing' has to be good. Has to. Therapy starts 9/20.

Another 'Dark' Film? Enough With The Dark.

This one is 'Monsters: Dark Continent' which is about the dumbest title I've heard in a while. But, the footage is good.

Gareth Edwards is executive producer. TV showrunner Tom Green directs.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Gripping Featurette?

These are usually pure fluff. I almost fall asleep in the middle of most. Not this one. Gotta say, it's involving to say the least. 'Gripping', maybe not. How could it be? That might be going too far. But, it's close.

Glimpses of footage, with its deep blue cast that turns any time of day into gloomiest twilight, are chilling. Very nice camera work from cinematographer Eduard Grau and director David M. Rosenthal.

Sam Rockwell is transcendental. Who else could make a drawling hillbilly (his word, not mine) so compelling?

The kind of flick I love to curl up with on a rainy night with the windows open just a bit.

Title and Plot A Little Cheesy But, Wow, Classy Poster

Maybe I shouldn't call it cheesy. 'Last Vegas' isn't that bad a play on words and the plot (okay, with four older leading men I don't need to spell out the plot) could make for a fun time. Could be cheesy beyond belief, but could be fun.

However, the understated grace and elegance of this poster sells me completely on the movie. We get so many bad posters it's such a relief to see one done this well. And, even if we didn't get so many bad posters it's still good to see one this cool.

These guys look great.

Now, all we need is a better trailer than the ones we've gotten and it's a done deal.

'Parkland' Trailer

I never would have thought this could be compelling. But it is. Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

International Pressure-Cooker Trailer for 'The Counselor'

If the movie delivers what the trailer promises it'll work. It'll be good.

'Taken' With Fast Cars -- aka -- 'Getaway'

It's the line at the end of the trailer -- "First I'm coming for my wife, then I'm coming for you" -- that reminds me of the 'Taken' setup. And, hearing it for the first time in this trailer, I'm struck that they may hope for this to kick off a franchise. Though, how exactly you'd manage to get this structure in more than one movie -- guy with a fast car races to complete tasks in time while a guy threatens his wife/family -- I don't know, but that's what they're hinting at.

Although, the protag could wrap things up nicely by robbing the bank, then managing to get the 'voice' all in one movie, but that's asking a lot. It's looking like Voice may appear in another movie...'Getaway 2'.

Still, trailer moves at a clip and the action has that 70s grit, that realness people miss, and Ethan Hawke has cred right now. This could score.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's Going To Happen Next

David Lowery has a command of the medium. It shows in every second of footage I've seen from 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'.

Anne Thompson did an interview with the director (very worth watching) in which he said he wanted each shot to have a purpose, and you certainly feel that. I haven't seen pure fluff shots from Lowery.

Lowery shoots so that you want to know what's just out of frame. How that is an indicator of good camera work I don't know, but I've noticed the same sort of thing in (good) movies that aren't shot with classical camera technique -- ones that use a lot of hand-held camera. Conversely, if you're wondering what's out of frame in a movie with classical camera work, it's often a sign of poor framing (although there must be times when everything is done just so and you still want to know what's out of frame).

Thompson mentions how Lowery has been compared to Terrence Malick. You can see the similarity but, to me, Lowery's work has more forward motion. You wonder what's going to happen next.

Malick's camera often meanders. Lowery's camera just looks like it's meandering when, really, it's purposeful and precise.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

(Really Nice) International Poster for '2 Guns'

I guess it's the international poster cause the movie's played here. And, again, as usual, this one sheet beats the hell out of what we got. Remember this cringer?

Generic design (or lack of it. This is just a still from the movie with some added graphics), action-y helicopter and money with post-production blur smeared on, and -- yeah -- that's about it unless you count the way big font title that barely fits in frame.

Here's the international take. Nice. Graphic. Elegant. Seriously. I'd put this on the wall. Our version? Just crumple it up and toss it over your shoulder.

Why is this stuff too good for the US market? Why? Are we so effing vapid that a nicely designed poster would be a waste? You gotta wonder...

Beautiful, Elegant, Smart

'Blue Caprice' has a stillness. There's a smoothness and power, and yes, an underlying eeriness.

I like how the make and color of the car used by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo yields a title with double entendre.

The definition of caprice from Merriam-Webster:

a: a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action

b : a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes

I like the poster, too. There's a quiet energy -- peaceful and unsettling. The main characters are marginalized, almost out of frame. They seem dejected and look to be considering something of some weight. Storm clouds hover.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

'Don Jon' Strikes Again

Man, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has hit it out of the park. Scarlett Johansson never looked better. And, Tony Danza is in this? With Julianne Moore?

This even has a story with potentially excellent subtext -- the whole 'movies vs. reality' thing. Engaging. Well thought out.

'Don Jon' is cruising. Wow. Must-see.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Is 'The Further' And Why Should We Care?

This is such a throwback to the pysch-horror of the 70s and 80s. Think 'Phantasm' mashed with 'Flatliners'.

I like it. This featurette gives me doubts, makes me wonder. It's just that anytime you have to explain the premise of a movie, especially a horror flick, it's not a good thing. You should be able to hit the ground running when it comes to plot details and the world the story takes place in. There just isn't enough time for explaining stuff in genre flicks. There may have been in the 70s and 80s but today's audience doesn't want to sit through that. Not so much.

All in all, 'Insidious 2' isn't looking as organic as the first one. But still, I like it. I'm willing to give this a shot.

A Threesome Is...Two Thousand Bucks

Yeah, this puts a smile on your face. Charming. Don't like the title much but, charming.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Arresting Image

This, at least, makes me wonder what they've got. The tag: "The JFK assassination as you've never seen it before," is a pretty tall order.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Drop Everything Trailer for 'The Monuments Men'

Wow. My life is worth living again.

How Often is a Trailer Engrossing?

Really. This looks stunning. This made me forget I was watching a trailer. Doesn't happen often.

What a story. Can't wait.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lots Of Potential

There isn't a second of this trailer that isn't completely assured, compelling. It all, moment to moment, holds so much promise of a good story, gratifying movie experience. The editing, even the music, is just right.

Looks like Ridley Scott has delivered. Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Nice Clips

Ridley Scott's 'The Counselor' is looking very good. Not just tonality, potential depth of story, character, etc., but they way it looks. The picture. It's great.

This was shot on the Red Epic with Panavision and Angenieux lenses. Not like that's new, but here, for some reason, the look is different. Wonderful clarity/separation in colors with both controlled highs and fairly deep lows all in the same shots. I wonder if there's a reason or if I'm imagining things. Could it be a frame-rate/shutter speed combo? New glass? New sensor?

Maybe it's just a new codec from YouTube. I heard Google was rolling one out.

Looking forward to seeing this on the big screen. Would not want to watch at home without know what it looked like in theater.

Monday, August 05, 2013

'Don Jon' Sneaking Up

We get a new still and poster. Due September 27. I'm betting it'll be one of the best of the year.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

More Action, Less Social Commentary

Everybody knows Neill Blomkamp's movies are loaded with social commentary. That may have worked for 'District 9' but with 'Elysium' the idea hasn't added much. I'd say it's drained some of the energy from the campaign.

Here, though, we finally get a trailer for the masses. Looking for pure action? This sells 'Elysium' as just that.

Thing is, buzz is flat and I'm thinking it's a bit too late. This should have been the first trailer. They should have sold the movie up front as a popcorn action flick then let on just how much of a 99%-us-vs.-them vibe it has later on, once prospective audiences were locked in.

But, better late than never. This is the best 'Elysium' trailer so far.

Okay, I'll Watch. Trailer for Diablo Cody's 'Paradise'

Some don't like her. Not sure why. I think it's because she was a stripper and that rubs people the wrong way. Actually, I think it's because she started out like the average person and is now a Hollywood player.

I like Diablo Cody. She can write. 'Young Adult' and 'Juno' have a spine, a core, ring true, are entertaining, and fairly irresistible. 'Jennifer's Body' I don't know about, haven't seen it. But, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on that one. 

Can Cody direct? Not so sure. But, I'm sure she can at least point the camera in the right direction, get coverage, then let someone edit it all together into something cohesive. And, when the script is by a writer like Cody, that's about all the directing technique you need.

'Paradise' is Cody's directorial debut and the only way I have to judge it is that, watching the trailer, I cared and actually wanted to get to know the character, a Las Vegas bartender, played by Russell Brand. So what, you ask. Well, I don't connect with Brand. I don't like anything he's done up till now. Not that he's a bad actor, per se, it's that his method of bringing a character to life has never meant anything to me. Brand could do a great job yet there's something about him, his personality or acting chops, that yields a portrayal with no traction. It's just like air. There's nothing there.

That said, watching this trailer I did, in fact, like Brand's work and wanted to see where things went with his character. As for the rest of the cast, well, they're fine. I have no qualms with them. I'll go where ever they take me. However, when a director can make me care about an actor whose very presence in a movie had in the past made it a write-off for me, that's got to be considered a good thing.

As such, even if Cody lacks a technical approach to directing she has a great way with actors. And, besides, she could be a great technical director. So, if that's the case, it's a win-win.

So, because there's something in the way Diablo Cody directs and/or Russell Brand's reaction to her script, that made his performance so compelling even in this short trailer, yeah, I'll watch 'Paradise'. When a guy as (previously) off-putting as Russell Brand makes you want to see a movie and, in large part, is the most compelling reason for wanting to see the movie aside from intangibles like the involvement of a very cool writer and first-time director, that is simply something you can't ignore.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Remember, It's "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Yeah, Daniels has a way with actors. They respond to him. You can see it frame to frame.

I don't usually go for this kind of bio pic but (Lee Daniels' [Don't wanna get busted for copyright infringement]) The Butler has something special. This has awards bait written all over it and, stylistically, plot-wise, camera-wise, doesn't look special, but those performances... They rise above.

The poster is much the same. The lead character is literally draped in the American flag, yet it works, doesn't come off hokey. Nice graphic. Gets the job done.

I think people will respond. Gotta see this.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Sometimes, Something Good Comes Along. Trailer for 'All is Lost'

Watching this reminds me how good movies can be. Wow.


Remember, It's A Red Band Trailer

Are they trying too hard or does it really flow? I wonder.

Trailer is good, though. I'll give it that.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

'Lone Survivor' Rollout

Based on the book "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10" by Marcus Luttrell.

Trailer doesn't quite click. The pieces don't snap together and a couple are missing. However, ' Lone Survivor' looks excellent. Universal likes it. Slated for a December 27th release.

Christmas this year is looking great. December sees 'Labor Day', 'Jack Ryan', 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty', 'Grudge Match', 'Anchorman 2', 'Inside Llewyn Davis', the next 'Hobbit', 'American Hustle', 'Monuments Men', among others.


Poster for 'Finding Vivian Maier'

There's been some talk about this doc but no poster. Well, here one is.

'Finding Vivian Maier' may seem like one of those films you can skip. The title just doesn't have a hook. You can't really tell what it's about. But, rest assured, this is one of the most fascinating stories you'll ever hear.

Maier was a nanny for a family in Chicago in the 1950s. She had, as one would expect, a very quiet life. Never married, didn't have friends, had little money. She did, however, take photographs. Some of the best street work I've ever seen. Some of the best street work that has ever been shot. She also never saw most of her pictures. In fact, much of her film wasn't even developed and remained stored in boxes she took with her from job to job, city to city.

She created about 100,000 images. This, remember, was before digital imagery. Maier shot thousands of rolls of film, each containing 12 exposures. If you haven't seen her work, here's a few shots.

It goes on and on like this. One after the other. Is it thousands or tens of thousands? Astonishing.

You can see more at a site devoted to exhibiting her photographs.

The documentary is directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel. It will show at the Toronto International Film Festival and has secured distribution by Sundance Selects.


Abscam Never Looked This Good

David O. Russell hits it out of the park. And, that cast. Love it. Plus, gotta say, this movie has such a Scorsese vibe. Too good.

I even love the title. 'American Hustle'. Wow. Classic.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Again, Not Quite What You Expect

I like Neill Blomkamp's approach. He finds a fresh way of shooting and editing stuff. Like the shootout clip we got a couple days ago. Just when you're sure you know what's going to happen next, Blomkamp finds a way to get it done just a little different, and it comes as a refreshing surprise.

Same here. We've seen this sequence in trailers but not all the footage. What we didn't see is where the missiles come from. Fresh. Unexpected.


Admit It. It's What You Really Want To Do

Yeah, desk jobs...


Not Too Serious, Not Too Stupid, Just Right

I like '2 Guns'. And, I usually dislike pure action flicks. They're almost always so cheeky that it undermines the action -- makes goings-on so dumb that you can't take anything seriously -- or they work so hard to be taken seriously that it comes off dense, brackish, and (let's go all-in) odious.

Director Baltasar Kormákur did a nice job. '2 Guns' plays light and snappy when it needs to, solid down the middle when that's the way to go.

Love it. Should score.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Tight. Nicely Done

Usually, this kind of movie is so superficial it hurts. '2 Guns' may not be very deep but it doesn't seem superficial. There's a kind of subtext in these clips that gives proceedings weight you wouldn't expect, while the energy pops, keeps the fun level going, like you would expect.

Director Baltasar Kormákur has an easy way with the camera and handles the script well. Like, when actors talk over each other. There's a nice rhythm you don't get in product like this too often.

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg take things seriously. It's so common to see performances phoned in with storylines like this. Not so much, here.

Had my doubts but '2 Guns' is looking like a cool popcorn flick. I'll buy this one on Blu-ray.


He's Got Your Baby

I'm thinking we're seeing a trend in horror movies away from slasher/gore and toward taut suspense. That was certainly the case with 'The Conjuring' and 'Insidious 2' seems to be of the same ilk.

I can't find fault with that. Gore is just so crude. It's much scarier to wonder what's in the dark, what's around the corner, what made that sound, and of course, what's going to happen next.

I like it. For me, trailers for new horror flicks are better in most cases, more fun to watch, than entire horror movies from a few years back.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scary Minute

Nicely done horror short by Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun, Segment from VHS 2 "Slumber Party Alien Abduction").

Via Firstshowing.net

One Last Dive from jasoneisener on Vimeo.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Liking This

Looking very forward to 'Captain Phillips'. No robots, space monsters, car chases, men with capes or magic hammers or super powers, and no obvious VFX. Story will have a spine and, frankly, I want to see how the Seals handled this.

Nice poster. Does the job, tells you everything you need to know.


Just A Cut Above

I see that it's a clip from 'Elysium' and I'm not exactly enthused. Footage from the flick has played just a tad flat and I wasn't looking forward to a stock combat clip. So, wearily, I click play and watch. Sure enough, the music is just this side of overbearing, the editing almost what you'd call action-mode-jammed, and dialogue and action are fairly normal.

But then, we get an interesting twist. Camera becomes just fresh enough to grab attention and what happens next is cool enough to raise eyebrows.

All in all, nicely turned. If Neill Blomkamp shot the whole thing this well it should be a lot of fun.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is This Getting Tedious? No. Right? Can't. Right?

Well, the next footage from Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' is here and it's...more of the same nail-biting suspense. Again.

The whole movie is like this? 1) How can they maintain this level of juice? and 2) Just how much O2 do those suits have?

They got to get inside somewhere or the movie ends. Yes? So, looks like, by chance, they've landed on (literally) a space station, I guess it's The Space Station, ISS.

What are the odds, though, of hitting this object without being able to guide yourself? Perhaps, that's why Clooney's 'can is empty'. He used up his jet pack to point himself and Bullock at the ISS. Got it.

Fine. That's fine. The footage is stunning but there's stretches of logic and happy coincidences throughout the movie that enable these two astronauts to survive point to point. I don't care.

This might be a good time to stop watching these clips, though. Looks like we're going to get the entire movie 2 minutes at a time. (Okay, I don't care about that either. These clips/trailers have given my life meaning).


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

'47 Ronin' Trailer -- Yeah, Not What You'd Expect

Posters yesterday were 'edgy'. I was thinking this was a good thing. It looked as if we'd get a contemporary twist on the classic tale of the 47 masterless Samurai, however this trailer promises a fanciful CGI-fest. Not that that's not the way to go. Could be fun. It's just not what I had in mind. (Not that that was a good thing).

Keanu Reeves does play 'The One' again, though. That's fresh.


Talk About Writing Yourself Into A Corner...More New 'Gravity' Footage

Alfonso Cuarón (and co-writer Jonás Cuarón) have created something special.

It's fair to assume the events in the new footage occur in Act I of 'Gravity'. So, where does it lead? What could possibly happen other than Sandra Bullock's character dying in space? How will the movie sustain Act II? What active 'action' can the protagonist take other than to spin off into space? What, within reason, could possibly intervene and, if it's not reasonable, what could happen that won't leave the audience rolling their eyes?

Great idea. Ballsy to say the least. If the plot holds up this will be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. If it doesn't, well, it'll still be cool to watch...with the sound down.


Wow. Finally A Movie Worth Looking Forward To

Judging from the footage we've seen and this bit, there would seem to be little chance Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' will disappoint.

Looks like the guy hit it out of the park. Great camera, great use of 3-D, great dialogue, and a situation that defies storytelling conventions.

Fantastic. Can't wait. Wow.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

'Ender's Game' Takes a Turn

It just looked so flat, that first footage. (Was it footage or a poster? I can't remember). It already seemed game over.

But, this trailer has a winning energy. Now, it's looking fairly game on.


4 Not-What-You-Expected Posters for '47 Ronin'

There's been an odd vibe around '47 Ronin'. Not much talk, not much traction. But, these posters are nicely done and hint at an edgier story than I was expecting.

This looks to be the classic story of the masterless Samurai but with a contemporary edge (there's something modern about an upside down woman bathed in green light, and the guy with the skull paint, nose ring, and gansta attitude is definitely street).

A traditional period piece this ain't.

Looks good. Waiting for a trailer.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Red Band 'Riddick'

'Riddick' doesn't do much for me. Mostly, it's because movies like this are too dark. Not tonally, just visually. You can't see what's going on because it's not lit well enough. I hate that. It's like bad projection from the 70s all over again even if you're watching on Blu-ray in your own home with great hardware and the lights down. You still can't see.

This new trailer, on the other hand, is beautiful to watch. Nice lighting, well-defined action, easy to watch, and well done in every other way that matters. Didn't care before but, now, I'm looking forward to this movie. Take my money.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Reminds Me Of 'Jurassic Park'

The VFX in 'Jurassic Park' were ahead of their time. My jaw dropped. I could not believe what I was seeing. Those dinosaurs looked better than anything that came before and, in fact, most of the stuff that came after. Even today, often, CGI doesn't look as good.

It was quite a ride and, I believe, the reason for that is simple. Steven Spielberg demanded it. He pushed the tech of the day to the limits and constantly asked if there was any way to clean it up, make it more real, make it better. It was the passion of the director that made T-Rex so scary. Other less involved directors did not (and do not) get similar results. 'Jurassic Park' came out in 1993 and even twenty years later we see cheesy effects in movies all the time.

The CGI in 'Pacific Rim' may not be as revolutionary as those in 'Jurassic Park' but, still, you can see the influence and high standards of the director, Guillermo del Toro. These monsters are something to behold and they do look better than I would have expected.

Wonderful work by ILM both technically of course, but also artistically. Yes, this is beautiful. 'Pacific Rim' sets a new standard.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Just Looks So Good

My kind of movie. Reminds me of Oliver Stone's 'Savages' but so much more vibrant. 'The Counselor' is amped.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Too Action-Packed And Too Melodramatic And So So Good

New trailer for Ron Howard's 'Rush' is an odd blend of loud racing shots with super slo-mo rubber burns, screaming engines and tearing metal, squished with oh so intense talking-head character bits, all jammed together quick quick cut. It's good, no doubt about that, but does it belong in the same trailer?

Who knows...

The observation, however, leads me to wonder why I even noticed such a thing. It's because I was watching so closely. I can't think of another recent film I've been so wound up to see, that looked so good in trailers. Howard appears to have delivered a compelling drama loaded with race sequences that, second to second, will leave the audience breathless. Really, he could could have made 'Rush' either pure character-centric with a sprinkling of racing, or pure racing-centric with a dash of melodrama and it would have worked either way. 'Rush' has both.

I'm thinking that, as soon as you get to know and like the people in this movie it will cut to a racing sequence, and as soon as you get into the racing action and want to see more it will cut back to a dramatic two-shot. Then, you'll get completely caught up in that and...cut to: Next cool shot.

As such, this is a jangly trailer for a movie I'm very much looking forward to. 'Rush' should score. Word of mouth will probably be excellent.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

'Fruitvale Station' Resonates

Yeah, I know it's won festival awards but those don't really impress. It's footage that strikes a chord and you can tell 'Fruitvale Station' is special.

How to say it? This movie has that rare genuineness. Every shot shimmers with it and the actors involved feel how important a statement the film is. It's in their eyes. It's in every frame.

Director Ryan Coogler is one to watch. This guy will be a force.

'Fruitvale Station' is must-see, can't-miss.


A Sean Penn Action Movie?

You bet. That's Sean Penn in 'The Gunman'.

Not that I have anything against the idea. I can't wait to see Penn in action mode. It's just disorienting to look at this picture. Is there really enough political gravitas in 'The Gunman' for Penn to chew on?

Script is by Pete Travis who has only done TV and the plot is fairly stock. From IMDb: "An international spy must clear his name in order to save himself from the organization that he used to work for."

However plain and direct the story may sound though, Travis apparently infused the screenplay with something good enough to entice Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, and Ray Winstone to join Penn.

Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken, District B13) who has a way with the camera, lighting, and editing.

At this point, just based on the above, 'The Gunman' looks must-see, can't-miss. Due 2014.


Monday, July 15, 2013

'12 Years A Slave' Trailer

What strikes me is how true this plays. In the hands of another director we might have gotten somewhat more theatrical awards bait. This, however, looks like a must-see.


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