Friday, March 29, 2013

Totally Hell Yeah Pop-o-corn '2 Guns' Trailer Rock And Roll

Yeah, it doesn't take a genius to figure whether this is for you. I can't wait.


Reaction to 'World War Z' Footage


New 'Trance' Footage

So glossy, saturated, defined but at the same time elusive. Should be a pleasure.


So Dorky But, Yeah, Fun

"And he could have rockets that shoot out of his chest! Yeah, that would be cool!"

Looking forward.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cassavetes' Style

Xan Cassavetes comes across very sure of herself and so does her camera work. There's no trying here, it's just good.

Looking forward.


Dash More 'Oblivion' Eye Candy


Irritating, Watchable, Fun

Exasperating yet compelling, off-putting but likeable. Just like a real couple.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teen-Empowerment International Trailer for 'Kick Ass 2'

Watch quick. Won't last.


Just Not Feeling It

I don't get the hook. Sure, they tried to make us sympathetic to Wolverine what with the 'I wanna be able to die' thing, but this still seems like an ensemble player on his own, carrying a movie without the rest of the gang. Not quite enough energy in the room. Not sure people will care enough about the character to turn out.

They even threw Ninjas into the mix. That's a concern -- when you read the script and go, "You know what? This needs Ninjas."



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

'White House Down' Trailer/Poster -- Best Thing You'll See Today (Yeah, Really)

Was not hoping for much from 'White House Down' but I'll give them this -- damn good trailer. I mean, effing hell, that's a good teaser. It may end up being the best thing about the movie but I'll take it.



'Pain & Gain' Red Band Trailer

I like the first one better. Tone for this one is all over the place. It's okay, but never hits its stride or finds the core.

Still though, plays nutty as hell and sort of looks like fun. If it weren't based on a true story nobody would bother.

Bottom line: They need a better trailer.


Moon Goes Kablooey

And, a bit more new footage from 'Oblivion'.


New 'Oblivion' Footage

I could be wrong, it's hard to keep track, but looks to be a few seconds new footage in this German trailer.

Some new stuff for sure in this featurette.


Monday, March 25, 2013

'White House Down' Off To A Good Start...Sort Of

I like this poster. Ominous, more subtle than the burning flags and destruction of the 'Olympus Has Fallen' posters. Creates a strong sense of foreboding and suspense. Works nicely as a teaser.

This being a Roland Emmerich effort it's sure to have lots of CGI. I hope the boys in Compositing do a more conscientious job than the guys at Marketing.

This person's shadow goes the wrong (in point of fact, opposite) way. Perhaps she's from another planet.


A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Work

Or -- sorry I'm late, but...


'Ender's Game' Poster

So sterile. Kinda paintball by way of Tron. Nobody would want to see a movie about what's depicted in this poster.


Zombies On A Plane

This is so much less a zombie movie, so much more plain-ole allegory. Or, maybe I've just been reading the paper too much.



Fresh take, at least when it comes to zombie mechanics, on a subject that been done to death.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Not The Average Jason Statham Shoot-Em-Up

Coming from writer/director Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises) 'Hummingbird' can't be typical crash-bang Statham. Even the title hints at something more elusive and delicate.

Trailer holds promise. Reviews are looking better than good.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Love The Poster, Okay Trailer, Must-See Doc

I like the tag, too: The truth has consequences. Sure.

Directed by Alex Gibney which, by itself, makes it must-watch.


'Epic' Business

This has it. Sweeping action, fantasy setting, good subtext that kids and adults can appreciate, universal theme that will sell overseas. Should do okay both at theaters and in the long run.


Plenty Of Lens Flare, Lots Of Over Enunciation, And Spock Gets Emotional

Four star eye candy. All they need is story and it's nailed to the wall.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'Now You See Me' Poster

So much potential here. With this cast and this plot 'Now You See Me' qualifies as super buttery popcorn.

Could be great fun.


'Oblivion' BubbleShip

It does look good.


New Trailer for 'Trance'. This Time, No Spoilers (Almost)

Much more conventional and spoiler free (if you don't count the first 10 seconds. And the next 10 seconds after that). By now they've given up on making it seem like Rosario Dawson (the hypnotherapist) doesn't know Vincent Cassel (the art thief).

Really, though, I don't think many people will notice. Most will have already decided if they're on board with 'Trance'. 

Plays kind of sterile but has broader appeal than previous clips and trailers.


4 Minutes Of Ridiculous, But It Keeps Moving


'Trance' Featurette

Nothing really new. A few new seconds of footage but no slips that I saw. The usual stuff, though a few comments hint at a twisty unexpected story.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We Need Monsters, Not Monstrous People

Trailer starts great but fades quick once the bad guys are revealed to be nothing more than people who have been 'driven crazy' by hunger. However, this could be misdirection to disguise the sci-fi twist. I'd bet that's the case. Has to be. Right?

If not 'The Colony' isn't a sci-fi thriller, it's just a cabin-in-the-woods setup or, in this case, cabin-in-the-snow. In order to be an 'Alien'-in-the-snow the bad guys have to be more than simply hungry people, however strung out. In order to enjoy our popcorn we'll need to see monsters, not monstrous people.

Bottom line: I love this kind of flick. So much fun, even if it's bad. Whatever the case, with Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton this should be good viewing. Add good monsters and it's must-see at the theater then buy on Blu-ray.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Photography of Angelo Musco

Usually contemporary art elicits that 'I could have done that', or, 'A six-year-old could have created that' response. And, why not? Much of it is random (looking) dabs of paint or bits of photographs cut out and pasted together. It may be 'cutting-edge' but the technique is dubious.

Not so with the photography of Angelo Musco. I have to admit I'm moved. Impressive, meaningful, with rare depth.

via Fstoppers

Musco's site. Do check it out. Not the typical photog's site.


Like It's For A Different Movie

A longer version of this (I'm pretty sure) came out a couple/few days back and it did nothing for me. This edit is tighter and I'm struck by how much better it is, especially in the first 10 seconds or so before the talking heads start.

It's fair to call the beginning of this is gripping -- like it's for another (much more serious) movie. A welcome departure from the popcorn marketing that rolled out before.

This could score. 'White House Down', on the other hand, looks loose and a bit thin. Comparing the two movies is inevitable. My money's on 'Olympus Has Fallen'. At the very least it's got the (way) better title.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Thing About 'Trance' (Possible Spoilers)

As you may know, from time to time I like picking apart trailers, clips, even stills for plot clues. I did this for 'Prometheus' and 'Dream House' as well as others. I like it. It's fun.

Yesterday I put up a clip from Danny Boyle's 'Trance'. And, thinking about it, I discovered some interesting indications about plot, especially reveals and reversals. For convenience I'll put the clips and trailer up again since I'll be making several references to the footage.

Here's a trailer:

Clip #1:

 Clip #2:

Just to be clear, I haven't read the script for 'Trance'. I'm guessing it's not available and, besides, I don't read screenplays. (Not that you care but I find most of them boring, predictable, and poorly written to the point of being unbearable).

So. Going strictly from the info in the above clips/trailers I think I found some interesting stuff. If you don't want the movie ruined, stop reading. Yes, certainly, I could be wrong but once you see what I've found you'll probably agree it's pretty good and, by that time, it'll be too late to unread what follows.

Last chance.




The first thing is from clip #2. In it Rosario Dawson (I'll call everybody by their names not their character's names, for the sake of simplicity) is playing James McAvoy, trying to get him to believe she is on his side.

How can you tell she's playing him? At :30 she holds up a card which reads "Are they listening?" Then, the next card reads, "How many?" Well, how did she know there was more than one person listening? Shouldn't the cards have read: Is anyone listening? Is there more than one person? How many?

Dawson is working with Cassel, trying to get McAvoy to tell her where the painting is. However, Cassel wants McAvoy to believe Dawson is a real hypnotist in order for him to relax around her. That, of course, would be necessary. Dawson pretends to know what's going on and to help McAvoy.

That's the kind of thing a protagonist would have to pick up on later in the movie if he's to keep his respectability. And, apparently, McAvoy does because in this clip it's clear he knows Dawson is working with or at least knows Cassel very well.

It seems the studio either doesn't care about spoilers or thinks we're too dense to put two and two together. Granted, it's a minor point. Anybody would have figured Dawson was not what she seemed but why spoil it with clips like that?

As if that wasn't enough, at 1:35 in the trailer McAvoy asks Dawson "Why did you lie to me?" So, yes, he gets it.

Funny though. When McAvoy pulls away from the woman she has light skin and short hair. In the reverse shot she is Dawson -- with dark skin and long hair.

What that means I don't know but it should be interesting.

We get lots more shots that clearly indicate not only that Dawson knows Cassel but that McAvoy knows she knows him.


Duh. So much for reveals.

Moving on. We get shots with McAvoy talking to someone about basic tenets to remember when pulling a heist. Who could he be talking to? McAvoy has no partner in the clips and trailers, and there is no other actor on the level of the three stars that could feasibly play this role.

So, who's he talking to? I think he's talking to himself. In the mirror. (This would help explain why Boyle wanted McAvoy to spike the camera [something you rarely see in movies]. This is actually McAvoy's POV looking into the mirror).

This is prep from the past played as flashback toward the end of the movie in way of explaining the plot twists. This is McAvoy going over the rules and methods he has come up with over a period of years while waiting for someone to try to rip off the place during an auction.

Yeah, I know. That sounds off. But, this is what movie characters are made of. They're off. If they weren't they'd be just like you and me. Average and, by and large, boring.

So, McAvoy is this repressed schlub in a suit who works with an auction house and stands there watching rich people buy art they can't appreciate. It's worse than that. They're not even rich. They're not even buying the pieces for themselves. They're reps. They're paid to buy on behalf of rich people who, in turn, have no ability to appreciate the stuff they bought.

And, that makes McAvoy twist inside. He watches these mouthpieces bid on expensive art which, rightfully, should be owned by someone who could appreciate it. Like him. So, over the years he plans to steal a painting if given the opportunity. But, he needs an unknowing partner. Enter Vincent Cassel and his gang.

One day, they bust into the place and, yes, steal, or try to steal, a painting. So, things are going according to McAvoy's plan. But, how?

We get a clue at :28 in clip #1. McAvoy does something curious. He zaps Cassel with a stun-gun. Then, he does something even more curious.

He stands there and gives Cassel time to recover and point the shotgun at him.

Then, he does something even more strange. After Cassel picks up the shotgun and stands up McAvoy glares at him -- an icy look that fires a warning: 'Don't you dare shoot me'.

Why? Why all this? Why would a guy who has the presence of mind (and the balls) to zap an armed man be so stupid to just stand there and let the guy regain control of the situation? McAvoy could have picked up the shotgun while Cassel was incapacitated. Yes?

So, McAvoy is a spineless idiot? If so, why glare at Cassel like that and where does a spineless boob get the courage for such a thing? What kind of character goes from being wishy-washy to totally in-your-face within seconds?

What does that say about McAvoy? It says he's a willful person. It means McAvoy did all this for a reason and according to a plan he went over in detail again and again.

At this point McAvoy knows the painting is not in the case. The frame is, but not the painting. It's been cut out. When? At 1:50 into the movie:

At this point I have to rule out the possibility McAvoy is working with Cassel to steal the painting. That's feasible, and certainly fits with movie plots of this kind, but it's not the case here. At 1:52 McAvoy says (looking into the mirror) "And, when it happens, as one day it must, it is imperative not to panic. Follow the drill. And, let the training kick in."

"...As one day it must..." McAvoy refers to the attempted theft of a piece of art from the auction house. The one that will surely happen sometime. The theft McAvoy has waited years for. And, as he waits, he trains, practices, drills. And, as he has no accomplice, he goes over things in the mirror for reassurance.

Okay. So, McAcoy has cut the painting out of the frame and is about to put the case into a safe. Then what? The first and most likely thing that could happen is he gets the case into the safe and hides and waits for the cops pretending to be just another innocent victim of a robbery. What happens when the case is retrieved from the safe without the painting? I don't know. That would be/will be explained by McAvoy toward the end of the movie. He would have had some very clever and entertaining way of convincing the cops the bad guys took the painting. Should be fun.

But, he doesn't get that far. He's stopped by Cassel before he can get the case into the safe. Now, Cassel has the case and McAvoy knows it's just a matter of time before he opens it and finds nothing but the frame. McAvoy has planned for this. That's how smart he is. What's his plan? Simple. Get hit on the head by the thief. How does he affect this? Simple. Interfere with the guy making it clear he will have to do one of two things: Kill McAvoy, or, hit him.

And, McAvoy is counting on this. How does he know the guy won't shot him? He doesn't. Or, he figures he won't. He figures the guy just wants the painting and isn't interested in killing people. But, that's crazy, right? To count on something like that? Yeah, but McAvoy is willing to risk his life to get that painting. That's what movie characters are made of -- brass balls -- and that's why we love guys like this. Plus, maybe McAvoy figures if he is killed in a robbery, well, his life wasn't worth living and at least he went out in a manner he could respect instead of growing old wishing he had the finer things but not being willing to take the steps necessary to get them.

And, that's why McAvoy zaps Cassel but allows enough time for Cassel to recover. So that Cassel will do one of two things -- shoot McAvoy or hit him. He hits him. Where? On the head, just as McAvoy expected. (It's his plan, not mine. The VO explanation in the denouement should be a dandy).

So, now McAvoy has been hit on the head. Why did he allow that? Well, because when Cassel opens the case and finds the painting cut out he will know it would have to have been McAvoy who took it. Then, Cassel will come after McAvoy and torture him to find out where the painting is. Just as planned. McAvoy would know this, expect this. But, alas, you see, poor McAvoy can't tell Cassel anything, even under torture, because...he was hit on the head and suffered a brain injury that precludes remembering where he hid the painting.

And, yes, McAvoy would have to be one hell of a willful protagonist to execute a plan this daring. But, how else to get the audience to like you? How else to entertain the nice people that bought tickets for your movie? Something wild, yet probable, has to happen. Something crazy and entertaining, yet withing the realm of possibility.

Thus begins stage two of McAvoy's plan. He's counting on Cassel to have McAvoy undergo hypnosis (or some other such therapy) in order to find out what McAvoy supposedly can't remember. (You can't torture the guy to death and, if he can't remember, you have to do something that makes sense). Enter Dawson, the hypnotist, who will be used somehow to help McAvoy put one over on Cassel and get away with the stolen painting. (Of course, Dawson will have a plan of her own. She will certainly try to put one over on both Cassel and McAvoy to get the painting for herself and, in the end, she will certainly pay a price for that).

Yes, all very complicated and dubious, but remember, this is a popcorn thriller and those are always filled with twists. That's the way they play. If not, well, they're boring. You want people, when asked about the movie Monday morning, to have that sly 'I can't give details, but it was a lot of fun' vibe. That's what will sell tickets on the second weekend.

And, the very ending? That's when McAvoy enjoys complete character arc. What's the opposite of a schlub in a suit who watches people buy art they (or their bosses) can't appreciate? McAvoy buying his own painting at auction (with the money he gets from selling the painting he stole) then, in the last seconds of the movie, hanging it in his swank apartment while he explains in VO the various clever goings-on, what just happened, the hows and whys, and the importance of breaking out of the mold you were cast into in this life and going for the things that make you happy no matter how improbable, difficult, or seemingly impossible getting those things may be.


I can't wait to see this movie. It's looking like a lot of fun. And, if I'm right about the above I'm sorry to have ruined it for you. However, you were warned.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Another Snippet From 'Trance'

Wow. Good. So damn good. James McAvoy's character looks crazy like a fox and twice as fun to watch. Vincent Cassel rises to the occasion.

Danny Boyle delivers...again. Must buy on Blu-ray.


'Alpha Papa' (Yes, That's Really The Title)

Well, if it were anybody other than Steve Coogan I wouldn't care. These bio-pics (especially for made-up people) can drag but Coogan is so watchable and Alan Partridge is so real you got to give it a spin. Further, that title is so bad you can't say no.

I give this a must-rent...sometime.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nice Way To End The Day -- Space Time-Lapse

The ISS Image Frontier - "Making the invisible visible" from Christoph Malin on Vimeo.


The Kickstarter Thing -- 'Veronica Mars'

With big budget movies flopping more often these days you'd think studios would look for a way to gauge demand for a product before cameras roll. One way would be Kickstarter. According to Slashfilm the proposed Veronica Mars movie has attained its goal of $2 million and did it in about 9 hours.

Yeah. 9 Hours.

Exactly -- launched March 13, paid for March 13.

That's built-in demand, an audience ready to go, waiting. You got to figure the movie will be a success. Shouldn't all movies get the nod from prospective fans before a script is written?

This, or something like it, should be the template. No rolling the dice, just find out what people want and give it to them.


Van Halen At The Movies

Plays a little slow, but fun.


New 'Oblivion' Footage

This is convincing me. At first, 'Oblivion' was looking a skintch by-the-numbers -- entertaining enough but with no core. The last trailer however, and now this featurette, have changed my mind.

If they found the right combo 'Oblivion' could be a classic of some caliber. The story elements are there, the subtext has that weight and universal appeal, character arc is solid, and reversals/reveals have potential. That may be a skintch optimistic -- how often do classics roll out...-- but, if it's not quite on that level, the footage is looking to be better than 'entertaining enough', which ain't bad these days.

Waiting, hoping.


Not Bad

This captures the sci-fi adventure vibe pretty well. Not bad.


'Kick Ass 2' --or-- The Opposite of Superman

I asked about the relevance of 'Man of Steel' and the trailer for 'Kick Ass 2' seems to be the answer. Yes, superheroes are evolving and, yes, Superman is dated. These guys are the new not-so-super heroes. Dorky, funny, and (alas) quite dark, and more in line with what today's audience wants to see at the movies.

I'll go out on a limb and predict that, after adjusting for budget, KA2 beats MoS at the box office.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

'The Silence'

A bit jangly. Vérité, yet stylized, almost operatic. Really, it's only a couple things. The shot from directly overhead when the guy finds the box and the very loud overly creepy music when the car pulls up to the girl.

To its credit, though, when the two men realize the date is the same as when the first body was found it plays well, naturally, without that dum-dum-dummm!! feel.

The rest, though, has that very feel. Can't wait to see this and the Hollywood remake that seems likely.

Here's a trailer and clip.


What's Changed Exactly? -- or -- Somebody Save Us!

Yeah, I know superheroes are all 'dark' now. You can't have a regular guy go out and save the world. He has to be messed up emotionally, borderline wacko, in need of therapy. And, so that's what they're selling for the new Superman. They even go so far as to dictate: "It's time for a change." Thing is, looking at the above shot, I have to wonder what about Henry Cavill looks different from previous iterations. He's as square-jawed, slick-haired, and all-American as ever. Is there something about Amy Adams' conservative skirt, shirt or vest that says 'edgy, dark'? She couldn't look more corporate and sterile.

So, what, exactly, has changed?


We can't get a feel for plot from the cover photo of Total Film so all we're left with is the look, and that's the same as it's always been. I can't help but wonder if there's a market for this anymore.

Even the studio knew they had to take a different tack -- the word 'Superman' doesn't appear in this title. Now, it's "Man of Steel" which, really, doesn't mean much and still feels dated. It's all 'Maaaan oooof Steeeeeel!

If this take doesn't fly Superman will be shelved. Not for a few years but until the demand for hokey comes back. When will that be? Well...not 'a few years'. We just don't live in a world that even vaguely resembles the 1930s 40s or 50s.

Right now, at this point in the campaign, 'Man of Steel' is looking like a mistake. Oh, my! Can anyone save us?!


Saturday, March 09, 2013

'Spring Breakers' Clip-O-The-Day

There hasn't been a second of this (or a poster or still for that matter) that hasn't impressed. This is must-watch, must buy Blu-ray, must know frame by frame.


Eye Candy Of The Highest Order

Can't deny it. This is very sharp looking. If 'Star Trek Into Darkness' delivers a cool plot with decent characters they'll have a major hit. If it doesn't, it'll just be a fun time at the movies.


Friday, March 08, 2013


I don't even care about Justice League and I liked this analysis.


Ridiculous or Fun?

Or is it both? I can't make up my mind. Guess I have to see it.


Homemade Trailer for 'Iron Man 3'


'Trance' Clip

Love this look. Can't wait. Should be a pleasure to watch every time.


Screamingly Good

Okay. I said 'screamingly'. Sue me.

Check the review snippets. Yeah, this gonna deliver.


New 'To The Wonder' Trailer Really Has That Malick Touch

There's a lot of touching going on. Out of curiosity I counted about 25 shots where people touch and 40 where nobody touches or that contain no people. There are only a few shots with two or more people where nobody touches -- maybe 3 or 4.

I'll be doing a more comprehensive work up later.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Red Band Trailer for 'Dead Man Down'

Now that they're not pulling their punches, flick is looking so much better. This delivers, if you're looking.


I Might Watch This One

That's right. I've never seen a 'Hangover' movie. But, this trailer is so fucking cool. I might have to watch III.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Another Look at 'Stoker'

As featurettes go, the ones for 'Stoker' have been elegant, even captivating. This one focuses on how the actors (and producers) feel about Park Chan-Wook and it's not the usual fluff. There's genuine regard for the man.

Mixed reviews, yes, but I can't take my eyes off this imagery.


The New Mumblecore, Except Good


'Broken Side of Time'

Hard to tell from the trailer whether the movie will be good, but the shots are well done and it feels solid.

Love these posters. More


Again With The Hand Coming Out Of The Mouth?

As horror movie poster motifs go, the hand-out-of-mouth thing was fresh for a day or so, which is hard to do these days. Now, though, it's just old hat.

I am looking forward to 'Hemlock Grove', though. Can't deny that.


Oh, Come On. As If You Had Something Better To Do

Warning: Don't watch if stuff offends you, or if you get offended, or if you don't like stuff. Just skip it.


Spot-On, Dialed-In Trailer for 'The Look of Love'

Steve Coogan is perfect for this role. The guy nails every second. Based on the doings of Paul Raymond. And, by the way, love the title. Really.

Original Video- More videos at TinyPic


If The Forests Die, We Die. Got It


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

'Starting Over with Brooke Shields'

Spoiler alert: This is about Brooke Shields starting over. Sorry if I ruined it.


Mesmerizing 'Choros'

By Michael Langan and Terah Maher

Choros from Michael Langan on Vimeo.
Choros / 2011 / 13 min / HD / Stereo

Directed by Michael Langan and Terah Maher
Music by Steve Reich

A chorus of women are borne from the movements of a single dancer in this dreamlike "pas de trente-deux."
"Choros" premiered at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 2012 and has gone on to play dozens of festivals worldwide. The film is currently broadcast in Europe by Canal+.

For more information on the history of this technique, visit:


A Compelling Iron Man(s)?

Gotta say...this is the deepest (looking) super-hero movie I can remember -- what used to be called 'dark', but nobody can use that descriptor with a straight face anymore.

Nothing looks phoned-in. It plays legit. If this delivers on what's promised in the trailer -- drama and depth of character rendered with genuine performances contrasted against strong action -- then we'll have a winner. The movie will appeal to adults, kids, and cinephiles, and 'Iron Man 3' will represent a new standard for the genre.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Like The Cover Of A Novel

Strictly a rental, but must-see.


Almost Sterile, But Nice...Sort Of

It's like good new age music. I'll give you a moment to think of the last time you heard good new age music. Yeah, that's what this movie is like.

Can't help wonder what kind of response 'The Host' will get. There's a lot of interest online but I'm thinking box office may not pan out that great.


Sunday, March 03, 2013

Best Marketing Of The Year So Far

Yeah. Everything about 'Spring Breakers' has been top drawer. Now, all we need is for the movie to be half as good as the campaign.


Blog Archive