Friday, June 28, 2013

Great New 'Europa Report' Footage

Loving this. Loving. Wow.


'Prisoners' Trailer: Like 'Se7en' But Less Comic Bookish

Or, like 'Silence of the Lambs' but less operatic carrying-ons.

Can't wait. Have the feeling future trailers/clips will be more intense than we might have expected.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Non-Escapist Trailer for 'Escape Plan'

I thought it was a cool idea but this trailer makes 'Escape Plan' feel like a prison sentence.

First clue something is (criminally) wrong -- the runtime. Why should a movie like this need a 2:30 trailer? What's so complicated? Isn't this a by-the-numbers action flick? Then, after a minute or so, it becomes clear. The plot is so contrived that explaining it, even briefly, is a twisted exercise. Following the explanation, point by convoluted point, is tiring. As such, this trailer leaves one exhausted.

However, I like that Stallone plays a guy who "escapes from prisons for a living." That's rich. That, I like. The rest, though, I couldn't take 90 minutes of.

My verdict? The 'Escape Plan' looks flawed.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poster for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'Don Jon'

So far, nothing about this movie has failed to impress. Can't wait.

"There's more to life than a happy ending." -- Yes. Nice. 


Great Trailer for 'Thanks for Sharing'

Getting mixed comments but bad write-ups have that 'just-didn't-get-it' vibe, while positive reviews reflect an appreciation for quieter storytelling, so I'm willing to take a chance.

With Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow, so I'll put my money down.

Trailer is charming and subtle (which makes it easier to ignore weak reviews), and director Stuart Blumberg wrote (along with Lisa Cholodenko) 'The Kids Are Alright', which makes him alright with me.

Might not score great at the box office but will do well as a rental and on TV/cable.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trailer for Ridley Scott's 'The Counselor'

Does it get better than this? Great director, great writer, great cast.


When The Trailer Itself Is A Cinematic Event: 'The Turning'

Footage has that look that stops you, makes you watch closer.

Based on stories by Tim Winton. Directed by:

Jonathan auf der Heide (Fog)
Tony Ayres (Cockleshell)
Cate Blanchett (Reunion)
Jub Clerc (Abbreviation)
Robert Connolly (Aquifer)
Shaun Gladwell (Family)
Rhys Graham (Small Mercies)
Justin Kurzel (segment Boner McPharlin's Moll)
Yaron Lifschitz (Immunity)
Anthony Lucas (Damaged Goods)
Claire McCarthy (segment The Turning)
Ian Meadows (Defender)
Ashlee Page (On Her Knees)
Stephen Page (Sand)
Warwick Thornton (Big World)
Marieka Walsh (Ash Wednesday)
Mia Wasikowska (Long, Clear View)
David Wenham (Commission)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Tom Hodge's Poster for 'The Heat'

I saw this over at EW and immediately knew is was Tom Hodge's work. Hodge did great posters for 'Hobo with a Shotgun', 'Innkeepers', and others, and is one of my favorites.

This has Hodge's signature sweep of characters across the bottom that form the base of a triangle that supports main characters on top. Great action and animated expressions.

So far, I'm thinking this is the best part of the movie. Here's Hodge's write up.



Love this title, cast, the look of the film. Subject is a bit of a stretch and fairly believable at the same time.

Directed by Anne Fontaine. Written by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel by Doris Lessing.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Had My Doubts

I couldn't have cared less about 'Jobs' but this trailer changed my mind. It's one of those stories that, if a screenwriter made it up you'd laugh in his face, but because it's true it's riveting.

Can't wait. 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

'Drinking Buddies' Tries Too Hard To Be Your Friend

That's a harsh thing to say, I guess. Looks like a good flick but this trailer is a little sticky. Like someone who's had one too many and wants to talk, get to know you better.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Could be I'm reading too much into it, but this looks like a rental at best. Maybe it's better after you knock back a couple brewskies.


'The Spectacular Now' -- Possibly A Fresh Take

Yeah, I'll give 'The Spectacular Now' a spin. Though the trailer plays been-there-done-that, there's a rare freshness in the portrayals that gets my attention, can't be ignored.

Director James Ponsoldt's 'Smashed' won praise for Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance. An earlier effort, 'Off The Black', with Nick Nolte and Trevor Morgan, got mixed but fairly positive reviews. I didn't catch either movie but remember being impressed by trailers.

Ponsoldt has a way with actors. He's the kind of guy that can take (or write) a character-driven script, shoot it for next to nothing, and turn in an entertaining movie that critics and audiences get behind. He's one to watch.

'The Spectacular Now' is getting great reviews.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ron Howard Talks 'Rush'

Howard did such a good job -- each scene vibrates with life. Peter Morgan's writing pops -- subtext is as compelling as the race footage. Every shot is a money shot.

This movie practically walks and talks. Can't wait.


The Greatest Photographer You Never Heard Of: Vivian Maier

A must-see doc.


A Few Moments With The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

By cinematographer Tom Fährmann.


'The Heat'. 80's Title, 80's Jokes, 80's Acting, Lighting, Camera, and Editing

Really? We need this? Today. In 2013.

This isn't even good enough to be called schtick. Yeah, doesn't qualify. Not on that level. Lower than schtick.

Very curious to see how this one does at the box office.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First Look At Disney's 'Frozen'

Yeah, the title leaves something to be desired however this trailer has a kind of perpetual-motion charm.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Wall Street Wolf

DiCaprio has never looked better. (I know, cheesy, but I mean it. [His portrayals never connected with me]). The guy looks like a real person in this trailer. He always looks like he's in 'actor-mode', but not here. Here, he looks like a Wall Street wolf. A crazy guy with tons of money. I'm looking forward to seeing DiCaprio in this movie -- something I've never been able to say before.

And Matthew McConaughey looks like a movie star, a lead, for the first time. Yes, I know, he's carried movies, but here he seems like a star, a headliner, which he never did before.

That this is based on a true story, namely Jordan Belfort's, and is directed by Martin Scorsese makes 'The Wolf of Wall Street' something to look forward to. Really, a breath of fresh air.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Style Over Substance?

Reviews for Nicholas Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives' skew negative. Like this from Jon Frosch:

Only God Forgives succeeds to some extent as a pure stylistic exercise, with a few fine Lynchian moments blurring reality with erotic and violent fantasies, as well as some amusing Freudian undertones. 

But it never casts the spell that it should (the 87-minute running time feels longer), and Gosling, as magnetic a screen presence as he is, desperately needs to get out of the taciturn-bad-boy mode he's been stuck in for the last few years (Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines, and now this). 

Luckily Thomas is on hand to liven things up, tearing into her sadistic, foul-mouthed, sexpot Mommie Dearest role with infectious glee and the slightest touch of real feeling. 

And this from Shaun Munro:

Easily the most vocally-received film of the festival so far, Refn’s latest was met with colossal boos and jeers at its world premiere (though remember, so was The Tree of Life), and even its defenders will likely agree that it confounds the expectations set by the director’s last film. This isn’t to say that Only God Forgives should merely be Drive redux, but what Refn has served up here is an almost entirely superficial and wholly obtuse film that clearly aims to provoke its audience to infuration.

Even positive comments sound funny. From Peter Bradshaw:

Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance. 

Is that good?

The YouTube comments haven't been very positive, either.

As for myself, it looks gorgeous. Camera, lighting, editing are very confident. Bradshaw got it right, this is pure formal brilliance. The story might not be there but 'Only God Forgives' should be intoxicating to watch.

Here's the latest trailer.


Guillermo del Toro Talks Jaegers

'Pacific Rim' has more potential than any recent movie of its kind I can remember. The Superman reboot comes to mind as far as being a fresh take, however 'Pacific Rim', though it has giant robots like a certain other franchise, deals with something that hasn't been done in feature films. We've seen robots vs. monsters from space in cartoons and maybe some TV shows (especially the Japanese stuff) but not movies. And, this is certainly differs from the Godzilla template.

Could be a lot of fun. Could have depth. Del Toro, as usual, has gone all-out in developing the look of the film which, at the least, makes 'Pacific Rim' a must-rent. Should do very well at the box office in its first week.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Trailer for 'Elysium' aka 'District 10'

The Neill Blomkamp stamp is apparent. In fact, 'Elysium' is almost a sequel to 'District 9'. You could just as easily call it 'District 10'.

A few parallels:

1) 'District 9' had poor and oppressed people (well, aliens) and is about class separation -- 'Elysium' has poor and oppressed people and is about class separation.

2) 'District 9' had a large spaceship that hovers above a city that nobody can get into -- 'Elysium' has a large spaceship that hovers above the Earth that very few can get into.

3) In 'District 9' the good guy is a smart mouth and kind of dumb, but likeable -- In 'Elysium' the good guy is a smarty pants and sort of stupid, but charming.

4) 'District 9' had a protagonist who was accidentally infected with an alien technology (in other words, he got a medical condition) and given a short time before he turned into a monster -- 'Elysium' has a protagonist who is accidentally irradiated (in other words, he gets a medical condition) and has a short time before he dies.

5) In 'District 9' the protag sets out on a quest to save the aliens as he slowly changes into a strange creature -- In 'Elysium' the protag sets out to save a couple people and/or everyone else after being changed into a strange creature.

6) 'District 9' had robots -- 'Elysium' has robots.

7) 'District 9' had dusty (yet sunny) slums -- 'Elysium' has dusty (yet sunny) slums.

8) 'District 9' had kind of a twisty ending. 'Elysium' has kind of a twisty ending. (Okay, I don't know that, but you can bet it will. I mean, this trailer sets up a twisty ending. Anybody can see that coming).

Here's the new trailer for 'District 10'...I mean 'Elysium'. It's the trailer for 'Elysium'. Really.


500k Views In One Day

That's a lot of views. Should do well. As for me, this trailer is enough. Oh, I'll see the movie, sure. Sometime. For now, though, watching this is like watching the entire movie, and when I get the disc I'll watch the movie 2 minutes at a time, just like this trailer. There won't be any difference, really. It'll be like watching 60 trailers back to back.


Must-Watch Time-Lapse Super Storm, Booker, Texas

From photographer Mike Olbinski. Eerie, beautiful. Like something from another planet.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Snowpiercer' Trailer. Snowy, yes, but piercing? Not So Much

When I first heard of Bong Joon-ho's 'Snowpiercer' I was thinking this would be a showstopper. The kind of flick you stand in line for, get your popcorn, sit back and relish. The setting was so new and sharply cut it was practically a game changer. I could hardly wait.

But, this first trailer is something of a head-scratcher. I don't get the energy. Is this a class drama set on a train, the existence of which is explained by the never-ending snowstorm (although, how that would necessitate a non-stop 24/7 train isn't clear), or is the movie a sci-fi thriller that happens to take place on a train, the existence of which lends nothing special to the plot?

Right now, based on this trailer, I don't know which is the case. However, neither possibility holds much appeal. Two things need to happen in future trailers/clips for me to get back on to speak. The class tension has to have a compelling sci-fi or fantasy hook, and the fact that everything happens on this train has to make sense, be exciting and interesting, rather than simply a device that makes this movie a one-location (read: inexpensive) exercise.

As things stand, I feel like I'm being taken for a ride. Hoping for more.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why Does This Trailer Look So Good? -- or -- It's Not Fake Looking Enough!

I'm watching this wondering why it looks so good when it dawns on me -- it's because it was shot at 48 fps. There's certainly more crispness, which would be expected when shooting at twice the normal shutter speed (1/100th of a second vs. 1/50th [the speed used for capturing 24 fps]), but there's also more dynamic range. Put the two together and, on an image level, it's very attractive, very easy to look at.

Yes, there are those who say the cinematic standard 24-frames-per-second produces a softness, a 'veil' between picture and veiwer, which allows the audience to remain once removed from the 'reality' of the movie's setting and, thereby, makes it possible for us to better enjoy the story. They maintain this separation is needed so that the story takes place on the other side of a 'wall', enabling the audience to lose themselves in the plot. They say that without this 'fuzzy looking glass' the image is too real to keep at arm's length, that the imagery imposes itself upon us with such immediacy the magic is swept away and we're left trying to enjoy scene after scene as if we were sitting in the room with these characters, spitting distance from the dramatic goings on, perhaps wishing we were somewhere (anywhere) else.

These purists contend that, by shooting a faster frame rate, you tear away this veil exposing a too-clear too-sharp image that is so real it melts away suspension of disbelief and makes the movie more like 'looking out your window' than escapist entertainment. However, given time, I'll bet we get used to just that level of clarity and the 'softness' of 24 fps will look, well...mushy -- too imprecise to hold interest let alone encourage immersion in fairy tales.

This new clarity, this lifting of the veil, it would seem, is (or will soon become) the new cinematic standard.


Monday, June 10, 2013

New 'Grabbers' Poster and Trailer

As B as they get, but looks like a lot of fun. New poster shows more focus than previous efforts.

Reminds one of 'Tremors' -- a monumental B classic. 'Grabbers' is looking like a stealth cult classic. 

Available VOD and in theaters July 19.


Sunday, June 09, 2013

New 'White House Down' Trailer aka Mini Movie

Exposition heavy like you wouldn't believe, probably all the important Act II plot points, and a lot of fun to watch.

At 4:20 this is epic. If you're not planning to catch WHD just watch this trailer. It's just about the same thing.

This will rake.


'The Battery'

Getting great reviews. Pretty much must-see, must-at-least-rent, probably-must-buy-on-Blu-ray.


Saturday, June 08, 2013

'The Frozen Ground' Seems Solid Enough

Yes, Nicolas Cage does make a lot of flicks and some aren't that substantial, but this one looks good to me. Partly because it's based on a true story about serial killer Robert Hansen, partly because John Cusack is selective of his projects and scripts, and partly because the trailer just has that vibe.

Looking forward.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Trailer for 'Blue Jasmine' Directed by...Woody Allen?

Really? Woody Allen directed this?

From the trailer you wouldn't know it, couldn't tell it. This cuts nicely. I like it and, yes, I'm not much of a fan of Allen's stuff. His movies are so...crisp, clean and neatly folded. Tasty in a tightly focused way, refined and lightly sweetened, like something you'd have with tea in the afternoon, but with an appeal few find compelling. Woody Allen's movies are for people who want stories that are clever but restrained, funny but not viscerally so, humorous in that intellectual way that was so sought after in the 50s, 60s, and 70s but rarely finds a home on the big screen today.

'Blue Jasmine', however, looks greasy and delicious -- like a big juicy burger that everyone wants to munch, gobble, devour, and wash down with a huge frosty glass of beer. It's for people who want to get lost in a crazy world that's populated by irresistible characters. This is a movie that's funny because you feel it in your gut.

'Blue Jasmine' still looks smart, mind you. These people have layers, and the subject matter -- addiction, ego-driven materialism, relationships built on a foundation of ulterior motives -- look like they're handled with utmost care. But, intellectual? Perhaps not so much. And, that, exactly that, is what audiences will be drawn to.

Woody Allen has given us cerebral somewhat tightly-wound comedy in the past. 'Blue Jasmine', on the other hand, plays like a boisterous ballet, has raw poetry, and is hella funny, while remaining shrewd, observant, honest, and (yes) smart.

Star studded as usual but Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett have that certain something. Like really nice icing on a really nice cake.

Must-see, can't wait.


Brilliant New Trailer for James McAvoy's 'Filth'

James McAvoy knocks it out of the park -- my new fave actor. Director Jon Baird's first feature on this level -- he's one to watch.

Fantastic. Effing fantastic.


Clean Lines, Nice Hook

Poster works. You either want to see this or it's already written off. There's no middle ground. If the trailer plays this well they'll have their audience locked to speak.


Thursday, June 06, 2013

'The Family' -- Sharp, Interesting, A Little Dumb, A Little Smart

Plays interesting and dumb, then you see it's directed by Luc Besson and you wonder -- okay, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro, and Michelle Pfeiffer -- with Besson behind the camera...might be charming. So, looks dumb, might be charming. Has to be charming.


'Getaway' Trailer

Hard to say whether anybody will care about this one.


Plasticky Trailer for 'Runner Runner'

Sorry, but this is like a sandwich you see in the back of the fridge wrapped in Saran Wrap.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Oooh! Must-See Trailer for 'Insidious 2'

Yeah, gotta say, this looks good. Much better than I would have thought. In, am I surprised.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

B. And Proud Of It

Like a poster for a sequel to 'Grindhouse'. Pure Robert Rodriguez.


Monday, June 03, 2013

'Shadow Dancer' Tap Dance

Love this kind of flick. Doesn't look like this will go wide in the US so...probably a rental. Love this kind of rental.


Sunday, June 02, 2013

13 Minutes of Super Eye Candy

Pretty good featurette. Lots new footage. Fun enough.


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