Watching this it occurs to me everything Steven Soderbergh does has made-for-TV zip. I don't mean that in a bad way. I couldn't really support that notion (obviously). His movies certainly aren't superficial, but that TV energy, that edge -- the moment to moment pop needed to keep people from changing the channel -- is present in Soderbergh's work.
I can't think of another director that delivers that. It's something about the way dialogue cuts, loaded scenes, and the intensity
and closeness of blocking especially in tight places like offices (but it's also
there in outdoor scenes). It's a density we see in TV shows all the time. I believe that's the case for all his work. I can't think of an exception.
Movies with subtext and layers, yes, we get them from many directors and 'Side Effects' I'm sure will deliver on those levels. But, we don't get many movies with the kind of sizzle Soderbergh brings. The guy can make anything good. Not many directors would tackle the stories Soderbergh produces, not without adding plot devices meant to add spice which, in turn, would cheapen it up and dumb it down.
Soderbergh keeps it real but makes it entertaining.
As for these trailers, they keep getting better. For some reason I had my doubts about this at first. Now, it's a total must-see.
This looks good. Something about the camera/acting. We may see good things from director Lubomir Levitski. Flick will be tough to find as it's a Ukrainian production, but you'll probably be able to stream it from someplace soon.
Love what I've seen of this so far. Another solid flick from Danny Boyle, I'm sure. And, there's something about James McAvoy. He's compelling in an off kilter way. Sort of opposite of Vincent Cassel's in-your-face vibe. With Rosario Dawson as a hypnotist? Gotta see that.
Poster is cut just so. Hot colors, weird layout. Might make a cool carpet.
It's easy to dismiss 'Girls Against Boys' as a cheap shocksploitation B-horror flick but nothing I've seen from the movie supports that.
Here's a nicely turned clip. This could come from any character-driven indie that was destined to win awards, or at least garner critical approval. Love the reveals. Good editing and camera from director Austin Chick.
Sorry, that should be 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'. Yeah, I'm thinking of changing my last name to Wonderstone.
It's funny how a good poster makes the movie look like something you'd want to catch. Sounds stupid to say that, I know, but when you consider how many atrocious one sheets roll out and how much potential business such graphics lose (throw away), it doesn't seem so dumb to admire a good poster when one comes along.
Seriously, 'Abracatastic' is an appropriate description. Take my money!
Everybody knows this poster for AMC's 'The Walking Dead'. Nice work. Good subtext -- modern life and
all our machinery is no longer worth anything and we have to ride horses
into empty cities everybody died trying to leave. Sure.
Here's an early composite the poster was made from.
The fact 'Gambit' was written by Joel and Ethan Coen is front and center on the poster. Their names are above the title no less.
Since when does the screenwriter's name(s) go above the title? That's where the star's name(s) go. That's where the hottest selling point goes, yes? Well... Perhaps that answers the question. The Coens work has a lot of fans. Who doesn't love the Coens' movies?
And, it may have looked clever on paper, may have read funny as hell but, as directed by Michael Hoffman, the screenplay for 'Gambit' is rendered as shtick.
US release is potentially set for winter 2013. So, 'Gambit' will make a play at the end of the year against the strongest awards contenders when competition for box office dollars is toughest. That, truly,
is a gambit.
I can't see anyone wanting to see this. Not at the theater (especially in fall/winter), not on TV, not on cable. Not anytime.
The only thing missing from the clip are drum stings. Who could sit through 90 minutes of this stuff?
Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) is nothing if not opinionated. Thing is, his opinions have become so extreme, is that the right word?, lately (read: increasingly over the last few years) that they've lost a great deal of credibility. 'Heatedly emotional' might be the best, most fair and objective, description of his carrying on. He regularly flirts with topics that nobody would touch and often puts his cards on the table with blatant disregard for, well...standards.
Erik Lundegaard has a pretty cool rundown of Wells' flip-flopping on 'Lincoln'. Here's a bit:
He searches for people who agree with him. Here's one: an unnamed
producer! Who says he would've left early but AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN was
sitting next to him, weeping, and to walk out would be unseemly. Leading
JW to imagine this scene:
November 10: Weeping African-American Guy:
Producer: ”Excuse me there, fella. Gotta get by.“ Weeping
African-American Guy: ”I, uh....wait, you're leaving? I don't even
know you but you're leaving? What are you made of? You're walking out
on a movie about Abraham Lincoln? Did you vote for Romney? Producer:
“It's a free country, pal...okay? You can weep and moan and make all
the noise you want, but this is a slow turgid thing and it's not doing
it for me. And I voted for Obama, if you want to know.” --Lincoln Reactions, Please
The New York Times agrees with him, too...
November 17: “The 11.16 N.Y. Times ”Sweet Spot“ (i.e., A.O. Scott and David Carr chit-chatting and sometimes interviewing Times
staffers) is about guilty non-pleasures — art forms and entertainments
that you're supposed to like but you just can't. And the most
persistent non-pleasure of the Times newsroom? Lincoln.” — Not to Beat a Dead Horse
You know who else agrees with him? Everyone....
November 17: “I stood in an Arclight lobby the other night (i.e., just before the Anna Karenina premiere screening) as a crowd that had just seen Lincoln
walked past me. They were a bit glummed out; their faces seemed a
little somber and even haggard. No faint smiles; no looks of calm or
serenity. Most seemed to be saying to themselves, 'All right, that's over...where can we eat? In fact, let's just get a drink.'” — Homework and Trances
Erik's write up is worth a read and pretty much dead on.
I believe a fundamental change has occurred in the world. I believe the quality of life in some 3rd world and developing nations has become better than it is in the United States. This certainly was not the case a decade or so ago, but it would appear to be now.
Yeah, I admit it. When I hear a pitch like this I roll my eyes. That title doesn't help. However, trailer is very nicely put together. Gets you into the story. And, have to say, looks viable in the details.
I've got faith in Anton Fuqua. Aaron Eckhart as the president works. Ashley Judd has the chops. Morgan Freeman -- I'd watch a 90 minute movie of him knitting a hat. All of which lends the needed support for Gerard Butler in the hot seat.
With Dylan McDermott, Radha Mitchell, Melissa Leo, Angela Bassett, and Robert Forster... The movie has what it takes. May or may not score at the (domestic) box office but should overseas and on TV/Cable/rental/stream.
Notable about the writers -- Creighton Rothenberger comes from the English Honors Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Really, let's face it, most writers can barely write. Not that such programs necessarily produce good screenwriters but it's worth noting. Then there's Katrin Benedikt. She's from Reykjavík, Iceland and I can't help but wonder if English is a second language. If so, Fuqua put together a capable crew.
I'll be getting the Blu-ray and watching a few times.
Yeah. Agree. 99.9999% of tweets aren't worth reading. They're like 'I just watched TV for an hour!' or 'My lunch sucks' or 'It just started raining. Bummer. Check out the pix' or 'Wow man. Loved your pix of rainy day. Excellent! Too bad for you, though. Really sorry. Keep posting those photos, though.'
Times millions. Billions. That's what we do with our time.
Immediately brought to mind the uber-cool first trailer for David Fincher's remake of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Not as energetic, perhaps, but it's hard to match the forward motion of Trent Reznor and Karen O's cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song'.
To be fair, though, DJ Shadow's 'I Gotta Rokk' is just about as raw as the Zeppelin although with much cleaner minimalistic lines.
The trailers make for an interesting compare/contrast.
We're probably going to hear a lot of people say they like this. Those that wouldn't like it won't see it. Those that don't care won't see it. But, those that see it should like it. So, it will seem like a really cool movie but very few people will catch it or talk about it.
If it pans out I'll rent it and watch a few minutes at a time.
I know what you're thinking. But, you have to check out this video. First though, read the setup by photographer Ben Silberfarb.
Shot at 4k. Pans and zooms done in post. Neutral picture profile - no
Canon log, no color correction, straight from camera into Premiere Pro,
edited at 4k, then exported to 1080p, then Vimeo/YouTube compression
(which kills images). Regardless, I really like this camera! Love the
latitude to zoom and pan! With c-log I'm getting approx. 12.5 stops of
The pans and zooms are done in post. That's a desperation move -- panning and zooming a shot after the fact. It should look like crap, but stays sharp with great dynamic range and wonderful breathing detail that maintains its depth.
Be sure to watch at 720 or 1080p. Control appears lower right after clicking start.
What's the surprise? Watch and see. Okay, I'll give you a hint. Here's what Roger Ebert says about the movie:
Dennis Quaid gives one of the performances of a lifetime
this film doesn't wrap things up in a tidy package. It is a great film about an American moral crisis.
This is a brave, layered film that challenges the wisdom of victory at any price.
novelistic in its events and characters
Yeah, really. Ebert calls director Ramin Bahrani "The best new American director of recent years."
Watching the trailer, in the first few seconds, I couldn't help but be skeptical. It's just so formulaic. I thought comments by other reviewers were a joke. The trailer got better. And better. Then, there's Ebert's comment.
Resistance is futile, this is fun. Not being able to appreciate this is would be a bad sign. I mean, "Please tell me that's a stick of dynamite in your pocket"... that's good stuff. May not win awards, but it'll get you through a bucket of popcorn and a large soda.
Directed by Jeff Nichols, who did 'Take Shelter' which was as must-see as it gets for cinephiles. With Matthew McConaughey who is becoming the new top dog for character-driven stuff, and Reese Witherspoon who is making a move away from candy-coated movies.
Also with Michael Shannon, who had the lead in 'Take Shelter' and always brings it. Sam Sheppard takes a turn, which can't be missed. And get this, Joe Don Baker is in this. Yeah, I know.
Joon-ho Bong is one of those directors whose visual style sets him apart. Much of 'The Host' reminded me of Spielberg's camera work. The quality is there even in the above still from 'Snowpiercer'. Really, most directors could not produce a frame this well done.
There's a lot of interest in the film. One bit that catches my attention is from the synopsis from Wiki:
The film is set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop
global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for
the inhabitants of the Snow Piercer, a train that travels around the
globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system
evolves on the train but a revolution brews.
A 'sacred perpetual motion engine'? The perpetual motion part is pretty good but the sacred part is even better. Very interesting. There's plot possibilities in that.
Another interesting thing is the story takes place after a 'failed experiment to stop global warming'. Well...so? Yeah, that would be par for the course for a screenplay these days -- there ain't a lot of people who argue about the changing environment anymore -- except this movie is based on the graphic novel 'Le Transperceneige'.
The novel was written between 1978 and 1982. So, a story about mankind after global warming has wrecked the environment which was written decades ago and probably conceived of 40 years ago. Somehow, worth noting.
Okay... What's a MetaBones speed booster? Very quickly: it's an adapter with an optical element that goes on your lens (between the lens and the camera) that makes the lens wider, faster, and (get this) sharper.
No way? Impossible? That's what I thought (and still do, a little).
So, Jackie Robinson is playing second and makes an error. The crowd starts jeering, yelling death threats. Shortstop Pee Wee Reese goes over and puts his arm around Jackie and looks at the stands. The crowd goes silent.
In the first few seconds of the trailer for 'Trance' you get that sinking feeling. The actors have that 'look, we're in a movie' vibe, camera is generic, setup is a tad dusty. This only gets worse once the premise is fully disclosed: Some guy (James McAvoy) knows where a stolen painting is hidden. The thief (Vincent Cassel) wants to know where it is. Problem is, McAvoy can't remember due to a head injury. Enter hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to pick the locks and get the data.
Okay, fine. Sounds like a TV show plot. At this point, however, the trailer starts to change and it's almost as if it's pitching a different movie, like a prestige film, a suspense thriller directed by a craftsman. It crept up on me and I didn't even realize it until later. I was spellbound.
And, that craftsman? That would be Danny Boyle, who could make the phone book seem like a page-turner. Imagery had become dynamic and bold, acting had gone from technique-y to invisible, characters attained depth and substance, and the story had sprung to life. In the space of a few seconds 'Trance' had gone from rent-maybe to see-absolutely.
'Trance' is written by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge. Ahearne writes for TV and could be quite good, but I wouldn't know since I don't watch TV. Hodge, however, wrote Boyle's first feature, 'Shallow Grave' (as well as 'Trainspotting'), and it's a gem. An excellent character-driven suspense thriller. 'Shallow Grave' is the rare ensemble piece that has propulsion even when very little is going on. Everyday moments are laced with a sense of dread and/or comedy and there is a palpable thread of suspense throughout. The movie seems alive. It's very entertaining. If you haven't seen it, do.
Between the writers' conjuring and the director's rendering 'Trance' is looking very nice indeed.
So, I have to conclude, despite the by-the-numbers way the trailer starts, this movie is must-see. Apologies in advance, but by the end of this trailer I found 'Trance' hypnotic.
You know how some movie titles have to include the director's name? Like, without the guy's (or girl's) name the title means nothing. 'Wrong' is one of those. I mean, without Quentin Dupieux's name nobody knows what you're talking about. That goes for 'Rubber', too.
Without Dupieux's name you get exchanges like this:
PERSON A: Did you like 'Rubber'?
PERSON B: What? Did I like rubber? What rubber?
A: No. Did you like the movie, the one directed by Quentin Dupieux, called 'Rubber'?
B: Oh, 'Rubber'. "Quentin Dupieux's 'Rubber'." Yeah! It was cool.
See what I mean?
So, here's the new trailer for "Quentin Dupieux's 'Wrong'".
How sure is Tim Roth here. How assured can a trailer and a couple posters be. All while giving us no real clue as to plot specifics. And, the thing is, at the end of the trailer you don't care, you just want to see the movie. Don't know what you're in for but want to see it.