Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Trailer for 'Oblivion'

Actually, I had doubts after the first trailer. Came off dry, even plodding, too conceptual. But this trailer looks like it's for a different movie. Wow.


'Searching for Sugar Man' Shot In Part On An iPhone

When director Malik Bendjelloul ran out of money to buy film he shot footage on an iPhone and gave it a retro look using a $1 app.

Whatever you gotta do...


Marisa Tomei and Andy Samberg in 'Bottlecap'


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Laura Dekker Sails Around The World in 'Maidentrip'

Love this. That bird...just love it. Can't wait.

via ToH


Searching For A Story In Brussels

Life of Bloom: finding a story in Brussels from Maarten Toner on Vimeo.


Trailer for 'The Conjuring(inging)'

Based on the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga [pictured with Lorraine]), founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research (site), who helped a family deal with some spooky ghosts.

Hard to read the trailer. Could be an atmospheric flick stripped of over-stylized camera work, could be a cheesefest.

I trust Vera Farmiga's script sense, though. Hoping.

Here's a bit about the movie.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trailer for 'The Girl'

Abbie Cornish gives a great performance. You can tell she connects with this material somehow, for some personal reason.

Opens March 8.

Will make a great rental.

Featurette for 'A Place At The Table' -- or -- Where Is Your Next Meal Coming From?


Trailer for 'Revolution': About Our Survival

Really, it's probably too late to take action. However, we can go down swinging.


Red Bull Skateboard Guys

This is worth a look. These guys are so good.

Redbull "Perspective" from Marc Ritzema on Vimeo.


Continues To Impress

Everything about 'Spring Breakers' is looking good. Not just well made, but makes a statement, has something to say.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Worth A Thousand Words

Jennifer Lawrence flipping somebody off after winning Best Actress. My favorite Oscar moment. Of all time. Really, that's a graceful looking gesture. Don't think it could be done better. Best Flipoff, I'd say.


500 Million Years Old

Another short by Philip Bloom. This one done on the Canon 1DC. If your connection allows, watch in HD (or get the big version).

500 million years old... from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


Must-Watch Trailer for 'Eden'

This is brutal, just to be clear. Don't click play looking for entertainment.

Based on an account by Chong Kim, who survived sexual enslavement. Directed by Megan Griffiths, who turned in the critically praised and atmospheric study 'The Off Hours'.

Due March 11.


'Spring Breakers' Making-Of Vids

This flick has something.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lens Talk

Even if you're not a photographer and don't care about the differences in lenses, this is pretty good as a short film.

Canon Cinema Primes vs. Canon L Series from Jonathan Yi on Vimeo.


Friday, February 22, 2013

'Simon Killer'

Played Sundance 2012. Set for a US release April 2013.

There's potential. Trailer has a natural flow. Hoping.


Poster For The Trailer For 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2' -- or -- Just When You Thought Water Torture Marketing Couldn't Get Worse

Here's a poster, not for the movie, but for a trailer...which will roll out in 5 days. That is, if it's a full trailer. It might be a teaser for the trailer. In which case this is a poster for the teaser for the trailer.

What's next? A teaser graphic for the poster which will announce the teaser trailer which will promote the full trailer which will hawk the movie?


A Reason To Watch

Ben Kinglsey looks menacing as the Mandarin. And, not comic book menacing but like some real guy, some recluse kook you'd not want to cross paths with. He's so good it gives me a reason to think 'Iron Man 3' might be worth watching. You need a great bad guy to make the good guy effective and interesting and Kingley looks to deliver.

The burning look, finger pointed to the head like a gun -- pretty mean. Big sleeves with fancy embroidery is a nice touch, along with the incense and hair done in a topknot -- gives him that flamboyant edge that says 'crazy, but likes the finer things'. Love the dog tags hanging at bottom right. (Just where/who did they come from)? Nasty.

Mandarin may give Iron Man reason to rise to the occasion, and we may get a flick worth watching. How far movie villains have come...


Thursday, February 21, 2013

More Virtuosity: But This Time, Yeah, You Notice

Couple days ago we get a very nice clip with some very subtle camera/editing. I said, "Director Chan-wook Park's virtuosity is on display, though not so you'd notice. He doesn't toss technique around for its own sake. His camera work enhances character without bringing attention to itself."

Well, today we get a another clip and this time, indeed, the camera draws attention to itself and I'm not so sure it's in service of the characters. It does, for sure, create a smooth flowing scene all in one take, and that's worth something. Seeing how you have to either cut or at least move the camera to shoot this setup, it might be more fair to call Park's lensing 'dynamic'. It does match the mood, what with all the machinations swirling around.

Very Hitchcock, pretty fresh, however way noticeable. I like it. It's good. Yes, I'm sure of it. I've convinced myself. But, especially on the big screen, it's going to be conspicuous and might do little more than take the audience out of the moment. Still, though, nice movement. Obviously. Very much so.

So, in conclusion: Makes you dizzy but it's fun -- or -- In context, at that point in the movie, it could be brilliant and spellbinding and have you on the edge of your seat biting your nails however, out of context, in this clip, it's just a little busy.

I'm liking 'Stoker' a lot. Safe money is on 'Park knows exactly what he's doing'.


Review of 'Snitch'

I'm thinking 'Snitch' won't do much at the box office, overseas, on TV, rental, you name it. It's both not action-y enough and too character-centric at the same time. Genre fans won't turn out, neither will people who like crime drama/thrillers. Yeah, jangly. But, at the same time, it strikes me as a pretty good movie. Maybe it'll do okay as a rental, who knows.

However, Jeremy Jahns does a great job reviewing the flick.


'Vamp U'

This could be good. Why not? Could be a freaking classic.


Can't-Be-Missed Trailer for 'No Place On Earth'

Even this trailer could be called monumental. Documentary has to be seen.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

'Kiss of the Damned'

You see this kind of thing could go either way. There's nothing in the trailer that indicates the movie will be good, or bad. (True, the title is something of a throwback but I'll give it a pass). It's competent, pretty tight, but there's not much else to go on. look for indicators, stuff that tips the balance. Being written and directed by Xan Cassavetes, yes John's daughter and Nick's sister, is just such an indicator. That alone makes the flick must-see. Well, that and the killer poster.


So...Now It's Personal?

I actually like the graphics. Gets the message across fairly well. But, that tagline...


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where Is Bane!?

If you didn't catch this it's pretty good.


Catherine Keener and James Franco in 'Maladies'

Gotta admit. Fun clip. Funny too. Yeah...funny and fun.


Poster/Trailer for 'The Silence' (Das letzte Schweigen)

'Das letzte Schweigen' started its rollout in Germany in 2010 and will open in the US March 8, 2013.

Poster is a bit on-the-nose but, still, it's disturbing. Perhaps the criticism is off base -- maybe they were going for the matter-of-fact look. You know, like everyday murder. (Notice there is someone in the passenger seat. Makes it even more insidious).

Good reviews, very chewy looking. The kind of flick I'll wait for a rainy day to watch. (Yeah. Really. Rain. Makes creepy movies better).


Clip From 'Stoker': Virtuosity, Though Not So You'd Notice

'Stoker' is shaping up to be a cinematic experience. One of those movies you can study in small bits or even freeze-frame.

Clip is very well cut, made from highly crafted parts. I notice the tail end of a steady-cam shot at the very beginning which would indicate a switch from casual observation to the more dialed-in stillness of having the camera on sticks, a bit too close to its subject.

I especially like the sound -- cool, with fine grit. Silence is heavy at first -- almost uncomfortable -- then it's cut down the middle by the glass sliding across the table. You don't know which you prefer less, the sound or lack of it.

While Matthew Goode does a fine job with his odd uncle character, it's Mia Wasikowska who carries the scene. What an emotional shift her character has, and all within a few seconds. Off the top of my head, from recent movies, I can't remember such an engrossing, quick display.

Very confident and capable writing by Wentworth Miller and Erin Cressida Wilson. Overtly, not much happens however, to be sure, a lot is going on under the surface. Most scripts don't offer such subtlety, most writers don't bother.

Director Chan-wook Park's virtuosity is on display, though not so you'd notice. He doesn't toss technique around for its own sake. His camera work enhances character without bringing attention to itself. He makes it look so easy, but a lesser director would be at a loss as to how to turn this particular page of screenplay into a such an elegant snippet.

This has novelistic depth that demands a lot of actors and, clearly, they rise to the occasion. While that may sound like a dusty exercise -- theater captured on film, perhaps -- polished yet breezy lensing brings 'Stoker' to life and makes it a pleasure to consume.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

DJesus Uncrossed

In case you missed it or have been living a cave.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

'6 Souls' Trailer

Julianne Moore brings it in this trailer. Could be hokey but lots of potential. Way lots.


Looking at 'Upside Down'

I hope this is good. It's one of those premises that's so ridiculous the movie is either impossible to watch or totally captivating. Anything could ruin it. One bad line of dialogue, action that defies logic to an unacceptable point, your mood. Basically, flipping a coin. Depends.

Should do well as a rental because of the curiosity factor. Good featurette, though.


Ice Cold Featurette for 'Stoker'

I can't imagine watching this in a theater. This is for a night at home. With a glass of red. Or two. I'm thinking Barbaresco. Yes. That's it. Not too soft, not too superficial. Something with a bit of edge and some layers that keeps giving.


Friday, February 15, 2013

'Finding Vivian Maier'

Most street photography is sarcastic, thin, lazy, predatory -- from-the-hip grabs that reflect little consideration for composition or regard for the subject. Vivian Maier's pictures, however, are some of the best I've seen. They capture not only decisive moments but also, clearly, are the work of someone who cared about people.

Here's the trailer for a documentary about her life.


Again. Cheesy But Good

Poster is like the clips from yesterday. Kinda corny but has a coolness. The shape of the boy's shadow, to state the obvious, is a pretty good hook. The tag 'Fear the dark', on the other hand, isn't that great. 'Fear' and 'dark' are a bit tired to use in the same sentence anymore, yes?

Nonetheless, pretty good poster. Should open well, then play strong on TV/stream/etc.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Short Film 'Eyes'

This is what shorts are about. After watching ask yourself when a feature maintained this level of suspense and creepiness.

Eyes in Bloom from Tim Buys on Vimeo.


Really? What If The Frankenstein Monster Is Real?

This better be good (or at least not laughable) or else we've officially reached the bottom of the barrel.

The pitch? What if Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus' was an account of a real experiment gone wrong disguised as fiction? (Then, some guys go into the wild to prove the monster exists).

Whaaaaat iiiiiifffff!!!!????

Production value of the trailer is better than most of this type. I'll give it that.


'It's A Disaster' Trailer

Opens limited April 12. Goes on my can't-wait-to-rent list.


Kinda Cheesy, Kinda Good

As cheesy as these can be I still like them. 'Dark Skies' is looking like a fun time.


Seeks Funding To Photograph The People Of Chukotka And Give Them Free Portraits

You gotta watch this Kickstarter pitch from photographer Sasha Leahovcenco.

Here's the proposed route. He plans a documentary of the trip. You can donate at the link above.


Trailer for 'Two Mothers'

Based on the novel by Doris Lessing. Written by Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method). Directed by Anne Fontaine. With Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. What more could you ask for?


With A Certain Weight But Still Light On Its Feet

A fine line. Tough to do.

However, writer/director Richard LaGravenese certainly has a polished technique for rendering layered characters with just a few brush strokes. If he goes too far one way or the other the movie will suffer.

Trailer, though, is pretty compelling and seems to get the balance of comedic zing and dramatic flare just right. I'm seeing a 'Twilight' that will/might appeal to a broad audience including adults.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2nd Trailer for 'Trance'

Not for the squeamish. I liked the first trailer, love this one. Very confident.


Nice Voice Matching

You probably hate movies dubbed into another language. I always want to hear the original dialogue and read subtitles if necessary if for no other reason other than the original actor did the job right and over dubs are going to have that tacked-on sound, or the voice won't match the face/body of the actor.

We just got the international trailer for 'Oblivion' and, of course, there are versions in other languages. Here's one in German that's remarkable in that, really, you can't tell it's overdubbed. The voice matching is probably the best I've seen, especially for the guy covering Tom Cruise.

Worth a look for future reference if you're into it.


New Trailer for 'Oblivion'

If they got the story right this will be a classic. If not, it'll be...who knows.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Way Too 70s To Fly Today

Not the poster. It's not 70s at all -- lacks the charm of that era. It's way 80s, complete with the number 8 for the letter B in the title. 8ogus, man.

Trailer/premise/setting/locations, though, those are totally 70s, maybe 60s. Exactly what you would have looked forward to seeing (as a kid, probably) on TV, with its massive16-inch screen, late on a Saturday night.

Thing is, today, we ain't got radio. Well, it's there, it still exists, yeah, but when was the last time you tuned in? Who listens to radio anymore?

And, how is this flick plugged into any sort of contemporary vibe? That is, what secret radio station is this? There is no talk or urban legend, no pop myth along these lines.

I'll give it its due. These coded broadcasts were used during World War II especially in England, but nobody today says, "Yeah, man. There are secret agents getting their orders via that secret radio station. Operates in the 10 meter band. Everybody knows that."

Has anyone ever brought this idea up in a conversation? In the last 30 years? WWII was a long time ago. The idea has faded. People today simply don't know. Young people (the target audience) can hardly read an analogue clock anymore let alone care about some (Oooooh!!!!) secret radio station. 

And, what about logistics? Why use radio? Why not just phone or email the hitman? If you broadcast the message, even in code, it's out there -- people will know something is going on. Plus, codebreakers will always be hacking away. If you email your operative nobody knows and, even if they do, even if they get their hands on the email, it's encoded right? They won't be able to read it. If broadcasting coded top-secret orders for the whole world to hear is okay then emailing them (or a simple phone call) would be at least as good an idea.

We had some very cool tech thrillers back in the day. 'The Conversation' (1974) comes to mind. But, this? Today? No way. 'The Numbers Station' won't hook an audience. Nobody cares about radio. They might as well have had the secret message encoded in newspaper articles. While that was a common enough motif in movies from the 40s through the Cold War it's not what you'd call scintillating today.

This is basically the same roll of the dice as low-budget single-location B-horror. Most of the action (it looks like, judging from the trailer) takes place in this underground (dark, filled with shadows, cheap as a production location) bunker. Sort of like 'Safe House' with Denzel and Ryan except they stay in the house the whole time. Just doesn't have an appeal. No sexy Bond-esque globetrotting, no exotic locations...just that bunker, those dark passage ways, those shadows. Who will want to see that?

We'll find out in April. That's when the distributor will test the waters with a release in Denmark.

April, Denmark. That already tells us something.


Trailer for 'Down and Dangerous'

Hard to say about this one. Could be good. Could have something special.

From Zak Forsman, who did the short film 'I Fucking Hate You'. Just like the trailer for D & D this has a cool visual style and some nice editing.

Worth a look.


New 'Dark Skies' Stuff

Liking everything about this movie so far. Here's a new clip. We've seen most of this scene in trailers but there's more here that's worth checking out. Love the way this plays.

Keri Russell says 'It feels real' and 'Doesn't look like a horror movie'. Have to agree. The footage doesn't have that by-the-numbers shock vibe.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Beautiful Time-Lapse Video 'Namibian Nights'

Namibian Nights from Squiver on Vimeo.


So Likeable. Just Is.

Okay, I wouldn't see this in the theater but it'll make a good escapist rental some night.


Saturday, February 09, 2013

Riding the Tallest Waves (Yeah, in the World)

From Nazaré, Portugal. By Band-Originale


All the Major Plot Points of 'The Host' in 90 Seconds Flat


Spanish Poster for 'Upside Down' -- Better Than Ours, As Usual

I started noticing a long time ago and the trend continues. Well, it's not a trend, it's status quo. Foreign posters are better than ours. Not only are they more human, less conceptual and distant than our posters, they are often graphically better.

Granted the Spanish poster for 'Upside Down' is the same graphic as ours but the sentiment is much warmer. The title translates (roughly) as 'A Love of (or, literally, 'Enters') Two Worlds'. Come on -- really. That's so much better than the almost juvenile 'Upside Down'.

The tagline on the Spanish version is (you'll excuse me) from another world: "Is love stronger than gravity?" That's good. That sells, although not to an American audience apparently.

The tag on the US version is as cold and conceptual as you'd expect: "Two worlds. One future." Yeah, got it. Doesn't make me care about the plight of the characters but, got it.


Friday, February 08, 2013

'Hours' Trailer

Set in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, 'Hours' is about a man who, after the power fails, must keep his newborn daughter alive in a ventilator by continually charging a battery that only lasts three hours before needing to be recharged using a hand-cranked generator.

This is the kind of story that, if based on something that actually happened, is riveting but, if it's fiction, tends to make it hard to accept. The premise seems cheap, like it's taking advantage of a real tragedy to sell tickets to a movie. People may feel played. Think 'The Impossible' if those specific events never happened, if that family's ordeal was made up by a writer. '127 Hours' might make a more pointed example.

'Hours' looks like fiction (taken from a short story/outline by director Eric Heisserer). However, something like this happened. I remember stories about doctors and nurses staying at a hospital to care for patients after the power failed. The problem is, the story everyone will remember will be about the hospital staff who allegedly euthanized patients.

There may have been more than one story, certainly. New Orleans is a big city. There are a lot of hospitals. There may have been an heroic event, or several, but people won't remember those. That won't do much for this movie.

Trailer gets under your skin to be sure, but some might be turned off. Set to rollout at SXSW in March, so we'll get some feedback then.


New Trailer for 'Room 237'

So compelling. Great reviews. A must-rent -- even if you don't care that much for 'The Shining'.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Time Magazine's Lightbox: Oscars 2013 Great Performances

Check out the portraits by Paola Kudacki. Here's the video.


I Need To Wear More Rings

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh's 'Behind the Candelabra'.


'Dead Man Down' Featurette

I like everything about this movie. Great title, for instance. Love that -- Dead Man Down -- has a ring to it.

The cast works. In the footage I've seen Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace click, and don't look like they're in a scene. Terrence Howard brings a weird cool edge as the bad guy -- should be interesting.

That it's directed by Niels Arden Oplev (original adaptation of Dragon Tattoo) is so right for this kind of story. Oplev is directing the upcoming TV series 'Under the Dome', based on Stephen King's story. I'd dismissed this until I heard Oplev was behind the camera. Now, I'll probably watch.

Writer JH Wyman brings that edge -- he's done Fringe and the twisty 'The Mexican' -- and is working with JJ Abrams on a TV sci-fi movie (slash) pilot. That should be endorsement enough.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Poster for 'Snowpiercer'

Liking it, liking it.

Could somebody open a window? Some background


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Street Night Seattle

Okay, after a long break, I'll be posting more new pix soon. I shot this a couple years ago.

Canon 40D, Canon 17-55 2.8 (I think), about a 1/2 second, handheld


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Best Super Bowl Trailer?

I'll call it now. 'Fast & Furious 6' wins. People can scoff. Say it's fluff. But, the series rocks the box office worldwide and this trailer looks great.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Neil Jordan's 'Byzantium'

To me, though probably not many others, 'Byzantium' is must-see. The kind of movie you can settle into on a quiet afternoon (at home. I rarely go to the theater anymore).

Neil Jordan has the touch with deeply character-driven stories and Saoirse Ronan, I believe, will become go to for this kind of work. People will care about the characters she portrays.

May not score at the box office but should do well as a rental, on disc, and TV.


International Trailer for 'Spring Breakers'

If this movie isn't good I'm going to cry. It'll be a crime if these killer trailers are for a crappy movie.


One More 'Warm Bodies' Trailer

Curious to see how this one does. Should be a hit on some level.


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