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Trailer Reviews for October 7, 2011

REAL STEEL



I know I’ve mentioned about a million times that I hate boxing movies, but I’m actually looking forward to seeing this movie. I thought the premise was dumb at first. Robots are such a tired sci-fi cliché now that I tend to avoid stories that have them. But then I realized that putting robots in it did the impossible – made a boxing movie that’s actually different enough to bother with. The plot doesn’t seem like it’s changed much, though, and I can’t decide if it’s a boxing movie using sci-fi as its gimmick or a sci-fi movie using boxing as its gimmick, but the loser dad/spunky child thing has been done plenty (like, in half of all dramas ever made). And yet… and yet I must see it, because it’s got… something. Hopefully once I see it I’ll figure out what it is.

THE IDES OF MARCH



Ryan Gosling? Blech. George Clooney? Blech. Politics? Double blech. Even if Real Steel starred the Smurfs and was directed by Michael Bay, I’d still see it over this one. The trailer tries to make this movie look like a mysterious political thriller, but with a name like The Ides of March, there’s not much left up to the imagination. Hello, Ceasar story? I can tell you what’s going to happen right now. George Clooney is the Caesar character. Ryan Gosling is his Brutus. George thinks that Ryan is loyal, but really Ryan is working behind his back with Paul Giamatti, who is the Mark Antony character. George Clooney doesn’t get elected, Paul Giamatti does. But then everything falls apart, there’s a big battle (press scandal?) and Brutus dies (Ryan’s career is ruined) after which Paul Giamatti commits suicide (steps down?) and his girlfriend offs herself with a snake (I got nothin’). Someone go see it and confirm my clairvoyant powers.

THE GUARD



Am I going blind, or is this trailer slightly out of focus?? That’s not a good sign. Other than that it looks like a pretty funny twist on the “partners who are total opposites” cop gimmick. The guy from Hotel Rwanda paired with Mad Eye Moody? They must have arrived at that pairing while playing movie roulette. Or darts. Or something else where the results are left completely to chance. But it could work. I have to say it’s interesting that the one with the Southern accent actually ISN’T the idiot in this one. Southerners are ALWAYS the idiots. I hope the Irish cop has more jokes in him than just the racist ones, or he’ll be something of a one trick pony. Oh well, I’ll find out in like 2 years when I get my hands on the DVD.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing The Trip. It’s a documentary about Steve Coogan and his annoying buddy on a restaurant tour. Check out the trailer review here. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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Trailer Reviews for September 30, 2011

DREAM HOUSE



I wonder if it was a mistake for them to reveal that the whole “scary things stalking my family in a house” thing is all in his head and that he’s a murderer. I suppose it all depends how early this “revelation” comes in the full film. If he figures it out after ten minutes, then yeah, we need to know. If it takes a half hour, we’re still okay. An hour? Now we’re giving things away, and if it comes around an hour and a half in they ruined the movie. From the rest of the trailer, I’m guessing it’s an early occurrence, so we’re safe on that front. That doesn’t make it any clearer what’s going on. It is now? Then? Both? Does he remember? Is he just imagining these things? I guess that’s the sort of thing you need to watch the film for. I’m game.

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?



Does anyone else remember the short-lived television series The Ex-List? No? Well, I guess that’s what they were counting on here because What’s Your Number? has almost the exact same story. Just replace the fortune teller with a magazine article. Anna Faris is a lot more annoying than the woman from the TV show (Elizabeth Reaser) but the gags are the same – gross ex-boyfriends are now hot, hot ex-boyfriends are now gross, and the reasons for breaking up with them still stand. The only real difference is that the TV show was canceled before we found out who was “the one.” This movie looks painful. Embarrassing gaffes. Obvious jokes. Luckily I don’t actually have to see it to get closure, since even the trailer seems to know she ends up with Chris Evans.

50/50



I dunno, I don’t really feel anything about this trailer. It’s not bad enough to deserve scorn or good enough to make me look forward to seeing it. It just is. Joseph Gordon Levitt is blank, Seth Rogan is the same character he always plays because he’s a freaking clone and he can only play himself, and they trotted out cancer because it’s a sure fire way to tug at the heartstrings. In fact, it’s so common as to become bland (in the movie sense, anyway, I’m sure if I came down with it I could muster up some emotion). For me, this movie is just going to blend into the background of other depressing/hopeful stories about a young man facing death and the life truths he’s supposed to learn from it. And no, I’m not going to go see it. It’s wallpaper. You don’t go out of your way to see wallpaper.

MACHINE GUN PREACHER



This whole subset of action movies about blank-faced lunatics with big guns mowing down everything in their path in a vaguely satiric yet totally straight way has really caught on. They’re funny, they’re actiony, they’ve got everything. Unfortunately, Machine Gun Preacher is not one of these movies. Despite the title’s resemblance to Hobo With a Shotgun, MAchine Gun Preacher actually wants to be taken seriously. They even went the “inspirational true story route,” though I doubt the actual Southern preacher guy had a Scottish accent that came and went in stressful situations. If they cool it with the religious stuff (the trailer doesn’t seem too bad) then I could probably stand to watch it.

COURAGEOUS



We’re going along, setting up some nice drama, there’s a tragedy, okay interesting, something about a calling, uh oh, that doesn’t sound good and – WHAM they hit you with the God stuff. They don’t tell you it’s a God movie until halfway through, just to sucker in people like me who would otherwise have avoided it. By slapping the religiosity front and center like that they’re severely limiting the audience to people who are strongly religious – or more specifically, strongly Christian. I’d have gone to see this movie if it was just about some cop dads reconnecting with their families, but it’s actually more about marching in time to some religious leader’s rules than people actually figuring out their own problems, so no way. If you’re into that stuff, you’ll go, but everyone else is going to skip it unless they somehow missed the God part and thought it was a regular drama.

BREAKAWAY



Okay, here we go again trying to make a Canadian hockey movie with a gimmick. This time it’s that the players are all Indian-Canadian (Indian as in from India, not Indian as in the old non-PC term for First Nations people). Russell Peters is really monotone here, which is weird, considering he’s the famous one. Maybe he didn’t transition well from standup. The trailer made me laugh a couple times (okay, once) but the fantasy musical scene worries me. Score proved well enough that hockey and musicals equals lame. I suspect that’s true even if you’re riffing on Bollywood films (which, incidentally, all make more money than Canadian films). I’ll see it, but I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD to do so.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Page One. It’s a documentary about how the New York Times adapted to the digital age and it sounds pretty boring. Click here to watch the trailer and decide for yourself. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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DVDs for Sept 27, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn’t the worst movie in the world. That honor goes to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Instead, it’s something worse: blah. This story, about a nerdy twenty-something loser with giant robots for friends rescuing his inexplicably beautiful girlfriend from other giant robots who want to turn the Earth into a robot resort, is not bad enough to laugh at and not good enough to enjoy unless all you care about are special effects. Avoid! Avoid! Read my full review for more reasons why.

Buy Transformers: Dark of the Moon on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Trigun: Badlands Rumble

You know it’s a slow week for movie releases when I resort to talking about Japanese anime. Based on the Trigun TV series, the film follows the preposterously named Vash the Stampede as he wanders around the Japanese interpretation of the American West trying not to get killed by all the bounty hunters who want to take him out because of the reward on his head from some bank robbery from 20 years ago. It fits in to the side of the plotline of the series. If you like anime, maybe you’d want to watch it, but I don’t so I won’t.

Buy Trigun: Badlands Rumble on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Ben Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition

Yes, I realize that Ben Hur actually came out in 1959, but they’re releasing a special Blu-Ray edition for its 50th anniversary, so that’s enough to include it on a week like this, where there’s almost nothing coming out. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Ben Hur is the story of a vengeful Jewish prince who becomes a slave to the Romans. This edition is loaded with special features, including a feature length documentary, Charlton Heston’s diary, and the academy awards telecast where the movie won 11 Oscars. If you’re going to get it, this is the version you want.

Buy Ben Hur on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Without Men

And to round out the set, we’ve got a straight to DVD romantic comedy starring Christian Slater! (I told you it was a slow week). At least, it’s supposed to be funny, but the setup they chose to get rid of the men isn’t exactly funny – they were all kidnapped and forced to be communist guerillas! This movie is also likely to anger even the least virulent feminist, because apparently after all the men leave all the women are completely hopeless. “Who will look after me?” they cry. Add in the fact that it stars Eva Longoria, and you’ve got a recipe for horrid. No matter how bored think you are, you are not bored enough to enjoy this film.

Buy Without Men on DVD.
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Trailer Reviews for September 23, 2011

MONEYBALL



Call me crazy, but I actually do want to see this movie. And no, it’s not because it has Brad Pitt in it. I never really understood the whole “Brad Pitt” thing. And it’s definitely not because of Jonah Hill. I hate that guy. It’s not the baseball factor, either. It’s the world’s second most boring game (golf is #1). Could it be because of… math? After barely scraping by second year calculus in college (thanks, Jenny) I thought I was done with math, but there’s really nothing else it could be. I just want to see them make a baseball team with math. Me wanting to see a math movie may actually be a sign of the apocalypse. Call the National Guard, I think the world is about to end.

ABDUCTION



Ah, and so it begins – the attempts to cash in on the popularity of Twilight by hiring its lead actors to be in unimaginative genre films that will go straight to the $5 bin upon their release on DVD. I’m actually surprised that they waited this long. The idea behind the film isn’t too bad (it’s ripped off of The Face on the Milk Carton, a popular YA book) but the execution… so bad. You can tell just from the trailer. “Sometimes I feel different” (no sh** Sherlock, you’re a teenager) “Why would my picture end up on a missing persons website” (um, because you’re a missing person?) Apparently they didn’t think to include his NAME on said website, if he’s asking for it a few seconds later (in a flat, blank way characteristic of bad actors). Even the title is bad: “there’s an abduction in it, let’s just call it Abduction.” No thank you.

DOLPHIN TALE



Hee hee, it’s clever because it’s called Dolphin Tale and it’s about a dolphin’s tail! Get it? In all seriousness, though, I will probably see this movie because I have a crippling weakness for cute kids and cuddly animals. It’s like Free Willy, only a dolphin, and the story is true. Winter the dolphin even plays herself! Also, it’s not from the 1990s, which means a blessed lack of neon outfits and Jason James Richter. Those Blind Side people made this movie, though, so it’s probably going to make everyone cry. Just putting that out there in case you’re one of those parental units who feel like they have to spirit their children out of the theater at the faintest suggestion of sadness. Stick around and see the happy ending instead.

AFGHAN LUKE



In the beginning of the trailer, I was interested. I thought it would be one of those journalist expose movies about tracking down difficult truths in wartime, but funny. And then it took a left turn into nuttytown and I was like “… what?” When I saw that it was made by the Trailer Park Boys people, I finally understood what was going on. Or rather, I understood that the people who made this movie had no idea what was going on. Seriously, from watching this trailer it’s obvious that they can’t even decide whether they’re making a point or not. Serious moments, ridiculous moments, all combined into a confusing soup. At least Trailer Park Boys knew it was dumb. This movie thinks it’s smart. I doubt it is. After all, it was made by the Trailer Park Boys guy.

KILLER ELITE



“You and I got a lot in common.” It’s true, they’re both unattractive British actors who star in a lot of terrible action movies. And they both look stupid with facial hair. Oh, and let’s add Robert DeNiro into the mix for extra unattractiveness and cliches. And just so everyone knows it’s riddled with cliches, let’s throw in some cheesy one liners: “This guy is good!” “You have no idea!” “The gloves are off!” “This ends today!” This trailer gives no indication as to what the story is about, so I have to assume there isn’t one. It’s just a two hour montage of terrible mustachioed one-liners and things exploding. It’s supposed to be based on a true story, but this does not seem like the type of story that gets around, if you know what I mean. As in: no witnesses live to tell the tale of how half the city got destroyed.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Jane Eyre. It’s an excellent adaptation of one of my favorite classic books. It’s already out on DVD, but if you want to see it on the big screen you can go to the Empire Theaters in Sydney this Thursday evening at 7pm. Click here to see my trailer review of it. I recommend seeing it and THEN re-reading the book. It really enhances the experience.

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DVDs for September 20, 2011

Bridesmaids

Pretty much every woman I know loves this movie. The “real” critics hail it as a giant leap forward for feminism. I’m of two minds about it. There were parts where I was laughing hysterically and there were parts where I was cringing. The humor is at times disgusting (can’t we leave the poop jokes to the little kids?) and the whole thing is so crude that I have a hard time seeing it as progressing TOWARDS anything. But I did laugh, and that’s the main thing. Girls, check it out. Guys, I dunno if you can handle it. Prove me wrong.

Buy Bridesmaids on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


Castle Season 3

Usually I stick to movies in this column but I just love Castle so much that I had to include it. If you liked Firefly at all, I don’t understand why you’re not watching this show, because Nathan Fillion is his usual hilariously charming self, only this time he’s a writer bothering/helping his sexy cop friend as research for his series of thrillers. The only thing that really carries over between episodes is their relationship (or persistent lack of same) so you can pick it up at any time. The new season starts this week, so check it out or rent these DVDs, because this show is awesome.

Buy Castle Season 3 on DVD.


Setup

Ho hum, yet another heist movie. They try to make it attractive to viewers (also known as “people who have money”) by including stars like Bruce Willis, Ryan Philippe, and rapper 50 Cent, but it’s still the same old thing. There’s a heist, someone betrays them, revenge is taken. 50 Cent (going by his not-tool name Curtis Jackson) is the main character, but unfortunately he can’t act his way out of a wet paper bag. Instead we have to rely on Bruce Willis’ character to lead him by the hand through the whole plot and Ryan Philippe to actually have emotions. Painful. Just painful. There are a lot of heist movies out there to choose from. Don’t pick this one.

Buy Setup on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


The Kennedys

The Kennedys traces the history of America’s most famous modern political family throughout its most powerful generation (i.e. the JFK/Cold War era). Greg Kinnear looks scarily like John F. Kennedy and Tom Wilkinson is just plain scary as his father Joe. Barry Pepper is almost unrecognizable as Bobby, and for some reason Katie Holmes plays Jackie. It’s kind of a real-life Godfather story, so if you’re into The Sorpranos you should check it out. This is a miniseries rather than a movie, so don’t rent it unless you’ve got about six hours to spare before you have to return it.

Buy The Kennedys on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Trailer Reviews for September 16, 2011

DRIVE



Don’t confuse this movie with Drive Angry. While Drive Angry was a retarded Nicholas Cage vehicle about the dangers of crossing Satan (really), Drive is a depressing Ryan Gosling vehicle about the dangers of moonlighting for organized criminals. So basically they both involve cars. I have to say, Ryan Gosling is incredibly blank in this. I think he’s probably supposed to come across as unflappable, but he overshot the mark and ended up looking like a robot. *bleep bloop* I will operate your vehicle for monetary funds. It’s hard to see him being appealing to women and children. Not that anyone who goes to see this movie will care. All they’re looking to see is the driving. Hence the title.

I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT



“I Don’t Know How She Does It” would be a good title for a documentary about Sarah Jessica Parker’s life. As in “I don’t know how she manages to be famous when she looks like a skeleton with some skin stretched over it and her voice sounds like it emanates from her nose.” It can’t be that people are identifying with her characters, who are all shallow, annoying, and selfish. It can’t be that she chooses really original, one-of-a-kind projects, because it’s all the same “oh I’m so busy, I hardly have any time to screw rich people and buy shoes!” dreck. This movie seems like more of the same, so whether you see it or not depends on whether you’re a Sex in the City fan (dad!) or hater (like me).

STRAW DOGS



I don’t think I would enjoy this movie. It’s not that I’m opposed to violence or revenge (in movies!) it’s just that if I don’t have a clear understanding of why the characters are doing what they’re doing, my brain will get stuck on this problem and as the story progresses and they pile more and more plot onto the flawed premise I’ll get increasingly angry about being the only one who can see that the whole thing should be collapsing like a house of cards in a hurricane. I say this because the Straw Dogs trailer has failed to convey to me a good reason (or any reason, really) why Eric from True Blood and his goons are able to get away with being such psychos to Cyclops and the girl from Blue Crush. I think if I asked the writer he would go: “they just DO okay!? ” The point is supposed to be James Marsden and how he snaps, so if you think you can overlook the rest, you might like it. I’ll just get angry.

THE LION KING 3D



I like The Lion King as much as the next person who was a kid in the 90s, but I think Disney is really scraping the bottom of the barrel if they’re resurrecting twenty year old movies, slapping 3D on them, and assuming this is good enough to release in theaters. The sad thing is that this this will make money, which means in the next couple of years we’ll have Snow White 3D and The Aristocats 3D and The Little Mermaid 3D clogging up the theaters, and we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. Having said that, however, The Lion King is a great kids movie. But you should rent it, not waste $15 seeing it in the theaters.

PROJECT NIM



If any of you are curious about the inspiration behind some of the material in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I strongly suspect this is it. I don’t really know why they had to raise Nim as a person in order to teach him sign language, but I guess that’s the point of the film. They must have messed Nim up pretty bad, like a human baby being raised by wolves or something. I want to know what happened to Nim now, but since I can’t attend the Cape Breton Film Series showing, I’ll have to get the DVD. It plays Thursday evening only at 7pm at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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DVDs for September 13, 2011

Thor

Thor is a comic book movie about a Norse god turned superhero who gets banished to Earth for his arrogance. It’s part Shakespearean style drama, part hilarious fish out of water comedy. It’s also more science fictiony than most comic book fantasies (they actually use the words “Einstein Rosen Bridge”). I just love it – almost as much as I loved the first Iron Man. If you haven’t seen it, do. Even if you’re not a comic book fan, there may be enough mythology and drama in there to keep you from rolling your eyes until they fall out. You can check out my full review before you decide if you want.

Buy Thor on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Love Wedding Marriage

If you want to see one of the background vampires from Twilight acting (badly) alongside Mandy Moore in a bland, tired romantic comedy, this is the movie for you! Mandy Moore plays a relationship counselor who stoops to scheming to get her own parents back together when they separate and ends up ruining her own relationship (or rather almost ruining it, as romantic comedies are required by law to have happy endings). It’s pretty ridiculous in a parent-trap for grown-ups sort of way, so I’d think twice about choosing this one for date night… or any night, really, unless you’re a rabid Twilight fan, in which case you need help.

Buy Love Wedding Marriage on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Hesher

Sometimes, for whatever reason, famous actors decided to slum it and be in films like this. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a drugged up burnout loser who wrecks things, Natalie Portman plays a nerd in a dead end job who likes him for no reason, Rainn Wilson plays a depressed, scuzzy dad, and there’s a little kid who just lost his mom tossed in there to make all their flailing about seem meaningful. It’s not enjoyable to watch and it’s not exactly original, either, so I fail to see the point of its existence. Maybe rent it if you’re a fan of one of the above actors or if you want to be depressed after your movie night, but otherwise don’t bother.

Buy Hesher on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Incendies

Yes, I know it’s in French and you don’t want to spend you precious screen time reading, but it’s a really good movie. It’s about a Quebec brother and a sister whose mother dies and tells them in her will that they have a secret sibling in the Middle East. So they go over there trying to retrace her steps and end up digging up a lot of explosive stuff (sometimes literally – this is the Middle East, after all) about the family they never knew. The result is a movie that’s won a bunch of awards. You should give it a chance as long as you’re cool with some heavy subject matter.

Buy Incendies on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Trailer Reviews for September 9, 2011

CONTAGION



Oh Christ, I can see I’m not going to be sleeping at all this weekend. Other people would name movies like Blair Witch or The Exorcist or Silence of the Lambs as the scariest movie they’d ever seen. Mine is Outbreak. It’s hard to tell from the trailer whether Contagion could top it, but I’m thinking not. Flus just aren’t as scary as the hemorrhagic fevers – sure, they kill more people, but less horribly. Plus Matt Damon is in this movie, and I am firmly in the “I don’t see what the big deal about Matt Damon is” camp. I’m still going to see it, though, and I’m probably going to regret it while I’m lying in bed that night trying to remember everything I’ve touched that day.

WARRIOR



Um, how does pushing a tractor tire into a puddle constitute training for a fight? Is his opponent likely to come after him with tractor tires? Does he have to battle his way through a tractor tire obstacle course to get to the ring? Or is it just that the million other fighting movies out there have already used all the fight training montage images that make sense? This movie is sneakily trying to make it past my “Dear Jesus God No More Boxing Movies, PLEASE” filter by ditching the gloves, adding kicking, a little bit of soldiery stuff, and Joel Edgerton. But I won’t be fooled! I know it’s the same story as all the other films. Downtrodden guy, just needs some money/respect to help his family/girlfriend/self esteem which he can only get by having the snot pounded out of him for 110 mins and then being handed a trophy. The only difference is that this time he’s fighting his brother instead of a giant Russian.

BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR



Ugh, no thank you. This looks like one of those SNL spinoff films that’s destined for the “practically free” DVD bin before it’s even out of theaters. Bucky is stupid and ugly, which is fine, but he’s also unfunny, which is not. Neither are any of the other characters, lines, or situations in this trailer. And it appears they’re also making fun of old people, the mentally handicapped, and the orthodontically challenged. It’s like the producers were TRYING to make a movie that would make all the other countries look down on America (not like they needed another reason). It reminds me of that fake movie Ben Stiller’s character supposedly starred in before Tropic Thunder. There’s no way I would watch this movie of my own free will.

SENNA



Attention Mom and Dad and other people who like car racing (not that lame NASCAR stuff, the other kind): this is a movie you want to see. Yes, I know it’s a documentary, but this guy was like totally famous. And now he’s famously dead. I remember him from when my parents used to watch the races, but now seeing him again, he looks oddly like the kid who lives next door to my mom, only Brazilian. I’m guessing that “thinking they’re invincible” is a problem that’s pretty common in race car driving, but it would be interesting to see how it plays out in the documentary, even if everyone already knows how it’s going to end.

CAVE OF FORGOTTeN DREAMS



I always laugh when people get going about how artistic and dreamy and magical old cave paintings are. Are they old? Yes. Are they interesting? Yes. Do we know what the artist’s intention was in creating them? No. Can we know? Not without a time machine. So while these guys are falling all over themselves to praise these ancient geniuses, maybe there’s a pair of ghostly teenage cave-doofuses killing themselves (again) laughing at what became of the doodles they made while they were high on Mastadon grass or whatever. I mean, it looks like a good documentary, clear, exclusive, a little like an episode of Planet Earth, but instead of working with fact, they’re just drowning in sentiment, which doesn’t come from the cave. They brought it inside with them. I probably wouldn’t be able to watch it with a straight face.

Also, if you live in Sydney (Nova Scotia, not Australia), the Cape Breton Film Series people are bringing in Beginners (click here to see trailer review) on Thursday at 7pm. It has Ewan McGregor in it! Or you can choose to catch another screening of Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (see the trailer review here and the full review here) at the same time on the same day.

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DVDs for Sept 6, 2011

X-Men First Class

I’m usually too cheap to buy DVDs until they’re relegated to the $5 bin, but I love X-Men First Class so much that I’m going to go out immediately and buy the superfancy shiny box edition with lots of special features. This is easily the best of the X-Men films and you don’t even need to be a comic book fan to like it, because at its heart it’s a friendship tragedy about two guys (James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender) with superpowers who have differing views on how to deal with the normal people who are persecuting them… during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rent it. Now. You can check out the full review first if you like.

Buy X-Men First Class on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Hanna

In a way, Hanna was trying to achieve the same thing as X-Men First Class: inject character depth into an action movie. It didn’t succeed nearly as well. The logic is outlandish at best, Saoirse Ronan comes off as blankly psychotic and her father, played by Eric Bana, seems heartless for training her to be a killer then unleashing her (alone) on their enemy. It isn’t bad – the action scenes are pretty awesome, especially considering the ass-kicking hero is a fourteen year old girl – but it isn’t the best action movie I’ve seen this year either. Give it a chance, just don’t expect anything profound from it. You can read the full review here.

Buy Hanna on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Last Night

Usually I make it a point to see all of Sam Worthington’s movies, but I missed this one because it never came anywhere near our theater. I have to say the subject matter doesn’t interest me at all. Adultery? Again? There must be fifty dramas out this year alone about a character fighting the temptation to cheat on his/her partner. The only difference with this movie is that they’re BOTH tempted at the same time, which seems extra unlikely. But I’ll rent it. If you’re into depressing movies you might want to as well, just be aware that it’s probably not the best thing to get for date night.

Buy Last Night on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Everything Must Go

This is another one of those movies where Will Ferrell tries not to be so Will Ferrell-y (think Stranger Than Fiction) and because of that I didn’t immediately reject it offhand. Instead of an over the top doofus, he plays a guy who loses his job and gets kicked out by his wife on the same day, forcing him to live on his lawn with all the stuff she chucked out and have a big yard sale as a symbolic way of starting over. It’s funny, but not in the usual man-child Will Ferrell way. More in an “I have actual functioning brain cells” way. Check it out if you liked Stranger Than Fiction or any of the more subtle indie type comedies (The Kids Are Alright, Our Idiot Brother, etc.)

Buy Everything Must Go on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
.

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Trailer Reviews for September 2, 2011

THE DEBT



I was terribly afraid that our theater wasn’t going to get this one, but I’m relieved to note that it’s been on the schedule since Wednesday. Plot wise The Debt is like Munich, with a handful of Israeli commandos ruthlessly hunting down a person who did a bad thing (in Munich it was kill athletes at the 1972 Olympics, this time it’s perform horrible experiments on concentration camp prisoners). That alone would be enough to interest me, but add in the fact that there are a bunch of awesome people I like in it (Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds, Marton Csokas) and the whole “something we’ve done has come back to haunt us” future mystery element and I’m just dying to see this movie.

APOLLO 18



Oooh, goodie. This movie is finally coming out. It was supposed to come out ages ago but they kept pushing it back. It’s pretty much just The Blair Witch Project on the moon, but of course I’m a big sucker for it because it’s sci-fi. It looks like they went to a lot of effort to match the look of the actual Apollo footage from the 1970s, even the quality, which bodes well for the movie being good. They also didn’t give away the scary thing right there in the trailer so there will actually be an element of suspense when you go to watch it for real. It’s a well put together trailer, and I’m looking forward to seeing the full film.

SHARK NIGHT



Oh dear. It looks like Shark Night could learn a few things about tension and pacing from Apollo 18. Here’s a tip, Shark Night: showing the monster in the trailer instantly robs your film of all suspense. And by the by, you should also know that adding 3D doesn’t miraculously make a cliché into something fresh. Especially not when you’re ripping off both Jaws AND Saw. It’s hard to express the depth of my disinterest in this movie, but I’ll try. I wouldn’t even bother with this movie if it was on TV for free and all the other channels were experiencing technical malfunction. I’d rather read a book. Or clean my apartment.

THE TRIP



Okay… so this is a documentary? It’s kind of the same thing as that one where Ewan McGregor and his buddy went around the world on their motorcycles… except it’s Steve Coogan, and they’re not really going anywhere or experiencing any privations except as related to eating very fancy food (i.e. none). AND his friend does impressions (constantly, if the trailer is any clue). I’m sorry, I like Steve Coogan, but this film seems like it would be mildly amusing at best, and at worst, downright annoying. I might give it a chance on some far future date when it’s in the library and everything else that’s left stars Nicholas Cage.

THE WHISTLEBLOWER



Cool. The title leaves something to be desired – there have been at least half a dozen films by that name – but Rachel Weiss plus explosively dramatic subject matter equals a solid bet. The whole concept of diplomatic immunity drives me absolutely crazy – there’s just so much potential for abuse. I’ve seen it dealt with in a couple episodes of CSI: New York but it’s nice to see a whole film dealing with its ramifications. The kicker of course is that it’s based on a true story, which is a shame because it really casts everyone, including the people who have gone overseas to be good and brave and honest and forthright, in a bad light.

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