I’m looking forward to Argo and have been ever since I saw this first trailer. I love war movies, spy related thrillers, and real life events that are almost too crazy to be to be true. Argo hits all of these points. Who would have thought of filming a fake sci-fi movie to get hostages out of Iran? I do have some concerns about how Canadians are portrayed, because from what I heard the Canadian government was a big part of this but the movie pretends they were just tagging along like someone’s little brother (it’s based on an American memoir and didn’t consult any other sources). I may be able to overlook this on account of dramatic license, and if any director can do it I think it may be Ben Affleck (weirdly enough). I guess we’ll see.
HERE COMES THE BOOM
This movie seems oddly familiar. Perhaps it’s because they just ripped out the back story for Joel Edgerton’s character in Warrior and turned it into a dorky movie starring a dork who stars in terrible movies like The Zookeeper. So imagine all the gut wrenching emotionality of Warrior, now imagine it dorky, awkward, and cliched, and you’ll probably have a good idea of what watching Here Comes the Boom is going to be like. They try to force some feelings into it by setting the trailer to a 30 Seconds to Mars song and giving Kevin James a pretty, thin girlfriend to earn (of course – didn’t you know that fat, funny men always end up with thin, pretty wives?) but it just doesn’t work. I’ve seen it before, and done better at that.
It’s too bad this movie opens the same week as Argo, because it looks half decently scary. It’s not often that a movie is able to creep me out, especially in the trailer, but this one does. It doesn’t start off very promisingly: “ooh, new house, I bet it will be PERFECT” and “gee willikers, I wonder if this old crap in the attic belonged to the dead family who used to live here!” but then they pull the Sunshine trick where they flash things at you really fast with screechy violin music and you almost fall out of your chair. I suppose that’s more “startled” than scared, but it’s not often a movie manages to startle me, either. And Ethan Hawke shows good survival instincts by ACTUALLY LEAVING THE HOUSE when things get scary. That bodes well.
I haven’t heard much about this one, but I like it! Any movie that combines Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson can’t help but at least be pretty good. Add in the dognapping thing (what a hilarious and original way to be a movie criminal!) and the dry smart-ass humor and we may have a winner.
“Put your hands up.”
“But I got a gun!”
“I don’t care.”
Priceless. Too bad we probably won’t get it here.
This is a condensed version of (several) real conversations:
ANGELLA: Hey Kat, I wonder if Brandon Cronenberg is as creepy and gross as his dad.
ME: He can’t be. That’s not possible. That one movie of David Cronenberg’s had a gun that shoots teeth in it (eXistenz). *Angella and I watch the Antiviral trailer.*
ANGELLA: Well, I guess that answers that question.
ME: Ugh. I need a shower. And possibly a frontal lobotomy.
ANGELLA: What’s that movie even about anyway?
ME: I dunno. Face herpes contracted from the Hannibal Lector cafe? And a guy who likes to stuff matchbooks in his face?
ANGELLA: Well I’m not going to that movie.
ME: Me either, my friend. Me either.
Also, if you’re in Sydney on Thursday, October 11 at 7pm you can catch the Cape Breton Film Series showing of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a sprightly documentary about a Chinese artist and protestor. You can see the trailer on their website.
Just in case you thought there weren’t enough movies that were exactly the same as Taken, here’s Taken 2, which is exactly the same as Taken 1. If you think it’s slightly ridiculous that the same person would have family members kidnapped multiple times, clearly you have never worked in a movie studio, because if there’s one thing studio mavens know, it’s that if something ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. We paid to see Taken, ergo we’ll pay to see it again in a different city with less Liam and more annoying, too-young-for-her-age daughter (hooray). Though it may seem sophisticated that Liam and his fist of death have to face up to the consequences of their actions in the last film (slaughtering a bunch of dudes) the fact that he goes up against the same guys as before means that they (and the writers) are too dumb to take the hint that they cannot win against him. One Taken was enough for me.
Like so many of Tim Burton’s animated movies, Frankenweenie looks vaguely disturbing despite being aimed at children. It’s just something about the way the characters look and move – the dark shadows under their dead staring eyes, the pinched flesh, the rotten wood look of Sparky’s tail… it’s so different from other Halloween-ish movies, like Hotel Transylvania, which came out this week, or the ever popular Hocus Pocus. I like to be creeped out by movies – I go to horror movies looking for that unsettled feeling – so I’ll definitely be checking Frankenweenie out. It also helps that it looks really funny – the kitty cracks me up and so does young Igor – Igor is one of my favorite comedic characters ever.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
This movie is based on one of those skinny emo boy novels. My friend has been trying to get me to read it forever, but the whiny adolescent “waaaa I’m so different why doesn’t anyone appreciate that I am u-neek” thing has never really appealed to me, at least not on it’s own. To some extent all teen characters are like that, but at least some of them, like Katniss Everdeen or Harry Potter, at least DO stuff while they’re whining. The Perks of Being a Wallflower just looks like another one of those “nothing” coming of age plots where the character just goes to school, gets bullied, and ends up with a girlfriend, but the “passive aggressive” joke made me laugh, so I might check it out someday on DVD when I get bored.
Oh yes, I remember seeing this trailer ages ago and thinking it was funny. Apparently it dropped off the edge of the Earth for a while as it toured all the festivals and is finally getting released now. Carving butter is weird. Not so weird that I doubt anyone out there actually does it, but I do wonder how they keep their sculptures from turning into greasy melted puddles under all those lights. Do they mix the butter with pasticine or something? Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that this movie looks funny. It cracks me up to see Jennifer Garner acting like a butter contest is the presidential election, and I love that “I get pregnant like once a month” line. It reminds me of Idiocracy. I will see this movie, but probably not until I get around to subscribing to Netflix.
This movie describes itself as a “nonverbal, guided meditation” (read: load of New Age bullsh**), so if you’re looking to put yourself to sleep and you’ve got no one to flash back issues of National Geographic at you while you listen to Yanni on your iPod, watch this film. You might want to wait until it comes to DVD, though. I don’t think the theater will look kindly on you spending the night in your seat.
Also, if you’re in Sydney on Thursday, October 4 at 7pm you can catch the Cape Breton Film Series showing of Compliance, a disturbing drama about a fast food manager who violates an employee on the orders of someone pretending to be a police officer. You can see the trailer review here.
When I heard Karl Urban was taking over Sylvester Stallone’s old role in the Judge Dredd remake, I was excited. “I love Karl Urban!” I thought. “He’s a terrific actor! This is going to be great!” Except now that I’ve seen the trailer, I don’t see any differences between the old Stallone version and this new one. The special effects are better, obviously, and the plot’s a little different. I don’t remember there being slow motion drugs in the old one. But Judge Dredd never takes off his helmet and always speaks in a gravelly monotone, so Karl Urban might as well BE Sylvester Stallone in this for all he gets to show of his talent. I dunno, maybe it’s just that the trailer is bad, but I’m not expecting much from this one other than a few hours of smashy smashy.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET
See, now this is a good horror movie trailer. It sets up the premise without giving away the entire plot of the movie and then teases you with a few scary glimpses. A teenage girl’s family moves in next door to a teen boy with a scary past. The teen girl falls for the teen boy and gets embroiled in his scary past. The end. The scary thing could be his dead sister, his live but traumatized sister, a demon that convinced his sister to kill their parents, the dead parents, the live but traumatized parents, the teen boy, a demon possessing the teen boy, or any one of a thousand other things. WE DON’T KNOW. And that’s the way it should be. We should not know until the movie chooses to tell us. I for one will (eventually) go and see what it has to tell me.
THE TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE
Mmm, two baseball movies in a row I wouldn’t mind seeing? (this one and Moneyball)? Maybe I don’t hate baseball as much as I thought….. *turns on baseball on TV*….. annnd nope. Still hate it. What actually happened was that someone figured out that a sports movie that was about more than just sports would appeal to more people. Moneyball had the math angle, this movie has the father/daughter relationship. Not that I believe Clint Eastwood could be Amy Adams’ father. Great Great Great Great Grandfather, maybe. He looks to be about 1,000 years old. But I can overlook it just for this movie because his character is so funny.
END OF WATCH
Oh great, now they’re taking that annoying home movie/found footage gimmick and applying it to a police movie. Which makes it… what? A glorified episode of Cops? And – oh extra joy – the plot is all about how they cross organized crime! At least they’re not involved in organized crime. That would be even more annoying. But it does seem that the more time they spend running from assassin bullets, the less time they have to remember their gimmicky home video premise. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s definitely an inconsistent thing. If End of Watch starred someone I liked, MAYBE I could be convinced to eventually rent this DVD, but I don’t care for Jake Gyllenhaal or Michael Pena, so I have no qualms about giving this one a pass. It’s a limited release, so not everyone will get it anyway.
Ugh, it’s like a bad parody of Flashdance, which was itself also a bad movie. I didn’t laugh once during this trailer, and by halfway through I was bored and wanted to turn it off. HALFWAY THROUGH A TWO MINUTE TRAILER. That joke at the end was more sad than funny, because it’s so true. Score one more success for Canadian film! Geez, I don’t know whether we just suck at making movies or if I’m just the purple penguin of Canada, but I’d be hard pressed to think of even one Canadian film that came out in the last five years that I even wanted to see. Maybe no one will give us money to make movies because they know we won’t make anything good (not that that ever stopped people funding American movies).
Also, if you’re in Sydney on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7pm you can catch the Cape Breton Film Series showing of PINA, a formless, plotless collection of interpretive dancing scenes.
I hate the title of this movie. It just sounds all wrong for an action movie, even a dorky one where the principals ride around on bicycles yelling at people like a bunch of unruly teenagers. It’s not the rush part that bothers me. It’s the “premium” part. It brings to mind mortgages and fancy things, not gritty pulse pounding action. I might not let the title sour me on the whole film, because I like bikes. Biking can be cool, when you go fast and do tricks and stuff. But I just can’t understand why a bike messenger would risk his life delivering some random envelope, like he lives by a medieval bike messenger code of honor: “give me delivery or give me death!!” Give me a break. I’ll be skipping this one.
HIT AND RUN
Oh ew, Bradley Cooper with dreadlocks? No thank you. In fact, this whole trailer has a really high “ew” factor – Dax Shepard with facial hair, naked old people (how did they convince those people to appear nude in a film?!), and WAY too much casual talk about rape. I can see that it’s trying to be a raunchy comedy, but mostly it’s just racist, insensitive, and gross. There’s no way I’m going to see this.
Oh yes, I remember this movie now. It’s the one where Draco Malfoy is trying to be a grown up by looking and sounding nothing like Draco Malfoy. Seriously. I had no idea that was even Tom Felton. Well done, Tom Felton. The movie, however, reminds me a little too much of the Mythbusters episode where Tori, Grant, and Kari tried to find out if plants were psychic by thinking angry things at them and seeing if they wilt (news flash: they don’t). But premises are just excuses to kill people anyway, so how well does The Apparition do that? Pretty well, actually. That thing in the dryer looked a little too much like the girl from The Ring, but I’ve never seen anyone smothered by their own sheets before. I’ll keep it in mind for Halloween.
QUEEN OF VERSAILLES
If you think YOU had a tough time during the mortgage crisis/recession, what with losing your retirement savings, the bank foreclosing on your home, and having to stand in line at the food bank you used to donate to, this movie would like you to know that your suffering is nothing compared to these people, who had to give up their dream of owning a home with thirty bathrooms that rivals the French royal palace in size. For shame, how could you be so selfish!? Obviously, for your oversight you should have to pay $11.50 to sit through a movie about this vapid woman, who tragically seems not to realize how vapid she is. Maybe you’ll get a few laughs out of it. I think it would just make me depressed.
Sacha Baron Cohen is known for making movies that polarize audiences – either you love it or you hate it. This one, which is about an imaginary Middle Eastern dictator who goes to New York prevent the UN from introducing democracy to his country, is probably the most outrageous. It is likely to piss you off if you are: Middle Eastern, involved in politics, offended by racism, made uncomfortable by crude humor, opposed to movies that set a bad example for youth, or over thirty. So will you like it? Consult the previous list.
Every year Disney makes a cute animal movie for Earth Day. This year’s was Chimpanzee. While chimps aren’t as cute as baby cheetahs or even elephants, the story of little Oscar the chimp is adorable. His mom is killed in attack by a rival clan and Oscar has trouble being accepted after that until a cranky old alpha male adopts him. Though it’s a documentary, don’t expect much in the way of education on chimps – Tim Allen does the narration in a Meerkat Manor sort of way, making jokes and giving the chimps human motivations. African Cats is better.
This movie, which is set in Iran, follows a married couple who are arguing over whether or not to emigrate. She wants to leave and give their daughter a chance at a better future, he wants to stay because he feels obligated to look after his father, who has Alzheimers. Though the movie deals with a lot of issues that are specific to Iran, the central question of whether or not to stay together when you’ve got such different goals is something a lot of people can relate to. If you’re looking for something different to watch, check out A Separation. It won the best foreign language film at the Oscars.
I almost fell over when I saw this movie in the list – it seems like I’ve been waiting forever for it to come out on DVD. It’s a special movie from the 90s cartoon show Tiny Toon Adventures that follows the characters during the summer. Buster and Babs get courted and almost eaten by alligators after getting swept downriver, Hampton and Plucky pick up a hitchiking serial killer on their way to Happy World Land, and Fifi dates a movie star who’s in love with himself. Really clever, really funny, really worth watching, even if you’re not nostalgic for 90s TV like I am.
Dr. Seuss stories are always really bonkers and have some sort of message, but The Lorax, which is about a boy from a polluted world who finds out how much better things used to be when an orange monster shaped like a peanut protected the trees, is probably the most message-driven. It’s cute, there are original songs, Zac Efron is in it, and there’s also a lot of clever satire aimed at commercialism to entertain the parents, so this is a movie you can watch with your whole family. Check out my full review to hear more.
Robert Pattinson is working hard to not be typecast as a sparkly vampire. He’s been an elephant tamer (Water for Elephants), a mobster (Cosmopolis), a crazy painter (Little Ashes), and now a slutty period soldier who bones everything that moves in order to move up in Paris society (gee, any guesses as to how that’s going to turn out?) So it’s kind of like Dorian Gray, but without the magic painting. His woodenness (if you’ll forgive the pun) in this one doesn’t do much for the film he’s carrying, so I’d recommend you only rent it if you’re a big fan of the Twilight movies.
Famous musicians have no end of biographies, official and otherwise, made about their lives, but this one bills itself as the “definitive” story of Bob Marley. They can say this because he’s dead (and therefore not going to do anything else) and because they have access to his family and his old interview footage. But they spend so much time talking to people who are not Bob Marley about how they were affected by Bob Marley that it almost would have been more accurate to call it The Bob Marley Legacy or something. Check it out if you’re a fan though.
While I’m glad to see anything loved by under-10s that is not Justin Bieber, you should know that this documentary was out of date by the time it was released – these pop things usually are unless the subjects are dead. It’ll be even more out of date when their fifteen minutes of fame are over and they’ve disappeared back into obscurity. Perhaps they’ll make another documentary about that process called The Only Way is Down. For now, though, get this for your tween daughter if you want to buy a brief moment where she acknowledges and appreciates you.
It feels like I only saw this movie yesterday, but here it is, out on DVD already. It’s the fourth (or possibly millionth) entry in the raunchy American Pie series and it makes all of us who were in high school for the original feel like old geezers because the characters are back in town for their ten year high school reunion. If you liked the other films you’ll like this one too, but if you haven’t watched them (or haven’t watched them recently) the multitude of callbacks will be as lost on you as they were on me (I think I missed some of the middle films).
Ayrton Senna was a champion Formula 1 driver who was killed in a horrific crash when he was only in his 30s. This was ages ago, so I don’t know why it took so long to come out with a documentary about his life – especially since most of it was filmed before he was killed in 1994. Having said that: if you’ve ever wondered what possesses people to to drive at high speeds in open topped carbon fiber bullets, then this documentary is your best chance of getting answers. It’s a bit skewed (Senna is widely revered in Brazil) but fascinating nonetheless.
If you’ve been wondering what Christian Bale is doing in between Batman movies, this is it (well, come of it anyway). He stars in this Chinese movie about a guy who poses as a priest in order to protect Chinese women from Japanese invaders in 1937 (yes, this is BEFORE World War II). This was during a period known as ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ so you can guess what he’s protecting all these women from. Being a film about rape and war, it’s pretty graphic, but it had huge box office returns in China and nominated for a Golden Globe and it’s the kind of film you really should see. So check it out.
I’m sorry, I know there are people out there who fall all over each other to praise Robert DeNiro, but I never, ever believe him in anything, mostly because he always has that same note of falseness in his voice. It fits in well enough in comedies but in a serious drama like this, he just ruins it for me. It’s supposed to be an adaptation of a memoir about a son (Paul Dano) who wants to be a writer reconnecting (through a homeless shelter) with his absent father, who also considers himself a writer. But all I see if Robert DeNiro being Robert DeNiro. Maybe you’ll see it differently.
Dear Spiderman (sorry The Amazing Spider-Man),
Movies do not come out on Monday. Movies come out on Friday – or, occasionally, at midnight on Thursday. I know some of them have been sneaking out on Wednesdays, but these are badly behaved movies and you are the worst of the lot. Please stick to the rules or I will have to get angry. Having said all that, I’m going to see you because even though the cameras that filmed the last Spider-Man movie are barely cool yet, Andrew Garfield is still a better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. Lawn furniture would be better at playing Peter Parker than Tobey Macguire, though, so I’m reserving judgment on the rest until Sunday.
Ooh, drugs and violence among criminals, two of my least favorite subjects for movies! I like Taylor Kitsch, but lately he’s been picking a lot of movies that I don’t like, so I don’t think he’ll be making it onto my Awesome List anytime soon. With all the drug running and the shooting and the rocket launchers and the dangling timeclock of the kidnapped girl, this seems more like a first person shooter game than a movie. I have no desire to see it.
KATY PERRY: PART OF ME
I am not a teenaged girl or a gay man. I don’t even really like pop music. Mostly I switch stations when boppy stuff like Katy Perry comes on. And yet…. I am weirdly interested in seeing this movie. Maybe it’s that Katy Perry seems like a nice person. Maybe it’s that every concert scene looks like a bad acid trip. Or maybe it’s that I want to see where they’re going with the “100% Christian” atmosphere comment – did it hold her back or (*gag*) inspire her? Oh, I won’t see it in theaters of course, especially not in 3D. Or probably rent it… or keep it on if it’s on TV… okay so I don’t want to see it that badly, but I didn’t hate the trailer. That’s something, right?
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
Hey, it’s that dorky guy from the movie I forgot about. What’s up, dorky guy? Honestly, I think I will forget this movie exists too. The time travel is probably a metaphor for something and even if it’s not, it’s obvious from the trailer that they don’t actually do it (if they do it at all) until the end of the movie, probably to save money or something. It’s just not reaching out to grab me. Annnnd I’ve already forgotten about it. What movie??
Hmm, I was not aware that lacrosse was a Native American sport. In fact, I wasn’t aware anyone actually played it except for that one girly dude from American Pie. I was also not aware that Brandon Routh was (at least partly) Native American. You learn something new every day. So let me get the plot of this film straight – Brandon Routh is a sleezy businessman who wants to exploit his heritage for money and the only way they’ll agree to it is if he coaches the lacrosse team? It’s like Hard Ball but missing the point. And they’re going to do it to the music of Chumbawamba, whom no one has heard from since like 1995. Sounds promising. Actually, it sounds just like every other sports movie ever made.
This movie kind of flopped in theaters. Perhaps because it has a boring name when it’s actually a big budget space adventure starring Taylor Kitsch with no shirt. The story, which involves a cavalry officer accidentally teleporting to Mars and getting sucked into a four way civil war, will seem a little cliched to our modern sensibilities, but when Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote it back in the day, it was totally cutting edge. I’d say watch it, because it’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Check out my full review for more details.
This movie is sort of a docu-drama which features real Navy SEALs combined with actors tracking terrorists across the world to prevent a bombing at home (like they really would, but it’s fake). The action is pretty incredible – the movie is loaded with real life Navy hardware like helicopters and submarines and gun boats – but they really slap you in the face with the patriotic weepy violin tragedy element. It’s trying to be Ladder 49 but the whole thing just reads like a two hour recruiting video for the Navy, so I really can’t recommend it to you. Get the full review here.
In this action movie, Ryan Reynolds plays a CIA agent who has to take Denzel Washington, a high level traitor, with him on the run after their safe house is attacked (news flash: safe houses – not so safe) meanwhile, Denzel is messing with his head. If you liked the Bourne movies, you’ll probably like Safe House too, because Safe House is trying to BE a Bourne movie. Unfortunately, they forgot the intelligent plot twists and ingenious stunts, so mostly they just get chased across Cape Town by some goons and a film crew made of camera operators with Parkinson’s. Skip it.
With a title like that (and the horrible box art) you’d expect this to be a big budget adventure aimed at seven year olds, and you’d be right. When Josh Hutcherson’s grandfather disappears, he gets his bruiser stepdad (Dwayne Johnson), and a dopey helicopter pilot with a hot daughter (Vanessa Hudgins) to help him find this mysterious island, which is filled with fake looking special effects. Your seven year olds will think it’s great (especially if they’re boys) but if you watch it with them you probably won’t even be able to sit through it.
This is the second of the Snow White films to come out this year and it’s also by far the coolest looking version. Where Mirror Mirror was campy and cute, this is gritty and dark. Charlize Theron is incredibly creepy as the evil queen, especially when she’s going all Dementor on that lady and that whole glass-shattering thing looks really neat. The plot seems simple enough that it’s unlikely they can screw it up, but I’m not really sure Kristin Stewart is the best choice for Snow White. That might just be because I hate Twilight, though, so I’m going to go ahead and give her a chance, because I kind of have to. Chris Hemsworth is in it. I can’t miss a movie with Captain Kirk’s daddy.
The blurb for this movie will lead you to believe it’s a sort of Gallileo-esque medical story about a doctor who preaches germ theory to the hacksaw and leeches appreciation society, but a few seconds into the trailer you will realize that the person who wrote that summary is obviously high because it’s actually a movie about the invention of the vibrator. And it looks HILARIOUS. I’d love to see it but I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD because our theater is unlikely to get it. Not because of the vibrator thing, you understand, but because nothing blows up.
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ENDINGS
I’ll admit I groaned a little when I read the blurb for this one. Dying man, blah blah regrets, blah blah inheritance, blah blah touching drama yadda yadda. This is why we need trailers, because after watching the trailer for A Beginner’s Guide to Endings I realized that it’s kind of a smart ass movie and that can make up for a lot. I get the impression that the father may have lied to his sons to light a fire under them but there are a lot of movies out there that would be worse than watching three decent actors go through the bucket lists of some pretty off kilter characters. I’d see it if it came on TV or something, but I’ll probably forget about it by tomorrow.
When I saw the title, I thought for a minute that a porno had accidentally made it onto the theater listings because it sounds like one of those lame dirty parodies. But it’s actually the Piranha 3D sequel. I rarely laugh out loud watching trailers but I did for this one when the skeezy boss character announced they’d replaced their old lifeguards with “water certified strippers”. And then I laughed again when David Hasselhoff showed up. And again when that guy had machine guns for prosthetic legs. I’m glad they’ve taken a totally bonkers tone with this movie because there’s no possible way you could get me to take piranhas in a water park seriously. What, did they accidentally get shipped in with the chlorine tablets?
I’ve never been a fan of Bob Marley’s music and I’ve never been high either, so this movie holds no interest for me at all. It doesn’t matter, though. You already know whether you want to see a movie about Bob Marley. Do you own a flag or a t-shirt with his face on it? Then you should be in the lineup for tickets. Everyone will probably be going to see something else.
I was going to pass this one over because I didn’t think there was an English version, but there is and I’m glad, because it looks great. I can totally get why he would pick that guy to look after him – he treats him like a real person, like a friend, not like a job or someone he’s doing a big favor for. I hope they bring this one in for the Cape Breton Film Series next fall because I really want to see it.