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Trailer Reviews for November 25, 2011

HUGO



I’ve been really looking forward to this movie, and no, it’s not because of Martin Scorsese. Martin Scorsese is incidental. What’s important is that it’s a cute movie involving a Steampunk mystery that stars a British kid rather than an American (the one who was in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, no less) and features the 30 Seconds to Mars song “Kings and Queens” in the trailer. I frikkin’ love that song. So I can easily forgive it for having a lame cake-wrecking joke in the trailer. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to it so much that I might just burn down our theater if it doesn’t get here pronto. I checked today, and it’s not in the lineup. This is a BIG MOVIE, Empire Theaters in Sydney, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!?

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS



This movie reminds me of something that’s been done before… a combination of the “marginalized Santa family member” plot from Fred Claus and the militarized elves of the E.L.F. Sqad from The Santa Clause perhaps? But still, it’s Aardman/Sony, so that’s a big draw for me. Aardman have been behind several movies I love, including Chicken Run and Flushed Away. James MacAvoy is perfect as Arthur, and that’s a pretty clever jab at the American “no child left behind” education initiative at the end of the trailer there. I think it’s going to be worth seeing, but unfortunately it comes out the same week as Hugo. And you can’t beat Hugo.

THE MUPPETS



When I was a kid, there were some programmes I only watched because they were on. Smurfs fell into that category. And there were others that I loved to pieces, like The Muppets. I still laugh every time I see Statler and Waldorf, and I’ve been a grown up for ten years now. I love the idea of a new muppet movie, but did they really have to put Jason Seigel in it? That guy is like everywhere, and he is not growing on me. I do like Amy Adams, though. And OH MY GOD they play the “munah munah” song. I love that song. I’ve seen the trailer a few times now and I’m still not sure what the plot is supposed to be. They’re putting on a reunion show? Is that the whole plot? Oh well, the whole reason people will be going is to see the nutso looks on the muppet faces as they flail around behind chest-high wall anyway.

THE DESCENDANTS



I know at least half the world is waiting in line to give George Clooney acting awards, but I just don’t see it. Look at that scene where he’s sitting across from his daughter attempting to have a meaningful conversation. The daughter looks embarrassed and exasperated. Clooney looks blank, just like he looks in every other scene in this trailer. I’m sorry, but if I’m going to watch a character-based drama like this, I need it to star someone who can freaking emote. Even the robot dad from And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird is more lovable than this. I am, therefore, unlikely to see this movie. If I want to watch a dad/child bonding film, I’ll break out my DVD of The Boys are Back, because even Clive Owen can do better than this.

MARGIN CALL



I suppose they’re trying to capitalize on all the Occupy Stuff protestors sitting around outside for various reasons by putting the movie out now, but is this what we really want to see as the Christmas season begins? A depressing movie about the terrible state of the economy? Yes, we like Zachary Quinto and Kevin Spacey and and Paul Bettany and Penn Badgley and Jeremy Irons and Simon Baker and Stanley Tucci, but even all of them combined will not be enough to induce people to subject themselves to a movie that will make them miserable when they want to feel happy. So they will go see Hugo and Arthur Christmas and The Muppets and forget about this until January, when their Christmas credit card bills arrive and they’re looking for someone else to blame it on. That’s my prediction.

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN



This is a limited release, so I was just going to ignore it until I saw the cast list. Emma Watson and Michelle Williams and Kenneth Brannagh and Dominic Cooper and Judi Dench all in one movie together?? Well I had to check it out. I’m not a big Marilyn Monroe devotee. I think all I’ve ever seen are the posters, which are pretty much a cliché now, so it would be interesting to see more of her life from a more personal perspective. And of course it’s British, so I wouldn’t miss it for that. I wouldn’t have thought of Michelle Williams as looking much like Marilyn Monroe, but I have to say she does pretty well here, from what I can see. I’ll add it to my list of DVDs to see.

THE ARTIST



This is another limited release, but I feel like I have to talk about it anyway because I talked about the last one. Is this a silent movie about silent movies? I have to admit, I’m intrigued. Some of my favorite episodes of TV shows have been the ones where characters lose the ability to speak and have to rely on their body language and the ambient music to convey emotion. (Check out Buffy the Vampire Slayer 4×10 “Hush” and The Fairly Odd Parents 3×24 “Pipe Down” to see what I mean) Holy cow that hand-in-the-empty-jacket thing is freaky, though! Anyway, it looks totally cool. I definitely want to see it. Sign me up for the DVD.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing a cool looking documentary called The Interrupters, which is about people who try to fight urban violence like it’s an infectious disease. Click here to see the trailer and decide for yourself. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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Trailers for November 18, 2011

BREAKING DAWN PART 1



The same type of thing happened to Breaking Dawn, the longest book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, as happened to Deathly Hallows – it was split into two films, mostly to make more money. I have every expectation that this movie will be as boring and drawn out as Deathly Hallows Part 1, with the added bonus of the obvious chastity/teen marriage element making me want to puke. But of course I have to see it anyway, because that’s what everyone is going to be wanting to read a review about, which makes all of my criticism pointless (from the studio/publisher’s point of view) because I’m still spending money on it. Vote with your wallets, kids, and don’t go to this one!

HAPPY FEET 2



Happy Feet was the story of a penguin who didn’t fit in because all the other penguins were singers and he was a dancer. Now, one generation later, the whole penguin flock (Clan? Mob? Community?) has seemingly converted to dancing AND singing and the original character’s kid sucks at both and wants to…. what? Fly? This is significantly more difficult to achieve, on account of his power-to-weight ratio. He’ll have to build a hang glider or something. And kids, that “penguin who can fly” is not a penguin at all. It’s a puffin. I thought the last one way okay, though, so I’ll probably watch this one at some point. Just not eagerly.

THE SKIN I LIVE IN



Okay… what the hell? What is this movie even about? So there’s a guy who licks surveillance videos of other people, a lady in a beige body suit who apparently lives in an art gallery, a guy chained to the basement, and Antonio Banderas making skin in a petri dish and squirting him with a riot hose? And then a lady in a burn mask kicks him in the testicles. So of course he gets to carry a gun (this is an Antonio Banderas movie, after all), which scares a lady so bad she decides to start walking in the woods at night and going to museums to consult with party dresses. Who made this trailer and what drugs were they on? If the whole movie is like that… extra WTF.

THE WHALE



Oddly enough, the TV movie of this story seems to have come out long before the documentary. I remember hearing about it when I was living in Vancouver, and that was years ago. Cleverly, they set up the conflict between the people who wanted to be Luna’s friends and the people who take a hands-off approach to nature in the trailer, but didn’t give any hint as to who won in the end. Of course, you could watch the TV movie or you could look it up on Wikipedia, but it makes you just that little bit more likely to seek out and watch the documentary. I’d see it. I don’t even care if Ryan Reynolds is in it.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Win Win. It’s a bland drama that’s sort of about high school wrestling which came out ages ago on DVD. Click here to see the trailer review and decide for yourself. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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Trailer Reviews for November 4, 2011

A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR CHRISTMAS



I’ve never been a fan of burnout comedies, so I’ve never made the effort to see the other Harold and Kumar films. Now, however, I may be forced to watch one. I have to say I’m not optimistic. Just in the trailer I’ve noticed several scenes that are ripped off (sorry PARODIED) from other movies, including the accidental taking-out of Santa from The Santa Clause and the baby crawling on the ceiling scene from Trainspotting. And to top it all off, it’s in pointless 3D, which just means it’s going to cost $3 extra to see. Sadly, the only other thing coming out this week is Tower Heist.

TOWER HEIST



Oh joy. I get to choose between Harold and Kumar and yet another half-assed, phoned-in heist movie that stars one of my least favorite actors (it’s been Matt Damon, Jason Statham, Matt Dillon, and now it’s Ben Stiller). The really ironic thing is that it started out looking good in the trailer, like it would be a comedy about the secret, invisible lives of high end apartment building staff. That movie I would watch, even if it starred Ben Stiller. Then they had to ruin it by slapping in the same old stupid heist plot. But I’m not surprised. After all, what can you expect from Brett Ratner, the man who ruined the X-Men trilogy?

THE WOMEN ON THE SIXTH FLOOR



I would not normally have mentioned this one, since it’s in French and probably only playing in Quebec, but it’s a slow week, so here we go. I’m mildly interested in seeing this movie, because one of my brother’s girlfriends lived in Paris on a tiny old former housekeeper room so it would be interesting to see how they lived. And the dichotomy of the boss finding freedom in the tiniest, stuffiest, most regimented part of the household is pretty funny. I just hope he doesn’t cheat on his wife with the maid. I would hope a pretty young maid would have more self respect than to get with her old married boss, but I’ve been wrong before, especially about movies written by older men who are probably wishing their maids would sleep with them. Anyway, I don’t mind reading subtitles, so I’ll see it someday.

The Cape Breton Film Series is also showing Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which is a boring, hilariously pretentious art documentary about cave paintings. Check out the trailer review and decide for yourself. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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Trailers for October 21, 2011

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3



Ever since The Blair Witch Project, horror filmmakers have been aiming for that holy grail of cheapness plus enormous box office returns. Like the “diary” fad in popular fiction, filming that looks like cheap home movies from the 1990s is supposed to lend a sense of realism. I don’t find it makes much of a difference to me because it’s totally obvious when they’re cutting back and forth between angles that there’s more than one camera in the mix. I liked Blair Witch but I’ve never been interested enough in the Paranormal Activity franchise to bother going to them. This one, which purports to be even prequeler to the prequel Paranormal Activity 2, is unlikely to change that. There’s way too much obvious manipulation going on. These films are supposed to be subtle, but I guess them abandoned subtlety once it was no longer a budgetary requirement.

THREE MUSKETEERS



Another musketeer movie? Really? They must have seen the Pirates of the Caribbean and said to themselves: swords are big right now. Swords and one liners. Where can we get a sword story that we can put some one liners into? Because I’m sure as hell not buying a script. I know – The Three Musketeers! And then Matthew MacFadyen complained to his agent that Johnny Depp got to play all the crazy, bulky-clothed men with swords, and the rest is history. I bet that’s how it happened. I can’t entirely discard the notion of going to see it though, mostly because I do (really really) like Pirates of the Caribbean, and it seems tonally similar to both that and the recent update of Sherlock Holmes, which I also love.

JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN



I guess this week it’s going to come down to which movie I don’t want to see the least. Paranormal Activity 3 looks only mildly scary, Three Musketeers looks only mildly original, and now there’s Johnny English Reborn, which looks only mildly funny. I don’t know what possessed them to make a sequel after eight years – perhaps that’s how long it took to find a script Rowan Atkinson could live with, or maybe they had the script all that time and had to wait eight years to get on his schedule. Either way they were beaten to the punch of relaunching the hilarious spy movie genre by Get Smart, which was actually smart comedy-wise. This movie looks disappointingly dumb. I mean, getting kicked in the nuts jokes in the trailer? Really?

A DUMMER’S DREAM



I wasn’t going to mention this one because it’s a small time documentary that’s only playing on Thursday in a couple of theaters, but I have to do a brief mention because my musician brother might be interested. He doesn’t play drums himself but one of his friends would probably eat a baby if it got him a ticket to a camp like this. And that concludes my mention of this film.

DOWN THE ROAD AGAIN



And because I am a Cape Bretoner, I’m morally obligated to feature this film about Cape Breton. I admit it does look mildly funny and the acting’s not too bad, but frig, that old guy is annoying. I don’t think I could stand to watch him for two hours without wanting to leap through the screen and strangle him with those stupid things hanging from his windscreen.

And finally, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Submarine. It’s yet another indie movie about a teenager from a broken home trying to get laid. But you shouldn’t necessarily hold that against it, because it’s British and it’s a comedy. Check out the trailer and decide for yourself. The show is at 7pm on Thursday at the Empire Theaters in Sydney.

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Trailer Reviews for October 14, 2011

THE THING



I haven’t seen the original Thing, but I have seen the episode of The X-Files that was based on it. It was pretty creepy. I’ve always found other people to be scarier than monsters, so this is kind of the perfect scare: people that ARE monsters. But is that really how they figure out the monster has taken someone over? “Oh, there’s some blood, but no one is bleeding. OBVIOUSLY someone was killed and then reanimated as an alien monster!” I dunno about you, as a rational person that would not be my first guess. I hope they just shortened that sequence for the trailers. Oh, and if they let the monster eat that dog, I’m going to be mad.

FOOTLOOSE



Hey, look, both of the major movies coming out this week are remakes from the 1980s. That’s… terrible. Actually, it’s probably a sign of things to come. Pretty soon there will be no new movies – only remakes. That in itself will be a horror movie. Anyway – Footloose. Now, I have not seen the original Footloose. I keep thinking I have, but that’s only because I keep getting it confused with Dirty Dancing. Having said that, I don’t remember there being any explosions in the original Footloose. Perhaps that, too, is a sign of the times. You can’t even make a dancing movie without blowing something up.

THE BIG YEAR



Jack Black’s character in this movie is the quintessential college grad having a quarter life crisis, farting around trying to figure out what do do with his life, except for the fact that Jack Black is like 40, which pushes him into creepy pathetic loser territory. I think he just forgot to stop playing those roles when he got too old and everyone was too nice to tell him to get a life. After that first big flock of birds, they seem to forget that the movie is about bird watching. In fact, they seem to forget that the movie is about anything other than Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson throwing out jokes. There is a plot (they’re competing to spot rare birds off a list) but you would never know it from the trailer. I suspect you’d never know it from the movie, either. It’ll just be the three of them competing for audience attention like the big hams they are.

THE CAPTAINS



I shouldn’t really count this one, because it’s coming out on DVD at the same time, but I had to, because oh my God, the William Shatner self love just NEVER ENDS. Captain Kirk died (several times) in the show, but that has not deterred William Shatner. He successfully had Kirk resurrected for Generations. He writes books about Captain Kirk. He pushed J.J. Abrams to bring old Kirk back for the new Star Trek movie like they did for Spock. Thankfully they didn’t listen, but that didn’t stop Shatner from accepting the Scream Award on behalf of the film. Now he’s directing a film about himself! I bet they only added the other captains into the mix to try and disguise the fact that Shatner’s in love with himself (note: it didn’t work). I won’t see this movie, because after about fifty seconds into the three minute trailer, I was bored. That does not bode well.

THE MAIDEN DANCED TO DEATH



This movie is a co-pro between Canada, Hungary, and Slovenia that takes place in China and Ireland, judging from the music. Maybe they’re going for some sort of international relations award. Apparently it’s filmed in several languages too so everyone has to take a turn at reading (now that’s fairness for you). Despite that the fact that the trailer is way too long (three whole minutes, practically an eternity) I still have no idea what the movie is about, or even what the tone is. There are two brothers (one of whom is incredibly blank-faced), some dancing, (but no one seems to die of it) and a couple of guys with sticks. None of it makes any sense. I hate it already.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Life Above All. It’s a depressing/uplifting drama about a twelve year old girl in Africa who has to handle everything on her own. Looks pretty good. 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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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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DVDs for October 4, 2011

Fast Five

The Fast movies have never been big on logic or the laws of physics. Luckily, no one watching them cares. All they care about are cars driving fast and things blowing up. If that sounds like you, you’ll like Fast Five. It follows Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, the original two characters from The Fast and The Furious, as they try to pull off a heist in cars in South America while being hunted by a DEA agent played by Dwayne Johnson. Most of the gimmicks are ripped off and none of them can act, but it’s actioney enough. You can read my full Fast Five review here.

Buy Fast Five on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

.


Scream 4

Scream and Scream 2 were fantastic movies that managed to walk the line between tense horror and satire of horror cliches. By Scream 3 they were kind of losing it, and with Scream 4, released a full eleven years later, they’ve decided to go back to the basics. It’s more of a reboot of the series than a sequel, with a new crop of high schoolers joining Neve Campbell in being stalked by the Ghostface Killer, but without the clever satire that made the first movie so successful. It’s tired, but it’s still better than movies like Shark Night or Final Destination 5.

Buy Scream 4 on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
.


Lion King

Disney is releasing this new “diamond” version of The Lion King to coincide with its re-release in 3D theaters. Everyone is familiar with this 1996 Blockbuster – a young lion is driven out of his pride and forced to hide in the jungle until he grows up enough to challenge his evil uncle for leadership. Some of the special features you get on this edition include: never before seen deleted scenes, bloopers, and songs as well as a sing along mode and audio commentary as well as everything that was on the old DVD versions. You can get it in 2 disc or 4 disc (the difference is that the 4 disc includes a digital copy and the 3D Blu-Ray).

Buy The Lion King 2 disc Blu-Ray/DVD or 4 disc 3D Blu-Ray.


African Cats

Every year Disney releases a nature documentary to coincide with Earth Day. Last year’s was called African Cats and it is now out on DVD. It follows the same format as Earth and Oceans in that it follows a “family” of animals during a year of their lives. This time it’s cheetahs and lions. This format is designed to appeal to kids because it focuses on the kittens. Adults will like it too, though, because not only is it educational it’s also extremely cute and it won’t make you want to drill into your own brain like Dora the Explorer or Spooky Buddies will.

Buy African Cats on DVD/Blu-Ray combo back.

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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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Dolphin Tale Review

poster from the Warner Bros. Pictures film Dolphin Tale

I was up in the air as to what to see this week. On one hand there were cute dolphins and on the other hand there was an oddly enticing math-based baseball movie. In the end, Dolphin Tale won out over Moneyball, mostly because I couldn’t convince anyone to come see Moneyball with me. After hearing that it was produced by the people who made The Blind Side and directed by the guy who did Air Bud, I had high hopes that Dolphin Tale would be both cute and moving. The storyline revealed in the trailers seemed to bear that out:

A lonely young boy befriends a crippled dolphin he finds tangled in a crab trap and helps it learn to swim again with a prosthetic tail.

You’d have to try pretty hard to make a story about a cute animal overcoming a disability fail to move people – especially kids – to tears, but now that I’ve seen Dolphin Tale, I’m sad to report that it is possible. Dolphin Tale writers Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi managed to take the true story of Winter the dolphin and muddy it up with enough subplots and triteness to make it fall flat.

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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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