Batman has always been my favorite superhero and I loved Batman Begins, BUT I wasn’t tremendously impressed by The Dark Knight like everyone else in the world was. The story was a little too rambling and cluttered. I want to trust that this will be better, but I’ve had a look at the running time (2 hours 44 minutes!) and I just don’t think it will be. I think it will be worse. The trouble is that they give you so little to work with in the trailer(s) that the plot could be about anything. All we know is that Catwoman is in it, that Batman goes somewhere at some point. and that the ending will be so endy that it will not be possible to make anymore movies. Sounds nice and uplifting (not) but sometimes the darkest movies are the awesomest. I hope it’s the awesomest. Please be the awesomest. They really can’t justify keeping me in a theater for 2 hours and 44 minutes if it’s not going to blow my mind… can they?
I see there is only one film brave (or stupid) enough to face up against Dark Knight Rises this weekend: and I’ve never heard of it. Actually, I’m glad. It looks like something I’d actively avoid anyway. It’s my least favorite Mad TV alumni (Will Sasso) starring in a movie made by the creator of my least favorite TV show (Trailer Park Boys) about (one of) my least favorite subjects: losers acting like losers. Add that to the fact that it’s set in Canada (so it’s probably only going to be in a few theaters anyway) and you’ve got a movie that only the families and friends of the people involved are going to see – AFTER they’ve all seen Dark Knight Rises.
Superheroes are “in” these days. So “in” that they’re revamping old film franchises like Spider-man, which, it could be argued, set off the modern superhero filmmaking trend in the first place only a few years ago. So why, instead of giving lesser known superheroes like, say HAWKEYE and BLACK WIDOW their own movies, are they making yet another Spider-Man film? This time they claim to have something new and different: parent drama.
The son of a famous missing scientist finds the secret to cross-species genetics, accidentally turning himself into a spidery hero and his mentor into a giant destructive lizard.
Another thing that’s different is that the movie is filmed in 3D, which does not matter to me. All that matters to me is the storytelling, so although I will admit the new film is more acrobatic than the old, and that it’s not a bad movie per se, it’s not different enough to justify its existence.
Something about this movie (either the Channing Tatum or the stripping… possibly both) made it a major vehicle for trailer-based ads, because I had a hell of a time finding one without 30 seconds of crap at the beginning (on the subject of trailer ads – WTF!? We’re putting ads before ads now??) Anyway, they make it seem like the movie is all about Mike finding the right girl and retiring from the stripper life to make coffee tables out of old engine blocks (or something) but in the blurbs the synopsis is all about Mike mentoring a younger stripper, whose name is not Alex Rider but it’s a little creepy anyway. But we all know the REAL point of the movie: Channing Tatum taking his clothes off. They should have just called it Channing Tatum Takes His Clothes Off. It would make a billion dollars the first weekend.
I love Mark Wahlberg in comedies, but he always seems to be paired up with people I can’t stand. Will Ferrell in The Other Guys and now Seth MacFarlane in Ted, which tends to dim my enthusiasm. Maybe you find the concept of a teddy bear with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other humping the scanner at a grocery store inherently hilarious, but I just don’t. There is no connection in my brain between alcohol, drugs, and comedy, so I didn’t laugh or smile once during this trailer. Ted is gonna be a pass for me.
PEOPLE LIKE US
I saw the poster for this and I was like “meh, this tells me nothing. It will probably be about nothing.” The trailer, however, has got me wanting to see it, although I can tell there’s probably going to be awkward sexual tension between Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, on account of he’s being nice to her and she doesn’t know he’s her brother. I hate that. It makes everything so weird and awkward and I want to turn the movie off. But the rest of it looked good enough that I’d take a chance on it. I mean, Olivia Wilde is there as the girlfriend so that should help. I hope it helps. Please let it help.
YOUR SISTER’S SISTER
So what is wrong with this guy that he needs to be sent via bicycle and ferry to a remote wilderness cabin? Does he have smallpox? Is he depressed? Is his boss mean? These are the things I think about, and if I don’t get answers, I tend to stop paying attention to whatever comes after. Another thing that bothers me – the title. Your sister’s sister is either you or your other sister, if there are more than two children. Now there, see? I forgot about the rest of the movie entirely. I’m not going to see it now because it irritated me.
THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH
Dear Chloe, these last few years have been so hard on our family, but I’m here now, in all my pervy glory, to start the movie with this creepy monologue and make everyone think I’m the villain, when really I’m the helpless patsy taken advantage of by an older woman. April fools! With all the fog and the kidnapped daughter and everything, this looks like a Silent Hill adaptation or something. Even so, I’ll have forgotten it exists by tomorrow. It’s just seems to standard.
TAKE THIS WALTZ
HIM: “You look really familiar, though.”
HER: “I get that a lot. Probably because I dress exactly like Sue Sylvester from Glee.”
Normally I hate movies about people cheating on each other, but she’s married to Seth Rogan, so it’s okay. She could push him in front of a bus and I probably still wouldn’t be bothered. I might even smile.
I’m sorry, but I can’t see a movie called “Lola” anything without thinking of Lolita, that Stanley Kubrick movie about statutory rape. Luckily, this movie is nothing like that. It’s just about getting dumped, but not, curiously, about the dumping resulting in her meeting prince charming, unless they left that part out of the trailers. Interesting. I might see it.
MADEA’S WITNESS PROTECTION
Never one to let an idea remain unmilked for long, Tyler Perry brings back Madea in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection by Tyler Perry starring Tyler Perry written and directed by Tyler Perry. No doubt it will be the biggest atrocity of multiple character acting/cross dressing as a fat old lady since Big Momma went to college.
Clash of the Titans was two hours of men in skirts yelling and flinging themselves at monsters, but the sequel, thankfully, has a bit more depth. Perseus (Sam Worthington) has a son now and only reluctantly returns to the monster killing business when his dad Zeus (Liam Neeson) gets kidnapped by his evil uncle Hades (Ralph Fiennes) as a ploy to release a giant lava monster. It’s pretty cool – I liked it a lot better than the first one – and the special effects were awesome. Check it out or read the full review.
Mirror Mirror is the campy version of Snow White that came out earlier this summer – the one that features Julia Roberts as the evil queen trying to poach a young prince played by Armie Hammer out of her stepdaughter Lily Collins’ hands. There are also a magical dragon and some marauding little people on stilts who steal the pants off anyone that wanders into the woods. It’s goofy, a little lame, and nobody dies, so it’s perfect for younger kids and anyone who’s not looking to get into anything at all serious. Check out the full review here.
If you remember 21 Jump Street from the 80s, you should know that this is nothing like that. The other has a serious “drugs are bad” message, this one is a vehicle for sex jokes, goofing off, and making fun of high school movies. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play two (not so) young looking police officers who end up in the opposite roles they played in high school when they return to school as part of an undercover drug sting. It’s pretty funny, so check it out, but not if you’ve got kids with you. Most of the jokes are HIGHLY inappropriate. Read the full review here.
I went to this movie with a friend. I loved it, she hated it, so it could go either way for you. The movie is black and white and almost entirely silent, which means you’ve gotta be cool with reading title cards and people’s faces if you want to know what’s going on. The story is that a famous silent movie actor (Jean Dujardin) is made obsolete by his protegee/girlfriend (Berenice Bejo) when Hollywood moves from silent pictures to “talkies.” It’s really sweet and also really different, so do check it out, even if you’re not a film snob.
Pixar has an annoying habit of not releasing any story details in their trailers, making it seem like their movies aren’t really about anything. With Brave, I knew I was going to like it because it was Pixar, but I had no idea what it was about other than that there was a wild haired Scottish princess with a bow and arrow who didn’t want to get married. Except for the Scottish thing, that’s ho-hum, so standard. What they should have said was this:
A Scottish princess about to be given away in marriage buys a magical spell to change her fate and accidentally turns her mother into a bear.
Before I saw Brave, I assumed it was going to be an early Scottish version of the Princess Diaries. Now that I’ve seen it, I can tell you that it’s actually like Freaky Friday, but with bears (and kilts). How awesome is that? I’ve always thought that Freaky Friday could use more bears (and kilts).
Yay! A Pixar movie starring a girl! I don’t know why there have been so few girls in their movies (perhaps because they’re mostly written/directed/produced by boys?) but it’s nice to see things change. It seems to be all about unfairness to girls too, which is cool, though beyond that I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be about. Fighting a bear? Climbing a mountain? Proving your worth? Not getting married? Is it a Whale Rider type “I will be your leader even though I’m a girl” story or a Tangled type “I need to get out of my stifling childhood home and have an adventure” story? I love Pixar movies, but their trailers are usually lacking – they always make me think I won’t like the movie as much as the last ones, so I’m going to reserve judgment on whether it will be good or bad till I’ve actually seen the thing.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
I know a lot of people who belong to the “this looks unbearably stupid” school of thought when it comes to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter but I can’t wait to see this movie, I don’t care if it’s got historians spitting blood (historians could stand to be a bit less stuffy anyway). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter looks even better in the trailers than Brave, but I have to see Brave this week because of my previous experiences loving Pixar movies. I read and liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (also by Seth Grahame-Smith) so I really want to see how he blended Lincoln history with bonkersness and epic violence. That’s three of my favorite things: history, bonkersness, and violence. A winning recipe!
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
Geez, long title. I’m not saying that every time. I’ll call it: End of the World. So, End of the World looks like a funnier version of Deep Impact, that asteroid movie that was not Armageddon. Not that it would take much to be funnier than Deep Impact, it was pretty much the most depressing movie ever. Anyway, this movie asks a good question: what would we all do if we knew we were all going to die in a couple of weeks? The short answer is probably “riot” but this film can probably find something uplifting to say anyway. I’d see it, but only after Brave and Abe Lincoln Makes with the Choppy Choppy.
Here’s another movie that asks (on a much smaller scale) what you would do if you were going to die in a slightly less funny way. The answer in the last film seems to be party/get girlfriend/tie up loose ends while this one seems to be tie up loose ends/get girlfriend/make last ditch hail mary attempt to not die, which makes more sense to me – who’d just lay down and die when there was a chance they didn’t have to? So I’d see this movie… eventually. On a side note – I can’t believe that’s Max Thieriot. Wasn’t it like yesterday that he was playing a twelve year old in Nancy Drew?
WHERE DO WE GO NOW
It can be difficult to fathom how two sets of people can hate each other so much that they’d be hell-bent on killing each other for thousands of years. So difficult, in fact, that a lot of us who are not involved tend to ignore it after a while. If it gets exhausting for us, then imagine how it must feel to be IN it. You might even be inspired to make a hilarious movie about a bunch of women who hire hookers and get everyone high to keep them from fighting. This has got to be one of the most interesting ideas for a movie I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll watch it.
Also happening this weekend: a fundraiser for my Girl Guides! Test drive a Ford and they’ll give us money! Check out the Facebook Event to invite yourself and all your friends.
In this second installment of the Guy Richie Sherlock Holmes adaptations, the duo attempt to thwart their evil nemesis Moriarty as he tries to start World War I about a decade and a half too early. Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law are, as always, fantastic as the brilliant lunatic Holmes and the newly married Dr. Watson. These movies are so funny that I can watch them again and again even though I know what’s going to happen. I think I liked the first one a little better than this one, but it’s still well worth watching. Check out the full review for more details.
All comic book superheroes are goofy and ridiculous to some extent, but the right filmmaker and actor can make them seem gritty and serious anyway. This is not one of those situations. The first Ghost Rider movie was a joke, but this one is even worse. Nicholas Cage plays a flaming demonic motorcycle stuntman who is called upon to stop the devil from stealing a little boy (and, apparently the laws of physics, because they do not apply for this film). This film manages to be both too loud and too boring, which is some kind of achievement I guess. Rent something else anyway.
I subscribed to the BBC specifically so I could watch this show. Presenters James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond are all bonkers, which is why it’s so funny when they do ridiculous challenges like racing against a man on a jet pack, delivering a thousand lunches to workers in India, filming a car chase for a cop movie, or test driving Chinese cars that have been copied from European ones (they do all this in Season 18). I’m not really interested in cars but I’m learning about them anyway by accident as I watch what I think of as a comedy program. Definitely watch it.
Remember how in Schindler’s List a factory owner protected a bunch of Jews from the Nazis even though it was really hazardous to his health and it was really moving? Well history is full of stories like that, only some of which get told. This one, about a Polish thief who keeps a dozen Jews alive while hiding from the Nazis in a sewer in Lvov, is only just coming to light. It will be difficult to watch, just warning you. All holocaust movies are (and should be). And it is subtitled, but you should watch it anyway because it’s amazing, both the movie and the true story.
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.
It often happens that two movies based on the same premise come out in the same year. It’s happened with volcanoes, asteroids crashing into the earth, special operations teams being betrayed by the government (actually, there’s about a million of those) and now it’s Snow White’s turn. Though they’re based on the same premise, it’s hard to imagine a pair of movies as different as Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. Mirror Mirror was a screwball comedy while this one is dark and gritty..
A teenaged princess escapes the clutches of her evil stepmother to start a revolution among the people with the help of some dwarves and the huntsman who was sent to track her down.
I’ve seen them both now and both have their strengths. Mirror Mirror is good for a few laughs and appropriate to take young kids to while Snow White and the Huntsman is totally bad ass. It’s not perfect, but I’d take it over Mirror Mirror any day.
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.