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Trailer Reviews for August 24, 2012

PREMIUM RUSH



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.

THE APPARITION



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.

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Trailer Reviews for August 17, 2012

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN



I complain a lot about how there aren’t many new ideas getting made into movies, so I can’t argue with this one: an infertile couple want a kid so badly that one grows out of their garden. It’s a nutbar idea, of course, but most of the best ones are. At least, I hope The Odd Life of Timothy Green could be one of the best ones. It’s got that same “weird yet moving child” sort of feel you got with Pay it Forward, but hopefully without the sad ending. They don’t reveal much of the plot in either of the trailers apart from the fact that he comes from the garden, which could be a good sign or a bad one. But Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton agreed to be in it, so I’m going to take it as a good one.

THE EXPENDABLES 2



Oh God, not another one. I suppose I should have expected this – washed up action stars are always looking for ways to be not washed up anymore – but after the first one was so not worth my time I had hoped to avoid a sequel. But I can’t, and if possible, this movie looks even worst than the first one. They’ve not only expanded Schwarzenegger’s cameo into a full-on role, they’ve also taken on Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme, the kings of wooden acting land. And WTF? What is Liam Hemsworth doing here? Washing up before he’s washed out? All they need is Steven Segal, Clint Eastwood, and Christian Slater to jump on the bandwagon and we’ll have the whole set of bad 90s action movie trading cards. You would think that with a cast so ponderously large the film would collapse under its own weight, but luckily they don’t need any plot development beyond “go here” and “blow that up.”

PARANORMAN



Oh no! I want to see this movie too! Which do I choose? The Odd Life of Timothy Green or Paranorman? (or The Expendables 2 for its sheer hilarious terribleness?) I hate these weeks. Coraline was a great movie and I love the stop motion. I’m not sure the whole being scared/change who you are line really fits in with the lighthearted tone of the rest of the trailer and the “bullied loser saves the town” plot has been done to death, but those zombies are really hilarious looking and I love the hockey mask joke. If I don’t see this next week, I’ll probably go to it the week after.

SPARKLE



Wait wait wait… their names are Sticks and Sparkle? Did their mothers think they were adopting dogs? Who names their kids that? I might believe it if Whitney Houston was really their mom (famous people always give their kids crazy names) but she’s only acting… or trying to, anyway. Mostly it just seems like a promotion to reignite interest in Whitney Houston’s music (dead people still sell records). Plot wise it’s pretty much the same as Joyful Noise except set in night clubs instead of churches and with Whitney Houston taking over the role of singer mom who doesn’t want her pretty daughter to be a singer lest she be knocked up and have her life ruined. I liked Joyful Noise, but this one just seems too phoned in. I’m going to skip it.

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Trailer Reviews for August 3, 2012

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS



Ah, the continuing adventures of my least favorite tween: Greg Heffely. Thankfully, I’m on vacation this week or I might have had to go see this with one of my friends, who despite being in her 20s is still inexplicably a Wimpy Kid fan. Also thankfully, they won’t be able to keep going with these for much longer (at least not with the same kid playing Greg) because he’s starting to take on that half-molded putty person look that teenagers get while they’re growing and half the time he sounds like a 20 year old. I won’t be sorry to see these rambling, disconnected series of fart jokes go… but of course they won’t go anywhere. The worst series take the longest to die, so these books and movies will still be going strong when today’s twen fans have tweens of their own.

TOTAL RECALL



Ahh. Now here’s what I want to see! Normally I think remakes are a waste of time, but this is a remake I can actually get behind because a) they’re replacing a cardboard cutout (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with someone who can really act (Colin Farrell) and b) special effects have moved on a lot since 1990. I just hope they don’t call back too far. Specifically, to the original source material. Philip K. Dick had a lot of great ideas that were ruined by poor (or irrelevant nutbar) execution. It doesn’t look like they went back to “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale”, though – lots of battling the Imperial stormtrooper look-alikes in the trailer and not so much with the insane drug induced philosophical ramblings. The best part is that I don’t even remember how the other one ends, so I get to be surprised all over again!

RED LIGHTS



Ooh, this is something I’d like to see as well. Robert DeNiro vs Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. Paranormal investigator/debunkers running up against an arch-enemy who might actually have psychic superpowers. It sounds like a joke – or an episode of Scooby Doo, but the trailer makes it look really tense and thrilling. Sort of like The Reaping before it plunged off the deep end into the pool of crazy. That Robert DeNiro is in it is kind of a drag – he’s such a clone, always playing the same guy. But it’s good to see Cillian Murphy again. I wondered what he’d got up to after Batman Begins.

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DVDs for July 31, 2012

Detention

Have you ever watched The Breakfast Club and wished there were more murders? If you have, then Detention is the movie for you. It’s a horror comedy starring Josh Hutcherson in a neon 90s getup. He and his smart talking girl friend are part of a group of “quirky” teens that are stalked by a serial killer while they’re stuck in detention. It’s dripping with irony (the annoyingly self-conscious indie teen irony, not the smart kind) but it’s better than a horror movie that tries to play the same things seriously.

Buy Detention on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Le Havre

Le Havre is a French film about an old shoe shiner who finds an African refugee boy in a shipping container that was on its way to London and hides him from the police while he tries to track down the kid’s family. It’s one of those heartwarming indie stories that does well in the festival circuit but is also non-boring enough for regular people to watch because the characters have snappy, clever dialogue (not annoying clever, actual clever). If you don’t mind reading the subtitles (I did mention it was in French) then you should check it out.

Buy LeHavre on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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Hatfields & McCoys

This is a History Channel movie about the most famous family feud in America, which occurred in Kentucky and West Virginia after the Civil War and almost caused ANOTHER civil war. It starts out with a friendship but the rest of the 290 minutes (it’s a mini-series) is taken up by eye for an eye hatred and violence, so if you weren’t tired of the whole thing going into it you sure will be afterward. It does have some pretty big names in it though – Bill Paxton, Kevin Costner, Jena Malone, and that girl who plays Crystal on True Blood so if you’re a fan you’ll probably want to check it out.

Buy Hatfields & McCoys on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


LOL

All these high school movies act like they’re the first movies in the world to discover boyfriends and breakups and be misunderstood by their parents. So basically, teen movies are like teens, but that doesn’t make them any less repetitive to watch. Miley Cyrus and her weird teeth break up with their d-bag boyfriend, fall for a girly musician, post it all on the internet, and then act surprised (or try to – they’re not good at it) when their parents find out. Ho hum, so dumb. Not to mention it’ll be outdated in 2.5 seconds because it’s loaded with technology and pop culture. Avoid.

Buy LOL on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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DVDs for July 24, 2012

The Deep Blue Sea

No, this is not a B-horror movie about a giant shark that eats people. It’s a British historical drama about a judge’s wife who’s having an affair with an Air Force pilot (I know, I would have called it something else too). Anyway, normally I would be like: overwrought affairs, draggy music, too much time spent staring at things in silence – forget it! But the people staring at things (often each other) are Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston, and they spend a lot of time making out, so there are at least two reasons to give it a try.

Buy The Deep Blue Sea on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Silent House

I know the box art makes this one look like a Japanese horror movie, but it’s actually French/American (it’s in English). It’s your standard haunted house scenario: some people go to a house, they think its fine, then they start hearing weird noises and all of a sudden they’re being attacked by mystical beings or serial killers or whatever. The gimmick is that it’s supposed to have been a true story that was shot in real time rather than in fits and snatches like a regular movie. Personally I don’t think it’s all that different, but if you’re into being startled, give it a try.

Buy Silent House on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


Footnote

The Deep Blue Sea and Silent House are really the only English language films worth mentioning this week (I guess no one buys DVDs in the summer?) so on to the foreign films! This is an Israeli movie about a father and a son who are both professors in the same field (Talmudic Studies) and are always trying to one up each other – until one wins an award and the other gets the phone call! Then the son has to decide if he’d rather get along or correct the mistake and win the award. So it’s one of those family dramas that are also funny in a quirky sort of way.

Buy Footnote on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


My Way

This next movie comes to us from Korea and bills itself as the next Saving Private Ryan. It’s based on a true story about two boys from the same farm who want to be runners in the Olympics but end up being enemies in the war instead, fighting for like three different countries each before the thing is finally over. It’s pretty big budget, with airplane bombing scenes and cavalry and battlefields and stuff in addition to the sweeping epic friendship stuff, so if you’re into war movies and you’re quick enough to read subtitles, check it out.

Buy My Way on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Trailer Reviews for June 22, 2012

BRAVE



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.

FOREVERLAND



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.

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Trailer Reviews for June 15, 2012

ROCK OF AGES



Oh yes, I think so. This is going to be awesome! I totally used to steal all these albums (on cassette tapes!) from my mom and listen to them on the walkman I stole from my dad while drawing fighter planes (how’s that for bad ass?) So I am totally on board with them being incorporated into a musical, because wouldn’t you know it – I also love musicals! If said musical is a little vague on story in its trailer, well, that’s okay. Catherine Zeta-Jones is trying to shut down their theater and they’re using Stacee Jax, who is actually a sad person (?) to boost their image? Is that how it goes? I don’t know. I’ll find out. I had no idea Tom Cruise could sing (CAN he sing? Is that him singing in this? Because it still sounds an awful lot like Bon Jovi) but he’s batsh** crazy enough to pull off the role of a rockstar, that’s for sure.

THAT’S MY BOY



Is it just me, or does Adam Sandler have the world’s most irritating voice? It’s all high and whiney and nasally. Even when he’s not actively trying to sound annoying it makes me want to poke nails into my ears… or into his voicebox. I think by now you realize that I’m going to say this movie looks like a pile of vomit left in the sun for three days but maybe that’s just because I have a hate on for Adam Sandler. Maybe you’d like it. I don’t know. But I don’t think teachers perving on their students, child neglect, and douchenozzles spreading their douchery around so that everyone around them turns into a douche too is funny. So I’m going to avoid this movie like the plague that it is.

MOONRISE KINGDOM



I know a few really big Wes Anderson fans that will probably jump into their cars and drive across the province to be first in line to see this movie (it’s a limited release) but I can take or leave his movies. I liked The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox but I really hated Rushmore and I didn’t like The Darjeeling Limited either. It’s hard to tell, but this one looks like it could be in the “like” category, as it’s totally and completely bonkers and it’s got a Scout camp (which is similar to Guide camp, which I can relate to) and some quirky yet cute kids in it. I’ll see it. Just not this week. This week Rock of Ages and I have a date.

BERNIE



Ugh, Jack Black is another one of the doofus comedians I can’t stand. He’s not so doofusey here though (okay, he is, but in a less in-your-face way, which makes all the difference). He’s closer to how he was in The Holiday, which is one of the few movies of his that I actually like. I was all ready to say I wouldn’t mind seeing this one until they got to the part where he murdered his wife/girlfriend/whatever and it’s apparently it’s okay with everyone because she was such a bitch and I guess it just didn’t occur to him to leave her instead. It kind of seems like a hate on women, so I lost interest. Sorry Jack Black, you tried, but it’s a pass for me.

388 ARLETTA AVENUE



Found footage again? Are we not over that yet? At least this time it doesn’t look like a pile of crap, like they filmed a computer screen with a cell phone camera and then played it back on an old TV with bad reception. The main character (hello Nick Stahl, who annoyed me in Terminator 3) seems pretty dumb though. His wife or girlfriend or live in maid or whatever gets kidnapped and he gets a phone call from a mysterious psycho and his response is to say “something’s going on!” Well bravo, genius. Have a cookie for being so smart. And let me guess? The cops don’t believe you or they’re all corrupt or something so you have to find your beloved plot device (I mean wife) on your own. Thanks, but no thanks.

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Prometheus Review

poster from the 20th Century Fox film Prometheus

This movie is an Alien prequel. Everyone knows that, right? Because I went to Prometheus with a friend who was under the impression that it was a modern adaptation of the Greek myth. She was unaware that there would be face hugging and stomach exploding, which is the reason we all go to Alien movies in the first place. So just to clarify, this is an Alien film and the name of their ship is Prometheus and the story is only slightly reminiscent of the myth:

A team of scientists travel to a distant world searching for the aliens they believe jumpstarted humanity and end up fighting to prevent humanity’s extermination.

Prometheus looked amazing in the trailers, but after my failure to like some of Ridley Scott’s other movies (Robin Hood, American Gangser, Blader Runner, etc.) I was cautious. But it was an Alien movie so of course I went, and it was totally awesome! Maybe even my favorite of the series.

Read More

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Trailer Reviews for June 8, 2012

PROMETHEUS



I’m super excited for this movie. Why? Because Alien, Aliens, and Alien vs Predator (not the second one) were awesome. Also because it’s got Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace and their ship is totally cool. I could care less about Ridley Scott, who gave us the boringfest known as Blade Runner as well as cooler movies like Black Hawk Down and Alien. You gotta wonder about how smart these scientists are though, if they want to go looking (again) for aliens who like to bust out of people’s stomachs, but I guess if they were smart we wouldn’t have a movie. Oh, and if you’re wondering why I posted the teaser instead of the full trailer, it’s because the full one gives too much away. Don’t watch it.

MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED



I watched the the first Madagascar movie and liked it except for the part where that annoying grey fuzzy thing sang the “move it move it” song about four thousand times and made me want to drill into my own brain to stop the agony. Because of that, there’s no way I’m seeing this movie, or indeed the second one, which I don’t remember much about, and is probably in the $3 bin at Wal-Mart by now. The penguins are kind of awesome, but there’s no way I’m suffering through the rest of it just to see them. It’s just as well – this trailer didn’t even make me laugh once and it’s in 3D, which means I’d have to pay three dollars extra. No thanks.

COSMOPOLIS



Oh hello again, Robert Pattinson. I had forgotten you existed. You look really dorky in sunglasses and I can’t take you seriously as a high powered anything on account of you still look like you’re about fifteen. Judging from this trailer, both you and your blonde lead unfortunately seem to have all the emotive capacity of cardboard, so I think I’m going to skip this one if that’s okay with you. Also turning me off your new movie is the David Cronenberg factor, because his films are invariably either weird, gross, nonsensical, or all of the above. I’m still a little bit scarred over eXistenZ, so I’m sure he’ll understand that I’m not eager to buy a ticket for this one. I watched the whole trailer and I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be about.

WE HAVE A POPE



When I saw the poster for this, I expected it to be either a documentary or a biopic about selecting the last pope, but this is like The King’s Speech for Catholics. I don’t wanna be the pope! Don’t make me talk to people! Get me some specialists who will do weird exercises with me and give me more confidence! And remember: I’m not just a mannikin in a giant hat! I’m a real person too! While I wouldn’t be interested in a movie about choosing the last pope (if there are two things I don’t like movies about, it’s politics and religion) but this one… this one I might watch.

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Trailer Reviews for June 1, 2012

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN



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.

HYSTERIA



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.

PIRANHA 3DD



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?

MARLEY



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.

LES INTOUCHABLES



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.

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