Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 16

THE TRAILER ROUND-UP

The third trailer for
"Tron: Legacy" came out a month ago. This link will take you to them and a few clips Disney has released. The trailers make this film look like the coolest thing since "Inception." However, the clips (especially the one with Castor) left me worried, especially about the dialogue. Might we have another "Avatar" on our hands? A gorgeous film with spectacular special effects and exciting action sequences, but a script in need of work (namely the spoken word). "Tron: Legacy" comes out next week.

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" has an interesting trailer until we actually see the transformer. At that point all excitement left me. I've seen the first and frankly, that was enough. Again, special effects do not make a movie... they make tech demos.

You've been forewarned, the second and latest trailer for
"Rio" decreased my eagerness to see it. It is a little distracting to have who I now associate as Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) voice the main bird. On top of that, movie trailer man rattles off a bunch of other famous people who have donated their voices to the cause. That's dandy and all, but that's not necessarily going to make a fine flick. The narrative will, which has a good enough premise. The animation looks very nice, but that's not hard to come by these days.

If a baby orangutan wasn't enough... "Nenette" is a 40-year-old orangutan! She is the oldest resident in a Paris zoo. That could be a fascinating premise of a new Pixar film, but it's not. It is a documentary, but it still looks fascinating! This brings back memories of "Koko: A Talking Gorilla," another primate-y documentary (from 1978) that I love.

Add some testosterone to your weekend with the first trailer for "Thor." This superhero's backstory is especially unique. Anthony Hopkins (who plays Odin) looks great with more hair than ever! Kenneth Branagh, yes, Kenneth Branagh, directs.

None of these trailers left my jaw dropped or mind bewildered. So, no awards this week.

ENLISITED

Stephen King likes putting his Top 10 Films of the Year list out early. He says he considers the years from November to November. He is a compelling writer and this is a compelling list (his Top 10 Films of 2010).

THE GOOD

This is good news to me because, unlike many humans, I thoroughly enjoyed each installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy. They were entertaining movies, each with its own grandiose set-pieces. Johnny Depp's performance was a revelation and the antagonists in each film delivered brilliant performances. The stories were wild adventures on the high seas, set against a historical era, but steeped in mythologies. I deem the trilogy a huge success. It is with this forward that I share with you some
production stills from the fourth installment "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." The film is due May 20th and I am optimistic again for one of the better series coming out of Hollywood's gates. the brilliance of Depp and Geoffery Rush (who is making a splash this year with his performance in "The King's Speech") return with some new faces. The biggest change is the man in the director's chair: Gore Verbinski has been replaces with Rob Marshall ("Chicago" and "Memoirs of a Geisha"). Does that mean we can expect a few musical numbers? Bring it on! I'm guessing we can look forward to a trailer in the next or month or so.

THE BAD

I was looking VERY forward to the new Farrelly Brothers film, "The Three Stooges." Unfortunately the three wonderful leads they had casted (Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, and Benecio Del Toro) all jumped ship. I easily imagined the greatness that trio would deliver... Well, the Farrellys aren't giving up. They are looking to cast three new stooges. JoBlo.com covers the story in their humorous "Cast This" segment.

AND THE WEIRD

Emma Stone (from "Zombieland" and "Easy A") is staring as Peter Parker's initial love interest, Gwen Stacy, in the "Spider-Man" reboot. Proof. The role was played quite well by Bryce Dallas Howard in the "old" one. It still leaves me scratching my head that we're getting an all new "Spider-Man" film franchise this soon... Do you know the other roles? Andrew Garfield (Eduardo in "The Social Network") is the main man. Martin Sheen is Uncle Ben. Sally Field as Aunt May. Rhys Ifans (?) is going to play the first villain, The Lizard. Of course, his character was once a doctor. Marc Webb (who was pointed out to me as having a fitting last name) snags this as his second feature directing (after "(500) Days of Summer").

KEEPIN' IT SHORT


This is a powerful animated short. An interesting and inspiring take on the Greek myth.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 15

THE TRAILER ROUND-UP

I remember hearing word about this on the web months ago... I was thrilled to stumble upon the trailer just now. "The Beaver" stars Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. The film is directed by the latter. It's hard to take the film's ridiculous premise, subject matter, and namesake seriously, but the makers ain't kidding when they declare "Genre: Drama." Something like this is easier to swallow having seen "Lars and the Real Girl," a nice small film (like "The Beaver") about a guy who overcome's personal problems and mental illness through a relationship with a doll. Like a heist plan hatched in a "Ocean's"-movie, this just might be crazy enough to work. It's good to see Gibson again.

Speaking of the "Ocean's" series... here is a doc from the mastermind (Steven Soderbergh) behind the remake and its welcomed sequels: "And Everything is Going Fine." This is a tribute for and about Spalding Gray, a zealous storyteller. All who tell stories can find something of interest herein. This came as a pleasant surprise.

"Mars Needs Moms." If you say so. This CGI-adventure from Disney is one of the most realistic looking computer animations I have ever seen. I just hope the narrative and innovations can match the visual detail.

Another good-looking CG-animated feature. This one is appropriately due come Spring. You see, "Hop" is about the Easter Bunny. It comes from the studio behind "Despicable Me," a film I thought I'd deplore and actually quite liked. (Isn't that bunny playing "The Song" by Blur?)

Toss of the Week: Did you know Earth Day was April 22nd? Well, now we both do. I've missed Disneynature's previous Earth Day releases ("Earth" and "Oceans"), but I'm putting "African Cats" on my calender. I've still yet to catch up with the "Planet Earth" series and the aforementioned Disneynature features, but believe I love love love nature docs. "African Cats" looks astounding. Cinematography and documentation at its finest. I'm thrilled!

KEEPIN' IT SHORT*
*In this all-new segment within "The Film Tome Report," I will be delivering a short film for your consideration.

Directed by Aaron Yonda

This humorous and clever bit won Best Short Film and Best Concept at the Chicago Horror Film Festival in 2006. I thoroughly enjoy perspective pieces like this. On a somewhat related note, "The Bottle Neck" by Hans Christian Anderson is a personal favorite.