Saturday, February 26, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 21


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 2.20.2011

THE TRAILER ROUND-UP

"Apollo 18" bears the tag-line, "There's a reason we never went back to the moon." I never knew that we had stopped sending men to that rock, but according to the synopsis the last time was 1972. The synopsis goes one to claim that Apollo 18 went to the moon a year later and apparently the two-man crew never returned. The "actual footage" that makes up this film is the reason for that tag-line. Essentially, this looks to be "Paranormal Activity" (a series a really like) on the moon. The '70s look and feel, especially as seen through their myriad cameras, is a nice touch. It is interesting how alike products always seem to emerge at the same time. Compare this with the impressive teaser for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (which, by the way, got a 30-second spot earlier this month during the Big Game) and Duncan Jones's indie masterwork "Moon" from 2009.


Ridley Scott's daughter (Jordan Scott) will now get her film distributed in the states. Apparently filmmaking runs in the Scott family. "Cracks" does not quite seem to be my cup of tea, but it sure looks beautifully photographed. Might it be the "Picnic at Hanging Rock" of our generation?

The next trailer comes with a bit of a personal experience attached. I saw "I Saw the Devil" at Sundance this year. I knew then it would never merit an "R" rating (it is among the most violent films ever made, making the likes of "Saw" and "Hostel" seem like Saturday morning cartoons in comparison), so it makes sense that they are releasing it as "Not Rated." It is for that reason I cannot recommend "I Saw the Devil." Still, the filmmaking and acting was on another level of excellence that one truly does not see everyday. It is a mixed bag of fruits: wildly disturbing, ever-so-thrilling, sometimes inspiring, usually distressing and ultimately thought-provoking. I still contemplate the film's title and the decent of our protagonist. I took the experience as a self-evaluation and learned a lot about myself that evening in the Egyptian Theater and in the days after.


Toss of the Week: Ever since I first heard of "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" I have wanted to experience it. Uncle Boonmee is on his deathbed and his visited by family members, both living and dead. It looks chilling, bizarre and beautiful. It won the Palm d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival. (For those not in the know, that is the highest prize at one highest regarded film festivals in the world. Past winners include "The White Ribbon," "Elephant" and "Pulp Fiction.") Uncle Boonmee's tale surely will not hit theaters around here and Netflix says the DVD availability date is unknown. It appears I have some patience to implement.


THE GOOD AND THE WEIRD


I have already addressed the "Spider-Man" reboot (still a bewildering notion), but now there is more news. Sony Pictures has officially announced that it will be called "The Amazing Spider-Man." JoBlo has the story and here is the film's official site.


2011 will break the all-time record for most film sequels in a single year with 27. Wow. Box Office Mojo with the tale.

KEEPIN' IT SHORT

"The Monk and the Fish"

Written and Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit.

Excellent use of colors and underscoring of music to match the action in this silly yet poignant tale.


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