NEW IN THEATERS
- 13 Assassins* / 93%
- Cave of Forgotten Dreams* / 94%
- Dylan Dog: Dead of Night*
- Fast Five / 80%
- Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
* = Limited Release
NEW IN STORES
- Bunny and the Bull / 61%
- Jolene / 56%
- Three Idiots
% from Rotten Tomatoes
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(Author's Note: Here is a fantastic batch of previews for y'all! There have been so many trailers lately that I am forced to pick and choose which ones to highlight. Plenty more where these came from and I will try to not get further behind than I already am in sharing them with the readers of The Film Tome. Cheers!)
I dig long takes, though it is certainly another level of ambitiousness for an entire film to be done in a single take. There are a few out there, "The Silent House" is the newest. What is more is that it is a horror film. The only single-shot-feature I have seen is "Russian Ark." It is beautiful and dreamy, though it could easily be considered a bore and easily put the uncultured to sleep. After watching this creepy preview, I do not think "The Silent House" will have that problem. Surely a lot will depend on how our lead girl, Florencia Colucci (who looks to be onscreen 99% of the time), holds our attention. Here's hoping its not all screaming, but we do need some. It is especially unsettling that this Uruguayan film is based on a true story. Finally, a horror film where you mustn't shut your eyes so you can testify of it being a single shot. Select audiences, get ready to not blink on May 6th!
"Louder Than a Bomb" is a doc focused on high school youth in Chicago who celebrate language and their personal experiences at an annual poetry recital slam. I write poetry, but do not usually recite it, so this film widens my view of the laced literature. My professors have taught me that one aspect of the documentary is to give a voice to the voiceless. This happens to be about some of America's future who are already celebrate their voices. These words hit theaters on May 16th. Expect a limited release and look for a DVD/Blu-ray version later.
The somber score adds so much to the trailer for "Armadillo." Last year's "Restrepo" was about as close as I want to get to the ongoing warfare in Afghanistan, but alas, another rises from the settling smoke. Where "Restrepo" followed a group of American soldiers, this one takes us into a Danish platoon. It was the first doc to be chosen for the International Critic's Week at Festival de Cannes. It won the grand prize. It is showing in certain theaters, but most of us will probably have to see it on Netflix.
The mockumentary, though I prefer the term "faux documentary," is a wildly entertaining film style. "The Blair Witch Project" is most popular for revolutionizing the technique. In recent years we have been privileged to some monster features portrayed as documentaries (e.g. "Cloverfield" and "Big Man Japan"). Now we are getting trolls! And I thought the one that strolled into Hogwarts was large... "Trollhunter" is about a group of Norwegian film students who document the creatures. A "film equation" (see sidebar on the right and/or tab above) might be "Twister" + "Cloverfield" = "Trollhunter." Our protags ain't trying to survive... they are trying to document (hence the name). It really looks like a lot of fun! I have yet to see "Troll 2," but I could not help compare some of the images. In any case, the giant one that assaults the car is radical! You can join in the hunt on iTunes come May 6th (I just might!) or see if it hits any theaters near you on June 10th.
"The Big Bang" (Content Disclaimer: sensuality and brief nudity) looks like it will live up to its name... The trailer starts off with a great noir feel as we follow a hard-boiled detective (played by the Puss in Boots himself, Senor Antonio Banderas) on the hunt for his client's wife through the nightlife and underground (literally) of Los Angeles. The most alluring aspect is the kinetic and colorful style. I just hope there is some substance to be had with all the technique. The dust will settle in select theaters on May 13th.
Imagine painting a half-million frames... That is what some dedicated bunch of French animators have done for "Mia and the Migoo." Like many of Hayao Miyazaki's works, this seems connected to Mother Nature: a green film somewhat disguised with all its oddities and imaginations. The little girl and large creature relationship seems clearly inspired by "My Neighbor Totoro," one of my favorite films. Oh, and there is a Tree of Life involved. As talented as the American voice actors are (e.g. Whoopi Goldberg), I would choose to hear the film in its original French any day of the week.
"Based on the extraordinary true story." How many times have we seen that in a trailer? As cliche as it has become, it ever reminds how remarkable this life is. There is no shortage of ideas and stories out there. From the UK comes "The First Grader," which is a "back-to-school" concept (a la "Billy Madison") set in Kenya for an elderly man (84 years old) who wants to learn to read. It is bound to inspire and warm hearts. A short documentary was made about the man back in 2006, this full-length non-doc version hits choice theaters on May 13th.
Roland Emmerich is known for threatening the world in his films ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," and most recently, "2012"), now he is threatening one of the crown jewels of the literary realm: William Shakespeare. Of course, speculative theories have been in circulation for years on whether or not Shakespeare wrote the plays and sonnets that have been credited to him. Might they have been the work of many or perhaps one is now "Anonymous." The film has a great look with all its visual effects, but will the story be as shined? At least this is a film that will play in theaters everywhere on September 30th.
And the Lassoed Awards go to...
The Head-Scratcher: Huh. That is the appropriate response for any "head-scratcher" and that is my response for "The Perfect Host." At first it seemed like one of those "bad guy meets someone innocent who just so happens to be the worst possible person they could have run into" (a la "Hard Candy"), but it goes to strange lengths in the second have. The comedic and horrific switch oh-so quick in the trailer, will the film be the same way? You are invited to attend on July 1st.
Toss of the Week: Run, Robber, Run! "The Robber" looks magnificent! It is based on the true story of an Austrian man who would run marathons and rob banks. Really, that premise alone has me sold. Foreign filmmakers often give us something we have never seen before. The inevitable chase scenes are bound to be pounding, visceral experiences. I am curious to see how they have also incorporated a love story herein. It is currently showing in some theaters, but I think most of us will have to catch up with this one when it hits shelves (digital or otherwise).
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Dr. Schlozman (a professor at the Harvard Medical School), author of "The Zombie Autopsies" gives us his Top 5 Zombie Flicks. His rationale is unique (as an M.D.), he credits those that "hold the most water" it terms of believablitity and in agreeance (apparently Blogger disbelieves "agreeance" is a word) with his book. I have seen all except "Survival of the Dead" to which I reacted with an audible "What?!" I started that film and then stopped a few minutes later. It is George A. Romero's (the daddy of the zombie film genre) latest, but far from the greatest (well, I should probably subject myself to its entirety before I can say this much). At least the Doctor explains why it makes the cut. The list begins with #1 and counts up... Word to any list-makers, do not ever present your rankings in this manner. How anti-climactic!
Here is a fascinating article: "15 Most Profitable Films." You will notice the likes of "Avatar," "Titanic," and "The Dark Knight" are nowhere to be found because, while they are among the top-grossing, they each costed a fortune to make. Some of the entires may surprise you (like "Mrs. Doubtfire"?!). Amounts have been adjusted for inflation.
Yesterday Richard Roeper tweeted his feelings on the royal wedding and thought it was a prime time to share some of his "Favorite Wedding Movies." Will you take the films into consideration? I do.
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Apparently some former fans of M. Night Shyamalan have begun an online petition to send the iconic writer/director back to school. The website, M. Night School, has merchandise As of this writing, only $634.31 has been donated to the cause. The idea is a silly, but as a Shyamalan fan (and open apologist) I find it in poor taste. The guy is responsible for some of the best American thrillers and supernatural flicks of the last two decades. His most recent works are his weak links, but they do not erase his previous greatness. Also, his involvement with last year's "Devil" seems to be a return to form. I believe Shyamalan will blow us all away yet again and it certainly won't be because this site payed for his return to film school. JoBlo covers the story and several of the comments seem to have a similar viewpoint.
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AND THE WEIRD
"Water for Elephants" did not open to the best of reviews, causing star Robert Pattison (AKA Edward from "Twilight") to speak out to The Hollywood Reporter. In the end of this article Pattison also shares some of his thought about "Breaking Dawn," the final piece to the "Twilight" saga, which will of course be done in two films (like "Harry Potter" and like "The Hobbit). He says the first half is "completely nuts" and he wonders how it can possibly be PG-13 due to it being a "straight-up horror film." Personally, this news makes me more interested than ever to see the rest of a series that I strangely like.
Another actor, Mickey Rourke, recently commented on two of his new films ("13" and "Passion Play") to Vulture. He called them both "terrible." While honesty rules, timing is everything! These films are coming out soon (albeit as limited releases) and could suffer from such statements. I can only imagine the producers pulling their hair out when they heard Rourke had said these things.
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OR THE COOL
I had not heard about Blind Film Critic until today. Thanks to one of Roger Ebert's tweets for plugging this significance. Tommy Edison is a blind film critic, naturally he brings a unique perspective to the film. As we know, film is not just a visual medium. It may have begun that way, but audio has become such a vital component. Edison was born blind and has only ever known what films sound like. For a taste of his novel reviews, I recommend watching his take on "Water for Elephants," which he gives "three out of four eyes open."
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Time is counting down (Ha! I like that!) "32 Epic Moments in Reality-TV History." This list begins counting down from their #1. This is another list where I wish the teller had counted down instead of up. Furthermore, their #1 (which is hardly spoiling anything because it is the first entry you see when clicking on that link) is "'Jersey Shore': Snooki Gets Punched." What about that guy who fell in the fire during one of the earlier seasons of "Survivor"? He had to be life-flighted out of there! Out of "Survivor"! It was insane. What about that girl on "Elimidate" (or one of those other licentious and exploitative "reality dating" shows) who was in the hot tub with two other girls and a guy when she crapped herself. A truly awful moment in that girl's life, but shocking and unforgettable to all who beheld it. It is on YouTube, appropriately entitled "Never Trust a Fart." (That poor girl begins the segment by asking the camera crew, "Is this going to take long?" She really needed to go! Also, this proves how unrealistic that show was made. She was no longer in control. The show was.) To me, the term "Reality-TV" is often oxymoronic in nature. Anytime someone is aware they are being filmed they will alter their behavior. The only "100% real" moments come from those that employ candid cameras, even then it is manipulated by the editing (what is selected for our viewing). In my mind, this is neither good or bad, just the way it is and something we should keep in mind.
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