Monday, August 29, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 42



NEW IN THEATERS



  • Apollo 18
  • Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame* / 89%
  • Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life* / 85%
  • Shark Night 3D
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • In a Better World / 78%
  • Orpheus CC / 100%
  • The Perfect Host / 36%
  • Prom / 34%
  • Skateland / 42%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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TRAILER ROUND-UP





"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. "Blackthorn" would make a good follow-up for Western double-feature. The synopsis explains how Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian army back in 1908. However, it claims that is unsubstantiated and that Butch Cassidy actually escaped from that scrap and went on to live a quiet life under the name of James Blackthorn in a Bolivian village. Well, at least a quiet life up until the events depicted in this new film. I'm hopeful that Westerns are back and this one has all the right settings and trimmings for an epic adventure. Butch Cassidy rides again




Daniel Radcliffe (who we will forever know as Harry Potter) plays a young lawyer who visits a sleepy village which seems to bear some terrible past. In a recent episode of Filmspotting, guest host Alison Wilmore had the original "The Woman in Black" (a made-for-TV horror film that is apparently pretty hard to find) in her "Top 5 Haunted Houses." Radcliffe is seen exploring a house that seems to become an island of its own with the changing tides. Why is he there and what will he learn? I for one am fascinated to find out. The film has a great look about it and feels like a careful period piece. Tell me, why are dolls so freakin' freaky?! Look for "The Woman in Black" if you dare in theaters next February the 3rd.




With the curtains finally drawn on the "Harry Potter" series it is only natural that a new one would spring up in its place. An anticipated preview for "The Hunger Games" was showcased at the MTV VGAs over the weekend and we got our first glimpse of Katniss (as played Jennifer Lawrence) in motion. This is really only a teaser and doesn't show us much more than her running through the forest (no doubt already during the game), avoiding obstacles, and shooting an arrow, which she does oh-so well. The advisable voice-over must be that of her good friend and hunting buddy Gale. Also, I really dig the four-note tune at the end of the trailer, which seems destined to become an iconic sound bit for the series. Look forward to a richer trailer later this year and put March 23rd on your calenders now.

Let me pour you a glass partner, I reckon it's time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards:

The Head-Scratcher:




Take "Deliverance" (though have the guys brings some girls along) but make the hillbillies more silly and zany than perverse and creepy and you can get an idea for the feel of "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil." The film is played for a straight-up comedy and it certainly looks to be a lot of fun. What impressed me most was actually the camera work. From clever shot compositions to chasing the characters with the action, I see a lot of skill and imagination brewing herein. This is the first feature film from Eli Craig who with his crew seem to be enjoying the craft. Tucker and Dale are funny in the trailer, but will their naive knack for horrible situations stretch thin over the 89 minute running time? Crude comedies are far from my favorite thing and I hope this film can turn down its raunchiness so I can enjoy it with others. This film is currently available on iTunes (welcome to the digital age) and hits select theaters on September 30th.

Toss of the Week:




"The Artist" made a splash at Festival de Cannes earlier this year and I was completely taken by some of those early snippets. This is a silent black and white film, a royal tribute to early cinema, and I am absolutely amazed at the result. How they made it seem so like films of the very era it depicts (Hollywood circa 1927) is a feat. The effect is a timeless project that manages to convince us that the glory days are not so far away, they can be now if we just make it so! If one could buy stock in a film, I would be dipping into my wallet and bank account to invest in "The Artist." Well, I'm not sure that it will be a big money maker, but I sense that a critical success is imminent. I await the day I can see this film! 

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ENLISTED




With the recent East Coast quake The Hollywood Reporter put together a short list of "5 Over-the-Top Hollywood Portrayals."




Entertainment Weekly has put together a gallery of "25 Fall Movies We Can't Wait to See." 2011 has already been a roaring year for films and I am looking forward to most of the ones they mention! Cameron Crowe's new film "We Bought A Zoo" was a pleasant discovery. How about you?

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CAST AWAY



Maybe I should just make a Leonardo DiCaprio segment for "The Film Tome"... Last week we got our official first glimpse of Leo as J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's upcoming bio-pic, "J. Edgar." /Film provides some commentary on the image and the film itself due in theaters on November 11th. Expect a trailer soon!

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THE GOOD




Legendary Pictures has opened a branch across the Pacific in Hong Kong called Legendary East, which will primarily be the studio behind film projects in Asia. The new addition's first film will be a period piece entitled "The Great Wall" from director Edward Zwick ("The Last Samurai"). The Hollywood Reporter has the details.

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THE BAD



Scott Mendleson cites "The A-Team" among other films that took their advertising a little too far in one of his most recent opinionated memos, "Modern Movie Marketing Campaigns That Didn't Know Where to Stop."

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AND THE WEIRD



As /Film reported last week, Dan Akroyd says that "Ghostbusters 3" is going to happen and they're hoping Bill Murray will join the cause as well. What do you think about revisiting that franchise? The original is beloved and, quite honestly, somewhat of a masterpiece. The sequel perhaps we could have done without. Will numero tres be better than "Ghostbusters 2" or at least be better than what happened with "Indiana Jones 4"?

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OR THE COOL

Simple question: Can you find Wall-E?





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KEEPIN' IT SHORT





"Portal: No Escape" by Dan Thrachtenberg


Valve's "Portal" is one of the most refreshing video games in recent memory. Gamers get to use a "portal gun" that shoots one orange portal and one blue portal (onto floors, walls, and ceilings) and then have free access from one to the other. It is neat concept that is best experienced visually. This impressive short film is set in the game world and while it will appeal most to those familiar with the game will no doubt impress any who watch it. 

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2 comments:

Bryson and Tara said...

Yikes... "The Woman in Black" looks incredibly creepy. Especially the part where Daniel Radcliffe is looking out the window...

I'm getting excited for "The Hunger Games". That is going to be awfully intense.

Galyn said...

I couldn't watch the trailers on Robbie's computer as she doesn't have a quick time player and I didn't want to download one on her computer without her permission. But I read your tome and feel more informed. Maybe I will get a chance to watch some of them when I get home. Good job! MADLY