Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 44


NEW IN THEATERS


  • Drive / 93%
  • I Don't Know How She Does It
  • Jane's Journey*
  • My Afternoons With Marguerite* / 85%
  • Restless* / 50%
  • Stay Cool*
  • Straw Dogs
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES

  • Conan O'Brien Can't Stop / 79%
  • Hesher / 54%
  • Incendies / 92%
  • My Life as a Dog CC / 100%
  • The Tempest / 24%
  • Thor / 77%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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TRAILER ROUND-UP


"Born and Bred" is a documentary about young men who start training in the boxing ring early. One of the trainers tells us how much of an advantage this will give them. The doc follows twin brothers who are almost at the end of their amateur training. The synopsis also mentions Latino immigration and it appears that since this film is set in Los Angeles and many of the trainees are Latin American it will probably delve into that a little too. I do enjoy a good boxing flick. From the great sequence in Charlie Chaplin's classic "City Lights" to last year's breath-taking drama "The Fighter," it has become my favorite sport to watch cinematically. How will a documentary footage fair for my taste and others like me? The film is currently putting up a fight in select cities.


When an adopted boy named Thomas grows up he becomes obsessed about finding his birth mother. He has memories of her and sets out to locate her. Directed by a French father-and-son duo (Claude and Nathan Miller), this foreign film is dark and brooding. The music in the trailer is as an epic clock ticking the seconds away. "I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive" is currently showing is some cities.


"RA One" Shah Rukh Kahn is in the Indian equivalent of our Brad Pitt/Will Smith. The only true Bollywood film I have seen is the beloved "Om Shanti Om," which was unnecessarily long but undeniably special (aren't most Bollywood films that way?). Kahn played two roles and he definitely has the onscreen presence of a movie star. Bollywood is somewhat infamous for taking the ideas of Hollywood films and music videos and giving it their unique makeover, often adding is extravangant musical numbers every chance they can. I'm not sure if there will be singing in the sci-fi fantasy/action film "RA One," but I really don't put it past them. It looks like a mixture between "Tron" and the acclaimed PlayStation 3 game, "InFamous." In any case, it looks ridiculously cool and ridiculously fun. "RA One" will hit select theaters on October 26th.




Nicholas  Cage is looking older in "Trespass," which bears the tag-line, "When terror is at your doorstep, you can run, or you can fight." This action/thriller from action/thriller director Joel Schumacher ("Falling Down" and "Phone Booth") looks to be about a family that chooses the latter. This seems to be an especially spoiler-ific trailer providing one heck of a reveal. So you may want to avoid it or you may agree with me that time is limited and there are more films than we could ever hope to watch and a trailer is one of the best ways to decide. Nicole Kidman plays Cage's wife in this brisk 90-minute night that hits theaters October 14th. I do think it shows some promise. I get a "Firewall" vibe, which I liked just fine.


Shine your star sheriff, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards:

Sick-Cow:




I somehow managed to miss the first "Johnny English," though I've seen a scene or two and that wasn't enough to interest me. Can I just say it is so strange to see Rowan Atkinson with gray hair! I am a big fan of his character and comedic sketches of Mr. Bean. I even like "Mr. Bean's Holiday" from a few years back. That seems far superior than this James Bond spoof, which is seeing the light of day again as "Johnny English Reborn." Britain's number one spy goes to Honk Kong and back in this adventure. Why is it that so many action sequels feel the need to incorporate some Far East-ness to their plot the second time around? The synopsis is certainly long enough, but I care not to read. Ultimately, this trailer failed to impress or entertain. It lands in theaters on October 28th.

The Head-Scratcher:




Directed by Mario Van Peebles, "Redemption Road" follows two different dudes (played by Michael Clarke Duncan and Morgan Simpson) as they road trip from Austin, Texas to Huntsville, Alabama.There is Country, Blues, and the music of the gospel to be found herein. It seems somewhere along the road between Christian film and the pursuit of stardom for these characters. Might it manage to be both? "Redemption Road" is currently is select theaters.

Lasso of the Week:


Twitter was ablaze over the weekend with the release of the red band trailer for an Indonesian action film, "The Raid: Redemption" Peter Sciretta of /Film assures readers that it is the best action film he has seen in years. Leave it to the Far East to deliver fierce combat, the likes of which we seldom receive. This trailer is every bit amazing as people are claiming, but ever so violent. The film looks to take place over the space of one night when a SWAT team takes over an apartment complex run by a drug lord who has plenty The synopsis might not be anything to write home about, but it sets the table to stage some of the most spectacular close-quarter combat I've ever seen. "The Raid: Redemption" made a big splash at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.

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ENLISTED


With the weekend release of "Contagion" still in the air, The Hollywood Reporter is sending out a PSA entitled "A Guide to Fake Film Diseases." I invite you to read, but avoid please avoid too much contact with any one of these. Thank you and good day.


In an attempt to prepare for Halloween Rotten Tomatoes has a galley of 10 houses in "Haunted Real Estate." See the iconic houses where several horror and otherwise supernatural films were actually shot (at least the exteriors).

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CAST AWAY


I've yet to see "The Expendables," but the sequel is already well in the works. Bruce Willis and Arnold will join Slyvester Stallone as the three amigos leading the crusade of action hero stars. Others will include Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. Yes, that is surely the toughest ensemble cast in the history of cinema (not counting "The Seven Samurai" of course). This time around Simon West ("Con Air") will be directing instead of Rambo Rocky himself. Read Niki Stephens post at JoBlo for more info.




The great Denzel Washington has been cast as a pilot called Whip who attempts to a fly a damaged passenger-filled plane to safety in the upcoming Robert Zemeckis film "Flight." Zemeckis is directing his first live-action film since "Cast Away," which is the inspiration for this very segment of "The Film Tome Report." That film had a stellar plane sequence. I'm confident we will get some more with "Flight." JoBlo reports.

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THE GOOD


Ridley Scott's next film "Prometheus" is a 3D sci-fi that is supposed to be revisit to his classic film, "Alien." I'm still eager to learn and see exactly what that means. Scott will stay in the realms of science-fiction, for after that he will also revisit another classic of his, "Blade Runner." We shall expect the films in 2012 and 2014 respectively, but I think film gurus around the planet are already giddy with anticipation. Deadline has the whole tale

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THE BAD


We just underwent what may now be known as one of the worst weekends in box office history. "Creature," the cleverly named low-budget creature feature that seemed to emerge out of nowhere and somehow merited a wide release, set the record for the lowest grossing opening weekend ever. The film was playing on 1,500+ screens and only scraped in $331,000, thus averaging an audience of six people per screen. The film also reached a high of 11% at Rotten Tomatoes. What's more? Another new film, "Bucky Larsen: Born To Be a Star" is now one of the few films that has garnered a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is a development that reinvigorated my faith in other people as it looked to be an atrocious travesty. The Hollywood Reporter sadly reports and /Film provides a sober commentary.


George Lucas cannot help but continue to tinker with his films. The highly-anticipated BluRay versions of the "Star Wars" saga will include several changes that Lucas personally requested. The puppet Yoda from "Episode 1: The Phantom Menance" will be replaced with a CGI version, the bloody Ewoks will now blink, and Darth Vader will shout "Noooooooo!" at the end of "Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi" as he does in "Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith." Booooooooo! JoBlo laments with the rest of us.

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AND THE WEIRD


Last week it was announced on Deadline that Mel Gibson wants to direct an historical epic (which he has proven he is exceptional at with "Braveheart" and "Apocalypto") about Judah Maccabee, a beloved Jewish hero, for Warner Bros. It is particular shocking because Gibson's anti-Semitic reputation as of late. Might this be an attempt to wipe his slate clean? It certainly would not stop me from seeing what he brings  What troubles me more is the story that Joe Eszterhas, the screenwriter attached, is going to deliver. Who? He's the guy who penned films like "Basic Instinct" and "Flash Dance." Huh. Here is JoBlo with a reaction.


MTV has released a sneak peek at the upcoming film, "The Thing," the prequel to "The Thing." We get a fake scare and then a real scare, complete with a musical sting to let you know when to jump. George Merchan over at JoBlo tells us the film is going to suck. I feared such ever since I heard about it. Let's give a shot though. However, if you haven't seen the original, you really must.


"Star Wars," "The Lion King," and "Titanic" are not the only films that will be re-released in 3D, now we can add "Top Gun" to that list whether you want to or not. Sources are anticipating an early 2012 release, though apparently they still haven't gotten director Tony Scott's consent. JoBlo has the details.

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OR THE COOL


The filmmakers behind "The Best Worst Movie," the documentary about the infamous "Troll 2," are looking for man-made haunted houses. Do you know of anyone who goes to incredible lengths to transform their home and property into a spook alley of sorts for that haunted time of year? If so, they could be the subject of an upcoming documentary produced by NBC. Head over to HomeMadeHaunt.com and/or check out /Film's coverage of the search. This sounds like a doc I would love to watch!

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KEEPIN' IT SHORT


Porsche is holding a "My Daily Magic Film Contest" with featuring ten short films (90-second entries) featuring their new car. Head over to the site, view any number of them, and then vote for your favorite. After I watch all of the nominees I will highlight my favorite in next week's issue. Voting is open through September 21st. Here's Torque News with an article on the event.

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Updated 4.18.12

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