Monday, September 19, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 45


NEW IN THEATERS

  • Abduction
  • Archie's Final Project*
  • Dolphin Tale / 100%
  • The Double*
  • Killer Elite / 50%
  • Machine Gun Preacher / 83%
  • Money Ball / 89%
  • Puncture*
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES

  • Bride Flight / 73%
  • Brides Maids / 90%
  • Le Beau Serge CC / 100%
  • Les Cousins CC / 100%
  • The Strange Case of Angelica / 83%
  • Today's Special / 81%
  • We are the Night / 60%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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TRAILER ROUND-UP




Chris Evans (AKA Captain America) is still buff in the trailer for "Puncture." Based on the true story of a drug-addict lawyer who takes on a case concerning a nurse who was contaminated by a needle ont the job. The synopsis is lengthy and the film purports to be a drama, but looks much more like a thriller in the trailer. It is a novel concept that looks rather well done. The film hits select theaters this weekend, September 23rd.


If Ray Liotta had never joined the mob he may have been able to end up like the father he plays in "Snowmen." The trailer is a hodgepodge of clips from the film and the praise it was gathering from kid and adult alike from various film festival carpets, complete with frequent "blizzard" transitions. It is a "family film" that follows three boys and their attempt to set a world record. I can testify of the accuracy of such a desire. When I first learned of Guiness, I too felt the need to get myself in the book someday. Is it spoiling too much if I tell you I believe the record on display herein is building the most snowmen? Ray Liotta and Christoper Lloyd co-star in the film that's bound to warm your heart this snowy season. Yeah, that's sappy, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually says that and they use it in a TV spot. Oh, and for the record, I don't accept "Family" as a genre. The film rolls into theaters on October 21st.


"We Bought a Zoo" is the latest film from writer/director Cameron Crowe ("Jerry Maquire" and "Almost Famous"). Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, who is played by the capable Matt Damon, this is the tale of a single father who moves with his two young children to a zoo. Thomas Haden Church (who was wonderful in the wildly underrated dramatic thriller "Don McKay") plays Benjamin's friend. Scarlett Johansson, the obvious love interest for Mr. Mee, doesn't do much more than smile in this trailer, but to be fair, it is a very lovely smile. Most refreshing is that none of these animals of the computer-generated persuasion. Crowe and crew are keeping it real and I applaud the choice. This looks to be a great family film that you can enjoy in theaters this holiday season starting on December 23rd. (Fun fact: Last Christmastime in theaters Matt Damon played a Texas ranger in the Coen Brothers superb re-telling of "True Grit.) If anyone ever tells you, "We bought a zoo." I suppose you can tell them, "You win."


Danfung Dennis is a photojournalist and filmmaker, emphasis on the latter folks. The visuals you see in the trailer for "Hell and Back Again" are beautiful cinematic. It is surprising that this is a documentary film. If ever you wanted a riveting example of cinema verite (also known as "direct cinema"), I believe this is it. We see scenes from the battlefield in Afghanistan and then follow one Sergeant Nathan Harris back to his hometown in North Carolina. To say he is struggling with adapting back to home life is an understatement. He took a bullet across seas, but he certainly carries more than physical trauma. I cannot help but think of 2009's masterpiece "The Hurt Locker" and especially what become of Jeremy Reiner's character in the third act. War is Hell and I can only hope most of us never really know the truth of that. This is "Hell and Back Again," a soldier's tale and one that will surely open eyes. It will be in select theaters on October 5th.


How would you like to spend "Seven Days in Utopia"? Here's a tell-all trailer, the worst kind in my personal opinion. However, we have tendencies to forget some details in a preview that throws them at us rapidly. Often times it is when we re-watch the trailer after having seen the film that we truly realize how much they truly give away. Lucas Black stars as a pro-golfer with daddy issues, enter Robert Duvall and the magical town of Utopia, which seems to serve as a sanctuary for Black's learning and growth. I am reminded of the mystical town of Rapture that Edward Bloom (as played by Ewan McGregor) stumbles upon in his travels in the Tim Burton's masterpiece, "Big Fish." Black and Duvall were recently seen together in 2009's "Get Low," another small-town film with a great message, which is what this looks to be as well. Directed by a first-time feature film director Matt Russell, "Seven Days in Utopia" is currently is select theaters.


It's September, the time of year we can expect a released trailer for the new Clint Eastwood film. Like the 21st-Century Woody Allen, the actor turned director averages about a film per year. It is impressive really, especially when they look as good as "J. Edgar." This is the biopic on J. Edgar Hoover, the prolific FBI director who founded the Bureau and then went on to lead its affairs for many years. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title role. Leo was exceptionally in "The Aviator," a Martin Scorsese picture that covered the most well-known years of Howard Hughes. Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer (who played the Winklevi in "The Social Network"), Judi Dench, and Josh Lucas all co-star herein. We see the good and bad and the young and old of J. Edgar Hoover, "the most powerful man in the world," in what looks to be another well-done film from Mr. Eastwood. Circle November 9th on your calenders.


Morgan Freeman narrates (and plays the part of a marine surgeon) in the trailer for "Dolphin Tale," which has had previews available for months now, but somehow I overlooked it. Nathan Gamble, who actually played a young Harvey Flint in "The Dark Knight," stars as the boy who insists of helping the tailless dolphin he finds swept up on the beach. Think somewhere between "Finding Nemo" and "Free Willy," if not quite in story than in size of the marine creature it revolves around. There are a couple cloy moments to be found here, but let us not pretend is You may have noticed that above this film is currently sitting high with an impressive 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. That is based off of five favorable reviews. Believe me that as the week continues that percent will balance out as more and more people see it. Might you be one of them? The film splashes into theaters the Friday, September 23rd.

Pull those reigns, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards:

Y'know, I might not find a contender for "Sick-Cow" every week and I feel that is a wonderful thing. Until the next atrocious trailer, enjoy the better categories of the the Awards.

The Head-Scratcher:


The trailer for "Munger Road" begins as a seemingly found footage film (a la "The Blair Witch Project" or "Cloverfield"), which I'll admit interests me, but it did stay that way. The film seems to adopt "normal" parameters while we follow the cops who are tasked to search for the group of kids who decided to cruise down Munger Road. Title cards so nicely inform us that they chose the wrong road on the wrong night. The trailer ends with what tries to be the most chilling moment. A girl tells her friends she just received a text from another guy from their group. When asked what it says, she answers, "'Run.'' Scary movies often either go big or go home. "Paranormal Activity" and the aforementioned "The Blair Witch Project" were sleeper hits that I doubt anyone could have foreseen. Each time a new one comes along we ought to scratch our heads. Will you head to "Munger Road" when it arrives in theaters on September 30th?

Toss of the Week:


You've heard of films based on books, true stories, TV shows, and even songs, but have you ever heard of a film based on a painting? That is exactly what Polish director Lech Majewski sought out to do as he went about making "The Mill and the Cross." Based on Pieter Bruegel's 1564 painting, "The Way to Calvary" (pictured above, but view a wonderful full-screen version here), Majewski also based this on the Michael Francis Gibson book of the same name. Visually stunning is likely what many will be using to describe this non-traditional narrative about the man (played by Ritger Hauer) who painted this detailed scene with over 500 characters within. It is an art film about an artist and how he created this particular work of art. The concept fascinates me and I love what I've seen of it so far. The film is currently in select theaters.

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ENLISTED


After consuling 200 experts in film and TV, TimeOut London has compiled an ambitious list, "100 Best Comedy Movies." The top ten had some surprises on there. I still need to get around to seeing their number one. I was happy that "Groundhog Day," probably my personal favorite comedy, made the list. If I'm not mistaken, Woody Allen had more films in that Top 100 than any other director (rather surprised "Manhattan" was not there though). Edgar Wright, who's best two films ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz") made the list, was one of those consulted. He posted his own Top Ten, which he submitted, on his blog.

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CAST AWAY


The dedicated and versatile Christian Bale who has worked with many great directors including Steven Spielberg ("Empire of the Sun"), Hayoa Miyazaki ("Howl's Moving Castle"), Werner Herzog ("Rescue Dawn"), Terrence Malik ("The New World"), Michael Mann ("Public Enemies"), and Christopher Nolan ("The Prestige" and the Batman films), can now add Chinese director Zhang Yimou (who brought us "To Live" and "Hero") to his resume. He stars in "The Flowers of War," which is due in China on December 16th and should be coming stateside at the same time or soon after. The film covers the Nanjing Massacre of 1937 when Japanese forces slaughter and defiled hundreds of thousands of Chinese people. It is reported to be the most expensive Chinese film to date. /Film has more details on the project.

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THE GOOD


Last week we lamented Lucas's latest changes to his "Star Wars" saga that will done for the Blu-ray release. Well, this week I present "Ten Changes We Wouldn't Mind Seeing in the New 'Star Wars' Blu-rays" as done by IFC.


Here is a shocking revelation! Apparently Spielberg regrets altering "E.T." and is now saying that the Blu-ray release of it (and "Raiders of the Lost Ark") will feature the original theatrical release. Here is /Film with the details.


"Ghostbusters," one of many people's (and my) most beloved fantasy comedies, is heading back to theaters for Halloween! JoBlo has the story.

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THE BAD


Ashe Cantrell of Film School Rejects has posted "6 Things the Film Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About." From theater trickery to the frightening notion of stealing scripts these are some areas you may not want to know about.

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AND THE WEIRD


Today Netflix announced that they will no longer be shipping DVDs and Blu-rays via mail. As you may have predicted would happen, they are now primarily in the digital distribution side of things. That said, they are launching another company called Qwikster, which will still mail movies to you if you so wish, but that will be at a completely different website and require a completely different account. I don't quite see the need for splitting up the two sites. The prices will supposedly remain the same, but now there will be two separate sites that reportedly don't share information. There is a new addition though: Now you can order games through Qwikster (including Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii). Yeah, GameFly (essentially the Netflix for game discs) probably feels very threatened now, especially since RedBox started carrying game discs too. Read more at The Netflix Blog and check out JoBlo's reaction.


Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the creators of "South Park" and the recent broadway hit "The Book of Mormon") have told Entertainment Weekly that they are definitely going to be adapting their play about Mormon missionaries serving in Uganda into a feature film. They said it will be something they do in several years from now as they currently of plenty of other projects to keep them occupied.


I am a big fan of Tim Burton's "Beetlejuice." It is a nostalgic film and in fact is one of the first movies I mentioned when I began this blog all those months ago. Imagine my curious surprise when I learned that the film. JoBlo translated a recent post of Deadline to mean that it is highly possible that a "Beetlejuice" sequel is in the development stage with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith signing a first look deal with Warner Bros.


Aaron Sorkin (who took home the Academy Award for Best Screenplay this year for "The Social Network" and rather deserved it in my opinion) has broken his nose... while writing. The LA Times has the silly story.

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OR THE COOL


Check out the Nike MAG sneakers (as seen in "Back to the Future: Part II") that are now on sale. Chances are you won't have the money to even bid on such a rare item (each pair is averaging at about $6,000), but take comfort in knowing that all proceeds are going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.


Along with the MAG sneaker release are these sweet "Back to the Future" posters presented by Fashionably Geek.


Now that we're on this "Back to the Future" kick I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share this sweet video I found a while back that compares the final scene from the first movie with the first scene of the second movie. You see, both are depicting the same moment, but for whatever reason the actress in the scene changed between films. It is a pretty fun compare and contrast. Enjoy!


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TV TOO


Last night were the Emmys and The Hollywood Reporter has the results. You can also find a gallery of the night's "Best and Worst Moments." Apparently Rainn Wilson was not pleased that Steve Carell did not take home an award for his final season on "The Office" playing the legendary Michael Scott. Carell was nominated several times for that role, but never did win. Again, The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

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1 comment:

Bryson and Tara said...

Soph enjoyed the Snowmen trailer. I am very intrigued by the Mill and the Cross movie... Do you know what it will be rated? And, I'm excited to watch 7 Days in Utopia. I've heard great things about it.