Sunday, December 18, 2011



  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked / 13%
  • Carnage* / 69%
  • Cook Country* / 36%
  • Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel* / 89%
  • Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol / 95%
  • The Pill* / 67%
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows / 64%
  • Young Adult / 81%

* = limited release


  • Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame / 83%
  • Fright Night / 75%
  • The Inbetweeners / 68%
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 / 82%
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes / 83%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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Having just seen "Puss in Boots," which largely surrounded the "Jack and the Beanstalk" fairy tale (read my glowing review here), I was somewhat surprised to see it again in the likes of "Jack the Giant Killer." We see nothing of the giant goose (and her golden eggs), but rather a lot of flying debris, no doubt hurled by the giants. This looks to be a highly fantastical retelling of David and Goliath. At its very best it could be a lot of fun (I don't know what else it could possible deliver). It comes to us from director Bryan Singer who we haven't seen anything from since the quite good "Valkyrie" in 2008. Yes, this is a bit of a change in subject matter, isn't it? Turns out there was another "Jack the Giant Killer" made in 1962 (and another 50 years before that?!). Dang, and three more before those two! Here's a fun Rifftrax trailer for it. It looks like an enjoyable experience, with or without snide commentary. Bring your magic beans on June 15th, 2012.

"Men in Black 3" has landed among us. Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back to put aliens in their place, for the naughty ones that place is off our planet. By the trailer's end I was like, "Meh." Then, in the last five seconds we get a bit of a surprise and I was like, "Hey!" It is good to see the Agents back again. I really like the first film, the second one has its moments, and this looks to be interesting (especially what the ending seems to be telling us about the rest of the movie).

From the gringos who brought you "Anchorman" comes "Casa de mi Padre." This teaser shows us that Armando Alvarez (played by a Spanish speaking Will Ferrell) is many things, including a rancher, a lover, and a vigilante. Thus, the film is sure to have plenty of scatological humor, raunchy comedy, and over-the-top violence. I am one of the few people I know who hasn't seen "Anchorman" and some of those other films because I'm not that big of a fan of these aforementioned matters. That said, "Casa de mi Padre" does look pretty funny. It's "Nacho Libre" dipped in hot sauce (for better or for worse). Another selling point is the involvement of one of Mexico's finest actors to bridge the gap to America, Gael Garcia Bernal. He has proven his acting chops (for drama and comedy alike) time and time again. On March 16th, 2012 you best bring your sombrero.

Out of all the films I was not expecting a sequel to, "Saints and Soldiers" would rank pretty high. Well, it seems this is only a sequel in name only, kind of like what Richard Dutcher did with "God's Army 2: States of Grace." "Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed," directed by Ryan Little, takes us back to WWII as we follow three American paratroopers who are first stranded, then join forces with a French resistance. There are some beautiful images herein and like "Saints and Soldiers" it is pretty impressive for the likes of an independent film. Not that I take stock in the bloody rating system, but I can't help wondering what the folks at the MPAA slap this one with (especially in light of the rating fiasco of the first film). Maybe I'll write a blog post about that sometime. I remember seeing the first "Saints and Soldiers" at a local film fest in Southern Utah before it was even presented to the MPAA, before a manner of seconds were cut from the film. I remember it being one of the finest indie films I had seen up to that point. Consider me on board for this one. Let us hope it is better than the likes of "Age of the Dragons," Little's last film (currently bearing a 3.3/10 rating on IMDb). "Coming soon" is all we're told.

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We're nearing the end of the year, which means we can expect plenty "Best Films of the Year" lists! (Of course, that also means we are subject to hearing some of the "Worst Films of the Year" lists and other more creative compilations.) Here's a few that have caught my eye thus far:

Total Film has their "50 Best Movies of 2011," which led me to ask myself, "Have I seen 50 movies of 2011?" I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Then again, if I counted as many 2010 films has they did, that's another question.

Total Film also has the "40 Best Death Scenes of 2011." Naturally, there are some spoilers to be found here.

In their "Top 8 Everything of 2011 (For Better and Worse)" Cracked was sure to include movies.

Flavorwire has a pretty unique list: "Top 10 Controversies of the Year." You may remember some of these issues rearing their be-loathed heads in previous pages of The Film Tome.

Look for more 2011 lists in the next issue!

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The nominations for the next Golden Globes are here! "The Artist" led the pack with some six nominations. Here is JoBlo's commentary of the some of the choices. What do you think of the selections?

The first trailer for "The Hobbit" is going to be shown before "The Adventures of Tin Tin," in theaters this coming Wednesday (December 21st)! We've been hearing rumors of this in recent days and it makes a lot of since, mainly because of Peter Jackson's involvement in both. That film is already one of my most anticipated and this news makes it so that it is going to be one of the first things I do (yet along "see") when I get back to the states. (Yes, I'm currently in China for the holidays and "Tin Tin" has already come and gone in these parts, though without the trailer for "The Hobbit.") JoBlo reports.

I usually do not take gratification in the failures or missteps of others, but I feel I need to with this one. I have waged a personal vendetta against the current state of American children's films, those boisterous pop-culture and mind-numbing affairs... The trailer for "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" pushed me so far as to write a rant post here on the blog two months ago wherein I depicted this third film in the series would get into single-digit territory on the Tomatometer. My prediction proved to be prophetic over the weekend when it dipped to 9%. The only way to put a stop to these sad cash-grab excuses for children's entertainment is to not support them. Well, this entry has only made half as much as the previous two in its opening weekends, thought I am beyond sure that has more to do with the box office slump we're currently in than my public outcries. Here's JoBlo's coverage of the weekend's box office.

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Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais will be hosting the Golden Globes again for this year's rewards (the ceremony which of course won't be held until early next year, before the Oscars.) This isn't the newest story around, but I've yet to comment about it and because I feel strongly on the issue, I must. Did you happen to watch the Golden Globes last year? Maybe you saw some of the "wrath of Gervais" afterwards? I know I highlighted it here in The Film Tome. To put it simply, nobody was safe that night. Especially not the Hollywood Foreign Press who holds the awards show. And so I find it very strange indeed that they would invite him back, that he would accept, and that anybody will attend. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a downright riot! I laughed and cringed along with the best of them. No doubt this will make the upcoming Golden Globes a must-watch just to say you were there when happened. I'm psyched! In fact, dare I say I am more excited for the Golden Globes than the Oscars now! The Hollywood Report has the full story. Also, here is a fun list of possible Hollywood targets for Gervais to lay his biting comedic scope on. Rest assured, everyone (and their dog) will get made fun of.

UP: Brett Ratner

So I haven't been the best at covering some of the bigger stories recently, especially this one (which was the number 1 controversy of this year in film according to Flavorwire, see that story above in "Enlisted"): the Academy Awards. Director Brett Ratner (who most recently gave us "Tower Heist") was slated to produce the show with Eddie Murphy (most recently seen in "Tower Heist," no coincidence there) to be the evening's host. However, after a promotional tour for said film where Ratner said things he surely should not have (and later apologized) he stepped down from the position and so did Mr. Murphy. If you really want to not that gritty details of the tale, The Hollywood Reporter has "Brett Ratner's 10 Offensive Quotes that Ended in Oscar Trouble." So who is going to produce the show? Brian Gazer and Don Mischer. Who? And who is going to host the show? Old favorite Billy Crystal

Vulture reports that "Starship Troopers," the somewhat beloved '90s B-movie is getting remade. Details forthcoming, but JoBlo added some commentary of their own to the story in which words of wisdom were read by me, "If it exists, it must be rebooted. That's the current mantra in Hollywood, and the reason we now have this bit of news."

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Yet another special edition of James Cameron's "Avatar" is going to be available on iTunes on December 20th, this one will have multiple viewing options at various stages of production (as pictured above), but it may be that you can not watch the entire film like that - not sure who would want to anyway. /Film has more details.

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TMZ reports that the Clint Eastwood family is currently shooting a reality series about their goings-on for an upcoming show on E! The great actor/director himself is only going to make some cameo appearances though, hopefully to tell any kid who is not white to get off his lawn. This has spawned some clever writing... JoBlo asks, "Keeping Up with the Eastwoods?" (It is clever and true because this show comes from the producer of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians.") TMZ wrote, "Go ahead punk... make my reality show." It appears that is exactly what is happening.

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Ellie said...

Oh dear, why would they remake Starship Troopers? I will have to watch it of course... but that's nearly like remaking Bloodsport... it just won't be the same.

I won't even pretend to be outraged until they try redoing the goonies, or um... labyrinth.


Galyn said...

At the end of the Saints and Soldier's trailer, it says it will be coming Summer 2012 (the one I watched on YouTube). It looks like a beautifully filmed movie. I was just thinking about Outlaw Trail, Little's last movie I saw. I think the same dug out shelter in S&S was used in Outlaw Trail! It is good to see some familiar faces in this one too. I, too, wonder what the rating will be. I hate war. I wish there was no such thing...come on millennium!

The Men in Black 3 looks like a nice twist and that shot of Will Smith jumping off that building was incredible-the things they can do in movies these days is amazing!