Monday, April 25, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 28

NEW IN THEATERS

  • 13 Assassins* / 93%
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams* / 94%
  • Dylan Dog: Dead of Night*
  • Fast Five / 80%
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
  • Prom

* = Limited Release

NEW IN STORES

  • Bunny and the Bull / 61%
  • Jolene / 56%
  • Three Idiots

% from Rotten Tomatoes

* * *

TRAILER ROUND-UP


(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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ENLISTED


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.

* * *

THE BAD


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.

* * *

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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TV TOO




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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Friday, April 22, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 27

(Author's Note: Usually "The Film Tome Report" is brought to you on Mondays. Unfortunately, this week has been busy as all-get-out. You see, this has been the last week of my Winter semester at college and that brings finals and all their glory. Please accept this somewhat-shortened tardy issue and expect the next one in just three days when I get back on the Monday track. Thank you.)

NEW IN THEATERS

  • African Cats / 69%
  • The Bang Bang Club* / 35%
  • Incendies* / 92%
  • Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen* / 43%
  • POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold* / 71%
  • Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family / 38%
  • Water for Elephants / 54%

* = Limited Release

NEW IN STORES

  • Gulliver's Travels / 20%
  • The King's Speech / 95%
  • Rabbit Hole / 87%
  • Somewhere / 72%
  • The Way Back / 75%

% from Rotten Tomatoes

* * *

TRAILER ROUND-UP


Happy Earth Day! Since 2009 Disneynature has dropped off their latest wildlife documentary each Earth Day (April 22). Today "African Cats" hit theaters and we received a sneak peak of what awaits us on April 22, 2012: "chimpanzee." Simply named, but exquisitely filmed seems to be the way they do business. The previewed narrative they create with their footage is impressive, though I still have yet to see one of their films to judge the feature as a whole. I am curious as George (and Oscar) to see how this story goes. Primates are one of my favorite nouns. Rarely a day goes by that I do not think about or sing about the fascinating creatures. I hope to catch up with the entire Disneynature library by the time this chimp swings into theaters.


The second official trailer for "Cowboys & Aliens" has actually given me some reservations. The trailer shows so much that I feel like I have seen the movie now. And it was not entirely mind-blowing. The B&W and saturated footage is distracting and feels very out-of-place. That said, the music rocks and the action looks nuts: both possible pluses in my tome. For the record, "Super 8" is definitely winning the anticipatory battle now. But heck! It is "Cowboys & Aliens" so I am still excited!


20th Century Fox gave us 4 seconds before, now we 114 seconds to savor for their summer blockbuster "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Unfortunately, the only "Planet of the Apes" film I have seen is Burton's romp of a remake. I sure hope this one can rise over its most recent predecessor. Weta Digital (responsible for the visual effects on "The Lord of the Rings," "King Kong," and "Avatar") worked on the apes themselves and they look chilling.

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ENLISTED


Morgan Spurlock, the mad genius behind one the greatest contemporary documentaries, "Super Size Me," shares his favorite film with Rotten Tomatoes: "Five Favorite Films with Morgan Spurlock." Only one of them is a documentary. Spurlock's latest doc, "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," hits select theaters today.

* * *

THE GOOD


Peter Jackson is certainly "in the loop." He has posted a fabulous video documenting the vital step from pre-production to production on Facebook: "The Hobbit: Start of Production." Few things make me giddy as a schoolboy. Few things are this exciting. I vividly remember the drive home after I saw "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in theaters for the first time. The movie was everything I wanted and more, the perfect ending to one of the greatest film series ever constructed. Still, the mood was somber because the trilogy had ended. That area of my life (y'know, the area that calls for epic cinematic adventures) now had a void. Films like "The Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Avatar" whetted that particular appetite while they lasted, but they too came and went. I suppose "The Hobbit" will come and go too, but at least it will give me some closure (in the form of a prequel). "The Hobbit" is my favorite book and I trust nobody more than Mr. Jackson with its adaptation to the screen. It has been nearly a decade since we last stepped into Middle-Earth; this video is informative and inspiring and is making dreams come true. Also, I recommend checking out JoBlo's coverage of the story.

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TV TOO


You just crossed over to Time, where they are counting down their "Top Ten 'Twilight Zone' Episodes." How I love "The Twilight Zone"! It is surely in my Top 10 television series of all-time. I approve of the ones on this list that I have seen (at least half). Their #8 is a riot ("It's good that you've done that Anthony, real good!") and their #1 is certainly among the most iconic. The French short film "An Occurrence at Owl Creek" must not have been eligible, as it was not originally made for "The Twilight Zone," but later did air as an episode. It won the first prize for Best Short Subject at Festival de Cannes back in 1962.  I say it must not have been eligible because it is definitely one of the best.


Did you catch "Conan" on Monday? Will Ferrell made a special video taped appearance threatening Mr. O'Brien's beard. Ferrell is scheduled to appear on May 2nd's episode, so you definitely wanna tune in to see how this whole scenario plays out.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 26

 NEW IN THEATERS (4.15.11)


  • Atlas Shrugged: Part 1
  • The Conspirator / 67%
  • Rio / 86%
  • Scream 4
NEW IN STORES (4.12.11)



  • Country Strong / 21%
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 / 79%
  • Marwencol / 100%
% from Rotten Tomatoes

* * *

TRAILER ROUND-UP


"Crazy, Stupid, Love" certainly looks to be at least one of those things... (Hint: It's not crazy or love.) I assume this is being made because there are simply not enough comedic films where a man practices infidelity to realize that he actually loves his wife. After all, it has been over a month since "Hall Pass" came out! "Crazy, Stupid, Love" features a remarkable load of talent: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone - all great actors, all seemingly wasted here. I have yet to see a film with Steve Carell in the lead role that I really like, though my mother is a big fan of "Evan Almighty" and I have yet to see that one. As we all know, Mr. Carell is leaving "The Office." That series was the best thing that ever happened to his career; I do not see how we can have "The Office" without Michael Scott. It would be like having "Seinfeld" without Jerry! We shall see what becomes of Carell (hopefully some better movies).


Lars von Trier... At Festival de Cannes, where he premiered his ever-controversial "Antichrist," he declared himself to be "the greatest filmmaker in the world." Well, a trailer-toting website for his next film "Melancholia" (Content Disclaimer: some nudity) is now alive. The sourceless description on the website, "A beautiful movie about the end of the world," suggests he is just as pretentious as ever. Having said that, I do not doubt it will be "A beautiful movie about the end of the world." Lars is an exceptional artist and storyteller, just don't tell him I said that.


Do you want to know "How To Live Forever"? The premise to this indy-doc seems simple enough: Mark Wexler, who is about the age of my own parents (early 50s), seeks out centurions and then seeks their advice. Having been in the company of 90-year-olds and even an occasional 100-year-old, I must say, they are not all as limber or alert as the bunch we see herein. Would you agree? Still, the elderly are a riot; chances are this will be a sentimental and silly watch.


Here comes "Warrior" on the heels of "The Fighter," another film about two brothers and a beat-'em-up sport. Although, this time around they are fighting each other and the game is mixed martial arts (MMA), not boxing. The Conlon brothers are played by Joel Edgerton (whose supporting role added to the impressive cast of last year's "Animal Kingdom") and Tom Hardy (whose supporting role also added to the impressive cast of last year's "Inception"). It will be interesting to see what they bring as the leads. It seems their being pitted against one another is the film's main reveal, but it was given away in the trailer (not to mention the poster). At least I can still be surprised by who wins.


Sometimes movies based on short stories work better as short films. Might "Everything Must Go" fall prey to such a problematic tendency? Will we be saying everything must go? The trailer works well enough, but that is only 150 seconds of prime choice content. Any concept, no matter how big or small, can be salvaged and workable for a longer format through great writing. What I am saying applies to any film, not just this one. The concept here is that Nick Porter (played by the polarizing Will Ferrell) is fired from his job, left by his wife, locked out of the house, and has all his belongings tossed along the front yard. What follows is a perpetual yard sale on the lawn he resides where must of the incitements are sure to come from those who stop by.  Rebecca Hall, who was great in 2010's "The Town," shows her radiant smile herein.


"I live, I love, I slay, and I am content," delivers the Neanderthalic voice of whom I can only assume is "Conan the Barbarian" in this rockin', but ultimately ineffective teaser. The film is in no danger of being spoiled because I have no idea what is going on here.


I am surprised I have heard nearly nothing about "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" and it hits theaters this Friday! It is the adaptation of the Ayn Road novel of the same name. The synopsis on IMDb reads, "A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive whil society is crumbling around her." My father reminded me that it was ranked as the second most influential book by the Book of the Month Club, second to "The Bible." It is one of those film adaptations described as being in "development hell" for nearly 40 years (as Jeff Britting described in his essay on the topic). I am still bewildered as to why the word has not gotten out or why this is not being treated as the big deal that it is. Perhaps because it is brought to us from director Paul Johansson. Who? Exactly. The man's only other film credit was a made-for-TV special, "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie." We all have reason to be skeptical. Who is John Galt?

And now it is time for the weekly Trailer Round-Up Awards:


The Head-Scratcher: "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" claims to be based on one of the world's most popular comics. I am certainly not "in the know," but if you say so. The premise is a slightly refreshing take on the zombie genre, but the execution comes across as neither scary or funny. That this trailer felt 90 seconds too long is also not a good sign. You might be there on April 29th, but I will not.


Toss of the Week: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of our great young actors working today. (Young, yet he is seven years my senior.) He stars as Hesher in "Hesher," a lone wolf who likes to play with fire, smoke cigarettes, listen to rock music, get tattoos, and lounge around with little-to-no clothting. Y'know, the kind of stalwart young man you would like as a role model to your little boy. No? Well, that is what appears to be happening. It is good to see co-stars Natalie Portman (in glasses) and Rainn Wilson (with a beard). I am excited to see what new-comer Devin Brochu brings to the role of said, sad, impressionable, minor. This trailer is great! I love that slo-mo intro and it continues to pack a lot of action. I wonder if there is any left to surprise. We get explosions (minor ones, I mean come on, this is an indy film) in extended shots, a technique that was miraculously employed in "The Hurt Locker." The best aspect about this preview is that it tells its own story, not necessarily what the film itself will deliver. We meet our characters and are left wondering. I am excited to see Hesher in "Hesher." I have wanted to since I first heard about it at the Sundance Film Festival of 2010, where I was unable to get it.

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ENLISTED


Prepare to be flabbergasted! Cracked has delivered "8 Famous Movies Made by the Last Person You'd Expect."


I love the "Five Favorite Films" lists that Rotten Tomatoes often posts.  One of their most recent is "Five Favorite Films with Morgan Freeman."  The legend lends his his attention-demanding voice in "Born to be Wild," in theaters now.

* * *

THE GOOD


/Film's Germain Lussier tells of his experience seeing "Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair" at the New Beverly Cinema in LA (this is a follow-up to a plug in "The Film Tome Report: Issue 22.5"). Besides its debut at Festival de Cannes (in South France), this is the only other time it has been shown (and it is the exact same cut).  He assures myself and other film geeks that it "has small changes that produce big results." The article does contain spoilers for any who do not know the sensational narrative weaved in the 215-minute epic. It bears repeating that myself and others are patiently hoping for that DVD/Blu-ray release.

* * *

THE BAD


The trailer for "The Hangover Part II," which I showcased just last issue, has been pulled from theaters by the MPAA. It is still available online and you can try to guess why it was yanked (the popular guess is the situation with the monkey at the end). Apparently, folk were displeased when the R-rated trailer showed before PG-13-rated "Source Code." The trailer should be back in theaters this weekend. The Marquee Blog has more.

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AND THE WEIRD




"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" has an August 5th release date and today brings the first footage we are privy to. (Above is the only official production still that has been released.) What's weird then? It is a 4-second clip! Here is the Official Website (somewhat funnily named apeswillrise.com) where you can witness all 4 seconds. WETA, who became ultra-famous after their landmark work on "The Lord of the Rings," is responsible for the apes. The project seems to be in good hands, but myself and others are appropriately apprehensive until we see more. This much we do know: James Franco (holla at ya boy), Freida Pinto (the beauty from "Slumdog Millionaire"), John Lithgow (where have you been?) and Andy Serkis (the mad mocap caper behind Gollum the King Kong, who is surely here to do just that) will star. Both JoBlo and /Film feature deeper coverage of the topic. Reports speculate that we will be receiving more footage soon. Here's hoping it is at least better than Burton's attempt at reviving the classic franchise.

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OR THE COOL


Here is a sort of follow-up to last week's entry regarding writer Philip K. Dick: "5 Ways Philip K. Dick's Insanity Changed the World of Movies," courtesy of Cracked.


I brought you "Legend of the Fist" in a recent dose of Trailer Round-Up. Now, check out this Exclusive Clip on IMDb from the upcoming martial-arts spectacular. It features Donnie Yen doing what he does best: dismantling an array of attackers. Gotta love his powerful yelps! This scene is brutal, but I look forward to seeing it in the context of a narrative arc.

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TV TOO


How good is "Mad Men"? Netflix feels it is worth $1,000,000 per episode and has signed a deal with Lionsgate to show all seven seasons on Netflix Instant Streaming. (In case you did not know, Netflix Instant is one of the best things to ever happen to cine-and-telephiles.) There are currently four seasons of "Mad Men" (the fifth was recently pushed to 2012) and they will all be available on Instant come July 27th of this year. Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Oh, to answer my initial question, "Mad Men" is excellent.


"6 TV Shows You Won't Believe Saved People's Lives" is strangely informative. That said, I disagree with their #1 choice because it is highly believable! It is "***********" after all!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 25

TRAILER ROUND-UP


Hooray for monkeys! Among this year's bounty of sequels is "The Hangover Part II." I have not seen the hijinks the dynamic trio (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis) got themselves into at Vegas, but this time around the morning after is set in Thailand. It passes out in theaters on May 26th (Memorial Day) if you are into this sort of flick.


(I like this photo... It also looks like it could be called "The Hangover Part II.") What is there to say about "Mr. Popper's Penguins"? We have seen the incomparable Jim Carrey living with wild animals in his apartment before in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." Will it be as interesting this time around with just one type of animal? The penguins themselves looked pretty real up until the dance sequence (what is it with dancing penguins!?). It was not until that moment when the thought of whether these were real penguins or not actually crossed my mind. It is based on the children's book of the same name. You can waddle your way to the theater on June 17th.


It is great to see Tom Hanks back in a comedic role. He really is one of the most endearing American male presences onscreen. Truly everyone likes the man. Hanks plays the title role in "Larry Crowne," the story of a middle-aged man who is fired from his job and realizes he needs a college education. He begins attending classes and garners the likes of Julia Roberts as a teacher. Nobody needs to tell you the rest, though the trailer pretty much will. It looks and sounds like a more realistic telling of "Billy Madison." Look for Hanks and company July 1st.


Over the weekend several minutes of the upcoming CGI-fest "The Green Lantern" were unveiled at WonderCon (an annual comic, sci-fi, and film convention held in the Bay Area). Luckily, an abridged version has already been made available on the interwebs. For all extents and purposes, this is simply an elongated trailer (refreshingly free of narration and title cards). This looks to be the most CG-heavy film this side of "Avatar." Naturally, the visuals are stunning. It begs repeating that I am a stranger to comics and could not tell you what this story entails, other than than the quick origin explanation clearly presented in this portion. JoBlo has shared some thoughts on the footage. It is shaping up to be quite the year for superhero flicks. In particular, "The Green Lantern" crash lands at your nearest multiplex on June 17.


Toss of the Week: "Beautiful Boy" looks to be a beautiful film. Have you ever wondered what the parents of gunmen, responsible for school shootings, go through after the tragedy? The accusations (from each other, from others), the media, the heartache. Such is this case with this film. "Beautiful Boy" takes us by the hand and into the home where a struggling couple need healing ever so badly. Michael Sheen and Maria Bello star in demanding roles as the parents. Demanding roles... for actors and parents alike. I am reminded of last year's "Rabbit Hole," which also deals with a married couple struggling over the loss of their son, which I still need to see. This will be in select theaters come June.

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ENLISTED


TIME presents a delivery of "The Top 5 Underrated Sci-Fi Masterpieces." I stand behind their top choice, which has boggled my mind since I first saw it. So, see it.

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THE GOOD


Last week I shed some light on Pixar's 13th feature film, now it is time to cover their 14th. As many fans have heard, Pixar is doing "Monster Inc. 2." Well, not exactly. "Monster University" (as it shall be called) is actually going to be a prequel! I for one am thrilled at this choice. I felt "Monster's Inc." had the quintessential happy ending - it is among my favorite works of Pixar. JoBlo reports. An update today from The Hollywood Reporter revealed that "Monster University" has been pushed back to June 21, 2013. More curious is that Disney (the non-Pixar sector) will be releasing their new animate feature, "Reboot Ralph" on November 2, 2012. gamesradar shared that it is about a dated video game character trying to make a comeback. My interest is piqued!

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AND THE WEIRD


Will Smith and real-life son, Jaden, captured and squeezed our hearts with "The Pursuit of Happyness." Now, the two are teaming up for a second time to star in... a sci-fi film directed by... M. Night Shyamalan. Having seen all of Shyamalan's recent work, I (and everyone else) am a little worried. His last four films have been garnering much hate ("The Village," "Lady in the Water," "The Happening," and "The Last Airbender"). I actually do not hate any of them, but still scratch my head over some choices made in the latter two. Even I, an all-around fanboy and open-apologist for Shyamalan, was disappointed by what he's been bringing to the cinematic table as of late. While many have given up on him, I have hope that he will rise again. The Smith boys are exceptional actors, Shyamalan has been an exceptional writer/director, this could be an exceptional film. See JoBlo for more details.


Arnold Schwarzenegger (geez, I have never actually had to spell that before) is "The Governator." No, really. The former-governor/former-actor himself is behind the new animated TV show, comic book and feature film for "The Governator." There are plans to breach all three of those mediums... Deadline has the article and trailer. It looks possibly egregious and my sources conclude that this is no April fooling.

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OR THE COOL


Science-fiction author Philip K. Dick has penned several novels and short stories that were later adapted into films such as "Blade Runner," "Minority Report," "A Scanner Darkly," and most recently, "The Adjustment Bureau." Having seen a few of them myself, I must admit PKD's knack for conceptual brilliance. TIME will tell in this brief video special.


Pete Doctor from Pixar (director of "Monster's Inc." and "Up") talks about his inspirations for "Up" and more in this special "Origins" video from TIME.

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