Sunday, February 5, 2012



  • Big Miracle / 71%
  • Chronicle / 85%
  • The Innkeepers* / 75%
  • Kill List* / 74%
  • Splinters* / 75%
  • W.E.* / 16%
  • The Woman in Black / 62%
* = limited release


  • The Big Year / 39%
  • Dream House / 7%
  • Drive / 93%
  • In Time / 37%
  • The Thing / 36%
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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(Author's Note: In tonight's issue I am briefly considering the TV spots for some of this year's biggest blockbusters that aired during the Super Bowl)

"The Avengers" IS this year's superhero movie (oh yeah, "The Amazing Spider-Man will be swingin' around sometime too) and certainly looks it. With an ensemble cast of identities, special effects up the wazoo, and cult-favorite Joss Whedon in the director's chair, it is on everyone's calender for a reason. Do I even need to tell you that it'll be out May 4th?

I didn't even bother with the first "G.I. Joe" movie. Nobody told me I should. Not unlike my relationship with "Ghost Rider," the trailer for the sequel has actually impressed me. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson quotes Jay-Z at the beginning of the TV spot for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" only to lead into the very song those lyrics are rapped in. Guys (and a lady) prepare for battle, a motorcycles un-transforms, and we get an awesome clip and kick on the side of a mountain. It's short, cool, and left me wanting more. I cannot believe I'm excited June 29th... Oh yeah, Bruce Willis in the house.

"The Hunger Games" takes its time with a 60-second spot. This time around we get a glimpse of the capitol city and more from Katniss's interview with Caeser Flickerman (played by Stanely Tucci). I like the largely handheld style of this film, which will largely set it apart from "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" (not that those two were ever really comparable). That four-note theme sends us off and keeps us waiting for March 23rd.

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


One doesn't even need to bring up the "Transformers" films when talking about "Battleship" because it will for you! From that stalling mechanical-whirring bass to the shiny steel breaking through skyscrapers, we've seen this all before. It is an assault on the sense and not in a good way. At the end of the trailer we get a guy screaming into a walkie-talkie, "Fire everything!" It appears that is precisely what Universal did with this TV spot for the "big game." Nothing is happening on May 18th.

The Head-Scratcher:
The beginning for this "John Carter" ad is brilliant as we slowly zoom-out of clips to reveal the title. What follows is an impressive onslaught of CGI-heavy visuals. I believe it was Adam Quigley who pointed out on the /Filmcast that all John Carter seems to do is jump extremely high. Look for that and it will start to seem oh-so silly. Remember, this film comes to us from director Andrew Stanton of Pixar fame (i.e. "Wall-E"). Colleague Brad Bird's ascension into live-action late last year with "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" proved to be the year's most exciting film. Does that even mean anything for this project? Maybe not. We'll see on March 9th.

Lasso of the Week:

Of all the films showcased today, I am most excited for "Act of Valor." It follows a team of Navy Seals tasked with a rescue mission of a kidnapped CIA agent. It so strives for realism that it could almost pass for a cinema verite documentary. It's beautiful, timely, and action-packed. Dare I proclaim that this could be a modern-day equivalent of "Saving Private Ryan"? Also, of all the movies shown this one hits theaters the soonest on February 24th.

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