Monday, April 9, 2012


(Author's Note: Welcome to a packed issue! Might as well have dubbed it a "Special Titanic Issue," which released last week, which I'm planning on seeing tomorrow night... for my first time... Wow. For now on I am going to include "Last Week" and "This Week" in the New in Theaters segment. Why? To better let you know what is out there and to provide the updated percentages compiled from Rotten Tomatoes over the weekend. I'll do "The Film Tome Report" on Mondays or not at all! Thanks for reading. Enjoy the issue.)


This Week:
  • Bad Ass*
  • Blue Like Jazz*
  • Cabin in the Woods / 93%
  • Detention* / 86%
  • Lockout
  • Post Mortem / 84%
  • The Three Stooges

Last Week:
  • American Reunion / 43%
  • ATM* / 12%
  • The Hunter* / 75%
  • Titanic (in 3D) / 87%

* = limited release


  • The Darkest Hour / 11%
  • Into the Abyss / 90%
  • The Iron Lady
  • Sleeping Beauty / 50%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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"Safety Not Guaranteed" received moderate buzz at this year's Sundance, but is one of the first films picked up there that is getting a wider release. A Washington man sincerely believes he has discovered time travel and puts a wanted ad in the paper for someone to join him on his next attempt, safety not guaranteed. Writers for a Seattle magazine, including Aubrey Plaza from "Park and Rec" answer the call. What follows seems to be a indie rom-com, but definitely not a chick flick. Does anyone else find Plaza's face one of the most interesting you've ever seen? The girl can play deadpan like nobody's business (okay, maybe Buster Keaton) but has a radiant smile when she chooses to bare it. Her plus this premise equals a film I'm eager to see, though maybe it's not safe... June 8th.

This is the first I've heard of "Rise of the Guardians" (not to be confused with "Legend of the Guardians") the latest from Dreamworks Animation. The motley crew is made of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy. Huh. Some unnamed villain (Satan?) is trying to rule the world by fear and it is up to them and their powers to save the kiddies of the world. I found the premise to be pretty strange. This seems like one of those ideas someone throws out really late at night (or really drunk) and in the morning you think better of it. Well, this is actually happening. It looks pretty enough, but that ain't hard to come by these days. I'm definitely on the fence with this one... Are you? November 1st.

A second trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" has landed. Remember the stunt he pulled on the red carpet last month to promote this very film? It turns out it's not in the mockumentary style like the first trailer would lead you to believe and like Cohen did with the successful "Borat" film. This film follows the ruling tyrant of a fictitious country who comes to America and loses his identity. He gets hosed down, kicks a fat kid, and insults a woman. Some funny stuff, some cringe-worthy stuff. You probably already know if you're going to see this one. The dictator arrives on May 11th.

"Storm Troopers, you're not smiling.": Something you'd only hear outside Comic-Con, the biggest geek expo that I know of in the states or any land. What is the drive for these people who heart to cos-play, collect, and otherwise get their comic on? That is what Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me") strives to explain in this documentary. Spurlock's mentioned film lit the nonfiction mode of film on fire for me while I was in high school. His projects have proven incredibly fascinating and immensely entertaining. As a geek myself the subject matter already lures me in.  That said, "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope" is as much a nerdy title as it is a lame one. Currently in select theaters.

The original is still unseen by me, but the remake for "Total Recall" hit the web recently and... I am a fan. Someone should make a drinking game of the mechanical whir sound in every sci-fi trailer these days. It is used plenty here, but I can forgive it for the CGI splendid visuals. Len Wiseman, director of "Underworld" and Live Free or Die Hard," is in charge here. I remember both of those films looking pretty good in the trailers, but not quite living up to the hype. Trailers are advertisements and as far as this one goes, I'm sold. Collin Farrell, an actor with much more gravitas than the Governator, is our leading man. Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel can be found here too, but the real star here is the special effects (practical and digital). From the hover cars to the It's fitting as the Art Dept. is where Wiseman began his film career.

Can't wait for the likes of "Total Recall"? Maybe you should see "Lockout," starring Guy Pearce, which hits theaters this Friday. It's from the producers of "Taken" and features a similar premise of a daughter who must be rescued. This time its the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) and not her daddy doing the rescuing. Pearce is a former goverment agent (never seen that vague job title before) who is a "loose canon" yet still the only who can do the job. The catch? She's in space. It's a promising trailer. I'm hoping for an action-packed sci-fi knockout. Still on the fence about this one? You can watch the first four minutes here.

"My father once told me to be careful of the things you love most in the world, because if you're not careful, that very thing can destroy you." Yeah, especially if those things are sharks! Halle Berry's serious narration begins the trailer for "Dark Tide," which looks like "Shark Night 3D" without the campy tendencies and without the 3D. John Stockwell (director of "Blue Crush" and "Into the Blue") is certainly in his territory. It looks all right, but bears a distressing 0% from Rotten Tomatoes. The film is/was playing in certain cities. Your best bet is to look for it in Redbox soon.

You can finish those beans later boy, I reckon it's prime time for The Trailer Round-Up Awards.

Sick Cow:

The trailer for "That's My Boy" (No link? You'll read why.) released last Friday.Some days you just have to say, "Screw constructive criticism!" Adam Sandler, what the hell is wrong with you?! You're earlier comedies were all right, good, and even really good, but you sir have gone on a one-way track to no good at all. What pains me most is the guy is a genuine actor (case in point: "Punch-Drunk Love"). In recent year's we've seen/heard him in "The Grown Ups," "Zookeeper," and "Jack and Jill." I was only stupid enough to see one of those cesspools and it was the worst film of its year ("Zookeeper"). When a young teen (seriously, like 13) gets his "hot" teacher pregnant he has to deal with the consequences. When that baby grows up (Andy Samberg) to be successful his failing father (Sandler) reappears to... mess things up more I guess. The premise is awful, but what is worse is that the film plays it all for laughs, very crude laughs that aren't even funny (that's two offenses). Earlier this day I began my lamentation. Friends found the source of my sorrows. One said, "Wow thanks for ruining my week by making me look up that horrible movie trailer.... Excuse me while I go gouge my eyes out." Another remarked, "I don't even have words for the pure disgusted feelings I have right now. I look forward to learning the Adamic language to find such a word. WTF." Needless to say, I do not recommend watching this trailer, but no doubt some of you will just to see how bad it really is for yourself. Well, like us you'll never be able to unsee it. If you must, avoid the red-band eh? All/any respect for Sandler and Samberg flushed. The're not my boys. On June 15th, pray for humanity.

The Head-Scratcher:

Woody Allen, a writer/director many of us immediately associate with New York is sticking around in Europe with "To Rome with Love." He won an Oscar for last year's "Midnight in Paris," a charming and imaginative film. This film seems to offer less in both of those facets. He always brews an fancy cast, but this one appears to lack a strong premise (inciting incident) to pull us in. Then again, this is just the trailer. The film is supposedly told in four vignettes so that definitely be why it feels this way. Also, it's good to see Allen in front of the camera again.

Lasso of the Week:

People are throwing around "Memento," "Primer," and "Groundhog Day" (all films I deeply revere) just to describe "Shuffle," where a man wakes up each and every day to find himself at a different age of his life. He goes from senior citizen to mere child over night. It is random and he wants it to stop. That's understandable, right? That's the premise. Shall I refer to "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Source Code" to further try to explain this thing? Done. The true reason I am piqued about "Shuffle" is the man behind the project, Kurt Kuenne. This independent filmmaker is responsible for "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father," one of the greatest documentaries I have ever been exposed to. "Shuffle" is something quite different for him, but the way he navigated all the raw footage and B-roll to make one of the most heart-wrenching and intense films I know of proves he is a master of craft. /Film has more on this incredibly indy film.

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As if the excitement around "Shuffle" wasn't enough, here is the tease-happy poster for Rian Johnson's ("Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom") upcoming film, "Looper," in theaters on September 28th. Simplicity is often a strong-suit of movie posters and that is certainly the case here.

This would be awesome! Yes, "would be" because it is unfortunately just a fan fantasy. I never said all the posters here would have to be legit. We need a Walt Disney documentary, Ryan Gosling is a popular and capable actor, and Ron Howard just seems fit for such a project. Besides that team, the poster itself is inspiring in its depiction of inspiration. Hand-painted in a Norman Rockwell-esque style. Nice touch since this would be about one of our greatest animators ever. If only.

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With its re-release this last week here are "33 Things You Didn't Know About the Movie 'Titanic.'" As seen on BuzzFeed.

When "Titanic" released in 1997 is sailed away with the box office. It literally was "king of the world" as it became the highest grossing picture of all-time, only to be beat by James Cameron himself a decade later. Pajiba lists, "69 Movies that Failed to Knock 'Titanic' from #1 at the Box Office (and the One that Did)."

How about this? "An Offer You Can't Refuse: Leadership Lessons from 'The Godfather.'" Follow these five steps and you'll lead your family, mob, or business in no time at all. Cheers to Fast Company for this one.

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Ashton Kutcher, Charlie Sheen's replacement on "Two and a Half Men," is slated to play the title role in "Jobs," a biopic of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Are they basing this decision on anything besides looks? The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Older news, but still applicable: Saoirse Ronan (Hanna in "Hanna," but she looks so different above) is slated to play Snow in yet another upcoming Snow White adaptation. She's the youngest, but probably the fairest of the three taking to the screen this year and next. "Snow and the Seven" is due next year. Total Film has details.

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Did you see today's Google Doodle? It is in honor of Eadweard J. Muybridge, born 182 years ago today. He is a grandfather to moving pictures and it is largely because of an experiment on his part that we have films today. He was persistent in his testing of the persistence of vision. ABC News has the story behind this man and the galloping horse.

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Moviefone lists, "'Titanic' Movie Mistakes: The 10 Biggest Messups from the 1997 Flick." These are not historical inaccuracies like you may be thinking, but rather continuity errors and the like. I still wonder who watches movies looking for these things...

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Many of us have already seen "The Hunger Games." It is a huge success for studio Lionsgate. The next film in the series ("Catching Fire") will have a change of director as Gary Ross is pursuing other avenues. The Film Stage sets the stage for this news.

Zombie or vampires? In a recent interview with GQ Mr. Scorsese expresses why he sees the winged phantoms of the night as better characters for films. His thought process is very convincing. /Film has the scoop.

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Might you be buying a ticket aboard the "Titanic" (in 3D)? It was an undertaking like few before or hardly sense. This behind-the-scenes featurette will undoubtedly increase your appreciation for the film that gave James Cameron a reason to shout, "I'm King of the World." Thanks to iVillage. (Aside: While not entirely film-related, here's a neat piece I found on BuzzFeed, "What the World Was Like the First Time 'Titanic' Was in Theaters.")

Here's a must-see video courtesy of Flavorwire. See famous actors in their film debuts in "And Introducing...". Matt Damon was so freaking young in "Mystic Pizza." Also, Tom Selleck without a 'stache threw me for a loop. It looks like Jack Black meant to start his career in dramatic roles. Any revelations for you?

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PistolShrimps is a good channel to subscribe to on YouTube. Before now they've left me in stiches with "Trolling Saruman," but this time they took their spoofing antics to "Titanic" in honor of the re-release. They incorporate other directors (from Lucas to Bay) into the equation to hilariously explosive results. Enjoy the show!

Related to the casting story above, Funny or Die predicts the rest of the cast the Steve Jobs bio-pic, "Jobs."

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"Hauschka" by Jeff Densom

This artsy city symphony and ballet of falling pianos will pause the rush of daily living for you. At least I hope so. Soothing, beautiful. Strange, bizarre. Just one work from a very talented fellow.

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Though it's practically ancient in this digital age, here is the original pitch to CBS for Jim Henson's "The Muppet Show." It has been making the WWW rounds lately. I have acquired the first three seasons (still waiting for that fourth to hit shelves) of this acclaimed series. It brings much joy into my life.

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1 comment:

Galyn said...

When I saw that Safety Not Guaranteed was by the same folks that brought us Little Miss Sunshine, I almost pressed the "back one page" arrow, but I did watch the trailer and it does look an interesting premise. I liked the Flavorwire piece (except for the profanity). I was most surprised by Robert Duvall as that is one my most favorite movies. Tom Selleck was also a surprise for me.