Monday, April 23, 2012



This Week
  • Bernie / 70%
  • Elles* / 22%
  • The Five-Year Engagement
  • Headhunters* / 97%
  • Pirates! Band of Misfits / 90%
  • The Raven / 23%
  • Safe
  • Sound of My Voice*

Last Week
  • Chimpanzee / 77%
  • Darling Companion* / 17%
  • The Eye of the Storm* / 68%
  • The Lucky One / 21%
  • Marley* / 93%
  • The Moth Diaries* / 15%
  • Thinks Like a Man / 49%
  • To the Arctic* / 63%
* = limited release


  • Contraband / 51%
  • The Innkeepers / 76%
  • Let the Bullets Fly / 84%
  • The Organizer CC
  • Pariah / 96%
  • The Time That Remains / 84%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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Yet another film that seems to have snuck up on me is "Bernie," the latest by Richard Linklater ("School of Rock," "Dazed and Confused," and "Slacker"). Jack Black stars as Bernie, a jolly funeral director in small-town Texas who is loved by all. A renowned widow, Majorie (played by Shirley MacLaine), because especially demanding and dependent on Bernie. She turns up dead and Bernie is suspected. Even though this is based on a true story this film appears to be entirely played for laughs, which makes me wonder what the outcome will be. The most interesting role though is filled by Matthew McConaughey who hides behind glasses and under a hat as the local sheriff hot on Bernie's trail. This hits theaters this very week!

Channing Tatum is "Magic Mike." We just discussed "Bernie," here's another true story adapted for the screen with the main character's name acting as the title, but that's about where the comparisons end (oh wait, McConaughey also plays a supporting character here!). Magic Mike is a male stripper and, thankfully, most of what we see in this trailer is out of the bar and following his outside life and pursuit of a young woman (played by Cody Horn). This comes to us from the sporadic filmmaker Steven Soderbergh who most recently made the world on edge with "Contagion." Will you paying to see "Magic Mike" on June 29th?

Morgan Freeman and director Rob Reiner team up again (previously on "The Bucket List") on "The Magic of Belle Isle." Freeman in old, wheel-chair bound, alcoholic Western writer who retreats to the idyllic Belle Isle for a summer. A single-mother with three duaghters (Virginia Madsen) enters his life and casts a spell on his gloomy outlook. This story practical writes itself. Kenan Thompson (who somehow looks younger than he did a decade ago on Nickelodeon's "Kenan and Kel") also apears herein. This "A Re-Coming of Age Story" is due July 6th.

Robert Pattison is a playboy extraordinaire in "Bel Ami," a drama set in Paris during the late 19th Century. He has ongoing trysts with at least three women (played by Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci respectively). Surely this will give those Twihards something to swoon over once they grow up. Pattison smugs his way through this entire trailer. In theaters on June 8th.

The man, the legend, "Marley." The latest doc from acclaimed director Kevin MacDonald splices archive footage with talking heads to tell the story of one of modern music's greatest pioneers, Bob Marley. I, for one, know very little about him and look forward to this informing, grooving video project. It is currently in select theaters and garnering all sorts of accolades.

From the directors of "Little Miss Sunshine" (an indie favorite) come "Ruby Sparks." Paul Dano plays a young and successful author who begins writing about a girl, Ruby Sparks, only to have her show up in his life. Imagine "Stranger Than Fiction" if Emma Thompson's character fell for Will Ferrell. It seem unique, but in light of that film, is it? This conceptual rom-com hits theaters on July 25th.

Get ready to brand some hides, I reckon it's prime time for The Trailer Round-Up Awards.

The Head-Scratcher:

A first glimpse of any Cronenberg films leaves me scratching my head so why should "Cosmopolis" be any different? For one thing "Twilight" heartthrob Robert Pattinson is the lead. Also, all the rats... I have no idea what this is about. A plot summary informs me that he plays a billionaire who learns he has lost all his money during a limo ride. It's Cronenberg so we can expect some adult themes and content. And rats. The film premieres at Cannes and will see certain cities later on this year.

Lasso of the Week:

The trailer for "The Five-Year Engagement" (arriving this Friday) is a pleasant surprise. From the producers of "Bridesmaids," a roaring success from last year, this also follows a the story of a wedding... or does it? Emily Blunt and Jason Segel play the to-be-wed couple and most of the appeal for this film comes from their interactions together. Half a decade will be covered in this film so we will be seeing them in various stages of the relationship. Their time together is charming and funny, it is believable that they would be  engaged this long. Segel also helped write the script along with director Nicholas Stoller ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"). Maybe it is just because I'm planning a wedding of my own right now, but I found this relatable and hilarious.

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 I am excited for Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph," an animated feature about a misunderstood video game character who seeks a comeback in a modern FPS. The poster obviously embraces the character's (voiced by the great John C. Reilly) 8-bit roots. Just a large, pixeled face on a black BG. It intrigues. The NES-font of the film's date is also a nice touch. The workers at my local Cinemark were all wearing this poster (more or less) when I went to the movies last week. Expect a teaser trailer from Disney soon.

Far from simple, this new poster for "Moonrise Kingdom" has a lot of information to digest. As you familiarize yourself with the cast you will also scour the dense details about each of them. This poster is not surprising as Anderson's previous films receive similar stiff, graduating class/family reunion type posters and covers. Love it.

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With "Chimpanzee" swinging into theaters last weekend Rotten Tomatoes is serving "Total Recall: Chimp Movies," a roll call of films featuring these iconic critters.

With "The Five-Year Engagement" being released this week Rotten Tomatoes reveals the "Best Reviewed Wedding Movies."

Did you know that "The Cabin in the Woods" finished shooting way back in 2009? covers it and others in "8 Long-Delayed Films That Actually Turned Out Great."

Oh, and here's "15 Creepy Movie Cabins" compiled by blastr.

With the recent release of "Lockout" explores "The 10 Scariest Sci-Fi Prisons From Movies & TV." discusses "8 Reasons 'The Hunger Games' Is So Successful."

Don't go see the new "Three Stooges" movie. Instead watch any or all of these "Top 10 Best Three Stooges Shorts" as picked by Geeks of Doom.

Screen Crush delivers "10 Things You Didn't Know About the Three Stooges."

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Get a glimpse of Anthony Hopkins as "the Master of Suspense" himself, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, in the upcoming biopic, "Hitchcock." Specifically the film is about Hitchcock's making of "Psycho." Y'know, the greatest film ever made. I'm predicted the Best Actor and Best Picture winner on the 2014 Oscars with this one. High hopes! (Source: People)

Michael Madsen, Mickey Rourke, and Rosario Dawson plan to return to the "Sin City" sequel, "A Dame to Kill." (Source: The Film Stage)

Guy Pearce joins the cast of "Iron Man 3" along side Ben Kingsley and, of course, Robert Downey Jr. (Source: JoBlo)

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Here's the lineup for the 65th Festival de Cannes, arguably the most prestigious film festival in the world. 54 feature films will be screened there. Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" (poster featured above) and new films from David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke, and John Hillcoat stick out to me from the competition series. (Source: Deadline)

What's better than book about "Toy Story"? A book about "Toy Story" with a forward by Hayao Miyazaki. Yes, Santa, please! Also, two other Pixar books. (Source: Pixar Talk)

Mr. Scorsese is teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio AGAIN (this makes 5X) for his next film, an adaptation of "The Wolf on Wall Street." (Source: /Film)

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I found this news particularly sad as "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" was such an awesome experience for me last year. Pixar's Brad Bird will not be returning to make a fifth installment of the successful franchise. (Source: JoBlo)

Mel Gibson and screenwriter for his reported upcoming Maccabee epic clash. (Source: Toronto Sun

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Francis Lawrence ("I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants") is slated to direct "Catching Fire," the second film in "The Hunger Games" series. Bennett Miller ("Capote" and "Moneyball") was also in the running, but chose another project over this. I so would have wanted to see what Miller would do with the material. (Source: Deadline)

How would you like to go on a "Saw"-themed cruise?! I cannot fathom this is going to be a full boat, especially by the end of it all. (Source: Collider)

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Chances are if you've seen a few Spike Lee films you've noticed his unique "dolly shots" where the character moves with the camera through the space of the scene. This really hit me in "Inside Man" where it looks like Denzel Washington's character steps on Segway (the last bit of this video). Enjoy this supercut, "Spike Lee: The Dolly Shot." (Source: Indiewire)

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College Humor helps us figure out how long we would survive in a horror movie is the flowchart.

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"ONE: A Space Odyssey"

Kubrick's classic is explored one minute. Made with legos

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Have you been hearing this recent hubbub regarding Matt Groening revealing the actual Springfield that the iconic town from "The Simpsons" is named after? The hit show revisted this claim in the intro for a new episode. Gawker has the story.

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Updated 4.24.12

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