Monday, July 16, 2012



This Week
  • 30 Beats*
  • The Dark Knight Rises / 96%
  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai* / 77%
  • Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbors*
  • The Queen of Versailles* / 90%
  • The Runway*
  • Salute* / 100%
  • The Well Digger's Daughter* / 90%

Last Week

  • Alps* / 83% 
  • Easy Money* 
  • Farewell, My Queen* / 90% 
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift / 52% 
  • The Imposter* / 94% 
  • Red Lights* / 44% 
  • Salute* / 100% 
  • Trishna* / 75%
* = limited release


  • Casa de mi Padre / 44%
  • Friends with Kids / 68%
  • Lockout / 37%
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen / 68%
  • The Three Stooges / 51%
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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"Dredd," which had its worldwide premier at the San Diego Comic-Con this last weekend, has already garnered some positive buzz. A writer for said, "If 'Die Hard' and 'Sin City' had an awesome, brilliant, violent baby, this film would be it." (Source: Indiewire) Wow. The reference to two films I am extremely fond of and with a synopsis similar to "The Raid: Redemption," one of the best action films in recent memory, makes me eager to see "Dredd." The dire distopic vision on display is visually arresting from far away (see that cityscape), but quite cheesy up-close. Dredd is responsible for wiping the city clean, especially those on the drug Slo-Mo. You can expect lost of slow-motion gunplay in this over-the-top, sci-fi romp. "Judgement is coming" on September 21st.

The biggest trailer release of last week would have to be "Oz: The Great and Powerful." This prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" casts James Franco as the title character of the 1939 classic. This is the story of "the man behind the curtain" before he became "the man behind the curtain." Did you know the wizard also hails from Kansas? In an admirable homage to "The Wizard of Oz" it begins in black and white (and fullscreen) only to colorize and expand once Franco reaches Oz. From the Sam Raimi (the man behind the "Spider-Man" trilogy) comes a film quite reminiscent of Burton's adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010. As that film suffered, I worry about a bloated CGI-filled fantasy world when characters and story ought to reign supreme. March 8th will tell.

Hara-kiri refers to the ritual suicide for samurai seeking an honorable death. Takashi Miike (whose "13 Assassins" from 2010 was a tremendous film) directs a this story within a story that is sure to deliver action and intrigue. Miike seems to be channeling the samurai films of Kurosawa recently, which is saying a considerable lot. "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" hits theaters and iTunes this week.

The groan-inducing name "Mansome" is for a documentary from Morgan Spurlock about the grooming habits of men. This film looks about as important as it sounds. There may be some fun to be had with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett as our hosts, but I for one could not be less interested in a feature film about beards and pubes. The film is currently in select theaters.

Straddle the steer, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!

The Head-Scratcher:

"Premium Rush" boasts stars like Joseph Gordan-Levitt and Michael Shannon, but is about bicycle messengers in the hectic streets on New York City. This preposterous action/thriller could be a fun time if it is trying to be. I do not see this succeeding at anything else. It rushes in (and out) of theaters on August 24th.

Michel Gondry is one of our most interesting directors. His latest project, "The We and the I," looks to take place almost entirely on a school bus navigating through the Bronx. With today's youth as the cast you can expect some great disrespect, but it looks to bring the heart by the third act. I was neither amused nor moved, but curious how the narrative will roll out. Remember Hitchcock's "Lifeboat"? Okay, maybe not the best comparison. This will surely only get a limited release, but look for it on DVD and Blu-ray later.

Lasso of the Week:

Last month we got a second teaser trailer for "The Master." We see leading men Jaoquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in their respective elements, both fully committed to their unique roles. We hear the measured score by Paul Greengrass. We can feel P.T. Anderson's follow-up to "There Will Be Blood." Folks, this is going to be one of the best films you see this year if you chose to see it.

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In honor of Comic-Con Rotten Tomatoes lists the best reviewed comic book adaptations in "Best Comix Countdown."

A great compliment to the above list is Total Film's "50 Comics That Should Be Movies."

If you are a cinephile, as I am, you will be very interested in these "85 Documentaries About Movies Currently on Netflix Instant."

If that list wasn't enough here are "11 of the Best Documentaries About Cities Streaming on Netflix." Some of these choices may have already expired, but I can personally stand behind the likes of "My Winnipeg" and "Wasteland."

In a perfect world we would see every film in a theater. Unfortunately we don't have the time or money for such a luxury. To help you whittle down the vast array of films out there to see in theaters Pop Matters lists "The 10 Filmmakers Whose Work Must Be Seen on the Big Screen." Where's Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan?

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Film adaptations of video games have gotten a bum rep. Watch one or two and you'll likely know why. That said, Michael Fassbender, Hollywood's new favorite leading man who significantly improves anything production he touches, is co-producing and starring in an adaptation of "Assassin's Creed." This revered franchise has great potential to change the public's opinion of video game movies. (Source: Variety)

An "Ant-Man" (a lesser known hero from the Marvel library) film was officially announced at Comic-Con. Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") directs. (Source: Empire)

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Welcome to The Bad. They're making a "Raging Bull 2." Welcome to The Bad. (Source: /Film)

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Scott Mendelson gives his usual report of the weekend box office over on his influential film blog. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" came out on top.

If you have yet to check out the "anti-movie review show" with Kevin Smith, "Spoilers," I highly recommend doing so. Film geeks gather and discuss a new release every week, Criterion picks, special guests, and more! Last week Stan Lee stopped by and told some amazing stories. Today's episode is about none other than "The Dark Knight Rises."

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"Pop Pilgrims," a series on A.V. Club where road-trippers head to famous locations in pop culture, check out the open lands where they filmed "There Will Be Blood." 

Comic-Con and this month's two big films have us all thinking about heroes (super and otherwise). You know what that makes me think of? Three point landings!

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In honor of "Breaking Bad" commencing its fifth and final season last night I though it would be fun to share this. Remember those trailer recuts? Most memorable is "Marry Poppins" edited as a horror film. Well, the hit show on AMC about drugs, cancer, and family lies has been given the ABC sitcom treatment. Check it out! It's amazing what changing the music and adding in canned laughter can do...

Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku thinks "'The Walking Dead' Might Finally Get Good." While I love the concept, comics, and games of this franchise I have only seen the very strong pilot episode. I've heard from many sources that the show has strayed away from its promising start, but the future sounds bright.

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1 comment:

Michael Larsen said...

The We and the I -- that shot is from a City Bus, not a school bus. (NYC doesn't do school buses past Elementary school).