Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Author's Note: Friday's massacre has shocked and shaken the film world to its very core. Any loss of innocent lives is a tragedy to be sure, but for filmmakers and filmgoers it hit so close to home. These people were fans of cinema (hence showing up for a midnight screening). I plan to address the Aurora Shooting in a future post, but I dedicate this packed issue of film news, etc. to those who lost their lives while simply trying to enjoy a movie. My thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and families. God bless.


This Week
  • Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry* / 83%
  • Burning Man* / 70%
  • Killer Joe* / 89%
  • Klown* / 100%
  • Ruby Sparks / 75%
  • Sacrifice* / 100%
  • Step Up Revolution
  • The Watch

Last Week
  • 30 Beats* / 5%
  • The Dark Knight Rises / 86%
  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai* / 83%
  • Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbors* / 50%
  • The Queen of Versailles* / 93%
  • The Runway*
  • Salute* / 100%
  • The Well Digger's Daughter* / 91%

* = limited release


  • The Deep Blue Sea / 80%
  • Footnote / 91%
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi / 98%
  • The Last Days of Disco CC / 71%
  • Meeting Evil
  • Metropolitan CC / 88%
  • Silent House / 41%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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My suspension of disbelief could only go so far with the original "Taken," but now I have to grapple with the reality of "Taken 2." Liam Neeson's daughter and ex-wife surprise him in Instanbul where we are all-but-surprised to see them get kidnapped. Seriously? There's even a moment where Liam tells his daughter on the phone, "Your mother is going to be taken!" Does this family ever learn? This is like some kind of bad joke... I have no doubt this movie will boast some spectacular feats by daddy-hero, but I wonder if I can enjoy something like this. Will you be taken to the theater on October 5th?

Before the "The Dark Knight Rises" you should have seen one of two teaser trailers for "Man of Steel," the Superman reboot helmed by none other than slo-mo maestro Zack Snyder. That is where the first surprise comes from because this looks nothing like any other of Snyder's films ("300" and "Watchmen"). People are comparing it to the likes of Terrence Malick, which is not a bad explanation. The handheld, artsy observations and narration feel like scraped scenes from last year's "The Tree of Life." This is the Superman story like we've never seen it before and I am very excited about that. June 14th, 2013.

I am loving the trailer for Paul Schrader's "The Canyons." We learn nothing about the plot and only see the real Los Angeles that those who have lived there know so well. This week I am moving back to this city whose most iconic landmarks and places are seen in this montage. Calling L.A. the canyons leads us to ponder what the film will ultimately be about. The simple available description reads, "Youth, glamour, sex and Los Angeles, circa 2012." This could be quite heavy, but could also be quite good. Coming 2013.

"Side by Side" is an upcoming documentary produced by Keanu Reeves about the current transition from film to digital. The movie ask, "Can film survive our digital future?" Keanu sits down with several prominent practitioners to hear their take on the issue. If you care about the medium of film, this looks to be a must-see. You'll hear from filmmakers on both sides of the fence. Those who say they may never shoot with film again (David Lynch and James Cameron) to those who would rather die than ditch film (Christopher Nolan). Ultimately I agree with Marty Scorsese who plainly points out that is should be up to the filmmaker. There is no right and wrong here, but I look forward to the conversation nonetheless. "Side by Side" hits select theaters on August 17th.

How about another doc for cinephiles? We have all see the movie posters by Drew Struzan, but probably never knew the artist. With paintbrushes and pencils he has created some of the most iconic art for films that the world has ever know. It looks to be nothing more than a love-fest as actors and directors rave about Drew's work, but hopefully we learn more about his story in "Drew: The Man Behind the Poster." There is no release date for this film yet, but I will definitely be looking for it.

Let us hit the saloon, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!

The Head-Scratcher:

In 2018 Nazis from the moon invade earth in "Iron Sky." A Sarah Palin type president leads our country in a war against the onslaught. You will wonder how this got made and yet for an independently produced featured it has a lot of bells and whistles. Besides the premise, I did not find it very funny, which is the only thing "Iron Sky" can hope to be. This unique expression hits select theaters this week.

Lasso of the Week:

Last week I put my lasso around the second teaser for "The Master" and this last week we received the first official trailer for P.T. Anderson's next film, my second most anticipated of the year. From the pitch-perfect performances, involving narrative, and gorgeous period piece cinematography (all characteristics of Anderson's previous film, "There Will Be Blood") I am more than certain it will live up to the hype.

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This campy fan-made poster of "The Amazing Spider-Man" plays with the iconic cityscape silhouette and our hero's slung web. Obviously, the real marketing campaign went in a different direction, but this is still a fun throwback.

"The Master" not only has a captivating trailer, its official poster is engulfing. The cast are submerged, surely symbolic of what is to come as their lives intertwine with the master. Only a liquid image to accompany the words. Simple and memorable.

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Comic-Con wrapped two weeks back, but expect to still hear things from it. IGN shares "The 10 Best Things We Saw at Comic-Con."

Hey Warner Bros., are you reading this? Total Film lists "15 Ways To Reboot Batman After 'The Dark Knight Rises.'"

Chances are you've seen "The Dark Knight Rises," but in case you have not (or are otherwise interested) here are "10 Things to Know Before Seeing 'The Dark Knight Rises'" courtesy of ScreenRant.

The Hollywood News lists their "Top 20 Christopher Nolan Moments" from the autuer's ever-growing body of work.

Film School Rejects lists "6 Filmmaking Tips from Christopher Nolan."

In honor of the 4th of July (but hey, today is the 24th of July, another day to do fireworks in our state) here are "10 Movie Rockets." (Source: Film School Rejects)

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The 8th Production Video for "The Hobbit" was posted by Peter Jackson this morning. This covers the team's showing at the San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month and footage of wrapping up production. The sheer amount of work going into this project is astounding. This video series is to be continued (in post). Enjoy!

Neill Blomkamp's (director of "District 9") upcoming film, "Elysium," got a huge reaction at Comic-Con. It is a sci-fi film (his territory to be sure) staring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. Learn more at Indiewire.

With the release of the official trailer (this week's top preview) of "The Master," 90 high-res images of the film have been released. The Film Stage has them all for your consideration, ponder-ment, and study.

The Rotoscopers is but one of the many film-related podcasts that I listen to. They focus on all things animation. Check out their most recent episode where they discuss one of Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces, "Spirited Away." 

If you find yourself in New York City this summer you should check out the Crazy 4 Cult art gallery. What a poster!

David Lean's 1962 epic, "Lawrence of Arabia," is returning to theaters this fall! (Source: The Film Stage)

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The upcoming Warner Bros. film "Gangster Squad" had a sequence in which the mob shoot up a movie theater. In light of the weekend's tragedy the scene has been cut and will be replaced with something else entirely. I am all for respecting and honoring those who suffered a loss that day, but I feel this falls more on the side of censorship and fear than respect. Terrible things occur, but that should not affect the stories we tell. Where do you stand on the issue? (Source: Variety)

Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News was profoundly disappointed by "The Dark Knight Rises." This is the equivalent of a bloodhound finding a rare hare unappealing. Here is his review.

Outspoken Republican newscaster Rush Limbaugh thinks the main villain in "The Dark Knight Rises," Bane, is a dig on Bain Capital (the capital firm Mitt Romney used to run). Oh brother... (Source: Chicago Sun-Times)

I have lamented Adam Sandler's recent work quite a bit lately (and that's strictly from a trailer-watching perspective). Jim Emerson, a poor critic who actually has to sit through entire films of Sandlers, shares his anguish is "Adam Sandler's House of Pain."

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As always, here is Scott Mendelson with the weekend box office analysis. "The Dark Knight Rises" ruled over the competition and set the weekend record for all 2D movies.

Matt Singer and Jordan Hoffman converse and review "The Dark Knight Rises." (Source: Screen Crush)

Check out this early set pic from Darren Aronofsky's upcoming "Noah" epic. The Film Stage has additional information regarding the project.

Disney/Pixar's Andrew Stanton ("Wall-E" and "John Carter") is slated to direct "Finding Nemo 2." And what about "Toy Story 4"? All Pixar sequel/prequel talk can be found in this article from NBC News.

Regarding this story, Scott Mendelson fears we have now entered "phase 2" of Pixar Animation.

Frank Marshall says "Jurassic Park IV" is still planned for 2014. (Source: The Film Stage)

Rotten Tomatoes presents "Total Recall: Batman Movies." Yes, even that "classic" from 1966.

If you find Woody Allen as intriguing as his films (which I can attest are quite intriguing) then you might enjoy this interview from long ago. His wit is so matchless. No wonder the guy makes a movie ever year.

Child critic, Jackson Murphy, gets the gang together again to talk about the year in film thus far. Above is the first of several webisodes. Some unpopular choices here, which I always welcome.

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Slate considers "Nolan's Favorite Shot, and What it Means." Any cinematography junkies will get a real fix from this. Check out the attached video montage of his signature camera move.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale discuss a key scene from "The Dark Knight Rises."

Check out multiple Batmobiles. (Source: IGN)

Scott Mendelson listens to 50 years of Batman music (and so can we!).

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This parody of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" went viral earlier this month. It tackles George Lucas and his eternal tinkering with his brain-child: "The Star Wars That I Used to Know."

How about another "Star Wars" video? This supercut is mind-blowing. "Call Me Maybe" made entirely from clips from the "Star Wars" films. Sure, someone has a lot of free time on their hands, but what an achievement!

Crackle is distributing a new online series entitled "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffe."  Jerry Seinfeld picks up a friend each time and they go out to a cafe, talking all the way. Larry David, his co-creator for the hit series "Seinfeld," rides shotgun in this debut episode. Here is the first episode: "Larry Eats a Pancake." I found it insightful, interesting, but most importantly, hilarious. (Fun note: the place where Jerry picks up Larry in his bug is precisely where I ran into Larry David last summer. He works in the building.)

Any gamers in the house? You'll appreciate these movie poster mashups.

Finally, check out this .gif file going around, "The Many Face of Laura Dern in 'Jurassic Park.'" Oh Laura, you deserve an Oscar.

Ever wondered who would win in a battle between Batman and Spider-Man? This just may be the answer.

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The Emmys were announced last week. "Mad Men" and "American Horror Story" led the pack with 17 noms each. Will Bryan Cranston win Best Actor for his category four years in a row? (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

Like most of the TV-watching-world, I am currently obsessed and in love with "Breaking Bad." One of my favorite supporting characters is the criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk). Vince Gilligan, creator of the best show on TV right now, is thinking of doing a spin-off with that character! (Source: /Film)

Last week we saw what "Breaking Bad" would be like as a sitcom. This week we get an unlikely mashup with "Arrested Development." The product: "Breaking Development."

Ever wondered what you can/cannot say and show on TV. Here's an illuminating article from The Hollywood Reporter.

Speaking of "Call Me Maybe," if you have not seen this "Sesame Street" parody, "Share It Maybe," you really must.

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M.S. said...

Thanks for the Rotoscopers shout-out. Lots of great spotlights here; thanks for letting me know that Silent Haus is out on video!

Galyn said...

Man of Steel Teaser Trailer it was indeed. It does have that "Tree of Life" feel to me.
A "Sarah Palin" type president? Wow!
So now are you finally going to see Lawrence of Arabia?
I know they took out the twin towers in a movie after 911, so I think they can have a massacre in a number of places and it won't matter to the movie. I used to love to watch the old Batman and Robin TV series. I think it's right up there with Dark Shadows! I think Tara will like "Share It Maybe".

J.S. Lewis said...

Mum, I actually forced myself to sit down last summer and watch "Lawrence of Arabia." A nearly 4-hour commitment, but so worth it. It is the epic classic it is all cracked up to be.

Yes, they took out the WTC sequence is Sam Raimi's 2002 "Spider-Man." I'm still against the idea of changing stories to respect forces that were utterly out of your control.