Monday, March 19, 2012

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 64


NEW IN THEATERS

  • All In: The Poker Movie*
  • Brake*
  • The Deep Blue Sea* / 86%
  • The Hunger Games / 100%
  • Musical Chairs*
  • October Baby*
  • The Raid: Redemption* / 95%
  • The Trouble with Bliss*
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES


 
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / 87%
  • Hop / 26%
  • Letter Never Sent CC
  • The Muppets / 96%
  • The Sitter / 22%
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy / 83%
  • The War Room CC / 95%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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TRAILER ROUND-UP


 

"Chernobyl Diaries" is the directorial debut from director Bradley Parker who has been working on visual effects for the feature films for the last 14 years. From the start it looked to be another found footage affair, but it quickly shed itself of that subgenre. What follows is nothing new. An isolated place, creepy children heard and seen, and then slowly "the others" start taking us. This comes from the makers of "Paranormal Activity," a series that three films in I still revere. It hits theaters sooner that I'd have thought on May 25th

 

Last May news broke out about the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck on the other side of the world. American documentarian Stu Levy was there for the disaster and captured the people striving to rebuild their homes, families, and lives. "Pray for Japan" is currently playing in select theaters.

 

Here it is! The second trailer for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." While not all stylin' slo-mo like the first, this one also comes with self-narration to set the stage. We also see even more of the crazy action that we can expect top hats full of on June 22nd. I chuckled at a ridiculous scene of Abe and those long skinny legs flying through the air...


Kristen Stewart will never be "fairer" than Charlize Theron, but I suppose that is what suspension of disbelief is all about. From the producers of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" comes "Snow White and the Huntsman" in its first full-length trailer. It is a CGI-ridden visual splendor to be sure, but I cannot help but wonder if Walt is rolling in his grave. The brief glimpse of the dwarves was neat and I'm a sucker for all the magical creature cameos. Will this movie manage to bring us her heart on June 1st?


Strap them there suspenders sir, I reckon it's prime time for The Trailer Round-Up Awards.

Sick Cow:

 

Last Monday I covered Tim Burton's return to stop-motion (and dead dogs) with "Frankenweenie." I suspected we should see the trailer for his upcoming live-action film soon and here we are. "Dark Shadows" boasts the macabre German expressionistic production design that Burton's films have become known for, but there's where my compliments cease. Remember when Burton was an icon and influence for the creepy, bizarre, and fascinating? Remember when his films were actually funny and in such a unique way? You may want to just remember the likes of "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," and "Big Fish,' and simply pass by this trailer and this film altogether. A cursed vampire (Johnny Depp) from the 18th Century is unburied during the '70s and has to adapt. There are some quaint gags near the start, but the longer this trailer ran the worse it got. Burton doesn't need to sink to sexual comedies and drug jokes, he's a legend. This film looks to be an unfortunate addition to his resume. Dark shadows indeed on May 11th.

Lasso of the Week:


This week also brought us the second trailer for Ridley Scott's anticipated "Prometheus," which looks more like and "Alien" prequel than ever before. I don't know why they would have deny that it, because from the looks of things that's an incredibly good thing (for both films). This trailer takes its time to dish out some of the plot details before reaching an insane climax of images and sounds. Has CGI ever looked better? I was reminded of the best parts of sci-fi epics like "Star Wars," "Aliens," and "Sunshine." With Michael Fassbender leading a pack of proven actors it is hard to imagine how this can go wrong. Then again, it has been over a decade since Scott delivered a truly great film. I heard talk as early as last summer about how amazing some 3D scenes for "Promoetheus" were. IMAX 3D on June 8th. There are those of us who know we'll be there.

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ENLISTED



Here's a wicked awesome list courtesy of The A.V. Club, "28 Stories That Makes the Audience Choose the Ending," not doubt spurred by the recently accoladed "Take Shelter." I'm a fan of ambiguous closings in stories. Many of these stories are films, which is why I've showcased it here. Some people don't like their narratives open-ended. They want their yarns all tied up (if you will). How about you?


 

"Top 10 Documentaries You Haven't Seen But Should." I was surprised that the title of this list proved true for me, especially because I consider myself to have seen quite a few docs. I could make a list like this of my own sometime. In the meantime, you and I best get watching some of these.

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THE GOOD


What are your feelings on the recent 3D remixes that have been hitting theaters every other month? We've gotten a couple Disney classics, "Star Wars - Episode 1," and "Titanic" will be docking soon. Well, none have had me truly excited... until now. "Jurassic Park" 3D! I never saw this in theaters originally. I was five at the time. It would have rocked my world and defined me even more than it already did. I have seen it many times since and I dearly regard it as one of my favorite films ever made. I look forward to see T-rex and friends on the big screen come July 19th, 2013. JoBlo has the story.

* * *

THE BAD


 



Yet another "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" film is slated for release next year. It is product of Michael Bay's studio in association with Nickelodeon. Bay himself informed us that there's going to be a twist in the TMNT lore, they are going to be aliens?! How does Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles sound? The abbreviation souns better, but that is where compliments cease. I am indifferent to the matter as I have almost no attachment to the franchise, but fanboys are angry about this so I feel their pain. Stuff We Like had the story first!



Look at this websnap of a recent top box office weekend. All rotten (according to Rotten Tomatoes)! Maybe the first few months of the year really are cursed...

* * *

AND THE WEIRD

Sylvester Stallone confirms The Expendables 2 for an R rating 

They were really going to try to make "The Expendables 2" rated PG-13? Well, that didn't last long. Sylvester Stallone informs the world that it will in fact be "R." So it turns out Chuck Norrise does do R-rated films... Movie Web has the flip-flop tale.

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MAYBE THE HILARIOUS


 

Cracked has a good batch of posters set to the theme "If Movie Posters Were Sarcastic."

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Updated 4.11.12

Monday, March 12, 2012

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 63

(Author's Note: It's a Monday night and I'm getting back in the swing of things with a new issue of "The Film Tome Report." I introduce a new segment and revisit old ones that have been tried 'n true. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the show!)

NEW IN THEATERS


  • 21 Jump Street / 96%
  • Casa de Mi Padre / 0%
  • Detachment* / 75%
  • Free Men*
  • Jeff, Who Lives at Home* / 85%
  • The Kid with a Bike* / 91%
  • Natural Selection*
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES


  • The Adventure of Tintin / 74%
  • The Descendants / 89%
  • Happy Feet Two / 44%
  • My Week with Marilyn / 83%
  • The Three Muskateers / 26%
CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

* * *

TRAILER ROUND-UP





Here is the Kickstarter page for "Boy," the new film by Taika Waititi. While it showed at Sundance this year, this New Zealand film is seeking a wider distribution in the States. The confident director explains more in the video before we are treated to a preview. It's Jared Hess-esque (who is Wes Anderson-esque), namely quirk and artistry. It looks funny and bit inappropriate, but I have been hearing some rave things. We'll probably see it around sometime this year.


You may have seen the original "Frankenweenie," a short film that put a Mr. Tim Burton on the map. That was a live-action, black and white movie. For his remake, Burton is keeping the black and white, but going to a realm he's visited before in "Corpse Bride" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas," stop-motion animation. I love this medium and Burton has proved to be one of its finest practitioners. After seeing this 2-minute trailer (which felt much longer) I really wondered how he was going to stretch this concept out for a feature. There may have been a good reason he originally did this as a short. That really doesn't matter because this film (hitting IMAX and in 3D no less) is going to make a half-billion dollars. The biggest surprise is that Johnny Depp is nowhere to be found! That, of course, is because Burton is also finishing up a live-action film with his favorite actor, "Dark Shadows." That is due later this year, we should expect a trailer soon. See the "Frankenweenie" on October 5th.


Here's the first official trailer for "The Raid," an wall-to-action action flick from Indonesia. Last year it took home Lasso of the Week. While ultra-violent, the filmmaking involved demanded recognition. I was not about to deny it. Now it has shown an Sundance and the likes of SXSW and surely will be hitting digital shelves by the summertime, this time with the subtitle of "Redemption." This new trailer showcases the snappy visuals and snapping gunfire and fighting. Even without the red-band the trailer shows violence on a nearly unparalleled level. The film is not built on a plot, but rather a simple premise: An elite SWAT team aims to take down a crime lord who has control over a 30-story apartment complex. Their mission? take him down, one floor at a time. It's just an excuse to stage some ridiculous action scenes and will certainly draw that type of crowd. In select theaters later this month.

, I reckon it's prime time for The Trailer Round-Up Awards.

Sick Cow:


Where the heck did "A Thousand Words" come from? Seriously. This trailer was sleepily releases late last year. I remember seeing the not-so-compelling poster a few weeks ago and now the film is already out to rave reviews (raving about out bad it is mind you). Eddie Murphy has some of the best facial expressions ever, and he'll have to especially use them in this show's premise where, you guessed it, he only has a thousand words. The great Jim Carrey tried his hand at a couple of far-fetched comedies revolving around a tied tongue, "Liar Liar" and "Yes Man." I've seen bits from those, bits that left me never wanting to see more. This is kind of the same way. Love the tree though.

Lasso of the Week:


Trailer 2 for "The Avengers" hit the interwebs late last month and shook the Earth. After each of the iconic superheroes (except Hawkeye, but more on that in a sec) get some face-time we get shot after shot of spectacle and it looks fabulous. All we need to know is that the world is in jeapordy and these superstars are our only hope. The booming horn bass that "Inception"pioneered and "Transformers" copied and "Battleship" stole is also borrowed here. (Notice how my terms changed.) This is going to be the summer blockbuster we've been waiting for! Wait, what about "The Dark Knight Rises"? Oh-ho, that battle is going to be just as good as the ones onscreen! I particurly liked the shot of Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner, the guy's everywhere) shooting his bow while he falls. But then again, I just love archery. Joss Whedon has delivered. Avenge the superhero film on May 4th.

* * *

POSTER CHILD*

*Yes, yet another new segment to "The Film Tome Report." As the title suggests, this is a brief showcase and consideration of the latest posters to get caught in the interwebs. This will by no means be an extensive search for posters, but expect a few. (Don't forget to click to posters for an enlarged version folks!)


"Moonrise Kingdom." Us Wes Anderson fans (I'm happy to be part of that quirky collection) already got giddy over the trailer, but now we can continue our anticipatory drool over this gorgeous painting and the fanciful fountains of gold font. The nature scene is admirable, but we know these two young characters are going to be a handful. They might as start making the Criterion Collection cover now (as far as I know every Wes Anderson film has received that prestige treatment), though they might just want to stick with this one. May 25th.

Nuit blanche Movie Poster

"Sleepless Night." I know nothing about this film and I think it will be a fun experiment to keep it that way. The two short sentence synopsis, mixed with the intense image sells this film well. Cocaine flies on the right, a desperate father's face is push on the right. That and a third of the poster is white space. If this was all I was basing my judgement on I'd buy a ticket.

* * *

ENLISTED

Spirited Away still

Apparently Thursday was International Woman's Day... Cool. To celebrate Movies listed "10 Must-See Titles to Inspire Girls With Film." Again, cool. Nearly any Miyazki picture should be considered.


SXSW is going on this weekend in Austin, Texas. Film School Rejects select 16 films to see from the group. While most of us don't have the opportunity to be there, these are some titles to definitely add to one's watchlist. They have another list of 10 films that they were impressed with at Sundance at are also showing at SXSW. As you might expect, there is some overlap in the lists.

* * *

CAST AWAY



Tom Cruise already has a musical coming out this year (the smut-filled "Rock of Ages") and is still in the talks to be in "A Star is Born" (opposite Beyonce?!) (Clint Eastwood's next project?!). I think I covered this same story last year... If this ever happens it won't be coming out 2012. Total Film has the scoop.


* * *


THE GOOD


Here's a beautiful and moving tribute to some of the films that did not get recognized by the Academy. Because everyone* is entitled to their opinion. Why the asterisk? (Well, let's face it, some people don't have an adequate knowledge of films and filmmaking for their opinion to hold much weight. Many-a-wise scholars, professors, theoreticians, and critics have taught me such over the years.) This video acknowledges some of my laments: "Hannah," "The Adventures of Tintin," and "Harry Potter" to name a few. "Drive" is clearly one of the most popular choices. It was one of the year's most remarkable films. What film(s) do you think got snubbed?

* * *

THE BAD





"John Carter" only pulled in $30 million over the weekend in the domestic box office. Considering it took 10X that to make, it may have a tough time making a profit (yet alone breaking even). Indiewire has dissected the issue in "Anatomy of a Flop." The state of Utah (woo-woo!) on the other hand benefitted greatly from the film. You see, it was shot here! The Hollywood Reporter has the details. (Note: This isn't also The Bad, but merely a side note.)

* * *

AND THE WEIRD




At first I was going to put this with The Good, but when I realized I didn't have anything for The Weird I thought I could make a case. Remember the trails of Disney's "The Lone Ranger," I covered the back and forth last year in the tome. Well, after some changes (because it was too expensive to start production, especially after the $300 million dollar beast that is "John Carter") it is green-lit and slowly coming to fruition. Here's the first image (above) featuring Johnnie Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked savior of the wild West. Why Depp? That's why this is in The Weird. There are plenty of Natie American actors (good ones too). Director Gore Verbenski (who as worked with Depp on the "Pirate" movies and the Academy Award-winning "Rango") is why. In any case, I am excited for a big-budget Western. (Compare the photo of the iconic duo from the TV series below it.) JoBlo has the story of this first image.

 * * *

OR THE COOL




As the above Oscar tribute showcased, "Drive" was one of the year's most beloved (underground) films. It quickly achieved cult classic among cinephiles. Might is be destined for the Criterion Collection someday? I would not be surprised. In the meantime, some talented fans create their covers for the wish/prophecy. Seem 'em all at Geek Tyrant.


As if the "Drive" posters weren't cool enough, check out these for "Reimagined Miyazaki Films." As seen on BuzzFeed. To-to-ro, To-to-ro!


Appreciate this brief gallery from the late Ralph McQuarrie who painted some stunning concept art for the likes of  "Star Wars" and "Battlestar Galactica" Courtesy of GammaSquad.

The Artistifier

Wanna turn your YouTube into Academy Award winning material? There's an app for that! Well, at least a website for now. The aptly dubbed "The Artistifier" will give your videos a classic makeover.

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MAYBE THE HILARIOUS




Here's something cute and funny, " Kids Reenact the Oscar Nominees." I thought "The Tree of Life" one was a hoot. Watch above, but go to the site for "Part 2."




Hollywood is about to get Bollywood. Last night Jimmy Kimmel released the 9-minute trailer for his ultimate movie, "Movie: The Movie." With an unprecedented amount of stars (from Chewy to Clooney) and hitting every genre imaginable, I wonder if there will be any movies ever made after this one. There are dozens of brilliant bits in here, but I have to say Christoph Waltz was my favorite.


Next Media Animation, the funniest source of news since The Onion (though in this case it is actually legit stories), speculates over last month's award show. This might be the first of theirs I've seen in English... I prefer the Chinese with English subtitles. Somehow it makes it much funnier.


What if God is an editor?

Check out this selection of filmmaking-related memes for your giggling purposes. I particularly like the Keannu ones.

* * *

TV TOO


IGN's R.L. Shaffer (whom I'm guessing read "Goosebumps" as a kid) lists "The Best Fanatasy Shows Streaming Instantly." If you cannot wait for "The Hobbit" to get more magic, orcs, and dragons, seek these series out on Netflix. I for one will absolutely back-up his endorsement of Jim Henson's "The Storyteller."

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