Sunday, April 21, 2013


"Disconnect" plugs into the lives of several "everyday" people who have found themselves in one dire situation or another due to some facet of our digital-saturated lives. Social media, identity theft and viral videos are capable of turning individuals upside down. This is being called "Crash"-like, an Oscar-winning film that I feel is is both over-and-underrated. It looks to do with online connections what that film did with racial relations. I seek out ensemble/hyperlink movies such as these ("Magnolia" being one of my favorite of all-time) and with the positive press "Disconnect" is receiving  I look forward to seeing it next week. "Disconnect" is currently playing in theaters across the country.

Sofia Coppola has a new movie coming out. "The Bling Ring" casts Emma Watson (of "Harry Potter" fame) and some of her peers as a group of teenagers who stalk celebrities in order to rob their houses. There's a lot on display that recalls an earlier from this year, "Spring Breakers," namely a group of troublesome girls partying their lives away. Set to a rousing number and clocking in under a minute this is an effective sample that actually sold me despite its subject matter. Coppola is still responsible for one of the best films of the new millenium ("Lost in Translation") so I'll watch anything she produces. "The Bling Ring" hits select theaters on June 14th.

"Elysium" is Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to "District 9," a radical and original sci-fi film from a few years back which happened to be the first review I wrote for The Film Tome. Also, "Elysium" was on my most anticipated films of the year list. It looks to be living up to the tremendous hype. Set over a century into the future, the wealthy live on a space station in while the poor remain on Earth. Jodie Foster and Matt Damon are the poster citizens of each where this is concerned. Damon, with the help of a bio-tech addition to his body, embarks on a mission to close the divide. This future age looks remarkably detailed and the action ridiculously rendered. We're all going to be in for one helluva ride come August 9th!

"The Company You Keep" has a cast to shout from the rooftops: Robert Redford (who also directs), Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandan, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanely Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Sam Elliot, Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick and Brendan Gleeson! Holy cinema, it's like Bollywood all up in here. Well, I'm seeing the film for that reason alone. LaBeouf plays an ambitious journalist who is on the trail of Redford, a former Weather Underground activist. The rest I suppose are people they'll encounter along the chase. The production looks as robust as its cast I just hope we'll care about at least one of them. "The Company You Keep" is currently playing in choice cities.

Here's the second trailer for "The Internship" that looks a lot like the first trailer (which I may not have even covered on the Tome - certainly wasn't anything to write home about then or now). Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are comedic gold, but this extended ad for Google is neither original or edgy enough to warrant a recommendation.

All right ladies, start your engines. Long haired men with accents engage in Formula 1 racing in "Rush"! This is the story of Niki Lauda who a had a near fatal accident on the track and then raced against his rival a few weeks later. What does this inspirational based-on-a-true-story drama offer that we haven't seen a million times before? For one thing I haven't seen F1 racing like this before in the movies and it looks pretty exhilarating with its  gritty '70s exposure. Will you be driving fast to theaters on September 20th for this film I hadn't even heard of until this week?

Keanu Reeves grabs a camera in "Generation Um...". No, this is not another documentary like last year's "Side By Side," but a New York based drama about three adults and their (sex) lives? I'm vague because the trailer is and that's fine by me. Apparently it's set over the course of one day and follows the lives of Reeves' character and his two female friends. This is available come May in theaters and online.

We see a family celebrating a wedding anniversary at an isolated cabin when they are soon under attack by killers in various (creepy) animal masks. Though they look as if they're not going to give up without fighting back... "Home Alone"-style. The trailer for "You're Next" shows far too much than I'd like my trailers to (please take note of "The Conjuring"'s exceptional first trailer) but has a pretty effective use of contrapuntal music in its last half. It's been garnering some positive word of mouth at festivals such as SXSW. The rest of us can start seeing it on August 23rd.

I never bothered with the first "Percy Jackson" movie, did you? "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" is coming and is chock-full of more exposition than the first 10 minutes of "The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey"! Fans of the first film or source material are likely to be more onboard with this children's fantasy, but it has me desperately longing for the next "Harry Potter" and hoping this isn't it. See the sea of monsters on August 7th and in 3D if you so choose.

Lay like a sow and eat like a cow, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


The trailer for "No One Lives" bares a lousy use of title cards amidst the kidnapping and killings on display in this independent horror/thriller. One YouTube user commented, "Well, if nobody lives, I guess I don't need to see the movie." Probably not and the the trailer may easily persuade you that it alone is more than enough to see. A limited release on May 10th is all I have on this one.


"Tai Chi Hero"  is the sequel to "the ground-breaking steam-punk throwdown" that was "Tai Chi 0" (pronounced "zero"), a film that neither I nor anybody I know ever saw. I remember its trailer containing a fair amount of kung-fu shenanigans and overall absurd use of machinery. Well, this is definitely the sequel. Love the not-too-distant fantastical martial arts films of Zhang Yimou, but nothing has been quite as spectacular since (please correct me if I'm wrong). Remember the trailer for "True Legend"? I thought we had the most bombastic thing since "Navajo Joe," but no - just a two-minute assembly of all the best bits in its trailer. "Tai Chi Hero" will be kicking down the doors of select theaters next week. Oh, you better believe they used "from zero to hero" at then end of the trailer.


Got a Western? Bring it on! Truth be told, when I hear independent Western I get worried pretty quick. Seen so many come and go that I almost feel I know the type, but "Dead Man's Burden" looks so good it will keep my mind open and optimistic for any that follow in its footsteps. A cast of unfamiliar faces helps situate us to Old West where survival, revenge and justice are the codes of the land. The scenes appear immaculate for a film of this division and while avenging your father's death is one of the more overused tropes of this (or any) genre I was ready to hear what these characters had to say. This appears to be getting a limited release on May 3rd.

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