Thursday, August 22, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 115

Curator's Note: The Film Tome Report had a month of inactivity but the presses are pumping again and the digital ink is wet. If you're a (caught-up) Breaking Bad fan make sure you check out the Special Breaking Bad Issue I posted earlier this month! Thanks for reading and enjoy the jam-packed issue.

BOX OFFICE


1. Lee Daniels' The Butler / 72% - $24.6M
2. We're the Millers / 44% -  $18M
3. Elysium / 69% - $13.7M
4. Planes / 25% - $13.4M
5. Kick-Ass 2 / 29% - $13.3

Here's Scott Mendelson's analysis of the weekend box office over on Forbes.


NEW IN THEATERS



This Week
  • Drinking Buddies* / 77%
  • The Frozen Ground / 60%
  • The Grandmaster* / 62%
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones / 16%
  • Scenic Route* / 75%
  • Short Term 12* / 100%
  • The World's End / 95%
  • You're Next* / 87%

Last Week
  • Ain't Them Bodies Saints* / 76%
  • Austenland* / 33%
  • Cutie and the Boxer* / 100%
  • Jobs / 25%
  • Kick-Ass 2 / 29%
  • Lee Daniels' The Butler / 72%
  • Paranoia / 3%
  • You Will Be My Son* / 90%
* = limited release

NEW IN STORES

  • Amour / 94%
  • The Big City CC / 88%
  • Charulata CC / 93%
  • Killing Season / 11%
  • No One Lives / 32%
  • No Place on Earth / 77%
  • Post Tenebras Lux / 53%
  • Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's / 48%
  • Shadow Dancer / 82%
  • Twixt / 33%
% from Rotten Tomatoes
CC = Criterion Collection
* * *

POSTER CHILD




The poster for Ooga Booga (featured in the last Trailer Round-Up) is terribly racist but true to it exploitative genre. The taglines are so bad they're good, just like the poster itself, the trailer and likely the film.



It's hard not to think of the brilliant poster for Star Wars- Episode I: The Phantom Menace when looking at this poster for Saving Mr. Banks. Still, this is a fantastic way to market the story for the making of Marry Poppins.



It's Forest Whitaker in the titular roll looking out the White House windows of time in the poster for The Butler. Lee Daniels has his name on there in big letters... twice! Read more about its name change below in THE BAD.




Also featured in Herd 114 was Mr. Go. The Korean family film about a baseball-playing gorilla and her 15-year-old manager. Hey, the poster sells it how it is.




Legit or not, the poster for Jurassic Park IV takes one of the iconic images from the first film (mosquito preserved in amber) and one the iconic lines from the first film ("Life found a way.") and makes one thing that the series may be attempting to get back to the basics, which in all honesty may be the best thing for it.



Jared Mobarak over on The Film Stage considers this month in movie posters

* * *

ENLISTED




I haven't done an issue since Comic-Con, so even though this is belated I thought I'd share "The Top 11 Coolest Things to Happen at Comic-Con" courtesy of /Film


Woody Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine, is currently playing in select cities. While it's the best Allen film I've seen in a few year, at least since Cassandra's Dream, some critics are claiming it's his best in 20 years! On a related note, Jordan Hoffman over at Film.com has ranked "All 50 of Woody Allen's Film From Worst to Best". Speaking of Blue Jasmine, it is expanding to 1,200 screens this weekend, the widest release for any Woody Allen film ever. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)




Each year The Hollywood Reporter ranks the top 25 films schools across the world. Here is this year's list.



Spike Lee has been in the news a lot lately. His re-make of the modern South Korean classic, Oldboy, is due out November 27th (yes, it recently got pushed back from October) and he has ran and met a Kickstarter for his next film (more on that in THE WEIRD). Well, contributors to the Kickstarter were given his list of the 100 movies every filmmaker should see. Most surprising is that he didn't put a single one of his movies on there! From brief glances this looks like a great resource to put beside the IMDb Top 250, AFI's Top 100, the Sight and Sound archives, and Spielberg's not-legit list in order to decide what are the most important films any cinephile could watch. (Source: JoBlo)

* * *


THE GOOD



On August 5th  Christopher McQuarrie simply Tweeted "Mission: Accepted," announcing that he has taken over the coveted reigns to direct the next installment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. McQuarrie last directed Jack Reacher, the widely seen but still under appreciated Tom Cruise action flick last year. I'm happy to see the tradition of a different director each time continue for what is probably my favorite ongoing action series this side of Bond. Speaking of which, director Sam Mendes (who brought us Skyfall last year) is set to direct Bond 24 and is rumored to direct Bond 25. More music to my ears. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


Since last issue The Dissolve has emerged as the new go-to site for cinephiles. Keith Phibbs and Scott Tobias and several other writers from the A.V. Club have flocked to what is essentially for movies what The Pitchfork is for music. For more information check out "A Letter From the Editor."




Over on The Dissolve Matt Singer is getting folks excited for Fantastic Fest. Check out the lineup so far, including the U.S. premiere of the Keanu Reeve's film, Man of Tai Chi. (Also, check out what will be playing at Toronto Film Festival.)

* * *

THE BAD



Read about why The Weinstein Company had to change their recently released film's title from The Butler to the awfully-named Lee Daniels' The Butler over on The Dissolve.


At lunch today a co-worker referred to Harvey Weinstein as "Harvey Scissorhands." The first recent reason is the troubling reports that TWC is cutting some 20 minutes out of Snowpiercer for its American release (Source: Twitch) and just this week several people have been complaining about the inferior American release of The Grandmaster (Source: Flavorwire). I find this to be a terrible trend, especially since the context seems to be that TWC feels the need to make the material match the intellect of Western audiences.

* * *

THE WEIRD



Undoubtedly the biggest movie news since last issue was the announcement at last month's Comic-Con that Zack Snyder, fresh off of Man of Steel, would be directing a Superman and Batman movie (largely speculated to be called Superman Vs. Batman). While DC Comics nerd around the universe wet themselves in unison the rest of us were left scratching our heads. The main question seems to be "Who the heck is going to play Batman?" After Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, ending a bat-tastic trilogy, Christian Bale threw in his cape and moved on to the next chapter in his acting career. Rumors immediately began in the wake of the announcement as to who could possibly play Gotham's masked savior. Josh Brolin? Ryan Gosling? Richard Armitage? John C. Reilly? (Okay, that last one is a rumor I just started - but seriously, Gosling would be exciting, no?) More rumors emerged that Scott Adkins has audition for the role and that Bale has been offered $50 million for the role! Usually I strive to avoid rumors here on The Film Tome, but this is bound to be one of the biggest movies in our lifetime and I find the unending chatter around it to be kind of euphoric. That said, many trustworthy savants have completely debunked the reliability of that paycheck rumor. Let's get to what matters most about this film. I just don't see how they are going to meld Snyder's Man of Steel world with that of Nolan's Dark Knight series. They look/felt incredibly different. Not to mention how an indestructible alien and a deeply flawed human are going to be on even ground in a face off. What are your main concerns for this epic undertaking and are you as excited as those in Hall H where the announcement was made on July 20th, 2013 - a day that shook the superhero movie world forever more. For more on this news story check out the Newsreel segment of our most recent episode of The Film Tome Report where we also discuss the possibilities of a gay Spider-Man. (Source: JoBlo)

* * *

AND THE RANDOM




Lionsgate has announced they're working on a sequel to the middling but entertaining Now You See Me. People have been speculating on Twitter as to what the sequel will be called? Now You've Seen Me? Good To See You Again? (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)



Did you see Dredd 3D when it was in theaters last year? If not, shame on you! No fear, Dredd fans are uniting over the internet through the form of a petition to get a sequel made, though I'm really not sure if that has ever worked before. What are they going to call this one, Dredd 2D? (Source: Collider)

 * * *

OR THE COOL




Another month, another trailer mashup from my coworkers at MOVIECLIPS. Check out the last month in trailers in the best way possible. This video features state-of-the-art YouTube technology wherewith you can click on any image and you'll be taken to its trailer. Enjoy!



Hey LA peeps, starting last weekend Edgar is took over the New Beverly theater until his new film, The World's End, comes out on August 23rd. I hope to get out there for at least one of these.




Only God Forgives has garnered nothing but mixed reactions since it's release at Festival de Cannes earlier this year. I caught up with it last month and found I fall in the "it's a freakin' masterpiece" camp. Someone has taken the audio from the trailer (probably still the best trailer of the year I might add) and cut it to footage from the original Star Wars films, the result is one of the more clever mashups I've seen in a while: Only Yoda Forgives. Here is my written review and video review for Only God Forgives



The Wolverine is currently playing in theaters everywhere and it has surprisingly become my favorite superhero movie of the year (my review). Check out this awesome infographic about the most iconic member of the X-Men.




Scientific American has clearly taken Pacific Rim more seriously than most. Here's their first blog post on the film's physics. Here is my review of Pacific Rim.




Check out this TOHO-style trailer for Pacific Rim using the music from the mother of all Kaiju films, Gojira.



How much would it cost to be Batman? MOVIECLIPS has a pretty good idea.



In honor of the weekend's release of The Grandmaster check out the first of three animated Art of Kung Fu tutorials.


Finally, to get ready for the The World's End in theaters on Friday, check out this Cornetto Trilogy Ultimate Trailer by MOVIECLIPS.


* * *


MAYBE THE HILARIOUS



What if Woody Allen had directed the latest Wolverine movie?




Got Minion fever? Check out these clever mashups featuring the iconic yellow-bellied chums from Despicable Me.

* * *

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE / KICK-ASS



"For a Few Dollars More" by Ennio Morricone
as seen and heard in
Kick-Ass (2010)

In honor of last weekend's release of Kick-Ass 2 I bring you one of the many magical Movie Music Moments from the first film, which I re-watched over the weekend in preparation for seeing the sequel. Writer/director Matthew Vaughn adapted the lesser-known Marvel comic to the big screen in 2010. Obvious as it is, one of the elements he was able to bring forth through this medium was a sound track, specifically a soundtrack. Tracks include samplings of the New York Dolls, Sparks and Elvis Presley, but one usage particularly caught my eye ear.

Seeking revenge against the baddies, especially the kingpin on the top floor, Hit Girl (played by the darling Chloë Grace Moretz) shows up outside the lobby in the guise of a lost school girl. An iconic whistle that could only come from an Ennio Morricone piece pierces the air, the tune itself seems to alert the guard of her existence outside the glass doors. The track is the theme from For a Few Dollars More, the middle film in Sergio Leone's Man With No Name trilogy (surrounded by A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). The ground floor guards are easily fooled by her story and cover. The song continues to whistle and introduces the unmatched springing of the Jew's harp in the process. The percussions follow. But it isn't until Hit Girl has unleashed a dose of violence against her adult adversaries (something she does repeatedly throughout the film) that the choir of shouting men are heard. It's as if Morricone recorded a chain gang working deep in a mountain mine. The banjo and the flute follow suite. It's use is like something out of a Tarantino movie as he is also known for taking tracks from those Spaghetti Westerns and giving them new life in action scenes. For my money it's just one more ballad for Hit Girl to dance to in a ballet of carnage.

Do you have a favorite Movie Music Moment from Kick-Ass? If so, please share in the comments below. There's plenty more to highlight in future editions. Until next time, keep watching and stay listening.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

THE FILM TOME PODCAST - AFTER DARK 3: BREAKING BAD, PART 1


In this "After Dark" episode of the podcast Trent and I share our thoughts on the breakthrough AMC series, Breaking Bad, which began airing The Final Episodes last Sunday. We look at the show as a whole, briefly analyzing each season and the character arcs therein before discussing last sunday's episode, "Blood Money." Obviously, if you're not entirely caught up with Breaking Bad you'll want to avoid this episode or prepare to get spoiled.




There's three easy and free ways to take in the podcast: Listen below, download below or subscribe on iTunes. Please share your feedback with us in the comments below and share this podcast with the cinephiles in your life. You can find all of our previous episodes here on The Film Tome or by doing a search for "The Film Tome Podcast" on iTunes. Thanks for listening and happy watching everybody!





SHOW NOTES

The Film Tome Podcast - After Dark 003: Breaking Bad, Part 1
Recording Date: August 13, 2013
Runtime: 39:15

Music:
Dave Porter - Main Title Theme, Music from the Original Series Breaking Bad (2012)

Mick Harvey - Out of Time, Music from the Original Series Breaking Bad (2012)

THE FILM TOME PODCAST - EPISODE 9: REEL STEEL


Now that we're caught up with our backlog we're back on track to delivering The Film Tome Podcast in a chronological order, no more Lucas-esque episode hopping. Last month Trent and I recorded this episode with the theme of destruction in Hollywood blockbusters, which led perfectly into our reviews of Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. Before that you'll hear chat about what we've each been watching, discuss the possibilities of a gay Spider-Man, review a couple trailers for anticipated fall movies, and more! Oh, and make sure you listen all the way through to the end as we have a very special guest give a review of Monsters University.




There's three easy and free ways to take in the podcast: Listen below, download below or subscribe on iTunes. Please share your feedback with us in the comments below and share this podcast with the cinephiles in your life. You can find all of our previous episodes here on The Film Tome or by doing a search for "The Film Tome Podcast" on iTunes. Thanks for listening and happy watching everybody!





SHOW NOTES
The Film Tome Podcast - Episode 009: Reel Steel
Recording Date: July 21, 2013
Runtime: 1:26:50

Segments:
(1:24) Recently Beheld
(27:44) Newsreel: Gay Spider-Man, Superman vs. Batman
(36:56) Trailer Round-Up: Oldboy, 12 Years a Slave
(52:52) Feature Presentation: A Discussion on Destruction
(59:01) Review: Man of Steel (2013)
(1:12:04) Review: Pacific Rim (2013) 
(1:24:01) Special Guest Review: Monsters University

Music:
Ramin Djawadi - To Fight Monsters, We Created Monsters, Pacific Rim OST (2013)
Cliff Martinez - Wanna Fight, Only God Forgives OST (2013)
Hans Zimmer - What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?, Man of Steel OST (2013)
Ramin Djawadi - Category 5, Pacific Rim OST (2013)
Randy Newman - Monsters University, Monsters University OST (2013)

Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso - Roar, Monsters University OST (2013)

Monday, August 12, 2013

BREAKING BAD: 5-9: BLOOD MONEY - REVIEW

Breaking Bad: 5-9: Blood Money
August 11, 2013
47 min
United States (English)

Directed by Bryan Cranston
Written by Peter Gould

Curator's Note: Here in The Film Tome I have always focused on movies, hence the name. However, I've occasionally devoted a section of The Film Tome Report to some of the exciting television we're currently in the midst of or that which has already passed us by. In fact, earlier tonight I did a whole Breaking Bad issue of The Film Tome Report. In the coming months and years I plan to do more writing on television as I get caught up on series I've missed or happen to catch during their prime(time). With the advent of Netflix's original series and the like this is going to become all the more easier to do. Tonight I begin writing on Breaking Bad in a review/analysis form, something I hope to continue for the remainder of this final season.



Blood Money picks up right where we left off. It slowly turns the characters to their respective final directions before throwing us into the lion's den for one of the series' most intense moments to date.

I love the cold openings that this series has now became known for, tonight's was no exception. We get some unestablished shots of teens skating, it's not until we pull back that we realize they're in an emptied pool. It's not just any pool, it's the White Family pool, or rather, what was once the White Family pool. The car from the season's first episode pulls up and the hairy 52-year-old Walt exits. He gets a tire iron from the trunk and therein we see the M60 he acquired before. He uses the iron to pry open the gate barricading the now disowned home that one of the series' few flashbacks once revealed how a young and hopeful couple would raise a family there. Walt goes in. "HEISENBERG" has been spray-painted on the filthy wall. The place looks like an abandoned drug pen. He spies on the kids now using the backyard for a place of recreation. So many events took place back there: The parties with Hank at the barbecue. Skyler's "swim." Walt Jr.'s first drink. Debris from the air crash. Walt's decision to burn his money only to hastily turn it over into the pool. Lily of the Valley... Walt moves through the scarred hallway to the empty bedroom. He collects the ricin from behind the plug outlet. We hadn't forgotten about that. Walt certainly hadn't either. He then looks at himself in the damaged mirror. I have a feeling we're going to see how at least that piece of the home became in a state of disarray. Wherever this Walt is going, and it's a Walt we haven't really met yet, he's got a plan. And he needs a machine gun and a little poison to pull it off. He's going in with a bang, he's going in with a slight of hand. He scares the neighbor stiff. We're scared stiffer. This kicks off what they're calling "The Final Episodes" of Breaking Bad, one of the best television series I have ever experienced.

After the iconic title sequence (and surely it's one of the shortest in television history, meaning more time for the story at hand) it picks up exactly where we left off last September. Hank leaves the bathroom. He is so shaken up by finally connecting the dots that he tells Marie they need to go. The two couples on display throughout the series have been particularly interesting to compare. Hank is now leaving Marie in the dark while Walt straight up tells Skyler the truth when Lydia shows up at the car wash. Lydia is played by Laura Fraser and I have to admit she's the one false note on the entire keyboard of characters in Breaking Bad. Her mannerisms, namely that unyielding voice of entitlement, still hasn't worked for me. In the scene where Walt is ringing her up at the car wash I instead tried to focus on Cranston's physicality. It's fitting how much he is handling and holding himself like Gus Fring. Gus had Pollos Hermanos. Walt has his A1 Car Wash. Both put on a front that would turn bloodhounds away. It's Skyler that demands Lydia to "Go!" She's become a mother bear, notice the shrinking and almost insignificant Walt in the background of that shot. That night she is no longer wide awake in bed with terror. She has become complacent in sleeping with the monster.


In carefully describing Season 5 to others who have yet to experience it I find myself telling them that it's "just so different" from the previous seasons. Time is moving far more rapidly than it ever did before, but that's far from the only factor. The show used to be a dark comedy and now it seems to have lost that completely the further down the hellish rabbit hole that Walt falls. Then enter Jesse, sitting like a fallen king in his is castle while the court jesters carry on a bong-supported colloquy of Star Trek fan fiction. Well, so much for my "no comedy" theory. If this show has taught us anything thus far, the silly and the bizarre are seldom throwaway material. It's often used to foreshadow. The friend I was watching the episode with predicted that Badger's story about someone cheating in a contest only to have their insides blown out  could very well happen to one of the players of this tale. 


Jesse continues to be a ship lost at sea, he knows not what direction to head for shore because the only lighthouses he's had have either fallen or lied. When Walt visits it's revealed that Jesse suspects he put an end to Mike. "Mike's alive," Walt promises. The look that Jesse gives his side of the camera is the most terrified he has ever been. The last we see of Jesse this episode is a literal scene that might as well be a metaphor for all we've seen him do. Dumb decisions, but beneath that, pure intentions. He drives slowly through the ghetto tossing $10,000 stacks into the yards of each home he passes; it's like a kid's early morning paper route. He just needs to get the blood money off his hands somehow.

There's no cooking anymore. I wonder if we've seen the last of it. This time the snappy montage (another staple in the series) belongs to Hank who has turned his garage into his personal DEA office. He's solving a case that he's not ready for anybody else to see. Then Walt drives up and time stands still. This is it. This is it?! How can these two be facing off already? Walt comes in and Hank closes the garage door behind him. Damn! The couch I was sitting on became razor blades. I was on the edge of edge. We've been waiting for the these two to square off once Hank was in the know since the very beginning. Their confrontation here is a display of the best acting I've seen from either Dean Norris or Bryan Cranston. Hank is still shaking off his disbelief but is vehement in his accusations. Walt plays up his innocence with boldfaced lies but cannot hide his menacing rebirth, "If you don't know who I am then maybe you should tread lightly." We get a long shot that ever so carefully pulls back, the two are face to face in Hank's lair. Cut to black. Breaking Bad is back and the end is off to a tremendous start.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Share your thoughts, comments, questions, interpretations and predictions in the comments below! Until next week, tread lightly.

"If you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course, would be to tread lightly."
- Walter White



★★★★★

CONTENT: some language and some brief violence

Updated 8/13/13

Sunday, August 11, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: SPECIAL BREAKING BAD ISSUE

DISCLAIMER: Unless you are all caught up with Breaking Bad (meaning through Season 5A) you may not want to proceed. You have been warned!


Curator's Note: The most productive weekend The Film Tome has ever known is continuing with a special Breaking Bad edition of The Film Tome Report. The rest of the final season of one of TV's finest series ever airs tonight on AMC. Below you'll find a meth lab's worth of concoctions: interviews, articles, lists, and videos that any caught-up Breaking Bad fan won't want to miss!

My father, brother-in-law, and I all watch Breaking Bad. Since we all got caught up (with the start of Season 5) we've had a group text for sharing thoughts about the latest episode or predictions of what's to come. Today we each speculated about what we would see tonight:

ME: "Someone will die. Episode will begin w/ a flashforward like the first episode [of Season 5]."

BROTHER-IN-LAW BRYSON: "I think Walt will either leave for New Hampshire or get ready to head there. Also, I think Walt Jr.'s on the blue, or finds out about Walt."

FATHER: "I think the last 8 episodes will be nice and calm. Sky and Walt get back together. Walt goes back to teaching HS. Jesse settles down and gets married. Hank forgets about Heisengberg and makes Schrader brew full time. Walt Jr. gets into Harvard. Marie gets pregnant with twins. Everyone lives happily ever after. The big surprise... Walt switched from tighty whities to boxers."

Yeah, my old man likes happy conclusions to stories.

INFO



Wondering where you can watch Breaking BadAMC has all the possible (legal) answers to that question. PSA: Everything up through season 5A is currently streaming on Netflix!



Breaking Bad: Alchemy is available on the iTunes Bookstore and gives readers a load of insights, interviews and video to watch about the films first 4 and a half seasons. What's more? It will be updated through the remainder of the series! (Source: /Film)



Tomorrow, after tonight's premiere, Mythbusters will be having a special Breaking Bad episode!



Here's a written description of what happens in the first scene of tonight's premiere episode! (Source: /Film)



The Saul Goodman spin-off of Breaking Bad is "full steam ahead" baby! Saul is probably my favorite character on the show so I am ecstatic by this news. I'm hoping it all takes place before the events of Breaking Bad and that its final episode concludes with Walt first coming into his office in the guise of Badger's Uncle (see Season 2). I feel this will respect the great series the most, not to mention that I'm suspecting Goodman bites a bullet sometime in the next 8 episodes. What are your feelings on this spin-off? Voice any concerns or excitement in the comments below. (Source: /Film)

MIXED LAB






There are a handful of cute, clever and funny Breaking Bad infographics over on Vulture.



Check out "20 [Things] on Breaking Bad."


There's a Breaking Bad comic? For free?! Read it for yourself over on AMC.


Did you ever realize there's a proximity to violence vs. the amount of hair on somebody's head in Breaking Bad?

VIDEOS




Needing a quick reminder on where Season 5 left off? Creator Vince Gilligan and some of the leading cast help fill us in.




Ever wondered what the full Breaking Bad intro would look like? One savvy fan has created this so we need not wonder anymore.




The teaser trailer for the final episodes of Breaking Bad is brilliant. It features Walter White (Bryan Cranston) reciting the poem Ozymandias over the show's iconic timelapse of the unforgiving American Southwest. It's sinister and foreboding what can only be a terrible end to White's life and those he has touched.




You can watch the full Breaking Bad panel from last month's San Diego Comic-Con above!



Here is the Breaking Bad countdown mashup that they showed at Comic-Con.


It's Weird Al's "Albuquerque" like you've NEVER seen it before in this Breaking Bad mashup!




Watch the cast of Breaking Bad go bowling with Nerdist.


TheFineBros deliver Breaking Bad in an insane 8-minute recap.




As part of YouTube's Geek Week (concluding today) RhettandLink present Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical.




Here is the Breaking Bad Season 5 gag reel... so far.




AMC presents "A Look at the Final Episodes."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 114


Curator's Note: Trailer Round-Up is seeing a lot of activity this weekend. Yesterday I announced the additions of the Instant Trailer Reviews that I've been doing with MOVIECLIPS and I have now posted all that I've been a part of up until now. Those are only semi-regular at this point but I'll try to get back to wrangling weekly Herds wherein I can focus on both quantity and quality. I feel it's more important to cover the newer trailers than to catch up, though Herd 114 doesn't really prove that. Thanks for visiting The Film Tome and enjoy these previews!


Benedict Cumberbatch excites yet again in his depiction of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the trailer for The Fifth Estate, though his facial change make take some getting used to (but hey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper completely worked for me). It feels comparable to The Social Network as a dramatic telling of another online mogul's rise to power/fame/infamy is a great story. These two films share in common something that many biopics are lacking, the topics are still pressing as ever and their subjects still in the spotlight. The Fifth Estate couldn't have planned a better time to come out and together with We Still Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (still one of the year's best documentaries) we have a seemingly terrific double-feature about Assange and the controversy he started rolling down the hill. The Fifth Estate is scheduled for an October 18th release date.


Ricky Jay (author, magician, historian and actor) is the star of Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay. It appears like an F For Fake with though with more emphasis on being a biographical documentary. It looks back to where Jay learned his stuff and the events along his path to now. I missed the film during it's brief tour but look forward to catching up with it. Seems like a sure fit for Netflix Instant.


When Rose's boss realizes she has a knack for typing he becomes intent on helping her become the fastest in the world. Populaire nails the '50s aesthetic that shows like Mad Men have been seducing us with over the past few years. Déborah François plays Rose, she first burst on the scene eight years ago in The Child (L'enfant), a performance I haven't been able to shake. She continues to impress in the period piece of a comedy. Bérénice Bejo, put on the map from her role in The Artist, co-stars. Populaire has played at several film festivals stateside.


Twenty Feet from Stardom steals the spotlight and puts it on the unknown background singers behind the headliners and otherwise famous vocal artists  Judith Hill from the last season of The Voice is one I noticed. Twenty Feet is currently singing in select cities.


I'd only heard faint whispers of 47 Ronin before its trailer dropped late last month. After years of development hell, it is finally seeing the light of day this Christmas. This is a mythical/mystical adaptation of the classic Japanese tale about a group of samurai who set out to slay the shogun responsible for their master's death. While I would have much preferred a realistic vision (say something akin to 13 Assassins) my inner fantasy-phile will not resist this version. For a certain reason (i.e. to sell this film to Western audiences) Keanu Reeves finds himself in the midst of the samurai. Dude's on a total Far East martial arts kick with this and his upcoming Man of Tai Chi film. Comparisons to Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai come to mind (but when you understand who that film's title is referring to and the involvement of an American it makes absolute sense). This falls more along the lines of a Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame and the recent Jet Li vehicle, The Sorcerer and the White Snake. Yes, those are both Chinese stalks in the Oriental fantasy forest, but the extraordinary action feels similar. I'm referencing all these films I genuinely like and so I am eager to sit before 47 Ronin this holiday season, if nothing else to experience the train-wreck. There's much more to comment on, from it's all-star Japanese cast (Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Togo Igawa - seriously, it's like a Japanese Oceans film all up in here) to the reported firing of first-time feature director Carl Rinsch (which saddens me to no end), but this will have to suffice for now.


47 Ronin Instant Trailer Review




I've been waiting for an official U.S. trailer with English subtitles for Mr. Go, a new Korean family movie, but I've yet to find one and long to share this in Trailer Round-Up... so here we go! From what I can tell, and any Korean-speakers in the house feel free to correct me, this is the classic story of a circus gorilla who makes it big in professional baseball. An orphaned girl who's been protecting him since those clown days becomes his manager. The rest, as they say, is history. I could see this being pitched (ha!) as Mighty Joe Young meets one of those Air Bud sequels. While the gorilla CGI is not on par with say The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it's an admirable effort that shouldn't be picked on too hard in a movie that nobody should take seriously. Mr. Go had a 3D release last month in South Korea and hit theaters this weekend in Taiwan. No word on when it'll reach our shores, but I'm keeping an eager eye on our local Korean multiplex's schedule for this one. Oh, and here's a making of featurette for you to chew on in the meantime. Boy, does this one look expensive. Apparently it cost in the ballpark of $22 billion making it the most expensive movie ever made... Wait, that's Korean currency.

Can't remember the last time I rode an ass, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!



SICK COW

After Devin was wrongly killed by police officers his spirit comes back for vengeance in the form of tribal native action figure.... Ooga Booga. Yes, this is an actual trailer for an actual movie. No, I don't know how. Of course it looks horrible and of course I can't wait to see this! On a sad bewildering note, this is among the last films of Karen Black who passed away this week.



STRANGE STEER



Adore (formally known as Two Mothers) has a fairly taboo plot, one that feels like either a foreign drama or a porno - sometimes the line is fine. Two childhood friends have grown and during a summer getaway they fall for each other's adult sons. If it weren't for the caliber of Robin Wright and Naomi Watts as the two mothers I'd probably write this off in an instant. Still, this does appear incredible melodramatic. At one point one of the mothers exclaims, ""Oh my God, they're trying to kill each other!" It's laughable. It could be a guilty pleasure. Or maybe one will just feel guilty? Adore is scheduled for a limited release on September 6th. The trailer has been playing at the Royal here in town for months now.


LASSO OF THE WEEK


Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and directs the film in addition to starring in it. He plays Walter Mitty, a day-dreaming office worker at LIFE magazine who ends up going on a globe-trotting journey to keep his job. Does knowing the eventuality of LIFE count as a spoiler? Will we know what is actuality and what is going on in Mitty's noggin? Surely the magical realism elements will be a giveaway. I love this mostly-visual preview, though I hope we didn't see all the money shots already. Mitty's is a secret life I anticipate embarking on come Christmas Day. This trailer was a treat for most audiences who had heard nigh a word about its release, it's one of the year's best.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Instant Trailer Review