PDA

View Full Version : Films of 2015



parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 01:33 AM
There seems to have been an upgrade to the forum that is messing with my computer. Not sure if I can post anything at all, so testing.

Here we go. As usual I will start with my “anticipation list” for the year. Keep in mind, the further out we go, the fewer “little” films there are going to be, simply because only the big movies have confirmed release dates.


The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYk0slXSY6s): The first Woman In Black was Hammer2’s first genuine hit, and helped fill the holes from several low-budget flops. How much that had to do with the film’s merits and how much with the presence of Daniel Radcliffe will soon be tested, as this film doesn’t have him in it. What it does have is a story by the original play’s author, Susan Hill, and a creepy Spanish-horror vibe, although you could say that just shows that Spain has run this to the ground already.

[REC]: Apocalypse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n7-bK7dZEM): Speak of the devil, as it were. The original [REC], while falling well outside the tropes one usually associates with “Spanish horror”, was nonetheless the best found footage zombie movie ever made (Yes, that’s damning with faint praise, but the movie’s still good). Its sequel was a sharp left turn into Aliens territory, which inadvertently made it the closest we’ve ever had to an actual Doom movie. This finale’s been a long time coming, and given the popularity of the series, not to mention the title, you’d think the creators would use the opportunity to expand outward a bit, instead of confining themselves (literally) to the plots they used in the previous entries. Still, from the trailer it does have the claustrophobic feel of the original, and the wonderful Manuela Velasco makes a welcome return.

Predestination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FcK_UiVV40): “You always have a choice”. Er, no you don’t. That’s not how predestination works. This is an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s “All You Zombies”, which, as well as being a mindscrew of a time travel story, was also a window into the guy’s fetishes and oddball sexual ideology. From the Wikipedia page, it appears to be rather faithful, so be prepared to get squeamish. Shame. I tried to see if I could adapt the story to feature length, and couldn’t see how it could work. Don’t know how, or if, the Daybreakers guys managed it.

Taken 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuU0M2xBasc): I’ve never seen a single Taken movie, but I’m glad they exist, because they’re keeping Liam’s career alight.

Selma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic): Dramatization of Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with David Oyelowo doing a pretty darn impressive MLK; less so Tom Wilkinson with LBJ, who seems to be struggling with the very concept of a Southern accent.

Paddington (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bZFr2IA0Bo): Yeah, this movie looks terrible, but on the plus side, by watching the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen it already. Never really understood the appeal of Paddington; he’s a talking bear who likes marmalade. And that’s pretty much it.

Son of a Gun (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6LQzRBDjA0): I just realised I ‘ve only seen Ewan Macgregor in two films in the last decade: one was Angels and Demons, which I really shouldn’t have seen; the other was Miss Potter, which he was barely in. It’s not like he hasn’t been working in that time, it’s just that nothing he’s done has appealed to me. Has his star faded so much, or am I missing out?

Blackhat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VGIHBgj45g): Michael Mann’s latest about a “blackhat” hacker who is released from prison to track an apparently motiveless cyberterrorist who is using his computer skill to blow things up at random. Now I’ve never been up on the actual potential of hacking to cause physical damage, so I can’t say for sure how much of this is “Hollywood hacking” and how much is actually possible, but if it is possible, one has to wonder why it hasn’t happened yet. Bit disappointed in Chris Hemsworth, who post-Thor seems to have settled into a Sam Worthington impression.

Mortdecai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW_sfxUnbZA): Jeez Johnny; I knew you were smug but what the actual heck? Oh, and there’s Ewan Macgregor again. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow. You know, for all her straining against a role she’s clearly unsuited for, I’m finding the mature, toned Gwyneth a lot more attractive than her younger ingťnue self.

Wild Card (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIraEW75r78): It’s a Jason Statham movie; fill in the blanks. But hey, Sophia Vergara’s in it.

Jupiter Ascending (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLyk00gFPdQ): The Warshowskis’ utterly bonkers tribute to early techno fantasies like Flash Gordon, John Carter and Buck Rogers just isn’t clicking with me; it’s substantial delay suggests it isn’t clicking with execs either. God only knows if it can find an audience.

Love, Rosie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zL3YJKygd4): Never been a fan of Lily Collins; she’s basically the new Kiera Knightley, and this story about two utterly gorgeous young things who somehow manage to stay friends without falling in love despite being what appears to be late 20s has been told before, and more believably.

Seventh Son (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXiNkOjM7oM): Another long-delayed fantasy flick, this one starring Jeff Bridges, whose last attempt at a blockbuster franchise, RIPD, was a stinkbomb of major proportions. So no, the augurs are not good.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGjbpO1toTc): The last Spongebob movie is widely regarded as the point at which the show degenerated from an uplifting tale of a simpleton who always sees the best in people to a morally depraved televisual putrescence. This movie doesn’t look like it will reverse the trend.

Fifty Shades of Grey (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA): Yeah. This is happening. I have to wonder if those raving fangirls crying that Jamie Dornan is “Not their Christian” have the wrong idea about the book. Jamie Dornan played a charismatic sexual predator in “The Fall”, and he’s playing one here. What else do you need? Or are you looking for a cuddly, compassionate sexual predator?

Kingsman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl8F-8tR8to): Given the cast and the director, I was really hoping for something better than this clichťd Harry-Potter-as-a-spy story.

What We Do In the Shadows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAZEWtyhpes): The vampire craze may have reached the point where even parody is impossible, but given that this attempt is written by “Flight of the Conchords”’s Jemaine Clement, it might stand a chance at succeeding.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNJ-UxlKXGY): Didn’t see the first one, won’t see this. But even though those guys are utter pillocks, you can’t deny that you’d do exactly what they did if you had a time machine.

Focus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxCRgtdAuBo): Gotta hand it to Will Smith; he’s still pretty cut. But he’s starting to age and really can’t do grizzled like Denzel can. At least not yet. Margot Robbie is passable, but I’m reserving judgement until I see her as Harley Quinn.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O96og_f-Omk): I have to say, this was not a sequel I saw coming. Can’t say it really grabbed me, but, hey, Bill Nighy.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 01:35 AM
In The Heart of the Sea (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-JfPjgiA4): Ron Howardís stab at Master and Commander looks fantastic, but then heís always been brilliant at incorporating special effects invisibly into his stories. Havenít read the book this is based on, but I really hope it follows the truth closely; the real Mocha Dick (yes, that was his actual name) is a lot more sympathetic than Melville painted him.

Cinderella (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McQ_cCBaiac): Given what Kenneth Branagh pulled off with Thor, I was really looking forward to his take on Cinderella. But I have to say Iím not impressed with the trailer. The original Disney Cinderella was not an airy-fairy do-gooder, she was out for herself and took charge, and even taunted her sisters when she got her man. This girl acts like she breathes flower petals.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension: The original Paranormal Activity was that rarest gem among horror movies: a good movie with a good sequel. So naturally they ran it into the ground in a series of increasingly ludicrous and pointless followups, while the seriesí de facto star, the hapless Katie Featherston, found herself trapped in a role she was increasingly unsuited for. Needless to say I am not looking forward to this.

Home (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyqZf8LiWvM): Hereís a hard sell; a movie based on a childrenís book set after an alien invasion- that we lost.

White God (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyqZf8LiWvM): This Hungarian movie is part The Birds, part Rise of the Planet of the Apes- with dogs. It actually looks pretty darn good.

Chappie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhNshgSYF_M): Neill Blomkampís latest subtle-as-a-steam-powered-sledgehammer scifi allegory. Tell me, why would you want to create a robot capable of independent thought and emotion? No one ever answers that question. Itís like telling your toaster to go on strike.

Get Hard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_hSt6KIHhk): Hur hur hur. Itís funny cuz itís a winkle reference. Will Farrell is a rich white guy about to go to jail; Kevin Hart is a wussy black guy who pretends he went to prison to school him on how to survive. Iíd say the punchline to this joke is pretty frigging obvious.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR-l_TSjlEo): So now weíve reached the point where no sequel can just have a name? And when did this turn into Cinderella meets The Hunger Games? Only the chosen one can open the magic box? Are you kidding me? And Kate, what the heck are you doing? You donít need to be here!

A Little Chaos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENSjt4naxlE): Sheesh. Alan Rickman just canít not sound like Alan Rickman, can he? At least his voice is unique; everyone else is just doing cod-RSC-RP. Still itís nice to finally see ďAcademy Award winner Kate WinsletĒ in the titles, and she does look her best in this environment, so I canít complain.

Furious 7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgZlDFnEozw): OK, so this series went completely insane about two sequels ago, but you know what? That works. After all, would a sane movie be able to reconstruct itself after a main cast member dies?

Woman In Gold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geJeX6iIlO0): Helen Mirren just seems to want to have fun these days, and for all this filmís thickly layered worthiness, itís hard to see how she could have turned down a character like that. She must have been a blast to play. Also, reclaiming art from the Nazis is a woefully unexplored topic in film, so yeah this does look interesting.

True Story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_NiP_bqlns): At first the idea of Jonah Hill and James Franco in a movie about a journalist who attempts to discover the truth about a convicted murderer may not appeal, but this trailer hints at some rather odd twists, such as a possible ďSingle White FemaleĒ Ėstyle obsession for the journalist on the part of the convict.

The Longest Ride (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUS_Q7FsfqU): Itís based on a Nick Sparks novel so yeah, itís a cheesy romance. About rodeo riders.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ld3IJ0sUU): Uh, yeah. OK.

The Water Diviner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CkLC4Zr2Mw): Ever since Romper Stomper my relationship with Russell Crowe has gone from hot to cold and back again. He may be a jerkwad of the highest order, but I have to admit, he has talent, and even shows it on occasion. Given that this is also his directorial debut, my respect for him may have been restored. Iím not too concerned though. Heíll probably do something stupid again soon enough.

The Age of Adaline (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UzSekc0LoQ): Itís kinda hard to feel sorry for a pretty young thing who suffers the curse of eternal youth, but this trailer certainly tries to make you. Of all the actresses who could possibly portray the complex nuance of a century-old woman in the body of a maid, Blake Lively was not top of my list, but Harrison Ford does seem to be stretching himself a bit.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmeOjFno6Do): The first one was a blast; this one looks a bit more subdued. As a Terminator fan I demand a true sense of threat from my rogue AIs, and Iím just not getting it here. Still, given the plot threads Marvel are establishing for Phase 3, the character interactions should be great, and wow has James Spader had a tracheotomy or what?

Far from the Madding Crowd (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCm1XNVD_0c): I have an odd relationship with Far From The Madding Crowd; itís a book Iíve always enjoyed reading, but every time I pick it up something intervenes to keep me from finishing it. I always imagined Gabriel Oak as a bit of a wide-faced, thick necked yokel; the guy playing him here is a bit too rugged (itís apparently his debutante summer; heís also in ďA Little ChaosĒ). And as for Carey Mulligan, well she already angered the entire Great Gatsby fanbase when she was cast as Daisy; letís see how the Wessexians take her.

Mad Max: Fury Road (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdLl1GVjOrc): Watching this trailer makes me sad; sad that Mel Gibson is Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson is a great actor, a fine director and a deeply charismatic man. He also happens to be a borderline psychotic who doesnít know when to shut his mouth. What this trailer shows to me is that even 30 years later, George Miller still hasnít lost that haywire creativity that made Mad Maxís world so memorable (and was so lacking in its many imitators). But Tom Hardy, for all his talent, isnít Mel Gibson. Heís just not, well, mad enough.

Tomorrowland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k59gXTWf-A): Thatís a pretty stark opener for a Disney flick. Not quite sure how theyíre going to work this into a story; even less sure how theyíll change the attraction to fit it. But itís Brad Bird. He knows what heís doing.

San Andreas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yftHosO0eUo): The Big One that Californians are always worrying about finally hits, and only the Rock can save us. Basically has the plot of every Roland Emmerich movie of the last decade.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 01:36 AM
B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations: Animated movie about ghosts who work for an agency that tracks down evil "haunters". Can't be as bad as RIPD.

Entourage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz2HyCgUWh4): Movie of a TV show I never watched, because I thought it looked obnoxious. Well, I watched the trailer and… it looks obnoxious.

Insidious Chapter 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DNXUvHm-S8): The Insidious series has always been fairly consistent and moderately scary, thanks in large part to the steady hand of James Wan, one of the few genuinely solid talents to emerge in horror in recent years. Well he’s off doing Furious 7, so the writer has taken over, and unlike the first two, this will be a different story. So my bucket of salt is at the ready.

Jurassic World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFinNxS5KN4): It’s not everyone who can go from a $750,000 quirky scifi comedy like Safety Not Guaranteed to one of the biggest films of the year, but this director did. From the looks of things, the budget hasn’t run out of his control, which is good. This movie’s been a long time coming, and it looks like many of the oddball ideas from earlier, stranger script drafts (such as trained velociraptors) have made it in. It will be interesting to see if Chris Pratt can cross over some of that Guardians of the Galaxy charm. And while I do like seeing Bryce Dallas Howard again, who decided to turn her into Julianne Moore?

Inside Out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MC3XuMvsDI): It’s odd seeing Pixar as the ones with something to prove. It’s been 5 years since Toy Story 3, and in that time Disney appear to have got their mojo back. True Dreamworks haven’t exactly been snipping at their heels, but they’re Pixar durnit; they’re not supposed to be in competition with anyone. This is their first original story since Brave; well, I say original- it’s been done before, most notably in Herman’s Head, but also in Cranium Command and even in Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask. Everything will depend on how it’s handled, and this trailer is too focused on getting the idea across to really give much of an indication. Still, holding out for The Good Dinosaur.

Paper Towns: I’m a huge Vlobrothers fan, but I didn’t have a clue how popular John Green’s novels were until The Fault In Our Stars came out. Kinda shows how humble the guy is. This de facto followup will be a starring role for British model Cara Delavigne, whose It-Girl status I’ve always found mildly puzzling, as to me she basically looks like a slightly less attractive Emma Watson.

Ted 2: I can’t make you stop, Seth McFarlane; all I can do is hope you make another Million Ways To Die In The West. I’m not stupid enough to ask you to, but your ego will drive you to eventually.

Terminator Genisys (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62E4FJTwSuc): How is it possible that, with such a vast potential world, no one seems able to expand the Terminator franchise? Actually I think I know why, because Sarah Connor Chronicles managed it and we rewarded it with dud ratings. So now we a Terminator 5 that is basically a rehash of 1 and 2, with the stupidest looking John Connor I’ve ever seen.

Magic Mike XXL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR64ujeVY3U): Male strippers aren’t my thing, so I missed the last one, but I’m intrigued by the idea of making a Steven Soderbergh movie without Steven Soderbergh.

Minions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eisKxhjBnZ0): If you’d asked me if anyone could make a movie about those babbling walking pills from Despicable Me I would have stared at the floor in silence. Now that I’ve seen the trailer… well I’m still not sure but at least they managed to make a story out of it, so points there. And hey! They used “Under Pressure” instead of “Ice Ice Baby”! Is that song now redeemed?

Ant-Man: I wonder, is it possible there is an “eleven curse”? That no movie studio, no matter how beloved or seemingly untouchable, can go eleven movies without a critical bomb? For Pixar, unlucky #11 was Cars 2. This will be Marvel’s, and given the travails it has already had with Edgar Wright being fired, one wonders if this marks the moment of their mortality. We shall see.

Pixels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou8vRWTSsJo): This isn’t a trailer; it’s a concept short that Universal bought and expanded. The finished product (about aliens who invade Earth in the guise of blocky 80s arcade games, so basically that episode of Futurama) has a pretty eclectic cast, with Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Brian Cox, Sean Bean and Jane Krakowski.

Poltergeist: It seems Hollywood won’t stop until every movie from 1982 is remade or sequelized. So far we’ve had a dud prequel to The Thing, a failed Conan reboot, a rehash of Star Trek II, a muddled Tron sequel, a potentially quite good Mad Max, this, and, if rumours hold true, another Dark Crystal and Blade Runner. Of all of them, this is the one I was least interested in, because, a) movies from the wreckage of MGM’s collapse invariably fail and b) the original was fine the way it was. By which I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but it did what it set out to do.

Point Break: Speaking of… Seriously, why would anyone WANT to remake this? It never was anything more than a goofy bit of fluff that rode on the strength of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze’s hitherto unseen charisma.

The Fantastic Four: Marvel are snipping at Fox’s heels to get this property back, so a lot rides on this being a hit. So far, they’ve kept the plot under wraps, which is wise, because absolutely no one currently believes they have a clue what they’re doing.

Goosebumps: I know what you’re thinking; an adaptation of the Stine stories, horror anthology-style, right? Wrong. Apparently RL Stine (played by Jack Black!) is in fact a good sorcerer who’s been keeping the monsters safe within the pages of his books, until they’re let out. So basically this episode of Extreme Ghostbusters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppP7ywmDhiM) then.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. : Because the 90s Avengers and The Mod Squad worked so well, here’s another update of a 60s British TV show. Starring that boring guy who tried to play Superman. Just be thankful they haven’t touched The Prisoner yet.

Sinister 2: The original Sinister was a boring –as-all-heck haunted house movie with a pant-wettingly scary last 5 minutes. Will the tone carry on from there in the sequel, or will they just drop the ball and start again?

Regression: Alejandro Amenabar is one of my favourite directors currently working; The Others remains the jewel in the crown of the Spanish horror boom (alongside The Devil’s Backbone), while The Sea Inside is one of the most daring and affecting films of the last decade. And he only makes a film about once every four years, so a new one is always something to savour. And with a cast that includes Emma Watson, well of course I’m going to be interested. The plot is, however, as the title suggests, about hypnotic regression, so sceptics forewarned.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 01:37 AM
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend: You’d think I would have heard about this by now. Sadly, Zhang Ziyi and Ang Lee are not returning, but Michelle Yeoh is, and Yuen Woo-ping, who choreographed the original’s eye-popping aerobatics, is directing.

The Visit: Oh boy; another horror movie from M Night Shyamalan. Is it weird that I still hold out hope?

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials : Apparently the original was a big hit without me noticing, so the endless stream of young-adult pot-shots have been somewhat worth it.

Everest: An adaptation of Into Thin Air, an account of the 1996 climbing tragedy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and my wife in an alternate universe, Emily Watson.

Black Mass: An account of the life of Whitey Bulger, the mobster whose brother just happened to be president of the Massachusetts Senate. Starring Johnny Depp, assuming he can get his head out of his backside.

Frankenstein: Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, the two people you would least expect to tackle this story, are playing Igor and the Doctor respectively. Oddly this could very well be the first movie in which Igor is in fact a hunchback.

The Walk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFXsDEB9iS0): A dramatization of the events shown in Man On Wire; except we already have Man On Wire, so why is this happening?

The Jungle Book: Disney’s third attempt to play-act its back catalogue is just the first of two Jungle Book adaptations; the other one is directed by Andy Serkis, so I’m kinda rooting for that one.

Vacation: A sequel pretending to be a reboot, or a reboot pretending to be a sequel? I don’t even know anymore. Still, there are some funny people in it (Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann).

Crimson Peak: Guillermo del Toro directing a gothic period horror flick. Oh and the cast includes Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston. It already has my money.

The Last Witch Hunter: I am so sick and tired of evil witch movies! Doesn’t anyone get that this is like making a Holocaust movie where the Jews are the bad guys? Or am I the only one who thinks that?

Jem and the Holograms: Hasbro’s continuous attempts to expand its franchises into new media have so far met with one unqualified success (the My Little Pony revamp) commercial success at least (Transformers and *grr* Ouija) and one utter disaster (Battleship). I may be alone in even remembering this toy line, and adaptations of cartoons about bands almost never work (see Josie and the Pussycats), so it’s unlikely this will end up in the black on either count.

Silence: How’s this for cultural cross-pollination? A Martin Scorsese movie based on a Japanese novel about Portuguese missionaries ministering to Japanese Christians after Christianity has been outlawed. With a cast that includes Ken Watenabe and Liam Neeson, this should be good.

Peanuts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XmV3zGifOE): Peanuts was always hit-and-miss for me as a strip, but its adaptations include some of the best animated films in history, so taking this on, to say nothing of making it CG, was always going to raise my hackles. But I have to admit, it doesn’t look that bad. We’ll wait and see.

Spectre: Christoph Waltz finally concedes to the inevitable and plays a Bond villain. Could be good, particularly with Mendes returning from Skyfall.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2: The question is, what franchise will JLaw be given now?

The Martian: Ridley Scott may be off his game (he’s pushing 80, for god’s sake), but no one does scifi visuals like him, and at least now he’s working from established source material (a novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars), and, as usual, has gathered a heck of a cast (Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor)

The Good Dinosaur: From a year with no Pixar to a year with double. This is the one I’m really looking forward to: set in a world in which the asteroid missed and dinos never went extinct, and now coexist with humans.

Krampus: Really? They’re making a movie about Krampus? Well, OK, though if they were going to do an evil Santa I’d prefer Zwarte Piet. They obviously went with Krampus as the more monstrous alternative.

Inferno: Does anyone still care about Dan Brown anymore? I mean The Last Symbol wasn’t even made into a movie. At least Hanks and Howard have other credits this year.

The Revenant: A pre-Western Western, about revenge and survival in the wilderness, starring Leo di Caprio and Tom Hardy, and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose stock is through the roof post-Birdman.

Mission: Impossible 5 : I hated the first Mission Impossible with a passion, and it kinda poisoned me to the rest, even though they got better. And by the time they did, Tom Cruise just got too weird for me. With Brad Bird doing Tomorrowland, this is handled by Christopher McQuerrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects. I hope it works out for him.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE): Question: if this is supposed to be set 30 years after the Empire, then why does it look like nothing’s changed? And how exactly could you use that triple lightsaber without cutting your own hand off? It’s a shame I was never really a Star Wars fan, or the prequels wouldn’t have killed any anticipation I had for this. At least JJ Abrams got what he wanted, and now he’ll leave Star Trek alone.

SkepticJ
2015-Jan-02, 04:51 PM
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE): Question: if this is supposed to be set 30 years after the Empire, then why does it look like nothingís changed? And how exactly could you use that triple lightsaber without cutting your own hand off? Itís a shame I was never really a Star Wars fan, or the prequels wouldnít have killed any anticipation I had for this. At least JJ Abrams got what he wanted, and now heíll leave Star Trek alone.

What kind of changes are you wanting?

If it's new technology, you won't find it. Technology in the Star Wars universe pretty much plateaued thousands of years in the past. The Galactic Republic was founded at least 25,000 years before the events of A New Hope.

"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire." - Obi-wan Kenobi

Noclevername
2015-Jan-02, 06:04 PM
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE): Question: if this is supposed to be set 30 years after the Empire, then why does it look like nothing’s changed? And how exactly could you use that triple lightsaber without cutting your own hand off? It’s a shame I was never really a Star Wars fan, or the prequels wouldn’t have killed any anticipation I had for this. At least JJ Abrams got what he wanted, and now he’ll leave Star Trek alone.

The new Republic just doesn't have the budget to get shiny new spaceships. It's a former band of rag-tag rebels ruling an entire galaxy, after all, and most of their good ships got smashed up at Endor.

The cross-hilt lightsaber.... I got nothin'.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 06:12 PM
I wasn't thinking about tech; why are they speaking about the Empire as if it never left? And isn't it a bit weird for the nascent Republic to still use Stormtroopers?

Gillianren
2015-Jan-02, 06:13 PM
Predestination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FcK_UiVV40): “You always have a choice”. Er, no you don’t. That’s not how predestination works. This is an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s “All You Zombies”, which, as well as being a mindscrew of a time travel story, was also a window into the guy’s fetishes and oddball sexual ideology. From the Wikipedia page, it appears to be rather faithful, so be prepared to get squeamish. Shame. I tried to see if I could adapt the story to feature length, and couldn’t see how it could work. Don’t know how, or if, the Daybreakers guys managed it.

Isn't that, in point of fact, the exact opposite of how predestination works? Eh, it's not like I'm planning to see this anyway.


Taken 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuU0M2xBasc): I’ve never seen a single Taken movie, but I’m glad they exist, because they’re keeping Liam’s career alight.

Yeah, but don't you miss when he actually acted?


Selma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic): Dramatization of Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with David Oyelowo doing a pretty darn impressive MLK; less so Tom Wilkinson with LBJ, who seems to be struggling with the very concept of a Southern accent.

I hear good things but also that the history isn't great.


Paddington (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bZFr2IA0Bo): Yeah, this movie looks terrible, but on the plus side, by watching the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen it already. Never really understood the appeal of Paddington; he’s a talking bear who likes marmalade. And that’s pretty much it.

It's your standard kids' fish-out-of-water story. Little kids have trouble negotiating the world, because they don't know the rules. Certainly they never get to set any of them. They spend a lot of their time afraid of doing everything all wrong. Paddington does do everything all wrong--not because he's a little kid but because he's from Darkest Peru, clearly a very different place than London. Still, everything generally works out for him, which is reassuring that perhaps things will work out for you. The movie, however, looks pretty dire to me.


Son of a Gun (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6LQzRBDjA0): I just realised I ‘ve only seen Ewan Macgregor in two films in the last decade: one was Angels and Demons, which I really shouldn’t have seen; the other was Miss Potter, which he was barely in. It’s not like he hasn’t been working in that time, it’s just that nothing he’s done has appealed to me. Has his star faded so much, or am I missing out?

I saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (starts with "s"), and you're not missing out.


Mortdecai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW_sfxUnbZA): Jeez Johnny; I knew you were smug but what the actual heck? Oh, and there’s Ewan Macgregor again. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow. You know, for all her straining against a role she’s clearly unsuited for, I’m finding the mature, toned Gwyneth a lot more attractive than her younger ingťnue self.

I sometimes wonder if certain of his films are experiments in just how far afield he can go and still be considered a teen idol, which he's been since before I was a teen. And am I alone in never disliking Gwyneth Paltrow all that much? She seems like a terribly silly person, but I've never thought she was all that bad an actress. Still wanted Cate Blanchett to get that Oscar, though.


The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGjbpO1toTc): The last Spongebob movie is widely regarded as the point at which the show degenerated from an uplifting tale of a simpleton who always sees the best in people to a morally depraved televisual putrescence. This movie doesn’t look like it will reverse the trend.

I've never watched the show, but since most of what we see in the theatre is kids' movies (or superheroes; I saw four superhero movies in the theatre in 2014, and I have only thus far seen nine movies made in 2014), I've seen that trailer a lot. We mostly just try to ignore it. And wish Antonio Banderas would be in something watchable.


Fifty Shades of Grey (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA): Yeah. This is happening. I have to wonder if those raving fangirls crying that Jamie Dornan is “Not their Christian” have the wrong idea about the book. Jamie Dornan played a charismatic sexual predator in “The Fall”, and he’s playing one here. What else do you need? Or are you looking for a cuddly, compassionate sexual predator?

Probably, yes. The fans (and remember that it is literally just Twilight fanfiction with the names changed; when the original appeared online, it was still Twilight) do not seem to understand how sexual predators work, because they sure obsess about them a lot. I haven't read the book; I wasn't the one in my circle of friends who took that particular bullet. However, I've talked at length with the person who did, and while some of my rant isn't board-appropriate, I have quite a hefty rant.


Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNJ-UxlKXGY): Didn’t see the first one, won’t see this. But even though those guys are utter pillocks, you can’t deny that you’d do exactly what they did if you had a time machine.

I was thinking recently how much I'd love to use a time machine to answer various unanswered historical questions, but I'm special.


The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O96og_f-Omk): I have to say, this was not a sequel I saw coming. Can’t say it really grabbed me, but, hey, Bill Nighy.

I'm a little confused myself, and I didn't dislike the first one. Though I do have some issues with it.

Gillianren
2015-Jan-02, 06:21 PM
Jurassic World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFinNxS5KN4): It’s not everyone who can go from a $750,000 quirky scifi comedy like Safety Not Guaranteed to one of the biggest films of the year, but this director did. From the looks of things, the budget hasn’t run out of his control, which is good. This movie’s been a long time coming, and it looks like many of the oddball ideas from earlier, stranger script drafts (such as trained velociraptors) have made it in. It will be interesting to see if Chris Pratt can cross over some of that Guardians of the Galaxy charm. And while I do like seeing Bryce Dallas Howard again, who decided to turn her into Julianne Moore?

We will probably see this. Graham not only likes the first one, he likes the second one. Not even he likes the third, though.


Inside Out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MC3XuMvsDI): It’s odd seeing Pixar as the ones with something to prove. It’s been 5 years since Toy Story 3, and in that time Disney appear to have got their mojo back. True Dreamworks haven’t exactly been snipping at their heels, but they’re Pixar durnit; they’re not supposed to be in competition with anyone. This is their first original story since Brave; well, I say original- it’s been done before, most notably in Herman’s Head, but also in Cranium Command and even in Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask. Everything will depend on how it’s handled, and this trailer is too focused on getting the idea across to really give much of an indication. Still, holding out for The Good Dinosaur.

You know, though? At long last, it is the Pixar movie about a female character who isn't a princess. That idea that blew up the internet a few years ago with its very audacity. I'm going to go see it even if it gets bad reviews, just on principle.


Ted 2: I can’t make you stop, Seth McFarlane; all I can do is hope you make another Million Ways To Die In The West. I’m not stupid enough to ask you to, but your ego will drive you to eventually.

Words cannot express my loathing for Seth McFarlane. I pretend it was a completely different Seth McFarlane who co-produced Cosmos.


Terminator Genisys (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62E4FJTwSuc): How is it possible that, with such a vast potential world, no one seems able to expand the Terminator franchise? Actually I think I know why, because Sarah Connor Chronicles managed it and we rewarded it with dud ratings. So now we a Terminator 5 that is basically a rehash of 1 and 2, with the stupidest looking John Connor I’ve ever seen.

Also, as I summed it up over on The Dissolve, its title is bad and it should feel bad. However, I have personal issues with John Connor #2 and don't get into that particular conversation.


Magic Mike XXL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR64ujeVY3U): Male strippers aren’t my thing, so I missed the last one, but I’m intrigued by the idea of making a Steven Soderbergh movie without Steven Soderbergh.

I still haven't seen the first one, and I'm pretty much exactly its demographic. It has something to do with my visceral loathing of Matthew McConaughey.


Minions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eisKxhjBnZ0): If you’d asked me if anyone could make a movie about those babbling walking pills from Despicable Me I would have stared at the floor in silence. Now that I’ve seen the trailer… well I’m still not sure but at least they managed to make a story out of it, so points there. And hey! They used “Under Pressure” instead of “Ice Ice Baby”! Is that song now redeemed?

And there's always the hope that it's better than Despicable Me 2. Since I'll doubtless be seeing it eventually.


Ant-Man: I wonder, is it possible there is an “eleven curse”? That no movie studio, no matter how beloved or seemingly untouchable, can go eleven movies without a critical bomb? For Pixar, unlucky #11 was Cars 2. This will be Marvel’s, and given the travails it has already had with Edgar Wright being fired, one wonders if this marks the moment of their mortality. We shall see.

Maybe it's being offered up for sacrifice, because who cares about Ant-Man? But who cared about Iron Man or Thor, before their movies? (Answer, of course, lots of people. Who were comic book fans.)


Point Break: Speaking of… Seriously, why would anyone WANT to remake this? It never was anything more than a goofy bit of fluff that rode on the strength of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze’s hitherto unseen charisma.

Hey, the original came out after Dirty Dancing. A generation of women my age would like to talk to you about Patrick Swayze's charisma. On the other hand, I still haven't seen the original.


The Fantastic Four: Marvel are snipping at Fox’s heels to get this property back, so a lot rides on this being a hit. So far, they’ve kept the plot under wraps, which is wise, because absolutely no one currently believes they have a clue what they’re doing.

I certainly don't. The actors were killed in a recent Punisher comic, though.


Goosebumps: I know what you’re thinking; an adaptation of the Stine stories, horror anthology-style, right? Wrong. Apparently RL Stine (played by Jack Black!) is in fact a good sorcerer who’s been keeping the monsters safe within the pages of his books, until they’re let out. So basically this episode of Extreme Ghostbusters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppP7ywmDhiM) then.

Well, that certainly seems to be a motion picture.

SkepticJ
2015-Jan-02, 06:37 PM
I wasn't thinking about tech; why are they speaking about the Empire as if it never left? And isn't it a bit weird for the nascent Republic to still use Stormtroopers?

When did they speak of the Empire in that trailer?

The Old Republic used similar-looking troopers, so why not? What someone looks like doesn't make them bad.

Noclevername
2015-Jan-02, 06:38 PM
I wasn't thinking about tech; why are they speaking about the Empire as if it never left? And isn't it a bit weird for the nascent Republic to still use Stormtroopers?

The bad guys have a whole Galaxy to hide in, much of it full of worlds who supported their rise. I'm sure it will take a long time for the Empire to fully die away.

And remember, the Stormtroopers started as good guys under the original Republic. The Rebels are just reclaiming them. Besides, it lets them recycle old armor.

Gillianren
2015-Jan-02, 06:42 PM
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend: You’d think I would have heard about this by now. Sadly, Zhang Ziyi and Ang Lee are not returning, but Michelle Yeoh is, and Yuen Woo-ping, who choreographed the original’s eye-popping aerobatics, is directing.

We will probably see this, too, but may wait until DVD. Graham is still a little annoyed on the subject of Hero (he felt lied to by the ad campaign), but this is the only kind of "martial arts movie" we'll both watch.


The Visit: Oh boy; another horror movie from M Night Shyamalan. Is it weird that I still hold out hope?

A little, but it's also understandable. Some of my Dissolve friends have suggested ways he could get back to the roots of his career, and apparently, he's actually doing a couple of those things, so cautious optimism seems to be the way to act on this one.


Everest: An adaptation of Into Thin Air, an account of the 1996 climbing tragedy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and my wife in an alternate universe, Emily Watson.

When Into the Wild came out, I referred to the book in my head as "that book [former roommate] hated." As I recall, neither she nor the friend who introduced me to her are all that fond of Into Thin Air, either. It's just the sort of thing you have to read if you're taking classes about a certain kind of writing.


Black Mass: An account of the life of Whitey Bulger, the mobster whose brother just happened to be president of the Massachusetts Senate. Starring Johnny Depp, assuming he can get his head out of his backside.

Johnny Depp is a very talented actor who has pulled off some unusual performances in the past. If anyone can manage this role, I have faith that he can. Then again, I like all four Pirates movies, so what do I know?


Frankenstein: Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, the two people you would least expect to tackle this story, are playing Igor and the Doctor respectively. Oddly this could very well be the first movie in which Igor is in fact a hunchback.

I'm actually kind of curious about the history of the Igor character but am too lazy to do any real research. Because he isn't in the book at all. I assumed, prior to seeing it, that his first appearance must have been in the James Whale, as so many iconic moments of the story are. However, it isn't. While there is an assistant in the James Whale, his name, as I recall, is Fritz. I'm not sure where the first appearance of Igor is, even now. But my automatic assumption is that it's McAvoy as Igor, not Radcliffe, because James McAvoy has spent probably ninety percent of his career playing characters who watch things happen to more interesting characters.


The Walk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFXsDEB9iS0): A dramatization of the events shown in Man On Wire; except we already have Man On Wire, so why is this happening?

I actually have a picture book about those events. It does not, alas, show the actual guy balancing an Oscar on his face, which is a thing I have seen happen.


The Jungle Book: Disney’s third attempt to play-act its back catalogue is just the first of two Jungle Book adaptations; the other one is directed by Andy Serkis, so I’m kinda rooting for that one.

You know what? I'm just going to go watch bizarrely Liverpudlian vultures again and not worry about it.


Crimson Peak: Guillermo del Toro directing a gothic period horror flick. Oh and the cast includes Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston. It already has my money.

Mia Wasikowska should be a bigger star. I am still waiting.


The Last Witch Hunter: I am so sick and tired of evil witch movies! Doesn’t anyone get that this is like making a Holocaust movie where the Jews are the bad guys? Or am I the only one who thinks that?

For obvious reasons, I can promise you that you are not.


Jem and the Holograms: Hasbro’s continuous attempts to expand its franchises into new media have so far met with one unqualified success (the My Little Pony revamp) commercial success at least (Transformers and *grr* Ouija) and one utter disaster (Battleship). I may be alone in even remembering this toy line, and adaptations of cartoons about bands almost never work (see Josie and the Pussycats), so it’s unlikely this will end up in the black on either count.

I actually read a pretty spirited defense of Josie and the Pussycats not long ago that suggested that the problem is that everyone is reading the movie all wrong. However, I still haven't gotten around to watching the movie to have an opinion on the subject. Still, the fact that the creator of the original cartoon has had no input--that, indeed, no women at all have been in the creative process--is outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous. (Side note--I've been rewatching the cartoon lately, because it's on Netflix streaming, and wow, do bands live in some sort of exalted status in that universe. The Misfits should have been in prison some time ago!)


Silence: How’s this for cultural cross-pollination? A Martin Scorsese movie based on a Japanese novel about Portuguese missionaries ministering to Japanese Christians after Christianity has been outlawed. With a cast that includes Ken Watenabe and Liam Neeson, this should be good.

I've discovered I only really like Scorsese movies that aren't "real" Scorsese movies. I like Hugo and The King of Comedy, and I don't like Goodfellas. I hated The Wolf of Wall Street. (Raging Bull was good but not my thing.) This sounds like a Scorsese I can get into.


Peanuts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XmV3zGifOE): Peanuts was always hit-and-miss for me as a strip, but its adaptations include some of the best animated films in history, so taking this on, to say nothing of making it CG, was always going to raise my hackles. But I have to admit, it doesn’t look that bad. We’ll wait and see.

My mother really likes Peanuts. Maybe I should make plans to spend a day with her and take her to the movie.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2: The question is, what franchise will JLaw be given now?

The way it's looking? Whatever she wants.


The Good Dinosaur: From a year with no Pixar to a year with double. This is the one I’m really looking forward to: set in a world in which the asteroid missed and dinos never went extinct, and now coexist with humans.

It certainly looks charming.


Krampus: Really? They’re making a movie about Krampus? Well, OK, though if they were going to do an evil Santa I’d prefer Svartpiet. They obviously went with Krampus as the more monstrous alternative.

And currently popular, which means potentially profitable. I am the proud owner of a handmade pewter Krampus Christmas tree ornament (proud because I apparently got the first one), because my faire boss knows they'll sell.


Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE): Question: if this is supposed to be set 30 years after the Empire, then why does it look like nothing’s changed? And how exactly could you use that triple lightsaber without cutting your own hand off? It’s a shame I was never really a Star Wars fan, or the prequels wouldn’t have killed any anticipation I had for this. At least JJ Abrams got what he wanted, and now he’ll leave Star Trek alone.

I'm not much into fighting, but I have friends who have analyzed it to bits. They can tell you in exhaustive detail how that triple lightsaber could work.

I seem to have deleted without commenting both Tomorrowland and Cinderella so I'll stick my observations in here.

I am really looking forward to Tomorrowland. And honestly, they can't revamp the land (it's not just a ride) too terribly much for it, because that much revamping requires closing things down. But if they just redo their terrible "inventions of tomorrow" thingy that's in the big round building that used to be America Sings, I'd be happy.

My main Thing about Cinderella is kind of petty, since I haven't actually watched the trailer and have only seen posters. But they've got her in a blue dress, the way Cinderella is dressed in the Disney Princess line. But in the animated movie, Cinderella isn't wearing blue. She's wearing white. But I assume they figure that parents aren't going to buy their little girls white dresses to play in, because why would they, so they made it pale blue, which means Sleeping Beauty is in that awful pink. I tend to buy any Disney merchandise I see where Sleeping Beauty is in the blue dress, because I have a Thing. But, yes, Cinderella tends to be my example of a non-passive Disney princess. Yeah, her friends do a lot of work for her, but she puts the effort into making the friends--and she is in control enough of her own destiny so that she's going to get the prince to try the slipper on her foot, not just wait for him to rescue her after she's locked in the tower. Still not happy about the evil cat, though I suppose that if your heroine befriends birds and mice, an evil cat is inevitable.

Noclevername
2015-Jan-02, 07:00 PM
When did they speak of the Empire in that trailer?


Nope, no mention of the Empire at all. The Dark Side was around long before the Empire existed, according to both the film canon, and the Expanded Universe.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-02, 07:22 PM
Yeah, but don't you miss when he actually acted?

He's on a project binge right now; has been since his wife died. Hopefully he'll eventually find a way to heal his wounds.


It's your standard kids' fish-out-of-water story. Little kids have trouble negotiating the world, because they don't know the rules. Certainly they never get to set any of them. They spend a lot of their time afraid of doing everything all wrong. Paddington does do everything all wrong--not because he's a little kid but because he's from Darkest Peru, clearly a very different place than London. Still, everything generally works out for him, which is reassuring that perhaps things will work out for you. The movie, however, looks pretty dire to me.

I guess I just prefer Curious George.


And am I alone in never disliking Gwyneth Paltrow all that much? She seems like a terribly silly person, but I've never thought she was all that bad an actress. Still wanted Cate Blanchett to get that Oscar, though.

I agree actually; I've always found it very difficult to dislike her, but yes I wish Cate had won that Oscar (or Emily Watson, for that matter).


While some of my rant isn't board-appropriate, I have quite a hefty rant.

Maybe we could do some PMing about it?


We will probably see this. Graham not only likes the first one, he likes the second one. Not even he likes the third, though.

I don't mind the third actually; it was basically just a chance to get scenes from the book into cinemas they couldn't do before, like the pterosaurs.


I pretend it was a completely different Seth McFarlane who co-produced Cosmos.

I never felt the new Cosmos was necessary to begin with; and given the errors pointed out on this forum, it may not prove to be as world-changing as it hoped.


I still haven't seen the first one, and I'm pretty much exactly its demographic. It has something to do with my visceral loathing of Matthew McConaughey.

You must have had a bad last few years.


Hey, the original came out after Dirty Dancing. A generation of women my age would like to talk to you about Patrick Swayze's charisma. On the other hand, I still haven't seen the original.

I really only saw him in Ghost, where he displayed all the charisma of a drunken somnambulist.


I'm actually kind of curious about the history of the Igor character but am too lazy to do any real research. Because he isn't in the book at all. I assumed, prior to seeing it, that his first appearance must have been in the James Whale, as so many iconic moments of the story are. However, it isn't. While there is an assistant in the James Whale, his name, as I recall, is Fritz.

It is indeed. There is a character named "Ygor" in the later films, but he's a blacksmith played by Bela Lugosi, and not an assistant. But the Frankenstein mythos has a tendency to conflate names and characters, so that's probably how it happened.


You know what? I'm just going to go watch bizarrely Liverpudlian vultures again and not worry about it.

Bizarrely? I would have thought the mop-tops would have given the reference away?


Mia Wasikowska should be a bigger star. I am still waiting.

It'll happen. She already has everything she needs; a killer franchise (Alice, now sequelling) artistic cred and magazine covers. Her main problem, as far as I can see, is that she's not conventionally attractive enough to placate the online trolls.


For obvious reasons, I can promise you that you are not.

Then I am relieved.


The way it's looking? Whatever she wants.

That's the question though; where does she go from here?


And currently popular, which means potentially profitable. I am the proud owner of a handmade pewter Krampus Christmas tree ornament (proud because I apparently got the first one), because my faire boss knows they'll sell.

Really? Krampus is popular? When did that start?


I am really looking forward to Tomorrowland. And honestly, they can't revamp the land (it's not just a ride) too terribly much for it, because that much revamping requires closing things down. But if they just redo their terrible "inventions of tomorrow" thingy that's in the big round building that used to be America Sings, I'd be happy.

I don't know if I am; I just don't know what to expect.


When did they speak of the Empire in that trailer?

True. It's funny what your memory does sometimes; the Dark Side is not the Empire. Still, that doesn't explain the TIE fighters.

SkepticJ
2015-Jan-02, 09:35 PM
Still, that doesn't explain the TIE fighters.

We'll have to wait on the movie to get the real answer, but some possibilities:

They're old and being used by a group that can't afford anything better. For a real-life parallel, look at Soviet military equipment that is still being used by other nations and militant groups.

As previously stated, technology in the Star Wars universe has plateaued. Why wouldn't the TIE fighter design be around for a while?

Gillianren
2015-Jan-02, 11:30 PM
He's on a project binge right now; has been since his wife died. Hopefully he'll eventually find a way to heal his wounds.

I had some friends who got seriously annoyed when I suggested that was what was going on and that maybe therapy would be better than movies where he killed wolves, but it's still true.


I guess I just prefer Curious George.

Slightly different demographic. Paddington is chapter books, not picture books.


I agree actually; I've always found it very difficult to dislike her, but yes I wish Cate had won that Oscar (or Emily Watson, for that matter).

I really wanted two actresses to win acting Oscars in the same year for the same role in different movies.


Maybe we could do some PMing about it?

Certainly, though I won't be home much in the next two days.


I don't mind the third actually; it was basically just a chance to get scenes from the book into cinemas they couldn't do before, like the pterosaurs.

I may have to go read the book again.


I never felt the new Cosmos was necessary to begin with; and given the errors pointed out on this forum, it may not prove to be as world-changing as it hoped.

I enjoyed it, but yes, it was unnecessary and somewhat inaccurate.


You must have had a bad last few years.

Extremely. I'll send you the link to my Hatefest piece about Dallas Buyers Club, and I can rant for some time about how Chiwetel Ejiofor was robbed.


I really only saw him in Ghost, where he displayed all the charisma of a drunken somnambulist.

Dirty Dancing is actually pretty amusing--and has . . . the guy who played Lenny Briscoe. (I was trying to remember the actor's name. I said, "I just blanked on his name." Graham, who was putting Simon's pants on for him, said, "It's Simon!" And that's a name that isn't coming back just now.)


It is indeed. There is a character named "Ygor" in the later films, but he's a blacksmith played by Bela Lugosi, and not an assistant. But the Frankenstein mythos has a tendency to conflate names and characters, so that's probably how it happened.

Probably.


Bizarrely? I would have thought the mop-tops would have given the reference away?

No, I get the reference, just not the point.


It'll happen. She already has everything she needs; a killer franchise (Alice, now sequelling) artistic cred and magazine covers. Her main problem, as far as I can see, is that she's not conventionally attractive enough to placate the online trolls.

Sadly, that's probably it. She's extremely talented; her Jane Eyre was great, and if you haven't seen the episodes of In Treatment she did, you should totally seek them out.


Then I am relieved.

Glad to help.


That's the question though; where does she go from here?

She's even already got her Marvel credits, if not Marvel Studios.


Really? Krampus is popular? When did that start?

Last year, I think.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-03, 12:28 AM
Extremely. I'll send you the link to my Hatefest piece about Dallas Buyers Club, and I can rant for some time about how Chiwetel Ejiofor was robbed.

In all fairness, winning an Oscar that early can be a bit of a millstone, career-wise.


No, I get the reference, just not the point.

The vultures were originally going to be voiced by the Beatles, but John Lennon, life of the party that he was, vetoed it.


the guy who played Lenny Briscoe. (I was trying to remember the actor's name. I said, "I just blanked on his name." Graham, who was putting Simon's pants on for him, said, "It's Simon!" And that's a name that isn't coming back just now.)

Jerry Orbach?

hemsworth
2015-Jan-03, 12:51 PM
I just waiting to Watch Blackhat 2015 Online Free and more over I think Paddington will also gonna hit to box office this year.

Jim
2015-Jan-03, 05:03 PM
We'll have to wait on the movie to get the real answer, but some possibilities:

Or maybe it's just good at what it does.

The F16 went into service in 1978. It's still in service with the USAF, USAF Reserve, several Air National Guards, as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy, and with 25 foreign countries. It's also used by the USAF Thunderbirds, so it still performs well enough.

Oh, and the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) which went into service in 1977 and just won't go away.

Don't conflate age with obsolescence.

SkepticJ
2015-Jan-03, 11:08 PM
Or maybe it's just good at what it does.

The F16 went into service in 1978. It's still in service with the USAF, USAF Reserve, several Air National Guards, as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy, and with 25 foreign countries. It's also used by the USAF Thunderbirds, so it still performs well enough.

Oh, and the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) which went into service in 1977 and just won't go away.

Don't conflate age with obsolescence.

I actually wrote those examples into my post, but removed them before posting.

Another big one is the B-52, which entered service in the 1950s, and the plan is to keep them flying until 2045. This is especially interesting because all B-52s were manufactured between 1952-62.

KaiYeves
2015-Jan-04, 01:26 AM
Everest: An adaptation of Into Thin Air, an account of the 1996 climbing tragedy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and my wife in an alternate universe, Emily Watson.

I'm curious to see how it will compare to the IMAX film made during that climbing season that has the same title. (But hey, "Everest" is one of those words/subjects that's the title of a million books and documentaries about the subject with only the subtitle to distinguish them, so that's not too strange.)

I wonder what happened to that George Mallory biopic that was being talked about a while ago?

Gillianren
2015-Jan-04, 03:06 AM
In all fairness, winning an Oscar that early can be a bit of a millstone, career-wise.

Up until this week, you could have asked Luise Rainer, who won in 1936 and 1937, then essentially retired in 1938.


The vultures were originally going to be voiced by the Beatles, but John Lennon, life of the party that he was, vetoed it.

Yeah, he was a heck of a buzz-kill, wasn't he?


Jerry Orbach?

Yes. I finally remembered his name about an hour later, after I'd left the house. This is the first I've been back online since then, and it's over twenty-four hours later.

captain swoop
2015-Jan-04, 10:07 AM
I wasn't thinking about tech; why are they speaking about the Empire as if it never left? And isn't it a bit weird for the nascent Republic to still use Stormtroopers?

So they are going to re-equip the entire armed forces? What with? Do they disband the existing forces? look how well that worked in Iraq.

As for talking about the Empire after 30 years, why not? It's a big galaxy, maybe it took a while to persuade some parts of it that the Empire was gone.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-04, 11:49 AM
I wonder what happened to that George Mallory biopic that was being talked about a while ago?

The most recent update I can find is from last June; apparently it's whatever the cinematic equivalent of vaporware is; Doug Liman and Tom Hardy were attached, but they're doing a "Splinter Cell" movie first. They both apparently still want to do it, but when it will start filming is an open question. Six months ago, they said this year.


Yeah, he was a heck of a buzz-kill, wasn't he?

People always ponder what made the Beatles break up. To me it seems pretty frigging obvious. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Paul, George and Ringo, all obviously vivacious, jovial guys who enjoy a good laugh, to be stuck in a recording studio with that guy for 10 years?


Up until this week, you could have asked Luise Rainer, who won in 1936 and 1937, then essentially retired in 1938.

Or F. Murray Abraham. Or Timothy Hutton. Or Marlee Matlin. Or Cuba Gooding Jr. Or Mira Sorvino. Or Marisa Tomei. Or Mercedes Ruehl. Or Marcia Gay Harden. Or (face it, Gillian) Adrien Brody.

KaiYeves
2015-Jan-04, 03:26 PM
The most recent update I can find is from last June; apparently it's whatever the cinematic equivalent of vaporware is; Doug Liman and Tom Hardy were attached, but they're doing a "Splinter Cell" movie first. They both apparently still want to do it, but when it will start filming is an open question. Six months ago, they said this year.


Development Hell?

Ah, well, if it's a while coming and Mr. Cumberbatch is still starring, that gives me some time before the Tumblr tags for "George Mallory" and "Everest" get flooded with movie-related stuff instead of historical stuff, at least.

Gillianren
2015-Jan-04, 04:46 PM
Or F. Murray Abraham. Or Timothy Hutton. Or Marlee Matlin. Or Cuba Gooding Jr. Or Mira Sorvino. Or Marisa Tomei. Or Mercedes Ruehl. Or Marcia Gay Harden. Or (face it, Gillian) Adrien Brody.

Timothy Hutton is still working pretty steadily, just not much in movies. I really enjoyed both Nero Wolfe and Leverage. But yeah. I will say that Marlee Matlin was going to be limited in her future career options even without an Oscar. And did you see that Kristin Scott Thomas got knighted this week?

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-04, 06:22 PM
Which is odd, because she works in France now. More importantly, Sir John Hurt! And Emily Watson, OBE...


Ah, well, if it's a while coming and Mr. Cumberbatch is still starring, that gives me some time before the Tumblr tags for "George Mallory" and "Everest" get flooded with movie-related stuff instead of historical stuff, at least.

With Mr Bandersnatch now playing Dr Strange, I think his schedule's pretty full for the next year or two.

Van Rijn
2015-Jan-06, 01:03 AM
Predestination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FcK_UiVV40): “You always have a choice”. Er, no you don’t. That’s not how predestination works.


But someone could be predestined to say that.


Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens : Question: if this is supposed to be set 30 years after the Empire, then why does it look like nothing’s changed? And how exactly could you use that triple lightsaber without cutting your own hand off? It’s a shame I was never really a Star Wars fan, or the prequels wouldn’t have killed any anticipation I had for this. At least JJ Abrams got what he wanted, and now he’ll leave Star Trek alone.


These guys can not only knock away blaster bolts but redirect them to hit enemies. I figure that a gimmick like this would mainly keep non-Jedi from using the weapon, and maybe even Jedi if they didn't train with it. It's a weapon too dangerous for others to use.

I sort of liked the "original" and somewhat sparse look to the promo, because it might suggest they were backing away from the hyper-CGed prequels, and just might be something I can watch through. But then again, there were only a few scenes, so who knows? (I didn't like the robot - it reminded me too much of Disney's The Black Hole). When it comes down to it, I'll wait and see what people say when the movie actually comes out.

grant hutchison
2015-Jan-06, 02:02 AM
Predestination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FcK_UiVV40): ďYou always have a choiceĒ. Er, no you donít. Thatís not how predestination works.Actually, that is how predistination works, in many versions of Christian theology. You get to exercise free will, but an omniscient God necessarily knows what you'll decide. So your post-mortem destination is already know to Him.
Theology is (honestly!) interesting. But of course I wouldn't discuss it here.
And actually I'm pretty sure the person who wrote that squib wasn't making a theological allusion.

Carry on.

Grant Hutchison

Jim
2015-Jan-06, 02:41 PM
Actually, that is how predistination works ...

You always have a choice, but which choice you make has been predetermined. It seems like free will, but it's not.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-07, 04:21 PM
Friggit. Lost an hour's work because I didn't think this would take so long. So starting again...

Update! Or: using the Ant-Man trailer as an excuse to fill in the bits I didn't know about earlier.

Ant-Man (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVE3KSKQ0o): Marvel, your problem with this movie isn't the name; it's the fact that you've made a movie about a guy who can reduce himself to insectoid proportions and yet don't make any use of it in the trailer, either aesthetically or plot-wise.

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' Cold War Thriller: That seems to be its going title for now, but yeah; I initially ignored it because I didn't want to post a movie without a title, but the combination of Spielberg reuniting with Hanks for the first time since Saving Private Ryan (over 15 years ago!) and writing by the Coens is too hefty not to mention.

The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino claims that this Western will be his last film. But then he also claimed he'd never film it after the script was leaked, so who knows? Certainly not him; he changes his mind mid-sentence. If it is indeed his last film though, that would mean his life's accomplishment is a corpus of work less extensive than that of his august contemporary, Michael Bay. Which is a shame, because his films have always been hit or miss with me, and I have waited in vain for him to recapture his early glory. Still, one thing at which he has always been unsurpassable is finding the right match for his material, whether it be music or casting, and the cast for this is pretty intense: Kurt Russell, Sam Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern and Channing Tatum, not to mention Tim Roth, who just might get his first decent role in a decade.

Bone Tomahawk: Another Kurt Russell Western, this one with cannibals. Here's hoping it's more Ravenous and less The Hills Have Eyes.

Pitch Perfect 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBwOYQd21TY): This went right over my head and I still don't get the appeal. Still, it's got Anna Kendrick in it.

Hardcore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMnURHXFhuE): A first person, one-take action movie might have seen like a good idea about 30 years ago; now it just looks like watching someone else play a not-very-inspiring video game. And next time, if you're going to include the Wilhelm scream, don't make it so obvious.

Ex Machina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoQuVnKhxaM): Never been a fan of Alex Garland's take on scifi; I mean sure he did zombies OK, but Sunshine was prime fodder for this board and now, he apparently doesn't know how the Turing test works, which is odd, because it's a fairly simple concept. Credit for Dredd though.

Mr Holmes: Gods and Monsters duo Ian McKellen and Bill Condon reteaming for a movie about an aged Sherlock? Count me in.

Money Monster: Jodie Foster's record as a director has been, frankly, unimpressive. Yet this movie (about a "Mad Money" style financial advisor who gets taken hostage by one of his viewers after he loses everything following his advice) feels like it could be pretty good, given the cast she's been able to assemble, including George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Digging for Fire: I've never been too connected to the phenomenon of "mumblecore" but it's attracting quite the star following, if this cast is anything to go by: Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Sam Rockwell, Sam Elliott, Brie Larson and Melanie Lynskey.

Term Life: Jon Favreau plays the estranged father of Hailee Steinfeld (yay) who tries to give her a decent life by evading assassination long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in.

Spinning Gold: Spike Lee directs Justin Timberlake in a movie about the 70s music scene. Personally, I don't think Lee's made a movie to write home about since Malcolm X, but we'll see.

Knight of Cups (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC-3rnv_b3o): It's a Terrence Malick movie, but for the first half of the trailer you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a David Cronenberg movie, right down to "No one cares about reality any more". Frankly, I'd prefer to see Cronenberg tackle these themes, since he does them better. Great cast though, as usual. (Bale, Portman, Blanchett, Kingsley)

The Light Between Oceans: You can tell it was based on a book, because it has one of those modern book titles that on the surface seem weighty and meaningful but which vanish into a fatuous whiff with a second of thought. Still, Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz raising a baby in the wilderness sounds interesting. it also stars the suddenly ubiquitous Alicia Vikander; an admittedly gorgeous Swedish actress who looks to be this year's Jessica Chastain (she's in Ex Machina, Seventh Son and The Man From UNCLE).

Cell: Stephen King's homage to George Romero and Richard Matheson was not one of his better efforts, and given how many such "homages" we've had in the last few years, it's not surprising it's taken so long to get to the screen (Heck, the book's exact premise was the plot of an episode of Dollhouse). John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson reteam with King, perhaps hoping to recapture the magic that was 1408, but with a fairly untested director at the helm, the light feels distant.

Ricki and the Flash: Jonathan Demme directing; Diablo Cody writing, and Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline starring. It's apparently about an ageing rocker, but who cares? I'll see it anyway.

Maggie: Arnold Schwarzenegger tries a dramatic role (really) as the father of a girl played by Abigail Breslin who is slowly turning into a zombie. The director's making his feature debut, so not much else to say.

Trumbo: Jay Roach must be an interesting guy. Known mainly for meh comedies like Austin Powers and Meet the Parents, he's recently tried to reinvent himself as a serious filmmaker with movies like Recount. Now he's doing a biopic of blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, with a cast that includes Bryan Cranston (as Trumbo) and Helen Mirren. All power to him, if he's up to it.

Joy: David O. Russell reunites with his Silver Lining's Playbook cast for a biopic of Joy Mangano, a single mother turned entrepreneur played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Queen of the Desert: Gillian's fave director (Werner Herzog) and many of her least fave actors (James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Nicole Kidman) unite to create a the story of Gertrude Bell, an early 20th century explorer and spy.

Icon: Stephen Frears, a director who never quite got the respect he deserves, has a big shot now with his biopic of Lance Armstrong. Controversy, anyone?

The Valley of Violence: Horror director Ti West ditches horror in favour of horrific revenge drama. Cool cast includes Karen Gillan, Ethan Hawke, Taissa Farmiga and John Travolta.

Triple Nine: New movie by John Hillcoat, the director of The Road and The Proposition, about cops blackmailed into killing another cop and committing a heist. Stars Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie and Chewetel Ejiofor.

A Hologram for the King: Tom Tykwer, the director of Run Lola Run and Cloud Atlas directs Tom Hanks in a black comedy about a failed businessman who tries to sell a silly idea to the king of Saudi Arabia. Tykwer is one of the more underrated directors working, and the idea of seeing Hanks in a black comedy again is thrilling (when was his last one? The 'Burbs?)

Gillianren
2015-Jan-07, 05:36 PM
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' Cold War Thriller: That seems to be its going title for now, but yeah; I initially ignored it because I didn't want to post a movie without a title, but the combination of Spielberg reuniting with Hanks for the first time since Saving Private Ryan (over 15 years ago!) and writing by the Coens is too hefty not to mention.

They could release it into theatres with that title, and I'd probably end up seeing it. As would quite a lot of other people.


The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino claims that this Western will be his last film. But then he also claimed he'd never film it after the script was leaked, so who knows? Certainly not him; he changes his mind mid-sentence. If it is indeed his last film though, that would mean his life's accomplishment is a corpus of work less extensive than that of his august contemporary, Michael Bay. Which is a shame, because his films have always been hit or miss with me, and I have waited in vain for him to recapture his early glory. Still, one thing at which he has always been unsurpassable is finding the right match for his material, whether it be music or casting, and the cast for this is pretty intense: Kurt Russell, Sam Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern and Channing Tatum, not to mention Tim Roth, who just might get his first decent role in a decade.

I thought Tim Roth did interesting things in the last Incredible Hulk movie, but Incredible Hulk movies appear to be inherently problematic. I am not, as it happens, much of a Tarantino fan, and I suspect half of what he says is for the attention.


Mr Holmes: Gods and Monsters duo Ian McKellen and Bill Condon reteaming for a movie about an aged Sherlock? Count me in.

Yeah, I'm there, too.


Money Monster: Jodie Foster's record as a director has been, frankly, unimpressive. Yet this movie (about a "Mad Money" style financial advisor who gets taken hostage by one of his viewers after he loses everything following his advice) feels like it could be pretty good, given the cast she's been able to assemble, including George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

It's better than Mel Gibson, certainly.


Term Life: Jon Favreau plays the estranged father of Hailee Steinfeld (yay) who tries to give her a decent life by evading assassination long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in.

Huh. Well, anyway, Hailee Steinfeld is getting work.


Spinning Gold: Spike Lee directs Justin Timberlake in a movie about the 70s music scene. Personally, I don't think Lee's made a movie to write home about since Malcolm X, but we'll see.

I've a weird fondness for Summer of Sam, but I understand that it's not to everyone's tastes. Still better than Red Hook Summer.


Knight of Cups (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC-3rnv_b3o): It's a Terrence Malick movie, but for the first half of the trailer you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a David Cronenberg movie, right down to "No one cares about reality any more". Frankly, I'd prefer to see Cronenberg tackle these themes, since he does them better. Great cast though, as usual. (Bale, Portman, Blanchett, Kingsley)

I just can't get into Malick. The movies are all beautifully filmed, but that isn't enough. I just find them so uninteresting.


Cell: Stephen King's homage to George Romero and Richard Matheson was not one of his better efforts, and given how many such "homages" we've had in the last few years, it's not surprising it's taken so long to get to the screen (Heck, the book's exact premise was the plot of an episode of Dollhouse). John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson reteam with King, perhaps hoping to recapture the magic that was 1408, but with a fairly untested director at the helm, the light feels distant.

Cell is not my favourite King. It's frankly rather silly, and not in a good way. And the bad books usually make appalling movies.


Trumbo: Jay Roach must be an interesting guy. Known mainly for meh comedies like Austin Powers and Meet the Parents, he's recently tried to reinvent himself as a serious filmmaker with movies like Recount. Now he's doing a biopic of blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, with a cast that includes Bryan Cranston (as Trumbo) and Helen Mirren. All power to him, if he's up to it.

I feel certain Bryan Cranston is, at least.


Queen of the Desert: Gillian's fave director (Werner Herzog) and many of her least fave actors (James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Nicole Kidman) unite to create a the story of Gertrude Bell, an early 20th century explorer and spy.

The only thing I really dislike about Nicole Kidman is some of the movies she makes. Working with Werner Herzog? Yeah, that could produce a good movie, if he can rein in James Franco's James Fracoiness.


A Hologram for the King: Tom Tykwer, the director of Run Lola Run and Cloud Atlas directs Tom Hanks in a black comedy about a failed businessman who tries to sell a silly idea to the king. Tykwer is one of the more underrated directors working, and the idea of seeing Hanks in a black comedy again is thrilling (when was his last one? The 'Burbs?)

The Ladykillers, the Coens' remake. Remember, you didn't specify good. Though I am kind of fond of The Ladykillers for all that.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-07, 10:07 PM
Funny thing; I posted over 100 movies on that list, and still didn't include a Cameron Crowe movie. OK so it had no title and virtually no plot details but still; makes me wonder what else I missed.

So. May as well do the remainder for the first two weeks of January:

US

Let's Kill Ward's Wife (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v8ZcvJUwas): Wannabe Hitchcockian murder farce about a group of bros who decide to do their brah a favour by doing away with his overbearing, nagging, abusive wife. This sort of thing requires a deft touch, but it can be done well (For a good example, see Harry, He's Here To Help). The dialogue in the trailer walks wobblingly on this side of misogynistic. But it's still nice to see the loveable Amy Acker in anything not made by Joss Whedon.

The World Made Straight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAlh5UYXp4Q): Hillbilly feudin' movie. Title looks like it belongs on one of those creepy Youtube videos that you always skip over wondering what you've spared yourself.

Black November (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GrqF0DSbX0): Second-tier action flick that ennobles itself with a stellar cast and by roping in the oil war in the Niger Delta. The world needs to know about this crisis, but this isn't the way to get the word out. And can I say that that is a pretty insensitive title, given the subject matter.

The Wolves of Savin Hill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YBcRPmem_M): Bad. Just bad. Badly shot, badly acted and even badly soundmixed. And really? Inception horn? That wasn't fun even when it was in.

UK:

The Last of the Unjust (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhP3iQ3kyMs): The creator of Shoah returns to his "home" during the Holocaust, the "Jewish paradise" of Theresienstadt, to contemplate his not-entirely-heroic actions during that period.

Brad_Smith
2015-Jan-08, 09:45 AM
I wasn't thinking about tech; why are they speaking about the Empire as if it never left? And isn't it a bit weird for the nascent Republic to still use Stormtroopers?
In the Expanded Universe, Imperial Moffs and warlords struggled -- and in some ways, succeeded -- to keep the Empire together. It appears that the Imperial Remnant is still giving the New Republic a fight.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-08, 06:05 PM
I haven't heard anything yet (trailers, ads, etc) about "The Bronze" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3859304/) and it's supposed to be released in a couple of weeks.

A foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist [Melissa Rauch of BBT] must fight for her local celebrity status when a new young athlete's star rises in town
One of the filming locations is a place I spent lots of my youth, and I know someone having a non-speaking part in it.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-16, 07:51 PM
For the week of Friday, 16 January:

Paddington, Son of a Gun, Blackhat : See above.

The Wedding Ringer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3TeI9jPPuA): I liked The Wedding Singer, but I never thought it would start a movement. This, The Wedding Planner, Wedding Crashers, The Wedding Date, The Wedding ChapelÖ Itís like a soft blankie you put over a title to make your movie seem nice and cosy. Kevin Hart plays another smart-mouthed advisor character (basically an earthier Magical Negro); this time a guy who hires himself out as a best man to friendless nerds at their weddings.

Vice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETtLM0NI-Ug): Itís sad; Bruce Willis is pretty much the only star left who can open a movie, and now heís second billing to Thomas Jane in a Westworld knockoff coming out in January. Oddly, of all the ďhuman AIĒ movies coming out this year, this has potentially the most interesting concept: is a machine programmed to respond as if it were human any different from an actual human? No bets as to whether this movie will address that question.

Match (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15WAor16pE): Basically a vehicle for Patrick Stewart to showcase his wry, twinkle-eyed, Ian McKellen-esque sense of humour; a quality he has seldom had a chance to flaunt. What Matthew Lillardís character is supposed to be doing isnít entirely clear, but I have a feeling the plot isnít really the point of this one.

The Phoenix Project (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhcnhcpGs6s): Frankenstein update that puts the reanimation of dead matter in a modern scientific context. What conclusions it draws from it are not revealed.

Spare Parts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXOLwIIHuCs): Hmm. Based on a true story? Hard bitten Hispanic high school kids? A hard-driving but inspiring Hispanic teacher? Unlikely entrance to a science competition? Well yeah, this was never going to be Stand and Deliver, so itís a shame that it must be in its shadow. For what it is, it seems nice, and Iíll always appreciate Jamie Lee Curtis returning to the screen.

Escobar: Paradise Lost (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSen29S0DLE): As regards posterity, Pablo Escobar is in an unfortunate position; unlike Blackbeard or Al Capone, he hasnít been dead long enough for the romance of the rogue rebel to eclipse the sheer vileness of his crimes. You can tell this movie is trying to move things along by having eternal smooth rebel Benicio del Toro embody him in this rather gutless-looking biopic, which isnít even based on real-life events.

Zarraís Law (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOj9ZfV5WYU): On the other hand, Italian mob movies seem to have reached the end of their rope. The Sopranos pretty much pushed the genre as far as it could go creatively, and it would be interesting to see if new generations could take it in new directions. This wonít.

UK:

Testament of Youth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tP7k4wqVJo): Iím beginning to see what all of Hollywood sees in Alicia Vikander; she may be Swedish but she does cut-glass Brit about as well as she does generic American. Hereís hoping this blitz results in another Jessica Chastain and not another Gabrielle Anwar.

Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNl0IYPnt5g): A Thai film based on the tweets of a high school girl; as the events unfold onscreen, her tweets offer an odd commentary, sometimes fitting, sometimes not. Intriguing idea; not sure if it really works.

Paper Souls (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1fzfe8_paper-souls-les-ames-de-papier-2013-trailer-english-subs_shortfilms): Not sure what this movieís about; I think itís about a guy who falls for a widow only to discover her husband is still alive.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-31, 09:07 PM
Catchup time! Lotsa work ahead of me, so would appreciate a comment or two, you know, just sayin’.

For the weeks of Friday the 23rd and 30th of January:

Mortdecai: see page 1.

US:

Wild Card: See page 1

The Boy Next Door (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWWB11YulPc): Remember the days when JLo was… not JLo? I still get shivers when I think of that scene between her and Clooney in the trunk in Out Of Sight. Then she gave in to the lads’ mag crowd, decided she’d rather be a professional bimbo, and I haven’t seen her since, just some dim plastic copy. Given that the moral of this movie is “Don’t be monumentally stupid”, you’d think they’d cast someone like, say, Gillian Anderson in this role; someone who exudes intelligence, someone you’d believe would be shocked and frightened by her own behaviour, rather than barely conscious of her peril. And professional nice guy John Corbett as the suddenly sympathetic philandering husband? That’s some failed manipulation right there.

The Loft (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bJZYqGfYGE): Gaggle of pampered yuppie scumbags decide to go Dutch on a disused loft so they can use it to cheat on their wives without leaving a money trail. Then someone gets murdered and it MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF THEM. Yeah, because no one can duplicate a frigging key. Apropos of a certain other thread I started, the clickbait image for this trailer was a nekkid woman. Sigh. The tribulations of this job.

Strange Magic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr9iLfD6xus): So now we see how George Lucas boldly steps into his post-Star Wars, post-Indiana Jones era. By ripping off Epic. Really? Epic? That movie wasn’t even that good to begin with, and at least it had Christoph Waltz in it. Lucas, who wrote it (!), said he wanted to make a film for his daughters after decades of making films for boys. Nice sentiment, George, but you ain’t Disney. I’d say the dismal opening weekend would have taught him his lesson, if I was under any illusions that George Lucas actually learned lessons.

Black or White (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqlE-7PP7Ho): Potentially sweet story about a white grandfather who must look after his mixed-race granddaughter alone, only to be forced into contact with her black family. But it soon trips over its own contrivances by introducing a pointless custody battle with even more pointless racial overtones (seriously, if the guy was really racist, do you think he’d have wanted to look after that kid in the first place?) Another failed attempt by Kevin Costner to regain his seat at the table.

Mommy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9LVLCYvqSI): Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, this looks OK, though the plot seems pretty standard (widowed mother decides to home-school her violent son, life-affirming events ensue). Is it just me or did the background track sound like "The Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang?

Project Almanac (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZALqGuwI_DE): This movie was actually on last year’s list, but must have been delayed. Still, didn’t look good then; doesn’t now. But then, when does any movie with the logo “Platinum Dunes” in front of it look good? Two genres that don’t go together are found footage and time travel, something this trailer acknowledges when it basically forgets it’s found footage.

Black Sea (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urrve_J9F_g): Missed it when it debuted in the UK, so may as well post it now. Fired submariner goes rogue and takes a sub on a treasure hunt to locate Nazi gold. From the trailer, things go a bit Sierra Madre. Kevin MacDonald does well with actors, so maybe he can draw out the grizzled, bitter submariner that I never suspected Jude Law had in him.

Timbuktu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd8SGBqLhoc): Dear god this looks good. An examination of modern life in the shadow of Africa’s fabled city of gold, and its collision with the modern world of mobile phones, Toyota Hiluxes, and Islamist militants. An Oscar nominee for best Foreign Language film.

The Humbling (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu6SCUXeYl0): Al Pacino, Diane Wiest and Greta Gerwig? Based on a Philip Roth novel? Directed by the guy who made Rain Man? It seems odd that this movie was released in January. But then the reviews have not been stellar, and the plot (ageing has-been actor struggles to find his muse) and even one of the shots in the trailer bare an unfortunate resemblance to Birdman. While I wouldn’t exactly say art is paralleling life for Al Pacino as much as it did for Michael Keaton, there is a shock of familiarity in seeing Pacino deliver Shakespeare in his unique fashion. While the story does apparently indulge in some elder wish fulfilment as regards Gerwig, it never descends into Woody Allen territory.

Suburban Gothic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyvEkl1Q_-8): Oddball goes back to live with his parents and, without much else to do, decides to become a paranormal investigator. This is a bad trailer, but the movie looks like it might be better (it’s a redband trailer, but it’s just some pointless blue language). It didn’t look funny, but at least John Waters gets to purv it up a bit.

Song One (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihdJgH757A0): I’ve always been perplexed by the career of Anne Hathaway. She’s beautiful; she seems intelligent; she has a surprising number of blockbusters in her relatively short filmography, and she’s won an Oscar. And yet, despite this, it doesn’t feel like she’s become a movie star in the way that, say, Jennifer Lawrence has. Many people seem turned off by her, and I think the reason is that her image is just too perfect. Lawrence became a star when she stumbled on the way to the podium; I don’t think Hathaway would ever do that. So it is interesting to note that she begins this trailer for what seems to be a rather clichťd romance movie by stripping away her makeup, and, in a sense, breaking the spell. On the other hand, you could argue that this was just another calculated move.

Amira and Sam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJt3wYU7b7A): Soldier returns from Iraq to learn that the translator who protected him needs him to hide his niece, who is an illegal. Guess what happens. Well-intentioned but gets a bit Susie Wongish towards the end.

The Atticus Institute (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykHqyClnz1g): As far as I can tell, this isn’t based on a true story, though the movie seems to want to make you think it is. Starts out promising but soon devolves into yet another found footage exorcism movie. Shame, as it could have been a decent stab at tackling a covert supernatural research facility ala the SCP Foundation.

Fear Clinic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i699QdmhtKA): Altered States rework in which Robert Englund uses sensory deprivation to expose you to your phobias. Interesting premise, poor execution.

Against the Sun (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MYsgLqtEgk): US military heroes are a thing now; we’ve had Unbroken, we’ve had American Sniper and now we have Draco Malfoy with a Southern drawl. Pretty good one too. Film doesn’t seem too bad; just a shame Unbroken beat it to the punch.

The Devil’s Violinist (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSkL2oF4Z7U): plush bodice-ripper about the scandalous life of Nicolo Paganini. Looks decent, though the guy who plays Paganini was clearly chosen for his violin skill rather than his acting.

Veronika Decides to Die (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VLS2P_g534): Man I wish I’d read Paulo Coelho. Then I could judge whether this trailer is lying. I think it must be, because it’s selling itself as a psychological thriller when, according to the film’s own description and the book synopsis on Wikipedia, it’s really a sedate psychological drama. And once again Sarah Michelle Gellar proves that Joss Whedon is the only person who can get a decent performance from her, as she does her “chipmunk in the headlights” thing.

Alien Outpost (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1mPNV0LcBU): This was originally called “Outpost 37”, which makes more sense, since it’s actually a human outpost, not an alien one. Found footage as a means to tell an alien invasion story on a limited budget has been tried before, but this looks like a better take, with imagery taken from recent war footage. Shame the aliens all look like they stepped out of Stargate SG1.

The Duke of Burgundy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaTTr5-JmuU): S&M drama that, unlike the other one coming out this year, is apparently very good, judging by the reviews.

Gilgamesh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZvnpiaDxHc): Woah. I honestly have no clue about this one; its story is some weird mash up of the Tunguska event, ancient alien gods, and Soviet mind control.

Medea’s Tough Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D9Yop5PA-M): Yay! An animated Tyler Perry movie!

Hard To Be A God (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHXTr0s-yOo): Ambiguous Russian fantasy set in some pseudo-scifi Mediaeval world that is clearly aiming for The Seventh Seal but ends up looking more like Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

R100 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfcvdZSvyIc): Another S%M movie. But this one’s funny. Apparently. And Japanese, which seems more apropos.

Blood Sucking *******s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuiAJvPXpFs): An office parody with vampires. I’ve already come to the conclusion that vampires are beyond parody at this point, and this does not look fun anyway.

Manny (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqi_DVcSMPY): documentary about featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who fought his way out of the Filipino slums to become featherweight boxing champion, and then returned to represent his people in Congress. I’m the biggest cynic on Earth but even I gotta admit, that’s an inspiring story. Liam Neeson narrates, and for once seems invested in his craft. No wonder, as he was a boxer once himself.

parallaxicality
2015-Jan-31, 09:08 PM
Americons (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtxWOOAN33M): Hm. I’d assumed the title was meant to be read “Amer-Icons” but I think from the trailer it’s supposed to be “Ameri-Cons”. No matter; the movie can’t really figure out what it’s about anyway. It’s some vague Wall Street rework that pays lip service to the sub-prime scandal.

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2skx69TxLXk): Refreshingly sceptical(ish) take on the evidence or lack thereof for the Exodus, with an equally refreshing focus on discovery and exploration rather than proselytising or religion-bashing. Not sure why it’s in theatres though.

Red Army (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_euhvZQMaw): Documentary about the Soviet national hockey team, for which players were picked by the state, sent to what amounted to a work camp, and forbidden to leave even for family funerals. Really reminds you just how terrifying the Soviet apparatus really was. Herzog has a producer’s credit, so it’s probably good.

The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5HxeYI6fd8): There was a Scorpion King 3? Looks like an episode of Xena.

Welcome To Inspiration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_-yZ_1kOzQ): I thought Christian movies were getting smarter. Or at least trying. This isn’t even a story; it’s just a sermon.

Wrestling With Satan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XzgtLbjudE): This is an interesting one. A documentary about Christian wrestlers who use bodyslamming to spread the word. Premiered at the California Independent Film Festival six years ago, then disappeared before being re-released now. Don’t really know why; from the trailer it doesn’t appear to have an agenda. Anyone who wants to be inspired by it can be inspired by it. Anyone else will be slightly weirded out.

UK:

Ex-Machina; Kingsman: The Secret Service : See above.

Beyond Clueless (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEz8pdxslYU): Arty documentary examining the history of the teen movie, narrated by onetime teen star Fairuza Balk. Looks interesting, but the opening line, “High school is hypnotic”, makes me wonder if it knows thing one about its subject matter.

La Maison de la radio (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pU-kBhbs1s): Day-in-the-life of Radio France. Pretty much it, really.

I Am Yours (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJmiZ0c3qxg): Raw, realistic-looking Norwegian look at romance.

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NduaIWG6mHk): Suitably unflattering doc about Welsh band the Manic Street Preachers. Never really been a fan, maybe because I constantly confuse them with the Stereophonics, but hearing their music here doesn’t inspire me.

Bad Hair (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW0o1jz5d9Y): Venezuelan film about life in poverty.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MspO5rC6Vps): professional alien on Earth Nick Bloomfield returns to his old stomping grounds of South Central Los Angeles to follow the trial of a man accused of a 25-year serial killing spree. Looks like it touches some pretty intense nerves.

Trash (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcSosCe0B-A): Stephen Daldry directs a Slumdog Millionaire-sque drama about three Brazilian trash pickers who find evidence of a crime and decide to work around the corrupt justice system to set things right. Looks mildly entertaining but its portrayal of Brazil is somewhat optimistic.

Gillianren
2015-Feb-01, 12:12 AM
Strange Magic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr9iLfD6xus): So now we see how George Lucas boldly steps into his post-Star Wars, post-Indiana Jones era. By ripping off Epic. Really? Epic? That movie wasn’t even that good to begin with, and at least it had Christoph Waltz in it. Lucas, who wrote it (!), said he wanted to make a film for his daughters after decades of making films for boys. Nice sentiment, George, but you ain’t Disney. I’d say the dismal opening weekend would have taught him his lesson, if I was under any illusions that George Lucas actually learned lessons.

And you know . . . there are plenty of female fans of both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. And not just because of Harrison Ford, either. But apparently, "films for girls" are tepid fairy tales. Thanks, George.


Song One (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihdJgH757A0): I’ve always been perplexed by the career of Anne Hathaway. She’s beautiful; she seems intelligent; she has a surprising number of blockbusters in her relatively short filmography, and she’s won an Oscar. And yet, despite this, it doesn’t feel like she’s become a movie star in the way that, say, Jennifer Lawrence has. Many people seem turned off by her, and I think the reason is that her image is just too perfect. Lawrence became a star when she stumbled on the way to the podium; I don’t think Hathaway would ever do that. So it is interesting to note that she begins this trailer for what seems to be a rather clichťd romance movie by stripping away her makeup, and, in a sense, breaking the spell. On the other hand, you could argue that this was just another calculated move.

I don't dislike her, but I've discovered that a lot of people do, and I don't get it, either. Though she's on my list of Former Disney Stars Who Should Teach Life Lessons to Current Disney Stars--also known as "how to turn out like Jodie Foster, not Lindsay Lohan."

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-01, 11:43 AM
And you know . . . there are plenty of female fans of both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. And not just because of Harrison Ford, either. But apparently, "films for girls" are tepid fairy tales. Thanks, George.


It's odd to think that even Disney are beginning to move beyond Disney.

KaiYeves
2015-Feb-01, 03:59 PM
The Atticus Institute: As far as I can tell, this isn’t based on a true story, though the movie seems to want to make you think it is. Starts out promising but soon devolves into yet another found footage exorcism movie. Shame, as it could have been a decent stab at tackling a covert supernatural research facility ala the SCP Foundation.

It *has* to be a possession. Why does it *have* to be a posession? A psychic just going mad and wrecking stuff isn't interesting enough?

Jim
2015-Feb-01, 05:26 PM
Red Army (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_euhvZQMaw): Documentary about the Soviet national hockey team, for which players were picked by the state, sent to what amounted to a work camp, and forbidden to leave even for family funerals. Really reminds you just how terrifying the Soviet apparatus really was. Herzog has a producer’s credit, so it’s probably good.

It gets into more than that. It's centered on the 1980 Olympic team, the one that lost to the USA. After that Olympics, and with the USSR facing economic problems, many players were "sold" to NHL teams. The players got to keep ~$1,000/month, the rest went to the government. Defenseman Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov was a Red Army star; he fought the system and played in the NHL on his terms. He went on the win two Stanley Cups and had started coaching when Putin asked him to come home as Minister of Sport.


The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5HxeYI6fd8): There was a Scorpion King 3? Looks like an episode of Xena.

The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption. 2012. Straight to video. (Not that I watched more than some parts of the original. Bascially a reinvention of Conan, but without Arnie's charm or acting abilities.)


I don't dislike (JLo), but I've discovered that a lot of people do, and I don't get it, either. Though she's on my list of Former Disney Stars Who Should Teach Life Lessons to Current Disney Stars--also known as "how to turn out like Jodie Foster, not Lindsay Lohan."

I like her. She comes across as honest, real ... she is what you see, no pretense. Definitely more Jodie than Lindsay.

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-01, 05:48 PM
This is the problem with these megaposts; facts blur together. She was referring to Anne Hathaway.

Gillianren
2015-Feb-01, 06:04 PM
I was. Anne Hathaway was in The Princess Diaries; I don't know of anything Disney Jennifer Lopez did.

As for Disney's films, while I grant you that Snow White is definitely a tepid fairy tale, the studio's second feature was Pinocchio. And their third was Fantasia. I'm also pretty sure Walt, at least, didn't tend to think of any of their films as "for boys" or "for girls." And I'd bet Roy thought of them as "for anyone with the price of a ticket--please buy a ticket!"

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-01, 06:50 PM
And Dumbo! That guy was my spirit animal.

I think it's about time I saw Frozen; I initially boycotted it because I wanted The Snow Queen, but now I think I need to know what the fuss was about.

Gillianren
2015-Feb-01, 10:28 PM
I really enjoyed it. It's not my favourite--that's actually Sleeping Beauty--but it's part of Disney's current upswing, definitely.

Jim
2015-Feb-02, 12:17 AM
This is the problem with these megaposts; facts blur together. She was referring to Anne Hathaway.

I was. Anne Hathaway was in The Princess Diaries; I don't know of anything Disney Jennifer Lopez did.
:doh-default:

Well, I like Anne Hathaway, too.

AsmaMohd
2015-Feb-03, 06:09 AM
1) The Avengers: Age of Ultron
2) Star Wars:Episode VII
3) Jurassic World
4) Terminator: Genisys
5) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
6) Mad Max: Fury Road
7) Jupiter Ascending
8) Insurgent
9) Kingsman: The Secret Service
10) Blackhat
11) Tomorrowland
12) Chappie
13) The Boy Next Door
14) The Wedding Ringer
15) Fifty Shades of Grey
16) The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of water
17) Selma
18) Mortdecai
19) Hot Tub Time Machine 2
20) The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
21) Inside Out

KaiYeves
2015-Feb-03, 11:27 AM
1) The Avengers: Age of Ultron
2) Star Wars:Episode VII
3) Jurassic World
4) Terminator: Genisys
5) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
6) Mad Max: Fury Road
7) Jupiter Ascending
8) Insurgent
9) Kingsman: The Secret Service
10) Blackhat
11) Tomorrowland
12) Chappie
13) The Boy Next Door
14) The Wedding Ringer
15) Fifty Shades of Grey
16) The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of water
17) Selma
18) Mortdecai
19) Hot Tub Time Machine 2
20) The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
21) Inside Out

In order of your excitement?

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-03, 08:24 PM
For the week of Friday the 6th of February:

Jupiter Ascending (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZzMkDLjWI): OK. Questions: 1. If human life was seeded onto our planet 100,000 years ago, why are we present in the fossil record for double that time? 2. If these are financial corporations trying to turn a profit, why has it taken 100,000 years for a corporation to decide to make a return on its investment? 3. How do you expect to be taken seriously if you take crop circles seriously? And finally, while I grant that original ideas are hard to come by in a genre as thoroughly strip-mined as space opera, could you at least TRY to appear as though you came up with yours yourself? Look, I appreciate what the Warshowskis are doing here; they clearly love classic space opera and want to make a modern, FX-filled homage to the golden age of the genre. Problem is, George Lucas already did that 40 years ago, and he was smart enough (at least initially) to sharpen the histrionics with dose of snark. This kind of self-important, uber-earnest dialogue hasn’t been kosher in space opera since Flash Gordon. And now, with Mass Effect, the Battlestar Galactica reboot, and even Guardians of the Galaxy moving space opera into the future, this seems like a fossil that’s been digitally encoded and covered in virtual flesh.

US

Seventh Son (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXiNkOjM7oM): Speaking of overly earnest dialogue… High fantasy is another genre that really shouldn’t attempt to go retro. Now that The Lord of The Rings has finally been adapted properly to screen, all the attempts that came before it, from Conan to Dragonslayer to Willow, have been exposed as the trite bits of ephemera they were. And this trailer strongly suggests that this movie is, at heart, a simple remake of Willow, right down to the creature and location design. And I hated Willow. The only things I can say in this trailer’s favour is that it’s about time someone cast Julianne Moore as a White Witch-style overlord, and Jeff Bridges’s weird mid-Southern Atlantic accent, surprisingly, kinda works.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4TREW4cYAU): Animation fans tend to treat Spongebob Squarepants as two different shows; the first, which was written and showrun by the initial creators, was a lovely uplifting tale of a simple guy who saw the good in everybody, regardless of how anyone saw him. This lasted until the first movie came out, after which the original creators left, and the second show began. Somehow, the next shift completely missed a memo, because within a few years the show was pushing characters to drive their rivals to suicide or outright murder them. Astonishingly, this corrupted, undead version of Spongebob is pretty much the only thing left on Nickelodeon with an audience, so now we have another movie. While it does not appear to be wallowing in its own vileness ala its smallscreen incarnation, I doubt it marks a path to redemption.

The Voices (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IaPaB4Pzqk): Remember how, when you first heard that David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz was told to kill by a talking dog, you kinda, just a little, thought it was funny? Well it wasn’t THAT funny. Certainly not funny enough to serve as the premise for an entire movie. Still, kudos to Ryan Reynolds for doing all the animal voices. Oh, and this is a greenband trailer but, in the ethos of keeping all things G-rated, some may find it disturbing.

Love, Rosie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqSE6Kzuht0): I’m sick of “friendzone” movies. Especially between two free-spirited pretty young things who, modern British youth being what it is, would probably be all over each other in any realistic situation. I also have yet to see anything appealing in Lily Collins. I’m not one to call nepotism (I actually quite like Bryce Dallas Howard) but I can’t see any other reason for pop culture’s attempt to foist her on us.

Jurassic City (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMZt0YMw9O0): Yeah, yeah I know. Plus they ripped the trailer sirens from Alien. And their leading man is Leyland Palmer from Twin Peaks. But still, given that this must have been a spit-and-plywood production, the CGI is surprisingly good, and it’s nice to know that the influence of Roger Corman can still be felt, even in this corporatized age.

Ballet 422 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f-AvMve1NU): I’ve never liked ballet; telling a story though dance is impossible, because everyone’s going to have their own interpretation of what’s going on. And if Black Swan is anything to go by, it doesn’t seem all that fun for the people involved either. This trailer doesn’t really offer any searing insights into the labours and pains that pour themselves into every production, so I’m not sure what it’s for.

Enter the Dangerous Mind (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmreYP6Rbxs): This has the exact same plot as The Voices, only it’s not done for laughs, which means that, while I can’t respect it as a work of cinema, I can at least take it seriously. And has Scott Bakula’s career gone so far off the skids that he has to appear in bargain basement stuff like this?

Mad As Hell: Rise of the Young Turks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh1cLEGmDrA): Hands up if you subscribe to the Young Turks *raises hand*. I don’t always agree with them and frankly am getting tired of their reliance on sex stories, but there’s no denying that Cenk Uighur is the only fresh voice in the media right now. Still, this “documentary” feels a little too polished; bits look re-enacted and his herd-leading call-and-reply about regaining our democracy seemed a bit hypocritical. Also, it’s rather odd to title your film after the signature phrase of a mentally unbalanced man who was being exploited by his corporate owners.

Ninjas Vs Monsters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCok0DtBkAY): I could say something witty about bondage gear and bikinis being the professional’s choice for stealth but the fact is, this is just awful. I mean, “in the backyard with a camcorder” awful.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaKps-sN5JM): Capturing The Friedmans was one of the most powerful documentaries of the last decade, in which a simple exploration of the lives of party clowns became a shocking examination of the disintegration of one family after the father is accused of child molestation. And that, bar a stab at narrative feature directing with the flop Ryan Gosling vehicle All Good Things, was it for director Andrew Jarecki. It’s been 11 years, but it seems all he was waiting for the right subject, because boy has he found one, and this looks compelling as heck. An examination of real-estate heir Robert Durst, who was suspected in three murders but never convicted. Somehow, Jareki managed to get him on tape, and I’m interested to hear what he has to say.

Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCxCKcEbzRM): Surprisingly competent for a low-budget zombie film, but then competence isn’t enough when you decide to enter a genre this tired, and there’s nothing new here.

UK

The Shawn The Sheep Movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQvwiOWpj7o): Aardman have had a bad last few years; mega-budgeted features like Flushed Away and Arthur Christmas, despite being relatively well-received by critics, underperformed at the box office, and now they seem to have gone back to basics with this obviously much cheaper take on one of their properties. Doesn’t feel quite as captivating as Chicken Run or Curse of the Were-Rabbit but still looks fun.

The Interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsvWVEHowg): Looks like we in the UK are getting this in theatres. Lucky us. The only thing that would make me see this is my crush on Lizzy Caplan.

Still Life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt9CsXrlO8Y): a sad loner on his last day on the job of tracking down the relatives of those who die alone finds solace in one of his contacts. Looks pretty good, though a bit heavy-handed in the visual metaphors.

The Rendlesham UFO Incident (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4GijLIkmHM): This is actually Hangar 10, which was supposedly released last year, but must have been delayed. Still, while found footage UFO movies are a dime a dozen, this looks pretty well-made for what it is.

The Turning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31JYZeizC2E): Intriguing anthology film in which 16 directors (including Mia Wasikowska, in her directing debut) take on a series of short stories by author Tim Winton. Seems to star every single Australian star to make it big in the last 10 years.

KaiYeves
2015-Feb-03, 08:45 PM
Ah, so the Carnosaur franchise is alive and well, I see...

Jim
2015-Feb-04, 01:35 AM
For the weeks of Friday the 6th of February:

Please, please, please don't let there be any movies with either JLo or Anne Hathaway in them.

Noclevername
2015-Feb-04, 02:29 AM
Gilgamesh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZvnpiaDxHc): Woah. I honestly have no clue about this one; its story is some weird mash up of the Tunguska event, ancient alien gods, and Soviet mind control.

So, a History Channel documentary?

Gillianren
2015-Feb-04, 03:53 AM
And has Scott Bakula’s career gone so far off the skids that he has to appear in bargain basement stuff like this?

Alas yes?

SeanF
2015-Feb-04, 03:59 AM
The Interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsvWVEHowg): Looks like we in the UK are getting this in theatres. Lucky us. The only thing that would make me see this is my crush on Lizzy Caplan.
We watched it on NetFlix last night. It was better than I expected it to be, but that's the very definition of damning with faint praise.

captain swoop
2015-Feb-04, 07:15 PM
So, a History Channel documentary? :D

Noclevername
2015-Feb-04, 07:21 PM
As far as I can tell, The Skids is the default mode of Scott Bakula's career. His runs of success are the anomalies.

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-04, 09:30 PM
Please, please, please don't let there be any movies with either JLo or Anne Hathaway in them.

Dude, I write this thing, and even I get confused reading it.


Alas yes?


As far as I can tell, The Skids is the default mode of Scott Bakula's career. His runs of success are the anomalies.

That's a sad thing to think about. I liked Quantum Leap. Maybe he should just stick to TV.

Gillianren
2015-Feb-04, 09:34 PM
As far as I can tell, The Skids is the default mode of Scott Bakula's career. His runs of success are the anomalies.

He's reliably done pretty well on Broadway, I understand (I've never had the chance to see for myself), but yeah, when he ventures into the wider entertainment world, the results are usually kind of depressing. There's a con group called The Church of Scott Bakula--"His career died for your sins."

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-04, 09:36 PM
So, a History Channel documentary?

Only less believable, from the looks of things. And less coherent.

Jim
2015-Feb-04, 11:07 PM
Only less believable, from the looks of things. And less coherent.

Soooo, made for SyFy movie?

parallaxicality
2015-Feb-13, 07:08 PM
I’ve been knocked out by colitis for the last few days; not sure if I’ll be able to finish this, but here’s hopin’.

For the weeks of Friday the 13th of February:

Fifty Shades of Grey (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA): I’m a feminist. I’ve always been a feminist. For those who don’t know, I am male, though I was raised by an ex-hippie Californian liberal single mother. These days though, at least on the internet, identifying as a feminist is akin to identifying as a child molester, and receives a similar reaction. So when something comes along like this, whose sexual politics are unavoidable and murky at best, I don’t really know how to proceed. I’m pretty sure that no matter what I say, I’m going to offend someone, so apologies in advance. This film has a rather complex history; it was based on a novel which was in turn based on a Twilight fanfic (this makes the author’s demand that the film preserve her execrable dialogue somewhat ironic). I have not read the book, but apparently it is a literary failure in all respects save spelling, and, just like Twilight, its biggest detractors seem to be progressive, liberal men, offended by the fact that women the world over have been apparnently entranced by a fictional relationship built on dominion and subjugation, rather than an affirming relationship of equals. Female writers have tried to explain the appeal of these stories to their sex, but their explanations are remarkably naÔve; it may be true that women need to relax to orgasm, and require a man to be in complete control, but I would suggest they read a Gor novel to see how far the male mind can take that concept. In the Twilight/50 Shades universe, the ideal man is handsome, rich, dominating, controlling, a bit dark, but above all, monogamous. In the real world, handsome, rich, dominating, dark and controlling men are called sociopaths, and any psychologist will tell you, they will never only be interested in you.

US

Kingsman: The Secret Service (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th_KrhqmHk8): Matthew Vaughn is a director I admire; he directs action choreography better than any other current action director, at least in the Western world. While I didn’t really like Kick-***, his X-Men: First Class was the best entry in that series, and arguably the only reason Marvel haven’t got the rights back from Fox yet. I’m also fairly fond of Stardust, even if it showed a bit too much of Vaughn’s characteristic quirk for the sake of quirk, which I’m afraid is overabundant in this trailer. I appreciate that Vaughn is British, but even he has to be sick of the way the Brits are perceived by the rest of the world, and a Harry Potter meets James Bond by way of Thunderbirds premise isn’t going to remedy that. Still, the reviews have been decent, so maybe I’m being too critical.

What We Do In The Shadows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAZEWtyhpes): I’m a huge fan of Jemaine Clement, but that means I hold him to higher standards, and if you’re going to attempt to parody vampires in the post-Twilight world, you’d better come up with some pretty original zingers, and I don’t see any here.

The Last Five Years (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dT0mrKzObw): I usually like musicals, and I thought for a bit about why this didn’t grab me. I think I know why; it’s trying too hard to be a film. Musicals are, by definition, divorced from reality and any attempts to merge them with the more realistic forms of drama produce, at least for me, an uncanny valley effect. Onstage, actors can move, throw themselves outward, dance in circles. In the confined cinematic world of the set and the close-up, the music feels caged and boxed in. There are no easy answers to this problem, and no film adaptation has found them all, but the best, like West Side Story, have at least granted their singers that freedom of movement.

Accidental Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwCatikaHNM): Basically a mashup of 50 First Dates and Legally Blonde. Actually been held back for some time, which makes sense, because there’s no way Gyllenhaal would have made this after Nightcrawler. While Gyllenhaal has always given me the creeps (and his odd resemblance to Toby Maguire doesn’t help) I can at least respect him as an actor; I can’t say the same for Jessica Biel, who is hovering somewhere between Katherine Heigl and Denise Richards in my list of actresses who shouldn’t be as successful as they are.

The Rewrite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp6M6yYJLUU): Oh look, another movie about a philandering psychopath who just needs the right woman to tame him! And it’s a comedy! I have a confession to make you probably won’t believe: Hugh Grant bears an uncanny resemblance to my father, not only in looks but also in speech. My father’s personality is also very similar to the character he plays in this trailer, and whenever I see Grant in one of his slippery, narcissistic personas (as in, say, Bridget Jones’s Diary) I get the willies. So take any criticism I may make with a pinch of salt.

Wyrmwood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgo0ZWlK4pk): A film that advertises itself as Mad Max… With Zombies! has its work cut out, given that descriptor applies to nearly every zombie film ever made. Still, from the trailer they do take the concept in some interesting directions, a feat I felt long since impossible, including psychic zombie control and, if I’m reading it right, using the zombies’ magical reanimating power as a source of fuel.

Girl House (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVwu1qIQRgw): Well. This has been an interesting Valentine’s Day. I’ve always found the moral stance of slasher movies a peculiar mix of the profane and the puritanical. They cater unabashedly to the male id as regards sex and violence, yet dictate that having sex onscreen is the surest way to get killed. This movie might actually be considered a service in the modern world of personalized porn and misogynistic doxing (maybe offering intimate images of yourself to someone you don’t know and will never see isn’t a good idea), but it undoes itself with its stupid Leatherface ripoff villain and Night Trap-esque nerd voyeur saviours.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n739-zHeooQ): Spike Lee’s career has taken him in some odd directions, but I never expected him to make a vampire movie, and yes, while it may be obscured by the rather disjointed trailer, that is what this is. Not sure why he felt the need to keep that rather crucial plot point a secret from us; you’d think he was ashamed. The idea of the vampire as upper-class parasitic psychopath has been done to death already (even in American Psycho) but I’m still mildly curious to see what Lee brings to the table.

Because I Was A Painter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3soLGa5P4Q): Fascinating-looking French documentary about the artistic record of the Holocaust, the artists who risked their lives to document it, and the artworks that often are, in the absence of photographs, the only visual record of events we have. It’s odd that it’s taken 70 years to interview these people.

Frankenstein vs The Mummy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvxBPVJ7Qv0): Yes, they mean the monster, not the man, though strangely the man is in the movie, albeit in young, present-day, shorn-headed, amateurishly acted form. And Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man made the same mistake 75 years ago so why should I care. Interesting that the classic “Shelleyan” form of the monster seems to have overtaken the Universal version, even at the low end.

Humpback Whales (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i29M7n1wPzI): This trailer is amazing, until “The Best Day of My Life” starts. That opening upside-down shot of the whale caressing the surface is mind-expanding, and really gives a sense of how whales might see the world. Also, Ewan McGregor is an underrated narrator.

The Dramatics (A Comedy) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whx-rek1AZE): Comedy about an actress who takes a role in, well, it’s Fifty Shades of Grey, and its effect on her relationship with her boyfriend. Actually seems quite funny, and hits a lot of sharp notes.

I'll do the UK ones tomorrow.

KaiYeves
2015-Feb-13, 09:07 PM
You know, I hadn't been aware of Humpback Whales beyond ads in the aquarium e-mail newsletters I get, but after that trailer, I definitely want to go see it at the aquarium. More incentive to do all of my homework on Saturday and Sunday and spend Monday there...

Also, does anybody else think Colin Firth's character's glasses and hairstyle in the ads for Kingsman make him look like Nelson Rockefeller or is it just me?

Gillianren
2015-Feb-14, 05:13 PM
Fifty Shades of Grey (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA): I’m a feminist. I’ve always been a feminist. For those who don’t know, I am male, though I was raised by an ex-hippie Californian liberal single mother. These days though, at least on the internet, identifying as a feminist is akin to identifying as a child molester, and receives a similar reaction. So when something comes along like this, whose sexual politics are unavoidable and murky at best, I don’t really know how to proceed. I’m pretty sure that no matter what I say, I’m going to offend someone, so apologies in advance. This film has a rather complex history; it was based on a novel which was in turn based on a Twilight fanfic (this makes the author’s demand that the film preserve her execrable dialogue somewhat ironic). I have not read the book, but apparently it is a literary failure in all respects save spelling, and, just like Twilight, its biggest detractors seem to be progressive, liberal men, offended by the fact that women the world over have been apparnently entranced by a fictional relationship built on dominion and subjugation, rather than an affirming relationship of equals. Female writers have tried to explain the appeal of these stories to their sex, but their explanations are remarkably naÔve; it may be true that women need to relax to orgasm, and require a man to be in complete control, but I would suggest they read a Gor novel to see how far the male mind can take that concept. In the Twilight/50 Shades universe, the ideal man is handsome, rich, dominating, controlling, a bit dark, but above all, monogamous. In the real world, handsome, rich, dominating, dark and controlling men are called sociopaths, and any psychologist will tell you, they will never only be interested in you.

Can I assure you that plenty of female feminists disapprove heartily of these books and this movie? This one, for starters. Where your sexuality takes you is your own business if everyone is consenting, but from what I've read (I haven't read the books, because the friend who took the bullet for our group said they were terrible), this is not consenting. And even if it were, there's a long difference between consenting to certain sexual behaviours and consenting to your own abuse, which is what she's doing. It worries me some that the big "romances" for women these days normalize such terrible things. The stalking in Twilight and the out-and-out abuse here are probably going to get at least one woman killed.

I'm with you about Ewan McGregor, too, but that seems less important.