Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer 2011: Why it will be better than Summer 2010

So if you hadn't noticed, this weekend's box office results have been some of the lowest box office results for a Memorial Day weekend. As a whole this summer has been pretty lackluster. I'd have really lost hope in the film industry if I didn't know what films are scheduled for next summer. By this time next year, we'll already have seen Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, and Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom. That is what a May line up of films should look like.

Going into June we have X-Men: First Class (Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)), Fast Five (yes, that means the Fast and the Furious 5 for those who don't quite understand), Green Lantern, and Cars 2. I'd be happier about Cars 2 if there were actually something to be happy about. I love Pixar, but in all honesty, Cars didn't meet their standard. The month looks like it might be open for one more hit, so I'm going to say that if Super 8 can't find a place in May, it's certainly a good fit for June.

Then in July, Transformers 3 (without Megan Fox), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Captain America, and Cowboys vs. Aliens. Overall that's a much stronger month than this year, where the only real movie worth seeing is Inception. I'm sorry I keep bringing it up, but until I have credible reason to believe the film won't be good, I'll continue promoting the film. Then to close the summer we have The Smurfs (starring Neil Patrick Harris), War Horse (Directed by Stephen Spielberg), and Spy Kids 4. Alright, it's still August, so don't be disappointed. The month is already disappointing.

I know it's strange to look so far off into the future, but it honestly looks so much more awesome than the present. Below is my rankings of my top 5 most anticipated films of next summer. Feel free to weigh in on your own opinions.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
4. Super 8
3. Transformers 3
2. The Hangover 2
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

'Sorcerer's Apprentice' moves release up by 2 days

He looks fat, doesn't he?
In a strategic and smart move, Disney has pushed the release date for The Sorcerer's Apprentice up to July 14th. Why is this such a smart move? Because two days later Christopher Nolan's epic science fiction film Inception will be released. The two films were originally meant to share the same opening day, but then Disney probably realized that their film sucks in comparison to Nolan's. How this will all turn out is currently uncertain. If I'm correct it will end with Apprentice not being a good movie, getting all its small earnings in the first two days, and then people will actually get a film worth their time. The only smarter decision Disney could've made was to move their film out of the month entirely.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Box Office Report: 'Shrek' tramples 'Sex' and 'Persia'.

I think we get it by now. 3D sells more than 2D. I think we got that when Iron Man 2 wasn't a huge smash. I think we also got that this year has been disappointing around that same point. The final chapter of the Shrek series continues to rake in cash, bringing $43 million this weekend, a scant 39% down from last week. The success of the film spelled doom for the two new 2D releases. Sex and the City 2 just barely came in second with $32 million, adding to the $13 million the film made on thursday.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, brought in modest, but not spectacular $30 million this weekend, but wasn't able to truly captivate audiences. I don't see it being a smash hit in the following weeks, nor do I predict for Sex and the City 2. Iron Man 2 took another small drop of 39%, bringing it's total to $274 million. The film will probably make it to $300 million in the following two weeks. This weekend was down 14% from the same weekend last year when Up and Drag Me to Hell released to critical acclaim.

Guillermo Del Toro has left The Hobbit!

It is with great regret that I must inform you all that Guillermo Del Toro has opted to leave The Hobbit, after devoting nearly two years of his life to pre-production of the film. This is without a doubt one of the most disappointing turn of events in a long time. I know that Del Toro, who has excelled at directing fantasy films like Pans Labyrinth and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, would've have turned in an Oscar worthy production had it been greenlighted. Unfortunately MGM had too many problems on their hands to give the film the go ahead.

It's also sad because if Guillermo hadn't taken up The Hobbit in the first place, he may have settled in to direct the last two Harry Potter films. I'm sure David Yates will deliver on the finale, but I can't help thinking Del Toro would've been able to truly knock it out of the park. Anyways, this sets production of The Hobbit in serious doubt, without a director to shepherd the project. If my word counts for anything, which it doesn't, I'd say that the only other person I can envision taking the reigns is Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men). This news also opens Del Toro's future template. I'd like to see him bust out that third Hellboy film he's promised us, but the guy's been in a slump for two years. He can do whatever he likes. For his full statement, go to The One Ring.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

High on Nolan: Batman Begins

It's interesting how ones opinion of a film changes long after the first viewing. When Batman Begins was first released I immediately loved it, and it took me several years to get to a point where I started to notice the flaws in the film. Now before I start railing against this film, may I remark that Christopher Nolan is only partially responsible for this film. Right now, I'm going to say that he's responsible for everything right about the movie. So who is responsible for the disappointing qualities?

David Goyer, the director of The Unborn, isn't what I'd call a good filmmaker. I'm glad that he got in contact with Nolan, because without his we wouldn't have had Batman Begins, and then we wouldn't have the success of The Dark Knight, which is largely the reason Inception was fully funded by Warner Bros. However, the guy just has the aura of scumbaggery to him that you have to hate.

As for the script, it sticks very much to the typical superhero plot structure, and as they barrel towards the end game the plot becomes even more ludicrous. Nolan's goal going into the film was to make a more realistic Batman film, and at minimum he acheived that with Batman Begins. The first hour of the film is absolutely riveting as we learn the backstory of Bruce Wayne, and for the first time are able to register with his character on an emotional level. Christian Bale's performance never stops being interesting, but the plot does start getting muddled going into the third act.

I know how some people believe Rachel looked more attractive when Katie Holmes was playing her, but in all honesty she looked like a prostitute. I had a hard time not hating her in every way, and if Maggie Gylenhaal didn't take the role in the sequel I wouldn't have cared when she... well, something happens in The Dark Knight. I'll get to that later. Ultimately Nolan did a great job of reviving the presumed dead Batman Series, and he'd only go on to do more great work.

3 out of 4 stars

Weekend Update: 5th Week of May

I'm noticing an unfortunate pattern this year, and that pattern involves most releases hitting below expectations. The most anticipated films of each month have all been somewhat disappointing (Edge of Darkness, Shutter Island, Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans, and Iron Man 2), and I pray that doesn't happen for the film at the top of my 3 to see in June. This year has really been a dud so far, and this weekend really speaks for itself.

Isn't it a sad statement that Sex and the City 2 is set to win out the weekend, despite mediocre reviews? I respond to my own question with the most obvious answer: Yes! The film took in 14 million on thursday, and that makes it's journey into the weekend that much more profitable. Expect a five day total (including Memorial Day) of $75 million, with the film tumbling towards a total of $175 million. Then there's the competition which comes in the form of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

This film seems poised towards a similarly female market, with heartthrob Jake Gylenhaal in the title role. This film looks like the epidome of the awful summer action movie. The trailer actually uses the phrases "secret guardian temple," and "skilled in the art of quick death." Only once has a more cliche'd film been released, and that was Avatar. It looks like Disney's failed attempt to seize profits from a Pirates of the Caribbean type of film. Either way, expect a four day total of $52 million.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warner Bros. Release Date(s) News!

What I still consider to be the best film studio out there today, Warner Bros. has announced the release dates for a few projects it has in the works. First is the release date for Sherlock Holmes 2, the sequel to the Robert Downey Jr. blockbuster that premiered last Christmas. The film is supposed to release on December 16, 2011, the same weekend that Avatar conquered last year, and that Tron Legacy is released on this year. I really liked Sherlock Holmes for what it was, and if Brad Pitt does take up the role of the bad guy Moriarty in the sequel, I will be satisfied.

On top of the the studio announced that they'd be aiming for a Holiday 2012 release for the Christopher Nolan shepherded reboot of Superman. I'm not fully sure if they'll get the film finished in that time, and I'm personally not worried about it if it gets pushed back a few months. Quite a few film studios have shown reluctancy in releasing a film in 2013 or past then, simply because the world is to end in 2012. It's not going to, but studio execs are clearly superstitious enough to believe that. Either way 2012 will certainly be an interesting year, with the release of both the Dark Knight sequel, and the Superman reboot.

'How to Train Your Dragon' is NOT better than Pixar!

I'm undergoing a little bit of a crisis right now, because my fellow Oscar prediction sites seem to be under the false assumption that How to Train Your Dragon is likely to beat Toy Story 3. This is a very serious problem, not because Dragon is bad movie, which it definitely isn't. In fact it's a lot better than most Dreamworks films. But people are getting it in their heads that it's better than most Pixar films, just because it has a 98% Rotten Tomatoes score. Let me break down where the error occurs.

Rotten Tomatoes dictates that most film of a 2.5 out of 4, or a B- and up are good reviews, and most things below that are bad. Now only a few people don't like the movie, in fact right now it's three. That does mean that it's a likable film, but where the conclusion of just how good it is lands is something else entirely. If you want to know the average grade for a film, compiled from the ratings of all other reviews, you look at (who'd have guessed it?) the spot that says average rating. Dragon's rating stands at 7.8 out of 10, while last year's Up which got the same percentage of positive reviews, got an 8.6.

The Incredibles, which stands at 97%, has an 8.3 rating. Both Ratatouille and WALL-E, which have 96%, acheived a 8.4 rating. So despite the hype and lasting box office results, I doubt How to Train Your Dragon will beat out Pixar this year. They haven't failed before, and likely won't this year. You'll see the Dragon hype die out as soon as Toy Story 3 enters the market.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3 to See in June

3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
I'm going to make this pretty clear right now. I'm not looking forward to, or suggesting that people see this movie. I'm going to see it either way, because I respect the Twilight saga in the fact that it has been untentionally kept me laughing throughout at how brainless it is. The only regret I'll have about seeing it is that I won't have anybody to ridicule it with. Men are being promised that this film will be different, and offer visceral vampire scares. I doubt it will. In fact, I can't find a good reason to see this movie. So why is it on my three to see? Because I can't really think of anything else that will fill the third spot. Truth is, there isn't much quality to go around this year.

2. Splice
I have a special connection to science fiction films made on small budgets that prove interesting and innovative (District 9). This looks like a similar escapade, and an enjoyable horror film. Who hasn't thought about what it would look like if you mixed a tiger and a koala? Or some other cooky combination? Either way, this film could work as a homage to classic horror films like Frankenstein and Rosemary's Baby, as well as add some humanity to what could easily be a disaster. Early reviews are positive for the scifi thriller, so we'll just have to see.

1. Toy Story 3
Going from grisly horror film, to beloved childrens franchise, this couldn't possibly not be most anticipated of this month. Get past the fact that it's Pixar, and they've never made a bad film ever, and they never will. They've made disappointing films (Cars), but never a bad one. Toy Story 3 will be successful because it's the series that started the Pixar phenomenon. We've had to amazing films that were emotionally touching, and never once felt repetitive. It looks like we'll have a similar experience again. It's a new story, and the last of the anthology. After this is over, we'll have tears running down our cheeks not only because of the touching story, but because it's the end. Once that sinks in, I think things will really get interesting.

PotterWatch (6 of 77): Deathly Hallows Filming Concludes!

As we speak, the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being filmed. It's not just the final scene of the film, but also the last scene being filmed. We've also got some interesting pictures of an aged Harry and Ginny saying goodbye to what I'll assume is Albus Severus Potter. I was under the impression that they were going to add on the extra years with visual effects in the same way they did with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. They may still do that for finishing touches, but as it is, I can see the film getting an Oscar for Best Makeup.
The makeup for Harry and Ginny is pretty good. It may not be the first thing you look at, but Bonnie Wright's breasts actually look as if she's had three children. It's a crude analysis, but a true one. Ron looks quite a bit like his father, but I'm not totally buying the look. Then again, I don't really care about the character much in the first place. Draco has got some chin scruffle which is different from the rest of his hair. We only see his son from the back, but he looks quite a bit like Draco looked at that age. At least his hair does. Still no sign of Hermione, but I'll update this as soon as she comes in. What are your thoughts? Good or bad?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

24 Finale: Setting up for the movie

For several years, two shows have made an impression on the current culture, and they both met their end in the past two days. Lost ended with absolutely no opening for a feature film, and that's probably a good thing. They're story was finished. As for 24, there's still room for a new tale to be told. In fact, the script for the feature film follow-up for 24 has already been finished, and is currently waiting for a director to take it up.

If everything goes as it should, the movie could be off the ground and into production within the year, and released either sometime next year, or summer 2012. I'm not very familiar with the series 24, but the finale was pretty interesting to me, and set up for what I could see as a good film. The only huge problem I see facing the film is that the format of taking place in real time, and the fact that it's titled 24, as in 24 hours. So I don't know what they'll do with that, but it seems like an interesting concept.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who should host 83rd Academy Awards?

This year's hosts were probably two of the worst in history. They went on far too long, weren't that funny, and didn't manage to create a personality during the show (was Alec Baldwin even there?). So now seems like a good time to propose an alternative host.
Jon Stewart- The Daily Show host has hosted two times, and both times he managed to keep us laughing, if only just. You don't get called back for a second time hosting if you're not good at your job. Then again, since the last time he hosted they hired a non-comedian and two formerly funny guys with poor writers. So maybe the Academy has lost faith in the talk show host. I sure hope not, because if he hosted again it could be a potential return to form. Betty White- The internet managed getting White on SNL, and since then the internet has once again been tantalizing with the possibility of her hosting the Oscars. Sure the only mention of it was as part of a joke promoting her appearance on SNL, but wouldn't it be pretty damn funny? White is a great comedian, and she's just so sweet that she can deliver each line with pin point accuracy, no matter how bad it might be. We'll see.Neil Patrick Harris- Do I really need to explain this? Ricky Gervais is busy hosting the Golden Globes again, some obscure guy is hosting the Tonys, and if Harris isn't picked up to host the Emmys, he's essentially out of a job as host this year. So who's really better for the job than him? His surprise appearance at the beginning of this year's Oscars was one of the show's highlights. I only wish he'd stuck around for the rest of the show. Maybe this will be his chance. I sure hope so.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Glee picked up for third season, and it's still on season 1

I'm not at all a fan of Fox, who even with this decision are a bunch of idiots. They do put on a lot of great shows like 24, and Fringe, but they handle decisions about those shows poorly. Take for example that they've recently cancelled 24, and kept Fringe on the thursday night time slot that's been killing the show all season. So even if this decision is kind of stupid, I'm extemely glad they're making it. Fox has renewed Glee for a third season, even when season 1 hasn't finished up yet.

On the one hand, Glee is one of the greatest shows on TV right now, and I could never stop watching it for something else. On the other hand, if I were a producer I'd want to see if a show succeeds in it's second season before locking it up for a third. I know I'm nitpicking on a decision that everybody, including myself is happy about, but I'm just speaking logically. The series could suffer from a crippling sophomore slump like Heroes, and never be able to recover. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.

PotterWatch (5 of 77): The Actor's Circuit - Tom Felton

One of the best aspects of the Harry Potter film series is their devotion to the young cast members. Originally they were simple 11 year old children who had little to no acting experience, and the fact that they're still around is astounding. I may be alone on this, but if I were the producer of the series I'd have fired and replaced them after the first movie or two. Thankfully they stuck around with the kids, who have really blossomed into amazing actors, the most recent and prevalent example is Tom Felton.

Originally the character of Draco Malfoy was an annoying wimpish bully, and for that aspect Tom Felton did a pretty good job. Nobody better to play an immature kid than an immature kid. Over the next four films we got this idea in our heads that he was going to be one of the main villains by the end of the series. However, in Half-Blood Prince, Felton got a chance to fully round out his character as somebody who has been raised to be a certain way and wants to be that way, but he just isn't.

Felton had been forced to play such a douchebag for so long that we didn't really think of him as a very good actor. It's only when you add humanity to a role that you can tell how great an acting talent is. In a film where every character has a sad story arc, Felton had me reaching for my metaphorical tissue box, which they wouldn't let me bring into the theatre for security reasons (I don't know why), quite a few times. I'd like to see him be one of the young actors who goes on to take bigger and better roles after Potter closes up.

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Award Winners Announced

Here I officially end my coverage of Cannes film festival with the winners of the awards, and I must say I'm confused. I've spent so much time focusing on the much buzzed about films, I didn't take a look at the films absolutely nobody was talking about. Was I focusing too much on the wrong films, because most of the winners are people and films I've never heard of before, and will likely never hear of again. Lets face facts that most of these won't go on to Oscar fame, and if they do then I'll be surprised. How enraged are you that Mike Leigh's Another Year isn't on this list? I'm enraged just because I heard a lot of buzz about it. Anyway, here's the list of winners:

Palme d’Or: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Grand Prix: Of Gods and Men
Best Actor: (tie) Javier Bardem, Biutiful and Elio Germano, La Nostra Vita
Best Actress: Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy
Best Screenplay: Lee Chang-dong,
Poetry
Best Director: Mathieu Amalric, On Tour
Jury Prize: A Screaming Man
Camera d’Or: Año Bisiesto, Michael Rowe
Best Short Film: Chienne d’Histoire

Alright, I must admit, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a kind of intriguing name. I want to find out more about that.

Box Office Report: Shrek succeeds, but only just; MacGruber flails

I feel quite a bit of satisfaction and disappointment from this weekend's box-office results. To start off, I was right, and Shrek Forever After hit far below the predictions of most people, bringing in only $71 million. It even hit below my prediction, which I'm quite happy about. It's good to know the film won't likely hit $300 million. However the success is a little bittersweet, because MacGruber also hit below expectations, bringing in a meager $4 million.

That's certainly not befitting of such a good film, but I doubt the film could've managed a sequel. Iron Man 2 continued it's downward descent, hauling in $27 million and bringing its total to $251 million. The film may indeed make it to $300 million by the end of it's run. Robin Hood fell as much as expected with $19 million, adding up to $66 million right now. It may not see the light of $100 million. Next weekend marks the release of Prince of Persia, and Sex and the City 2.

Fringe: Season 2 Review

Every series faces a point when they have to address and remedy the pitfalls of it's narrative, and it could be years before they reach that point. Fringe made the great decision of getting to that point as early as season two. While the first season of Fringe introduced us the crazy science of our universe, this season gave us a look at the alternate universe that seeks our destruction. The series has always been about the mad genius Walter Bishop, and his quest to right the wrongs that he's responsible for. The damage he caused in our universe is nothing compared to what he did to the alternate reality.

It's an insane concept that handled in the wrong way could've turned out horrible. However, showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman know how to pull it off emotionally and make the series feel more human. That would be impossible if they didn't have the proper cast, which as it happens they do. John Noble isn't an extremely well known actor, but he is one of the best. He completely dissolves himself into the role of Walter Bishop, and makes his crazy humorous antics feel believable, and not forced. Joshua Jackson was kept in reserve for most of the season, but was able to expand on that thanks to a late season twist.

Lead actress Anna Torv to a back seat this season, and really felt like less of a nescessity to the show. Luckily she was brought back in full force by the season finale, which brilliantly puts the pieces in place for a far more interesting third season. The finale may have been a little too over hyped, but it brought the emotional tension the series is best known for, and that's high praise of a science fiction show. They still offer plenty of crazy science, but less horrifically than last season.

Unlike Lost, another series produced by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), the shock value of Fringe comes not from the mysteries, but from the events that occur to the characters. The last scene of the season is tonally pitch black, and manages the difficult task of making our hearts sink into our stomachs. It sets up for season three to break the mold of standalone episodes the series has become notorious for. The series is now where it needs to be to excell in following seasons, and to fill the gap left after Lost has ended. There as my grade for the first season would be somewhere around 8.0, season two gets a solid

A-

Saturday, May 22, 2010

MacGruber Review

Problems certainly arise when you try to turn a 2 minute SNL skit into a feature length film, but MacGruber simply ignores them, and as a result, so does the audience. The film may not be as inherently clever as The Hangover, but it is consistently funny throughout, relying mostly on rude humor to sell each joke. The film focuses on MacGruber, a former guy-who-worked-for-the-government, who is suddenly called back into duty to track down the terrorist who killed his wife, and to stop him from sending a nuclear warhed to destroy Washington D.C.

The film may be a comedy, but it does have action aspects to it, even if they're a little bit off kilter. We get some nice gun fighting, and a bit of hand to hand combat, but the Pièce de résistance of the action sequences is MacGruber ripping out throats. It's grisly, effective, and hillariously outrageous enough not to feel out of place. The cinematography may be simplistic, but at least it doesn't try to mess with the audience by going every which way during the action sequences. Composer Matthew Compton's music is adequate for an action movie, but nothing revolutionary.

But the technical aspects aren't going to be the reason people go see this film. The script may not be too smart, but then again neither is the character of MacGruber. The film knows how dumb it is, and it doesn't try to be anything else. It really has nothing to lose from doing something incredibly stupid, which it does on several occasions. It does have some tender moments, but never at the expense of the humor. Will Forte has inhabited the role of MacGruber for quite some time on SNL, so by now he knows exactly what moves to make with the character. MacGruber is a complete imbacile, a stone cold killer, but there is a heart beneath all that.

Kristen Wiig gets the most chance to expand from her SNL persona of Vicky St. Elmo, and she really does a fantastic job at delivering each line she's given. Vicky is the sort of girl who MacGruber can rely on no matter what, even when he makes the stupid douchebag decisions he does. Val Kilmer's villain (whose name will not be mentioned here because it's filthy) has a good reason for doing what he's doing, and that is money. Some things are as simple as being payed by the Chinese to destroy America. In the end MacGruber is a simple satirical action-comedy that does a better job engaging with the audience than most of the blockbusters that have come out so far this summer.

B

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Update: 4th Week of May

The summer movie season continues to boom this weekend with the release of Shrek Forever After, but enough about that. Even though I have no intention of seeing the film, I still foresee it bringing in a great amount of coinage in the box-office this weekend. It's a Dreamworks family film, and they recently showed us that sometimes they actually do something right (How to Train Your Dragon). I know the film will probably land in the range of $100 million this weekend, but I still feel like it'll only grind out around $75-80 million. If there is a god, it will be so.

So if you have half a brain, and you rightfully decide to skip Shrek, I suggest going out to see MacGruber. If we can get past the fact that it's based on a 2 minute SNL skit, I think we can all get into it, and enjoy it for what it is. Not a smart movie, but a damn funny one. I'm getting an idea of what it'll be like before I see it, which probably isn't the best idea, but I don't care. I don't expect the film to be hugely successful, because it just doesn't have the same following as Shrek, or Iron Man, or... Twilight. I know. The world isn't just. Still I see the film getting around $15 million this weekend, hopefully.

Then we have the holdovers from past weeks. Expect Robin Hood to take a 50% dive this week, landing around $15 million. As for Iron Man 2, I can see it dropping to around $25 million. It now seems somewhat unlikely that it will reach the coveted 400 million mark it was hoping to get to. And as for Babies, expect it to get somewhere in the area of 100,000 this weekend. Other than that, I can't think of anything else in the market worth seeing this weekend. Wait until next weekend when... Wait until the week after next weekend when... You know what? Just skip the theatres until Toy Story 3 comes out. It's probably for the best.

On today of all days, MacGyver movie gets a writer!

It feels like they've been waiting until today to let this news out, but here it is. Jason Richman has been hired to write the script for a proposed film based on MacGyver, the action series that inspired the SNL-skit MacGruber. Keep in mind that Richman isn't the best person to take on the task of writing the film. He's responsible for Black Hawk Down, and more recently and relavently Rush Hour 3. That does cast doubt in my mind for this film, but at the very least it's happening.

I do admire Richard Dean Anderson's work on MacGyver, as well as on Stargate SG-1 until he left the cast. The show seemed to be pointless in watching without him there. So I'm hoping that he renews his role for this film, but I kind of hope that this isn't an Indy Jones 4 kind of deal. I don't want to meet MacGyver's son. I don't want him to have a family at all in fact. I want him to be on his own, doing absolutely nothing with his life, and then thrown into catastrophe. They have yet to announce a release date, but as soon as they do... I probably won't put up an individual post for it. It'll come out at some point.

Fringe: Over There Review (Part 2)

We finally got the finale that we (or at least I) have been waiting for. I can't speak for anybody who reads my blog, because I regularly post on a show that only a very small subset of people actually watch. Personally, I found this finale to be amazing, and only a little disappointing on one point, and that's the showdown between William and Walter. We got to see Bell again for only a short time, and I only wish there had been more fireworks.

Not to say it wasn't interesting. We got confirmation that William can indeed be trusted, going as far as sacrificing himself to have our trio return home, and up until that point we got some interesting stuff between him and Walter. I really wish that this had been a 3-parter instead of just two. Then we could've gotten more for Leonard Nimoy's final acting appearance ever. He has made sacrifices and betrayals of both worlds, and though he may not have as much emotional baggage as Walter, he is still a brilliant mind responsible for so much death.

On to our trio, the first half of the episode showed Peter learning how the doomsday machine works, and that it's function isn't at all innocent, and that neither is Walternate. As for our Walter, we got some of his usual humor in some scenes that make me remember how long it's been since I last visited KFC. Then we go straight from their into tragic scenes that show exactly how much damage Walter caused by crossing worlds. The body count he's amassed is astounding and depressing.

Olivia's story seemed to be the most developed of this episode. We get the tender romance between Peter and herself that fans have been crying for for a long time. It came a bit out of thin air, but it didn't feel out of place. It was very important for the plot twist at the end to be as affective as it was. I wouldn't dare reveal it here, but it will make you want the next season to come as soon as possible. It really puts a pit in your stomach that won't go away. Ultimately the season ended on a high note, and though it may not be perfect, it's not at all bad either.

9.5 out of 10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You're Not Getting a Shrek 4 Review!

Why not, you ask? Because I have absolutely no intention of seeing the film. It's been a while since I sat down to watch a Shrek movie, and the overwhelming reason why is because they have been getting progressively worse, and even the first two have been getting worse over the years. You become more and more aggravated with these films as time goes by. It now shocks me that Shrek won best animated feature over Monsters Inc.

The series was good for one film, but then the concept became self-degradating, and repetitive. Lets start with the main reason you make a sequel: to advance the plot. That's something the Shrek franchise has failed to do. The third film had absolutely no reason to exist. It was, and continues to be Dreamworks milking the franchise for everything it has. Can we really expect the franchise to end after what is being called The Final Installment? I'm going to say no. I'm going to be seeing MacGruber this weekend, because it generally looks like an entertaining film.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sony Picture Classics acquired Another Year

So far the biggest film to come out of Cannes has been Mike Leigh's Another Year, and merely days after it premiered, Sony Picture Classics scooped up distribution rights to the film, which means the film will be coming to the screen this year. I can't talk too much on its Oscar possibilities, because I haven't seen a shred of footage from the film, but from the hype coming from Cannes, we can probably expect it to be in the running for Best Picture.

Megan Fox NOT in Transformers 3!

Enjoy it, because you'll never see it again!

At least not fighting alien robots. This is perhaps the most shocking news of the year. I was really motivated by how many good actors were signing on to Transformers 3, I started to forget the main reason why we went to Transformers 2: Megan Fox. Now it turns out that she will not be returning for the third installment. She spends two movies bonding with Shie Labeouf over the end of the world, and now they're just ending it? I'm sorry that such horrible news has come from my 200th post.

Either way, they're immediately looking for somebody to play the new love interest for Sam, prefferably one with breasts. If it were to be somebody famous, who would you vote for? Personally, I find myself holding out for Emma Watson, Ellen Page, or some other attractive girl who can act and whose name begins with the letter E. Then again, there's the obvious chance that they could go with somebody unknown. Currently the front-runner is Gemma Atherton, who is suddenly the romantic girlfriend in every disapointing action movie (Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans), so I hope that doesn't happen.

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Day 5-6

Blue Valentine- I already combed over Tamara Drewe, so this day's film may very well be the last on my radar. It depends on if something substantial comes in the next few days. This film was a hit at Sundance, and it's follow-up at Cannes is a little bit of a mixed bag. It's still got wide praise, but now people aren't as kind to the film's pitfalls. As says the Guy of the year, Guy Lodge of In Contention, "Through Jim Helton and Ron Patane’s smart, elliptical editing scheme, such gentle moments like this are deftly scattered through the heartbreak as we zigzag across the marriage; we know how it ends, but like the characters trapped within, this deeply moving film keeps taunting us with reasons to be hopeful."

I could go on about this film, and how much I despise that it won't be releasing until December, but ultimately nothing new's been said about the film, so this may be it for my Cannes Coverage. Unless something else hits it big, which if it does I will report it, I'm out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PotterWatch (4 of 77): The Trevor Project

"Don't kill yourself, because if you do, you won't be able to see the epic conclusion of my movie series." Daniel Radcliffe could've easily said that, and this PSA would still keep people from killing themselves. This post is kind of a departure from the norm, but it's warranted because of a worthy cause. "The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth", as Daniel Radcliffe points out to us.

You know what homosexual character essentially killed himself? Dumbledore, but for different reasons than the every day ones. Still you can imagine the dread he would feel if anybody found out that he was in love with Grindelwald. I'm a geek who reads too much into things because I care about it. Ultimately Daniel Radcliffe's appearance is inspiring, and will likely allow more people to be aware of the efforts of The Trevor Project. Personally, I'd never heard of it before the PSA, but now I'll definitely take a look at whatever they've done.

And if you're one of those listed people who are "feeling helpless or hopeless", or if you're just interested to see what Dan's sticking his neck out for, take a look below. Also, please don't kill me for sticking my neck out for good people.


OscarWatch: Visual Effects Category expanding to 5?

Of all the category expansions that have been occuring, probably the latest is the most unneeded. The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science is currently voting on whether or not they should expand the Visual Effects category from 3 to 5 nominations. I've personally felt that 3 was the perfect amount. It's the main reason collosal let downs like Spiderman 3, and Transformers 2 were excluded from the race, and if this effort fails then the most recent failure (sorry to tell the truth) Iron Man 2 won't be nominated either.

Originally my guesses for this award would've been Inception, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and The Last Airbender. Nobody can doubt Nolan's film, Harry Potter rarely disappoints in terms of whatever visual effects it has, and despite the promise of a crappy movie, the visual effects of The Last Airbender are amazingly beautiful. But if it comes to pass that this expansion is approved, then I'll have to add Tron Legacy and Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Iron Man 2's visual effects were just not as well conceived as the first one's. What's your opinion of this decision? Is it a good or bad idea? Is it better for a year where there are more effects driven films? I want to know what you think, so comment below.

Trailer Tuesday: The Adjustment Bureau, Easy A

A slow week for trailers, and considering the trailers we got, could we have asked for none at all this week? First is the much hyped trailer for The Adjustment Bureau. I have to say that this was an interesting concept, and the romance between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt will not doubt bring this film higher in praise. I do have a problem with this trailer though. It somehow focused a little too deeply on the paranoia of the story, and came off as a little cheesy.

The trailer makes the film look like a fusion of The Bourne Identity, some Romeo and Juliet-ish film, and some poorly executed contemporary sci-fi film. Also, the men of the Adjustment Bureau come off like the Observers from Fringe, except old and less intriguing and mysterious. It concerns me that this trailer is getting similar praise as the Inception trailer. Inception's trailer was more entertaining than the film it played before. I can't say the same for Adjustment, and it played before Robin Hood. I might be way off on this, but for the time being I remain unconvinced of this film's merits.

You thought I was critical of the last trailer? I can't even describe my disgust with the Easy A trailer. The film basically follows a girl who fakes sex in order to gain popularity. She then does similar favors for other boys. After it's suggested she sew a red A onto her clothing for adulterer, she does that, and Amanda Bynes plots her destruction. First of all, Amanda Bynes is one of the ugliest people on the planet. It's as if the director decided he wanted to gather the most unattractive people to be in his movie.

Then we get to the plot, and it's completely stereotypical high-school drama. Only one entertainment enterprise has been able to stem critical acclaim from high school drama, and that's Glee (and to a certain extent Mean Girls). This won't be that, and I can guarantee now that it will be instantly forgotten once the film is released.

The Adjustment Bureau trailer
Easy A trailer

Monday, May 17, 2010

J.J. Abrams' next TV show looks a little like this!

I've been a little concerned about J.J. Abrams' latest addition to the smallscreen, Undercovers, mainly because it's a comedy. I don't have too much of a problem with that as long as it's done well, and I just can't be sure from this trailer which way it'll go. It looks like an interesting concept that could be great in the long term, but I think everybody remembers how slow paced, and boring the Fringe Pilot was. The show got way better as the season went on, but that debut was a stinker. Could this be a similar escapade? I hope not. Take a 5-minute look at NBC's Undercovers.

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Day 4

Biutiful- This is probably the film that went into Cannes with the most Oscar potentiality, perhaps from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's last film Babel, or from lead actor Javier Bardem's career boom since his success in No Country for Old Men. Either way the film had a lot to live up to, and I can't say it did. People aren't saying it's bad by many measure, or a collosal disappointment. It just has quite a few controvercial detractors.

Now there are plenty who are ready to line up to praise the film, such as Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter, saying "More than any of the director's previous films including Babel and 21 Grams, which came loaded with star power, Biutiful is destined for the art house. There it should enjoy a warm reception since its only star, Javier Bardem, delivers a knockout performance as a hero whose last days are detailed with Joycean elan, filled with ambiguity, contradictions and lyricism."

But every rose has it's thorn. Playing the thorn is Sukhdev Sandhu from The Telegraph, describing that "Biutiful is another laborious stretch of designer depression, a remorseless headache that begins with a mysterious chap telling a ponytailed Javier Bardem: “When owls die they spit hairballs out of their beaks.” Does that sound profound? Or does it reek of cod-spiritual phooey?" The film hasn't been playing too well domastically to critics as it has been internationally. It'll be a long road to the Oscars for the film, but I think Bardem has a good chance at snagging Best Actor.
Tamara Drewe- How can people be so depressed about comedy films? It may be because most of the comedy output these days is crap (Grown Ups, because you know it will be). However, people have been downright joyful about Stephen Frear's latest comedic venture. Below is a rather large excerpt from Kirk Honeycutt's review of the film for The Hollywood Reporter, but he really sums up the consensus about the film.

"Posy Simmonds' (the author of the source material) fans should be happy as Frears and screenwriter Moira Buffini make pleasing work of her material with plenty of laughs. Cinematographer Ben Davis also makes the heaths, woodland and vale plus the cottages in the county of Dorset look ravishing enough to please Hardy himself. Alexandre Desplat's agile score employs gifted soloists along with the London Symphony Orchestra to help paint the pretty pictures."

I'm a collosal fan of Alexandre Desplat, and any film he does has at least the guarantee of a beautiful sound. The film may be a departure from Frear's usual works in the vein of The Queen, but I have no doubt that he hasn't lost his touch.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

High on Nolan: Memento Review

We're getting closer to Christopher Nolan's most anticipated film to date, Inception, so it seems only right to look to the films he's made in the past. When I think of the director, the first film that comes to mind isn't The Dark Knight, but Memento, because that was something that came almost completely out of his imagination. He came up with an interesting way to tell a story, infused it with flawed, interesting characters who are not at all what they appear to be.

Guy Pierce plays Leonard Shelby, a man who loses his wife and his memory in a brutal home invasion. He doesn't remember what he's done, but he knows what he has to do. He's been looking for the man who killed his wife, and that's what motivates him. The backwards storytelling has been scoffed at by some who choose to watch the film in chronological order. However the film just isn't as affective that way. Leonard isn't on the same journey as the audience. Our journey is a hell of a lot less frustrating.

The acting in the film really paved the way for the following decade. Guy Pierce did a great job portraying different versions of Shelby. It really speaks on how our view of the world is affected by the first thing we see when we open our eyes. The musical score was very low-end, but it fit the film, and translated the emotion into something fluent that transcends the screen. This film also represents one of Wally Pfister's first jobs as a cinematographer, and believe me when I say that he's come a long way since then.

His work isn't bad, but it's a far cry from the breathtaking visuals he's used in The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. As for Christoper Nolan, he's always had a gift for both writing and directing. He's one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, and he's delivered plot structures that are simply revolutionary. Memento was one of the first. It's a tight knit, intimate and emotional story with several twists and turns. By the beginning you may know where Shelby's journey ends, but you have no idea where you're going. Nolan takes the audience on a ride, and that's exactly what movies should do.
4 out of 4 stars

Box Office Report: Iron Man 2 defeats Robin Hood

At first it seemed like Iron Man 2 wouldn't be a staying power at the marketplace, but I guess people are just stupid enough not to understand the meaning of the word disappointment. The collosal let down managed to bring in $53 million in its second weekend, dropping a hefty 59%, but still winning the weekend. Judging from this, the action-comedy stands to end up with 400 million in total.

Robin Hood didn't have much fortune this weekend, and doesn't seem to have much in the future. The film brought in $37 million, which isn't something to scoff at, but definitely wasn't what studios were hoping for. The film really needed to be a hit with audiences this weekend. Looking at the competition in the coming weeks, the film doesn't stand much of a chance of retaining audiences. I can see the film getting as much as $100 million over the rest of it's run, but not much more.

Another new release this weekend, Letters to Juliet, took in a standard $13.7 million, predictable for that type of romance. Expect it to end in the range of $45-50 million. Also, if you haven't heard, there's a film called Just Wright in the market that I hadn't heard of until just now. It stars Queen Latifah, so one would think we'd have heard about it. I guess some had, seeing as it brought in $8.5 million. Don't go looking for it. I'm sure it's nothing important.

Next weekend we get a return to the 3D dominion of the box-office with Shrek Forever After, as well as the Saturday Night Live spin-off MacGruber.

Fringe: Over There Review (Part 1)

It's really difficult to review this Fringe episode, because it's essentially only half of the epic conclusion to this season. Still there is just too much information in Part 1 to cram into a review alongside all of the revelations that Part 2 has in store for us. Over There started off running, with the alt-universe Fringe team (including a still living Charlie) investigating a hole in the fabric of the universe procured during our Fringe team's entry into the new world.

We then flash back to how the team got there, and how they brought the cortexiphan patients with them. Once they make it, things become a race to central park to meet William Bell, and Peter's reunion with his birth mother. This episode may run at a quick pace, but it allows for emotional development of the characters we've dealt with before, as well as the ones who've just come back into our lives.

The Cortexiphan kids' appearance was short but meaningful, giving them a proper send off instead of just leaving them as dangling plot strings. We also got more depth into Walter's reliance on Peter emotionally. During much of the season Peter was Walter's anchor to reality and what kept him driven. Now he relies on Olivia, but Olivia also relied on Peter. I've sometimes felt that the group could function without one of them, but ultimately it just falls apart.

We finally got our most in depth look at the other side, with much happier versions of the characters we've come to know. Olivia is in love with somebody who looks a lot like John Scott, but isn't. Chalie is still suffering from the parasites he was infected with in Season One's Unleashed, but he's still kicking and quipping. I hope he plays a bigger part in Season 3, but I feel like they're just going to kill him off in Part 2.

It also becomes aparent that a member of our Fringe team may meet an unfortunate end in Part 2. Walter's been shot, Peter is being used by Walternate for his doomsday device (which looks like a live-action version of the device Mewtwo is hooked up to in the first Pokemon movie), and Olivia has been becoming less of an important character this season. It could be forshadowing. Leonard Nimoy appears right at the end as William Bell, who looks to have a larger role in the second half, and we may find out what his motivations are.

Ultimately we will have to wait for Part 2 to fully understand this episode, but right now is stands as a solid 9.5 out of 10.

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Day 3

Another Year- Those who are familiar with Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky two years ago, or Vera Drake four years before that, will know how much the director brings to the table each time he makes a film. His newest films has been garnering quite a bit of critical praise over the past 24 hours. Now the official Guy I go to for opinions on films coming out of Cannes, Guy Lodge of In Contention said "Detractors and admirers alike will probably label Leigh’s latest a return to normal service for the prickly Brit: a leisurely character study, sober-sided but flecked with streaks of broad humor, dwelling on the personal insecurities of London’s tea-swilling middle classes."

It's very hard to find a pestimist critic for this pestimistic film. Currently Kirk Honeycutt from The Hollywood Reporter stands as the only one, but only just. Honeycutt praised the film's cast, and direction, but noted "There's no doubting Leigh's sympathy for the lonely and unhappy characters depicted in the film, but while he and his talented cast do their best to suggest they are worthy of attention, it's not easy to see especially why. Divided into the four seasons, the year depicted includes a birth, a funeral and expectations of a wedding, but the title itself makes no promise of excitement." Hopefully his opinion continues to be the minority.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger- Get passed the awful title and what do you get? A still altogether not that great movie from the man who brought us Annie Hall. Reaching much less acclaim than Mike Leigh's new film, Woody Allen's latest ranks among his more lackluster affairs like Whatever Works. Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune laments that "I wish I liked the new Woody Allen film better, especially in light of his previous Cannes-launched picture Vicky Cristina Barcelona (his most satisfying in years). This one's a doodle.. a picture less seriocomic or bittersweet than simply uncertain of its comic and dramatic effects."

Some still give the film praise for its possitive qualities. Jason Solomons from The Observer is one of them, stating "Even Allen's most dedicated fans have had their faith in the 74-year-old New Yorter's powers sorely tested by some of his late-period output, but the new ensemble comedy, starring Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin and Lucy Punch, is his most assured and sprightly work for many years." Though it may get some people willing to stick their neck out for it, don't expect anything special for the film come awards season.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Robin Hood Review

After the frankly unentertaining summer debut of Iron Man 2 last week, we finally get a film that reminds us why we love this season. In lesser hands this could've been a disaster, but Ridley Scott's Robin Hood brims of excellence and attention to detail, right through the end credits. Taking a page from Christopher Nolan's scrapbook, the new film is mostly an origin story in the veign of Batman Begins, telling how Robin (played by Russell Crowe) learned who his father was, and how he became an outlaw.

When King Richard is killed in combat, his arrogant brother John takes the crown, and starts taxing the people of his country heavily. Meanwhile his seemingly faithful servant Godfrey plots for the french to take over the country while it's at its weakest. Through both honesty and dishonest, Robin assumes the name of Robert Locksley, a man who was murdered by Godfrey, and begins wooing the lovely Lady Marion (played by Cate Blanchett).

The film may be too long for it's own good, and somewhat confusing at points, but Scott is able to keep the audience interested for every moment of the film. Where the script begins lacking, the actors give it their all to boost up the quality. Russell Crowe does brilliantly in a role he's played several times before, but never ceases to be interesting in. Cate Blanchett is the sort of female love interest that takes action, and simply doesn't miss a beat in her role. It's been a while since she got a role like this where she can really flex her talents around.
Mark Strong continues his ill-advised stint as the bad guy in every movie, but he does so with class. One of the moments that will stay with audiences well after the film is over, is his character riding off smiling, with an arrow driven right through his neck. Oscar Isaac does a passable job portraying King John as the self-spoiled brat he is. He's really what Simba would've been like had he not had Mufasa to guide him through his childhood. Kevin Durand is great in every film he shows up in, and totally sells me on his version Little John. He offers some much needed comic relief in the darker portions of the film.

The cinematography on this picture is very textured, but the camera zoom-ins, and frantic movements during the intense battle sequences don't prove too impressive. Mark Streitfeld's musical score is definitely too small scale for a film this size, but it captures the tone decently. I would've been more impressed if Hans Zimmer took on the score. Ridley Scott has excelled at directing epic battle sequences in the past, and he does so again here. In the end, Robin Hood is the summer action movie we see a lot of during this time of year, but do we really want anything more?

B

Who would dare open against Harry Potter 7?

This Asshole
This seemed like the news that merited its own post, because it's so unbelievably stupid, but also the most dastardly perfect idea. Disney has decided to open their animated reboot of the Winnie the Pooh series against the finale of the most lucrative franchise in movie history: Harry Potter. I'm dreading this news, because this could spell doom for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I know I may be over-reacting, but this just seems like the most perfect marketing decision in history.

We know the Potter films have been getting progressively darker, and the final installment will likely be the darkest. So where will parents take their younger kids while the older ones are at Potter? Winnie the Pooh, not only because it's a kids film, but because it's such a loveable series. If I were a 10 year old kid, I'd choose Pooh over Potter, and I realize how sinful a statement that is. Adding to the anticipation of this project, Hans Zimmer is doing the score for Pooh, so that's going to be an obvious draw. I think it will be a classy film, but it's dangerous whenever you open against such a film as Potter. It's going to get thrashed, and that makes it much more dreadful.

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Day 2

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps- Response to the long awaited sequel to Wall Street has been mostly positive, with some quibbles. Guy Lodge from In Contention said, without giving too much praise, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is one of the more pleasantly surprising studio pictures of the year thus far, and a significant improvement on its po-faced (and, 23 years on, now fearsomely dated) predecessor. If the sequel could never have been deemed “necessary,” it’s certainly as handily timed as can be."

While praising the film for being both enjoyable, and an improvement on the first film, critics still remain weary of the flaws in this production. Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter noted "Stone gets too fancy here and there. He and his Alexander cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto swoop the camera around Manhattan as if it were attached to a bird. A heavy reliance on multiple screens, graphics and digital tricks makes it feel like one is watching CNN with all its computer-screen busyness." The overwhelming critical message has been that this is one of the better sequels of our time, so it's nice to know something good's coming out of Cannes.

Weekend Update: 3rd Week of May

This weekend we have one of those epic boxing matches in the multiplex that we haven't had since The Hangover's opening took on Up's second weekend, a year ago. Iron Man 2 entered the ring with mixed applause, and ended it's first weekend in triumph, but not the same success it wanted. This weekend Robin Hood comes into the fold with even less critical praise, but depending on how the audience receives it, it could end the weekend on top.

Last year Angels and Demons just barely overtook Star Trek, so this could be the same sort of event. I'm edging for Robin Hood to come in with just more than $50 million this weekend, and Iron Man 2 falling just below that. The gradual decline in sales for the superhero sequel this week hasn't been favorable, nor has the audience response. The only other new release is Letter to Juliet, which I don't expect to be good, but I expect to garner a decent following of idiotic teenage girls, and some smart ones who just see it for the hell of it, raising the weekend total to around $18 million.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PotterWatch (3 of 77): Where Will "Deathly Hallows" be split?

So for a while I thought it was set in stone that the final Harry Potter film would be split right before our trio is brought to Malfoy Manor, but it appears I was mistaken. Apparently even the people who are making the movie don't even know where the split will be. Tom Felton recently stated that they've just been making the films as one movie, with little thought to where they'd cut the film. Personally I love that they're putting making the movie as great as it should be first, but this does seem a little aimless. So as usual, it's up to me to save the Potter franchise from total ruin. You no doubt remember my pleas for Half-Blood Prince to be nominated for Best Cinematography, and then against all odds it was. This makes me believe that my completely ignored blog control fate (aside from that Iron Man 2 Best Picture prediction). Since I don't know what path the movie takes, I'll just take my best guess based on what's in the novel.

The most practical idea would be to end the first half at the mid-point of the novel, which would either be at The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, or after Ron returns during The Silver Doe. Either of those would be nice places to leave the audience at. Either a revealing cliffhanger, or some sort of success seems necessary to end the first one. Of course the original idea of where to split the film ensures that the Deathly Hallows of the film's title is actually referred to in both films. This is probably one of the most difficult decisions facing the crew of the film, because their choice affects whether the audience will return opening weekend of Part 2. The ending can make or break the film. It may be better not to know where the split is, because it adds some mystery to the series for those who have read the books and know how the film plays out. What's your opinion? Where should they split it? Should they tell us?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Day 1

Robin Hood: Expectations for Ridley Scott's epic adaptation were considerably high, and reviews have been mixed to average. I can't say that's surprising, because it doesn't look like the tale of Robin Hood at all, but people have been in complete disagreement on the merits of the film. Guy Lodge from In Contention gave a medium review stating "It’s a fairly rote critical bitchslap to say that the closing credits are the best part of movie, but that’s quite literally the case in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. I say this not in snark, but in praise: it’s a genuinely remarkable credit sequence."

Leo Robson of the Financial Times completely bashed the film, stating "If Ridley Scott’s aim was to bewilder, then Robin Hood must be counted a storming success. From the opening scene, we are offered little idea of who is doing what to whom. As for why: forget it." Depending on how this weekend goes, the film could either prove to be a hit with audiences, or this year's Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Celluloid's Cannes Coverage: Opening Night

I'm not actually at the Cannes Film Festival, but I've got the next best thing: My computer at home. Why see the movies first-hand for myself, when I can find out what other people think, and then learn several months later that they were wrong (ex. Inglourious Basterds)? Isn't this the greatest way to handle this sort of situation? Yeah, I agree. This situation totally sucks.

Either way, I'll do whatever I can to give you an in depth look at the films premiering at Cannes, as well as the different deals that are made, and the awards that are doled out. Tomorrow I'll give you a heap of reviews concerning the opening night release, Robin Hood, and so it will be until Cannes finishes. I'll still try to keep up on the latest news and regulars.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: Winter's Bone, Machete

I've gotten tired of watching the Inception trailer over and over again, so I'm done until I see the footage in the movie, or when the trailer plays in front of some other movie. So now we can get on to the other trailers of the week. First is the trailer for Winter's Bone, one of the biggest films that premiered at Sundance this year. The trailer gives us a good idea of the plot, but you have to see it for yourself to fully take it in. It's very mysterious, but the plot looks extremely original for that type of film. Expect a potential Oscar campaign in its future.

Next is the new trailer for the adaptation of the Grindhouse trailer, Machete. I'm excited to see this film, because when Robert Rodriguez takes on a dark subject, he turns it into a visual feast. When he takes on a childrens film (Spy Kids), it's a trippy childrens film nobody wants to see ever again. But Machete has been under his wing for a while, and to see that it's actually coming is just an amazing thing in itself. The trailer isn't too different from the original, but it does add some new characters, and cheesy but enjoyable dialogue ("We didn't cross the border! The border crossed us!"), so it actually seems like there will be an actual reason to go to the movies this Labor Day.

Winters Bone Trailer
Machete Trailer

Matthew Vaughn takes X-men: First Class

The success rated for the X-men franchise has been 2 out of 4 if you count Origins: Wolverine. The first two films were smart, action-filled, political, and emotional, and then Brett Ratner raped the franchise. Alright, everybody has to admit that despite how awful it was compared to the first two films, The Last Stand was pretty enjoyable. Then our favorite character (Logan) was ruined by revealing how he really came to be, in an extremely boring fashion.

Now it looks like we may actually get an amazing X-men film, since Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) has taken the reigns of the series. As much as I love Kick-Ass and want a sequel to that, the box office gods don't seem to be favoring such an occurence. So now I completely believe that X-men: First Class will be a return to form for the series, seeing as it's being penned by two of my favorite Fringe writers, Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller. The film is currently set for release in June of next year, an already awesome summer for movies (ex. Harry Potter 7, Hangover 2, Super 8, etc.)

Iron Man 2 not as solid as expected?

I'm literally reporting on everything semi-significant happening in the world right now, and this news counts as that. After predictions on sunday posted that Iron Man 2 brought in $133.6 million, already far below expectations, it has turned out that the film brought in a good $5.5 million less than that. This brings into question just how well the film is playing to audiences. For even medium quality films I'd occasionally here a slight clapper of applause at the end credits. I heard no such reaction in either of the screenings I attended.

The most applause I heard was at the Inception, and Super 8 trailers, which were admittedly better than the actual film. I got the feeling that the audience wasn't quite embracing the film. There's a point where it's too grounded in reality, and yet too corny. The film wasn't bad, but it's not the type of film I'd ever want to see again. It doesn't merit a second viewing, which is something that's very important for a film to do. I guess we'll truly get a scope of the success of the film after this weekend when Robin Hood releases and takes much of the audience.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Inception Trailer Link

It doesn't feel like the trailer is just being officially released now, after being on the internet several days now. Still, here's the link for the trailer, and I promise it won't disappear any time soon. Also below are links for new TV spots for the film Inception, as well as for a snippet of the score by Hans Zimmer, so check it out.