Friday December 07, 2018
Trailer: Avengers: Endgame
I don't know what the movie is going to be like, and I don't know what the resolution will be like—how they‘ll reverse things so all of these lucrative properties are alive again and making money for Marvel/Disney without it seeming like a massive cheat to the rest of us—but the tone of the first trailer to drop on “Avengers: Endgame” is just about perfect: from Tony Stark drifting and dying in space, to the reappearance of a fierce Hawkeye, to Black Widow’s quiet conversation with a determined Captain America. Plus the reappearance of Scott Lang adding a comic touch at the end of all this gravitas. That's amazing they‘re able to do that—put Cap and Ant Man in the same scene, with their different tones, and make it work. I know we’re superhero saturated as a culture but this got me excited to see the movie when it's released in April. Hell, I want to see it now.
Wednesday October 03, 2018
Trailer: Vice (2018)
Wow. An unrecognizable Christian Bale looks and sounds freakin' amazing here. He looks like he already has a lead actor nom sewn up and maybe the win. He's the tragedy, and Sam Rockwell, as W., is the farce. As was true in real life for Cheney/Bush:
In the meantime, check out the cast list:
- Christian Bale ... Dick Cheney
- Sam Rockwell ... George W. Bush
- Steve Carell ... Donald Rumsfeld
- Amy Adams ... Lynne Cheney
- Alison Pill ... Mary Cheney
- Eddie Marsan ... Paul Wolfovitz
- Shea Whigham ... Wayne Vincent
- Tyler Perry ... Colin Powell
- Bill Camp ... Gerald Ford
- Justin Kirk ... Scooter Libby
- LisaGay Hamilton ... Condoleezza Rice
Some of my favorite characters actors—Marsan, Whigham, Camp—are here. And in these roles? In a movie written and directed by Adam McKay, who gave us “The Big Short”? I'm so in. December 25.
Monday September 03, 2018
Here's Jeff Wells on it. No word on when/if/where it arrives.
Tuesday August 21, 2018
Trailer: Le Retour Du Heros (2018)
This looks fun. I‘ve been missing me some Jean Dujardin. It’s “Return of Martin Guerre” but funny—that double-take after spitting into the baby carriage is perfect—and will lead off SIFF's annual French fest on Sept. 27. On se voit le-bas.
Sunday August 19, 2018
Trailer: Roma (2018)
Coming to select theaters and on Netflix. See it in theaters, people.
Wednesday March 21, 2018
Trailer: The China Hustle
“The China Hustle” is available via On Demand, iTunes and Amazon on March 30. Fingers crossed.
Friday December 29, 2017
‘Overboard’: Early Candidate for Worst Movie of 2018
The trailer is two minutes long and there's not a laugh in it. It feeds off the misery of its characters—first the pretty blond, played by Anna Faris, and then the rich bastard, played by Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez, who gets her fired, loses his memory, and is then fooled by AF's character into believing: 1) they‘re married, 2) he’s sterile (to explain away the blond kids), and 3) he works three jobs.
It's a gender switch on the 1987 original, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, but just think of that plot: an American teaches a Mexican about the value of hard work. Thanks, liberal Hollywood. Thanks for sussing out the cultural moment.
Directed by the writer of “Meet Dave.”
Friday September 01, 2017
What's the best movie about a writer? Not a journalist but a real writer, a poet or novelist, and someone who actually existed. “Capote” maybe? Even there, it's Capote's investigation, and the drama surrounding that investigation, that intrigues us. It's not Capote at the typewriter. Rewrites are drag enough to do on your own; imagine watching someone do them.
Despite all that, Hollywood's having a go this fall with three new biopics of writers.
On Sept. 8, in “Rebel in the Rye,” Nicholas Houte plays J.D. Salinger, who escapes the horrors of his World War II experiences by writing “The Catcher in the Rye.”
On Oct. 13, in “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” Domhnall Gleeson plays A.A. Milne, who escapes the horrors of his World War I experiences by writing the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
And also on Oct. 13, in “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women,” Luke Evans, our new go-to handsome scumbag, plays the titular (and titilated) professor, whose bondage fetishism, extramarital living arrangements and desire for submissive women, lead him to create the greatest female superhero of all time.
I think the last has the best shot of being good, but it's the Salinger that's closest to my heart. I'll probably see all of them anyway.
Random thought: Why are all three writers played by British actors when only one of them (Milne) is British? Scratch that. We know why. Americans never seem artist enough for Hollywood. Shame.
Random trivia: Marston died in 1947 in Rye, New York.
Non-random question: If you could see any author's life on film, whose would you choose?
Holding out hope that this will be the epigraph for the Salinger biopic:
“The goddamn movies. They can ruin you. I'm not kidding.”
– Holden Caulfield
Saturday June 24, 2017
Trailer: Borg (2017)
My friend Adam, a huge tennis fan, alerted me to this trailer:
For a second I thought it was Alexandar Skarsgaard as Borg, but it is his father Stellan playing Lennard Bergelin, Borg's coach. Borg, a shocking likeness, is played by Sverrir Gudnason, who's been around a while. (He's nearly 40.) Also Swedish, thank God. The movie is a joint Swedish/Danish/Finnish production, directed by a Dane, Janus Metz Pedersen. The trailer highlights the Borg-McEnroe rivalry but it'll be interesting to see if the film does, since the film is simply called “Borg.” For now.
It opens in Sweden in September. Resistance is futile.
ADDENDUM: Yeah, “Borg vs. McEnroe.”
Saturday March 25, 2017
‘Justice League’ Trailer: I'm Bored Already
In the mid-1980s, Newsweek magazine began running a chart on its opening pages called “Conventional Wisdom,” in which they'd rank how people/insitutions did for the week. Were they up? Down? The same? It was the Rotten Tomatoes of news 20 years before Rotten Tomatoes.
Here's the “conventional wisdom” for the superheroes in the new “Justice League” trailer that dropped today:
- ↑ : Aquaman: He was always a joke, a running gag on “Entourage”: blonde hair, orange and green tights, sitting astride a sea horse and communicating with sea creatures. There was nothing cool about him. Now he's Jason Momoa, dark-haired and glowering, tattooed and desired and a heavy drinker. It works in a trailer, but I worry he's simply been “300”ed by director Zack Snyder. That it's all more empty posturing by the worst director in the world.
- ↑ : Wonder Woman: Fanboys initially shrieked because they felt Gal Gadot wasn't bosomy enough for the role, but she couldn't be. The fanboys needed to be able to focus on her actions not her assets. Hell, she's probably less fetishized here, less objectified, than Aquaman is. Who saw that coming?
- ↔ : The Flash: One thing “Justice League” has is good casting. Ezra Miller, good choice. But we don't see much more here than we‘ve seen in the past.
- ↓ : Batman: In a Justice League story, the reality of Batman sets in. “What are your super powers again?” asks Barry Allen. “I’m rich,” he responds. “Dressed like a bat; I dig it,” says Aquaman. And that's about the size of it: rich guy dressed like a bat, surrounded by gods. Worse, he's the guy who gathers them. It's not a good role. Ben Affleck already looks trapped by it. Batman needs to be obsessed, half-crazed, rather than a den mother.
- ? : Cyborg: Nobody gives a shit. Still.
Justice League started so much. In 1960, it united the remaining superheroes in the DC world, and it gave inspiration for Marvel to create its own team of superheroes. That turned out to be the Fantastic Four, which led to Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Dr. Strange, X-Men, et al. Now DC is playing catch up with Marvel, which, nearly 10 years ago, movie by movie, put together its team of superheroes, the Avengers, and made a mint. DC is trying the same here and it feels, well, the same. Just dumber. “We have to be ready. ... There's an attack coming—from far away.” Really? You couldn't think of another reason for the Justice League to come together besides another attack from outer space/other dimensions? Aren't we sick of this yet? Aren't we sick of Zack Snyder's cold climes, gray tones, and monosyllabic heroes leaping in the air in slow motion ready to strike? Jumping, landing, standing, posing?
I know I am. If Justice League started so much, maybe “Justice League” ends it?
I know. But one can hope.
Friday February 03, 2017
Rob Brydon Imitating Jagger Imitating Caine
New clip from the “Trip” BBC series starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, which get turned into movies for us on this side of the pond:
My review of their previous, “The Trip to Italy.”
Tuesday July 26, 2016
10 Quick Thoughts on the Wonder Woman Trailer
- “You‘re a man.” Um, yeah. This is a little too close to the hot-but-innocent alien chick saying things like “What is love?” (See: TOS, “Gamesters of Triskelion”), but Gal Gadot saves it a little by stating it, and then Chris Pine helps with his comic response.
- But let’s face it: The origin of Wonder Woman, the Amazon island thing, was always fairly idiotic/boring and the movie doesn't seem to make it any smarter/more interesting.
- Chick with the cracked mask: “Boardwalk Empire” did it better.
- “I was brought to life by... ” Juice? Jews? Oh, Zeus. Whew.
- So why WWI instead of WWII? The argument from io9 is that her character becomes disgusted with humanity and stays away for 100 years, and the Great War was a bad war (resolving nothing), while WWII had a clear villain and absolute atrocities. Me, I think the Holocaust is reason enough to steer clear of humanity, but whatever. Do what you need to do.
- Her fighting scenes look good.
- “I can't let you do this.”/“What I do is not up to you.” Good line.
- Same with “I like her.”
- The muted grays: Zack Snyder's sucky pallette. Can't we ever get away from this, DC?
- Fingers crossed.
Saturday July 23, 2016
Ezra Miller is the Best Thing in the ‘Justice League’ Trailer
- It's smart putting Batman/Bruce Wayne into the Nick Fury role, since he doesn't have, you know, super powers. At the same time, isn't it a little too “Avengers”? “I'm putting together a team.” Over and over again.
- What does “I was last night” mean? And when did Aquaman get so cool?
- Still don't know the Borged-out-looking black guy. As character or actor.
- The best thing here, by far, is Ezra Miller's Barry Allen/Flash. Every nuance, every line. Sometimes when you put an intelligent actor into a mediocre role, you make beautiful music. Cf., “Iron Man.”
- The worst thing, by far, is: “Directed by Zack Snyder.” On IMDb, not in the trailer. Who'd brag about that? They're even pushing it as a “Ben Affleck Movie” on YouTube.
Wednesday June 01, 2016
Trailer: Tickled (2016)
I would‘ve gone to this movie at SIFF 2016 if I’d known what it was about, but I saw the promo photo—buff guy in chains getting tickled—and went, “Nah.”
But “Tickled” is more than a doc about tickling fetishists. It's about the NY company behind tickling videos, who's running it, and—based on conversations with friends who have seen the doc—whether what they're doing is criminally liable:
Now the filmmakers are being sued, and a website is devoted to discrediting the movie. Which makes me want to see it all the more.
Friday May 13, 2016
Trailer: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
This has a chance of being great. Ang Lee, yo. And it hits the right points about what's wrong with America (war as spectator sport, PR, not owning who/what you are), and maybe what's right. I just hope it doesn't hit them too hard, or misses for political/financial reasons. Great title, too.
Shocking seeing Vin Diesel in this, but he was in “Saving Private Ryan” before he turned himself into a cartoon. Kid (Joe Alwyn) looks about perfect. And when is Garrett Hedlund going to be a star? I thought that would‘ve happened already.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times review of the Ben Fountain novel on which the movie is based:
All this unfolds amid the constant attention of the public. Left to themselves, the Bravos act like a bunch of street-corner pervs who snap into politeness when required. Events are complicated by the halftime fireworks, which risk setting off P.T.S.D. flashbacks among the soldiers, who, if provoked, are primed to respond as a pack.
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