Now here's a scene from a film all three of you who reguarly read this blog most likely haven't seen: Charile Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman is better known for writing more popular films such as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (the latter two are personal favorites of mine). Synecdoche doesn't exactly hold up well with his previous efforts, but it is still a noble and interesting debut. It is incredibly hard to follow, and probably requires several views to get a decent grasp of it (even the title doesn't make sense). Nevertheless, there is a scene that struck me the first (and only) time I watched it, I guess you could say because I can relate to it. The odd part is, being the most powerful scene, it is a speech given by a character who does not appear for the entire film, with the exception of this one scene. It is depressing yes, but he seems to pull the words right out of my mouth, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels the same, at least at one point in one's life. I don't remember the full context of the scene, as in why they are at a fake funeral and such, but I guess that mean's if you like it, you should watch it to find out for yourself.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thought I'd try something a little different today, although I admit, it isn't entirely original. Everyone once in a while I'll pick a scene from a movie, with a videoclip of it, and start kissing the scene's ass. My first ass-kissing scene will be the "Gutterballs" scene from The Big Lebowski. It's incredibly hard to choose just one scene, because it is one of the most quotable films of all time. If you haven't seen it yet, shame on you.
The scene doesn't make much sense and is very abstract, but that doesn't make it any less amazing. Everything from Jeff Bridges' slick dance moves to his wide, gaping smile upon looking at the endless shoe rack is terrific. I'm not exactly a big Kenny Rogers fan, but the song fits strangely well here, not to mention catchy. Why don't I have awesome dreams like this?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
So Michael Cera has a new movie coming up, called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, based on a popular comic book series. The new trailer has recently been released, and as soon as Cera opens his awkward mouth with his awkward, squeaky voice, it looks like just another Cera-ish movie: about an awkward, shy teen who awkwardly attempts to win a cute girl (and usually does in the end, shamefully). Fortunately, I was wrong (at least partially). He does in fact star as an awkward teen, but it's as if they stole his character from Superbad or Year One or Arrested Development or Juno or...okay, any of his movies, and threw him into an epic, hardcore movie filled with of all the goofy moments that made the original Batman television show so great: lots of ridiculous and over-the-top action, sound effects, animation, acting, etc. That's exactly what the trailer screams: over-the-top. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, so I can't helped but be intrigued. Especially because Cera gets beat up in the trailer. A lot. No complaints from me, that's for sure.
Everything is totally sweet.
Scott Pilgrim's life is so awesome. He's 23 years old, in a rock band, "between jobs," and dating a cute high school girl. Everything's fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, roller blading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. But the path to Ms. Flowers isn't covered in rose petals. Ramona's seven evil exes stand between Scott and true happiness. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without turning his precious little life upside-down?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I really want to recommend this film for its originality in storytelling, but it is very difficult to do so. Love blood and gore? Death of children? Dead Fetuses? Unnatural treatment to sexual organs? Creepy forest animals? Well hold on to your hat, how I've got a treat for you!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Now here's a film I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. I'm not a huge fan of "rockumentaries", save The Beatles' films and another exception. Those are technically fake though, so they don't count! I'm not entirely sure why I don't usually like them, but it may be because very few of my favorite bands have ever made a documentary before, or at least until now. Watching the Metallica rockumentary, Some Kind of Monster, was just painful for me, because here is one of the "baddest" bands in the world, and they are all whining and sucking there thumbs throughout the entire film. Every time someone criticizes someone else, the person has a hissy fit and cries about it for ten minutes. This happened so much that the band actually needed a therapist to console them and put them in time-outs. I swear, that movie had more pointless girly drama in it than Meet the Kardashians. Needless to say, it changed my perspective on the band quite a bit, which I'm sure was their goal, but it wasn't for the better.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
David Bowie is not unknown to make strange movies. While that doesn't necessarily mean they are poorly made films, it just means they aren't always everyone's cup of tea. So I wasn't expecting anything different from him when watching this, and rightfully so. I will try to summarize it as short as I can: The Man Who Fell to Earth is based on the book of the same name, written by Walter Tevis. It features a man (Newton) from a distant planet (which isn't entirely specified in the film), who is sent to Earth to bring water back to his home, since his planet has run out of it, and they are apparently entirely dependent on it as humans are. Fortunately, Newton has a lot of knowledge of new, useful technologies which have not yet been discovered yet by Earth. He trades this knowledge for money and power, in hopes of being able to somehow get some water back to his dying people. In doing so, Newton is slowly corrupted by his newly-found wealth and fame, and it distracts him from his important mission, the reason he is on Earth in the first place. During his stay, he becomes an alcoholic (arguably) a sex-addict, and even a television addict. Eventually, the government finds out he is an alien, and they kill off his primary business partners, who were his only hope for funding his mission. They then hold him captive for several weeks for "testing", until, they eventually become bored of him and they let him go. After all the time that has passed Newton looks just as young as when he first arrives, and everyone around him is obviously aging and growing old. Despite this, Newton is now broke and alone in the world. Now that his secret is out, his girlfriend left him, his business partners are dead, and his friends have abandoned him. His once superior and valuable knowledge is now irrelevant. His mission eventually becomes a lost cause to him, and he gives up on it entirely.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Looks like Conan O'Brien's newly announced comedy tour, called "The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny On Television Tour" may be filmed and documented, according to /Film. So it looks like although he won't be on TV for a while, films are a different story. Obviously, this is a great news for those of us who are suffering from Coco withdrawal and those who won't have a chance to check out the tour in person (such as myself). It also might be a nice introduction into O'Brien's world for those who haven't yet given him a chance, because The Tonight Show obviously didn't get that job done very well. Not that was anybody's fault, of course. Especially not you, Jay Leno. Totally not your fault. Nope. Not at all. The Jay Leno Show was just terrific.
The directorial debut from Daniel Barber, Harry Brown is about a retired ex-Marine (Sir Michael Caine) who lives in a bad part of Britain, that is overrun by drugs and thugs. As a widower, he has no one to talk to but his best friend. His best friend is murdered by some thugs. So Brown wants justice, and goddammit, he's going to get it. The trailer doesn't really show anything entirely original or new as far as revenge stories go, but I can't remember the last time I saw Caine in a film that wasn't at least somewhat decent, so I have my hopes up for this one. Not exactly what I would expect from Caine, either, especially since he just recently turned 77 years-old. Eat that, Clint Eastwood. If this trailer has taught me anything, I think I will think twice about pissing off my elderly neighbors from now on. Trailer below for your viewing pleasure.
Monday, March 15, 2010
An aspiring filmmaker, Ted Sowards, has remade the opening scene from the animated Disney film Goof Troop into a live short, shot-by-shot, using "$100, a borrowed camera, 90+ supportive friends, Final Cut Studio, and lots of free time" during the time-span of six months. I must say, I'm impressed, partially because I must have watched Goof Troop about ten dozen times as a kid, so obviously this brings back old memories. This also proves what one can do with such limited resources to make a quality film, as long one has the ambition and patience to do so. You might be scratching your head and asking yourself "That's great and all, but why Goof Troop?" Because Goof Troop is awesome, that's why.
Friday, March 12, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, John Krasinski, better known as Jim Halpert from The Office, was in serious consideration for the title role of the upcoming Captain America movie. Now he isn't. As much as I love Krasinski, I don't know if he would have been the best choice for such a demanding role (he isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind when I think "action hero"). That doesn't mean he definitely couldn't have done it, I just don't believe it would likely have been as convincing as, say, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. So I found this comic strip about the whole ordeal and as an avid Office fan, and I got a good laugh out of it (even though I've never read a Captain America comic in my life).
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I'll get this out of the way: I despise the way modern culture has treated vampires as of late; whether it be the Twilight series or the seemingly never-ending list of shows on television, Hollywood has turned a once badass and awesome creation into a little thumb-sucking douche bag on par with Nickleback. I don't care if you're Edward Cullen, The Vampire Diaries, or Vampire Weekend; if you're involved with vampires, I hate you. Except everyone else seems to love them, and you pull out your hair just trying to figure out why. Then comes Låt den rätte komma in, or Let the Right One In. It is a Swedish film that was released two years ago, involves vampires, and is severely under-appreciated.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Oh. My. God. After a long, torturous three months, 20th Century Fox has finally confirmed a new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. And as if that isn't enough news to get your pants wet, chew on this: the movie will be in 3D, ladies and gentlemen. That means you will get to see the greatness of Jason Lee's amazing acting abilities and the chipmunk's wonderful, soothing voices in not one, not two, but three dimensions. The movie will be so cleverly titled Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D. What will they think of next?!?!?! Now a bit of bad news: it won't be released until December 2011. The next 22 months are sure to be the slowest I have ever endured. But it will be totally worth the wait. Thank you, 20th Century Fox, for gracing us with your incredible magic.
If you've read my previous post about Tim Burton, you should know my feelings about his films (at least as of late). Alice in Wonderland is no different; it's exactly what you would expect from Burton: misunderstood protagonist? Check. Creepy, strange setting? Check. Creepy, strange characters? Check. Danny Elfman, Johnny Depp and the wifey, Helena Bonham Carter? Check, check and check. This is fine for some, maybe even good news, but personally, it just makes me roll my eyes.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Christopher Nolan, director of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and the under-appreciated Memento (another mind-blowing movie) is directing a new film, entitled Inception, and the (slightly) new trailer has left me speechless, no matter how many times I have watched it. No one outside of the production of the movie has the slightest clue of what it is about, other than the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio runs around and experiences more far-out things than a junkie on an acid trip at a Grateful Dead concert. It just doesn't make any sense. Even DiCaprio himself has admitted to having no idea what the hell was going on during production. And yet, it is probably number one one my list of anticipated movies. Alongside DiCaprio, one of my current favorite actors today, the movie stars a variety of other talents including the up-and-coming Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so the film promises to be great on some level. My only grief is I wish the movie would still be as big of a mystery to me when it opens in July as it is to me right now, so my mind can be blown even harder. Stupid internet and Entertainment Tonight, spoiling everything.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Last night, The Hurt Locker won a handful of awards, including Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Oh yeah, it also won Best Picture and Achievement in Directing, but no one really cares about those awards. I saw The Hurt Locker, and while I thought it was a quality film, I didn't really understand it. I appreciated the fact that it managed to be the most powerful film about the War in Iraq (that I've seen so far) with almost no actual warfare, or guns a-blazing. But that isn't saying much, because most films about the War in Iraq outright suck, because the message itself, including in The Hurt Locker, always seem to be the same: the war sucks. No one understands it, it's pointless and unnecessary, terrorists are absolutely bonkers, etc. It's just a matter of why the film decides it sucks; in this case, its addiction. Those ol' wires and diffusing, James just can't get enough of them. I just hope the Academy chose this film for the right reasons, not because of it's controversial or relevant theme (I'm looking at you, Brokeback Mountain). Within days before the Awards, lots of controversies surrounded the film, mainly from Iraq veterans. A veteran even admits to watching it with his buddies overseas and laughing at it. Ouch. Obviously, that wasn't enough to damage it's reputation. I haven't seen all ten of the nominated pictures, but I was secretly hoping Inglorious Basterds would make a surprise and take away Best Picture or Director, because God knows Tarantino deserves one of those by now (although I believe he won one for Best Screenplay for Pulp Fiction). Oh, well. At least Christoph Waltz got the much deserved Supporting Actor award (I don't think I've ever loved a Nazi's presence more on-screen).
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Zack Snyder, who helmed the epic remake of Dawn of the Dead, the epic adaptation of 300 and more recently the epic adaptation of Watchmen, is trying out new territory by directing an adaptation of a children's book series known as Guardians of Ga'Hoole (although I don't know if simply replacing badass people with badass owls instead is enough to excuse it as a kid's flick). It has been retitled Legend of the Guardians; a little lame, but I'm guessing because most people who haven't read the books (including myself) will have no idea what the hell a "Ga'Hoole" is, so it makes sense. The production has been pretty quite for a while, but a new teaser trailer has been recently released as seen below, and I must say it looks very beautiful and...epic; especially for a a movie that is based on a childen's book. I now have a new title to add to my list of movies to watch out for, but I'm skeptical because Snyder's trailers are always amazing and spectacular; he knows exactly how to draw his audience in. The problem is, the final product doesn't usually live up to the hype, but let's hope I'm wrong.
Friday, March 5, 2010
A new conspiracy has been revealed, involving movie posters. For reasons beyond my imagination, some movie studios have a habit of using nothing but blue and orange to promote their movies. Slashfilm points out that Hollywood believes blue and orange have been scientifically proven to be "cool". How this is supposed to make movies more appealing is beyond me. John Travolta certainly isn't going to trick me into seeing his movie by looking like a pissed off con-smurf (or is it smurf-con?). The newest addition is the upcoming Prince of Persia movie as seen above (in Russian, of course). Wanna see more? Of course you do! Here are a few examples...
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The above picture, ingeniously titled "Down for the Count" is quite the masterpiece. Get the wallpaper here. I'm aware I will probably lose a lot of potential readers because of this...but screw it, it's totally worth it.
Two days ago, I came across a new book that is being adapted into a film. This is a book about Abraham Lincoln. Who slays vampires. I was so intrigued that I told my Dad about it, and he bought me the book home the next day, and I can't wait to start it. The book has lots of praise, so if the film is given at least a little dedication, it should be a dream come true.
I do have one gripe, however; it turns out Tim Burton will be co-producing it. While this only means he'll be watching over the production of the film, and not directing it (yet), it still has me worried. Don't get me wrong though. I am a fan of most of his movies (A Nightmare on Christmas is possibly my favorite Christmas movie ever), and I am looking somewhat forward to seeing his take on Alice in Wonderland, but the formula's beginning to get a little old; we get it, you're weird. Do something different! He's managed to be "different" so many times in a row that he's actually become predictable, if that makes any sense. Just yesterday I was griping about this aloud, and today I came across this great video from College Humor, where, just in time for his new film that opens tomorrow, they film one of Burton's meetings about a new project he's come up with. Obviously, the guys at CH feel my pain (especially the bit about the opening credit music). Thank you, College Humor.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I've been sick since Sunday with a headache that refuses to leave me alone. I think my body's survival is becoming dependent on extra strength Tylenol. The only contact I've had with lifeforms other than my dog since the weekend has been with my parents, and a text here and there from the outside world. Every hour that passes makes me feel like Jack Torrence in The Shining; or in other words, I'm going bat-shit crazy. Like the addictive drug that it is, Facebook actually began to eat away at my brain from being on it so much, so I (temporarily) disabled it for the sake of my sanity. Or maybe I'll suffer from severe withdrawal from "Rob Curtis is gearing up for Friday" (OK, I stole that from Zombieland). Facebook is like celebrity gossip, it's so incredibly irrelevant and unimportant to your life, and yet you can't help but spend hours paying attention to it, making yourself 3 percent dumber in the process for every half hour you do (scientific fact). Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that no one talks to me on it. Seriously. I swear.
By the next post I will (hopefully) kick off into a continuous set of film-related posts, and less rambling about my social networking loneliness and isolation. Until then, farewell.