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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

VIEWED: The Great Gatsby

My trailer review of The Great Gatsby said:

"My mother was visiting from Toronto a few weeks ago and told me she was bored.  I told her to go see a movie.  She went to see The Great Gatsby.  When she returned I asked her what she thought of it.  She told me that she was still bored."

The wife and I argued over which film to see.  Again, I wanted to see Pacific Rim and this time she wanted to see The Great Gatsby.  She won again. I will see Pacific Rim one day - likely alone.

I can understand why my mom thought it was boring.  It's difficult to take a novel like The Great Gatsby, with all the depth in the shallowness and carelessness of the characters and make it exciting on film.

The Robert Redford depiction of Gatsby in the 1974 version shows a Gatsby that is in complete control of his emotions as if every word and action are calculated.  This is juxtaposed with a child-like sensitivity that we catch glimpses of.  Once Daisy enters the room, though, he becomes the love struck young man whose hope for a future with Daisy never waivers.

Leonardo DiCaprio's Gatsby was too emotional.  We catch brief glimpses of the cool Gatsby at his parties but for most of the film he is like a little boy fixated on acquiring a toy and nothing can dissuade him from doing so.  It made it difficult to believe that in a five year period he went from being a penniless soldier to a gangster millionaire.

It's clear, however, that both capture the essence of clinging to an unrealistic and unrealized dream.

Don't get me wrong. I like DiCaprio.  I think he's a tremendous talent and he looked the Gatsby part. I just don't think he captured the essence of Gatsby.

While Joel Edgerton was a standout as Tom Buchanan, Carey Mulligan and Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy and Jordan Baker respectively, both missed the mark. The characters are supposed to be shallow and empty, while every action shows carelessness and selfishness - Daisy, even in love, can't fully commit to anyone but herself.  But while trying to play shallow, Daisy and Jordan were simply, empty.

So, while I didn't mind seeing another attempt at making one of my all time favourite novels, it was disappointing that the film could not capture the tragedy of this story.  A tragedy that, on film, is only spoken and not felt.



Monday, 29 July 2013

VIEWED: Trance

My trailer review for Trance said,

"The acting and dialogue were believable and the whole package sucked me in... The trailer should have ended here and I would have been interested in seeing this film... Then they throw in a love triangle, explosions and the blatantly obvious double cross.  The trailer pretty much tells you that, after the dust settles, Dawson and McAvoy end up running off with the treasure, or were in cahoots and then they outsmart Cassel....

I know I could be wrong, I often am.  But, if I can take all this from a 2+ minute trailer, then I don't need to see this film, I don't need to waste the cost of admission or 2 hours of my life or even talk about Trance again.  The End."

Man, was I wrong about the relationships.  Very wrong...

Never mind that, the wife rented it because she likes James McAvoy and knows how much I dislike Vincent Cassel. She failed to realize that we both like Rosario Dawson.

By the way, Rosario Dawson drops the laundry in this one, so the wife was disappointed when Cassel and McAvoy didn't fully drop the laundry, too.  Double standard, I guess.

The concept was interesting enough, but the secrets and "pay-off" were a bit too contrived.  It kind of sucks to be manipulated into liking a character only to discover that.... (oops, I guess this would be a spoiler).  But what I can say is that stories that throw in random added ingredients to give needed substance to the cake disappoint me because sometimes the filler isn't filling

Trance was a slick, heavily frosted thriller that had some decent twists but as a whole, it was a little under cooked for my taste.

Geez, lots of food metaphors here, it must be close to feeding time. Do they say don't review when you're hungry or is it don't shop when you're hungry?

I wonder if there's any cake in the fridge...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

VIEWED: Red 2

In case your "scroll down" doesn't work, my trailer review for Red 2 said...

"...it nicely captured everything familiar and cliche....Fun though it was on the surface, the trailer for Red 2 kind of made me feel like I was being sold something that I already had, didn't really want, ended up purchasing it anyway and now am confused as to how I got stuck with the item - and the bill."

Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins were great. Everyone else... meh.

Other than that, this movie redefined LAME for me.  It should have been called, "Blue" as in blue balls. As in it promised a climax but never reached it.  It was like all foreplay - but forced and uncomfortable foreplay - and no sex.  It was like all frosting and no cake.  It was like an empty pi├▒ata.  It was like a guaranteed delivery that didn't deliver. 

You get what I'm saying.

Yet another two hours of my life I'll never get back.


Red 2

I didn't know there was a Red 1.  I thought it was like that stupid Bruce Willis album, The Return of Bruno. I didn't know Bruno left.  I didn't care if he returned and after hearing the music, I wished he had stayed away.

I had to IMDB 'Red' to see if it existed.  It does.  Red 2 is the sequel.  Um... mystery solved.

Clearly, I didn't go into this review with an open mind.  Actually I'm kind of annoyed.  The wife and I are going to see a movie tonight. The two choices at our local cinema are, Red 2, and Pacific Rim.  The trailer for Pacific Rim looked awesome.  The wife doesn't care for monster movies.  I said to her that she'll see a monster if I don't get to see Pacific Rim tonight.  She smirked.  We're seeing Red 2.

I don't really want to see the trailer.  I want it to be shit and disappear like the first Red....  okay, I'll watch the trailer.

F**K.  It has Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and John Malkovitch. Hopkins looks freaking hilarious as the mad genius with the "beautiful mind" but with a sense of humour.  Helen Mirren is so awesome in everything. What a class act and she looks pretty damn good for her age.  Malkovitch has such brilliant comedic timing that he makes Willis seem likable in the Red 2 trailer. Willis has been hit and miss lately and quite dull in the last Die Hard movie whose trailer I didn't review.  I think it was called, Die Hard 52: Die Already.  I still don't like Catherine Zeta Jones Douglas.  She's just so full of herself and so full of shit in every role.

Yeah, this looks fun.  The trailer had much going for it with a nice combination of action and humour.  But I think where it worked best was how it nicely captured everything familiar and cliche.  The action scenes could have been from any other action movie from the last 20 years.

Fun though it was on the surface, the trailer for Red 2 kind of made me feel like I was being sold something that I already had, didn't really want, ended up purchasing it anyway and now am confused as to how I got stuck with the item - and the bill.

Since I am not seeing this by choice, I will promptly write the VIEWED review when I get home tonight. Stay tuned.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Lone Ranger

When I searched for the trailer for The Lone Ranger, I found a few.  One was about 1:43 the other was just over 3 minutes.  Naturally, I watched the short one first.

Against my better judgement I viewed the 3:00 minute trailer, too.

I remember The Lone Ranger.  I remember there was this park that my father used to take us to when we were kids where the swings were horses.  We always fought over the white horse because The Lone Ranger rode a white horse named, Silver.  Hi oh, Silver... away!

In the classic film, A Christmas Story, we find out that Victor is the name of The Lone Ranger's nephew's horse.

Is there anything that Johnny Depp can't do? Tonto sounded a bit like a stoned Hunter S. Thomson played by Depp in, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - he's still so damn good in every role, though.  Pirates of the Caribbean aside.  I buck the trend when I say a drunk, slightly effeminate Keith Richards adaptation of a pirate villain didn't work for me.

Armie Hammer?  For real?  Of the baking soda Hammers?

There's something very romantic (in the classical sense) of a masked vigilante who seeks justice on a corrupt society.  One who walks the often blurred line between justice and law.  Kind of like my favourite, the Green Hornet - thanks for killing the memory, Rogan! From Batman to Zorro we cheer the masked vigilantes because they represent what the common man would do if he could.

The 3:00 minute trailer was too long. I shouldn't have viewed it. It kind of made me think that all the good stunts were captured in the trailer, leaving nothing to the imagination.

The 1:43 trailer was awesome!  The story, the action, the stunts, the effects, THE LONE RANGER!  An American Legend! It was exactly the right length and a model for how trailers should be.  It was near perfect!

How cool is that?  I can't believe it's taken this long to bring back The Lone Ranger... maybe that's okay, too.



Friday, 19 July 2013

Crawl Bitch Crawl



When I was a kid at summer camp, some other kids put me in one of those arctic sleeping bags where only your face sticks out.  They tightened the straps.  I couldn't move.  I began to sweat and my body began to struggle in the constricting bag.  I began to panic and yelled to be released.  The kids laughed - I became even more panicked. Finally, one kid sensed my panic and let me out. That was the first time I truly felt the anxiety of claustrophobia.

Imagine what it would have been like if the bag was a tunnel and something was chasing you through it...

The trailer for Crawl Bitch Crawl has much going for it including a clear mission: deliver the last known fertile woman to safety.  It made me think of several things.  I thought of that Clive Owen film, Children of Men. I thought of playing Doom 3 and always feeling claustrophobic going through narrow spaces trying to avoid nasty monsters and, of course, death.  I thought of that terrible film, Legion, which was a poorly executed rip-off of a Huss Elassal script called, Protecting Mrs. Memphis.   The other thing that struck me was the poster...

SHOP

The poster is kind of misleading for how cool this movie looks from the trailer. While I'm not crazy about the title either, the story told in the trailer (synopsis below in press release) is clear, interesting, packed with action, suspense, cool visuals and a general sense of claustrophobic panic.  It doesn't go too far and creates a sense of urgency and anxiety felt by the characters that jumps off the screen and sucks in the viewer.  Nice work.

I very much look forward to seeing this film... I just don't know where, yet.


Here's the press release - please support this project:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Horror/Sci-fi Film "CRAWL BITCH CRAWL" Releases Official Trailer and is acquired by Sales Representatives VMI Worldwide.

Tulsa, OK - 7/15/2013 - Gritty, claustrophobic Independent Horror/Sci-fi film 'CRAWL BITCH CRAWL' directed by Oklahoma Ward releases OFFICIAL TRAILER!

The HORROR film CRAWL BITCH CRAWL is...

Synopsis:  An elite security team assigned the task of protecting the last known woman who can become pregnant, find themselves caught in an endless claustrophobic underground tunnel system. The team soon learns - the real horror is not the unstoppable creature chasing them, but the ever growing smaller tunnel itself. The will to live for each member of the team gets challenged with the obstacle of a fourteen inch two thousand foot tunnel.



What horror fans are saying about CRAWL BITCH CRAWL...

"...Get through this horror tunnel..."
-Bloody Disgusting (Mr Disgusting)

"...A Fist-Clenching, Breath-Holding, Claustrophobic Thrill-Ride..."
-Yell! Magazine (Joanna Jaguar)

"Going to the counter and ordering a ticket to this film should be fun!"
-Horror Smorgasbord (Slowdeath77)

"...Breakout Actress Nicole Alonso...kicks some serious ass..."
-Yell Magazine (Joanna Jaguar)


For More Press Quotes, visit the PRESS PAGE at our official websitewww.crawlbitchcrawl.com

Click the image below to watch the Official Trailer
or visit YouTube ...and get your BITCH on.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Pacific Rim

I was really pissed when King Kong defeated Godzilla in, King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).  I liked Godzilla in the old Japanese monster movies better than I liked the remake of Godzilla.  Cloverfield was cool because we weren't sure about the monster or where it came from but it seemed like it came from the ocean. So what happens when, in film terms, Godzilla meets Cloverfield meets Real Steel?

Pacific Rim is born.

Let's not play games here.  This is a really fun trailer.

Monsters rise from deep beneath the Pacific Ocean and start to destroy the earth - classic monster movie premise.  Conventional weapons have little to no effect. Mankind must adapt to the new threat or face its own extinction. Survival is based on evolving how battle is waged against the new enemies.  "In order to fight monsters you must become monsters..."  Fighting fire with fire, so to speak.

Giant robot fighting machines, powered by humans are the defence against the invading monsters - Robots vs. Monsters as this film is billed.

The only risk is that the giant fighting robots spawn sequels that are not really sequels but become a franchise of their own.  So, films starring the giant robots emerge with titles like, War of the Giant Fighting Robots. I am Giant Fighting Robot.  Giant Fighting Robots vs. Alien.  Giant Fighting Robots vs. Predator.  Giant Fighting Robots vs. Alien vs. Predator.  Giant Fighting Robots vs. Jason...  I digress.

Whatever.

I loved the trailer for Pacific Rim.

It had so much going for it - fun and cool concept, action, explosions, mass destruction, monsters, robots and the epic fight for the survival of mankind.  And, I don't recall any major actors names being dropped.

I can't wait to see this film.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Grown Ups 2

I saw the first Grown Ups movie and I honestly don't remember anything about it.

I used to like Adam Sandler.

I sort of like Kevin James.

I really like Chris Rock.

David Spade is useless.

The trailer had fart and tittie jokes and juvenile pranks.

I really don't like the number "2" after a title for a sequel.  I usually hate colons in titles but Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is better than just Star Trek 2.   What could one call Grown Ups 2?  Also Grown Ups or Grown Ups Also would imply a level of maturity.  Grown Ups 2: Homeward Bound?  Grown Ups 2: Old School?  Grown Ups 2: Happy Madison? Grown Ups 2: Easy Money.

I think it should be called, Grown Ups 2: Cheap Laughs.

I'll likely wait until this film is on Netflix before I see it.

MEH.

And look at this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcFOthNlCtg