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Friday 30 September 2011


Today marks the end of the second month of Beerbohmtastic. 
Please keep the emails and comments coming. 

Here are some month end stats:

Movie trailers/synopsis reviewed:    18
Movies viewed in August:               12                               
Movies reviewed actually viewed:     9
Reader insults:                                  1
Feelings hurt:                                 .25

I just want to say that whether I like a movie or not, I have the utmost respect for anyone who can actually get a movie made.  I have even more respect for those who do it well. 

Thank you for reading.  

Thursday 29 September 2011


My recommendation for this one was:

"Car chase movies are fun. Though the trailer didn't really wow me, I'm sure there will be enough action to keep me entertained."

Ryan Gosling is good at playing odd, complicated, soft spoken characters.  Lars and the Real Girl, United States of Leland, but in Drive the odd, complicated, soft spoken character is a mystery.  There is no context for his superhero skills.  Despite the decent performances, this was one dull story. 

The 80's music didn't endear the film, either. Should have gone to see Red State again.

VIEWED: Red State

My recommendation for this one was...

"This looks like a departure from what we've come to expect from Kevin Smith. I have no doubt he had a blast making this one.  I just hope I have the stomach to enjoy watching it.  Big screen."

Saw a screening of this last night.  I was a bit worried that it would be a Rob Zombie-esque, Saw-type, grind-house film.  You know, filled with disturbing and gratuitous violence.  Let's face it; the trailer had that written all over it.  That said, the trailer looked really cool and I was very interested in what Kevin Smith would do with a movie like this.

Well, if I can be so presumptuous as to say that Kevin Smith has come of age; I'm saying it.  This story is so well written, told so tastefully, depicting human conflict and struggle, with a blurred line between good and evil and without judgment or the need for gratuitous violence.  Everything: the story, dialogue, acting, visuals were brilliant. 

I sat riveted to the screen for the hour-and-a-half and by the end could articulate only one word:  Wow.

All hail Kevin Smith for he has taken this genre to a higher level.

Tuesday 27 September 2011


Pretty intense trailer and subject matter.

Margaret is a moral struggle.  Putting a teenager - and it's cool how Anna at 29 years old can still get away with playing a teenager- through the moral dilemma that is this film is an interesting examination.  Let's face it, teenagers, with their sense of entitlement, invincibility, roller-coaster hormones and general idiocy combined with family, social and environmental pressures is enough of a struggle.  I often tell teenagers that these years are probably the most difficult and if they can survive their teenage years and end up on a good path, the rest of their lives will seem much easier.  The problem is, as Mark Twain said: youth is wasted on the young.

Anna Paquin is a very good actress.  For me, the entire True Blood thing sucked...  I was so annoyed with the trailer park vampire soft core porn thing that after the first season - which was viewed with my usual morbid fascination - I couldn't take any more.  Lately, Matt Damon seems to have taken on more mature roles.  He's a very talented actor - very believable.  Ruffalo is pretty cool. My only comment is that this role seems similar to the one he played in Reservation Road.

The trailer was good.  It really showed conflict and struggle without giving away the outcome. It was compelling, interesting and I want to know how the situation unfolds and whether it gets resolved.

Honey, guess what we're seeing next?

Red State

I reviewed this one prematurely last month.... now that it finally hit the theatres, I watched the trailer again and have updated the review....

Trailer starts off like a teen flick and I'm thinking, hmm, Kevin, where are you going with this kind of half expecting Jason Mewes to appear... then...

BAM! Kick in the balls! Holy crap! This is a serious trailer for a creepy movie. I'm thinking Rob Zombie meets Waco and Frailty seasoned with Texas Chainsaw Massacre... but then John Goodman and Kevin Pollack pop up for some comic relief, then BAM for another kick, then back to Goodman and Pollack.

John Goodman was so sad and creepy in Barton Fink. Pollack gave me an autographed picture that told me to "stay cool." Jeremy Hotz must have told him I was cool or something because why would he write that without actually meeting me? You're cool, too, Mr. Pollack.

I sat riveted to the screen when I watched An Evening with Kevin Smith.  I loved the giant spider Jon Peters Superman story.

This looks like a departure from what we've come to expect from Kevin Smith. I have no doubt he had a blast making this one.  I just hope I have the stomach to enjoy watching it.

Big screen.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Dream House

When I read the synopsis I thought, I liked it when it was called The Amityville Horror. I moved on to the trailer, but for some reason it wasn't streaming well so, I searched for another source. I found a headline in my search that said, "trailer spoils movie..." Big surprise! So, I ended up watching the 30-second TV spot.

Daniel Craig is hit and miss for me. Hated his Bond (the crap stories didn't help) but liked him in other things I've seen him in. Rachel Weisz is always great. Naomi Watts is good, too. My question is: why would good actors take on roles in crappy films?

I'm not saying that this is a crappy film because I haven't seen it, but how many movies have been made about "dream houses" gone wrong?

So from the trailer, the house is either haunted by a (still alive) psycho killer who kills people who live in the house because maybe when he was a kid he suffered abuse there and then it got repossessed so if his family can't have it than nobody can...?

Maybe it's the house and it possessed the killer and it can only possess one person at a time - until that person is dead...?

Maybe the killer is a ghost and kills people in the house because of my first guess...?

Maybe there is no killer and it's the house that kills people...?

Maybe Daniel Craig becomes possessed by the house and kills (or tries to kill) his family like in The Shining...?

You know what? 

I don't really feel compelled enough to want to see this film.

Saturday 24 September 2011

VIEWED: Bridesmaids

My recommendation for this one was...

"I'd rather have a pedicure (and I hate my feet being touched) then watch this movie."

The wife went to see this film about a month ago.  She informed me that my review of the trailer was way off and that I would really like this movie.  This evening she dragged me out to the Rainbow to see it.

Yes, I was way off in my review and I'm glad I didn't get the pedicure.

VIEWED: Zookeeper

My recommendation for this one was...

"Yes, this film is low on the originality scale but I'm thinking it might be fun."

This movie was like, and you have to be a Simpsons fan to understand this: Malibu Stacy with hat.

Which means: same old same old with a useless gimmick.

Friday 23 September 2011

VIEWED: Contagion

My recommendation for this one was...

Contagion has great cast and the trailer kept me interested in the outcome. That's enough for me. Big screen with lots of popcorn and red licorice.

I had jerk chicken for dinner (my friend Simon's recipe - very good) so I was too full for popcorn. I had red licorice, though.

From beginning to end it seemed so, well, real. That's all I can really say about it. Though it was disturbing at times, it was all very matter-of-fact. It was kind of like a public service announcement for hand sanitizer.


According to Wikipedia (so I guess it's true) Bunraku is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre founded in Osaka in 1684.  I don't care much for puppets, though I liked the Muppet Show.

The trailer made me think of Escape from New York, Dick Tracy, Sin City and Blade Runner.  Demi Moore looks incredible for a woman of almost 50.  Ron Perlman is such a bad-ass.  He'll always be Hellboy to me - that's a good thing.  Woody Harrelson is always fun to watch.  I loved him in Zombieland. Josh Hartnett has done some interesting things, but the moustache he sports in Bunraku is the most interesting - not in a good way.

Every so often a film is made that at least attempts to take us, the average movie goer, out of the visually clichéd comfort zone.  You know, opens with long-shot of the city it takes place in and zooms into the apartment or workplace of one of the leads... blah, blah, bore. I'm not saying that Bunraku is not full of clichés or is a truly original story; I'm saying that it seems to take the familiar and place it in an apparently bizarre fantasy setting.  Sometimes a mediocre story is elevated by the acting and setting. 

The synopsis says:

This classic tale is re-vitalized and re-imagined in an entirely fresh visual context...

Classic tale?  Maybe Samurai meets Western?

Thus, in my humble opinion, the quality of the story and acting will be key, but ultimately the audience's acceptance of the story's backdrop will determine whether this film is a box office success, future cult classic, unintentional B-movie or total flop.

This film looks interesting enough for to me see.  I think I will.

Thursday 22 September 2011


While checking the usual sources for upcoming movies to review, I made an observation:  There are many films listed that are coming out of Bollywood.  Having heard that India produces more films than anyone else in the world, but never really seeing many, there seem to be many listed in what are usually Hollywood forums.  I came across one called Bodyguard.  I watched the trailer.  A very cheesy knock-off of the Costner/Houston film except this bodyguard wire fights like you'd see in a Chinese martial arts movie.  After I nearly choked on my peanut butter bagel from laughing so hard, I couldn't bring myself to review the film.  Oops, I guess I just did.  Maybe it's a comedy.


Russell Peters is a hilarious stand-up comic.  Rob Lowe has become a bit of an oddball, but in a cool way.  The premise in Breakaway is that a young Sikh man with a passion and talent for ice-hockey puts together an all Sikh team and enters a tournament.  He does this in the face of opposition from his family and community.  The clash between western culture and traditional Sikh/Indian culture seems to be a common theme in Bollywood films - at least it has been in the four that I've seen.

Sikhs wear turbans; it's a religious custom.  Over the years, and in different countries, the debate of whether Sikhs should be forced to remove their turbans in professions such as law enforcement, military service and general jobs requiring a uniform continues.  In Canada recently, the federal government lifted a long-standing ban preventing Sikhs in the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) from wearing turbans while on duty.
I think this film is a way for Russell Peters to make light of that debate. 

The trailer shows some odd Bollywood style choreographed dances with hockey sticks AND there will be a non-Sikh love interest for our hero to further the conflict.  Rob Lowe (who played hockey in the film Youngblood) is the coach of the team.  I guess Coach Lowe will show the Sikh players how to fight dirty like he was taught in Youngblood.

When I saw Slumdog Millionaire I enjoyed everything but the Bollywood dancing at the end.  Maybe this one will end with a Bollywood on ice performance... Bollywood on ice, eh?  Hmmmm....

Not enough films about hockey. I'll likely see this at the Rainbow. 

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

When I saw the title, I thought it was just another crappy teen movie using a classic old line.... then I read the synopsis and my grin grew from ear to ear and all I could think of was F**K YEAH!!!

New Boots and Panties is one of my all-time favourite top 10 on a desert island albums.  The A-side is Dury's raunchy lyrics (My Old Man, though is pretty heartfelt) sung over some smooth, nicely produced music.  For the time, the production value was the equivalent of a Manhattan penthouse. Clean, crisp and it made even the worst ghetto-blaster sound good.  From what I've heard, his band was made up of some seriously talented session players. I had a crappy cassette deck in my old VW, but this album always made it sound so much better than it was.  The B-side was insane; songs like Plaistow Patricia, Blockheads and the Blackmail Man were serious hardcore punk songs.  He was f**king awesome!  I even liked the album he put out in 1998 called Mr. Love Pants.

I was actually giddy watching this trailer because I didn't know much about him, other than the Polio.  I also didn't know that he had such iconic status, at least enough to warrant a movie. Thank you to whomever decided to do create this (hopefully) tribute to one of my favourites.


Tuesday 20 September 2011


I watched this trailer twice because I wasn't sure if it was a remake of something or a hybrid of something or a rip-off of something else.  True Believer and A Civil Action were the first movies that popped into my head, but aside from the courtroom drama theme, not that similar.  I recalled that the Oliver Platt character in the Hank Azaria series, Huff, was a drug addict lawyer.

I've known a few lawyers in my day that have struggled with addiction.  It's kind of scary to think that the person defending you may end up in jail on drug charges.  The drug addict lawyers that I knew were able to get help and get off the drugs.  As far as I know, they are clean today.

So, from the Puncture trailer, the drug theme seems prevalent.  There's the lawyer, Chris Evans (Captain America) and a drug that nurses are using, which seems to be at the centre of the conflict.  Throw in the clichés about the small law firm (including the partner who is the voice of reason) that doesn't have the capacity to take on a big case, the apparent soul-less lawyer who has found his sense of justice, morality and/or ethics through this current, difficult case, add a large dose of conspiracy through a Pharma Company and/or government, and/or private sector conglomerate and you have the makings of an Erin Brockovich... I mean a dangerous, suspenseful journey that angers and frustrates the audience only to end up with a feel good ending.

Since all the Blockbusters in my region are closing down and physically "renting" movies looks to be dying fast,  I should stop saying "rental" as I believe this one might be.   Netflix doesn't get new films anywhere near the DVD release times (at least in Canada). 

I just had a crazy thought.... what if the major studios are behind the websites that show pirated movies?  What if they were trying to put Blockbuster out of business in order to increase the traffic to the cinemas? What if, now that Blockbuster is gone, the studios will try to drive more traffic to their own sites and allow people to view new releases?  Actually, this theory sounds kind of dumb... 
Holy crap, I just went to the Universal Studios website and sure enough, you can watch on-demand or download...... hmmm... conspiracy theories everywhere and not enough proof for any - unless they are based on a true story like.... oh yeah... Puncture.
Despite my ramblings, this does look mildly entertaining.  I'll likely see it at the Rainbow or on-line.

Sunday 18 September 2011


Two confessions:

1) I love baseball movies.

2) I love baseball, but haven't been following for many years.

The Moneyball trailer was entertaining, even though it showed that Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) was successful. Even the synopsis gives it away:

The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

For those of us who don't know or remember the real story, we know from both the trailer and the synopsis that Billy Beane has somewhat of a happy ending. The cool thing about baseball is that success isn't always measured by winning the World Series, though it's the ultimate reward for a team. The Major League Baseball website states that "Beane continually remolds a team that has posted one of the majors' best records over the last past decade..." Yes, it really says "last past."

Wait a minute... this "true story" is as fresh as the bottle of Farnese Sangiovese (cheap, but tasty Italian red wine) I had with my pizza. Speaking of Italian, the wife and I went to see the opera Pagliacci last night. I was offered tickets and, thanks to Seinfeld, I knew that Pagliacci was the tragic clown. Glad I went and very thankful for the subtitles above the stage.

So, Moneyball is a fresh, true story that has nothing to do with Pagliacci. Field of Dreams is the only movie that made me cry. That whole having a catch, while making peace with your dad stuff gets me every time. Bull Durham. Major League. A League of Their Own. Bang the Drum Slowly. The Natural. Eight Men Out. Fever Pitch (even though Nick Hornby wrote it as a soccer story). The list of baseball movies goes on and I liked or loved every one.

There's something about baseball, at least there used to be, that is part of the American cultural landscape. It used to embody the essence of the working man. I don't think it does any more. But there used to be something very special about it.

I'll see Moneyball and I'm sure I will like or love it.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Thirst (2009)

Something a little different on Beerbohmtastic.
I've been wanting to see this film for a while. I am a fan of Korean films. Chan Wook Park is one of the coolest directors of our time. Known fondly as "Mr. Vengeance" his Vengeance Trilogy (related theme and not story or characters) is comprised of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy, and Lady Vengeance. Get over the titles for a second... Old Boy was nominated for the Palme D'or Award and won the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. In total, Old Boy won 17 international awards.

Though his movies can be disturbing with their content and intricate stories, there is a tremendous sense of irony and tragedy that is borderline Shakespearean. In understanding Chan Wook Park these quotes may help:

"My films are the stories of people who place the blame for their actions on others because they refuse to take on the blame themselves."

"I don't feel enjoyment watching films that evoke passivity. If you need that kind of comfort, I don't understand why you wouldn't go to a spa."


The trailer was pretty cool. The premise is that a priest becomes a vampire. This concept alone can only intensify any moral, ethical or spiritual struggle.  I don't know if there has ever been a vampire film where a clergyman has been turned. Let me know if you know of any.

I get the impression from the trailer that witnessing the internal struggle and torment of a vampire priest will be like the morbid fascination of slowly driving past a bloody car wreck. This car wreck, however, will take about two hours...

I'm glad I've found this film and will watch it very soon. Can't wait!

Friday 16 September 2011


When I read the synopsis I couldn't help but be intrigued by this one.  The concept is actually interesting.  Boy raised by a family only to find an old picture of himself on a missing child type website.  As a teenager, I often wondered if the stupid people always telling me what to do could possibly be my real parents.  There must have been some mistake.  Switched at birth... anything.  What kid hasn't thought of this? A movie with this apparent theme?  Could be good.

One of my favourite Mark Twain quotes is something to the effect of, "at 16, I couldn't believe how stupid my father was, but by 21 I was amazed at how much he'd learned in 5 years..." 

So, as my curiosity is piqued and I'm thinking this is a good trailer with a great concept. BAM!  The trailer goes super cliché and I groan in disappointment. The kid (teenager) turns out to be some special experiment and he seems to have super human strength and, since he is on to the "conspiracy" it appears that he outsmarts and kicks the collective asses of the entire CIA or FBI or Military or whatever.  Is this every teenager's fantasy? 

My disappointment in the trailer brought to mind a line from the Jim Carroll song, People Who Died.  "Things just go from bad to worse/ it starts like a kiss, it ends like a curse."

Kind of like biting into a fresh, crispy apple, only to find a worm.


Thursday 15 September 2011

VIEWED: Apollo 18

My recommendation for this one was:

"... liked the Apollo 18 trailer.  I hope to see this one on the big screen."

Mr. Anonymous commented that "found footage" is a genre and that it's like, "planning your own surprise party..."  I like Mr. Anonymous and I know that he's an excellent screen writer and once his work makes it to the big screen; we'll finally see some cool stories.

That said, just because you're smarter than I am, doesn't mean I have to agree with you ;-p

I really enjoyed this film.  The footage, whether real or not, looked great. The detail, the dialogue, the look, the feel, the moonwalks, even the nature of the threat; everything about it was believable. 

Though it wasn't "scary" like the Exorcist or having to watch middle-aged women fawn over non-threating pre-teen idol, Justin Bieber, I was still riveted to the screen. 

I'm glad I saw it.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

The Killer Elite

So the story isn't that original, but it's based on "truth" so I'll let it slide...  You know, it's another, "just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in..."  And "you gotta come out of retirement for one more job..." And, "you're the only guy that can save him..."  Pretty cliché but...

The trailer was fun because of the interaction between Statham and Owen.

Statham is a badass.  In almost every movie I've seen him in since Snatch, he plays the same character... but damn, that character is f**king cool!  The exception, and perhaps his funniest role, was in Mean Machine, the U.K. knock off of The Longest Yard.  In The Killer Elite, however, he looks to continue his serious badassary. 

Clive Owen is a different animal.  He is a very good actor.  My friend, Bill, worked with him on a film he shot in Toronto.  Bill was amazed at how professional, prepared and personable Clive Owen was.  Not surprising. There is something understated, almost reserved about Owen, so when he displays extreme emotion on screen it can be unnerving, sometimes even menacing.  He's a different type of badass. Croupier is one of my favourite movies. You're sensing some man-love here?  Yeah, Owen is awesome.

Having Owen as the antagonist badass to Statham's protagonist badass will be fun to watch as both are great at what they do.  What can you say about De Niro that he hasn't already been praised for?  Who doesn't love him? He's an icon. 

With all the love in this review, I have no choice but to see this movie.

Tuesday 13 September 2011


I just have to say a few things before I review the trailer for the upcoming Ryan Gosling movie, Drive...

I liked it when it was called The Transporter.  This movie is The Transporter meets F/X (the movie).  When did Ryan Gosling become an action star?  Does every actor dream of kicking ass on screen?

I feel better, now.

Ryan Gosling is a superb, versatile actor.  Albert Brooks is usually, smart, neurotic and funny, but he's kind of scary in Drive.  Ron Perlman is Hellboy and you don't mess with Hellboy.

The Transporter was cool and I like Jason Statham and the Audi A8.  Clive Owen drove the BMW line in a very cool series of short films. My favourite of the series (though all were very good) was directed by Guy Ritchie and featured Madonna.  YouTube it, you'll love it.  More on Statham and Owen in the next review...

Car chase movies are fun. Though the trailer didn't really wow me, I'm sure there will be enough action to keep me entertained.

Could be a good, guy movie.  Probably a rental.

Monday 12 September 2011

VIEWED: Troll Hunter

My recommendation for this one was:

"I don't think I'll pay to see this one.  Hey Mr. Anonymous, send me the link."

I do agree that for a "found footage" film this was pretty entertaining. The trolls looked kind of dumb, but the "history" of the trolls as told by troll hunter Hans, was interesting. 

I guess, and I don't know much about the film industry, especially in Norway, but everything seemed realistic but the trolls. Was that the point?

Mr. Anonymous, perhaps you could explain the point of Troll Hunter?  Maybe my insight caught the same flight as my sophomoric side... would expain a lot.

Thanks for the link, though.

Sunday 11 September 2011

VIEWED: Captain America

A funny thing happened on the way to the Mr. Anonymous link to Troll Hunter... I couldn't resist viewing this one first...

My recommendation for Captain America was...

"I will probably own this film. Can't wait to see it."

Loved the beginning.  Middle was as expected.  Not so much on the ending.  Love Stanley Tucci.  Hugo Weaving is such a great actor.  The truth is that, for me, it felt like I was watching Captain America play Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

I'm glad I saw it, but I will not own it.

Saturday 10 September 2011

VIEWED: Horrible Bosses

My recommendation for this one was:

"I like Dolly Parton, she seems nice. I love Hitchcock. I've had horrible bosses....I'm seeing this one."

Saw this at the Rainbow last night with the wife.  The highlight of the evening was sushi.  It's not that this movie was horrible, as it had some funny moments.  It even mentions the Hitchcock reference. It's just that the story wasn't that interesting.  Bateman was good.  Aniston was filthy... in a good way.  Charlie Day played the role like mini-Bobcat Goldthwaite.  Colin Farrell was perfectly slimy.  Spacey was Spacey.  There were no weak links in the cast. 

In the end, unfortunately, the whole was far less than the sum of its parts.

Friday 9 September 2011

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

I hate titles like this regardless of the quality of the film.  Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgandy, Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.    I know the titles are supposed to by funny, tongue-in-cheek, cute, feign seriousness... but they sound so dumb.

Speaking of dumb, the wife rented Just Go With It (Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston).  Nick Swardson (Bucky Larson) was in it.  Funnily enough, he plays a guy who had penile implants. So, in keeping with the theme...  I guess Adam Sandler is making Nick the next Rob Schneider?  So is this Nick Swardson's Duece Bigalow:  Male Gigolo?  This movie looks as dumb as that David Spade movie, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. 

I stared blankly at the trailer and didn't even crack a smile.  Don Johnson looked cool.  My favourite Don Johnson movie is A Boy and His Dog, a post-apocalyptic comedy.  Christina Ricci has come a long way with some interesting roles since The Addams Family.  And, she was a voice in a video game, The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon...

The only positive thing I can say about the trailer is that the story seems to be somewhat original.  Somewhat original isn't enough for me to want to see it.

In the words of the travel agent character from Little Britain....

"Computah says.... Noooo."  Ack.

Thursday 8 September 2011

The Troll Hunter

By request....sort of.

The trailer says, "The most important film of our time is Norwegian."

The Troll Hunter trailer is like a cross between the Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and Werner Herzog's Incident at Loch Ness.... you know mockumentary style.  I think it's supposed to be funny, but I'm not sure. 

Mr. Anonymous left a comment on my Apollo 18 review, saying, “Found Footage" now being a genre is like planning your own surprise party. If you really want to see a great "Found Footage" flick, check out the far superior "Trollhunter". Its original even for this played out style.

I didn’t get that it's superior or original from the trailer.  The trailer should not have shown the Trolls. The three types of trolls mentioned in the trailer looked kind of ridicules.  There was a man-sized two headed troll, a larger Muppet looking troll and a giant Godzilla troll. Showing them was like giving away the punch line before the joke ends.  Maybe that was point and they were being clever? Sometimes clever goes to the point of being confusing... at least for me.

Regardless of whether they were trying to be clever or not, the level of mystery by not showing the Muppets/monsters is why Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Incident at Loch Ness trailers were so entertaining.

So is this the most important film of our time?  Maybe for Norwegians.
I don't think I'll pay to see this one.  Hey Mr. Anonymous, send me the link.


Wednesday 7 September 2011

Straw Dogs

This is clearly a remake of the 1971 film of the same name. The remake poster is an exact copy of the original poster.  The only difference is the new one adds the text: Everyone has a breaking point...

I've made reference, in various forms, to the following statement: It's better to remake a crap movie than to ruin a good one by remaking it poorly. 

Let's look at remakes for a second:
The Longest Yard (1974): Great movie! Remade as a soccer movie in 2001 with Vinnie Jones (UK production). It was a good spin on the classic.  Remade again in 2005 with Adam Sandler.  I love Adam Sandler but the movie was lame. Omega Man (1971) ok movie for its time. It was a last man on earth, zombie-type movie.  Sort of remade beautifully as I am Legend (2007). Very entertaining film and what isn't Will Smith good in?  The remake list may not be endless but it is on-going.  Are we really out of original ideas or is there just a shortage? 

So, in the 2011 version of Straw Dogs, is James Marsden tougher than Dustin Hoffman was in the original?  Well, yes.  Hoffman is an icon. Marsden was kind of cool, but an emotionally annoying little bitch as Cyclops in the X-Men series.   That said, is James Marsden going to play this like Joe Don Baker from the Walking Tall movies (not the crappy Rock remake)? Or, even better, as Charles Bronson from... well... any Charles Bronson film?  Maybe the question should be: will Marsden be believable as the mild-mannered family man who has been pushed to his breaking point? Maybe if he puts on those red Oakley sunglasses and spins around while whining that his girlfriend has a crush on Wolverine. 

I watched the trailer for each version back-to-back.  The motives for the harassment seem different, but the concept of the local yahoos terrorizing the new-in-towns is a very disturbing and common theme.  I didn't mind the remake trailer and I know that, as in all movies of this nature, when the yahoos get their just desserts, the audience will cheer. 

Still not sure, though, if I'll be in that audience.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Apollo 18

I've now viewed two excellent trailers in a row. 

So the premise here is that moon missions were stopped after Apollo 17, but recent found "evidence" proved that there was a "secret" Apollo 18th mission.  Apparently there is actual footage from the Apollo 18 mission, which may or may not have taken place in the early 1970s.  Moon missions were stopped after that because of what allegedly happened to Apollo 18...  I love that blurred line between fact and fiction. It's both cool and creepy.

Movies based on the actual U.S. space program are often pretty cool.  Whether they take a patriotic approach like The Right Stuff, a factual dipiction like Apollo 13 or a conspiracy theory approach like Capricorn One, I find these types of films generally entertaining. 

I've often wondered how many people have actually seen Capricorn One.  In a nutshell: three astronauts are about to take off for a Mars mission.  At about the 5 minute mark in the countdown to lift-off, they are asked to exit the rocketship.  The rocket lifts off, un-manned. They are whisked away to a desert location where they are told that they had to be pulled from the rocket because mission control discovered a flaw in the heat shield (or something like that) and they were at risk of not surviving the trip.  They are then "asked" to cooperate in the staging of a Mars landing that will be filmed in a studio at their desert location.  They cooperate, the un-manned rocket blows up.  They realize that they are the only link to the truth and will be killed to cover the conspiracy and...   It was very entertaining.

My point is that conspiracy movies, whether they take place on earth or in outer space are fun and feed into the thousands of conspiracy theories we've all heard.  There seem to be many films out with this theme.

I sometimes wonder if governments are organized enough to pull off such elaborate conspiracies. 

Anyhow, I liked the Apollo 18 trailer.

I hope to see this one on the big screen.


Friday 2 September 2011

Film Quips

After seeing Tom Jane in Stander, I honestly thought he was South African.

Leonardo DiCaprio's South African accent was excellent in Blood Diamond.

Matt Damon's accent was also good in Invictus.

If John Malkovich's accent in Disgrace was supposed to be South African, it was terrible.

The award for the worst South African accent goes to the entire white cast of the Bang Bang Club.

I was married to a woman who's family was from South Africa.

Biltong is South African jerky. It's really good.

Thursday 1 September 2011

The Debt

About halfway through the more than two minute trailer, I feared it would blow its load and give it all away. It's just that the first half of the trailer is so well done that I was expecting the usual. As I've said before, I love being wrong.

The trailer was masterful. "The secret" that the three agents keep is not exposed and the suspense builds until the end of the trailer, while giving very little away. Whoever cut the trailer should cut all trailers. Nice work trailer cutter.

Everyone loves Helen Mirren. She's a solid actress. I've seen Ciaran Hinds in many movies and I've always liked him. I IMDB'd him and discovered he was in the movie version of Phantom of the Opera. Many years ago my mother took me to see the stage version of Phantom of the Opera in Toronto. There was such hype around this production and the audience was a buzz. When the show started I was floored by the fact that the opening music used a drum machine and not a live percussionist. Even to my young percussionist ears, it was obvious. I'm not sure if that was the only reason, but I remember hating every cheesy, cliché moment of it and marveling at how many people were duped by the smoke and mirror nonsense of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Did I mention I was full of angst as a young person?

Back to The Debt...

I love movies about Israeli's kicking ass. Though I don't always believe in revenge and debate retribution and retaliation with friends, movies like Marathon Man, The Boys from Brazil, Munich and the Israeli made, Walk on Water, often depict the personal struggles and inner conflicts of the agents sent to exact revenge on behalf of their country. It shows a necessary human side because in the Judeo-Christian realm, we are taught to "turn the other cheek" and "do unto others what you would have them do to you." It's the age old conflicting message between church and state and leads to inner turmoil that can be more damaging than the external battles.

The Debt trailer delivers on all levels. I hope the actual film delivers on at least some, because based on the trailer; it looks like a great film.

Yes, I very much want to see this one.

Max Beerbohm quote for September

"Only the insane take themselves seriously."