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Saturday 31 December 2011

December Trailer Park

The Trailer Park is a monthly feature reserved for trailers or synopsis that:

A) caused me to make that teenage girl sound, "meh"
B) the synopsis didn't warrant a trailer viewing
C) content I had no interest in
D) trailers viewed that evoked nothing
E) trailers that were so forgettable that by the time I was ready to review them, I couldn't even remember the title of the film
F) All of the above
G) None of the above

Think of the Trailer Park as a public service....

So, in no particular order, I give you this months installment of Trailer Park:

In Time (still playing and still looks like Justin Timberlake crap)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (seriously?)
The Darkest Hour (a lost hour and a half)
Johnny English Reborn (didn't know he was born and hadn't heard that he died)
Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl (more Bollywood cheese and the longest synopsis ever)

Thanks for reading.

VIEWED: Carnage

My recommendation for this one was...

"I hope to see this film over the holidays, just to kill my festive spirit."

The only thing this film killed was my desire to see another new Polanski film.

Just to recap...

Carnage is the story of two couples, parents of school-aged children, who meet after one of the children hits the other in the face with a stick. It appears that the entire story takes place in one couple's home, making this much like a stage play - like Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe.

As the afternoon meeting progresses, the thin veil of civility slowly drops. Add alcohol into the mix and personal issues within each relationship begin to arise. More alcohol, less civility... Is Polanski showing us how ugly his personal life is/was by showing us how ugly we are beneath our social conventions?

The short answer is: Yes.  But Roman, what you did is still wrong by any moral standard.

While the acting was good, the 1:15 minute film (that seemed much longer) confirmed in my mind that Polanski made this film as a f**k you to social convention rather than to entertain anyone but himself. 


Tuesday 27 December 2011

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

Say what you want about Tom Cruise, the guy has made some classic movies. From Risky Business to Top Gun to Magnolia to Jerry Maguire to Eyes Wide Shut (which I really liked)... I also liked Collateral, Minority Report and even The Last Samurai. 

But the role that made me laugh and say, "damn, not only can Cruise act but he isn't taking himself too seriously,"  was the producer in Tropic Thunder.  Brilliant role AND the dude can dance.

Cruise just keeps making good (rarely great) but good, entertaining movies.  There's often very cool action and, even when there isn't, this dude can act (sure, there have been a few bombs).  I hear so much anti-Tom Cruise sentiment and yet he continues to consistently deliver. Box office returns and entertainment value is a winning formula (right Lightening?).

So, does one judge him by his weird personal persona and shit that he's pulled?  Does one judge Polanski, Gibson or Allen despite their great works?  Well, yes we judge them, but does that make their work any less significant? 

Shawn of the Dead is in this one.  I watched Shawn of the Dead again on Netflix (Netflix Canada really sucks). 

The trailer for MI: 4 is really great.  A super spy action hero, should he choose to accept an "impossible" mission is charged with saving face, grace, honour, integrity and, of course, the world.  The stunts look awesome. The MI franchise continues to deliver while the Bond franchise continues to deliver cold pizza: some people still like it, but it ain't the same as hot...

Yeah, I have no doubt that this one will deliver and I have no doubt that I'll see it, hopefully soon.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

In 2009, a friend invited me to see a film called, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hadn't read, nor even heard of the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy, so I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by the intensity of this film. It was disturbing and graphic but every scene seemed necessary and enhanced a very intricate story. I thought it was a great film. The subtitles didn't detract from the film in any way.

The trailer on IMDB for the 2011 version is 3:40 long. In almost five months of Beerbohmtastic, it wins the award for longest trailer ever. BUT... I think it was that long so that it could show that it is word-for-word, scene-for-scene, set-for-set, exactly the same as the original, which is only two years old. Whether it is exactly the same is left to be seen.

I'm not a fan of Daniel Craig. His Bond is about as sharp as a sack of wet mice (Foghorn Leghorn). He was good in Munich and very good in Defiance. No doubt he can act, but the Bond thing was annoying. I can't wait to avoid seeing the next Bond film. This is sad to me because I used to love the franchise.

The 2009 film was really, really good. If the 2011 film is an exact copy, but in English, then is that really a bad thing? AND it's directed by David Fincher! This is the dude that directed Fight Club, Se7en, and one of the wife's favourites, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The thing about Benjamin Button is that the original short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald is way shorter than the movie by Fincher. The wife smacked me for making that comment as we exited the theatre.

I always say (well, Huss does) that it's better to remake a bad movie, well, than to remake a good movie badly. I'm not sure how this applies to remaking a good foreign film exactly the same but in English...

I'll see this one just to compare the two and will report back.   

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Young Adult

I watched this trailer twice because I wasn't sure if Charlize Theron's character was serious or just suffering from delusions, cluelessness or possibly narcissistic personality disorder. The background music in the trailer is David Bowie's, Queen Bitch from his 1972 album, Hunky Dory, so is this a tell?

Diablo Cody, who also wrote Juno, which was cute and clever, is likely cute and clever.

Young Adult is the story of a relatively successful writer who returns to her hometown because she wants to rekindle a high school romance. There are two problems. The first is that he is happily married and has a new baby and the second is that she feels that he is the right one for her and doesn't care if she ruins his marriage. In the trailer Charlize is a delusional bitch and is called that by others.

Charlize is a hot, Oscar winning actress that has made some very interesting movies but also played a developmentally delayed woman about to have a fling with Michael in Arrested Development - that was an odd choice.

I'm not sure what I think of Patrick Wilson. I liked him as Night Owl in Watchmen, but in other things I've seen him in he's hit and miss.

Judging by the trailer, which is the point of this blog, I didn't find this story interesting, intriguing or even clever. That said, I want to give Diablo Cody the benefit of the doubt because I can't imagine that this story is as pointless as the trailer looks.

Friday 16 December 2011

VIEWED: I Melt With You

My recommendation for this one was...

"I Melt With You is a very bad title, given what the trailer implies about the story. While I'm not judging this movie by its title, only by its trailer, I'm strangely curious about this one. Maybe I'll catch it at the Rainbow on a Tuesday."

At home, sick in bed with the flu, I was bored and stumbled upon this film on-line, while sadly becoming bored with the old episodes of Kolchak: The Night Stalker I enjoyed in re-run form as a kid.  At the time, Kolchak must have been cutting edge and quite scary, but by today's standards it looks kind of silly.  A reporter walking around chasing monsters and aliens with a "pocket" camera and "portable" tape recorder strapped around his neck, while dragging around a "portable" typewriter.  These devices look ridiculous given the technology age we live in.  My point is that we often idealise our memories only to be disappointed when we try to re-live them.   Ironically, this is an underlying theme in I Melt With You.

My assessment of the trailer was accurate in some ways and way off in others.  I Melt With You is a much better film than Very Bad Things and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I feel dumb for the comparison.


This film is very well acted.  I thought Rob Lowe and the fourth guy were stand outs.  Jane and Piven were very good, too.  The concept is that, as young men, they make a pact and in twenty-five years, if their lives haven't turned out the way they had hoped, then they must share an experience.  To further skew their perception, they come to the realisation, albeit too late, that their positive memories are all drug induced.

Well, each character is a failure in some way.  But who in their 40's has the life they had envisioned in their teens?  Very few, I imagine.  Though the payoff or "secret" in I melt with you is kind of extreme, I think the film will strike a chord with most men and some women over 35. 

I still don't like the title.

Wednesday 14 December 2011


The trailer for Carnage made me think of Edward Albee's, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe.  I hold Albee in the highest regard, as I do Mamet, Beckett, Bukowski, Thompson and DeVito, to name a few.  Story tellers who need few props or gimmicks to deliver tension, conflict - I believe the term is "character driven."  Anyway, I love character driven stories with good dialogue.

Funny and kind of surprising, that this a Roman Polanski film.  Surprising because I thought he was in jail somewhere - should one separate an interesting professional career from a sketchy personal life?  I guess you could put Woody Allen in the same category. 

Funny because I mentioned Polanski in my review of Shame.  I made reference to his film Bitter Moon.  Bitter Moon is a film that every man should see.  It's a film about a man who's relationship with a beautiful young woman, for him, is based on sex.  For her, it is more than that - she is in love.  After he finally dumps her, and I think he tries a few times, she is truly devastated.  Very shortly afterwards, he has an accident and becomes a paraplegic.  She takes on the role of care giver and, as he is now fully dependent on her, she is in control...  "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned..."   Imagine your worst fears within this scenario and you have a powerful and disturbing film.

Carnage is the story of two couples, parents of school-aged children, who meet after one of the children hits the other in the face with a stick.  It appears that the entire story takes place in one couple's home, making this much like a stage play - like Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe. 

As the afternoon meeting progresses, the thin veil of civility slowly drops.  Add alcohol into the mix and personal issues within each relationship begin to arise.  More alcohol, less civility... Is Polanski showing us how ugly his personal life is/was by showing us how ugly we are beneath our social conventions? 

The trailer looks like an examination of parenthood, relationships, social dynamics amidst the deconstruction of civility. The children and the incident that brought the couples together are much less important than the interaction between the adults.  In the end, the trailer doesn't give away the outcome.  Do the relationships survive?  Given that this is a Polanski film, I trust that the children will get over the incident long before the adults get over their afternoon together.

I hope to see this film over the holidays, just to kill my festive spirit.

Monday 12 December 2011


A man addicted to sex isn't new.  Exploring why a man is addicted to sex isn't really new either.  Having a man who is addicted to sex face why he is addicted to sex and that the addiction comes from a dark, perhaps painful or traumatic place.... well maybe that isn't new either.  At least, though, Shame isn’t a remake, prequel or sequel. It appears to be an attempt for a deeper understanding of an often trivialized issue. 

The stereotypical sex addict male in movies is a pig, a slut, and often portrayed humorously. But, after he meets the right girl, he realizes the error of his ways and how wrong it was to treat objects like women.... or women like objects and is somehow absolved by his new commitment to... well, commitment. 

The stereotype (see most Adam Sandler movies and Harlequin Romances) is shallow, trivial, and disrespectful to both men and women AND, is really not that funny.  It's not for me to judge - I spent many years as a musician - but I think it's important to have to face the emotional baggage that motivates our less honorable actions, at least at some point in our lives. 

I'm by no means a psychologist, but I would imagine that the need for constant gratification must stem from a lonely, unfulfilled place.  Maybe it's just the mood I'm in but I think this examination of shame in the movie Shame is a good thing.  It'll be even better if it's executed well.

I've seen Michael Fassbender in two films and liked them both.  He was good as the pompous Brit spy in Inglorious Basterds and he was very believable as a young Magneto in X-Men First Class.  The dude can act. 

All this to say that the trailer for Shame makes the film look interesting, thought provoking and perhaps uncomfortably emotional for both men and women.

I'll wait until I'm in the right mood and then watch Bitter Moon by Roman Polanski... I mean go see Shame.

Friday 9 December 2011

The Sitter

I didn't see Adventures in Babysitting but I knew of it so I watched the trailer after I watched the trailer for The Sitter.  Jonah Hill is no Elisabeth Shue, but Elisabeth Shue is no Jonah Hill, either.

The differences and similarities in the movies are many.  Ms. Shue was eager to babysit.  Mr. Hill was not.  Ms. Shue was trying to do the right thing.  Mr. Hill was not.  Ms. Shue tried to be responsible and, despite the circumstances, looked out for the best interest of the kids.  Mr. Hill?  Apparently not.  Both had to look after “difficult” children.  Both had to leave the safety of the home, thus leading to “adventures.”

As well, they are two babysitters with different motives, putting themselves and the children in their charge, in potentially dangerous situations.  Shue cares.  Hill doesn't (at least in the trailer).  Do you know who else doesn't care for The Sitter? ME. 

I generally find Jonah Hill amusing, even though almost every role is basically Seth from Superbad.   Although he is likeable as the juvenile with comedic angst, the irresponsible slacker babysitter acting a jerk for laughs in this movie deserves a serious beat down. 

WTF time in film making are we living in where comedy has to be so mean-spirited?  Like those idiots (referring to the writers of) Harold and Kumar shoot Santa in the face and it's called comedy? What does that say about us?  And so what if asshead babysitter does good in the end?  So what if he learns a lesson?  Will we remember the lesson or will we continue to accept and then perpetuate the mean-spirited comedy? 

It's too bad, because even though I haven't seen Moneyball, yet, Hill looked really good in a relatively serious supporting role.  No doubt he has talent, but if he doesn't take on more roles like Moneyball, his shtick will become very tired.  And, yes, he's not Elisabeth Shue.

I will never see The Sitter, but I will look for Adventures in Babysitting.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

I Melt With You

Because I didn't watch chick flicks back in the day, I didn't know who Tom Jane was.  Then, by total fluke, I saw a film called Stander, based on the true story of an early 70's South African cop, turned bank robber.  The film was so well-acted and compelling that I thought Tom Jane was South African - his accent was that good.  Imagine my amusement when I read that he is from St. Louis.  Needless to say, with my new found respect for him, I loved The Punisher. 

I've seen Jeremy Piven in a few movies, though I didn't see the Cling-on’s or Hanger's On or whatever his TV show was called - people tell me it was good.  In the movies I've seen him in he's an excellent supporting character.  Rob Lowe is such an odd ball. I am always amused when I see him in a movie.  I don't know who the other guy is. 

I Melt With You is the story of four lifelong friends who have been getting together once a year for many years.  They look to be in their 40's now, but they still party like teenagers when they get together.  And, SURPRISE! Either something bad has happened in the past and they share the secret or something just happened and they make a pact to share the secret... that's the billed “thriller” part of it. 

This 2:03 trailer should have ended around the 1:40 mark.  After 1:40, it shows sirens, people running and close-ups of the four main character's sad faces and it ends with Tom Jane's wife asking what happened to his friends.  So, is the trailer implying that he has to kill them all to keep the secret?  Why give away so much?  The teaser part was actually interesting.  Now, all I can think of is: Very Bad Things meets I know What You Did Last Summer. 

Wasn't Jeremy Piven in Very Bad Things?  It's a Jon Favreau film about a bunch of family men, buddies that, on the eve of one of their weddings, go to Vegas, pick up a hooker and accidentally kill her.  Everything falls apart from there.  Very Bad Things was a very bad movie. 

I Melt With You is a very bad title, given what the trailer implies about the story.  While I'm not judging this movie by its title, only by its trailer, I'm strangely curious about this one.

Maybe I'll catch it at the Rainbow on a Tuesday.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Catch .44

I began reading Joseph Heller's Catch 22 while waiting for work in central Florida. I was bored, had the book with me, as I'd been meaning to read it, and decided to sit by the pool and start it. I made myself comfortable and opened the book. There were a few families and individuals scattered pool-side. From almost the first paragraph I began to giggle. People glanced at me. I read more and giggled more. I tried to muffle the laughs, but muffling caused me to laugh even more. People seemed both amused and annoyed by me. After a few pages, I left the pool, went back to my room to read in private. Catch 22 was possibly one of the most laugh-out-loud (LOL for the kids) books I've ever read.

The term catch 22, within the context of the novel is basically, if one is "crazy," one should be discharged from the army. However, if one knows that one is crazy, then the army deems acknowledgement as being sane and thus, no discharge. The statement being that there are a lot of crazy soldiers in the army that don't know they're crazy, fighting for our freedom.... Clinger from the TV show, M.A.S.H. acted crazy but was never discharged, like the main character of Catch 22. A comparison would be kind of like wanting to get a union job, but you can't because you're not in the union and the only way to get into the union is to have a union job... follow? I guess the term also refers to a situation where one can't win, "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

Speaking of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" the trailer for Catch .44 shows that the main characters (the women) are in a catch 22 situation. So, Catch .44 is either double no-win situation or nobody in the film wins or the film is titled in honour of the calibre of the .44 magnum gun that made Dirty Harry's day.

Either way it looks like one of those slick double-cross movies where everyone has an agenda and no-one is who they seem and the good guys are bad guys and the bad guys are bad guys that may or may not be good guys and criminal activity is an out for some folks who are in dead end jobs but nothing is as easy or attractive as it seems and.... well, that's only the moral.

Bruce Willis is getting old. His edge, at least in this trailer, is gone. Forest Whitaker is always great and he seems to carry the trailer. Malin Ackerman, as annoying as she was in Watchmen (and I loved Watchmen), didn't seem annoying in the trailer for Catch .44.

I'd like to see Catch .44 when it comes out on video, but since there is no video store near me I guess I won't be able to see it...

Friday 2 December 2011

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas - in 3D

I had a friend who worked on the Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, film. She's been in the film business for many years and she told me that working on the set of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle was the most fun she's ever had on a movie set. She also said that viewing the film was a huge let down.

I saw H and K go to White Castle. I didn't work on the film but agree that it was a huge let down. Some might say it was idiotic... not me, necessarily, but some.

I didn't want to see them at Guantanamo Bay.

The trailer had enough juvenile adult subject matter to take aim at Bad Santa (please see my November post for Arthur Christmas) but all the pieces of Harold and Kumar Save Christmas (Or was that Earnest who saves it?) seem more like an assortment of stupid human tricks and tasks aimed at an audience that is not made up of me. 

So, the gist of it is that two guys who likely come from one or more of the following backgrounds: Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist..... none of which celebrate Christmas, shoot Santa in the face (not as an act of hostility, but by accident.... how is this funny?) and then must save Christmas, while gay (not that there's anything wrong with it) Doogie Howser continues to pretend he's a bad boy, playboy, ladies’ man Heff type and, from what I get from the trailer, may or may not be a relative of, or affiliated with Santa Claus.  And, you get all this in 3-D! 

In the words of Forest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does."

If I'm physically handed this film in February, I might watch it in July.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Beerbohmtastic reaches 2000 reader mark!!!

In less than 4 months, Beerbohmtastic has been read more than 2000 times in 10 different countries. Thank you for the emails and comments and thank you for reading!  

Max Beerbohm Quote for December

Good sense about trivialities is better than nonsense about things that matter.

November Trailer Park

The Trailer Park is a monthly feature reserved for trailers or synopsis that:

A) caused me to make that teenage girl sound, "meh"
B) the synopsis didn't warrant a trailer viewing
C) content I had no interest in
D) trailers viewed that evoked nothing
E) trailers that were so forgettable that by the time I was ready to review them, I couldn't even remember the title of the film
F) All of the above
G) None of the above
Think of the Trailer Park as a public service....

So, in no particular order, I give you this months installment of Trailer Park:

Dirty Movie (Another stupid movie from National Lampoon)
In Time (Justin Timberlake playing Justin Timberlake, makes it to the Trailer Park again)
Like Crazy (Like hell I'll see this one - sorry Anton but Fright Night turned me off you)
Paranormal Activity 3 (didn't see 1 and 2 and likely will not)
The Twilight Saga (I think this one is called breaking wind, part 1)

Thanks for reading.