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Wednesday 31 October 2012


I believe that one of the best trailers ever made was the trailer for the first Alien film.  It painted a picture of suspense, fear and nightmarish panic with no dialogue.  And it closed with only text:  In space, no one can hear you scream. As one who pays far too much attention to movie trailers, it was close to perfect.

The word Polypore didn't really leave any impression.  Multiple pores? Could mean many holes or many points of entry? I had to look it up.  According to the Oxford dictionary: a bracket fungus in which the spores are expelled through fine pores on the underside.

While I still don't get it, that's where my criticism ends.

Don't worry about asking, "what is Polypore?" because the trailer asks that of itself.
Drama?  Mystery? Thriller? Sci-Fi? Action? Comedy? Crime? Romance? Finally stating "Adventure."  These questions are interspersed with scenes of what may or may not answer the questions.

This is not to say that Polypore is even trying to be all things to all people, but as a trailer, it does what a trailer is supposed to do: tease enough to generate interest in seeing the film.  More than that, in 1:24 it gave the viewer snippets of visuals that provided some clues - like a puzzle. There was no dialogue, just action, interaction and reaction.

As a trailer, I think Polypore was brilliant.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_YYpzHxEM4

The only other question is:  where can I see this film?
Apparently here: 

Well done, Jesse.


The trailer opens with the intro to the song, "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker and proceeds with "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. That is to say that it had me at both "hello" and "good-bye."

I think we may have a potential nominee for a 2013 Beerbohm Award for Best Music in a trailer.

The trailer for Flight does give away much of the story.  It shows a pilot's skills saving the lives of his passengers during a crash.  It shows that he is, rightfully, a hero.  It shows that alcohol is discovered in his blood stream and that the hero is now fallen.  Regardless of the alcohol content, his skills as a pilot saved many lives, but did the alcohol cause the error in the first place?

While the trailer showed the depth to which the hero falls, it built up to one question: Is he still a hero because this hero is on trial?

Despite giving away everything but the ending, which we can probably figure out anyway, this was a good trailer.  Yes, it was longer than 2 minutes and could easily have been shorter.  Yet, it was engaging and interesting and posed the hero question often.  It created sympathy and compassion towards the characters affected by the crash and especially  the pilot's (Denzel) plight.  It created frustration with the legal system and mistrust of those entrusted to help.  In short, this trailer created emotion, which in turn created interest, which in turn created a desire to see the film.


Monday 29 October 2012

VIEWED: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

My trailer review for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter said:

"You'd be pretty hard pressed to find a dude more righteous than Abe.  If he can end slavery, why not kill vampires, too?  I'm too curious to miss this one."

This was the other movie I rented on the weekend, I got The Artist for the wife and this one for me.

For me, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was entertaining but a bit underwhelming.  The wife said it was, "cheesy."

I didn't think that, but there was a bit of a disconnect between the film's look, feel and mood, and the way the story was communicated.  What I mean is, despite Sleepy Hollow being a very dark film, there was a subtle undertone of humour that Johnny Depp delivered perfectly.  In contrast Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter felt kind of like a film that wasn't supposed to take itself too seriously but the cast didn't get the memo.

Either way, I love when fiction and fact are brought together for a twist on history.  And while I maintain that there isn't a more righteous dude than Abe, there are also more righteous vampire movies than this one.

Saturday 27 October 2012

VIEWED: The Artist

My trailer review for the artist said:

So, if you take an unoriginal story and make it a silent picture, is it original again? Well, not any more.  I'll likely see this with the wife, but not by choice.

I was wrong.  I did see it by choice, sort of.  The wife asked my to stop by the video store on my way home - the one I never noticed until Blockbuster closed down.  I asked her what she wanted me to get and she said, "I don't know, whatever you want as long as it's a comedy or something we can both enjoy."

It is rare for one of us to pick up a movie and both enjoy it.

Today, I brought home The Artist.  For some reason I assumed she wanted to see it, along with one that I wanted to see which I will review next.

The Artist.

Yes, it was sort of A Star is Born, but not exactly.  And, yes, if you take an unoriginal story and make it a silent film, it's original again.  It seemed fresh and I wasn't at all annoyed by the whole silent movie thing.  I'm not sure if it was worthy of the Best Picture Oscar, though.

At one point during the film I asked the wife if she had muted it.... she wasn't as amused by the comment as I was.

When it ended, I asked the wife what she thought of it.  She said, "it wasn't as dull as I thought it would be. I'm glad I got to see it."  

I guess we both enjoyed it.

Friday 26 October 2012


My trailer review for Safe said:

I like it!

If you can see Jason Statham, he can see you. If you can't see Jason Statham you may be only seconds away from death.  Who doesn't think Jason Statham is the new Chuck Norris? Think before you answer...

I am definitely seeing this film, soon.

Jason Statham IS the new Chuck Norris. 

In Safe, Jason Statham does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure.  Jason Statham goes killing.

In Safe, when the Russian and Chinese mobs go to sleep at night, they check their closets for Jason Statham.

In Safe, Jason Statham doesn't call the wrong number, they answer the wrong phone.

In Safe, the ghosts of dead mobsters sit around the campfire and tell Jason Statham stories.

In Safe, cops pull over Jason Statham and they were very lucky to leave with just a warning.

In Safe, Jason Statham cuts through a hot knife with butter.

In Safe, Jason Statham slams a revolving door.

Safe wasn't a great movie but Jason Statham confirms that he is the new Chuck Norris and that is f**king AWESOME!

Thursday 25 October 2012

Cloud Atlas

Are you freaking kidding me?  There's an "extended" trailer available that is about 6 minutes long.  That's not a f**king trailer, that's a short film!  I'm about to watch it, but first I'll watch the 2 minute trailer...

Back in about 8 minutes................. with two trailer reviews.



Great cast.

The 2.31 trailer told me that all of our lives are inter-connected and everything affects everything else and past lives and future lives are connected and maybe inter-twined and love is eternal and love is fleeting and maybe the future is the past and the past is the present and the present is the future and presently, I have no idea what the movie is about.

The short film trailer, 5.42, told me that all of our lives are inter-connected and everything affects everything else and past lives and future lives are connected and maybe inter-twined and love is eternal and love is fleeting and maybe the future is the past and the past is the present and the present is the future....  and added that our spirits/souls may or may not live forever and naturally seek out the one true love lifetime after lifetime as we live, die and are born again to be touched or not touched by the actions of our previous lives because an action, great or small, can affect more than one lifetime AND, I've never read nor heard of the book.  So, presently, I have no idea what the movie is really about.

Frankly, the long trailer was more like an advertisement for Blu-Ray.

After seeing both trailers back-to-back, I felt nothing.

The wife said something to me about my inability to put my dirty socks in the laundry hamper.  I told her that the manner in which she expressed herself hurt my feelings.  She responded with, "you have no feelings."

May be.

But clearly, I have no idea what this movie is really about and I'm not even sure I care enough to want to see it.

Tuesday 23 October 2012


Bond:  Everyone needs a hobby.
Villain (Bardem):  What's yours?
Bond: Resurrection.

I think we have our first potential nominee for a 2013 Beerbohm Award for best line in a trailer.
(For your reference: http://beerbohmtastic.blogspot.ca/2012/03/here-are-your-2012-beerbohm-award.html

I love Bond movies.  I've been watching Bond movies for as long as I've been watching movies.  The one super spy against the super villain trying to take over or destroy the world is one of the most fun action themes in film.  Yes, it has become cliche and has been satirised all the way down to children's cartoons, but every generation has the chance to experience it in its most true form through the franchise:  Bond, James Bond, agent 007.

The Daniel Craig Bond franchise has been really disappointing for me.  Casino Royale was like going to your favourite restaurant and finding out that they've changed the menu. Quantum of Solace was, in my opinion, the worst, most disjointed, Bond film in the history of the franchise.

This is not a slight against Daniel Craig.  As an actor and buff guy, he's fine.  His rough facial features liken him to the old days of rugged Sean Connery and is refreshing from the pretty boy Bond.  Unfortunately, he's had crap stories to work with.  Seriously, how hard can it be?  The franchise has been around since the 60's and there have been very few, if any, real duds, until the last two.

In previous posts I've commented that the Mission Impossible franchise has surpassed the Bond franchise in quality of story, action and plain fun.  And yet...

...the Skyfall trailer (2:34), while it had a mild spoiler - Bond gets out of the chair he's tied in to kick the asses of the bad guys - it was true to the Bond spirit.  We all know that the evil criminal mastermind always captures Bond, ties him to a chair and gloats while revealing his evil plan.  This is the tragic flaw of all Bond criminals: stopping to pat themselves on the back in the middle of a plan.  Is that a criminal version of vanity?  That's another discussion.

So, Bond gets shot, disappears for a few years and comes back (resurrected) because he is the only one who can save the world.  Yeah, it's not original, but no Bond movie really is. It's big explosions and chases and fights and over-the-top villains and... you know what?  That's what Bond movies are and generations of audiences continue to be loyal.

As much as I dislike the current Bond franchise, I liked this trailer.  It reminded me of the old franchise... or maybe it was just the music... ding diddle ling ding, ding ding ding, ding diddle ling ding....

Yes, I'll see it.

Monday 22 October 2012

Alex Cross

Good cop forced to go beyond the law VS. deranged killer who has pushed him over the brink.  As unoriginal and cliche this theme is, I still like it.

I don't know much about Matthew Fox, other than Seth Rogan telling Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up to tell him he's an "asshole."  Yes, Knocked Up was a pleasantly surprising compromise (please see previous post).

Many people have told me to watch Lost.  Many people whom I respect have praised it. The funniest line I heard describing Lost was: I liked it when it was called Gilligan's Island.  The wife and I did watch the first two episodes on Netflix.  Personally, the fault I found with Lost is the same I found with many of these shows.  While they are good, well-acted, highly entertaining and addictive shows, the only real outcome is when all the mysteries are solved, but then there would be no point in continuing to watch.  That approach does generate a ton of revenue. So, these shows tease us with clues but string us along for many years. It's kind of mean and unfair.  I saw a bumper sticker this morning that said: I'd rather be snorkeling.

I'm sure The Walking Dead will do the same to me.  Dexter, up until last season, delivered every season in a tidy self-contained package without the need for a season ending cliff-hanger AND still left me wanting to see the next season.  Last year's Dexter was an annoying anomaly. Top Gear (U.K.) is just plain brilliant and hilarious, even if you don't like cars....

Oh yeah, Alex Cross.

I heard something on the radio this morning about Alex Cross being a departure for Tyler Perry and something about him cross dressing in his previous movies.  I honestly don't know anything about his previous movies or about him, either.  Yeah, I'm thinking it, too.

The trailer for Alex Cross does look pretty intense.  Matthew Fox looks freaking scary and Tyler Perry seems to suit the cop role well. As I mentioned several hundred words ago, this may be cliche but the cat and mouse deranged killer vs. decent cop game is usually suspenseful, filled with, violence, action and cool stunts. The criticism I have is the same I have for many trailers: it was way too long (almost 3 minutes!) and pretty much walks us through the levels of the game right up until the climax of the film.

While I love these types of action movies, I was put off by the length of the trailer.  That said, I always hope that these films try to delve more into the psyche of the protagonist and the antagonist - beyond the cliche "we are the same."  They never really do and yet I continue to watch these movies... kind of like watching a TV show for years, waiting for the answer to a mystery that will never be shared.

Sunday 21 October 2012

VIEWED: Jeff Who Lives at Home

Though the wife and I go to the cinema at least a few times a month and watch a few movies a week at home, we don't often agree on what to watch.  Compromise is how I end up watching movies that I wouldn't normally watch and vice-versa.  She resisted watching The Avengers but ended up seeing it twice on the big screen.  I don't have a similar example for me, yet, but open hearts and open minds usually lead to enlightenment of one form or another...  I can't believe I just wrote that.  Let's pause for a group hug.

My trailer review of Jeff Who Lives at Home said...

Though it seemed a little like a smarter version of Our Idiot Brother, there also seemed to be a certain substance to this film.

Sometimes what seems like an unoriginal story or just a forum for an actor to act like a goof, turns out to surprise you. The trailer for this one, the one without the sales pitch, actually made me want to see the film. That's what a trailer is supposed to do, is it not? Nice job.

Jeff Who Lives at Home did surprise me.  It wasn't a forum for an actor to act like a goof - just the opposite.  It was the story of four unfulfilled lives who, through a sequence of seemingly unrelated events during the course of one day, have their hearts and minds open.  I guess the message is that one day can change a life. 

It wasn't great, but could be a thoughtful little time waster if you're in the mood - as it was for me.

Friday 19 October 2012

The Paperboy

Here is a perfect example of a spoiler trailer.  It was chugging along nicely, letting the story and the character dynamics unfold in an interesting and entertaining way, but it should have stopped shy of two minutes.

Isn't it better to be entertained by a trailer and want to see the film wholeheartedly then to be annoyed by the trailer and have second thoughts?  But that's just me...

Decent cast, though.

This is a very cool role for John Cusack.  I like him.  He's believable most of the time. Sometimes he's simply believable as Cusack playing a character but that still counts for believable, right?  The only other film I can remember when he looked this scraggly was in, Being John Malkovitch.  For the entire film both he and Cameran Diaz looked like they just woke up from a wind storm.

What happened to Nicole Kidman?  She was such a natural beauty.  She's had so much work done that I hardly recognize the actress I had a crush on from her early films like Dead Calm and To Die For.  She's a good actress and has been in some decent films. 

Matthew McConaughey plays southern lawyer types (yes, I know he's a reporter in this one) very well.  The only movie I really, really liked him in, beyond the southern lawyer types that he plays so well, was Reign of Fire.  He was a serious bad ass in that one.

Other than hearing the name, Zack Efron, I don't know anything about him, nor have I seen him in anything.  I don't have cable so I watch The Walking Dead, Dexter and Top Gear U.K. on-line - that's about all I can commit to.  Of course, I watch a lot of movie trailers. All I can say is that he looks really short in this movie.

Past the 1:52 mark of the trailer for The Paperboy, we see that Cusack gets out of prison, apparently kidnaps the girl then has a violent confrontation with the "paperboys." Gee, who do you think is going to win and get the girl, the criminal Cusack or the young guy who's name makes me think of Saffron?

For the first 1:52 of the trailer I was thinking that I'd like to see the film.  After the 1:52 mark, I said to myself, "self, no mystery, no rush."

I might get around to seeing The Paperboy, but not too soon.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Seven Psychopaths

I hate movie trailers with actor/director commentaries. Sell it with a good trailer, not with some actor/director that I may or may not like trying to suck my... money... If I want special features I'll buy or rent the DVD... oh wait, there is no Blockbuster (please reference: http://beerbohmtastic.blogspot.ca/2011/10/editorial-good-bye-blockbuster.html ) and many are getting movies on-line where there are no "special features."  Maybe this is a way to give us some "special features?" Geez, I just talked myself off a ledge.

Okay.  I feel better.

I had to search for a Seven Psychopaths trailer that didn't have commentary and finally found one.  Pretty awesome cast.  I never liked Colin Farrell until I saw In Bruges.  He was great in it.  Martin McDonagh, who directed In Bruges, also directed this one.  That's a good sign.

I've been to Bruges.  It isn't "crap" like Colin's character kept stating in the movie.  My friend and I drove there from Brussels while on a mini-European road trip.  We parked the car in the old section and walked around.  We stopped at a quaint little cafe, had frites (fries) with mayo and one too many pints of Hoegaarden.  Then we spent four hours trying to find the car - that was the only "crap" part but it wasn't because of Bruges.  We were drunk and stupid, and we realized thankfully that walking for four hours helped get the alcohol out of our system.

Sam Rockwell is a clown.  I really like him. He plays the same goofy bastard in almost everything and does it so well.  I think my favourite Rockwell movie is, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

In my mind, Woody Harrelson will always be the best damn - and funniest - zombie killer in the movies (with all due respect to Shawn of the Dead).  I love the comedic bad ass that he plays so well.

Christopher Walken!  He is becoming an icon, of sorts.  I can't think of a scene I've seen him in that he doesn't steal.  Come on, the wristwatch scene from Pulp Fiction?  The Dennis Hopper scene in True Romance? Every scene he's in in, Catch Me If You Can?  I can't think of another actor right now who does comedy so perfectly dead pan.

So, I've established some man-love.

The trailer for Seven Psychopaths is very funny.  It's the story of some nobodies who accidentally steal a mobster's prized doggy.  I say "doggy" because it's a shih-tzu.

In my neighbourhood I often see large, masculine looking men walking little purse puppies.  The big man with a little dog image is kind of funny, don't you think?

While the trailer was more than two-minutes, it really just showed a series of gags, f-bombs and promises of violence without (seemingly) taking itself too seriously.  It showed great chemistry among the cast, especially Rockwell and Farrell, and it just looked like a funny, entertaining movie.  I just hope that all the funny scenes aren't wasted in the trailer.

Yet, the warning on CinemaClock stated: Extreme violence, gory scenes, nudity, sexual content.

So, actor's commentary isn't necessary to suck you in because the trailer sucks you in; but with the comedy. Then the film (I trust) will punch you in the face with shocking and graphic violence.  That could work.

I'm sold.  Good trailer.

Wednesday 17 October 2012


Another Cronenberg.  Does that mean another generation of bizarre, twisted, disturbing, brilliant, original stories, concepts and visuals? Time will tell.

I haven't liked all of David Cronenberg's films but I can honestly say that they have a look, feel and style that is always distinctive, with story lines that are sometimes frightening, sometimes outrageous and almost always disturbing in some way.  David Cronenberg, regardless of what one thinks of his movies, is an original.

I remember when I saw Videodrome, and then Rabid and then The Brood and thinking how dark and hopeless these films were. There is a true sense that once a dark path is chosen, whether by choice or by chance, there is rarely a positive outcome.  Kind of like reality, huh?

Anyhow, the Antiviral story is basically about an employee from a "clinic" who illegally sells viruses taken from sick celebrities to obsessed fans.  Odd and disturbing, right?

The 1:39 trailer for Antiviral did have a Cronenberg feel: macabre, twisted and shocking.  However, it added a sick perspective on vanity, our obsession with celebrities, and how some people profit from such obsessions...

Wait a minute.... that's very much a David Cronenberg theme.

I'm not going to paint Brandon with David's brush.  Brandon is the off-spring of a brilliant and original mind and if some of the brilliance is passed on to him through heredity and environment, then it is his obligation to carry the torch and our obligation to give him a chance.  

It looks like the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.  Maybe in this case, and in the words of Roald Dahl,  "the apple doesn't rot far from the tree."  But in a good way...

The trailer certainly peaked my curiosity, I just don't know if I have the stomach to watch the film.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

The Nixer

I reviewed this trailer for two reasons:

1) These guys are now following me on Twitter.  Thank you.
2) The trailer was only 1:28 which means that it should be the ideal length of a movie trailer, which also means it likely does not require a "spoiler alert" warning at the start.

In the first scene of the trailer we learn that the small time crooks want to steal money so that they could start their own loan sharking business...  I'm not sure why that made me laugh.   I think because it brought to mind an SCTV parody of a classic Canadian film called, Goin' Down the Road.  The actual story is about two down and out Maritimers who drive to Toronto in search of a better life.   In the SCTV parody they go to Toronto because there are a lot of good doctorin' and lawyerin' jobs available...

Most heist movies are about the crooks pulling off one last big heist and then retiring, or coming out of retirement to pull off one final heist.  The point is to be able to leave the life of crime.  The lead hoods in The Nixer are pulling off a small heist in order to fund their entry into criminal activity at a higher level.  No grandiose aspirations here.

At first glance it's a very typical story of a heist gone wrong - you know, there's an unexpected twist, finding drugs when the expectation was cash.   The drugs belong to a higher level gangster and the small time hoods are in a heap of trouble.  This is a very common and apparently simple theme.

That said, the simply stated motivation of the crime helped me to see past the simplicity of the trailer.  I get the feeling that The Nixer will not be just another low budget pointless cliche.  While the story communicated in the trailer may be cliche, there's something gritty about this film and, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I believe there is more substance than the trailer shares. 

Isn't that what a trailer should do?  You know, tease? Nice job, Nixer.  I look forward to seeing it... I just don't know when or where.

Monday 15 October 2012


The Canadian Football League's Toronto team is called the Argonauts.  Anywhere in the world, at any given time, some Canadian at a sporting event is screaming, "ARRRRRRRRRRRGOOOOOOOS..."  A buddy of mine was at a soccer match in Mexico City and, during a lull in the action, heard someone from across the 100,000+ seat arena scream, "ARRRRRRRRRRRGOOOOOOOS..."

Canadians are a strange and wonderful lot.  They have quietly supported both war and peace efforts whose roots were based in freedom and democracy.  Unsung heroes, perhaps? Or just trying to do the right thing?

Ben Affleck.  He's been in some good films and some duds. I often wonder about his strength as an actor because his characters often seem the same - kind of Affleck playing Affleck.  Though sometimes it's hard to tell because, more often than not, he's surrounded by strong supporting casts.  Hmmm... I guess it doesn't matter if he's a good actor or not because he is clearly very smart for surrounding himself with talent.  I guess then that the Ben Affleck as an actor question is irrelevant.  So, what about Argo?

I know there's been much hype about this film, but I've tried not to pay attention so I could view the trailer with as open a mind as I could possibly have...

I don't remember anything about the "true story" but I can say that the trailer was very entertaining.  According to Beerbohmtastic, a movie trailer doesn't need to be longer than 1:20.  Very few 2:00 minute + trailers are good.  The problem is that they just give away too much and then there's no reason to see the film.  Argo was 2:34.

Trailer running time aside, the trailer for Argo set up the story so well that one didn't need to know the history. It was interesting, exciting and amusing.  There was a nice combination of suspense, foreshadowing and what a trailer is supposed to do.... tease, peak interest, and make you want to see the film!

When I like a trailer, I will see the movie.  I really liked this trailer.

Saturday 13 October 2012

VIEWED: Hotel Transylvania

My trailer review of Hotel Transylvania recommended...

"The wife had been bugging me for a week to go and see the film and I kept refusing. She finally convinced me to watch the trailer. I'm glad I did. Any film that pays homage - even comically - to something I love(d) is a film I want to see. And, the wife is happy. Everybody wins, unless it's crap. Stay tuned."

Hotel Transylvania was crap.  Great cast was wasted.  Sandler's Dracula voice was, arguably, the worst Dracula voice in the history of Dracula impersonators.

You know how some movies made for kids have elements that adults can appreciate?  This isn't one of them.

The wife said it was a boring movie with a weak story.  She's so diplomatic.

Friday 12 October 2012

VIEWED: The Raven

My recommendation for this one was...

"...the trailer for the film was not at all what I expected. Poe is often credited for creating the modern day, logic based detective. Some believe his work spawned Sherlock Holmes and other fictional detectives. The Raven is not about the Poe poem, it's more of the complete works told through a detective story. A detective story about Edgar Allan Poe helping the police find a killer that is killing people in the manner which people die in Poe stories. Kind of cool and creepy.

I don't care if this film draws comparisons to recent Sherlock Holmes films (which I also enjoy), Cusack, Poe and "from the Director of V for Vendetta" (another one of my favourites!) are an easy sell for me to want to see The Raven."

The wife sent me out for some groceries and told me to pop into the video store for some movies.  I saw The Raven on the shelf and said to myself, "self, why haven't you seen this one yet?"

The concept was cool - as described above from the trailer review. The look and feel felt true to the time and there was an implication that the story may or may not have been the lead up to Poe's last days.

While the film itself didn't live up to the concept, or even the promise that the the trailer showed, it was entertaining - to me anyway, not so much to the wife - to relive the climaxes of some of Poe's classic stories.

The only real criticism is that the end credits, both visually and musically, were a complete mismatch for the nature of this film.  Imagine a period piece like Wuthering Heights fading out to Fight Club's end credits and music.  Completely inappropriate and annoying as hell.

Thursday 11 October 2012


When I reviewed the trailer for Dark Shadows I thought that Johnny Depp looked a little like Count Chocula.  I haven't seen Count Chocula cereal on supermarket shelves in many years.  I heard that it caused blindness in laboratory bats... I still haven't seen either Dark Shadows or Count Chocula.

Tim Burton has a been disappointing lately.  I don't recall liking a Tim Burton movie since Big Fish.  I mentioned how I feel about his vision of Batman so no need to go down that road again.

The trailer for Frankenweenie was a bit disappointing.  It's the Frankenstein story done in Burtonmation - you know, gothamation like the best of it's kind, The Nightmare Before Christmas?  It seems to be geared at children but the warning says: disturbing, not recommended for young children.  Given the Burtonmation, I doubt it's as disturbing as Pet Cemetery.  Remember that one?  Was it the family cat they resurrect or the dog? No, wait, the dog was Cujo... and it he wasn't in Pet Cemetery... I digress again.

Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara are in this one.  They played daughter and mother in an early Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice.  Loved that one.

Martin Landau, who I thought passed away after Burton's Ed Wood and won the Oscar posthumously - I don't know why I thought that and I'm glad he's still making movies.  Anyhow, Ed Wood was a great one, too, and Landau as junkie Bela Lugosi was brilliant.

When I say the trailer for Frankenweenie was disappointing I mean that the few variations that stray from the Frankenstein story didn't really grab me in any way.  However, for some reason I get the feeling that there may be more here than meets the...uh... trailer.

I think I'll see this one.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Hotel Transylvania

I had a look at all the movie trailers that I missed reviewing this summer and decided that there were too many for me to try to catch up on. So, I will just pretend that I am here and have always been here and thus, I am current... or will be... one day... Kindly disregard the previous sentences.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with old scary movies.  Bela Lugosi's Dracula.  Boris Karloff's Frankenstein and The Mummy, Lon Chaney Jr.'s The Wolfman and every other wannabe/remake/homage to movies with those "monsters" in them.  I grew to be somewhat of a horror movie buff.  Lately, though, not so much.

I watched many of them growing up and into adulthood.  At some point, I noticed something about the monster/horror movies that I loved so much.  Perspective.  The perspective changed.  Specifically, the camera perspective. In the old movies when the monster was attacking the victim, the camera perspective was from that of the victim; meaning that the audience would look into the eyes of the monster as it was attacking.  Audience as victim.

Then one day, and I can't pinpoint when, the camera perspective changed.  The perspective is now from that of the killer/monster; giving the audience the monster's perspective.  Audience as killer. Is it because we are more violent as a society?  Probably, but it's just an observation.  What do you think?

I watched the short trailer (1:16) for Hotel Transylvania and it's simple message was like a grand homage to the monster movies that I used to love as a kid.  Hotel Transylvania is a place where Dracula appears to be the host, which makes sense because he's not a random killing machine like the others - he can actually have a conversation - and monsters go to take a holiday from their... um... random killing....  Enter a human backpacker and you have the story.

The wife had been bugging me for a week to go and see the film and I kept refusing.  She finally convinced me to watch the trailer.  I'm glad I did.  Any film that pays homage - even comically - to something I love(d) is a film I want to see.  And, the wife is happy.  Everybody wins, unless it's crap.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

VIEWED: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Yes, still catching up... I'm sure I'll start posting relevant trailer and movie reviews soon...

My recommendation for this one was...

"The only mystery will be what obstacles they have to overcome because we already know that they were successful - at least that's what the trailer implies.  When I reviewed the trailer for The Help I said, 'So the meat of this film was handed as a two-minute appetizer, while the two-hour filler will be presented, following the cost of admission, as the main course.   That's like paying $50 for bruschetta and $7 for lobster.'  Only this time it's $7 for salmon.  This is likely a date night movie, but not my choice."

Yes, it was a date night movie.  There were some very minor twists that the trailer didn't spoil, but they didn't really impact the fact that the trailer will be nominated for a 2013 Beerbohm Award for Worst Spoiler Trailer. 

That said, the wife said that Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was mildly entertaining and wasn't as bad as my trailer review implied... I tried to argue that my review was of the trailer and not of the film and that the purpose of this blog is to review trailers understanding that none of my trailer reviews are to be taken seriously....

My review of the film is:  Yup, just as the wife said.

VIEWED: Shark Night 3D

Don't ask... okay I'll tell you anyway.  I had 75 minutes to kill, alone, at a relatives house so I did a shameful thing... I turned on the television.  I don't care much for TV shows that happen to be available on cable at 3:00 pm on a Tuesday afternoon.  I flipped to the movie channels and guess what was available?

Here's what I said about it after reviewing the trailer...

"This looks to be, quite possibly, the dumbest movie of the year....  I haven't been this annoyed by a trailer since The Help.  The difference is that The Help is probably a decent movie.... this one looks like crap. This film will disappear faster than Yahoo Serious. Save your money and rent Jaws and some soft porn."

The trailer won an inaugural Beerbohm award for worst trailer of the year...

If Forrest Gump saw it he'd say:  Stupid is as stupid does.
If Forrest Gump was a critic, he'd say:  Stupid stories make stupid movies.
If Forrest Gump wrote this blog, he'd say....

Worst trailer of the year turned out to be the worst movie I've ever seen.

Sunday 7 October 2012

VIEWED: The Dark Knight Rises

My recommendation for this one was... late... and only hermits and smoked salmon socialists haven't seen it, but hey, that's what happens when you take a summer off.  Hollywood, Bollywood and time, stop for no one.

In case your "scroll down" doesn't work...

"For the trailer, there are no biases, here. There is no favouritism. There is nothing blinding me from embracing a brilliantly entertaining franchise and a trailer that perfectly embodies, communicates and teases the essence of said franchise.  I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT ON THE BIG SCREEN!"

A couple of things:

Firstly, the best Batman film ever made in the history of the world (according to me, so take that with a grain of whatever because, while this blog isn't supposed to be taken seriously, I take my love of comic book movies seriously...and I digress) is The Dark Knight.  I could watch that movie over and over and over.  Secondly, while Christian Bale's Batman voice is the only flaw I can think of, Heath Ledger more than makes up for it.  I never liked Ledger until The Dark Knight.  Most brilliant super villain performance ever.

Bain wasn't quite as all around freaky as Ledger's Joker. The thing about Bain was that he has a story and it was, in a twisted way, compelling.  He had the passion and conviction of a terrorist, but much more in your face menacing in his relentless pursuit of his vision - destruction.  Bain was somewhat of a tragic character and in the end an audience could at least understand him, if not sympathise in some way.

In contrast, the Joker's vision was chaos and anarchy veiled in complete mystery.  We never know who the Joker is or what's his story is and that's what makes him so much more menacing.

The verdict?

I loved The Dark Knight Rises.  Comparison's aside, it was a perfect end to this trilogy.  It completely delivered on the promise that the trailer made: greatness. 

That's a rare and beautiful thing.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Oh yeah, I'm back...

Saw lots of movies and trailers this summer so it'll take some time to catch up... thanks for reading.

Here's a Max Beerbohm quote for, I don't know, the last few months...

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

The Dark Knight Rises

It's really difficult to review a trailer of a franchise that you love because when you love something it's hard to see flaws.  That's not the case here, sort of.

When I was a kid, Batman stood out because he was a smart guy who knew how to use technology - or the technology of his time - to become super.  He had to work at it, too.  He wasn't a superman to begin with.  The only thing he had going for him was his wealth and the dark chip on his shoulder, which was a result of his pain and loss.  Lethal combination.

So, he worked at it.  He learned to fight and to combine his skills with clever devices to make himself a superhero.  To me as a boy, he was a symbol of what anyone could aspire to...  I guess that's kind of the point of Batman -  and so much more.

In my opinion, Tim Burton has made some really good films.  One of my all time favourite, heartfelt films is Big Fish.  While that father-son shit gets me every time, it entertained the hell out me in Big Fish. Props to Mr. Burton.

Also in my opinion, Tim Burton's vision of Batman was like a self-absorbed blind man painting a self-portrait:    maybe brilliant conceptually, but not true to the art.

Let's face it the commercialised Batman franchise (Burton included) leaves a lot to be desired.  The Dark Knight animated series was more for purists.  Thank you Christopher Nolan for commercialising the Dark Knight in the most pure and respectful to the original spirit, way.

The trailer for the Dark Knight Rises is everything a superhero movie trailer should be.  It shows chaos, destruction, hopelessness, a menacing villain hellbent on ruling the world, and a superhero who is at his weakest with a glint of hope that he will rise... (Dark Knight Rises....duh?).

For the trailer, there are no biases, here.  There is no favouritism.  There is nothing blinding me from embracing a brilliantly entertaining franchise and a trailer that perfectly embodies, communicates and teases the essence of said franchise.