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Thursday 28 March 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I liked it when it was called, The Losers.  Remember that movie?  CIA operatives betrayed by their superiors then spend the rest of the film kicking ass. It starred Zoe Saldana and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  Morgan was awesome as the sociopath Comedian in Watchmen, a personal favourite.

Kind of like Ghost Protocol and the newest crap Bond film...

The trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation shows Jonathon Pryce as the President of the United States.  In the first scene he's in he looks creepy.  He reminded me of the character he played in, Something Wicked this way Comes.  He was, though, quite lovable in the Terry Gilliam classic, Brazil.  But I digress...

I like Dwayne Johnson.  He played a gay, wannabe actor, enforcer tough guy in that crap Travolta movie, Be Cool, which was the sequel to Get Shorty.  Dwayne was freaking hilarious.  He seems like a good guy.

Where was I?

The Trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation provided nothing new, original, thought provoking or interesting.  It was a ton of the same old, same old followed by an ageing Bruce Willis struggling ever so hard to maintain that tough  guy persona.  It just seems so forced, like the struggle one has when constipated.

But you know what?

I couldn't help but love the trailer.  I know, I know, then why slam it?

It just looked great.  The action was non-stop.  The story, while apparently the same old, same old, took the betrayal theme to the highest level.  The President is now the bad guy.  An order from the President takes the G.I. Joe team out.  Buy why?  What evil underhanded plan could the guy who plays the devil in Something Wicked this way Comes possibly have?  In bed with China? That's kind of what it looks like, but why? Power, money, greed?  Not world domination? It can't be! No!


The world will be saved this time, not by 007, not by Superman or Spider Man or Batman.  The world will be saved by the remaining G.I. Joe's.  It actually kind of makes sense. I mean if a bunch of teenagers and a few soldiers can take on the North Korean and Russian armies in, Red Dawn, doesn't it stand to reason that the G.I. Joe's could easily save the world against some assassins who know Karate?

I'm a sucker for action movies.  I am also - as you can see - critical of action movies.  Despite my rantings and the flaws in story that the G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer expressed.  It looked freaking cool and entertaining as hell.

I look forward to seeing this one.

Slash (coming soon)

Slash is a new film by Maria Olsen.

The 16 second teaser was fun... who doesn't like Jack the Ripper?

Here's the press release... 

“SLASH” filming begins this summer in New Mexico

“SLASH”, a SAG feature film starring Maria Olsen (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Paranormal Activity 3, American Horror Story), Todd Farmer (Jason X, My Bloody Valentine, Drive Angry), Gibby Haynes (lead singer of Butthole Surfers) and including several cameos by A-List actors, will be filming in New Mexico for four weeks.

SLASH is a story about young people who see their friends butchered around them. They must deal with each other’s violent fantasies and face their own demons...or die trying!

The writer/director/producer Rycke Foreman and producer/actress Maria Olsen (of MOnsterworks66) are using Sheryl Roberts to do the Principal Casting.  A casting call will be held in New Mexico in April and the production will begin in late June. The film will employ a crew of at least 85, a cast of 25 to 30 speaking roles, and approximately 350 background players. A vast majority of both will be New Mexico hires.
Currently, the attached crew consists of such notables as Rich E. Cordobes (Special FX: Lord of the Rings trilogy, Transformers), Steve R. Moore (Visual FX: Avatar, Titanic) and Peter Devaney Flanagan (Editor: Scream, Hellboy 2). More crew members are needed to fill production requirements. The film will employ a crew of a minimum of 85. For more information on being considered for the crew, please get in touch with Lora Carlson, producer, at lora@slashflick.com.

Rycke Foreman has worked in virtually all aspects of independent film, television and theatre for more than fifteen years around the Four Corners area. In 2009, he optioned a horror spoof to a small production company in Hollywood, and was part of the writing/producing team behind the multi-award winning short film “Auto Care,” shot later that year for the National Film Challenge. Another award-winning short he co-produced was “Locked Away,” winning the Remi award at Houston WorldFest. He has published short fiction since the early 90s, appearing in dozens of publications such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine and 69 Flavors of Paranoia, which he edits.

Best known for her appearances as Mrs. Dodds/The Fury in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as well as Paranormal Activity 3, American Horror Story and Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem, Maria Olsen has worked on more than 40 feature films and over 70 shorts since 2005. She has also won four awards (including awards for both acting and directing), had two short films appear at the 2009 Cannes Short Film Program, one at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, plus others at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors and HorrorFest. Olsen also owns MOnsterworks66, producer of features such as Brandon Scullion’s Live in Fear, Randal Kamradt Jr’s Faraway, Eric Michael Kochmer’s Way Down In Chinatown, Bert Havird’s Reunion and Michael LaPointe’s LoveTouchHate.

*       To learn more about this feature film, investor opportunities or product placement advertising, please visit the website www.slashflick.com. In order to contribute to the making of the film, the public is encouraged to support the crowd funding efforts on the Slash IndieGoGo campaign. 

Please Note: 
  I don't usually promote films in production on this blog, but I am a big fan of independent film and will do my best to help. Indie film makers, please continue to send me your trailers and promos. Mike

Wednesday 20 March 2013

VIEWED: Django Unchained

My trailer review for this one said...

"All that to say that the trailer for Django Unchained looked, cool, fun and entertaining despite being longer than 2 minutes. Mr. Tarantino, this looks like a good movie.  I'm sure I will see it."

I saw it last night.

It was better than the trailer.

The comedy, story and even the typical Tarantino over-the-top violence made Django Unchained highly entertaining.  That said, I know that hyperbole when it comes to blood is almost a trademark of Tarantino's, but some of the violence was beyond gratuitous.  I realize a point was being made but does adding comedy to extreme violence make the violence more palatable? Maybe.

Django Unchained could have been divided  into two movies.  Django Unchained Part 1 and Django Unchained Part 2.

I realized that during Django Unchained Part 1 - the liberation of Django followed by the evolution of Django the bounty hunter - completely absorbed my attention and I did not move from my seat.  I don't even remember eating my popcorn but I assure you it was emptied.  It was that riveting.

Django Unchained Part 2 - the bounty hunter with a heart helping his liberated slave partner liberate his enslaved wife - was over the top in so many ways.  That's not to say that it wasn't entertaining, it was, but it had a more Kill Bill feel.  During part 2 I remembered reaching for my dwindling popcorn and shifting in my seat.

Christoph Waltz is awesome in both parts.

As a whole, this was a very good movie. I'm glad I saw it and of the three Oscar Best Picture films that I've seen (and I will never see Amour or Les Miserables), this is the best so far.

Monday 18 March 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful

Here we go...  another prequel.

I really don't like films (trailers anyway) that smell of prequel, sequel or terribly unequal to anything creative or original.  That's not to say that the prequel or sequel can't be original in its own way but it's kind of like Doodle Art.  Anyone remember Doodle Art?  It was basically paint by numbers.  One buys a beautiful picture of virtually anything, with each section outlined and numbered (the trunk of the tree assigned a number, the leaves another etc.).  Just paint the correct colour in the proper number and you have a masterpiece.  The problem is that no matter how beautiful the final product is, it's still someone elses idea or concept.  Maybe I should paint, The Mona Lisa 2: The Day Before.  Then I could paint The Mona Lisa 3: The Day After. Well, I can't paint and if I could would anyone buy it?

What would this blog be if not for my occasional rant?

The Wizard of Oz is a classic.  No argument here. In my opinion, all classics should be off limits to sequels or prequels. That said, you know what else is a classic?  Gone with the Wind?  Maybe I, or someone with actual writing talent could write a sequel or prequel to, Gone with the Wind.  Maybe it could be called, Who has seen the Wind?  Wait, that's a W.O. Mitchell novel.  How about, Blowin' in the Wind? Wait, that's a Bob Dylan song. I digress.

Smokin' hot Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.  Oz's angels?  Maybe that's the next sequel...  Great cast here, including James Franco who more and more impresses me with his acting chops.  I also like Sam Raimi.  There is no doubt that, Oz: The Great and Powerful has much talent behind it.

So what about the trailer?

I know that in the New Testament, Book of Matthew it says, "Judge not lest ye be judged" but it's almost more fun judging a film by it's title than it is judging a movie by its trailer.  I am guilty of judging this movie by its title.

I also like being wrong...

The trailer for Oz: The Great and Powerful was very good.  It had a great pace, it didn't try to tell us a story, rather it teased us with great visuals and very few words. It captured the spirit of the original, Wizard of Oz and, in magical Disney form, was visually stunning. There was very little dialogue but the images told the story of a small time carnival magician from the black and white world of Kansas who gets swept away by a tornado and lands in Oz - clearly pre-Dorothy.  Like Dorothy, he encounters a complex world in vivid colour and his journey to becoming the great and powerful Oz begins with his choice to become a "great man."

Despite my earlier rant, this was a very good trailer.

I will likely see this film.

Friday 15 March 2013


Chan Wook Park is a very interesting director.  One of my all time favourite films, which is also one my all time most disturbing films, Oldboy (2003).  It has won many international awards and is visually and plot-wise, unlike anything in film.

I hear Oldboy was part of Chan Wook Park's "Vengeance" trilogy.  I saw Mr. Vengeance and while it wasn't Oldboy, it was certainly sad and disturbing.  I saw Lady Vengeance and while it wasn't Old Boy, it was entertaining, complex and disturbing.

His films ooze with irony and question everything from social conventions to family.  Further, morality and justice are sometimes blurred and are at other times blinding.  There is rarely middle ground.  Extremes and intensity.  He is quoted on IMDB as saying, 

"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."

Spike Lee is remaking Oldboy.  I can't imagine why one would take a disturbing masterpiece and try to remake it for a North American audience.  I maintain that it is better to remake a bad movie than it is to remake a good movie badly.  Good luck, Spike.


Nicole Kidman, despite all of the cosmetic surgery, is still beautiful and is still a great actress.  I've never seen Mia Wasikowska in anything, but she's damn good in the trailer for Stoker. Mathew Goode is very good at playing the calm, creepy guy.  I really liked him in Watchmen.

Like many Park films, Stoker is a story of broken people.  A woman loses her husband, her daughter loses her father. They seem to mourn differently and without compassion towards one-another for reasons not shared in the trailer.  An "uncle" arrives after Mr. Stoker's death.  He is filled with motives.  He seduces the mother, he seduces the daughter.  The division between mother and daughter broadens.  One seems to grow weaker, one seems to grow stronger, but neither of them appear to be healing.

Watching the trailer was like catching brief glimpses of lives descending into darkness with the final scene of the trailer showing dirt shoveled into an open grave.

The trailer provides images and clues of the darkness but no answers, which made the visuals of the trailer that much more disturbing.  This is exactly what a trailer is supposed to do, tease, and it did so very well.

I was sucked in immediately; this is one of the best trailers I've seen in a while.

I look forward to seeing this film.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

VIEWED: Identity Theft

My trailer review for this one said...

"...So, let me see if I understand this. A man's identity is stolen. So, he goes after the thief and hilarity, danger and general chaos ensues. They develop a bond and work together to foil a greater crime of sorts..."

The wife dragged me to the local cinema to watch this one.  The cinema in our neighbourhood is, in my opinion, the best cinema in the world.  Well, maybe not the best but damn good.  It's never busy, they play first run movies, they have 5 decent-sized theatres and they are not part of a mega-plex conglomerate so their prices are reasonable.  I just don't understand how they stay in business.  Even on cheap Tuesdays, the theatres are never full.  Tonight there were 12 people watching Identity Theft.  Maybe that had something to do with the movie.

It was pretty much how I described the trailer, only the criminals were after her.

Bateman is so good as the straight man.  Melissa McCarthy was annoyingly funny, just like the trailer.  I still don't get why he had to chase here down.  They didn't elaborate on why the credit card companies weren't contacted about the fraud and the police explanation - inter-state jurisdiction issues was really weak, even if it was based on fact. 

I am bothered that this movie made light of something as destructive as identity theft.  This is a rant for another time...

The movie also seemed to drag on for hours. For the first half of it I stared blankly at the stupid gags and situations. Then, it wore me down and I smirked. By the end, I may have even smiled.

I asked the wife what she thought.  She said, "it was much better than I thought it would be."

She looked at me and said, "well?"

I responded. "I liked it when it ended."

I meant it. 

I kind of feel like Identity Theft stole two hours from me that I'll never get back.

Monday 11 March 2013

The Crew

The Crew is an independent film by Marco Clay.

I think if I had reviewed this trailer prior to the selections for the 2nd Annual Beerbohm Awards for Movie Trailers, The Crew would have won for best music - if there was a category for best music in a trailer, this year.  The soundtrack is awesome.

A few things stand-out in the trailer for The Crew.  It looks professional, the acting is very good, the scenes flow well and the package is entertaining.  While the story is typical for the genre, the genre is filled with similarities - I guess that's why they call it a genre... yeah, I'm not so bright.

The Crew is about four teenagers who get involved in a caper/heist of sorts and, while they are a "gang" and try to talk the talk they don't seem to intimidate anyone as they try to walk the walk.  Tons of comedic potential here.  Comedic potential that is not lost in the trailer.  They have a meeting in a playground while one "gang" member is playing on the swings.  They acquire a getaway car, but it's a convertible VW Beetle.  Brilliant.

Naturally, things go wrong for the lads and it looks like all kinds of muscle wants to hurt them. One of the lads is Marco Clay, the 18 year old film maker behind The Crew.

My only criticism is that the trailer was too long.  There were great elements.  Enough was shown to make this film seem both interesting and entertaining.  The last 30 seconds, or so, of the trailer introduced elements that didn't need to be introduced in the trailer.  They just seemed a bit random... the brother, the girl, given how the previous 2 minutes generated interest and amusement.

There was nothing in the trailer that indicated an 18 year old (with all due respect) kid made this film.  It not only looked professional, it looked like a film worth watching.

Well done, Marco, where can I see it?

Check out the trailer for yourself at...

Thursday 7 March 2013

Identity Theft

I'm reviewing this trailer because the wife wants to see it this weekend.

I like Jason Bateman.  I hear that the women who plays the identity thief is a flavour of the month.  She's annoyingly funny in the trailer.

The trailer.  So, let me see if I understand this.  A man's identity is stolen.  So, he goes after the thief and hilarity, danger and general chaos ensues. They develop a bond and work together to foil a greater crime of sorts.

I'm not a screenwriter.  I'm not a film maker. I'm not even that smart. If I knew what would sell, I would try to provide it - but I don't.  I thought credit card companies have safeguards to protect the victims of identify theft.  They pardon the victim and go after the criminal.  So, my real question is: why didn't he just call the police?  I guess we'll find out in the movie why the credit card companies and the police couldn't do anything.  To me, that's the only information I'm curious about as I go to see this film.

The wife says that I should say something positive about every trailer that I review.  Here's something positive: I am pleased that this is not a prequel or sequel.

That said, I can't wait for the sequel which will likely be titled, Identity Theft 2 or Identity Theft, Too, or Also Identity Theft.

Going to see this film is strictly a peace-keeping mission.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Here are your winners for the 2nd Annual Beerbohm Awards

The Beerbohm Awards are sort of Oscars for movie trailers. In the 2 or so minutes it takes to watch a trailer, a major decision is made. The decision whether or not to see a film and to, really, support the work of the film making team. This puts much weight on the trailer.

For 19 months I've been reviewing movie trailers. Actually, I'd been reviewing them from the very first one that I saw, but only verbally.  A little more than 19 months ago while watching a film at home, the wife became annoyed with my verbal trailer reviews and finally said, "enough! What are you a movie trailer critic?"

Hmm, I thought.  "Movie trailer critic? Not a bad idea."  Judging a book by its cover, only judging a film by its trailer... Thus, Beerbohmtastic was born.

For the 2nd Annual Beerbohm Awards I've dropped the Best Music in a trailer award because not much jumped out at me this year.  I've also dropped worst spoiler trailer because there were just too many.  Worst Trailer now covers that.  Instead I've added two new categories:  Best Independent Trailer and Best Documentary Trailer.  As the Awards evolve the categories will be refined.

I'd like to thank those who sent in nominations, and thanks also to those who send in insults, comments and suggestions. And thank you to all who read the blog. I very much appreciate you taking the time to pop in for a quick review and, hopefully, some amusement.  That said, I have the utmost respect for film makers, especially the independent ones.  I've come to the realization that creating the perfect movie trailer is also an art.  So, while this blog began and sometimes continues to be a tongue-in-cheek forum, my love and appreciation for the art of film making has grown exponentially.

And like the saying goes, "those you can't create are often keen to criticize."

The winners are selected by a panel (the wife) and viewer comments and suggestions. The only criteria is that I had to have viewed and/or reviewed the trailer.  The blurbs below the award are excerpts from my original trailer review.

So, without further doo doo (thanks Cap'n'Dave), here are the winners of the 2nd Annual Beerbohm Awards for Movie Trailers:

The Best Documentary Award is given to the documentary trailer that stirred thought and emotion while generating interest.

The nominees for Best Documentary Trailer are:

Wilmington on Fire

The Last Station (La Última Estación)

All She Wrote

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

And the winner is:

Wilmington on Fire 
"The teaser trailer is narrated in the form of a poem.  It is interspersed with what looks like actual photographs.  The spoken word and the images were very powerful.  They pull you into a world and a time of anger, hate and injustice.  They take you by the hand and the heart and show you that the words of Thomas Jefferson, that the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and even the teachings of the church sometimes fall on deaf ears when fear and ignorance take the lead." 


The Best Independent Trailer Award is given to the independent trailer that stood out as original, or refreshing, or interesting (to me).  There were many very good candidates for this award, but these four were stand-outs. 

The nominees for Best Documentary Trailer are:

The 9th

Through the Looking Glass



And the winner is:

"The trailer for Consequence was beautifully shot and brilliantly communicated. It not only teases and entertains, but makes one think.  This is pretty powerful stuff. "   Consequence literally had us at "hello." 


The Best Trailer Award is given to the trailer which truly teases, entertains and leaves the viewer wanting more.

The nominees for best trailer are:



The Hunger Games

Life of Pi

The Dark Knight Rises

Seven Psychopaths

And the winner is:

"The trailer for Lincoln had so much going for it.  You know Spielberg is a master. Daniel Day Lewis and the rest of the cast are great. And, Abe's story and the impact he had on America and the world are inspiring. Maybe the release of this film is timely, historically speaking.  Maybe I'm being a sentimental sap right now, even though the wife says I have no feelings, but I was moved by this trailer and am eager to see this film..."



The Worst Trailer Award is given to the trailer that left the viewer (me) annoyed.

The nominees for worst trailer are, and I could have added so many more:

Killing Them Softly

Taken 2

Red Dawn

Les Miserables

 Cloud Atlas

And the winner is:

Cloud Atlas
This was, hands down, the unanimous choice largely due to both trailer's annoying 
assault on the viewer with new-age clichés

"The [Trailers] 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... So, presently, I have no idea what the movie is really about."

Congratulations, I guess.


The Most Misleading Trailer goes to the trailer that  misrepresented 
the film. It applies to either a good trailer for a bad film or 
bad trailer for a good film.

The nominees for the most misleading trailer are:

The Cabin in the Woods

The Raven

Midnight in Paris

John Carter

Jeff Who Lives at Home

Hotel Transylvania

And the winner is:

Hotel Transylvania

This Beerbohm goes to a good trailer for a bad film.

Trailer Review:
"The wife had been bugging me for a week to go and see the this film and I kept refusing. She finally convinced me to watch the trailer.  I'm glad I did...  And the wife is happy.  Everybody wins, unless it's crap.  Stay tuned.

Actual Review
"Hotel Transylvania was crap. Great cast was wasted... you know how some movies made for kids have elements 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."

Congratulations, I guess.


Bond: Everyone needs a hobby
Villain: What's yours?
Bond: Resurrection

 Django Unchained:
"kill white people... What's not to like?"
Spoken by Jamie Foxx as Django

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
"I don't think we're hunting witches..."
Spoken by Jeremy Renner

Seven Psychopaths:
Gunman: Put your hands up!
Christoper Walken: No.

And the winner is:

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
"I don't think we're hunting witches..."
Spoken by Jeremy Renner

While I didn't get around to posting my review for this one, 
the panel found the line hilarious given the title of the film.  


Congratulations to all winners and nominees. 

Thanks for reading and for your continued support!

Monday 4 March 2013

Max Beerbohm Quote for March 2013

I've used this one before but it's too good not to repeat...

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


My trailer review for Argo said...

"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...."

The wife and I finally watched Argo.

Because everyone knew what the outcome would be, we hoped that the very good trailer would lead to a very good film.

Argo won the Best Picture Oscar this year.

I had heard that the story told in Argo, while accurate in some ways, was not completely accurate.

But it won the Oscar Best Picture.

While the acting was very good and Affleck was again surrounded by a very strong supporting cast, the depiction of this story could have been stronger.

But it won the Oscar Best Picture.

While the film had some good tension, there was no "edge of the seat" suspense because we knew the outcome.  Still, the race to the finish was weak.

Argo was a good story told simply, but I don't think it deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

I asked the wife what she thought of it.

She quoted Alan Arkin and said, "Argo-f**k yourself."

PLEASE NOTE:  Sometimes the views of the wife may or may not necessarily reflect the views of Beerbohmtastic.