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Friday 29 January 2016

INDICTMENT - A new Seraph Films Project

Written by Jhan Harp and Rob Stith
Directed by Gene Blalock

"A jailed, amnesiac African American suffers brutality at the hands of a vicious, prejudiced police officer. The tables turn when he learns the truth of his recent near-death experience in a twist of fate that the narrow-minded cop never saw coming."

Independent film continues to drive content, creativity and emotion while serving as a constant reminder that there is much more great content out there than our local cinemas have access to. 

Seek out independent film! Find it, consume it & be inspired!

Beerbohmtastic continues to support Independent film, now that I'm reviewing again (apologies to those I've missed during my parenting hiatus), so send me your trailers and I'll do my best to review them!

I will review the trailer for Indictment when it becomes available.  More info available here: 

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Bridge of Spies

Oscar Best Picture Nominee #2: Bridge of Spies

I made the wrong choice, twice.

I chose to watch the 2:33 trailer rather than the 1:44 trailer.  I chose to review the 2:33 trailer rather than the 1:44 trailer. And while I know it's a winning combination of "true story," Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, I also pretty much know what is going to happen (at least I think I do) based on the winning combination and a trailer that gives away too much.

Following another trailer length rant (my rants have become mumbles so I don't wake up the kids) the wife asked me why I didn't just ignore the longer trailer and review the shorter one.  "Haven't you done that before?"

"Yes, I have in the past but right now I don't want to."  I responded.

The wife gave me one of her very cute smirks and informed me that Bridge of Spies is the next film she wants us to see.  Now that I've seen Pacific Rim, I will concede.

The trailer for Bridge of Spies tells us this:
- American pilot on spy mission caught by Russians
- Russian spy caught by Americans
- American family man, insurance lawyer asked to defend Russian spy
- American family man lawyer criticised for defending spy and puts family at risk
- American lawyer seems to be involved in prisoner exchange
- American lawyer goes to what looks like post Berlin wall Germany for prisoner exchange      
- Final scene of trailer shows American lawyer on bridge of spies waiting to make exchange

So, based on the trailer and the winning combination, it will have a favourable outcome. It's Spielberg so it'll be a great story.  It's Hanks so it'll be well-acted. I'm sure there are other sub-plots that the trailer didn't fully expose but the gist of it, I believe, is a complex story, told well and ending with a satisfied audience.

I'll see Bridge of Spies because it's nominated for an Oscar and the above-mentioned winning combination but not for the mediocre trailer that has left almost nothing to the imagination.


Monday 25 January 2016

The Big Short

Oscar Best Picture Nominee #: The Big Short


I had no idea what The Big Short was about when I started watching the trailer.  F**K! The intensity of the content is magnified ten fold because it's basically "a true story."  How many people and families lost their homes because of the magnitude of such greed?  

The first thing that popped into my mind when the trailer ended was the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes:

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?

In this case it explodes.

In Mordecai Richler's classic, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz", Duddy is told something like "one is not a man until he owns land." 

So, the big American banks have stolen more than just money; they've stolen dignity and in some cases they've stolen lives.  MESSED UP!

As much as I love America for what it was and still can be, I'm sometimes glad I live in Canada.

Don't even get me started on the American dream...

Average folk like us have heard of, read about or experienced the gross injustice of the housing bubble/collapse.  To see a depiction of it, apparently from the inside, on screen is mesmerising.  Like watching a train wreck you know is coming.  Like staring at the bloody mess of a car accident. Morbid fascination had me glued to the trailer.  And, for the first time in years since starting this blog, wishing the trailer were longer.

What about the trailer?

The trailer for The Big Short is powerful.  It evokes so much that I don't recall specifics, just tons of emotion. Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Marissa Tomei...etc... All great! Just watch the trailer, you'll see.

I can't wait to see this film.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Oscar Best Picture Trailer Reviews and the return of the Beerbohm Award

Leading up to the Oscars, Beerbohmtastic will review Oscar Best Picture nominee trailers.  It had been my intention after the second time consuming year of the Beerbohm Awards to simply review Oscar best picture nominee's trailers and present the Beerbohm Award to best trailer. Obviously, it didn't happen   I'll try again. This year there will be only one Beerbohm Award, selected by readers and presented here and on Twitter following the Oscars.

Here's the impressive hardware:

Reviews will be in alphabetical order beginning shortly:
"The Big Short"
"Bridge of Spies"

"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"The Martian"

"The Revenant"

Don't trust my silly reviews, watch the trailers then tell me at beerbohmtastic@gmail.com

Stay tuned....

Thursday 7 January 2016

VIEWED: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My trailer review said:

"I watched it [the trailer] a third time and still nothing.  Looks like the dark side is riding a high but the force is mounting a comeback.  Kind of like the empire has struck back but now the Jedi are returning but in episode 7, not in 5 or 6 which were released as 2 and 3. I didn't see Yoda. I'll definitely watch this film because I loved 4, 5 & 6, but I'm not getting sucked into the hype. Yeah, I know..."

I avoided all the hype (that I could avoid) only hearing that Star Wars EP. VII was great.  I concede that it was a very entertaining movie, true to the original franchise (4,5,6 which were released first, second and third).

Okay, I think I get it.  Episodes 1, 2 & 3, released fourth, fifth and six, truly sucked ass. I remember seeing Episode 1 (released fourth) and thinking Lucas is thinking merchandising.  I remember being put off by the racial stereotpying.  I remember thinking even Yoda is kind of annoying. I remember thinking Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader? Cool. That was the only cool part for me, even though Ewan MacGregor is awesome.

I couldn't sit through Episodes 2 & 3 (released fifth and sixth) as I found them annoying, even though Natalie Portman is awesome.

The Force Awakens is pretty much a revised 40 years later version of Star Wars (episode 4, released first), which is arguably one of the best Sci-Fi movies ever.  It's the same formula, which works and it's the same payoff (SPOILER ALERT): destruction of the death star, except this is a much bigger death star but it's easier to lower the shields, good thing too because the future of the universe was at stake...  Even a long time ago in a galaxy far far away there were design flaws that were exploited. You'd think the dark side first order would have figured this out after the destruction of the first death star.

All that to say: Episode 7 released seventh is a safe, formulaic attempt to bring back the purists and restore the order within the force and unite the fan base. More importantly it brings the franchise back to where it should be.  From this perspective, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens after the Empire Strikes Back as the First Order and the Jedi Return again, this film is a success.