Archive for the 'Movies' Category

06
Apr
11

Hesher trailer is a winner

If a trailer’s job is to make someone want to see the movie it’s advertising, they’re doing an excellent job at failing these days.  Maybe that’s why Hesher’s trailer has my attention, or maybe it’s because it once again proves Metallica and vans (the automobiles, not the shoes) are a winning combination.  Selling Hesher to audiences based on its highly-marketable actors seems easy.  I imagine getting people interested in a slice-of-life movie about a widower, his 13-year-old son and their heavy-metal housemate, is not.  Hesher doesn’t look like it’s for everyone, and it could easily turn out to be another in a long list of movies whose trailer was more entertaining than the actual product.  But for the time being, the trailer’s mix of small-scale pyrotechnics, random destruction and a Wes Anderson-like sense of gloom really makes me want to see Hesher.

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13
Feb
11

i want to understand

It may not be what I consider to be the biggest mystery of mankind (that would be how the Pontiac Aztek managed to be approved for mass production), but I can never figure out how Clint Eastwood’s Every Which Way But Loose got made.  The pitch probably went along the lines of “Hey Clint, audiences love it when you run around and punch people in the face.  How would you like to do that with an orangutan?”  to which Clint says, “I thought you’d never ask.”

18
Jan
11

Coming soon to America

If Hollywood isn’t remaking 80s TV shows or bringing comic books to life, it seems like they’re remaking films from abroad.  I recently got an idea of what’s to come after checking out the Swedish mystery The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the South Korean thriller The Chaser.  The Girl remake will be directed by David Fincher and will star Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Stellan Skarsgard.  It is slated for a late 2011 U.S. release.  The Chaser’s remake rights were picked up by the producers of The Departed, which happened to be a remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.  No word yet about a potential release.

If you’re into books, you’ve probably heard about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by now.  It’s part one of the late Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, and centers around a journalist investigating a decades-old mystery and the titular character who helps him with Google.  The plot is interesting enough and certainly not unlike what you’d see in a Hollywood movie, but the scenes of sexual violence will certainly grab your attention.  I’m not sure if the remake will approach the scenes more or less graphically, but it’s certain to get a reaction either way.  I’ve never read the book(s) and this was my first exposure to the Millenium Trilogy I’ve been hearing a lot about.  Ultimately it’s a nice diversion for a couple hours that doesn’t stick with me after the end credits start rolling, much like other Hollywood mystery-thrillers.  And while we only get glimpses of the main character’s past here, I’m not all that eager to explore it further.

The Chaser is a good case of a lame name for an awesome movie.  It’s about a cop-turned-pimp who’s investigating the disappearance of several of his girls.  He tracks down the culprit, who he believes to be selling his girls, but then finds himself in a much graver situation than he expected.  Given the plot’s premise and an unflinching depiction of violence, the film is tense start to finish.  With numerous twists and turns, the questionable morality of the lead character and the vague creepiness of the antagonist, I was hooked.  The Chaser was a great watch and affirmed my belief that South Korea is currently producing Asia’s best movies, much like Hong Kong did in the 90s.

17
Jan
11

Congratulations Christian Bale

…not for winning the Golden Globe for his supporting role in The Fighter (haven’t seen it yet), but for being the best Jesus lookalike in recent memory!

05
Jan
11

1-800-HITMAN

In honor of this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray release of Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s gag trailer-turned-B-movie-masterpiece, here’s brief moment of random genius from the film courtesy of hitman Osiris Amanpour.  And here I thought you had to go through shady channels to hire an assassin.  Who knew it simply involved calling an 800 number?

04
Jan
11

Welcome back Bana?

About a year ago, I lamented over the disappearance of Eric Bana’s badassery that he displayed in films like Blackhawk Down, Troy and Munich.  Perhaps he took up diverse projects like period pieces, Judd Apatow comedies and time-traveling romance flicks to avoid being typecasted.  That’s all good, and while he had a good turn in Funny People, I like Bana best with bullets and blades.  Thankfully, it seems like he’s coming around with Hanna, due out in April 2011.
Though Hanna feels a lot like The Bourne Identity with a teenage girl, Bana certainly fulfills the badass quota.  Living in the Scandanavian wilderness while raising your daughter to be a killer?  TOTALLY TOUGH.
Further proof of Bana’s return to form is his next project, By Virtue Fall.  Not much is known about it but the entry at Internet Movie Database indicates he’ll be playing an ex-con out for revenge.  Lots of badass potential there.
03
Jan
11

Apple TV + Netflix = Heaven

While the iPad has captured everyone’s attention, Apple TV seems like something that never really took off.  Having a little $99 gadget stream movies, TV shows, photos and Internet to your TV probably isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.  However, it should be a staple of any movie/TV lover’s living room.

The days where I’d walk through Blockbuster or Hollywood Video browsing for something to watch are long gone, partly because local branches of the chains closed down but mainly because there’s a cheaper alternative with less hassle.  Apple TV is always in stock, and there’s no need for returns or waiting for the mail.

Apple TV’s selection of rentals was pretty modest when it started a couple years ago, but has improved a lot.  I’d say it’s like checking out a video store’s new release wall.  All the latest movies are available in standard- and/or high-definition for $4-5, not to mention the most current TV episodes.  Netflix comes in if I’m feeling something old or obscure.  Back in the day, I had to take my chances and dig through the store’s back catalog, often times finding someone else rented it or the store didn’t carry it.  Not a problem with Netflix, which boasts a robust selection of older movies and shows from all genres, all available via internet streaming for $8 a month (Netflix streaming is also available on XBox360, PS3, Wii, TiVo, Roku, iPhone, iPad, computers, i.e. basically anything).

Now my problem is finding enough time to watch everything.