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Archive for the ‘Movies In General’ Category

I also think there might be some men saying that too:

Sherlock Holmes Poster

Via the incredibly awesome Den of Geek.

Sherlock Holmes might be the first movie I’ve ever seen on Christmas Day.  That’s the power of RDJ, people.

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Random Screenshot

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Feel free to guess the movie in the comments.

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Summer is upon us, which means barbecues, skin-melting sunshine (if you live in my area of the woods) and blockbuster flicks.   Since it’s that time of year, the impending release of Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen or whatever the subtitle is has film nerds in a tizzy.   Why, in the words of the South Park creators, does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?   We ask this as we stand in line for a Michael Bay movie.

What is it about Bay movies that keeps us coming back for more?   Are we cinema masochists?   If you think about it, every Bay movie figuratively punches you in the face, defying you to think about things like “logic”, “plot” and “common sense”.   It can’t be the Academy Award worthy acting and directing, can it?

No.  And it wasn’t until Younger Sister told me about this that I realized even as we make fun of Michael Bay, it’s this one thing that makes us come to the fount of stupid again and again and again:

Genius.  Inspired.   Totally true!   Michael Bay’s Explosions might be the movie we’ve all waited to see from him.

Truly, it feels like things involving character development are so boring to Bay.    Watch him try and direct scenes with only humans.   You’ll see what I mean.  Then watch a Michael Bay explosion scene.   Every shot is lovingly crafted, with shrapnel flying full force.  Each fireball is carefully filmed and cars careen into the air with reckless abandon.  Sure, Michael Bay will scorch entire city blocks, operate with complete disregard for environmental rules and laws, and think nothing of torching $2 million + worth of equipment, but at the end of the day, he either gets the shot… or he gets the best shot that CGI will allow.

Not everyone can be Francis Ford Coppola.   Let’s face it, if you do one thing well, you should really focus on that, right?   And God has seen fit to give Michael Bay the extraordinary gift of destroying aircraft carriers and putting it on film, shouldn’t you utilize that gift in the best possible way?

I mean, if God said, “Son, go forth and BLOW SHIT UP,” well, yeah, I’d be right on that.

However, Michael’s just been picking the wrong movies to do.  Transformers? Look, I know we routinely appeal to the “lowest common denominator” here in America, but even slack-jawed snopses will eventually get tired of GIGANTIC ALIEN ROBOTS BLOWING SHIT UP.   This will probably happen sometime after Transformers Part V:  Optimus Prime’s Revenge.  Let’s face it, Michael needs a project that caters to his special needs.

It has to be something amazing.  It has to be something that is simple in the plot and character department, featuring huge explosions and next to no logic and/or common sense.   It has to be something that will enable him to have hundreds of fireballs and all sorts of vehicles exploding.   Someone, somewhere will have to detonate some C4 in a fighter jet, perhaps.

Well, I have just the thing.  And Mr. Bay?  You can have my idea for free.   I just want to see the epic masterpiece you’d make out of…

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Give him Richard Dean Anderson, a matchstick, a piece of gum, a toilet paper holder and $250 million and Bay could make all our nightmares dreams come true.

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I can’t recall when I first saw The Day The Earth Stood Still, but I do reckon that it was most likely with my mom.  To say that my mother is enthusiastic about this movie is understating it a bit; I think it’s actually one of her favorites of all time.

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An alien spaceship lands in Washington, triggering fear and suspicion worldwide.   Out steps an alien, Klaatu, bearing an important message for all nations of the Earth.  Along with him is Gort, a sinister looking robot.   Humans mistakenly believe Klaatu may attack them, so they shoot him.  After he’s locked up inside a hospital, he escapes and blends in with Earthlings, learning more about our culture and ways before convincing a fellow scientist to have a meeting of the greatest minds on earth so he can spread his message to all nations equally.   The message?   Embrace peace or perish.

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The Day The Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi classic and with good reason:  it belongs to none of its knee-jerk, reactionary brethren of the decade.  (Them, anyone?)  Instead of being a frightful tale of how atomic power can go dreadfully wrong (duck and cover from those giant ants/spiders/creatures, kids), it’s a slow-burn tale of how we are the horrific ones.

Bad special effects aside, it’s the theme and central idea to the movie that still play to a modern audience.   The fear of outsiders, the fear of global destruction and the fear that we may not be the big fish in the food chain we perceive ourselves to be are all still very relevant – Soviets or no Soviets.  Klaatu’s indignant frustration at the stupidity of the people of Earth but kindly outlook on the mother and son duo that he befriends are exemplary of human traits, sure, but none of us had the power to reduce Earth to a cinder.

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The man in the silver rubber suit is no longer as terrifying as he once was, nor does Klaatu’s then high-tech spaceship strike anyone as being anything other than ultra-retro, but the disturbing, unsettling feeling that The Day The Earth Stood Still conveys is that we do have a choice – Klaatu or no Klaatu – to decide our own fate.  It is our own stupidity and as Klaatu puts it, our own irresponsibility that gets in our way.  It is our choice to be smarter or be a lot deader, even if there’s no giant alien robot around to police the hell out of us.

We still live with the threat of horrible things looming over us.  It’s no longer worrying about the Soviets dropping A-Bombs and the idea of the KGB looming large over the capitalist stronghold of America; now it’s militant religious terrorists, dirty bombs and bioterrorism.   To be typically crude:  same shit, different day.   In other words, Klaatu’s message is something that still resonates because we’re still behaving in the same fashion.   We can doom ourselves … or not.

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Arguably, while the humans are left with a choice to DON’T BE SO STUPID or DIE IN A MASSIVE FIRE, FOOLS, Patricia Neal is the initial savior of humanity.  It is she that gives Klaatu a chance; it is she that helps him evade capture and it is she that goes to Gort the giant robot and makes sure he A) doesn’t blow shit up everywhere to avenge Klaatu after he’s been killed and B) resurrects Klaatu.

In other words, Patricia Neal?  Is the shit.  Also, thanks to Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal and some screenwriters, we have the immortal words the Evil Dead franchise ticks along on:   Klaatu barada nikto.

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My mom’s recollection of this is that it was really cool back in the day.  She was awed by the sound on the special edition.   One of the things that sells The Day The Earth Stood Still is the creepy, semi-disturbing music which runs to and fro through the film.   (Good job, music composer.)   She pointed out how freaking alien Michael Rennie (Klaatu) looks in his oversized suit and scary-lean figure.   And above all, the special effects still seem real to her, and I imagine the movie has a whole realm of meaning to her that it will never have to me, primarily because even though we live in times with fear, I never had the threat of having atomic bombs rained down on me by Nikita Khruschev.  (I also never lived next to a SAC base, which my mother also did, right when a bunch of Americans and Russians were thinking hard about pushing some little red buttons.)

I think it is this movie that gave me my love of sci-fi; not sci-fi for fantasy’s sake, but the kind of sci-fi that makes a larger point.   The Thing and other movies of that ilk all have bigger questions in mind than just what they are at face value and I think… I think this comes from early viewings of The Day The Earth Stood Still with my mom.

If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

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All the movies I need to see in theaters between now and December 31st, 2009:

That’s just the ones I really, really want to see.   I know I’ll end up seeing others.    I, uh, just wish I had some sort of theater discount right now.   That would be … great.

Did I miss anything?

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No reviews tonight.  I’ve actually watched a fair amount of movies lately; Australia, Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation and other rewatches, but I haven’t had the bug to write them up.   Honest to God, I don’t know when I’d get the time to sit down and take notes on Australia.  Sucker is long.

So instead you get a mish-mash today of links and pretty pictures, as I try to get back into the swing of updating regularly.

Brief self-serving promotion:   You should follow me on Twitter.

Since I was just talking about Deadpool, here’s a hilarious Marvel/DC video – Deadpool and Watchmen:

I don’t know what kills me more; “I’m a Marvel – WHOA!” or the idea of a Rorschach/Deadpool sitcom.   Yes, it is funny and yes, you should watch it now.   I may have watched it multiple times and giggled like a freak every time.

New G.I. Joe trailer: Look, we all know by now this movie will be made of sweet cracky suck, but behold, Christopher Eccleston (the man will be a Hot Old Man Of The Month one of these months, I swear).   That cheesy effect of the Eiffel Tower degrading/falling over must not be the most insane thing in the movie for them to put it in the trailer.   I, uh, have no excuses for wanting to see this hot mess.

Slashfilm has new Inglourious Basterds posters for Pitt & Roth: Screw Brad Pitt, let’s look at ELI ROTH.

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I smell bad, bad Photoshop.   What in the name of sweet hell is going on with his face in that picture?   It’s like he’s a Ken doll.   Did they airbrush that scruff on?  Did they hire the guy who did the Zombie Wax Liam Neeson Taken poster to do this one?

New Star Trek Pictures: I wasn’t too excited for Star Trek originally; I know, that’s geek heresy and I deserve to be interrogated by a Klingon inquisitor or something.    After looking at these and hearing an early review from a friend, I’m ready to go see Star Trek. I’m taking my Star Trek loving mom for Mother’s Day to see this one.

Blah Blah Blah Blah District 9 Trailer: Consider me underwhelmed.  So underwhelmed, I might catch it on basic cable five years from now.

Final Girl talks about sucky ’89 horror: Say what you will, but I LOVES me some Deep Star Six.  Miguel Ferrer!   Mutant monster things!   I watched it a lot when I was a kid.   That, and The Abyss, I think, are my earliest childhood memories of underwater “monster” movies (let’s not get all cranky about The Abyss being a monster movie now, you know what I mean).

Jason from Invasion of the B Movies is writing a book. Which is awesome, and that’s pretty much all I gotta say about that.

Now, who can outgeek each other in the comments section, hmm?

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Eli Roth’s making a big, blockbuster New-York-gets-destroyed kinda movie.   Via Slashfilm.

He won’t discuss what’s going on in the film, just that it’s on the level of Cloverfield, but it’s something completely different.    Maybe Eli’s making When Fanboys Attack or something of that ilk.   (At least that’s what they’re going to do over this movie, as if they weren’t after him enough.)

I’m slightly less confused, though, when I see that he’s going to package a full version of Thanksgiving into this – if a studio wants the Eli Roth Destructo Movie, they have to make Thanksgiving as well.   Via the Slashfilm article referenced above:

According to a new interview with the director, he’s planning to shoot n $80 million actioner this fall and then, in the immediate three weeks following, bash out a feature length version of Thanksgiving for $5 million.

….

Studios who want to take on the actioner will also be expected to go for Thanksgiving, with Roth offering them only as an indivisible package. Who could turn down an Eli Roth movie for just $5 million?

Well, to be fair, Lionsgate hasn’t turned down an Eli Roth movie for that amount – to my knowledge.   Slashfilm claims that Roth might have just pulled figures out of the air, but Roth made Hostel and Hostel II on paltry sums (both under $5 mil if I remember correctly, don’t quote me on that) mainly by shooting with tight budgets, relatively unknown/lesser known actors and shooting the two in foreign countries.   (I also want to say that he deferred his director’s salary on Hostel II to have extra budget room, but I can’t remember for sure.)

Roth does claim that Thanksgiving will be:

“The sickest, bloodiest, most violent slasher movie. I want to make the highest body count slasher film I can.” (Quote from the Slashfilm article.)

Well, count me in.  And if that means I have to sit through Eli Roth Does Cloverfield in order to get the ticket grosses higher so I can see Thanksgiving done up all gory-like on the big screen, I’m willing to make a sacrifice, uh huh.   I still don’t get why the big-budget movie is necessary, but hey, that’s just me.

And look, I missed QT on American Idol last night, but guess what?  Slashfilm has the exclusive video from AI previewing parts of Inglorious Basterds.   I know I’ve said I was shaky on Brad Pitt’s accent, but I am totally freakin’ sold on it now.  Also, we get our first look at Mike Myers (he’ll only be in the movie for about five minutes, tops, if I recall correctly).  You get Quentin creepily leading the set in group cheers.   “Let’s do it one more time!  Why?   (chorus)  BECAUSE WE LOVE MAKING MOVIES.”   God, he comes across as one of those annoying bosses that makes you do team building exercises like the ones featured in those disgusting American Airlines commercials.  Yuck.  Aaaaand, there’s even a teensy-tinsy snippet of Eli Roth strutting with the baseball bat.

Three words:  Arms. Of. Roth.

Yeah I said it.   Check it out here.

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