Well, now that we’re finally going to be spared constantly tripping over the trailer to “Edge of Tomorrow”, and all the critics are busy talking about “The Fault in Our Stars” (which is good because Lord knows I don’t hear anyone else talking about it), maybe we can take a collective breath and look around and see what’s on our cinematic horizon. And no, pumpkins, I’m not speaking in first person plural. I’m including all of you in this. I know I’ve been sitting in a lot of theaters practically all by myself*, but I believe all of you are with me in spirit**.
(*So I should complain because I see movies where people use words of more than one syllable?)
(**But does anyone at least offer me spiritual popcorn? Or at least some spiritual Raisinets? Heck no.)
I was thinking of pitching a film idea to Hollywood: a story based on all the mean stupidity that goes on in the IMDb message boards, but then it occurred to me that people might be getting too much of that in real life to want to pony up serious bucks to see it on the big screen.
(Besides, I’d have to give the Yahoo board posters equal time, and no one wants to start a war. I also have selfish reasons. My youngest son was forced to leave this country because of this Sollozzo business . . .)
Or maybe we should just get to the movies.
Okay: Brendan Gleeson as a priest in a small Irish town. One of his parishioners promises that he’ll kill him next Sunday. Good enough for any of you? It certainly gets my interest.
(And how do we know for certain this takes place in Ireland? Where else does such a plot get listed as a “black comedy”?)
Steve James’ documentary about the late Roger Ebert. Regardless of whatever feelings you might have about Ebert (I sort of parted company with him when “Sneak Previews” turned into “At the Movies”), it cannot be denied that he had some rather interesting outlooks on film. Of course your attendance for this might all depend on how interested you are in hearing another person’s opinion about movies . . .
Wait a minute.
And So It Goes
Okay, pumpkins, help me out here. Am I wanting this film to succeed because Rob Reiner’s directing it? Because it’s got Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton acting together? Because it has Douglas playing a total creep who has to get help from his neighbor (Keaton) when he suddenly finds himself saddled with his granddaughter? Or were all the good scenes in the trailer?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I have to say here that Tim Burton’s 2001 “Planet of the Apes” really burned me as far as this franchise was concerned. That stated, I found Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” to be interesting, and Matt Reeves’ entry in this series looks to be more of the same (even if we don’t have Roddy McDowall or Kim Hunter). This particular reboot effort seems to be focusing less on social satire/commentary and more on straight SF drama and, so far, all the signs appear to be positive. At least it has me already wondering what the third film in the series will be like.
Get On Up
Sissy Spacek in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” . . . Diana Ross in “Lady Sings the Blues” . . . Don Cheadle in “The Rat Pack” . . . Jamie Foxx in “Ray” . . . Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line”.
And now we’d better make room on the list for Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. Maybe all the energy was put into the trailer. I don’t know. But if Boseman can channel that much energy into a three minute trailer, then maybe he can sustain it for the entire film. That’d certainly qualify him as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Okay, pumpkins, you want to know what really gets me hyped to see this? Not just because it’s a Marvel comic film that looks as if it’s not going to take itself too seriously. Not because it has Chris Pratt in the lead. Not even because it has Glenn Close as the leader of the Nova Corps (although admittedly that’s a clear draw right there). It’s just that any film which features Ronan the Accuser as a character has me from the get-go!
Needing to get a few things straight here. First off, I am not that much a fan of The Four Seasons. Nor am I automatically enamored of musicals. Even award-winning ones.
But I see where Clint Eastwood is directing this and that gives me pause. It may actually reach the point where Eastwood impresses more people as a director than he did as an actor, and I’m already pretty far along on that road.
Besides, Barry Livingston has a part in the film as an accountant. Hey . . . you find your reasons to see a film and I’ll find mine, huh?
Earlier I had mentioned certain trailers which were jumping out and mugging us at every opportunity. The trailer for Luc Besson’s latest film may well become a new contender for the crown (is anyone out there familiar with the word “overkill”?). Even the plot (woman transformed into a superhuman after a drug enhances her brain capacity) doesn’t automatically grab my interest.
But “Lucy” has two things going for it. For openers, Luc Besson is the director. For seconders, Scarlett Johansson is the star, and I’d just about pay money to see her in a movie where all she does is spend two hours licking paint off an old barn.
Don’t you miss it . . . don’t you miss it . . . some of you people out there just about missed it.
“Snowpiercer” is a 2013 South Korean/American film directed by Bong Joon-ho. And now that the Snookitrash have read that and have run screaming from the room I’ll continue with the description. It’s going to have a limited release in this country, so God help any of us who don’t live in NYC or LA. I mean this because the premise sounds interesting. An ice age has killed practically all the people on Earth. The only survivors are living on a perpetually moving trans-continental train. A society soon forms within the train, including castes of haves and have-nots, and a rebellion to take over the engine is brewing within the latter group.
It’s been years since “Runaway Train”, “Horror Express” or even “Silver Streak”, so we’re obviously overdue for an interesting film set on a train.
Speaking of interesting films made in other countries which are getting released here . . .
“The Congress” is a French/Israeli live action/animation effort (whew!) by Ari Folman. It stars Robin Wright (“The Princess Bride”, “Forrest Gump”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, etc.) as a fading actress who is offered an awful lot of money by a company who wants to buy the movie rights to her digital image. In return she has to promise never to act again (while the company makes movies using her digitally scanned image). And no, pumpkins, this isn’t a remake of Michael Crichton’s “Looker”. Here we’re not only dealing with the idea of Property, but with the sort of world that could occur should this can of worms be opened.
(Besides, I can immediately think of several “actors” for whom this process would be a lead pipe cinch. Not only that, but they’d very probably take up less computer memory than Robin Wright.)
When the Game Stands Tall
Oh, look: another spiritually uplifting high school sports film based on an “extraordinarily true story”. What fun!
Yeah, I know. I’m nasty. And yeah, this is directed by Thomas Carter (“Swing Kids”), and it features Jim Cavaziel, Laura Dern and Michael Chiklis. Go see it if you want to, and wipe a tear from your eye as you tell me how wonderful it was.
Earth to Echo
Dave Green moves up to the feature film director plate with a story about some kids who, after receiving some unusual messages, decide to help out an alien that needs their help . . .
Wait a minute! Didn’t we already go through this over thirty years ago with “E.T.”? Is Dave Green really Steven Spielberg in disguise? Somebody check out the kids in the story. Are they actual Miyazaki-type real kids, or are they bed-wetting Spielberg neurotics? Get back to me with this information soonest and, in the meantime, place a warning mark next to this title.