Archive for movies

Flicks Looking Forward: Spring 2011

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by Parker Connell

Okay folks I’m sorry to say I do not have a review ready for you on this Wednesday, but I made a promise that I would update at least once a week on Wednesday and I plan to stick to it. Hopefully I will have a review for The King’s Speech soon and that will be posted as soon as it is finished.

Until then I’d like to say a little bit about the films coming out in the spring of this year. In the coming weeks I’ll do a few more posts about the summer and fall, and maybe winter, who knows. Enjoy!

Drive Angry (February 25th) – Yes it looks unbelievably stupid, yes Nic Cage looks to be playing the guy from Bangkok Dangerous, yes it’s actually called Drive Angry, but watch the trailer and then tell me it doesn’t look like it’ll be worth every cent. Plus it was filmed in 3D none of this post-3D-ification Clash of the Airbenders nonsense.

Rango (March 4th) – I haven’t been this excited for a kids movie since Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t think Rango will be as good, but man Rango looks fun as hell. It’s really nice to see worthwhile CG projects coming out of a studio not named Disney.

The Adjustment Bureau (March 4th) – I really want this movie to be good. I know it won’t be good, but damn it could be. It looks to straight-laced to be a great PKD adaptation (like Minority Report or A Scanner Darkly) but a bit too weird to get the Matt Damon soccer mom crowd. I probably won’t be seeing this until it’s on Netflix Instant

Mars Needs Moms (March 11th) – Just kidding this looks really stupid.

Battle: LA (March 11th) – I only know the bare bones of this flick, but I can’t imagine it goes much deeper than aliens attack. I’m mildly interested to see this, if only for Aaron Eckhart and maybe a solid Military Sci-Fi story.

Jane Eyre (March 11th) – In my The Kids Are All Right review I made some big proclamations about Mia Wasikowsk, the big one being that I would see anything and everything she does from now on. Well this Bronte adaptation is hr next work so I guess I’m gonna have to eat my shoe on that one. For I am mostly a man of my word, mostly.

Paul (March 18th) – When I first heard about this flick I was mad excited, and each new sliver of information that was released over the following 2 years was met with enthusiasm. Then the first trailer came out and I had my first twang of worry, then the second trailer came out and I have pretty much given up on this flick.

Sucker Punch (March 25th) – March 25th cannot come soon enough, I am so unbelievably stoked for this outrageous looking movie. I’ve enjoyed everything Snyder has done in the past and this, his first original work, looks to be his best most entertaining flick. 2011 has a lot of lackluster looking action flick but hopefully Sucker Punch can redeem them.

Source Code (April 1st) – Everything about this movie screams cookie cutter light sci-fi thriller, but, I am excited for this film simply by virtue of it’s director Duncan Jones the man who brought us Moon. Also it has Jeffrey Wright the best actor alive not named Robert Duvall.

Your Highness (April 8th) – Could be great like Eastbound and Down, could be pretty good like Pineapple Express, but it could be awful. I’m hoping for greatness, and expecting pretty goodness, but there is a reason Willow 2 was never made.

Thor (May 6th) – Of the big budget Superhero flicks coming out this year Thor is the only one I want to see. The lead looks good, Natalie Portman is a talented actress who can hold her own against everyone in the cast. Plus nobody is wearing weird ugly CG clothes.

So that pretty much covers the movies I want to see in the springtime. Maybe I’ve sparked your interest in an upcoming film, maybe I made you decide not to see another, at the very least I hope I have entertained you momentarily.

 

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Nolan Bro’s Superman

Posted in Comics, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Parker Connell

So the internets are ablaze with the news that Christopher Nolan is working on both a third Batman flick as well as acting as a “mentor” for the next Supes picture. The Batman news is pretty rad because I really do enjoy Nolan’s work on The Caped Crusader, however, I am wary of Nolan doing whatever a movie mentor will do.

This is the first image that came up when I googled "movie mentor"

First and foremost let us get this out-of-the-way, I don’t really like Superman. Never really have, even as a child Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Biker Mice from Mars were my go to cartoon bad asses, then Spawn took over when I was like 8.

Significantly more rad than Superman

I was 11 when I saw the first 2 Christopher Reeve Superman flicks from back in the day, and even then I was rooting for Gene Hackman to win, even though I  totally knew that Superman won’t lose, because he can’t lose, because he wasn’t an interesting character. Superman is static to me.

Over the years I’ve learned to at least appreciate the cultural reasoning behind Superman’s popularity, but I still can’t bring myself to give a shit about a guy who can’t lose. So one would think that a darker, grittier, Dark Knight-esque Superman would be the thing to bring me into the Man of Steel fold, however, that could not be any further from the truth.

I have voiced my disdain for Superman but everyone keep in mind that one of my favorite comic series of all time is Grant Morrison and Frank Quitley’s All-Star Superman. Morrison actually gives Superman an interesting reason to exist and plays to the only interesting facet of Superman: the fact that Superman at this point exists as a Deity an all-knowing, all-seeing, benevolent being who just want to help. If a Superman movie actually needs to happen in 3-5 years why not make that and instead of Nolan “mentoring” why not get Grant Morrison because he knows his Superman, also I want to see a big screen evil sun!

Death at a Funeral 2: Port of Call New Orleans

Posted in movies with tags , on December 18, 2009 by Parker Connell

Above I have posted the trailers for both the Frank Oz (Yoda) original and the Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) remake of Death at a Funeral. Recently a lot has been said around the Blogosphere on the necessity of a remake of a film that came out less than 2 years ago. My two-cents on this subject is this: We all know that this movie is a remake, but what this post presupposes is maybe it isn’t?

I saw the Frank Oz’s DAAF when it was released on DVD and I thoroughly enjoyed it, Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage being my favorite parts. Shortly there after the Chris Rock/Neil LaBute “remake” was announced. Unlike most film fans I had no problem with this announcement, I am a huge fan of cover songs because I like to see what talented artists do with the music of other artists, and my feelings towards this are the same as my feelings towards cover songs.

My theories about the legitimacy of this being a remake started when I was watching the Chris Rock DAAF trailer and I saw Peter Dinklage in the same role he had in the original DAAF, that of the dead father’s secret lover. It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, this was actually a sequel, and the DAAF series (and if I am correct it will be a series) is actually about a small man who serial dates elderly closeted homosexuals with large families, waits until the men die then blackmail thousands of dollars from the families using photographs taken of the patriarchs in compromising and embarrassing, but none the less enjoyable, escapades with Peter Dinklage.

This opens up a whole new way to tell this story, granted they can’t really continue telling the same jokes about mismatched bodies (how often does that happen? Really?), men being mistaken for donkeys, or grumpy old uncles (although Danny Glover not playing a kindly old gent looks entertaining). Here is where I would take the series.

DAAF 3: Argentinian Adventures- Peter Dinklage extorts thousands from Juan Ramirez a neurotic car salesman

DAAF 4: Hong Kong Hijinks- Peter Dinklage takes thousands from an up and coming ad exec played by Jet Li (hey they could reverse the totally unfunny Jackie Chan joke that Chris Rock makes, have the funeral guys bring in a black man and Jet Li could say “You got Sydney Poitier in there” or if they feel Poitier would be too classy for the average viewer Li could say “You got Snoop Dogg in there”)

DAAF 5: Man in the Moon- This one would piss off the die-hard fans, but people who read a lot of Asimov would love it, Dinklage has an affair with a old robot and as the company gets ready to decommision the robot he reveals the pictures of the robot and Dinklage travelling across Europe.

DAAF 6: Murder at a Funeral: This would be the final entry. Dinklage has successfully made himself millions with his scam and now he is living it up in L.A. with a bevy of tan, young men. However he also wins the lottery, the biggest jackpot in WORLD HISTORY as it happens, and gets himself all over the news around the world. Which is bad because all the families that Dinklage blackmailed now know where he is, and it’s time for revenge. What follows is an hour and a half of ultra-violent action, I’m thinking the Bourne series meets Saw. It would end with Chris Rock, Alan Tudyk, and Jet Li stabbing Dinklage with an umbrella (which will be a reference to the 3rd movie once it is made).

I seriously hope the people behind these two films are reading my blog and decide to take it upon themselves to  make these films. If you do please send me a check, I only want like 4 grand and maybe a small percentage of the action figure rights from the 6th movie.

Happygerbaloon

Road to Film of 2009: Runners Up

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Parker Connell

Okay so let us begin this years best of by talking about the films that did not make it onto my top ten.

The runner-up category is always hard for me because these films were still great, and I think should still be seen, but I feel couldn’t quite edge their way into my top ten.

These are in no particular order or ranking.

Next Day Air: This movie was smart and funny. Like an inner-city Oceans 11 only a little more violent. Drugs, guns, gangs, and Mos Def all come together for a smooth running, well-directed piece of gangland comedy.

Drag Me To Hell: God damn this movie. This movie should not work as well as it does. However, that could be said about pretty much every Sam Raimi movie that doesn’t involve a super-powered teenager. With Drag Me to Hell Raimi is back in full on Evil Dead mode, comedy, frights, and violence blend perfectly into one of the best times I had in a theater this year.

Public Enemies: While Next Day Air was a comedic look at the crime world Public Enemies was all seriousness. Johnny Depp gives yet another performance that proves he is not just the guy who plays the wacky pirate. Christian Bale was also great as the man charged with hunting the great bank robber. I don’t know much about the historical facts behind this tale, but Micheal Mann kept me interested the entire time, which rarely happens for me with Mann films.

Funny People: Judd Apatow’s best directorial effort as well as the best film bearing Apatow’s name in any capacity. It isn’t nearly as funny as 40-year-old Virgin but anyone who holds that against Funny People totally missed the point. It is about people, and what the actual work that goes into making people laugh. This movie took the poorly mixed drama and comedy elements of Knocked Up and blended them more succinctly, maybe not perfectly but the best mix of Comedy and Drama since Punch Drunk Love.

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: This one and Precious (which is coming up later in the broadcast) were the two hardest choices I had to make when coming up with my top ten list. Having seen the original Bad Lieutenant earlier this year, and immediately loving it, I had high hopes for this one. Nic Cage, who I will go to my grave defending, and Werner Herzog, one of the best directors who ever touched a camera, working together to tell the story of a fucked up cop WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? It isn’t nearly as bleak as the Kietel/Ferrera Bad Lieutenant but, honestly, who needs two movies that bleak. I say get some friends together, pop some corn, get out your lucky crack pipe and enjoy the best Mega Acting you will see this century.

Coraline: 2009 was an amazing year for children’s fare, and Coraline started that trend off right. A horror film for kids that works at both empowerment for the imagination, and a cautious fable about letting imagination get the best of you. So much has been said this year of Henry Selick’s masterful work with stop-motion but it is all warranted. Not once does the veil of artifice break. You are never reminded that these are 12 inch high clay figures, you always believe these are living breathing characters, even when they turn into giant monster spiders. Saw it in 3-D and was absolutely astounded.

Precious: After I finished watching this disturbing film I thought it was a shoo-in for my top 10 list, but in a little while since then I have thought about it. Yes Gabourey Sibide gives a touching and brutal performance, and Mo’Nique did such a good performance that I totally forgot that she was Mo’Nique, Precious still delves into the cliché a little too often to be included with the top ten. Still see this movie if you like great melodrama.

So those are my runner-ups. They are all great films worthy of seeing.

Happygerbaloon

Road to Film of 2009

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Parker Connell

And here begins the road to the best film of the year, the year being 2009!

First I think it would be enlightening to post my movies of 2008 (full disclosure: This was posted on Facebook on new years eve 2008)

As 2008 rapidly approaches it’s end here in Montana, I realize that i must do my duty as a lover of movies to tell all you stupid people out there what films are good. So please sit back and relax as i tell you which movies i enjoyed in the classic Ten item countdown list starting with…

10: Wall*E- Animation at it’s most moving. Few movies about the destruction of the world, where the main character is an robot who doesn’t talk, and whose only friend is a cockroach, are as funny as Wall*E. While not the best animated movie ever, that of course goes to The Lion King, it was by far my favorite of the year.

Moving right along to number…

9: Iron Man- Comic book movies hit an all time high this year, and it all started with this gem. The first film Marvel produced completely independent of the major studios and it shows with attention to detail, and style that could only be produced by a comic company working directly with the filmmakers. Robert Downey Jr. gives another incredible performance that has made him as popular as he deserves to be, if you liked him in this movie or my number 8 film seek out A Scanner Darkly you’ll love it. Jon Favreau whose last film was the hilarious Elf, proves that he can helm a big budget action blockbuster!

In the name of all that is holy what is…

8: Tropic Thunder- Two in a row for Mr. Downey Jr., this movie made me laugh longer and harder (lol thats a good one) than any other film this year. From the moment I realized the commercial for “Booty Sweat” was a part of the film, to the end of Tom Cruise’s dance at the end, i was laughing. Ben Stiller proves that despite starring in shit like Starsky and Hutch, and Meet the Fockers, when he gets behind the camera it’s non-stop laughs. By far the best collection of small-parts and cameos in a film in a long time.

Why was 6 afraid of…

7: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- This long epic movie was spectacular in every sense of the word. Playing the titular man who ages in reverse Brad Pitt shines. His work throughout the film, coupled with the truly masterful special effects wizards, made you believe that a man who looked so old could be so childish. Also any movie that can tell such a simple story but leave such deep layers as to confuse the living shit out of me is a good movie in my book. Fincher’s best work since Fight Club.

Hey look over there is it…

6: W.- Very few of my friends saw it, which confuses me. Josh Brolin turns in the kind of performance oscars are made for. Pretty much every performance is spectacular, either right on impersonations of the figure portrayed (Thandie Newton and Brolin as Condaleeza Rice and W. jump out first and foremost) or so good you forgive the inaccuracy (James Cromwell and Jeffrey Wright as Bush sr. and Colin Powell). The only weak spot was Richard Dreyfuss whose Dick Cheney was like a bad Mad Tv sketch. Oliver Stone who is normally heavy handed when presenting politics in his films has created a truly even handed film.

What comes after 6 oh yeah..

5: Zack and Miri Make a Porno- leave it to Kevin Smith to make a love story about porno, and make it more inappropriate than your average hardcore film, and WAY WAY FUNNIER. The characters are classic Smith characters. Distancing himself from his view askewniverse by dropping Jay and his silent pal. If you like any of Smith’s previous films you owe it to yourself to see this, and if you don’t like any of his other films, you owe it to yourself to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

Comin’ round the track getting closer by the minute it’s…

4: Bottleshock- “What?” you are probably asking yourself “I have never heard of such a film!” well if that is what you are saying, I’m sorry because you missed one of the most entertaining true life movies about California Vineyards in the 1970’s that came out this year. Starring Chris Pine (soon to be the young Captain James T. Kirk) and Bill Pullman as wine makers in northern CA, Bottleshock is extremely funny, and truly heartfelt. Alan Rickman gives a superbly funny performance as a snooty British wine freak that alone is worth the price of a ticket, the fact that the rest of the movie is just as good should make you want to go out and at least rent it right now.

In the name of the father, the son and the holy…

3: Burn After Reading- Just a funny farce. The Coen Brothers follow up last years great, moody oscar winner No Country For Old Men with a film that by comparison is a piece of fluff. Oh but what a wonderfully crafted piece of fluff it is. With an all star cast of acadamy award nominees and winners including George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt, and John Malkovich playing a group of the biggest jerks and idiots this side of Philadelphia (a reference to a show, not to the actual city which ive heard is a spectacular place and i hope to one day go!) Burn After Reading will keep you guessing and laughing throughout. A real test of a filmmaker is to see if they can surprise you with violence and still make you laugh, the Coens and mister Pitt have done this.

Here she is…

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2: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army- I love this movie! No other movie, including my number one pick, took an idea and created a universe as completely as Guillermo Del Toro did with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Everything about this movie was epic, with a capital E-P-I-C, with set pieces that would look just as good on the pages of a comic. Ron Perlman reprises his role as the son of the fallen one and my favorite superhero Hellboy, and he is hilarious and perfect. Most fun action adventure film of the year, hands down.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, i bet you cant guess what i chose for number…

1: The Dark Knight- It should have been obvious from the beginning. Anyone that knows me, and i assume you all do, knows ive saw the movie 5 times in theaters and twice more since i got it on DVD. Everything about this movie is great. Heath Ledger need not be mentioned other than to say “HOLY SHIT WOW HE SURE WAS GOOD!”. Aaron Eckhart, who ive been a fan of since i first saw In the Company of Men, was spectacular as the tragic Harvey Dent, playing the opposite side of the coin to Christian Bales Bruce Wayne. Gary Oldman and Micheal Caine both wow on screen, well everyone does. Christopher Nolan can’t make a bad movie in my opinion, and I humbly await his next film, whatever it may be.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: these are a couple movies i saw in theaters and loved, but they didn’t quite make the list for one reason of another.

*Speed Racer- Saw it in IMAX and it was probably the most fun i had at the theaters. Fast paced, explosive, colorful, and childish (but in a good way) the Wachowski brothers show that despite the darkness of the Matrix films, they no how to make a fun, light-hearted flick after all.

*Punisher:War Zone- Saw this ultra-violent, over-acted, piece of trash with a group of friends and we all knew what we were in for. When i say trash i mean that in the kindest way humanly possible, it was just fun. Laughing and yelling at the screen my friends and I had a good ole time watching a tall man in black combat gear kill many many people in terrible terrible ways.

WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR:

Babylon A.D.- Vin Diesel’s latest piece of throbbing, pus-spewing, boil-covered, moose excrement was a science fiction fan’s worst nightmare. From the terrible story, and the even worse acting (when Mr. Diesel does the best job in a movie you know you have a problem) to the poorly directed “action sequences” you’ll be wishing for The Pacifier within the first 10 minutes. Until you get to the last act of the stupid fucking movie, then you will wish for a time machine, so you could go back in time and kill yourself before you buy your ticket to the movie. I’ve heard rumors that the DVD version is slightly better, even if this is true i would rather watch nine hours of a british man discussing different colors of paint than sit through Babylon A.D.