Random Thread for May 2012

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Today is Worker’s Day in Sweden. As a proud member of the bourgeoisie, I’m gonna sit this one out.

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  1. Universal has announced that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will write a Van Helsing reboot to star Tom Cruise.

    With Van Helsing and Riddick sequels on the way: are they trying to duplicate their summer of box office Hell from 2004? Will Sony counter with a Stealth reboot?

  2. I have a very bad feeling about TDK:R. I’m going to walk out if we have to spend more than ten minutes with JGL while Bale is trapped in a hole.

  3. I like the new Dark Knight Rises trailer, but there are many, many causes for concern. Of all of Nolan’s films, this is the first I’m really worried about.

  4. I thought the same thing. Very concerning. But I didn’t say anything because fanboys were fawning all over it. My initial first gut reaction? “Oh, boy”.

  5. I haven’t even watched it. I guess if I see it in a theater, I’ll have to watch it then, but otherwise I’m avoiding everything about it that I can.

  6. Normally I defend Comcast, but after tonight not so much. Their email service has been down for a couple of hours, although the message says to try refreshing in a few minutes. The guy I reached on the phone was kind of snotty–“Well, the email service is free,” and “all email services go down from time to time.” Fuck you, asshole. Maybe I should give Verizon a try.

  7. SLIM! For the love of all that is….please erase that comment and at least pretend to know what that’s from. ….pplllleeaassse.

  8. Nope. sorry. Had to Google it. I’ve told you I didn’t like Die Hard. But what puzzles me is what it has to do with anything that came before in this thread.

  9. Normally I defend Comcast, but after tonight not so much. Their email service has been down for a couple of hours, although the message says to try refreshing in a few minutes. The guy I reached on the phone was kind of snotty–”Well, the email service is free,” and “all email services go down from time to time.” Fuck you, asshole. Maybe I should give Verizon a try.

    Verizon is supposed to be decent (they’ve only made it as far as Greenwich here in CT) but if you general internet connection/speed is good, I’d probably just move my email to an online service like Gmail or something. If you use Gmail, you can even set it up to send/receive from your existing account if you don’t want to abandon it.

  10. Dude, XFINITY streampix.
    AH-mazing service and worth every cent..and worth any headaches.

  11. Saw the TDKR trailer in front of The Avengers today, and I’m good to go. Other than the Hines Ward football field thing, which seems wrong, it looks just fine to me.

    I also saw this trailer, and I’m trying to figure out how it got placement in front of a super-mega blockbuster when it looks like the kind of trailer I’d expect on a direct-to-video Lionsgate DVD.

  12. I also saw this trailer, and I’m trying to figure out how it got placement in front of a super-mega blockbuster when it looks like the kind of trailer I’d expect on a direct-to-video Lionsgate DVD.

    That is random. You’ve got to feel awful for that Brandon Routh, what a cruel joke the last six years have been for him.

  13. I saw the The Dark Knight Rises trailer before The Avengers, but not what I’m guessing is the first lacrosse movie in cinema history. At least until they make a movie about the Duke lacrosse team.

  14. Saw ‘The Five Year Engagement’ yesterday and am planning to write a full review of it to try and publish either today or tomorrow. So if anyone has seen it and has got a full review already in the works let me know and I won’t write it

  15. Sorry to have disturbed with the DIE HARD quote. Seeing Hart Bochner’s name made his best line from the movie come immediately to mind.

  16. Saw ‘The Five Year Engagement’ yesterday and am planning to write a full review of it to try and publish either today or tomorrow. So if anyone has seen it and has got a full review already in the works let me know and I won’t write it

    Have at it, Marco. I have no plans on seeing it.

  17. Brian and Slim are clearly talking about the same lacrosse movie, which makes it’s placement before The Avengers all the more bizarre. What chain did each of you go to (trying to find a connection)?

  18. film, yes I did see THE RAID and I enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s very low on plot (something I expect the sequel to manage a bit better), but it really is pure action bliss. The fight choreography is fast, brutal, creative and never hidden by choppy editing.

  19. re: Gravity

    I believe AICN ran a test screening review a few weeks back, I’m hopeful the studio isn’t tinkering due to low results.

    I don’t think it’s an issue of the film not being ready in time for November, as Cuaron was one of the finalists for the Hunger Games sequel (which he’d need to be working on immediately as production starts in a few months).

  20. An 80 million science fiction film shot on the Arri Alexa and not even shot for 3D and being post-converted is being pushed for a time when more IMAX screens are available?
    All I wanted in 2012 was to see what Cuaron and Lubezki could do with the Alexa. Is that too much to ask?

    And Rob: So many parts of The Raid are so good it’s almost unbelievable. The editing and sound design and cinematography just before and leading up to the big gun battle? …….action lover’s dream.

  21. I don’t know, Warners had to know about the IMAX screen situation months ago when they scheduled it. Doesn’t make sense. My guess is that they’re concerned with the film (and/or marketability) and tossed it off the schedule until they could figure out what to do with it.

    If Prometheus is a hit, they might move it to Summer I’d imagine.

  22. I’ve heard nothing but praise from folks who’ve seen the very rough cut of GRAVITY, so I doubt it’s a quality issue. Marketability on the other hand may be a factor.Bullock and Clooney are big names, but the last time Clooney went to space (Solaris) nobody went with him.

    Unrelated, but I just got back from Moonrise Kingdom, and it’s the best Anderson since Tenenbaums. I don’t know as it’ll win over new fans, but if you already like his work this one is a big step in the right direction after the partial misstep of Life Aquatic and the complete bust that is Darjeeling.

  23. I like Aquatic too, but I love the two that came before it so it was a step back for me. Aquatic works in parts for me, but the whole never quite sticks.

  24. Can’t all be among the best of the decade.

    Life Aquatic didn’t gel with me first time I saw it, but like most of his films it’s grown on repeat viewings. But, yeah, you’re right that it’s not as good as Royal Tenenbaums,

    Bottle Rocket is the one I never really got. I think it’s some kind of nostalgia (most of his films rely on that feeling) I’m not quite grasping.

  25. I’ve only seen Life Aquatic once, but I really was disappointed by it. As Rob says, Rushmore and Royal were so great that it was a big step down. But I like Darjeeling, even if it wasn’t up to the two R films. Still haven’t seen Bottle Rocket.

  26. I’ve liked all of Anderson’s films so far, although I’ve only seen Life Aquatic and Darjeeling once each. It’s hard to imagine him making a film I don’t like, frankly, although odds are that he will someday.

    I don’t think Bottle Rocket relies on any kind of nostalgia, exactly. To me, it just reflects the difficulties of a first film for someone with such a highly developed sense of story, style, and comic sensibilities. It’s a little rough around the edges, James Caan is out of place, and Anderson hadn’t quite figured out the finer points of story development and pacing. It’s a fully realized work and immediately recognizable as an Anderson film, but he got a lot better by the time he made Rushmore.

    But it endures because it’s more good-natured than a lot of his later films, and is surprisingly uncynical for a guy whose later movies have been varying degrees of acerbic. Which I don’t mean as a criticism, because I love his later films, more than Bottle Rocket; it’s just a different side of his work that hasn’t been in evidence much since.

    Plus, Dignan is a classic character. The film might have been a classic itself if it had been about him instead of Anthony.

  27. Dignan one of best characters of that decade. And there was a Vincent Vega, a Neil McCauley, a John McClane and a Daniel Day-Lewis Hawkeye and well, you get me.

    Bottle Rocket is a fantastic film. I watched it yesterday morning and just simply the *tone* of the thing hits in aces. It’s one of the best independents in the ‘independent decade’ with a remarkably sweet love story at the center sold incredibly well by Luke Wilson.
    What ISN’T good is the original Bottle Rocket short. Sheesh.
    And of course Tennenbaums is one of the all-time great movies.

    Why do all my favorite filmmakers make one film every 5 years? Cuaron, Anderson, Cameron (decades!)? At least Allen makes a film like every 2 years…..

  28. At least Allen makes a film like every 2 years…..

    Woody Allen, if that's who you mean, makes at least a movie a year and always has.

    Wes Anderson has never had a gap longer than 3 years, and with Moonrise Kingdom having debuted, has 8 films in 16 years since Bottle Rocket came out in 1996 (although it occurs to me that you may be referring to PT Anderson, in which case … yeah).

    But I know what you mean. Michael Mann made Public Enemies 3 years ago and still doesn’t have a followup set, and he also went 4 years between Heat and The Insider (which was agonizing).

    Aronofsky went six years between Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain, and still hasn’t started shooting his followup to Black Swan (the IMDb lists Noah as a 2014 release – we’ll see).

    In the old days, directors made movies constantly, and you’d get a lot of inconsistency in the bargain. John Huston, for example, has over 30 films to his name over a career of 45 or so years. Some of those are masterpieces, and some are, from what I understand, nearly unwatchable, with a fair amount in between. Pick a classic Hollywood director, and you’ll get a similar story.

    So, I understand that filmmakers can’t be both prolific and consistently great. But at least prolific is interesting. There’s nothing more deflating than something like Miami Vice, because Michael Mann films just don’t come along very often, and when they’re not great it feels like he wasted a big chunk of his career.

  29. So, I understand that filmmakers can’t be both prolific and consistently great. But at least prolific is interesting. There’s nothing more deflating than something like Miami Vice, because Michael Mann films just don’t come along very often, and when they’re not great it feels like he’s wasted a big chunk of his career.

    An amazing discussion topic. And having just read The Studio, it’s amazing to think about the ‘contract directors’ churning out movie after movie with hits and misses and good tries. The entire idea of waiting 4 or 5 years for a movie and then to see one like Miami Vice and then knowing 4 or 5 years exist until the next one… (The Master BETTER be *half* as good as There Will Be Blood…..ppplllleeaaassseee).

    And yeah, I was talking about PT. When has Allen had two films in the same year? I didn’t think he did.

  30. In ’87 both Radio Days and September were released. And though it’s listed as a 2004 released, Melinda and Melinda was released in March ’05, and Match Point was released in December ’05.

  31. What in the wide world of sports is September?! How do I not know a Woody Allen title?

  32. I don’t hate September, actually. It’s certainly better than much of his work in the last 12-15 years (Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Small Time Crooks, Hollywood Ending).

    Allen REALLY dislikes September, though. He shot it once, hated it, and made it again with a new cast. He’s stated in interviews that he wished he had a third try at getting it right.

  33. I don’t hate September, actually. It’s certainly better than much of his work in the last 12-15 years (Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Small Time Crooks, Hollywood Ending).

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I found some laughs in those films, while September was one like long headache to me.

    Allen REALLY dislikes September, though. He shot it once, hated it, and made it again with a new cast. He’s stated in interviews that he wished he had a third try at getting it right.

    He also hated Manhattan. He offered to do a movie for free if United Artists didn’t release it. I’m glad they didn’t listen. Except for one poor misguided soul that I know of, everybody likes Manhattan.

  34. Good list. It’s a little geeky for that list, but Vincent Ward’s Alien 3 should be on there along with David Cronenberg’s Total Recall and Basic Instinct sequel.

    I’ve always tried to imagine what horrors Cronenberg would have unleashed on poor Sharon Stone.

  35. I saw a “Legalize Racial Profiling” bumper sticker on an SUV yesterday. It’s interesting how the racism of many is just bubbling over now, they’re not even trying to hide it.

  36. There was also a bumper sticker in Arizona (which is doing a good job of becoming our wackiest state) that said “Don’t Renig in 2012.” A quick check on Google shows you can buy them from many places.

  37. I seriously can’t breathe properly. Thank the movie gods, I promise I will never bad-mouth mumblecore again if this can also live in the same pantheon as that.

  38. Emergency rooms and biopsies. Always a great way to start the Summer. Problem #1 is resolved and Problem #2 isn’t as bad as could be, which is great. Hopefully life goes one without any further problems.

  39. I echo filmman’s sentiments, James. Glad things are better.

    Last year started off the same way for me, and in fact I’m headed back under the knife in a few weeks to repair something else. Not a great way to start the summer, but the alternative is worse.

  40. Get well, James.

    I have one upcoming that they keep pushing forward. Not fatal or anything, but they can’t seem to find the root cause. Had to go under one of those 3d scanners the other week. Don’t know if they found anything yet.

  41. Yeah, I was just about to do a posting about the GI Joe move. This is completely unprecedented (as far as big budget filmmaking goes) and for the life of me I can’t figure out the rationale.

    Prints are apparently done. Promotional tie-ins are rolling out (the toys are already in stores). The television and print campaign has started. Whatever slight “bump” they’re going to experience due to 3-D pricing isn’t even going to begin to cover the tens of millions they’re burning with this move.

    Is it any surprise the movie is awful? Does Paramount actually believe the audience for this gives a shit? Just open it and let the chips fall where they may. I can’t imagine a year of tinkering is going to help matters, particularly when the stench of failure has a year to attach itself to the flick.

  42. And what about this move for MiB3??

    Dear Amazon.com Customer,

    Customers who have shown an interest in similar titles might like to know that Men in Black 3 is now available for pre-order on Blu-ray.
    While supplies last, customers who pre-order the Blu-ray will receive one ticket to see Men in Black 3 in theaters starting Friday, May 25.

  43. Pre-order the movie you haven’t seen yet and get a ticket to see it before you own it. Seems desperate.

  44. Sounds like very savvy marketing targeted at the people who don’t go to the movies anymore and only order dvd’s and blu-ray’s.
    They’ll buy while it’s fresh in the mind and it’ll give them more incentive to get into the theater.

  45. Pre-order the movie you haven’t seen yet and get a ticket to see it before you own it. Seems desperate.

    “Man, that movie sucked… fuck!”

  46. Re: MiB3 Isn’t the game usually:
    – Re-release previous film(s) in new packaging just before new movie opens and promise a ticket or two with every purchase, hopefully forcing the fanatics to buy another copy
    – Release new film in theaters.
    – Release new film on home video in the fall
    – Release the whole dualogy/trilogy/quadrilogy in a package at the following Christmas time hoping to quadruple-dip?

    Plus redemption for this seems a little convoluted.

  47. Retaliation pushed back to include more Channing Tatum!!!!!! Muwahahahahahahahaha…

    On a side note, good to see you posting again, Nick-wait, what the-THAT IS AMAZING!

  48. Thanks, although main reason I’m posting more now is that I have more time now that I’m on vacation. Hard to post from work with all the security in place and it’s a pain writing on this blog with the phone.

  49. Michael Haneke has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year for Amour, giving him a Palme win for two straight films. Quite a feat.

    Carlos Reygadas, whose Silent Light was one of my favorites from a couple years back, won the Best Director prize.

    The Grand Prix (basically the second place film) went to Reality, directed by Matteo Garrone, whose previous film was the very good Italian mafia film Gomorrah.

  50. Saw an interesting double feature in New York yesterday: Moonrise Kingdom and Greed, the silent film by Erich von Stroheim. Reviews to come.

  51. Can’t wait to see what you thought of Moonrise Kingdom, Slim…can’t wait to see it.

  52. Did anyone watch William Monahan’s London Boulevard? I’m about half-way through and I’m pretty surprised at the sloppiness, even for a first time director. Too bad, given the cast.

  53. I take back what I said earlier – the first half worried me as we kept bouncing from subplot to subplot (the homeless guy, the homeless guy’s killers, the burial plot, the alcoholic sister, Farrell’s doctor, Farrell’s doctor getting involved with the sister, etc) but it finishes pretty strong. I’m still really not sure what the main plotline is, but it was enjoyable overall.

    Monahan must have really liked Layer Cake, because this feels like a pseudo-remake at times.

  54. Bourne looks great. I’m surprised (happily) that it’s not an actual sequel, but a a storyline running parallel to the events in the original films. I’m not sure how that will work out for the studio, as it only makes Damon’s absence more glaring, but it’s a nice twist.

    I kind of wish they’d gone the Bond route and just cast Renner as Bourne.

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