Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reviewing with Others, pt 72: Particle Fever

Hi, everyone! This week's entry of Reviewing with Others is for Particle Fever, a fine documentary about the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. If you want to read what I thought about it, just go to Man, I Love Films.

Friday, June 27, 2014

QftWo 6/23-29: Imposters #57 - 22 Jump Street

Well, I think this thing is just too damn bland. I don't mind the last-name announcement of the leads so much - the original film was a big hit, and the interplay between Tatum and Hill was supposedly a highlight. But the empty background is just boring, and no information about the movie is actually conveyed to the audience. This one gets a big thumbs down.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cursed Review

Cursed was aptly-named. Plagued by production problems, this movie was supposed to be the hot new venture by director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson, high off their success with the Scream franchise. Instead, their new werewolf picture fell flat on its face, critically and commercially.

So what went wrong? Well, in a lot of ways, Cursed was simply too much - too self-stylized, too familiar, and too overwrought. We open on two women at a carnival. They decide to see a fortune teller, receiving in exchange the gravest warning possible: "violent death! Avoid her!" The young ladies leave in fear and disgust.

Next, we're with Ellie (Christina Ricci). She's the lead here, and we're quickly introduced to her life: she works in TV (on The Craig Killborne Show), her boyfriend Jake (Joshua Jackson) is a nightclub owner/playboy who's dodging her, and she has a loser-ific younger brother, Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg), who always needs her to give him a ride. From the get-go, there is no connection between the opening and this segment, nor does it really dovetail into the premise.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Literal Falling Skies Trailer

Below you will find another nice job by the Literal Trailer gang. They're not as solid as the Honest Trailers or How It Should've Ended folks... But they do nail some individual jokes so well that I feel a certain fondness for them. This clip certainly isn't new, but I think you might enjoy their take on a trailer for the Spielberg-produced TNT series, Falling Skies.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reviewing with Others, pt 71: The Rep

Good news, everyone! I broke 150,000 hits this week! I know it's a silly milestone - Blogger still doesn't display the site traffic for my first six months - but it felt worth pointing out. Anyway...

I just finished reviewing The Rep, a Canadian doc about three guys who open a repertory theater in Toronto. If you want to read my opinions on it, go to Man, I Love Films.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bill Murray Bartending Classiness

Quick note: my regular off-site reviews are returning, finally. I just needed to have a few entries prepared before I committed to these steady Sunday posts. Anyway, :

I've shown Bill Murray a lot of love over the last long while. Every month, I post another tribute to his inventiveness and natural talent. So, now, I give you the classic Shangri-La story from SXSW 2010. Hell, I'll give it to you in Gawker's own words:
Bill Murray became a guest bartender at the music festival South by Southwest. As the way-too-excited guy at the beginning of the video will tell you, Bill Murray refused everyone's order and only poured tequila.

If I revere the man, it's for a pretty good reason, don't you think? Seeing someone who's so often so clearly inspired is always a blessing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

QftWo 6/16-22: Imposters #56 - Neighbors

It's a well-balanced and -composed image - dude with baby offset by different dude with a beer. I think the font for the title is really cool, and I love the way the deep red plays against all the other colors here.

But I don't like the poster, anyway.

The man on the right looks weird, like he's been photoshopped, while Rogen looks normal. The tagline "Family vs. Frat," works with the title to tell you what the movie will be like, yet that doesn't make it a good tagline.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How It Should've Ended: Star Trek Into Darkness

I won't even try to drudge up what I felt when I read reports and reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness, including DJ's take. I'd be going from second- and third-hand knowledge, and that's only good up to a point. What I heard in the months later makes my toes curl - in a bad way...

For now, I'll just say that the mild evisceration offered by HISHE represents an instance of going easy on them. Like most of life's problems or nuisances, STID just isn't worth getting angry about... But it is worth making fun of:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Imposters #55 - Draft Day

I actually think this is just fine. Today's poster features the lead, in context, and the tagline indicates that the action isn't going to be confined to the events of a football game.

I even like the differences between the fonts for the tagline and for the title, as well as the way the layout for the text over this image. The film tells you what it is, pitches its two big leads - Costner, Garner - and then shows the release date. 'nuff said.

The images in the background solidify the topic - the NFL draft - and if I had to guess, I'd say that Costner is either playing an ESPN employee, or he's a football exec. I actually read a review for the film, and my guesses "draft + football exec" were spot-on.

Damn, maybe I'm just proud that I managed to get a backlit nighttime photo of this glass-encased graphic and that my picture came out so well...

Friday, June 13, 2014

QftWo 6/9-15: Imposters #54: Edge of Tomorrow

Well, I can give the same criticism that I gave Elysium - generic damaged future background, oversized shot of the big-draw star, Tom Cruise. To this I can add the fact that the sort-of steampunk weaponry includes a sword, so this looks like a Japanese RPG game.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our Homemade Fan-made Gem!

So my friends and I built a table for a series of BBQs and whatnot. When people know what they're doing and have good access to materials, it's not all that difficult. Is it a bit tacky for me to promote this here? Maybe... But who cares? It meets all the requirements to be a Fan-made Gem, just like the 100+ entries I've posted before.

Naturally, tho, people shouldn't be happy with doing the bare minimum. The holes were drilled, everything was screwed in and tightened... We had a table - it was done.

But that's when you really see a person's creativity and style. That's when you pick up some spray paint, make a cardboard cutout, and create something like "Clever Clooney."

It's going on 6 weeks now since CC came into our lives and graced us with its presence. It doesn't matter if a little chip occurred about 7 days into its tenure. Whether it's covered in tools and appliances, plates of food to eat, or bottles of things to drink, it's nice to know that George's smiling face is looking up at us, sharing his love with the world.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Great Moments In... Villain-Henchman Interplay

Blade was a fine movie, really. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I think that it was very well-acted and -directed. While I may already sound like a brown-noser - until you read me trashing the sequels - I'm willing to admit that I also ate up the script.

I can go 50/50 with how I respond to Stephen Dorff, but I am all about Donal Logue. I like that he has a prominent part as Quinn, the friend and main henchman for Dorff's Deacon Frost. Logue does a good job as the ever-outmatched antagonist who mixes it up with Blade a lot.

Yet his semi-comic role works much better in light of the sincere amity he shares with his boss. Not only are both actors fine in all their scenes together, they really manage to come off as friends.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Imposters #53: Legends of Oz

Today, I won't really be analyzing the poster so much as I will talk about its placement. A few weeks ago, I was heading out to a party with my friends when we hit a nice intersection in Brooklyn. One major street crossed with the one we needed to walk down, and a billboard was placed on the side of a building, right on a big open corner.

The problem was that whoever set up the ad space (and whoever paid for it) didn't adjust for the fact that we're in Spring now.

So yeah, that's the view from just across the street, in the direction the ad is facing. I guess some taller cars will be okay, or people driving down the street instead of the avenue, but that is one serious blunder.

And then, when you do get past the tree blocking the view to stand in front of the billboard... Well, at night, the lighting is such that even different brands of cell phones register too much brightness for a good shot.

Friday, June 6, 2014

QftWo 6/2-8: Imposters #52: The Quiet Ones

Well, this is a very pretty image, and not just because I love chiaroscuro. The image is intricate, stark, and a bit confusing as well as unsettling. I like the down-the-middle offset, so that the text serves as the negative space here, even though (obviously) the area is actually being used.

Red was a smart choice for the font, as it further instills the idea that we're looking at a horror poster here. And the oversized "Quiet" also catches the eye quite nicely. While I'm not impressed by the "from the makers of" line, I do think that the tagline is creepy and should pique the interest of people who walked by this ad.

This is a very fine poster - much praise to whoever made it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Scotch Pronunciation with Brian Cox

First, a quick schedule update: for the last 14 weeks - since February 26th - I have had new Question entries to entertain and delight everyone. I even have a few more already prepared.

However, since I'm back to my off-site Reviewing with Others posts, I have more entries than I need; if I start posting 5 times per week, the next few months will be painful, and we can't have that. As such, my Imposters will once again double as Questions (as in, "what's wrong/right with this poster") until maybe August. Trust me, this will work out better for us all, and I'll have some good ones ready when they return. Moving on...

Esquire's website has a video series of Scottish actor and all-around kickass dude, Brian Cox. They've relied on his personal life and experience and done the drinking world a service: a real Scottish person explaining how to pronounce the names of over 40 different kinds of Scotch!

I can only find the full series at the link above - several Youtube reposters have cut the clips short - but this one is from Esquire's Youtube channel, and it's the proper length.

This series is two years old now, but you'd have to be crazy to not appreciate the synergy here. I hope this wonderful thesp just collapsed off of his chair when he was done with the list, and dreamed many happy dreams thereafter...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blind Spot: Rosemary's Baby Review

Hello, all! My pal Ryan McNeill over at The Matinee invited me to take part in his Blind Spot series. And, for my first entry, I chose a horror classic that I had never seen before, Roman Polanksi's Rosemary's Baby.

Have you ever ignored little warning signs from someone? A slip of the tongue here, a weird exchange there? You give people the benefit of the doubt, but it happens more often - until the other shoe drops, and you realize you don't know the other person well at all. Now, I'm not saying you're going to wake up in the middle of a Satanic ritual, but that dynamic plays a large part in Rosemary's Baby.

Of course, it all starts simply, with a young Manhattan couple looking at a new apartment. Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary (Mia Farrow) are young and in love, and they're oh-so excited to be taking a gorgeous flat whose elderly tenant recently died. Everything seems bright for the pair, even though an old friend warns them that lots of unfortunate things happened in the building they're moving into...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Reviewing with Others, pt 70: Red Obsession

Hi, all! I just finished watching and reviewing the award-winning documentary, Red Obsession. This fine Aussie film is narrated by Russell Crowe, and takes a deep look into the growing love of wine in China, and how its rising popularity in the Far East is having a big impact on wine prices as well as production.

I have a lot of things to say about the movie, but you should watch it even if you don't care much about those wonderful grapes - this picture is as much a crash sociology course on modern China as it is an exploration of some big changes in the world of wine. RO looks beautiful, it's only 74 minutes long, and it's now available via Netflix Streaming, so you have little excuse to not take a chance on it.

You can read my review here, at Man I Love Films.