Thursday, July 31, 2014

QftWo 7/28-8/3: Imposters #62 - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The large poster is, to my surprise, pretty cool. I like the colors, the font looks good, and the graphic advertises the film in general instead of just the actors (hell, they're not mentioned at all).

It's also just a very nicely-drawn image. It conveys conflict, and I like the use of a San Francisco landmark instead of one's from New York City or DC. Also, if I remember one of the reviews correctly, the climax of the last film was a battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, so that's fitting...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slate's Groundhog Day/Edge of Tomorrow Mashup

At the very end of May, Slate posted a pretty funny mashup of their own devising: the visuals from the trailer for Bill Murray's Groundhog Day combined with the audio track from the trailer for Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow.

It works quite well, and I think if you've seen Mr. Murray's classic comedy, you'll really enjoy the dialogue:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Moments in... Quotable Freak-Outs

Well, there's nothing really to say - anyone who's seen the movie Clue remembers and uses this line, as delivered by the great Madeline Kahn, at some point in their lives:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Trail(er)s:The Zero Theorem

Whether or not I've liked every one of them, each Terry Gilliam film is thoughtful, freaky, and very well-made. The Zero Theorem seems no exception:

Friday, July 25, 2014

QftWo 7/21-7/27: Imposters #61 - Deliver Us From Evil

I like what they're doing with the different fonts here, just like I like the film's title (heavy-handed, but likeable anyway). I LOVE the graphic - very creepy and tense.

So I don't want to take anything away from a job done well, but the line about the "NYPD Sargeant" makes me want to laugh my ass off. No one who's from here would give a lot of weight to that...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Inappropriate Soundtracks tackles The Matrix

In March '13, I featured the work of Youtube user called Boonehams. I found his Inappropriate Soundtracks work to be clever and funny, and I really hate that Youtube took down some of them. But time marches on, and we all love a good laugh, so let's look at Boonehams' take on the lobby fight sequence from The Matrix.

I really hope it's not just me, because this song is just wonderful - it's dead-funny, and a great accompaniment to the beautifully-choreographed violence:

God, it even matches Neo's character progression for the first film...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Trail(er)s: The Congress

If this trailer were any more meta, my TV would show a pair of hands that would reach out from the screen and choke me to death right now.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bill Murray Foodiness

It's a pretty odd choice to have an actor/artist/comic force of nature on a food show. Then again, I don't think many people would pass up a chance to chow down with Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations, much less to dine at X20 in Yonkers. And who in their right mind wouldn't want Bill Murray's company?

As always - hell, as expected at this point - Mr. Murray truly made the best possible use of his (and our) time:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

QftWo 7/14-7/20: Imposters #60 - Birdman

Major props go to the style of the painting itself, which reminds me of Russian propaganda posters or something. I also love the way the names of the cast are written, with such odd spacing...

And the overall effect of the image - a painting of Michael Keaton looking confused with a miniature version of Hawkman perched on his head - prepares me for some sort of satire and makes me want to laugh. It's the subtitle that drives home the idea.

For a poster that doesn't directly say anything about the film (save the title's connection to the thing on MK's head), I find this to be quite evocative. Lovely.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Honest Trailers: The Wolf of Wall Street

Gotta give it up to the Honest Trailers crew - their take on The Wolf of Wall Street is so damn funny:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reviewing with Others, pt 74: Coherence

Hi, everyone! Today's indie review is for Coherence, an incredible piece of low-budget, high-concept science fiction from a first-time writer/director. It's still in some theaters (e.g., Tucson, Denver, San Diego) now, which you can check on the film's official site, and it comes very, very strongly-recommended by yours truly.

My prior Reviewing with Others entries have all been films submitted for review, but I liked what I heard so much that I contacted the distributors and asked them to let me check it out. I was not disappointed, and you won't be, either. In many ways, this pic reminds me of Shane Carruth's Primer, and that's pretty high praise for lovers of sci-fi. It also gets bonus points for featuring Nicholas Brendon, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an he's in fine form here...

Anyway, you can read my thoughts here, at Man, I Love Films.

Friday, July 11, 2014

QftWo 7/7-7/13: Imposters #59 - From Dusk Til Dawn, the TV Series

From Dusk Til Dawn, the TV series...

Well, this is where we're at now, and it's only going to get worse. There was a Fargo TV show in the works when I took this pic - that one has Billy Bob Thornton, and a solid budget, so I thought it probably wouldn't stink. And, hey, it's gotten some pretty solid reviews.

I would be less cynical about this if there weren't even more TV remakes/reboots of old films that are on the way or in development.

Now, I have serious issues with Robert Rodriguez's pulp horror film. I can put all those aside, however, to tackle the overall reasons why this show is a bad idea.

For starters, the movie told one complete story. Spoiler alert - there are two survivors at the end, and we don't need to learn what happened to them next. The antagonists are all dead, so it's hard to think of a need to develop this further into a general "there's vampires in Mexico" ongoing concept.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Scream Review - Bloody, Perfect

The start of Wes Craven's Scream seizes your attention, like dirty words spoken at the moment of orgasm. A calm and familiar scene is made uneasy, then horrible - and most of the work is done through a series of phone calls and the bland voice on the other end of the line. Over that 13-minute stretch, I had one of my most tense and terrifying film experiences. It's why I go to the movies - to feel exhilarated.

With this harsh tone set, what follows is simple atmosphere: we move on to Sidney Prescott, a smart high school senior. After some sexy times with Billy, her boyfriend, Sid goes to school the next day. Only then does she learn of what happened the night before - the town is now buzzing from the worst act of violence since her own mother's murder one year ago. What will Sidney do now with violence all around and unwanted memories rising to the surface?

This 1996 pic was box office gold for Mr. Craven, and my 3-paragraph MRQ entry didn't do it justice, so I'll correct that now. He took a $15 million budget and an R-rating, then went on to earn over $103 million in the US from his work. Although it was so bloody and filled with so much malevolence, Scream did better than his previous 5 films combined. The secrets to its success were simple...

As with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven's most-famous effort, Scream focuses on a group of teens living in a quiet California town where hidden dangers come out through vicious antagonists and gruesome violence. But the similarities end there, since Wes didn't simply repeat himself: the kids were smarter, the threat wasn't supernatural, and the humor was even stronger than before.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Great Moments in... Mouthed Dialogue

Thaddeus's recent post on the tight Villain/Henchman chemistry between Donal Logue and Stephen Dorff in Blade made me think about my favorite moment in the movie, from the climactic fight between Wesley Snipes' Blade and Dorff's souped-up supervampire Deacon Frost (SPOILERS, obviously):

At the end there, Blade's "What the fuck?" isn't vocalized, even though the movie is rated R and has featured several F-bombs along the way. It's a great choice. The sequence is set up by Blade's habit--repeated throughout all the movie's action scenes--of posing with his back to his enemies after he has mortally wounded them.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reviewing with Others Pt. 73: Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation

If you like folk music, then you'll be interested in today's Reviewing with Others entry, Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation. This documentary is all about the rise of folk music in Greenwich Village during the 1960's. You can watch it for the topic, or because of the big names who are interviewed herein, or just because Susan Sarandon provides the narration.

My review just went up today and you can read it here at Man, I Love Films.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

QftWo 6/30-7/6: Imposters #58 - Transformers Age of Extinction

Bombastic yet bland, and incredibly simple. A true lowest-common-denominator graphic is about what I'd expect from a Michael Bay picture, although the man actually has a fine photographer's eye.

Let me ask you something: I'm looking at a weirdly-designed giant robot right? It's probably powered off of super nuclear fusion or something. So... why the f--k does it use a sword? Can someone tell me why it can't fight with lasers?...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Europa Report Review

When it comes to the way-tired genre of found footage films, there are pretty much two schools: fixed-camera story-telling, like Paranormal Activity (which I haven't seen), and mobile-camera stories like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. The first big shock of Europa Report is how good it is. The second big shock of Europa Report is that it uses a third style: the multi-camera, time-shifting, after-the-fact documentary.

In essence, ER plays like a really good PBS documentary about the events aboard a manned, privately-owned spaceship that was sent to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. Splicing present-day interviews with footage from the far and near-past, this movie shows us the importance of such a project, the impact that mission failures had on the people back home, and the perils faced by the brave astronauts.

First, I should say that I meant to see this in a theater last year but lisses out - I was so glad Netflix picked it up for Streaming. The theater would've been better, tho: this picture is filmed brilliantly. It looks beautiful, the fx are great, and the cameras are used quite cleverly. For one thing, the astronauts use the cameras to observe each other as well as their environment. For another, this movie really knows when and how to use darkness well. Visually, Europa Report is nothing short of arresting.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Stanley (not Kubrick's) Hotel

Happy July, everyone! I just wanted to let you know that my review of Europa Report goes up tomorrow, with reviews of Scream and Sunday RwOs coming up, as well an MRQ later in the month.

The Stanley Hotel is a 140-room hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. I had the pleasure of visiting Estes this year, and my love of architecture guaranteed that I was very happy to see such a beautiful building. My love of pop culture, however, guaranteed that I was thrilled to see the famed place that inspired a Stephen King novel, The Shining.

Unfortunately, Kubrick did not choose to use this location when he adapted King's novel into a somewhat well-known film. The Timberline Lodge on Oregon's Mount Hood was used for some exterior shots, and Kubrick had a life-size recreation to work with, but that's about it.

Sad as it is that I didn't get to see the exterior used in the film, this is a wonderful structure with an important place in pop culture history. I'm very glad I got to see it.