Thursday, June 21, 2012


Total Recall
The original 1989 Total Recall was the end result of a project that exchanged many hands and finally wound up with the maniacal director Paul Verhoven and muscular mutant Arnold Schwarzenegger. It had come very close to being a very different movie in many different ways. Check out it's trivia section on IMDB. Even if someone as brilliant as David Cronenberg had his vision destroyed by what the movie wound up being, I can't deny that the original Total Recall is awesome on so many levels. It stayed true to the mind-bending concept from Philip K. Dick's short story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. It gave Verhoven the opportunity to continue his legacy of satire-laced ultra-violence. It was also a fantastic production of innovative special effects, had a killer score by Jerry Goldsmith, and unforgettable makeup by Rob Bottin. It's filled with over-the-top character actors who behave like they are constantly involved in a dick-measuring contest -even the females. Then there is the entertaining performance by Schwarzenegger, which is kitschy and contains a huge amount of his animal-like screaming. SO... It's obvious why I carry on about the original: All this awesome shit is synonymous with the title, Total Recall. Trying to cash in on the fame of the name, Total Recall is low. Now I can't deny that this remake looks cool. It appears to stay true to the science-fiction concept and this time around it's filled with something I'm a sucker for, flying cars and mega-cities. I'm on the fence as to whether I'll enjoy a movie by Len Wiseman. The potential insult to doing a remake of anything, is that it implies that the original is expired and has little value to a modern audience. I just can't think that way about exploding heads on Mars.

It's good to know that Pixar is still willing to try new things. This looks like a different genre for them. It's a little hard to tell what the plot is within this trailer, but I can usually expect Pixar to deliver a good story. My only disappointment with them lately, is how WALL•E reached the peak of their ambition to make animation that rivaled all the other computer animation houses in the business. Nowadays Pixar movies look hardly different from those of Dreamworks. That's not a terrible thing. I'm just pointing out that computer animated movies today seem as though they're settling down and sticking to a visual formula so they can focus on other things like story. Or maybe they're preoccupied with prepping them for a 3D release.

I.... don't....know.... 
I am aware that this is the work of Seth Grahame Smith who delights in deliberate bad ideas as a writing challenge. This has humorous kitschy results. I do believe that the work of a great artist, is someone who can turn crap into gold. The most questionable choice, however, is Timur Bekmambetov as director. This weirdo Russian made the Nightwatch series and the stupid but kinda-fun Wanted. This is a dangerous experiment Mr. Burton.

In spite of his talent, Steve Carell's track-record for good comedies isn't very impressive to me. I wish him the best though. I also love Keira Knightley. 2012 is a great year for the movie's theme. Superstition aside, there is a big wave of apocalyptic-themed works in popular entertainment recently. I can imagine that this aims to be a relief comedy like Dr. Strangelove. The question is, will it wimp-out on it's heavy subject like another nearly-profound comedy called, The Invention of Lying

I love Woody Allen films. Though he may be in for another dud. He's made too many good movies in a row lately. Italians aren't too impressed with it but that just may be their bias. I'm not too thrilled that it's an inter-connected character movie. I feel like that approach is getting worn-out.

Oh my god! Can't wait! The director of Step Up 2: The Streets is making the long-awaited sequel to the beloved G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie? I'm sure no one else can wait as well- OHHH! It's release got pushed back to March 2013. Don't worry. They know they've got a masterpiece on their hands and it deserves the nine extra months for a 3D conversion to make it even better!

Soderbergh got Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey to be in a movie about male strippers. This director won't retire until he's tried everything possible.

Wow. Some writer's normally associated with sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies are doing something a little more down-to-earth. Could this result in being a movie like The Big Chill? Let's hope not.  

The Amazing Spider-Man
I'm not sure if this movie will be good or not. Will it please fans of the comic book? What is on my mind, is that it is too soon for a reboot of Spider-Man for people to get very excited. It's also a slap in the face to Sam Rami for making a couple decent Spider-Man movies only a short time ago -and that there isn't much in the trailer to suggest that the approach to this movie is dramatically different from Rami's. I will judge this movie on it's own but making comparisons will be tough to avoid.

Oliver Stone's been on a steep downhill ride for the past decade or more. Maybe distancing himself from politics and going back to drugs will help him.

Yes, I'm a Seth Macfarlane fan. No, I don't think he's good at story-telling or knowing how to keep any kind of thematic or tonal focus. Ted will most likely have those problems. But like Family Guy, it will probably function as an excuse to feature a lot of very funny characters and jokes. That's good enough for me.

Cross your fingers. Will Christopher Nolan's ambition be to this film's merit or detriment? Will the dreaded curse of the 'Part III' bring down this amazing series? We'll see! Same Bat time! Same Bat IMAX theater!
Formerly known as Neighborhood Watch until an event during the past year gave that name a bad connotation. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who I still think of as a very good comic writing team. Directed by The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer. Sounds promising.

William Friedkin still makes movies and evoke surprising performances out of his cast, no matter who they are. His last one was Bug, which proved him to still be really good at making me uncomfortable. This is a rare NC-17 release.  

The Bourne Legacy
No Jason Bourne in this movie. He's an all-new character who was in the same Treadstone program and he's played by Jeremy Renner. Conceptually, this is something that goes straight to video. It's clearly all about cashing-in on a franchise when you don't even have it's title character. On the other hand, it looks like they are being as creative as they can. The most promising element, is Tony Gilroy at the helm. Gilroy was a writer on all three Bourne movies and has since proven to be a very good director. The only screenwriter on the project besides him, is his brother. So we have a great actor, supporting cast, and a screenplay that didn't have too many cooks in the kitchen. This may work. 

Written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost Nixon) and Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener). Starring Ben Foster, Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, and Anthony Hopkins... I don't even care what it's about. There's nothing but talent attached to this film.

When they decided to do a sequel, I though they were getting greedy. How could you get that testosterone overdose of an ensemble back together without causing the world to explode? Well they did and they got more. Looks like dumb-guy-fun... or dumb gay fun? Eh. Both. 

Cool. Stop-Motion, kid-aimed Halloweeny fun. Why doesn't the movie industry ever try putting this stuff out in October?

Rueben Fleisher made a gangster picture. I'm not prepared to take any of this seriously. He's proved to make very fun dark and playful movies. This looks like an exploitation period action experience very far away from the Boardwalk. Can't wait. 

The Campaign
I'm Not a fan of Jay Roach movies from Austin Powers to Meet the Parents. But we do have a writer from Eastbound and Down on this funny looking flick with two great comic stars. It's also really cool to see Zach Galifianakis bringing his Seth Galifianakis persona to a movie for the first time.  

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