Monthly Archives: February 2009

Movie Trailer Review, Episode 26

Just saw the movie Taken and it was grade “A” awesome!  Four new trailers to review.

Terminator Salvation

This film is being directed by Mcg (who the hell calls them self Mcg?) and is being produced outside of the typical Terminator cannon because it is being produced without James Cameron on board in any way shape or form.  We all know that ill tempered Christian Bale is playing John Conner which is kinda cool and the film was written by Paul Haggis who has written some of the best screenplays in Hollywood in the last decade (Casino Royal, In the Valley of Elah, Crash, and Flags of our Fathers).  The trailer was cool… showed a tank rolling over some skulls, Christian Bale sounding like a Batman who is done trying and it pretty much tells us the entire plot of the movie.  I’ve never rated trailers on a number scale, but if one was terrible, ten was awesome and five was mediocre then I would give this trailer a four.

Haunting in Connecticut

Co-written by a guy who wrote Carnosaur and another guy who wrote Kalifornia (left and right punch, watch for the uppercut!) and directed by a first time feature directory (OOOOH!  There it is!  This film is gonna suck!).  The trailer is just awful and clearly draws on some of the most typical cliché is modern horror including a quick reflection in a television and strange markings tattooed all over a body.  I’m a little bit surprised that the trailer didn’t just give the end of the movie away because it sure didn’t hold anything else back.  The trailer seems to say to the audience “I think you’re too stupid to understand the images on the screen so I am going to walk you through each one step by step so that you’ll understand it an want to see the film”.  Of course it ends up having the inverse reaction and makes me want to destroy the print before I or anyone else has the misfortune of seeing it.

Angels & Demons

I only hope that Ron Howard learned what he did wrong in the first movie.  I liked how short this trailer was and I hope that the movie delivers.

12 Rounds

John Cenas daughter gets kidnapped by an escaped convict that he put behind bars.  Trailer suffers from the same thing the trailer for Haunting in Connecticut does.  The convict makes Cena do a bunch of errands like Die Hard; With a Vengeance.  This was a terrible trailer and looks like a terrible movie… so I guess it fits.

Verdict; movie was way better than the trailers.

-Josh

Short reviews of other Oscar films

Hello.

Revolutionary Road

I hated this film. It is dark and devoid of hope and is completely unlikable. I’m sure that is what Director Sam Mendes was going for and I respect it, but I don’t like it. The film touches on a lot of the same themes as American Beauty (also directed by Mendes) but where American Beauty was poetic and engaging Revolutionary Road was dark and depressing. Both Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio delivered fantastic performances but I don’t recommend this film.

Doubt

First off Doubt is a fantastic looking movie. The cinematographer was Roger Deakins. Something that I have noticed about cinematographers are either average (get the job done) or excellent and Roger Deakins is the best of the excellent. It isn’t like directors and actors who have performances that vary from film to film, if someone tells you that Roger Deakins shot the film you know it looks amazing. Blah blah blah. Doubt brings three great performances from Phil Hoffman, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. My only complaint about the movie is that it gets a little ‘stage play’ talky in the third act. The film was directed by John Patrick Shanley who also wrote the original play and screenplay.

Waltz with Bashir

This is an animated film that was Israel’s submission for best Foreign Film. It deals with a massacre that occurred at the Sabra and Shantila POW camp during the Lebanon war in 1982. More specifically it deals with Ari, a former Israeli solider who has blocked all memory of the event at Sabra and Shantila and how he reconnects with other soldiers that were there so he can try and remember his involvement with the event and come to terms with it. The film looks just stunning and the vector animation that drives the film really adds to the movement and momentum that live action just could not have delivered. If the academy was smart (which we already know they are not) they would have nominated the song ‘Beirut’ from the film for best song.

The Wrestler

This film was amazing. It knew what it had to do and it delivered on it in spades. This is by far the most straightforward film by Director Darren Aronofsky and it shows his impressive talent and vision with the film medium. Both the film and the director deserved nominations (which they did not get) for this film. Based on his performance in this roll and who he is up against Mickey Rourke earned this nomination and deserves the award.

-Josh

the Oscars as Marketing

I talk a lot about the Academy Awards so I’m suprised that I had never considered this before, but I was listening to the /filmcast that featured Stephen Tobolowsky and he brought up the interesting concept that the Oscars are nothing more than a marketing tool for films that are currently in the theater. Based on his theory The Dark Knight didn’t get nominated for best picture because it already made a bucket of money but the Curious Case of Benjamin Button is still in theaters and still has money to be made…

Maybe this is happening more and more over time, but there has been a lot of discussion about how the films nominated this year are amoung the lowest grossing films ever to be nominated.

-Josh