Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner’s Catch-Up Corner: I’m the Most Excited for Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch
August 11, 2010

It’s been over a year since I last threw on my gay claws and tippity-typed up a frothing homo frenzy about Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder’s live action follow-up to Watchmen, and so much has happened since then, y’all.  Carla Gugino helped unleash the candy-colored Kraken of camp that is Women in Trouble, and Zack Snyder made an animated family film about owls:

One of these makes me cackle because it’s fabulous, and the other makes me cackle because my brain cannot comprehend that it’s a thing that actually exists.  You’re welcome to try and figure out which one’s which, but please, don’t strain yourself.

ANYWAYS, more important than any of that stuff tangentially related to my Sucker Punch anticipation is the fact that the teaser phase of marketing has finally kicked-off.  This explains why we’ve now got six character-based teaser posters over at the film’s official website.  There’s one for Emily Browning as Baby Doll:

One for Jamie Chung as Amber:

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Angelina Jolie in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
August 3, 2010

Estimated budget of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as according to Box Office Mojo?  $70 million.  Total worldwide box office of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, again, as according to Box Office Mojo?  $57, 958, 696; in other words, just shy of $58 million.  If you’re going to be an accountant about it, I guess that makes Kerry Conran’s loving homage to Classic Hollywood film serials, kitschy sci fi aesthetics, and New York City architecture in the late 1930s (seriously, the scene where Gwyneth Paltrow goes into Radio City Music Hall is an instant Art Decorgasm) something of a box office failure.  Not an outright bomb, for sure, but also not about to get Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 2: 2 Late for 2morrow greenlit any time soon.  BOOO, 0bviously.  Obviously?  Obviously.

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Veronica Cartwright in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
July 14, 2010

There are plenty of actresses out there who deliver perfectly serviceable freaking-the-f*ck-out FACE, but I will forever stand by the notion that Veronica Cartwright had a hot moment in the late ’70s where–between Ridley Scott’s Alien and Philip Kaufman’s superlative remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers–she made it her business to lose her shit on a completely different level.  I mean, have you seen her in Invasion of the Body Snatchers?  Frightened Veronica Cartwright and bugnuts hysteric Veronica Cartwright are basically the same thing, which simply goes to show how much she COMMITS.  Seriously, a long-standing appreciation of scream queens has taught me that there’s many a way to portray fear on film, but nobody else does it with quite the same panache as Veronica Cartwright.

And as usual, don’t hesitate to click to enlarge and appreciate the fabulousness of it all.

Let’s Go BRODYQUESTin’
June 3, 2010

Adrien Brody co-starring with Sarah Polley in Splice:

Adrien Brody starring in and being special enough to get his own poster for Predators:

predators poster royce adrien brody

Adrien Brody going on his BRODYQUEST:

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Code Red Nerd Altert: Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequel Is Going to Be in 3-D!
March 6, 2010

Let’s not pretend my feelings could have changed since the last time we talked about this:

Because they haven’t, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  After all, I once tried really hard to convince myself that AVP: Alien vs. Predator was not a colossal disappointment that made my soul hurt, and if that doesn’t speak to the lengths my love of the Alien franchise will take me, then you’ve obviously never seen AVP: Alien vs. Predator, and oh how I envy your unsullied eyes.

Anyways, ComingSoon.net has picked up on a story from Shadow Locked in which Roger Christian (who was art-director for the original Alien) claims that Ridley Scott’s intending to make his upcoming Alien prequel in 3-D, though I’ll let his own words take it from here:

Ridley’s doing the next Alien in 3D. Ridley told me some of his ideas when we were here in Toronto. He has a very clear understanding of where this should go. They kind of stopped dead one of the greatest horror franchises there’s ever been, and it had legs to go on. So I’m hoping he’ll revive another three. The world certainly wants it, and the fans want it – everybody.

Sure, Hollywood’s current obsession with making every potential blockbuster a 3-D spectacular already has me near fatigue, but Alien built its tension through its brilliant use of space, which means I can’t even imagine the throes of ecstasy that Ridley Scott moving his camera through a cavernous, Nostromo-esque ship will bring when it’s in 3-D.  Seriously, I really can’t handle news this nerdgasmic, so I’ll just let my Photoshop Skillz speak on my behalf:

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Ridley Scott Will Be Directing the Alien Prequel, and I Will Be Seeing It
July 31, 2009

Hollywood, the succubus of creative thought and artistic vision, has done something right for once.  While the bulk of the time they spend bleeding good ideas dry with endless sequels and remakes and franchise reboots tends to send me into fits of brick-shitting rage, there’s the occasional instance where the Hollywood money hungries leads to it making something genuinely likable.  Movies such as Star Trek, which was really great!  Or The Dark Knight, which was flat out brilliant!  These things can happen, and it’s for that reason that this little tidbit of news has me thoroughly giddy:

alien prequel

Seriously, the Alien franchise is admittedly one to which I’m incredibly faithful.  I sat through the miserable train wreck that was Alien vs. Predator and then somehow decided that I still had to waste my money on Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.  I actually kinda like the utter insanity that is Alien Resurrection in a camp sort of way.  I’ve long ago abandoned the hope that the material would ever again approach the quality of Ridley Scott’s original masterpiece or James Cameron’s exceptional sequel, but news of Ridley Scott returning to helm a prequel proves that hope does indeed spring eternal.

I’m certain there’s plenty of time for plenty of bad ideas to arise and ruin what could otherwise have been an excellent movie, but right now I couldn’t care less.  Ridley Scott’s vision defined the Alien franchise, and it will always be the one to beat.  The derelict spacecraft the Nostromo receives the distress call from is a stunning achievement in art design and set  production, and any opportunity for Scott’s camera to return to those strange caverns is fine by me.  Plus we can hopefully finally get some answers to the most important question about Alien that’s ever been asked:

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The Virtuality Catastrophe: A Failure to Launch
July 2, 2009

A post by Shmathan…

It is a matter of public record that I have a frightening obsession with deep affection for Battlestar Galactica.  The word “frak” entered my vocabulary with such regularity that my exasperated friends had to forbid its use.  I approached every situation by asking myself, “What would Starbuck do?”  I prayed every so fervently to the Lords of Kobol that I would be revealed as the Final Cylon.  When group plans are made, I always end with “So say we all.”  Consequently, my anticipation for Ron Moore’s next creative project, Virtuality, was understandably great…and he did not disappoint.

Virtuality was intended to be the pilot episode of a full series, following the lives of 12 crewmen on Earth’s first starship, the Phaeton.  The ship is on scientific mission of exploration to that takes on epic importance when it became known that Earth faces an imminent ecological disaster; suddenly, the ship’s mission to explore a new solar system offers the only hope finding a new home for humanity.  The show’s title is derived from two interesting aspects.  The first is the presence of a sophisticated virtual reality system, controlled by an 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque AI, meant to give the crew some relief from their ten-year incarceration in a rotating tin-can.  The second is the fact that the entire journey is being broadcast back to Earth as a reality tv show (complete with confessionals!).  As the show opens, we are introduced to the cast-crew of the Phaeton.  As it progresses, we watch things go terribly wrong as the moment nears in which they must choose to “Go, or no go”; to launch themselves into the void, or return home.   As a pilot it was engaging and compelling, with moments of sheer awesomeness (of near Battlestar proportions) as it offered the most tantalizing glimpses into a far-out space odyssey/psychological thriller that would have challenged the very notions of reality and perception.  Unfortunately, it is all for naught, as Fox failed to pick it up as a series; yet another example of the network’s failure to appreciate and support quality science fiction.

Spoilers, and a rant against the Fox network’s horrid priorities, ahead! (more…)

RIP, Captain EO
June 26, 2009

I debated about writing anything in regards to Michael Jackson’s untimely passing.  There are bigger fans who can better articulate how much he mattered to music and pop culture as a whole.  When you realize you’re best equipped to discuss his slow descent from King of Pop to the Grand Poobah of Eccentric Celebrity Curios–the Howard Hughes of music, if you will–you kinda realize it’s quite not your place to chime in during a time of mourning.  I mean, do you really want to look like this asshole?  Hell no.  Besides, I will always appreciate the fact that I get to share my name with his 1972 ballad devoted to a rat.  Top that, people named Jude.

Anyways, I’ll simply pay my respects with one of my favorite moments in Michael Jackson’s career:

captain-eo

That’s right, Captain EO, the 1986 sci-fi/musical 3-D short film staring Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston (who scared the living hell out of me when I first saw it).  It’s rather ridiculous in and of itself (small wonder I love it so), but knowing that it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and co-written by George Lucas make it pretty profoundly wonderful.  There may be greater moments to highlight in his career, but I’ll never forget my parents taking me to see Captain EO at age three when we visited Disney World.  It’s that sort of unforgettable impact that is the real testament to this man’s work.  It’s part Star Wars, an ample aesthetic splash of Ridley Scott’s Alien, and all Michael Jackson magic.  After the jump, in its YouTube entirety, I give you the 80s nostalgia-bomb that is Captain EO:

Michael Jackson, 1958-2009.  You will be missed.

The Box Trailer Gives Me All Sorts of Vapors
June 25, 2009

And not just because it looks great.  Don’t get me wrong, The Box does look badass.  Really:

Having grown up in the South, I’ve gotta admit that those Southern accents are kinda terrible, but otherwise there’s so much to love!  Like Cameron Diaz’s hair (so feathered, so fabulous!), and James Marsden (make him a star, Hollywood!), and Frank Langella super creepy busted face (so obscured, but still so scary!).  And then there’re all that unsettling surreal imagery and the fact that this trailer is thankfully edited to maximize the head-trippy weirdness and minimize your understanding of the overall narrative arc and, damnit, why must it not be out ’til October?  I’ve only so much patience to give!

Of course, I must admit that I may be totally biased.  I genuinely enjoyed Donnie Darko as the cult classic that it is, and Southland Tales was such a gloriously batshit insane fever dream of pop culture and political frustration that it was easily one of my favorite films of 2007.  That movie’s fairly been considered a cinematic train wreck, but it’s one of the wonderfully compelling train wrecks I’ve ever seen.  And besides, as we’re all well aware, I love me some train wrecks.  The fact that The Box seems more narratively focused just gets me all sorts of giddy.  But like I said, I just might be biased towards liking anything Richard Kelly does.  Why?  Here’s why:

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Wild Horses Cannot Drag Me Away From Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
June 24, 2009

Robo-testicles?

Check.

Wonky-eyed, racist caricature-bots?

Check and double-check.

Megan Fox giving lessons on how to dress appropriately for work?

megan fox infinity

Then there are the reviews, which confirm what I’ve long suspected.  Ladies and gentleman, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which is at long last in theaters, seems like it’s going to be one seriously ferocious train wreck, no CGI necessary.

I may no longer be a teenager, and I certainly never was a straight man, so the reality of the situation is that I’m definitely not this movie’s target audience.  There will be no Shia LaBeouf in hot pants slouched over a motorcycle, and there are no reports of a gay robot that wishes all the Transformers could stop fighting and start striking a pose.  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be loud and stupid and completely devoid of any positive social value, but it will at least be one thing other thing, and that thing will be over-the-top camp.  

“But wait,” you ask, “isn’t camp bedazzled, transparent badness capable of launching gays into giggle fits?”  Indubitably, my dears, but hear me out.  

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Gerard Butler Will Do Anything for a Klondike Bar
June 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I always think of the first phrase “hot piece” when Gerard Butler comes up.  Yes?

gerard_butler

I tend to prefer my men’s facial hair to be a little more trimmed, but I most certainly wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.  Something about him just screams “roguish devil,” and those eyes are simply incredible.  Anyways, because he’s payed his dues [aka, screaming all his lines in 300 (a terrible, terrible movie that I unfortunately saw) and posthumously sending Hilary Swank on a ridiculous scavenger hunt in P.S. I Love You (a terrible, terrible looking movie that I fortunately avoided like the plague)], 2009 is going to be his breakout year.  Why?  He’s the lead in not just one, but two movies!  He’s got The Ugly Truth, a rom-com designed to appeal to the ladies:

Yeesh.  Are Hollywood’s notion of ladies in actuality brain-dead, zombies with a penchant for masochism?  

I know that most people think of Katherine Heigl as that actress from Grey’s Anatomy who wears the same pair of bitch pants every day when she goes to work, but I really like her.  She was charming in Knocked Up, and she’s the best part about the second season of Grey’s Anatomy (other than Sandra Oh and Sandra Oh’s fabulous hair).  She even made me think about seeing 27 Dresses, so she obviously has a hold on me.  Still, this movie looks terrible!  And not in a fun way!  

Who thinks these bullshit gender wars movies are insightful entertainment?  I get it, Hollywood: women are all about communication and emotions, and men are all about boobies and sex.  Neat.  I could go on and on about how this movie isn’t worth seeing because it relies on lazy observations about the sexes for cheap laughs and how we already know that Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler will get together in the end.  Really, though, I think the trailer says all that for me, so let’s spare me the carpal tunnel and move right along.

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Now That We’re Back in Blog Action, Let’s Discuss Star Trek
May 14, 2009

star trek wicked awesome

Sometimes you need a blog break, a short hiatus to take a blog breather and recharge your blog batteries.  Some people take this is the form of a stay-cation, or perhaps they take a debauched long weekend in Las Vegas, or maybe instead it’s a quiet rest in a cabin in the mountains that’s far away from civilization.  In my case, you spend time with the family for Mother’s Day.  And you see Star Trek.  Hot damn does that movie ever do the blog body good.  

I recognize, what with it only being a mere two weeks into summer movie season and all, that I may be veering into full-on nerd hyperbole by making the following statement, but seriously, y’all: Star Trek is this summer’s best escapism.  It really has everything you could ask for in a summer movie.  There’s Chris Pine being hot and brash as James Kirk.  You’ve got Zachary Quinto being hot and Vulcan as an emotionally complicated Spock.  Eric Bana does his magic (aka, being hot) while also being evil and bald as the villainous Romulan Nero.  We also get Zoe Saldana being hot and feisty fierce as Uhura, and James Cho also being hot and doing some totally bitchin’ sword fighting as Sulu.  And, oh yeah, there’s also some of the most dazzling (and in all likelihood the most coherent) action sequences you’ll see all summer.

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This Star Trek Poster is Excitement Icing on the Amazing Cake
May 6, 2009

Fact: The new Star Trek looks totally incredible, y’all.

As such, I challenge to find a single thing wrong with this poster:

star trek poster

Ha, trick question!  This poster is flawless.  FLAWLESS.

Lots of movies get made, and they all have posters.  Some posters are good, and other posters are bad, and a select few posters just make you shut up and silently freak your shit out on the subway platform as you hope you don’t publicly wet yourself and silently and speedily repeat in your head, “CANNOTWAITCANNOTWAITCANNOTWAIT.”  Such is this poster for Star Trek.

From the very first teaser trailer, J.J. Abrams and the crew responsible for advertising the Star Trek reboot have done a fine job at tapping into the iconography of the classic series while also trumpeting this as a unique reinvention of a visionary franchise, and this poster is no exception.  If the Star Trek franchise has gradually grown into a parody of itself over the years (or, at the least, so bloated as to warrant parody), then Abram’s film looks to shake the series free of those shackles.

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The “Plot” for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is Even More Ludicrous Than Expected
May 1, 2009

The final trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has arrived, and it makes me yearn for the days when it looked like this movie was just going to be two hours of Michael Bay’s patented brand of “high art” (robot carnage and lots of explosions).  Just look at this mess:

So let’s get this clear: Shia LaBeouf touches that shard thing, has an acid flashback, and then proceeds to scribble ominous hieroglyphics anywhere and everywhere possible.  All of this somehow relates back other hieroglyphics found around the world that seem to have something to do an impending robot war.  A war that, amongst other places, will take place in a college library.  Riiiiiight.  I’m not saying that this is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever seen, but, really, it’s totally the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever seen.  This of course means I have to see it as soon as is Earthly possible.

I’ve never seen a movie enter such crazed stratospheres of absurdity in its attempt to string together set pieces.  These action sequences are held together by the narrative equivalent of Batshit Krazy Glue.  I recognize that trying to find a glimmer of logic in a movie about battling robots that’s directed by Michael Bay is a foolish endeavor, like going fishing in a bath tub or me making love to a woman, but really?  Most movies require you to suspend your belief, but Transformers 2 is looking as though you need to jettison it off into the darkest recesses of space. Well played, Michael Bay.  You’re officially the craziest man in Hollywood, and I mean that with the utmost respect.

Also, judging from the trailers, Megan Fox’s character doesn’t go to college because she’s staying back home and working as a motorcycle mechanic.  The sexy motorcycle mechanic who wrote THE textbook on dressing appropriate for work, natch.  Seriously:

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The Boycott Against the Videodrome Remake Begins Today! Long Live the New Boycott!
April 27, 2009

In the past weeks, I’ve oh so gradually begun to rethink my initial and total disgust at the prospect of a Nightmare on Elm Street remake, in large part because of the rather inspired casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.  I still remain hesitant, of course, but I’m willing to lay off the knee-jerk backlash for a moment in favor of (incredibly) cautious optimism.

This reaction, however, will never ever EVER be the case with the just-announced Videodrome remake that’s to be written by Ehren Kruger, the man responsible for both some pretty damn good (Arlington Road, The Ring) and really damn dreadful (Reindeer Games, The Ring Two) movies.  I already feel thoroughly confident in saying that this remake will firmly fall into the latter camp.  I mean, just consider this tidbit that Variety reported on the remake:

The original “Videodrome” starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming “Videodrome,” a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers.The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.

Neat.  Because despite it being one of the most fascinating and ambivalent takes on media and technology and sex and violence in modern culture, I totally forgot that—since it was released in 1983–Videodrome clearly has absolutely nothing to say about our current moment.  It really might as well be about people in Victorian England, or maybe the Stone Age.  Really, just look at this:

Yikes!  Looks like David Cronenberg got it all wrong the first time.  Videodrome obviously can only interesting as a “large scale sci-fi action thriller.”  Movies with any restraint and minimalism are sooo booooooring.  So are practical special effects.  The only way to make Videodrome interesting or relevant is through CGI and explosions. Universal is clearly right with this remake, and I’m just a dunderhead who writes total nonsense!

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Only Grows More Absurd With Every Passing Day
April 2, 2009

I’ll never in a million, bajillion years make an argument claiming that what Michael Bay does behind a movie camera can be called art; I’ll leave that to Criterion.  I will, however, always been willing to make the argument for Michael Bay as the Grand Poobah of Blowing Shit Up.  Plot frequently takes the back seat to absurdly choreographed, incoherently edited action sequences.  Of his oeuvre, Transformers is indubitably his masterpiece of exploding batshit insanity.  Any movie that involves giant robots blowing things up, screaming their names whenever possible, and peeing on John Turturro doesn’t even care to masquerade as a coherent narrative operating in a world governed by logical thought; it just wants to be the best at being awesome.  Mission accomplished, Mr. Bay.  

Now we have Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen heading to theaters this summer, and even the trailer shows off that Michael Bay obviously directed this movie in the most finely tailored pair of haute couture crazy pants that the world has to offer:

The distinct lack of any suggestion of a plot beyond robots fighting each other makes me think this is an extended teaser trailer, and the fact that Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox even speak dialogue in this thing just seems distracting and counterproductive to the goal of showing shit blow up.  There’ll be a (paper-thin) plot in this movie, but right now we’re just getting our appetites whet.  Of course, this trailer could also be indicative of the amount of plot the movie will feature; after all, do we really need narrative justification to put some totally ridiculous robot-on-robot fighting on screen?  Hell no, audience!  What do you do Michael Bay is?  French???

The latest news only further confirms that plot is likely not high on the agenda.

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