Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Monday, January 31, 2011

"John Barry will not return..."

When I first got into film music, I only knew John Barry as 'the Bond composer', which is how I'm sure a lot of people will remember him. While I've grown partial to The Living Daylights and Diamonds are Forever, Barry was more than that.

He was the romantic who broke our hearts with his scores to Somewhere in Time, Born Free and Out of Africa.

He was the saving grace of idiotic misfires, providing fantastic scores for the undeserving likes of Night Games, Starcrash and Game of Death.

His talent knew no boundaries, and the fact that one of his most beautiful pieces of music was written for a shampoo commercial still blows me away.

It goes without saying that he will be missed.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've wasted my life.

No, this isn't the ordinary, generic, run-of-the-mill whining about wasting my life. This time, it's specific.

I spent the latter two years of college at an accredited university with a film program. People were creating incredible work at that school: short films, computer projects. Did I work just as hard or make any connections with those people, in the vain hope that, if one of them made it into the business, I might be able to nudge my way in? If the answer was yes, would I be making this post?

I made very little (if any) connections with anyone. I had a golden opportunity and seven and a half years later, I've nothing to show for it. This became clear to me as I was preparing to attend a going-away party for a girl who lived up the street from me and who was fulfilling the promise she'd shown as an NYU student/protege of no less than Spike Lee, and who I talked to a grand total of, maybe, three times. BTW, it turned out that the party was yesterday.

All I have now are a passel of half-finished screenplays and half-baked ideas. Maybe, it's finally time to hit Facebook and start kissing ass.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Oscar post - nominations.

Don't really feel like a cute title. Let's just get to it.

+ Annette Bening was nominated for The Kids Are All Right. I think she might have a real shot this year, for two reasons: a) her co-star Julianne Moore wasn't nominated and there's no risk of the two nods cancelling each other out and b) Hilary Swank was passed over for Conviction. If that isn't a good sign for her, I don't know what is.

+ A record: I've seen six of the Best Picture nominees - Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3 and True Grit.

- I just knew the Academy would puss out and nominate The Social Network for Best Original Score. The only piece of music I recall from the film is the (admittedly awesome) cover of "In the Hall of the Mountain King". I don't think I can trust the Music Branch anymore if this wins, especially over How to Train Your Dragon (Powell's first nomination and it's about damn time!).

+ Roger Deakins's ninth Cinematography nod for True Grit. Even Susan Lucci eventually got an Emmy. This has to be his year. At least, it better be.

- Three nominees for Best Animated Feature: one I felt was somewhat overrated, one that hasn't even made it to my neck of the woods and one that already has a Best Picture nomination.

+ "Day and Night" was nominated for Best Animated Short Subject. Truly a deserving and enjoyable work.

+ Only four nominees for Best Original Song. I guess the Academy didn't want to live with the fact that they'd have nominated Burlesque for anything.

- A moment of silence for those who didn't get nominated, but should have: Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake (I'm dead serious), Jim Carrey (again, dead serious), Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel and Danny Elfman (say what you wish about Alice in Wonderland, but his music was awesome).

+ Speaking of Alice in Wonderland...though I liked the film, I'm elated that no one took its push for Best Picture seriously.

- At Cartoon Brew (and I meant to post this when I first saw it, but forgot about it), there was a Best Supporting Actor ad for Walt Dohrn as the voice of Rumplestiltskin in Shrek Forever After. Even I knew that it wouldn't have happened in a million years, it was nice to see that someone else felt that Dohrn's performance was the best thing about that film.

That's pretty much it, I think.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

My favorite movies of 2010.

I think I've put this off long enough.

10. Predators - Robert Rodriguez apparently hatched the idea of a Predator planet years ago. It was worth the wait. A tense and exciting follow-up in the franchise.

9. Machete - I'm still waiting for Don't and Thanksgiving (assuming they even get made), but for now, this ridiculously entertaining actioner more than lives up to the trailer.

8. Inception - This mind-bending thriller is not for every taste, but quite gripping for those who get into it.

(7.5 I Love You, Phillip Morris - An amusingly off-kilter adaptation of the true story (!), anchored by Jim Carrey's lively performance. Note: the '.5' is because I first saw the film a couple weeks ago, not in 2010 like I should have.)

7. Megamind - In one of those weird coincidences that tends to happen, we got two 'bad guy goes good' animated movies. That I liked this one a little more was an interesting surprise.

6. Kick-Ass - Much like (okay, not that much) Wanted, this adaptation improves on Mark Millar's original comic. Violent and ridiculous, yet quite enjoyable.

5. Tangled - This retelling of the classic fairy tale marks another fine entry in the Disney canon, with lovely animation and no shortage of heart.

4. RED - Perhaps the best of the year's 'team of ass-kickers' movies, with a superior cast making the most of the material. Great fun.

3. Toy Story 3 - Embarking on a third movie in any series is a risky proposition, but never count out Pixar; this final chapter is funny and heartwarming.

2. The Social Network - They said it couldn't be done: 'A movie about Facebook and it's nothing but people talking? Inconceivable!'. They were wrong. Aaron Sorkin's screenplay, David Fincher's direction and a fine cast make this something special.

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Edgar Wright's movies just get better and better, and this adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novels proves it; an absolute delight, bursting with great gags and visual imagination.

Missed it by that much:

The A-Team - Adaptation of the 80s TV series boasts a good cast and some fine action scenes.
Black Swan - Creepy, unsettling and very compelling; a lively mindfuck of a movie.
Despicable Me - I didn't expect much from this film, but it is disarming in its balance of humor and sweetness.
Devil - A little cheesy at times, but overall, a gripping, well-made thriller.
Easy A - Uneven but very funny movie with a bright, star-making turn by Emma Stone.
From Paris With Love - John Travolta chews the scenery in this typically brash and reckless Luc Besson concoction.
The Ghost Writer - This slow-burn of a thriller very much earns the adjective 'Hitchcockian'.
Hot Tub Time Machine - Silly and raunchy, this comedy (thankfully) doesn't rest solely on its premise.
How to Train Your Dragon - One of the more ambitious Dreamworks animated features with a number of exciting moments.
The Losers - The first of the year's 'team of ass-kickers' movies fell by the wayside, but it is an enjoyable work.
True Grit - The Coens put their stamp on this Western with fine performances and whip-smart dialogue.
Unstoppable - Even with the expected Tony Scott-isms, this thriller delivers with exciting action and strong rapport between Denzel Washington and Chris Pine.

Movies that deserve a fairer shake:

These are movies that, for whatever reason, were maligned by critics or audiences or both, but I found them entertaining.

Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore - The film managed to transcend its pointlessness with fine vocal work and wisely focusing the action on the animals instead of human characters.
Charlie St. Cloud - A game attempt to move Zac Efron further away from High School Musical territory, this is a sweet little movie.
Killers - Just about everyone hated this movie. Maybe, it was because of the stars or the premise, but whatever. Violent for a romantic comedy, but greatly enjoyable, with Tom Selleck stealing the movie as Katherine Heigl's disapproving dad.
Leap Year - Some funny lines + Amy Adams + beautiful Irish scenery = not a bad way to spend 100 minutes.
Lottery Ticket - This reworking of Friday is better than its IMDb rating would lead you to believe. Good laughs, charming leads.
Nanny McPhee Returns - Once you get past the chaotic first ten minutes, this is a very enjoyable follow-up.
The Tourist - Pretty stars and gorgeous international scenery, volume III. Unbelievable in spots, but generally engaging.
The Warrior's Way - Supposedly the biggest bomb of the year, but well worth reappraisal, with enjoyable action scenes and a not-quite serious, not-quite camp tone.

My favorite things in movies - 2010:

Aaron Sorkin's script for The Social Network, especially the opening conversation(s)

Alfred Molina in Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time and The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The bookend cameos in You Again

The bribe montage in The Other Guys

Crispin Glover in Alice in Wonderland and Hot Tub Time Machine

Danny Huston in The Warrior's Way

Dixon flips through the notebook in MacGruber

The 8-bit rendering of the Universal logo and fanfare in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World...and everything that follows

The fight against the motorcycle gang in The Other Guys

Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech and The Warrior's Way

Harrison Ford in Morning Glory

Jim Carrey in I Love You, Phillip Morris

Nicolas Cage's Adam West impression in Kick-Ass

Olive's weekend in Easy A

The opening credits of Cats & Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore: granted, the song choice was uninspired, but how cool is it to hear Dame Shirley Bassey singing over a title sequence again?!

"Outstanding!" and the explosive sequence of events leading up to it in The Losers

A pair of inspired in-jokes: Jimmy (Bruce Willis) admitting that he never saw Die Hard in Cop Out and Charlie Wax (John Travolta) savoring a Royale with Cheese in From Paris With Love

The reveals of the big secret and The Ghost's fate (not to mention Alexandre Desplat's accompanying music) in The Ghost Writer

Rolfe Kent's scores for Charlie St. Cloud and Killers

Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2

Sharlto Copley in The A-Team

Steve Carell in Despicable Me and Dinner for Schmucks

The visual effects of Black Swan

The "When Will My Life Begin?" and mood swing montages of Tangled


- I know of the perfect New Year's resolution for those people annoyed by the Futterwacken in Alice in Wonderland: grow thicker skin.

- Also, am I alone in thinking that the head of the Cheshire Cat looked like a CGI rendition of a Critter?

- Best title drop: "Is he as fast as you?" "No, he's Faster."

- Worst title drop: "Why did I get married?" "Why Did I Get Married Too?" (I didn't see the film, but I did see the trailer and that was a rather lazy way to title drop.)

- Not quite as strong a 'Holy fuck!' moment as the judge's fate in Law Abiding Citizen, but still potent: "Now, I'm done." in Edge of Darkness. Runner-up: the hand reaching out toward the beginning of Piranha 3D. No profanities, but I did spill quite a bit of popcorn.

- Now, when it comes to twists in movies, I'm a little slow on the uptake. The twist in From Paris With Love genuinely caught me by surprise (and I'm not the only one, if Leonard Maltin's review is anything to go by). On the other hand, I managed to guess Shutter Island's twist pretty early. Go figure.

- Seriously, was Tracy Morgan's character in Cop Out supposed to be retarded? I'm going to be up all night with this!

- I'm taken aback at how many 'teams of mercenaries' movies there were this year: The Losers, The A-Team, The Expendables and RED. Note to self: get each on DVD and marathon the shit out of them.

- Kim Cattrall with a British accent, a bald Jim Belushi...even before the first reel of The Ghost Writer was done, I was on edge.

- My vote for most overrated movie of the year: How to Train Your Dragon. The flying scenes are fantastic (and some of the best 3D I've yet seen) and the bonding scenes between Hiccup and Toothless are touching...but then, factor in the scenes with the Viking teens and this has to rate a near-miss for me.

- While I'm on the subject of Dragon, I noticed (watching the credits, not so much during the film) that one of the teens was voiced by Kristen Wiig. With the exception of Whip It, I feel like the roles she plays could be filled by just about anyone; she leaves no impression on me. Not a slight at her, that's just the way I feel.

- And continuing with unfavorable opinions on comic actresses named Kristen...Miss Schaal, who I saw in Dinner for Schmucks. Is this chick weird-looking or is it just me? It can't just be me, can it?

- Okay, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps really jumped the rails with that ending. Hardly the worst ending I've seen (see any 'killer's not dead'/'here we go again'/'tripped at the finish line' horror movie ending), but if ever there was a definition of 'tacked-on', this ending would be it.

- Sorry to repeat myself, but Chloe had some superb nudity from the female leads. I'm disappointed that it was pissed away on the story.

- It was nice to see nonagenarian actors Eli Wallach (The Ghost Writer and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) and Ernest Borgnine (RED) on screen this year, especially since the movies they were in before this year were stupid, barely-released comedies (Wallach in Mama's Boy, Borgnine in Strange Wilderness).

- Niche movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Machete fell short of monetary expectations. Following their respective first weekends, posts popped up offering myriad explanations as to why they didn't succeed. Can't we just say 'people are fucking morons' and leave it at that?

- Think I'm being bitter about this? Scott Pilgrim was outgrossed by Vampires Suck. Worldwide. Even if you somehow disliked Scott Pilgrim, you have to admit how fucked that is.

- Lastly, just so it's out of the way, I didn't hate The Last Airbender. You got to love the lemming mentality: if we all march off the cliff together, that makes it a good idea. I really think that Cop Out and My Soul to Take were worse.


Monday, January 17, 2011

The film music of 2010.

Another year of wonderful music come and gone. Well, here goes...

My favorite scores of 2010:

(Danny Elfman - Disney)
Elfman provided a beautiful main theme and exciting music for Tim Burton's watchable-if-confused fantasy.

(Rolfe Kent - Varese)
Kent provided a sweet score for the not-bad romantic drama.

(Christopher Gordon - Lionsgate)
Gordon's full-bodied music made for a promising note on which to start the year.

(Theodore Shapiro - Lakeshore)
Shapiro's off-kilter marching-to-its-own-drummer music is one of the year's great surprises.

(Alexandre Desplat - Varese)
Nothing got under my skin this year as much as Desplat's well-tuned suspense score.

(John Powell - Varese)
Powell's lively, Celtic-flavored score is one of the film's strongest elements.

(Hans Zimmer - Reprise/WaterTower)
A truly impressive score for a Christopher Nolan movie? It was bound to happen.

(Rolfe Kent - Lionsgate)
The underrated romcom benefitted from Kent's fine score, including a buoyant main theme.

(John Powell - Varese)
Powell's return to Mr. and Mrs. Smith territory may well be even better. (P.S. "Going to Cape Horn? Take a Jacket" is my favorite track title of the year.)

(James Newton Howard - Lakeshore)
This adaptation may carry around a negative reputation, but one can't fault Howard's powerful music.

(James Newton Howard - Madison Gate)
Once again this summer, Howard made musical sense of an unfortunate misfire.

(Danny Elfman - Varese)
Can you believe that there was once a time when Elfman's lush, exciting score wasn't going to be in this movie? Me neither.

Other good scores:

Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore (Christopher Lennertz), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Theodore Shapiro), The Expendables (Brian Tyler), The King's Speech (Alexandre Desplat), Prince of Parkour...Persia: the Sands of Time (Harry Gregson-Williams), RED (Christophe Beck), Tangled (Alan Menken), The Tourist (James Newton Howard), Toy Story 3 (Randy Newman) and True Grit (Carter Burwell)

Some nice unreleased scores:

Despicable Me - Heitor Pereira & Pharrell Williams
Devil - Fernando Velazquez
Jonah Hex - Marco Beltrami & Mastodon
Morning Glory - David Arnold
The Warrior's Way - Javier Navarrete

My favorite new CDs of 2010:

Batman (Danny Elfman - La La Land): One of Elfman's finest (and most famous) scores receives overdue deluxe treatment.

Black Sunday (John Williams - FSM): A creepy suspense score from Williams, with a pair of terrific themes at its core.

Conan the Barbarian (Basil Poledouris - Prometheus/Tadlow): A welcome (and affordable) re-recording of one of Poledouris's finest scores.

Curse of the Pink Panther (Henry Mancini - Quartet): Mancini's delightful theme for the film's Clouseau surrogate, Clifton Sleigh, is but one enjoyable aspect of this score.

The Flash (Shirley Walker - La La Land) - Walker's exciting music (making copious use of Elfman's delightful theme) makes for a nice companion piece (and prelude) to her career-making "Batman: TAS" scores.

The Goonies (Dave Grusin - Varese): A bouncy main theme leading to exciting adventure music; one of Grusin's best-known scores finally sees a release.

Home Movies (Pino Donaggio - Varese): One of the rare Donaggio comedy scores. Honestly, I don't think I need to say more than that.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Maurice Jarre - Tadlow): Jarre's sweeping score runs the gamut from Lawrence of Arabia-style grandeur to funky, pounding heroics.

Prophecy (Leonard Rosenman - FSM): Rosenman's exciting score goes a long way in making the goofy horror film seem more serious than it is.

RoboCop (Basil Poledouris - Intrada): I traded up from the Varese CD for the extensive liner notes, but Poledouris's music is just as forceful and catchy as ever.

The Runestone (David Newman - Perseverance): After years of waiting, Newman's last horror score (to date) can be cherished; an exciting work that energized the uneven but entertaining film.

Yellowbeard (John Morris - Quartet): Another release from Quartet (or, as I like to call them, 'I Can't Believe it's Not Kritzerland!') spotlights this appropriately swashbuckling score.

And now for something not terribly different, it's...

My favorite new CDs of 2010...that I don't have a nagging desire to obtain this very minute

Note: These are titles that, for whatever reason (an abundance of copies allowing me to bide my time, an insane sticker price) I may get, but not right away.

Batman Returns (Danny Elfman - La La Land)
Clash of the Titans (Laurence Rosenthal - Intrada)
The Danny Elfman-Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box (Warner Bros.)
Family Plot (John Williams - Varese Club)
First Blood (Jerry Goldsmith - Intrada)
North Dallas Forty (John Scott - FSM)
Red Sonja (Ennio Morricone - Perseverance)
Star Trek V (Jerry Goldsmith - La La Land)
White Dog (Ennio Morricone - FSM)

My favorite pieces of film music:

"Alice Decides" - Alice in Wonderland (Danny Elfman)
"Black Mamba" - Megamind (Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe)
"Dream is Collapsing" - Inception (Hans Zimmer)
"Flying a Tank" - The A-Team (Alan Silvestri)
"The Harvest" - Nanny McPhee Returns (James Newton Howard)
"Last Chance" - Hot Tub Time Machine (Christophe Beck)
"Let's Get Off This Planet" - Predators (John Debney)
"Mistmobile" - Kick-Ass (Henry Jackman)
"Natalie Intro" - Iron Man 2 (John Debney)
"Ostrich Race" - Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Harry Gregson-Williams)
"Realization and Escape" - Tangled (Alan Menken)
"A Room of Her Own" - Black Swan (Clint Mansell)
"The Truth About Ruth" - The Ghost Writer (Alexandre Desplat)

Unlike last year, I won't be posting a wish list. With all the film music riches that 2010 has seen, I just know that this year will be sure to top it.

I will, however, say this: if a film music CD is to run 75 minutes, it better contain the best goddamn score ever written. As far as I'm concerned, John Debney's Iron Man 2 and Randy Edelman's Leap Year, in spite of some good moments, fall somewhat short.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yeah, I'm really dragging my ass on my 'best-of-'10' posts. There's no excuse. Just fact: I'm unbelievably lazy. Keep watching.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Today, at work, a girl came in to return bottles. Brown hair, cute face, couldn't have been more than fourteen. And yet, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Every time I glanced at her, I imagined a relationship; not physical, but still, a relationship. I believed, however briefly, that a relationship with a girl like her could be possible. She's not snotty, nor is she jaded enough to believe she could do better. Will I ever meet a girl like that...and closer to my age? I don't know.


Saturday, January 08, 2011

From winter to spring.

Yeah. A movie preview for the first four months of the year. Why not? (Bold - It's happening; Italics - Not on your life.)


Season of the Witch - Okay, this movie has large-scale battles, killer wolves and a guy that could be John Merrick's long-lost twin and it's getting a PG-13? How stupid does Relativity Media think I am?

The Green Hornet - Quite the unusual project for star/co-writer Seth Rogen. (Attached to this project at various points were director Stephen Chow and composer Danny Elfman...and, for a minute, imagine that version of this movie.) Still, this version, where Rogen faces off against Christoph Waltz (looking amazingly like Carmen Ghia from The Producers) looks entertaining, enough.

The Dilemma - Vince Vaughn learns that his buddy Kevin James' wife, Winona Ryder, is cheating on him. Will he tell him? Should he tell him? Really, this is a movie? Still, it is kind of nice seeing Ron Howard directing a comedy again.

The Cabin in the Woods - A group of young people encounter a lot of odd occurrences at the titular location. Because of MGM's money woes, this has pushed back many times...which is perhaps just as well; according to a script review that is, sadly, no longer online, it has the potential to be hilariously awful, or awfully hilarious, depending on which way the wind blows.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - A Guillermo Del Toro-produced remake of a made-for-TV horror movie. As long as the studios leave "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" alone, I have no problem with this.

No Strings Attached - Anyone who thinks that this film will ruin Natalie Portman's chances of success this award season needs to have their drool cups and diapers emptied. From Ivan Reitman (I don't understand, either) comes this story where she and Kelso just want a physical relationship. If only...

The Mechanic - A remake of a Charles Bronson film where Jason Statham mentors Ben Foster in the ways of assassination. Looks better than I thought possible from Simon West (When a Stranger Calls, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider).

The Rite - He's faced (or played) all manner of weirdness on screen: possession, evil dummies, serial killers, vampires and wolfmen. Now, Anthony Hopkins takes on the Devil. Maybe, it sounds better than it looks.


Sanctum - Based on a true story, this James Cameron-produced thriller involves deep-sea divers getting trapped in underwater caves. Creepy, but not that interesting.

The Roommate - ...or Single White Female for those too lazy to look the film up on Netflix.

Gnomeo and Juliet - Impressive voice cast notwithstanding, this stupid-looking, offensively unfunny animated film actually makes the early trailer for Despicable Me look like the pinnacle of, you know we've reached Def-Con 1.

Just Go with It - Okay, so, um, Adam Sandler plays this guy who pretends to be getting divorced to pick up chicks, but this one girl he tries to get with isn't convinced, so he gets his platonic friend, Jennifer Aniston, to be his fake soon-to-be ex-wife. Between this and The Roommate, Sony is really swinging for the fences this month, aren't they?

Cedar Rapids - Ed Helms falls under the sway of John C. Reilly at an insurance convention. One of the more promising comedies this season, I must say.

The Eagle - A medieval drama with the guy from G.I. Joe. Don't know much more than that.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - Seriously, eat me.

I Am Number Four - The director of Eagle Eye goes for more slam-bang action in this story of extra-terrestrials avoiding capture. Could be good.

Unknown - Liam Neeson comes out of a coma to find that someone has taken his identity and that his wife doesn't even know him. As I'm sure I mentioned before, I love stories like this. Sprinkle a bit of Taken-style action and it's a must-see.

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son - ...nope. That Justin Bieber thing still sounds worse.

Drive Angry 3D - Nicolas Cage escapes from Hell to avenge his daughter's murderers and give a ride to Amber Heard. Looks like a fun bit of nonsense, especially the bits with William Fichtner.

Hall Pass - Just when I was ready to give up on the Farrelly Brothers (and after The Heartbreak Kid, wouldn't you?), they go and do this. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis get a break from their marriages to sew some oats. Hilarious trailer.


Rango - A chameleon who sounds a good deal like Johnny Depp ends up in an Old West town. From the director of the Pirates of the Caribbean series...and Mouse Hunt. Color me intrigued.

The Adjustment Bureau - Matt Damon learns of a secret society that maps out people's plans...and, according to them, he shouldn't be getting involved with Emily Blunt. I'm so sure. This is proving to be one of those movies I get more interested in the more I hear about it.

Battle: Los Angeles - If this ends up worse than Skyline, we have truly reached the End Times.

Red Riding Hood - The director of Twilight and that chick from the Letters to Juliet poster with the awesome legs team up for a dark reimagining of the classic story.

Mars Needs Moms - Based on a book by Berke Breathed, a young boy goes into space to rescue his mother from Martians. Another motion-capture film, but this looks closer to Monster House than The Polar Express, so it could be good.

Paul - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who wrote the script together) stumble across an alien. Not an Edgar Wright movie (Superbad's Greg Mottola is at the helm), but a remarkable facsimile. Can't wait.

Limitless - An experimental drug allows Bradley Cooper to open his mind and live the good life. But what of the side effects?

The Lincoln Lawyer - Matthew McConaughey, taking a relieved break from romantic comedies, is a slick lawyer that operates from his Lincoln Town Car (hence the title). I'm slightly intrigued.

Beastly - The true story of No-Heart's minion and his attempts to thwart the Care Bears. Nah. It's that "Beauty and the Beast" update I mentioned in the summer. But wouldn't that be cool?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules - While I liked what I saw of the first movie on the flight home from Comic-Con, I don't know if I'll be checking this one out. However, it's nice that a sequel was produced while the actors could still believably fill the roles.

Sucker Punch - Looking for all the world like an anime come to life (which may be what Zack Snyder intended), this odd-looking yet cool-looking movie is a cult classic waiting to happen.


Source Code - Jake Gyllenhaal has eight minutes to figure out who caused a train bombing. How does that stretch into a two-hour movie? Well, it's kind of a Groundhog Day/weird experiment sort of deal. And he tries to save Michelle Monaghan (wouldn't you?).

Bad Teacher - I don't really care what this is about. It's from the writers of Year One and those retards deserve a kick to the ribs. With an aluminum bat.

Hop - Could easily be considered The Easter Clause, but hopefully better. 'From the creators of Despicable Me'. That actually fills me with some promise.

Super - Somehow, I think this would-be superhero comedy (from the star and director of Slither) will be closer to Defendor (look it up) than Kick-Ass.

Your Highness - I'm getting a real Land of the Lost vibe from this story of two knights (Danny McBride and James Franco) trying to rescue a princess...which is good; I really like that movie.

Rio - Alpha and Omega, but with birds instead of wolves and cleverness instead of crap.

Scream 4 - I'm very much rooting for this to be awesome, just so those 'Is Wes Craven still relevant?' whispers following the misfire of My Soul to Take will be put to rest.

Water for Elephants - Robert Pattinson (don't laugh) takes up with a circus during the Depression, falling for Reese Witherspoon and incurring the ire of her husband, ringmaster Christoph Waltz. Sounds like the makings of good drama to me.

Soul Surfer - From the director of Bratz and a number of "Even Stevens" episodes comes this true story of a surfer (AnnaSophia Robb) overcoming shark-themed adversity.

Arthur - A remake of the 1981 comedy, with Russell Brand in the Dudley Moore role and Helen Mirren in the John Gielgud role (Sidebar: Following The Tempest, is this a new direction for her; playing roles originally written for men?). Never saw the original, so I can't gauge how bad of an idea this could be.

Madea's Big Happy Family - Yet another Tyler Perry joint, which means talented actors and weird tonal shifts.

Born to Be a Star - Nick Swardson (that guy from every Adam Sandler movie of the last few years not named Rob Schneider) plays a guy who learns that his parents were porn stars and finds himself in the family business. Okaaaaay...

Fast Five - It sounds like a creation of The Todd from "Scrubs", but it's really one more entry in the inscrutable Fast and the Furious franchise. (P.S. It also stars Dwayne Johnson. Looks like Universal's going out with a bang...assuming, of course, this is the last entry in the series.)

Prom - About students getting ready for prom. Again, I ask, 'Really, this is a movie?'.

What's Your Number? - Anna Faris cycles through past relationships, wondering if she missed out on true love. Not that interesting, in spite of a neat cast.


Monday, January 03, 2011

Pete Postlethwaite (1946-2011)

And so, we get our first famous casualty of the year.

Admittedly, I've only seen a small number of the films he was in (The Usual Suspects, Inception, The Town), but he managed to make an impression in them.

Perhaps, I should consider checking out his back catalog (namely his Oscar-nominated turn in In the Name of the Father). In the meantime, he will be missed.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

I need to get this down or I'm likely to forget it. (Not much of a first post for the new year, I know.)

One of those bland, not-funny Esurance commercials just aired; the kind with people working and making dull comments that have aired for the last year and a half because the powers that be couldn't handle the fact that their pink-haired, sexy-voiced, limber-bodied spokesbabe Erin Esurance was Rule 34'd. (Yeah. Go fuckin' figure, right?)

As the ad ended, there was a tagline, "Technology when you want it. People when you don't." Honestly, I'd like to see technology (Flash, if you please) being used for Esurance ads, not people.