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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The film music of 2011.

My favorite scores of 2011:

(I really don't feel like describing why I loved these scores. Just take it on faith that these were the scores I loved most from last year.)

Other good scores:

The Adjustment Bureau (Thomas Newman), The Big Year (Theodore Shapiro), Dolphin Tale (Mark Isham), The Greatest Miracle (Mark McKenzie), The Help (Thomas Newman), Paul (David Arnold), Priest (Christopher Young), Puss in Boots (Henry Jackman), Rio (John Powell), The Rum Diary (Christopher Young), Unknown (John Ottman and Alexander Rudd), A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (William Ross) and Your Highness (Steve Jablonsky...I'm as surprised as you are.)

Some nice unreleased scores:

Bad Teacher - Michael Andrews
Colombiana - Nathaniel Mechaly
50/50 - Michael Giacchino
The Muppets - Christophe Beck
Young Adult - Rolfe Kent

My favorite new CDs of 2011:

The Battle of Neretva/The Naked and the Dead (Bernard Herrmann - Tribute): A pair of lively war scores from Herrmann splendidly performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

Clue (John Morris - La La Land): A long-overdue release of one of Morris's finest scores, buoyed by a peppy main theme.

Devil (Fernando Velazquez - Varese Sarabande): The Varese CD Club was, for the most part, swimming in a circle this year, but they did find time for this thundering score to the underrated thriller.

The Golden Child (John Barry/Michel Colombier - La La Land): Colombier's score may fit the film better, but Barry's lush music is a damn fine listen on its own.

Grace Quigley (John Addison - Quartet): The long-forgotten dark comedy (that paired Katharine Hepburn and Nick Nolte!) received an utterly charming Addison score; one of the year's true surprises.

Masada (Jerry Goldsmith/Morton Stevens - Intrada): One of the finest scores ever written for television; Goldsmith and Stevens produced a truly exciting work.

Megaforce (Jerrold Immel - BSX): The early 80s cheese fest gets a score to match from "Dallas" composer Immel, anchored by a delightfully over-the-top main theme.

Ordeal by Innocence (Pino Donaggio - Kritzerland): Perhaps the best of the year's three hidden Donaggio gems, a moody (and curiously rejected) mystery score.

Rampage (Elmer Bernstein - Intrada): There are a great many travelogue cues for a film ostensibly about a safari, but make no mistake: they are lovely.

Slipstream (Elmer Bernstein - Perserverance): Legalities be damned! The release of this enchanting score is nothing short of a blessing. (It'll more than do until some label smartens up and gives us Black Cauldron.)

Space: Above and Beyond (Shirley Walker - La La Land): Epic music for the short-lived Fox series; almost like the bastard son of "Batman: TAS" and Turbulence.

Stay Tuned (Bruce Broughton - Intrada): Miracles can happen! Broughton's diverse score for the shameful guilty pleasure finally sees the light of day.

Other notable releases from 2011 that I have yet to buy because of my financial woes:

Bad Girls (Jerry Goldsmith - La La Land)
The Core (Christopher Young - Intrada)
First Knight (Jerry Goldsmith - La La Land)
Gremlins (Jerry Goldsmith - FSM)
Kidco (Michael Small - Intrada)
Scrooged (Danny Elfman - La La Land)
Something Wicked This Way Comes/Regarding Henry (Georges Delerue - Universal France)
Trading Places (Elmer Bernstein - La La Land)

The 'Burton/Elfman Music Box' "This'd be a nice collection to have, but are you fucking kidding me with that price?!" award:

Bernard Herrmann at 20th Century Fox (Varese Club). This 14-disc set features a number of 'no fan should be without this' scores (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Day the Earth Stood Still), as well as more obscure titles (Hangover Square, White Witch Doctor), but 200 dollars is asking a bit much.

Best score for a non-film: "Cirque du Soleil - Iris" by Danny Elfman. While some of Elfman's recent work was a shade disappointing (Real Steel, Terminator: Salvation), this full-bodied score is an absolute delight.

My favorite pieces of film music:

"The Accountant" - Drive Angry 3D (Michael Wandmacher)
"Amat Victoria Curam" - The Mechanic (Mark Isham)
"Buckingham's Departure" - The Three Musketeers (Paul Haslinger)
"Final Round" - Real Steel (Danny Elfman)
"Fright Night" - Fright Night (Ramin Djawadi)
"George Valentin" - The Artist (Ludovic Bource)
"It's So Overt It's Covert" - Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows (Hans Zimmer)
"Main Titles" - Final Destination 5 (Brian Tyler)
"Morning Routine" - Rio (John Powell)
"Priest" - Priest (Christopher Young)
"Rango Suite" - Rango (Hans Zimmer)
"Rum Diary" - The Rum Diary (Christopher Young)
"Shark Attack" - Soul Surfer (Marco Beltrami)
"The Terrible Awful" - The Help (Thomas Newman)
"Theme from Tower Heist" - Tower Heist (Christophe Beck and Jake Monaco)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lost in the stacks. (Opposite Forces)

I love comic books. I've been collecting for roughly the last decade. However, I'm not drawn toward traditional titles. Somehow, I gravitate toward limited run titles. These comics, more often than not, fall through the cracks and are forgotten, lost to time. This column aims to shine a light on these titles and, hopefully, make them some new fans...or draw out the old ones.

I don't have very many traditional superhero titles in my collection. (The near-complete run of "She-Hulk" from a few years ago is a noted exception.) However, many of the limited run titles I'll be writing about revolve around powers and superheroics, of which "Opposite Forces" is a good example.

Though kind of a schlub, web designer Marty Knopf loves comic books, his dog, Bopper, and his across-the-hall neighbor, lawyer Alexis Hilltop. Unfortunately, she thinks he's something of a creep. Will a chance encounter involving an alien's death ray, a pot of matzo ball soup (!) and an elevator change things? Yes. Yes, it can.

Released in 2005, "Opposite Forces" was apparently conceived as an all-ages comic, which shows through in the amusingly goofy ways that Marty and Alexis discover their powers. It also shows through in the threat that the reluctant heroes must deal with.

Now, a comic book series is only as strong as its villain, and while the villain and its defeat tie in nicely with Alexis, it's somewhat disappointing that a potentially stronger threat gets sidelined. It's implied that there is history between Captain Dynamo and the aliens. One wonders how our newly-christened heroes would fare against them.

Thankfully, the lack of a strong antagonist is mitigated by two factors. For one thing, "Opposite Forces" is pretty funny. Captain Dynamo, the unwitting donor of the superpowers, is kind of a schmuck, craving the fame that his powers afford him. The karmic payback he suffers after he's rendered powerless is a good deal of fun. Getting back to the aliens, there's some fun to be had with the names used on the planet of Tenalp. (I see what you did there.)

The other is the artwork. Creator Tom Bancroft is a veteran of Disney animation (among many credits, he served as the supervising animator for Mushu on Mulan). The artwork and designs of the characters are proudly cartoony. One could almost imagine the story being animated at several points.

Each issue concludes with notes from the author, which are quite informative. According to Bancroft, there was interest from a studio executive in turning the comic into a movie. The casting, however, left something to be desired. (Here's a hint: Shallow Hal. William Goldman was right: "Nobody knows anything.")

Grade: B+

Availability (if any): Virtually out of print, but it can be found for a decent price at Mile High Comics.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random thoughts - the Oscar nominations.

The time is upon us. Let's get right to it.

+ This year, there are nine nominees for Best Picture. I've seen a mere four (The Artist, The Help, Hugo and Moneyball).

- Nada for Young Adult. It took an AV Club story to remind me of this film, especially of Patton Oswalt's understated (and neglected) turn. I guess he can live with being a funny em-effer, but it still stings. (He seems to be taking it well enough, though.)

+ Loco boy makes good, part 1: editor Kevin Tent has finally been recognized with a nomination for The Descendants. He is (like me) a native of Western New York.

+ Loco boy makes good, part 2: Another first-time nominee: costume designer Mark Bridges, for The Artist...and a native son of Western New York.

- Biggest disappointment: no nomination for Albert Brooks in Drive. The one Oscar nomination the film would've genuinely deserved and it doesn't happen. What a crock of shit.

+ The Original Score category: The Adventures of Tintin (John Williams), The Artist (Ludovic Bource), Hugo (Howard Shore), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Alberto Iglesias) and War Horse (John Williams). And not a Dragon Tattoo to offend the eye.

- Only two nominees for Original Song. No "The Living Proof". No "The Ballad of Rango". No "Pretty Bird" (rendered ineligible for some bullshit reason).

+ From Craigular guy to Oscar nominee: Jim Rash, Dean Pelton on "Community", co-authored the adaptation of The Descendants. I was so thrown to learn that it was the same guy.

? Best Animated Feature: two outside-the-box European features, two Dreamworks films and Rango.

- Nada for 50/50. Wasn't too crazy about this, but I figured it was a lock for Original Screenplay, as did many others.

- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close managed to squeak in with a Best Picture nomination (and a Supporting Actor nod for Max Von Sydow), despite uproariously nasty reviews.

- Can you believe that Gary Oldman and Nick Nolte have never been nominated until this morning? Weird.

+ Academy-Award nominee Jonah sounds strange, no matter what, but he was pretty good in Moneyball.

- Nominee for Original Screenplay: Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo and...Kristen Wiig. This is probably the statement that sends my readership into the negative numbers (assuming it's not already there) but I don't much care for Kristen Wiig. There it is. I gained a near-instantaneous dislike of her when I thought she was the 'Bitch please' girl. (Twas actually Michaela Watkins, who seems to have fallen into I guess karma works.) Wiig falls into two categories for me: insufferable on SNL and incredibly bland in films to the point where her roles could be played by literally anyone (Extract, MacGruber, How to Train Your Dragon). If you factor this...thing into the mix and, well, I'm not exactly angling for membership in her fan club. (In the interest of fairness, she was fairly amusing in Paul and she made a good impression in Whip It, suggesting to me that her talent is at the whim of the writing. I haven't seen Bridesmaids, so I can't judge fairly.)

+ Speaking of Bridesmaids, the film's other nomination went to Melissa McCarthy. Maybe, if the nods for The Help cancel each other out (as they are wont to do in situations like this)...nah, it might still go to Berenice Bejo. Hey, it's anybody's race.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Shadow (Jerry Goldsmith)

The time: the 1930s. The place: New York City. Playboy Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) has another identity, fighting crime and clouding men's minds as The Shadow. But has he met his match in the devious and equally skilled Shiwan Khan (John Lone)? Underrated adaptation of the pulp character is a great deal of fun; beautifully made and well-cast, even if many of the players (including Tim Curry, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters, James Hong and Peter Boyle) aren't given much to do.

Though a number of his scores have been released on specialty labels in the last few years, this is at the top of my wish list for Jerry Goldsmith's sterling output.

The Shadow
composed & conducted
Jerry Goldsmith

1. The Poppy Fields 3.13
2. Rude Awakening 1.40
3. The Tulku 2.45
4. Cement Shoes 1.14
5. Taunting Duke 0.52
6. Forced Confession 1.25
7. Freeing Dr. Tam 0.31
8. "The Shadow knows" 1.27
9. "There is no Shadow 0.26
10. Lamont Meets Margo 0.55
11. First Date 1.45
12. Vision of Fire 0.39
13. Tomb of Temujin 1.05
14. Khan Awakes 1.56
15. Grim Discovery 0.28
16. Margo's Feeling 0.57
17. Unlucky Day 1.18
18. The Sanctum 3.30
19. Shiwan Khan 4.07
20. Flying to Destiny 0.33
21. Bronzium 0.56
22. Summoning Reinhardt 2.31
23. "You will forget about me" 0.25
24. The Shadow Appears 0.33
25. Chest Pains 3.37
26. Margo's Mission 2.33
27. "You're the Shadow" 1.30
28. Tailing Lamont 0.43
29. Sun Yet Kitchen 0.30
30. "Oh, that knife" 3.01
31. The Monster Within 2.24
32. A Flying Leap 1.12
33. Tanked 4.02
34. Bad Memories 1.57
35. Breaking News 1.00
36. The Hotel Monolith 5.20
37. Tailing Claymore 0.35
38. Claymore's Exit 1.00
39. Battling the Phurba 3.09
40. Chasing Khan 1.39
41. Disarming the Bomb 1.18
42. Mirror Attack 0.56
43. Frontal Lobotomy 2.26

Call me overconfident, but I really think that this is the year that this release will come to fruition.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My favorite movies of 2011.

And so, another year has passed. It's always a good feeling walking into a movie theater (which reminds me of a post I've been neglecting for a long time, but that's for another day). These are the movies I enjoyed the most:

10. Contagion - A truly unnerving biological thriller, brought to life by a first-rate ensemble cast.

9. Hugo - One of several love-letters to the art of cinema to be released in 2011; Martin Scorsese's film unfolds like a good book.

8. Super 8 - An engaging snapshot at the late 70s and a neat homage to the Close Encounters/E.T. era of film.

7. The Help - This adaptation of the best-seller ably mixes humor and drama, bolstered by a terrific cast.

6. My Week with Marilyn - A bittersweet look at the friendship between Marilyn Monroe (an enchanting Michelle Williams) and a go-fer on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl.

5. The Muppets - Funny, colorful, tuneful. If there was a more ingratiating film released last year, I haven't seen it.

4. Captain America: the First Avenger - Perhaps the finest of the year's comic book movies. Exciting and well-acted, with a strong feeling for the time period.

3. The Adventures of Tintin - Hugely entertaining and proof that not all motion-capture features are terrible.

2. A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas - The best film of the series and the most deliriously funny movie I've seen all year.

1. Rango - My favorite animated feature of the year, distinctively designed and bursting with quirky humor.

Missed it by that much:

The Adjustment Bureau
Arthur Christmas
Fright Night
Kung Fu Panda 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
30 Minutes or Less
Tower Heist
We Bought a Zoo
X-Men: First Class
Young Adult

Underrated: The Big Year, Mars Needs Moms and Super

Overrated: Drive (yes!) and Moneyball

Guilty pleasures: Abduction, Drive Angry and The Three Musketeers

Liked it better than I thought I would: Arthur Christmas

Didn't think this was so bad: Arthur, Cars 2, Green Lantern, Killer Elite and Your Highness

Kind of a letdown: The Change-Up, Colombiana (in spite of the action scenes), Cowboys and Aliens and Limitless

Just plain bad: Sucker Punch

My favorite things in movies - 2011:

Albert Brooks in Drive

Anna B. Shepard's one-scene tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark in Captain America: the First Avenger

Anton Yelchin in The Beaver and Fright Night

"Breakfast is served." and "You're not the only one who can play this game." - Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows

The chase through the sandstorm in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Colin Farrell in Fright Night and Horrible Bosses

The dance fight in Puss in Boots

Dan Fogler in Mars Needs Moms and Take Me Home Tonight

The hidden camera/panic room scene in Hall Pass

"Hug me." - Young Adult

Idris Elba in Thor

The journey through the doors in The Adjustment Bureau

The Kato fight scenes in The Green Hornet

Kumar's plan to steal the tree from the church in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Mark Strong in Green Lantern and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Michael Giacchino's military theme from his score to Super 8

Octavia Spencer recounts the story of "The Terrible Awful" in The Help

The opening credits of Super, especially the final gag

Ray Stevenson in Thor and The Three Musketeers

Richard Jenkins in Hall Pass and especially The Rum Diary

Robert DeNiro helps Yvonne Strahovski catch a train in Killer Elite

The song "Pretty Bird" in Rio

Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones in Captain America: the First Avenger

Stephen Merchant decides whether or not he'd use one in Hall Pass

The ultimate revelation in Final Destination 5

The video game gag in Kung Fu Panda 2

William Fichtner in Drive Angry 3D

"You know I don't check that shit." - 30 Minutes or Less


Favorite title sequences:
The Adventures of Tintin
Final Destination 5
Your Highness

Holy shit, was that...? (The appearances of these actors aren't necessarily cameos. They were listed in the cast, but I was honestly thrown when I saw them.)
Dan Castellaneta in Super 8
Edward Furlong in The Green Hornet
Ioan Gruffudd in Horrible Bosses
Toby Huss in Cowboys and Aliens
Ashley Johnson in The Help
Phil LaMarr in Real Steel
Alyssa Milano in Hall Pass
David Paymer in Bad Teacher (in fact, with Paul Bates near the end, there was a nice psuedo-Crazy People reunion here)
Pruitt Taylor Vince in Drive Angry 3D

Random thoughts

- There was a lot of complaining about the unbelievability of the Dale storyline of Horrible Bosses; 'Dude, it's Jennifer Aniston! I'd love to have her sexually harassing me!'. You won't find me in that choir, though. Geneva, Switzerland's Jerome Piroue phrased it better than I ever could in response to People naming her Sexiest Woman of All Time (*coughrecountcough*): "Doesn't even rank as sexy on mine. I've got nothing against her, except... she simply doesn't evoke 'sex' in any way for me." If I were Dale and the role were played by someone like Sofia Vergara, not only would I be okay with the harassment, but I would fucking encourage it.

- Speaking of women I will never have, Christina Hendricks went without make-up in Drive. If that's what she looks like without make-up, it pretty much furthers my 'she's a Greek Goddess in hiding' theory I'm cultivating.

- I've learned something very important: if you don't say the title Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star the way Peter Dante did in the ads, you're wasting valuable oxygen.

- The original ending of Rise of the Planet of the Apes had James Franco's character getting killed. As if the theatrical ending wasn't enough of a wrist-slitter...

- I couldn't take my eyes off of Jessica Chastain in The Help. Now for some clarification: while she did give a fine performance, what I'm really saying in the first sentence is 'Holy cow! Did you see how tight her blouses were?'.

- Okay, is it written into Mads Mikklesen's contract that every character he plays in a major studio movie have some kind of eye trauma?

- And speaking of eye trauma, I've sat through every Final Destination movie since the series started. I've witnessed every insane, CGI-generated (in most cases) demise, but the aftermath of Olivia's death in 5 is pretty much the only time I've ever covered my eyes during one of these movies.

- It's weird to consider that Super, a movie where people are gruesomely bludgeoned, stabbed and shot, would have one of the sweeter endings I've seen all year.

- In the trailer for Tower Heist, I was somewhat thrown off by Gabourey Sidibe's flat line readings. In seeing the film, I realized that they had her redub her lines as to mask her character's Jamaican accent. Beats the hell out of me why they did this.

- Rio was a good movie that might've been great if not for the overloading on wacky sidekicks. George Lopez's toucan was funny and the bird duo of Jamie Foxx and had their moments, but they tipped their hand with Tracy Morgan's bulldog...and his constant slobber had me thanking God that I only saw the film in 2-D.

- A weird trend that I've noticed in animated movies of late: far more off-putting than the 'characters dancing to a pop hit ending' trope is the 'villains dancing along' trope. This year's Puss in Boots featured Jack and Jill laid up in traction and still moving to the beat. 2010's Megamind saw the incarcarated Hal dancing in his cell...but, in terms of sheer WTF, I don't think anything will top Despicable Me (also from 2010), which saw Vector boogieing down...while stranded on the moon (!).

- I honestly consider Transformers: Dark of the Moon to be the best of the Transformers movies...which is not unlike calling someone the world's tallest midget.

- The Artist was a sweet, if slight, bit of fluff. There was a bit of rumbling about the movie's use of Bernard Herrmann's "Scene D'Amour" from Vertigo and how it upset that film's leading lady, Kim Novak, to the point where she said she felt raped by it. While you will never convince me that the cue was a perfect fit in the film, this is a silly overreaction, not unlike man-children responding to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 16, 2012

In time for the previews.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I've fallen in love with trailers from long ago. Tonight, I got the opportunity to see a program of some of the cheesiest trailers from long ago. Most of them were from the 70s. I can only imagine the substances that went into making some of these movies. Still, it was a treat seeing these previews amongst an audience. The crowd response was exhilarating.

The features raised from the hilariously incompetent (Two Thousand Maniacs!, Panorama Blue - a porno, BTW, the oevure of Rudy Ray Moore), to the mildly intriguing (Foxy Brown, Blacula) to the outright disturbing (Zombie - shown as Zombies 2; I imagine that Dawn of the Dead was known as Zombies when it hit Italy, Deadly Weapons, Let Me Die a Woman...I tell you, there are just some things that can't be unseen).

Just goes to show you; there are fun things to do in this town, if one is willing to look.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Well, Friday the 13th is anything standing in my way.

The snow that the area is in(famous) for finally made itself known, but I still went to see The Artist. All in all, a pretty good day.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good news, everyone!

By Friday evening, I will have seen Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Artist, therefore my "Movies of 2011" post will be ready by (or on; likely the second one) next Tuesday.

Also, I'm feeling a lot better.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Let's see: teeth chattering, goose bumps, liquid waste instead of solid, weird feeling in my stomach? Yep, I'm sick.

Don't know if it's the flu or something I ate, but I'm feeling mighty low. Hope to talk when I feel better.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Winter/spring movie preview.


The Devil Inside - The Last Exorcism, more or less re-told by the makers of Stay Alive.

Contraband - Before they embarrass themselves later this year in Seth MacFarlane's Ted, Mark Wahlberg and Giovanni Ribisi are embroiled in smuggling counterfeit bills.

Joyful Noise - Feuding church choir members (Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah) find that their offspring are falling in love.

Underworld: Awakening - Blue filters. Cheesy CGI. Kate Beckinsale in skintight clothing. You'd think at least one of these would entice me to see this.

Haywire - Following a betrayal, a super soldier seeks revenge, beating her way through an impressive cast (Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum). BTW, why do I get the feeling I haven't heard the last of that last guy?

Coriolanus - A tale of revenge in ancient Rome, with Ralph Fiennes (making his directing debut) and Gerard Butler.

Red Tails - The true story of African-American fighter pilots in World War II. Screenplay by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder. Yes, the creator of "The Boondocks".

The Grey - What could be worse than crash-landing in a frozen wasteland? Crash-landing in a frozen wasteland and dealing with wolves. Bad time to be Liam Neeson, I would imagine.

One for the Money - Katherine Heigl returns to Killers territory in this 'based on a true story' tale of a woman who becomes a bounty hunter. Wasn't this a USA show a while back?

Man on a Ledge - Sam Worthington threatens to jump off the ledge of a hotel, but could this be a cover for something else? Probably.


The Woman in Black - From Horcruxes to ghosts; Daniel Radcliffe investigates a haunted house.

Chronicle - The superhero genre seems to be wearing out its welcome. Likewise, the found footage genre. Let's combine them! Screenplay by Max 'Son of John' Landis.

Big Miracle - Based on a true story of an Alaskan community uniting to save a trio of killer whales.

Safe House - CIA agent Ryan Reynolds is tasked to protect fugitive Denzel Washington when their safe house is attacked. A more action-oriented Midnight Run? Maybe.

The Vow - Rachel McAdams loses her memory in an accident, spurring Channing Tatum to remind her of their relationship.

Journey 2: the Mysterious Island - A sequel to the remake of Journey to the Center to the Earth, co-starring Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine and Luis Guzman.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Jonah Hex was a disjointed (though strangely watchable) mess. Here's hoping that Neveldine/Taylor's second foray into comic book adaptations turns out better.

This Means War - Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are two CIA agents who come to blows over Reese Witherspoon. Neat premise, but the execution has me uneasy. Think I'm overreacting? Look up the credits of the film's producer, Robert Simonds. I'll wait.

The Secret World of Arrietty - The latest from Studio Ghibli. It's nice to finally see an animated production do justice to the story of "The Borrowers". (Yes, that was a shot.)

Act of Valor - The trailer so led me to believe this was some kind of documentary, but apparently, it's a fictional story of Navy SEALS rescuing a CIA agent. (Man, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a movie about CIA agents this month.)

Wanderlust - It's like I said last fall: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston drop out of the rat race and join a commune.

Good Deeds - Tyler Perry is Wesley Deeds (oh, I get it now), a man who finds true love on the eve of his wedding.

Gone - Amanda Seyfried managed to escape a psychopath, but he comes back for her sister. Creepy.


The Lorax - Yet another loose adaptation/expansion of a Dr. Seuss story. Looks charming enough on its own, but I get the feeling that this will fall into 'if only they didn't call it (blank)' territory.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters - Anoter classic fairy tale gets a wild reimagining. Wake me when they come out with "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".

Project X - Not a remake of the Matthew Broderick movie, but the story of how a house party gets out of hand. Produced by Todd Phillips.

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie - Yep. God hates us.

John Carter - As much as I want this, Andrew Stanton's live-action debut, to succeed, I get the feeling that this adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs story will be the first big bath taken by a studio this year.

The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) is on the case as a killer patterns murders after Poe's writings.

Think Like a Man - Following the much-disliked (but not that bad) Fantastic Four movies, Barbershop director Tim Story returns to character-based films with this (if you watch as much television as me) all-star romantic comedy.

Playing the Field - While coaching a youth soccer team, Gerard Butler hopes to score with some single moms.

Mirror Mirror - This take on the Snow White story (the first of two this year!) actually looks good, mainly because of Julia Roberts' hammy Evil Queen. Sue me.

21 Jump Street - 2010's The Other Guys was apparently so successful, Sony decided to remake it with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Sure, it's purportedly based on the Fox TV series, but don't be fooled.

Butter - People actually craft sculptures out of butter? Weird but true. This movie takes a look at those folks.

Casa de mi padre - When is a change-of-pace not a change-of-pace? When Will Ferrell stars in a Spanish comedy.

The Hunger Games - Another feature based on a youth-oriented book that I haven't read.

A Thousand Words - Long-delayed Eddie Murphy comedy where he is cursed with only being able to utter a thousand words before he dies.

Wrath of the Titans - Perseus, Zeus, Hades and the whole gang are back.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits - After a pair of maligned-yet-very-enjoyable CGI features, Aardman returns to claymation in this high-seas adventure comedy.


American Reunion - Damn them. What sounded like a bad idea actually looks pretty funny.

The Cold Light of Day - More or less another variation on Frantic with the guy from Immortals.

The Cabin in the Woods - Long-delayed (in the years since its completion, co-star Chris Hemsworth had time to rise to stardom as Thor), Joss Whedon-produced thriller where a group of friends encounter strange goings-on.

The Three Stooges - The inexplicable "Jersey Shore" reference aside, this seems to be a spot-on channelling of the classic shorts.

Bullet to the Head - Walter Hill directs Sylvester Stallone, a collaboration that one feels probably should've happened years ago.

Movie 43 - An assemblage of original comedy shorts, bursting with talent on both sides of the camera.

Wettest County - Prohibition must really be popular, what with "Boardwalk Empire" and this drama from the director of The Road.

The Lucky One - Yet another one of those Nicholas Sparks adaptations, this time starring Zac Efron.

Chimpanzee - Disney's annual nature documentary looks at an adorable baby chimp and the bond he forms with an older primate.

House at the End of the Street - A mother and daughter move next door to a house where a murder took place. It sounds like a glorified Lifetime movie to me.

Lock-Out - There was talk of an Escape from New York remake a while back, but that seems to have stalled, allowing Luc Besson to put his own spin on the idea.

The Five Year Engagement - After such a long courtship, will Jason Segel and Emily Blunt be ready for marriage?

Safe - Jason Statham is...does it really matter what the movie's about?

Top ten to see:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
The Secret World of Arrietty
Safe House
The Grey
Movie 43
The Raven
Man on a Ledge
Mirror Mirror
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Fuck these three:
Underworld: Awakening (Again with these stupid movies?!)
The Devil Inside (I think the poster's flipping me the 'muff diving' sign.)
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie (No Steve Brule = Why would any sane person see this?)

Sunday, January 01, 2012


Here's another list of things I want to do, but (more than likely due to laziness or disinterest) probably won't:

- attend at least one convention (I really don't care what city it's held in.)

- get my own place (A 30-year-old guy still living at home. The scandal!)

- take this screenwriting thing seriously (I have an idea in particular that I just know might get my foot in the door.)

- learn how to play an instrument (Not really something I have to do. I just have a curiosity.)

- avoid eating so much at the movies (This one I can't completely promise, despite the hit my wallet takes.)

- talk to beautiful women (As in complete sentences; Just saying 'Hey' is not acceptable.)

I doubt this is a complete list. I'm always forgetting something.

And to anyone who read my post last night/this morning, deep apologies if I worried you.