Archive for May, 2008

Summer Trailers and their Marketing Plans – No more surprises for Batman.

May 27, 2008

***Normally an image would be here, but so as not to spoil anything, I have refrained from showing too much.***

How else to do a raspberry in the title of an article without doing a smiley? Hate it. I’ll sue myself!

It was inevitable that no matter how long I kept my eyes closed during the trailers of the new Batman film I was going to see what the Joker looked like. 2 images spread across the internet like wild fire. Okay, fine. I can live with it.

But that’s it. Even though I’m beginning to feel left out, I continue to close my eyes. I want to retain that feeling when I was a kid, when every movie was a surprise. When they were smart enough not to throw a visual from every scene of a movie at the audience in a trailer.

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“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”: The first reaction.

May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones

***While they may not be major spoilers here. Plot points are discussed. If you want the film to surprise don’t read this review!…yet.***

I don’t care how long of a title it is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the movie I was looking most forward to this year. It’s the reason why movies are made! The theatre let us in an hour before the film was to unspool at 12:01am Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I sat there shaking anxiously (or was it nervously?) The poor loud woman in the front row was getting the brunt of my unused energy while I verbally and quietly attacked her from a distance (though she was really annoying.)

How could you not be excited about this film? Harrison Ford playing one of the greatest characters to grace the silver screen? Indie was my childhood, more so than all of those battles in space. I knew who Steven Spielberg was before I knew who Jesus Christ was. I knew John Williams before I knew Abraham Lincoln. Probably not, but you get the idea. A matinee idol for our times. Grounded in the mythology of our world. Taking us to places on our planet, places just beneath the very feet we walk on that were full of magic, wonderment and danger. And the Indiana Jones character is so grounded, accessible and fallible to pain and emotions and his own desire to see the unknown, how could you not look forward to another engagement?

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“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”: Floundering Innocence

May 26, 2008

Prince Caspion\'s LucyBelieve me when I say The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian doesn’t need to have a title this long. It’s really not that important or ground breaking a film. What happened to CN2: Prince Caspian? Or is that too early 00’s for everyone now? Regardless of the really long title, the film itself isn’t so bad.

A real sense of danger and intrigue hovers over the world of Narnia that was lacking in the first film. Even the Narnians themselves come with a little bit of bite (Peter Dinklage is wonderful and Eddie Izzard providing voice work is spot on, as is good old Warwick Davis). Arrows whiz by character’s heads, someone could get hurt!, peril looms over every situation and follows our heroes through every moment and not only because of the hordes of breast plated bad guys at their heels, but because of the flaws in our heroes. Which is great because when things go wrong, it matters.

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“Speed Racer”: Ready, set, move around…fast!

May 25, 2008

Speed Racer

Everything moves in The Wachowski Brother’s adaptation of Speed Racer, everything, except for sometimes the camera. Tony Scott likes to make “talking head” scenes interesting by having the camera roll back and forth in front of the actors. I laughed out loud when in Man on Fire the camera dollies left and right while Denzel and Walken are grilling burgers. It was the most action packed cook-out ever.

Well, the Brothers say no to camera movement and instead take those “talking heads” and float them in front of the camera, left-to-right, sometimes right-to-left. Sometimes after the head floats by the people are talking in the background just behind it. It’s an effect that at times is invigorating and other times simply annoying. You don’t know where one character is at in relationship to just about anything around him. Everything in the movie seems to inhabit a fourth dimension. (more…)

“Iron Man”: Keeping it Raucous

May 10, 2008

Iron Man

It was too packed. I always try and tell people on big opening weekends that we need to leave early if we want a good seat. Today every open seat had a hand resting on it or a purse. 15 Minutes before Iron Man and we couldn’t seat four people together. The next one was sold out. But the mall just down the street had one…2 hours later in line at the mall. I hate malls.

With the promise of stadium seating, leg room and AC only two hours ago I was thrust into a theatre with a screen no bigger than the size of my friend’s widescreen television set, my arms pinned together by the plastic arm rests on either side of me, leg room a newborn baby would love and a group of fellow moviegoers behind me only a deaf person would enjoy.

Within forty seconds everything around me disappeared and all there was was Iron Man. (more…)

“Street Kings”

May 5, 2008

Street Kings

David Ayer’s (Harsh Times, Training Day) new film Street Kings starring Keanu Reeves opened about a month ago and is pretty much gone from the cineplexes.

Why? Because it wasn’t a great film, but it wasn’t a bad film. It wasn’t a film that shouted for me to write about it after I had seen it, just to get around to it when I had the time. So here I am. I’m sure you can feel the enthusiasm.

Certainly it was a mediocre film, but not because of Keanu Reeves. People like to throttle him with less than flattering descriptions…”wooden” is one that comes to mind. I don’t think Keanu is wooden. And I don’t think he was the worst thing in this film.

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