MOV054: “I Support The Missionary’s Position.”

The boys head briefly back in time to resurrect Ryan Reynolds’ performance in 2010’s “Buried”, then head off to the high seas with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz to find out if “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” lives up to the hype.  They wind up the show with a review of “Warrior”, a September release starring – the dreamy – Tom Hardy.  All of this, along with more news about Akira, Star Trek, and more.  There’s no need to start a mutiny…this 54th Reel of COL Movies is gonna entertain the heck out of you.

News:

  • More woes for Akira, Director leaves – no replacement as of yet
  • Albert Hughes no longer directing – no replacement so far
  • Split was friendly – Warner brothers deciding how to proceed
  • Impatiently waiting for more Star Trek? Be prepared to wait some more
  • recent interview in which Bob Orci revealed franchise mastermind J.J. Abrams had not yet approved the 70-page outline Orci co-wrote
  • Bruce Greenwood indicated last July that the plan was to start shooting in January 2011, which made perfect sense given the June 2012 release date. February 2011 came and went without any “Trek” casting news
  • World War Z to start its worldwide shooting schedule in June
  • directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), is gearing up for a June production start.
  • shooting will begin in Malta. Production will then relocate to the UK and, later, Hungary. Principal photography will last well into the fall.
  • Brad Pitt is still set to star as a UN researcher gathering stories of the great zombie war. The actor is also producing.
  • J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Michael Carnahan penned the script.
  • Tom Hardy’s Bane

The Past: Buried (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh; 63% Audience

Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, Jose Luis Garcia Perez, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis

Trivia:

  • Samantha Mathis, who plays Paul Conroy’s wife, previously starred in a film where she is buried alive, called 83 Hours ‘Til Dawn (1990) (TV).
  • Shot in 17 days in a Barcelona studio.
  • Seven coffins were used in the movie.
  • The phone number of the Chicago FBI field office mentioned in the movie is the number of the office in real life.:
  • Ryan Reynolds states that he suffered from claustrophobia towards the end of filming (much like the character he is playing). This was mainly due to the fact the coffin he was in was gradually filled with more and more sand as filming went on. He describes the last day of shooting as “unlike anything I experienced in my life, and I never ever want to experience that again.”
  • When Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) opens up the note his kidnapper wants him to read on video, the first line says “The date is 23 October.” This is Ryan Reynolds’ actual birthday.
  • Ryan Reynolds is the only person we see in the flesh. All of the other performances are either voiceovers or recorded on his cell phone. The whole film is shot from the interior of the coffin. We never see the outside world. The film never repeats a single shot. These all make Buried (2010) one of the most minimalist films ever made.
  • Ryan Reynolds was the first and only choice to play Paul Conroy.
  • Shot in sequence.
  • Alfred Hitchcock films Rope (1948) and Lifeboat (1944) were an inspiration on Rodrigo Cortés when making Buried (2010).

Talking Points:

  • If anything makes me more excited to see Green Lantern.. its this.
  • Movie magic.

What We’ve Learned:

  • Don’t drive a truck in Iraq
  • If you do drive a truck in Iraq, keep your cell phone charged as much as possible
  • Remember your safety number
  • HR Departments SUCK

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It was alright. Did keep my attention.
Ray: I thought it was a little slow going at first, but it kept my attention and the ending ROCKED.
Steve: I really liked it. I was surprised by Ryan Reynolds’ dramatic chops, as well as how few people were actually in the movie. Good movie magic, too.

The Present: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten; 68% Audience

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin

Trivia:

  • Nothing new since the trailer.

Talking Points:

  • What was the average age of your audience, mine was about 60 (Ray)
  • I felt this film was very lazy, and just a setup up for more films.
  • Film length.
  • The mermaids (or harpie/vampire/siren/mermaids)

What We Learned:

  • Don’t lay your sword on the table while chasing a known criminal
  • A gentleman allows a lady to maintain her fiction
  • You can tell how long you have been at sea by the smell of your crew
  • Mermaids like singing
  • Tears of Joy are more potent than tears of sorrow.
  • Flags don’t shield you from musket balls

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: So fun. Was it a great movie? No, but fun. Skip the 3D though.
Ray: If your a fan of the series, I would say go for it. 3D is probably unnecessary. I could go my whole life without seeing another PotC movie.
Steve: Did not find the 3D necessary at all, but overall enjoyed it. Drug along in some places, but walked away feeling like it was the best since number 1.

The Future: Warrior

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Starring: Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Noah Emmerich

Trivia:

  • Filming took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Mogul Minds Studios, located in Pittsburgh, was used during the filming, as well as the University of Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center and the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In. North Hills High School was also used for some interior scenes.
  • Hardy went through a demanding training routine for gaining muscle during the film’s pre-production, gaining around 28 pounds of muscle and raising his overall weight to 205 pounds.
  • Additional filming was shot at the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, located in Moundsville, West Virginia.
  • Additional scenes were shot around the historic Pitt Hotel and Restaurant in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

Talking Points:

  • Seems like The Fighter + MMA + Iraq

Summary:

An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for a mixed martial arts tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan’s unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Looks like a Fighter imitator. Unless I hear otherwise, not interested.
Ray: The Fighter part two?
Steve: The Fighter with some more up-to-date issues. Tom Hardy looks awesome, though!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV053: “LeeLoo Dallas Multipass”

The boys kick off year two with a few new bells and whistles, while heading back in time to bring back “The Fifth Element”. After Jeff finishes his orgasm, they head to the theaters to check the post-apocalyptic vampire flick, “Priest”. If that’s not enough saving the world, they check out the new trailer for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. Will the Michael Bay train stay on track or will we be as disappointed as we were with Trans 2? The boys also bring you up to date on “Akira”, “Thor 2” and “Titanic” in 3-D? Doesn’t the boat sink the same in 2-D? For the heck of it, they also reflect on their favorites from year one. Whether a long-standing fan or a newbie, this is definitely a show you don’t want to miss! Leeloo Dallas Multipass

News:

The Past: The Fifth Element (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh; 84% Audience

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker

Trivia:

  • The language spoken by Leeloo was invented by director Luc Besson and further refined by Milla Jovovich. By the end of filming they were able to have full conversations in this language.
  • The explosion in the Fhloston main hall was the largest indoor explosion ever filmed. The resulting fire almost got beyond control.
  • Early in the film, Gary Oldman’s character quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Oldman’s costar, Bruce Willis, released a record album on Motown Records with that title in the 1980s. 11 years later, Heath Ledger said a variation of the famous line in The Dark Knight (2008) (also starring Gary Oldman).
  • This is one of two science-fiction movies featuring Ian Holm in which there is a character by the name of Dallas. The other one is Alien (1979), which stars Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas.
  • Ruby Rhod was not the original name for Chris Tucker’s character, it was Loc Rhod. The original name appears in the script and the movie novelization.
  • When Korben Dallas wakes up, the date can just be seen on his bedroom wall: March 18th, 2263. 18 March is director Luc Besson’s birthday (a day before Bruce Willis’).
  • The only phrases from Leeloo’s alien language that are included in the captioning are “mlarta,” “big ba-dah big boom,” “akta,” “seno akta gamat,” “san agamat chay bet. Envolet,” “danko,” “domo danko,” and “apipoulai.” Everything else appears as Unknown Language or, after it’s specified, the Divine Language.
  • When the Mondoshawan aliens appear in 1914 Egypt, the Professor, panicking, says, “A… A… Are you German?” In the German version he says “Sind Sie… hier von der Erde?” which roughly translates as “Are you from here… Earth?”
  • The hero (Bruce Willis) and the villain (Gary Oldman) never meet, nor do they communicate in any way.
  • Luc Besson wrote the original screenplay when he was in high school.
  • Leeloo’s full name is “Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat”. According to the subtitles in English DVD Region 1.
  • At the time, this was the most expensive production in Gaumont’s history.
  • At US$80 million, the special-effects budget of the film was the highest of its time.
  • At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced outside of Hollywood.
  • According to the Ultimate Edition DVD, Prince and Lenny Kravitz were sources of inspiration for the part of Ruby Rhod.
  • In every New York visual effects scene with flying traffic there is a flying bus with the Digital Domain (the facility responsible for most of the VFX) internal reference, or shot name, stenciled on the roof of a bus. The instructions for the visual effects team were to include one bus with the shot name but then all other buses and traffic could have personal references including birthdays, initials, etc. The front marquee for a bus’s destination and side billboards were customized by the artists at Digital Domain to reference, invisibly or subliminally, some personal stamp or message.
  • The flying traffic created by the visual effects team at Digital Domain allowed artists to create personalized license plates. Though never visible in the film, the state slogan printed on all license plates reads, “New York, The Fuck-You State.”:
  • The text scrolling across a Times Square theater marquee as Korben dives down through traffic is actually an excerpt from an e-mail dispute between several artists at Digital Domain. Other signs on digital and practical, miniature buildings contain similar in-jokes and references and the large cylindrical tanker truck that Korben’s cab almost hits at the end of his decent is decorated with the logo of a Venice, California, pizza parlor that was a favorite of Digital Domain artists.
  • The people populating the roofs, decks and windows during the visual effects sequences in New York are actually the artists and employees at Digital Domain who worked on the film.
  • Bruce Willis ad-libbed the line, “Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English.”
  • Luc Besson, an admitted comic book fan, had two famous French comic book artists in mind for the film’s visual style when he started writing the movie in high school. Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jean-Claude Mézières. Both artists have long-standing comic book series in France. Moebius is best known for “Blueberry” and the (French) Magazine and (US) movie Heavy Metal (1981). Mézières is best known for the “Valerian” series. Both series are still in production today. Moebius and Mezieres, who attended art school together but had never collaborated on a project until The Fifth Element (1997), started renderings for the film in the early ’90s and are responsible for the majority of the over all look of the film, including the vehicles, spacecrafts, buildings, human characters and aliens. However, only Giraud is credited, and even then he wasn’t even granted a premium when the movie was eventually produced.
  • As Korben and Leeloo approach an intersection in his cab the camera whips forward to reveal to the audience that six police cars are waiting for him ahead. In the far background, behind the police cars, is a chase between a police car and a long black car complete with muzzle flashes to represent gun fire between the two cars. Ever an eye for detail, Luc Besson noticed the embellishment the first time the visual effects shot was reviewed, thought that it was funny and it remains in the final film.
  • Part of the song that the Diva sings is from the opera “Lucia Di Lammermoor”, and very often goes by the title “The Mad Song”, as it is sung by Lucia just after she murders Arturo (whom she was forced to marry) on their wedding day – Lucia is hallucinating that she has married the man she really loves; Edgardo, her brother’s nemesis.
  • When filming began, the production decided to dye Milla Jovovich’s hair from its natural brown color to her character’s signature orange color. However, due to the fact that her hair had to be re-dyed regularly to maintain the bright color, Milla’s hair quickly became too damaged and broken to withstand the dye. Eventually a wig was created to match the color and style of Leeloo’s hair, and was used for the remainder of the production.
  • Plavalaguna, Diva’s name, is actually composed of two words: Plava and Laguna. “Plava” in Serbian, Croatian, Montenigrin, Macedonian and Bosnian language means Blue (feminine, masculine would be “plav”). “Laguna” in same languages means lagoon, though Laguna is used in English as well as in Laguna Beach, California. So her name is Blue Lagoon. (‘Mila Jovovic’ also played Lilli in Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991).)
  • When composer Eric Serra showed soprano Inva Mula (who dubs the voice of the Diva) the sheet music for the Diva Dance, she reportedly smiled and relayed to him that some of the notes written were not humanly possible to achieve because the human voice cannot change notes that fast. Hence, she performed the notes in isolation – one by one, as opposed to consecutively singing them all together and they digitized the notes to fit the music. There are a few moments when you can hear the differences in the vocal tones of The Diva’s voice.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when Zorg blows up Right Arm at the airport and when Leeloo tosses two Mangalores out of the Diva’s room.
  • Nick Dudman’s creature crew created a group of spindly, long-nosed alien garbage collectors that never made it to the final film. In the scenes at the spaceport, there’s a huge pile of garbage which has gone uncollected because the garbage collectors are on strike (as explained in some dialogue). These creatures would have been seen amidst the garbage, holding sandwich board signs reading “On strike” if they had made it to the final cut.
  • While cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières isn’t directly credited in the movie, he is indeed the confirmed author of most sets, as his album ‘My Fifth Element’ (Mon cinquième élément) was published at the same time the movie came out in France, reusing the movie’s logo on the cover. Similarly, at the time the movie was being shot, Christin and Mézières published ‘Les cercles du pouvoir’ which contained a hovercraft taxi (which led Luc Besson to rewrite the movie’s opening scenes) and a caricature of Besson.
  • Cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières of ‘My Fifth Element’ also says that Luc Besson approached him for ideas, telling him: “I want to make a movie based on your visuals. But I am ready to pay you for the work.” The nuance is because there has long been a controversy that many elements in the Star Wars series (several aliens, Darth Vader’s costume, Leia’s golden bikini, Han Solo’s carbonite) were lifted almost unmodified out of Valerian (in particular ‘L’Empire des Mille Planètes’, published in 1971) – of which George Lucas is known to own several original editions, as seen during interviews in his study.

Talking Points:

  • Could anyone but Chris Tucker played Ruby Rhod as well?
  • Jean-Paul Gautier’s influence on the film
  • What is the fifth element?

What We’ve Learned:

  • You can’t drink a toast with water
  • If they don’t chase you after a mile.. they don’t chase you.. wait maybe that’s two miles.
  • Life comes from disorder destruction and chaos
  • If you’re going to transport Mystic stones for the ultimate weapon against evil, hide them inside the body of an alien opera diva
  • Ugly, big forehead. big ears, must be a Mangalore
  • Mangalores won’t fight without a leader
  • Flying a starfighter is like driving a cab

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One of my favorite films of all time. This needs to be in everyone’s DVD/Blu-Ray collections
Ray: This is what I call the perfect storm… Sci Fi action comedy’s are hard to nail.. but this one does it repeatedly.
Steve: I think it’s alright. Creative, but a schitzo film. I do really like Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in it!

Intermission: Favorites of the Past Present and Future

The Present: Priest
Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Rotten; 49% Audience

Director: Scott Charles Stewart

Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins

Trivia:

  • Director Stewart says, “The priests of our story are like Jedi knights. They have these supernatural abilities to fight vampires and they saved humanity before the movie even begins. Now, a generation later, society has moved on from war, and the priests are like pariahs. They’re almost like Vietnam vets—they’ve been cast aside by society and they’re now reviled and feared.”
  • Gerard Butler and Steven Strait were originally cast.
  • The film is based on the Korean comics Priest by Min-Woo Hyung.
  • The film diverges from the comics in following a different timeline of events. The director described Priest’s vampires as not being human in origin, and humans bitten by vampires became familiars instead. There are different forms of vampires, such as hive drones, guardians, and a queen.
  • Since the vampires were intended to move quickly, they were fully computer-generated for the film. While vampires are harmed by sunlight in most lore, the film’s vampires are instead photosensitive, being albino cave-dwellers.
  • Director Stewart said, “They are the enemy we don’t really understand, but we fought them for centuries. They are mysterious and alien, with their own culture. You sense that they think and communicate, but you don’t really understand what they are saying.”
  • The Director also called Priest an homage to The Searchers with the title character being similar to John Wayne’s character and the vampires being similar to the Comanche.
  • Priest was panned by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 18% based on reviews from 57 critics and reports a rating average of 3.9 out of 10. It reported the overall consensus, “Priest is admittedly sleek and stylish, but those qualities are wasted on a dull, derivative blend of sci-fi, action, and horror cliches.”
  • Priest was released in the United States and Canada on May 13, 2011. The film’s release date changed numerous times in 2010 and 2011. It was originally scheduled for October 1, 2010, but it moved earlier to August 27, 2010 to fill a weekend slot when another Screen Gems film, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was postponed. When the filmmakers wanted to convert Priest from 2D to 3D, the film was newly scheduled for release on January 14, 2011. It was delayed again to May 13, 2011 so the film could attract summertime audiences.

Talking Points:

  • Mad Max meets Bladerunner meets Blade – in a Western with a steam punk twist?
  • What’s it trying to say about religion?
  • What do you think the story is trying to say? (Return from war? PTSD?)
  • Sets are awesome!

What We Learned:

  • Being a priest sucks when there is no war against the vampires!
  • Want to prove there is a vampire menace? Throw the head of one at the Pope!
  • All vampire movies must have a red-headed female character named Lucy.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I love post apocalyptic action movies, especially if martial arts or other hand to hand combat is involved. Wish there was more action though. Not terrible, worth seeing in the theatre in 2D otherwise, okay to waive for DVD.
Ray: This movie bored me to death.. It seems like most of the action sequences were all shown in the trailers.. nothing new to see.
Steve: I liked it…didn’t particularly care for the “vampires”, but thought the concept was cool. Enjoyed the action sequences a lot. Found it pretty thoughtful as I watched.

The Future: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong

Trivia:

  • Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they “risked getting stale.”
  • When Megan Fox dropped out shortly before filming began, Gemma Arterton, Ashley Greene, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Bar Refaeli, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Heidi Montag and Anna Kendrick were all rumored to replace her before Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast.
  • This is director Michael Bay’s first threequel (third instalment in a series/trilogy).
  • The Autobots have upgraded their alternate modes: – Bumblebee has received an upgrade and is now a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – Ratchet’s color scheme now includes white and his green is more grass-green than his previous neon/yellow green – Sideswipe is now a Chevrolet Centennial Corvette convertible
  • James Avery is the second actor from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990) to star in a Michael Bay film. The first was Will Smith, who did the Bad Boys series.
  • In view of the technology’s rising popularity, Paramount/Dreamworks were adamant to have this film either shot for 3-D or converted in post-production. Director Michael Bay was initially wary of the technology, calling it a “gimmick” in various interviews and noting the poor quality of post-production conversion. Vince Pace, the co-found of PACE 3D who developed 2D and 3D cameras with James Cameron reported in July 2010 that he was working on Transformers 3 and that it will be shot in on PACE 3D cameras. However, for scenes that required higher image quality or were in slow motion, traditional anamorphic 35mm film was used and converted into 3D in post production.
  • Optimus Prime’s trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from “Transformers” (1984) with the decorative stripe running along its side.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is playing Carly, a primary character that was introduced in the second season of “Transformers” (1984).
  • During filming in Washington, DC, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that plays Bumblebee was struck by an metro police K-9 SUV responding to a bomb alert. The police officer involved sustained minor injuries, and Bumblebee sustained considerable damage. Filming was able to continue, as there were copies of each automobile for shooting purposes.
  • A tilting office set was constructed to simulate a Decepticon attack.
  • The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s/Kobalt).
  • The “dark of the moon” is defined as a phase (approximately three days) when the light of the moon is obscured, and thus absent (i.e. a no-moon time), and precedes the new moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Symbolically, it represents a time of inner stillness and contemplation, and preparedness for a new beginning.
  • The Autobot Wheeljack’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile.
  • The idea of Apollo 11 being connected to the discovery of the Transformers had been previously put forth in the Transformers (2007) tie-in prequel novel ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’.
  • Production stalled in Chicago as Gabriella Cedillo, an extra was seriously injured driving her own car as background for a stunt shot. The stunt was taking place in the opposite lane and a metal object – rigging from a snapped cable – went flying through her windshield and struck her in the skull. Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, included left side paralysis and limited vision in her left eye. Paramount Studios provided an undisclosed amount of money to cover the cost of her medical care.
  • Corey Burton, who voiced Shockwave in “Transformers” (1984) and “Transformers: Animated” (2007), was approached to reprise Shockwave for the film, but turned it down as he’d done that role too many times. He had earlier been approached to voice Jazz and Brawl for the first film.
  • Megatron’s alternate mode in this film is a Mack Titan tanker truck, his first Earth disguise. This was chosen to put him on parallel with Optimus Prime (the filmmakers described him as “a demented version of Prime”). This mode also pays homage to the “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001) Decepticon Scourge (also known in Japan as “Nemesis Prime”), who is an evil clone of Optimus Prime.
  • Michael Bay described the tone of the film as “a homeland version of Black Hawk Down (2001) with giant alien robots.”
  • Sentinel Prime is primarily based on his role in the “Transformers” comics (Optimus Prime’s yellow-colored predecessor) and his lance and shield were taken from his “Transformers: Animated” (2007) incarnation, but his later form on Earth – a red Rosenbauer Panther fire truck – is a homage to “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001)’s Optimus Prime, whose alternate mode was a fire truck.
  • Laserbeak’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic condor form throughout the film.
  • This is the first movie that starts with Megatron being conscious. In previous installments Megatron was awaken or resurrected.
  • A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from “Transformers” (1984) who was an ally of the Autobots.
  • Michael Bay compared Megatron to Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979): “He’s hiding in the jungles of Africa, nursing his wounds and vainly hiding his pulverized visage while plotting – what else? – revenge!”
  • Peter Cullen’s favorite moment in the film is when Optimus Prime meets with astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Talking Points:

  • Lots of references to old school Transformers
  • Why do all of the Decepticons look the same?
  • Transformers meets V meets Battle: LA?

Summary:

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers’ final battle.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Ooo, shiney. Here’s my money.
Ray: Im going just to watch chicago burn.
Steve: I hate Shia, but I’ll still see it.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV052: “ZeroCool”

In this 52nd Reel, the boys go back in time to revisit “Hackers”. Does it still hold up today? As for what’s currently in the theater, they tackle “Thor” (and they like it! 😉 – haha!). Does it hold up to the plethora of comic book movies that are out there and coming up? Then, speaking of comic book movies, the boys check out the multitude of trailers for “X-men: First Class”. Do any of them actually excite the guys? All this and movie news including updates on the plot of “Expendables 2”, David Hasselhoff in he next “Piranha” movie, “Amityville Horror” goes 3-D, and “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens”? Pikachu…we choose you!!

News:

The Past: Hackers (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten; 66% Audience

Director: Iain Softly

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard,Lawrance Mason, Angelina Jolie, Fisher Stevens

Trivia:

  • The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes. In the real school, the pool is on the first floor.
  • The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a “Gibson” – a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.
  • The character name “Emmanuel Goldstein” is taken from George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein aka Eric Corley, who publishes the magazine “2600, The Hacker Quarterly”. Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.
  • The “Hacker Manifesto” read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.
  • Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.
  • Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.
  • Around the movie’s release, the official website was modified by its webmasters to appear that it had been “hacked into,” and digital graffiti and instructions to “see ‘The Net’ instead” was added to the site’s graphics.
  • All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers.
  • The game being played in the arcade is a high-quality prototype of the Playstation game “Wipeout” by Psygnosis. It is done on a high-end SGI server and allowed the development team to try out tracks and gameplay, before porting it to the Playstation. As a result, there are features and graphics in the movie that do not exist in the actual game, including the “high score smashing” sequence.
  • The “hacking”-sequences – the scenes where you see the “inside” of a computer – are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial.
  • The poster for this movie shows Acid Burn and Crash Override with various words and ASCII symbols transposed on their faces. Amongst the words are: – 1. Names of hackers in the movie, including Lord Nikon, Acid Burn, and Crash Override – 2. Some of the commonly-used passwords, according to Plague, such as God, Sex, Love, and Secret – 3. Phreak – a “phone freak” – a hacker who concentrates their knowledge on telephone systems. (Phantom Phreak was the main Phreaker in the hacker group)
  • Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, “We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state.”
  • The part of Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) had to turn it down. The director auditioned Hilary Swank, Heather Graham and Liv Tyler for the role which ultimately went to Angelina Jolie.
  • At the beginning of the movie when Dade phones the security desk of the television station he is hacking in to he gives the name of Eddie Vedder, the singer of the rock band Pearl Jam.
  • The distinctive ring Kate Libby wears is the “Original Armour Ring” by jewelry designer Marche’ Noir.
  • The film’s writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.

Talking Points:

  • The competition

What We’ve Learned:

  • God gave men brains larger than dogs so they wouldn’t hump women’s legs at cocktail parties
  • Spandex is privilege not a right.
  • You wanna be elite you gotta pull a righteous hack
  • Hacking is more than a crime, its a survival trait
  • It’s in that place where I put that thing that time
  • There is no right and wrong, only fun and boring
  • Hackers used a lot of hard copy back in 1995.
  • HACK THE PLANET.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Totally unrealistic nerdy film. I adore it. Way dated though.
Ray: The Movie that made it “Cool” to be a computer nerd…. love it, although the tech aspect of this movie really dates it
Steve: Dated, but not as cool as other early computer-based movies like WarGames. To be honest, is early EMO to me. Not my fav, but others may like.

Intermission: Top 5 Computer Themed Films

  1. Tron
  2. WarGames
  3. The Matrix
  4. 2001: A Space Odessey
  5. Hackers

The Present: Thor
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Fresh; 83% Audience

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Stellen Skarsgarrd

Trivia:

  • Comic writer Stan Lee who created Thor in 1962, appears as the truck driver who attempts to tow Mjolnir out of the crater it landed in… and fails miserably.
  • This is Anthony Hopkins’s first comic book film. He was previously offered the role of Alfred in Batman Begins (2005).
  • The Eye of Agamotto, a very powerful magical amulet, can be seen in Odin’s treasure room. This was a weapon wielded by a Marvel hero, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme.
  • According to producer Kevin Feige, the Bifrost bridge is the films’s most interesting set: “In the comics, it’s literally a rainbow that extends out from Asgard and pops down on Earth. We’re not necessarily doing that; we’re not having the big hard solid lines of colors. We’re saying it’s some sort of energy, almost a solid quartz bridge that as the light catches it and flows through it, you get some of that rainbow-esque quality to it.”
  • Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a “Thor” comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role.
  • To prepare for his role as Loki, Tom Hiddleston trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
  • Thor holds a drawing of a crossroads with nine orbs in it. This is his perception and representation of Yggdrasil, in Norse mythology a great tree around which the nine worlds are tethered, making up the universe.
  • A model of the Infinity Gauntlet, an all powerful weapon capable of controlling aspects of reality (soul, time, space, power & mind) in the “Marvel Comics” universe, was constructed for this film. The model is made from bronze and copper (with jewels made from resin) and weighs 60 pounds. It was built to be operational so that animatronics could be built on it.

Talking Points:

  • There was very little exposition for a origin story film
  • Story – what you expected?
  • Natalie Portman…good or bad?
  • Loki looks like Johnny Weir
  • Chris Hemsworth..hottie or nottie?

What We Learned:

  • What you need is a rainbow bridge
  • I need sustenance!
  • A pet store is not the place to get a horse

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I really liked it, not the best Marvel movie but not bad at all.
Ray: Tolerable, one of the weaker marvel movies as far as story goes. Don’t waste your money on 3D. Can we have the Avengers already?
Steve: Enjoyed it…was much more pleased than I thought I would be going in. Definitely worth a look…3D unnecessary.

The Future: X-Men: First Class

Director: Chris Miller

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Lucas Till, Zoë Kravitz, Jason Flemyng, Edi Fathegi

Trivia:

  • Bryan Singer, who directed X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), was approached to direct this film in October 2009, but in March 2010 declined due to his commitment to Jack the Giant Killer (2012) and was replaced with Matthew Vaughn in May 2010. Singer however stayed on as producer.
  • Taylor Lautner was considered to play Hank McCoy (aka Beast) but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Nicholas Hoult was later cast.
  • The uniforms the X-Men wear are colored blue and yellow, in homage to the original blue/yellow suits the X-Men wore in the comics from 1963 (their debut) to 2001 (when X-Men (2000) inspired a change to black leather).
  • Filming was originally to take place on Tybee Island, but a producer browsing on the online map program Google Earth found Jekyll Island to be a more suitable location.
  • Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were considered to appear in the film as the elder Professor X and Magneto, but the idea was rejected as the filmmakers wanted to start a new X-Men trilogy, without any connection to the previous films.
  • A telepathic battle between Professor X and Emma Frost was going to be in the film, but upon the release of Inception (2010) the concept was scrapped.
  • This is the first X-Film without Wolverine or Cyclops.
  • Matthew Vaughn instructed the cast to do away with all accents in their performances. James McAvoy had planned to copy Patrick Stewart’s voice (since McAvoy was going to play a younger version of Stewart’s Xavier), but Vaughn quashed it; Vaughn also told Rose Byrne that Moira MacTaggart would not have her trademark Scottish accent in the film (to the Scottish McAvoy’s mild disappointment).

Talking Points:

  • How many versions of this trailer are there?
  • Trailer at least acknowledges the previous films, which I’m surprised at.

Summary:

Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-MEN.

Trailer:

TRAILER #1:

TRAILER #2:

TRAILER #3: International

Excitement:
Jeff: Stoked, but I’m easily stoked when it comes to comic book movies.
Ray: I am skeptical.. X3 really left a bad taste in mouth.. hopefully by going back to the past they can fix what they mucked up in the future.
Steve: Seems like it’s something I’ll like…origins of several characters versus a single movie on one. I’m down for it!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV051: “Go Bury Him In The Yard Before He Stinks Up The Place”

The boys head back in time to ride along with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal in “Throw Momma From The Train”.  Despite Anne Ramsey’s Academy Award nominated performance, are there any other reasons to buy a ticket on the 80’s express?  Then they continue the trip to N’awlins to check out all the crazy undead action with “Dylan Dog: Dead of Night”.  Is this Italian comic book adaptation worthy or should it just be staked?  Lastly, they head to the kingdom of Far Far Away to discuss the teaser trailer for the Shrek prequel, “Puss In Boots”.  All this, movie news, and much, much more in this 51st reel of COL Movies!

News:

Feedback: 5 star review on iTunes from indyca “So fun. Give it a try, you’ll be delighted.”

The Past: Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

Rotten Tomatoes: 60% Fresh / 50% Audience

Director: Danny DeVito

Starring: Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist, Anne Ramsey, Kate Mulgrew

Trivia:

  • The title comes from the Patti Page song “Throw Mama From the Train, a kiss, a kiss, Wave Mama from the train a goodbye…”
  • Anne Ramsey’s speech impediment was caused by operations she underwent in order to treat throat cancer. She received a best-supporting actress nomination for her role in the film in 1987.
  • ‘Danny Devito’ once noted in an interview with Playboy Magazine that the scene where Owen shows his coin collection to Larry, was inspired by his childhood habit of sharing things with friends that involved whatever he was into at the time. It was his insistence as a director to include a sequence like this in the movie. Writer Stu Silver then wrote the scene.
  • The frying pan used on Billy Crystal by Danny Devito was made of rubber.
  • Larry on the train talks to Owen about the perfect beginning of a novel and mentions Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. “It was the best of times it was the worst of times..”. Momma then says, ‘The night was sultry’. This is a variation of the line,’The night was so very sultry.’. A quote from the same novel.
  • It was inspired by the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train, which also plays a role in the film.

Talking Points:

  • Is it just me or is Danny DeVito always eating in this movie?
  • Anne Ramsey’s performance – nominated for Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress & done while she was suffering from throat cancer

What We’ve Learned:

  • Criminals and Dick Clark don’t age
  • a writer writes, always
  • Eliminate the Motive and Establish an alibi
  • You don’t answer the phone when your dead
  • The night was humid, no – moist, no – SULTRY!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This movie is unwatchable for me. Fortunately, I still can recommend it to other people. I just don’t like hiding for half the movie.
Ray: Great Movie – although it doesn’t really start getting good till Ann Ramsey is on screen
Steve: Love, love, love Anne Ramsey! This movie makes me laugh out loud. A total cult movie that is worth a look.

The Present: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes: 6% Rotten / 43% Audience

Director: Kevin Munroe

Starring: Brandon Routh, Anita Briem, Sam Huntington, Peter Stormore, Taye Diggs, Kurt Angle

Trivia:

  • This was the second time Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington co-starred in a film together, the last film being Superman Returns.
  • The film is loosely based on the Italian comic book Dylan Dog created by Tiziano Sclavi and published by Sergio Bonelli Editore.
  • Luca Raffaelli (la Repubblica), after watching the movie said “it’s a good B-movie inspired to a great top-league European comic”, and points out that the character of Brandon Routh “is void” while the original comic character “uses the horror to talk about modern society problems”.

Talking Points:

  • Why don’t the critics like it? Audiences? (expecting a horror movie?)
  • Horror movie vs Monster movie?
  • Felt more like a screen-length “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”
  • Did the friend feel oddly similar to Will Ferrell?

What We Learned:

  • Being undead is manageable.
  • Its never pretty when love dies
  • Werewolf hair doesn’t lie
  • It’s pretty easy to find spare parts when you’re a zombie.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Not bad. It was alright. I enjoyed myself. I do think it’s underrated though.
Ray: While happy that it was more than a Vampire Vs Werewolf movie, I found myself comparing it to things like Blade and True Blood and wondered who was ripping who off
Steve: I enjoyed it a lot. Thought it was predictable, but then I got a few twists I didn’t expect. I liked their take on the underworld in New Orleans. Worth a watch for monster movie fans, but not really a “horror” movie in my opinion.

The Future: Puss In Boots

Director: Chris Miller

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Salma Hayek

Trivia:

  • The film has been in development since 2004, when Shrek 2 was released. As a Shrek 2 spin-off, it was originally planned for release in 2008 as a direct-to-video film, but this was changed in 2006 in favor of a theatrical release.
  • Production on the film began after the release of 2010’s Shrek Forever After. Banderas said in an interview in early 2010 that he had completed the first recordings of his character.
  • Except for Puss, the film will feature all new characters.
  • The film was teased in Shrek Forever After when Shrek finally put the book of Shrek away and put it next to a book titled “Puss in Boots”.
  • Co-writer, David H. Steinberg says, “It doesn’t overlap with Shrek at all. Partly that was done to tell an original Puss story, but partly because we didn’t know what Shrek Forever After was going to do with the characters and we couldn’t write conflicting storylines.”

Talking Points:

  • Is this necessary? Why continue the stories when it supposedly ended?
  • Are there other characters from this universe you’d like to see with a film?

Summary:

The film is based on and follows the character of Puss in Boots from Shrek and his adventures before his first appearance in 2004’s Shrek 2. The prequel’s story centers on the swashbuckling cat and how he comes to meet Shrek and his friends, while introducing new characters as well.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Meh.
Ray: Not sure about it, feels like maybe it should have been a direct to video, but cant say for sure without a better trailer.
Steve: I like the music in the trailer – fits the personality of Puss. I like the idea, just not sure if I’m willing to go out and see it at the theater. I feel I need to see a full-length trailer first.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast