MOV093: “Comparative Exponential Religiosity”

Steven is on hiatus and in the meantime he gives us a Nicolas Cage Spectacular. We start back in time with 2006’s “Ghost Rider.” You know that sounds like a movie that’s out. Oh, yeah, there’s the “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence” movie. Does either movie have a ghost of a chance to sway Jeff and Ray, or will they just through it back into the pits of hell where it came from? Lastly we take a look at the Futures Past with “Seeking Justice”, a Nicolas Cage movie already released in Europe. This, news featureing Sacha Baron Cohen, The Weinstiens, and Magneto, and even more super hero talk on this the 93rd Reel of COL Movies, “Comparative Exponential Religiosity”

News:

The Past: Ghost Rider
Rotten Tomatoes: 27% Rotten , 56% Audience

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Wes Bently, Peter Fonda, Sam Elliot

Trivia:

  • Jon Voight was attached to the project at one point, but dropped out.
  • Nicolas Cage had to have his Ghost Rider tattoo covered with make-up to play Johnny Blaze.
  • A large group of on-lookers converged on a bridge in Melbourne to watch scenes being filmed in a nearby location. Over four days of filming at that location, the crowds grew so large they disrupted traffic, and public transport operators reported an unusual jump in passenger traffic to the area.
  • Some scenes were filmed near Flinders St Station, Melbourne’s busiest railway station in. Parts of the station were closed for filming, and some train schedules were changed.
  • Nicolas Cage’s hairpiece required three hours to apply every day.
  • The head-on shot showing Johnny Blaze crashing his motorcycle on landing after jumping a long line of trucks is identical to the famous shot of Evel Knievel’s crash after a spectacular jump at Caesar’s Palace on December 31, 1967.
  • Continuing a trend in Marvel Comics adaptations, this film features foes imported from other series. Blackheart debuted in Daredevil; Mephisto in the Silver Surfer.
  • Nicolas Cage’s computer generated skull was made from a three dimensional x-ray taken of his actual skull.
  • One of the bridges being used in Melbourne was months away from completion, so the studio paid to add tar, lines, and lights to the highway for filming. Afterward the work was ripped up and redone to meet Australian safety standards.
  • The shotgun used in the movie is a Model 1887 Winchester lever-action shotgun.
  • Nicolas Cage wrote sections of the script.
  • When Johnny Blaze and Carter Slade ride together to San Venganza, one shot shows Blaze riding in the foreground with Slade just behind him, and slightly off to the side, so both can be clearly seen. This scene pays homage to “Ghost Rider”, a painting by the late David Mann, that has nothing to do with the Marvel character.
  • After Blackheart absorbs the souls of the damned at San Venganza, he says, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” In the Bible, a man possessed by demons says the same thing before Jesus cures him (Mark 5:9).
  • The Johnny Blaze video game in the movie is actually a game called “Crusty Demons” (2006) developed by UK games company Climax Studios. The plot is somewhat similar to the plot of Ghost Rider. A group of hard-riding extreme bikers are killed while performing an insane stunt. Satan offers to resurrect them and make them immortal if they use their motorcycle skills to do Satan’s work. Climax Studios also developed Ghost Rider.
  • The Caretaker/Carter Slade Ghost Rider character is a tribute to the original Marvel Comics Ghost Rider, now called The Phantom Rider to avoid confusion. However, the character in the comics is a regular human who wears a white costume and rides a white painted horse, both covered with phosphorous for a glowing effect.
  • Director Mark Steven Johnson actually put forward his own money to make an action sequence in which Ghost Rider battles a helicopter.
  • When Johnny and Mack are on the tour bus and Mack is watching TV, the motorcycle rider shown is Travis Pastrana.
  • Originally planned for a summer 2006 release. Director Mark Steven Johnson asked for more time to complete more action shots, including the helicopter battle scene.
  • During the shoot, Nicolas Cage was the guest of Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix race.
  • Sent to theaters under the name “Costly Pact”.
  • To create the Ghost Rider’s voice, sound designer Dane A. Davis recorded all of Nicolas Cage’s lines as the Ghost Rider, and then filtered them through three different kinds of animal growls (played backwards, covering three separate frequencies), then played them through a mechanical volumizer, before finally giving them a fiery crackle. Director Mark Steven Johnson compared it to “a deep, demonic, mechanical lion’s roar” and said “one thing is for sure, his voice will shake the theatre!”
  • Johnny Depp was interested in playing the title role. Eric Bana was also in heavy contention for the title role.
  • Barton Blaze calls Johnny “Hot Shot” in the first sequence. The French subtitle translates this nickname as “tête brûlée” – literally “Burned Head”.
  • One of the few Marvel Comic-based movies that Stan Lee does not appear in. He had absolutely no involvement in the creation of the original Ghost Rider.
  • Nicolas Cage is an avid fan of the Marvel comic, and lobbied furiously to play the part of Ghost Rider.
  • Nicolas Cage is an avid comics fan; he took his stage surname, Cage, from character Luke Cage. His son is named “Kal-El”, Superman’s Kryptonian name. He was previously considered to play Green Gobin in Spider-Man, and Superman in Tim Burton’s aborted film project, but Ghost Rider is Cage’s first role based on a comics character.
  • As the helicopters appear at Johnny Blaze’s stunt, Richard Wagner musical score “Ride of the Valkyries” can be heard playing. This is a reference to the war film Apocalypse Now, which was directed by Nicolas Cage’s uncle Francis Ford Coppola and had a scene with helicopters flying to that music.

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

  • At the time of filming, the world record distance for a motorcycle jump was 277.5 feet, set by Trigger Gumm in May, 2005. On Dec. 31, 2007, Robbie Madison essentially performed Johnny Blaze’s “Goalpost-to-Goalpost” motorcycle jump in Las Vegas, setting a new world record distance of 322.625 feet.
  • Near the end of the film, Johnny tells Mephistopheles that he will be a “spirit of vengeance.” The plot of the movie centers around a cursed town called San Venganza, which can loosely translate as just that: “Spirit of Vengeance” (literally, Saint Vengeance).

Talking Points:

  • Too Campy?
  • Modern Western

What We’ve Learned:

  • The west was built on legends
  • You Can’t Live in Fear

Trailer
:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This was a fun comic book popcorn movie. It’s also a Nicolas Cage movie so I didn’t expect much from it. I think this is a streamer . . . if it ever gets on Netflix or Amazon Unlimited. Okay to pay the $3 rental from Amazon too, but only if you’re really intending to watch it.
Ray: This movie really inspired me to want to try to light my own head on fire..especially while watching it.

The Present:Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Rotten Tomatoes: 14% Rotten; 41% Audience

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Violante Placiado, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba

Trivia:

  • Eva Mendes turned down the option to reprise her role.
  • The Ghost Rider’s skull has been redesigned for this sequel. The new skull appears to be black and charred, indicating that the skull is actually on fire as opposed to the clean fleshless skull simply cloaked in fire in the previous film.
  • Not screened in advance for critics.
  • The flashing image of the “devil” is Jerry Springer.

Talking Points:

  • The Directors.. Camera Work.. Trailer.
  • What the hell is with this series and picking the WORST looking bad guys EVER.

What We Learned:

  • There are some demons (and movies) you just can’t escape.
  • Jerry Springer is the Devil
  • Wear Your Seatbelt.
  • Twinkies are immune from any form of decay

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Interesting . . . Okay, more reason to just go ahead and pay to rent the first one. Something to watch instead of this. I didn’t think it was god awful, just not worth my time.
Ray: To steal one of the awful one liners from the movie….. So… That Happened. Even if you LOVED the first one..and god help you if you did.. I would say avoid avoid avoid at all costs.

The Future: Seeking Justice

Release: March 16, 2012

Director: Rodger Donaldson

Starring: Nicholas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce

Summary:

After his wife is assaulted, a husband enlists the services of a vigilante group to help him settle the score. Then he discovers they want a ‘favor’ from him in return.

Trivia:

  • Formerly called “The Hungry Rabbit Jumps”
  • Released last year overseas.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Hey, it’s another “deal with the devil movie” I think we have more of a theme to this reel. However, nothing in this trailer makes me want to see it.
Ray: This is not a new story, but the trailer at least looks interesting. I’m not jumping into the theater to see it but I’d definitely rent it

Final Thoughts

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV092: “Oh Fiddle-de-de”

It’s the 92nd reel of COL Movies, Join us as we take a realllllllly looooooooooonnnnggg look at the longest movie to ever win a best picture oscar 1939’s movie that put the explatives in epic “Gone With The Wind” Next up on the block we take a look at yet another “Found Footage” film “Chronicle” Are we happy that we found it? Lastly we take a Jump on over to Jump street.. that’s right its another remake and this time they are resurrecting the late 80’s hit TV show of the same name? Will we be Jumping into the theaters to see it? Or Jumping off a cliff? All this plus some movie sequel news and some sneak peaks at some upcoming movie villans. All that and more on this Reel of COL Movies: Oh Fiddle-de-de

News:

The Past: Gone With The Wind (1939)
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% Fresh, 91% Audience

Director: Geoge Cukor, Sam Wood

Starring: Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard

Trivia:

  • When Gary Cooper turned down the role for Rhett Butler, he was passionately against it. He is quoted saying both, “Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history,” and, “I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.”
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #6 Greatest Movie of All Time.
  • June 2008 Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Epic”.
  • The movie’s line “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” was voted as the #1 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
  • First color film to win the Best Picture Oscar.
  • Of all the many actresses who tested for the part of Scarlett, only Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh were filmed in color.
  • Although he was dismissed from the production, George Cukor continued to privately coach both Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland at their request on weekends.
  • The estimated production costs were $3.9 million. At the time, only Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and Hell’s Angels had cost more.
  • Sidney Howard agreed to write the screenplay, but from his home in Massachusetts, 3000 miles away from studio interference. His first draft would have made a 5 1/2 hour movie. Howard reluctantly agreed to leave his Massachusetts farm and come to Hollywood to work on another draft with Selznick and then-attached director George Cukor. As Selznick was preoccupied with problems on the set of The Prisoner of Zenda, Howard had to wait 5 weeks before he was able to start working on another draft (in the meantime contributing some rewrites for “Zenda”). The second draft turned out to be 15 pages longer than the first.
  • David O. Selznick traveled to Bermuda in September 1938 to finalize the script. He reportedly brought four suitcases full of drafts with him.
  • The Ku Klux Klan was written out of the screenplay as the organization to which Frank Kennedy turns after Scarlett is attacked in Shantytown. Producer David O. Selznick said that he had no desire to remake The Birth of a Nation, telling screenwriter Sidney Howard in 1937, “I do hope you will agree with me on this omission of what might come out as an unintentional advertisement for intolerant societies in these fascist-ridden times. . . .”
  • Half a million feet of film were shot. This was all edited down to 20,000 feet.
  • There are more than 50 speaking roles and 2,400 extras in the film.
  • Contrary to popular belief, this is not the first film to use the word “damn”. The expletive was used in numerous silent intertitles and in several talkies, including Cavalcade and Pygmalion.
  • For the premiere in Atlanta in December 15, 1939, the governor declared a state holiday. Ticket prices for the premiere were 40 times the usual going rate.
  • One of the few remaining scenes directed by George Cukor to survive into the final cut of the film is the birth of Melanie’s baby.
  • At one point, five film units were shooting scenes. Directors involved were Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin and stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt.
  • David O. Selznick bought the rights to the best selling novel for $50,000.
  • In 1939, the Hollywood Production Code dictated what could and could not be shown or said on screen, and Rhett Butler’s memorable last line presented a serious problem. A few of the suggested alternatives were
  • “Frankly my dear… I just don’t care,” “…
  • it makes my gorge rise,” “…
  • my indifference is boundless,” “…
  • I don’t give a hoot,”
  • nothing could interest me less.”
  • Although legend persists that the Hays Office fined Selznick $5,000 for using the word “damn”, in fact the Motion Picture Association board passed an amendment to the Production Code on November 1, 1939, to insure that Selznick would be in compliance with the code. Henceforth, the words “hell” and “damn” would be banned except when their use “shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore … or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste.” With that amendment, the Production Code Administration had no further objection to Rhett’s closing line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
  • 1,400 actresses were interviewed for the part of Scarlett O’Hara. 400 were asked to do readings.
  • The premiere was held in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 1939. It was reportedly the first time that David O. Selznick had been in the South.
  • The 222 minute running time excludes the Overture Music (played before the credits), the Entr’acte Music (played during the intermission) and the Exit Music (played after the film ends). All three were especially recorded for the film soundtrack, and were heard at the film’s original 1939 world premiere. They were seldom played by exhibitors until the 1997 New Line Cinema edition of the film restored them. They are also included on the DVD.
  • For the scene in which Scarlett escapes the burning of the Atlanta Depot, a horse was needed to play woebegone, an old nag on the verge of collapse. A suitable candidate was finally found, but weeks later, when the horse was brought to the set, it had gained weight and its ribs were no longer visible. There was no time to find a replacement, so the makeup department painted dark shadows on its ribs to give the appearance of malnourishment.
  • In the scene where Scarlett searches for Dr. Meade, making her way among 1,600 suffering and dying Confederate soldiers, to cut costs and still comply with a union rule that dictated the use of a certain percentage of extras in the cast, 800 dummies were scattered among 800 extras.
  • In the scene where Rhett pours Mammy a drink after the birth of Bonnie, for a joke during a take, Clark Gable actually poured alcohol instead of the usual tea into the decanter without Hattie McDaniel knowing it until she took a swig.
  • The first rough cut in July 1939 ran four and a half hours – 48 minutes longer than the final release.
  • All seven of Hollywood’s then-existing Technicolor cameras were used to film the Burning of the Atlanta Depot. Flames 500 feet high leaped from a set that covered 40 acres. Ten pieces of fire equipment from the Los Angeles Fire Department, 50 studio firemen and 200 studio helpers stood by throughout the filming of this sequence in case the fire should get out of hand. Three 5,000-gallon water tanks were used to quench the flames after shooting.
  • Vivien Leigh worked for 125 days and received about $25,000. Clark Gable worked for 71 days and received over $120,000.
  • Clark Gable was so distressed over the requirement that he cry on film (during the scene where Melanie is comforting Rhett after Scarlett’s miscarriage) that he almost quit. Olivia de Havilland convinced him to stay.
  • The horse that Thomas Mitchell rode was later Silver of The Lone Ranger fame.
  • Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to be nominated for, and win, an Academy Award.
  • Rhett was not allowed to say, on film, “Maybe you’ll have a miscarriage” right before Scarlett falls down the stairs; the line is changed to “Maybe you’ll have an accident.”
  • If box office receipts for the movie were adjusted for inflation, it would be the top grossing movie of all time; Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope would only be the second most successful movie of all time. According to the Guinness World Records homepage the total gross in 2005 figures would be $3,785,107,801.
  • None of the interior sets had ceilings.
  • At nearly four hours long, this is longest running of all movies to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
  • Was voted the eighth greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • In 2004, the movie was completely restored from the original three Technicolor negatives. This time, digital technology was employed to create results impossible to achieve with traditional methods. The negatives were scanned in at 2K resolution and digitally combined to remove all previous alignment problems and achieve perfect registration despite different amounts of shrinkage in the masters. The resulting digital master is of higher quality than any prints available so far – including the original prints from 1939. The 2009 Blu Ray Release comes from a new improved version 8K resolution scan and that is maximum possible limit for 70mm format.
  • The character of Rhett Butler was partially inspired by Mitchell’s husband nicknamed “Red”
  • Hattie McDaniel was cast as Mammy after Louise Beavers, Etta McDaniel, Ruby Dandridge, and Hattie Noel were briefly considered.
  • During filming Vivien Leigh reportedly smoked four packets of cigarettes a day. Clark Gable smoked three packs a day throughout his career.
  • According to Newsreels, there were a handful of Confederate Civil War veterans who, though quite old, attended the premiere in Atlanta.
  • The scene where Scarlett makes a dress out of a curtain later was later spoofed on The Carol Burnett Show
  • Neither Clark Gable or Leslie Howard wanted to be in the film. Howard didn’t even bother to read the original novel.

Talking Points:

  • Ok.. it was pretty damn long! Do you think that a movie of this size will ever see the light of day in modern Hollywood?
  • Peoples reaction to hearing about us doing this movie.
  • The shear scope of the film.. the epic shots
  • anyone else need a decoder ring?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Only the foreman gets to say when it’s quittin time
  • It doesn’t matter who you marry as long as he’s southern and thinks like you
  • A lady eats like a bird, not a hog or a field hand
  • Don’t take a girl on a buggy ride without a chaperon unless you intend to marry her
  • Mourning really cramps your social life
  • With enough courage you can live without a reputation
  • Tomorrow is another day.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Huh? What? *yawn* A Movie played? Hmm, maybe I should try watching it again.
Ray: Ok, I can finally cross this one off my list. I’m a little perplexed. Overall I loved this movie, but it was about 60 minutes too long. The first half of this movie was great and really kept me interested and entertained, the second half was a little slow, but overall an enjoyable experience.
Steve: Way too long for me, but definitely memorable performances. I often don’t mind seeing these types of films because there is so much pop culture and things that other films are based on…it’s neat to see where they came from.

The Present: Chronicle
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 78% Audience

Director: Josh Trank

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russel, Michael B. Jordan

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The Found footage phenomenon… although not really “Found” in this movie.
  • Setting up for a sequel
  • Music

What We Learned:

  • Bringing a camera to school with you will not improve your social status
  • There’s no bikinis in Tibet
  • Being good at beer pong will get you laid
  • The Lion does not feel guilty about eating a gazelle

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: This was much better then I thought it would be. However, it was still just okay. Worth a look see but probably as a rental.
Ray:. So.. a found or gathered footage movie. I know I said I was over them when I watched Devil Inside, but I actually found the story and execution of this movie good enough and entertaining enough to forgive its flaws. I’m surprised the audience score is not higher on this one. It’s getting excellent word of mouth!
Steve: This one didn’t do it for me. I liked the premise, especially the “what would you do if you had these powers” and “good vs evil” stuff, but it didn’t all come together for me because of the format.

The Future: 21 Jump Street

Release: March 22, 2012

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Summary:

A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

Trivia:

  • Jennifer Lawrence, Juno Temple, Julianne Hough and Gemma Ward auditioned for a role.
  • Jonah Hill wrote a cameo role specifically for Johnny Depp.
  • Emma Stone was considered for the lead female role but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with her other movie, The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • In May 2008, Columbia Pictures confirmed that a film version of the series was under development.
  • Jonah Hill rewrote an existing script by screenwriter Joe Gazzam and executive produce the film, as well as star in the film.
  • In May 2009, Jonah Hill described the film adaptation as being a “R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie”.

Talking Points

  • TV to Film Adaptation
  • Nostalgic enough to get you to the theater?
  • Who do you think they’re trying to get to see this?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Kill me.
Ray: I was never a fan of the TV show (never seen it) so I was just curious as to how everyone felt about it. I guess there are parts of it that look entertaining, but you can never really trust a trailer.
Steve: Loved the TV show because it was a drama…but not liking the fact they are turning it into a slapstick comedy. 21 Jump Street became a reason I wanted to pursue law enforcement back in the day…but this would not motivate me. I’m kinda mad I saw Holly Robinson-Peete in the trailer – only because it’s not the same, but I’m glad they’re doing at least some cameos to bring it back to the original.

Coming Attractions – “All Nicholas Cage Special!”

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV091: “I Was Left For A Punctuation Mark.”

It’s the 91st reel of COL Movies, where the boys get their early Valentine’s Day on by reviewing “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy”. In theaters, they go out on limb to see if “Man On A Ledge” is worth your hard earned money. For the future, they check out – yet another – trailer for a film based on fairy tale as they climb the stalk to see if “Jack The Giant Killer” is worth beans. In news, there’s an update on the Blade Runner project and Filmumentary is Raiding the Lost Ark. All this and who knows what else we’ll talk about…it’s the 91st reel of COL Movies – “I was left for a punctuation mark“.

News:

Final Trailer – Raiding The Lost Ark, A Filmumentary from jambe davdar on Vimeo.

The Past: The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes: 63% Fresh, 69% Audience

Director: Greg Berlanti

Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, Zach Braff

Trivia:

  • Director Greg Berlanti was allergic to the room used as Dennis’ bedroom and directed many of those scenes from outside.
  • This was the first movie filmed by director Greg Berlanti.
  • The Howie/Marshall storyline is semi-autobiographical to a relationship writer/director Greg Berlanti had.
  • As Greg Berlanti was a writer/producer of the series Dawson’s Creek, he showed the script for this movie to one of his favorite actors Kerr Smith who was part of the Dawson’s Creek cast. Kerr loved the script so much that he agreed to cameo any role Greg offered.
  • Many of the cast felt their characters needed to wear necklaces for their roles so several bought their own and wore them on-set. This became a joke among the crew.
  • In the final party scene, actor Justin Theroux wasn’t given a call time to show up on set but he surprisingly appeared 5 minutes before his scene was to be shot.
  • David Downs who played the unspoken therapist role was hired due to the fact that he was a cinema teacher to the director.
  • Filming took 20 days.
  • The scene involving Justin Theroux and Matt McGrath on the balcony took quite some time to shoot as loud cars would constantly drive by, thus ruining the scene.
  • When Timothy Olyphant and ‘Andrew Keegan’ were filming their scene on the park swings, a group of teenage girls noticed Andrew and waited until the scene was over to ask him for his autograph. When Timothy offered his autograph, the girls declined as they didn’t know who he was.
  • The hospital where Benji is taken was an abandoned hospital and the crew had to clean it before they could film.
  • The original title during the script phase was “8×10’s” a reference to Greg Berlanti’s sister’s term for the men he dated.
  • Greg Berlanti originally turned down the role of director, and he said in interviews that the studio offered the director position to him at least three times because they couldn’t find the right director. By the fourth or fifth time they’d asked him, he accepted.
  • The hardware store scene early in the film was shot at Laurel Hardware, which closed in 2009.

Talking Points:

  • Feel like a TV show to anyone else?
  • Realistic view of things? In comparison to other films?
  • Would you recommend to non-gay friends?
  • Jennifer Coolidge! 🙂

What We’ve Learned:

  • Sorry doesn’t feed the bulldog, sugar.
  • If your going to break up with someone you have to at least provide them with decent lighting
  • When your a newbie, every guy in the room is a possibility
  • All the gay men in LA are 10’s looking for an 11.
  • Birthday wishes are the only ones with any real validity
  • Some people are just gay and average

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I truly think this is one of the best gay movies out there. While sex is a bit of the story, it focuses more on relationships. A must have for any gay library.
Ray: Once I got over the “straight” to video feel of this.. I really enjoyed it. I feel this was the movie that Bear City was trying SO HARD to be. I liked it so much I was able to look past Dean Cain being in it.
Steve: I definitely enjoy this film…if not just for the wacky relationship between the characters, but for the softball. LOL.

The Present: Man On A Ledge
Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten; 61% Audience

Director: Asger Leth

Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell

Trivia:

  • Amy Adams was considered for the role of Lydia.
  • Det. Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) helps Nick (Sam Worthington), a wrongfully convicted man who escapes from prison to prove his innocence. In ‘The Next Three Days’, Banks played a character who is wrongfully convicted and escapes from prison.

Talking Points:

  • Acting?
  • Plot Holes?

What We Learned:

  • Everybody loves a good train wreck
  • You can tell a lot about a man by his eyes.
  • Women jump for love, men jump for money
  • People don’t go to work in Manhattan, they go to war.
  • It always ends in blood, snot, and tears.
  • There’s two types of people, those who do what it takes to get what they want, and everyone else.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I went in expecting a mediocre film, came out actually liking it. Still only above mediocre to me, but still think worth seeing in the theater.
Ray: Well.. that was a surprise. If you can get around the somewhat terrible acting and some big plot holes, it’s actually an entertaining movie, that offers more than just a guy on a ledge.
Steve: It was alright. I didn’t really have any major reactions. Decent acting.

The Future: Jack The Giant Killer

Release: March 22, 2013

Director: Bryan Singer

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor

Summary:

An ancient war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.

Trivia:

  • In May 2010 it was reported that production of the film would be delayed until February 2011. The report cited Singer’s interest in being able to pre-visualize scenes with the digital giants in-camera with the live-action actors (a la James Cameron’s Avatar) and the need for more time to work out the complex process as reasons for the delay.
  • In December 2010 Singer that, “I’m very much looking forward to using the EPIC Red for my next movie Jack the Giant Killer which will be shot in, what else, 3D. The camera’s incredibly compact size and extraordinary resolution are ideal for the 3D format. But more importantly Jack the Giant Killer is my first movie set in a time before electricity. The EPIC’s extraordinary exposure latitude will allow me to more effectively explore the use of natural light”.
  • Principal photography began on April 12, 2011 in the British countryside. In May 2011, production moved to Somerset, England for two weeks with filming scheduled in Wells, Cheddar and secret locations in the county including scenes filmed at Wells Cathedral. Also in May, scenes were shot at Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean near Coleford, Gloucestershire. Puzzlewood, which features unusual tree and rock formations has previously been used for filming of the BBC TV series Doctor Who and Merlin. The same forest is said to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to write The Hobbit. Later in the same month, filming took place at Norwich Cathedral in Norwich, Norfolk.
  • In January 2012, Warner Bros. moved back the release date by nine months to March 22, 2013. It had been set to open June 15, 2012. The Hollywood Reporter stated “Warner can likely afford the move because of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which opens in July. And pushing the film back gives the studio more time for special effects, as well as a chance to attach trailers for it to Peter Jackson’s Christmas tentpole The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.

Talking Points

  • Why this resurgence of fairy tales?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Looks like a fun update to a fairytale. Seems to be happening alot lately. I have doubts on how the final product will be though.
Ray: Looks ok, I’m about as excited as I can be about a Jack and the beanstalk movie as I can be.
Steve: Eh…I like creepy fairytales. I may have to see another trailer to see if it will meet my “dark” demands.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV090: “Two Men Enter, One Man Leave!”

We’re only 10 reels away from the 100th show…who knew? In this reel, the boys head back in time to check out Tina Turner and Mel Gibson in the 1980’s classic “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”. In theaters, they check out the return of Selene in “Underworld Awakening”. Should they just have let her stay asleep? In trailer news, they check out “ParaNorman”, an animated comedic thriller from the makers of “Coraline”. It’s a slow news week, so we’ll just get to the point here… “Two Men Enter, One Man Leave!”

News:

  • Nada this week!

The Past: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Fresh, 50% Audience

Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie

Starring: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence

Trivia:

  • The script called for Aunt Entity (Tina Turner) to drive a vehicle. All of the vehicles were built using manual transmissions, which Turner couldn’t drive, so a car equipped with an automatic transmission had to be constructed.
  • Director/Co-Writer George Miller was given the rights to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and this one to get him to step aside as the director of Contact.
  • Two directors were hired so that George Miller could concentrate on the stunts and action scenes, while George Ogilvie handled the performances of the large cast of actors.
  • Originally, the film was supposed to be about a group of children living without parents in the wild. They were trying to decide what adult character would find them, when someone thought of Max. After that suggestion, it became a “Mad Max” film.
  • The film references a novel by Russell Hoban called “Riddley Walker” about a hero traveling in post-apocalyptic England.
  • The possible outcomes on the Wheel are: – Death – Hard Labour – Acquittal – Gulag – Aunty’s Choice – Spin Again – Forfeit Goods – Underworld – Amputation – Life Imprisonment
  • Max’s eyes are different; the pupil in his left eye is permanently dilated. This is a nod to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: When his car is forced off the road by Wez and Max crashes, he suffers a severe injury to, among other body parts, his left eye. The disparity is easier to see in close-ups, and VERY easy to see in HD versions of the film. In the regular version, it’s most prominent when Max first looks down on the Thunderdome.
  • The poster art for this film was one of the last done by Richard Amsel.
  • Aunty Entity’s (Tina Turner) steel mail dress weighed more than 55 kilograms.
  • The sandstorm at the end of the film was real, and a camera plane actually did fly into it for some shots. The storm in its entirety hit the crew in the desert, forcing them to ride it out in their cars and wherever they could find cover.
  • Max’s shotgun differs in this movie from the one he used in Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which was his duty weapon. This one has exposed hammers and a different grip.
  • Jedidiah’s airplane is a Transavia PL-12 ‘Airtruk’, a single-engine agricultural biplane designed by Transavia in Australia. First flown in 1965, around 120 had been built by the time this movie was made.
  • All of the pigs in the film foreshadow George Miller’s involvement with Babe and directing its sequel ten years later.
  • The first of the series made with American financing. Which explains why American stars like Tina Turner crop up in the film.
  • The age certificates of each Mad Max picture have gone down from an 18, to a 15 and with Thunderdome a PG. Because the films mostly appeal to a teen demographic, George Miller may have been pushing the series towards a more mainstream audience. Which would explain why half the cast is made up of children.
  • George Miller lost interest in the project after his friend and producer Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash while location scouting. That may explain why Miller only handled the action scenes while George Ogilvie handled the rest. The film is dedicated to Byron Kennedy.
  • The music video for Tupac Shakur’s 1996 hit “California Love” was shot at the Thunderdome set and features vehicles and clothes inspired by the Mad Max series.
  • Bruce Spence, who played the Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior plays Jedediah, a different character who robs Max at the start of the film. Confusingly, both characters use flying machines (in Mad Max 2 it was a ‘Gyrocopter’, in Mad Max 3 a Transavia PL-12 ‘Airtruk’) and little is done to differentiate the two different characters.
  • Max’s name is only spoken once in the movie. Just after he meets Master Blaster in underworld. Master says “Me Master” and introduces himself, then Max says “Me Max” and does the same.
  • In interviews about Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (a.k.a. “The Road Warrior”), George Miller said that while Max’s world was after the collapse of the social/political/economic system we know, it was not post-World War III. However, “Beyond Thunderdome” explicitly contradicts this.
  • This film is considered an “Ozploitation” (Australian exploitation) picture.
  • Tina Turner’s character is billed as Aunty Entity, but nowhere in the film does anyone call her that. She’s always referred to as just Aunty.

Talking Points:

  • Seeing old favorites again…
  • The Tone of the film
  • Steve’s story about this film… 😉

What We’ve Learned:

  • Surviving nuclear war gives the nobody’s a chance to be somebody
  • Death is listening, and apparently taking the first one that screams
  • Spider monkeys are excellent trackers.
  • Bust a deal..face the wheel.
  • Two men enter, one man leave.
  • We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know the way home. All we want is life beyond Thunderdome.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: First time viewer . . . I need to see it again. I’m kinda in a mixed bag on this movie. I kinda liked it but my attention wasn’t fully there. I think it might be worth at least a look see once.
Ray: This movie is an example of a film who when you were younger seemed a whole lot better than it actually was.
Steve: Always been one of my favorites, but seemed so much more epic as a child. I LIVED for this movie for a while…and Tina is the BEST!

The Present: Underworld: Awakening
Rotten Tomatoes: 28% Rotten; 74% Audience

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley

Trivia:

  • Jalmari Helander was offered a chance to direct.
  • the first film in the series to be in real-d 3-d and Imax 3-d.
  • The film’s release date is on the same day as Underworld: Evolution’s, released six years earlier.
  • The first Underworld film not to feature Bill Nighy or Michael Sheen

Talking Points:

  • Live up to the other ones?
  • Do we like a kinder, gentler Selene?
  • Michael…
  • The Kid…
  • Lycans or Vampires?
  • Soundtrack

What We Learned:

  • When escaping from your enemies, getting your outfit on is way more important than feasting on fresh blood

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: It’s just another Underworld movie and not as good as the others. I was surprised to see JMS’s name on the screen at the end. I think this could have been pretty good but ended up lacking in . . . something.
Ray: ugh, I was hoping that J.Michael Strazynski was going to make this somewhat interesting. Unfortunately he disappointed me.
Steve: Personally didn’t think it lived up to the previous movies. I didn’t care for the “mystery child” and “let’s shoot ourselves up with werewolf blood” stuff. I was actually bored with the stories, but I did like the visuals.

The Future: ParaNorman

Release: August 17th, 2012

Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Summary:

In this comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by the undead. Only a misunderstood local boy Norman Babcock, who has the ability to speak with the dead, is able to prevent the destruction of his town from a centuries-old curse. He’ll also have to take on ghosts, witches, zombies and worst of all, the moronic grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits

Trivia:

  • ParaNorman is an upcoming 3D stop-motion animated comedy thriller film produced by Laika, distributed by Focus Features and set for international release on August 17, 2012

Talking Points:

  • Whatcha think?

Trailer:
Official Teaser:

Trailer 2:

Excitement:
Jeff: Wow, what a teaser. The track used was perfect and the visuals were executed perfectly. Not telling you much of what it’s about but intriguing you to want to find out more. The second trailer gives a little more but not too much. Definitely want to see in 3D.
Ray: The Trailer had me at “From the creators of Coraline”
Steve: I totally enjoyed this trailer!! Totally looks like my kind of” just go and have a good time” kinda fun.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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