MOV111: “Oh my god… they were right. I’m a homo.”

The boys start off this week’s show with another Pride Month flick – the colorful and provocative “But I’m a Cheerleader”. They transition from hyper colors to dark and brooding when they head to the theater to check out the historically revisionist novel brought to life in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. In trailer-land, they chat about the “super-hero-ization” of some famous childhood legends in “Rise of the Guardians”. In movie news, there’s some talk about a Marvel animated film, Tron’s director nabs another band to score his new flick, and we’ve got some more Batman stuff to chat about. It’s the 111th reel of COL Movies…”Oh my god…they were right. I’m a homo.”

News:

Recent Facebook Likes: Mark and Grizz

The Past: But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes: 34% Rotten; 73% Audience

Director: Jamie Babbit

Staring: Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Michelle Williams

Trivia:

  • Cathy Moriarty asks a character if she wants to be a “raging bull-dyke.” Moriarty received an Oscar nomination for her role in Raging Bull.
  • The song that Rock is dancing to, is “Party Train” by RuPaul. RuPaul plays Mike, one of the counselors, in this film.
  • Melanie Lynskey was Jamie Babbit’s first choice to play Hilary after the director had seen her in Heavenly Creatures and Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Additionally, Lynskey had already worked with Natasha Lyonne (Megan) in Detroit Rock City.
  • Graham’s tattoo is the Chinese character for “star”.
  • When originally submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America rating board, But I’m a Cheerleader received an NC-17 rating. In order to get a commercially-viable R rating, Babbit removed a two second shot of Graham’s hand sweeping Megan’s clothed body, a camera pan up Megan’s body when she is masturbating, and a comment that Megan “ate Graham out” (slang for cunnilingus).
  • Babbit was interviewed by Kirby Dick for his 2006 documentary film This Film Is Not Yet Rated. A critique of the MPAA’s rating system, it suggests that films with homosexual content are treated more stringently than those with only heterosexual content, and that scenes of female sexuality draw harsher criticism from the board than those of male sexuality.

Talking Points:

  • General reactions?
  • Any favorite characters?
  • Trailer – red band (MPAA)

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Funny; Not a great movie, but one that will resonate with the cult movie fans
  • Negatives: Heavy handed satire; Wasted the talent of the stars

What We Learned:

  • Only lesbians eat tofu
  • Brainwashing someone is so much harder after college
  • Being born in France makes you gay
  • Foreplay is for sissys
  • real men go in, unload, and pull out

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I’ve always loved this movie. It shows the absurdity of the so called “Sexual reorientation” programs. It also deals with people’s denial of being gay and all in good fun too. Seeing RuPaul not in drag was a little weird despite that fact that she . . . he had a spectacular performance. It’s weird calling RuPaul a he. Anyway, this is definitely proof that he . . . she . . can act, so stay away from Starrbooty. The rest of the cast was fantastic and I have nothing bad to say about this movie. You should see it. Damn, I’m having deja vu again.
Ray: A fun campy romp of a film that sometimes delves into serious territory. A great watch if you can look past the made for video look and production values.
Steve: Definitely not for everyone, but fun for what it’s worth! I never actually got Natasha as the lead – she just seems to be odd for me the entire movie.

Add To Flickchart

The Present: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Rotten Tomatoes: 35% Rotten; 62% Audience

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper

Trivia:

  • Tom Hardy was approached for the title role of Lincoln, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Dark Knight Rises. Later, Eric Bana, Timothy Olyphant, Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D’Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen were considered to play the role before Benjamin Walker was cast.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was the first choice for the role of Henry Sturgess, but turned it down.
  • Robin McLeavy was considered to play Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd, and was later cast as Lincoln’s mother Nancy.
  • The film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was first announced in March 2010 when Tim Burton and Bekmambetov, paired to purchase film rights and to finance its development themselves. The book’s author, Seth Grahame-Smith, was hired to write the script

Talking Points:

  • Tone? Too Serious? Not Serious enough?
  • I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word Illinois said so many times in one movie.
  • The “vampires”

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Imaginative and fun…it is what it is, so just enjoy it; Sure it’s full of questionable taste and choices, but it’s entertaining
  • Negatives: It tried way too hard to be serious and failed; Style over substance; Just a fail

What We Learned:

  • Common looking people are the best in the world, that’s why God makes so many of them.
  • Only the living can kill the dead
  • Plant your feet and stand firm, the only question is where to plant your feet.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I’m going to have to agree with the critics more on this one but not completely. It definite was not a good movie but I still enjoyed myself. Not sure how it compares to the book but this is a definite streamer for sure.
Ray: An example of style over substance… but that would be assuming that there was any substance to begin with. I feel like I could have watched this whole movie with the sound off and probably had a better time.
Steve: A fun excursion. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, so I just turned off the brain and watched for all of the pretty colors and fight scenes.

The Future: Rise of the Guardians

Release: November 21, 2012

Director: Peter Ramsey

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher

Summary:

The film revolves around a group of guardians – Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, The Sandman, and Tooth Fairy joining forces along with Jack Frost when The Bogeyman enacts a plan to bring “total darkness” into the world by destroying the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.

Talking Points:

  • Santa as a Russian with tats?
  • Guillermo Del Toro?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’m completely on board for this movie. Santa Claus looks built. I suppose the fantasy of them all from when I was a child just makes me all giggly interested in this. Bring it!
Ray: Honestly? Do I really need to tell you my excitement levels? Bring on November!
Steve: Wow…what a retelling of tales we all grew up with. This will be very interesting!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

Download Podcast

MOV110: “Gunter glieben glauben globen”

It’s the 3rd week into our annual pride month extravaganza, and this week we are double fisting it! First we take a double jump into the past, examining the life and times of 1970’s activist and first openly gay politician Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s 2008 film “Milk” Next up we jump back to the present by examining the film version of the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages”. Was this film truly Built on Rock and Roll? or will it have us heading for a heartbreak? Finally we take a look at yet another remake as we strap ourselves into the memory blender of “Total Recall” Is this a total retelling or a total ripoff? Rob Zombie is finally making something other than a Horror film, Paul Verhoeven is gearing up to make a film about Christ, and Angelina Jolie gets in on the fairy tale action all this plus more on the 110th reel of COL Movies, ““Gunter glieben glauben globen”

News:

The Past: Milk
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh; 84% Audience

Director: Gus Van Sant

Featuring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco,

Trivia:

  • Matt Damon was originally cast as Dan White, but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with Green Zone.
  • Thousands of people agreed to take part in the film as extras for free.
  • The filming location for Harvey Milk’s business, Castro Camera, was the real storefront where the actual business had once been. At the time of filming (mid-2008), it was a gift shop called “Given”; the film crew worked with the owner of the gift shop to recreate the look of Milk’s camera store inside the space and restored it to its 2008 appearance after filming.
  • During a July 2008 interview with the Orange County Register about Pineapple Express, the interviewer told Seth Rogen and James Franco that he prepared for the interview by watching the classic stoner comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High the night before. When he asked Rogen and Franco if they prepared likewise before making Pineapple Express, Franco said he prepared by making out with Spicoli (a reference to his having shot Milk, in which he and Sean Penn play lovers).
  • It was widely reported that while filming a scene at the old Castro Camera, some of the actors claimed that they saw a man come in and sit on a couch. After the scene was filmed, nobody else claimed to have seen the man, and the actors themselves went on to claim that it was perhaps the ghost of Harvey Milk.
  • Director Gus Van Sant has been involved with the making of Harvey Milk projects for over fifteen years. For his unsuccessful attempt to film The Mayor of Castro Street (2011) in the early 1990s, many actors were under consideration for the role of Harvey Milk including Robin Williams, Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, and James Woods.
  • Veteran police officer and actor Brian Danker, seen in this movie in his first speaking role in the homicide scene, actually served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 in the same unit as Dan White – the 173rd Airborne.
  • During the filming of the scene in which Dan White’s son Charles is christened, the real Charles White was on the set.
  • On Roger Ebert’s year-end list of the 20 best movies of 2008. Ebert did not rank his picks this year, opting instead for an alphabetical list. (He later said that Milk was the most deserving of all the Best Picture Oscar nominees.)
  • On the American Film Institute’s year-end list of the 10 best movies of 2008 (this list is decided by a group of film scholars, journalists, and professionals, including Jeanine Basinger, Mark Harris, Elvis Mitchell, Daniel Petrie Jr., Richard Schickel, Robert Towne, and Leonard Maltin).
  • Number 2 on Lisa Schwarzbaum’s Entertainment Weekly Magazine list of the 10 best movies of 2008.
  • Number 9 on Owen Gleiberman’s Entertainment Weekly Magazine list of the 10 best movies of 2008.
  • Sean Penn’s cosmetic transformation in the film included a prosthetic nose and teeth, contact lenses and a redesigned hairline. His makeup was done by Academy Award winner Stephan Dupuis.
  • Actor Denis O’Hare who plays anti-gay Senator John Briggs in the film is in reality openly gay.
  • The real Cleve Jones has a cameo in the film as Don Amador.
  • The apartment that was used in the film is the real apartment Harvey Milk lived in on the Lower Haight in San Francisco.
  • Scott Smith’s last name is never mentioned until the epilogue, and Jack Lira’s last name is only given in the credits.
  • When Gus Van Sant was planning a biopic of Milk in the early 90’s he offered the part of Cleve Jones to River Phoenix, who he had just worked with on My Own Private Idaho.
  • Sean Penn became only the ninth actor to win two Academy Awards for Best Actor after winning for this movie.
  • Josh Brolin doesn’t appear until 45 minutes into the movie.
  • The last public appearance of Harvey Milk’s life, two days before he was killed, was attending a San Francisco Opera performance of Puccini’s opera “Tosca” featuring the legendary Italian soprano Magda Olivero. Not only is this event depicted in the movie, but it was in honor of that appearance that the filmmakers chose to use “Tosca” for all the operatic music heard in the film.
  • After his first kissing scene with James Franco, Sean Penn texted his ex-wife Madonna saying, “I just broke my cherry kissing a guy.” (Her texted response: “Congratulations.”)
  • Bradley Cooper auditioned for the role of Scott Smith.
  • Chris Evans auditioned for the role of Scott Smith, but lost out to James Franco.
  • The movie starts out with Harvey talking into a tape recorder on November 18, 1978; that is the day that the Jonestown Massacre happened.
  • During the sequence dealing with Proposition 6, one of Milk’s friends says “Even Reagan doesn’t support it.” Former Governor Ronald Reagan was so opposed to the measure that he publicly went against the Republican Party on the issue, even though he had been mentioned as a serious candidate for the Presidential election in 1980 and risked alienating his conservative support base. His support was given a great deal of credit for Proposition 6’s defeat and contributed to his growing national profile ahead of his two elections as President of the United States.
  • Josh Brolin, who played Dan White, was welcomed by the gay community and given praise for portraying “The most hated man in San Francisco’s history”.
  • Carol Ruth Silver: The real Carol Ruth Silver has a cameo in the film as Thelma.
  • Dustin Lance Black: The screenwriter appears as one half of the couple that walks by the Castro camera shop after it’s closed, when Harvey Milk is inside and one of the men asks if Harvey was going to win this time.
  • Tom Ammiano: The California Assemblyman and former San Francisco Supervisor plays himself. He was a founder in the No On 6 Campaign.
  • At the end of the film, images of the actors costumed as their characters are replaced by photographs of the real people the actors portrayed. Many of these photos were taken by Daniel Nicoletta, who is the photographer played by Lucas Grabeel in the movie.
  • Daniel Nicoletta: The real Danny Nicoletta has a cameo in the film as the person in Harvey Milk’s office before Milk gets assassinated by Dan White. In real life, Nicoletta was the last person to speak to Harvey Milk in his office at San Francisco City Hall, just before his assassination.

Talking Points:

  • Do we need a Harvey these days?
  • Franco’s performance
  • The “we are going to pull you out of the closet” agenda
  • The Times of Harvey Milk

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Penn and the ensemble cast are amazing; A passionate history lesson; A master class in how a biopic should be done; The first solid film to discuss the gay rights movement
  • Negatives: Undersells the importance of the title character; How dare Hollywood take 30 years to show this important figure in history

What We Learned:

  • You can’t be both a political activist and a republican
  • If your gonna get elected in San Francisco you need the Old Queen vote
  • You have to give people a reason for optimism
  • You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope life is not worth living.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: An extremely well done docudrama by Gus Van Sant with excellent performances all around. Definitely a must see for anyone.
Ray: I’m a bad gay for not really knowing the story of Harvey Milk prior to watching this film, but it is definitely a good film with some outstanding performances especially by Penn and Franco. I recommend everyone should watch this at least once.
Steve: While good, it dragged for me. I though Penn was awesome and I really felt for the struggle the whole group went through as they tried to make headway. I may not agree with all of Milk’s politics, but I appreciate that someone took a stand to try and make change.

The Present: Rock of Ages

Rotten Tomatoes: 41% Rotten; 64% Audience

Director: Adam Shankman

Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russel Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Tom Cruise, Mary J Blige

Trivia:

  • Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell were considered to play Dennis Dupree.
  • Taylor Swift was considered to play Sherrie, but Julianne Hough was cast.
  • Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams were offered the role of Constance, but both declined due conflicting schedule for a superhero film. Hathaway was busy shooting The Dark Knight Rises and Adams was shooting Man of Steel. Malin Akerman, who appeared in Watchmen, was ultimately cast.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Wilde were considered for the role of Constance Sack before Malin Akerman was cast.
  • Constantine Maroulis plays a record executive in this film. He originated the role of Drew Boley in the Broadway production and was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance.
  • The scene set under the Hollywood sign was actually shot on a garbage dump landfill in Pompano Beach, Florida.
  • In the “song duel” outside the club, the anti-rock protesters, who are obviously modeled on the Parents’ Music Resource Center (the group who imposed the “Parental Advisory” warning stickers on recordings), sing Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” In real life, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister was one of the PMRC’s most outspoken critics and testified against their proposals in the September 1985 Senate hearings.
  • Cameos
  • Eli Roth: the music video director for the Z Boyeezz’s music video.
  • Kevin Cronin: lead singer of the band REO Speedwagon, singing “We Built This City” with the people supporting The Bourbon Room.
  • Nuno Bettencourt: former guitarist/vocalist for the band Extreme (Who’s song “More Than Words” is featured in the film.), singing “We Built This City” with the supporters of The Bourbon Room.
  • Debbie Gibson: in the crowd of Bourbon Room supporters singing “We Built This City”.

Talking Points:

  • Did it feel like they were cramming as much music in there just to do it?
  • Emotional connections, or lack there of.

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Cruise has the outstanding performance of the movie; It’s just fun – don’t take it too seriously; The actors seem to be having a good time; The production value of the songs and situations is very good
  • Negatives: Nothing more than movie star karaoke; Only keeps your toes tapping rather than bringing the audience to its feet; Takes itself too seriously when it should be poking fun at the cheesy excess of the 80s rocker lifestyle

What We Learned:

  • Taxes are so un-rock and roll.
  • You can’t trap a fire phoenix
  • The devil’s not qualified to close vaginas.
  • Concrete balls are very heavy
  • Z is a very popular letter among 14 to 21 year olds
  • No matter who’s singing it or why… Jefferson Starship is NOT ROCK AND ROLL.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: An extremely mediocre movie that is just fun to see reminiscing about the rock of the 1980s. Probably worth seeing for anyone who lived through the era and exposed to it via personally or through older siblings. Well done, but not good enough to say you have to see it at the theater.
Ray: Goes to show that no matter how hard your try (or don’t) good music (I’m a child of the 80’s) cannot save a horrible horrible movie. Mostly Hollow performances from the leads with the exception of Tom Cruise and a monkey. I would say avoid at all costs unless you watch it on netflix.
Steve: I think I would have preferred to see the play than the movie. It was cute, but I can see it more like a Rocky Horror sing-a-long type movie than a serious film. Baldwin should never be allowed to sing again. If you want to see it, just wait until it’s on video and sing along at your home.

The Future: Total Recall

Release: August 3rd, 2012

Director: Len Wiseman

Starring: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston

Summary:

As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on

Talking Points

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It looks kinda cool but not really thrilled to see it. I’d be okay to see it though, could be a nice comparison to the Arny version.
Ray: It’s starting to get some bad word of mouth on the net mainly due to the comparison trailer above, but I’m still pretty excited for this. I love Verhoeven though.. even cheesy horrible Verhoeven hopefully this film will do something to surprise me and keep me from comparing it to the original.
Steve: I just don’t know yet. I am very happy with the original and it’s cheesiness. Add in some bullet time and updated technology and that’s all I think that will be improved on the original.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

Download Podcast

MOV109: “I Like Dick. Men Happen To Have ‘em”

In this reel of COL Movies, It’s Pride Month, so the boys take a look at Malcolm Ingram’s 2007 documentary, “Small Town Gay Bar”. After leaving Mississippi, they head to deep space with the crew of Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”. From there, it’s on to Middle Earth to find out if Peter Jackson’s trailer for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” tickles their fancy. In movie news, House joins Robocop, Valve gets into the movies, and Rian Johnson gives us his thoughts on 3D.

News:

The Past: Small Town Gay Bar
Rotten Tomatoes: No Score; 66% Audience

Director: Malcolm Ingram

Featuring: Jim Bishop, Terry Capps, Jackie Cox

Trivia:

  • The story of community in the Deep South that is forced to deal with the struggles of ignorance, hypocrisy and oppression, Malcolm Ingram’s “Small Town Gay Bar” visits two Mississippi communities and bases those visits around two small gay bars, Rumors in Shannon, Mississippi, and Different Seasons/Crossroads in Meridian, Mississippi.
  • Kevin Smith, executive producer of Small Town Gay Bar and also of “Silent Bob” fame: “It’s a film that is a portrait of small-town gay bars in rural Mississippi,” Smith said, straightening up. “Which is probably the hardest place in the world to be gay. It’s a portrait of how people will create their own community, even in the middle of a community that ostracizes them and wants nothing to do with them. They can still collectively come together and create an oasis for themselves to just chill out and be themselves and be who they can’t be in this particular buckle of the Bible Belt.”
  • David Rooney of Daily Variety Magazine: “Ingram illustrates how gay bars function as oases of acceptance and alternative families for his good-humored, enduring subjects.”
  • Philip Martin of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “Ingram’s movie not only makes it clear that people can be brave and resourceful in the face of intolerance, they can also throw a great party.”
  • Additionally the film visits Bay Minette, Alabama, to look at the brutal hate crime murder of Scotty Joe Weaver. The film focuses on a group of folks who are less concerned with the national debate over gay marriage than they are with the life risks they take being openly gay in small Southern towns.

Talking Points:

  • Rumors is apparently still operating, Different Seasons closed in Spring 2008
  • Did you watch the “trailer”?
  • Fred Phelps

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Ingram is able to show how small bars can provide support and community rather than just focus on big cities; Endearing stories and subjects
  • Negatives: No negatives noted by critics

What We Learned:

  • Drag queens will tell you how it is, no matter where they’re from.

Trailer – no trailer available online, but there is this introduction made by the Director and Kevin Smith:

Recommendations:
Jeff: After watching Bear Nation at SXSW a couple of years ago I wanted to check out his previous documentary Small Town Gay Bar. That was the first time I watched it and fell in love with it. Watching it again is always enjoyable except for Fred Phelps. I just can’t help but lp but get angry just hearing him talk. I just can’t believe how hateful someone can be. The rest of the film brings you into the small towns and shows you the connection those areas have to having this type of bar near them and how free it makes them feel. I can’t recommend this film enough.
Ray: This is my 4th or 5th viewing of this documentary, I really think everyone should watch this at least once just to get a feel for what it is like for a LOT of people in this country. Thank you Malcolm for having the courage to interview a man like Phelps, it is truly one of the most chilling things I have ever seen.
Steve: I’ve seen this many times now and can almost never make it through without tearing up. It really brings me back to the times of living in small towns in upstate NY and South Carolina where I was literally scared to go to the trailer-looking bars, afraid of what may happen. I can relate to them a lot, but am glad that I’m in a more progressive community these days. Thanks Malcolm for bringing this out and showing something besides NYC and LA!

Add To Flickchart

The Present: Prometheus
Rotten Tomatoes: 73% Fresh; 74% Audience

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender

Trivia:

  • Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, Olivia Wilde, Anne Hathaway, Abbie Cornish and Natalie Portman were considered for the role of Elizabeth Shaw.
  • James Franco was considered for the role of Holloway.
  • Was originally conceived as a prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, but Scott announced his decision to turn it into an original film with Noomi Rapace (who was already set to star) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later it was confirmed that while the movie would take place in the same universe as Alien and greatly reference that movie, it would mostly be an original movie and not a direct prequel.
  • Michelle Yeoh was originally considered for the role of Meredith Vickers.
  • Designer H.R. Giger, who worked on the original design of the Xenomorph Alien, was brought in to assist in reverse-engineering the design of the Aliens in the film.
  • To prepare for his role as the android David, Michael Fassbender watched Blade Runner (a Ridley Scott film), The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Servant and Lawrence of Arabia (mentioned by Peter Weyland). Fassbender also studied Olympic diver Greg Louganis, drawing inspiration from Louganis’s physicality.
  • Ridley Scott instructed Charlize Theron to stand in corners and move in lurking movements, in order to accentuate Vickers’s distant, enigmatic nature.
  • Director Ridley Scott named the film “Prometheus”, seeing the name aptly fit the film’s themes: “It’s the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them.” In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was a servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better AND worse).
  • Ridley Scott decided against featuring Xenomorphs (the titular Alien of the film series) in the film, as “the sequels squeezed him dry, he did very well… and no way am I going back there.” Instead, this being an indirect prequel to Alien, he decided to feature a Xenomorph ancestor/parent.
  • During production, Ridley Scott kept the use of computer-generated imagery as low as possible, using CGI mainly in space scenes; Scott recalled advice VFXpert Douglas Trumbull gave him on the set of Blade Runner: “If you can do it live, do it live”, and also claimed that practical VFX was more cost-effective than digital VFX.
  • According to Ridley Scott, the film’s plot was inspired by Erich von Däniken’s writings about ancient astronauts: “Both NASA and the Vatican agree that it is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today, without there being a little help along the way. That’s what we’re looking at: we are talking about gods and engineers, engineers of space. Were the Aliens designed as a form of biological warfare, or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?”
  • The “beginning of time” sequence that opens the film was shot in Iceland. The whole shoot took two weeks to complete.
  • An innovative viral campaign was used to promote the film, consisting of several videos depicting the near future world from the film. The first was a fake TED Talk given by Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce), dated 2028. Later, two different versions of a commercial promoting the David 8 android (played by Michael Fassbender) were released. These viral videos were designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof themselves, and were directed by Scott’s son, Luke Scott.
  • While Ridley Scott suggested that the cast could have slept and effectively “lived” on the Prometheus interior set during initial filming, this didn’t happen due to health and safety precautions.
  • The Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who plays British character Shaw, worked on set with a dialect coach to help her achieve an appropriate accent.
  • Logan Marshall-Green described his role of Charlie Holloway as “an ESPN X-Games scientist” who looks before he leaps.
  • Charlize Theron found herself struggling during her action scenes due to her smoking habit, particularly the segments that required her to run through sand in boots weighing 30 pounds (14 kg).
  • The film was originally to be called “Paradise” (December 2010).
  • Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski convinced Ridley Scott that it would be possible to shoot the film in 3D with the same ease and efficiency of typical filming. 3D company 3ality Technica provided some of the rigs and equipment to facilitate 3D filming, and trained the film’s crew in their proper operation. Since 3D films need high lighting levels on set, the traditional dark shadowy atmosphere of the Alien films was added in post-production through grading processes, while the 3D equipment was based on post-Avatar technology.
  • The film contains approximately 1300 digital VFX shots.
  • Ridley Scott stated that he was filming “the most aggressive film [he] could” by not caring about MPAA ratings, having support for such bold movement from 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman, who addressed Alien fans by saying that he was “very aware of their concern”, and that “they can take it that the film will not be compromised either way. So if that means that the film is R, then it’ll be an R. If it’s PG-13, then it’ll be a PG-13, but it will not be compromised.” Scott shot the film with both adult-only R and more accessible PG-13 film ratings in mind, allowing the more adult content to be cut if necessary without harming the overall presentation, given the case it was asked to be cut down. Eventually, the film was rated “R for Sci-Fi violence including some intense images, and brief language”, and it was released without any demanded cuts.
  • Producers Walter Hill and David Giler rejoin Ridley Scott for the first time in over 30 years since they first collaborated on Alien.
  • The first shot of the cave paintings at the beginning of the film, which showed a horse in motion, originate from the Chauvet Cave in the South of France, which was the subject of the Werner Herzog Documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, also shot in 3D.
  • This is not Ian Whyte’s (who plays the Last Engineer) only attachment to the “Alien” films. Whyte also played the Predators in the “AVP: Alien vs. Predator” film series.
  • When Shaw is discussing her finds around the world in the conference, the words “Eilean a’ Cheo” can be seen in the background. This means “The Island of Mist” in Scottish Gaelic, and is a nickname for the Isle of Skye, properly called “An t-Eilean Sgitheanach”.
  • The three-triangle logo of the Weyland corporation (while visually similar to that of the actual Weinstein Group) is actually derived from a pattern appearing on the wall in the background of an early Ron Cobb production painting of the “Space Jockey” for the original Alien film. the logo can be seen as part of David’s fingerprint.
  • The androids’ names in the Alien films follow an alphabetical pattern: in Alien it’s Ash, in Aliens and Alien³ it’s Bishop, in Alien: Resurrection it’s Call and in this film it’s David.
  • In May 7th, 2012, Guillermo del Toro declared that his long proposed adaptation for “At the Mountains of Madness” was indefinitely delayed as he felt Ridley Scott’s film was extremely similar to the approach he penned for H.P. Lovecraft’s novella, even to the point of having “scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same big revelation (twist) at the end.”
  • Ridley Scott approached SOAS, University of London, in 2011 to find experts who could help create a new language for the film. Anil Biltoo from SOAS’ Language Centre worked to create the language, as well as the alien script, which can be seen throughout. Anil Biltoo can be seen briefly in a scene with Michael Fassbender. Other SOAS staff members appear briefly and are credited, including Wambui Kunya, Sonam Dugdak, Shin Okajima, Kay Rienjang, Zed Sevcikova and Reynir Eggertsson.
  • As mentioned in the film, the original Prometheus was a character from Greek mythology. He was a Titan (an immortal older god), who gave the gift of fire to human beings. Prometheus was punished for this by being bound to a rock in Hades (the Greek underworld), where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules). Among the ancient Greeks, Prometheus was venerated as a deity. Prometheus may derive from the Greek for “forethinker”, or the Proto-Indo-European for “thief”, Prometheus also tricked the gods, which is of relevance to this film.

Talking Points:

  • Definitely not a direct lead into Alien.
  • The Space Jesus theory
  • Performances
  • Did your theaters get huge (uncomfortable) laughs when the alien worms went into the mouths of the crew members?

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Visually amazing; some outstanding performances; demands to be seen on the best screen possible; definitely adds to the “Alien” storyline
  • Negatives: Not the masterpiece everyone expected; lacked substance; poor storytelling; posed more questions than answered; ending left much to be desired

What We Learned:

  • Big things have small beginnings.
  • A king has his reign, and then he dies. It’s inevitable.
  • The Engineers are kinda hot.
  • When hiring a Biologist, it might be a good Idea to find one who finds the idea of discovering a 2000 year old dead alien somewhat interesting.
  • When trying to avoid being crushed by an incredibly long, but somewhat narrow object….go sideways.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Wow, that movie was . . . whelming. Maybe it felt more incomplete. It really felt out of the blue that they had the answer, “They created us and now they want to destroy us.” While I can understand the conclusion, I don’t see the supporting elements in the movie. For all intents and purposes, this really should have been called “Alien: Prometheus” As this didn’t just have Alien DNA, it was an Alien movie. I thoroughly felt lied to and very disappointed in the movie. Still though, was fun to watch. Don’t pay too much, watch in 2D.
Ray:It left me and what seems like most of the Internet having more questions than getting answers, I would warn anyone who listens to Jeff, that while there is Alien stuff in this movie, it is not in my humble opinion what can be qualified as an “Alien” movie, it is most definitely related, but it’s more of at 2nd cousin twice removed type of related. If you are easily frustrated or don’t like to watch movies that require “Philosophical” math, then wait for the Blu-ray with the extra 30 minutes and director commentary in it. I thought the 3D was excellently used in this film. It added depth without the annoying OMG IN YOUR FACE that most try to achieve.
Steve: This is one I had to see in IMAX 3D and it was completely worth it! I loved the visual nature of the movie and no expense was spared to make it stunning. I still have tons of questions about it and don’t understand why some things happened that don’t fit into the typical Alien DNA (like reanimated corpses), but I went with it and just enjoyed the experience. If you like the Alien franchise, you have to see it!

The Future: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Release: December 14, 2012

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage

Summary:

A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

Talking Points

  • The 48fps controversy
  • Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci “…Here’s what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius. It is drenched in a TV-like – specifically 70s era BBC – video look. People on Twitter have asked if it has that soap opera look you get from badly calibrated TVs at Best Buy, and the answer is an emphatic YES.”
  • The Hobbit – 1977

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’m a sucker for a well done fantasy story. If I have to watch something for 3 hours to see the whole movie, I’m there. I totally prefer the Extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings movies over the theatrical editions as it’s a classic epic tale. I’m so glad that Peter Jackson is taking on The Hobbit. Although if Guillermo Del Toro actually stayed on, I’d suspect this would be just as good. I can’t wait.
Ray: I will watch this, but the whole super extra frame rate deal has me super extra expecting to hate it. Everyone should keep in mind that The Hobbit was a children’s book, and by the looks of the trailer they are keeping some of that tone in the movie. I would have been happier if someone decided to Re-Animate the cartoon version rather than make a film.
Steve: I never made it past “Lord of the Rings” because I find the movies way too long and drawn out. I love the stories from my youth, but have not gotten into seeing them translated on the big screen. For me, “The Hobbit” is a 1980s cartoon…so this is just another one I’m personally not excited about, although it looks to be visually stunning.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

Download Podcast

MOV108: “White Trash Even Feels Sorry For Me!”

The boys kick off their annual tribute to Pride Month with a look back at Del Shores’ play brought to the big screen in “Sordid Lives”. From there, they head to the theater to see if Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones still have it in the 3rd installment of the “Men in Black” franchise. In trailer-land, you know it’s a Steve-based show when they are forced to see another trailer for a based on true events paranormal flick…and this time it’s “The Apparition”. All this and news about a Justice League film, all you need to know about the Alien universe before you see “Prometheus”, as well as a Foo Fighter gets a big role. It’s the 108th reel of COL Movies…”White Trash Even Feels Sorry For Me!”

News:

The Past: Sordid Lives (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes: 37% Rotten; 86% Audience

Director: Dell Shores

Starring: Delta Burke, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Beau Bridges, Kirk Geiger, Sarah Hunley, Beth Grant, Ann Walker and Olivia Newton-John

Trivia:

  • The original stage play premiered in Los Angeles on May 11, 1996 and ultimately won 14 Drama League Awards.
  • This film contains many of the original actors from the long running stage-production, with the actors who originated the Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges roles (Mary Margaret Lewis and Mitch Carter) playing the receptionist Ethel and security guard in the mental institution.
  • Delta Burke’s role was originally suppose to be played as a larger woman, but when she showed up on the set having lost a lot of weight, a pivotal scene was played as if she had lost the weight, but her neglectful husband hadn’t noticed. (The role was originally to be played by Patrika Darbo.)
  • To keep the stories going, Logo produced twelve episodes of Sordid Lives: The Series. The television version begins at a point before that covered in the film, with Rue McClanahan as the mother, Peggy Ingram. Much of the film cast returned, including Leslie Jordan and Olivia Newton-John. Delta Burke was replaced with Caroline Rhea, while the part of Ty Williamson, formerly played by Kirk Geiger, is now portrayed by director Del Shores’ husband Jason Dottley.
  • Dottley has been on the national tour of the stage production of Sordid Lives since September 2007.
  • The television series began airing in July 2008. It ended after one season.

Talking Points:

  • Does it feel too much like a play?…flow.
  • Acting.
  • Ty’s coming out story
  • Brother Boy’s role in the film

Critic Notes

  • Positives: A trainwreck you can’t help but watch, While the film has large flaws the laughs are just as big!
  • Negatives: Shrill and unfunny, clumsily acted, did not translate well from play to screen, the straight-to-video quality is apparent with poor set choices, overacting, and too much going on.

What We Learned:

  • Any man who hits a woman is no man at all.
  • If you’re gonna play a homosexual, don’t waste it on theater.
  • When escaping the booby hatch, make sure to wear flats.
  • When in the house of the lord, cover up your titties.
  • Thelma was the one with the shitty husband.
  • Turn on the light when you get up to go to the bathroom!

Trailer:

Trailer provided by Video Detective

Recommendations:
Jeff: *clears throat* “Good lord this has a star studded cast. One of the best parts about this film is that the actors know exactly what this film is and act it out exactly how it should be. This is a fun romp around a serious situation but you cannot help but enjoy the film. Olivia Newton-John’s part is minimal, seems like she’s just there to sing, but the little nuances she puts in there are perfect. I think this movie would surprise and delight most straight people as well. I can’t recommend this enough.” Hmm, how come I feel like I’m repeating myself.
Ray: I really enjoyed the story, and would have loved to have seen the actual play. The “Shot on handycam” feel was a bit of a bummer, but I’m able to overlook that. I kinda wish maybe someone would attempt to re-make this. Highly recommended.
Steve: It’s not a conventional film and that’s why I like it. I can look at this film and see characters from throughout my Tennessee family. Steel Magnolias in a trailer park! Love it!

Flickchart

The Present: Men In Black III
Rotten Tomatoes: 69% Fresh; 75% Audience

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin

Trivia:

  • Michael Bay expressed interest in directing.
  • Screenwriter David Koepp, who was originally involved with Men in Black II but left to write Spider-Man, signed on permanently for this film.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen was considered for the role of Boris.
  • This is Will Smith’s first film in 3.5 years, since the release of Seven Pounds in December 2008. This is the longest he has gone without appearing in a movie since his film career started in 1993.
  • Gemma Arterton was originally cast as young Agent O, but scheduling conflicts prevented Arterton from taking the role.
  • Josh Brolin plays a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones’s character Agent K. Brolin’s wife Diane Lane appeared with Jones in Lonesome Dove. In the sequel Streets of Laredo, Lane’s role was taken over by Sissy Spacek, who played Tommy Lee Jones’s wife in Coal Miner’s Daughter and is the cousin of MIB co-star Rip Torn.
  • The previous film Men in Black II released the same year as Spider-Man. This film, the sequel, releases ten years later; the same year as the reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • This is the second threequel Steven Spielberg produced that involves Apollo 11 in its storyline. The first was Transformers: Dark of the Moon which focused on a Transformer ship discovered by Apollo.
  • According to the trailer Agent J travels from 2012 to 1969, 43 years into the past. He wakes up and sees a young Agent K, played by Josh Brolin. Brolin is only 21 years and 5 months younger than Tommy Lee Jones, who plays the older Agent K.
  • Yuri Lowenthal, who voices Knuckles the graffiti alien, had voiced Ben Tennyson in the Ben 10 cartoons; the Tennyson family is connected to the Plumbers, an organization similar to the Men in Black.
  • Special makeup effects artist Rick Baker makes a cameo in the film as an alien with an exposed cranium.
  • Will Smith’s personal makeup artist Judy Murdock appears as a blue-skinned alien.
  • Nicole Scherzinger listened to Led Zeppelin to get her in the mood for the role of Lily Poison.
  • The number CRM-114 makes two appearances in this movie in the form of text that appears on the outside wall of the Lunar Max prison (seen after Boris breaks out) and the ID for the bunker on the beach at Cape Canaveral. These numbers are a nod to director Stanley Kubrick, who used this number in his movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
  • The zip line escape system shown at the Apollo launch pad really did exist. It was installed for the Apollo program and enhanced for the Space Shuttle program. In some pre-launch emergency scenarios, the crew would have ridden steel cages down the zip lines to explosion-proof bunkers. Astronauts practiced using the system as part of their training, but it was never used in an actual emergency.
  • Will Arnett plays J’s alternate timeline partner, Agent AA.
  • Lady Gaga appears on a holographic monitor as Agent J searches for Agent K in the MIB headquarters.
  • Director Barry Sonnenfeld appears on screen as one of the people watching the Apollo 11 launch on a couch, drinking a cup of coffee.
  • The film’s premise was first proposed to director Barry Sonnenfeld by Will Smith during the filming of Men in Black II in 2002, with Smith suggesting that his character, Agent J, travel back in time to save his partner, Agent K, while at the same time exploring Agent K’s backstory. Sonnenfeld said the idea “turned out to be a very long process of development, mainly because of the knotting [sic] issues of time travel…”.
  • Unlike the first two films, Men in Black 3 was filmed in 3D
  • For the film, the Ford Taurus SHO was selected as the MIB’s official car, replacing the Ford LTD Crown Victoria and Mercedes-Benz E-Class from the first two films. For the 1969 scenes, a 1964 Ford Galaxie was used as the MIB’s official car.
  • This is the first time Frank the Pug was absent in a Men in Black movie, as well as Chief Zed or Jack Jeebs. Zed is written in the story as having passed away and immortalized at MIB Headquarters. A portrait of Frank can also be seen in J’s apartment. An advertisement for Frank the talking dog can be seen as Agent J enters Coney Island.
  • Both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have said that they would “consider” appearing in a Men in Black 4. Director Barry Sonnenfeld joked, “…for Men in Black 4, Will is out and [his son] Jaden Smith is in.” Jones said it would be “easy to pick up where we left off. We know what we are doing, we know how to do it. It’s just a hell of a lot of fun.”

Talking Points:

  • Entertaining?
  • What was up with TLJ’s Face?!
  • Acting
  • Did the storyline (aka ending especially) surprise you?
  • How does it compare for you to the other 2?

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Entertaining, better than MIB2, Josh Brolin’s impression of Tommy Lee Jones was excellent, Nice shot in the arm for a dead franchise, Better than the first one! (Ebert)
  • Negatives: Lifeless and pointless, simply made to be a summer blockbuster to bring in cash, all the excitement of the movie and CGI could not make up for a pointless story

What We Learned:

  • There are things out there that you don’t need to know about.
  • To time jump, you really have to jump.
  • All models are aliens.
  • The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie.
  • Sugar (Regret?) is the most destructive power in the universe.
  • A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway.
  • The secret to living a happy life is not asking the questions you don’t want answers to.
  • Trust the pie

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I’m just a fan of the Men In Black movie. The Men In Black movies have a certain style which I always enjoy. I feel biased in saying, totally go see it. 3D is okay but there really isn’t much to it.
Ray: ugh. I had a hard time with this one.. it felt very much pieced together and sloppy. Josh Brolin was AMAZING as a young Tommy Lee Jones though. I’d say skip it and wait for Blu-Ray or netflix.
Steve: I found it to be entertaining and much better than the 2nd installment. Where the first one really set the tone, this one should have probably followed it so that you were more invested in the characters and their stories, before the 2nd movie came along. I have to admit I was surprise they decided to “reinvigorate” this franchise, but it’s a nice way to end it.

The Future: The Apparition

Release: August 24, 2012

Director: Todd Lincoln

Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan and Tom Felton

Summary:

When frightening events start to occur in their home, a young couple discovers they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural, but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force and death.

Talking Points

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Is it just me or do trailers for horror movies just make me yawn. Same old, same old.
Ray: Looks like it could have some good scares.. which to me is what it’s all about. The trick is not giving away all the good ones in the trailer. I would watch this, not sure I’d go out of my way to see it in the theater, but Id definitely watch it on the home theater system.
Steve: OK…it’s not anything amazing. But, I did like that it seems to take the haunting genre into a different place. I thought it was an interesting premise, although I doubt it will take it to new heights. I am over the “true events” side of things, though. If you can’t give me the background – leave it be.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future: The Hobbit

Download Podcast