MOV124: “I Am The Law”

In this reel of COL Movies, the boys head back to 80s to resurrect “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo”. From there, it’s off to the theater for the new take on the comic character “Dredd”. In the category of coming soon, we hit the GLBT Film Festival circuit’s “Gayby”. It’s a slow news week, so we just say hi to Facebookers and hit the show. It’s the 124th Reel of COL Movies…”I Am The Law“

News:

  • Nada!

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The Past: Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes No Critic Score ; 63% Audience

Director: Sam Firstenberg

Starring: Lucinda Dickey, Adolfo Quinones, Michael Chambers

Trivia:

  • To film a scene where dancers breakdance on walls, the makers borrowed the rotating room from Nightmare On Elm Street, A (1984). To show thanks, a picture of Freddy’s glove is hanging on the wall.
  • The phrase “Electric Boogaloo” has passed into common usage as the sub-title for any facetious sequel. The usual connotation suggests a sequel that is ridiculous, absurd, unwanted, unnecessary, formulaic, or obscure.
  • Sabrina García actually did not speak Spanish so all of her lines were dubbed by another actor.
  • Movie was inspired by true events. The Radio-Tron was a youth center located in the MacArthur Park area and faced demolition. Youth director, Carmelo Alvarez, rallied the youth and community to march to Los Angeles City Hall in the effort to save the Radio-Tron.
  • Lela Rochon, who was Adolfo Quinones’ wife at the time once again has a small role in this film in which she plays one of Brenda’s friends. Just as she did in her role prior to the last film, she has no dialogue.
  • Christopher McDonald was offered the chance to reprise his role of James from Breakin’ but he turned it down.
  • Though most critics rated the film poorly, New York Press film critic Armond White considered it to be “superb” and Roger Ebert gave the film a three-star rating.
  • Like its predecessor, much of the film’s soundtrack was provided by Ollie & Jerry, comprising the duo Ollie E. Brown and Jerry Knight. The title track, “Electric Boogaloo,” did not appear in pop charts and reached place #45 on the R&B chart.

Talking Points:

  • Acting – or lack thereof (girl who spoke no English…for example)
  • Perfect movie for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type treatment
  • Interesting to see some moves that are still out there today
  • Soundtrack
  • Rays Electric Boogaloo Story

What We Learned:

  • Gotta have the honey if you wanna make the money.
  • Mimes are scary, but mimes in super-tight jeans are scarier!
  • Girls are whacked
  • In Hollywood, everybody sues everybody.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This movie is the epitome of the 1980s. It was definitely not a good movie, the acting was poor, the story wasn’t that interesting. The music, dancing and hair was a very 80s flash back which gave it at least a little bit of charm. It was an okay movie. Something to MST3K with some friends or if you just want to watch something stupid. It’s ok.
Ray: Some call it the best worst movie ever.. It is pretty bad, I guess it would be a fun movie to watch with a buncha people if you were gonna go all Rifftrax or Mystery Science Theater on it.
Steve: Wow…just wow. I just didn’t get off to this jive movie. Quite honestly, could have lived without ever seeing it…now or back in the 80s.

The Present: Dredd
Rotten Tomatoes 77% Fresh; 85% Audience

Director: Pete Travis

Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

Trivia:

  • Duncan Jones was offered the film, but turned it down, not because he didn’t like the Alex Garland script (Jones said it was great), but because he had such a strong idea of what he wanted to do with a Dredd movie, that he felt he could not bring himself to take it on and not do it his way.
  • Unlike the previous Judge Dredd movie, Karl Urban has confirmed that the helmet will never come off to keep true to the comic book character.
  • The Peach Tree block is named after a restaurant in Shrewsbury, the place where screenwriter Alex Garland and Judge Dredd creator John Wagner first met to discuss the film.
  • Judge Joe Dredd is a fictional character whose comic strip in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD is the magazine’s longest running, having been featured there since its second issue in 1977. Dredd is a law enforcement officer in a violent North American city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner. Dredd and his fellow Judges are empowered to arrest, sentence, and even execute criminals on the spot. The character was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, although editor Pat Mills also deserves some credit for early development.
  • The graffiti throughout Peach Trees contains the names of characters that appear in the Judge Dredd strip, such as Chopper and Kenny Who?
  • With the exception of Peach Trees, the city blocks are named after notable 2000ad creators and characters.
  • In the Judge Dredd comic strip, all blocks are given names relevant to some form of connection to the creators, the inspiration for the characters/story or current affairs at the time of writing. The nearest block to Peach Trees, where the film is set, is ‘Sternhammer’- which is visible in the opening scenes and at the end of the film. It is also referred to as being where one of the Ma-Ma clan’s rivals are based. Wulf Sternhammer was a popular recurring character in the Strontium Dog comic strip in 200AD, which shared many writers to Judge Dredd and has even had cross over stories.
  • Karl Urban’s voice for Dredd is comparable to that of Clint Eastwood. Judge Dredd is in fact partly based on Eastwood’s character in the TV series Rawhide, and to reference this the Block in which Dredd lives is called Rowdy Yates.
  • The Chief Judge is not referred to by name in the film. In appearance she is a combination of Chief Judges MacGruder and Silver, and the setting (the boundary wall and the Fergee memorials are both referred to) would place the time of the film in Mega City history as Macgruder’s first period in office.
  • Judge Dredd creator John Wagner had been critical of the 1995 adaptation, but positively received Dredd. He said: “I liked the movie. It was, unlike the first film, a true representation of Judge Dredd… Karl Urban was a fine Dredd and I’d be more than happy to see him in the follow-up. Olivia Thirlby excelled as Anderson… The character and storyline are pure Dredd.”

Talking Points:

  • 3D or not? Hard to find a non-3D screening here in Chicago.
  • Violence & gore
  • The “voice” again
  • The Look of the movie
  • “Slo-Mo” and slo-mo
  • Intentional Comedy or no?
  • Ma-Ma = Channeling Sandra Bernhardt?

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Gorey, Action-packed, Gritty, Pure Entertainment; Sets the atmosphere perfectly; Irreverently humorous; A solid adaptation of the comic
  • Negatives: We’ve seen all this before; “Shoot bad guy” movie; 3-D was unnecessary and muddy; Too late – the story is old; At least Stallone wore the helmet – but Urban let the helmet wear him

What We Learned:

  • The perps were uncooperative.
  • It’s all the deep end.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: This was definitely better then that Sly Stallone piece of crap. Nice being a basic story and Dredd doing his “I Am The Law” thing. Just not as melodramatically as Sly. It’s a decent watch. Sound was great in the theater that I was in so I recommend seeing it in a theater with good sound.
Ray: I can appreciate this movie, but it feels like it’s definitely been made with the Hard Core fan’s in mind. Don’t expect much back story or a complicated plot, but there are some amazing visuals during the slo-mo scenes. 3D was ok, And you get your money’s worth.
Steve: I thought it was OK. I wasn’t wow’ed by anything and perhaps it was a lack of knowing the source material and only having the 1995 movie to reference. However, it had a video game movie feel, some strong, memorable characters and lots of action. Worth a look, but don’t feel obligated to rush out and see it.

The Future: Gayby

Release: Unknown – on Film Festival Circuit

Director: Jonathan Lisecki

Starring: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Charlie Barnett

Summary:

Jenn and Matt are best friends from college who are now in their thirties. Single by choice, Jenn spends her days teaching hot yoga and running errands for her boss. Matt suffers from comic-book writer’s block and can’t get over his ex-boyfriend. They decide to fulfill a youthful promise to have a child together… the old fashioned way. Can they navigate the serious and unexpected snags they hit as they attempt to get their careers and dating lives back on track in preparation for parenthood?

Talking Points:

  • Could you do it?
  • Would you do it?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Okay, so the title was the only reason why I pick this one. This doesn’t even look interesting at all to me. Total pass for me.
Ray: Seems like a cute little rom-com. Yes I’m calling it a Rom-com. This would be a netflixer for me though.. unless I was going on a date and they wanted to see it.
Steve: Interesting take on the child bearing issue. Seems cute. I’d see it if it’s at the Tampa Film Festival – otherwise it’s one that will eventually show up on Netflix that I’ll watch.

The Past: The Shining (1980)

The Present: Looper

The Future: Red Dawn

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MOV123: “He’s Almost Too Gay To Function”

It’s all about girl power in this in this reel of COL Movies, where the boys start off by going back in time to review the Tina Fey written gem, “Mean Girls”. After getting schooled (get it?), they catch back up with Alice for some more ass-kicking as she tries to take down the Umbrella Corporation for the 5th time in “Resident Evil: Retribution”. From there, we’re off somewhere over the rainbow with James Franco and a triumvirate of extremely talented female actors as the witches in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful”. In news, “The Hobbit” trilogy goes real time, Joss Whedon talks about why he isn’t exactly thrilled about “Avengers 2”, and the Looney Tunes are coming back to the big screen. It’s the 123rd reel of COL Movies…”He’s almost too gay to function”

News:

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The Past: Mean Girls (2004)
Rotten Tomatoes 83% Fresh; 66% Audience

Director: Mark Waters

Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey

Trivia:

  • Nearly earned an R rating for explicit, risqué gags and jokes which were subsequently cut.
  • In the book upon which the movie is based, the most popular girl in a school is given the title “Queen Bee”. In the movie, the character who fits that description is named Regina – “queen” in Latin.
  • Amy Poehler who plays Mrs. George is only seven years older than her on screen daughter Rachel McAdams (Regina George).
  • Although the movie was not filmed in the rich north suburbs of Chicago known as the ‘North Shore’ (where it is said to take place), several real places in the area are mentioned. These include Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, Illinois (although the scene was filmed at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ontario), Walker Brothers Pancake House (the gift certificates at the end have the restaurant’s real logo), and Northwestern University. In addition, a deleted scene featured on the DVD mentions Hecky’s, a real barbecue restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. School scenes were filmed at Lincoln Park High School, Chicago. Exterior shots of the school were of Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, Etobicoke, as well as hallway scenes. Some scenes also filmed at a lake front park in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
  • Though set on the North Shore of Chicago, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and Malvern Collegiate Institute. Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.
  • Kevin Gnapoor’s phone number on his business card uses the North Shore’s real area code, 847.
  • Amanda Seyfried, who plays Karen in the film, was initially supposed to play Cady, but producer Lorne Michaels thought she would be better as the “dumb girl”.
  • Initially, Lindsay Lohan was cast as Regina, but decided to play the “nice girl” so the public wouldn’t base her real personality on Regina’s. Rachel McAdams was chosen to play the “mean girl” because “only nice girls can play mean girls” according to the producer.
  • Tim Meadows broke his hand before shooting and had to wear a cast, so the explanation that his character Mr. Duvall had carpal tunnel was added.
  • Lacey Chabert was the first and only choice for the role of Gretchen.
  • In the scene where Cady was asked if her “muffin was buttered”, the line was originally going to be, “Is your cherry popped?” The same goes for the girl who “made out with a hot dog” this was going to be “masturbated with a hot dog”. These were omitted in order for the film to gain a PG 13+ rating instead of a R
  • This movie is based upon the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence” by Rosalind Wiseman, even though it is a non-fiction parental self-help guide with no narrative at all.
  • In the scene where Christmas candy canes are being distributed in the classroom Damien, dressed in a Santa suit, reads out the name Glenn Cocco, a good friend of Tina Fey.
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler coached Rajiv Surendra on how to rap for his on-screen performance in the school’s Winter Talent Show.
  • Cady’s mom gets tenure at Northwestern, which is Ana Gasteyer’s alma mater in real life.
  • Producer Tina Fey confessed that, when casting the film, she liked Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels) because “he looked like Jimmy Fallon”.
  • The skirts for the Christmas talent show are made of plastic; the costume designer says they were made of that fabric to “represent the Plastics”.
  • The character Mrs. Norbury was named after a German teacher at Upper Darby High School, where Tina Fey attended.
  • The scene in which Cady walks in on Jason and Gretchen kissing at her party is much different in the first draft of the script. Originally, she walks in on Gretchen performing oral sex on Jason (no nudity, nothing graphic), but this was subsequently cut from the final print in order to achieve a PG-13 rating
  • Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams play characters who attend the same school and are in the same grade, in spite of the 8 year age difference between the two actresses.
  • In the math class Kevin gives Cady his card. It says, KEVIN GNAPOOR MATH ENTHUSIAST/BAD-ASS M.C. 847-555-2148
  • Ashley Tisdale auditioned for Karen Smith.
  • Lizzy Caplan’s character was named Janis Ian as an homage to musician Janis Ian, the first Saturday Night Live musical guest (alongside Billy Preston). Ian’s song “At Seventeen” which can be heard playing in the background when the girls are fighting at Regina’s house. Other characters bullying Caplan’s character persistently call her a lesbian throughout the movie; the real Janis Ian is an out lesbian.
  • Lizzy Caplan was at first considered too pretty for Janis, to which Fey felt a “Kelly Osbourne-like actress” was necessary, but Caplan was picked for being the “most energetic”.
  • Rachel McAdams wore a blonde wig while filming the movie.
  • Cady gets very excited at the dance when she “actually recognizes” one of the songs being played. That song is “Built This Way,” which was performed and co-written by London-born singer-songwriter and DJ Samantha Ronson. About four years after the release of this movie, and after several years of press speculation, Lindsay Lohan and Ronson acknowledged they were in a romantic relationship.
  • The main character, played by Lindsay Lohan, is named “Cady”, which has a common pronunciation (“Katie”) but an uncommon spelling for an American girl’s first name. In keeping with the film’s theme of female empowerment, it is the same spelling as the birth last name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an 18th-century pioneer in the American Women’s Rights movement.
  • When Tina Fey planned to adapt Queen Bees and Wannabes into a film, she didn’t realize it was a guidebook with no fictional narrative. She feared she’d backed herself into a corner after finalizing the deal with Paramount.
  • Tina Fey envisioned backgrounds for all of the characters. If any of the actors had questions about their characters she could fill in the blanks for them.
  • The casting department searched through four cities to find the right actor to play Damien.
  • Unusual among Mark Waters-directed films in that there are no supernatural elements in the plot.
  • In her autobiography, ‘Bossypants’, Tina Fey says that she named the character Damian after “TV Guide” writer Damian Holbrook, who has been her friend since they met as teens in a summer theater workshop in their Pennsylvania hometown.
  • Cady’s friend Janis Ian is likely related to Janis Ian, the singer of “At Seventeen,” a song about realizing at age 17 the beautiful are favored. “I learned the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens … and those of us with ravaged faces, lacking in the social graces, desperately remained at home, inventing lovers on the phone.” The song is also playing in the scene when Karen tells Cady that she has a “fifth sense … It’s like ESPN or something.”
  • In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,432,195 in 2,839 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. It was the best Lohan film debut at number one. By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 domestically and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.

Talking Points:

  • Inevitable comparison to Heathers
  • The use of the internal thoughts
  • The bus
  • The Burn Book
  • The backhanded compliments during the intervention

What We Learned:

  • Foot cream smells like peppermint
  • Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it
  • Everyone in Africa knows Swedish
  • Friends who secretly hate you are called “fraitors”
  • Homeschoolers are freaks
  • Jumbo tampons are helpful when you have a heavy flow and wide-set vagina
  • Don’t have sex because you’ll get pregnant and die
  • That is so fetch!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I was surprised by how much I didn’t run and hide for this movie. The quotient was so low and the writing so clever, how can you not like it? I loved it, watch it now.
Ray: Can you believe I’ve never seen this before? I really thought it was funny, and of course it’s set in the North Shore of Chicago, so what’s not to like? It’s definitely reminiscent of Heathers, just not as dark.
Steve: A great update of Heathers, with Tina Fey intelligence. Great characters, smart writing, and solid acting from a young cast, as well as some memorable cameos from SNL greats. Definitely worth watching and reminiscing about the good…um…maybe just days of high school.

The Present: Resident Evil: Retribution
Rotten Tomatoes 29% Rotten; 60% Audience

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Boris Kudjoe

Trivia:

  • Jensen Ackles was considered for the role of Leon S. Kennedy, but the role later went to Johann Urb.
  • The first movie of the series not to feature undead dogs.
  • The role of Becky was not considered to be hearing-impaired, but after an outstanding audition, the role was later given to Aryana Engineer.
  • During the car chase scene from the Las Plagas/Zombie infected Russian army the music playing during this scene is titled ‘Phantom Chase’ by tomandandy. This song particularly references music from the original Resident Evil (1996) video game. The name of the song that is referenced is ‘Second Floor Mansion’.
  • After the release of Resident Evil: Afterlife, director Paul W. S. Anderson was in discussion with Screen Gems of filming a fifth and sixth film back to back. But Anderson later decided to just focus on Retribution. Anderson explains that a sixth film will only be made based on the success of Retribution and will most likely be the finale of the series.
  • An element from Resident Evil 4, a parasite called Las Plagas plays a part in the film and allows the undead to “run around, ride motorbikes, and shoot machine guns.”
  • An action scene inspired by Resident Evil 5 where the characters are driving a Hummer while being chased by zombies is featured, but for the film the Hummer was changed to a Rolls Royce Phantom.
  • The film’s fight sequences were influenced by Asian cinema. “We watched a lot of Thai movies this time around because of the movies (Powell) has done” says Anderson. “He did The Last Samurai as well. He has worked with a lot of Japanese stuntmen and he has worked with a lot of Hong Kong stuntmen. But we felt the area that hadn’t been mined by western cinema much was that whole kind of high impact Thai style of fighting. So we just watched a lot of action sequences from a lot of Thai movies. There were moves and just a general feel that we thought we could infuse the movie with. You know, that kind of bone crunch where you really feel the impact. We tried to bring that into the movie, which is also good for 3D because obviously 3D makes it harder to sell those kind of fake phony punches because you see the distance between the fist and the face. So that kind of Thai style of fighting where you actually make contact is a lot stronger.”
  • Filming locations included Toronto at Cinespace’s Kipling studio facility,[5] Times Square in New York City, Tokyo, and Red Square in Moscow.
  • On October 11, a platform collapsed during the second day of filming and injured 16 people on the set. According to Toronto police, ten people were taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. Injuries included bruises and broken bones. Emergency workers had a difficult time determining which injuries were real since the people were dressed in zombie costumes with fake blood.
  • The streets of Red Square were cleared for a day and background filming was done in the Russian subway after it was cleared for five hours. Most of the streets were built into sets. The car chase scene was filmed in late November in Moscow.
  • The music group Tomandandy, who performed the Afterlife score, returned to score Retribution. Anderson explains that the score for this film will be a progression of Afterlife, stating that he “wants to kind of mesh their more electronic stuff with an orchestra this time. It still has that cool tomandandy feel, but it has a more epic scope to it.”
  • The first teaser trailer of the film, was attached to Underworld Awakening and released in January 2012, featuring product placement promoting Sony products such as the Xperia phone, the PlayStation Vita and the Tablet S before transitioning into a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C., with Alice standing on the roof of the White House.
  • A viral website umbrellacorporation.net supposedly informed about Umbrella’s on a recruitment tour all over the world searching for “great minds to help them advance”. On several occasions, a video of Alice (Milla Jovovich) shows up, telling you not to trust Umbrella.
  • On August 10, 2012, a group of 27 people dressed as zombies “invaded” the Shibuya shopping district and handed out leaflets to promote the film.
  • Resident Evil: Retribution had its world premiere in Japan (where it’s retitled Biohazard V: Retribution) on September 3 and had its release worldwide on September 14th.

Talking Points:

  • Felt like a clip show right before the end of a reality series

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: While the director explains all at the end, it’s clear the big full blown nutty days are still to come; Anderson knows how to do a great fight sequence
  • Negatives: Same old, same old; got tired of the slo-mo; flimsy plot structure; “apparently zombie hordes have taken over the world, but there is an endless supply of black leather unitards”; At last, we thought Alice might say “we survived”, but alas no.

What We Learned:

  • This is Alice…and it’s her world
  • When trying to escape a zombie menace, go into the dark subway tunnels
  • Rain’s sister is not very nice
  • Clones wear leather unitards

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Well this is a first, Usually I’m pretty good with an RE movie. It does something interesting and I enjoy myself. . . . this . . . didn’t. For the first time I’m just tired of Resident Evil Movies and they are going to do another one. Thanks, Paul WS Anderson but you need to stop. Right now. No more cliffhangers at the end of movies. This is enough.
Ray: This just confirms me suspicions that every single one of these movies since the first one has been made for the sole purpose of masturbating Japanese fans. The dialogue was delivered horribly, the acting was..not even passable, but it you take this and watch the dialogue from the very first resident evil games.. it’s almost exactly the same… I’d stay away unless you are a crazy die hard fan.. oh and everyone tells me skip the 3D
Steve: Kind of a best of the best moments from the previous films, so it had a “clip show” feel. While it isn’t Shakespeare, it’s good for what it is and the fight scenes were fricken awesome! Michelle Rodriguez ‘roiding up to right two guys and the fight between Alice and Jill were both pretty damn epic. Honestly, I was really hoping they would end it…but I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there will actually be a 6th installment.

The Future: Oz: The Great and Powerful

Release: March 8, 2013

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: Mila Kunis, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz

Summary:

Sam Raimi’s film is set before the events of the 1939 film and the original book. When Oscar Diggs a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking… that is until he meets the witches Theodora, Evanora, and Glinda who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity, and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Talking Points:

  • Robert Downey, Jr. was Raimi’s first choice for the part of Oz. When Downey declined, Johnny Depp was linked to the role. By the end of February 2011, James Franco was in final negotiations to star in this film. This is the first time that Franco and Raimi have worked together following the conclusion of the Spider-Man trilogy.
  • Principal photography with 3D cameras for Oz: The Great and Powerful began July 2011 in Pontiac, Michigan.
  • The script was written by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire with Joe Roth serving as a producer. In an interview, director Sam Raimi stated that Kapner used information about the Wizard from L. Frank Baum’s books, but the film will also “nod lovingly” to the 1939 classic film.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this. It’s a Prequel to The Wiz but for some reason they decided not to get another Richard Prior, I really don’t see why? In any case, looks fun, but it’s looking so different than The Wiz.
Ray: I’m super excited to see this… I’ve always thought that even though it would be sacrilege to do it, one movie I’ve always thought would be worthy of a modern remake was Wizard of Oz, glad they went the prequel route so they don’t really have to commit to messing with that until this proves to be a success… I’m excited to see it. Franco is riding high in my head since Planet of the Apes.
Steve: Comes off way more “fantastical” than the original movie. It will be interesting to see how they interplay the original mythology in the prequel. The female cast of witches seems like a solid group of actors, so I hope that Franco holds his own and doesn’t just act like he’s high the whole time.

The Past: Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Present: Dredd

The Future: Gayby

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MOV122: Can I please get that hour and 26 minutes of my life back?

This reel of COL movies takes us back into the past to see the very very very very very low budget movie “Blood Guts Bullets and Octane” is this late 90’s take on the Tarantino style of film worth watching, or would we rather get run over by a 64 Pontiac LeMans? Next we jump to the present to watch the again oddly released Horror film “The Possession” Is this modern take on a classic genre a good one or has it left us wondering what possessed them to make it? Next up we jump to the not so distant future to talk about the release of “Cloud Atlas” will this be the film that regains the Wachowski’s the film making crown? Or are we expecting another Speed Racer? All this plus some news about theater ninjas, Jos Whedon writing shakespear? Oh god…another Transformers movie? All this plus some google powered 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with COL Movies 122 “Can I please get that hour and 26 minutes of my life back?”

News:

The Past: Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane
Rotten Tomatoes 43% Rotten; 37% Audience

Director: Joe Carnahan

Staring: Joe Carnahan, Mike Maas, Nick Fenske, Mark Priolo

Trivia:

  • The Pontiac LeMans central to the story is a 1964 model, not a 1963.
  • Mr Reich claims to have doused Vernon with propane and roasted him in a motel room but when propane is decompressed and introduced into any atmosphere warmer than -43°C (-45.4°F) it instantly evaporates
  • There are several claims in the movie that the main car in the film was a 1963 Pontiac LeMans convertible. Yet, the car in the Movie was actually a 1964 Pontiac GTO convertible. On top of that, the Car on the Cover is a different generation GTO than the one in the movie. The GTO was not in existence in 1963.
  • As of 1999, the film had been negotiated to be developed by Carnahan and producer Bob Levy as a prime time series on NBC. However, the series has not materialized.

Talking Points:

  • The annoying switch from hand held to not…
  • The horrible dialogue
  • Budget: $7300, Earned: $13,674

What We Learned:

  • The best Car Salesmen in the business are fabulous magicians
  • You have to understand the nature of the sale to in order to understand the sell
  • you cannot sell shit, cuz shit don’t sell.
  • Sometimes in life you have to do things sight unseen
  • Johnny Cash got fucked at Folsom.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Well, the first 24 minutes was weird. I wonder what the rest was like.
Ray: Its like a bad copy of a bad copy….I felt like this was watching the director/writer/lead actor masturbate on screen while he was watching himself masturbate on screen… perhaps for a drunken riff trax? other than that.. kill it with FIRE. Should have had a more accurate title… like “Bad Acting, Horrible Dialogue, and No Production Value” This is what happens when you try and copy Tarantino, but can’t actually write.
Steve: I don’t even know what I just watched. Clearly, it’s a car movie so Ray put it in – but I hate to say it but that just sucked. First – guys like this wouldn’t have dialogue like that, Second – there were too many characters, Third – this movie wishes it was Fargo and Reservoir Dogs. A definite skip-a-roo-ski.

The Present: The Possession
Rotten Tomatoes 37% Fresh; 55% Audience

Director: Ole Bornedal,

Starring: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick

Trivia:

  • Was originally rated R by the MPAA for “violence, terror and disturbing images” but the film was eventually edited to receive a PG-13 rating for “mature thematic material involving violence and disturbing sequences.”
  • While promoting the film on Craig Ferguson [airdate 8/29/12], Jeffrey Dean Morgan reported that strange incidents took place during production that couldn’t be explained. Lights exploded during the filming of key scenes; and just two days after wrapping principal photography, all of the props for the film, stored in case of re-shoots, were destroyed in a fire that mysteriously erupted from within the storage-house.
  • The story is based on the allegedly haunted Dybbuk box. Bornedal cited films like The Exorcist as an inspiration, praising their subtlety.
  • Bornedal stated that he was drawn to the script for The Possession, having seen it as more of an allegory for divorce than as a true horror film.
  • The owner of the Dybbuk box, Jason Haxton, offered to send it to producer Sam Raimi, who was both interested and reluctant. Raimi laughingly told an Entertainment Weekly interviewer, “I didn’t want anything to do with it. I’m scared of the thing.” He also told the interviewer that he was raised in a conservative Jewish home: “You don’t hear about dybbuks when you go to synagogue. I know the demonic lore of The Exorcist. But what does my faith believe about demonic possession? … The stories chilled me to the bone.” Jeffrey Dean Morgan felt similarly: “In the research I did, I started getting creeped out. My girlfriend was like, ‘Let’s just make sure that we don’t actually go near the real Dybbuk Box.'” “We were like, ‘Hell, no,'” recalls screenwriter Juliet Snowden. “‘We don’t want to see it. Don’t send us a picture of it.'”

Talking Points:

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: The first half was very creepy and set a cool atmosphere around the box; If you believe in demons it will scare you to death; it’s eerily enjoyable fodder; One of the better “exorcism-inspired” films of recent years; Interesting twist involving Jewish faith rather than Christianity
  • Negatives: Didn’t really add anything to the genre; formulaic and predictable; relies on cliche’s rather than sucker punches; Raimi did it for the money, Bornedal phoned it in

What We Learned:

  • Pizza doesn’t grow on trees
  • Moths are just butterflies without the pretty color.
  • Don’t touch the box.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I hated it but I don’t. This is really not my type of movie but really felt it wasn’t too bad, if I liked this type of movie.
Ray: This movie has a strong start, but an awful finish. It made me jump a couple times, which is why we go to scary movies right? I think this would be more of a at home in the dark film than a theater movie.
Steve: Any PG-13 horror movie is already going to have me questioning just how good it is. However, considering that fact, I actually found it interesting. The effects, albeit lame story-wise at times, looked really cool – especially the times they were trying to show something inside someone trying to get out. I’m probably affected by the fact I actually saw the source material and see how they brought it to life – so I encourage others to do the same. I was satisfied.

The Future: Cloud Atlas

Release: October 26th, 2012

Director: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant

Summary:

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Talking Points:

  • The structure of the book, will it translate to film?
  • “Extended” trailers – over 5 mins? really?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff:. This looks like a very interesting, multigenerational plot. I’ve always liked the idea of history repeating itself and this kinda sorta goes in this direction. More of soul mates finding each other in each reincarnation, but that’s still an interesting story. I want to see it.
Ray: Looks like a very ambitious project, but from what I know about the book… I’m not sure how well this will translate to the screen, If the Wachowski’s can pull it off it will be an amazing film. Hopefully Ill have read the book by the time it comes out, but I’m excited to see it.
Steve: Wow…this kind of takes me back to our conversation about “The Tree of Life”. So not the kind of movie I seek out. It looks interesting, particularly visually. The concept seems pretty cool…but very heady. I think I just need to learn more about it before I can commit.

The Past: Mean Girls

The Present: Resident Evil: Retribution

The Future: Oz: The Great and Powerful

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MOV121: Rule 34

In this reel of COL movies, we head back to the early 90s for the Broadway-inspired play turned movie, “Noises Off!” In theaters, we check out the Great Depression bootlegger drama, “Lawless”. In trailer-world, we review the John C. Reilly animated joint “Wreck-It Ralph”. In news, there’s talk of “A Christmas Story” official sequel, we lose the incredible Michael Clarke Duncan, and Sam Raimi promises that the “Evil Dead” remake will be well worth the wait. It’s the 121st reel of COL movies..Rule 34

News:

Recent Facebook Likes: Jason Bartello

The Past: Noises Off (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes 57% Rotten; 83% Audience

Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Staring: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty, Marilu Henner, Mark Linn-Baker, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Nicollette Sheridan

Trivia:

  • Two of the characters names are changed from the original stage play: Lloyd Dallas (the director) and Frederick Fellows (the actor). In the movie version they are Lloyd Fellows (the director) and Frederick Dallas (the actor).
  • Denholm Elliott’s last film.
  • The play which the film is based on is done in three acts; act one is the final dress rehearsal; act two is the matinee performance; act three is the evening performance. The bridge scenes, with Michael Caine’s voiceover narration, including the opening scene where he leaves the theatre and the ending scene where he returns, were written for the film and do not appear in the play. In the play, the last line is the frantic call for “Curtain!”
  • Lloyd’s speech/rant to Tim before the matinee about the problems he’s having directing Hamlet was changed from the play. In the play, Lloyd is directing a production of Richard III, and all the characters/references reflect that. It was changed in the movie because it was felt that Hamlet would be better-known to American audiences.
  • The play-within-the-film is entitled “Nothing On”.
  • Audrey Hepburn was offered a major role.
  • Sir John Gielgud was asked to play Mowbray.
  • The movie’s title “Noises Off” is a stage cue used in scripts by a playwright to indicate noises occurring offstage.
  • The original Broadway production of “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn opened on December 11, 1983 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater running for 553 performances with a cast that included Victor Garber and Dorothy Loudon and received a nomination for the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play

Talking Points:

  • Has that shot on video feel to it…
  • Frantic pace gets overly frantic, if not frenetic

What We Learned:

  • Doors and Sardines, that’s what it’s all about.
  • The wellspring of human action is deep and cloudy
  • When you want to avoid paying taxes, stay in Spain.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I always seem to have a hard time watching comedy of errors, and this was one of them. The movie is great, based on the play, so can’t really say there’s anything wrong with it, I just had a start and stop time watching it. I think the reason why I like it so much is because of the technicality of it. The timing of going in and out of the doors with all that speed. Check it out for sure.
Ray: Something didn’t translate very well for me from stage to screen.. I found parts funny, but overall it was just exhausting. It was cool to see John Ritter and Christopher Reeve back on the screen. I think the expression on my face was exactly the same as the security guard back stage in the film. This isn’t something I would recommend
Steve: I like the first half, during the rehearsal, but once it gets going into the performances I just lose interest. Extremely creative and a great cast, but not really something for everyone.

The Present: Lawless
Rotten Tomatoes 66% Fresh; 81% Audience

Director: John Hillcoat

Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce

Trivia:

  • Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Shannon were originally slated to top line the project together with ‘Shia Labeouf’.
  • Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson were originally cast, but the movie was shut down, and Jessica Chastain eventually got the role.
  • Tom Hardy’s character was originally supposed to be slimmer but Hardy had to bulk up for the movie The Dark Knight Rises

Talking Points:

  • Shia
  • Tom
  • Did the digital medium make the film feel less authentic?
  • Reviews regarding violence and gore

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Does a great job in creating the world and environment of this band of brothers trying to make it; Shia finally lets it all out; Rowdy, crowd-pleasing fun
  • Negatives: The craftsmanship is great, but the story just doesn’t let the entire film sing; Hardy’s performance wasn’t good; You don’t really want to root for anyone because they’re all “bad people”; An ambitious try, but a miss.

What We Learned:

  • Never assume you walked yourself to the hospital.
  • Bondurants don’t lay down for nobody

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: You know, I really don’t know what to say about this movie. It was alright. Maybe worth a wait to DVD. I dunno. Watch the trailer and make your own judgement when to see it. Just can’t think it of priority to watch it. Just didn’t thrill me.
Ray: Much like Tom Hardy’s character in this film.. it is a slow pondering mass of a film, not exactly quick but when it hits it hits hard. Don’t fear the Shia..for once I feel he earned his pay on a film. It’s a hair under 2 hours long, but will feel much longer.
Steve: I actually liked Shia in something. Where’s the lightning? Also, while Tom Hardy may have been wooden in his portrayal of this patriarch – he really gave me a …. um, yeah sorry! I digress. I liked it. Somewhat of a blend of Untouchables and Young Guns with some memorable performances.

The Future: Wreck-It Ralph

Release: November 2, 2012

Director: Rich Moore

Starring: Voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jayne Lynch, Sarah Silverman

Summary:

The bad-guy character in a classic game who longs to be a hero brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooter game and unleashing a deadly enemy.

Talking Points:

  • The inclusion of the old video game characters

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Good guy plays a bad guy as his job and doesn’t want to be a bad guy anymore. It’s the story of Donkey Kong, yet animated. Totally want to see it.
Ray: Hmm.. Animated, Inclusion of old video games, Rule 34… um.. yeah..
Steve: Initially didn’t think I’d care for the cast, but as with Megamind I seem to be liking their voices in the roles. Seems like a fun story that will combine a blast from the past. I’m looking forward to it!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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