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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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:

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MOV065: “I Am Jill’s Nipples”

Take a trip with the boys back to 1999 as they break the first two rules of “Fight Club” and talk about the dark polarizing comedy? Does the David Fincher film knock us on our ass? Or limp away with its teeth knocked out? Next the boys swing into the present for the reboot prequel (is that a requel?) Rise of The planet of the Apes Is this monkey business better than the 2001 reboot or do those damn dirty apes do it again? Next the boys get caught in the Web of yet another studio reboot of a successful franchise… Does “The Amazing Spiderman” really look all that amazing? All that plus news about Queer Action Stars, Dragons and Zombies.. Oh My! on this new reel of COL Movies #65 – “I am Jill’s Nipples”

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News:

The Past: Fight Club
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Fresh Critics, 95% Audience

Directors: David Fincher

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bohnam Carter

Trivia:

  • Director David Fincher shot over 1,500 reels of film, more than three times the usual amount for a 120 minute film.
  • Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) was originally going to recite a workable recipe for home-made explosives (as he does in the novel). But in the interest of public safety, the filmmakers decided to substitute fictional recipes for the real ones.
  • Author Chuck Palahniuk has stated that he found the film to be an improvement on his novel.
  • Although he refused to smoke in Rounders (his character played poker for cigarettes, but did not smoke), Edward Norton agreed to smoke for this film.
  • During an exterior shoot in an urban residential area, a man in one of the apartments above the working film crew got so annoyed with the noise that he threw a 40 oz. beer bottle at them. The bottle hit director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, who, although he was cut open, was not seriously injured; the man was arrested shortly afterward.
  • The reverse-tracking shot out of the trash can, an elaborate digitally animated sequence, was the very last shot to be added to the film. It required so much processing time that it almost had to be spliced in “wet” – i.e., fresh from the lab – so that the film could be duplicated on schedule. Due to the amount of reflective surfaces in the shot, it took almost 8 hours to render a single frame. The entire shot took 3 weeks to render.
  • In the short scene when Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are drunk and hitting golf balls, they really are drunk, and the golf balls are sailing directly into the side of the catering truck
  • During rehearsals, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton found out that they both hated the new Volkswagen Beetle with a passion, and for the scene where Tyler and The Narrator are hitting cars with baseball bats, Pitt and Norton insisted that one of the cars be a Beetle. However, Pitt is quoted on the DVD commentary as saying he has since had a change of heart about the new Beetle.
  • Three detectives in the film are named Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin, and Detective Walker. Andrew Kevin Walker was the writer of the David Fincher film Se7en (also starring Brad Pitt), and did some uncredited work on this movie’s script.
  • In Tyler Durden’s house there is a Movieline magazine cover featuring Drew Barrymore, a close friend of Edward Norton. The Blu-Ray edition of the film (released in November 2009) contains another “in-joke” reference to Barrymore; a fake menu for the film Never Been Kissed, which was released the same year as this film.
  • The typeface used for the titles and logo is named “Fight This”.
  • Some of fake names used by the narrator in the self-help groups are taken from Planet of the Apes (Cornelius), as well as classic roles played by Robert De Niro (such as Rupert from The King of Comedy and Travis from Taxi Driver).
  • Much confusion exists amongst fans about the Narrator’s name. Many believe it is Jack due to his use of the phrase “I am Jack’s…”, but others argue that he only uses the moniker Jack because that was the one he saw in “Annotated Reader”. Interestingly, in the press packages released for the movie, which came in the form of an Ikea-esque catalog, the character is referred to as Jack, as he is on the back of the DVD, and in the booklet accompanying the DVD, where the Chapter list is referred to as “Jack’s Chapters”. Also, the original screenplay by Jim Uhls refers to him as Jack. On the other hand, in the closed captions for the film, he is referred to as Rupert. Edward Norton reveals that he refers to the character as Jack on the audio commentary on the DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The original “pillow talk”-scene had Marla saying “I want to have your abortion”. When this was objected to by Fox 2000 Pictures President of Production Laura Ziskin, David Fincher said he would change it on the proviso that the new line couldn’t be cut. Ziskin agreed and Fincher wrote the replacement line, “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school”. When Ziskin saw the new line, she was even more outraged and asked for the original line to be put back, but, as per their deal, Fincher refused.
  • The movie’s line “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club” was #27 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • The ‘soap slam on dish’ shot used in the trailer took 41 takes to get right. After the 40th take, director David Fincher realized that the soap was sliding out of frame and so he settled for a fake soap prop.
  • Starbucks pulled their name from the coffee shop destruction scene. They didn’t mind the director placing their product throughout the film, but did not want their name to be destroyed in that scene. Therefore, the gold globe crashes into a shop named Gratifico Coffee.
  • Edward Norton lost 17-20 pounds for this role after having to beef up tremendously for his role as a Neo-Nazi skinhead in American History X. Norton achieved this form by running, taking vitamins and just ignoring the on-set catering.
  • Courtney Love and Winona Ryder were both initially considered for the role of Marla Singer, but in the end, it came down to Helena Bonham Carter and Reese Witherspoon. Director David Fincher wanted Bonham-Carter, but the studio wanted a bigger name and chose to go with Witherspoon. In the end however, the decision was taken out of their hands when Witherspoon turned down the role as being “too dark”, and Bonham-Carter was cast.
  • David Fincher took 12 takes of the stuntman rolling down the stairs for the fight between The Narrator and Tyler at the end of the film. The take used in the movie is the very first one.
  • Author Chuck Palahniuk first came up with the idea for the novel after being beaten up on a camping trip when he complained to some nearby campers about the noise of their radio. When he returned to work, he was fascinated to find that nobody would mention or acknowledge his injuries, instead saying such commonplace things as “How was your weekend?” Palahniuk concluded that the reason people reacted this way was because if they asked him what had happened, a degree of personal interaction would be necessary, and his workmates simply didn’t care enough to connect with him on a personal level. It was his fascination with this societal ‘blocking’ which became the foundation for the novel.
  • After the copyright warning, there is another warning on the DVD. This warning is from Tyler Durden, and is only there for a second. “If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned… Tyler”
  • David Fincher claimed in an interview in UK film magazine Empire, that there is a Starbucks coffee cup visible in every shot in the movie (see also The Game) .
  • When a Fight Club member sprays the priest with a hose, the camera briefly shakes. This happens because the cameraman couldn’t keep himself from laughing.
  • Helena Bonham Carter wore platform shoes to help close up the disparity in height between her and Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
  • The sex scene between Tyler (Brad Pitt) and Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) was shot using the same ‘bullet-time’ technique used in The Matrix; stills cameras were set up in a circle around the bed, and each one would take a single shot in sequence. These single frames were then edited together and enhanced with CG, as both Pitt and Bonham Carter were fully clothed in motion capture suits during the shoot.
  • To prepare for their roles, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt took basic lessons in boxing, taekwondo and grappling, and also studied hours of UFC programming. Additionally, they both took soapmaking classes from boutique company Auntie Godmother. Prior to principal photography, Pitt also visited a dentist to have his front tooth chipped.
  • Voted #4 in Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).
  • The front of the product packaging for “Avery 8293 Matte White High-Visibility Labels for Inkjet Printers” shows a sample usage of the label on a shipping package. The address on this label is, “Tyler Durden 420 Paper St. Wilmington, DE”
  • Voted #10 on Empire magazine’s 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
  • When the Narrator hits Tyler Durden in the ear, Edward Norton actually did hit Brad Pitt in the ear. He was originally going to fake hit him, but before the scene, David Fincher pulled Norton aside and told him to hit him in the ear. After Norton hit him in the scene, you can see him smiling and laughing while Pitt is in pain.
  • According to author Chuck Palahniuk, much of the specific content of the novel (such as splicing single frames of pornography into family films, attending support groups for the terminally ill, erasing video tapes etc) came from stories told him by friends, and from things his friends actually did. Whilst writing the novel, Palahniuk also interviewed numerous young white males in white-collar jobs, discovering that “the longing for fathers was a theme I heard a lot about. The resentment of lifestyle standards imposed by advertising was another.”
  • Fox 2000 Pictures executive Raymond Bongiovanni, who died shortly before the project was green-lit, first discovered the book whilst still in galleys. Prior to his death, Bongiovanni worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground, and in his obituary, it said that his last wish was that the novel be made into a film.
  • Director David Fincher shot 38 takes of the scene between Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and The Narrator (Edward Norton) in Lou’s Bar after The Narrator’s apartment has blown up. Each take was filmed with two cameras, and for every individual take, Fincher would give the actors a rough idea of what to do, and they would improvise most of the dialogue. The scene as it exists in the finished film is made up of segments from numerous different takes and much of the dialogue, especially Tyler’s dialogue, was completely ad-libbed on set.
  • Author Chuck Palahniuk told the producers from the very start that, although he fully supported the adaptation, he wasn’t interested in writing the screenplay. Jim Uhls was ultimately chosen as the writer. Cameron Crowe, Andrew Kevin Walker, director David Fincher and actors Brad Pitt and Edward Norton also did uncredited work on the screenplay.
  • Producer Ross Grayson Bell initially wanted Russell Crowe to play Tyler Durden, but he was overruled by fellow producer Art Linson, who felt Brad Pitt was the better choice. Bell has since said that he is glad Linson stepped in, as he can’t imagine anyone being as good in the role as Pitt proved to be.
  • The producers considered both Matt Damon and Sean Penn for the role of The Narrator, but director David Fincher wanted Edward Norton,
  • During the shooting of the sex scene, actors Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter posed in 10 different positions from the Kama Sutra.
  • Prior to filming, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter considered visiting real support groups for the terminally ill, but they decided against it, as due to the satiric nature of the film, they didn’t feel it was appropriate.
  • Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter spent three days recording orgasmic sounds for their unseen sex scenes.
  • When Tyler (Brad Pitt) catches The Narrator (Edward Norton) listening at the door as he has sex with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), he is wearing a rubber glove. This was Brad Pitt’s idea, and caused a great deal of controversy with President of Production at Fox 2000 Pictures, Laura Ziskin. She was horrified when she saw the scene and demanded that it be removed. However at a subsequent test screening, the appearance of the glove got the biggest laugh of the whole movie, prompting Ziskin to change her mind.
  • To ensure that Bob’s (Meat Loaf) breasts and love handles hung correctly, his fat suit was filled with birdseed, so that it would ‘spill’ over his pants and give the impression of sagging flesh. Altogether, the suit plus the seed weighed over one hundred pounds.
  • Make up artist Rob Bottin had to build two different fat suits for Meat Loaf – one with nipples, one without – because the filmmakers weren’t sure if 20th Century Fox would approve the suit with the prominent nipples.
  • The cave scene early in the film where The Narrator (Edward Norton) meets a penguin was inspired by the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and was intended by director David Fincher as a ‘warning’ to the audience as to how surreal the film was going to become.
  • The breath in the cave scene is recycled Leonardo DiCaprio breath from Titanic, which was composited into the shot.
  • During the shooting of the film, Helena Bonham Carter insisted that her makeup artist (Julie Pearce) apply all of her eye makeup with her left hand, because Bonham-Carter felt that Marla was not a person who would be particularly skilled at (or concerned with) correctly applying makeup.
  • According to Helena Bonham Carter, she based her performance of Marla Singer on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. To help her get into the mindset, director David Fincher would often call her Judy on-set.
  • The scene where The Narrator’s boss (Zach Grenier) finds the rules of Fight Club in the photocopier and The Narrator points out that whoever wrote it is obviously dangerous and might one day storm through the building shooting everyone, proved to be a highly controversial scene for the filmmakers. In early test screenings, the scene got huge laughs and scored extremely highly with audiences. However, these screenings happened before the Columbine massacre. In all screenings after Columbine, the scene evoked no laughter whatsoever and scored extremely poorly, with audiences commenting that they felt it was in bad taste. This prompted the studio to ask director David Fincher to cut the scene altogether. Fincher considered doing so, but because the scene leads into the pivotal Marla breast-cancer scene, he decided that it couldn’t be cut.
  • Filming lasted 138 days, with over 300 scenes shot on 200 locations and 72 sets constructed by production designer Alex McDowell.
  • After director David Fincher was finished editing the film, the studio executives were baffled by the piece, and unsure how to market it. Fincher had wanted a highly unique marketing campaign which would mirror the film’s theme of anti-commercialism, but already worried about the possible backlash against the film, the Fox executives refused to go ahead with Fincher’s idea (two of Fincher’s trailers can be found on the DVD in the ‘Internet Spots’ section). Instead, a campaign was launched which was built largely upon the presence of Brad Pitt in the film, as well as concentrating on the fighting (which plays a minor role in the actual film itself). The campaign was highly criticized as giving the impression that the film was basically just about men beating each other up, completely ignoring the comic and satiric elements of the narrative, and for marketing the film to the wrong audience. David Fincher was particularly incensed when he saw ads for the film during WWE and UFC programming.
  • In an infamous incident, the Friday that the film was released theatrically in the United States, Rosie O’Donnell appeared on her TV show and revealed that she had seen the film earlier in the week, and had been unable to sleep ever since. She then proceeded to give away the twist ending of the film and urged all of her viewers to avoid the movie at all costs. Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and David Fincher discuss this incident on their DVD commentary track, with Pitt calling ‘O’Donnell’s actions “unforgivable”.
  • Rupert Murdoch despised the project and clashed with then-studio head Bill Mechanic over putting it into production.
  • As noted during Author Chuck Palahniuk and Screenwriter Jim Uhls’ commentary, the seminary student/priest hosed by the mechanic is ultimately the winning combatant in the fight sequence immediately following the scene in which narrator beats himself up in front of his boss.
  • In the scene where The Narrator is sitting on a toilet, with his pants down while reading an Ikea catalog, Edward Norton is actually completely nude from the waist down. Norton talks about it on the DVD commentary to which David Fincher says “really?” Norton then says “Did you notice I never had to go to the bathroom that day?”
  • Brad Pitt says he didn’t want his parents to see the movie, but he couldn’t convince them not to watch. They changed their minds after watching the chemical burn scene.
  • The Narrator and Marla are both in attendance at a Sickle-Cell Disease support group. Every other member is of an African or Latin racial background. This disease primarily infects people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or South Asian background, hence a further statement on their need to “crash” these meetings.
  • Edward Kowalczyk: Member of the band Live plays the waiter who serves the Narrator and Marla with the line, “Sir, anything you want is free of charge, sir.”

Talking Points:

  • Called a Dramatic Comedy? would you agree with that?
  • Anyone Read The Book?
  • Why do some movies only find their audience after they have run in the theaters?
  • Worth watching over and over?
  • The old adage is that the Book is always better.. The Author of Fight Club says the film was an improvement on his Novel.
  • What Celebrity would you fight and what historical figure would you fight?

What We’ve Learned:

  • With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.
  • Bob… Bob had bitch tits.
  • You can’t die from insomnia
  • support groups..cheaper than a movie and there’s free coffee
  • On a long enough time-line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero
  • one can make all kinds of explosives out of simple household items
  • You can swallow a pint of blood before you get sick.
  • Self improvement is masturbation, and self destruction
  • Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I want to ask the question, “How can you NOT have this movie in your DVD collection?” I still think it should be there because of the ultimate awesomeness of this movie, but I can understand why you wouldn’t. You should see it at least once.
Ray: I’m one of the people that fell victim to the poor marketing of this film and didn’t see it until it was released on DVD, It quickly became one of my favorite, and most watched DVD’s in my collection.
Steve: Never saw this in the theater, but once I saw it on DVD I really enjoyed it. However, unlike Se7en, watching it again has never had the same impact as seeing it the first time.

The Present: Rise Of The Planet of The Apes
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Fresh Critics , 90% Audience

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Starring: James Franco, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Fenton, Andy Serkis

Trivia:

  • This is the second film in which Andy Serkis plays an ape, having previously portrayed 2005’s version of King Kong. He was also the motion capture actor for Gollum in Lord of the Rings, where he bites off Frodo’s finger. His ape character Caesar bites off the neighbor’s finger in this role, too.
  • Caesar uses a bundle of sticks to explain to Maurice how an ape alone is weak but apes together are strong. The bundle of sticks, or fasces, was a symbol of authority in ancient Rome, the origin of Caesar’s name. Caesar’s charisma is also reminiscent of Benito Mussolini, who adopted the fasces as the symbol of his Italian Fascist party.
  • The head of the research department Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) is named after Arthur P. Jacobs, producer of the original “Apes” franchise. His production company, APJAC, was often referred to as “ApeJAC”.
  • This is the first “Planet of the Apes” film in which neither Charlton Heston nor Roddy McDowall, the stars of the original Planet of the Apes, appear. Heston died on April 5, 2008 at the age of 84 whereas McDowall died on October 3, 1998 at the age of 70.
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Salad”.
  • Kathryn Bigelow, Robert Rodriguez, Tomas Alfredson, Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes, Pierre Morel, James McTeigue, Dennis Iliadis and Scott Charles Stewart all were considered by the studio, or passed on the project before director Rupert Wyatt signed on.

Talking Points:

  • Was this what you expected it to be?
  • Yummy, yummy – Tyler Labine
  • Did the monkey suffer the “Uncanny Valley” for anyone? !
  • Did you catch all the little homage’s to the original ?
  • Bright Eyes was the name given to Heston’s character in the original
  • Tom Fenton’s Character Dodge Landon is named after Heston’s two fellow astronauts
  • The Orangutan “Maurice” is named after actor Maurice Evans who played the Orangutan Dr Zaius
  • Charlton Heston appears on screen on the TV’s in the ape sanctuary
  • There is a news item on TV about the “Icarus” mission to mars.. supposedly referring to the crashed spacecraft piloted by Heston in the first film.
  • Tom Fenton says two of Heston’s most memorable lines from the first film “It’s a madhouse! A madhouse!” and “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!”
  • Jamie Harris plays Rodney, the sympathetic keeper in the ape sanctuary. This is a nod to legendary ape actor ‘Roddy McDowell’.
  • In one scene, Caesar is shown handling a 3D puzzle of the Statue of Liberty, in reference to the the ending of the original Planet of the Apes.
  • Was the ending clear or too vague? Do you think many audiences understood it?

What We Learned:

  • Shooting your test subject is probably not the best way to impress your board of directors.
  • Never leave your keys in the mustang
  • Draco is still an asshole.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie but I didn’t really think it was that great.
Ray: Wow.. this movie i think was the most surprising for me this summer.. i expected to hate it and walked away loving it.. even with Franco’s wooden acting and creepyish CGI
Steve: I didn’t realize Franco or Labine were in this! I liked the premise and knowing the origin, but didn’t find the acting particularly inspiring. It was all about the monkeys and the CG from afar stunk.

The Future: The Amazing Spiderman

Director: Marc Web

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary

Trivia:

  • In early January 2010, Sony announced that they canceled their idea of making “Spider-Man 4” with director Sam Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire, who started their work together on Spider-Man, and instead decided to re-boot the Spider-Man franchise with a new crew.
  • Before Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead part, Josh Hutcherson, Logan Lerman, Jamie Bell, Michael Angarano, Alden Ehrenreich, Aaron Johnson, and Anton Yelchin were also considered to play the lead role.
  • Michael Fassbender was approached by the studio to play the lead villain in this reboot. His Inglourious Basterds co-star Christoph Waltz was later rumored to be attached to the part.
  • Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead role in early July 2010.
  • Like Tobey Maguire (the original Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield had starred in a Terry Gilliam film before nabbing the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Maguire appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Garfield appeared in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, both films also featuring Johnny Depp.
  • On selecting Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man, director Marc Webb said, “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”
  • Although numerous characters have been named for Spider-Man 4, Wizard has reported that it may come down to less-of-a-reboot for Sony and more along the lines of a “re-do” of the series by placing it firmly in the “Modern Age” (~1980-current) setting up Venom as the main villain. This was listed in two separate issues in 2009 and 2010.
  • Mia Wasikowska, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Imogen Poots, Emma Roberts, Lily Collins, Ophelia Lovibond, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Georgina Haig, Hilary Duff and Dominique McElligott were considered for the role of Gwen Stacy, but were beaten out by Emma Stone.
  • This film marks the first time Dr. Curt Connors becomes The Lizard on film, played by Rhys Ifans. Although the character of Dr. Curt Connors appeared in the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, played by Dylan Baker, the character never became The Lizard in the films despite some strong hints.
  • This marks the second time that Martin Sheen and Cliff Robertson have shared a part. They previously played John F. Kennedy in Kennedy and PT 109, respectively.
  • Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Sally Field (Aunt May) share the same birthday.
  • The first “Spider-Man” film to not feature Mary Jane Watson. Mary Jane was in the original three films played by Kirsten Dunst.
  • All four Spider-Man films have filmed on the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot. Ironically symbolic of the series itself, portions of the back lot burned down on June 1, 2008, meaning that first three used the old back lot while this reboot uses the new back lot.
  • John Slattery, Sam Elliott and R. Lee Ermey were considered for the role of J. Jonah Jameson before the character was cut from the movie. J.K. Simmons even expressed interest in reprising the role.

Talking Points:

  • Supposedly this is a “Darker” reboot, compared to the Nolan reboot of the Batman Franchise, are you getting that impression from the trailers?
  • Do superhero reboots really need to spend time on Origin Stories?
  • Anyone else find the FPS perspective in the trailer hokey?

Summary:

The film will portray Peter Parker as he is developing his super powers in high school.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’m totally ready for another Spidey movie. Not sure if they really had to reboot it, but interested in this take.
Ray: Much like Rise of the Planet of the Apes.. I’m not very excited by the trailer for this reboot… hopefully it will surprise me as much as Apes did.
Steve: Why do we need another Spiderman movie?

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

MOV056: “I Wish I Knew How To Quit You.”

This week the boys continue their celebration of pride month by traveling back to 2005 to watch 3 time Academy Award winner “Brokeback Mountain” Is it more than just that “Gay Cowboy Movie”? Or was Jeff’s dismissal of all the movie Hype warranted? In The Present we go back to the 1960’s to dissect X-Men: First Class, does the film jump to the head of the class or is it the first summer movie dud? Then Swing with us out of the trees and into the future as we talk about the upcoming Rise of The Planet of the apes do these damn dirty apes do the franchise reboot justice? All this and news about The Fighter 2, Romeo and Juliet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, And a possible Tarantino / DiCaprio collaboration? All this and more on this 56th reel of COL Movies.

News:

The Past: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Rotten Tomatoes: 87% Fresh; 77% Audience

Director: Ang Lee

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Randy Quaid

Trivia:

  • According to reports, Heath Ledger nearly broke co-star Jake Gyllenhaal’s nose while filming a kissing scene.
  • According to an interview that Heath Ledger gave to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea, there was a sequence that was filmed for the movie in which Jack and Ennis help some hippies get their car out of a river. According to Ledger, the scene took three days to shoot and was disliked almost immediately by everyone involved. The scene was written by James Schamus as an attempt to show Jack and Ennis in a heroic situation, but it does not appear in Annie Proulx’s original short story, the published screenplay, or the final cut of the movie.
  • There were 75 visual effects shots created for the film by the Canadian house Buzz Image Group. Of these, 15 were of CGI sheep. The film called for about 2,500 sheep, but only 700 were on-set, necessitating the additional woolly creations. Also created for the film were sky replacements, set additions, erasures and the hail in the hailstorm
  • Ang Lee struggled continually with the sheep during the shoot. Apparently sheep don’t drink from running water, only ponds and dams. Ang tried all day to get the sheep to drink from a stream, but they wouldn’t oblige. He had to give up on the shot. Also, American sheep carry a bacteria/virus that Canadian sheep don’t possess. The film’s scene where two herds of sheep become mixed up had some nightmarish real-life parallels, as the Canadian government had expressly warned them of dire consequences if they caused any disease to spread to the local animals from the south-of-the-border variety.
  • According to producer James Schamus, the movie cost so little to make that it recouped its cost during its first week of limited release.
  • Banned in China because homosexuality is considered a taboo subject there.
  • Over 90% of the footage was shot within 70 feet of a road
  • Among the actors considered for the male leads were Josh Hartnett, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Billy Crudup, and Ben Affleck.
  • Heath Ledger was only four years older than Kate Mara, who played his daughter Alma Jr. in the movie’s last scenes (for most of the movie, Alma Jr. was played by younger baby and child actresses; Mara only played her as an older teen once the Ledger character was supposed to be in his 40s).
  • The shirts worn by the 2 actors that feature prominently in the film were sold on eBay in February 2006 for $101,100. The buyer, film historian and collector Tom Gregory, called them “the ruby slippers of our time”. In 2009, Gregory lent the shirts to The Autry National Center of the American West, a Los Angeles museum that seeks “to explore the experiences and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West.” Their exhibition of the shirts is part of their larger attempt to examine representations of the Western LGBT experience in history and fiction.
  • The poster for the film was deliberately styled to resemble another romantic epic, James Cameron’s Titanic (1997).
  • In March 2006 Randy Quaid filed a lawsuit against Focus Features alleging that the company had misled him into thinking that Brokeback Mountain (2005) was a low budget, art-house film with no prospect of making money. He saw this as a ruse to get him to lower his salary. At the time of the lawsuit, the film had earned more than $160 million. Quaid dropped the lawsuit in May, seemingly after Focus agreed to pay him a bonus. Focus, however, denied that any such payment ever took place, and Focus spokeswoman Adriene Bowles was quoted as saying, “the circumstances of him dropping the suit are as mysterious as the circumstances under which he filed his claim.”
  • Universal made the rare decision to release the film on DVD when it was still playing in theaters. It was also the first film to be released as a DVD and a download on the same day.

Talking Points:

  • Snubbed at the Oscars?
  • Take on the ending – Was what happened to Jack real or just what Ennis imagined.
  • were they gay cowboy’s? or bi cowboys?
  • Anyone know a gay guy named Ennis?

What We’ve Learned:

  • If your gonna be a sheep Herder, best you develop a taste for beans
  • The only point of riding rodeo is the money
  • Rodeo cowboys are all fuckups
  • You dont have to know what the Pentecost is in order to believe in it
  • Spit works….

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I really don’t see what all the fuss was about. This movie was boring to me. I can’t really give it a recommendation either either good or bad. It was just boring.
Ray: Beautiful photography, and a heart breaking performance from Heath Ledger that can only be described as “Once in a generation” I think this is a beautifully told modern day western that makes me cry every time I watch it.
Steve: Despite being slow (like The Way Back slow), it’s an interesting take on people coming to terms with who they are in a society who teaches them they have to be something else. Makes you think.

The Present: X-Men: First Class (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 88% Audience

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Trivia:

  • A telepathic battle between Professor X and Emma Frost was going to be in the film, but upon the release of Inception (2010) the concept was scrapped.
  • To prepare for his role as Erik Lensherr, Michael Fassbender studied Sir Ian McKellen’s performance as Lensherr in the previous X-Films, but also looked through the comics as he decided to make his own version of Magneto: “You want to respect what someone else has done, especially because the fan base really liked what Ian has done with it. But while I could have gone and studied him as a young man and brought that to the performance, I don’t think Matthew is very interested in that. So I’m just going my own way and working with whatever is in the comic books and the script.”
  • The filmmakers had only two choices for the role of Sebastian Shaw: Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. They decided to go with Bacon as he was American and seemed more menacing than Firth.
  • This is the second time that January Jones has been cast in 1962 opposite an actor with a pork based name. The first was in “Mad Men” (2007) opposite John Hamm and then this alongside Kevin Bacon

Talking Points:

  • Anyone ready for a X-Men film that doesn’t have Magneto in it?
  • Kevin Bacon – I had no Idea the man was in the movie until I saw it!

What We Learned:

  • Mutation Is groovy
  • Sexy Lingerie can get you in anywhere
  • True Focus Lies somewhere between Rage and Serenity
  • I’m a mutant and I’m proud – where’s my parade?

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This was a very refreshing prequel for the X-Men Movies. I felt a very different style to this compared to the previous films which was . . . . well . . . refreshing. Go see it.
Ray: Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film.. went in with LOW expectations and got my ass kicked. This is a promising start to the summer movie season!
Steve: I wasn’t sure about the film’s style, but I did enjoy the movie overall. I like origin stories like this – I don’t need a 2 hour one on a single character. Kept me interested.

The Future: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (8/5/2011)

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto

Trivia:

  • The film is not based on any specific plotline from the original series, but instead takes elements from the earlier movies to create an original origin story.
  • In a segment of a video blog post, director Rupert Wyatt commented on the originality of the plot: “This is part of the mythology and it should be seen as that. It’s not a continuation of the other films; it’s an original story. It does satisfy the people who enjoy those films. The point of this film is to achieve that and to bring that fan base into this film exactly like Batman [Begins].”
  • Director Rupert Wyatt commented: “I think we’re ending with certain questions, which is quite exciting. To me, I can think of all sorts of sequels to this film, but this is just the beginning.”
  • Screenwriter and producer Rick Jaffa has also stated that Rise of the Planet of the Apes will feature several clues as to future sequels: “I hope that we’re building a platform for future films. We’re trying to plant a lot of the seeds for a lot of the things you are talking about in terms of the different apes and so forth.”
  • According to Rick Jaffa, a version of the spaceship from the 1968 Planet of the Apes will be featured under the name Icarus in Rise of the Planet of the Apes as a hint to a possible sequel.
  • Unlike previous films in the franchise, the apes in the film will be created digitally using CGI technology, by Weta Digital.
  • Filming began in July 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Filming also headed to San Francisco, California, and around O’ahu, Hawaii.

Talking Points:

  • Another reboot! After the abortion that was the last attempt at a reboot.. are you ready for this one?
  • CGI monkeys… good or bad?

Summary: An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It’s looking good. Really don’t have any expectations for it, just would like to see it.
Ray: Feeling rather indifferent about this one, I’m a big fan of the Heston era apes movies…
Steve: Not sure about this one…I think I get the purpose, but where the hell do all the apes come from to be in the city? That was a big-ass zoo!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV050: “The ones with Yodas and shit on ‘em”

The boys go back in time to revisit the Coen Brother’s classic “Raising Arizona”? Does the ensemble still hold up today? Then they spend…um, waste…their money and hour and a half of their lives watching “Your Highness”. Ooops…guess that review is already spoiled, so let’s just move on. They also review the teaser trailer for Kevin Smith’s “Red State”. Is the unique distribution model going to get this movie enough exposure so that we can all see it when it comes out in October? All of this and movie news about the Governator, post-apocolyptic Zorro, the re-release of LOTR at AMC, and ANOTHER Beiber movie?

News:

The Past: Raising Arizona (1987)
Rotten Tomatoes: 90% Fresh / 82% Audience

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand

Trivia:

  • Fifteen babies played the Arizona quintuplets in the film. One of the babies was fired during production when he learned to walk
  • Kevin Costner turned down the lead role
  • The Coen brothers wrote Holly Hunter’s character specifically for her.
  • Nathan, Jr. doesn’t cry at all throughout the entire movie. But all the other main characters do at some point.

Talking Points:

  • Was the biker H.I’s father?
  • Maricopa County Jail – check out Lock Up on MSNBC

What We’ve Learned:

  • If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass a’hoppin
  • With chairs you got a dinette set. No chairs, you got dick.
  • When preparing crawdads, be sure to add sand
  • When digging yourself out of prison, it’s always a good idea to scream really loud. Nobody will hear you.
  • It’s customary for the Tempe police department to shoot aimlessly into a residential neighborhood, even if their suspect is an unarmed diaper bandit wearing ‘hose over his head.
  • When robbing a bank, make sure to check the bag for exploding canisters of paint
  • Keep your grenades secure to avoid accidental pulling of the pin.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Classic Coen Brother’s movie, so good but not for everyone. Occasional rental for me but may be worth a buy to others.
Ray: Good movie if your into Coen Bro’s type of comedy… sometimes dark, almost always bizzare
Steve: Probably my favorite Coen Brothers movie. I’m a big Holly Hunter fan. Worth a rental!

The Present: Your Highness
Rotten Tomatoes: 24% Rotten / 49% Audience

Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Rasmus Hardiker, Natalie Portman, Justin Theroux, Toby James, Zooey Deshanel

Trivia:

  • Although the film was written by writer Ben Best and actor Danny McBride, the dialogue is heavily improvised. Director David Gordon Green said there was never a script used on-set. Only the plot outline and written notes were used

Talking Points:

  • Would this have been a better movie if they didn’t try so hard to be funny?
  • Who the hell did Natalie Portman piss off to get stuck in this?
  • Stoner movie?
  • Will the Razzies even consider this one?

What We Learned:

  • You know a movie is going to be high class when it has boob jokes in the opening credits.
  • Beating off in front of a Pegasus is elementary
  • What the potentially worst movie ever made may look like
  • If you can’t take the horns, take the penis.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: While it had it’s funny moments, not a good movie. But that’s Danny McBride for you.
Ray: I don’t think its possible to smoke enough weed to make this movie funny.
Steve: Absolutely hated it. Enough said. Don’t waste your time or money.

The Future: Red State

Director: Kevin Smith

Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Kevin Pollak, Melissa Leo, Stephen Root

Trivia:

  • The Westborough Baptist Church planned to protest Red State at its premier at the Sundance Film Festival. Kevin Smith in turn planned a counter protest which he and his fans took part in. At the premier the counter-protesters heavily outweighed the handful of Westborough protesters who showed up. This occurred 12 years after Smith’s first film to tackle religious controversy, Dogma (1999), drew protests from certain sects of the Catholic Church. One of which Smith jokingly took part in himself.
  • There is no score for this film. The entire soundtrack consists of songs sung within the film itself.
  • Smith has an quick off-camera cameo at the end of the film, as a prison inmate, yelling the last line in the film.
  • Kevin Smith’s lowest budget film since Chasing Amy (1997).
  • Kevin Smith wrote the role of Abin Cooper for Michael Parks after seeing his performance in From Dusk Till Dawn. Smith has said that if Parks had not agreed to be in the film he would have dropped the project entirely.

Talking Points:

Summary:

Three teenagers come across an online personal advertisement from an older woman looking for kinky group sex. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying fundamentalist force with a fatal agenda.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I want to see it, but still not sure if I’d like it.
Ray: I’m excited, simply because I want to see how Kevin does a horror flick.
Steve: Looks good to me…even though it’s just a teaser trailer, it packs some awesome images that really draw me in.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast