MOV128: All Bets Are Off!

After 5 weeks the band is finally back together on this the 128th reel of COL Movies. This week the boys get right into the swing of things by jumping to the past and examining Guy Richie’s. Snatch! For our exploration of the present we strap on some Iron Gauntlets to chop away at the RZA and Eli Roth Kung-Fu Extravaganza The Man With The Iron Fists. Finally we all keep the Iron hot by looking to the future to talk about Iron Man 3. On the news front we have some information on Brian Syngers new project, Some Star Wars Episode 7 announcements and last but certainly least we get to talk about some very exciting casting news for the masterpiece that will be Transformers 4! All this and more on the 128th reel of COL Movies: All Bets Are Off!

News:

The Past: Snatch
Rotten Tomatoes 72% Fresh; 92% Audience

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro

Trivia:

  • Brad Pitt, who was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, approached director Guy Ritchie and asked for a role in this film. When Ritchie found Pitt couldn’t master a London accent, he gave him the role of Mickey the Gypsy.
  • To keep things in order during production, director Guy Ritchie introduced a system of fines on set. There were fines for mobile phones ringing, arriving late, taking naps during shooting, being “cheeky”, being unfunny, and/or moaning and complaining. One staff member was even charged for letting the craft service table run out of coffee cups.
  • When Mickey “wins” a new trailer van for his mother from Turkish, he specifically picks out “periwinkle blue” as the color. In Psycho, we are told that Norman Bates helped to pick out a “periwinkle blue” dress for his dead mother. Mickey, just like Norman, is also responsible (albeit indirectly) for his own mother’s death.
  • When Vinnie Jones is introduced in the movie, he is slamming a man’s head in a car door, It was the head of stunt co-coordinator and action director Tom Delmar, who volunteered for the job.
  • Bullet Tooth Tony’s character is introduced slamming a man’s head between a car door and a car, which the same actor does in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie film.
  • The hardcore band “Cold War from Orange County, California” quotes this movie several times throughout their CD “From Russia With Love.” Some of the lines quoted are: (“Quote” – Character / Song in which quote is used) “From Russia with love, ah?” – Doug The Head / Love Betrays “Heavy’s good, heavy’s reliable.” – Boris the Blade / Painful Delight “Do you know what “nemesis” means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an ‘orrible c*nt… me.” – Brick Top / Retrace My Steps
  • Lennie James actually hit himself in his private parts with the shotgun while blasting a hole in the wall at the bookies, but continued the scene. That footage was used in the film.
  • Boris the Blade pulls a large cleaver from his belt. Soap did the same thing in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie movie.
  • Guy Ritchie reportedly paid US $1 million for the use of Madonna’s song, “Lucky Star”.
  • Every mistake that Sol, Vincent and Tyrone make were inspired by various late-night TV shows about real-life crimes gone horribly wrong.
  • Tim Maurice-Jones, the cinematographer, plays the man who is repeatedly battered over the head at the beginning of the movie by Frankie Four-Fingers (Benicio Del Toro). In Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for which he was also the cinematographer, he was the man being drowned at the beginning of the film by Barry the Baptist (Lenny McLean).
  • Nearly every death in the movie takes place off-screen.
  • In the final scene, the 86-carat diamond is referred to as an 84-carat diamond.
  • In Guy Ritchie’s previous film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, there is a scene in which Harry, Barry and Chris have a conversation. Barry says the line. “No, Harry, you can’t,” which is shortly repeated by Chris, then by both together. This joke is carried over to this movie when Alex and Susi do the same thing with the line, “Yeah, Dad, you told us.”
  • When Guy Ritchie told Brad Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt book the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.
  • The U.S. distributors considered changing the title to “Snatched” or “Snatch’d”.
  • The word “fuck” is said 163 times.
  • During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs, where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song “Like a Virgin”.
  • Franky Four-Fingers changes into four different outfits during the short telephone conversation to cousin Avi.
  • According to the DVD commentary, Bow, the dog was very difficult to work with. During car scene with Vincent, Sol and Tyrone, the dog was actually attacking Lennie James, and James was actually bitten in the crotch by the dog but didn’t suffer any serious injury. The dog was replaced after that incident.
  • The producers couldn’t afford enough extras for the boxing match sequences. Whenever a camera angle changed, the extras had to move around to create an impression of a crowded house.
  • When Vinny and Sol are sitting outside Brick-Top’s Bookies, about to give him the diamond, the man that approaches the car is not really Bullet-Tooth Tony, it was a look-alike. Vinnie Jones didn’t show up for shooting that day because he was in jail for fighting the night before.
  • Body count: 26
  • Brad Pitt’s character and indecipherable speech was inspired by many critics’ complaints about the accents of the characters in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Guy Ritchie decided to counter the criticisms by creating a character that not only couldn’t be understood by the audience but the also couldn’t be understood by characters in the movie.
  • One of the boxers is called Bomber Harris. “Bomber Harris” was the nickname of Arthur Harris, chief of RAF Bomber Command in World War II. The name later appeared in a German Monty Python special (Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus) as the name of a man who wrestles himself – Colin “Bomber” Harris.
  • The role of Brick Top Polford was originally offered to Dave Courtney.
  • Just before Micky and Bomber Harris begin their fight, Bomber Harris head-butts Micky just after the bell rings. Micky recoils checking for blood on his glove and then floors his opponent with one punch. This was a nod towards Lenny “The Guv’nor” McClean when he fought “Mad Gypsy” Bradshaw in an almost identical fight. Lenny McLean worked with Guy Ritchie on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and passed away in 1998.
  • Throughout the movie, Turkish (Jason Statham) makes comments to Tommy (Stephen Graham) about his getting a gun for protection from “Ze Germans”. Graham also played Sgt. Myron ‘Mike’ Ranney in the series Band of Brothers, although Snatch was released a year prior to the series.
  • The car driven by Tyrone is a Rover SD1. It is the Vitesse version which was the fastest version made. It has a 3.5 litre V8 engine which ran on petrol/gasoline. The car was in production from 1976-1986 and in this time there was a “facelift” updated model as used in this film. The car is driven by the rear wheels and was a favorite amongst police and criminals when they were in production; so much so in fact, that the police started buying second hand cars and converting them for use in the police force when they went out of production. There were many different engines available, such as a 2.3 and 2.6 liter in-line 6 cylinder engine and a 2.4 liter turbo diesel engine, which was revolutionary in the 1980s. After the car went out of production, the design was sold to a company in India and it was re-badged and sold again as the Standard 2000.
  • Jason Flemyng joked that the working conditions on this film were so terrible that Brad Pitt’s trailer was picketed by Amnesty International as not being fit for someone to live in.
  • Guy Ritchie: In the back of the bar when we are first introduced to Doug The Head. Ritchie is the man reading the newspaper.
  • The film’s title only appears once throughout the entire movie, where Vinny (Robbie Gee) tells the dog, “Don’t Snatch!” as it takes the squeaky toy. It is said to the dog because it’s the dog who eats the diamond.

Talking Points:

  • Understanding the dialogue

What We Learned:

  • Whenever you reverse, things come at you from behind
  • If all bets are off, there can’t be any money
  • It’s easier to cut a body into 6 pieces then to try and carry it whole
  • It takes 16 pigs 8 minutes to devour a 200 lbs man
  • You can’t find a pikey that doesn’t want to be found.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I have some strange mixed feelings on this movie. I think it’s brilliant like Trainspotting but I think it has to do with some English sensibilities or something. I recommend seeing the movie at least once and hope you all appreciate it as much as I do.
Ray: Just wasn’t my kind of movie, I had a real hard time keeping up with the dialogue and the editing was exhausting. Brad Pitt was pretty amusing in it though.So far Guy Ritchie is 0 for 3 for me.
Steve: I like this one…and I also like LS&2SB, so I’m good with Ritchie. It’s just something kind of Tarantino about it, but also unique. I also enjoy the absurdity and he does a good job telling several intertwining stories without making you feel too lost. It’s hectic, but fun.

The Present: The Man With The Iron Fists
Rotten Tomatoes 53% Rotten; 52% Audience

Director: RZA

Starring: Russel Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu

Trivia:

  • Development of the film that would become The Man with the Iron Fists began as early as 2003 when RZA produced the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill. RZA set himself a $50,000 budget and flew to the Kill Bill set in Beijing, China, where he spent approximately thirty days taking notes on how Tarantino directed the film.
  • The first cut of the film was 4 hours long and RZA suggested splitting it into two films, but Roth disagreed and it was ultimately cut down to 96 minutes to meet the studios requirements and to excise gorier content that would gain the film a restrictive rating, limiting its audience. RZA admitted to walking away from the editing process for two weeks at one point out of disgust at having to cut the film.
  • RZA and Eli Roth worked on the screenplay together over two years, talking through every aspect of the story, down to the detail of every weapon.
  • RZA then financed and directed a martial-arts short film called Wu-Tang vs. the Golden Phoenix featuring kung-fu trained actors flown in from Hong Kong. When he and Roth finally pitched The Man with the Iron Fists to producers, RZA used the short to prove that the musician could handle the martial arts action and be trusted to take on his first director role.
  • During the development process, Tarantino agreed to lend his name to the film with a “presented by” credit.
  • Approximately 6 weeks into filming, RZA began pushing the crew to work faster to remain on schedule. His assistant director eventually informed RZA that the push was resulting in stunt workers receiving injuries and being sent to the hospital daily. After this, RZA abandoned some of his intended shots and replaced them with Computer Generated Images (CGI).

Talking Points:

  • Silver lion’s hair
  • Lucy Liu’s character & “Black Widows”

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Refreshingly bad; as an exercise in the genre, it always feels like you’re coming in halfway through the movie; Maybe one of the best bad movies ever; Demonstrated neo-exploitation cinema is not dead; As endearing as a hyperactive puppy, but just as exhausting and exciting; Sufficiently well done for those who like this sort of thing.
  • Negatives: RZA is awful at acting and in incompetent narrator; lavish imitation; lunatic, unnecessarily gorey, and borderline incomprehensible; a bad movie with big names is still a bad movie

What We Learned:

  • When it comes to money things get funny
  • A dog living in a palace is still a dog

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: You know, I thought this would be a bit more exciting of a movie. I did like Russel Crowe and Brass Body. Rawr.
Ray: I wanted to like it, and it really lived up to what it wanted to be which is a bad kung fu movie, but I found it sort of pretentious. RZA should have kept himself out of the movie.
Steve: The opening dialogue from RZA sealed the deal for me. This was just a combination of RZA’s wet dreams rolled into a film. He gets to bang the hot Asian chick, get a super power, and beat up a WWE superstar. BFD! The only things that almost saved this were how it looked, the fight scenes and Lucy Liu, otherwise I would have left it.

The Future: Iron Man 3

Release: May 3, 2012

Director: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley

Summary:

Tony Stark uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin.

Talking Points:

  • Ben Kingsly Voice
  • Tie In to the Avengers

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Iron Man? Yes, please.
Ray: Are you kidding me? Yes!
Steve: Looks epic! I don’t know about the Mandarin though. Guess I just thought he might be younger looking.

The Past: For Your Eyes Only

The Present: Skyfall

The Future: World War Z

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MOV115: “Fear, Chaos, Pain”

In this reel of COL Movies, It’s another “very special episode” as the boys talk about the Dark Knight Trilogy. They kick off with the original Nolan-verse creation, “Batman Begins”, and move on to what they feel is the gem of the series, “The Dark Knight”. In theaters, of course, they review the conclusion of the triumvirate, “The Dark Knight Rises”. In trailer news, they look at the (spoiler alert) utterly forgettable preview of “The Expendables 2”. In brief movie news, we bring up John Favreau’s partnership with Pixar and Peter Jackson’s attempt at making “The Hobbit” into a trilogy! It’s the 115th reel of COL Movies…”Fear, Chaos, Pain”

News:

The Past: Batman Begins
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 90% Audience

The Past: The Dark Knight
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh; 96% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Staring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The flaw of the microwave emitter
  • When you first saw this did you expect it to be a trilogy?

What We Learned From Batman Begins:

  • The world is too small for a man like Bruce Wayne to Disappear
  • A vigilante is just a man lost in the search for his own gratification
  • Death is not considerate or friendly
  • We fall, so we can learn to pick ourselves up.
  • All creatures feel fear, especially the scary ones.
  • Invisibility is simply a matter of patience and agility
  • You always fear what you don’t understand
  • It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.
  • Never go into business with someone without finding out their dirty secrets.

What We Learned From The Dark Knight:

  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.
  • When your the Gotham D.A. if your not getting shot at your not doing your Job right
  • You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain
  • Criminals aren’t complicated you just have to figure out what they are after.
  • Some men just want to watch the world burn.
  • The night is darkest just before the dawn

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Nolan has really taken an amazing approach to what has to be my favorite superhero ever. He stays relatively true the the Batman story but knows that it’s his universe and Batman does things differently in his world. Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing and perfect for the world. I can’t recommend these movies more.
Ray: Anyone who is a fan of superhero movies needs to watch these, but the great thing about these especially The Dark Knight is that you don’t have to be. I consider The Dark Knight one of the best Crime Dramas to come around in the last 10 years, plus it’s pretty cool that Batman is in it too. Cemented by an amazing performance by Heath Ledger that also demands to be seen.
Steve: OK…I admit that I enjoyed the Dark Knight the most! Heath Ledger is awesome – although Maggie G just didn’t do a darn thing for me. That’s one time I missed Katie Holmes. Batman Begins just kind of set the stage for the rest of the films…and drags for me.

The Present: The Dark Knight Rises

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh; 93% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The tale of two annoying voices. – Bane – Raz al Ghul
  • The soundtrack.. good or bad?
  • The Ending – could it have been done differently?
  • Sequel in the nolanverse?
  • Wait! What? Talia’s in this movie!
  • Plot Holes!

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Production value was extremely high and Nolan knew the look he was going for and delivered it; the conclusion was a fitting end to the story and the epicness of the hero;
  • Negatives: “clunky”; an ordeal to sit through; acting was manufactured; hard to understand the dialogue; extremely stretched out because every recollection had to be done in flashback; overall Nolan tanked or dialed this one in.

What We Learned:

  • Detectives are not allowed to believe in coincidences
  • People don’t pay attention to you until you put on a mask
  • Hope is really the key to torture
  • A hero can be anyone

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I was right. This movie did not pull out the amazing awesomeness that The Avengers did and I don’t expect it to perform as well in the box office still. It still was an incredible ending to the Nolan Batman story line but this was still I movie I could have waited for and just suffered from a pre-release lack of enthusiasm. I think it’s definitely worth seeing in the theaters but I wouldn’t say there’s much off a rush.
Ray: A good strong finish to the Trilogy but not my favorite of the three. This is very much the “Return of the Jedi” of the series for me, but instead of annoying ewoks, it’s got annoying vocal performances and plot holes. A must see if your a fan of the other two though.
Steve: Definitely not my favorite, except for Tom Hardy of course. Just didn’t have the same punch as the others and seemed like it was just there to wrap up the story. It was pretty though. I actually liked that they did bring stuff in from the previous movies – made it feel more complete than just 3 stand alone films.

The Future: The Expendables 2

Release: August 12, 2012

Director: Simon West

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture

Summary:

After taking a seemingly simple job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), the Expendables find their plans going awry and one of their own is brutally murdered by rival mercenary Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme).[2] The Expendables set out into hostile territory – with their new members Bill the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) – to put a stop to a deadly weapon and gain their revenge against the people who killed their brother-in-arms

Talking Points:

  • Why are we reviewing this trailer? Did we not destroy the first film?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Hey, The Expendables again. . . . Would love to see this on Netflix streaming.
Ray: Move along…nothing to see here.
Steve: Slept through the first one…I image it will be more of the same.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV040: ”Compliance”

How can outer space, gnomes, and fate all be linked together? They’re all a part of this episode of COL Movies! The boys go back to the 80s…or is it the 70s…to reincarnate “Flight of the Navigator”. Then, it’s the Emily Blunt fan club, since she stars in 2 out of 3 of this episode’s movies. The cubs chime in on Elton John’s animated take on the classic Romeo & Juliet story involving…wait for it…garden gnomes! Expectations seem low for “The Adjustment Bureau”, despite Matt Damon being in it. All of this and movie news in this episode!

News:

The Past: Flight Of The Navigator (1986)

Director: Randal Kleiser

Starring: Joey Cramer, Paul Rubens, Veronica Cartwright, Sarah Jessica Parker, Howard Hesseman

Trivia:

  • The First Disney movie to be released with profanities.. the word “Shit” is said twice.
  • The ship used in the movie can be found in a boneyard at the Disney MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World in Florida. It can be seen on the studio tour
  • Not originally a Disney movie, the film was being made independently when midway through production the main production company, Producers Sales Organisation (PSO) collapsed. Walt Disney acquired the production in a liquidation sale, picking up all film rights for this film and several others, and also putting up the finance for its completion.
  • When MAX, the ship computer, is describing the animals he has on board, he said “That is a Feenastarus from the Pixar Elliptic”. This was five years before Pixar, a fledgling special effects computer group at the time, teamed up with Disney, who produced this film
  • MAX, the ship computer speaks in Bulgarian. When David enters the ship and takes the pilot seat MAX says “Vnimanie! Oblegni se! Chui me!” which means “Attention! Sit back! Listen to me!”

Talking Points:

  • Supposedly up for a remake…
  • Pee Wee Herman – annoying?
  • Why wasn’t this movie as successful as other similar ones?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Stripes and Knee Highs.. gotta love the late 70’s
  • In the 70’s it was perfectly acceptable for kids to play with fireworks
  • It was also perfectly ok to let your kid wander alone through the woods in the dark
  • Sometimes those voices in your head.. are real!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Definite must have for any collection. It even holds up over time.
Ray: Another Childhood Classic.. looking at it now, the acting is a little rough.. but a fun movie none the less!
Steve: First time I remember seeing this movie all the way through. Enjoyed it, although could have done without the Pee Wee Herman laughs.

The Present: Gnomeo & Juliet

Director: Kelly Asbury

Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Cain, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne

Trivia:

  • Ewan McGergor and Kate Winslet was once attached to this film when it was first announced.
  • James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart who both lend their voices to this film both stared in different adaptations of the Dune Saga, and James is taking over the role as Professor X in the new Xmen Movie.

Talking Points:

    • Was anyone hoping for more romance and less comedy?
    • Could tell from jump it was an Elton John joint.
    • Detail in texture and sound of animation.
    • The amount of references to other movies.. and Shakespeare
    • American Beauty
  • Forrest Gump
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstren on the Moving Truck
  • Flamingo’s were dirty dancing
  • Glue reading “The Taming of the Glue”
  • Set in Stratford-upon-Avon Birthplace of Shakespeare

What We Learned:

  • Doomed love is the best kind
  • Everyone needs a Mankini lawn gnome
  • Who doesn’t love a Dolly Parton cameo??
  • If it’s wrong to think a gnome is hot, then I don’t want to be right!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Very cute movie, Gnomeo was adoreable, I really liked it.
Ray: A new perspective on a very old tale, cute and enjoyable.. especially if you like elton john music.
Steve: Super enjoyable. Gnomeo was hot 🙂 Love the chin strap.

The Future: The Adjustment Bureau

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie

Trivia:

  • The story is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team”, and features a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious woman in his life.
  • The action takes place in various places in Manhattan.

Talking Points:

  • Didn’t we get enough of this when it was called “Dark City” ?
  • Looks like some rip offs of “Inception” as well.

Summary:
The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Interesting, would like to see but not a priority
Ray: Not sure what new ground this is covering.. so im not all that interested.
Steve: Not pulling me to the theater. Not as interesting looking as “Inception”.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV015: “We Are The Weirdos, Mister.”

This week we invoke the spirit, yawn at the mayham, and wonder at the fantasy.

News:

Feedback:
5 Star Review from Dave in AZ: Awesome show, the group is well balanced to ensure that every aspect of the film gets a fair treatment by the crew. This podcast has helped me discover some great movies I never would have watched and helped rekindle my love of a few classics. Keep it up you will always have an avid listener in me.

The Past: The Craft (1996)

Director: Andrew Fleming

Staring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell & Rachel True

Trivia:

  • Features over 3,000 snakes including pythons, boas, water snakes, garter snakes, rat snakes, and a 10 foot Amazon constrictor – even rare albino snakes.
  • Robin Tunney wore a wig in this because she had shaved her head for Empire Records (1995).
  • The Connie Francis song playing on the jukebox when the girls visit their newly rich friend Nancy is “Fallin'”.
  • Though all of the actresses playing teenagers were far past teenage years, at the time of filming Rachel True was almost 30 years old.
  • The shots of Nancy being covered in bugs were created by wrapping a life-cast of Fairuza Balk’s head and torso in green screen material. The bugs were filmed crawling all over the casting and then digitally composited on top of a live action plate of Balk.
  • On the special edition DVD of this film, Andrew Fleming states in the commentary that the production was geared toward earning a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. They followed all of the guidelines to earn that rating, but in the final outcome the film was rated R because the film dealt with teenage girls using witchcraft.
  • Although the name of the Catholic high school is never mentioned in the film, it was referred to as St. Bernard’s Academy in the film’s trailer. This is a nod by writer Peter Filardi to the real Saint Bernard High School in southeastern Connecticut, where Filardi grew up.
  • After Sarah returns to her house near the end, the house is full of snakes, rats, maggots, etc. As she retreats to the upstairs bathroom, we see her pass a whiteboard with the name Gustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt was an artist whose works were denounced for their eroticism. He was also known to have a common theme of the “Femme Fatale” or women who were empowered and strong.
  • In the shooting script, as well as early edits of the film, it is implied that only Sarah has actual magic powers, and that the other girls’ abilities are merely a result of their leaching off of Sarah’s magic.
  • According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, The Craft is the 7th highest grossing movie since 1980 dealing with the genre of witches
  • A straight-to-DVD sequel was in the works, but was terminated

Talking Points:

  • Heathers with witchcraft?
  • What would you do if you had powers?
  • Interesting that the trailer theme is the same as the theme for “Charmed” – is there a connection to interest?
  • Is the movie too “preachy” about “using your powers for good”?

What We’ve Learned:

  • All you need to become a witch is buy “Wiccan For Dummies”
  • Hormonal teenage girls should not have magical powers
  • Remember whatever you put out you get back times three!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Love it, definitely worth the buy.
Ray: Heathers – Clever Writing + Witchcraft = The Craft.
Steve: Loved this movie when it came out…effects haven’t stood the test of time very well, but still a solid movie.

The Present: The Expendables

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Staring: Slyvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas

Trivia:

  • According to Sylvester Stallone, the villain and plot of the film is based on Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panama who had a corrupt relationship with the CIA and drugs.
  • Director and star Sylvester Stallone sustained 14 injuries making this movie including breaking a tooth, rupturing his ankle and getting a hairline fracture in his neck that required the surgical insertion of a metal plate. He also had bronchitis and shingles during the shoot.
  • The silver badge on General Garza’s right breast is actually a United States Army Combat Action Badge. It is awarded to non-infantry soldiers who have actually engaged an enemy force in combat, and worn on the left breast. Since it would be nearly impossible for a foreign general to earn a CAB legitimately, the costume department most likely simply picked out a random military badge.
  • According to Sylvester Stallone, the Red Beret soldiers are actual Brazilian MMA fighters who volunteered to play the role.
  • This is the first film that Sylvester Stallone has directed since Staying Alive (1983) that doesn’t involve his characters John Rambo or Rocky Balboa.
  • In summer 2010, Brazilian company O2 Filmes released a statement saying it was still owed more than $2 million US for its work on the film

Talking Points:

  • Age Demographic.. more popular with 40+?
  • Was it necessary to explode bodies throughout the movie?

What We’ve Learned:

  • A ton of action movie stars in a movie does not mean it will be any good

Trailer:

Recommendations:

Jeff: Skip it
Ray: Found it fairly boring..and overly gory
Steve: Was extremely let down by this movie…can’t believe it’s doing so well in the box office.

The Future: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Starring: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter, Laura Bent, Gary Sweet

Trivia:

  • After The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) didn’t fare too well at the box office, the Walt Disney Company decided for budgetary and logistical reasons not to co-produce and co-finance this or any of the following chapters of the Narnia series.
  • When Michael Apted signed on to direct in June 2007, filming was set to begin in January 2008 for a release date of May 1, 2009. Shooting would have begun in Malta and then moved to Prague and Iceland. A few months later, the Walt Disney Company announced, “In consideration of the challenging schedules for (its) young actors,” it was delaying the release date to May 7, 2010, and filming was moved to October 2008. The shoot got rescheduled to Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, where two-thirds of the film would be shot at the water tank that was used for Titanic (1997) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). Filming was also scheduled for Australia. Disney and Walden eventually grew concerned over Mexico’s safety, and Australian officials at Warner Roadshow Studios in Queensland offered to become the project’s base for the whole shoot.
  • The first trailer was released online at midnight EST on June 16, 2010, and theatrically on June 18, 2010, attached to Toy Story 3 (2010). On screens where Toy Story was shown in 3D, the Dawn Treader trailer was also 3D.
  • Producer Mark Johnson admitted that “We made some mistakes with Prince Caspian and I don’t want to make them again.” He said it’s “very important” that filmmakers regain that magic for Dawn Treader, now in the editing stages—and he’s convinced they’ve found it: “I want to climb on the rooftops and say we have a wonderful Narnia movie.”

Talking Points:

  • Does the loss of Disney backing impact this movie?

Summary:
The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey takes Edmund Pevensie, Lucy Pevensie, their cousin Eustace Scrubb and King Caspian to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea. Their Mission-on which rests the fate of Narnia itself-takes the courageous voyagers to mysterious islands and a river that turns to gold, to fateful confrontations with magical creatures and sinister enemies, with meeting of Lilliandil the half star to a reunion with their friend and protector “the Great lion” Aslan.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: No excitement here nor there.
Ray: I’m holding my breath.. the Trailer doesn’t hint at plot at all.. effects look good even without Disney.
Steve: I miss the old animated versions of these books…the trailer looks neat, but don’t know that it’s drawing me in.

Coming Attractions

The Past: Hudson Hawk
The Present: Takers
The Future: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

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