MOV068: “I Doubt Your Commitment To Sparkle Motion”

It’s an eventful 68th reel, as Steven’s on the road and Ray is out of power! Of course, Jeff is all comfy at home…boring! Anyway…let’s get to the “reel” (get it?) reason we’re here! The boys head back in time to hang out with a super-young and super-cute Jake Gyllenhaal, as he comes to terms with himself (no…not in that way!) in “Donnie Darko”. They head to the theater to see the ever-fabulous Helen Mirren playing a Nazi-hunter in “The Debt”, then check out the trailer for “Martha Marcy May Marlene” – an October release about a young woman escaping from a cult. It’s a very thought provoking week here at COL Movies…but even though…“I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion!”

News:

  • No news this week!

The Past: Donnie Darko (2001)
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh, 77% Audience

Director: Richard Kelly

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swaze, Noah Wyle

Trivia:

  • Richard Kelly said that the movie had a very difficult time finding a US distributor. Since the film embodied myriad genres and tones, distributors were confused by the movie’s message, and how to market it. Additionally, Kelly also claims that “Darko” was very close to premiering on the Starz network until Newmarket Films picked up the film for theatrical distribution.
  • Despite persistent rumors, Richard Kelly insists that none of the characters in this film are based upon USC teachers or students.
  • Someone at the house party jumps on a trampoline, wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. This is taken from a photo of Hunter S. Thompson doing the same.
  • During conversations about sex with his therapist, the script had Donnie’s fantasies be about Alyssa Milano. This had to be changed to Christina Applegate due to legal reasons.
  • In the movie theater scene, Richard Kelly originally intended to have Donnie and Gretchen going to see C.H.U.D.. However, there were problems with finding out who owned the rights to the movie. Finally, Sam Raimi came to the rescue by allowing Kelly to use and distort footage from The Evil Dead, free of charge. This scene was filmed at The Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA. The Aero closed in 2003 but re-opened in early 2005.
  • Noah Wyle’s character, Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff, is seen eating hard candy in some scenes because Wyle decided his character would be diabetic.
  • The black-and-white poster in Donnie’s room, of an eye reflecting a skull, is a reproduction of an etching by the artist M.C. Escher.
  • EASTER EGG: The DVD contains several Easter Eggs, or hidden items. Two are visible in the “Philosophy of Time Travel” book in the Special Features. On each of the appendix pages, press the up arrow on your remote and press enter. For Appendix A, the viewer gets a deleted scene about the flooding of the school, and Appendix B, the viewer gets a different trailer for the movie. Another can be found after selecting the “Cunning Visions” menu screen. At the bottom of the screen, highlight the Special Features menu entry, press the right arrow on your remote to highlight the icon, and press enter. This will allow you to enter a Web site gallery.
  • The original poster art for the movie had used an Arabic-style font, but this was changed to the more common Trajan typeface for the video release after the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. However, the font retains its original style in the film itself.
  • The first edit of the film ran 165 minutes. The director’s cut is very close to the version that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2001.
  • The movie takes place in 1988. Frank tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. If you add these numbers, the sum is 88. When Samantha asks when she can have kids, Donnie says: “Not until 8th grade.” Donnie mentions to his therapist that his dog Callie died when he was eight. (He is later seen holding a stuffed toy dog in her office.) Donnie jokes about the Back to the Future DeLorean which had a speed of 88 MPH. According to the television reporter, the fire at Jim Cunningham’s house was extinguished “sometime after 8:00 last night.” The red-eye flight that almost crashes is Flight 2806 which boards at Gate 42 at 12 AM. The climax of Donnie Darko occurs one week before the 1988 US presidential election, when George Bush won on November 8, 1988 11/08/88. The movie was shot (for a budget of less than US$5 million) in 28 days. There are 28 scenes in the director’s cut of this film.
  • The scene where Donnie corrects Gretchen was improvised because the actress could not say the name Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff, correctly.
  • According to the commentary by Richard Kelly, the Man in the Red Jogging Suit is an agent from the FAA, which was so confused by the jet engine event that they sent agents to monitor the family members. The Mystery Woman, seen during Sparkle Motion’s talent show performance, was a talent scout from Star Search.
  • Voted number five in the list of Australia’s 10 favorite movies.
  • When Donnie tells Gretchen he accidentally burned down a house, they are walking directly in front of Jim Cunningham’s house. The Life Line Exercise Card that Donnie reads is about a girl finding a lost wallet. Later, Donnie finds Jim Cunningham’s wallet on the sidewalk outside his mansion.
  • In the “Cunning Visions” infomercial, Jim Cunningham pats a child on his behind. The young boy who wants to learn how to fight at the school assembly is the same boy in Jim Cunningham’s infomercial (Larry Riesman).
  • Voted #9 in Film4’s ’50 Films To See Before You Die’
  • The main bully is named Seth Devlin, which sounds like devil. A sticker inside his locker reads: “What would Satan do?”
  • Adapted by director Marcus Stern into a live stage production that was produced in October and November 2007 by the American Repertory Theatre’s Zero Arrow Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Some songs featured in the movie were substitutes for songs which the makers wanted but were denied the rights to. The dance performance was performed to “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe), and Duran Duran’s “Notorious” was re-dubbed in post-production. U2’s “MLK” in the final scene is substituted Gary Jules’ cover of the Tears for Fears song “Mad World” instead.
  • When casting for the role of Donnie’s sister, it came to Richard Kelly’s attention that Maggie Gyllenhaal (who had few film credits at the time) would be available for the shoot. The agent who proposed her casting reminded Kelly of her scene in Cecil B. DeMented, where she drank urine. Though Kelly was slightly hesitant towards the idea, he did like the way she drank urine – and knew he wouldn’t have to work hard at creating a sibling rivalry between her and her brother, star Jake Gyllenhaal.
  • The song that plays as Donnie is riding his bike home in the theatrical version is “The Killing Moon” by Echo & The Bunnymen. As Gretchen waits for the school bus, a Volkswagen Rabbit vehicle quickly passes in front of her. When Elizabeth Darko is sleeping on the recliner, there is a stuffed rabbit next to her. As Donnie reaches for the car keys, there is a Polaroid picture of him and his sister in Halloween costumes on the desk. Donnie is dressed as a rabbit. When Donnie is talking to his sister after his mom leaves near the end, a “jack o lantern” bunny is seen on the table. Frank, the rabbit, often appears near a water source (sprinklers, water main, faucet).
  • The words “Cellar Door” are written on the chalkboard in Karen Pommeroy’s classroom. When Donnie asks about their meaning, she replies that “This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that Cellar Door is the most beautiful.” In the director’s commentary Richard Kelly mistakenly attributes the phrase to Edgar Allan Poe, but it was actually J.R.R. Tolkien who, in his 1955 essay “English and Welsh”, said that “Most English-speaking people . . . will admit that cellar door is ‘beautiful’, especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful.”
  • Newmarket Films, the movie’s US distributor, approached Richard Kelly about doing a director’s cut. He accepted the offer and did the re-edit with editor Sam Bauer in a swift nine days.
  • Well out of his teens, Vince Vaughn reportedly turned down the part of Donnie due to his age. Mark Wahlberg was interested in the part, but apparently was only willing to play the part with a lisp. Jason Schwartzman was also strongly considered for Donnie, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Tim Robbins was the first choice for the role of Eddie Darko.
  • Drew Barrymore’s character Karen Pomeroy is named for sex researcher Wardell Pomeroy of the Kinsey Institute.
  • Seth Rogen’s feature film debut.
  • Richard Kelly grew up in Midlothian, VA. This was used in one of the original scripts, but was later changed to Middlesex, VA.
  • There are many comic book references that show up through the film. Gretchen comments on Donnie’s name as sounding like a superhero, to which he replies “What makes you think I’m not?” Many characters have alliterative names (Donnie Darko, Cherita Chen, Frankie Feedler, Daye Dennis, Joanie James, Sean Smith, Donnie Dickson) like many comic book heroes (Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Susan Storm etc.). Also, it is believed that Donnie is a superhero, as he has powers and he uses them to save others.
  • The short story ‘The Destructors’ (which Karen Pomeroy discusses in her class that seemingly parallels the events occurring at the time in the “real” world, and was discussed as inappropriate at the PTA meeting ultimately leading to Pomeroy’s dismissal) was written by Graham Greene. Graham Greene’s birthday is October 2nd (1904). October 2nd, 1988 is the day Frank the Bunny tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.
  • At the start of the movie, when Donnie rides his bicycle back into town, right after he passes the two ladies out “powerwalking”, its actually Frank passing by in his red Trans Am.
  • Frank says the world will end in “28 days 6 hours 42 minutes 12 seconds.” That figure is not random: it comes from adding or subtracting 1 from each part of the figure 27d 7h 43m 11s, which is the precise length of one lunar month (by one of the less-used definitions – sidereal instead of the usual synodic).
  • When Donnie’s mother asks Kitty if she has heard of Graham Greene, she replies that she has, since she’s seen “Bonanza”. However, Kitty is getting him confused with Lorne Greene, who appeared in the series. There is also a native Canadian actor, Graham Greene who has appeared in many films portraying native Americans including “Dances with Wolves”. Graham Greene, the author, had many of his books adapted for films, including, “The Quiet American” (twice), “Brighton Rock” and “Our Man in Havana”.
  • Jim Cunningham depicts drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex as “instruments of fear.” In the movie, Donnie smokes a cigarette, drinks alcohol, and engages in premarital sex. The climax of the movie occurs after he surrenders to all three temptations.
  • Jim Cunningham ends “Cunning Visions” with his lifespan; 1944-1988. “Philosophy of Time Travel”, by Roberta Sparrow was published in 1944.
  • Early in the film when Donnie is riding his bike home, he passes Frank’s car traveling in the opposite direction. This car later kills Gretchen, prompting Donnie to shoot Frank in the right eye (which Donnie had also stabbed through the water-mirror). Soon after, when time is “reset” and everybody wakes up to the Mad World song, Frank is wiping a tear from this eye.
  • Judging by what is seen and heard of The Evil Dead in the movie theater scenes, it takes the better part of an hour for Donnie to go from the movie theater to Jim Cunningham’s house, start the fire, and go back to the theater, just in time to catch the end of the film (listen for Bruce Campbell’s scream).

Talking Points:

  • Was this the first movie you can think of to sort of have….viral marketing (for its home video release)
  • Time travel… real or just the imaginings of a psychotic kid?
  • Anyone think it was an odd choice to set this move at the end of the 80’s?

What We’ve Learned:

  • When you’re famous, you gotta have a cigarette
  • Destruction is a form of creation
  • Soap is apparently the greatest invention of mankind
  • Smurfs are asexual
  • Cellar Door is the most beautiful phrase in the English language
  • Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Crazy Bizarre movie which is worth seeing once. Maybe seeing the regular one and the directors cut and trying to see the differences.
Ray: This movie kinda broke my brain when I first saw it. It still holds some fascination after repeat viewings. If you like sort of smart, very bizarre subject matter.. this is for you.
Steve: Hurts my head. But worth seeing with people who like wacky movies. Definitely a “let’s discuss” type movie rather than to pop in at a party.

The Present: The Debt
Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Fresh, 70% Audience

Director: John Madden

Starring: Helen Mirren/Jessica Chastain, Tom Wilkenson/Marton Csokas, Ciarán Hinds/Sam Worthington, Jesper Christensen

Trivia:

  • Originally scheduled for a December 2010 release, the release was rescheduled to August 31, 2011.
  • The 2010 American version is based on the 2007 Israeli movie of the same name (Ha-Hov or HaChov, in Hebrew). It was directed by Assaf Bernstein, and co-written by Bernstein and Ido Rosenblum. It was released in Israel November 29, 2007.
  • The central character of Rachel Berner was played by Gila Almagor (1990s “present day” scenes) and Neta Garty (in flashbacks to the 1960s).
  • The Israeli film was never released to theaters in the United States, although it aired on American television on the Sundance Channel in October 2010.
  • Before the official December 29, 2010, U.S. premiere, it was shown December 4, 2010, as part of the Washington DC Jewish Film Festival.
  • The film was one of two films that had their official opening dates delayed until 2011 as a result of a “transaction between [Miramax] owner Disney and soon-to-be new owners, construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital (led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula).”
  • Israeli papers reported that Helen Mirren was “immersing herself” in studies of the Hebrew language, Jewish history, and Holocaust writings, including the life of Simon Wiesenthal, while spending time in Israel in 2009 to film scenes in the movie. My character is carrying the memory, anger and passion of [the Holocaust],” she has said.

Talking Points:

  • Was it what you expected?
  • Pacing
  • Sam Worthington… acting or no?
  • Matching of Older to younger actors..
  • Sound
  • Word of warning before seeing this movie…be prepared for Hitler atrocities

What We Learned:

  • Never argue with an armed woman
  • You are supposed to pursue your goals in your 20’s
  • Always ALWAYS have your papers ready
  • God doesn’t plant car bombs

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I was expecting more action in this movie but got something different. The balance of going from the past to the present was a little weird but worked well.
Ray: While sort of predictable, I enjoyed this movie. I went in expecting a plodding political movie, and got a well paced political thriller.
Steve: Enjoyed it, even though it was so predictable. Thought the acting was very good! Helen Mirren…that’s enough to get me there.

The Future: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Director: Sean Durkin

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes

Summary:
The film focuses on Martha (Elizabeth Olsen), a young woman who flees from an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains that is led by an enigmatic leader, Patrick (John Hawkes). Lucy (Sarah Paulson), Martha’s older sister, receives a call from a pay phone one day from Martha, asking her to come and get her. Martha, who has been missing for months, slowly begins to assimilate into her sister’s family, but her increasing paranoia leads her to believe that Patrick and his cult may still be watching her every move.

Trivia:
It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January, with Durkin winning the festival’s U.S. Directing Award for Best Drama. It also screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
The film is set for a limited release in the United States on October 7, 2011.

Talking Points:

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Another psychological thriller. Just another psychological thriller.
Ray: I hope it’s a good psychological thriller. I’m all for movies that mess with your brain.
Steve: I don’t get it. But the synopsis makes it sound like it would be something I’d be interested in watching at home.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV046: “Don’t Wake The Mother!”

The boys go back in time to review the childhood classic, “The Last Starfighter”. Does it hold up to all the shoot ‘em space and video game movies of today? They finally get to check out Zach Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” and see if the hype is worth it. Lastly, they look at the screen adaptation for Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1”. Does it really predict the death of the American economy? Guess we’ll have to see! All this and movie news…in this week’s COL Movies!

News:

The Past: The Last Starfighter (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Fresh, 65 % Audience

Director: Nick Castle

Starring: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Dan O’Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart

Trivia:

  • Robert Preston’s Last Movie
  • Director Nick Castle played “The Shape” in Halloween
  • The Star Car is based on the Delorean
  • The First movie to do all of its special effects inside a computer on a Cray X-MP
  • The game was actually developed by atari and was to be released on home systems, but never made it past the prototype stage
  • The scenes shot with the “Beta Unit” were shot after the main fiming was complete, Lance Guest had to wear a wig for these scenes as he had cut his hair
  • In 2007 a musical based off the screen play was performed as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival
  • In addition to the major “Star Trek universe” roles later played by “Starfighter” cast members Wil Wheaton and Marc Alaimo, several others in the movie’s cast guest starred in various “Star Trek” franchises. They include Dan Mason, Barbara Bosson, Norman Snow and Geoffrey Blake. But notable among them is Meg Wyllie (“Granny Gordon”) who played one of the Talosian “keepers” in the “Star Trek” (1966) pilot, “Star Trek: The Cage (#1.0)” (1966).

Talking Points:

  • Very “Tron”-inspired, don’t you think?
  • Do you think Doc Brown’s car may have bit a little off the car in this movie?

What We’ve Learned:

  • You never know when a video game may be testing you!
  • When your chance comes, you have to grab it by both hands and hold on tight.
  • Who wouldn’t want a Beta unit?
  • Always wait till your at cruising altitude before removing your face.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Total classic, so glad I finally bought it.
Ray: I spent the remainder of my childhood trying to be The Last Starfighter
Steve: Always loved this movie as a kid. First time I’ve watched it in years…still think it holds up.

The Present: Sucker Punch

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn

Trivia:

  • Amanda Seyfried was the first choice for Babydoll, but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Emma Stone was in early talks to star as Amber, but dropped out to star in Easy A (2010).
  • Evan Rachel Wood was the first choice for Rocket but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and Jena Malone replaced her.
  • Zack Snyder told Vanessa Hudgens that this feature would be his first action movie, despite the fact that 300 (2006) is considered an action movie.
  • Vanessa Hudgens says she’s looking forward to being seen by a whole new audience that might not necessarily be familiar with her work in the “High School Musical” films.
  • Olivia Thirlby was at one stage rumored to replace Amanda Seyfried as Babydoll before Emily Browning replaced her.
  • Eric Dane was one of the choices to play High Roller.
  • Zack Snyder’s first film that is not based on another work. Dawn of the Dead (2004) was a remake of a 1978 film by ‘George A. Romero’. Both 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009) were based on graphic novels. And Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) is based on a children’s fantasy book. However, the film does heavily feature motifs from Lewis Carroll’s book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – the movie’s logline while being pitched to studios was even “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.”
  • Tim McGraw was considered for the role of High Roller.
  • Before Jamie Chung replaced Emma Stone as Amber, Freida Pinto was considered to play the role.
  • The two banners beside Scott Glenn’s character as shown in the trailer are a famous couplet from ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu: “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” This was later made into a famous battle standard by the Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen.
  • Zack Snyder’s first live action film to not receive an R rating in the U.S.

Talking Points:

  • The new Matrix? Is this title deserved?
  • Did this movie Gel for you?
  • Did some things move very quickly? (Got that the exposition moved quickly to get to the point – then all of the characters started dying so fast!)
  • Supposedly there were 18 minutes cut out of this film along with a musical number
  • Did anyone stay for the credits?
  • Music!

What We Learned:

  • Baby Doll can dance!
  • Men are pigs.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I can see where the bad reviews come from, but it’s a great popcorn movie. Loved it.
Ray: I really don’t understand where all the hate is coming from this movie, I liked it.. I saw it twice already!
Steve: I liked it a lot! I love a good kick-ass girl movie.

The Future: Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1

Starring: Taylor Schilling, Paul Johansson & Annabelle Gurwitch

Trivia:

  • Based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand.
  • Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one third of it finished.
  • According to Variety, The Godfather (1972) producer Albert S. Ruddy spent years trying to bring the novel to the big screen, attracting the interest of Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway along the way.
  • In the late 1970s, NBC had plans to bring the novel to television as one of the multi-part mini-series popular at the time. Ayn Rand wanted Farrah Fawcett to star, but the project never materialized.
  • Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Maggie Gyllenhaal were among the actresses considered to play Dagny Taggart, with Brad Pitt being considered to play John Galt.

Talking Points:

  • Who is going to see this movie? Who is it geared toward?
  • Considering the “point”, will this do well or are we too concerned about escapism at this time?

Summary:

It was great to be alive, once, but the world was perishing. Factories were shutting down, transportation was grinding to a halt, graineries were empty–and key people who had once kept it running were disappearing all over the country. As the lights winked out and the cities went cold, nothing was left to anyone but misery. No one knew how to stop it, no one understood why it was happening – except one woman, the operating executive of a once mighty transcontinental railroad, who suspects the answer may rest with a remarkable invention and the man who created it – a man who once said he would stop the motor of the world. Everything now depends on finding him and discovering the answer to the question on the lips of everyone as they whisper it in fear: Who *is* John Galt?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’m going to see it just because it’s Ayn Rand
Ray: ??? I don’t know what to make of this trailer.. i feel i should be more interested than I actually am.
Steve: It took me watching a couple documentaries on line to understand this trailer. A little too existential for me.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV020: “That Man… is a Brownie Hound.”

With a slow news week, we get into an amazing show featuring the 80’s classic “The Breakfast Club,” the Ben Affleck directed “The Town”, and the mind blowing “Sucker Punch” trailer. Slaine . . . is fucking gorgeous.

News:

The Past: The Breakfast Club

Director: John Hughes

Starring: Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

Trivia:

  • Emilio Estevez was originally going to play Bender, but Hughes couldn’t find someone to play Andrew Clark so Emilio agreed to play Clark.
  • The Hallway, interior shots and the famous ending stroll through the football field were shot at Glenbrook North High School, John Hughes Alma mater
  • This like many of John Hughes film’s takes place in ficticious “Shermer, Illinois” But are based on the towns of Glenwood and Northbrook, Illinois where Hughes grew up. Until 1924 Northbrook, IL was called Shermerville Illinois
  • The exterior shots and library set was built inside the gymnasium of then closed school Main North High School, in Des Plains, IL before it was bought by the Illinois state police and turned into a police station
  • John Hughes appears briefly in a cameo as Brian’s father

Talking Points:

  • Who do/did you Identify with?
  • Is the dubbed TV version funnier than the original?
  • Andy calling Bender a “faggot”

What We’ve Learned:

  • Cutting class to go shopping does not make you a defective
  • All monkey business is ill advised
  • Claire is a fat girls name (Really? Have you seen Claire Danes?)
  • Everyone’s home life is unsatisfying
  • We are all pretty Bizarre, some are just better at Hiding it.
  • Emilio Estevez should not dance

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It’s a classic, there’s no way for me NOT to recommend this.
Ray: If you have not seen this movie, please email me so i can come over and slap you.
Steve: Ultimate teenage angst and strangers become friends movie. Classic.

The Present: The Town

Director: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper, Slaine

Trivia:

  • Every Boston Police cruiser shown in the film comes from the fictional district A-8, which also existed in Boston’s Finest (2010)
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Criminal Intent”.
  • The movie was shown at the Venice Film Festival and premiered at Boston’s Fenway Park.
  • The former MASSBank branch located in Melrose, Massachusetts was used as the location for the first robbery of the film, taking on the name Cambridge Merchants Bank (the exterior shots, however, are of Cambridge Savings Bank in Harvard Square).
  • Filming also took place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut for casino scenes and Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts for use of their visiting room.
  • A voice in the trailer of the movie says: “There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. Most of these professionals live in a 1-square-mile neighborhood called Charlestown.” In fact, there were 23 reported bank robberies in the entire state of Massachusetts in the first quarter of 2010, compared with 49 in Illinois and 136 in California, according to the FBI.

Talking Points:

  • Who did you root for in this movie?
  • Ben Affleck as a director? Voted best new filmmaker in 2007
  • Which is better, The Town or Takers?

What We Learned:

  • Slaine is fucking gorgeous.
  • Always ask a cop to see his ID
  • Masks are creepy
  • Every 6 year old in Charlestown can spot a undercover cop
  • If you see Skeletor come into a bank, get on the ground

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Slaine is fucking gorgeous.
Ray: Great movie.. the way a heist movie should be. Makes takers look even more like crap.
Steve: Really enjoyed it. Even without any “r”s in the entire movie.

The Future: Sucker Punch

Director: Zack Snyder

Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung

Trivia:

  • Zack Snyder’s first film that is not based on another work. Dawn of the Dead (2004) was a remake of a 1978 film by ‘George A. Romero’. Both 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009) were based on graphic novels. And Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) is based on a children’s fantasy book. However, the film does heavily feature motifs from Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland – the movie’s logline while being pitched to studios was even “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.”
  • Zack Snyder told Vanessa Hudgens that this feature would be his first action movie, despite the fact that 300 (2006) is considered an action movie.

Summary:
A young girl, confined to a mental institution by her stepfather who plans to have her lobotomized in five days time, creates an imaginary world to plan her escape.

Trailer:

IGN Rewind Theater Analysis:

Excitement:
Jeff: Stoked
Ray: Steampunk, Katanas, Mobsters, Dragons.. oh my.
Steve: Looks like it will be interesting. Effects look amazing.

Coming Attractions

The Past: The Howling
The Present: Let Me In
The Future: My Soul To Take

Download Podcast

MOV017: “All Bones, No Bullshit”

The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys, Machete, and Devil. Also it’s a slow news week. Yeah, that’s about it. But the show was good.

News:

The Past: The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

Director: Peter Care

Starring: Jodi Foster, Emile Hirsch, Keiran Culkin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jena Malone

Trivia:

Chris Fuhrman died of cancer before completing the final draft of the book. The movie is dedicated to him at the beginning of the final credits.

  • The final shot in the scene where the boys find an injured dog was actually just footage shot of the actors “resetting” after a blown take. It was kept in since it so clearly shows their fatigue and frustration.
  • In order to adapt the book in an effective way, Director Peter Care and Producer Jay Shapiro decided to use segments of animation throughout the film. Since most of the book is from Francis’ perspective and takes place in his mind, they needed to find a way to stay true to this “internal narrative”. “Animation seemed like a natural way to go in and out of this interior world and use that as the thread that ties everything together,” says Shapiro
  • Neither filmmakers nor Jodie Foster had planned on Foster also playing the part of the stern Catholic school teacher and headmistress, Sister Assumpta, as well as being producer. Foster was somehow attracted to the role, and called producing partner Meg Lefauve up with the offer to play this role, who graciously accepted, saying that it’s not “traditional casting to see a young beautiful woman in that kind of a role.”
  • Although the novel by Chris Fuhrman was set in 1970’s Savannah, Georgia, the filmmakers wanted a more “universal look” and decided not to specify a place. Most of the filming for the movie took place in Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina. There was also a lot of debate about whether the characters should have Southern accents, but to keep with this “universal feeling,” the producers decided against any strong accents.
  • In 2002, the film and Director Peter Care won the award for Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
  • In 2003, the film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

Talking Points:

  • Does Keiran Culken seem to play the same character over and over?
  • Did the animation enhance the movie?

What We’ve Learned:

  • 3 full servings of distilled and reduced nyquil has no effect on the average house cat
  • Statues of Saints are much heavier than they appear, but magically get lighter once they reach the ground.
  • Nuns make excellent comic book villains
  • That’s a really thoughtful question
  • Always better to wait a few dates before dropping the incest bomb on someone

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It’s a cute movie, the animated scenes were integrated well, recommendable but couldn’t keep my attention outside the animated scenes.
Ray: A very unique and interesting coming of age story, I highly recommend.
Steve: Stand By Me in the 80s, in a Catholic school…but liked the unique twists.

The Present: Machete

Director: Ethan Maniquis & Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan

Trivia:

  • The film was based on the fake trailer featured before Robert Rodriguez’s double feature for Grindhouse (2007), Planet Terror (2007), which was co-produced by Quentin Tarantino and is also the producer on this film.
  • Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey and Cheech Marin who are featured in the fake trailer featured in Grindhouse (2007), reprise their roles for this film as well. Tito Larriva, one of Robert Rodriguez’s closest friends and who’s acted in several films was featured in the trailer but at this point not confirmed to be in this film. Fahey was also featured in Planet Terror (2007) which was written, produced and directed by Rodriguez.
  • This film marks the second time that Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino have worked together. They previously worked together on Jackie Brown (1997), which De Niro was part of the ensemble like this film and Tarantino wrote, directed and produced that film.
  • Cheech Marin and Don Johnson both co-starred in the hit CBS series “Nash Bridges” (1996), as well as the Kevin Costner golf film Tin Cup (1996). This is the first time they have been in a film together in 10 years, with the end of “Nash Bridges” wrapping in 2000/2001.
  • This film is being made because of the fake trailer’s popularity after being featured in the theatrical version of Grindhouse (2007) along with the other fake trailers and advertisements featured in the film. “Thanksgiving” is the other popular fake trailer included in the film and was directed by Eli Roth and is now in development to be made into a full length film.
  • According to some reports, Robert Rodriguez claims to have filmed half this movie while making the fake trailer to be included for the theatrical version of Grindhouse (2007). These have yet to be confirmed by Rodriguez himself.
  • Robert Rodriguez wrote the script back in 1993 after he wrote Desperado (1995).
    Actor Chris Cooper reportedly turned down a role in the movie saying “it’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever read” after getting the script.
  • Lindsay Lohan filmed her role in three days.
  • Steven Seagal’s first theatrically released film since Half Past Dead (2002).
  • This marks the third time Steven Seagal and Danny Trejo have appeared together in a movie. First, briefly, in Marked for Death (1990), and again in Urban Justice (2007).
  • While Steven Seagal has played an anti-hero on more than one occasion, this film will mark the first time he’s ever played a full-out villain.
  • A fake trailer for the film was released on May 5, 2010, through Ain’t It Cool News. The trailer opened with Danny Trejo saying, “This is Machete with a special Cinco de Mayo message to Arizona,” followed by scenes of gun fire, blood shed, and highlights of the cast. The fake trailer combined elements of the Machete trailer that appeared in Grindhouse with footage from the actual film, and implied that the film would be about Machete leading a revolt against anti-immigration politicians and border vigilantes. According to Fox News, critics of illegal immigration were offended by the contents of the movie trailer. Production of the film predates the legislation, however. Rodriguez later revealed the trailer to be a joke, explaining “it was Cinco de Mayo and I had too much tequila.” The official theatrical trailer was released on July 8, 2010.
  • Fake Trailer

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Talking Points:

  • Do you think the “Grind house” aspect of this is lost on typical audiences?
  • Why the hell would anyone bring kids to this movie?
  • Cheech Marin as a “serious” actor?

What We Learned:

  • How to steer a car with a machete through someones back
  • Intestines are 60 feet long and incredibly rope like
  • Weed Whackers make awesome weapons
  • Machete don’t text
  • DeNiro makes a more convincing Mexican than Seagal

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It was confusing on what this movie wanted to be. Had good laughs and some good action scenes but was just too inconsistent, meh.
Ray: Loved it, cant wait to see the next “Grindhouse” movie, I will definitely own this one!
Steve: Enjoyed it. I realized I laughed out loud several times during tense moments.

The Future: Devil

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Bojana Novakovic, Geoffrey Arend, Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Jacob Vargas, Bokeem Woodbine, Matt Craven, Jenny O’Hara

Trivia:

  • In October 2008, Shyamalan announced, with the partnership of Media Rights Capital, that Devil will be made with the Dowdle brothers as the directors and Brian Nelson as the screenwriter. A year later, filming started on October 26 in Toronto. There was additional shooting for the film several months later in Los Angeles.
  • The film was set to have a release date on February 11, 2011 but was bumped up to September 17, 2010. The film’s trailer debuted online on July 13, 2010. The trailer is also attached with Inception, The Expendables, Salt, The Other Guys, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
  • On June 23, 2010, Shyamalan announced the second film in The Night Chronicles, currently titled Fourteen Seconds. The film is about a jury discussing a case dealing with the supernatural. Chris Sparling is set to write the script but there is no director presently attached.

Talking Points: The Night Chronicles- Movies Written but not Directed by M.Night… at this point is his name hurting these films?

Summary:
Set in an office building, five strangers are riding in an elevator when they suddenly find themselves trapped. After several terrifying and inexplicable events occur, such as the local fire department unable to open the elevator, the people begin to turn against each other when they begin to suspect that one of them is in fact, the Devil.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Meh, Might be good but not that interested.
Ray: The first of the Night Chronicles… anything with M.Nights name on it makes me cringe, but the trailer does look interesting.
Steve: Trailer actually looks good to me. I like these “close quarters” kind of movies where everyone is a suspect. As long as I’m not able to figure it out right away, I’ll be happy.

Coming Attractions

The Past:  Indian Summer
The Present:  Resident Evil: Afterlife
The Future:  Gulliver’s Travels

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