MOV118: “I Aim To Misbehave”

In this reel of COL Movies, Ray and Jeff lament again for the missing Steven. When, WHEN will he come back. In the meantime they discuss the ever Shiny Firefly movie, Serenity. After a bit of reminiscing on show that never should have ended, they bring themselves to the present for The Bourne Legacy. In the future, they take a peak at Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. This and . . . and . . . well nothing else. It’s the 118th reel of COL Movies “I Aim To Misbehave”

The Past: Serenity
Rotten Tomatoes 82% Fresh 89% Audience

Director: Joss Whedon

Staring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Ron Glass, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite

Trivia:

  • When the Operative reviews Mal’s file, it shows his birth date as 9/20/2468. Firefly premiered 9/20/2002. Writer/producer Ben Edlund’ was born 9/20/1968.
  • According to Adam Baldwin, Jayne’s mini-gun is nicknamed “Lux”, after LuxLucre, devoted fan Kerry Pearson’s message board handle. Pearson, who died of complications of diabetes, was best known for creating fan art featuring characters from Firefly in a South Park cartoon style.
  • In the cargo bay, just after a Reaver is shot, some of the crates behind River have the message “Reusable Container: Do Not Destroy” printed on them. It’s an inside joke. The ship set had to be rebuilt from scratch for the movie because the original, from the show, was destroyed.
  • Universal Studios took the unusual step of allowing early previews of the unfinished film. The first preview was in November 2004 in California’s San Fernando Valley, when the release date was still early 2005. Further previews happened on May 5, 2005 (10 cities), May 26, 2005 (20 cities), and June 23, 2005 (35 cities). On July 22, 2005, a preview was held on Queensland, Australia’s Gold Coast.
  • The first Universal film released on HD-DVD (High Definition DVD).
  • The coffee maker in Serenity’s dining room/kitchen is an F.A. Porsche Design, made by Siemens.
  • EASTER EGG: From the main menu screen, keep clicking “left” until you light up a triangle with a dot in the center on the right side of the screen. The icon will take you to the full Fruity Oaty Bar commercial. In the DVD commentary, Joss Whedon admitted that he wanted the commercial to be as odd as possible. He said it was heavily inspired by the “Mr. Sparkle” advertisement from The Simpsons: In Marge We Trust The uncredited actor in the commercial and the Easter Egg segment is Robert Michael Lee.
  • Malcolm’s Social Control number is 099,836,5,4112.
  • The keyboard Mal uses to transmit the signal from Mr. Universe’s basement is a Micro Innovations Web Office Pro Keyboard.
  • This is the first film for which a digital cinema distribution master was made using the new DCI standards using JPEG2000 compression and a 12 bit 4:4:4 XYZ color space.
  • The cannon the crew mounts to Serenity is a WW2 German 20mm Flak 38.
  • Among the buildings shown in the opening sequence (where voice-over narration describes the “terraforming” process) are the Emirates Towers, key features of the skyline of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. A skyscraper in the foreground of the same shot is based on designs by Sir Norman Foster (Lord Foster), including the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt and the HSBC building in Hong Kong.
  • Morena Baccarin provides the voice for the security terminal in the records room.
  • To put River to sleep, Dr. Simon Tam says, “Eta Kooram Nah Smech!,” Russian for “This is very ridiculous” (literally “This is for hens to laugh!”).
  • Concept art for the film reveals that many of the weapons are based on paintball markers, with a propellant-tank mount point at the bottom of the rear grip, and an “expansion chamber”-style fore grip.
  • The DVD of Serenity was flown up to the International Space Station by astronaut Steven Swanson on board the shuttle Atlantis during its June 2007 STS-117 mission.
  • Mal’s drink of choice, Ng Ka Py, is a Chinese brandy. it appears in his quarters, and he ordered it in the first scene of Firefly: The Train Job.
  • The cast had a running gag where they would yell Summer Glau’s name whenever any of them flubbed a line or forgot to do something. It originated on Firefly when she forgot her line at the end of a very long and difficult scene. (Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin and Sean Maher can be seen doing this on the DVD blooper reel.)
  • Joss Whedon’s feature film directorial debut.
  • In his DVD commentary, Joss Whedon said Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau and Sean Maher performed many of their own stunts. Glau, a trained dancer, used her dancing skills in River’s two fights. For the second fight, the cameraman, who was also a dancer, moved through a gap around the combatants to achieve the movie’s dynamic camera angles.
  • According to the director commentary, Mal’s line “Faster would be better” was ad-libbed by Nathan Fillion when Joss Whedon told him to “say something Mal would say.”
  • Though the Trade Agent (the elderly man in the Trade Station who unlocks the safe) is played by Weston Nathanson, his voice was dubbed by Joss Whedon. According to Whedon, several of the stand-in voices from the early post-production stage remain in the final film, among them this and Morena Baccarin’s voice as the computer at the beginning of the film.
  • The events of the film take place six months after Firefly: Objects in Space, the final episode of the TV series. “Those Left Behind,” a three-issue comic book series written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, published by Dark Horse comics, and released during summer 2005, bridges that six-month gap.
  • The first nine minutes of Serenity were made available online as a promotion in advance of its theatrical release. Between the online release and the theatrical release, the brief cut to Alliance security personnel was changed from blue to red.
  • Ranked #5 in Rotten Tomatoes “50 Best TV Adaptations of All Time”
  • Though she did say all the lines, the actress that plays young River was dubbed over by Summer Glau to make the connection easier.
  • In addition to Book’s Christianity, which was established during the series, characters also practice Buddhism (Inara lights “incense” in front of a Buddha shrine in her room) and Judaism (Mr. Universe steps on a glass at the end of his wedding). In Firefly: The Message, the Postal Agent was wearing a yarmulke (kippah), which is worn by Orthodox Jews.
  • According to visual effects supervisor Loni Peristere, the Reaver ships are conceived along the lines of “muscle cars that look like Leatherface,” each representing a mask the Reavers wear. [Paste Magazine interview, October 4, 2005]
  • According to commentary, the crew made a mistake when building the mule hovercraft seen during the first chase sequence with the Reavers at the opening of the film. Zoe, Mal, Jayne, and River were all riding in the mule during the chase. In dialogue, when Zoe asks Mal why he didn’t save the man who begged them to take him with them during their escape, Mal responded that “The mule won’t run with five”. The production crew had accidentally built the mule with five seats, an initial oversight.
  • Summer Glau trained intensely with the fight choreographers for three months before principal photography began.
  • Originally, Joss Whedon wanted Greg Edmonson, who had scored the TV series, to score the movie. Edmonson couldn’t, so Whedon brought in composer Carter Burwell. After discussing the movie and submitting some demos, Burwell left the project due to differing opinions. Music executives at Universal insisted that Whedon hire a more familiar composer. Eventually David Newman was brought on to score the movie.
  • During Mal’s conversation with Inara over the wave, four of Mal’s scars are visible. All are from wounds he received during Firefly. The one on his chest was inflicted by Crow in Firefly: The Train Job. The one near his diaphragm is from a gunshot wound inflicted during Firefly: Out of Gas. The one on his side is from his duel with Atherton Wing in Firefly: Shindig. The one on his left shoulder is from the bullet graze in the pilot.
  • The opening credits appear 10 minutes into the film. They are shown in a 4 minute, unbroken take through different decks of Serenity.
  • According to the Official Serenity Companion, Whedon said that there was a “strong possibility” that Wash and Book would return if there was a Serenity sequel, although he acknowledged that it would have to be done in a way the audience would buy.
  • Mal mentions a poem that he has read about an Albatross. This is a reference to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
  • Spoilers
  • According to a Q&A with Joss Whedon and the cast after the premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, there were at least 20 separate takes of Simon and Kaylee’s final make-out scene in the engine room. Take #20 was used in the final cut.
  • The futuristic-looking handcuffs used on River are Clejuso Number 13s, the second heaviest handcuffs in use at the time.
  • During the funeral scene, Kaylee wears a medallion with the doubled Chinese character for joy/happiness/cheer, a symbol often used in weddings.
  • Summer Glau has said that she pitched the idea of River becoming a pilot during the Firefly television series. In this film, River finally becomes a co-pilot of Serenity.
  • Body count: 74
  • After they find the first body in the white city, a strange kind of stairway with a ramp appears. It’s an exact copy of the stairs in Robson Square in Vancouver, BC, Canada, designed by Arthur Erickson.
  • Several of the Reaver ships in the final battle are Alliance ships with different paint schemes.
  • On Miranda, the crew discovers dead citizens in a sealed room. The body of an old man in a lab coat wearing golden shoes appears just before River starts talking in Chinese. The shoes are Nike Flightposite III basketball shoes designed for Kevin Garnett, introduced around 2001.
  • According to Joss Whedon’s DVD commentary, the most difficult scene for sound was Simon and River’s final scene, after Simon is shot. Sean Maher and Summer Glau developed a strong bond during production of Firefly. Sean’s acting was so good that Summer kept bursting into tears whenever they attempted to shoot the scene.
  • According to his DVD commentary, Joss Whedon said the planet Miranda would’ve been discovered at the end of the second season if the show had been a success.
  • The funeral scene includes several real funeral customs. Zoë wears a white dress, the traditional Chinese color of mourning. Small rocks are placed on the grave markers of Mr. Universe, Book, and Wash, from the Jewish tradition of mourners placing a small stone on the grave at every visit.
  • Shepherd Book’s tombstone reveals his first name, Derrial. Wash’s tombstone shows that his full name is Hoban Washburne.
  • After Mr. Universe betrays the crew to the Alliance, he turns to the Operative and demands his “thirty coin,” a reference to Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
  • Joss Whedon revealed that the reason Wash and Book were killed off in the movie was because Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass could not commit to sequels. Universal Pictures wanted all the main actors who would appear in the sequels to be contractually available, meaning Whedon had to find a way of getting Tudyk and Glass out of the story. (In his original script, before he knew they couldn’t commit, all members of the crew survived, with Zoe and Wash promising to have children together.) Despite this Whedon has also revealed that there was a “strong possibility” that Wash and Book would return if a sequel ever was made — indicating that he had plans to find a way to bring them back.

Talking Points:

  • Did you watch the show?
  • Does this movie appeal to non fans?
  • Favorite Character?

What We Learned:

  • People don’t like to be Meddled with.
  • A hero is someone who gets other people killed
  • Half of writing history, is hiding the truth.
  • If you can’t do something smart, do something right.
  • Can’t stop the signal

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This was an excellent end to the Series that should not have ended so soon. A little upset about the deaths in the story but otherwise Whedon just can’t do wrong with this universe. Watch the Series, then watch the movie.
Ray: It’s a fun movie, and a nice send off to a very entertaining TV show. If you’ve never seen it then do yourself a favor and take the time to watch the series first.

The Present: The Bourne Legacy
Rotten Tomatoes 54% Rotten, 60% Audience

Director: Tony Gilroy

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton

Trivia:

  • Before this movie was seriously considered, director Paul Greengrass jokingly suggested to make a fourth Bourne movie called “The Bourne Redundancy”.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Alex Pettyfer, Joel Edgerton, Taylor Kitsch, Kellan Lutz, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Luke Evans, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Benjamin Walker and Erryn Arkin were considered to play the lead role.
  • When asked about his most difficult scene, Jeremy Renner revealed that it was the motorcycle ride with Rachel Weisz behind him in Manila, because he was responsible for the two of them. At the press conference of the film, Weisz was asked about this particular stunt, “How was it to ride on a motorcycle through Manila with Jeremy Renner?” and she said that “It was really terrifying! Jeremy never told me when we were in Manila, but that was the scariest stunt for him because he was responsible for my life. He didn’t tell me that in Manila, thank god, because I would have been like, ‘Oh, my god!’ I just had to surrender and hold on. I didn’t have to act. It just was terrifying”.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I think this was a very . . . nice movie. I got bored at points and felt like the movie was dragging a little but it also didn’t feel like a 2 hour movie. Liked the action, story was okay, it was fun. It was alright.
Ray: Very much like good Chinese food, tastes great while your eating it, but your hungry again an hour later. I think Renner did a great Job and can totally hold an action movie on his own, it’s unfortunate that it was this movie.

The Future: Django Unchained
Release: December 25, 2012

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio

Summary:

Django is a slave living in the Deep South after having been separated from his wife Broomhilda. When Django is held for a slave auction, Dr. King Schultz, a bounty hunter, frees Django from his vicious masters, the Speck brothers and gives him the option of hunting down and killing the Brittle Brothers, a ruthless gang of killers whom only Django has seen. In return, Schultz will free Django from slavery completely and help rescue Broomhilda from the plantation of the charming but ruthless Francophile owner, Calvin Candie.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Quentin Tarantino, revenge movie, alot of killing, sold.
Ray: It’s going to be a very interesting Christmas!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV079: “I don’t know, he’s on everybody else’s, why shouldn’t he be on mine?”

In the 79th reel of COL Movies, the boys go back in time to solve the mystery of 1985’s “Clue”. After the FBI breaks that case, they head to the theater to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play the originator of the FBI in “J. Edgar” (or Jedgar). Since Leo looked so much like a Muppet with all of that make-up on, they decide to review the trailer for the revival of “The Muppets”. In news, they talk about the possibility of the Dr. Who movie, a live-action/CGI Lego movie, and Eddie’s out and Billy’s in for the Oscars. It’s the 79th reel of COL Movies…”I don’t know, he’s on everybody else’s, why shouldn’t he be on mine?”

News:

The Past:Clue (1985)
Rotten Tomatoes: 70% Fresh, 85% Audience

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Starring: Tim Curry, Madelin Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull

Trivia:

  • Prof. Plum indicates at dinner that he works for the World Health Organization, part of the United Nations Organization. This means he works for UNO WHO.
  • Three endings were shot, and a different one shown at each theater. All three are included on video. The DVD, however, aside from all three endings, also offers the option to play the movie with one randomly selected ending. In some cities, the newspaper print ads indicated which version (“Ending A”, “Ending B” or “Ending C”) was being shown at each theater.
  • The parquet floor in the Hall resembles the ‘Clue’ game board.
  • There are few departures from the original board game; in the movie the hall has been transformed into part of the playing board and has been replaced by the front doors. This was probably done so that the rooms didn’t have to stand alone.
  • Eileen Brennan also starred in the film adaptation of Murder by Death, Neil Simon’s parody of murder mysteries.
  • Differences in two weapons in the film include that the revolver in the board game is most commonly a pepperbox revolver (an early 1800s revolver with the six bullet chambers jutting out from the main gun parts). However, it is changed to a regular .38 caliber revolver to possibly keep up with the modern time period the film is set in. The lead pipe in the game was also bent at an angle, to emphasize the fact that it was (possibly) used in Mr. Boddy’s murder; the film shows it completely straight.
  • The first movie based on a board game.
  • in the movie, “Hill House”, was named after the producer of the movie, Debra Hill.
  • Madeline Kahn ad-libbed the short monologue about her hatred for Yvette the French maid.
  • The screams heard when the characters rush to the maid in the billiard room are not from the actress playing the maid. They are from the actress playing Miss Scarlett, from the scenes where the dead body of the cook and the live body of Wadsworth fall out of the meat locker.
  • There is an inscription over the fireplace which reads “Nouveau Riche Oblige”.
  • The color of each characters car is the same color as their playing piece in the game.
  • The term ‘Schtupping’ is actually a crude German/Yiddish word for the sex act; this is why Madeline Kahn’s character in Blazing Saddles is named “Lilly Von Schtupp” for rather obvious reasons.
  • The actor playing Mr. Boddy is the front man of the punk rock band Fear, and was chosen because his name is Lee Ving – Mr. Boddy will be ‘LeaVing’ soon.
  • Kellye Nakahara’s movie debut.
  • The line “And monkey’s brains, although popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington DC” appears in two of the filmed endings.
  • During the scene in the kitchen at the beginning of the movie where Wadsworth is checking on dinner, you can see the Senator McCarthy hearings playing on the television. Thus another of the movie’s references to the communist scare during the 50’s.
  • The murder scenes from the movie are an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.
  • In the theatrical trailer, John Morris’ score is not used. In it’s place is Elmer Bernstein’s score from Airplane!.
  • The song Yvette is dancing to in the beginning of the film, “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” is the version recorded by Bill Haley & The Comets, only it is sped up with the pitch increased. This trick was also used in Airplane! in which the BeeGees song “Stayin’ Alive” is also played in a sped up version.
  • In the board game, only Professor Plum and Colonel Mustard any identifiable backgrounds given their titles. All of the other characters’ backgrounds are left ambiguous. However, on some editions of the board game, the covers show Mrs. White dressed as a maid.
  • In an interview conducted in November 2009, Jonathan Lynn stated that he had cast the film himself. He said that whilst actors were recommended to him via the casting department, it was his final decision on whom he would cast.His original choice for Wadsworth was British actor Leonard Rossiter, most famous for the role of Rigsby in Rising Damp, but he sadly passed away in 1984 just prior to pre-production, he was followed by Rowan Atkinson who was well known in England for his roles in Not the Nine O’Clock News and The Black Adder, but the studio felt he was to unknown to American audiences to be the leading actor in an American Production. Ironically Atkinson would go on to huge success with his character Mr. Bean in America some years later.Jonathan Lynn had known Tim Curry since they were teenagers, and personally asked him to be in the film.
  • The phone in the lounge lists the number as YL-7091. The corresponding number prefix (95) was reserved for radio station use in the 1950s.
  • John Cleese was considered for the role of Wadsworth.
  • According to an interview with writer Jonathan Lynn, after a screening on the 25th Anniversary of the film’s release, Carrie Fisher was originally to have been cast as Miss Scarlett, until she ended up in rehab four days before filming started. Lesley Ann Warren was a last-minute substitute.
  • Mrs. Peacock’s car is a Packard.
  • One of the photos burnt is a photo of Colonel Mustard and a soldier, both in US Army dress uniform. The soldier is likely his driver and the Motorist.
  • The film takes place in “New England,” as revealed in the opening scenes. Soon after, Miss Scarlet is picked up by Professor Plum and explains that she is on her way to Hill House, which is “off Route 41.” In real-life New England, there is a Route 41 that spans the northwestern section of Connecticut, continuing through the southwestern section of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So, Hill House, story-wise, is located in either of these two New England states.
  • In the opening scene when Wadsworth checks on Mrs. Ho the cook, the live-televised Army-McCarthy hearings are on the kitchen’s television. One phrase spoken by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy that can be heard clearly as Wadsworth departs, is “…professors and teachers, who are getting their orders from Moscow…” This Senate hearing is also the same one in which the famous quote of ‘…Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?’ is spoken by Head Counsel for the Army Joseph Welch. With the coverage of the hearings taking place on live television, the events of the movie take place on Wednesday June 09, 1954.
  • After the production concluded, the mansion set was bought by the producers of Dynasty, who used it as The Carlton Hotel.
  • While all the other rooms in Hill House were constructed on a sound stage, the room used for the Ballroom was actually located within the house used for the establishing matte shot, 160 S. San Rafael Avenue, Pasadena.
  • The painting behind Mr. Boddy’s chair in the dining room depicts Mr. Boddy in a butler’s uniform, foreshadowing the revelation in Ending C that Mr. Boddy was the real butler.
  • Originally, there were endings in which each character killed off everyone once, and then the ending where they all did it. However, the final cut would have made the movie over two and a half hours, and director Lynn thought it to be excessive, hence the three endings that are in the final cut.
  • When walking through the hall to the library, Col. Mustard pauses to look up at the chandelier that later in the film, almost kills him.
  • There was actually a fourth ending scripted and shot, in which Wadsworth committed all the murders out of a twisted need for perfection in his life. He reveals that he poisoned everyone with a slow-acting toxin in their drinks. It ended with Wadsworth being killed by dogs as he attempted to escape by car from the house. The rather grim nature of the ending is probably why it was never released. It was never shown because the film makers thought the ending would have been too obvious – it only survives in the novelization and the storybook, which features but a single photo from that ending (the Chief punching Wadsworth in the stomach).
  • The line, “Communism was just a red herring,” is said in all three endings (twice by Wadsworth and once by Miss Scarlet), and it is a pun. Particularly after World War II, the Russian communists were frequently called “Reds”, for example in the anti-communist slogan, “Better dead than Red.”
  • When Wadsworth cuts the power to the house during his solving of the mystery, it represents the point of divergence of the three endings.
  • We learn that Mr. Green is being blackmailed because he is a homosexual working for the government. Later on, J. Edgar Hoover calls the house. In “Ending C” where everyone is guilty, we learn that Mr. Green is really an FBI agent sent in to infiltrate the blackmailer. In a couple of ironic twists, J. Edgar Hoover has long been suspected of being a homosexual and in the 1950’s, Hoover started a case called “Operation: Babydoll” in which he gathered intelligence on possible homosexuals working in the federal government.
  • In Ending A, there is a discussion between Wadsworth, who believes the Revolver had been fired six times (he says “1 + 2 + 2 + 1”) and is empty, and Miss Scarlett who says there had been only five shots (she argues “1 + 2 + 1 + 1”). Wadsworth is proved wrong, and in the last line of Ending A he reviews his calculation: “1 plus 2 … plus 1 …” The camera cuts away as he continues speaking, so it is often unnoticed that the sum he actually utters is neither six or five, but seven.

Talking Points:

  • Didn’t do well in the box office – but received a cult following
  • Favorite ending(s)
  • The point of distributing the movie with three different endings.

What We’ve Learned:

  • Cars Get Frightened?
  • The double negative leads to proof positive
  • J Edgar Hoover is on every one’s phone.
  • Monkey Brains are a Cantonese delicacy

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One of my favorite movies of all time, well put together, well acted and cleverly written. It hits all my buttons. Everyone should see it at least once.
Ray: Tim Curry shines in this.. but it’s hard not to shine when the rest of the movie is so dull. The Cast looks incredible on paper.. but fails in execution. Ill take “The Private Eyes” over this one any day.
Steve: I’ve always enjoyed this movie. The variety of characters are fun and I really enjoy Tim Curry’s performance. It’s campy fun.

Intermission:

The Present: J Edgar
Rotten Tomatoes: 41% Rotten, 66% Audience

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts

Trivia:

  • Joaquin Phoenix was rumored to play Clyde Tolson, but the rumors were denied.
  • Charlize Theron was originally cast as Helen Gandy, but dropped out to do Snow White and the Huntsman. Amy Adams was then considered, but Naomi Watts was ultimately cast.
  • Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson, is the great-grandson of Occidental Petroleum tycoon Armand Hammer. In his biography of Hammer (the tycoon, not the actor) called “Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer,” author Edward Jay Epstein reported that the tycoon had a multi-decade history of being scrutinized and suspected of Soviet ties by J. Edgar Hoover.
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Lawman”.

Talking Points:

  • Relevance to today’s political / social climate
  • Theme of secrets?
  • GLBT Theme & brief mention of cross-dressing – did you expect it?
  • audience response to kiss

What We Learned:

  • Fame if unchecked, leads to villainy
  • What determines a man’s legacy is often never seen
  • The Ladies appreciate facial hair
  • Senator McCarthy was an opportunist not a patriot
  • Sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to keep your country safe.
  • Admiration can’t fill the spot love goes, or warm your bed
  • Solid weight looks good on a man

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: This movie surprised me in how much I ended up enjoying it. Still a little iffy on Di Caprio’s vocal performance but enjoyed it overall. Also surprised on all the homosexual references and undertones. I think it’s a worth see but pretty sure will be put in the GLBT category for subject.
Ray:I found the pacing extremely slow, and the structure a little confusing. The Makeup was a huge distraction for me as well. I find the message of this movie is still relevant today… just replace the word “Radical” with “Terrorist” but ultimately I was disappointed with this because I felt if focused too much on his actions and not his motivations.
Steve: The first 45 mins to an hour were utterly boring to me. After waking up, I enjoyed the rest of it. I like biopics to a point, but would have been much more interested in seeing more about the FBI versus just all the “secrets” about him and those he held about others.

The Future: The Muppets

Director: James Bobin

Starring: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper

Summary:

When 3 Muppet fans learn that Tex Richman wants to drill under the muppet theater for oil Gary, Mary and Walter set out to find the Muppet’s who have been split up for years

Trivia:

  • First theatrically-released Muppet film not to include Frank Oz or Jerry Nelson as Muppeteers.
  • Of all the actors and actresses making cameos in this film, ‘Liza Minnelli’ and Alan Arkin are the only ones to ever appear on The Muppet Show, back in 1979. Although Whoopi Goldberg appeared in an episode of the follow-up series Muppets Tonight in 1996 – a series set in a TV studio, not the classic Muppet Theater revisited in this film.
  • When not being used the Muppets got placed into a large bed so that they are simply “sleeping”. One day a group of young schoolchildren visited the set and, when the characters didn’t respond to them, they immediately began sobbing and were certain that the characters were dead.

Talking Points:

  • Will being a Disney franchise possibly change the “feel”?

Trailer #1:

Trailer #2:

Excitement:
Jeff: THE MUPPETS!!!! YEY!!!! *giggles like a 5 yo*
Ray: I wouldn’t be running out to the theater to see this if it wasn’t for this show.. but it makes me happy that the Muppet’s are still going. I hope the movie is successful if only so that they can continue and be introduced to new generations.
Steve: I’m glad that they are coming back, for sure. I have always loved the movies, although I can’t say that I’d run out to see them in the theater. Muppets have always been a fun at-home experience for me. I am interested in seeing how they update them for today’s audience, though.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV011: “You Musn’t Be Afraid To Dream A Little Bigger, Darling!”

Tron reveals too much, Comic-con in review, Beauty and The Beast in 3D, Is “The Kid’s All Right” All Right, Quentin Tarantino shows us True Romance, We find out if it’s all just a dream, and Jeff yawns at Johnny Depp’s lizard.

News:

The Past: True Romance (1993)

Director: Tony Scott (Written By Quintin Tarantino)

Staring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rappaport, Bronson Pinchot, Saul Rubinek, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson

Trivia:

  • Bronson Pinchot Ad-Libbed the scene when he was caught with the cocaine
  • The screenplay of True Romance (1993) was originally part of a very long screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. The other half of it was used for the film Natural Born Killers (1994). In both films Tom Sizemore plays a cop.
  • The word “fuck” and its derivatives are said 225 times
  • There are 21 on-screen deaths, all male, all from death by gunshot
  • Dennis Hopper was concerned about being “shot” by Christoper Walken in the eggplant scene with the gun so close to his head and the possibility of being burned, Director Tony Scott had the propmaster use the same gun to fire it against his own head. Apon Firing the gun barrel extended about a third of an inch, and scott ended up on the floor with blood pouring from the wound.
  • Michael Rappaport has a fear of roller coasters, and suffers from accute motion sickness.. the scene was filmed over 2 days, and if you look closely you can tell which scenes were shot on the first day (he looks apprehensive and nauseous) and the second day (he looks calm and oblivious to his surroundings) due to the crew giving him “something” to calm his nerves
  • Tarantino’s original ending had Clarence dying in the gun battle, leaving Alabama a widow. Tarantino said that he intended Alabama to turn to crime and join with Mr. White, a character from Reservoir Dogs (1992) (which he wrote and directed). In a flashback scene in Reservoir Dogs (1992), Mr. White is asked about “Alabama”
  • Director Tony Scott is brother to other famous Director Ridley Scott

Talking Points:

  • Lots of cameos/actors before they were big.
  • Impressive how Alabama gets beat up and survives a fire fight, yet has perfect teeth!
  • Had some “Heathers-ish” vibes to it (gun toating Christian Slater, righting wrongs, music)

What We’ve Learned:

  • It aint white boy day.
  • If your going to accidentally steal cocaine from the mob, its best not to leave your drivers license in the hand of your wife’s dead pimp.
  • Theres a difference between a Whore and a Call-Girl
  • Its better to have a gun and not need it, then to need a gun and not have it.
  • If you’re going to have an imaginary friend, it may as well be Elvis!

Trailer:

Recommendations:

Jeff: Meh, good enough Rental.
Ray: Love it, I can watch this movie over and over and over again.
Steve: Enjoyed it! Had no idea this movie existed, but liked it a lot.

The Present: Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan

Staring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphey, Tom Berenger, Michael Cain, Marion Cotillard

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • Basically we saw all the special effects set pieces in the trailer.. was anyone surprised by anything in the movie?
  • Was this movie overly complicated?
  • This movie had a unrelenting pace.. did you find it hard to keep up with it?
  • Did anyone else feel some of the music sounded like Mortal Kombat?
  • Would 3-D have enhanced this movie?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Don’t trust reality…it could all just be a dream.

Trailer:

Recommendations:

Jeff: Avatar-ish in that it’s just another heist movie but done differently in a very good way.
Ray: While I enjoyed it, I found the whole thing rather cold and uninspired.
Steve: Enjoyed it, especially Tom Hardy! (who by the way is the new Mad Max) 🙂

The Future: Rango

Starring: Voices of Johnny Depp, Timothy Olyphant, Ned Beatty, Ray Winstone, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Bill Nighy

Trivia:

  • Director Gore Verbinski was the creator of the Budweiser Frogs
  • This is Industrial Light and Magic’s first full length animated film.

Talking Points:

  • Anyone see the original teaser trailer? Bizzare.
  • Supposedly this is using motion capture tech to capture Johnny’s performance, does it look mo-capped to you?
  • At 1:47 in the trailer, is it just me or does the guy driving the car look very much like Johnny Depp’s version of Hunter S. Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Trailer:

Excitement:

Jeff: Another animated movie to roll my eyes at.
Ray: I think it looks fun, I’m interested to see what Johnny Does in an animated movie not directed by Tim Burton.
Steve: Next… 🙂

Coming Attractions: Steve

The Past: The Pirate Movie
The Present: Salt
The Future: Paranormal Activity 2

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MOV005: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Ray, Steve and Jeff discuss the announcement of the next Transformers Villian, Voltron coming to the big screen, a Wizard of Oz Prequel, Bear City Premieres, Chuck & Buck, The A-Team, and the Inception Trailer.

News:

The Past: Chuck & Buck (2000)

Director: Miguel Arteta

Staring: Mike White (Buck) , Chris Weitz (Chuck)

Trivia:

  • Mike White who wrote and stared in chuck and buck got himself eaten by a zombie in zombieland by violating rule #2, Beware of Bathrooms.
  • Chris Weitz went on to direct and produce such *cough” masterpieces like New Moon and The Golden Compass.
  • When Chuck turns to the TV in his office and claims to have signed the band whose video is playing, the TV is showing They Might be Giants playing their song “Dr. Worm”.

Talking Points:

  • James Keller says the film explores “the hysterical fear of exposure some heterosexual males experience” when they have had sexual relations with another man
  • Have any of us had straightboy crushes or crushes on the guys we’ve been trying to figure out?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Mike White can be really creepy.
  • Stalkers are scary, don’t entertain people who you think may be displaying stalker-ish behaviors!.
  • You never know when you’re going to run into people from your past!! So be prepared!!
  • “I’ve got freedom of my heart, it’s a brand new start” will give you nightmares if you hear it too often in one sitting.
  • Oodalee oodalee oodalee FUCK YOU! MAKE IT STOP!
  • Never invite your straight best friend over so you can blow him when you’re starting to get over him.
  • And Jeff can never watch this movie, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he’d run screaming from the room for 99% of the movie.

Trailer:

  • Impossible to find an embeddable one, but there are 2 versions on IMDB. Link.

Recommendations:

Jeff: Can’t recommend it. Can’t not recommend it either.
Ray: If the Idea of a Gay Stalker version of Napoleon Dynamite doesn’t scare you..go see it!
Steve: Wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone.

The Present: The A-Team

Director: Joe Carnahan

Staring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel

Trivia:

  • Bruce Willis was considered for role of Hannibal Smith
  • Common, Ice Cube & The Game were all rumored for BA Baracus
  • John Singleton was the first director, but left when the film went into turnaround by the studio
  • Woody Harrelson & Ryan Reynolds were considered for Murdock
  • Amber Heard & Olga Kurylenko auditioned for role of Lt Sosa
  • Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was originally scheduled to face his heated rival Rashad Evans at a December UFC event. Jackson’s decision to act in The A-Team movie led to a war of words between himself and Dana White, president of UFC. Due to the conflict, On September 22, 2009, Jackson wrote on his website that he is “done fighting”, and would officially retire from the sport. However, now that filming is complete, Jackson and Evans are fought on May 29, 2010. Evans won via unanimous decision over Jackson.

Talking Points:

  • CGI vs Staged Stunts – which is better??? Did anyone else think the end sequence felt very Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull??
  • Is it a new trend to show teasers in the trailer that aren’t actually in the movie for the big budget flicks? (noticed this both for A Team – window washing scene BA didn’t whistle the A Tram theme & Iron Man 2 – Tony didn’t do the “You complete me” quote)

What We’ve Learned:

  • Not only can OLD helicopters do barrel rolls, they have bullet proof rotors
  • Its completely possible to fly a tank
  • BA Baracus is a very complicated character
  • Only good guys can shoot accurately
  • Never trust the government
  • If a complete stranger shoots you in the arm..its ok as long as your both ex Army Rangers

Trailer:

Recommendations:

Jeff: See it! See it NOW!
Ray: If you were a fan of the show or fan of over the top action flicks..see it..otherwise its wait for video.
Steve: Would recommend it to people who like action, shoot-em-ups & who liked the original TV show.

The Future: Inception

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Berenger & Michael Caine

Trivia:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio was the first actor to be cast in the film. He and Nolan spent months talking about the screenplay. In addition, Nolan took a long time re-writing the script in order “to make sure that the emotional journey of his character was… the driving force of the movie”.
  • During production, details of the film’s plot were kept secret. Christopher Nolan, who wrote the script, cryptically described it as a contemporary sci-fi action thriller “set within the architecture of the mind.”
  • Early on, James Franco was in talks with Christopher Nolan for a role. However, due to scheduling conflicts, he was unavailable to join the cast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast in the role offered to Franco.
  • The labyrinthine style of the movie’s logo resembles the logo of Christopher Nolan’s production company Syncopy.
  • Evan Rachel Wood was Christopher Nolan’s first choice to play Ariadne, but she turned it down.
  • After Evan Rachel Wood turned down the role of Ariadne, Christopher Nolan considered casting Emily Blunt, Keira Knightley and Emma Roberts, but chose Ellen Page instead.
  • Christopher Nolan’s first film since his feature debut, Following (1998), that is a completely original work. All of his films between them are either remakes or based on comics, novels or short stories.
  • Tom Berenger’s first film to receive a theatrical release in the U.S. since Training Day (2001).
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan’s only choice for the role of Cobb.
  • The name of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is the same as that of the protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s first feature film, ‘Following’.
  • Nolan worked on the script for 9 to 10 years
  • Script is loosey based on movies like The Matrix, Dark City & Thirteenth Floor where the main priciples are that the world around you might not be real.
  • In the spring of 2010 a viral marketing campaign was started for the film. On June 2, 2010 a manual was sent out to various companies. The manual was filled with bizarre images and text all relating to Inception. No one was really able to make out what it all meant and how it ties into the film. As the month went on, more and more viral marketing began to surface including, posters, ads and strange websites all related to the film
  • Special effects expert Chris Corbould and his team built giant rotating hallways and a massive tilting nightclub for scenes where dream-sector physics become chaotic. One of the film’s actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, spent several weeks learning to fight in a corridor that spun like “a giant hamster wheel”. Nolan said of the device, “It was like some incredible torture device; we thrashed Joseph for weeks, but in the end we looked at the footage, and it looks unlike anything any of us has seen before. The rhythm of it is unique, and when you watch it, even if you know how it was done, it confuses your perceptions. It’s unsettling in a wonderful way”.

Talking Points:

  • Inception was first developed by Christopher Nolan, based on the notion of “exploring the idea of people sharing a dream space-entering a dream space and sharing a dream. That gives you the ability to access somebody’s subconscious. What would that be used and abused for?”
  • Furthermore, he thought “being able to extract information from somebody’s brain would be the obvious use of that because obviously any other system where it’s computers or physical media, whatever – things that exist outside the mind – they can all be stolen … up until this point, or up until this movie I should say, the idea that you could actually steal something from somebody’s head was impossible. So that, to me, seemed a fascinating abuse or misuse of that kind of technology”.
  • He had thought about these ideas on and off since he was 16 years old, intrigued by how he would wake up and then, while falling back into a lighter sleep, hold on to the awareness that he was dreaming, a lucid dream. He also became aware of the feeling that he could study the place and alter the events of the dream
  • He said, “I tried to work that idea of manipulation and management of a conscious dream being a skill that these people have. Really the script is based on those common, very basic experiences and concepts, and where can those take you? And the only outlandish idea that the film presents, really, is the existence of a technology that allows you to enter and share the same dream as someone else”.
  • Originally, he had written the film as a heist film but found that “traditionally [they] are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms”. Upon revisiting his script, he decided that basing it in that genre did not work because the story “relies so heavily on the idea of the interior state, the idea of dream and memory. I realized I needed to raise the emotional stakes.”
  • Nolan has said that the film “deals with levels of reality, and perceptions of reality which is something I’m very interested in. It’s an action film set in a contemporary world, but with a slight science-fiction bent to it”, while also describing it as “very much an ensemble film structured somewhat as a heist movie. It’s an action adventure that spans the globe”.

Summary:
Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.

Trailer:

Excitement:

Jeff: Intrigued
Ray: Hope it doesn’t end the way im thinking it will.
Steve: Effects look cool…interested in seeing how it all comes together.

Coming Attractions:

The Past: Soldier’s Girl
The Present: Get Him To The Greek
The Future: Resident Evil: Afterlife

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