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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MOV106: “1.21 GIGAWATTS!”

It’s another “very special episode” (haven’t we jumped the shark, yet?) where we look back on the Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox “Back to the Future” franchise.  After just shy of 6 hours of movies, we head to the theater to check out the summer blockbuster based on a Hasbro game, “Battleship”.  Lastly, we take a look at the Tim Burton animated film based on his 1984 short film, “Frankenweenie”.  In news, Guillermo del Toro is taking on big budget SciFi, “GI Joe 2” is getting bumped back a year for 3D post-coversion, “Ted” takes GI Joe 2’s spot, “The Exorcist” and news on the “RoboCop”  remake.  It’s the 106th reel of COL Movies…”1.21 GIGAWATTS!”

News:

The Past: Back To The Future
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% Fresh, 88% Audience

The Past: Back To The Future II
Rotten Tomatoes: 64% Fresh, 80% Audience

The Past: Back To The Future III
Rotten Tomatoes: 73% Fresh, 74% Audience

Director: Robert Zemeckis

​Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Mary Steenburgen

Trivia:

  • The first film was the highest-grossing film of 1985 and became an international phenomenon, leading to the second and third films which were filmed back-to-back and released in 1989 and 1990 respectively. Though the two sequels did not perform quite as well at the box office as the first film, the trilogy remains immensely popular after a quarter of a century and has yielded such spin-offs as an animated television series and a motion-simulation ride at the Universal Studios Theme Parks in Universal City, California; Orlando, Florida (now closed), and Osaka, Japan, as well as a Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, iPad, PS3 and Wii video game. The film’s visual effects were done by Industrial Light and Magic. All together, the trilogy was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one (Best Sound Editing).
  • As of June 2011 the Back to the Future series is the fourteenth highest grossing trilogy of all time at the domestic market (adjusted for inflation), seventeenth highest grossing trilogy of all time at the domestic market (not adjusted for inflation), and the thirteenth highest grossing trilogy of all time, worldwide (not adjusted for inflation).

Talking Points:

  • ​Anyone notice anything they never saw before?
  • What is your favorite of the three?
  • Can you really see one without seeing the others?

Critic Notes

  • Back to the Future:
  • Positives: Great performances, story is well paced, fun mix of ingenuity and nostalgia
  • Negatives: Tries to be too clever, so it trips itself up at times
  • Back to the Future II:
  • Positives: Very screwy, but fun; Not as confusing as #1, giddy and fun
  • Negatives: Make ups at different ages were poorly done, tried too hard, overloaded
  • Back to the Future III:
  • Positives: Much more simple plot than #2, so refreshing and fun; Great nod to westerns
  • Negatives: Bland and forgettable, runs out of energy

What We Learned:

  • ​My God Back To The Future III had alot of facial hair
  • If Emmett Brown built his time machine in this day in age, it would have been a Tesla Roadster and he would have avoided alot of problems.
  • Whatever your parents said they did or did not do when they were your age? Don’t believe a word of it.
  • 2015 is only 3 years from now..and we still don’t have flying cars.

Trailers:

Back to the Future:

Back to the Future II:

Back to the Future III:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This has been always a classic trilogy to me. The first one is a classic and the best, the other two were just some extra added fun. I say it’s totally worth a buy as a complete collection.
Ray: So, I do love the first move, seen it hundreds of times. I think the second movie is ok, but you can only really watch it if you have seen the first movie, but to me other than some eye candy the third movie is totally skip-able.
Steve: Big fan of #1…the other 2 were somewhat throw aways for me. Watching them over, I realized how much I wanted to just fast forward through 2 & 3. I loved the concept and as a teenager in 1985, I wished I was Marty McFly!

The Present: Battleship

Rotten Tomatoes: 37% Fresh; 57% Audience

Director: Peter Berg

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, John Tui, Jesse Plemons, Tadanobu Asano, Gregory D. Gadson, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

Trivia:

  • Jeremy Renner was cast as Alex Hopper, but dropped out in order to co-star in The Master, which he also later dropped out of.
  • The movie is based on the Milton Bradley game “Battleship” that has been manufactured since 1931. The original paper and pencil version of the game predates World War I.
  • Some of the artillery used in the film is shaped like the pegs used in the game.
  • Teresa Palmer and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley auditioned for the role of Sam.
  • Singer Rihanna’s feature film – and acting – debut.
  • The battleship Missouri was the key plot of the movie Under Siege, where it was about to be decommissioned. In Battleship, this boat is set as a museum.
  • The clips showing ‘the world at riot, coming to an Apocalypse’ are actual news clips captured during the riots in the United Kingdom in 2011.
  • During the filming of the soccer game sequence, an American and a Japanese warship each pulled into dock near the field. They were promptly drafted into being extras, and can be seen standing on the prows of their respective ships cheering and clapping for the game.
  • The scene when Alex Hopper breaks into the convenience store to get the chicken burrito is a spoof of a real convenience store robbery – the security video for which went viral on YouTube. The actual robber fell from the ceiling twice.

Talking Points:

  • So, is this movie bad? or are we just spoiled? Why would a movie make 200million overseas, but do absolutely terrible here.
  • Anyone get the “Top Gun” vibe from this?
  • So was it meant to be serious? or was it satire?
  • Was this a nod to Memorial Day? “Don’t forget our Veterans”-kind of movie? or just an advert to say “when the world works together, we can accomplish anything”?

Critic Notes:

  • Positive: Adrenaline filled fun, sincere salute to Naval veterans, it knows it’s big and dumb so it goes for it
  • Negative: 2 hour Navy recruiting film, preposterous, noisy and overbearing, just a big dumb summer movie

What We Learned:

  • ​Even though life evolved on a planet in the same distance from the sun as ours.. the inhabitants will be super sensitive to sunlight
  • Aliens apparently have the same uses for the colors red and green like we do.
  • The government somehow forgot how to put satellites into geosynchronous orbit
  • John Tui is fucking HOT!

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: While there are some weak points in the plot, the battles just kept getting better and better. I enjoyed this movie alot. The first part of the movie before we get out to sea when Hopper meets the girl could have been completed removed and it would not have changed the movie. Sure not the greatest action movie in the world, but I think they did a decent job. Theater is okay but waiting for rental is okay too.
Ray: This is the biggest budget syfi channel movie I have ever seen! If you enjoy those you will enjoy this. Otherwise stay away…far away.
Steve: Wow…I want to say I hated it, but I didn’t. Definitely just had to shut off my brain and watch the special effects, otherwise I would have been mad at myself for sitting through it. I have no reason to ever see this again.

The Future: Frankenweenie

Release: September 14, 2012

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short

Summary:

After the death of his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring him back to life. Victor tries to hide his creation, but Sparky gets out and causes havoc in the town

Talking Points

  • Anyone see the original short?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: For some reason I’m completely non-plussed about this movie. Looks pretty good but I’m in the Meh camp here.
Ray: Something ill probably see, mostly because of my liking of Burton’s other animated films..not sure its a run out to the theater and see it kinda movie though.
Steve: As a “most of the time” Burton fan, I’ll probably see it on video (if possible). Seems like fun.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV099: “A Titan Against A Titan!!”

In this reel of COL Movies, it’s a veritable Titan-fest, when the boys review both the 1981 and 2010 versions of “Clash of the Titans”. Of course, this leads them to the current follow-up to the 2010 movie, “Wrath of the Titans”. Are these “epic” tales even…um…epic? In trailer-world, they review the historical “mash up” novel come to life in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, slated for a June release. Finally, in news, the boys break down the best movie-related April Fools jokes they found. All this and we’re only 1 episode away from our historical 100th episode!! It’s the 99th reel of COL Movies…”A Titan Against A Titan!!”

News:

The Past: Clash of the Titans (1981)
Rotten Tomatoes: 65% Fresh, 69% Audience

Director: Desmond Davis

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom

Trivia:

  • This big budget 1981 release became the last feature film for which Ray Harryhausen created the special effects. It was also the only one in which he had assistants.
  • According to mythology there was Cerberus, the THREE-headed dog but no Dioskilos with two. They asked Ray Harryhausen why he didn’t use a three-headed dog, and he said it takes too much time to animate the extra head.
  • Ironically, none of the Titans from Greek mythology appear in Clash of the Titans. In the movie the Titans are the Norse Kraken (who never appeared in Greek mythology at all) and Medusa (who was never considered a Titan by the Greeks).
  • The character Calibos, son of Thetis, does not appear in Greek mythology.
  • Bubo, the mechanical owl, was introduced to capitalize on the popularity of R2-D2 from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The name “Bubo” is a scientific term for the genus of eagle owls and horned owls, which is interesting because the robot Bubo is modeled on a barn owl, which is the genus Tyto, and not a Bubo at all.

Trailer

The Past: Clash of the Titans (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes: 28% Rotten, 48% Audience

Director: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Trivia:

  • Director Louis Leterrier frequently requested that Ray Harryhausen, co-producer and visual effects creator of Clash of the Titans, be involved in the film. However, Harryhausen had retired in 1981 and would not be drawn back.
  • The mechanical owl Bubo from Clash of the Titans has a cameo as the toy Perseus picks up before he leaves on his quest. According to the filmmakers, the cameo was widely debated as to whether to keep it in the film or not. It was eventually decided to keep it in the film to please the fans of the original film.
  • While the film is primarily based on Greco-Roman mythology, aspects of it are drawn from other cultures. The Kraken comes from Norse mythology, and the Djinn originated in the Arabian/Oriental regions, while Cepheus’s snipe about Perseus being a missionary might hint at the coming Christianity (Christians often served as missionaries).
  • In Greek mythology, Io is Perseus’ great great great great great great great grandmother, and an old flame of his father Zeus.
  • This film begins with a set of constellations portraying history’s events. Clash of the Titans ended with a set of constellations portraying history’s events (though not the same constellations).
  • Sam Worthington’s sandals are Nike trainers with toes painted on them; he didn’t wear sandals because he needed shoes to perform the stunts well.
  • A replica of the owl Bubo used in Clash of the Titans was used for this film. Sam Worthington hated it and threatened to destroy it when director Louis Leterrier wasn’t looking. According to Leterrier, “Worthington would say: ‘This is ridiculous! This is a ridiculous thing to have in the movie! You’re going to ruin my career with that owl!’
  • Louis Leterrier originally wanted to make the film in 3D but Warner Brothers nixed the idea as it was too expensive. After the success of Avatar, the studio reconsidered. At this stage, however, most of the filming had been done so the 3D conversion was a retrofit.
  • The 3D conversion cost $10 million
  • Louis Leterrier donned a green suit for the green screen sequences so that he could act out the part of the Kraken.
  • The Stygian Witches were actually played by men.
  • Luke Evans plays Apollo, a son of Zeus. He went on to play Zeus himself a year later in Immortals.
  • According to the director, the movie was meant to end with Perseus and Andromeda ending up together (as in all previous tellings of the Perseus story) with Perseus and Io’s relationship being purely platonic. However the studio disliked this idea and the movie was re-shot to have Perseus and Io end up together.

Trailer

Talking Points:

  • Story Differences

What We’ve Learned:

  • Throwing your unwed daughter and grandson into the sea is a perfectly acceptable solution to the teen pregnancy problem in greece
  • 100 good deeds cannot atone for one murder
  • The moon affects the brain
  • Divine gifts should be accepted without question
  • Don’t fuck with the gods….literally

Recommendations:
Jeff: In all honesty, I think I like the 1981 Story better. I would have loved to see what it would have been like with the 2010 technology. The Owl may have been a bit silly and might have been some consessions to remove it for a 2010 version, but still, would have liked it better if they stayed true to the original. In either way I think both movies are enjoyable and watchable. Rentals for sure, wish Netflix had them on streaming.
Ray: I will always pick the 1981 version over the 2010. For me the 1981 version is at it’s heart an old fashioned adventure epic. The 2010 version just felt like a revenge film… with no sense of adventure. Skip seeing 2010 clash in 3D (blu-ray), I watched 90% of it with my glasses off.
Steve: 1981 version blows the 2010 version away! OK…1981 doesn’t hold up as far as the technology, but it was totally epic when it came out. It also comes off much more slowly paced, but that helps in the build up of the big fights and you actually feel for the characters. 2010 just seems like it wanted to update the film and it didn’t have the same feeling. It was just a film about mythology that was fun to watch – in 2D.

The Present: Wrath of the Titans
Rotten Tomatoes: 24% Rotten; 52% Audience

Directors: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike

Trivia:

  • Javier Bardem was considered for the role of Ares, and James Franco was considered to play Agenor. Ultimately Édgar Ramírez and Toby Kebbell were cast.
  • The role of Andromeda was recast in this movie, and contenders were Hayley Atwell, Georgina Haig, Janet Montgomery, Dominique McElligott and Clémence Poésy. She was previously portrayed by Alexa Davalos.
  • Alexa Davalos is the only surviving cast member not to return, citing she was ‘unavailable’ for the sequel. Rosamund Pike was then cast as Andromeda.
  • Gemma Arterton was originally supposed to return, but scheduling conflicts with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters prevented the actress from taking the role.
  • The title in Spanish for the first movie (and the old one) is “Furia de Titanes”, Which in English means Wrath of the Titans, the name of this sequel.
  • Hephaestus is seen conversing with Bubo, the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans.

Talking Points:

  • The story of father and son.
  • Forced “epic” nature
  • Mythology and plot holes

What We Learned:

  • There are no good gods
  • There are many useless demigods
  • When a god dies it isn’t death, just absence
  • Its perfectly acceptable to use the plural form of the word Titan in the title of your movie when in fact there maybe only ONE or maybe even NO Titans is your film.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: This movie was very enjoyable to me. It did feel epic at time but the hooks
Ray: I enjoyed this much more than the Clash remake, I think they would have been better off skipping clash and just made this the first time. Critics are calling this “Bland” although I’m not sure why exactly. It’s not great, but it was entertaining and they could have done worse. 3D was used to much better effect in this one and actually got a flinch outta me. And god damn it STOP TEASING ME WITH THE OWL!
Steve: My biggest problem with this movie was that it felt like it was trying to convince me it was this “epic” that really didn’t reach that pinnacle. There were definitely some plot holes that annoyed me and some big liberties taken with the mythology. I thought it was better than the 2010 Clash, but just for the pure entertainment value.

The Future: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Release: 6-22-2012

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper

Summary:

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. President Lincoln’s mother was killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.

Talking Points

  • Tom Hardy was approached for the title role of Lincoln, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Dark Knight Rises. Later, Eric Bana, Timothy Olyphant, Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D’Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen were considered to play the role before Benjamin Walker was cast.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was the first choice for the role of Henry Sturgess, but turned it down.
  • Is said that the film will mix numerous historical parts of the American Civil War with the book’s rich “vampire hunter” imagery.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was originally scheduled to be released in 2D and 3D on October 28, 2011, but was later pushed back to June 22, 2012.
  • What do you think about the mix of a historical real life person being portrayed in this way?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’ve wanted to see this kind of movie since I heard about the book. The trailer didn’t impress me much besides show me the tone of the movie. I’d love to go see this.
Ray: Wait you mean this isn’t a comedy? WTF. I’m excited that Timur is directing, that’s about it.
Steve: Personally, it looks very Sherlock Holmes, but I am excited about seeing what comes of it. Looks like it was very well shot and it will have an interesting storyline.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV041: “More Human than Human”

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Can an identity be stolen completely in just a couple of days? Can you really solve a mystery by jumping back to the last 8 minutes of someone’s life? All this and news on this week’s COL Movies.

News:

The Past: Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Howard, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Trivia:

  • While the film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, the title comes from a book by Alan Nourse called “The Bladerunner”. William S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book and a novella entitled “Blade Runner: A Movie.”Ridley Scott bought the rights to the title but not the screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines a blade runner as “a person who sells illegal surgical instruments”
  • Although Philip K. Dick saw only the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death on March 2, 1982, he was extremely impressed, and has been quoted by Paul Sammon as saying, “It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly.” However neither Ridley Scott nor screenwriter David Webb Peoples actually read Dick’s novel.
  • Exasperated crews often referred to the film as “Blood Runner”.
  • Titles considered for the film include ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, ‘Android’, ‘Mechanismo’, ‘Dangerous Days’, and finally ‘Blade Runner’. After the film had changed its name from ‘Dangerous Days’ to ‘Blade Runner’, Ridley Scott decided he didn’t like the new name, and tried to call the film ‘Gotham City’, but Bob Kane (comic book creator of Batman) wouldn’t sell the rights to the name, so it returned to being called ‘Blade Runner’.
  • Originally, the novel (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) was set in 1992, although later editions brought the date forward to 2021. The film makers initially identified the date as 2020, but settled on 2019 because 2020 sounded too much like the common term for perfect vision, 20:20.
  • Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer in the role of Roy Batty without actually meeting the actor. He had watched his performances in Turkish Delight (1973), Keetje Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977) and was so impressed, he cast him immediately. However, for their first meeting, Hauer decided to play a joke on Scott and he turned up wearing huge green sunglasses, pink satin pants and a white sweater with an image of a fox on the front. According to production executive Katherine Haber, when Scott saw Hauer, he literally turned white.
  • Ridley Scott actually turned down directorial duties on the project as he was about to begin work on another science fiction adaptation, Dune

Talking Points:

  • All the different versions, deleted scenes not withstanding do you feel the studio was right in insisting Ridley Scott put Harrison Ford’s voice over into the movie?
  • Theatrical Release
  • International Release
  • Directors Cut
  • Final Cut
  • Work-print
  • Was this the Inception of its day? (controversy wise, not popularity wise) Is Deckard a replicant or no? Even the cast doesn’t agree…. Scott says yes, Ford and Hauer say no.

What We’ve Learned:

  • In 8 years, Los Angeles will somehow merge into Detroit
  • In 8 years we will have flying cars
  • The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long
  • Nothing is worse than having an itch that you can never scratch
  • “It’s time to die!”
  • It sucks to only have 4 years to live.
  • Adama is good at Origami

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A sci-fi classic. Must have for any geek.
Ray: A very cerebral sci-fi flick, I don’t think anyone has nailed sci-fi / noir quite as well as this movie. still holding up after almost 30 years!
Steve: Always an amazing movie. However…this particular cut leaves some WTF moments. All depends on which version you cherish.

The Present: Unknown

Director: Juame Collet-Serra

Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aiden Quinn

Trivia:

  • Principal photography took place in early 2010 in Berlin, Germany, and in the Studio Babelsberg film studios.
  • The bridge the taxi plunges from is the Oberbaumbrücke.
  • The Friedrichstraße was blocked for several nights for the shooting of a car chase.
  • Some of the shooting was done in the Hotel Adlon. Other locations include the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin Central Station, Berlin Friedrichstraße station, Pariser Platz, Museum Island, the Oranienburger Straße in Berlin, and the Leipzig/Halle Airport.
  • According to Andrew Rona, the budget was $40 million. Dark Castle Entertainment contributed $30 million and German public film funds supported the production with €4,65 million (more than $6 million).
  • The film has received mixed to positive reviews, scoring 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 5.8/10, with the general consensus being “Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative — and implausible — to take advantage of its intriguing premise”.
  • Considerable praise has been placed on Neeson in the lead role and the unique premise of the film, and has comparisons with Neeson’s 2008 film Taken.
    * Richard Roeper gave the film a B+, reflecting “At times, Unknown stretches plausibility to the near breaking point, but it’s so well paced and the performances are so strong and most of the questions are ultimately answered. This is a very solid thriller.”

Talking Points:

  • So.. we figured this one out a long time ago.. but there was still a twist.

What We Learned:

  • Ask enough questions and the man who is lying will change his story
  • Germans are good at forgetting
  • Sentiment is always the first thing to go.
  • Don’t get your cyanide mixed up with your afternoon tea
  • There are obviously no patrol cars anywhere in Berlin

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It’s a movie with a nice twist and resolution. Just wish it was better written.
Ray: Not Brilliant, Not Horrible, Once I got over the whole Total Recall thing and just relaxed.. it was entertaining. actors do a good job,… there is a twist at the end if you can stay entertained long enough to stay to the end.
Steve: I was a bad, bad movie reviewer. Life got in the way… I repent!

The Future: Source Code (4-1-2011)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farminga

Trivia:

  • Topher Grace was considered for lead

Talking Points:

  • A dark version of groundhog day?

Summary:
An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Interesting, feels like it might be a good movie, but feeling like it might go horribly wrong.
Ray: I think it looks entertaining, enough to go see.. which is why i put it on our list 😀
Steve: Very Groundhog’s Day meets Quantum Leap…but with a higher budget. Looks interesting and seems like something I’d enjoy.

Coming Attractions
The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV027: “I Hate L.A.”

A great producer dies. What the hell is Boylesque?, Avatar 2 Spoiler alert, Cloak and Dagger, Skyline, and Unknown.

News:

The Past:  Cloak and Dagger (1984)

Director: Richard Franklin

Starring: Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman, Christina Nigra, Michael Murphy

Trivia:

  • The video game market crashed in 1983 while this movie was being filmed, so although you see a ton of “Cloak and Dagger” video game cartridges for sale, all of them were fake as the 5200 version of this was never made
  • All the scenes of the game come from the arcade version which was released before the movie was filmed, all of the images displayed were streamed to the television when they were “played”
  • The elderly couple in the film, both had parts in the original psycho (1960) Richard Franklin directed the sequel Psycho II in 1983. The Couple were also married in real life for approximately 56 years until John McIntire’s death in 1991

Talking Points:

  • Was this the original “Giant Video Game Commercial” ?
  • Would a modern version (remake) of this movie work?
  • Did we really call game cartridges tapes?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Ingenuity and Contacts are better than bullets…… sometimes.
  • it’s perfectly ok for 9 year old little girls to ride the bus to the airport at midnight
  • Old women missing fingers are scary!!
  • Yep, we really did call them “tapes”.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Enjoyable movie.  Some might think it’s dated but for me, it didn’t.  I liked it.
Ray: This doesn’t stand the test of time very well…. if you were born after 1983, you MIGHT find this movie silly.
Steve: Absolutely dated, but the concept is cool.  When you’re a kid playing spy, who wouldn’t want to be a real spy?

The Present: Skyline

Director: The Brothers Strause

Starring: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas

Trivia:

  • Film was completely financed by the directors.
  • Was almost entirely shot at Greg Strause’s condo
  • Shot entirely on new RED Cameras (4K Digital Cinema Camera 4k = 4096×3072 1080p = 1920×1080)
  • There are over 800 VFX shots in this movie…more than most major franchise movies
  • The Directors also happen to own the company that does all the visual FX for this flick (hydraulx)

Talking Points:

  • The Brothers Strause are being sued by Sony Pictures
  • Is it possible that this is just a modern B-Movie?
  • Another schizo movie?  What could have made it better?
  • Ending… W….T…..F…

What We Learned:

  • See those giant naval battleships burning? that probably means its NOT safe to go out into the water…
  • If you discover that you almost DIE every time you go outside.. maybe you shouldn’t go outside.
  • Adding giant vagina mouths to the aliens from ID4 doesn’t make them any better
  • It only takes a few seconds to fill up an enormous penthouse apartment with broken windows with gas fumes
  • An axe cant kill them, a gun cant kill them, hitting them with a car cant kill them, blowing them up with a nuke, cant kill them.. but beating them to death with your fists once you become one of them works like a charm!
  • If you get a tattoo by Kat Von D, make sure you get your money’s worth by constantly showing it in a movie you’re in.
  • Do not walk toward the light

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: They should have shortened this by an hour and just had it as the first part of the story.  Great visuals, but the story sucked.
Ray: Maybe visual effects guys…. should stick to visual effects. I wanted to see the train movie.
Steve: Yeah…overall epic fail.  Had some good ideas, just didn’t succeed in any them.

The Future: Unknown (2-18-2011)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Frank Langella, Aidan Quinn

Trivia:

  • based on the novel Out of My Head
  • Originally titled Unknown White Male.

Talking Points:

  • Originality?  (Seems like Total Recall in the present day)

Summary: A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: This time his identity was Taken.
Ray: Looks like a interesting mystery action flick with a great cast! Qui Gon and Skeletor FTW !
Steve: Cast is very intriguing.  Might be worth it!

Coming Attractions:

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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