MOV123: “He’s Almost Too Gay To Function”

It’s all about girl power in this in this reel of COL Movies, where the boys start off by going back in time to review the Tina Fey written gem, “Mean Girls”. After getting schooled (get it?), they catch back up with Alice for some more ass-kicking as she tries to take down the Umbrella Corporation for the 5th time in “Resident Evil: Retribution”. From there, we’re off somewhere over the rainbow with James Franco and a triumvirate of extremely talented female actors as the witches in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful”. In news, “The Hobbit” trilogy goes real time, Joss Whedon talks about why he isn’t exactly thrilled about “Avengers 2”, and the Looney Tunes are coming back to the big screen. It’s the 123rd reel of COL Movies…”He’s almost too gay to function”

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The Past: Mean Girls (2004)
Rotten Tomatoes 83% Fresh; 66% Audience

Director: Mark Waters

Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey

Trivia:

  • Nearly earned an R rating for explicit, risqué gags and jokes which were subsequently cut.
  • In the book upon which the movie is based, the most popular girl in a school is given the title “Queen Bee”. In the movie, the character who fits that description is named Regina – “queen” in Latin.
  • Amy Poehler who plays Mrs. George is only seven years older than her on screen daughter Rachel McAdams (Regina George).
  • Although the movie was not filmed in the rich north suburbs of Chicago known as the ‘North Shore’ (where it is said to take place), several real places in the area are mentioned. These include Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, Illinois (although the scene was filmed at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ontario), Walker Brothers Pancake House (the gift certificates at the end have the restaurant’s real logo), and Northwestern University. In addition, a deleted scene featured on the DVD mentions Hecky’s, a real barbecue restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. School scenes were filmed at Lincoln Park High School, Chicago. Exterior shots of the school were of Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, Etobicoke, as well as hallway scenes. Some scenes also filmed at a lake front park in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
  • Though set on the North Shore of Chicago, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and Malvern Collegiate Institute. Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.
  • Kevin Gnapoor’s phone number on his business card uses the North Shore’s real area code, 847.
  • Amanda Seyfried, who plays Karen in the film, was initially supposed to play Cady, but producer Lorne Michaels thought she would be better as the “dumb girl”.
  • Initially, Lindsay Lohan was cast as Regina, but decided to play the “nice girl” so the public wouldn’t base her real personality on Regina’s. Rachel McAdams was chosen to play the “mean girl” because “only nice girls can play mean girls” according to the producer.
  • Tim Meadows broke his hand before shooting and had to wear a cast, so the explanation that his character Mr. Duvall had carpal tunnel was added.
  • Lacey Chabert was the first and only choice for the role of Gretchen.
  • In the scene where Cady was asked if her “muffin was buttered”, the line was originally going to be, “Is your cherry popped?” The same goes for the girl who “made out with a hot dog” this was going to be “masturbated with a hot dog”. These were omitted in order for the film to gain a PG 13+ rating instead of a R
  • This movie is based upon the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence” by Rosalind Wiseman, even though it is a non-fiction parental self-help guide with no narrative at all.
  • In the scene where Christmas candy canes are being distributed in the classroom Damien, dressed in a Santa suit, reads out the name Glenn Cocco, a good friend of Tina Fey.
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler coached Rajiv Surendra on how to rap for his on-screen performance in the school’s Winter Talent Show.
  • Cady’s mom gets tenure at Northwestern, which is Ana Gasteyer’s alma mater in real life.
  • Producer Tina Fey confessed that, when casting the film, she liked Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels) because “he looked like Jimmy Fallon”.
  • The skirts for the Christmas talent show are made of plastic; the costume designer says they were made of that fabric to “represent the Plastics”.
  • The character Mrs. Norbury was named after a German teacher at Upper Darby High School, where Tina Fey attended.
  • The scene in which Cady walks in on Jason and Gretchen kissing at her party is much different in the first draft of the script. Originally, she walks in on Gretchen performing oral sex on Jason (no nudity, nothing graphic), but this was subsequently cut from the final print in order to achieve a PG-13 rating
  • Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams play characters who attend the same school and are in the same grade, in spite of the 8 year age difference between the two actresses.
  • In the math class Kevin gives Cady his card. It says, KEVIN GNAPOOR MATH ENTHUSIAST/BAD-ASS M.C. 847-555-2148
  • Ashley Tisdale auditioned for Karen Smith.
  • Lizzy Caplan’s character was named Janis Ian as an homage to musician Janis Ian, the first Saturday Night Live musical guest (alongside Billy Preston). Ian’s song “At Seventeen” which can be heard playing in the background when the girls are fighting at Regina’s house. Other characters bullying Caplan’s character persistently call her a lesbian throughout the movie; the real Janis Ian is an out lesbian.
  • Lizzy Caplan was at first considered too pretty for Janis, to which Fey felt a “Kelly Osbourne-like actress” was necessary, but Caplan was picked for being the “most energetic”.
  • Rachel McAdams wore a blonde wig while filming the movie.
  • Cady gets very excited at the dance when she “actually recognizes” one of the songs being played. That song is “Built This Way,” which was performed and co-written by London-born singer-songwriter and DJ Samantha Ronson. About four years after the release of this movie, and after several years of press speculation, Lindsay Lohan and Ronson acknowledged they were in a romantic relationship.
  • The main character, played by Lindsay Lohan, is named “Cady”, which has a common pronunciation (“Katie”) but an uncommon spelling for an American girl’s first name. In keeping with the film’s theme of female empowerment, it is the same spelling as the birth last name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an 18th-century pioneer in the American Women’s Rights movement.
  • When Tina Fey planned to adapt Queen Bees and Wannabes into a film, she didn’t realize it was a guidebook with no fictional narrative. She feared she’d backed herself into a corner after finalizing the deal with Paramount.
  • Tina Fey envisioned backgrounds for all of the characters. If any of the actors had questions about their characters she could fill in the blanks for them.
  • The casting department searched through four cities to find the right actor to play Damien.
  • Unusual among Mark Waters-directed films in that there are no supernatural elements in the plot.
  • In her autobiography, ‘Bossypants’, Tina Fey says that she named the character Damian after “TV Guide” writer Damian Holbrook, who has been her friend since they met as teens in a summer theater workshop in their Pennsylvania hometown.
  • Cady’s friend Janis Ian is likely related to Janis Ian, the singer of “At Seventeen,” a song about realizing at age 17 the beautiful are favored. “I learned the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens … and those of us with ravaged faces, lacking in the social graces, desperately remained at home, inventing lovers on the phone.” The song is also playing in the scene when Karen tells Cady that she has a “fifth sense … It’s like ESPN or something.”
  • In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,432,195 in 2,839 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. It was the best Lohan film debut at number one. By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 domestically and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.

Talking Points:

  • Inevitable comparison to Heathers
  • The use of the internal thoughts
  • The bus
  • The Burn Book
  • The backhanded compliments during the intervention

What We Learned:

  • Foot cream smells like peppermint
  • Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it
  • Everyone in Africa knows Swedish
  • Friends who secretly hate you are called “fraitors”
  • Homeschoolers are freaks
  • Jumbo tampons are helpful when you have a heavy flow and wide-set vagina
  • Don’t have sex because you’ll get pregnant and die
  • That is so fetch!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I was surprised by how much I didn’t run and hide for this movie. The quotient was so low and the writing so clever, how can you not like it? I loved it, watch it now.
Ray: Can you believe I’ve never seen this before? I really thought it was funny, and of course it’s set in the North Shore of Chicago, so what’s not to like? It’s definitely reminiscent of Heathers, just not as dark.
Steve: A great update of Heathers, with Tina Fey intelligence. Great characters, smart writing, and solid acting from a young cast, as well as some memorable cameos from SNL greats. Definitely worth watching and reminiscing about the good…um…maybe just days of high school.

The Present: Resident Evil: Retribution
Rotten Tomatoes 29% Rotten; 60% Audience

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Boris Kudjoe

Trivia:

  • Jensen Ackles was considered for the role of Leon S. Kennedy, but the role later went to Johann Urb.
  • The first movie of the series not to feature undead dogs.
  • The role of Becky was not considered to be hearing-impaired, but after an outstanding audition, the role was later given to Aryana Engineer.
  • During the car chase scene from the Las Plagas/Zombie infected Russian army the music playing during this scene is titled ‘Phantom Chase’ by tomandandy. This song particularly references music from the original Resident Evil (1996) video game. The name of the song that is referenced is ‘Second Floor Mansion’.
  • After the release of Resident Evil: Afterlife, director Paul W. S. Anderson was in discussion with Screen Gems of filming a fifth and sixth film back to back. But Anderson later decided to just focus on Retribution. Anderson explains that a sixth film will only be made based on the success of Retribution and will most likely be the finale of the series.
  • An element from Resident Evil 4, a parasite called Las Plagas plays a part in the film and allows the undead to “run around, ride motorbikes, and shoot machine guns.”
  • An action scene inspired by Resident Evil 5 where the characters are driving a Hummer while being chased by zombies is featured, but for the film the Hummer was changed to a Rolls Royce Phantom.
  • The film’s fight sequences were influenced by Asian cinema. “We watched a lot of Thai movies this time around because of the movies (Powell) has done” says Anderson. “He did The Last Samurai as well. He has worked with a lot of Japanese stuntmen and he has worked with a lot of Hong Kong stuntmen. But we felt the area that hadn’t been mined by western cinema much was that whole kind of high impact Thai style of fighting. So we just watched a lot of action sequences from a lot of Thai movies. There were moves and just a general feel that we thought we could infuse the movie with. You know, that kind of bone crunch where you really feel the impact. We tried to bring that into the movie, which is also good for 3D because obviously 3D makes it harder to sell those kind of fake phony punches because you see the distance between the fist and the face. So that kind of Thai style of fighting where you actually make contact is a lot stronger.”
  • Filming locations included Toronto at Cinespace’s Kipling studio facility,[5] Times Square in New York City, Tokyo, and Red Square in Moscow.
  • On October 11, a platform collapsed during the second day of filming and injured 16 people on the set. According to Toronto police, ten people were taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. Injuries included bruises and broken bones. Emergency workers had a difficult time determining which injuries were real since the people were dressed in zombie costumes with fake blood.
  • The streets of Red Square were cleared for a day and background filming was done in the Russian subway after it was cleared for five hours. Most of the streets were built into sets. The car chase scene was filmed in late November in Moscow.
  • The music group Tomandandy, who performed the Afterlife score, returned to score Retribution. Anderson explains that the score for this film will be a progression of Afterlife, stating that he “wants to kind of mesh their more electronic stuff with an orchestra this time. It still has that cool tomandandy feel, but it has a more epic scope to it.”
  • The first teaser trailer of the film, was attached to Underworld Awakening and released in January 2012, featuring product placement promoting Sony products such as the Xperia phone, the PlayStation Vita and the Tablet S before transitioning into a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C., with Alice standing on the roof of the White House.
  • A viral website umbrellacorporation.net supposedly informed about Umbrella’s on a recruitment tour all over the world searching for “great minds to help them advance”. On several occasions, a video of Alice (Milla Jovovich) shows up, telling you not to trust Umbrella.
  • On August 10, 2012, a group of 27 people dressed as zombies “invaded” the Shibuya shopping district and handed out leaflets to promote the film.
  • Resident Evil: Retribution had its world premiere in Japan (where it’s retitled Biohazard V: Retribution) on September 3 and had its release worldwide on September 14th.

Talking Points:

  • Felt like a clip show right before the end of a reality series

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: While the director explains all at the end, it’s clear the big full blown nutty days are still to come; Anderson knows how to do a great fight sequence
  • Negatives: Same old, same old; got tired of the slo-mo; flimsy plot structure; “apparently zombie hordes have taken over the world, but there is an endless supply of black leather unitards”; At last, we thought Alice might say “we survived”, but alas no.

What We Learned:

  • This is Alice…and it’s her world
  • When trying to escape a zombie menace, go into the dark subway tunnels
  • Rain’s sister is not very nice
  • Clones wear leather unitards

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Well this is a first, Usually I’m pretty good with an RE movie. It does something interesting and I enjoy myself. . . . this . . . didn’t. For the first time I’m just tired of Resident Evil Movies and they are going to do another one. Thanks, Paul WS Anderson but you need to stop. Right now. No more cliffhangers at the end of movies. This is enough.
Ray: This just confirms me suspicions that every single one of these movies since the first one has been made for the sole purpose of masturbating Japanese fans. The dialogue was delivered horribly, the acting was..not even passable, but it you take this and watch the dialogue from the very first resident evil games.. it’s almost exactly the same… I’d stay away unless you are a crazy die hard fan.. oh and everyone tells me skip the 3D
Steve: Kind of a best of the best moments from the previous films, so it had a “clip show” feel. While it isn’t Shakespeare, it’s good for what it is and the fight scenes were fricken awesome! Michelle Rodriguez ‘roiding up to right two guys and the fight between Alice and Jill were both pretty damn epic. Honestly, I was really hoping they would end it…but I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there will actually be a 6th installment.

The Future: Oz: The Great and Powerful

Release: March 8, 2013

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: Mila Kunis, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz

Summary:

Sam Raimi’s film is set before the events of the 1939 film and the original book. When Oscar Diggs a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking… that is until he meets the witches Theodora, Evanora, and Glinda who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity, and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Talking Points:

  • Robert Downey, Jr. was Raimi’s first choice for the part of Oz. When Downey declined, Johnny Depp was linked to the role. By the end of February 2011, James Franco was in final negotiations to star in this film. This is the first time that Franco and Raimi have worked together following the conclusion of the Spider-Man trilogy.
  • Principal photography with 3D cameras for Oz: The Great and Powerful began July 2011 in Pontiac, Michigan.
  • The script was written by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire with Joe Roth serving as a producer. In an interview, director Sam Raimi stated that Kapner used information about the Wizard from L. Frank Baum’s books, but the film will also “nod lovingly” to the 1939 classic film.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this. It’s a Prequel to The Wiz but for some reason they decided not to get another Richard Prior, I really don’t see why? In any case, looks fun, but it’s looking so different than The Wiz.
Ray: I’m super excited to see this… I’ve always thought that even though it would be sacrilege to do it, one movie I’ve always thought would be worthy of a modern remake was Wizard of Oz, glad they went the prequel route so they don’t really have to commit to messing with that until this proves to be a success… I’m excited to see it. Franco is riding high in my head since Planet of the Apes.
Steve: Comes off way more “fantastical” than the original movie. It will be interesting to see how they interplay the original mythology in the prequel. The female cast of witches seems like a solid group of actors, so I hope that Franco holds his own and doesn’t just act like he’s high the whole time.

The Past: Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Present: Dredd

The Future: Gayby

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MOV105: “It Looks Like A Pulsating Beacon of Blood and Urine!”

In This Reel of COL Movies, It’s our 2nd Anniversary Episode! And the Cubs from Cubs Out Loud are here to celebrate with us. In the past we find out what happens when you put Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in a movie where they just CAN’T DIE?!? Catfights and immortality combine in this 1992 film that–surprisingly–also starred Bruce Willis. “Death Becomes Her.”Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more room for another vampire film, the curse of the Collins Family is back. Vampires, Ghosts and Witches, oh my! Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up for a movie you can really sink your teeth into. It’s “Dark Shadows.” In the future, we find out if Milla Jovovich can finally put Umbrella Corp. in it’s place. Will Oded Fehr live down The Mummy Returns. It’s zombies and fabulous hair in “Resident Evil: Retribution.” We’ve got all that plus news about a Steve Jobs movie, Pee-Wee Herman, And how the Avengers is driving up not only box office receipts but apparently Shawarma is flying off the shelves as well! It’s the 105th Reel of COL Movies – It looks like a pulsating beacon of blood and urine!

News:

The Past: Death Becomes Her (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes: 45% Fresh, 58% Audience

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn

Trivia:

  • ​The date when Helen drinks the potion (October 26, 1985) is the “present” date in Back to the Future, also directed by Robert Zemeckis.
  • In the scene where Helen sits down onto a shovel handle, she didn’t sit in the way she was expected to do, so the SFX people had to morph the image to make it look like the shovel handle was pushing up into her chest.
  • Meryl Streep accidentally scarred Goldie Hawn’s cheek with a shovel during the fight scene.
  • Catherine Bell was Isabella Rossellini’s nude body double.
  • In the scene where Madeline punches in the entrance code and enters the gate as Helen slips past her unseen, you get a brief glimpse of her license plate. It reads “2HYE305”, not “ZHEMEKIS” as previously noted
  • A pneumatic bra was built to create the effect where Meryl Streep’s breasts become higher and firmer after drinking the potion, but the effect didn’t look realistic enough. In order to get the shot Meryl Streep’s dresser stood behind her, out of sight of the camera, and pushed her breasts into position.
  • An edited picture from the original ending was used during Ernest’s funeral scene. The picture of him aged was actually a of him in full age makeup from the first ending. Bruce Willis’s aged face was used, but put on an actual picture of a mountain climber, which thus resulted in the end picture of Ernest at his funeral.
  • During the description of the plot to kill Madeline, there was a quick shot of the folder being stamped “case closed” at a desk. Also on the desk was a brain in a glass jar labeled “abnormal” – a tribute to the original Frankenstein.
  • Bruce Willis replaced Kevin Kline as Ernest.
  • In an interview Meryl Streep revealed that she assumed the role of Helen (Goldie Hawn’s character) was meant for her. Not the “song-and-dance” role of Madeline.
  • The three main character’s names are a play on words. Madeline, Ernest and Helen can be shortened to Mad, Ern, Hel, or “Madder ‘n Hell.”
  • At one point Lisle Isabella Rossellini asks Madeline Meryl Streep how old she thinks she is. Streep answers 38, to which Rossellini gives a dirty look. Rossellini was in fact 39 at the time of filming.
  • In the opening scene, Meryl Streep’s character is starring in a musical version of Sweet Bird of Youth, a play by Tennessee Williams about an aging actress who pines for her lost youth.
  • Director Robert Zemeckis is a good friend of Steven Spielberg. Production designer Rick Carter and cinematographer Dean Cundey both previously worked with Zemeckis on the Back to the Future sequels. They would both subsequently work with Spielberg on Jurassic Park. This led to writer David Koepp coming to Spielberg’s attention. He was hired to finalize the Jurassic Park script, and later became a regular Speilberg collaborator, having been called upon to polish the scripts for Men in Black, Twister, and to write the scripts for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The film underwent some major re-editing after negative feedback was received at test screenings. The entire ending was changed, and the role played by Tracey Ullman disappeared from the film completely, despite the fact that she was featured briefly in the trailer for the film.
  • In several scenes, references to deceased musicians and actors are visible. When Bruce Willis’s character falls through the glass roof and lands in the pool, Jim Morrison can clearly be seen with a girl. Later on, an extra playing James Dean turns around (with his signature hairdo) as Willis steals his Grey Spider.
  • Robert Zemeckis: The shots in the psychiatric clinic where Helen is brought look exactly like those in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
  • There are two scenes (both involving Ernest Menville) that foreshadow Madeline Ashton’s and Helen Sharp’s fall down the stairs outside Ernest’s memorial – when Ernest pushes Madeline down the stairs during the fight that ensued after she took the potion and when Ernest argues against taking Lisle Von Rhuman’s potion by speculating what would happen if he were “pushed”, rather “fell”, down the stairs. Their fall outside his memorial can be interpreted as his revenge against them for for their treatment of him in their ongoing battle with each other and for using him as a tool in their pursuit of everlasting youth and beauty.
  • Despite lackluster reception, it won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Meryl Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. The film opened at #1 at the box office with $12,110,355 upon the also opening weekends of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bebe’s Kids. It went on to earn over $149 million worldwide.

Talking Points:

  • ​I remember this being a “how the heck did they do that movie” Does it hold up?
  • Plot hole!? If it mends a cut, why wouldn’t an extra dose heal them?

Critic Notes

  • Positives: the “bitchery” between Hawn and Streep is fun; Daring and risky; for the time, effects were amazing; Black comedy at its best
  • Negatives: there is no glee, simply narcissism and insult comedy; Younger audience won’t get it; too focused on the effects and some “serious” parts of the movie didn’t fit in the comedic overtone

What We Learned:

  • ​Bruce Willis knows how to rock a porn stache.
  • Happiness is a completely inappropriate expression for death.
  • Everyone that works in Beverly Hills salons has an accent
  • You can’t use ordinary paint on dead people
  • If your going to lie, do it QUICKLY.
  • A guy who sticks to his word at the cost of everything else is an idiot
  • Mind the stairs.
  • Death can be achieved in small, expensive doses

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This has always been a classic to me. I mean, Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis? How can this not be a good movie. Something is wrong with the Rotten Tomatoes ratings. I say a definite buy.
Damon: I always enjoyed this movie as it brought back memories of the campy movies of the early 90s. This was a pretty good movie with some interesting choices of actors. How could you go wrong?
Ray: This is one of those quirky little fun dark comedies that I love so much. Unless your a particularly squeamish person this is one that you should check out some time if you can.
Robert: Meryl is fabulous. Goldie is chilling. Bruce is one pedophile wind breaker away from being a tour de force. 10 out of 10.
Steve: Always been a fun one for me. Hawn and Streep give great performances as frenemies who eventually have to help each other survive. Clever and definitely displayed some state of the art effects for the time! Definitely memorable!
Ben: Nowhere do movie characters defy the laws of the physical universe as gleefully as they do in Robert Zemeckis’s films.

The Present: Dark Shadows
Rotten Tomatoes: 42% Fresh; 54% Audience

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Johnny Lee Miller, David Selby, Jonathan Frid, Katherine Leigh Scott, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote

Trivia:

  • ​There were 1245 episodes of the 1966-71 series. More than most shows on television even to this day.
  • This is Tim Burton’s eighth film with Johnny Depp, his seventh film with Helena Bonham Carter, his fifth film with Christopher Lee, and his second film with Michelle Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer had starred in Batman Returns twenty years previously).
  • Anne Hathaway, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Angelique.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott reported at the Dark Shadows Festival in Brooklyn (August 19-21, 2011) that she, Lara Parker, David Selby and Jonathan Frid were treated “like royalty” when they arrived on set for their cameos during the first week of July 2011, and that Johnny Depp walked up to Jonathan Frid and said, “None of this would be possible had it not been for you” referring to Frid’s original portrayal of the Barnabas Collins role and its impact on the success of the original series.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) and Gulliver McGrath (David Collins) were also both in the the film Hugo but shared no screen time together.
  • Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Barnabas Collins, Angelique, Quentin Collins and Josette DuPres in the original Dark Shadows, appear in the ball at Collinwood Manor.
  • To prepare for his role as Barnabas Collins, Johnny Depp undertook a weight-loss regime and a diet of green tea and low-sugar fruit, getting his weight down to 140 pounds.
  • Eva Green described her role of Angelique as “Bette Davis and Janis Joplin mixed together.”
  • Christopher Lee stars with Jonny Lee Miller in this film; decades earlier, Lee had appeared with Miller’s grandfather Bernard Lee in the 007 film The Man with the Golden Gun, which was based on a novel written by Lee’s cousin Ian Fleming.
  • This was Jonathan Frid’s last film.
  • Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer were fans of the original Dark Shadows, having watched it when they were young.
  • Makeup artist Joel Harlow applied several layers of custom greasepaint to create Barnabas Collins’s chalk-white complexion.
  • When Michelle Pfeiffer heard about an adaptation of Dark Shadows, she called up Tim Burton to ask him for a part in the film, a practice she rarely does.
  • With no time for rehearsal prior to filming, Tim Burton found a way to put his entire main cast in the mindset of their respective roles: He gathered them together on the set for a photo session in which they replicated the famous image of the original Dark Shadows cast all standing in the foyer of Collinwood. This image evolved into the film’s teaser poster.
  • The producers scoured the UK and Maine to find an appropriate fishing village to film Collinsport in, but couldn’t find one that fit. Thus they constructed the whole town from scratch in Pinewood Studios.
  • For the sex fight sequence, the actors worked with stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart and wore harnesses that spun them through the air. Eva Green was not too fond of the sequence since she doesn’t like heights.
  • A 33-foot-high miniature of Collinwood Mansion was constructed, measuring 1/3 in scale to the actual set of the Mansion.
  • Production designer Rick Heinrichs designed Collinwood to reflect its maritime heritage (the mansion was close to the ocean, and its owners have a background in fishing); ocean motifs like fish and mermaids are present throughout the house and its furnishings, including seahorses in the fireplace along with statues of the sea god Neptune.
  • Tim Burton wanted the film to reflect the era of its setting, and showed cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel several 1970s vampire movies to help him understand the way the film should be shot.
  • According to costume designer Colleen Atwood, she designed the 18th and 20th century costumes and then overlaid and blended in elements from both to create a smooth, similar feel that suited the film.
  • Colleen Atwood created Josette duPres’s dress from nylon and aluminum.
  • Josette duPres’s ghost scenes were shot in an underwater tank.
  • The actress who played Dr. Julia Hoffman in the original Dark Shadows TV series was Grayson Hall, wife of Sam Hall, head writer of the show. In the same way, Helena Bonham Carter, who played Dr. Hoffman, is the long-time partner and fiancée of the film’s director Tim Burton.
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Night Moves”.
  • The trailer for the film premiered exclusively on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 15, 2012. That same day, the trailer made its online debut on Apple.com.
  • The film was again scored by long-time Burton collaborator, Danny Elfman.
  • The soundtrack features a score of several contemporaneous 1970s rock and pop songs, along with others from later and slightly earlier, including “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues, “Top of the World” by The Carpenters, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White, “I’m Sick of You” by Iggy Pop, “Get It On” by T. Rex and “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. Alice Cooper, who makes a cameo in the film, sings “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry”. A cover of the Raspberries’ song “Go All the Way” by The Killers also plays over the end credits.

Talking Points:

  • Does it even compare to the original stories?
  • ​Alice Cooper – boy he’s always looked that bad – “That is the ugliest woman, ever!” Barnabas Collins
  • Little bit of Amityville Horror (Bleeding Walls) and Death Becomes Her (Immortally young witch)
  • Bad trailer marketing?
  • Soundtrack
  • Is this like “21 Jump Street” – taking serious content to comedy in a remake?

Critic Notes:

  • Positive: Fun and offbeat; Great for fans of Depp;
  • Negative: Not what fans of “Dark Shadows” want in a remake; Can’t decide if it’s a comedy, horror movie, or melodrama

What We Learned:

  • ​Dreams really can come true!
  • Blood is thicker than water.
  • Blood can mean a life of privilege for some or a life of burden to others.
  • Family is the only real wealth
  • If the sexes were equal men would be unmanageable.
  • Ghosts are simply people who have shifted into another dimension.
  • A Curse takes devotion.
  • Every year you get half as pretty and twice as drunk.
  • A Vampire can drain a stout man in seven and a half seconds.
  • Balls are a symbol of power.
  • Alice Cooper is the ugliest woman alive.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Okay, okay, I admit this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. But was it great? Nope, but enjoyable. I say wait for Netflix or rental.
Damon: Meh…I enjoyed this movie, but it didn’t really leave as big an impression on me. I liked the campiness and did laugh at points, but the story was too much to be in one movie. Understandable, there was a plethora of stories to draw from, which makes it hard. Maybe I’m just not a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp fan. Meh…
Ray: I was worried that this was going to be a horrible comedy, luckily this was a decent homage to the original, with the soap opera-ness turned down slightly and the humor turned up a bit. If you were a fan of the original series you will probably get a good chuckle out of this. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
Robert: Didn’t see it. The trailer looked … interesting.
Steve: At first, I thought I was going to pull my eyes out, but it kind of grew on me. I liked the verbal judo Depp used for the character, which made me listen intently. Thought there were too many characters in the film though. Would have liked to see how they would have made this a straight film rather than comedy.
Ben: A very nice retelling of the story, even if it has been told 3 times prior…

The Future: Resident Evil: Retribution

Release: September 14, 2012

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez

Summary:

Alice is captured by Umbrella once again, and awakens in the heart of their operation facility; as she moves further in the complex, more of her past is unveiled and she continues to hunt for those responsible for the outbreak. Her quest takes her and her newfound allies from Tokyo to New York, Washington D.C. and Moscow. After a “mind-blowing” revelation, she is forced to rethink everything, finally finding out the truth about herself, and the Umbrella Corporation

Talking Points

  • Any thoughts about seeing past characters coming back?
  • Returning from the previous film are: Milla Jovovich as Alice, Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine) and Boris Kodjoe (Luther West). Shawn Roberts (Albert Wesker) makes a cameo appearance. Colin Salmon who played James “One” Shade and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film return. Oded Fehr who portrayed Carlos Olivera in the second and third film also returns. There will be two “versions” of Rain, One, and Carlos; one being portrayed as “evil” and one as “good”. Game characters, Ada Wong (played by Li Bingbing), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb) and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand) will appear in the film. Ali Larter (Claire Redfield), Wentworth Miller (Chris Redfield) and Spencer Locke (K-Mart) will not return and their absence will be explained by their characters being captured by Umbrella.
  • How about all the monsters this time…rather than just zombies?
  • An element from the fourth video game called the Las Plagas parasite will play a part in the film and will allow the undead to “run around, ride motorbikes, and shoot machine guns”.
  • What do you think about the obvious marketing campaign with Sony?
  • Random comment:
  • On October 11, a platform collapsed during the second day of filming and injured 16 people on the set. According to Toronto police, ten people were taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. Injuries included bruises and broken bones. Emergency workers had a difficult time determining which injuries were real since the people were dressed in zombie costumes with fake blood.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Well, it’s a teaser. It’s Resident Evil. Bad movie, but will have fun with the action when i see it. If you’d looking for a dumb action movie you can turn your brain off for and watch women kick ass, that’s this movie.
Damon: Why do they keep making this movie? WHY? I saw the first one and asked for my money back. Didn’t get it, but oh well. The trailer is just lame. And 3D? What’s the point. I’ll save my money for porn.
Ray: Resident Evil movies are hit or miss with me. I sort of enjoy them more when they abandon the video game aspects and blaze new ground. I’m always happy to see Milla though.
Robert: Not very. The first one was okay. The rest were barely tolerable … and this is coming from someone who went and bought Milla’s album, The Divine Comedy.
Steve: Good times with Alice! While I love the series…the last one was lackluster. I hope that this will be so much better! I have confidence and am looking forward to some of the characters coming back and seeing where it goes.
Ben: Bleh!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV053: “LeeLoo Dallas Multipass”

The boys kick off year two with a few new bells and whistles, while heading back in time to bring back “The Fifth Element”. After Jeff finishes his orgasm, they head to the theaters to check the post-apocalyptic vampire flick, “Priest”. If that’s not enough saving the world, they check out the new trailer for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. Will the Michael Bay train stay on track or will we be as disappointed as we were with Trans 2? The boys also bring you up to date on “Akira”, “Thor 2” and “Titanic” in 3-D? Doesn’t the boat sink the same in 2-D? For the heck of it, they also reflect on their favorites from year one. Whether a long-standing fan or a newbie, this is definitely a show you don’t want to miss! Leeloo Dallas Multipass

News:

The Past: The Fifth Element (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh; 84% Audience

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker

Trivia:

  • The language spoken by Leeloo was invented by director Luc Besson and further refined by Milla Jovovich. By the end of filming they were able to have full conversations in this language.
  • The explosion in the Fhloston main hall was the largest indoor explosion ever filmed. The resulting fire almost got beyond control.
  • Early in the film, Gary Oldman’s character quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Oldman’s costar, Bruce Willis, released a record album on Motown Records with that title in the 1980s. 11 years later, Heath Ledger said a variation of the famous line in The Dark Knight (2008) (also starring Gary Oldman).
  • This is one of two science-fiction movies featuring Ian Holm in which there is a character by the name of Dallas. The other one is Alien (1979), which stars Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas.
  • Ruby Rhod was not the original name for Chris Tucker’s character, it was Loc Rhod. The original name appears in the script and the movie novelization.
  • When Korben Dallas wakes up, the date can just be seen on his bedroom wall: March 18th, 2263. 18 March is director Luc Besson’s birthday (a day before Bruce Willis’).
  • The only phrases from Leeloo’s alien language that are included in the captioning are “mlarta,” “big ba-dah big boom,” “akta,” “seno akta gamat,” “san agamat chay bet. Envolet,” “danko,” “domo danko,” and “apipoulai.” Everything else appears as Unknown Language or, after it’s specified, the Divine Language.
  • When the Mondoshawan aliens appear in 1914 Egypt, the Professor, panicking, says, “A… A… Are you German?” In the German version he says “Sind Sie… hier von der Erde?” which roughly translates as “Are you from here… Earth?”
  • The hero (Bruce Willis) and the villain (Gary Oldman) never meet, nor do they communicate in any way.
  • Luc Besson wrote the original screenplay when he was in high school.
  • Leeloo’s full name is “Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat”. According to the subtitles in English DVD Region 1.
  • At the time, this was the most expensive production in Gaumont’s history.
  • At US$80 million, the special-effects budget of the film was the highest of its time.
  • At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced outside of Hollywood.
  • According to the Ultimate Edition DVD, Prince and Lenny Kravitz were sources of inspiration for the part of Ruby Rhod.
  • In every New York visual effects scene with flying traffic there is a flying bus with the Digital Domain (the facility responsible for most of the VFX) internal reference, or shot name, stenciled on the roof of a bus. The instructions for the visual effects team were to include one bus with the shot name but then all other buses and traffic could have personal references including birthdays, initials, etc. The front marquee for a bus’s destination and side billboards were customized by the artists at Digital Domain to reference, invisibly or subliminally, some personal stamp or message.
  • The flying traffic created by the visual effects team at Digital Domain allowed artists to create personalized license plates. Though never visible in the film, the state slogan printed on all license plates reads, “New York, The Fuck-You State.”:
  • The text scrolling across a Times Square theater marquee as Korben dives down through traffic is actually an excerpt from an e-mail dispute between several artists at Digital Domain. Other signs on digital and practical, miniature buildings contain similar in-jokes and references and the large cylindrical tanker truck that Korben’s cab almost hits at the end of his decent is decorated with the logo of a Venice, California, pizza parlor that was a favorite of Digital Domain artists.
  • The people populating the roofs, decks and windows during the visual effects sequences in New York are actually the artists and employees at Digital Domain who worked on the film.
  • Bruce Willis ad-libbed the line, “Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English.”
  • Luc Besson, an admitted comic book fan, had two famous French comic book artists in mind for the film’s visual style when he started writing the movie in high school. Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jean-Claude Mézières. Both artists have long-standing comic book series in France. Moebius is best known for “Blueberry” and the (French) Magazine and (US) movie Heavy Metal (1981). Mézières is best known for the “Valerian” series. Both series are still in production today. Moebius and Mezieres, who attended art school together but had never collaborated on a project until The Fifth Element (1997), started renderings for the film in the early ’90s and are responsible for the majority of the over all look of the film, including the vehicles, spacecrafts, buildings, human characters and aliens. However, only Giraud is credited, and even then he wasn’t even granted a premium when the movie was eventually produced.
  • As Korben and Leeloo approach an intersection in his cab the camera whips forward to reveal to the audience that six police cars are waiting for him ahead. In the far background, behind the police cars, is a chase between a police car and a long black car complete with muzzle flashes to represent gun fire between the two cars. Ever an eye for detail, Luc Besson noticed the embellishment the first time the visual effects shot was reviewed, thought that it was funny and it remains in the final film.
  • Part of the song that the Diva sings is from the opera “Lucia Di Lammermoor”, and very often goes by the title “The Mad Song”, as it is sung by Lucia just after she murders Arturo (whom she was forced to marry) on their wedding day – Lucia is hallucinating that she has married the man she really loves; Edgardo, her brother’s nemesis.
  • When filming began, the production decided to dye Milla Jovovich’s hair from its natural brown color to her character’s signature orange color. However, due to the fact that her hair had to be re-dyed regularly to maintain the bright color, Milla’s hair quickly became too damaged and broken to withstand the dye. Eventually a wig was created to match the color and style of Leeloo’s hair, and was used for the remainder of the production.
  • Plavalaguna, Diva’s name, is actually composed of two words: Plava and Laguna. “Plava” in Serbian, Croatian, Montenigrin, Macedonian and Bosnian language means Blue (feminine, masculine would be “plav”). “Laguna” in same languages means lagoon, though Laguna is used in English as well as in Laguna Beach, California. So her name is Blue Lagoon. (‘Mila Jovovic’ also played Lilli in Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991).)
  • When composer Eric Serra showed soprano Inva Mula (who dubs the voice of the Diva) the sheet music for the Diva Dance, she reportedly smiled and relayed to him that some of the notes written were not humanly possible to achieve because the human voice cannot change notes that fast. Hence, she performed the notes in isolation – one by one, as opposed to consecutively singing them all together and they digitized the notes to fit the music. There are a few moments when you can hear the differences in the vocal tones of The Diva’s voice.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when Zorg blows up Right Arm at the airport and when Leeloo tosses two Mangalores out of the Diva’s room.
  • Nick Dudman’s creature crew created a group of spindly, long-nosed alien garbage collectors that never made it to the final film. In the scenes at the spaceport, there’s a huge pile of garbage which has gone uncollected because the garbage collectors are on strike (as explained in some dialogue). These creatures would have been seen amidst the garbage, holding sandwich board signs reading “On strike” if they had made it to the final cut.
  • While cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières isn’t directly credited in the movie, he is indeed the confirmed author of most sets, as his album ‘My Fifth Element’ (Mon cinquième élément) was published at the same time the movie came out in France, reusing the movie’s logo on the cover. Similarly, at the time the movie was being shot, Christin and Mézières published ‘Les cercles du pouvoir’ which contained a hovercraft taxi (which led Luc Besson to rewrite the movie’s opening scenes) and a caricature of Besson.
  • Cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières of ‘My Fifth Element’ also says that Luc Besson approached him for ideas, telling him: “I want to make a movie based on your visuals. But I am ready to pay you for the work.” The nuance is because there has long been a controversy that many elements in the Star Wars series (several aliens, Darth Vader’s costume, Leia’s golden bikini, Han Solo’s carbonite) were lifted almost unmodified out of Valerian (in particular ‘L’Empire des Mille Planètes’, published in 1971) – of which George Lucas is known to own several original editions, as seen during interviews in his study.

Talking Points:

  • Could anyone but Chris Tucker played Ruby Rhod as well?
  • Jean-Paul Gautier’s influence on the film
  • What is the fifth element?

What We’ve Learned:

  • You can’t drink a toast with water
  • If they don’t chase you after a mile.. they don’t chase you.. wait maybe that’s two miles.
  • Life comes from disorder destruction and chaos
  • If you’re going to transport Mystic stones for the ultimate weapon against evil, hide them inside the body of an alien opera diva
  • Ugly, big forehead. big ears, must be a Mangalore
  • Mangalores won’t fight without a leader
  • Flying a starfighter is like driving a cab

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One of my favorite films of all time. This needs to be in everyone’s DVD/Blu-Ray collections
Ray: This is what I call the perfect storm… Sci Fi action comedy’s are hard to nail.. but this one does it repeatedly.
Steve: I think it’s alright. Creative, but a schitzo film. I do really like Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in it!

Intermission: Favorites of the Past Present and Future

The Present: Priest
Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Rotten; 49% Audience

Director: Scott Charles Stewart

Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins

Trivia:

  • Director Stewart says, “The priests of our story are like Jedi knights. They have these supernatural abilities to fight vampires and they saved humanity before the movie even begins. Now, a generation later, society has moved on from war, and the priests are like pariahs. They’re almost like Vietnam vets—they’ve been cast aside by society and they’re now reviled and feared.”
  • Gerard Butler and Steven Strait were originally cast.
  • The film is based on the Korean comics Priest by Min-Woo Hyung.
  • The film diverges from the comics in following a different timeline of events. The director described Priest’s vampires as not being human in origin, and humans bitten by vampires became familiars instead. There are different forms of vampires, such as hive drones, guardians, and a queen.
  • Since the vampires were intended to move quickly, they were fully computer-generated for the film. While vampires are harmed by sunlight in most lore, the film’s vampires are instead photosensitive, being albino cave-dwellers.
  • Director Stewart said, “They are the enemy we don’t really understand, but we fought them for centuries. They are mysterious and alien, with their own culture. You sense that they think and communicate, but you don’t really understand what they are saying.”
  • The Director also called Priest an homage to The Searchers with the title character being similar to John Wayne’s character and the vampires being similar to the Comanche.
  • Priest was panned by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 18% based on reviews from 57 critics and reports a rating average of 3.9 out of 10. It reported the overall consensus, “Priest is admittedly sleek and stylish, but those qualities are wasted on a dull, derivative blend of sci-fi, action, and horror cliches.”
  • Priest was released in the United States and Canada on May 13, 2011. The film’s release date changed numerous times in 2010 and 2011. It was originally scheduled for October 1, 2010, but it moved earlier to August 27, 2010 to fill a weekend slot when another Screen Gems film, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was postponed. When the filmmakers wanted to convert Priest from 2D to 3D, the film was newly scheduled for release on January 14, 2011. It was delayed again to May 13, 2011 so the film could attract summertime audiences.

Talking Points:

  • Mad Max meets Bladerunner meets Blade – in a Western with a steam punk twist?
  • What’s it trying to say about religion?
  • What do you think the story is trying to say? (Return from war? PTSD?)
  • Sets are awesome!

What We Learned:

  • Being a priest sucks when there is no war against the vampires!
  • Want to prove there is a vampire menace? Throw the head of one at the Pope!
  • All vampire movies must have a red-headed female character named Lucy.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I love post apocalyptic action movies, especially if martial arts or other hand to hand combat is involved. Wish there was more action though. Not terrible, worth seeing in the theatre in 2D otherwise, okay to waive for DVD.
Ray: This movie bored me to death.. It seems like most of the action sequences were all shown in the trailers.. nothing new to see.
Steve: I liked it…didn’t particularly care for the “vampires”, but thought the concept was cool. Enjoyed the action sequences a lot. Found it pretty thoughtful as I watched.

The Future: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong

Trivia:

  • Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they “risked getting stale.”
  • When Megan Fox dropped out shortly before filming began, Gemma Arterton, Ashley Greene, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Bar Refaeli, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Heidi Montag and Anna Kendrick were all rumored to replace her before Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast.
  • This is director Michael Bay’s first threequel (third instalment in a series/trilogy).
  • The Autobots have upgraded their alternate modes: – Bumblebee has received an upgrade and is now a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – Ratchet’s color scheme now includes white and his green is more grass-green than his previous neon/yellow green – Sideswipe is now a Chevrolet Centennial Corvette convertible
  • James Avery is the second actor from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990) to star in a Michael Bay film. The first was Will Smith, who did the Bad Boys series.
  • In view of the technology’s rising popularity, Paramount/Dreamworks were adamant to have this film either shot for 3-D or converted in post-production. Director Michael Bay was initially wary of the technology, calling it a “gimmick” in various interviews and noting the poor quality of post-production conversion. Vince Pace, the co-found of PACE 3D who developed 2D and 3D cameras with James Cameron reported in July 2010 that he was working on Transformers 3 and that it will be shot in on PACE 3D cameras. However, for scenes that required higher image quality or were in slow motion, traditional anamorphic 35mm film was used and converted into 3D in post production.
  • Optimus Prime’s trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from “Transformers” (1984) with the decorative stripe running along its side.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is playing Carly, a primary character that was introduced in the second season of “Transformers” (1984).
  • During filming in Washington, DC, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that plays Bumblebee was struck by an metro police K-9 SUV responding to a bomb alert. The police officer involved sustained minor injuries, and Bumblebee sustained considerable damage. Filming was able to continue, as there were copies of each automobile for shooting purposes.
  • A tilting office set was constructed to simulate a Decepticon attack.
  • The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s/Kobalt).
  • The “dark of the moon” is defined as a phase (approximately three days) when the light of the moon is obscured, and thus absent (i.e. a no-moon time), and precedes the new moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Symbolically, it represents a time of inner stillness and contemplation, and preparedness for a new beginning.
  • The Autobot Wheeljack’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile.
  • The idea of Apollo 11 being connected to the discovery of the Transformers had been previously put forth in the Transformers (2007) tie-in prequel novel ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’.
  • Production stalled in Chicago as Gabriella Cedillo, an extra was seriously injured driving her own car as background for a stunt shot. The stunt was taking place in the opposite lane and a metal object – rigging from a snapped cable – went flying through her windshield and struck her in the skull. Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, included left side paralysis and limited vision in her left eye. Paramount Studios provided an undisclosed amount of money to cover the cost of her medical care.
  • Corey Burton, who voiced Shockwave in “Transformers” (1984) and “Transformers: Animated” (2007), was approached to reprise Shockwave for the film, but turned it down as he’d done that role too many times. He had earlier been approached to voice Jazz and Brawl for the first film.
  • Megatron’s alternate mode in this film is a Mack Titan tanker truck, his first Earth disguise. This was chosen to put him on parallel with Optimus Prime (the filmmakers described him as “a demented version of Prime”). This mode also pays homage to the “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001) Decepticon Scourge (also known in Japan as “Nemesis Prime”), who is an evil clone of Optimus Prime.
  • Michael Bay described the tone of the film as “a homeland version of Black Hawk Down (2001) with giant alien robots.”
  • Sentinel Prime is primarily based on his role in the “Transformers” comics (Optimus Prime’s yellow-colored predecessor) and his lance and shield were taken from his “Transformers: Animated” (2007) incarnation, but his later form on Earth – a red Rosenbauer Panther fire truck – is a homage to “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001)’s Optimus Prime, whose alternate mode was a fire truck.
  • Laserbeak’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic condor form throughout the film.
  • This is the first movie that starts with Megatron being conscious. In previous installments Megatron was awaken or resurrected.
  • A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from “Transformers” (1984) who was an ally of the Autobots.
  • Michael Bay compared Megatron to Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979): “He’s hiding in the jungles of Africa, nursing his wounds and vainly hiding his pulverized visage while plotting – what else? – revenge!”
  • Peter Cullen’s favorite moment in the film is when Optimus Prime meets with astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Talking Points:

  • Lots of references to old school Transformers
  • Why do all of the Decepticons look the same?
  • Transformers meets V meets Battle: LA?

Summary:

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers’ final battle.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Ooo, shiney. Here’s my money.
Ray: Im going just to watch chicago burn.
Steve: I hate Shia, but I’ll still see it.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV006: “Stroke The Furry Walls”

Steve, Ray and Jeff cover the gambit of Remakes, Soldier’s Girl, Get Him To The Greek, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and more.

News:

  • Another classic getting rebooted – Fright Night
  • Is this really necessary??? Mean Girls 2
  • Steve: Finally saw Avatar and wow it was awesome! Speaking of Avatar…Sam Worthington is slated to star in the 2011 release of the Dracula origin story, Dracula Year Zero. Alex Proyas is noted as the Director, best known for Dark City.
  • First Marvel Movie to be released under the Disney moniker.. Dr. Strange

The Past: Soldier’s Girl

Director: Frank Pierson

Staring: Troy Garity, Lee Pace, Andre Braugher, Shawn Hatosy, Philip Eddolls

Trivia:

  • The real Calpernia talks about the movie
  • Soldier’s Girl was also hailed as one of the ten best Television Programs of the Year (2003) by the American Film Institute.
  • Nominated for a ton of awards (Emmy, GLAAD, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, among others) and won Lee Pace a Breakthrough Award during the 2003 Gotham Awards and a Peabody Award in 2004.

Talking Points:

  • Contact with Calpernia Addams
  • Pretty much a word for word story from real life. Crazy to believe, but true.
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • COL014: In the Army
  • July 4th is the 11th Anniversary of Barry Winchell’s murder

Trailer:

Recommendations:

  • Jeff: Must see, but a Rental will be fine.
  • Ray: Very Powerful, I would recommend this to a lot of people.
  • Steve: Powerful! Must see! Just be prepared to cry and be left thinking a lot.

The Present: Get Him To The Greek

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Staring: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, & Sean “P Diddy” Combs

Trivia:

  • Russell Brand nearly chipped a tooth while filming ‘The Clap’ performance scene at the Today show.
  • Emily Blunt was announced for the role of Jackie Q but had to pull out and Rose Byrne replaced her.
  • Russell Brand filmed scenes of him performing as rock star Aldous Snow at his sell out comedy show – “Scandalous”, at the O2 arena in London, in front of an audience of 20,000 fans. He was joined on stage by Jack Black and Jason Segel.
  • This movie is a spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008). Jonah Hill is in both films, but as two different characters. Kristen Bell reprises her role as Sarah Marshall in a cameo.
  • A week after the release of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Universal Studios announced a new film Get Him to the Greek, reteaming Jonah Hill and Russell Brand with writer/director Nicholas Stoller and producer Judd Apatow. Variety initially announced the project would focus on “fresh-out-of-college insurance adjuster (Hill) who is hired to accompany an out-of-control rock star (Brand) from London to a gig at L.A.’s Greek Theatre.” In July 2008, Brand mentioned that he would be reprising his Aldous Snow role from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in a new film from Apatow in which the character was back on drugs
  • In an interview with CHUD.com, Apatow would later reveal that Get Him to the Greek was indeed a spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall with Brand again playing a no-longer-sober Aldous Snow while in a different interview Nicholas Stoller said that Jonah Hill will play a different character named Aaron Green, a young music executive
  • While Russell Brand was backstage at the Paramount studio lot preparing to present the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, he approached Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Katy Perry about filming cameos for Get Him to the Greek.
  • On April 17, 2009, Brand filmed scenes of him performing as rock star Aldous Snow at his sellout comedy show “Russell Brand: Scandalous”, at the O2 arena in London, in front of an audience of 20,000 fans. He performed the songs “Inside Of You” and “I Am Jesus”.
  • The movie has gotten relatively favorable reviews. Even Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars by saying that “under the cover of slapstick, cheap laughs, raunchy humor, gross-out physical comedy and sheer exploitation, Get Him to the Greek also is fundamentally a sound movie.”

Talking Points:

  • Drug references in movies today – when does it become excessive?
  • Anyone else think the movie was really choppy? Maybe poorly edited?
  • Can Russell Brand actually speak without doing so through his teeth?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Drug references and lots of puke does not make a great movie.
  • P Diddy can be funny!
  • You can shape your body hair into just about anything (Microphone = Hairyoke?)
  • If life slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry walls.

Trailer:

Recommendations:

  • Jeff: Good movie, worth a full price
  • Ray: Thought parts of it were funny, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to see it, maybe a rent..for a $1…
  • Steve: Could have done without seeing this movie. Not my cup of tea.

The Future: Resident Evil: Afterlife

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, & Sienna Guillory

Trivia:

  • The name of this movie “Afterlife” is the same working title that was used in the previous movie before it became “Extinction”.
  • This is the first live-action movie based on a video game to be in 3-D.
  • Will feature plot elements from Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000) (VG) and Resident Evil 5 (2009) (VG).
  • The first Resident Evil film to be released in IMAX.
  • Anderson used James Cameron’s Fusion Camera System, the same system that was used in Avatar. He has stated the film has the largest budget in the series thus far and it will also feature new characters taken from the video games
  • Visual effects production manager Eric Roberston described the look of the film, “interesting contrasts, pure whites, which is a staggering look. It’s so clean and tight along with some real darkness too that may evoke a bit of a feel of Silent Hill. So we’ve got the extremes, but it’s definitely a unique look for this incarnation and it’s been fun to see those looks”

Talking Points:

  • 3-D
  • Wentworth Miller!! 🙂
  • Resident Evil: Overkill? Is it about time to put the series to bed?

Summary:
In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead – and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.

Trailer:

Excitement:

  • Jeff: I’m a sucker for some bad movies.
  • Ray: Hoping it doesn’t fall to the even/odd curse..so far ive liked 1,3 hated 2
  • Steve: Definitely looking forward to it!! Hoping it will be the last though. Let a good thing go before it becomes Resident Evil: Overkill

Coming Attractions:

The Past: Jeffrey
The Present: Toy Story 3
The Future: The Smurfs

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