This month on COL Movies, At home we’ve watch Monsters Inc, End of Watch, Sinister, and Rise of the Guardians. In the Theater, we’re watching Oz: The Great and Powerful, Jack The Giant Slayer, and Warm Bodies. The boys also talk about the trailers for The Wolverine, World War Z, and The Conjuring. All this and more on this, the 132nd reel of COL Movies.
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”
The Past: Mean Girls (2004)
Rotten Tomatoes 83% Fresh; 66% Audience
Director: Mark Waters
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey
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.
Inevitable comparison to Heathers
The use of the internal thoughts
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!
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.
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, 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.
Felt like a clip show right before the end of a reality series
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
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
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.
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.
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.