MOV128: All Bets Are Off!

After 5 weeks the band is finally back together on this the 128th reel of COL Movies. This week the boys get right into the swing of things by jumping to the past and examining Guy Richie’s. Snatch! For our exploration of the present we strap on some Iron Gauntlets to chop away at the RZA and Eli Roth Kung-Fu Extravaganza The Man With The Iron Fists. Finally we all keep the Iron hot by looking to the future to talk about Iron Man 3. On the news front we have some information on Brian Syngers new project, Some Star Wars Episode 7 announcements and last but certainly least we get to talk about some very exciting casting news for the masterpiece that will be Transformers 4! All this and more on the 128th reel of COL Movies: All Bets Are Off!

News:

The Past: Snatch
Rotten Tomatoes 72% Fresh; 92% Audience

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro

Trivia:

  • Brad Pitt, who was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, approached director Guy Ritchie and asked for a role in this film. When Ritchie found Pitt couldn’t master a London accent, he gave him the role of Mickey the Gypsy.
  • To keep things in order during production, director Guy Ritchie introduced a system of fines on set. There were fines for mobile phones ringing, arriving late, taking naps during shooting, being “cheeky”, being unfunny, and/or moaning and complaining. One staff member was even charged for letting the craft service table run out of coffee cups.
  • When Mickey “wins” a new trailer van for his mother from Turkish, he specifically picks out “periwinkle blue” as the color. In Psycho, we are told that Norman Bates helped to pick out a “periwinkle blue” dress for his dead mother. Mickey, just like Norman, is also responsible (albeit indirectly) for his own mother’s death.
  • When Vinnie Jones is introduced in the movie, he is slamming a man’s head in a car door, It was the head of stunt co-coordinator and action director Tom Delmar, who volunteered for the job.
  • Bullet Tooth Tony’s character is introduced slamming a man’s head between a car door and a car, which the same actor does in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie film.
  • The hardcore band “Cold War from Orange County, California” quotes this movie several times throughout their CD “From Russia With Love.” Some of the lines quoted are: (“Quote” – Character / Song in which quote is used) “From Russia with love, ah?” – Doug The Head / Love Betrays “Heavy’s good, heavy’s reliable.” – Boris the Blade / Painful Delight “Do you know what “nemesis” means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an ‘orrible c*nt… me.” – Brick Top / Retrace My Steps
  • Lennie James actually hit himself in his private parts with the shotgun while blasting a hole in the wall at the bookies, but continued the scene. That footage was used in the film.
  • Boris the Blade pulls a large cleaver from his belt. Soap did the same thing in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie movie.
  • Guy Ritchie reportedly paid US $1 million for the use of Madonna’s song, “Lucky Star”.
  • Every mistake that Sol, Vincent and Tyrone make were inspired by various late-night TV shows about real-life crimes gone horribly wrong.
  • Tim Maurice-Jones, the cinematographer, plays the man who is repeatedly battered over the head at the beginning of the movie by Frankie Four-Fingers (Benicio Del Toro). In Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for which he was also the cinematographer, he was the man being drowned at the beginning of the film by Barry the Baptist (Lenny McLean).
  • Nearly every death in the movie takes place off-screen.
  • In the final scene, the 86-carat diamond is referred to as an 84-carat diamond.
  • In Guy Ritchie’s previous film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, there is a scene in which Harry, Barry and Chris have a conversation. Barry says the line. “No, Harry, you can’t,” which is shortly repeated by Chris, then by both together. This joke is carried over to this movie when Alex and Susi do the same thing with the line, “Yeah, Dad, you told us.”
  • When Guy Ritchie told Brad Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt book the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.
  • The U.S. distributors considered changing the title to “Snatched” or “Snatch’d”.
  • The word “fuck” is said 163 times.
  • During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs, where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song “Like a Virgin”.
  • Franky Four-Fingers changes into four different outfits during the short telephone conversation to cousin Avi.
  • According to the DVD commentary, Bow, the dog was very difficult to work with. During car scene with Vincent, Sol and Tyrone, the dog was actually attacking Lennie James, and James was actually bitten in the crotch by the dog but didn’t suffer any serious injury. The dog was replaced after that incident.
  • The producers couldn’t afford enough extras for the boxing match sequences. Whenever a camera angle changed, the extras had to move around to create an impression of a crowded house.
  • When Vinny and Sol are sitting outside Brick-Top’s Bookies, about to give him the diamond, the man that approaches the car is not really Bullet-Tooth Tony, it was a look-alike. Vinnie Jones didn’t show up for shooting that day because he was in jail for fighting the night before.
  • Body count: 26
  • Brad Pitt’s character and indecipherable speech was inspired by many critics’ complaints about the accents of the characters in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Guy Ritchie decided to counter the criticisms by creating a character that not only couldn’t be understood by the audience but the also couldn’t be understood by characters in the movie.
  • One of the boxers is called Bomber Harris. “Bomber Harris” was the nickname of Arthur Harris, chief of RAF Bomber Command in World War II. The name later appeared in a German Monty Python special (Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus) as the name of a man who wrestles himself – Colin “Bomber” Harris.
  • The role of Brick Top Polford was originally offered to Dave Courtney.
  • Just before Micky and Bomber Harris begin their fight, Bomber Harris head-butts Micky just after the bell rings. Micky recoils checking for blood on his glove and then floors his opponent with one punch. This was a nod towards Lenny “The Guv’nor” McClean when he fought “Mad Gypsy” Bradshaw in an almost identical fight. Lenny McLean worked with Guy Ritchie on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and passed away in 1998.
  • Throughout the movie, Turkish (Jason Statham) makes comments to Tommy (Stephen Graham) about his getting a gun for protection from “Ze Germans”. Graham also played Sgt. Myron ‘Mike’ Ranney in the series Band of Brothers, although Snatch was released a year prior to the series.
  • The car driven by Tyrone is a Rover SD1. It is the Vitesse version which was the fastest version made. It has a 3.5 litre V8 engine which ran on petrol/gasoline. The car was in production from 1976-1986 and in this time there was a “facelift” updated model as used in this film. The car is driven by the rear wheels and was a favorite amongst police and criminals when they were in production; so much so in fact, that the police started buying second hand cars and converting them for use in the police force when they went out of production. There were many different engines available, such as a 2.3 and 2.6 liter in-line 6 cylinder engine and a 2.4 liter turbo diesel engine, which was revolutionary in the 1980s. After the car went out of production, the design was sold to a company in India and it was re-badged and sold again as the Standard 2000.
  • Jason Flemyng joked that the working conditions on this film were so terrible that Brad Pitt’s trailer was picketed by Amnesty International as not being fit for someone to live in.
  • Guy Ritchie: In the back of the bar when we are first introduced to Doug The Head. Ritchie is the man reading the newspaper.
  • The film’s title only appears once throughout the entire movie, where Vinny (Robbie Gee) tells the dog, “Don’t Snatch!” as it takes the squeaky toy. It is said to the dog because it’s the dog who eats the diamond.

Talking Points:

  • Understanding the dialogue

What We Learned:

  • Whenever you reverse, things come at you from behind
  • If all bets are off, there can’t be any money
  • It’s easier to cut a body into 6 pieces then to try and carry it whole
  • It takes 16 pigs 8 minutes to devour a 200 lbs man
  • You can’t find a pikey that doesn’t want to be found.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I have some strange mixed feelings on this movie. I think it’s brilliant like Trainspotting but I think it has to do with some English sensibilities or something. I recommend seeing the movie at least once and hope you all appreciate it as much as I do.
Ray: Just wasn’t my kind of movie, I had a real hard time keeping up with the dialogue and the editing was exhausting. Brad Pitt was pretty amusing in it though.So far Guy Ritchie is 0 for 3 for me.
Steve: I like this one…and I also like LS&2SB, so I’m good with Ritchie. It’s just something kind of Tarantino about it, but also unique. I also enjoy the absurdity and he does a good job telling several intertwining stories without making you feel too lost. It’s hectic, but fun.

The Present: The Man With The Iron Fists
Rotten Tomatoes 53% Rotten; 52% Audience

Director: RZA

Starring: Russel Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu

Trivia:

  • Development of the film that would become The Man with the Iron Fists began as early as 2003 when RZA produced the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill. RZA set himself a $50,000 budget and flew to the Kill Bill set in Beijing, China, where he spent approximately thirty days taking notes on how Tarantino directed the film.
  • The first cut of the film was 4 hours long and RZA suggested splitting it into two films, but Roth disagreed and it was ultimately cut down to 96 minutes to meet the studios requirements and to excise gorier content that would gain the film a restrictive rating, limiting its audience. RZA admitted to walking away from the editing process for two weeks at one point out of disgust at having to cut the film.
  • RZA and Eli Roth worked on the screenplay together over two years, talking through every aspect of the story, down to the detail of every weapon.
  • RZA then financed and directed a martial-arts short film called Wu-Tang vs. the Golden Phoenix featuring kung-fu trained actors flown in from Hong Kong. When he and Roth finally pitched The Man with the Iron Fists to producers, RZA used the short to prove that the musician could handle the martial arts action and be trusted to take on his first director role.
  • During the development process, Tarantino agreed to lend his name to the film with a “presented by” credit.
  • Approximately 6 weeks into filming, RZA began pushing the crew to work faster to remain on schedule. His assistant director eventually informed RZA that the push was resulting in stunt workers receiving injuries and being sent to the hospital daily. After this, RZA abandoned some of his intended shots and replaced them with Computer Generated Images (CGI).

Talking Points:

  • Silver lion’s hair
  • Lucy Liu’s character & “Black Widows”

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Refreshingly bad; as an exercise in the genre, it always feels like you’re coming in halfway through the movie; Maybe one of the best bad movies ever; Demonstrated neo-exploitation cinema is not dead; As endearing as a hyperactive puppy, but just as exhausting and exciting; Sufficiently well done for those who like this sort of thing.
  • Negatives: RZA is awful at acting and in incompetent narrator; lavish imitation; lunatic, unnecessarily gorey, and borderline incomprehensible; a bad movie with big names is still a bad movie

What We Learned:

  • When it comes to money things get funny
  • A dog living in a palace is still a dog

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: You know, I thought this would be a bit more exciting of a movie. I did like Russel Crowe and Brass Body. Rawr.
Ray: I wanted to like it, and it really lived up to what it wanted to be which is a bad kung fu movie, but I found it sort of pretentious. RZA should have kept himself out of the movie.
Steve: The opening dialogue from RZA sealed the deal for me. This was just a combination of RZA’s wet dreams rolled into a film. He gets to bang the hot Asian chick, get a super power, and beat up a WWE superstar. BFD! The only things that almost saved this were how it looked, the fight scenes and Lucy Liu, otherwise I would have left it.

The Future: Iron Man 3

Release: May 3, 2012

Director: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley

Summary:

Tony Stark uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin.

Talking Points:

  • Ben Kingsly Voice
  • Tie In to the Avengers

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Iron Man? Yes, please.
Ray: Are you kidding me? Yes!
Steve: Looks epic! I don’t know about the Mandarin though. Guess I just thought he might be younger looking.

The Past: For Your Eyes Only

The Present: Skyfall

The Future: World War Z

Download Podcast

Alternate Download

MOV104: “We Have A Hulk”

Join us as we strap ourselves into a Jet Car and get our over-thrusters aimed at 1984 to look at the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th dimension. Does this Action adventure, sci-fi romantic comedy get the formula right and hold up, or will we wish it never made it out of the 8th..or in this case 80’s dimension. Next we suit up and assemble for the Comic Book Juggernaut that is Marvels The Avengers, Does this long awaited franchise deliver on all the hype it has generated? Finally we head out over the Pacific on the haunted flight 7500. Does this look like it’s going to scare the bejesus out of us, or going to be another snakes on a plane? We also have news about Kick Ass 2, Django Unchained, and Avatar 2, 3, and 4?? All this and more on the 104th Reel of COL Movies “We Have a Hulk”

News:

The Past: The Adventures of Buckeroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes: 71% Fresh, 68% Audience

Director: W.D. Richter

Starring: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin

Trivia:

  • ​When it came time to film the end titles sequence, where Buckaroo and pals are walking around a dry L.A. aqueduct in step to the music, the music wasn’t ready. Composer ‘Michael Boddicker’ told the film crew to use “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel as a placeholder because it was the exact same tempo. Those scenes were filmed with “Uptown Girl” blaring from a boom box tied to the back of the camera truck.
  • Overall concept and several names appear to be taken from the Doc Savage pulp magazines of the 30’s and 40’s: both main characters are multi-talented surgeons, adventurers, and musicians; and both have an inner circle of sidekicks with nicknames (Renny, Ham, Monk, Long Tom, and Johnny, compared to Reno, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, and Rawhide).
  • Jamie Lee Curtis played Buckaroo’s mother in a flashback, but this scene was cut. The scene is available on the recent DVD release as an optional prequel to the theatrical version, and as a special feature. Jamie Lee Curtis is visible in a photo on the dashboard of the jet car in the wide-screen version.
  • The latitude and longitude recited by the technicians during the “alignment” of the Oscillation Overthruster are the coordinates of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • The “oscillation overthruster” device reappeared as a “spectral analyzer” in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Pen Pals.”
  • The US DVD release includes a caption portion entitled “Pinky Caruthers’ Unknown Facts”, which actually adds to the storyline and character development of the film.
  • The “jet car” shown in the film (reportedly a 1982 Ford F-350 pick-up truck) included an actual Cold War-era General Electric turbo jet engine that was borrowed from Northrop University in Inglewood, California.
  • The end of the movie invites the viewer to watch for the upcoming film “Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League”. This was the real title for a sequel that Sherwood Studios planned to make if this film had been successful. Unfortunately, it was a box-office bomb, and Sherwood Studios went bankrupt. After its release on video and cable, however, BB became a cult favorite, much in the same way as Mad Max (which crawled from obscurity to spawn two sequels). Legal wrangling due to the bankruptcy prevented any other studios from picking up the sequel rights, and even years later MGM had to fight through a pile of red tape simply to get the OK to release it on DVD.
  • Some of the dialogue used in the Jet Car sequence is taken directly from Mission Control chatter heard during a shuttle launch countdown.
  • In the original script, Buckaroo was supposed to have an arch enemy named Hanoi Xan, who was never seen but referenced to by Buckaroo and the other characters. All scenes containing dialogue regarding Xan were deleted from the film’s theatrical release but are now available on DVD. Xan was supposed to be the mysterious head of a crime syndicate called the World Crime League and also the man who murdered Buckaroo’s parents and wife Peggy.
  • During the jetcar test, the computer screen that has the graphics shows three different words: SINED, SEELED, and DELIVERED.
  • Lord John Whorfin’s line, “Character is what you are in the dark,” is a quote from the 19th Century evangelist Dwight L. Moody.
  • Many names and terms were taken from Thomas Pynchon’s book “The Crying of Lot 49”, most notably the company name Yoyodyne. To this day, there is a yoyodyne.com, which serves as a fan site for the film. “Yoyodyne” itself was Pynchon’s thinly veiled reference to Rocketdyne, a major defense industry contractor and manufacturer of rocket engines, founded just after WW II to reverse-engineer German V-2 rockets – thereby also making this a further veiled reference to Pynchon’s novel ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’.
  • When John Whorfin calls collect for John Bigboote, he tells the operator he is calling “Grovers Mill.” Grovers Mill was a real-life community in New Jersey which was used in Orson Welles’ famous radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” and is now a part of West Windsor Township in Mercer county.
  • The kanji lettering on Buckaroo Banzai’s headband as he drives the jet car reads “seikatsu-bi”, which appears to be Japanese, but does not make sense. The first two kanji mean living or lifestyle, but the second character, “bi” (not “bei” as has been reported elsewhere) or beautiful, does not add up to coherent Japanese. It seems to suggest the “beautiful life” but these 3 kanji together do not have a particular meaning in Japanese.
  • Banzai’s mentioned but unseen foe Hanoi Xan seems to homage Hanoi Shan. In the genealogical section of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973), Philip Jose Farmer added Hanoi Shan to the Wold Newton Universe. Hanoi Shan is an allegedly real-life criminal mastermind documented in the works of criminologist H. Ashton Wolfe. Farmer’s thesis was to make Hanoi Shan the same individual as Sax Rohmer’s totally fictional Dr. Fu Manchu.
  • President Widmark is clearly intended to look and sound like Orson Welles, who directed and starred in the radio presentation of “War of the Worlds” referenced in the film.
  • Between his escape from the insane asylum and his ransom call, the movie’s main villain, John Worfin, is not seen for more than 42 straight minutes – over 40% of the film’s runtime.
  • On “At the Movies” in 1984 just before the film’s release, Gene Siskel correctly guessed that the movie would attain cult status.
  • Both Peter Weller and John Lithgow went on to appear on the hit TV show Dexter. Lithgow played the Trinity Killer in season 4 and Weller played a corrupt cop in season 5.
  • John Lithgow’s dialect coach, Roberto Terminelli, was actually a tailor on the Fox lot with a heavy Italian accent. John had Roberto speak his lines from the script into a tape recorder, which he then used to practice the accent. John then got him credit in the movie as the dialect coach for his help.

Talking Points:

  • ​What makes a movie a “Cult” movie.

Critic Notes

  • Positives: 24+/10- on Rotten Tomatoes: Oddball in a good way, offbeat way to poke fun at pop culture, pure nutty fun
  • Negatives: Too many characters, non-flowing plot is hard to follow, comes off like being on a receiving end of an inside joke that you’re not an insider on, violates every rule of storytelling

What We Learned:

  • Ford F-350’s make excellent jet cars despite them having the aerodynamic properties of a brick wall.
  • No matter where you go, there you are.
  • A quadrillionth has a lot of zeros
  • Buckaroo Bonzai and the Hong Kong Caviliers sported hipster glasses before they were cool
  • Don’t leave the keys in your helicopter
  • There’s a long form and a short form declaration of war.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Irreverent, weird, random, awesome. A classic 80’s sci fi comedy, I’d definitely recommend a look see.
Ray: Well, this is a movie that I have fond memories of, however it’s not really holding up to my expectations.. it is a quirky strange look into B sci fi movies of the 80’s though. It might be fun to watch with a group of friends who are old enough to remember this one… but not sure I’d recommend it to someone who’s never seen it before unless I know for sure this is their kind of movie.
Steve: Not my thing. Too schizophrenic for me. I find no real plot in this movie and it’s just not my cup of tea. Skip it unless you’re in the cult.

Intermission: Flickchart

The Present: The Avengers
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Fresh ; 96% Audience

Director: Joss Whedon

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson

Trivia:

  • Edward Norton was originally set to reprise his role from The Incredible Hulk but negotiations between him and Marvel Studios broke down. Norton was replaced with Mark Ruffalo.
  • The first Marvel film to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
  • Before Mark Ruffalo was cast as The Hulk, Joaquin Phoenix was rumored for the part.
  • Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Cobie Smulders screen tested for the role of Agent Maria Hill. Smulders was eventually cast.
  • Lou Ferrigno voices the Hulk in this film. He has played the Hulk in almost every live-action version since 1978: he played the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk and its subsequent three TV specials, and he voiced the Hulk in the big-screen The Incredible Hulk (he was seen in Hulk but it was a cameo role as a security guard, which he repeated in The Incredible Hulk ). He also has voiced the Hulk in various animated productions.
  • Chris Hemsworth had to increase and expand his dietary/food intake in order to maintain the physique he built up for Thor.
  • Mark Ruffalo describes Bruce Banner as “a guy struggling with two sides of himself, the dark and the light; everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control.” He furthermore describes Banner’s alter ego the Hulk as “a loose cannon – he’s the teammate none of them are sure they want, it’s like throwing a grenade into the middle of the group and hoping it turns out well!”
  • Mark Ruffalo personally portrays the Hulk through virtual-camera motion-capture. Previous live-action versions have had Bruce Banner and the Hulk be played by separate people (Bill Bixby and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno), or had the Hulk rendered into the film in computer-generated imagery.
  • Director Joss Whedon had earlier been considered to direct X-Men in the 1990s. A big fan of the X-Men, he even wrote a script, from which only two lines made it into the film.
  • Producer Kevin Feige compares the film to Transformers: Dark of the Moon: “It set a standard for that level of ZOMG-awesomeness and scale. We’re working to try to outdo that.”
  • Mark Ruffalo states it was an honour to take over as Bruce Banner from his friend Edward Norton: “Ed has bequeathed this part to me, I look at it as my generation’s Hamlet.”
  • The Science and Entertainment Exchange provided a science consultation for the film.
  • According to Joss Whedon, the film is strongly influenced by the early 1960s Avengers comics, which he was a fan of while growing up: “In those comics these people shouldn’t be in the same room let alone on the same team – and that is the definition of family.”
  • Tom Hiddleston spoke of his role as Loki in an interview by saying, “I can tell you that it’s all of them against me. I am the super villain. So it’s Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury forming a team because I’ve got so bad ass.”
  • After Loki is brought on board the Helicarrier, Tony Stark can be seen wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt. Black Sabbath is better known for their song “Iron Man.” Although the song was not originally associated with the Marvel Comics character, it has since been referenced in the comics and the end of Iron Man when Tony quotes the lyric, “I am Iron Man.”
  • This film holds an unusually high number of Academy Award nominees in the cast/crew for a comic book movie, or most movies for that matter: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, director Joss Whedon, and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, possibly many others. This tops Iron Man 2, and Iron Man which each had four nominees a piece.
  • The cast became good friends while filming so if all the actors happened to be filming scenes together in the same place, they would go out together after.
  • Despite the fact that the studio had no involvement in producing the film, neither in marketing or distributing, the Paramount Pictures logo still appears in advertising. Despite Disney buying the distribution of Marvel films from Paramount (as Marvel is a Disney company), the latter studio will still receive partial box-office royalties for these projects. No reference to Disney is made until the very end of the closing credits, where “Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures” is credited for the film’s distribution.
  • The film was converted to 3D during post-production for the theatrical release.
  • Chris Evans once sent a text message to Clark Gregg simply saying “Assemble”, which is the tagline for the movie. Gregg stated that this was his favorite text message ever sent to him.
  • Tony Stark describes his group as “Earth’s mightiest heroes, that kind of thing.” This refers to the bold label that has appeared on “The Avengers” comic books since its 1963 publication. The phrase has also been used as the subtitle for The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the most recent animated series before the live-action Avengers film.
  • This is the second time that Bruce Banner/Hulk and Thor have appeared together in a movie. They previously appeared together in The Incredible Hulk Returns.
  • According to director Joss Whedon, the original cut of the movie was over 3 hours long. There will be about 30 minutes of the excised footage included in the DVD Release, most of which revolves around Steve Rogers (Captain America). Whedon revealed that one of these scenes involved Rogers struggling to adjust to the modern world in his Brooklyn apartment and another revealed Steve Rogers’ reunion with Peggy Carter, his love interest from Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • Tom Hiddleston revealed in an interview with the Guardian that the code name for the film early in its production was ‘Group Hug’.
  • With Samuel L. Jackson’s role as Nick Fury in this film, he is now the second actor after Hugh Jackman (who has appeared in all X-men movies) to play the same comic book superhero in five different movies.
  • The Chitauri appear in the first story arc of “The Ultimates,” an alternate universe retelling of the origins of the Marvel superheroes. In the comics, their leader claims that they go by many names, including Skrulls. The use of the Chitauri name in this film, over the more popular Skrull designation, stems from complicated legal rights issues resulting from the licensing of the “Fantastic Four” characters (the series in which the Skrulls originated) to Fox Studios. At the time of production, Fox held the rights to all theatrical film versions of the “Fantastic Four” and their related characters; as such, Marvel/Disney had to use the Chitauri name for the aliens, as to not offend the previous agreement with Fox.
  • Thor spends most of this movie in his Asgardian armor but with bare arms, a nod to his early appearances in the comics. During his time on the Helicarrier, he is also seen without his cape, an allusion to his Ultimate Comics appearance.
  • The movie basically holds true to the comic book origins, save that Nick Fury and SHIELD did not create the Avengers. Also, founding members Ant-Man/Goliath (Hank Pym) and Wasp (Janet Pym) were not cast (Ant-Man had not appeared in a previous Marvel film and, therefore, had not been established for movie-goers, and Wasp merely appeared in a small cameo in Thor).
  • Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is from the Ultimate Marvel Universe created in 2000 to re-imagine and update the Marvel heroes for the 21st century. Fury’s likeness was actually based on Jackson, who gave Marvel permission to do so. Subsequently, based on that likeness and his star power, Jackson was cast as Fury for all Marvel superhero films owned by Marvel/Disney.
  • Though Mark Ruffalo is the only actor not to appear in a previous Marvel Comics film as his character, Lou Ferrigno reprised his role as the voice of The Hulk from Edward Norton’s 2008 film. Ferrigno has voiced the hulk in virtually every incarnation since The Incredible Hulk television show with Bill Bixby in 1977. The exception is Ang Lee’s 2003 film Hulk version where Ferrigno played a security guard.
  • Complex legal issues prevented a number of “Avengers” characters from their inclusion in this film. Most notably, these include Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch, the twin children of X-Men) villain Magneto, and frequent adversaries Doctor Doom (nemesis of the Fantastic Four) and Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin (the primary antagonist of Spider-Man). Though all characters are owned by Marvel/Disney, the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” characters had all been licensed to Fox Studios, and those of “Spider-Man” to Sony before work began on an “Avengers” film. Marvel has said that in the future they hope to regain the rights to all licensed properties, that the aforementioned characters might have a role in subsequent “Avengers” films.
  • In the movie, Captain America is a founding member. In the comics, Captain America was unfrozen in Avengers #4 when he was accidentally discovered when the team was looking for Namor the Sub Mariner.
  • To prepare for the role of Agent Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Jeremy Renner was trained by Olympic archers.
  • The crew hired 25 members of the Ohio based 391st Military police force battalion for the attack on New York city scene to add realism for the battle.
  • At the end all thats left of the Stark Tower sign is the letter A which reassembles the Avengers logo. In the comics Stark Tower later becomes the headquarters of the Avengers.
  • The battle cry of the Avengers, “Avengers Assemble” was not spoken throughout the film. However Chris Evans would say it behind the scenes to call out the rest of cast via text message to hang out off the set.
  • The final end credit scene was added after ‘Robert Downey Jr’. encouraged a rewrite of a previous scene. After Thor rips off Iron Man’s mask to reveal an unconscious Tony Stark, who had just fallen back to Earth, Tony originally awakens and asks, “What’s next?”. Robert Downey Jr. thought the line could be more interesting, and the idea of going to a local shawarma restaurant was born. The scene was added two days after the Hollywood premiere.
  • The outdoor scenes which were supposed to take place in Germany, but were filmed in downtown Cleveland, contained numerous Cleveland Historical landmarks including; Tower City, Higbee Building & Casino, Renaissance Building, and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument.
  • When they filmed the extra post credits scene after the premier, ‘Chris Evans (v)’ had to wear a prosthetic face to cover up the facial hair he had on his face that he needed for a film he was filming at the time. They also had him cover his face partially with his hands.
  • The Avengers, while on the Helicarrier, realize that they are being turned against each other via mind manipulation from Loki. This happens when Banner unknowingly picks up the staff that Loki has with him and uses to both shoot and turn humans into his minions.. The tip of the spear has a blue sparkling crystal at the end that many believe is energy from the Cosmic Cube…this is false. It is actually the Blue Infinity Gem that allows the user to control others and enter the thoughts of others. It is part of Marvel’s “Infinity Gauntlet” which involves the Avengers taking on Thanos, the character seen during the credits. After a long war spanning dozens of Marvel comics issues (including a canceled story line) the Gems are dispersed among superheros and mutants after Iron Man and Steve Rogers reclaim them. In fact, one of the Gems makes it into rival DC Comics story lines and is given to Darkseid, who is the DC equivalent to Thanos.
  • The “wishbone” section of the helicarrier where Banner’s lab is located is referred to in naval architecture as a “well deck”; it provides a sheltered docking area typically used for launching small boats or hover craft for carrying troops ashore.
  • All the scenes filmed in Ohio were originally to be filmed in Michigan. Planned production was moved to Ohio when it was revealed that Michigan’s film tax rebates were going to be revoked.
  • The first film to gross $200 million in its first three days in the USA.
  • Loki is described as being a king in the world from which he came. Shortly after this is mentioned he appears in Stuttgart to gain access to the stores of iridium at a laboratory, aided by ‘bad’ Hawkeye. When The Avengers ask for Loki’s location, Loki is said to be at “22 Konigstrasse”. Konig is German for “king”.
  • After Thor and Loki crash down on the mountain side, a large black crow flies by them as they are talking. In Norse mythology, their father, Odin, had two crows, Huginn and Muninn, who would bring Odin information from Midgard (Earth).
  • Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders’s co-star from How I Met Your Mother, suggested to director Joss Whedon that he get Smulders to read for the part of Maria Hill. Hannigan had also worked with Whedon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • A Shawarma is another name for gyro, correctly pronounced as “hero”.
  • Stan Lee: the old man being interviewed at the end of the New York battle.
  • The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
  • Tom Hiddleston describes Loki in this film as having evolved since Thor: “How pleasant an experience is it to disappear into a wormhole that was created by some super-nuclear explosion of his own making? I think by the time Loki shows up he’s seen a few things and has bigger things in mind than just his brother and Asgard….”
  • Loki brings the Chitauri alien race to Earth to help him invade it, thus requiring the Avengers to be formed to prevent this. This is in keeping with the comics, where Loki was also responsible for manipulating a chain of disasters which brought together the Avengers in the first place (incidentally, in the very first issue of their self-titled comic book series).
  • The Hulk only speaks two words during the battle with the Chitauri when he slams Loki back and forth at Stark Tower and says “Puny god.”
  • The Chitauri, the villainous alien race of this film, were the primary villains of the first volume of The Ultimates, a comic book re-imagining of The Avengers. Subsequently Loki was one of the primary villains of the second volume of The Ultimates, though his appearance had nothing to do with the Chitari.

Talking Points:

  • ​Favorite Fights?
  • Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk
  • Did you not like anything about this? Can someone explain to me whats up with the hulk?
  • Do we want a Hawkeye or Black Widow Movie now?

Critics:

  • Positives: 263+, 18- on Rotten Tomatoes, great spectacle, Whedon knew where to take the characters, Performances by all the actors were solid, well conceived and fashioned toward its audience
  • Negatives: (very few) Visual onslaught of too much computerized action, flat performances, seemed like Whedon was handcuffed too much by marketing execs to have characters and shots do certain things

What We Learned:

  • ​Doors, especially cosmic ones, open from both sides.
  • An ant has no quarrel with a boot.
  • Freedom is life’s great lie
  • War isn’t won by sentiment, it’s won with soldiers.
  • The unspoken truth of humanity is that we all crave subjugation.
  • Loki is a full tilt diva.
  • Dr. Banner is ALWAYS angry.
  • Sometimes to do great things, all you need is a little push.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Holy mother fucking Jesus Christ. This movie has been touted as the best superhero movie of all time and they are not freaking kidding. I actually CHEERED when Hulk Smashed that first flying monster thing and was giggling through most of the battle sequence. This’ll be a repeat viewing I’m sure.
Ray: Wow, Joss Whedon needs to direct more comic book movies, I was skeptical.. how could a movie be getting this good of word of mouth? But it’s true, this is probably one of the best if not THE best comic book movie I have ever seen. It’s going to be interesting to see how The Dark Knight Rises holds up.
Steve: Amazing! Saw it twice…at the drive in and in 3D at the nice theater. It was smart, sassy, and very Joss Whedon. Also very good job at giving each hero about equal screen time so the actors didn’t go all Christian Bale on him.

The Future: 7500

Release: August 31, 2012

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Starring: Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart

Summary:

The film follows a group of passengers who encounter what appears to be a supernatural force while on a transpacific flight.

Talking Points

  • So of course the immediate reaction is.. So instead of snakes, we got ghosts on a plane.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It’s a ghost horror movie. It’s just taking place on a plane. Yeah, thrilling. (sarcasm)
Ray: I’m a fan of the original Japanese Grudge and not so much the American version.. So I am sort of torn by this, I know ill probably see it at some point even if Steve or myself do not put it on the list for this show.
Steve: “Get these motherfucking ghosts off this motherfucking plane!” I’m so there!! 🙂

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

Download Podcast

MOV084: “It’s So Overt, It’s Covert!”

This reel of COL Movies starts off with walk down memory lane with that “don’t stick your tongue on the frozen flag pole” and “you’ll shoot your eye out” film, “A Christmas Story”. After surviving the holidays, the boys head to the theater to see if Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law retain their magic in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”. From there, they check out the trailer for the 2nd installment of the “Ghost Rider” franchise. Do we think we’ll get more out of Nick Cage in this movie? That’s still to be determined. In news, they discuss a prison sentence for pirating X-Men, Daniel Craig’s potential monopoly on the Bond franchise, and details on the BluRay for Jaws? It’s the 84th reel of COL Movies…”It’s so overt, it’s covert”

News:

The Past: A Christmas Story (1983)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Fresh, 82% Audience

Director: Bob Clark

Starring: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz, Peter Billingsly, Jean Shepherd (Voice)

Trivia:

  • To find an American city resembling an Indiana town of the 1940s, director Bob Clark sent his location scouts to twenty cities before selecting Cleveland, Ohio, as the site for filming.
  • The people of Cleveland were incredibly cooperative during filming, donating antique vehicles from every corner of the city. These vintage vehicles helped to enhance the authenticity of the production design.
  • Ralph’s school exteriors were filmed at Victoria School in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
  • Singer/Songwriter Pepper McGowan was an extra during the mall scene.
  • Jean Shepherd’s book “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash”, which the film is partly based on, is a collection of short stories that Jean Shepherd wrote for “Playboy” magazine during the 1960s, including the stories about the tongue sticking to the flagpole, and eating Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The subplot of the mangy dogs constantly harassing The Old Man was taken from another of Mr. Shepherd’s short story collections, “Wanda Hickey’s Night Of Golden Memories and Other Disasters.” In that book, the character of Ralph is about 17 years old.
  • The film’s setting is a town in Indiana, but was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. The street the “Parker’s” live in is called “Cleveland Street”.
  • The movie was set in Hammond Indiana. References were made throughout the film to support this claim. Examples: Harding school (on 165th St.) where Flick stuck his tongue to the flagpole, Goldblatt’s department store, the mention of Griffith (a city that borders Hammond), Cleveland Street, Hohman Ave, and other streets that are located in Hammond. Although the movie was not filmed in Hammond the houses and look of the film is very authentic. Jean Shepherd (Writer) grew up in Hammond.
  • Parts of the movie, including the Christmas tree shopping scene, were filmed in Toronto, Ontario. One of Toronto’s trademark red trolleys can be seen driving by the shot of the outside of the tree lot.
  • The St. Catharine’s Museum owns some props used in the film, including two pairs of Ralphie’s glasses including the pair that was smashed, and two scripts.
  • According to the Daisy Air Rifle manufacturers on the Special Edition DVD documentary on the history of the Red Ryder BB Gun, the gun did exist except for one error in the story: The gun did not have a compass and sundial as mentioned in the movie. According to the historians, writer Jean Shepard confused the Red Ryder gun with another rifle that did have those features. But because the story and screen play were scripted to have the compass and sundial, guns had to be specially made for the movie.
  • Inspired the creation of The Wonder Years.
  • The film was released just before Thanksgiving and became a surprise hit. By the time Christmas rolled around, the movie had already been pulled from most theaters because it had been “played out”. After complaints were lodged at the theater owners and the studio, the film played on select screens until after the first of the year 1984.
  • According to Director Bob Clark, Jack Nicholson was given the script and was very much interested in the role of Mr. Parker, “The Old Man”. However, Clark didn’t learn of this until later and the studio didn’t want to pay Nicholson’s fee anyway, which would have doubled the budget. Regardless, Clark says that Darren McGavin was still the better choice and was born to play the role.
  • The “major award” was based on a real lamp: an illuminated Nehi logo.
  • The Radio Orphan Annie decoder pin that Ralphie receives is the 1940 “Speedomatic” model, indicating that the movie takes place in December, 1940. Different decoder badges were made each year from 1935-1940. By 1941, the decoders were made of paper.
  • The Department Store featured in the Santa scene is really Higbee’s in Downtown Cleveland. There were no Higbee’s in Hammond.
  • During the filming in downtown Cleveland, the antique automobile club members, whose cars were used, were given a route to follow on Public Square. They were instructed to continue circling the square until otherwise instructed. Road salt was a major concern for the car owners and the cars were pressure-washed after each day’s filming and parked underground beneath the Terminal Tower.
  • When the character of Scut Farkas first appears, the “Wolf” music from Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” plays in the background. The name “Farkas” is derived from the Hungarian word for “wolf”.
  • The Parker’s Oldsmobile is a 1937 Model 6, four-door sedan with Indiana license plate 56 498.
  • Mrs. Parker’s memory is correct. The Lone Ranger’s nephew, Dan Reid, rode a horse named “Victor”. He was the son of the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver.
  • While reading the newspaper at the kitchen table the “Old Man” angrily mentions that the “Sox traded Bullfrog”. This is a reference to long time Chicago White Sox pitcher Bill Dietrich, who’s nickname was Bullfrog. He pitched during the 1930s and 1940s. Dietrich was never traded from the Sox, he was released September 18, 1946.
  • Ralphie says that he wanted the “Red Ryder BB Gun” 28 times.
  • The character of Red Ryder, whose name bears the BB Gun Ralphie is desperately trying to acquire, is a real comic book (and radio) character that existed in the 1930’s-40’s, akin to popular western heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger.
  • The piece of music that plays after Ralphie says “fudge”, and after the lamp breaks for the second time, is the opening of “Hamlet” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • White Sox player Bill “Bullfrog” Dietrich (Bill Dietrich) is mentioned as being traded. He was traded to the White Sox in 1936 and from the White Sox in 1946. Since the family drives a 1937 Olds, it would imply it was the 1946 trade. This would be consistent with the soldiers present at Higbee’s corner window in the movie opening, since the war may have just ended. However, war-era versions of the decoder badge were paper due to the shortage and Little Orphan Annie was off the air well before 1946.
  • Bob Clark’s success with the teen-sex comedy Porky’s allowed him the ability to make a movie he wanted to make. Without Porky’s there would have been no Christmas Story.
  • For the scene in which Flick’s tongue sticks to the flagpole, a hidden suction tube was used to safely create the illusion that his tongue had frozen to the metal.
  • An elaborate fantasy sequence – in which Ralphie joins Flash Gordon to fight Ming the Merciless – was filmed but dropped from the final cut.
  • In 2005, the original home used for the exterior shots of the family home was put up for auction on eBay and avid fan of the movie Brian Jones managed to purchase the home directly from the seller for $150,000.00 USD. Jones then spent the following year restoring the home to the way it looked on screen. The exterior of the home was completely restored and the interior was renovated to match the interior of the home shown in the movie. (Parts of the interior was actually filmed in a Toronto studio) On November 25th, 2006, the famous home finally opened its doors as a tourist attraction. Jones spent close to $500,000.00 USD in preparation for this grand opening. In addition, Jones also purchased the house next door and converted it to a gift shop and museum dedicated to the film and the house.
  • Director Bob Clark mentions in the commentary on the 2003 DVD that he worked with writer Jean Shepherd for nearly ten years on the concept of ‘A Christmas Story’ before the film was made.
  • According to Peter Billingsley (young Ralphie) in the DVD Commentary, the nonsensical ramblings that Ralphie exclaims while beating up Scott Farkus were scripted, word for word.
  • In the beginning credits, the actress portraying Mrs. Parker is listed correctly as Melinda Dillon. In the ending credits she is incorrectly listed as Melinda Dillion.
  • A behind-the-scenes documentary named ‘Road Trip for Ralphie’ follows two mega-fans on a two-year quest to locate and visit every location used in the movie. Along the way, they uncover Miss Shields’ chalk board from a dumpster, discover all the movie costumes hidden in a Toronto warehouse, track down the antique fire truck seen in the movie and visit the forgotten location of the actual Chop Suey Palace.
  • In early December of 2008, there was a contest to see who can portray the best Ralphie, whether if it’s him in a pink bunny suit, or in his winter apparel in celebration of the movie’s 25th anniversary. Plus they revealed the house in Cleveland where the movie was filmed.
  • Clarkworld is a heart-warming documentary on “A Christmas Story” director Bob Clark. The documentary’s director, Deren Abram, worked with Bob Clark for over a decade before Clark and his 22-year old son, Ariel, were killed by a drunk driver in April 2007.
  • According to Director Bob Clark’s commentary on the Christmas Story DVD, the first actor he had in mind to play Ralphie’s father was ‘Jack Nicholson’. Jack was very impressed with the script and was interested in doing the movie, but there was no way Clark could afford Jack Nicholson’s salary, and went instead with Darren McGavin as the father.
  • The real house used during filming can be found at 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Pictures and a “Street View” of the house can be seen on Google Maps. A nearby street that intersects with W. 11th St is Clark Avenue.
  • ‘Don Geyer (I)’, who played the Scarecrow, was the head of Display and Fixtures at Higbee’s Department Store / Dillards. Santa’s throne in the movie is one of the actual chairs owned by Higbee’s and used annually for Santa. After his death in 1999, his co-workers reported seeing him on the loading dock, where he used to smoke and a few claim they heard his voice on the overhead paging system.
  • Although now the film is considered a Christmas classic, what’s interesting is that at the time, according to Peter Billingsley, not many major studios were interested in a Depression-era story about a little boy wanting a BB gun for Christmas. Billingsley also stated in an interview that director Bob Clark agreed to make a horror film for the studio in order to get A Christmas Story made.
  • The film is set in 1941, according to the reference made by Mrs Parker to Mr Parker about an upcoming game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. These two teams met in a playoff game on December 14, 1941, a Sunday. It was their only playoff game against each other until January 23, 2011. The only previous time these two teams met during a regular season game in December was December 10, 1933. Throughout the 1940’s the second game of the regular season between these two teams all occurred in November, the two latest being mid-November in 1942 and 1948.
  • The LOOK magazine used by Ralph Parker to insert his Red Ryder promotion for his mother’s observation, was a December 21, 1937 edition with a cover featuring Shirley Temple pouring tea for Santa Clause. Based upon the optics of this prop it is quite possible the use of a brass decoder pin instead of the paper decoder pin used by Ralph in 1941 was chosen for its optics.
  • Since Jean Shepherd is listed in the opening set of credits, but is not in the more comprehensive end credits, the opening credits are used first in the IMDb cast list, followed by those in the end credits not yet in, as required by IMDb policy on cast ordering. In addition to being credited as “Ralphie as an Adult,” Shepherd also is uncredited as the Narrator/The Man in Line for Santa/Santa.
  • The Chinese restaurant is named ‘Bo Ling’s’. There is a neon sign across the top of the storefront that reads ‘Bowling’, except the ‘W’ is not lit.
  • There is a debate about when the film takes place. Evidence seems to point to 1939 because of “the wizard of oz” references. The decoder ring points to 1940. However, if you look at the calender on the wall (during the first dinner sequence), you can clearly see the first of December falls on a Friday. December 1st fell on a Friday in 1939. Not 1940 as what was previously excepted.
  • Jean Shepherd: writer/narrator, is the irate man waiting in the Santa line at the department store. The woman standing behind Shepherd is his wife, Leigh Brown.

Talking Points:

  • Even though I’ve seen this a million times I still remember the first time.
  • Do you think there will ever be a time when this movie stops being played so many times during Christmas?

What We’ve Learned:

  • The Kid year revolves around Christmas
  • The Lone Rangers nephew’s horse was a great character in American literature
  • Grizzly bears like to stalk candy stores
  • There is a black cloud of obscenity floating somewhere over Lake Michigan
  • Nothing trumps the triple dog dare
  • Don’t stick your tongue (or anything else wet) to a metal light pole in winter
  • You’ll shoot your eye out kid
  • Be sure to drink your Ovaltine

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Okay, okay, the movies not that bad. But seriously, that Santa give me nightmares. I hate you A Christmas Story. Definitely a skippable movie for every year.
Ray: A movie plagued by it’s own popularity. Regardless of how good a movie it may or may not be.. it’s an overplayed joke at this point. Which is unfortunate. If you haven’t seen it, yes you should see it at least once..and then never turn your TV on during Christmas ever again.
Steve: Always worth a look, especially if you’ve never seen it. I don’t need to see it over and over every year, but it’s a little gem to find in your stocking every few years, if nothing but for nostalgia’s sake. It is very surprising to see how much this movie is in our popular culture though…images pop up everywhere if you look.

The Present: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Rotten Tomatoes: 59% Fresh, 85% Audience

Director: Guy Richie

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry.

Trivia:

  • Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn and Javier Bardem were considered to play Moriarty.
  • Both Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jared Harris (Moriarty) had acted in the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers.
  • Robert Morley and Stephen Fry have both played Oscar Wilde and Mycroft Holmes. In the Gyles Brandreth books where Oscar is a detective, his friend Conan Doyle states that Oscar was the inspiration for Mycroft.
  • Sophie Marceau, Audrey Tautou, Penélope Cruz, Juliette Binoche, Virginie Ledoyen, Eva Green, Marion Cotillard and Cécile De France were considered to play Sim before Noomi Rapace was cast.
  • Leslie S. Klinger, author of “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes” and a consultant on this film, said in an interview that he suggested “Sherlock Holmes: The Grand Game” as a title.
  • Stephen Fry (Mycroft) and Jared Harris (Moriarty) share the same birthday.
  • Robert Downey Jr. came up with the idea for the disguise as a cross-dresser, which was originally a priest.
  • The bagpipers at Dr. Watson’s wedding were from the Leicestershire Seaforth Highlanders. Guy Ritchie contacted them as his grandfather was in the Seaforth Highlanders.
  • Due to Warner Bros.’ fast-tracking of this sequel, director Guy Ritchie was forced to drop out of an adaptation of Lobo, while Robert Downey Jr. was forced to drop out of Cowboys & Aliens
  • Stephen Fry is also set to appear in The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Also appearing in that film is Christopher Lee; who has played both Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes; as well as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who also appear together as the modern-day Holmes and Watson inc Sherlock.
  • At the beginning when Watson is typing, the camera pans over typed excerpts from Doyle’s stories, including “The Blue Carbuncle” and “A Study in Scarlet.”
  • Both Jude Law (Watson) and Stephen Fry (Mycroft) starred together in the 1997 film Wilde.
  • ‘Wolf Khaler’, who plays Doctor Hoffmanstahl, also played the King of Bohemia (Irene Adler’s former lover) in the adaptation of “A Scandal In Bohemia” from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” with Jeremy Brett.
  • The medals Watson wears during his stag party are the Afghan War Medal (red and green ribbon) and the Kandahar Bronze Star (multi-colored striped ribbon), which would make Watson a veteran of the Second Afghan War (1878-1880).
  • The movie is primarily based on the short story “The Final Problem” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but also shows aspects from other Sherlock Holmes stories: “The Sign of Four”; “The Greek Interpretor”; “Valley of Fear”; “The Speckled Band”; “The Dying Detective”; “Bruce Partington Plans”; and “The Second Stain”.
  • After Holmes refuses to ride the horse offered to him by the Gypsies, he is seen riding a mule. The music they play for that scene is the theme from Two Mules for Sister Sara from 1970.

Talking Points:

  • Again..does every action sequence have to be sloooowwweeeeedddd dooooooowwwnnnnnn (this movie would have been over a lot quicker)

What We Learned:

  • You can’t use the lavatory on a Victorian era train while its not moving.
  • Bagpipes make a most effective alarm clock
  • Horses are dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: On par with the first movie. Added a couple of new things. I just like the Sherlock Holmes movie so I’m good. Sherlock and Moriarty’s fight was one of my favorite parts.
Ray: Was a game of snoozes for me, even with this really being about as far away from an actual Sherlock Holmes story…and despite all the action sequences, it couldn’t keep me awake in my seat. ZzzZzzZzzZZz
Steve: I like the action, although the bullet time and slo-mo got REALLY annoying over time. Was definitely action-oriented and was non-stop. The story was “eh”, but at least the visuals and action were worth seeing in the theater.

The Future: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence

Release: February 2012

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba

Summary:

As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.

Trivia:

  • The Ghost Rider’s skull has been redesigned for this sequel. The new skull appears to be black and charred, indicating that the skull is actually on fire as apposed to the clean fleshless skull simply cloaked in fire in the previous film.
  • Eva Mendes turned down the option to reprise her role

Talking Points:
Trailer 2 gives much more about the plot

Trailers:

#1:

#2:

Excitement:
Jeff: BUUUUUUURRRRRRRNNNNNN!!!!!! He he, fire, fire.
Ray: I’ve always seen the Ghost Rider franchise as some sort of D-List comic penned to catch on to the Evel Knieval craze of the 1970’s thus my excitement for this movie, as was the first one..pretty non existent
Steve: If I was into motorcycles more, or if it weren’t Nicholas Cage, I would probably be more into this movie. Effects look cool…but I was not a big fan of the first one. He might need to use that chain to drag me to the theater.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV070: “You may know kung fu… but you’re still a fairy.”

The boys head back in time to do a little Axe-Kicking with Stephen Chow’s “Kung Fu Hustle”. After watching the town defend themselves by beating up on some bad guys, it was time to head to the theater to see Zoe Saldana do some of her own ass-kicking as a killer for hire in “Colombiana”. In the end, they check out the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s 2nd offering from his series, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”. In news, they chat about “Source Code” becoming a CBS series, what it may be like not to have Ash in Evil Dead, follow-up on some recent Facebook posts, and chat about Time Out London’s Top 100 Comedies of All Time! In intermission, it’s time to really talk about the impact Netflix’s decision to hike up prices may have had on the company. It’s the 70th, yup…70th Reel of COL Movies where “You may know Kung Fu, but you’re still a fairy!”

News:

The Past: Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% Fresh 86% Audience

Director: Stephen Chow

Starring: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen and Qiu Yuen

Trivia:

  • Surpassed Siu lam juk kau (Shaolin Soccer) in February 2005 to become the highest-grossing Hong Kong-made movie in Hong Kong.
  • As of 2005, this film had the widest cinematic release in the USA of a foreign language film.
  • Three scenes are not directed by Stephen Chow. One, the fight that reveals the three Pig Stye Masters, is directed by Sammo Hung Kam-Bo. The “Burly Brawl” parody where the One fights the thousand men in black suits, and the fight in the night, where the three masters face the two musicians were directed by Woo-ping Yuen.
  • Most of the names of the superpowers in the film are taken from the pulp novels of Louis Cha, a household name in Hong Kong often compared to Alexandre Dumas père and credited with the invention of modern martial arts swashbucklers.
  • The name “Pig Sty Alley” (Zhu Long Cheng Zhai) is a play on the Chinese name for the Walled City of Kowloon (Jiu Long Cheng Zhai), a Chinese ex-clave in Hong Kong for much of the 20th Century, and well-known as a breeding ground of crime, slums and disorder. It was torn down in 1993.
  • The literal translation of the name of “The Beast” is in fact “Dark God of the Fire Clouds”. The name was first used by the writer ‘Liu Canyang’ in his novels in the 50s and 60s, where his character was originally his protagonist’s mentor. Comparatively lax copyright laws in Hong Kong and the menacing sound of the name have since however, caused the name to be appropriated in many other films, novels and comics.
  • Bruce Lee Tribute: When the Landlady is seated between the Boss and his assistant, she faces the boss, and mimics the gestures Bruce Lee used while also facing a crime boss in Return of the Dragon. She wags her finger at him, then closes both fists, then just the right (while knuckles cracking can be heard), she jerks her head up, and the boss nods he understands, then she thumbs her nose, exactly like Bruce Lee.
  • The names of the Landlord and Landlady that they announce to the Beast are “Yang Guo” and “The Little Dragon Maiden” in the original Chinese, which is a joke nod to Louis Cha’s famous novel “Return of the Condor Heroes” that has been adapted many times for television and film. Part of the joke is that unlike the Landlord, the original Yang Guo was a handsome youth, and unlike the Landlady, the original “Little Dragon Maiden” was a beautiful, rarefied young woman.

Talking Points:

  • Kung Fu movie style…does this count?
  • Was it supposed to be funny?

What We’ve Learned:

  • The lion’s roar kinda rocks.
  • The “fat lady” isn’t really that fat in American culture.
  • Where can I get me one of those Bhuddist Palm manuals?

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A comedy of martial arts awesomeness. If you haven’t seen this, you’re missing out.
Ray: The humor is lost on me. I don’t really get it. It makes me smile, but I don’t find much of it funny. I can’t personally recommend it.
Steve: Enjoyable…if you like the genre, it’s fun. Don’t expect it to be a serious kung fu movie – more of a spoof by the people who know how to make kung fu movies well.

Intermission:
Higher Netflix prices equals fewer subscribers

Horror show: Netflix losing more customers than expected on price hike, stock plunges 19 pct

The Present: Colombiana
Rotten Tomatoes: 28% Rotten 59% Audience

Director: Olivier Megaton

Starring: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan and Callum Blue

Trivia:

  • The film has been criticized for stereotyping the Colombian culture, the president of the non-profit group PorColombia, Carlos Macias, depicting it as a proof of a “total lack of creativity” of “Hollywood”.
  • Several groups have rejected the film on the basis of the hypothesis that it was of a defamatory nature, changing the film’s slogan from “Vengeance is beautiful” to “Colombia is Beautiful”.
  • Filming began around August 20, 2010 in locations including Chicago, New Orleans, and Mexico.
  • The film was produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp company and the script was written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
  • Colombiana debuted in second place in its first week at the U.S. box office with $10,408,176 behind The Help. It stayed #2 until August 31, 2011, when it went down to #3 behind The Help and The Debt.
  • The film itself was not screened to most critics in advance of its release until the day before its release, preventing opening day print reviews, but nevertheless, some critics reviewed the film.

Talking Points:

  • Controversy.
  • Did Zoe do well as an action star?

What We Learned:

  • Smart Girls always get what they want
  • Chicago’s not just down the street
  • Always make sure your shark tank is secure.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Kind of a fun movie but didn’t feel theater worthy to me. Wait for the DVD.
Ray: I had high hopes for it, but it just sort of fell flat. I would recommend waiting for Netflix or Redbox.
Steve: It was a decent movie. Nothing truly original about it – mostly just rehashings of other similar movies. However, Zoe did well and it was enjoyable to watch.

The Future: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris

Summary:

Sherlock Holmes and his longtime trusted associate, Dr. John Watson, take on Professor Moriarty, with the help of Holmes’s older brother Mycroft Holmes and a Romani woman named Sim.

Trivia:

  • Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn and Javier Bardem were considered to play Moriarty.
  • Both Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jared Harris (Moriarty) had acted in the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers.
  • Robert Morley and Stephen Fry have both played Oscar Wilde and Mycroft Holmes. In the Gyles Brandreth books where Oscar is a detective, his friend Conan Doyle states that Oscar was the inspiration for Mycroft.
  • Sophie Marceau, Audrey Tautou, Penélope Cruz, Juliette Binoche, Virginie Ledoyen, Eva Green, Marion Cotillard and Cécile De France were considered to play Sim before Noomi Rapace was cast.
  • Leslie S. Klinger, author of “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes” and a consultant on this film, said in an interview that he suggested “Sherlock Holmes: The Grand Game” as a title.
  • Stephen Fry (Mycroft) and Jared Harris (Moriarty) share the same birthday.

Talking Points:

  • Bullet time? really?
  • The actors didn’t seem to fit in the first movie. Will it be any better in #2?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: SOLD!
Ray: I can’t say I’m excited for it. The first one put me to sleep, literally.
Steve: Eh. Still haven’t seen the original. This doesn’t make me want to see it or this one, in particular. Rather spend my money on something else.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV002: “Sir, I’m Going To Have To Ask You To Exit The Doughnut.”

Our hosts discuss Rope, Iron Man 2, and the Super8 Trailer as well as news featuring Transformers 4, and Indiana Jones 4, and Jeff’s mind is blow by something people didn’t know about Back To The Future.

Hosts: Jeff, Ray, Steve

News:

The Past: Rope

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Staring: Jimmy Stewart, Jon Dall, Farley Granger.

Trivia:

  • Story was very loosely based on the real-life murder committed by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, which was also the (fictionalized) subject of Compulsion (1959) and Swoon (1992).
  • The film was shot in ten takes, ranging from four-and-a-half to just over ten minutes (the maximum amount of film that a camera magazine or projector reel could hold) duration. At the end of the takes, the film alternates between having the camera zoom into a dark object, totally blacking out the lens/screen, and making a conventional cut. However, the second edit, ostensibly one of the conventional ones, was clearly staged and shot to block the camera, but the all-black frames were left out of the final print. Most of the props, and even some of the apartment set’s walls, were on casters and the crew had to wheel them out of the way and back into position as the camera moved around the set.
  • Since the filming times were so long, everybody on the set tried their best to avoid any mistakes. At one point in the movie, the camera dolly ran over and broke a cameraman’s foot, but to keep filming, he was gagged and dragged off. Another time, a woman puts her glass down but misses the table. A stagehand had to rush up and catch it before the glass hit the ground. Both parts are used in the final cut.
  • The Screenwriter never intended for the murder to be actually seen on screen, thus increasing the tension by making the audience themselves wonder if there indeed was a body in the chest. Hitchcock added the scene after the screenplay was written.

Talking Points: The gay couple in old films

What We’ve Learned: A Simple Rope is all you need to commit the perfect murder. After committing the perfect murder, never put the body in a chest in the room you’re having a dinner party in. Do not get enthusiastic about murder right after you have just committed one. Do not try disposing the murder weapon by using it to tie up books you’re giving to the victims father. Never invite the guy who inspired your murder to the party you’re giving right after the murder. You should probably kill your accomplice, who you may or may not have had a homosexual relationship with. And…”choking the chicken” jokes are not appropriate in mixed company.

Trailer:

The Present: Iron Man 2

Director: Jon Favreau

Staring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, John Favreau as Happy

Trivia: Emily Blunt was set to star as Black Widow but had to pull out due scheduling conflicts with her movie Gulliver’s Travels (2010). Before Scarlett Johansson replaced Emily Blunt as Black Widow. Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba and Angelina Jolie were considered

Talking Points: Robert Downey Jr. Looking very short

What We’ve Learned: Palatium is not a good material to use as the core of your miniaturized arch reactor that is keeping you alive. Whips powered by a miniature reactor core are awesome. Girls who can kick big guys asses are always cool! Mickey Rourke is damn scary. Never take your protective mask off while you’re in the middle of a fight. And . . . Giving an evil physicist hell bent on revenge complete access to your computers and advanced weaponry is never a good idea.

Trailer:

The Future: Super 8

Movie Trailer: JJ Abrams’ Super 8
JJ Abrams’ Secret Super 8 Movie Is Not A Cloverfield Sequel

Trailer:

Coming Attractions:

  • The Past: A Clockwork Orange
  • The Present: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
  • The Future: The Expendables