MOV121: Rule 34

In this reel of COL movies, we head back to the early 90s for the Broadway-inspired play turned movie, “Noises Off!” In theaters, we check out the Great Depression bootlegger drama, “Lawless”. In trailer-world, we review the John C. Reilly animated joint “Wreck-It Ralph”. In news, there’s talk of “A Christmas Story” official sequel, we lose the incredible Michael Clarke Duncan, and Sam Raimi promises that the “Evil Dead” remake will be well worth the wait. It’s the 121st reel of COL movies..Rule 34

News:

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The Past: Noises Off (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes 57% Rotten; 83% Audience

Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Staring: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty, Marilu Henner, Mark Linn-Baker, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Nicollette Sheridan

Trivia:

  • Two of the characters names are changed from the original stage play: Lloyd Dallas (the director) and Frederick Fellows (the actor). In the movie version they are Lloyd Fellows (the director) and Frederick Dallas (the actor).
  • Denholm Elliott’s last film.
  • The play which the film is based on is done in three acts; act one is the final dress rehearsal; act two is the matinee performance; act three is the evening performance. The bridge scenes, with Michael Caine’s voiceover narration, including the opening scene where he leaves the theatre and the ending scene where he returns, were written for the film and do not appear in the play. In the play, the last line is the frantic call for “Curtain!”
  • Lloyd’s speech/rant to Tim before the matinee about the problems he’s having directing Hamlet was changed from the play. In the play, Lloyd is directing a production of Richard III, and all the characters/references reflect that. It was changed in the movie because it was felt that Hamlet would be better-known to American audiences.
  • The play-within-the-film is entitled “Nothing On”.
  • Audrey Hepburn was offered a major role.
  • Sir John Gielgud was asked to play Mowbray.
  • The movie’s title “Noises Off” is a stage cue used in scripts by a playwright to indicate noises occurring offstage.
  • The original Broadway production of “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn opened on December 11, 1983 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater running for 553 performances with a cast that included Victor Garber and Dorothy Loudon and received a nomination for the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play

Talking Points:

  • Has that shot on video feel to it…
  • Frantic pace gets overly frantic, if not frenetic

What We Learned:

  • Doors and Sardines, that’s what it’s all about.
  • The wellspring of human action is deep and cloudy
  • When you want to avoid paying taxes, stay in Spain.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I always seem to have a hard time watching comedy of errors, and this was one of them. The movie is great, based on the play, so can’t really say there’s anything wrong with it, I just had a start and stop time watching it. I think the reason why I like it so much is because of the technicality of it. The timing of going in and out of the doors with all that speed. Check it out for sure.
Ray: Something didn’t translate very well for me from stage to screen.. I found parts funny, but overall it was just exhausting. It was cool to see John Ritter and Christopher Reeve back on the screen. I think the expression on my face was exactly the same as the security guard back stage in the film. This isn’t something I would recommend
Steve: I like the first half, during the rehearsal, but once it gets going into the performances I just lose interest. Extremely creative and a great cast, but not really something for everyone.

The Present: Lawless
Rotten Tomatoes 66% Fresh; 81% Audience

Director: John Hillcoat

Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce

Trivia:

  • Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Shannon were originally slated to top line the project together with ‘Shia Labeouf’.
  • Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson were originally cast, but the movie was shut down, and Jessica Chastain eventually got the role.
  • Tom Hardy’s character was originally supposed to be slimmer but Hardy had to bulk up for the movie The Dark Knight Rises

Talking Points:

  • Shia
  • Tom
  • Did the digital medium make the film feel less authentic?
  • Reviews regarding violence and gore

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Does a great job in creating the world and environment of this band of brothers trying to make it; Shia finally lets it all out; Rowdy, crowd-pleasing fun
  • Negatives: The craftsmanship is great, but the story just doesn’t let the entire film sing; Hardy’s performance wasn’t good; You don’t really want to root for anyone because they’re all “bad people”; An ambitious try, but a miss.

What We Learned:

  • Never assume you walked yourself to the hospital.
  • Bondurants don’t lay down for nobody

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: You know, I really don’t know what to say about this movie. It was alright. Maybe worth a wait to DVD. I dunno. Watch the trailer and make your own judgement when to see it. Just can’t think it of priority to watch it. Just didn’t thrill me.
Ray: Much like Tom Hardy’s character in this film.. it is a slow pondering mass of a film, not exactly quick but when it hits it hits hard. Don’t fear the Shia..for once I feel he earned his pay on a film. It’s a hair under 2 hours long, but will feel much longer.
Steve: I actually liked Shia in something. Where’s the lightning? Also, while Tom Hardy may have been wooden in his portrayal of this patriarch – he really gave me a …. um, yeah sorry! I digress. I liked it. Somewhat of a blend of Untouchables and Young Guns with some memorable performances.

The Future: Wreck-It Ralph

Release: November 2, 2012

Director: Rich Moore

Starring: Voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jayne Lynch, Sarah Silverman

Summary:

The bad-guy character in a classic game who longs to be a hero brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooter game and unleashing a deadly enemy.

Talking Points:

  • The inclusion of the old video game characters

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Good guy plays a bad guy as his job and doesn’t want to be a bad guy anymore. It’s the story of Donkey Kong, yet animated. Totally want to see it.
Ray: Hmm.. Animated, Inclusion of old video games, Rule 34… um.. yeah..
Steve: Initially didn’t think I’d care for the cast, but as with Megamind I seem to be liking their voices in the roles. Seems like a fun story that will combine a blast from the past. I’m looking forward to it!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV115: “Fear, Chaos, Pain”

In this reel of COL Movies, It’s another “very special episode” as the boys talk about the Dark Knight Trilogy. They kick off with the original Nolan-verse creation, “Batman Begins”, and move on to what they feel is the gem of the series, “The Dark Knight”. In theaters, of course, they review the conclusion of the triumvirate, “The Dark Knight Rises”. In trailer news, they look at the (spoiler alert) utterly forgettable preview of “The Expendables 2”. In brief movie news, we bring up John Favreau’s partnership with Pixar and Peter Jackson’s attempt at making “The Hobbit” into a trilogy! It’s the 115th reel of COL Movies…”Fear, Chaos, Pain”

News:

The Past: Batman Begins
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 90% Audience

The Past: The Dark Knight
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh; 96% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Staring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The flaw of the microwave emitter
  • When you first saw this did you expect it to be a trilogy?

What We Learned From Batman Begins:

  • The world is too small for a man like Bruce Wayne to Disappear
  • A vigilante is just a man lost in the search for his own gratification
  • Death is not considerate or friendly
  • We fall, so we can learn to pick ourselves up.
  • All creatures feel fear, especially the scary ones.
  • Invisibility is simply a matter of patience and agility
  • You always fear what you don’t understand
  • It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.
  • Never go into business with someone without finding out their dirty secrets.

What We Learned From The Dark Knight:

  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.
  • When your the Gotham D.A. if your not getting shot at your not doing your Job right
  • You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain
  • Criminals aren’t complicated you just have to figure out what they are after.
  • Some men just want to watch the world burn.
  • The night is darkest just before the dawn

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Nolan has really taken an amazing approach to what has to be my favorite superhero ever. He stays relatively true the the Batman story but knows that it’s his universe and Batman does things differently in his world. Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing and perfect for the world. I can’t recommend these movies more.
Ray: Anyone who is a fan of superhero movies needs to watch these, but the great thing about these especially The Dark Knight is that you don’t have to be. I consider The Dark Knight one of the best Crime Dramas to come around in the last 10 years, plus it’s pretty cool that Batman is in it too. Cemented by an amazing performance by Heath Ledger that also demands to be seen.
Steve: OK…I admit that I enjoyed the Dark Knight the most! Heath Ledger is awesome – although Maggie G just didn’t do a darn thing for me. That’s one time I missed Katie Holmes. Batman Begins just kind of set the stage for the rest of the films…and drags for me.

The Present: The Dark Knight Rises

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh; 93% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The tale of two annoying voices. – Bane – Raz al Ghul
  • The soundtrack.. good or bad?
  • The Ending – could it have been done differently?
  • Sequel in the nolanverse?
  • Wait! What? Talia’s in this movie!
  • Plot Holes!

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Production value was extremely high and Nolan knew the look he was going for and delivered it; the conclusion was a fitting end to the story and the epicness of the hero;
  • Negatives: “clunky”; an ordeal to sit through; acting was manufactured; hard to understand the dialogue; extremely stretched out because every recollection had to be done in flashback; overall Nolan tanked or dialed this one in.

What We Learned:

  • Detectives are not allowed to believe in coincidences
  • People don’t pay attention to you until you put on a mask
  • Hope is really the key to torture
  • A hero can be anyone

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I was right. This movie did not pull out the amazing awesomeness that The Avengers did and I don’t expect it to perform as well in the box office still. It still was an incredible ending to the Nolan Batman story line but this was still I movie I could have waited for and just suffered from a pre-release lack of enthusiasm. I think it’s definitely worth seeing in the theaters but I wouldn’t say there’s much off a rush.
Ray: A good strong finish to the Trilogy but not my favorite of the three. This is very much the “Return of the Jedi” of the series for me, but instead of annoying ewoks, it’s got annoying vocal performances and plot holes. A must see if your a fan of the other two though.
Steve: Definitely not my favorite, except for Tom Hardy of course. Just didn’t have the same punch as the others and seemed like it was just there to wrap up the story. It was pretty though. I actually liked that they did bring stuff in from the previous movies – made it feel more complete than just 3 stand alone films.

The Future: The Expendables 2

Release: August 12, 2012

Director: Simon West

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture

Summary:

After taking a seemingly simple job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), the Expendables find their plans going awry and one of their own is brutally murdered by rival mercenary Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme).[2] The Expendables set out into hostile territory – with their new members Bill the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) – to put a stop to a deadly weapon and gain their revenge against the people who killed their brother-in-arms

Talking Points:

  • Why are we reviewing this trailer? Did we not destroy the first film?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Hey, The Expendables again. . . . Would love to see this on Netflix streaming.
Ray: Move along…nothing to see here.
Steve: Slept through the first one…I image it will be more of the same.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV094: “If you’re going to hell, I’ll just come pick you up.”

In this reel of COL Movies, Ray and Jeff head back in tme to discover what teen angst was in the 1955 classic “Rebel Without A Cause.” In the present, they check out the actiony romantic comedy “This Means War!” Where’s Steven when we’re watching a Tom Hardy flick? Then they look to the future and the new John Cusack thriller, “The Raven.” Will the boys go see it or will they nevermore? This and Oscar news on the 94th reel of COL Movies, “If you’re going to hell, I’ll just come pick you up.”

News:

The Past: Rebel Without A Cause
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% Fresh, 87% Audience

Director: Nicholas Ray

Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo

Trivia:

  • Director Nicholas Ray researched L.A. gangs by riding around with them for several nights.
  • For the knife fight between Jim (James Dean) and Buzz (Corey Allen), the actors used real switchblades and protected themselves by wearing chainmail under their vests.
  • James Dean did not get malaria during filming, as some have reported. Nick Adams had a relapse of an old case of malaria he got while he was a merchant marine.
  • James Dean badly bruised his hand during the police station scene where he physically vents his rage on a precinct desk and had to wear an elastic bandage for a week.
  • In the final scene where the camera pulls away from the observatory, director Nicholas Ray is the person walking toward the building. (possible director’s trademark for it is rumored he appeared in all of his movies)
  • Originally in the beginning of the movie, there was a gang beating up a father, who drops a toy on the sidewalk. The studio thought it was too violent, so it was cut. Jim Stark can be seen playing with the toy after he finds it on the ground during the opening credits
  • T-shirt sales soared after James Dean wore one in this film.
  • Jim Backus who played James Dean’s father and was the voice of Mr. Magoo, taught Dean how to do the Mr. Magoo voice which Dean then used to deliver the line, “Drown them like puppies.”
  • Natalie Wood was first considered too naive and wholesome for the role of Judy. She began changing her looks and eventually attracted the notice of director Nicholas Ray, who began an affair with her but still would not guarantee her the part, though he eventually relented. Both Ray and Wood later claimed that he changed his mind after she was in a car accident with Dennis Hopper and someone in the hospital called her a “goddamn juvenile delinquent”.
  • Jim Stark was actually first intended to be more of a nerd, wearing a brown jacket and glasses. However, when Warner Bros. told director Nicholas Ray to re-shoot in color, Ray, as well as costumer Moss Mabry, wanted him to wear red.
  • The empty pool in which the characters sit and discuss their lives first appeared in Sunset Blvd.. The pool had been built specially for the earlier film, as a condition of renting the site from its owner, Mrs J. Paul Getty.
  • Margaret O’Brien tested for the role of Judy but was rejected by Nicholas Ray after he described her answers to his probing questions as “too pat”. Jayne Mansfield also tested but Ray declined to film her audition, considering her ‘an hallucination’ from the Warners casting department.
  • An alternative ending was shot in which Plato falls from the tower of the planetarium.
  • All three lead actors, James Dean, Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood, died young under tragic circumstances: Dean died in a car accident, Mineo was stabbed, and Wood drowned. In addition, Edward Platt committed suicide in 1974.
  • The opening scene in the movie with Jim Stark and the toy monkey was improvised by James Dean after the production had been shooting for nearly 24 hours straight. He asked Nicholas Ray to roll the camera, that he wanted to do something. Ray obliged and the improvisation went on to become the famous opening scene.
  • James Dean was free to star in the film because Elizabeth Taylor got pregnant, which delayed production of Giant.
  • There’s a fan photo of Alan Ladd in Plato’s school locker.
  • In his article “Dangerous Talents,” published in Vanity Fair Magazine in March 2005, Sam Kashner writes that director Nicholas Ray, screenwriter Stewart Stern, costar James Dean, and Sal Mineo himself all intended for Mineo’s character Plato to be subtly but definitely understood as gay. Kashner says that although the Production Code was still very much in force and forbade any mention of homosexuality, Ray, Dean, Mineo, and Stern all worked together to insert restrained references to Plato’s homosexuality and attraction to Jim, including the pinup photo of Alan Ladd on Plato’s locker door, Plato’s adoring looks at Jim, his loaded talk with Jim in the old mansion, and even the name “Plato,” which is a reference to the Classical Greek philosopher. For that mansion scene, Dean suggested to Mineo that Plato should “look at me the way I look at Natalie.”
  • The living room of the Stark’s house was based on Nicholas Ray’s bungalow (he did something similar for In a Lonely Place). James Dean and other cast members would rehearse there, and Dean felt most comfortable there. It was Dean’s idea for Jim to be placed between his parents during the climactic fight scene, to reflect his inner turmoil.
  • The movie was originally to be shot in black and white, and some scenes had already been filmed that way, when the studio decided to switch to color. The official explanation at the time was that Twentieth Century-Fox, which owned the wide-screen CinemaScope process, had ordered that all films shot in the process had to be in color, but some also believe that Warners ordered the switch to head off comparisons with Blackboard Jungle and because James Dean’s increasing popularity gave the film more prestige.
  • 2007: The movie’s line “You’re tearing me apart” was voted as the #97 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere magazine.
  • Originally based on a non-fiction work by Dr. Robert M. Lindner, about the hypno-analysis of a young criminal. Producer Jerry Wald intended to make a film of the work and commissioned several scripts, including one by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), andMarlon Brando was set to star at one point, but the project was eventually shelved. When the studio bought Nicholas Ray’s treatment “The Blind Run” it asked him to use the title of Lindner’s work, but the film doesn’t include anything else from the book.
  • The “chickie run” was staged at a Warner Bros. property in Calabasas, California. The cars drove on flat land that led to a small bluff of only 10 -15 feet high. The cars drove over the small bluff, but the “cliff” supposedly overlooking the ocean was built on Stage 7 (now Stage 16) at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. The constructed cliff overlooked the stage’s flooded water tank and the actors looked down upon the water from the edge. Even so, it became necessary to matte in shots of the Pacific Ocean in the final product.
  • Frank Mazzola, who plays “Crunch” in the film, was an actual street gang member when he was a student at Hollywood High School. He was a member of a gang called “The Athenians.” As such, he served as a technical advisor to Director Nicholas Ray and coached other actors in regard to street gang attitudes and mannerisms.
  • James Dean’s character’s surname ‘Stark’ is an anagram of ‘Trask’ the surname of his character in East of Eden.
  • Marietta Canty’s final film.
  • When Jim, Judy and Plato are exploring the empty mansion, the candles in the candelabra Plato carries were lit by a wire that ran through Sal Mineo’s jacket.
  • Debbie Reynolds was allegedly suggested for the part of Judy.
  • James Dean originally wanted his friend Jack Simmons, whom he was living with at the time, for the part of Plato.
  • When the scenes were shot for the chickie run aftermath when the teenagers ran to the edge of the cliff to look down; they witnessed what looked like the sun rising and exploding. Steffi Sidney, who played Mil, would later comment that it looked like an atomic bomb went off, and it was. What they witnessed was “Zucchini”, the 14th and final thermonuclear bomb (weighing 28 kilotons) launched for Operation Teapot.
  • Although playing a teenager, James Dean was actually 24 when the movie was filmed.
  • The part where Jim and Judy find Plato wearing one blue sock and one red sock was not scripted. Sal Mineo actually put them on that way by mistake.
  • Some of the earlier drafts for the movie had the three main kids named Jim, Eve and Demo. Demo was later changed to a 13 year old boy named The Professor.
  • In 2010, a ‘New York Times’ article about Nicholas Ray’s widow Susan said she had in her archives an original, unused treatment for “Rebel” in which the ending was very different: Plato was going to shoot Jim and then blow himself up with a grenade. But another Times report in 2011, says the archive contains a Ray storyboard which shows it’s Plato himself who is shot from the top of the planetarium. (A treatment is a preliminary synopsis of the story for a proposed movie that either gets written before the script is started as in this case or afterward so that executives at a potential producer’s or investor’s company won’t have to read the whole script.)
  • The final film appearance by Virginia Brissac.

Talking Points:

  • Teenage angst..
  • Did you expect James Dean to be more of a bad boy?

What We’ve Learned:

  • It’s not nice to call your daughter a tramp
  • Tell too many lies and you turn to stone
  • Choose your pals, don’t let them choose you
  • The Best way to solve your problems is to make a list
  • Being sincere is the main thing
  • Don’t lie, but never volunteer the truth.
  • Being called chicken is a matter of honor.

Trailer

Recommendations:
Ray: The first two acts of this film were rather hard for me to get through.. It’s hard for me to not find parts of this movie funny, especially when dealing with the angst and drama of rich white suburban teenagers. It redeemed itself in the final act though, where I found it truly compelling. I wish they would have focused more on the interactions and motivations of the “Plato” character. But ultimately it’s an interesting watch.
Jeff: Agreed. This is a classic movie I think everyone should see at least once.

The Present: This Means War
Rotten Tomatoes: 25% Rotten; 71% Audience

Director: McG

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy

Trivia:

  • Bradley Cooper was cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
  • James Franco was offered a role, but declined.
  • Sam Worthington, Colin Farrell, Justin Timberlake and Seth Rogen were considered for the lead roles, but eventually Chris Pine and Tom Hardy were cast.
  • Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have both appeared in the Star Trek films. Hardy played Preator Shinzon (actually a clone of Cpt. Picard) in Star Trek: Nemesis, while Pine played Cpt. Kirk in Star Trek.
  • When the film was submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America, the film was given an “R” rating due to some racy dialogue spoken by Chelsea Handler’s character. It was later edited and given a “PG-13” rating.
  • Chris Pine’s character talks about watching a CHiPs marathon on TV. In real life his father, Robert Pine, starred on CHiPs.
  • Was originally rated R by the MPAA for “some sexual content” but was later edited down to a PG-13 rating for “sexual content including references, some violence and action, and for language” for the theatrical release.
  • In the beginning of the movie, when Chris Pine’s character was going undercover with Tom Hardy’s character, he mentioned to a woman that he was a Captain of a ship. This is a reference to Pine starring in Star Trek as Captain Kirk.
  • Most of Chelsea Handler’s lines were ad-libbed, including the mention of Cheetos and Mike and Ike.

Talking Points:

  • Who did you want to win?
  • Bob.
  • Is this a good date movie or no?
  • who would YOU have had a better date with?
  • British is a bad thing?

What We Learned:

  • Choosing a laundry detergent is much easier than picking a man to have penetrative sex with
  • Men respond to camel toe
  • You can never go wrong with hitchcock
  • Chromantic! Creepy & Romantic
  • Mistakes are what make us who we are
  • Don’t choose the better man, choose the man who makes you a better woman.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I really ended up liking this movie a lot. Had some great moments where I just burst out laughing. The action pieces weren’t that great, but passable. The action is not the focus of the story though. Definitely recommend seeing it
Ray: Like Jeff said, don’t go into this expecting a Die Hard or James Bond movie.. at it’s heart it’s a romantic comedy with spies. I enjoyed it a lot, even if it was a teeny bit predictable.

The Future: The Raven

Release: April 27th, 2012

Director: James McTeigue

Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans

Summary:

A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life, in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories.

Trivia:

  • None yet.

Talking Points

  • Cashing in on Sherlock?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Really interested in seeing it but if I don’t, I don’t feel like I’m missing much, but think I’d might like it. Just not very excited.
Ray: It looks visually interesting to me, but I’ve never been a fan of Poe, and this looks a lot like it’s trying to cash in on the success of the Sherlock franchise. I think I would skip this one, but I’d go with a group of people if they wanted to all go see it.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV085: “How Much For That Mogwai In The Window?”

It’s 85th reel of COL Movies, and Carlos joins the boys in on the fun! They start in the past with the non-traditional Christmas classic, “Gremlins”. From one Spielberg film to another, they head to the theater to check out his first animated film “The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn”. For the future, they review the new trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises”. Along with some updated movie news, it’s the 85th reel of COL Movies…”How much for that Mogwai in the window?”

News:

The Past: Gremlins (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh, 70% Audience

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Howie Mandell (VO-Gizmo), Frank Welker (VO-Stripe)

Trivia:

  • Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the film was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Columbia’s Ghost Busters for the summer movie season
  • Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating.
  • This was the first movie in years to use Warner Bros’ “shield” logo
  • In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui
  • The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future. Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.
  • Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines.
  • After watching his earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered Tim Burton to direct the film. But decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full feature length film.
  • Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for the role of Mr. Wing.
  • According to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, the original rough cut of the film ran 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance.
  • Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Jerry Goldsmith wrote Gizmo’s song as well, but Howie Mandel never sang it. A girl member of Goldsmith’s congregation was hired to sing Gizmo’s song, although she had never worked in films before.
  • The time machine prop from Time after Time can be seen behind Rand Peltzer when he’s on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention.
  • Chris Columbus’ script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom’s head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both, Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family oriented.
  • Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Steven Spielberg, this scene was re-shot it with just a single needle in the buttocks
  • At the end, Gizmo pulls a window blind which exposes Stripe to the sunlight. But, originally, there are two window blinds and Gizmo pull the first one and then Billy pulls the second one. This scene was edited because Steven Spielberg believed that Gizmo was the hero of the movie and not Billy and therefore Gizmo would be the one responsible for the demise of Stripe.

Talking Points:

  • Non traditional Christmas movies (this movie was a summer release)
  • Intended audience and the addition of the PG-13 rating
  • The Logic Flaw
  • Practical Effects – hold up? (Creepy skeleton Stripe)
  • Voice actors (Howie Mandel & Michael Winslow…among others)

What We’ve Learned:

  • Having cable is not a successful way to pick up girls
  • Gremlins have perfect pitch
  • Suicide rates are always highest during the holidays
  • The smaller the animal the faster the heartbeat
  • Don’t expose them to light, Don’t get them wet and never feed them after midnight.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: An incredibly classic movie but I didn’t feel like it held up. Still feels very dated. But getting past that, still love it. Made me want to watch the sequel.
Ray: This is one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas movies – I think its worth watching, but make sure you watch it yourself before deciding if if its appropriate for younger children to watch.
Steve: A great film. I still have my Gizmo 🙂 I love that it’s practical and even if it doesn’t stand up to the test of time, it’s a classic.
Carlos: This gets violent, and subversive, even for a well-known piece of holiday counter-programming. It has pieces of bitter chocolate even in all the Xmas happy.

The Present: The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of The Unicorn
Rotten Tomatoes: 75% Fresh, 80% Audience

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg

Trivia:

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong, then came aboard to play Tintin.
  • The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
  • After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Steven Spielberg invited him to the film’s set and offered him the role of Thomson.
  • Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé’s world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
  • Steven Spielberg has always shot his films traditionally, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film he didn’t mind shooting it digitally.
  • Claude Berri and Roman Polanski were interested in directing.
  • Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was “love-bombed” by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
  • Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to rewrite Moffat’s draft.
  • This is Steven Spielberg’s first comic-book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman.
  • Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, ‘Tintin’ creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he “thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.”)
  • When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
  • This is Andy Serkis’s third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his fourth motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong in features directed by Jackson and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin’s dog Snowy.
  • To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the “Tintin” comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
  • ‘Danny deVito’ was considered for the role of Senor Oliveira de Figueira, but the character was cut from the script.
  • Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous and Jamie Bell in Defiance, and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich.
  • According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D (“the way viewers would”). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
  • During filming, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
  • Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Jackson wanted the film to look “film noir-ish, and very atmospheric.”
  • Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in 32 days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson’s voice would “be coming over the Tannoy like God.”
  • Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
  • Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over 30 years. He has always cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This will be his first movie that he will cut digitally with Spielberg using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister).
  • Steven Spielberg is the first Oscar-winning director to direct a Nickelodeon film. Peter Jackson (the sequel’s director) will be the second.
  • Steven Spielberg has had the rights to Tintin since 1983.
  • This is Nickelodeon’s first involvement with Tintin in 20 years. The Nickelodeon channel originally aired The Adventures of Tintin.
  • The Crab with the Golden Claws’ is the most frequently filmed Tintin adventure. It was previously adapted to the screen in 1947 as a stop-motion puppet film, and adapted twice for TV: Once in 1959 and again in 1990.
  • During the final dock scene, a bunch of cans with a crab symbol falls from a crate. These are the same canned crabs that serve as a McGuffin in the original “Crab with the Golden Claws” album.
  • The crab with the golden claws from the Tintin tale of the same name can be seen on display in Sheik Salaad’s palace.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when Tintin is having his likeness drawn, the other likenesses posted in the background are of characters featured in various Tintin books and as shown in the inside covers of every Tintin book.
  • The credits, especially the opening ones, are in the same typeface as the books’ titles.
  • The Adventures of Tintin was released 30 years to the day Indiana Jones was released in 1981, also directed by Steven Spielberg
  • The movie fittingly starts with a closeup of a painter’s palette. On studiobriefing.net, Steven Spielberg said of his experience filming Tintin: “I did feel like a painter in a way, and that was exciting for me.”
  • The ship in the bottle and the Unicorn are based upon the “Soleil Royal”, a large French ship of the line that was launched in 1669.
  • The opening credits feature several references to Tintin books (such as the iconic rocket from ‘Destination Moon’). The departure board shown also features destinations from Tintin books.
  • The framed newspapers on the walls of Tintin’s apartment feature headlines and photos that recall his other adventures. Example: The headline “Tintin Breaks Up Crime Ring,” with a picture of several Egyptian mummy cases, refers to “Cigars of the Pharaoh.” The headline “Tintin Recovers Valuable Sceptre” refers to “King Ottokar’s Sceptre.”

Talking Points:

  • “First Look In 3D” at AMC
  • The Uncanny Valley, physics, story elements
  • Indiana Jones
  • Camera Motion
  • The Violence (gun play) and alcohol use

What We Learned:

  • American = all hair, oil, and no socks
  • The aggressive ones always seem to be the first to roll over on their backs
  • Police work is not all glamour and gunfights
  • There are worse things than sobering up
  • Realist is just another word for failure

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I really liked this film. Something about the motion capture made things seem a little weird but it still ended up being fantastic. Reminds me of adventure movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Ray: It was a fun film..although it dipped and weaved in and out of the uncanny valley – Way more violent then I expected it to be, so be aware before taking the kids. Overall though I’d recommend people go see it. 3D was done well but not necessary.
Steve: Didn’t hate it. I actually thought it looked better than other films, like the most recent Indiana Jones and Pirates movies. If think they should have done Young Indiana Jones like this. Didn’t particularly feel it was a “kids” movie…perhaps more PG 13, especially with the violence (swords, guns, etc).
Carlos: Probably the best directed of the cgi animated films. The camera roves around like some hyper but talented 14 year old. It’s an impressive achievement with some sincere emotional hits.

The Future: The Dark Knight Rises

Release: July 20, 2012

Directors: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard

Summary:

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.

Trivia:

  • Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films, but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).
  • Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.
  • Christian Bale is the first live action actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne in three Batman films. Kevin Conroy has played the character in seven animated films as of 2011 (including Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker).
  • Cinematographer Wally Pfister has expressed interest in shooting the entirety of the film in the IMAX format, as both Pfister and Christopher Nolan have expressed distaste for shooting the film in 3-D. Ultimately, the film would feature approximately 50 minutes of IMAX footage, while the rest was shot in a combination of 35mm and 70mm, as IMAX cameras proved to be too noisy for shooting the films dialogue scenes.
  • Eva Green, Angelina Jolie Blake Lively, Rhona Mitra, Charlize Theron, Abbie Cornish, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley, Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley all auditioned for the role of Selina Kyle. After the initial audition process, Biel and Mara all screen tested. Ultimately, Anne Hathaway won the role.
  • Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz and Marion Cotillard were considered to play Miranda Tate before Cotillard finally got the role.
  • Robin Williams was rumored to play the role of Hugo Strange.
  • There was much speculation in the press when Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle if the actress would actually portray Kyle’s costumed alter-ego, Catwoman. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey following her stint as host of the Academy Awards, Hathaway let slip that her character indeed would don the Catwoman costume.
  • According to Gary Oldman, Christopher Nolan told the actors the ending of the film verbally to avoid any leaks.
  • One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane was because of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.
  • Around 10,000 extras were used to shoot the Gotham Rogues scene in Heinz Field. Some of the Pittsburgh Steelers played football players, including Hines Ward, who played himself.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for Juno Temple’s role.
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Hathaway’s stunt double broke one of the IMAX cameras when she crashed the Batpod into it. This marks the second time an IMAX camera has been destroyed on a Christopher Nolan Batman film – a previous camera was smashed when filming the Joker’s underground truck chase in The Dark Knight.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Leonardo DiCaprio , James Holzier, Ryan Gosling, and Mark Ruffalo were considered to play John Blake. Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast.
  • Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as “Spider-Man 4” and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.
  • The character of Bane in this film is more reverent and closer to his comic-book counterpart, unlike Batman & Robin, which reduced him to a mindless henchman. In the comic Books, Bane is a general, a strategist and a one-man army, literally forcing Batman to meet his match (and upon their first encounter it would turn out to be the case).
  • According to Christopher Nolan, Bane was chosen as the film’s main antagonist “to test Batman mentally as well as physically.”
  • To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway worked out five days a week on a regime that involved vigorous exercise, stunt training and dancing. She called it her most physically demanding role to date.
  • To prepare for his role as Bane, Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds in weight, and studied various fighting styles to use in the film.
  • Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: “He’s brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed… it’s nasty. It’s not about fighting, it’s about carnage!”
  • After The Dark Knight released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, as the film had left his role relatively open-ended. Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.
  • Composer Hans Zimmer collected online recordings of chanting to incorporate in the film’s score.
  • This is the third Batman film to feature Catwoman after Batman and Batman Returns.
  • Anne Hathaway previously appeared in Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton and featured the previous Alfred, Michael Gough in his final role before his death.
  • Marion Cotillard previously appeared in Big Fish, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton. Danny DeVito played The Penguin in Batman Returns which, like this film, also features Catwoman.
  • Reunites Inception stars Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard.
  • Like Batman Returns and Batman & Robin, not only does this feature a female villain, but the villain is portrayed by an Oscar nominated actress. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns) was nominated for Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Love Field. Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin) was nominated for Pulp Fiction. Anne Hathaway (this film) was nominated for Rachel Getting Married.
  • This is the fifth film in a row that Christopher Nolan has worked with Michael Caine. The other films were Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.
  • Is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight.
  • With their appearances in this movie, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman will have each appeared in three Batman movies. Only Michael Gough and Pat Hingle have done the same thing.
  • Christopher Nolan picked Bane as the main villain. Coincidentally, with no known relation, the name of one of the creators of Bane for the comic books is Graham Nolan.
  • In the comics, Bane carried an apparatus that contains a steroid that amplifies his strength and fighting ability. In the film, the apparatus he carries contains an anesthetic as he is in constant chronic pain.
  • The filmmakers cite the “Batman” comics ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (an aged Batman operates in a future Gotham), ‘Knightfall’ (Bane pushes Batman physically and mentally, causing him to burn out) and ‘No Man’s Land’ (Gotham descends into gangland territory) as major influences on the film.

Talking Points:

  • Did anyone contribute to the chant?
  • Has anyone seen the sneek peek before MI4?

Trailers:

Excitement:
Jeff: It’s nice to see more in this trailer. However, I’ve suddenly not as excited as before. It’s still one of the top movies on my list to see but something about the trailer, didn’t increase my excitement.
Ray: I was more excited by the sneak preview (Which is amazing) than the trailer.. so I am excited to see it but not because of the trailer.
Steve: Best Nolan-verse trailer to date. Finally one that excited me! OK, so perhaps it’s just Tom Hardy…but still. It’ll get me to the theater. 🙂
Carlos:

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV071: “What we have here..is a Dead Shark”

Join Jeff Steve and Myself as we take a trip back to 1977 to watch “Annie Hall” the movie that put Woody Allen on the map as a film maker in the late 70’s early 80’s. Has the 4 time Oscar winning glow faded from this movie or does it still hold up to today’s society? Next up we jump to the present to see the knock down drag out dramatically charged brawler “Warrior” Did Steve enjoy it for more than just Tom Hardy? Or did this one suffer a one punch knockout in the first round? Finally we slide into the not so distant future and look at “Dream House” the upcoming thriller starring Daniel Craig. Is this one a must see? Join us for all that plus some quick thoughts on Siamese butt twins! Netflix and Qwikster on this reel of COL Movies! “What we have here is a dead shark”!

News:

The Past: Annie Hall 1977

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% Fresh 92% Audience

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

Trivia:

  • Alvy’s (Woody Allen’s) sneezing into the cocaine was an unscripted accident. When previewed, the audience laughed so loud that director Allen decided to leave it in, and had to add footage to compensate for people missing the next few jokes from laughing too much.
  • Woody Allen originally envisioned this movie as a murder mystery, with a subplot about a romance. During script revisions, Allen decided to drop the murder plot, which he and Marshall Brickman later revitalized in Manhattan Murder Mystery.
  • During the lobster-cooking scene Annie runs and retrieves a camera to take pictures of Alvy dealing with the crustaceans. Later, when Alvy runs over to Annie’s house to smash a spider, the series of photos Annie took is on the wall in the background.
  • Diane Keaton’s real name is Diane Hall and her nickname is Annie.
  • Sigourney Weaver’s screen debut, in a non-speaking part as Alvy’s date near the end of the movie.
  • The jokes that Woody Allen tells in front of the audience at the University of Wisconsin and on The Dick Cavett Show are from his stand-up comic days.
  • Annie’s outfits, which caused a brief fashion rage, were Diane Keaton’s own clothes.
  • In the scene where Alvy questions people on the street about what makes a relationship, a large crowd can be seen in the background watching the filming.
  • Ben Stiller comments how he likes the scene when Alvy has to meet Annie’s family in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies: America’s Greatest Movies and how it relates to him personally because he always was very apprehensive meeting his girlfriends’ parents. Stiller starred in Meet the Parents, which revolved around that very idea.
  • The film’s working title was “Anhedonia” – the inability to feel pleasure. United Artists fought against it (among other things, they were unable to come up with an ad campaign that explained the meaning of the word) and Woody Allen compromised on naming the film after the central character three weeks before the film’s premiere. Other titles suggested were “It Had to Be Jew”, “A Rollercoaster Named Desire”, and “Me and My Goy”.
  • “That was the most fun I’ve ever had without laughing” is a reference to the quote by H.L. Mencken in 1942 (and later Humphrey Bogart).
  • The first rough cut ran 2 hours and 20 minutes. Among the scenes later eliminated were: segments showing Alvy’s former classmates in the present day; Alvy as a teenager; a scene in a junk-food restaurant (featuring Danny Aiello); extensive additional scenes featuring Carol Kane, Janet Margolin, Colleen Dewhurst and Shelley Duvall; and a fantasy segment at Madison Square Garden featuring the New York Knicks competing against a team of five great philosophers. Christopher Walken’s driving scene was also cut, but was restored a week before the film was completed. New material for the ending was filmed on three occasions, but most was discarded. The final montage was a late addition.
  • One scene cut from the film is a fantasy sequence of Annie and Alvy visiting hell. This scene was rewritten 20 years later for Allen’s Deconstructing Harry.
  • Marshall McLuhan was not Allen’s first choice. Federico Fellini and Luis Buñuel were asked first.
  • Alvy never says “I love you” to Annie. The closest he comes is when Alvy says love isn’t a strong enough word for how he feels.
  • During the classroom flashbacks, one of the teachers writes, “Tuesday, December 1” on the chalkboard. December 1 is Woody Allen’s birthday, and Tuesday December 1, 1942 was his seventh birthday, tying in with the school setting.
  • On Late Night with Conan O’Brien (28 February 1995), Harvey Fierstein revealed that both he and Danny Aiello had bit parts in this classic, but their scenes ended up on the cutting room floor.
  • Woody Allen originally filmed a scene in which a traffic advisory sign “urges” Alvy to go to Annie in California. Editor Ralph Rosenblum wrote that Allen was so disgusted by the scene’s cuteness that he took the footage and threw it into the East River. The traffic-sign motif was later used in Steve Martin’s L.A. Story.
  • The passerby Alvy refers to as “the winner of the Truman Capote look-alike contest” is in fact Truman Capote, who appears uncredited.
  • June 2008 Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Romantic Comedy”.
  • The movie’s line “Hey, don’t knock masturbation – it’s sex with someone I love!” was voted as the #78 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” in 2006.
  • An early appearance by Jeff Goldblum playing the party guest who “forgot his mantra”.
  • At 93 minutes, it is the second shortest film to win the Best Picture Oscar. The shortest film to win the Best Picture Oscar is Marty at 91 minutes.
  • The house under the rollercoaster where Alvy grew up is actually the Kensington Hotel in Coney Island, Brooklyn which was located underneath the Thunderbolt rollercoaster. Allen discovered it while searching locations during filming. The hotel and rollercoaster were demolished in 2000.
  • Average shot length: 14.5 seconds
  • Kay Lenz was offered the title role but her boyfriend David Cassidy made the offer turned down.
  • Shelley Hack’s film debut.
  • Shelley Duvall filmed her scenes in two days.
  • Alvy makes a joke about the political magazines Dissent and Commentary merging to form “Dysentery.” Dissent is a famous liberal magazine and Commentary is a famous conservative magazine.
  • The phrase “La Dee Dah” used often by Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), who grew up in the 1950s, was the title of a 1958 R n R standard – #9 US Pop, by Billy and Lillie and popular on “the oldie’s circuit” at the time of this film’s release.
  • The scene where Alvey and Annie are making up stories about people in the park is reminiscent of the Paul Simon song “America”. “Laughing on the bus/Playing games with the faces/She said the man in the gabardine suite was a spy/I said his bow tie is really a camera”. Paul Simon plays Tony Lacey in the film.
  • In the lobster scene in the kitchen, the door to the oven in the corner cannot possibly be opened.
  • The movie theater line-up scene is done on a long take. The shot starts when the man behind Alvy starts speaking.
  • Though based primarily on Woody Allen’s real-life relationship with Diane Keaton, the fact that Annie Hall comes from Chippewa Falls, Wisc. likely was inspired by Allen’s past relationship with folk singer Judy Henske, who was born in Chippea Falls, while Keaton was born in Los Angeles.

Talking Points:

  • Won Best Picture, Best Actress,Best Director, Best Writing at the 1978 Oscars.
  • Did you feel the movie still speaks true about some relationships? i.e. does it hold up to today?
  • Techniques used in filming/storytelling…breaking the fourth wall…omniscient extras..animation use of extremely long shots

What We’ve Learned:

  • The universe is expanding, One day it will break apart and that will be the end of everything
  • It’s ok to be a bigot..as long as your on the left
  • Politicians are a notch below child molester
  • Life is divided into the two categories the horrible and the miserable.
  • Don’t take any college course that makes you read Beowulf
  • A relationship is like a shark.. it has to constantly move forward or it dies.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I think this movie was too clever for me. I didn’t really laugh at all, maybe a heh, here or there but just didn’t get me. Brilliantly put together and acted and everything, it just came off as meh to me. I probably won’t ever watch this movie again.
Ray: I think this is a still relevant, witty look at relationships and how they can evolve or devolve. Mostly holds up to the test of time. If your a Woody fan… and haven’t seen this one you should be ashamed.
Steve: I’m not totally a fan of Woody Allen’s comedy…sometimes he says his punchlines too quickly for me, so I lose focus. However, it is a cute movie…I like the “dreams” he has – they added a lot. And my favorite quote from the movie was “I’m into leather” by the little girl. HEE HEE!

The Present: Warrior
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Fresh, 93% Audience

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Starring: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton

Trivia:

  • When the announcer is quoting Koba’s credentials, he states that he is an Olympic Gold medalist in wrestling. Kurt Angle, the actor playing Koba, won two gold medals in the 1996 Olympics in wrestling.
  • Co-writers Anthony Tambakis and Gavin O’Connor were introduced by comedian Bryan Callen, who plays himself in the movie alongside writer Sam Sheridan. Callen dated director Patty Jenkins for 9 years. She is now married to Sheridan.
  • The role of the promoter, played by director Gavin O’Connor, was originally written for TapouT founder Charles “Mask” Lewis. Lewis was killed by a drunk driver just before shooting began. O’Connor spoke at Lewis’ memorial service on April 14, 2009, six days before principal photography began. The film is dedicated to him.
  • The role of Paddy was written for Nick Nolte by Anthony Tambakis and Gavin O’Connor, who is neighbors with the actor in Malibu. The studio was resistant to casting Nolte, but the writers held firm and Nolte’s portrayal has won him universal critical praise.
  • Anthony Tambakis and Gavin O’Connor selected The National song “About Today” to close the movie before writing the final scene. The scene was written with the song playing on a continual loop at O’Connor’s house while the writers worked.
  • Joel Edgerton tore his MCL in the cage during production, halting fight scenes for six weeks. Tom Hardy suffered a broken toe, broken ribs, and a broken finger.
  • Frank Grillo based his character on famed MMA trainer Greg Jackson. Grillo and Joel Edgerton trained and lived with Jackson at his New Mexico gym during pre-production. All of Grillo’s fight scene dialogue while “cornering” Edgerton was suggested by Jackson.
  • The original script location for the Conlon family was Long Beach, CA. It was moved to Pittsburgh due to Pennsylvania tax breaks. The scenes set at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City were originally written for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Gavin O’Connor moved the action to New Jersey to fit with the gritty east coast aesthetic of the film.
  • Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle played the Russian fighter “Koba,” whose nickname was taken from the moniker given to ‘Josef Stalin’. In the original script, “Koba” was named “King Kong,” but it was changed for legal reasons. The brother of Gavin O’Connor’s assistant, Samantha Ellison, suggested the name “Koba.”
  • The location for the scenes in Iraq was actually an abandoned parking lot on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, dressed to look like the desert by Production Designer Dan Leigh.
  • Instead of going to his hotel after his flight from England, Tom Hardy appeared at director Gavin O’Connor’s door at midnight the evening before his audition. The pair ended up living together for five days.
  • While filming in Pittsburgh, Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Frank Grillo all lived together at the Cork Factory Lofts.
  • On the first day of shooting, the crew gave Nick Nolte a standing ovation after the first take of a scene shot at a local diner. The scene was later cut but appears as a DVD extra.
  • Writer Anthony Tambakis portrays a fight official in the film, and Gavin O’Connor plays the fight promoter. O’Connor agreed to play J.J. Riley only after his friend and co-writer Tambakis agreed to make a cameo himself.
  • An alternate opening shot at Moundsville State Prison in West Virginia and featuring Tom Hardy’s character cage-fighting in jail, was cut from the film.
  • One of the commentator’s references Kurt Angle’s character, Koba, as being a World Sambo Champion. Sambo is a martial art known for leg locks – Angle employed an ankle lock as a signature move during his wrestling career.

Talking Points:

  • Some people say this movie was a total cliche? agree?
  • Why is it not doing better in the box office?
  • Was this what you expected it to be? Comparison to “The Fighter”
  • MMA / Newscasts feel too commercial like?
  • Performances.
  • Who were you rooting for?

What We Learned:

  • It’s hard to find a girl who can take a punch these days
  • The Dude has 3 Laws
  • If you don’t move..you die.
  • The Tank don’t hit back

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: “Hello? Oh, Hi Tom. What? Your performance? Okay, yeah, thanks. I appreciate it. Wish you could be here.” Wait for the DVD.
Ray: I really liked this movie, a lot! I thought the story was engaging.. and the performances were top notch! Go see this one!
Steve: I liked it a lot more than I thought I would…and not just for Tom Hardy’s traps! Although he seemed to be channeling Sylvester Stallone, I felt the other performances were solid. Is it the best movie ever, no…but I was pulled in an just enjoyed it. Even found myself really getting into the fights because they were filmed so realistically, just like watching UFC. Still confused about Kurt Angle being the big bad Russian though.

The Future: Dream House

Director: Jim Sheridan

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts

Summary:

Daniel Craig is set to play a successful publishing executive who quits his job in New York City to relocate his family and two daughters to a beautiful house in a small New England town. They soon learn their home was once the murder scene of a mother and her children, believed to be at the hands of the husband who survived.

Trivia:

  • Christian Bale and Brad Pitt were considered for the role of Will.
  • Erik Van Looy was originally set to direct.
  • Jim Sheridan (the director) supposedly lost control over the movie by the studio and was not pleased with the final result. Stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz were not pleased either, threatening to not make press rounds for it.

Talking Points:

  • Above Trivia Item..
  • Did they give too much away in the trailer?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Meh, it’s just another one of those Paranormal Activity/Insidious Movies with it’s own little twist but I’ve seen this before. Love you Daniel Craig, but I think I’d like to pass.
Ray: Somewhat Intrigued.. but feel the trailer is showing me everything in the movie.
Steve: Seems like just another haunted house/Grudge/People Under The Stairs/Sixth Sense kinda movie with high production value. I feel like we’re going to find out they’re already dead and Naomi Watts is a psychic telling them to move on. I would like to think it will be something unique. I’d go see.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

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