ENJOY THE MOVIES
I struggled putting together a satisfactory, opening paragraph about Ted 2. Struggled. Usually if that's the case, it means the rest of the review will be a nice run through a mud-field of narrative connections and sludgy adjectives… like "sludgy." Unfortunately there was really nothing to say about the follow-up to Seth MacFarlane's surprise hit that hadn't already been said about A Million Ways To Die In the West or the back-half years of "The Family Guy." MacFarlane has a very specific sense of humor, and the ridiculous, pop culture references and violent lunacy that make up 13 seasons – and two features so far – can only pull laughs from the audience for so long.
Turtlegate continues! Fans weren't thrilled when Paramount announced that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were getting a reboot by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes under the direction of Jonathan Leibesman. They were even less thrilled when word came that the TMNT would be aliens, not mutants, this time around, and it would in fact be called Ninja Turtles, and perhaps all of the bad press contributed to Paramount's decision to bump the movie back from Christmas 2013 to May 2014 and drastically cut the budget. The original script leaked online this week, and co-creator Peter Laird is not happy with it at all.
The Alamo Drafthouse is one of the world's coolest movie theaters, a place where the cinematic experience comes first and a love of film seems to spill through the entire establishment. They also famously have a strict no talking/texting policy that they actually enforce, unlike most movie theaters which are either too scared or too lazy to do anything about disruptive audience members. The Drafthouse's tactics sometimes lead to hilarious results, but founder Tim League isn't laughing today. He's just posted a blog entry laying out his thoughts against "texting friendly" theater screenings, and he makes some great points. Read on!
In an unprecedented cinematic undertaking, Marvel was able to successfully weave a storytelling web across multiple films that culminated in The Avengers, a global box office juggernaut that has earned over $550 million domestically in the month after its debut. This weekend, the film slid past The Dark Knight to take the number three all-time spot on the earnings list with $1.3 billion in total. But we're already looking ahead, and the finale of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is realistically the only thing this year that could knock The Avengers from its newly-claimed perch. But does The Dark Knight Rises stand a chance?
"Like Superbad on crack." Are you ready for this party? Warner Bros has debuted a second official trailer in HD via Apple for Project X, the upcoming "secret" teen party movie produced by Todd Phillips (of Old School, The Hangover, Due Date). The first trailer for Project X featured a rather surprising unveiling for just how massive this party is, and this trailer does the same, but also tosses in some peculiar uncredited, nondescript quotes from an "early screening". I'm not even sure those are real? Anyway, it still looks fun as hell for a massive party movie, especially when it gets totally wild with the car and flamethrower. Have fun!
The first step to finding your destiny is leaving your mother's basement. Indeed. The first official poster has (finally) debuted via SlashFilm for Jeff Who Lives at Home, the new Duplass Brothers comedy starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms. This hilarious film (my review from TIFF) follows a stoner who lives in his mom's basement (Segel) that leaves on an adventure to get some wood glue, and somehow along the way discovers his destiny and helps his brother track down his cheating wife. I like the simple, sleek design of this poster, with the wooden backing being so prominent. The trailer hits tomorrow, so check back then.
A mere 24 hours before this film gets quietly released in limited theaters, Wrekin Hill has finally released an official US poster (via IMDb) for The Flowers of War, the Zhang Yimou-directed WWII drama starring Christian Bale that was China's Best Foreign Film Oscar entry. While it is a fairly conventional poster with floating heads blended, I love the colors and the overall design and layout. It's eye-catching and a perfectly gorgeous poster to go along with an otherwise outstanding film. I got to see it late last year and enjoyed it a lot, it's very powerful filmmaking from one of China's best filmmakers, Zhang Yimou. Check it out below!
Taking out the trash, one jerk at a time. Magnet Releasing debuted the first official poster for Bobcat Goldthwait's new comedy God Bless America, starring Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr (seen on the poster). The two realize they're fed up with American culture and decide to don weapons and "take out the trash." Unfortunately the tagline is the best part of this poster, because it's otherwise a very tame, lame, uninspired design for a film that I think deserves much better. Just look at this photo from the film! You can do better, Magnolia. This is a wild, crazy, hilarious film (my TIFF review) and I hope we see better posters.
She has the code. He is the key. And no one is safe! Collider has unveiled the official theatrical poster for Boaz Yakin's Safe, the new action-thriller starring Jason Statham due out this spring (watch the trailer). While we've seen plenty of badass shots of Statham before, and lots of gun-pointed-at-the-camera imagery, this poster combines those two elements with some lush colors to deliver an eye-catching action design. I'm sure they're trying to make sure this poster stands out in the crowd of action flicks coming up, and putting Statham posed like this was definitely a smart idea. I like it, and I'm looking forward to seeing this movie.
With the three Star Wars prequels in his past and his second passion project finally hitting theaters in the form of Red Tails later this month, it sounds like filmmaker George Lucas is ready to step away from show business altogether. Well, at least he's doing to be done making the kind of films we've come to expect from the man behind such iconic franchise as The Star Wars Saga and the Indiana Jones series. Though Lucas recently told The NY Times, "I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff," longtime producing partner Rick McCallum doesn't think Lucas is done completely.
Ever since that casting of Chris Evans in Bong Joon-ho's new project Snow Piercer, I've been hearing rumors that he's lined up quite a big, fantastic cast. Variety reveals two more names, the first is Jamie Bell, who played Tintin in Spielberg's Golden Globe-winning movie, and Tilda Swinton, who should've won a Golden Globe for her performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is the new post-apocalyptic sci-fi film set on a train in a future world covered entirely by snow, being directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, of The Host and Mother. Evans is also in the cast, and I'm sure many more folks yet to be revealed.
Last night, one of Hollywood's biggest nights unfolded with the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards honoring some of the best work on film and television in the year 2011. While both stars of the big and small screen were present, our focus was zeroed in on those who made a splash in cinema and of course, the skewering of stars by host and comedian Ricky Gervais who was just as bored as audiences and attendees. With more great digs at Johnny Depp, who even got in on some of the humor himself, Gervais killed again and despite a bland show there were some highlights, especially from those accepting the awards. Watch!