Thursday, February 21, 2019

Twilight Zone is making a comeback and it looks amazing

Okay, this has little to do with movies. But we have discussed TV on this blog before, so I suppose this discussion tonight isn't far-fetched. Plus, "The Twilight Zone" is one of my favorite TV shows of all time and it spawned a movie version in 1983 that was pretty darn good too. Also this is my blog and I make the rules.

If anybody can bring back "The Twilight Zone" and be successful at it, its Jordan Peele. I mean "Get Out" is basically a full-length "Twilight Zone" episode and "Us" coming to theaters this March also looks like one too. It was a show that clearly had an affect on him as he was growing up, part of his pop culture diet that helped him become the man he is today. I do wonder if we will see original ideas in the upcoming show or if he is planning on remaking a few popular episodes. The evidence in the trailer could lean both ways, depending on how well you know your Twilight Zone, but I'll be interested to see if anything new comes from it.

Lots of people are discussing the big stars showing up in this. That's not really surprising to me, William Shatner himself appeared in some of the old school episodes. Other can't seem to get over that there are lots of comedic actors in this. But you know what? If any type of actor can do anything, its a comedic actor. Sometimes, comedy is dark. I mean slapstick is meant to be funny, but if it was physically happening to you, it would not be. I wish comedic actors got more types of work than comedy, and when they do, they are usually amazing.

I can't wait to lay eyes on this!

Dragged Across Concrete Trailer

There is something about this trailer that look so..original. Something I thought I'd never say in a long time. Maybe its because there doesn't seem to be much remaking or reimaging in this trailer. Maybe it feels like a relief that this isn't based off of something that is hot somewhere else right now. It kind of feels like a 90's action movie, but only in scope and ideas, not a frame-by-frame retelling of something we've heard already. The cast is pretty stellar, and I like the energy of it.

I will be looking forward to more from this one.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Chris Hemworth as Hulk Hogan?

Now here's a story too fun to pass up.

Acclaimed "Hangover" director Todd Phillips is making a biopic about Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The man who has been cast to star as Hogan is none other than the god of thunder himself, Chris Hemworth.

When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of wrestling. Huge fan. I was a Hulkamaniac. Totally and purely. Even when he turned heel in WCW and became a villain. Even when he formed the NWO. I was still a fan. He was still heroic even when he was bad. I was a fan for a very long time. I was one of those kids that was very disappointed when I found out wrestling was fake. Sometimes though, for nostalgic purposes, I will watch old matches on YouTube, laughing hysterically that I never noticed just how staged much of it really was.

Phillips' film will be about how Hogan got into the wrestling scene, but won't really dig into the controversies outside the ring regarding Hogan.

Hogan himself had some really nice things to say about Chris Hemsworth landing the role. Hemsworth will also be a producer along side typical Phillips regular Bradley Cooper.

What do you guys think about this?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rocketman trailer

It looks like Taron Edgerton, who I've been swiftly becoming a fan of, is transforming into Elton John in the best possible way.

We are kinda going through a long stretch of biopics. And while I've loved some biopics, hated others and just liked some more, they are all kind of built the same way. Will "Rocketman" stand out or just be another biopic?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Academy Award Prep

The Academy Awards are nearly upon us. As per most years, I play the procrastination game something fierce and I am catching up on the movies nominated for an award right now. Thankfully, I don't have too many to see, so going through them will be a piece of cake, and it should award me enough time to make my predictions after some thoughtful thinking right before Sunday.

If Beale Street Could Talk
I usually can't stand movies that seem to pander to the awards season. When I originally read about "Moonlight," the 2016 movie by Barry Jenkins, it seemed like a movie specifically designed for the awards season. I was ready to write off the movie completely, until I actually saw it. I can barely describe how the movie Barry Jenkins moved me, but I find myself watching it quite a bit since its release. 

While I wouldn't say that "If Beale Street Could Talk" had the same profound impact that "Moonlight" did, but it is an exceptional piece of filmmaking. A moving picture of defiance and love at a time of extreme prejudice. Regina King is very good in the movie. There is a scene in particular where she is trying to convince a woman down in South America to come back to New York City for a court hearing that is so remarkably powerful that it has left me thinking about it for the whole weekend. She could very well get the Oscar Sunday night.

 Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Here's a movie that I just enjoyed for start to finish. I have loved Melissa McCarthy ever since I saw her in "Bridesmaids." But I'll be honest, I've been pretty pissed off by what Hollywood has offered her as a result. Essentially allowing her to be the same person over and over again. I don't get how comedy people get type-cast, because they really are people who can do anything. Comedy has the potential to be dangerous and dark. There have been several people from comedy backgrounds who have proven to be downright scary in the right role. I've been waiting for McCarthy to get her turn.

While there is some humor in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" its not the braindead, slapstick stuff that we usually get from McCarthy. It is more offbeat, and more dry. It is mostly a dramatic film and McCarthy is alive here in way I have not seen in quite a while. Its good stuff indeed.

 The Wife
"The Wife" was ultimately a good movie, but one I felt like just got going a little too slowly. There is some dramatic play between Glenn Close and Jonathon Price that truly is magnificent. They play possibly the most dysfunctional couple I have seen in any movie in a long time. There is a moment where they are arguing over possible unfaithfulness in their relationship, then when their daughter calls them after giving birth to her first son, the couple turns on a dime. They pull it together and find rejoice and love in the tender moment of becoming grandparents. It's actually borderline scary how the scene works. While Close and Price send off fireworks, it ultimately didn't save the movie and promote it to great status, for me anyway. But it might be just enough that Close gets the Oscar. We'll see.

I'll be dropping more hints as the week progresses. And as always, I'll post my predictions this weekend.

Star Wars Episode Nine has wrapped filming

J.J. Abrams, who directed "The Force Awakens" and is now back in the director's chair for "Episode Nine" posted this lovely image of his Twitter over the weekend. Its the three new iconic faces of the "Star Wars" franchise. We see Rey, Poe and Finn all embracing, all the actors in a congratulatory hug after filming has wrapped on "Episode Nine." It is a lovely image, if I do say so myself.

So I wonder if it won't be long before we get a trailer? No to mention a title? We were supposed to get a title drop about two weeks ago, but that ended up being a rumor. There is also another rumor going around that the title for Episode Nine is going to end up being "Balance of the Force," but that sounds so apologetically cheesy that it better stay a rumor. Although I guess its not as bad as "Attack of the Clones." That was a title I initially thought was silly, but then ended up gradually growing on me. The thing I want most of all from this is just a good movie. "The Last Jedi" left such a bad taste in my mouth that I hope Abrams can just course-correct and finish this saga off strong.

That is my hope.

I can only imagine though that a trailer is right around the corner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review: "Berlin, I Love You" proves concept is running out of steam

Berlin, I Love You Review

There is a series of films, all anthologies, that take place in a city. It started in 2007 with "Paris, Je T'aime." It was a star-studded anthology revolving around stories about love. In 2009, we got "New York, I Love You." Which was also a star-studded anthology revolving around stories of love. Today, we get "Berlin, I Love You," which is, you guessed it, a star-studded anthology revolving around stories about love. Of all three movies, the only one I didn't see is the first, "Paris, Je T'aime." Also, telling from the two movies I have seen, I am a little afraid to watch "Paris, Je T'aime."

"New York, I Love You" was a very well marketed movie, really got people on the hook. I missed it in the theater, but when I did catch up with it. I couldn't believe just how boring the whole thing was. Some segments really didn't make any sense, some didn't even seem to have anything to do with love. It was a very weird concept and very weird stories that benefited with a handful of wonderful actors. "Berlin, I Love You," which I can't believe isn't called "Berlin, Ich Liebe Dich" has decided its going to be even more boring, make even less sense and have segments featuring stories that are so far removed from love that I am bewildered they appear in the movie. It seems this series is destined to get progressively worse.

First of all, you couldn't have asked for a more Americanized version of this concept. Its funny that in city in the middle of Germany, there's a bunch of people speaking English everywhere you go. Sure, some people are American, on business. But its just funny that its a movie celebrating the city and the culture and there are so few German actors in it. Where's Christoph Waltz or Till Schweiger? Was Daniel Bruhl unavailable? Or Michael Fassbender or Diane Kruger? Oh, and not throwing in the legendary Jurgen Prochnow was a missed opportunity. Nothing spells American jingoism like a bunch of American actors telling the world what German culture is!

Then there's the segments. There is a wrap around story about a German street entertainer who is annoyed when an Israeli singer comes to his spot and starts playing music for people. Instead of getting angry back, she tries to see if they can help each other, feed off of each other then split the money. They slowly become friends. As you watch this wrap-around story play out, you wonder why the filmmakers didn't just make a whole movie about these two people, its the only two characters that they seemed interested in.

Then we are off with Jim Sturgess, starring in what appears to be a low-rent "Her" remake. Then we meet Kiera Knightley and Helen Mirren as mother and daughter having a rough patch. By far, the weirdest segment is one where a mush-faced Mickey Rourke plays a business man at a bar, and he meets a beautiful yet criminally younger woman. They talk, he flirts, she smiles. Somehow a daughter he has gets brought up, and he was apparently a bad father. He takes her back to his room for sex, but she doesn't want to. He doesn't pressure her, they fall asleep. The man wakes up to find out...giggle...I almost can't type it...the girl was his long, lost daughter!

This being an anthology, there is barely any time for character development. But there are so many stories crammed into this anthology that an emotional depth or weight to any of the characters or their stories is quickly lost. There just isn't enough time to attach any sort of attachment to these people. The stories are so short that you are doing all that development at a gallop and it ends up fumbling in most places.

I hope we can be done with these, or perhaps the team behind these movies start being a little bit more clever and better when it comes to putting them together, they are getting worse and worse.