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.

FINAL GRADE: D

Nothing is being let go! "Frozen 2" trailer here!

Is it weird that ever since a nurse almost a year ago now broke the news that my wife and I's first child would be a girl, that I've wondered if she will given into the "Frozen" mania? Don't get me wrong, I want my child to follow her interests, but I do wonder if she'll be infected by the "Frozen" bug and if that high fandom will destroy her parents.

All kidding aside, I wonder if Disney planned for this to be as big as it was. I would say "Frozen" is huge. I gave the first film a positive review, I liked that it felt like a classic Disney movie. When you work at a childcare center and hear nothing but "Frozen" songs for well over a year, that good grace turned to contempt pretty fast.

Now, that mania returns again, here's our first look at "Frozen 2"




The details of the plot have been secret and the trailer certainly doesn't give anything away. So I wonder if this is working on any adult fans of this franchise. Me? Well, having a daughter, I think it is safe to say I will see this one eventually. If that's good or bad remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review: Everything is (mostly) still awesome with "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part"

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part Review
We are now four movies into this "LEGO Movie universe" and I have to say that by and large, I have been more impressed by it than I figured I would be. They are wild and over-the-top, at the same time, they have messages that I feel can be appreciated and recognized by older audiences. "The LEGO Movie" was 2014, and not only did children love another fable about doing their best, and knowing that even they are special. The adults got a wake up call on the nasty world of modern nostalgia, and how that can sometimes leave wounds. "The LEGO Batman Movie" not only brought two of my favorite things, LEGO's and Batman, together. But I think it exposed Batman's id in a way that none of the live-action movies have been able to do successfully. I think the most ordinary movie of the bunch is "The LEGO Ninjago Movie" which just seemed like it wanted your cash and that was it.

Sequels are tough, they are a necessarily evil in this world and I was curious to see what they would do with this sequel. How they could make this second film special without pandering. Or without repeating themselves. The thing is, it seems "The LEGO Movie 2" is most interested in repeating itself, or just mocking the very way sequels repeat themselves in the first place. This second movie takes place exactly where the first movie left off. When Finn (Jadon Sand) learns from his father (Will Ferrell) that he has to share his LEGO world with his sister, that leads to a war in Bricksville between Emmett (Chris Pratt) and friends and the weird little kid LEGOs we saw at the first films end. We learn that LEGO world fights these big LEGO's aliens for five years, which turns it into LEGO World: Fury Road.

The only person who doesn't seem to mind is, of course Emmett. Even though his world is constantly at war. What eventually springs him into action is the sudden disappearance of all of his friends at the hands of these bizarre aliens. They are captured by Queen Waterva Wanabi (Tiffany Haddish) who assures them that they are not trying to hurt them, even though the behavior is anything but reassuring. In any case, Emmett meets up with Rex Dangervest, who is also voiced by Chris Pratt and is a huge parody of several characters Pratt has played over the years, and some he was just rumored to play. Its shamelessly clever character-building. I'm sure audiences will get a kick out of the humor that rises by the interactions of Emmett and Dangervest.

As always, "The LEGO Movie 2" is both wild and over-the-top. If you somehow found "Everything is Awesome" to be the most annoying song in your entire life, well just wait until you hear "Catchy Song" which I think was specifically designed to make people's ears bleed. The whole movie is a massive exaggerated parody on the whole notion of the sequel. Some things are purposefully the same as last time, at least I think they were supposed to be, and that's part of the humor of it all. They do repeat themselves here, but in some clever ways. But the film's secret weapon is how they bend the rules of movies just a little bit to tell a story that is somewhat unexpected. All movie long, I couldn't tell if the movie was going to be predictable or if the movie was going to pretend to be predictable, and that's the fun of it all.

The world of LEGO continues to feel like a living, breathing place. Even though its not somewhere I could ever personally go, I love that it always feels lived in. Even when everything goes dystopian, there is a fun way of keeping things imaginative that I felt was rewarding after every passing minute. I do like the sheer look of this world and just how good high definition special effects are in this day and age. 

The whole notion of making fun of the sequel is clever for a premise. Especially since most of the target audience probably won't even get what is being made fun of, or that there is a joke at play at all. But hey, that's what makes the movie fun for all ages. Some of the humor lands, and some of it doesn't. I think the first film is ultimately a better affair, and lands a lot more laughs. But hey, perhaps that's what makes "The LEGO Movie 2" true in form. This isn't supposed to be better than the first movie, and perhaps they are okay with that. Still, so much is still awesome that its hard to not have a good time.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A First Look at Tommy Wiseau's "Big Shark"

Move over "Avengers: Endgame," and look out "Star Wars: Episode Nine." I think we just found out what will end up being the biggest movie of the year. Tommy Wiseau's "Big Shark."

Tommy Wiseau is kind of infamous now, and if you caught James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" in 2017, you know why. Tommy Wiseau came over from Europe, or maybe from outer space or perhaps from another dimension. He became best friends with American actor Greg Sestero, and together they made "The Room." A movie that is hailed as the "Citizen Kane of bad movies." If you've ever wondered if there is a film so bad its funny and good, well Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" is your answer. By logic and narrative, the movie is a trainwreck. But its such a fascinating trainwreck that I can't look away. Neither can millions of fans, because since the film's release in 2003, Wiseau has been programming Midnight showings of the film all across the country. Never would we have known that such a film would become a sensation, but Tommy Wiseau is a walking embodiment of the American Dream.

This year, we are getting the next Tommy Wiseau film, the first one in over a decade. He's making a movie about a shark. That's all we have at this moment. But for right now, that's enough.



Yep. Calling it now. Biggest. Movie. Of 2019!

A look at Aladdin!

We are ramping up for another year of Disney live-action remakes and one of the big ones coming this year is "Aladdin." We are getting a much deeper look at characters in this first look, including Will Smith's genie.

I have to say, Will Smith looks a little weird...



It kind of looks to me that somebody took the body of the genie from the cartoon movie and photo-shopped Will Smith face on it. But on a recent cover of Entertainment Weekly, it looks like this genie will also have a human form? Makes sense, the genie could pretty much become whatever it wanted in the original movies, so having a human form isn't far-fetched. I'll be interested to see how much of that human form we actually get in the movie. The other leads looks good and the overall feel of Agrabah is looking pretty great too!

Aladdin will hit theaters May 26th.

RIP Albert Finney

RIP Albert Finney
I feel bad that I am late to writing about this but a very good English actor passed away on February 7th. Albert Finney was one of those actors you saw everywhere, but you may not have known who he was. You may have remembered him from the "Jason Bourne" movies. Perhaps you remember him as the groundskeeper in the James Bond film "Skyfall." Maybe you remember him having a discussion with Michael Douglas in "Traffic." Maybe you remember him as Ebenezer Scrooge in one of the hundreds of movie versions of A Christmas Carol in the 1970's. The point I am trying to make is the guy worked quite a bit. I wish he was more well known than he was, because he certainly left a mark on you if you watched lots of his work.

The thing I bet you'll definitely know him from was the 1982 version of "Annie." Albert Finney was Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. The Daddy Warbucks. Since this is the only version that matters and arguably the most popular version of this story on film, Finney pretty much is the embodiment of Daddy Warbucks for me. He was totally equisite in that. 



Probably my favorite Finney appearance was in the Coen Brothers movie "Miller's Crossing" where Finney played the Irish Mobster Leo O'Bannon. He was one incredibly scary gangster there.


If you are curious about his greater filmography, Amazon Prime has a bunch of great movies with Finney in them right now. You can check out "Gumshoe" where he plays a private eye caught up in a strange case. You can see the original "Murder on the Orient Express" where Finney played Hercule Poirot. You can check out "A Man of No Importance" where he plays a man struggling with his sexuality. All highlight some the great talent Finney brought to a role and he made for a particularly unique experience. He's definitely an actor I will miss on screen.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Great Remakes

I recently caught up on a movie from last year that I missed. That movie is called "Suspiria." It is a remake of a 1970's movie of the same name, a movie that has been lauded as one of the best movies of the horror genre. After watching the 2018 update, while I am not sure if the update will go down as one of the scariest movies of all time, it certainly is a powerful piece of cinema. A movie that surprised me on several levels.

I always feel surprised when a remake works. Because I hate the idea of remakes. I think Hollywood simply handles remakes poorly in this business. Its worse than a sequel we didn't ask for. Its literally trying to copy the success of something that is already heavily regarded as something successful, only for what seems like monetary profit. I think the culture of remakes is all wrong here, instead of trying to do something great from something already great, why not take a bad movie with a great idea and try to do better? I know, if a movie tanked in its original release, why even try to make it better? But I guess anything would be better than trying to fix something that isn't broken.

As with everything in Hollywood, there are moments of surprise. Sometimes, a remake works. The new "Suspiria" works. It works really well. In a time when we are bombarded with remakes, seeing one that works matters. I watched "The Upside," new in theaters. That is a remake of a 2011 French movie called "The Intouchables," a great little movie. "The Upside" feels like the Hallmark version of the story, predictable and cliche. Its missing all the wit, humor and fun of the original. It replaces drama with melodrama. Sure Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart are good in it, but its not enough. It doesn't work on a foundational level. Something the original didn't worry about.

I've thought about it, and I've come up with some other great remakes. Movies I can set next to 2018's "Suspiria." Here are some other remakes that defied expectation.

Ocean's Eleven
The 2001 film by Steven Soderberg was a remake of a 1960 Rat Pack movie. If you ever see the original, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, its certainly fun. Its witty and humorous and thoroughly silly. All about being cool. You can pretty much smell the debauchery coming off the disc before you put it in your player. You know Sinatra, Martin and their buddies had long nights in Vegas between takes. There was booze, there were girls, there were long nights and that's all part of the appeal of the original. The 2001 update is a completely different movie in Soderberg's hands. Its a much more clever and slick movie. There is a clear reason Danny Ocean assembles a team of thieves to knock over three casinos. He's got a vendetta against a rich owner, the other ten guys get rich for helping him. Tess Ocean is attached to the plot, which is nice because she was merely window dressing in the first film. There is a clear compare and contrast between the two, which is why I love both.

The Departed
Wait, what? Oh yes, "The Departed" is a remake. It is a remake of a Hong Kong movie "Infernal Affairs" from 2002. "The Departed" is actually half-remake. The idea of a criminal going undercover for the police to infiltrate organized crime at the same time organized crime puts a mole in the police comes from "Infernal Affairs." The lead gangster in "The Departed" also happens to be based on the real gangster "Whitey" Bulger. So its a crazy concoction of remake and based-on-a-true-story. All creating a wonderfully entertaining crime movie.

Scarface
The original "Scarface" was nice look at Italian migration of the time and how growing up in the slum of New York City could lead someone to the underground world of bootlegging alcohol for the mob. In the 1983 update, it was a perfect time to look at Cuban migration during the time of the southern drug epidemic. As far as updates go, it never merely goes through the motions of the original movie. Tony Montana is wholly original creation, and in the hands of Al Pacino even more so. There is nothing about the original movie that you can even pretend to pin to connect to Tony Montana. Which is why this one has lingered in the hearts of movie fans for awhile.

The Magnificent Seven
If you were a fan of the recent film that bears this movie's name. The film starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. You may be baffled to learn that it was a remake of a remake. The 1960 "Magnificent Seven" is an Americanized update of the 1954 classic "The Seven Samurai." And whether you like classic Japan or the Old West, both movies are great in their own ways. And once again, it provides for a fun compare and contrast of ideas.

The Thing
So there was a version of this film from 1938, but like most films of that era, its supremely silly. This update by John Carpenter really creates a dreadful sense of paranoia. It takes a silly idea and turns it into what truly looks like a dangerous situation. But the secret weapon is the paranoia and its also just fun to watch.

These are definitely just the top five. I really liked the 2002 "The Ring" and I think in some ways, it works better than the 90's "Ringu." I also am fond of the 2010 "True Grit" and while I don't think I'm comfortable enough to compared Jeff Bridges to The Duke, only the Coen Brothers could remake "True Grit" and make something good in the end. As always, any movie can be an opportunity to shock and surprise people.

What are your favorite remakes?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Review: "Velvet Buzzsaw" is the weirdest movie you see this year, and its only February

Velvet Buzzsaw Review

Dan Gilroy is an American screenwriter who has had some serious success in a short amount of time. He wrote the scripts for movies like "Reel Steel," "Kong: Skull Island," "The Bourne Legacy," and "Two For The Money" and all of those movies have some big pros to them. As he's quickly become a director and writer, his talents have taken a major shift, because none of the movies he's made so far as a director are very commercial. "Nightcrawler" is the most popular movie that comes to mind, and for good reason, its addicting to watch, start to finish. His second film as director, "Roman J. Israel Esq." was a little less popular, and for good reason. Its a movie that feels like a bunch of various vignettes of the major character all in search of a movie, and its a hard film to sit through.

Dan Gilroy is once again collaborates with Jake Gyllenhaal and his own wife Rene Russo who both starred in "Nightcrawler" in "Velvet Buzzsaw." Which will possibly go down as the weirdest, strangest thing Dan Gilroy has mustered up so far. As I discuss this movie in this review tonight, you are probably going to think this was a beyond odd thing to sit through, and it sure was. Strange doesn't always mean bad, though. Not to me. From the very beginning I was definitely intrigued. There is a gleefully strange opening credit sequence, then we are quickly whisked away into the life of Morph Vandewalt. 

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Vandewalt, a bisexual art critic living in Miami Beach. We meet Vandewalt attending an art exhibit with his friend and Agent Josephina (Zawe Ashton) run by a bitchy art gallery owner played by Rene Russo. This being Jake Gyllenhaal and this being a movie where he plays a guy named Morph Vandewalt, its another memorable performance of oddball speech and a unique way of living life. Morph is definitely, to put it in blunt terms, kind of a douche. But this stuck-up world of art is supposed to be a douchy world, so he fits right in.

When Josephina returns from the gallery that night, she finds her neighbor dead, she also finds a big box full of amazing, undeniable art pieces. When she shows the pieces of art to both Morph and Russo's character Rhodora, really strange things start to happen. As they investigate the art, it is discovered that the artist who made them had a messed-up life and died from strange circumstances. Then...the movie goes downhill from there. Not in a bad way, per se. But in a way, our characters begin to fall down a deadly rabbit hole from which there is no escape.

It's really hard to describe the movie any further, and that's both a pro and a con to the movie. Much like "Roman J. Israel Esq." this is another Dan Gilroy movie that is simply doing way too much. While its not two and half hours like "Roman" was, it certainly feels that long, never a good thing. Is "Velvet Buzzsaw" simply a movie about cursed art? Or is it a metaphor for the art scene in general? Is it a character study about a bunch of incredibly high-strunk, uptight, snobbish artsy-fartsy people? Is there a greater scheme going on between Rhondora and Morph and Josephina? If so, what is that greater scheme? "Velvet Buzzsaw" feels like a movie full of potentially great ideas that seem to go nowhere.

There have been several people who have compared the movie to a "Final Destination" movie. Honestly, I get it. When people die in this movie, it's under the most bizarre circumstances. I can say this about Dan Gilroy this time out, he's definitely flexing his exploitation muscles a little bit, which is a strength I never knew he had. If you are the type of horror fan that likes seeing people die in really gruesome, screwball ways, then I think "Velvet Buzzsaw" will work on you to a degree. I am just not sure I understand the rules of the haunting in this movie. Is it the spirit of the dead artist doing the killings? Or is it something else? The movie never really specifies, but points to the two possible conclusions. Its also a little hazy as to why there is a haunting or a curse to the art, which is aggravating. If you are going to make a movie about a killer ghost or a killer what-have-you, make sure they have a clear motivation as to why.

Dan Gilroy also has the talent to bring together great casts. Along with Gyllenhaal and Russo is Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Natalia Dyer, Daveed Diggs and Billy Magnussen, all of whom do outstanding work. The twist is most of them barely have characters to play. These actors are all good selling a bunch of hoopla that ultimately means nothing and goes nowhere. Which is an outstanding feat all to itself. John Malkovich in particular plays a character which could have literally been edited out of the movie altogether.

"Velvet Buzzsaw" eventually boils down to being too weird. A movie that doesn't have a clear vision of what it wants to do and what it wants to be. There's good performances, some wacky deaths and a memorable opening and closing credits sequence. Gilroy has some really good ideas that deserve to be explored, but maybe not in one movie? 

FINAL GRADE: C

Toy Story 4 Super Bowl Add

Okay...so you know how I said I showed you ALL the movie ads from yesterday's Super Bowl? I lied...

 

Again, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are REALLY talking this one up. So it better be as good as they are saying it is. I don't know if they are just calling the movie profound because that's what is required of them to do or if Pixar flat out did the unthinkable. I can't wait to find out this summer!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

All Movie Super Bowl Commercials

Well, glad that boring game is over.

Now lets take a look at the movie Super Bowl ads, which is always a highlight for me each year. Sadly, it didn't seem like there was much to show us this year, but what we did end up seeing was well worth it.




There has been lots of hate thrown at this trailer, and I am little shocked by it. Have we really been so conditioned by modern marketing that when a movie refuses to give away the whole plot, we panic? Does a superhero movie need to have non-stop action in order to be successful? I am as intrigued as ever by this movie, and I can't wait to see it.



Yep. More please.


I've liked the re-emergence of the "Fast and Furious" franchise, but this just looks like a naked cash grab. I don't know how interested in this I'm honestly in.


This continues to look awesome


This also continues to look awesome


I am also very much looking forward to this. I was a HUGE fan of the books growing up and found them both hilarious and horrifying growing up and I can't believe any "kids book" got away with the artwork in those original books, good lord. Anyway, I can't see any evidence of any of the original stories in this, which is a shame. I am going to be disappointed if this ends up being an original movie with the "Scary Stories" name slapped on it. But time will tell.

Ironically, my favorite trailer had nothing to do with movies...



Yep. I LOVE "Twilight Zone" and I am curious as hell to see what Jordan Peele does with it.