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Gorgeous New Trailer For Jupiter Ascending Means The Matte Artists Deserve A Raise

By on Mar 28, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

There are many problems with the Wachowskis’ upcoming film Jupiter Ascending. It is anchored by two leads, in Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, who are fine in comedies but neither of whom could sell snow cones in the desert when it comes creating layered characters. It has a tantrum throwing villain that looks like a combination of Ra from Stargate and Ard (aka “it’s my Loknar you bitch!”) from Heavy Metal. And at first blush its plot seems simple even by YA standards.

So why am I previewing the trailer? It’s gorgeous. As if the Wachowskis combined the visuals of the underrated Sunshine with a mash-up of Minority Report and Fifth Element.… Read the rest

Send In The Boxtrolls

By on Mar 10, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

I get irrationally excited over a new Laika film. It’s the same excitement I used to have when Pixar teased a movie (prior to them being acquired by Disney) or still feel when Studio Ghibli releases a film. All three animation studios have displayed the ability to produce wonder.

When Coraline first came out I was cautiously optimistic. A fan of the art produced when Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean combined their creative talents, I wasn’t sure any studio could produce a film that captured both Gaiman’s tone and Mckean’s aesthetic. Laika was well up to the task. Bringing in Henry Selick to direct was a master stroke.… Read the rest

Another Visit to Sin City

By on Mar 8, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

You can dislike a piece of art but still find some aspect of it that resonates with you. The original Sin City film was like that for me. What worked on paper, didn’t work on the big screen. The jagged edges of Frank Miller’s art felt flattened, polished, and slick. And a good artist doesn’t necessarily make a good director. The film felt bloated, empty, and its little bit of visual flash soon forgotten. It was the film equivalent of walking onto and off the Strip.

The scene that stayed with me was one of the few intimate ones. A conversation between Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen’s characters guest directed by Quentin Tarantino.… Read the rest

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jesse Eisenberg are Doppelgangers

By on Mar 8, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

Anything worth doing is worth doing twice. At least in Hollywood. Which is why Jake Gyllenhall and Jesse Eisenberg are playing doppelgangers. Well, maybe not in the same film. But Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessie Eisenberg are both playing characters who deal with the unforeseen consequences of encountering their double in films being released in the next month.

The doppelganger trope can be an interesting one as long as the actor can hold the audience’s attention. For example, Adaptation, featuring Nicolas Cage, works both because Charlie Kaufman’s script was in excellent hands with Spike Jonze and because Cage can chew up the screen when he can be bothered to.… Read the rest

The Raid 2: Berandal Promises More Silat Mayhem From Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais

By on Mar 4, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

Gareth Evans is one of the best martial arts directors working today. His work on The Raid (2011) alone is enough to win him such praise. A bloody, brutal, skull crushing, bone-snapping, 101 minute joyride, The Raid feels like it features 90 minutes of hand-to-hand combat. Its run time makes the 3:41 fight scene with no cuts in Tony Jaa’s The Protector seem fleeting and the pace of its brutality makes Jet Li’s Unleashed feel restrained. And it’s plot was so good that Karl Urban’s Dredd ripped it off.

Not that there was any real plot outside of setup: a twenty man SWAT team in Jakarta raids a tenement ruled by a drug lord.… Read the rest

The Director of Oldboy’s New Film is Hamlet Meets Lolita Meets May

By on Feb 11, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

Park Chan-wook is one of the most visceral directors working today. What has come to be know as his Vengeance trilogy featured scenes of violence that bordered on torture porn. Oldboy, which was the middle film of that trilogy, was another beast entirely. A twisted masterpiece with some of the best scenes of the decade.

He new film Stoker is also part of a planned thematic trilogy. Starring Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and was most recently in Lawless, Dermot Mulroney who was in The Grey, and Nicole Kidman who delivers the perfect icy intro at the start of the trailer.… Read the rest