Movies

Back To The Future Appreciation

Last night I went to the Arclight Theater in Hollywood and watched Back To The Future. If you’ve never been to the Arclight you’re doing yourself a disservice. I love this theater - Assigned seating, good popcorn, ushers who announces the movie to you, people who respect movies, soundtracks playing when you walk in… Basically a great movie going experience. I should note that I had never seen Back To The Future on the big screen, only part 2 and 3, so this was somewhat of a great experience for me. I’m not just saying this to say it, but somehow the movie was better on a big screen, seriously.

While I was watching the movie for the 198th time I really appreciated how I thought this was a perfect movie. From an entertainment point of view it is near perfect and from a structure point of view it is basically perfect. Fuck! I love this movie.

In honor of me seeing the movie for the first time in a theater, below are some links to things that I consider relevant for Back To The Future. If nothing else this is an appreciation of sorts…

Tom Wilson’s (Biff) Back To The Future Song:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwY5o2fsG7Y&w=420&h=315]

Tom Wilson’s podcast on Nerdist talking about recasting Marty McFly: Podcast.

Video of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly before being recast. BTW – How crazy is it that Michael J Fox wasn’t Marty McFly for any moment in time? I think there should be a documentary on this actor switch. I’d love to know where Eric Stoltz stands on this whole thing: I almost can’t take it.

A reunion video 25 years later: Reunion central

Back To The Future Pedia: This is a crazy website

Claudia Wells (Jennifer aka Marty’s girlfriend) interview on why she left Back To The Future. It’s weird because it always seems like Elizabeth Shue was in these movies: Claudia!

Crispin Glover (George McFly) talking about leaving Back To The Future. It’s also strange to think that original George McFly wasn’t in the sequels: George!

Eric Tan conceptual artwork: Tan

How to Reboot Back To The Future! Shameless plug. Don’t care, I love this trilogy: 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE8QLR8KLwk&w=560&h=315]

Oscar Predictions: 2013

Argo Wow, I have been totally slacking on postings lately but there is nothing better than Oscar season to change that. I love me some movies and even though I forget who wins 20 minutes after the awards are over, I love me some Oscars. However, something weird is happening this award season – I basically don’t have any fucking clue who is nominated for anything and have barely seen all of the nominated films. Why is that? How did this happen? Is it the movie quality? Is it the Internet taking me away from movies? Are award shows just irrelevant now?

I can’t think too much about it. I need to just dive into my predications.

I give you: 2013 Oscar awards predictions (even though I haven’t seen all of the films but don’t really need too).

BEST PICTURE

Amour Argo Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained Les Miserables Life of Pi Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: Argo. Argo has too much momentum. Affleck is going to win a best actor award some day… then best director… then we’re all going to look back on Affleck’s career and he’s going to down in history as having the most unique IMDB page ever.

BEST ACTOR Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables Joaquin Phoenix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis. Never bet against DDL.

Side note: I watched Flight the other day and Denzel killed it.

BEST ACTRESS Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook Emmanuelle Riva, Amour Naomi Watts, The Impossible Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Winner: Jessica Chastain – because… um… I haven’t seen 4 out of the 5 movies in here. This is a strange category, someone either very obvious or someone unexpected always wins. I wonder if there could be a crazy Jennifer Lawrence win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Alan Arkin, Argo Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Winner: Waltz!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams, The Master Sally Field, Lincoln Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables Helen Hunt, The Sessions Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Winner: Anne Hathaway. Remember when she hosted the Oscars that one year?

BEST DIRECTOR Michael Haneke, Amour Ang Lee, Life of Pi David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Winner: Steven “I’m such a badass” Spielberg. Come on. It’s SS.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty John Gatins, Flight Michael Haneke, Amour Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Winner: I think Tarantino is going to win this thing but if John Gatins wins for Flight I won’t be mad. Did I mention that Flight was insane.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild Tony Kushner, Lincoln David Magee, Life of Pi David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Chris Terrio, Argo

Winner: Tony Kushner. Because it’s a Spielberg film!

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM Brave Frankenweenie ParaNorman The Pirates! Band of Misfits Wreck-It Ralph

Winner: Sad to say I haven’t seen any of these in their entirety. So this is how we’re going to do this? Any Pixar films on here? Yes? Oh, Brave. Okay, Brave wins.

Award Show Irrelevancy?

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Watching the Golden Globes and SAG awards I can’t help but wonder if award shows have become irrelevant. Do people care any more? I obviously care because I’m watching them, and writing about them, but do average moviegoers and people care about award shows?

Before I go any further I should mention that there is a part of me that acknowledges I may be bitter because I’m not actually attending these award shows. If I were nominated for something at any award show, I don’t care if it was in the armpit of the world aka Panama City Beach, I’d be there the night before just waiting to make sure I get in. With that nugget in mind…

I don’t feel as though award shows are as relevant anymore for one reason: The oversaturation of stars. A big appeal to these shows was and is getting celebrities together, seeing them in one place, and then seeing them interact. When people used to ask what Jane Doe is wearing other people actually cared. Due to social media and paparazzi the appeal and mystique has faded. But is this really anything new? No.

So what happens when the appeal of celebrity is totally gone? What happens when we’re so immersed in Jane Doe’s instagram and Twitter life that nothing is new? Where do award shows go from there? Well, the actual award will have to mean something and people will have to care about what the award means.

Back in the day when I’d ask my mom to see a movie I’d pitch it as “It’s from the director who won the academy award for…” Does that thought process really exist anymore? I don’t necessarily think it does… as much. I don’t think society boasts about awards like it once did, especially when we’re talking about movies.

Just to confuse things and essentially make an argument against myself I checked out this article: According to this article when your film is nominated you roughly get a 22% spike in sales and then actually winning gives another 15% - That’s pretty significant. This is called the “Oscar Bump” and up until that article I thought the Oscar Bump didn’t happened anymore.

We’ll see how this plays out over the next 10 years. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, especially with technology changing the game even more than it currently is. We’ll see if the old school mysterious celebrity morphs into a newer common day “my life is yours to watch” celebrity. If this happens then award shows may have to adjust and become somewhat of a reality show in itself.

For the record I want a striving entertainment industry. I want award shows to be relevant and I want more people to see things because of those awards.

Alright.

I’m off to DVR the Oscars and prepare my predictions of who will win what.

Real quick - Can you answer who won the academy award for best picture last year and the year before?

A New Hope (part 2)

Disney + Star Wars = Episode VII. Yesterday I had a knee jerk reaction that could only be described as … ah… not a good knee jerk. I couldn’t really imagine a world with another Jar Jar Binks. Nor could I imagine the Disney touch in a Star Wars film, but then I got to thinking. Worst-case scenario is easy to see, there are 743 different options, but after a night of sleep sans any alcohol I think I came to some best-case scenarios with this whole thing. Maybe not best case scenario but definitely more of an optimistic approach…

Why has Star Wars become tainted?

Lucas kept adding new shit to the originals - Hayden Christensen as a ghost in Jedi, new effects, Han actually shooting first, new characters, etc. But the main reason is because of the prequels that I stood in line for. The series really took the plunge when Jar Jar hit the screen. I should probably note at this point that I like Revenge of the Sith.

Point is, it’s already been tainted! We can only go up from here, right? If the prequels weren’t released wouldn’t this be a really fucking great moment? Is it possible that Disney would repeat the same mistakes?

Disney is about longevity.

It’s a business, and Disney is a machine. It’s in Disney’s best interest to preserve what they currently have. No way would they break format, they’re gonna ride this universe out far longer than any of us can comprehend. They’re going to recognize what worked, right?

Directors and writers.

There are a lot of good ones. Anyone who takes on the Star Wars universe is going to be shitting because odds are they’re working on the exact thing that got them excited for movies. This is the Holy Grail … wait … speaking of Holy Grail, are we going to see a new Indiana Jones franchise too!?

Kids will like it.

Don’t have kids, not really worried about them, but I am happy knowing that my 1-year-old nephew will one day live in a Star Wars world. Am I seriously writing about Star Wars VII right now? Can I figure out any other reasons to be optimistic about things, maybe. But this will have to do.

There’s no reason to run from the inevitable. The original movies will live on, nobody is holding a light saber to your head and making you see the future of Star Wars. Nobody bitches about the books that have been released exploring the Star Wars universe. We’re just as selfish as the Disney execs wanting to bring back the franchise… it’s just that we want it to stay sleeping so all we have is a lasting memory.

I have been brain washed by the machine. Bring on the movies!

Ashton Kutcher!

 

So, Forbes named Ashton Kutcher TV’s highest paid actor by bringing in 24 million between May 2011 and May 2012. I almost can’t believe I’m going to say this but is this guy a genius? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I appreciate (maybe admire) what he’s doing and basically what he has been doing for the last 10 years or so.

Aside from being the dumb guy on That 70’s Show his biggest contributions have been in the tech world and investing in start up companies. He seems to have some foresight and takes chances with new technology. I remember reading an article about 6 years ago that I was positive was in Time (I just searched the web and can’t find it) that was written by Kutcher discussing the benefits of twitter. In the last few years he’s seemingly invested in 20+ start ups and is on advisory boards of a handful of companies.

Whatever it may be worth you have to at least appreciate what he’s doing. When I first moved to LA he had a restaurant located about 10 minutes away from me on Sweetzer and Melrose called Dolce and now, many years later, that restaurant is closed down and looks as though Ratatouille may be cooking for all of his rat friends because the place is run down and taken over. He went through the “I’m a celebrity I need a restaurant phase.” Now, it seems as though tech investment is the smart thing for him.

I get the sense that he’s on TV to pay for his tech investments, and if that’s the case, then this guy is even smarter than I thought… and I can definitely appreciate that.

It’s early, I need coffee, and this has just filled my Ashton Kutcher quota for the next year or so.

*Side note: The Butterfly Effect is slightly underrated.

The Weekend...

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I don’t care who knows it: I want to see Total Recall. I’m going to see Total Recall. I’m going to see the reboot that (for some reason) people are hesitant about. The funny thing about this reboot is that I don’t think people are upset that the studio has rebooted a classic Arnold film, but rather people don’t trust Colin Farrell or Jessica Biel to do anything. Are people justified? Sort of. Completely justified? Not at all.

You know how I know this movie is going to be good and not a total piece of shit? One name – Walter White… wait, I mean Bryan Cranston. How can a movie with Cranston really be that bad, doesn’t he only do solid things?

…Oh wait… he was in Rock of Ages, John Carter, and Red Tails… Oh…

But still, it’s Cranston! And yes, I just sided with a movie because Cranston is the X factor.

If you’re going into this weekend and you’re in the movie mood you have the following options:

The Dark Knight Rises – I’ve had so many problems with this film that I just don’t want to talk about it but you should still go see it.

Celesete and Jesse Forever – Not sure if this is a full release but it’s a Sundance film with Andy Samberg and Rachida Jones. I hear it’s pretty good.

Ruby Sparks: I read this script and it’s pretty good. Just watch the trailer to get a vibe of it: HERE

To Rome with Love: Woody Allen pumps out more films than any human in the history of life.

If you’re in the TV mood:

Breaking Bad
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Episodes

I hate that I watch the Kardashians.

And oh… The Olympics!

If you’re not in an entertainment mood and want to do real things like go outside and get some fresh air, I say go for it. Enjoy it. But while you’re doing it, just remember that Colin Farrell and Bryan Cranston are in a theater near you…

3 Trailers: The Game

I kind of love the Internet. Why? Well, simply because we have the opportunity to run the spectrum of “stuff”. Below I present to you the spectrum of trailers that have recently been released. We’re playing a game, you need to decide which film falls into which category. The categories are as follows…

Oh my God was this movie made in 1995 and being released in 2012? No. Okay, wow. Seriously?

Wait, another one?

And

I love you James Bond.

Below are the trailers. Good luck guessing which fall into which category.

Trailer #1 Home Run Showdown

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAVDugRfe5s&w=560&h=315]

 

Trailer #2 Skyfall

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwp5z-JaIoc&w=560&h=315]

 

Trailer #3 Paranormal Activity 4

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aCKnVXzt-4&w=560&h=315]

 

***Hint: Skyfall is in the I love you James Bond category.

 

M. Knight drops "After Earth"

Random fact: I’ve been defending M. Knight Shyamalan for so many years that I started to lose street cred. I loved The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Village, and Signs so much that I forgave him for things that came after.

I try to forget the dark days of Lady in the Water, The Happening AKA Oh-my-God-this-can’t-be-happening-what-am-I-watching-what-is-Mark-Whalberg-doing-but-seriously-what-the-fuck-am-I-watching, and The Last Airbender movie. I give this guy a lot of credit for taking chances.

One would think that with his last three movies I’d be burned and never want to watch another movie of his ever again; even I kind of think so. But then he goes and drops a movie with Will Smith and his son and my hopes are once again somewhere in between The Village and Signs.

I’m so scared I’m going to be burned by M. Knight and I may regret saying this but… This movie looks and sounds fucking cool. Check out this poster that indicates almost nothing… but somehow I’m oddly excited. It hit the internet today.

 

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Underrated Movie: White Water Summer

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There are about sixteen moments in each day that I start to think of underrated movies. Typically the movies that come to mind are somehow embedded in my childhood and look like absolute shit to any current day first time watcher. Today I’m sharing an underrated moment and reminding the world that before we saw Kevin Bacon’s schlong in Wild Things and before Sean Astin was carried off the field in Rudy they occupied the screen for a summer time movie of glorious fun:

White Water Summer

Check out the plot summary courtesy of IMDB: An experienced guide (Vic) accompanies a city boy (Alan) and his three friends on their first wilderness experience. Hoping to teach the four boys lessons not only about the wilderness, but also about themselves, Vic pushes them to the limit. Soon after alienating the boys, Vic finds himself in desperate need of help and must rely on his students in order to survive.

I think this movie turned out a bit darker than it was supposed to be, or maybe not, maybe it was supposed to be as dark as it was. In my opinion I think the late 80’s and some of the early 90’s were a quintessential time for kid adventure movies. I feel like Hollywood was saying “How can we fuck with kids and then have them prevail?” And this movie is no exception.

If you’re having a 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon movie night… watch this movie.

Check out the trailer below. Side note: How amazing are old school trailers?

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QBmRr7h7Fw&w=480&h=360]

Rebooting Back To The Future.

 

I think I have finally figured it out! After years of tough and long mental thought I have figured out how to move forward and reboot the Back To The Future trilogy… and it came to me in a dream… No, seriously. I’ll hold off on the dream talk for now because we need to get a few things clear.

When I’m talking about Back To The Future I’m bundling all 3 films together because it’s that complete. I’m well aware that the 1st film is the best, the 2nd is arguably as good as the 1st, and the 3rd isn’t nearly as good as either but somehow gets better when you catch it on TV.

Here’s why it’s a brilliant trilogy:

Aside from the obvious things like amazing characters, fun storylines, great writing, great directing, and continuous new imaginative visuals it created a fail safe for itself. When Back To The Future literally went to the future in Part 2 it went to the year 2015, forever sealing its fate in that desired time and location. We currently cannot make a sequel to the film because our modern day (2012) doesn’t look like the conception when it was released in 1989, ie: hover boards, flying cars, and fashion. It’s brilliant, right?

Also, in Part 2 we learned that Marty had kids, was married to Jennifer, and Biffs grandson Griff went to jail (to name a few) - another fail safe. Initial thought is there is no way to make a sequel, say Back To The Future Part 4 because it would look hokey and out of touch. Of course this couldn’t have been the intent of the team behind Back To The Future when they created it but it happened, and it’s awesome.

Here’s what my thoughts have always been about trying to flip this trilogy:

- In order to keep this series going with the same title and characters someone would have to conceivably start from scratch and remake the film with a new Marty, Doc Brown, George McFly, Biff, etc… The problem with this idea is everyone knows it’s to soon to do this and that the original films are still better than almost everything in the world.

- The movie could take place in 1985 picking up from where Part 3 left off but the main issue is that a train murdered the DeLorean and Doc Brown is stuck in the old west. OH, and lets not forget the obvious… Michael J Fox and Doc Brown are older and cannot be in these films.

- Speaking of Doc Brown; maybe Part 4 could start in the Wild West and he could send some cowboys into the future for whatever reason. But, who really wants to start a film in the Wild West?

- At the end of Part 3 when Jennifer’s fax disappears stating “you’re fired” she asks Doc what the deal is and Doc says: “the future has not been written yet” – Oh shit! Does that one sentence negate everything above? Did Zemeckis know what he was doing when that line was spoken? What does that mean!?

Quick Side Note: I feel like this is a good random stopping point to point out that I don’t know why everything needs to be rebooted or remade. Honestly, I don’t know why I can’t leave this alone, well, yes I do. I loved this series and deep down I want to pay homage to it. I know that someone is going to redo this movie and trilogy and I want it to be me. Moving on…

Back to my dream and my Back To The Future solve. Remember in Part 1 when Doc Brown was shot by the Libyans at the Twin Pines mall and was talking about plutonium? Also, remember that Marty was recording him? In fact, Marty brought the videotape with him to 1955 to show doc he knew about the flux compacitor. Well, that footage is key to keeping everything moving forward.

In my dream a group of current day kids found the footage from Doc Brown and Marty (along with footage we’ve never seen in the films) and learned how to build a time machine, and not just from a DeLorean but from anything because they know what makes time travel possible… The Flux Compacitor.

The beauty of Doc filming himself in the first film opens up the idea completely and it’s totally logical he was in YouTube mode filming himself stating what he needs to do to time travel. Doc was essentially making a running diary of his work, thus throwing all of his knowledge to future time travelers.

The kids would then reference the footage, create a time machine, and proceed to go on their own adventure, and on this adventure they could maintain the integrity of the series and also reference things like Hill Dale, the clock tower, Marty and Jennifer, Biff, hover board… basically everything from the original that’s cool.

Major issue: The flying fucking cars in the future that we don’t have in current day. The solve: Doc Brown was the catalyst behind the flying and much of the technology that we saw in Part 2 but he just didn’t know it (this would also explain how he created a flying train in Part 3). But since Doc isn’t around because he went back to the Wild West the flying car hasn’t hit the scene… yet (but could be referenced in the video tapes).

Also, lets not forget Doc’s crazy ass “the future has not been written yet” line and plug that in when we need to. Is this line a cop out? Yes. But my entire plot hinges on that line and the videotape footage.

And BOOM, we have a reboot and a semi sequel to the films! But wait, just like Back To The Future there’s one more option -

My dream also consisted of a low budget version of Back To The Future – seriously. That low budget modern day version is a found footage approach, which still revolves around Doc’s videotapes but takes place in 1985. This version takes place during the time that Marty heads back to the past in Part 1 when the Libyans shot Doc.

The major flaw to this is that Marty took the video camera with him, but I’m sure there is some kind of work around to that. How cool is a found footage time travel movie?

What this all boils down to is that in order to reboot this franchise and not fuck things up we need Doc’s footage, it’s the spine to everything, its like the flux compacitor. In my dream it seemed perfect. With this footage we can move forward to open a new adventure for a new group of kids and integrate the old crew.

Does this sound crazy?

In my perfect world this franchise would go untouched, but that’s not reality. We’re in that zone where it’s easier to just retool and reboot everything under the sun due to the built in audience and financial return. Also, we’re getting to a point where the people that are taking over and can make these decisions were fan boys of the original series and if someone has the opportunity to redo this thing, it’s going to happen.

Truthfully, I want to make this movie and when I pitched the idea to someone they thought I was crazy and couldn’t be done. Screw crazy, Doc Brown was crazy and he made a time machine out of a DeLorean. If someone reads this and has the immediate power to get a reboot in motion don’t F things up.

Stooges

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What happened? What happened to my (former) favorite comedy brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly akaThe Farrelly brothers? These two guys served the world two of the greatest comedies in the span of 5 years: Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. They made slapstick comedy funny, they sort of defined Ben Stiller, they added fuel to the Jim Carrey fire, and they officially put Cameron Diaz on the map… okay not officially, The Mask did, but at least we knew she was funny.

It took me a minute to realize that they have another movie coming out tomorrow: The Three Stooges. I reminded myself the brothers were the guys behind Stooges and I felt bad for them. I’m never one to just dismiss someone’s work and judge something before I see it but my initial feeling is that this doesn’t look…err… good.

Anyone I’ve talked to is utterly confused about the Stooges reboot and the truth is, it’s getting harder to defend the Farrelly’s. I’m getting worried their time has come and gone, and it’s starting to seem as though people have lost faith in them. As I write this I’m well aware that I’m being very kind and I know people have lost faith in them, but I always want to defend them, I MUST, they fucking created Dumb & Dumber!

I don’t know if it’s easy to pinpoint the exact moment their movies took a turn for the worse. I feel that everyone kind of has an idea of when it happened but lets look back on the movies of the Farrelly’s. We’re going to start with awesome and work our way to current day…

The Farrelly Status:

1994Dumb & Dumber – How awesome could this script have been to get Jim Carrey attached. At the time Carrey was coming off Ace Ventura and The Mask, and this movie just pushed him over the edge to be the first actor ever paid 20 million for a movie. I don’t need to talk about this movie any more.

Farrelly Status: These guys are on top of the world.

1996Kingpin – Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray. Who really needs anything else in a movie? This movie coined a term I break out only to the worthy “Munsoned.” Was this movie as good as D&D, no, but this is still a pretty damn good follow up.

Farrelly Status: Still on top of the world.

1998There’s Something About Mary – What an amazing movie. My buddy talked to me about how this is a perfect comedy and perfect script, he argued that this should have been nominated for an Oscar, and I think he’s right. This was such a hilarious film it blew up Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz. I would argue that this was the start of the whole Ben Stiller vibe - unassuming guy put in a really shitty situation. This was better than Kingping and made more money than D&D.

Farrelly Status: On the way way top of the world.

2000Me Myself and Irene – I saw this movie with my friend Gerald and we laughed our asses off. Jim Carrey was back and he was as funny as ever, but a weird thing happened when this movie came out – It wasn’t the highest grossing comedy of the year, which everyone thought it would be, Scary Movie was. The Wayans outshined the Farrelly’s and Jim Carrey. For whatever reason this movie didn’t click like the others. One could argue this was the slight decline of the Farrelly’s… and maybe even Jim Carrey.

Farrelly Status: At this moment they’re not on top of the world anymore, just in the clouds.

2001Osmosis Jones – Osmosis Jones!? Oh yeah, they did an animated movie. The movie BOMBED, but you have to wonder if you can blame them because it was animated. I feel that all directors who don’t specialize in animated films should sort of get a pass when they fuck up their first one; it’s the second one you have to worry about.

Farrelly Status: They’re falling below the clouds right now… but maybe it was the animation!

2001: Shallow Hal – Shallow Jack Black gets Tony Robbins-ed and sees women in a different light, specifically Gwyneth Paltrow. There was a backlash to this movie, due to the insensitive nature - it also wasn’t incredibly funny. Maybe it was Jack Black or the general idea of the movie, but something was off.

Farrelly Status: The guys are coming back down to earth right now but it’s difficult to get a gauge on them because their movies are so out there (in a good way).

2003Stuck on You – Wait… Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear did a movie and the premise was “Conjoined twins from Martha’s Vineyard move to Los Angeles so that one of them can pursue an acting career.” WHAT!? This is where it changed for me. I remember wanting to like this movie but I just couldn’t. Bad movie that wasn’t well received.

Farrelly Status: The Farrelly’s are officially back down to earth (but still give them some credit for being out there! Right?)

Quick side note about this movie: This says a lot about the faith actors had in the Farrelley’s. It’s not as though Damon and Kinnear were unknown.

2005Fever Pitch – And then there was this movie. Somewhat of an anomaly because they had to change the entire script midway through because the Boston Red Sox were about to win the World Series and this premise somehow hinged on the Sox.

The good thing about this movie: It was back to somewhat of a grounded tone but the bad is that it wasn’t well received. I feel that there was this lingering question that mayyybe this movie could have been better if the whole Red Sox thing didn’t screw things up, could it be? All I know is that young Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were in this and I don’t know if they had any chemistry. It was a good try.

Farrelly Status: The Farrelly’s haven’t moved from being back down to earth, they’re just walking around now.

2007The Heartbreak Kid – Remember this movie? Ben Stiller and Malin Ackerman. It’s about a guy who essentially shacks up with the wrong girl and realizes it on his honeymoon. Truthfully, I vaguely remember liking this movie and I kind of wish it did better. I feel that at this moment in time the Farrelly’s had been beaten around and realized they kind of needed to get their groove back, so they went back to Stiller in a Romantic Comedy.

Although this movie wasn’t bad it didn’t do well at the box office which tell us that either a) I’m an idiot and the movie sucked or b) the Farrelly’s lost their mojo entirely. I’m going to go with letter b because it made over $100 million worldwide.

Farrelly Status: The brothers are officially searching for a hit, still on the ground and have been surpassed time and time again by other comedic directors.

2011Hall Pass – I’m going to stand by this statement: Awesome premise but a shitty movie. When I heard about this and that it’s about husbands getting a “hall pass” from their wife, I though this was going to be awesome. Not to mention it had Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis. But, it wasn’t awesome and the entire time I was watching I was hoping it would just get better.

This film was as though you could see the grown up Farrelly brothers. As if you could see the transformation of guys who probably have families now and are a tad bit out of touch with what made them so great in the first place.

Farrelly status: They’ve become the guys who we all hope that they remember what they’re capable of. But hey, at least they can only go up from here. Oh wait…

2012The Three Stooges – At one point Jim Carrey, Benecio Del Toro, and Sean Penn were attached to this movie. Can you fucking imagine that!? I’ve got to hand it to the guys for sticking with this film after it went through developmental hell but if the trailers are any indication of what’s to come then I’m scared.

So, it’s the stooges with 1940’s sensibility stuck in 2012? They still poke people in the eyes? I want to shake the Farrelly’s and tell them that they were the guys who elevated slapstick in the 1990’s and now in 2012 they’re regressing! You can’t go backwards! This isn’t fashion! You gotta move forward man…forward!

The only other time I’ve felt so opposed to a film is when the Smurfs was released in 2011 … and it ended up making $560 million worldwide…

Farrelly Status: Rock. Fucking. Bottom.

2013Dumb & Dumber part 2:

Dear Farrelly brothers,

I don’t care about the missteps you’ve had in the past. Honestly you’ve had a string of bad luck and maybe people don’t understand you, maybe you still are the duo that I thought you once were. Let me tell you something, next year you’re going to make a sequel to one of the top 10 comedies of all time and no matter what, I’m going to see it on opening weekend. If you put the movie in 3D and have a cameo from the Stooges I’m going to be sitting with my popcorn watching this movie.

I say this to you out of love: If you pull off this movie I will forgive you for everything, and so will everyone else. Yes, everything.

Truly yours,

Josh

Future Farrelly Status: Back on Top.

Total Recall Reboot: You Win

On Friday I somewhat made fun of the idea that the teaser trailer for the rebooted Total Recall wasn’t for the film itself but rather for an upcoming trailer that was to be released today. I shouldn’t have made fun. I just watched the trailer and it’s fucking cool. Honestly if I had a trailer that looked this cool I would make 2 more teasers before releasing the full-length version.

Dear Marketing,

You win.

Sincerely,

Josh

Full-length trailer:

 
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWMhADqlPYg&w=640&h=360]

21 Jump Street - Check it Out!

My God there is a lot on the Internet. I’m actually worried that there may be too much. Every single web page is a portal into 55 different options and I don’t know how I feel about it. On one hand I’m insanely happy for the options and on the other hand I just don’t want so many options – it’s in our nature to explore everything.

When I wrote the first sentence above I was confident that I was going to be able to transition into movies rather easily. The plan was to talk about how great it felt to be back inside a movie theater, and not feeling so overwhelmed with so many different choices. It feels good to shut off and be in a position where you’re entertained. But my transition started to take a left turn when I realized I was about to go on a rant on the Internet and feeling like my head will explode with options.

Fuck. I know there is a segway into how good it feels to be around great movies – oh, that was just it – MY TRANSITION! Forget the internet talk for now… on to movies.

You know when you’re somewhere and you feel like that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be? That’s how I feel when I’m watching a good movie. You’re not worried about anything else or thinking about work, email, twitter, friends, and what else is going on – You’re in the right spot. I think deep down that’s part of the allure of a good movie. You’re in the right place at the right time and it’s an escape. Watching something good makes you think, “That’s what I want to do” or “That’s what I want to be.” Am I looking to deep into movies and entertainment? Maybe.

I was fortunate enough to see 21 Jump Street on Tuesday and I loved it. Without breaking down the specifics like acting or directing, I found myself laughing – a lot. For an hour in a half I felt lost in a really funny movie. Lets be honest: 21 Jump Street isn’t exactly going for an Academy Award, it’s created for the sole purpose to make us laugh and to be entertained. It did just that.

I think there are 5 different types of people when it comes to this movie:

The people who watched the TV show and are pissed they made a movie with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum so won’t see it.

The people who watched the TV show and are happy they made a movie so will see it.

The people who love Hill and Tatum and definitely will see it.

The people who don’t love Hill or Tatum and won’t see it.

The fence people… could live with it, could live without it.

In the various personalities above there are sub categories, but you fall somewhere in there (trust me). Wherever you fall I’m confident you have to find some humor in this film. Just know that going into it it’s a comedy with JONAH HILL, so don’t be surprised when you see jokes that are so far out there you have to question what just happened.

Now breaking down some specifics:

Channing and Jonah – Truth be told I wasn’t to sold on Tatum and his comedy chops but he kills it. He does a great job and I think he’s the stand out.

The Film itself – The film is out there… in a good way. I definitely think it has it’s own feeling and vibe. Its kind of a hybrid of Superbad meets a Ruben Fleischer sensibility type film. If you don’t know Fleischer, he did Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less. The film has an interesting feel to it - lets just say that. It absolutely has it’s own stamp and is very relevant to the time we’re in.

Supporting Cast – Solid, very funny.

Really Awesome Cameo that you should find out on your own – is there. As an overall I think this general concept is really cool and honestly I wish I were into the TV show when it was relevant (it was a little before my time). I’m sure there is some purists who don’t want to see an old show get retooled like this and I get it, but at the same time you have to get over it. To be fair it’s just the general concept of the TV show, it’s not as though this is the first film where adults posed as high school students.

When you find yourself planning to get hammered for St. Patty’s day this weekend do yourself a favor and sneak this movie in, or sneak this movie in while you’re getting hammered. Either way, enjoy a fun movie escape and laugh for a little bit. I’m interested as to what people are going to think about it and what it’ll do for Tatum’s comedy career.

If you’re into rotten tomatoes and general reviews it’s currently tracking with 85% positive… That’s a good thing…

Just because, check out this teaser:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDCAww9Dwg&w=560&h=315]

The Weekend: Quick Recap

 

MOVIE:

It’s official. I broke my “not going to the movie theater” streak this weekend and saw Project X. I had mixed feelings about it and may still be recovering from the hangover I received while watching. Overall I didn’t mind it, I knew what I was getting myself into – A found footage exaggerated drinking comedy in high school. At least, I think it was exaggerated… Coming from the crazy suburban streets of Wisconsin I think it’s safe to say my parties were a tad more contained than that of Project X.

It’s a fun movie and if you’re going to see it don’t expect to see an incarnation of a John Hughes film - It’s more topical to the time we live in. I wonder how many teens got completely hammered after watching the movie and then tried to recreate the premise of the film but only had 8 kids show up at their house… TV:

Lindsay Lohan on SNL: Is it just me or has SNL hit its stride in the last year? Last week’s Maya Rudolph show essentially was one of the best shows I’ve seen as a stand-alone in a long time, and I find myself seeking out skits. Buuuuuut then the stride hit a roadblock named Lindsay Lohan.

Does anyone remember Lohan the actor? Not really, right? She’s just a girl we feel sorry for because of her (seemingly) really bad upbringing and continuous horrible choices. I think that everyone felt like this SNL was an opportunity for her to clean up her image a bit and say, “I’m good, I can still act, and I still have a career!” But the reality is, it didn’t, and she’s not that good anymore… I feel kind of bad for her.

The episode took the easy route of poking fun at Lohan’s past issues, which was funny, but to obvious. Aside from her stumbling over lines she looked uncomfortable. I may be looking to far into this but don’t you think when she was presented with an opportunity to redeem herself on the SNL stage she’d REALLLY go for it like she’s in the final acting role of her life. I think her phoning it in on SNL says a lot about her. Having said that… It was the second highest rated show all season and THIS skit was pretty fucking funny.

Awake: Maybe the coolest show on TV that I hope doesn’t get cancelled. It was created by Kyle Killen aka “The Guy who created The Beaver but then Mel Gibson went Mel Gibson on everyone so the movie bombed” aka “The Guy who created Lone Star but nobody watched it and you don’t know what the hell Lone Star is” aka “This guy is really talented” (Fairly certain I misused “aka’s” and my “quotation marks” “””). Check out Awake.

Celebrity Apprentice: This show is a mess! Shark Tank: This show isn’t a mess and it’s insanely underrated. I think I love Shark Tank. If you don’t know the premise - it’s essentially Mark Cuban and 6 other successful business minds hearing pitches from people and then they bid on it or tell them it’s a horrible idea. The NBA:

I watched The Lakers VS Heat on Sunday and aside from how awesome the game was the other thing people were talking about was D. Wade’s smedium shirt. I think it’s time we have a “best dressed” competition in the NBA.

The Weekend: Movies

 

I honestly haven’t been to the theater for so long that I’m actually too embarrassed to admit it. The main reason is because I was spoiled with screeners this past Oscar season so I’ve been staying in… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m worried that I’m reaching a point that I never have wanted to get to - A point where going to a theater is actually more of a hassle than enjoyment. Fuck. I’m kind of not accepting that that may be the case.

It’s tough to go to movies that aren’t great and sit in a theater with people texting, people talking, occasional bad sound, over priced tickets, over priced parking, and people coughing. Am I becoming neurotic? I really hope not. I don’t want to lose my love for going to the theater more than I already have. This weekend I break my slump that I’ve been in these past few months… I. Am. Going. To. See. A. Movie.

This is what I’m (we’re) working with:

NEW RELEASES:

Project X: The “found footage” film that’s being advertised as Superbad on coke. It’s from producer Todd Phillips, who did The Hangover, and he has a certain knack for these kind of movies. This film kind of seems like an obvious choice – I’m interested. However it’s kind of getting horrible reviews, as of Friday morning it’s got a 26% rating on rotten tomatoes. Not sure if it’s going to toss me from seeing it, I sure as shit don’t think it’s going to stop the teens, early 20 year old’s, and people who are high from seeing it.

Speaking of people getting high…

The Lorax: The animated Dr. Seuss film that’s being present in 3D, IMAX 3D, 3DDDD, and every other kind of thing that isn’t 2D. Truthfully I was interested in the Lorax, it seems right up my alley in terms of feel good animation films, until my friend told me it was horrible. I had to confirm, so I went to trusty rotten tomatoes to find out what the deal is – 65% rating. Eh.

It’s funny how movie reviews work. I feel like when you really like a movie then reviews don’t matter and you tell yourself you’re smarter than people who gave it bad reviews. When you hate a movie then reviews totally matter and everyone is on tune with how you feel, and when you barely want to see anything, they also matter because if it’s a bad review you won’t go.

If you’re like me, and for some odd are reason turning into a neurotic old man who doesn’t want to sit in movies because you feel like your time is so precious that the movie better be amazing, here are other options that aren’t new releases:

Wanderlust: Movie bombed but I heard it’s good. It’s with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.

Safe House: Denzel and Reynolds.

The Vow: The reality is, if you haven’t already seen this you aren’t going to it this weekend. The Vow has been out for weeks now.

The Grey: Why the shit haven’t I seen this movie!? I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. One of my friends seemed as though he had to smoke a cigarette after watching it.

Tyler Perry presents a Tyler Perry movie starring Tyler Perry not as Madea with Terry Perry called a presentation by Tyler Perry featuring Tyler Perry in Good Deeds starring Tyler Perry: The age old debate that TP is the worst thing to ever happen to film or the best thing to ever happen to film rages on. He makes films for a specific culture and presses on stereotypes like he’s a racist white man… but he’s not. His movies generate huge income and he has a huge following. This is another movie that you’ve either already seen and are going back or you’re not seeing it.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Errr.. Nick Cage.

Act of Valor: This film killed it last week. As I’m sure you already know from the onslaught of advertisements, the film features active Navy Seals. I hear it’s kind of cool.

Journey 2: The Rock!: Okay so that’s not the actual title but Journey 2 has lost it’s audience to The Lorax.

This Means War: Chris Pine, Reece Witherspoon, and Tom Hardy. This movie flopped, what happened here? Pine is a movie star, Witherspoon was, and Hardy will be if he isn’t already.

AND:

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie: This currently has a limited release; I saw it at Sundance and its nuts. Here’s the TRAILER. I encourage myself and anyone else to see a movie this weekend. Honestly I kind of have my sights set on Project X so I hope to have something positive to report. I’m kind of curious how they’ll pull off the found footage aspect in this. Enjoy the movie watching weekend, and remember… don’t F-ing text in a dark movie!

The Oscars: Predictions

 

Before I jump into this I should note my Oscar Pool of 1 person (me) is still looking for more people to join, so if you want in let me know!

I just told my friend Ottford that I want to do Oscar predictions with him. Our conversation went exactly like this:

Joshford: I want to do Oscar Predictions with you.

Ottford: The Artist wins every award.

Joshford: Calling it?

Ottford: Even one’s it’s not up for.

I feel that he may be on to something. Every year a film or actor starts to gain momentum at the right time and it seems like that film is currently The Artist… with The Help floating somewhere behind. I think we’re beyond pretending to be surprised that the film that wins best picture isn’t always the best picture, it’s a political/momentum thing.

Quick side story: I had a friend who was at an academy member’s house and it happened to be right around voting time. The member was in the process of doing his voting and essentially half assed his final votes because he was tired, to speed up the process, his votes were eventually based off of people behind the project as opposed to the project itself. When the member finished his ballot he looked to my friend and said “Whenever you’re nominated, don’t forget that’s how it’s done.”

And after that insanely inspiring story its time to jump into the Oscar Predictions:

Best Picture:

The Artist The Descendants Extremely Loud & Incredibly close The Help Hugo Midnight in Paris MoneyBall The Tree of Life War Horse

In a less than inspiring pool of films my pick to win best picture is: THE ARTIST

Truthfully I want Midnight in Paris or Moneyball to win but that isn’t going to happen. Also, if The Help won, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Best Actor:

Demian Bichir (A Better Life) George Clooney (The Descendants) Jean Dujardin (The Artist) Brad Pitt (Moneyball) Gary Oldman (Inker Tailor Soldier Spy)

This is the most interesting category because a month ago this was all Clooney and then the SAG awards happened and now it’s all Dujardin. Wasn’t Pitt somewhere in this conversation?

Winner: Jean Dujardin! What the fuck did I just type! Sorry Clooney, I want it to be you - I think everyone wants it to be you.

Best Actress:

Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) Viola Davis (The Help) Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

First of all, Glen Close as Albert Nobbs scares me more than her role as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. She looks creepy as Nobbs. I haven’t seen the movie but if it’s about a creepy looking old guy who sort of resembles Benjamin Button then she’s spot on. Even though I haven’t seen Close as Nobbs I don’t have to. Everyone and their mothers know Viola Davis is going to win this award. The Help will excel in one area at the Oscars: Women winning something.

Winner: Viola Davis

Supporting Actor:

Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn) Jonah Hill (Moneyball) Nick Nolte (Warrior) Christopher Plummer (Beginners) Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

I want Jonah Hill to win this award more than I want to see a sequel to Superbad. How amazing would it be to see Jonah Hill win an Oscar? 21 Jump Street would start changing their promos to: Starring Academy Award winner Jonah Hill. Having said that, he won’t win.

Winner: Christopher Plummer

Supporting Actress:

Berenice Bejo (The Artist) Jessica Chastain (The Help) Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) Octavia Spencer (The Help)

The Help = Women winning things.

Winner: Octavia Spencer

Animated Feature:

A Cat in Paris Chico & Rita Kung Fu Panda 2 Puss in Boots Rango

I love animated movies. I really liked Puss in Boots, I liked it so much that my girlfriend had to do one of those “really babe?” moments when I was laughing so hard. Best part in Boots is dancing/fighting scene when Puss started to salsa and eventually was floating in… wait… getting distracted. Unfortunately, I don’t think Boots is going to win. I’m going with –

Winner: Rango

Cinematography:

The Artist The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Hugo The Tree of Life War Horse

How can you go against a Fincher movie in best Cinematography category?

Winner: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best Director:

The Artist The Descendants Hugo Midnight in Paris The Tree of Life

You know what’s interesting about this – The categories don’t have the director’s names but rather the film. I wonder why they did that? I think that fact alone allows the unknown Michel Hazanavicius to have a better shot at this. As much as I’d love to see Alexander Payne win this I don’t think it’s going to be him. I think the Academy is going unknown.

Winner: Michel Hazananananavicius

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

The Descendents Hugo The Ides of March Moneyball Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I like this category because all of these movies are solid enough to put up an argument for why it should win. Deep down I want Moneyball to win, and I think it should, but I don’t think it will. I’m going with the Clooney film, and I don’t mean Ides of March.

Winner: The Descendents

Best Writing (Original Screenplay):

The Artist Bridesmaids Margin Call Midnight in Paris A Separation

I would be shocked if The Artist won this award. I would think it’s great if Bridesmaids won but my choice is a choice I never thought I’d say…

Winner: Midnight in Paris

I’m not the biggest Woody Allen fan but I loved Midnight in Paris and want to revisit some of his films, also, I’m to embarrassed to admit I haven’t seen some of his “classics.” I know this isn’t the entire Academy Award field but it’s what I think people care about most. I suppose I could have gotten into best foreign film, best doc, best editing, and best films that are black and white without sound.

I’m starting to wonder if Ottford is right and we’re going to have a sweep of The Artist, I hope we don’t simply because I don’t think it deserves it, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised… there are a lot of lazy voters in the world.

If anyone wants into the Oscar pool email me… Top Prize To Be Determined.