The 33 – Trailer

Not to be cynical–which pretty much means I am going to do exactly that–but I am shocked to see that the producers of the upcoming The 33 are actually casting Latino actors to play the Chilean miners who were trapped in a cave-in a few years ago (I only recognized Lou Diamond Phillips, who wasn’t among those men trapped, though hope strings eternal).  And speaking of which, why is the trailer in English? I hope they do something clever. ike in the case of The Hunt For Red October, when the actors began speaking Russian, yet through movie magic this was turned to English; which at least tells viewers that they’re doing so for our benefit of an domestic audience).

Or even subtitles would be welcome because the likelihood those miners were speaking English primarily–probably their second language, if at all–is a bit unlikely).

After all, the movie Alive was based on the story of an Uruguayan football team who’s plane crashed in the Andes, yet the cast was almost as white as the snow that capped the mountains they were stranded on.

And more recently, remember Aloha?

There’s also the danger of the Chilean minors becoming secondary characters in their own story, which if you have seen Mississippi Burning, is more possible than you’d think.

Can We Stop Fetishizing Black And White Movies?

I will admit that some movies look better in black and white than color.  It’s often striking how the contrast between light and dark can create a sense of tension, of drama.

I was going to watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night when I noticed that it was shot in black and white, and I almost immediately lost interest (I haven’t watched it yet, though I will at some point) because what also tends to come with a lack of color is an odd sort of snobbery, as if just by being made in black and white it’s somehow elevated.

Which is tiring because, let’s be honest, the only reason that there’s black and white anything is because color had not been invented yet.  If it had, black and white movies and television would probably be relegated to boutique and prestige-type projects (which is oddly ironic because that’s for the most part how it’s used these days.

Two of my favorite movies, Twelve Angry Men, and Anatomy Of A Murder are done in black and white, and they’re both gorgeous.  That being said, if they were originally made in color would that somehow lessen their impact?  Would E.G. Marshall, Henry Fonda or James Stewart’s performances somehow be diminished because of it?

I’d doubt it (though that’s not to say that we should go back and colorize movies because that typically looks odd, particularly flesh tones, which often look garish).

Besides, there’s one important reason why color came into dominance, namely its the way people actually see (for the most part).

By way of analogy, it’s as if you had a choice between an ice-cold Heineken and a ice-cold Old Milwaukee, and you decide to go with the latter.

Which is a valid choice, but also one I have absolutely no understanding of.

Old Milwaukee beer

Friends don’t let friends drink pretty bad beer.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Trailer 2

The Maze Runner honestly mystified me.  It was pretty popular, and hugely profitable (earning over $340 million on a $34 million budget) yet was stuck with a seriously nonsensical plot that was way more complex–and not in a good way–than it needed to be.

The cast was pretty game, and clearly brought into the entire premise, but when that premise sucks then typically all the enthusiasm in the world can’t help you.

Which leads me to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.  The trailer looks pretty cool (and what trailer these days doesn’t?), though I am hoping and praying that it isn’t as ludicrous as the first movie.

Cooties – Review

Cooties movie poster

Cooties is like Ebola, but funnier.”

Typically, horror movies don’t revolve around children–though there are exceptions, like Village of the Damned, The Brood, The Children, Children Of The Corn, Come Out and Play and Citadel come to mind–though they’re not typical.

And I get it.  Children are uniquely vulnerable in ways the average adult isn’t, and I can see how it’s almost the like a betrayal if we, as adults, are unable to protect them from the horrors of the world just outside the door.

Jonathan Milott and and Cary Murnion, the directors of Cooties, seem well aware of this and decide to leaven the horror with ample laughs, and for the most part it works because as messed up as the children come to be, the adults are in their way significantly worse.

There’s Clint (Elijah Wood) who’s returned home to Fort Chicken to work on his first novel about a possessed boat.  Wade (Rainn Wilson) is the PE teacher who’s dating Lucy (Alison Pill), whom Clint had a crush on long ago.

Special mention goes to Leigh Whannell (writer of Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3–with James WanDead Silence–with James Wan and Cooties–with Ian Brennan) who plays Doug, who apparently wrote some of the best lines for himself.

And speaking of the characters, they’re all a bit broad, though in line with the somewhat lighthearted tone of the movie.

If you want to see a movie with copious violence that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you could do worse than to catch a case of Cooties.

Cooties will soon spread to a theater near you, though be careful because this is like no infection you’ve ever experienced.

New Spectre Trailer

MGM released the new trailer for their latest James Bond adventure a few hours ago, and there’s the prerequisite car chases, explosions and Bond being Bond (by which I mean a bit abrupt and dickish).

It’s also the first trailer that we see Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in a full reveal, though what we don’t see is the damned Turkish Angora cat, who’s been linked to the character every since his first appearance in Thunderball.

In fact, I wish that they had showed the cat in the early trailers, it would have been a much more effective reveal.

And why didn’t they number the trailer?  Will the next one–and you know there will be a next one–be the ‘latest’ James Bond Trailer?  ‘Newest James Bond Trailer?’

Southpaw – Review

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.15.51 PM

“A boxing movie that overcomes the limitations of the genre.”

If you’ve seen one sports movie–be the subject golf, basketball, football. boxing, etc–you’ve just about seen them all.

And that’s because, while the sport being played may change, they these types of movies follow a, by now, predictable version of Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey,‘ where the main character reaches the pinnacle of their career, is brought low, which enables them to realize all that they have taking for granted, in the end making them better people and redeeming them in the eyes of the people that they love.

And there’s a reason things become formulaic:  When movies that use them work, they can be beautiful things to behold.

And Southpaw in all its brutal, bloody beauty, delivers big time.

Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the light heavyweight champion, at the top of the world and his game, till an untimely death–which curiously the movie for the most part abandons once it serves its purpose of breaking down Hope, so he can rise again–sends him into a downward spiral that he spends most of the move coming out of. t

As I mentioned earlier, it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before, though the intensity that Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Miguel Gomez bring to the story manage to make the material seem almost fresh.

And considering how many times this story has been told, that’s quite an accomplishment.

The Good Dinosaur – Trailer 2

The Good Dinosaur will be the latest from Pixar, and I want to say that it will make a bazillion dollars, like most Pixar movies, though I don’t know…the dinosaur in question looks a bit gummy.  That might not matter at all, after all it’s not like everything that they have done so far is photorealistic, though it bothers me.