‘Pride’ Trailer

What has bothered me for a long time about a lot of Queer cinema is that it tends to be very white–in that it revolves around white people (generally males) with nary a person of color to be found.  And Matthew WarchusPride doesn’t on the face of it seem any different.

That being said, what it does do is appear to about people that occupy different social strata, which is also something that I think is neglected in in movies that deal with homosexuality in any in-depth, and hopefully meaningful, way (that being said, I do understand that that isn’t the story the movie is trying to tell, per se).

‘The Equalizer’ Review

The Equalizer movie poster

“Having OCD Was Probably Never So Awesome.”

Boyhood ran for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and after awhile it felt as if Richard Linklater had it in for me because what started out as an interesting theatrical experiment devolved into a bizarre and inhumane form of punishment.

By way of comparison, Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer ran for an hour and half, yet felt significantly shorter.

Now, to be fair, no people are killed in Boyhood–though there should have been at least one death, especially during what I like to call the ‘chainsaw blade scene’–but the violence in The Equalizer more often than not happened to people that deserved it, so it came off as cathartic, as opposed to gratuitous (which isn’t to say that there wasn’t a lot of it).

In fact, it’s odd to see a movie where the audience is actively rooting for someone to kill someone else, which wasn’t uncommon (at least at the showing I caught).

Part of what made Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Robert McCall so interesting is that the character has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which means that he’s developed quite a few repetitive behaviors and rituals, the point being that his condition was what made him such an efficient killer.

I have read reviews that compared this tendency to that of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbach) in the BBC’s Sherlock, though it’s not a valid comparison because in the case of Sherlock you’re watching a representation of a mental process Holmes is going through to arrive at a certain conclusion, while in the case of McCall you’re looking at him plot the motion of what physical action he’s about to commit to.

The Equalizer, based upon a CBS television series that aired in 1985, starring Edward Woodward, moves briskly and almost feels like a guilty pleasure of sorts, which isn’t a bad thing.

 

 

‘The Dead Lands’ Trailer

I have no idea who Toa Fraser, the director of The Dead Lands, is, or why he’s so acclaimed, but I have to say that I like the trailer.  Definitely getting a Once Were Warriors vibe, combined with a bit of Quest For Fire with the added bonus that for some reason I connect the title to the Dream Academy song, Lowlands (I love those synaptic connections to nowhere).

‘Fetching Cody’ Review

Fetching Cody

“Fetching Cody Is An Unconventional Story About How Far One Man Is Willing To Go For Love.”

I tend to enjoy movies about time travel, which I have to admit that I like because I find it interesting the way filmmakers often try to fudge the (theoretical) science.  I have also come to notice that there are roughly two type of time travel movie:  The first, exemplified by films like Deja Vu, try to explain how time travel is possible within the framework of the movie.  And sure, more often than not the explanation is little more than techno-babble, but it tends to be interesting.

And there’s the second type, which could care less–if at all–about how time travel works and instead uses the premise to examine the lives of the characters within the movie, which is the type that takes place in Fetching Cody.

And it works because the two main characters, Art Frankel (Jay Baruchel) and Cody Wesson (Sarah Lind), are interesting enough that you just roll with their situation, despite its outrageousness.

It works on another level as well, which is that for awhile you’re not sure that what Art sees is actually happening or caused by overuse of the various pharmaceuticals he’s ingested.  For awhile this gives the movie an edginess similar to Terry Gilliam‘s The Fisher King, which Fetching Cody could perhaps be called a spiritual cousin to.  

Art and Cody are doing the best they can, which like too many of us isn’t good enough because they’re barely able to keep their heads above water.  Art is for the most part homeless, hasn’t found a pill he wasn’t willing to try and isn’t above hustling to make ends meet.  Cody is similar, though she seems to be into even harder drugs, which is her undoing when she takes something she can’t handle, and falls into a coma.

Heartbroken, Art flounders till he learns that one of his homeless friends has found a time machine that looks suspiciously like a recliner festooned with Christmas lights.

But the thing is, it actually works, but Art uses it not to improve his own life–which could use some enhancing–but instead to find a way to save Cody, no matter the cost.

David Ray’s movie is a fascinating study about the lengths one man is willing to go for the woman that he loves.

Fetching Cody is currently playing on Netflix.

Submarine Love

Every since the television series based on Irwin Allen‘s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea I’ve had a love affair with submarines in movies, though the more realistic they appear, the less I am interested.

For instance, the cramped and claustrophobic submarines–which is more in line with actual submersibles–from movies like The Hunt for Red October or Crimson Tide, I don’t care too much for,  but give me something like the SeaQuest from SeaQuest DSV (despite being being CGI as opposed to practical) and I’m all over it.

Which is why I am posting this clip from StudioADI of a submarine they built as a test model for James Cameron for a very real dive he did to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, knowledge that I feel comfortable in saying would in some way contributed (and who knows, may have helped to inspire) to their upcoming Harbinger Down.

And in case you’ve forgotten about Harbinger Down, which sounds like an awesome mix of a nautical thriller, H.P. Lovecraft, and John Carpenter’s The Thing, here’s the official trailer.

The (Un)necessary Remake Dept: ‘Damnation Alley’

Jack Smight‘s 1977 feature, Damnation Alley is a movie I recall l fondly from when I was growing up.  It’s (very) loosely based upon a novel by Roger Zelazny, and while it’s an entertaining movie, it’s not a particularly good one.

I while I don’t know how the movie was filmed, it feels epic and looks massive (which had a lot to do with the excellent score by Jerry Goldsmith which managed to be bold and at the same time minimal enough that it didn’t take over).

Events take place after a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.  You’re never told who started the conflict or why, though like W.O.P.R. said, “The only way to win is not to play.”

Unfortunaely for these guys, War Games came out in 1983, so they erred on the side of mutually assured destruction.  The United States is devastated and most of the land reduced to desert, while the sky is irradiated and angry with aurora borealis.

Though on what I assume is the last remaining military installation everything life goes on.  Maj. Eugene Denton (George Peppard) is in command, and is military through and through, while Tanner (Jan-Michael Vincent) and Keegan (Paul Winfield) don’t see the point of playing soldier any longer, so the former spends his time riding about the desert on his motorcycle, dodging giant scorpions (because radiation does nothing else if not create giant versions of things) while the latter  works on a mural.

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‘Annabelle’ Trailer

That was quite possibly one of the least scary trailers I have seen in awhile–which is saying something when you take into account trailers tend to show the best of a movie–but I have to give it a few points for going into how the doll was possessed in the first place.

That doll looks absolutely creepy and I wish that the trailer took more advantage of that fact.

James Wan is producing this time around, and John Leonetti (Mortal Combat: Annihilation, which isn’t exactly the best sign) directing.