Archive for the 'Coming Attractions' Category

30
May
13

After Earth

Today, the average life expectancy for someone born in the United States is approximately 77 years for males and 80-81 years for females.  Whatever the number of years we’re privileged enough to spend on God’s green Earth may be, we can rest assured those years will consist of ups and downs, both personally and professionally.   Now, one person who had his share of ups and downs professionally is director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs).  Shyamalan’s latest directorial project is the new film, After Earth, starring Will Smith.

After Earth is a futuristic science fiction film that takes place, much like its title implies, after planet Earth has undergone extreme warfare and tremendous environmental stress, making it uninhabitable for human beings.  After Earth is the story of a strained father-son relationship between General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith).  An event, which we see in frequent flashbacks, serves as the primary reason for the great amount of tension between Cypher and Kitai.

While traveling through space to a routine military exercise, in which Cypher has reluctantly allowed Kitai to tag along, their spacecraft malfunctions.  In an attempt to save the crew, Cypher orders the ship crash land on planet Earth.  During the crash all of the crew is lost except Kitai and Cypher who has sustained badly broken legs, which one is life threatening.  To save himself and his father, Kitai races against the clock as he ventures out into the unknown and unpredictable land that is now Earth as Cypher directs Kitai’s every move from the crashed spacecraft.

Without a doubt the biggest grievance After Earth commits is how the film decides to utilize its biggest asset, Will Smith.  The film’s trailer and poster lead you to believe Will Smith is the star of the show, but unfortunately he really isn’t. Instead, Mr. Smith is reduced to basically a voice over role with occasional scene of him grimacing from the pain of his damaged legs.  Most screen time is devoted to the younger Smith, Jaden.  Although, Jaden isn’t terrible, he’s not ready to carry an entire film himself, not yet anyway.  Also, for some odd reason, Will and Jaden display British-like accents that appear and disappear throughout the film.

As I mentioned, After Earth is a sci-fi actioner, but it takes a considerable amount of time getting to any action.  Until any combat begins, the film muddles along with long, extended scenes with monotone dialogue with little to no expression from the actors.  When the action does begin, it’s fairly consistent and rather entertaining. However, it’s pretty standard fare for a sci-fi action film and brings nothing new to the table.

After Earth is better than a typical Shyamalan directed film.  On the other hand, it’s below par for a Will Smith flick. However, the film’s redeeming qualities; the father-son relationship dynamic and enjoyable action sequences are not enough to keep it from drowning in a sea of clichéd sci-fi mediocrity.

Best Buy Latest Deals – JUNE 2-8, 2013 – Warm Bodies – Blu-ray Disc

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27
May
13

Poll: Film Most Interested in this Summer

27
May
13

A Look Ahead: Opening 5/31/13

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After Earth (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZIt20emgLY  trailer

http://www.afterearth.com/site/  Official site

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1815862/?ref_=sr_1  IMDB page

 

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Now You See Me (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE5XcjTpsdo  Trailer

http://www.nowyouseememovie.com/     Official site

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1670345/?ref_=sr_1   IMDB page

 

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The Kings of Summer (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ2ImN8S1_0  Trailer

http://thekingsofsummermovie.com/    Official Site

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179116/?ref_=hm_inth_t4   IMDB page

 

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The East (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_SlIyBxzFY  Trailer

http://www.theeastmovie.com/  Official site

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1869716/?ref_=hm_inth_t3  IMDB page

 

25
Feb
13

21 & Over

21& Over is the new film written and directed by the same guys that wrote the Hangover films.  Now, you’re probably asking why that little bit of trivia was worth mentioning.  Well, it’s important for a couple of reasons. First, if you’ve seen either of the Hangover films, you’re more than familiar with the plot and set up of the films. Just in case you haven’t the plot of both films is as follows: A night out, in a relatively unknown location, for a group of close knit friends to mark a special occasion that’s accompanied by chaos and mayhem.  Also, if you’ve seen either of the Hangovers, you’re familiar with the characters and their varying personalities.  Now, imagine a movie with similar characters and situations, but this time in a college setting and you have 21& Over.  This time, however, the filmmakers forgot to add even remotely funny or interesting material.

21 & Over, as its title suggests, is about a group of friends three friends converging on a college campus to celebrate a 21st birthday.  The three friends agree to a quiet night out with one or two drinks as the character turning 21 has a medical school interview bright and early the next morning.  As you can guess, what follows is an evening accompanied with parties, booze, few inhibitions, and even fewer coherent thoughts.

As much as I visit the theater, its just inevitable to come across a bad, unfunny film.  Some of the time I knew it was going to be terrible, but I have never sat through an entire comedy and never laughed, never even smirked, until 21& Over.  The theater was also very quiet for the most part.

One character spouts constant nonsense and the vocabulary of most characters in the film consist of mostly four letter words.  This is supposed to be funny and sometimes it does work, but here the characters are unlikable and annoying.

The story has been seen over and over before.  College kids out on the town for a night of heavy drinking and everything goes from bad to worse and then everything comes together in the end, but there is absolutely nothing new here.  Nothing.

For the life of me, I don’t know why 21 & Over received a theatrical release.  The acting, story, writing, everything screams of a straight to video release.

20
Feb
13

Snitch

No one enjoys being proven wrong, right?   Whether it’s an argument with your significant other, a dispute at work with your boss, or the Facebook timeline, where you spend hours debating some trivial topic for the entire world to see, no one relishes being proven incorrect.  But, believe me or not, sometimes being wrong isn’t all bad.  And I can name an instance where being mistaken won’t result in spending the night on the couch, job loss, or a lost virtual buddy.  By this time the anticipation must be mounting to an almost unbearable amount as you sit on pins and needles waiting for the answer.  The Answer:  an expected unsatisfying trip to the theater, which is instead, met by a rather enjoyable experience.

And the new Dwayne Johnson flick, Snitch, is a great instance of me being wrong at the theaterAs high as my expectations were for Identity Thief  to be good, they were equally as high for Snitch to be bad, perhaps more so.  Going in, I had Snitch pegged for just another typical Dwayne Johnson film with a weak, see through story, where the bullets fly endlessly.  However, what we have with Snitch is a well concocted story, with fully developed characters.

Snitch at its core is a story about the love of a father for his son and how far he’s willing to go to protect his child.  John Matthews’s (Dwayne Johnson) son lands himself in prison for accepting and attempting to distribute narcotics.  Even with this being his first offense, federal minimum sentencing law is ten years in prison.  Desperate to save his son from spending ten years behind bars, John Matthews makes a deal with an ambitious federal district attorney (Susan Sarandon).  He helps deliver known members of a Mexican drug cartel, the drugs, and the money and in exchange, she’ll significantly reduce his son’s sentence.  What follows is entertaining and a surprisingly thought provoking look at the war on drugs.

The film succeeds on many levels.  First, even though its rated Pg-13, it has a feel similar to Training Day in terms of tone, characters, and setting, but not as good on any level.  The characters are well drawn and feel like actual people instead of the cardboard cutouts these films generally produce.  The script is unique and intelligent for a film of this genre.

The downfalls of the film are few and far between, but big enough to keep it from being really good.  First, Dwayne Johnson is becoming a better actor, but when the film calls for an emotional reaction, he’s just not able to deliver.  The emotional scenes between him and his son do not work because the Rock just isn’t at that level yet.  And Benjamin Bratt as the drug lord is rather laughable.  He’s not intimidating in the slightest and comes off as a joke, badly miscast.

Snitch is surprisingly an entertaining time.  It had potential to be really great, but its drawbacks were big enough to hold it back.  However, if you find yourself at the theater any time soon, Snitch is definitely worth checking out.

18
Feb
13

Oscar predictions

Glitz. Glamour. And more celebrities than a bad Garry Marshall film.  The Academy Awards; Hollywood’s biggest self-congratulatory night of the year, a night filled with long drawn out speeches, inexplicable winners, and little golden men.

By this time you’re probably more than familiar with the  nominees and have seen tons of Oscar predictions.  Well here’s my prediction for what’ll win and then what should win.  And the Oscar goes to….

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  •   Argo
  • Beasts of The Southern Wild
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook

 What will win: Argo   What should win: Argo

 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  •  Armour             
  • Django Unchained
  • Flight
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Zero Dark Thirty

What will win: Django Unchained   What should win: Zero Dark Thirty

 

Directing

  • Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
  • Michael Haneke –  Armour
  • Ang Lee – Life of Pi
  • Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of The Southern Wild
  • David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

Who will win: Steven Spielberg     Who should win: David O. Russell

 

Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – The Master
  • Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt- The Sessions
  • Sally Field – Lincoln
  • Jacki Weaver- Silver Linings Playbook

Who will win:  Anne Hathaway     Who should win: Anne Hathaway

 

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alan Arkin – Argo
  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
  • Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
  • Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Who will win: Tommy Lee Jones       Who should win: Tommy Lee Jones

 

Best Actress

  • Naomi Watts – The Impossible
  • Emmanuelle Riva – Armour
  • Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
  • Quvenzhane Walls – Beasts of The Southern Wild
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Who will win: Jessica Chastain          Who should win: Jennifer Lawrence

 

Best Actor

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

Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis           Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis

 

Best Film

  • Armour
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Lincoln
  • Django Unchained
  • Life of Pi
  • Argo
  • Les Miserables
  • Beasts of The Southern Wild
  • Zero Dark Thirty

What will win: Lincoln                       What should win: Argo

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know what you think.

16
Feb
13

Most Anticipated of ’13

mine

As one year ends, another one begins and with it comes a whole slate of films. Like every year, many will be bad, a few will be good and even fewer will be great. So here are the ten most anticipated films of 2013.

 

10. Lone Survivor– An actioner starring Mark Wahlberg about a SEAL team sent to capture or kill an infamous Taliban leader.  Based on the success of Shooter, should be a good time.

 

9. Elysium – Usually when you combine Matt Damon and action you can’t go wrong.  Throw in a talented cast that includes Jodie Foster and you probably have a winner.

 

8. Lone Ranger – Johnny Depp has a chameleon-like ability to disappear into whatever role he takes and when you find out it’s directed by the Pirates of the Caribbean director, this one should be interesting.

 

7.  Iron Man 3 – Tony Stark is back for what should be another exciting, thrilling chapter to the Iron Man story. Definitely looking forward to this one.

 

6.  Red 2 – The first Red film was such a good time packed with action and hilarity with a great cast, Red 2 promises to be great.

 

5.  Hangover 3 After a second film that was basically a carbon copy of the first one, should be interesting to see what new insanity Alan, Phil, Stu, and Doug get themselves into when the story ventures into new territory.

 

4. The Internship- An interesting and intriguing story line and add the talents of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, makes it one of the most anticipated.  Should be Wedding Crashers like or better.

 

3. Identity Thief- When you have Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, who are on top of their game and the director of the insanely funny Horrible Bosses, this one should deliver the funny.

2.  A Good Day to Die Hard- The iconic, John McClane makes his return.  The best action film franchise ever, should make up for the disappointing Live Free or Die Hard.

 

1.  Anchorman: The Legend Continues – The Channel 4 news team makes it highly anticipated return looking to recreate the comedic genius that was Anchorman.  This one should be great!

 




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