Trailers of the Week – You Said What? & Bellflower

Time for another roundup of film trailers that caught my eye this week and hopefully will get you motivated to check them out when the time comes.  We got a unique Norwegian trailer about a group of guys making a movie under, well rather peculiar circumstances.  Last is a trailer for a movie that I have been reading up since it’s debut at Sundance and the crazy amount of buzz it has been generating across every film site, Bellflower.

You Said What?:

Not a lot of love for Norwegian films are being bestowed upon the country.  Typically we just get to see these weird and offbeat movies like Troll Hunter and Dead Snow, mainly because of the eccentric subject matter they decided to film.  But today’s trailer is kind of a film nerds dream.  The movie is about a  group of guys into film, holding a fake casting audition to find their friend a girl, but end up having to make an actual movie.  Shit it’s Peter Stormare in this movie and is very reminiscent of the Troy Duffy documentary, Overnight.  It shows the absurd chaos behind the scenes of trying to make a movie all while telling a relationship story.  More than likely this will be a VOD release or even hitting Netflix sometime soon.

Bellflower:

This movie was practically the darling of Sundance.  Just do some movie review searches on Bellflower and you can read the utter adulation that it is receiving.  The trailer is beautiful and showcases the unique film techniques and camera work that the film makers created for the movie.  I am excited that this movie is getting an August release and hope with all my heart that the movie comes close to a theater near me.  The story of the movie follows two close friends who build Mad Max inspired death vehicles and flamethrowers for the hopes of an apocalypse that they will be well prepared for.  The lead actor ends up meeting a woman who changes his life around and they embark on a journey that runs the gamut of emotional hardships and turmoil, greater than what an actual apocalypse can bring.

Movie of the Day – The Machinist

I enjoy the occasional head trip movie from time to time.  The kind of movies where you sit and contemplate about what you just saw or you think you saw.  It’s not that the subject matter, story or plot is confusing, but the visual aspect of what you witness has a more lasting impact in my viewing efforts.  Good examples are Enter the Void or Irreversible, where the visual styling just messes with your head and you aren’t sure what you saw.  A strong psychological theme gets me hooked into a movie anytime, but what this one particular does best, is that the actor is involved one hundred percent into the role.  The Machinist might not be one of the best suspense movies out there, but the intricate involvement of actors and the unraveling of the plot over time keeps you involved with the story and characters.  Also did I mention that Christian Bale looks sickly thin in this movie?  No?  Well he does and it is unnerving.

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Movie of the Day – Clerks II

Oh gosh, my general love/hate relationship with scathing pop culture jabs for cheap laughs and maturing characters.  I have always had a favorable opinion of Kevin Smith’s films, as deep down, I can’t deny that I enjoy juvenile humor, quick sarcastic remarks, anti-hero characters and general pervasiveness of dirty language in his dialogue writing.  What can I say really, it’s funny shit.  No one director gets such vitriol against him than Kevin Smith.  Some will argue that Clerks is just this one hit wonder and he got lucky with the success of that movie.  Others just chide him for going to his well of characters for every movie.  Me personally, I love it.  There is something interesting about watching him create movies set in his own universe, filled with recognizable characters, and dirty humor.  It’s like watching a soap opera designed for the Gen X crowd and I can find the humor in it.

While his movies might be immature, Kevin Smith is, in my opinion, a talented writer that can grow in terms of writing and characterization.  He doesn’t compromise his characters by making them lose the luster that made them what they are.  Jay and Silent Bob will always be this stoner Batman and Robin, but their charm and immaturity makes them likeable.  Dante and Randal are and will always be, the epitome of the Gen X society.  Clerks was a breakout movie and the one that got me to love Kevin Smith films.  I didn’t watch it until 1999, but when I did, it called to me for some reason.  Maybe it might have to do with pop culture references and general disregard for societal norms.  Whatever it was that got me to love it, I was a bit apprehensive about seeing a sequel to a movie that meant a lot to me and fans of Clerks.  I guess if you mature as a director and writer, maybe you characters can mature along with you.

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Movie of the Day – The Monster Squad

There were three movies from the 80’s that made me who I am today.  First was The Wizard and the fact that I like to game, also it helped that I am a boy and video games are ingrained in my DNA coding.  Second, The Goonies was more or less a pivotal coming of age story to me.  A band of misfit kids going on an adventure, getting shot at, discovering a lost pirate ship, all without the supervision of adults.  The last movie did more than define me a man, it prepared me for life.  A life in which vampires, mummies, creature from some sort of Black Lagoon, and Werewolves were real and can be defeated.  No longer did I need to fear these obviously fictitious creatures, but rather I use this as a holy bible to defeat mythological creatures.  Also it taught me the word “nards” to mean balls.  I really wish people would use “nards” again.  The Monster Squad takes me back, like a young college student looking back on their posted Facebook pictures from some drunken night, I look back on this movie with great fondness and befuddlement.  Seriously, where the fuck were all the parents in every single one of these kid movies.  Kidding me that they can battle the undead and monsters without mom or dad asking questions.  The 80s were a weird time.

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Movie of the Day – Timecrimes

Time traveling is an often overused and incorrectly portrayed plot point in sci-fi films.  Now there are numerous nerd forums that are constantly debating the merits of time travel and the implications of what it means to really travel through time, so I don’t want to dive into the area of time traveling as I would get lost in my own thoughts and probably just go watch Back To The Future or something.  So there is a risk when making a movie about the use of time traveling and how your story progresses.  You run into the general paradox of time traveling where your character is aware of their situation and thus try not to disrupt the natural flow of time.  We get sucked into this suedo, intricate story device but it can lead us to become confused as the director loses focus on what they want to tell and trip over themselves, much like their actor.

So why watch movies about time traveling when you know they will just make a mess of things?  The answer is in the execution of their actions.  Time traveling movies are fascinating since we know as audience members that we can’t interact with our future or past self, because that would be bad.  If you are fan of sci-fi, you know this as a universal truth.  Most of the time, the other rules of time traveling are made up on the fly and suit the directors need.

I am trailing off right now explaining my love of time traveling movies, even with their flaws, but ultimately Timecrimes is an interesting, low budget take on a sci-fi staple.

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Movie of the Day – Drag Me to Hell

Ah Sam Raimi.  It’s so good to see that he went back to his horror and campy comedy roots with Drag Me To Hell.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I liked the first two Spider-Man movies along with his other, non-horror film endeavors, but sometimes you got to go back to what made you the breakout director you are.  It is no secret that I am not much of a horror fan.  There are very few instances when I will give horror movies their due, which is not to say that they aren’t deserving, it is just that I am not much of a horror film fan.  So don’t hold that against me if you are big into the genre, it’s just not my thing.

So getting my mea culpa’s out of the way in offending horror movie fans and not liking their genre, I want to talk about a movie that is both utterly terrifying (awesome effects and scares) and campy as well (dark hearted black comedy).  Only Raimi can combine elements of his Evil Dead days into a more modern scare fest.  And if I am choosing it as a movie of the day post, then you can be sure it is worth your time to check out.

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Movie of the Day – Police Story

I am a Jackie Chan fan.  Not really a fan of his current work, but I am talking about his early days in the Hong Kong cinema spotlight, taking falls and doing dangerous stunts all in the name of his work.  If aren’t familiar with his early days in film, lets just say that the stunts and physical strains he endures today, pale in comparison to his early Hong Kong stunt team days.  The man has come close to breaking almost every bone in his body through years of doing his own stunts and fight scenes.  Heck he even has a hole in his head from a stunt that went wrong on the set of the Armour of God.  Why would someone puts himself into such danger?

I don’t know the answer why Chan does these ridiculous and exciting stunts, but one thing is for certain, they stick with you long after the movie is over.  Now that we live in an age of computer generated effects and stricter reigns stunts, there was a time when it was really the all or nothing days.  Now that is not to say that the stunts of our time are not great, heck there are some jaw-dropping stunts in modern films that probably couldn’t happen back in the early 80s.  It’s just that in order to make a name for himself and put Hong Kong action flicks on the map, you got to take it to the next level.  Jackie Chan pushed his body and those of his stunt team to extremes in order to produce adrenaline fueled action scenes and shocking stunts all to please the movie going audience.

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Movie of the Day – Winnebago Man

I decided on a documentary today after some Youtube videos were passed around the office today.  This is a common thing, people sharing interesting, funny, weird and obscure videos all the time and we enjoy seeing something that is foreign or unique.  What some people may not realize when watching someone hurt themselves doing some dumb ass act on video is that while we laugh and get enjoyment out of it, the subject probably just had their worst day of their life.  Now I am not advocating that people stop submitting stupid shit to Youtube cause frankly, I wouldn’t have anything to watch when I need a pick me up.  But the age that we live in allows us to instantaneously view and connect with something that we would never have imagined to say 10 years ago.

Today, we look at a film that is about man who became an internet sensation without even knowing about it.  Winnebago man is about, well, an RV salesman.  Actually it is about a foul-mouthed, profane, tense RV salesman who’s promo videos on selling the RV lifestyle and his sudden outbursts of anger and frustration have made the viral rounds on Youtube, being viewed millions of times.  While his profane fueled outbursts are the stuff of viral legend, very little is actually known about this man.  He has been dubbed “The Angriest Man in America” and has a large fanbase, but no one has ever really talked to the man whose name is Jack Rebney.

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Trailers of the Week – Hugo & Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows

Well, time for a few more trailers to round out the weeks worth of articles.  I decided to post two more mainstream trailers rather than a couple of trailers for movies that probably wouldn’t make their way to the major theatrical releases.  This week, two new trailers were released for a sequel to Guy Ritchies take on Sherlock Holmes and Martin Scorsese’s interesting family film Hugo.

Hugo:

A family adventure film from the man who has made Shutter Island, Gangs of New York and a host of other adult themed movies, I am in.  Heck I was intrigued that he was taking a stab at a suspense, horror film like Shutter Island, but I know better than to doubt any of Scorsese’s work.  Based on the Brian Selznick book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” we get a whimsical tale about a young boy and his fathers automaton.  The pictures boasts some impressive casting with Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield, the movie is sure to have fantastic acting.  I am not overly familiar with the story of the movie, but the film looks fantastic and engaging, minus the choice of trailer music.

Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows

Whew, I am not sure there is going to much detective work in the sequel to the first Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes movie.  This is an action packed trailer and while cool to look at, I hope that there will be more detective insight into Holmes work.  Now I loved the first one that came out.  It was a fresh start to the stuffy British version we all know where Holmes sits in a study, sipping on tea and bemusing about how he foiled Moriarty once again.  It was interesting to see Holmes as a more proactive character, fisticuffs and all, some people found that be a bit off putting.  Again we are used to seeing and remembering about a Sherlock Holmes that is more insightful than action based.  But there are stories in the Sherlock Holmes cannon that indicated that he can handle himself in a fight, maybe not with the slow downed, zen like foresight to disable his opponents.  I enjoyed the bromance between Holmes and Watson as it was entertaining and brought us closer to the characters.  This will be a definite see once it is released in theaters.

Movie of the Day – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

A little change of pace from today as we shift from a cult classic movie, to a send up of the noir, detective genre, but with some interesting touches.  If you aren’t familiar with the director Shane Black’s directing work, well this is his first movie that he has both written and directed.  You may already be familiar with some of his contributions to film as he was rather prolific in late 80s and mid 90s action movies.  He has written scripts for Lethal Weapon 1 & 2, The Monster Squad, The Long Kiss Good Night, and even getting an opportunity to direct Iron Man 3.  He has been responsible for some memorable films, so it is exciting to see what he is able to do with a dark comedy script he wrote and has Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer acting together in throwback to pulp detective books that are every bit trashy and intriguing.  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a stylish and slick paced movie with sardonic wit coming from both Kilmer and Downey as a detective and criminal/actor solving an ever entangled conspiracy.

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