Coming Soon-Ish: Zombies, Assassins, and The Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four

So, the interesting thing is this: if you didn’t know who the Fantastic Four were, you’d have absolutely no idea that this was a superhero movie. I’m not wild about that, but there are aspects of this trailer that I like. The cast is solid. The cinematography looks great, and I was deeply impressed with the originality of director Josh Trank’s Chronicle. If this wasn’t a superhero movie, if it was just straight up SF, I’d be all on board with this promo . . . but there are things I like to see in a superhero movie, namely, you know, superheroes. It seems concerning to me that the movie seems to be trying to hide its origins. (And if you’re looking for a more grounded, realistic film, maybe try not casting a lead who looks like he’s fifteen.)

I’m still going to remain cautiously optimistic for now, but I definitely want to see if the next trailer offers up a different look or is more of the same.

Child 44

I wouldn’t qualify this as a must-see, exactly, but I’m kind of interested in this. I won’t lie: Tom Hardy’s involvement is a big part of my interest, although it’s not the only reason, otherwise I would have seen Lawless or Warrior by now. But anything with a murder mystery will catch my eye, and the rest of this cast (Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Charles Dance, etc.) are similarly fantastic. I could possibly watch this as a rental.


The general premise of this movie seems to be that everyone tries to kill Salma Hayek in her apartment, while Salma Hayek (sexily) takes them all down. While I rolled my eyes repeatedly during this trailer (the idea that a woman knows how to use a gun! shocking!), let’s be real here: I will almost certainly see this movie at some point in my life. Although I’m considering making it a drinking game movie with only one rule: take a shot whenever someone needlessly strips down into a bra or panties.


I’ve been looking forward to this show since I first heard about it last . . . April? May? Whatever, it’s been a while. And guys, I am ALL about this trailer. A zombie M.E. (or possibly assistant) who solves crime, as brought to you by the guy who did Veronica Mars? Yeah, I could be into that. Adding in Zombie Sark, even if he’s just a guest star, is simply adding a cherry to the ice cream sundae. (Actually, that’s a terrible metaphor because I don’t like cherries, maraschino or otherwise. All right, he can be the caramel sauce. It’s not necessary on a hot fudge sundae, sure, and yet it’s never unwanted.)

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“You Still Picking Your Feet in Poughkeepsie?”

The movies that I tend to find interesting are rarely the kind of movies that win for Best Picture. There are exceptions, obviously (Chicago, Silence of the Lambs, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), but in general, I’m not drawn to the kind of film that gains accolades by the Academy.

This year, however, I’ve challenged myself to watch twelve of these movies. And already I regret it a little — do you know how long Gone With the Wind is? 238 minutes. That is two minutes shy of FOUR HOURS. For Christ’s sake, even RotK isn’t that long (The non-extended version anyway. The extended version is longer, but only by twelve minutes.)

So, I figured, You know, Carlie, let’s ease into this. We don’t need to start with the four hour plantation epic. There’s no reason to begin with the Holocaust movie that’s probably going to make you cry into your pillow all week. Let’s pick a movie closer to your own interests, starring actors that you generally enjoy. Cops. Drug dealers. Gene Hackman. Roy Scheider. This isn’t going to be so hard.


But somedays my blog is aptly named because wow, did I not like The French Connection.

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“Come Find Me When You Wake Up.”

I fully intended to watch Edge of Tomorrow when it came out last year, but somehow never quite made it to the theater. Thankfully, Netflix has allowed me to correct this oversight.


There were a few problems here or there, but overall I had a pretty good time watching this.

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Second Chance Tuesday — Results!

The results are in, and they’re pretty much unanimous. The movie I will be giving a second chance to sometime before April is . . .



In case you’re curious, I didn’t actually hate this movie on the first watch. There were even aspects that I enjoyed, like the woodchipper or basically anything Frances McDormand did. But people love this film and, on the whole, I was fairly underwhelmed. We’ll see if a second viewing makes me appreciate it more, or blaspheme even harder.

Honestly, there wasn’t much in the way of competition here. Halloween received three votes, The Descent two, and Lost in Translation received only one. Total Loser Award goes to the original Dawn of the Dead, which received nothing from anyone and means I get to keep watching Zack Synyder’s remake in peace.

I probably won’t watch Fargo right away — I’m currently working on two reviews already, and anyway, procrastination is key — but if I don’t watch and review it by April 1st, then some kind of terrible movie Punishment will have to be inflicted.

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“If We Burn, You’ll Burn With Us!”

So, I have this ongoing quest: I would like, just once, to go see a movie when my friends and I are the only people in the theater. I don’t know why this is my quest, considering there are approximately 78,000 other goals that are my worthy of my time and energy, and yet, here we are. Quests are rarely chosen, right? They are something that is given, something laid upon you. Quests are a thing of destiny.

I’ve come close to fulfilling my quest at least half a dozen times now, only to have some asshole wander in during the previews, unwittingly ruining everything I’ve longed to achieve. I don’t throw popcorn at this asshole, partially because I’m a mature young woman but mostly because I don’t eat popcorn.

I mention all of this because last week I finally went to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I. This movie came out roughly two months ago. You would think that the majority of people who wanted to see it would, in fact, have already seen it. This was clearly the cinema’s expectation as well, considering we were obviously sitting in their teeniest-tiniest theater available. And yet, as soon as we sat down in the empty room, about twenty-five more people walked in.

You know, I’m not my namesake. I’m not asking to slay dragons here. I’m not even asking to lead any rebellions.


On the upshot, I generally enjoyed Mockingjay, Part I.

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My Much Belated Golden Globes Commentary

So, the Golden Globes happened, like, days ago. Here are my somewhat-less-timely thoughts.

1. Sadly, this is the last year that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are hosting. Per usual, I enjoyed the hell out of them. I did feel kind of awkward about the Bill Cosby jokes, but I also laughed pretty hard at the bit with George Clooney’s lifetime achievement award. Also this: “Firth, for a polite amount of time.”

2. ICU had an Academy Awards pool last year. If I’d entered, I would’ve won, like, ALL the money. On the other hand, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t participate in any theoretical Golden Globes pools, as the sheer number of incorrect guesses would have almost certainly shamed both me and any descendants I might have for about a hundred years to come.

Although how I was supposed to guess that How to Train Your Dragon 2 would beat out both The Lego Movie and Big Hero 6, I don’t know. Also, I was amused that The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Best Comedy despite the fact that it didn’t win a single award in any other category. (On the other hand, I really enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel, so I was happy to see it win for something.)

3. I’ll admit to fast-forwarding past a lot of the speeches (I was on the clock, people), but of the ones I did watch, my favorite definitely went to Gina Rodriguez. She kinda made me tear up, dammit.

4. I like Jeremy Renner, but he’s always struck me as incredibly awkward person. Like if he has to talk live, I kind of cringe on his behalf. He just looks so uneasy and stilted.

As far as the boob joke goes . . . I don’t know. I’ll admit to laughing, because I did. I also thought, Maybe not the best idea, Renner. Cause Jennifer Lopez genuinely doesn’t seem offended, which is great — except if she secretly had been, it would have put her in a really awkward position. Imagine if J-Lo had said, “You know, that actually made me a little uncomfortable.” I bet some people would be supportive of her. I bet many more people would be angry at her for taking it “too seriously” or argue that she can’t be offended because of the type of clothes she wears. I suspect she’d get called a lot of ugly words for being honest. Online threats would not be in any way surprising. Knowing this, how many women might choose to play along rather than risk being ostracized by a world that thinks “feminist” is a dirty word?

I personally didn’t find the joke offensive in and of itself. And I, too, sometimes get frustrated trying to navigate what’s “safe” to say. But I also think that ignoring the very real and complicated gender politics in play by telling everyone to lighten up and refusing to even acknowledge that there could be another side to this issue? I think that’s kind of shitty. Jeremy Renner’s offhand, annoyed response irritates me more than his actual joke did.

5. All right, let’s pull back from the Serious Stuff and focus on what’s really important: all of the terrible facial hair. Jamie Dornan, your beard is a little too big for your face, but I’m prepared to give you a pass for now. Jared Leto and especially Matthew McConaughey, though. This is unacceptable.

6. Finally, fashion:


I’m a sucker for pants. I’d wear the hell out of this if I ever felt comfortable enough with my midriff. (And if I was important enough that someone would feel comfortable loaning me a bazillion dollar necklace.)


Emma Stone
See above. The bustle’s a bit big for me, but otherwise, yeah. This is awesome.

Kate Hudson
Holy God, how this dress fits her. I mean, damn. I wish I liked her movies anywhere near as much as I like her fashion.

Katherine Heigl
Again, it’s all about the fit. The dress is fairly simple (you know, for an awards show), but I like the color and the cut of it looks amazing on her.

Naomi Watts
Yellow is a hard color to rock, especially for a blonde. Naomi Watts rocks it.


Kerry Washington
The blue sides read to me like a last-minute effort to make the dress more interesting. They feel ill-conceived and out of place. Also, the length seems a little off.

Julianne Moore
The shiny tinfoil top is okay, if a bit boring, but the transition into gray and black feathers is just not good.

Claire Danes
I will admit that up close the pattern isn’t quite so awful. But the sizing is all wrong, and covering up a deep plunge neckline with dark illusion netting? No.

Lana del Rey
This is the kind of dress you see at a Homecoming dance. Or maybe a low-rent play about  Aphrodite coming out of the sea.


Keira Knightley
Man, I like Keira Knightley, but what the hell is this dress? Between the lace doily top and the lace ruffle bottom and the giant butterfly on her hand and the dozens of awful butterflies and feathers and whatever else is sewn into this thing . . . no. Just no.

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Poll: The Creation of Second Chance Tuesday

So, I’ve been meaning to start Second Chance Tuesdays for a while now. Second Chance Tuesdays would be a very occasional feature where I give a well-beloved movie that I didn’t particularly care for (or at least wasn’t fully impressed by) a second go and write a review on the experience. I’ve been talking about doing this off and on for, oh, maybe three years now, and I figured the best way to actually make myself start was to have you guys pick a movie for me.

By April 1st, 2015, I will try one of these five movies again. It’s up to you to determine which one I see.

The Descent
Lost in Translation
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Halloween (1978)

The poll will be up for one week and will close on January 19th at 11:59 PST. Please comment below to vote, although I’ll begrudgingly accept votes via Facebook and Twitter as well. No explanation for your choice is required, though feel free to do so if you wish or rant about how could I not like so-and-so. Be warned, though, the more vitriolic your rant, the more I’m likely to just ignore it. Also, I’m planning to give the winning film a fair shake — that’s kind of the whole point in doing this — but please keep in mind I’m not actually promising to like your movie any more than I did the last time I watched it.

And if you’re wondering why, specifically, Second Chance Tuesdays? Well, I don’t have a particularly good reason behind that. It just sounded better than Second Chance Wednesdays, or any of the other weekdays available.