Coming Soon-Ish: Rom-Coms, Cronenberg, and Dick Casablancas

Playing It Cool

When I dreamed of Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie teaming up again, this isn’t what I had in mind.

On the plus side: extremely solid cast. Besides Evans and Mackie, we also have Aubrey Plaza, Luke Wilson, Michelle Monaghan, Giovanni Ribisi, Topher Grace, and Patrick Warburton. On the negative side: I could play Rom-Com Bingo with this movie, I swear to God. Guy who doesn’t believe in love, the girl who changes everything, guy who interrupts the girl’s wedding, guy who punches out the surely arrogant groom, etc. In fact, let me just spell out the story using nothing but quotes from the actual trailer.

“Love is a downer.”
“But then I met this girl.”
“No, he’s my boyfriend.”
“I think we should just be friends. That’s allowed, right?”
“Men and women can’t be friends”
“Do men really think that sex is the answer to everything?”
“Oh my God. You’re falling for her.”
“You won’t even fight for the girl you love.”
“I don’t want you to marry this guy.”

It’s especially annoying, I think, because Chris Evans plays a Hollywood writer forced to write a rom-com, and that’s a setup you do when you want your movie to actually talk about genre, do something interesting with it, something original. There doesn’t look to be a scrap of originality in this movie. And for God’s sake, people. Lots of men and women are friends without doing the horizontal bop together. I, too, like When Harry Met Sally, but it is officially time — past time, even — to let that trope DIE.

John Wick

Oh my God, you guys. I don’t even . . . has Christmas come early? Is this an early birthday present from God? People, this movie . . . this movie looks AMAZING. Not because it’s going to be good. Obviously. It’s Keanu Reeves as That One Super Dangerous Guy Who Got Out Of The Life, Only To Get Sucked Back In For REVENGE. But it’s like someone wrote a script parodying those types of movies, only the people making it didn’t realize the script was supposed to be funny? And dude, it looks incredible.

Lots of cliches abound, of course. In fact, you can almost play the same game as I did earlier with Playing it Cool. (“You got out once, it’s personal, people keep asking if I’m back,” etc.) But nothing is as amazing as this line: “I lost everything. That dog was a final gift from my dying wife.”

There are no words. There is only laughter. So, so much laughter. I was dying here.

Maps to the Stars

Well, this at least looks interesting.

I won’t pretend I fully know what’s happening in this movie. Only that it’s a Hollywood story and, also, a David Cronenberg movie. So, probably a lot of sociopathic weirdness. (You know, I’ve only seen two Cronenberg movies? And I barely even remember eXistenZ, it’s been so long. I don’t even remember if I liked it.) This has got a great cast, though: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, and Carrie Fisher, apparently. (And, yes, Robert Pattinson. I’ve only seen him in Goblet of Fire, where he was perfectly fine, and Twilight, where he was incredibly not. I’m not excited by his appearance, but I will allow that he could possibly have previously unseen range.)

It’s not the kind of movie I’d jump to go see or anything, but I guess I could try it eventually. I am a sucker for Hollywood stories, weird or otherwise.


But let’s be honest. New Zealand horror comedy is probably more my speed. Actually, it just annoys me that I never came up with this idea myself. House arrest plus haunted house? That’s just simplicity in itself.

This looks kind of fun. How much fun, I expect, will depend on tone, but I like all the comedic touches. (“Restless spirit who lives in this house, what is your business here?”) When the trailer first started, I thought it was a straight-up horror, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, and I’m happier for it. It’s not quite a Must See for me, but I could definitely check it out at some point.

And Finally . . . Play It Again, Dick

This web series, on the other hand has absolutely become a must-see. Apparently, I will never let Veronica Mars go, and neither will Dick Casablancas — er, Ryan Hansen, I mean. The fact that apparently everyone from V. Mars is dropping in at some point makes me inordinately happy. I never did love Dick Casablancas the way other fans did, but I’m looking forward to this, regardless. (Also, I’m kind of amused at the second teaser’s mockery of The Newsroom promo. I don’t know why, I just am.)

One thought on “Coming Soon-Ish: Rom-Coms, Cronenberg, and Dick Casablancas

  1. From the Youtube summary for Playing It Cool:
    “Like a young Walter Mitty using the power of imagination and wild vignettes, HE will stop at nothing to conquer HER heart.”
    It’s funny to me that they’re using The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty as their benchmark for Imagine Spots. You guys didn’t want to pick a more enduring, beloved, or better received movie? (Also, I don’t like that second part of the sentence. Dude, just fucking ask her if she likes you, and if she says no, then fucking leave it alone like a mature fucking adult, for fuck’s sake. …This is probably not the movie for me.)

    It’s also funny to me that this dude talks about doing a film about love the way it really is and bursting the bubble of all those conventional sugary romcoms, given what kind of movie he’s in. You’re right, this really seems like the sort of thing you’d give to a protagonist in a much more subversive movie. To be fair, I suppose the trailer could be misleading.

    I like that they’re doing a spin-off of Veronica Mars with what looks to be such a different tone and premise. It’s the sort of thing I’d usually expect to be put together by a fan, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

    This is the first time I’d seen that Newsroom promo (or indeed, heard anything about the third season) and it’s making me feel so conflicted. What I can gather of the plot sounds like the sort of storyline that would play to The Newsroom’s flaws. Like, “If you thought Will was a noble, persecuted martyr before, now he might be going to jail for being the only decent journalist in America!”

    But on the other hand, I love the copier gimmick. It’s a really clever way of building tension and teasing the new season that ties in with the show’s setting nicely. Damn you, promo monkeys, why couldn’t you make another newsroom-themed Christian rock music video that I could sit back and mock in peace?

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