Coming Soon-Ish: Blondes, Clowns, and Apocalypses (Including Ragnarok!)

Thor: Ragnarok

You’ve all seen this, of course. The whole teaser is fun, like, there’s so much going on: holy shit Mjolnir, and all the goddamn iconic hats and headpieces, and the teeny-tiny glimpses of Idris Elba and Karl Urban. Not to mention, I can’t decide who I’d rather cosplay: Cate Blanchett, Cate Blanchett, or Jeff Goldblum.

But it’s Thor’s absolutely perfect reaction to seeing Hulk in the ring that completely sold me on this movie. I figured I’d probably watch it in theaters, having seen the prior two Thor movies there . . . but I wasn’t particularly excited about it. Now I’m like, “Wait, HOW long do I have to wait for this movie? I NEED JOY IN MY LIFE.”

Atomic Blonde

Speaking of joy in my life.

This trailer looks immensely fun. Beating someone in the back of a car with a shoe really oughta be on my list of life goals. There are so many awesome looking fight scenes here, and Charlize Theron seems particularly badass. I’m all for her and James McAvoy having a comedic dynamic, but I’m really hoping it doesn’t actually take a romantic turn: she seems way too badass for him, and I’m much more interested in the Atomic Blonde/French Operative ship. (Please don’t actually die in that scene where it totally looks like you die, Sofia Boutella.)

I could definitely watch this one in theaters. It looks pretty great.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Warnings: Red-band trailer, mostly for a bunch of curse words that I’m absolutely sure you’ve never heard or spoken yourself before.

This is . . . interesting. It appears someone had the idea to pair Peak Samuel L. Jackson with Peak Ryan Reynolds and wrap them together with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard. It’s . . . actually kinda spectacular, really, although I’m probably only so-so on the trailer itself. Some of the jokes made me laugh (particularly at “I hope they kill him; I really do” and “this guy single-handedly ruined the word ‘motherfucker'”), but I’m not entirely convinced that the joke won’t run out of steam in the first 20 minutes. Interested, but probably as a rental.

IT

On first blush, it looks pretty decent. Hard to judge Pennywise, considering he doesn’t actually talk in this clip. I don’t mind them going a more traditionally scary clown route–like, you aren’t going to surpass Tim Curry, so don’t even try to imitate him–but Pennywise absolutely must have an actual personality, so it can’t all be dark makeup and super quick monster crawls in the sewers. Little Georgie’s pretty creepy, though.

One way or another, I’ll see this. It is my favorite Stephen King novel (except for, you know, THE SCENE) and I get endless joy out of how simultaneously both brilliant and atrocious the 1990 miniseries is. But I’m not quite pumped about this just yet. Mostly, I wanna compare the terrible adults from the miniseries to the adults in this remake . . . but sadly, I won’t get to for a while, since we’re saving them for the sequel, a decision I completely understand but am a little bit disappointed by regardless.

Finally . . . The Bad Batch

I have virtually no idea what the hell this is about, but it’s colorful and weird and I’m interested. (I still need to watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. I’m so behind on all the must-see horror films.) I don’t think I know the actress playing the MC, but I do recognize Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves and Giovanni Ribisi, and hey apparently Diego Luna’s in here somewhere, and–holy shit, that’s Jim Carrey?!

Meanwhile, IMDb is giving me this synopsis: “a dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.”

Yeah. I can’t pretend I’m not curious.

“Is That Classical?”

Plenty of Trekkies despise NuTrek Abramsverse the Kelvin Timeline, but–as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before–I’m really not one of them. I’m a completely unabashed fan of the 2009 Star Trek, and while I think Into Darkness has some deeply frustrating problems, I don’t think it’s, like, THE DEATH OF STAR TREK or anything, either. Honestly, it’s not even my least favorite Trek film: out of Wrath, Search, Whales, God, Captain von Klingon, Bridge, Borg, Insurrection, Reboot, and Huge Dead Tribble, God is easily my least favorite–although it should be noted that I haven’t seen The Motion Picture or Nemesis yet, and I barely remember Bridge at all, much less Insurrection, which I KNOW I’ve seen but has obviously been so thoroughly erased from my brain that I couldn’t even come up with a clever 1-3 word nickname for it. (Meanwhile, Wrath would clearly be KHAAAAN!, while I’m thinking Search should either be Spock Lives! or maybe Star Trek: A Study in Negating Everything Interesting About The Previous Film in the Series. Or do you think that’s too long?)

I feel like I’ve digressed. The point is this: I can now add Star Trek Beyond to the list.

st beyond cover2

And how did I like Star Trek Beastie Boys? Well, I have some problems because, you know, me. Overall, though, I had a pretty decent time watching it in theater.

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Coming Soon-Ish: Machete, Good Vibrations, and Android Cop Shows

Don Jon

Previously titled Don Jon’s Addiction, this is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, and if you haven’t been paying attention . . . I might be minorly obsessed with the actor. (Side note: the Little Red Squiggly Line of Doom is informing me that “minorly” is not a real word. Why isn’t minorly a word? Majorly is a word. Minor is the opposite of major — it makes sense that there would be an equal opposite for the -ly version of said adverb. This is dumb. I am now officially ignoring the Little Red Squiggly Line of Doom.)

Anyway, when I read the synopsis for this movie . . . guy obsessed with porn, has shallow life, meets Beautiful Girl, etc . . . well, I wasn’t very interested, even for Gordon-Levitt. But I’ll admit, this trailer surprised me into laughing a couple of times. I’m hoping that “ohmygod, my boyfriend watches porn” isn’t the serious conflict of the movie because, wow, that’s dumb, but I could potentially watch this as a rental for Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson. Well, and for “Good Vibrations.” Obviously.

Machete Kills

Oh, wow.

You know, Machete was okay, but it wasn’t quite as fun as I wanted it to be. I wasn’t real enthusiastic about a sequel, but . . . well, if you’re looking for ridiculous, it’s hard to top Charlie Sheen as President Carlos Estevez. The cast also includes Danny Trejo (obviously), Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, William Sadler, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lady Gaga.

Oh, who am I kidding. Even if it sucks, I’m totally going to see this.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Well, I’m kind of jealous of the title. And the music is great. Cast, too, obviously. In fact, the whole look of this movie is kind of awesome. That being said . . . this isn’t exactly my cup of bourbon, if you know what I mean. It’s not so much that I hate depressing stories, more that inherent tragedies are somewhat less than appealing. And I was kind of shaking my head before we got to the love triangle part. Jesus. When a critic calls it a “grand, doomed love story,” and you’re using that quote to sell your story . . . sorry. Not even for you, Ben Foster.

Prisoners

Fair warning: this trailer seems to show a lot of the movie. Also, I love trailers that start like this: I just want to scrawl, “Oh, the good times before everything goes to hell,” right over the screen.

I’ve got to say, I’m not really sure this is my brand of bourbon, either, although the cast is pretty stellar, and hey, Roger Deakins is doing cinematography. (I didn’t even know who he was this time last year, but since looking up his body of work and discovering he’d never won an Oscar . . . I feel oddly offended on his behalf.)

Maybe I’ll rent it or something, when I feel like being depressed. And to see if Jake Gyllenhaal is actually the bad guy. I mean, come on. Detective LOKI? Please.

And Finally . . . Almost Human

This one isn’t actually a movie. It’s a television show starring Karl Urban, and I was interested before I saw the trailer cause, you know, KARL URBAN. (Also crime procedural set in the future, android partners, and JJ Abrams. But mostly Karl Urban.)

Now that I’ve seen the trailer . . . damn, I’m ready for fall already. This looks awesome. Please let this be awesome, and please don’t let it appear on my Queen of the Gone-Too-Soon list. I’m about as excited for this as I am for Agents of Shield, and that’s saying something, considering how obsessed I am with The Avengers.

“As For You, Ma-Ma . . . Judgment Time.”

I haven’t finished my Iron Man 3 review yet — work keeps getting in the way, dammit, and also writing that could, at least potentially, make me some money, and reading too, because The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is the BEST — but I do at least have a Baby Review for you.

dredd

I’d planned to see this in theater (mostly because I kept hearing good things about it, which surprised me) but I never quite got there. So my friend Denise and I did a little movie exchange: she borrowed my copy of the original The Thing, and I borrowed this.

Dredd is a lot of fun, but it’s getting the Baby Review treatment today, partially because I’m a busy nerd who wants to get back to her regularly scheduled reading time, but also because I just don’t have a lot to say about it. I can’t compare it to the original comics because I’ve never read them. I can’t compare it to the Sylvester Stallone movie because I’ve, thankfully, never seen it. And the film makes absolutely no attempt to be any deeper than it needs to be. Judge Dredd himself (Karl Urban) has virtually no kind of character development or backstory of any kind. They tell you absolutely nothing about him, just that he’s a badass. Sometimes, I’m okay with that. This is one of those times.

Here’s what I can say about Dredd:

1. Despite being set in a dystopian America where crime is so prevalent that the police are authorized to be judge, juries, and executioners, Dredd has a very similar plot set-up to The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesian martial-arts action movie that I also really liked.

raid poster

2. Karl Urban is fun as Dredd, all stern and badass and very Clint Eastwood — who apparently was a big inspiration for the character in the comic books. Also, he never takes off his helmet, which is apparently a Big Deal. (It’s okay. I can wait a couple of weeks to see Karl Urban’s pretty face in Star Trek: Into Darkness.)

3. Olivia Thirlby plays Dredd’s new, psychic, probationary partner, and she gets the unenviable task of being the I Must Learn The Will to Kill girl — at least to an extent — but she does the job pretty decently, I think, and overall I like her quite a bit.

4. Also, psychic showdowns? Kind of awesome. I love it when mental battles are actually done well in movies.

5. Lena Headey continues to be a Bad Ass in all things.

dredd-lena-headey-ma-ma

5. This is the rare film where all the slow-motion action is actually highly plot relevant and surprisingly works pretty well. (I do think they use it maybe one or two more times than they need to, and occasionally the shiny-ness of it all is a little silly and would probably look better with a bigger budget, but overall it works.)

6. Decent foreshadow and set-up in this movie. I can’t go into detail without spoilers, but I approve. I also like that this isn’t a big Save the World story, that it’s just a job, one day’s violent BS in a long string of violent BS-filled days. That works for me.

7. Dredd is a pretty violent film, which also works for me. There are a few surprising moments too, just stuff you don’t normally see in action movies like this — like what might happen to innocent bystanders during those big cop car chase sequences — and I enjoyed those little moments.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fun, solid action flick.

MVP:

Karl Urban. He basically has to do all of his acting with his voice and chin, so even if there isn’t much in the way of character to explore — you need a strong lead to sell this.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B+

MORAL:

There is no negotiation.