Happy Halloween Week! The Book Smugglers, properly, celebrate the best holiday of the year with an entire week of reviews/lists/stories/essays about the horror genre, and they invited me to write a thing. People asking me to yak about horror? Obviously, I had to.
Thus I present “Horror Movies – Moving Past the Final Girl,” in which I discuss alternate ways to make scary movies scarier and final girls more interesting. Also, I may or may not propose making Ocean’s Eleven a slasher flick. I admit nothing.
I don’t wholeheartedly adore the Coen Brothers the way that most film nerds do, but I’ve got to admit: this looks pretty delightful. And dude, the cast is ridiculous: when I glanced at IMDB, I recognized 14 out of the first 15 stars listed. We’re talking George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Clancy Brown, and more. (The plot summary is also almost charmingly unhelpful: “A Hollywood fixer in the 1950’s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.” That is somewhat less specific than “George Clooney is kidnapped by The Future.”)
I’m definitely intrigued by this one. And it’s not just to watch Channing Tatum dance, either, although I’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty big plus, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t watched any of the Step Up OR Magic Mike movies.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Yay, it’s finally coming! I’ve been waiting for this one for a long while. I read the book when it first came out, enjoying it for the silly good time that it was, but this is definitely a story just screaming for a film adaptation. I mean, what’s not to love about mixing some Jane Austen with some zombie action? Plus, it’s got Matt Smith as Mr. Collins, Charles Dance as Mr. Bennett, and Lena Headey as Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Now I just need Night of the Living Trekkies to become a movie, too.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
I’d been avoiding trailers for this movie since almost clicking on one with supposed Big Time Spoilers — but I decided to check this one out, and I think I remain Spoiler Free, as the trailer is mostly just one big speech and a bunch of corresponding action shots. Although there are some totally creepy monster deals that I wasn’t at all expecting, since they look like they’d be more at home in a horror movie like The Descent than a blockbuster YA action franchise. Mind you, that’s not a complaint at all. Bring on the creepy monster deals!
I’m looking forward to watching this. I’ve seen all The Hunger Games movies in theater, and I’m trying to decide what the death toll will be. I’ll always remember talking for hours with Mekaela about who and how many of our favorite characters would die in The Return of the King, and actually being a little disappointed by the relatively low body count. It’s not that I wanted Pippin to die or anything, just, you know. Stakes. Price. All that jazz.
I guess I’ll find out this November. (Let it be Gale. Please let it be Gale.)
Ratchet and Clank
So, this looks cute. Very silly, very much like the video games. Actually, I’ve only played one of the them so far, but I found it pretty enjoyable — although Dr. Nefarious was easily the best character and, unfortunately, he’s not in this trailer very much.
Still. I could totally try this at some point. It seems like a good candidate for an “I Feel Crappy, I Need Lighthearted Kids Fare” movie marathon. Also, it’s cool they got the original voice cast for the main players, while adding in other Hollywood actors (Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Armin Shimerman, etc.) for what I presume are supporting roles.
Well, this came out earlier than I was expecting. Season 5B returns in January, and for some reason I’d just assume I’d have to wait a little longer for any real footage . . . but I forgot about New York Comic Con. Bless you, New York Comic Con.
Despite a slightly uneven ending, I really enjoyed Season 5A, and this promo looks pretty great. On the downside, Deucalion appears to be back — which is actually probably for the best, considering the massively stupid way his storyline ended, but still, boo, Deucalion. On the upside, Papa Argent is also back, which is far, far more important. Also: Lydia’s continuing to have an especially lousy time at Eichen House, Stiles throws Scott to the ground in pretty spectacular fashion, and Kira continues to be a total badass.
I am pumped for January. Speaking of . . .
Person of Interest
Finally, I had to post this promo because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Well, for established fans anyway. I’m not sure the actor switcheroo would do much for anyone who’s just considering checking the series out, but for the rest of us die-hards . . . guys, it’s just delightful. I have re-watched this trailer a stupid amount of times. I will never get tired of seeing Michael Emerson and Amy Acker play Reese. Really, I could just watch that all day.
I was going to try to have a review up today, but I just couldn’t manage it in time. So you get trailers you’ve probably already seen instead. C’est la vie. Happy Friday the 13th!
Well, I watched the teaser months ago. Now that I’ve seen a full-length trailer . . . look, I really don’t want to be interested in a movie that’s based on a land from Disneyland, but I can’t help myself. It looks fun. Family-friendly fun, sure, but I really like some of the visuals in this trailer. I’m interested in seeing more live-action films by Brad Bird, and it’s got a pretty spectacular cast. (I swear, I don’t just mind Hugh Laurie. He’s a big part of it, though. You gotta like Hugh Laurie.)
I doubt I’ll see this in theater or anything, but I could rent it at some point.
This is just a teaser, so there’s not much in the way of actual plot revealed in this one. But the gist seems to be that super old Sherlock Holmes, as played by Ian McKellan, will have to solve one last mystery, which will probably be hard because he’s, as aforementioned, super old and having memory problems. I will say that it looks considerably less depressing than I expected when I first heard about the project months ago, but that’s probably because of all the sweeping inspirational music. Hard to say what the tone of the actual film will be, although if Holmes doesn’t bite it at the end, I will honestly be surprised.
Ben Kingsley is rich. Ben Kingsley is dying. Ben Kingsley transports himself into Ryan Reynolds’s body, and there are side effects. Because that’s apparently something that immortality comes, as Matthew Goode so casually remarks, like that’s not something important that should be mentioned on a brochure or something.
Honestly, my interest in this is pretty middling, but Matthew Goode seems appropriately sinister, and I always want Ryan Reynolds’s movies to do well. His career path is insane. He keeps picking these projects that just bomb, but you can usually see how the movies could have gone well.
In the meantime, this will have to hold us all over until Deadpool.
And finally . . . San Andreas
Oh. My. GOD. The cheese. The CHEESE in this thing.
So, this movie is apparently about the entire destruction of my home state, and I just can’t stop giggling at it. It looks so bad. In fact, I was really surprised when I looked it up and saw that Roland Emmerich didn’t direct it. Seriously, I thought this had his 2012 fingerprints all over it.
And the science, man. The science in this thing looks like it’s going to be impressively terrible, and I’m saying that as someone who only barely remembers her geology course that she took around ten years ago. Is this what people from non-earthquake regions think happens in California? Or that it’s a likely possibility? I’m not trying to say earthquakes can’t be devastating because of course they can, but . . . holy shit, what is this? Besides hysterical, I mean.
This looks kind of interesting. Heartwarming, too, I assume — because, you know, Disney. But the teaser sparked my curiosity enough to check out the cast, and man. There are some fantastic people here. Other than Britt Robertson and George Clooney, we also have Judy Greer, Hugh Laurie, Keegan Michael Key, and Chris Bauer. I’m concerned that the success of this film could mean movies for every Land of Disney — I personally fear the dread Critter Country movie — but this could eventually be a rental, if I like what I see in longer, more illuminating trailers.
Although I feel it should be said: wouldn’t you try to pick up the pin with your sleeve or something, at least until you got out of juvie? I think I would.
In the Heart of the Sea
And then we have an excellent cast starring in a movie I have absolutely ZERO interest in. Let’s see, we’ve got Cillian Murphy, Chris Hemsworth, Brendan Gleeson, Michelle Fairley, Ben Whishaw, and Donald Sumpter, all being directed by Ron Howard, and yet . . . no, unfortunately, it’s still about a bunch of dudes who get shipwrecked by a giant whale. Pass.
Seriously, there’s this line where they say, “The tragedy of the Essex is the story of men . . . and a demon,” only we’re looking at a giant whale tail with, like, angry alien screaming background noise or something, and I just can’t take that shit seriously as all. I’m not saying a whale can’t fuck your shit up. I’m saying DEMON seems a little excessive. And yes, I know this is the story that inspired Moby Dick, or at least I figured it out by watching the trailer. Still can’t take it very seriously.
Fun fact: when they first mentioned the Essex, I was like, “Hey, I’ve heard of a ship called Essex before, and it obviously wasn’t this. How do I know that name?”
Star Trek: TNG, baby. “Power Play.” Ha.
And another one where I care considerably more about the cast than the story, although admittedly, I’d rather watch this than In the Heart of the Sea. (Probably. It’s problematic. As a romantic comedy goes — cause I think we all know that’s where Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson are headed — I don’t think Top Five will do anything I haven’t seen a dozen times before. And the whale movie, at least, could have more exciting action and (hopefully) grisly death scenes. On the other hand, that movie looks like it’s taking itself WAY too seriously. This one isn’t screaming for Oscars and could ultimately be the more enjoyable film.)
Honestly, it’s the rom-com stuff that has me worried. I actually could watch a movie about a comedian who wants to take on more serious roles. It might be kind of nice, even, to see Chris Rock in something that isn’t, oh, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, one of the Madagascar movies, etc. Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Gabrielle Union, Rosario Dawson, and Tracy Morgan also make up a vey nice supporting cast. I’m just not hugely inspired by this trailer, that’s all.
A Merry Friggin Christmas
Oh, this is sad. It’s always strange to watch actors in their last roles (or one of their last roles, as the case may be), doubly so with Robin Williams. You just don’t quite know how to react. And Robin Williams seems a little different in this movie. Not in a ‘you can tell he was in a dark place’ or some bullshit like that. (I kind of can’t stand people who think they know what’s going on in someone’s life, even if they’ve never met them.) I mean, his role in this particular movie seems less spastic and childlike than others. He’s apparently the conservative, grumpy old man guy, and in a way, that’s kind of funny in and of itself.
Christmas family comedies come out every year, and they usually don’t do much for me, but I’ll admit, Joel McHale and Lauren Graham do pique my curiosity just a bit. (Probably not enough to actually see it, though, not without hearing good things from people whose film opinions I trust.)
And Finally . . . The Librarians
I’ve only seen one of TNT’s Librarian movies — The Curse of the Judas Chalice — and let me tell you guys: it was hysterical. Intentionally, even. I watched it purely to mock the movie and was delighted to see that it was constantly making fun of itself. With that in mind, I watched the trailer for the new TV show, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to try this one out. The self-aware cheesy humor hasn’t gone anywhere. It seems like the perfect silly show to fill the gap that Warehouse 13 left behind. (Also, Leverage.) And I like many people in the cast, particularly John Larroquette and Christian Kane (who has, praise Jesus, cut his hair).
Admittedly, I’m less excited about Lindy Booth, but I guess I can’t entirely blame Cry_Wolf on her, and it’s not exactly her fault that she played the dumbest character in Dawn of the Dead. I will give her another chance. But I may have to be won over.
Spike Jonze is one of those directors who makes movies I keep meaning to watch but don’t quite get around to. The only one I actually have seen is Being John Malkovich, which I liked but don’t remember particularly well. I only saw it once, several years ago. His latest film . . . you know, I might actually get around to this one.
When I read the concept on paper — average schmo falls in love with Siri — I was not particularly impressed, but there’s something very lovely about this trailer. And that moment where Scarlett Johansson asks, “How would you touch me?” Wow. It’s been ages since I’ve been interested in a Joaquin Phoenix movie — probably because he’s been playing pretend-crazy for a few years now — and, for that matter, it’s been a while since I’ve wanted to see something with Amy Adams too. (Less because she’s been playing crazy, and more because she’s been picking a lot of Guaranteed Oscar Nominee Roles.)
I’m pretty curious to see which way the story will go. Also, apparently Arcade Fire is doing the score? Hells to the yes.
The Monuments Men
War movie. Nazis. Based on a true story — my least favorite words ever. And yet, somehow, this trailer has entirely won me over, probably because there’s a little Ocean’s Eleven going on in there. (The scene between Clooney and Damon at the bar reminds me of a similar scene between Clooney and Pitt from O-11.) Also, the story actually sounds fairly interesting, despite the serious overplay of Nazis in recent years . And it’s got a great cast. I’m not sure this a theater movie for me, but it’s at least definitely a rental.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
I’m curious about this one. It’s hard to judge, considering the trailer barely has any dialogue at all. There’s easily the possibility that it’ll end up being ridiculously schmaltzy. But I’m interested regardless — I’ve wanted to see more dramatic work from Ben Stiller since The Royal Tenenbaums, and I’m hopeful for this. Plus, not surprisingly, I identify heavily with shy introvert protagonists who live almost exclusively in their own heads. Although, as a result, I tend to be a bit less forgiving when I don’t like how movies represent said introverts.
The trailer itself is very pretty and paired with the spectacular Of Monsters and Men. This is the third trailer with awesome music. Can we go a fourth?
Thanks For Sharing
Well, maybe not. I like some of Imagine Dragons’ songs, but “Demons” isn’t actually one of them.
As far as the trailer itself goes . . . eh, I’m very so-so. I like Mark Ruffalo a lot, and I’m all about seeing the sexy relationship between Bruce Banner and Pepper Potts, but I have the feeling that I’m going to have a significant problem feeling sympathy for the sex addicts. Which I didn’t know about myself, going into the trailer, but when Josh Gad’s character gets caught with the camera, and I think I’m supposed to be like, Jesus, look what this addiction has done to this nice young man, really all I feel is repulsion and almost nothing in the way of sympathy. I don’t know. Sex addiction certainly makes for a unique rom-com set up, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one unless I hear stellar reviews for it.
And finally . . . Haunter
This is an interesting trailer, partially because I don’t think it very effectively communicates the plot — which may or may not be intentional. I can’t really decide.
On the downside, there are a few lines of cheesy dialogue that I’m not exactly loving. On the upside, the plot description that I’ve read — which now feels spoiler-ish to talk about, even though I don’t think it is — is an unusual take on a haunted house story. Also, the look of the movie is sufficiently creepy, and Abigail Breslin is an incredibly talented young actress. I’d like to see more of her work as she grows older.
Work that doesn’t have Halle Berry and 911 emergency responder superheroes, anyway.
Watching The Avengers has had a curious side effect: I suddenly feel the need to look up every movie ever done by anyone in the main cast, particularly Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo. And while there are still films I won’t consider watching, no matter how much I like RDJ—say, for instance, something like The Shaggy Dog—a black and white biopic about Edward R. Murrow versus Joseph McCarthy somehow became irresistible.
To probably no one’s surprise at all, it’s pretty good.