Trailer Park
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Saturday, January 24, 2004  

EPISODE III FOOTAGE

Get this one while you can, folks. It's extremely low quality, and looks like someone managed to sneak a video camera into the Euro Con promotional screening. Latino Review has an extremely hyper scooper who gives his opinion ("the greatest sword choreography ever!," "a nuclear explosion of a finale!"), and... well, it's interesting. It's all behind the scenes/green screen footage. It's always nice to see Ewan McGregor. The saber fights are intricate and done well. You briefly see Natalie Portman in a nondescript hood--amber yellow, I think it was. I guess the reason I'm not set on fire like the Latino Review guy is--think about it: the best scenes in the prequels have always been the action scenes. The Darth Maul duel. The Count Dooku (God, just call him Count Dookula and get it over with) duels. Various and assorted saber fights and high-speed chases. As promising as this footage is... the action is always good, and the clip in no way addresses the actual pitfalls of the previous two films: story and dialogue. So, for now, I will remain a skeptic.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:37 AM


Friday, January 23, 2004  

KILL BILL VOL. 2

1. Thank God Yahoo has started offering files in Quicktime.

2. Nice.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 5:48 PM


Wednesday, January 21, 2004  

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

For those of you who might be SAST-y, this has been one of the scripts the Mistress of Digest reviewed way back when. And it has always seemed to be such a totally Charlie Kaufman type of thing - it sounds so high concept on page (a guy erases his memories of his one major heartbreak so he can cope with it, which is something we all can identify with, I guess) that it takes a master to turn it into tangible cinematic reality. Lightning did strike twice for Kaufman with Spike Jonze, and this Michael Gondry movie... well, the trailer does do quite a good job explaining both the premise and the Look at the Attractive Cast We've Assembled Here So It Must Be Worth A Look Even If You're a Retard Who Loves Gross Out Comedies factor. Even if it uses A Beautiful Mind music for that purpose. And so it just might bring people to see what is quite certain to be one of the 2004 movies we'll all remember five years from now.

Two sidenotes. Kate Winslet? I've had plenty of woman pull that hairdo on me in my time. Consider switching to fuchsia or mauve. Elijah Wood? People go to War to End All Wars for you. Please, request higher billing, or at least avoid appearing in embarrassing party spectacles the next time your name is mentioned in a trailer to the movie you're starring in.

posted by Vladimir | 4:49 PM


Tuesday, January 20, 2004  

ASSORTED TRAILERS

Just wanted to do a quick rundown of trailers I saw in front of Peter Pan, as I'd meant to download several of them as it was.

Two Brothers: I must have gotten this confused with a different Guy Pearce movie, because the title had me expected some sort of crime drama. Instead, it's about two tigers, "from the director of The Bear!" You get very cute scenes of a little girl sleeping with a tiger cub, at which point I leaned over to my mother and said, "He's so totally gonna eat her when he grows up."

Bring It On Again: I had never seen anything like this before, but the Wildwood Regal, apparently on a downward spiral, now has this "The Twenty" thing, which is twenty minutes of hell that, on this occasion, involved extremely loud featurettes on NBC's "Las Vegas" series, something that was mercifully blotted from my memory, and this. (Can I just ask? Why was a "Las Vegas" promo shown in front of a children's movie? Because it was oh-so-inappropriate.) After seeing this featurette, I will simply say that Bring It On Again is straight-to-DVD. The first Bring It On is also on DVD. You do the math.

King Arthur: I believe Vladimir already reviewed this one, but I hadn't seen it yet. I had seen tons of set pictures via Empire Movies, but there were some really beautiful shots--I can't remember clearly; a battle in the snow?--and the battles looked good.

Catch That Kid: Eh, I felt absolutely no interest in it--it's basically Mission: Impossible for kids--but then, this trailer wasn't meant for me or my age demographic anyway.

The Chronicles of Riddick: If I have to see this trailer in the theater one more time, someone is going to die. And that goes double for The Punisher.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:20 PM
 

MAN ON FIRE

I was expecting this to be pretty bad, but it's got that nice gritty Tony Scott look to it, and Christopher Walken, and of course Denzel Washington. It also has Dakota Fanning as the requisite precocious wise-beyond-her-years child, and the dialogue in the trailer is pretty hit-you-over-the-head Denzel-can't-open-up-to-people awful. (I say "Denzel" because his character's name is... "Creasy"?)

The problem is that the movie's about a bodyguard with something tragic in his past--I actually do know what it is, but kudos to the trailer for not giving it away--who then has to save his kidnapped charge. This may not be a problem for you, but I can't deal with children-in-jeopardy movies. Can't deal. Couldn't watch Ransom, won't see this. Which is too bad, because it looks better than I thought it would.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:08 PM
 

SECRET WINDOW

Clearly, if the trailer needs of my female readership are going to be taken care of, I'm going to have to do it. I mean, I have three guys reviewing trailers, and yet no one's hit a new movie from Johnny Depp. I mean, come on.

Really, though, this is your typical Stephen King "Let me go out into the woods where no one can possibly come to my aid while a freaky guy stalks me. Also, I am a writer. You have totally never seen this movie before. No, really" story. Although it wigged me out when I finally realized that Freaky Guy is John Turturro, because he's really working the Satan's Amish look here. It seems that Johnny (or "Mort," as we must call him) is fixated on writing the ending of his book, "the most important part," and then Satan's Amish shows up to claim he stole his story, even though they've never met before, and then Charles Dutton's all like, "You don't even want to know [what you're dealing with]," and that drives me crazy when people say that in movies, because trust me, you ALWAYS want to know. In fact, now you just want to know more. You think people would figure this out, you know? Anyway, there is stalking and the leaving of Amish hats on doorsteps and fire and exploding windows and your general Stephen King mayhem. The most remarkable thing about the trailer, I would have to say, is that, other than the beachy-bleachy hair, Johnny Depp seems to be playing a completely normal person. Huh.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:50 PM


Friday, January 16, 2004  

ELLA ENCHANTED

Apparently I needed something to cleanse my eyes of the multi-pronged assault at all the dear old Universal Monster Movies that Stephen Sommers just unleashed, claiming its first Victim of Digest (see below). The solution? The girliest girly movie that ever girlymovied, and which appeared out of nowhere.

And aside from being really that girly, it's also goofy, ditzy, silly, campy, and hugely derivative without any bite. And you know what? I can't believe I'm saying this, but my inner three-year-old just fell for it, lock, stock, and barrel. (The latter because of a cute barrel gag near the end.) It's a Barbie-esque fairytale that actually looks like everyone had a laugh thinking it up and making it, and while it probably will not be allowed to ever be mentioned in the same sentence with The Princess Bride, it has the enormous charms of Anne Hathaway going for it. Now, that girl seriously has an old movie star vibe going - beautiful face, gorgeous body, utter wholesomeness and inner radiance, and she's not afraid to be a total dork whenever her Designed J-Ro Replacement Screen Persona (TM) demands. And yeah, this is why she's kinda special while being a total conservative icon for our time.

Eh, what can you do. I famously never fell for Shrek or anything like it, but this? Is just too cute. Just don't ever, ever give Neil Gaiman a link to what I just wrote.

posted by Vladimir | 4:48 PM
 

VAN HELSING

THANK YOU. GAHHH.

Update: Now that I've thoroughly screen-capped the trailer, I have to say... yes, c'est cheese. It's sort of like ("The Mummy" + Wolverine) x ("Bram Stoker's Dracula" - R rating). And you know what? It looks pretty awesome. I mean, the accents and the special effects aren't anything to write home about at this point, but the little things you see when you frame-by-frame it look pretty cool.

Also, I don't know how Hugh Jackman manages to look hot in that Vampire Hunter D outfit, but... that's talent, y'all.

Update 2: Here's your screen caps (122 images). I know a lot of LJ folks are starting to migrate to the blogs, so feel free to make icons/desktops/whatever.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:02 AM
 

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

Jesus.

In non-downloadable formats. Well, so what, it's not a new Stephen Sommers movie (right, Boss of Digest?), and it won't have its own line of Sideshow collectibles (except maybe that hammer that's suspiciosly omnipresent in this trailer, as if we didn't know who yields it). It's Quicktime, though, and you get to see everything nice and clear.

You actually get to hear two lines - "Ecce Homo" (Latin, pronounced in the Italian fashion) and "So love one another" (in Aramaic) (see previous post by the Boss of Digest). The rest is just beauty shots of this and that from the New Testament, done in a reasonably authentic fashion, but actually not having too much power at all. Which is weird, considering that I love trailers that don't shoot their mouths off, and that this story, if any, ought to have been stirring. Mel, Mel, those Braveheart trailers were quite a bit better.

But no matter; I'm there the first day this opens - because, really, there is nothing even remotely resembling this on the horizon, folly or not. That is, until Lars von Trier decides to make his own DV Dogme version of the, uh, dogma.

posted by Vladimir | 1:09 AM


Thursday, January 15, 2004  

VAN HELSING

MUST EVERYTHING NEW BE STREAMING MEDIA???

So: from the people who brought you The Mummy--wow, these accents are cheese-a-rific, y'all. Is Jackman going for Dutch or British or what? I can't really see much more than "Wow, the movie looks pretty cool... are those effects going to be that sketchy in the finished version?" More when the trailer HITS QUICKTIME, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:58 PM
 

STARSKY AND HUTCH

Eh. So Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller... together... they fight crime.

Eh. I guess they thought that if Wes Anderson can make them seem great, a random remake of a Seventies TV show - done up to actually seem like it was made in the Seventies, except for the one bit where everyone seems to be clean here, not greasy and sweaty like it was in the good ole 1975 - can make them look cool. And you know what? No matter how many times they thought "this is going to be so awesomely campy" during the making of it... This makes it seem like the joke was on them.

posted by Vladimir | 4:51 PM
 

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

And now, a movie the Bundys might like. A high school senior gets a crush on the titular neighbor, since she lives next door, and she's also kinda titular... And then she's very sexually mature and actively makes fun of his rampant libido and... God, how dare they use Under Pressure as trailer music... Never mind that... Anyway, the girl turns out to be a porn star, and just when Kelly Bundy might start to giggle, the Kid Protagonist says "You deserve better than this" or some such tripe, and random videotape viewings and encounters with sleazebags from the porn world ensue.

There are about three things wrong with this. First, porn is not something that's necessarily bottom of the ladder anymore - it's a highly regimented industry that makes over a billion dollars a year, the last I checked. Second, I've always found girls who had been hugely sexually experienced and managed to stay sane afterwards to be quite wise about the ways of the world - not that I want to glamorize any of that, of course, but a whore is a more interesting conversationalist than a nun, aside from everything else. So, I thought this might be a ditzy comedy that has something to say about America's huge libidinal repression, the main reason we have both porn and the Christian Coalition. Apparently, this is taking a much safer, dimmer approach to its one-two punch concept.

Oh, yeah. The third thing. Elisha Cuthbert? Has a waist. You know, a nice, narrow, slim waist. Pornstars, on the other hand, however emaciated may be, for some reason never do. Go figure.

posted by Vladimir | 4:40 PM
 

SPARTAN

All right, people. Top reason why David Mamet rocks? ...Because he's the greatest living American playwright? Because he can write and direct those Chinexe box-type thrillers like there is no such thing as Gary Fleder? Because he's the lord of ensemble acting?

(/Smeagol voice): No.

Because he always, always uses Ed O'Neill.

And how can you not like Ted Bundy as a dead-serious FBI agent, time and again? How can it not be a level of gilding that pushes a movie into brilliance? Spartan looks to be more of the same Mamet I hugely respect - and this time, it apparently makes a number of valid points about the society and the politics of the times we live in. ("Courage Is Irrelevant"? "Loyalty Can Be Deadly"? Is this how a major studio movie can even be promoted in Dubya's time?) And since the trailer actually starts with a hefty sequence featuring dear old Ed, it's a compulsory download to boot.

posted by Vladimir | 4:24 PM


Wednesday, January 14, 2004  

JERSEY GIRL

You know, people, Kevin Smith is so what Peter Jackson could have become. A self-taught geek from a small community, raised on B-movies, comicbooks and whatnot. And all I can say about it right now is... "phew".

I mean. Look at this. A charming romcom about Ben losing Jen at childbirth, but the Child of Bennifer is so cute and precocious that his life still has meaning. Cue that old guy who gave blowjobs for hitchhiking fare in Jay and Silent Bob, and now plays Ben's dad, for some "hilarity" involving beer. (You should see me taking care of little childrenses using beer as aid.) Cue Liv Tyler as a "nerd" who gets a crush on Ben for being a perfect dad. Cue Liv and Ben repeating their rehearsals for the Smooching in Space Shuttle Engine scene in Armageddon, surely the hugest product placement scene ever. Cue Vlad singing Mr. Cellophane in his perfect Croatian translation as he waits for this predictable tripe to be over. In two minutes and thirty one seconds they gave away the entire plot, and those three of you who are still left wanting more can wait for this to resurface on Apple, because you really don't need the Yahoo streaming crap, not ever, and certainly not with this.

posted by Vladimir | 2:06 PM


Tuesday, January 13, 2004  

BLUEPRINT

Another report from Gunther: "Iris Sellin is a world famous pianist and composer. She's seriously ill from Multiple Sclerosis but she wants to have a daughter who should inherit her musical talent. She convinces a scientist to clone her. Her daughter (aptly named Siri) grows up and also becomes a gifted piano player but without knowing that she is a clone. Only years later it is revealed to her and the public that she is a clone of her mother. This puts Siri into a major crisis. Both roles, mother and daughter, are played by Franka Potente (of 'Run Lola run' fame). An interesting film that mainly deals with the problems of one's own identity/narcissism and - to a lesser extent - the possible consequences of gene technology. The trailer gives a good impression of the subject of the film, so if you're interested, download it. [Now playing in Germany.]"

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:19 PM


Friday, January 09, 2004  

DON'S PLUM

I am a bad person with an unkempt inbox. From Gunther, a week ago:

"Later in the month a film called 'Don's Plum' will be starting in (a few) 'selected' theaters in Germany. I don't know if you are familiar with the story of the film (I certainly wasn't until last week). About eight years ago someone shot a few (mostly improvised) scenes with some young, unknown actors. If I understand it correctly, they just wanted to make a short movie but the plan never came to fruition. As it turned out, two of the young actors were Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire and as you can imagine the owner of the scenes tried to make a few bucks with the young superstars. Next, everybody sued everybody. Some documents can be found at the Smoking Gun. Finally a compromise was found: The producers are allowed to show the film outside the US & Canada but not in those two countries. I know in times of digital data transfer that usually means that everybody can get it over the Net (so you might have seen the complete film already)."

Personally, I remember seeing about three seconds on Access Hollywood, running in the background of a segment on the lawsuit. Everyone's pretty much forgotten about it over here--just as they want us to, I suspect.

"But in case you have not and you are interested, you can have a look at the trailer. (More info here.) The dialogue is translated into German. It's just talk about dates, love, sexual preferences, etc. As far as I can see the film is not very interesting, but thanks to the lawsuit the producers have an excellent (sort of) marketing tool. But I don't think a lot of people will watch it. I read two reviews. Neither one could explain why the actors sued (doesn't every actor have a few film-corpses in the closet?) nor why someone should watch the film (except die-hard fans)."

Seriously. I still can't figure out why this movie was such a big deal--so it's a bad little indie movie. They're spending a lot of energy on keeping people from seeing it, when I can pretty much guarantee you no one over here would go see it anyway.


posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:09 PM


Saturday, January 03, 2004  

CATCH THAT KID

Now IMDb doesn't list Estella Warren as appearing in this at all, so it must be - gasp! - little Kirsten Stewart in that red dress. Not that she's not the main star of this movie anyway, but I can't believe how estellalike she is in a few shots. Other than that, though, it's a stupid ripoff of stupid Spy Kids, avoid at all costs, and I should honestly be working.

posted by Vladimir | 6:09 AM
 

TAKING LIVES

Dammit. Can't get the trailer to the new lesbian Yog Sothoth movie to load. And even if I did, I'd have to FedEx the inner 3-y-o away to Alabama before I watched it. So I settle for another Angelina Jolie movie. In which she's a psychic investigator working on a strange murder case and snogging Ethan Hawke and the killer takes many identities and it's probably Kiefer Sutherland and whatever.

You know what's snerky? The new Avid editing gag. Forget ramp-ups in film speed - the thing to do apparently is to isolate a portion of the scene and have it running on while the rest of the shot freezes. Not that it helps, of course - but it's something we'll probably see a lot more of these days.

posted by Vladimir | 5:48 AM
 

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

This is cute! says my inner three-year-old. It has Jude Law and Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow and it looks like a prewar comicbook combined with manga and it's a lot of silly campy fun! Well, yes, but it's also a De Laurentiis production in the best vein of Flash Gordon, and I am not really sure that it will work at all. Does look nifty, though - stylized in the way Rocketeer ought to have looked. Also, people? Rerender that CGI. The concepts are nice, but they sure look fake.

posted by Vladimir | 5:07 AM
 

13 GOING ON 30

For some reason, all my friends here in Crapatia got hooked on my Season 1 boxset of Alias. And even some who haven't seen it yet... started dying their hair bright red... it's just random and weird. So anyway, whilst searching the net for any news of the yet-to-materialise Season 2 box, I stumbled upon this: another installment in the What Jen G Did During Her Series Filming Break. Last time it was Daredevil and Catch Me If You Can, and this is... Uh.

An age-swapping comedy.

Like everything that was out back when I lived in the US in the late Eighties, up to and including Big, and like Freaky Friday, so it's very dodgy. But you know what? Jennifer can play silly in her sleep, and she's quite unpretentious and sweet here, as a 13-year-old trapped in the titular Body of Thirty. And it pains me to have to admit that, but since I'm regularly accused of being a three-year-old girl trapped in a 33-year-old man's body - seriously, you guys - this is apparently this season's Fluff for Me.

And it has Garner interacting with the one and only Andy Serkis! At such a tender age, too! I'm very gigglingly excited, what can I say.

posted by Vladimir | 4:43 AM
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