Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring* Movie Preview, Part 3

*Yes, I realize we're well too soon for Spring, but calling it a "Winter" preview doesn't seem right either. I'm learning to make my peace with it, and so should you.

Previously: Part 1, Part 2

Movie: Cop Out (Kevin Smith)
High-Concept Synopsis: Bruce Willis and Tracy Jordan Morgan do the buddy-cop thing in Kevin Smith's first directorial effort from someone else's script. Seann William Scott, Adam Brody, Guillermo Diaz, and Rashida Jones co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Hardcore Kevin Smith fans. Grizz and Dot Com. Park Slope residents who may have seen them filming a scene from this movie at the Mexican restaurant around the corner.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Casual Kevin Smith fans who would have no idea he directed this, given the marketing. People who have come to the frequently observed conclusion that this is one of those fake Tracy Jordan movies from 30 Rock, like Fat Bitch and Honky Grandma Be Trippin'. People who might have given this a curiosity peek if it remained under its old title, A Couple of Dicks, but now are not interested, thank you very much, MPAA.
Why I'd See It: I wrote the preceeding entry before the whole Southwest imbroglio, so allow me to amend: FAT FATTIE FAT FAT JORTS OVERHANG TOO FAT TO FLY TWITTER AIRPLANE FAT. February 26

Movie: The Crazies (Breck Eisner)
High-Concept Synopsis: The residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa start going catatonic, then murderous, then ... maybe zombiefied? Whatever it is, it's not good news for non-crazies Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the 1973 original by George A. Romero eager for an updated take on it. Fans of the booming zombie-or-zombie-adjacent genre. People looking forward to seeing Timothy Olyphant in a sheriff's uniform, however blood-spattered it may be.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fans of the 1973 Romero original who are indignant about a remake and would rather wait for Romero's next pale imitation of Dawn of the Dead. People weary of the zombie genre and who don't feel The Crazies falls far enough away from the trend. Publicists for the farming equipment industry who don't like the looks of what that crazy-eyed hick is doing with that thresher.
Why I'd See It: The Town Gone Mad is a fine trope to explore for a fun Saturday night of horror, and this looks like a promising enough entry. Plus Timothy Olyphant! I tend to enjoy him. February 26

Movie: Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton)
High-Concept Synopsis: The classic Lewis Carroll tale gets the Tim Burton treatment -- which, at least these days, means Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and color saturation to the point of diabetes -- and an update. Here, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is 19 years old, returning to Wonderland, and trying to unseat the Red Queen.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Burton's latest "adapting potentially freaky original works" phase. Alice fans who think they've found the perfect match to helm a feature film in Burton (and Depp). Folks intrigued by the MPAA rating addendum that cites "scary images and situations, and a smoking caterpillar."
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People worn out by the manic-cartoon trend Depp has been riding hard lately. Alice and Through the Looking Glass fans offended by the wonton mishmashing of characters, storylines, and bobbleheaded Helena Bonham-Carters. People who hate walruses and/or carpenters
Why I'd See It: I can't say I'm 100% confident that this won't be just as messy as Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which it closely resembles. But the Alice story is rich with possibility, and Anne Hathaway is in it, and I do think Mia Wasikowska is a huge upcoming talent. March 5

Movie: Brooklyn's Finest (Antoine Fuqua)
High-Concept Synopsis: Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Don Cheadle do the hardscrabble/possibly-corrupt cop thing in my favorite NYC borough.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the last Fuqua/Hawke team-up, the 2001 hit Training Day. Fans of The Wire so desperate for gritty cop drama that they'll turn to Richard Gere. People looking to get ahead on the Wesley Snipes comeback story, as he's got a supporting role.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who burned off all their Fuqua goodwill on Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, and Shooter. Fans of The Wire too busy hectoring other people to see it and rank it #1 on any number of lists to go to the movies. Manhattanites.
Why I'd See It: I feel like this got good notices at some film festival or another last year, but honestly? Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Antoine Fuqua aren't exactly going to get me running. March 5

Movie: Green Zone (Paul Greengrass)
High-Concept Synopsis: Matt Damon plays a military intelligence type who stumbles onto a conspiracy of faulty intelligence or something or other. Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, and Amy Ryan co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: People who would have seen The Hurt Locker if it starred anyone whose name they knew. Fans of the last two Greengrass/Damon team-ups, The Bournes Supremacy and Ultimatum. U.S. Senators who think watching a movie about fabricated intelligence in the ramp-up to war will balance out that they voted for such a war.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Non-fans of the shaky-camera genre. People who remain uninterested in movies set anywhere close to an area of the world the U.S. is currently engaging in military action. Members of the Bush administration.
Why I'd See It: I've grown to like Paul Greengrass as a director quite a bit. And I love Matt Damon, though I doubt this will be much of an actor's showcase. I wonder if The Hurt Locker has set the bar for this kind of movie too high, but Green Zone looks to be far more of a political thriller. March 12

Movie: Remember Me (Allen Coulter)
High-Concept Synopsis: A brooding angry young man (Robert Pattinson, obvs) falls in love with pretty, quirky Emilie de Ravin. She eats dessert first! And her father is the cop who beat up R-Patz! Meanwhile, R-Patz's dad is a powerful and bellowing Pierce Brosnan.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of ROB ROB EDWARD R-PATZ TEAM EDWARD EEEEE! Fans of director Coulter's TV work (he's directed episodes of The Sopranos, Damages, Rome and other fantastic-looking TV. People who have somehow not seen this exact story told in a thousand ways before.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Kristen Stewart fans ready to cut this bitch from Lost for usurping. Non-Twilight fans who might not entirely buy Pattinson as a growling tough guy. People rightfully angry that Lena Olin and Martha Plimpton have been callously omitted from the marketing.
Why I'd See It: It honestly looks pretty rough, and the prospect of watching Robert Pattinson and Pierce Brosnan get their angst all over each other is not so appealing. March 12

Movie: She's Out of My League (Jim Field Smith)
High-Concept Synopsis: A dweeby airport security screener (Jay Baruchel) happens across a totally hot blonde (Alice Eve) and they pursue an unlikely relationship. Can a "10" and a "5" really make it work? No, really, that's the thrust of the marketing. (Mike Vogel, Krysten Ritter, Kyle Bornheimer, and Jessica St. Clair co-star.)
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the Judd Apatow subgenre who see a familiar actor (Baruchel) and plot (hot chick dates loser). People who liked Baruchel in Tropic Thunder. The handful of people who saw Starter for 10 and have an OCD need to see Alice Eve make the leap, as co-stars James McAvoy, Dominic Cooper, and Rebecca Hall have done.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who have seen the underwhelming trailer, filled as it is with tired bro gags and a predictable plot. Principled folk who refuse to support a film that is attempting to make "moodle" (man + poodle, get it??) happen. Equally principled folk who refuse to support a film in which Mike Vogel apparently remains fully clothed throughout.
Why I'd See It: I'm torn! I am happy that my decade-long support for Jay Baruchel has finally paid off in a leading role in a movie. He was so good in Tropic Thunder, too, so he's definitely deserved it. If only the movie that has resulted looked better than this. Kyle Bornheimer and Jessica St. Clair look passably funny, and Mike Vogel's fine even with his clothes on, but I've maybe had my fill of The Emasculated Man as a subgenre. March 12

Movie: Repo Men (Miguel Sapochnik)
High-Concept Synopsis: In the near future, artificial organs are plentiful (but still no jet packs, probably), so long as you can make the steep payments Big Organ. If you can't, Repo Men (Jude Law and Forest Whitaker) come a-calling. Until the day Jude needs a replacement heart ... and can't pay it off. Liev Schrieber, Alice Braga, and Carice van Houten co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of futuristic sci-fi action. Fans of Jude Law, who hasn't looked this charismatic in a movie in a long, long time. Fans of co-writer Eric Garcia's Matchstick Men, which was, like Repo Men based on one of his novels.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who find the whole premise to be a bit too silly. People freaked out by Forest Whitaker's lazy-eyed, low-key demeanor. People already too depressed by the current economic climate to watch a movie where our internal organs are being foreclosed on.
Why I'd See It: From what I've seen, the film is more interested in darkly comedic sci-fi action than in making heavy-handed parallels to These Troubled Times, which is a good thing. I'm also not lying when I say Jude Law hasn't looked this appealing on screen in a long, long time. I'm ready to start obsessing over him again. Let's make it happen, Repo Men. March 19


Alice said...

I'm very upset about Alice in Wonderland. I was excited about it, until I saw a trailer, and realised that IT'S NOT ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

If it was called "Return to Wonderland", I'd be all over it. The return to a famous story thing has been done before, and can be great.

But it pisses me off that they've created a whole new story using well known and beloved characters, and then used the title of the original work, without acknowledging that it's not the story viewers are expecting.

And Tim Burton needs to stop using Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. I like them all individually, but I'm so tired of them together.

MattPatt said...

I'm still very confused by Repo Men -- is this in fact just a non-musical version of Repo! The Genetic Opera? (Which, by the way, don't watch, it sucked big time.)

Joe Reid said...

Alice, I get the annoyance at the bait-and-switch, but I wonder if the particulars of the story are really the draw for people. I mean, between the Disney version, the book, Through the Looking Glass, and that weird TV-movie version with Carol Channing, I kind of have no idea which version of the Alice story is the real one anyway. I think what the viewers are expecting boils down to trippy visuals, certain iconic characters (a Mad Hatter, a white rabbit, a Cheshire cat, an angry Queen), and a girl heroine named Alice.

Rbelle said...

"Jude Law hasn't looked this appealing on screen in a long, long time"

By "long, long time" I assume you mean "since Sherlock Holmes"? Because just the previews from that movie were enough to revive my crush and give him at least two years worth of good will.

Joe Reid said...

You know, I saw "Sherlock Holmes" and I liked Jude Law in it, but I never quite landed on "helloooooo, Jude Law" like I have with the Repo trailer.

Roommate Mark said...

Hi Joe,

Here are two reasons I will see "Repo Men."

(1) The Jude Law hotness factor. I returned to "Hey Jude!" territory when I saw his smokinghotness on display in Hamlet. "Sherlock" did not soothe my appetite, so now I am hungry for more.

(2) This movie looks has echoes of "Minority Report," which is good.

Kirk Hamilton said...

I am gradually separating Repo Men from "Repo Man," but it's taking time.

Hopefully at no point in the new film will Jude say, "The life of a futuristic organ harvester is always intense."

Actually, that'd be kind of hilarious.

I'll probably see Alice just for Mia Wasikowska - I totally agree that she's an incredible talent. She gave probably my favorite performance from either season of In Treatment.

And I hadn't heard about The Green Zone - sounds interesting! I thought that the Bourne movies got better from 2 to 3, so a film with Damon and Greengrass and a bit less of the visceral actionyness could be really cool.

Pillow Fighting Fanatic said...

If they added Ethan Hawke to the cast of Repo Men, couldn't they just call it Gattaga 2? I mean, Jude Law and Liev Shrieber in a futuristic movie? It is really is Gattage 2 right? They just renamed it... right?

par3182 said...

films i thought would be brilliant when i heard tim burton was directing:

planet of the apes
charlie and the chocolate factory
sweeney todd
alice in wonderland

films that weren't brilliant:

planet of the apes
charlie and the chocolate factory
sweeney todd