Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Quickie Trailer Update

There's a third featurette for Aliens Vs. Predator online over at apple.com. They also have the trailer for De-Lovely up (finally).
If you need 'em, there's also direct links for the third trailer for The Village on the official site and for Open Water (in Quicktime, finally!) over at yahoo.
Over at cinemovies, they've got trailers for the korean creepfest Two Sisters and for crapfest You Got Served.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Tons of Trailers!

OK, so I got lazy and only did one trailer update this week. Deal with it, my friends. I'm lazy and this might be the best you get from me.
There are trailers for The Burial Society, The Terminal, The Door in the Floor, The Agronomist, and Mr. 3000 over at apple.com. You can also grab that Terminal spot from dreamworks.
Doesn't catch your fancy? Try out the international trailer for Spider-Man 2. Sweet, huh? If pop international pop music is more your flavor, take a gander at Carzua. If crap is more your cup of tea, Uwe Boll's latest Alone in the Dark might be for you (the first trailer is also here). Muggles might prefer this spot for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on warnerbros.com. If you're still in the sleepover set, Sleepover might be your ticket.
If you're in the mood for French film, try Les Fils du vent or Ma mère on for size.
If you need your Japanese trailer fix, there's spots for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Big Fish, Dawn of the Dead, Brotherhood (aka Taegukgi), King Arthur, The Passion of the Christ, and the latest trailer for Spider-Man 2 over at apple.jp.
Hate quicktime? You can always get a taste of A Sliiping-Down Life an Open Water over at yahoo.com.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Rambling, Incoherent Kill Bill Vol 2 review!

I loved this movie.
Simple words. Direct. To the point. But it hardly conveys how I feel about this movie, and about the two film series in its totality.

When last we left Uma Thurman's Bride, she was done with the first two names on her To Kill list and working her way toward the titular reckoning with her former employer/paramour Bill (David Carradine). After disposing of Vernita Green and O-Ren Ishii, she still has Budd and Elle Driver to deal with before she can move on to the main event, though.

To say that this movie is a love letter to exploitation cinema is an understatment. Tarantino is a fan, first and foremost. He liberally thieves from those who blazed the trail before him, but he does it out of adoration for the medium.
I like movies. Hell, I'd say I love movies. I own a couple hundred on DVD. Tarantino's love goes FAR beyond that. I'd venture to guess he dreams in technicolor.
The man can communicate in scenes from other movies, painting with a vivid pallette of film moments. That's the magic of his work in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill. None of it's really anything you've not seen before, and yet it all feels brand new.

There's nothing original about the story of an person left for dead seeking revenge against those who have wronged her. Hell, some people consider the revenge film a genre of its own.
The Bride's journey crosses genre and cinematic convention at will, the reality of her world a skewed landscape of martial arts, spaghetti westerns, exploitation and sheer badassness. Coupled with the director's nonlinear approach, the viewer jumps into the significant events of the Bride's life, beginning with her death at the hands of Bill and his Deadly Viper Assasination Squad.
As we know from Vol. 1, the Bride survived getting shot in the head. But, we hadn't seen WHY she ended up on the wrong side of Bill's pistol. Or, how she became the deadliest woman on earth. Or, for that matter, we never quite caught her name, as they continually bleeped it out.

Honestly, the name isn't that big a deal or reveal. It's just one of those little touches that Tarantino embellished the movie with to add a slight air of mystery. It makes the Bride a nameless engine of death and destruction. Which is exactly what she was in Vol. 1. In the conclusion, however, she becomes fully human again. We see why she walked away from her life as a jet-setting international assassin. We see her new life in the smiling faces of her wedding guests. We see her hard heart and resolve melt when confronted by her living daughter.

Most of all, we see the great love between the Bride and Bill. There was a bond between them that neither even tries to deny. However, in spite of that love, things were done that can't be undone. Not that Bill is gonna lay down and die. If anything, the knowledge that one of them must die makes Bill even more dangerous.
Bill is a coiled snake. He named his DiVAS after venoumous reptiles for a reason. And the presumption that you're ever safe with him will be your last.
David Carradine's performance in this movie is outstanding. Sure, the guy's a geek god for Kung Fu. But, he shows a charisma and presence that few have EVER shown onscreen before. Bill is a bigger badass than Chow Yun-Fat. He dominates the screen as well as Clint Eastwood in his heyday. And he's as seductive and charming as Lugosi in Dracula or the Connery Bond. I've never thought much of Carradine, though I've liked a lot of the stuff he's been in. I hereby renounce any and all bad things I've ever said about the man. He rocks. (By the way, his half-brother Keith also whupped serious ass this year on HBO's Deadwood.)

You fuck with Bill to your regret.
You underestimate Bill, and you're dead.
Simple. Direct. And primal.
But, of course, not nearly that neat and compact. Bill DOES love The Bride. And he believes in actually giving her a chance. He's not fighting fair at all...but neither is she. Their honor only goes so far...

If there's one thing I could have wished for in this movie...it would have been more time spent watching The Bride and Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). The relationship between the two characters was much richer in the script, and I sorely missed a few bits of explanation and foreshadowing that ended up on the cutting room floor.
Speaking of outtakes...stay through the credits. ALL the way through. There's a wee little out of character moment for you to enjoy.
At this point, I'm super-stoked for a super-deluxe DVD release with oodles of cut scenes and extras and commentaries and cool shit. After all, DVDs are candy to movie geeks. And as King of the Geeks, QT should be handing out the best swag. Until then, I think I need to see the movie once or twice more before I'm done in the theater. I'm a happy boy, yes I am. And I've got this movie to thank for it.

Monday, April 19, 2004

FINALLY! A trailer update!

There's a new trailer for Troy online in Windows Media, but really...it's nice.
If you like remakes a bit more...check out the latest look at Stepford Wives over at moviephone, and for The Manchurian Candidate over at yahoo.
Threre's also new trailers for Bobby Jones Stroke of Genius, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, De-Lovely, I, Robot, Dodgeball (yeah, I know, ANOTHER one...), Noi, Love Me If You Dare, Lost Boys of Sudan, Two Brothers, Napoleon Dynamite, and a featurette about I, Robot over at apple.com
If that's not enough...there's a trailer for Chicken Little over at movielist, a trailer for Anacondas on yahoo, the first look at The Terminal on the dreamworks site, a trailer for Miyazaki's latest, Howl's Moving Castle, on cinemovies and some crappy Windows Media trailers for Sacred Planet, Super Size Me, and Mr. 3000 over at yahoo.

Punisher Review!

The inevitable march of Marvel Comics properties to the silver screen continues with Jonathan Hensleigh's directorial debut, The Punisher. Me, personally, I'm waiting for a Son of Satan movie, but that's just me.
Personally, I'd like to say that the Punisher is quite possibly the weakest character that comics has to offer. The idea of the character is so two-dimensional it hurts. An ex-special forces guy (Marine recon in the comics) hunts down and kills criminals because his family got massacred. Loads of depth there. Yup.

Brought to life by Thomas Jane, the movie's Frank Castle is a man who already lives with regrets. As an ex-soldier and undercover FBI agent, he's uprooted his family time and time again and spends little time with his son. All that's about to change, though. He's finished his last undercover assignment and he's going to take a desk job in London.

One small wrinkle in his plan. The son of filthy rich money launderer Howard Saint (John Travolta) got killed in Castle's last bust. Keep in mind that Frank didn't pull the trigger. The Russian mob did. BUT...Saint and his batshit nutty wife, Livia (Laura Elena Haring), hold him responsible anyway. To say they hold a grudge is an understatement. They send a small army to Puerto Rico to wipe out the entire damn Castle family at their family reunion.

Frank watches his family die, and survives with the help of a local crackpot named Candelaria who might be into voodoo. He moves into a grimy tenement building occupied by characters from Garth Ennis' "Welcome Back, Frank" storyline from the comics. You've got Jane, a mousy waitress (Rebecca Romijn, who despite being a drop-dead gorgeous supermodel is believeable as a woman whose been too many bad places in her life), Spacker Dave...oh, wait...they just call him Dave (Ben Foster, who is actually quite good in spite of the fact that I desperately wanted to hear him say "SPACKER DAVE") dammit, and Mr. Bumpo (John Pinette, who is woefully miscast...too young and plays everything for comedy instead of letting his character be the sad, pathetic loser he was meant to be).

Pretty soon, Castle is at war with the Saint family and the Saints are calling in out of town talent because their right hand man Quentin Glass (Will Patton, whose moustache in this just screams "Macho, Macho Man...") can't seem to handle it. First they get Harry Heck (Mark Collie), a country singin', guitar pickin' hitman from Tenessee. When that doesn't work, they call in the Russian (Kevin Nash) , a ridiculously HUGE bruiser who beats the Punisher like a whole family of red-headed stepchildren.

Thing is, though the movie seems to be a cobbling together of lots of Punisher moments, there doesn't seem to be a lot of coherence in the movie. Considering that Hensleigh has previously been a screenwriter, you'd think he'd notice this. The villains don't think. The Punisher doesn't feel. And at the end of the movie I really just wish I'd seen a story.

Besides the weakness of the story, the score in this movie is quite possibly the most grating, annoying shit I've heard on film. I was begging to hear the nu-metal shitfest "soundtrack" album by the time the movie was done. Whoever Carlo Siliotto is, I want his head on a platter.
One last bitch...
If you were mourning the death of yer wife...even if she were an utter cutie like Samanta Mathis...

...wouldn't you still forget all about that whole vengeance thing if you had a neighbor who looked like this???

Friday, April 09, 2004

New Spider-Man 2 Trailer

The new trailer went up overnight on apple.com. Here's a link to a .zip file of the fullscreen version. It that's too much, here's a link to the merely large version.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

New Kill Bill Vol 2 Trailer

New trailer for Kill Bill Vol 2 over at yahoo.com.
The second trailer for Van Helsing in French? It's at cinemovies.fr.
Over at apple.com, there's trailers for Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring; The Mother; and a featurette on the creatures of Alien Vs. Predator.
A couple extras floating around: Shall We Dance? and The Merchant of Venice.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Another Day, More Trailers

There's new trailers for Around the World in 80 Days, Raising Helen (ick), Thunderbirds (identical to the earlier Yahoo link), The Ringer and Garden State (identical to the moviebox link) over at apple.com.
There's also a pair of TV spots for Kill Bill over at themoviebox.net.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

A Fistful of Reviews

I've put off reviewing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for good reason.
It's rather difficult to quantify. Or to expalin in simple terms.
Under Michel Gondry's direction, Charlie Kaufman's script breathes vibrant life into the inner turmoil we feel when a relationship goes awry. From there, it takes us on a journey through memory and perception to reveal truths about the human condition and what love really is.
Joel Barrish (Jim Carrey, looking sad, disheveled and trod upon) is coming off a bad relationship and heads out to the frozen beaches of Montauk in a fit of desperation. There, he meets Clementine (Kate Winslet), a free spirited girl with day-glo hair. The two of them strike up a conversation, kind of sort of maybe hit it off, and in a roundabout way end up falling in love.

Cut to a year later, and things aren't so good. Clementine and Joel had a fight, and Joel finds out she's had all of her memories of him erased at a business called Lacuna, Inc. Joel decides he wants Clementine out of his head, but changes his mind mid-procedure and can't wake up. So, he decides to hide his love for her deep in his memory where the Lacuna technicians can't find it.
If this sounds like a load of horseshit, you're really missing out on one of the most insightful movies I've ever seen. To explain any more would give too much away. Dammit, like I said...it's hard to quantify this movie.

Touching the Void was really sold to me on the strength of its sparse, tense trailer. I'd never read the book, knew next to nothing about the story and really didn't know what to expect.
Needless to say, Hollywood cannot come up with a story this wild, fraught with peril or amazing. No one would ever believe it.

Two English mountain climbers set out to conquer an untouched peak in Peru. Bad things happened. Really, really bad things.
Director Kevin MacDonald mixes interview footage with the real participants along with dramatic recreations filmed both on the actual mountain the climbers travelled to and on location in the alps. Nature is a mean, nasty bitch and there's a reason why I don't climb up mountains.

This film is one of the most harrowing tales of survival I've been exposed to, and I know for a fact that my ass would NOT have gotten off that mountain alive. If you don't get a chance to see it in the theater, get out and rent it June 15. And prepare to cringe.

If you look at any movie news sites at all, chances are you've seen gushing hype about Hellboy. Everyone at CHUD loved it. AICN seems eager to collectively suckle on Guillermo del Toro's manmeat. There's so much damn love for this movie, you'd think it would immediately set records.
Well, it's good, but it's not THAT damn good.

Based on the quirky indy horror comics by Mike Mignola, super genius, Hellboy manages to capture most of the essence of the comic without being able to match its stark, chiaroscuro artwork.

The titular hero is a demon captured by Allied forces at the close of World War II and raised by a super-secret governemnt agency called the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Joined by a number of highly trained government operatives (read: cannon fodder) and a pair of fellow freaks, Abe Sapien (a fishlike humanoid played by Doug Jones and voiced by David Hyde Pierce) and Liz Sherman (a pyrokinetic, angst-ridden girl played by Selma Blair).

Once you wrap your mind around that, you have to accept the plot: Nazi holdovers from WWII and Rasputin are attempting to summon demonic tentacley things to earth to lay waste to mankind. Hey, it's based on a comic book. Just accept it and move on.

Honestly, this movie begs for a sequel. If not only to flesh out the characters, to flesh out the universe they inhabit. You're forced to take a lot on face value, and it's gonna be difficult for the majority of the moviegoing public to get it all. Fanboys, on the other hand, might have trouble controlling themselves...much like the dorktron who was sitting to my right at the showing I went to.
So, get on it, Hollywood. Sequel. Yesterday even!

Walking Tall is not a movie for people who think. Or expect plot. Or care about acting.

It's a loose remake of the hicksploitation classic. With the Rock.
If you need to know more, this ain't the movie for you.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Trailers, Trailers, Trailers

Links for White Chicks, De-Lovely, Thunderbirds (which now officially looks like full-bore crap), and Two Brothers.
Plus, there are a couple webisodes from Spider-Man 2 up on apple.com, including footage from Comic Con, a featurette on J Jonah Jameson and a featurette on James Atcheson, the designer of the Spider-Man Costume (There's a fourth webisode on the way).