Category Archives: Films
Thoughts on films that have gotten our attention (for good or bad).
While serving as a groomsman at the wedding of a long-time friend, casual conversation with your fellow groomsman evolved into an elaborate, comedic brainstorming session of hypothetical wedding plans for your future possible nuptials. Ideas put forth included the following elements: a luche libre mask, a Klingon bat’leth, a bouncy castle, chimpanzees, a multilingual officiant who speaks High Valyrian, and Danzig songs.
To the chagrin of your significant other, part of you finds the Klingon bat’leth idea intriguing and the Danzig music an interesting choice for the reception.
In an alternate universe, Roald Dahl did not enjoy the success of his beloved children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Instead, he wrote a dismally unpopular book called Charlie and the Horchata Factory, in which Willy Wonka’s golden ticket campaign is an attempt to unload his unprofitable horchata factory, thereby staving off personal bankruptcy and a looming labor strike led by disgruntled Oompa-Loompas.
You recently saw the film Pompeii, which you enjoyed mostly because of Kiefer Sutherland’s performance as a villainous Roman senator.
However, you kept getting distracted each time he appeared in a scene because you were consumed by the following thought as the trailer below played in a loop inside your mind’s eye:
“Jack Bauer is coming back… Jack Bauer is coming back…”
Upon seeing the trailer for the upcoming Robocop film, starring Joel Kinnaman of AMC’s crime drama The Killing, you are struck by one thing while sitting in that movie theater. It is not that this looks like it has a chance of being a fresh, inventive take on this tale (if the almost robot-ninja way Robocop looks and moves doesn’t ruin it). Nor is it the interesting cast that includes Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman.
No… you are struck silent by the stupefying question that a grown man seated behind you asks another, as a moment of quiet descends in the theater once the trailer ends.
The question: “Is that a remake?”
And with that, I present the trailer…
I have returned to you, Avid Reader.
Life is strange with many twists, which is a cursory (but true) explanation of my brief absence. However, “Ka is a wheel,” and I remain committed to this, our mutual journey through nerdom.
As such, I have brought you a movie trailer for a new psychological thriller starring Michael Cera as the creepiest person to walk the Earth…
Thus, I give you Magic Magic, or as I have come to think of it, George Michael Bluth: The Lost Years.
*May be disturbing for some audiences (And if it isn’t… then there is something wrong with you, sai)*
You have recently begun using the interactive recommendation program called “Max” on your Netflix streaming account, which suggests titles to watch by way of a programmed series of pithy voice-over prompts, saying things like, “I think you’ll really like this one,” or “Do you trust me?”
However, your interactions with this program have been frustrating, and have caused a few strange looks from those who have entered the room in time to hear you yelling things at your television, not unlike the following:
“Way to go genius! Why in the hell would I want to watch that person’s second stand-up comedy special since I just selected ‘Not Interested’ when you suggested his first stand-up special five seconds ago?”
The following short film, Jeg Med Døden (I With Death), is directed by Ross Murray (who I am proud to call “brother”) and stars Taylor H. Wright as “I” and Jordan Thompson as “Death.”
Upon viewing this film you may find yourself thinking of the 1957 Swedish film Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal) directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow as a knight of the Crusades who plays chess with Death for the fate of the knight’s soul. Thus, this three-minute video made me think the following thought:
In an alternate universe, Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal was written with humor in mind, and is considered one of the most astute comedies of all time.
Behold, Jeg Med Døden! *WARNING! This video may not be appropriate for all audiences.*
As your thirtieth birthday approaches, you find yourself feeling grateful that you don’t live in the society depicted in the 1976 science fiction film Logan’s Run, in which all people living in a hermetically-sealed dome structure in the future, must all undergo “renewal” through a process called Carousel when reaching thirty years old. A person’s age is visible via a crystal in the palm of the hand, which blinks red at the age of renewal.
Those who try to avoid renewal are called “Runners,” who are hunted down by a special police force, each member of which is called a “Sandman.”
Behold the sobering spectacle of Carousel…
Followed by the Sandmen in action.
In an alternate universe, the actor Peter Dinklage (best known as “The Half Man,” Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones) was born decades earlier, allowing him to beat out Harrison Ford for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV.
Not only does Dinklage successfully pull off the role due to genuine “leading man” qualities, but his physical stature lends itself to combat-related scenes in which he rides Chewbacca piggyback style, while shooting his blaster. This also occurs in Empire Strikes Back in the scenes with a dissembled C-3PO strapped to the Wookiees’s back in Cloud City, on the planet Bespin.
Harrison Ford still became a household name in the Indiana Jones films, though the fourth film in that franchise was never made.
You’re childhood enjoyment of the Captain Planet cartoon series lends itself to a surprising appreciation for the four-part Funny or Die comedic saga in which Don Cheadle portrays a rather insane Captain Planet.
Click on the links below to behold, what I like to call, The Downfall of Captain Planet…
A group of people you don’t know are conversing nearby, as you exit a building. You clearly overhear the phrase “lamb’s blood.” Though you are a bit alarmed at this phrase, and have no idea of the actual context of the conversation, part of you would find it amusing to approach them and interject the following:
“Excuse me, but you aren’t planning on killing a djinn by chance, are you? I only ask because in order to destroy that particular supernatural creature, the lamb’s blood needs to already be on the dagger or it won’t work. Also, it’s a good idea to have backup on hand as the touch of a djinn can render you incapacitated via psychic attack as it feeds off of your life-force.”
You have concluded that the following is the best way to describe the brilliant, twisted, comedic weirdness that is Michael Bay’s new film, Pain & Gain:
The film has the same sensibilities as the movie Step Brothers, if (a) the brothers had decided to become criminal “masterminds” rather that start a marketing company, and (b) it was based on a true story.
The characters’ behavior in both films are equally illogical and wickedly funny, except that if one of the characters from Pain & Gain told you, “Don’t touch my drumset,” it would be wise not to test them, lest you be wearing said drumset as a hat due to possible “‘roid’ rage”.
Having recently discovered this interview segment with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, on the “Pixarification” of today’s film industry (by which he means a trend toward appealing to “family friendly” audiences at the expense of the visceral, thought-provoking, grown-up movies of the 1970s). I thought I’d share his thoughts with you, my avid readers. What are your thoughts on the points sai Boyle brings up? Does his new film, Trance, meet his intended goals?
You are excited by the following trailer for Elysium, an upcoming film written and directed by Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame… and yes, Sharlto Copley is in it, too.
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 245 (or “Is that a terrifying, classic film villain on your TV screen, or are you just happy to see me?”)
The thought occurs to you that if your younger self from twenty years ago were suddenly transported in time to the present, the world would seem very both fascinating and a bit scary, just based on the fact that you have a digital video recorder that allows you to record high definition versions of television programs without a VCR, which you can use to fast forward commercials.
Furthermore, two of the television shows on your DVR are centered around terrifying film villains Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter, the latter being broadcast on a major television network, which bewilders your younger self even as it confounds your present self, considering that people once found shows like Married With Children and The Simpsons edgy and controversial.
Having read the first book and seen the first movie in the Twilight Saga, and loathed both with a passion, you have avoided the work of Stephenie Meyer and the subsequent film adaptations that have occurred. As such, when you first saw the trailer (provided below) for the film adaptation of Meyer’s supposed “science fiction” novel, The Host, you were shocked.
Why the shock? While you haven’t read the book, you have seen the film Bowfinger, a comedy in which a terrible director secretly films a famous actor without his knowledge in order to make a science fiction film called Chubby Rain, about aliens invading Earth via raindrops.
Thus, you exclaimed, “I can’t believe it… The Host is basically Chubby Rain being filmed for real!”
Behold, and judge for yourself.
Someone interrupts you while you are watching Vikings on the History Channel, saying, “For a second, it looked like you were watching Sons of Anarchy,” to which you reply:
“Actually, one could say that Norse Vikings were the Medieval equivalent of biker gangs… awesome beards and hair included.”
*Yes, I know, two consecutive Vikings posts. I couldn’t resist. I cry your pardon… a little.*
After you recently watched the R-rated teen comedy film Project X, about an out-of-control birthday party for a high school kid that devolves into a flame-ridden riot, you make the following comment:
“I began watching this movie thinking it was a remake of the 1987 Matthew Broderick film, Project X, about a secret airforce program that trained chimpanzees to fly in aircraft simulators. Boy was I wrong!”
To which someone tells you: “Obviously, you never saw this movie’s trailer… and you are probably the only person that even remembers that they ever even made another Project X in 1987.”
While you are viewing the film Shadow of the Vampire for the first time in years, you remember why this John Malkovich/ Willem Dafoe movie is arguably one of the best vampire films of all time… it’s equal parts creepy and hilarious. Released in 2000, this film presents a fictionalized account of the making of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s 1922 film, Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror). The version of events presented in Shadow of the Vampire has Murnau (Malkovich) hiring an actual vampire in the role of Count Orlock, telling lies to his cast and crew about his star being a “method actor” named Max Schreck (Dafoe).
What follows is perhaps one of the greatest examples of an egomaniacal director trying to control a difficult, uncooperative star… though in this case, the star is a bitter, ugly, centuries-old vampire who wants to eat the crew. Dafoe’s “Orlock/ Schreck” is what a vampire should be: dangerous, scary, evil-looking, and tragic. You find yourself repulsed by him, and yet sympathize with the sadness that permeates his immortal existence.
It is during this latest viewing, that you wish that they would make a prequel to Shadow of the Vampire depicting the agreement first made between Murnau and Schreck prior to making Nosferatu. You envision the film being shot much like My Dinner with Andre, in that the whole movie is a conversation between Murnau and Schreck about their agreement as well as their views on life, its meaning, and their life experiences.
After viewing the trailer for Shadow of the Vampire presented below, ask yourself: Who wouldn’t want to see such a prequel?
During a long phone conversation with an old friend, who often takes the opposing view to yours in a discussion, you find yourself defending the legitimacy of Skyfall as a Bond film, in which you go so far as to list reasons why it is perhaps one of the best Bond films, the talks break down when you make the mistake of mentioning the now-defunct Stephen King Dark Tower film adaptation. The impetus of the Dark Tower entering the conversation was your reaction to seeing two actors working side-by-side who were rumored to be considered for the role of Roland Deschain, The Gunslinger, at various times.
The final insult was when he refused to believe you (as he will not read the series, though you have and love each book) as to why Javier Bardem’s Spanish accent doesn’t fit the role of Deschain (the content of Wizard and Glass serving as that reason, in your opinion), and he kept calling the series’ protagonist by a long list of incorrect names just to annoy you even though you had said “The Gunslinger” at least six times.
It was a then that you realized that you react the same way to people making negative comments about The Dark Tower series, when they haven’t even read any of the books, as Marty McFly reacts to being called a chicken in the Back to the Future films