Monday, July 9, 2012

JACK REACHER


     "There's this guy, he's the kind of cop, least he used to be, doesn't care about proof, doesn't care about the law...he only cares about what's right..." If this quote were part of a Jeopardy answer I'd go with the question: Uh, what is EVERY fucking cop movie EVER made, for four hundred, Alex?
     Well, wait now, you know, come to think of it, I am pretty damned sick of those movies where the cop is always checking back with headquarters and the D.A about whether he has enough evidence for a search warrant... and making sure the perp is always Mirandized properly, calling in the interpreter if the guy doesn't speak English, making sure not to make any off-color remarks about women in front of his female partner...I want a cop who JUST DOESN'T CARE! One who might just bust a few heads and tear some knee ligaments... and damage rotator cuff or two, one who argues with his captain that he just needs a little more time, AND shoot a mad-dog stare at that Internal Affairs guy who's always poking his damned nose into everything....one who's not afraid to dole out a little street justice for a change...


     Man, this is good stuff.  Don't be stealing this stuff, now.  I got it all written down here on this blog with a date on it and that's more than enough for a copyright.  So back off, man.


I mean it.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

TOTAL RECALL


Recommend: yes

     Why would some stuffy trailer critic who is supposed to not like anything recommend a reboot of some other good movie from 1990?  It might surprise some that this film geek does not mind remakes all that much.  I picked up this idea from someone a while back and I wish I could remember who suggested it, but remakes of films are a little like recasting Hamlet every year or so, or any other Shakespeare play, back in the day. Of course, in those days they could not preserve great performances like we can now, so the material had to live on in the form of new casts and new actors, bringing the material to new audiences.  I really don't see why it should be taboo to remake films, good, bad or mediocre.  Just remember that you better have bowling balls in your boxer-briefs if you plan to re-lens Citizen Kane starring Brad Pitt.  You screw something like that up and you are fucked and far from home, bro.
     Sometimes a retelling can freshen up the idea and put new eyes on it.  It probably works best when someone takes an older film that had a good idea but didn't quite flesh it out.  I think Scorsese's Cape Fear is an example of that.  John Carpenter's The Thing is a more complete version of the older film, and I think Peter Jackson's King Kong is actually better than the original, and not just because of the effects, although Kong is much more compelling with the aid of the new technology, but only in the sense that he is able to convey more emotion, and that's ultimately what film is about.  
     This version of Total Recall looks like it is based on the previous incarnation but they still both draw from the Philip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.  Naturally the effects look great, taking obvious inspiration from another Dick-inspired film, Blade Runner.
     Sadly there are a couple moments where Collin Farrell is punching bad guys in the helmet, and I think he even punches a damned robot in the face.  Should this blog-post survive the decades to a time when robots actually are running around loose, kids, do not punch a robot in the face with your bare hand.  You will have a broken hand.  It's just good science.  So, check this one out, and check out the Paul Verhoeven version with Arnie, and compare and contrast, and see what you come up with.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DJANGO UNCHAINED









Recommed: Yes, dammit!


     What, are you kidding me?  Guess where most of the blood in my body rushed to upon first viewing of this trailer?  That's right, baby, nothing but straight-up tumescence down there in the groinal area.  No one does cool revenge movies better than Quentin Tarantino, and this one has all the ingredients from the git-go.  Christoph Waltz as a German-born bounty hunter teaming up with a slave to help him put some assholes in the ground?  What's not to like?
     Although I gotta say, if the words "A Brett Ratner Film" had appeared anywhere on this trailer, I would kiss that erection goodbye (ah, were I only that nimble).  This is is the kind of dish for which you better know who the chef is before you sink your teeth into it.  
     Example: if my mother, an awful cook who once served a steak with the paper still attached to the bottom of it, told me she was making a cookie dough omelette...it would be a thousand times "no."  God no.  But if Mario Batali pulls the cover off of the same dish, I'm fuckin' in!  Same thing here.  I think we will be in good hands with this one.
     Nice touch at the end where Jamie Foxx is sitting next to "some guy" at the casino telling him that the "D" is silent in Django....for you non film-geeks that actor is the original Django, Franco Nero.  And he is looking pretty good.  Actually he looks like a mash-up of Oliver Reed and Dos Equis' most Interesting Man in the World.  
     Of course if Oliver Reed was The Most Interesting Man in the World his sign-off would probably be, "I don't always drink beer...sometimes I drink whiskey, scotch, gin, tequila, whatever is around, and sometimes I have to sleep so I can't drink at all."
     Anyway, release date: Christmas.  Perfect.  I don't think our lord and savior would have it any other way.  

THE TALL MAN




Recommend:  on the fence on this one

     So somebody is running around the mountain town of Cold Rock stealing people's children -- a man who is apparently above average in height.    This one has a bit of a Mothman Prophecies feel to it, which I found to be a creepy and fairly interesting horror flick, but things may run of the rails for this Pascal Laugier film because it's not really a horror film.  There was a very determined comment on the imdb page for this one reminding people that this is more of a thriller than a horror film, so take that into consideration when you head to the multiplex.  
     Another interesting side note, this one was originally called The Tall Black Man, and centered around an NBA star who was going around the country and actually leaving babies all over the place by impregnating legions of young women, thus, littering the streets with baby-mommas.  After a quick reworking by Laugier (who also helmed 2008's Martyrs) we end up with just a tall man of indeterminate race who is actually taking them away.  Whole different feel for this one.  
     And, hey, hats off to the cinematographer for getting Jessica Biel's lips to look the same color as her face in a lot of these shots.  That was weird.  And am I imagining things or did it look like this one was called The Secret in this trailer?  I always hate those super generic titles, The Tall Man is an odd title but it's better than The Secret.
     My completely blind guess as to why the children are being taken, you ask?  Probably revenge, must be a dad who's got some grudge against the town because his kid died or something and he feels like the town was responsible in some way.  I hope I am wrong cause that's kinda weak and I hate guessing these things right off the bat.  Like the time I saw M. Night Shyamalamamdingdong's The Village -- during the opening shot at the funeral, I just had a hunch that turned out to be right.   
     Well, if you go to this one, have some popcorn (with butter) mixed with some M&M's.  That's my favorite.