film

Winter Movie Spotlight 2014

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Winter is just around the corner. Or, if you live in the North like some kind of sucker, then maybe it’s already here. For YOU. Not for me. I live at the edge of the great American Southwest, where winter is like, “whatever, I’ll put on a jacket for a week, NBD.” Hahaha… you fucking people with your snow and your regret! It’s wonderful here! IT’S WONDERFUL!!! [cut to: A month from now, when Texas is buried under a freak snowstorm that makes the end of The Day After Tomorrow look like the location scouting reel from Tremors]

The point is, with the arrival of the winter months, the nation’s movie theaters begin to make transitions of their own. Gone are the days of exciting blockbusters that people actually WANT to see. Now is the time for important movies… PRESTIGE movies… movies that grasp for Oscars like a child reaching for a favorite toy that you are holding high above its head because you are a terrible parent.

Here, now, a look at the upcoming slate of winter movies that you have no real interest in seeing, because life is hard enough already without spending two hours of it watching people be miserable, but you will watch anyway because if you don’t, you will feel like a racist:

The Remembering Time – Rated PG

Several elderly people in a nursing home think back on their lives, remembering stuff from when they were young, and full of life, and music didn’t have so many swears in it. Everything is shot in sepia tones, because that’s how the audience knows it takes place in the past. Black and white film might also get used; the filmmakers haven’t decided yet. Anyway, everyone gets really bummed out and then somebody’s nephew shows up to play the violin, which makes everything worse because they can tell that he really doesn’t want to be there. The movie ends when all the main characters die. It’s just awful .

Rose’s Antique Handbag – Rated R (for explicit historical fucking)

Rose (played by Kate Winslet, though the character is not THAT Rose), embarks on a sweeping journey across Europe, Africa, and, budget permitting, Asia, to reclaim her antique handbag that once belonged to her inspirational and also empowering grandmother, also named, confusingly, Rose. High drama ensues when Rose discovers that the antique handbag has fallen into the hands of the Nazis, which is strange, as the movie takes place in 1997. Score by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer. Cinematography by Academy Award winner Janusz Kaminski. Nazi uniforms provided by that one closet at Warner Bros. Studios that’s full of Nazi uniforms.

It’s Horseshit That Gary Oldman Has Never Won An Oscar – Rated G(ary)

Gary Oldman, one of the finest actors of our generation, has NEVER won an Oscar. Isn’t that just totally horseshit??? What’s worse, he’s only been nominated for ONE GODDAMN MOVIE. That Tinker Tailor Solider Spy movie, which, okay, I’m sure it was FINE, but c’mon. Espionage in England or something? Whooooo caaaaaares??? But, of course, THAT’S the performance upon which the Academy finally decides to bestow their oh so fucking hallowed graces. Whatever. What fucking ever. Anyway, IHTGOHNWAO is just one 90 minute shot of Gary Oldman reading a menu from Applebee’s over and over in several different accents, and with varying degrees of intensity. It will break your fucking heart.

My Friend B.S. – Rated NC-17

One man’s crippling addiction to bath salts is explored via gritty, lo-fi film-making techniques, and also some unconventional casting choices. The main part of Terry…  the man struggling with his crippling need for terrifying drugs… is played by John Cryer, in a role that will surprise you. The part of his girlfriend, Joanne… the woman who selflessly helps Terry work through his addiction and get into rehab… is played by Tabitha from Tabitha’s Salon Takeovers, in a role that will surprise you. The bath salts are voiced, dramatically, by repurposed dialogue from a DVD of Beetlejuice that was laying around the editing suite. It’s mostly Michael Keaton stuff, in a roll that will surprise you. And him, too, probably, as he was not paid for his unwitting participation.

Mars – Rated PG-13

This is a movie that takes the viewer to the planet Mars, and shows what it would actually be like to live there. The first half is kind of hypnotically dull, as the Mars pioneers go about doing, you know, regular pioneer shit but with spacesuits. But then the last half is horrifying because a bunch of Martians show up and start disemboweling everybody. Tastefully, of course. The disemboweling is mostly implied. Mostly. What’s important is that the filmmakers invented a new kind of camera for this movie and it makes everything look like it’s actually taking place in outer fucking space. Technical wizardry, bitches. Gravity can suck our 70mm IMAX 3D dongs.

The Cuteness – Rated A Heretofore Undiscovered Rating That is Milder Than G

Carefully composed scenes of brilliant, troubled people doing twee, fussy things are all strung together to the music of Juice Newton, who is an artist we haven’t heard from in a long time, but is being brought back by the filmmakers because it’s cool to do that sort of thing, as long as it’s clear they’re being ironic. Everything looks perfect, and you get that it’s supposed to be funny, but you’re really only laughing because everyone else is. That guy a few seats down is PARTICULARLY into it. He has a neatly trimmed beard and some sort of tweed jacket thing going on. He looks smart. Yeah… this movie is SO smart.

Moshe Blumenthal: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story – Unrated

You may think that it is, at best, crass to sensationalize a real-life victim of the Holocaust’s story for the purpose of winning essentially meaningless awards, but… clearly… you’re unfamiliar with how bitching an Oscar looks on a small shelf above one’s cigar humidor. Yep… things are going pretty well. Thinking about optioning the rights to Anne Frank’s diary and tweaking it into like a Bourne Identity thing where she’s secretly an assassin or something. Pretty sure it’ll be the big summer hit of 2016. Iggy Azalea would make a totally badass, sexy Anne Frank, right???

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Summer Movie Spotlight 2014

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Summer is coming, and you know what that means…? Hot days! Steamy nights! Exciting mysteries to solve at a haunted beach! Is it a NUDE beach? MAYBE!!! Drop your trunks and find out!

But in between your sexy sleuthing and court appearances for public indecency, you’re going to have some time to kill. Why not spend that time comfortably embraced by the cool, loving arms of your local movie theater? It’s Summer Movie season!!! Blockbusters with loud explosions! Lots of rapid edits to confuse the mind into thinking it’s having fun! Antics! Here, now, a look at the most exciting movies coming up for the summer of 2014:

BattleTrucks 2: The Battling – Rated: PG-13

All your favorite BattleTrucks are back! There’s Crimson Wind! Inferno Blast! HipHop da Ethnically-Voiced!  Gary the Truck! And even that crafty old jalopy, Uncle I’m A Car. They’ve reunited to save the world once again from the villainous DMV Employee of Destruction, who’s trying to bring down society by rejecting ALL requests for novelty license plates. It’s guaranteed to be a truckin’ good time!!! Sorry, we meant to say “a fucking good time.”

Cousin Brothers? – Rated: G (for “good only if totally baked”)

Two cousins (played by Will Ferrel and Daniel Day Lewis) (…is that right…? Daniel Day Lewis is in this…? Really…? Oookay…) discover that they are actually brothers! Complicating matters, they’re BOTH up for a big promotion, because they work at the same law firm for some reason! Talk about sibling rivalry! TALK ABOUT IT. Or we’re not letting you out of the theater. Kate Upton plays Will Ferrel’s mom, because she has a couple of thing going for her that we think will sell a lot of tickets. Yes, we are talking about her boobs! Daniel Day Lewis won a lot of Oscars!!! He was so dope as Forest Gump!

Super Bowl Monday – Rated: Something

It’s up to secret agent John McAmericanName (played by the elderly, melting mass that was once Arnold Schwarzenegger) to stop terrorists from activating a weather machine that will create a thunderstorm SO dangerous, the NFL will have to move the Super Bowl to MONDAY NIGHT. This is a big deal, as the Super Bowl is traditionally played on Sunday, as will be explained in a lengthy pre-credits text crawl and again, halfway through the film, in an animated short done in the style of Schoolhouse Rock.

Itty Bitty Titty Committee – Rated: !

Michael Cera, Zach Braff, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, James Franco, and some other guys you think would be cool to hang out with, but probably aren’t, star as buddies who love those small-ass titties! But when one of their group (Frankie Muniz, in a sensitive turn) falls in love with a girl who has big-ass titties… HIJINKS ENSUE. The psychic pressure that results from his ostracization from his circle of friends is HILARIOUS, as is the heartbreaking feeling of loneliness that eventually consumes and destroys his relationship with the aforementioned big-ass tittied girl (played by an almost unrecognizable Johnny Knoxville).

The Frog Princess – Rated: Just, like, bring your kids or whatever. Nieces. Nephews. It’s fine. The movie’s fine.

We bought a cheap, Ukrainian animated feature about frogs or some shit, and then re-dubbed it with bootleg audio from a screening of Frozen. Despite the fact that you can hear an audience member with a wet, hacking cough throughout the entire film, it’s mostly just like watching Frozen. The final thirty minutes of the movie are just “Let It Go” on a loop.

Jennifer Lawrence Eats an Entire Can of Pringles – Rated: You Perv

JLEaECoP is nothing but America’s sweetheart, J-Law, eating an entire can of CheezUms Pringles over the course of an hour and twenty minutes. We’ve done our market research, and apparently THIS is what people want to see. Thrill as she eats the Pringles one, two, THREE at a time! Marvel as she checks her email on her iPhone! At the hour mark, Jennifer Lawrence appears to doze off… but she doesn’t!!! She was in Hunger Games!!! SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK set the bar!!! IT SET THE FUCKING BAR!!!

Explosion Fighters – Rated: BOOOOOOOM

An elite squad of explosion fighters… fighters that are trained to fight explosions… fight an enormous amount of explosions, while also fighting metaphorical explosions on the home front. These explosions come from car wrecks, refinery fires, infidelities, coal mines where the natural gasses are all backed up, divorce proceedings, space station disasters, martial-based space station disasters, nuclear plant meltdowns, Goddzilla attacks (NOT Godzilla attacks, due to copyright issues), and irreconcilable differences. Topher Grace stars, in a role that will surprise you (he’s Goddzilla).

Posterized

Posterized is a column where we (me) make snap judgements about upcoming releases using their movie posters as a guide. Enjoy.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Right out of the gate, fuck this movie poster for looking like concept art that Spielberg ditched from the last Indiana Jones movie. The one about aliens and refrigerators and making the hopeful child that lives tucked behind my heart take its own life by strangling itself with my superior vena cava. That’s the one I’m talking about. No one needs to be reminded of how that movie soaked our collective goodwill for a beloved series in hydrochloric acid and walked away, trailing money, laughing like a demon. It hurt then and it still hurts now. Fucking crystal skull swinging monkey Marion doesn’t even LOOK like Marion anymore bullshit.

But anyway, a new Transformers. Okay. I mean… you know… I like blow-uppity movies. Robots crashing around, whatever, you know? I’ll see that. Partly out of a duty to that dead, inner child and what he would have wanted, but mostly because, fuck it. Why fight it? I think this one has dinosaur robots in it… that’s pretty okay. Just take my money. Let me stare through 3D glasses at it and then go home, OKAY? Let’s not do this. Let’s not make this worse.

The Mule

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What, awesome, and gross… in that order. Despite the intestines looking very much like the mood slime in Dana Barrett’s bathtub moments before the attack, viewing this poster is like popping the corneas out of your eyes with a pocket knife and jamming diamonds into the wounds. Suddenly, you are seeing something flawless… something valuable… something rare. It’s all you CAN see. This  poster is a picture about a movie that explains said movie PERFECTLY without giving anything away.

In today’s world of one-sheets designed by salesmen and run mercilessly through the Photoshop sawmill, the poster for The Mule is a singularly pure design, executed like a goddamn major league triple play. BANG BANG BANG… we’re done here, and everyone is standing around, mouths opening, thinking, “what the fuck am I doing back in the dugout already???”

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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I like Wes Anderson movies, but I don’t love Wes Anderson movies. This is very similar to how I am not a “car guy,” but I do like having a car and being able to drive myself places. “Car guys” want cars that are PERFECT. Every line and angle of the body, every piece of mechanics hidden behind the panels and wheels and glass, everything. It all has to look JUST SO, and run JUST SO, and be orgasmically on-point.

On the other hand… while I appreciate that sleek piece of automotive pornography… I’m JUST FINE with having a car that looks like it was recently salvaged by the trash-removal crew from Hoarders. The interesting and non-standard stains give it character; the collected crud under the emergency break conceals breathtaking archeological secrets. French fries ground into the floor mat? THAT MEANS I HAVE LIVED, DAMMIT.

Wes Anderson movies are fancy, but also too fussy, is what I’m saying.

Stage Fright

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This is a slasher movie set at a musical theater summer camp.

If you do not know me personally, you should know that I spent the majority of my summers as a child/pre-teen/teenager at musical theater camps, learning songs and dances from shows like Lil’ Abner, 42nd Street, and Hello, Dolly!

You should also know that, in between the tech rehearsals and the cast parties and the spotlight-drenched dreams of being a chubby-but-I’m-sure-everyone-will-be-okay-with-that Broadway star, I watched every single slasher movie (as well as every OTHER kind of horror movie) my local video store had in stock.

SO… it stands to reason that… as I lay asleep at night… my brain has been sneaking out of my skull and penning a screenplay about all the things that make up its swirling, dorkish subconscious. Which I think is just great. I don’t even care if Stage Fright sucks. My brain wrote it, and I’ll love it because it tried so hard to make me happy.

The poster, by the way, looks like something featured on a giant clamshell case, propped up on the shelf by it’s own VHS, untouched on a 1994 video store Saturday night. Needless to say, I want to get a tattoo of it that takes up my entire torso.

Godzilla

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I am very excited about the new Godzilla. BEYOND excited. I want to throw my blood at this movie; mark it as mine, so no one else will want to see it. I want to ram a video cassette of the new Godzilla into my chest cavity like James Woods in Videodrome. IT’S GODZILLA VERSUS FUCKING HEISENBERG, FOR SWEET, TENDER FUCKS SAKE. If that doesn’t make your pop culture needle slam into the red as if the radiation clouds were swallowing us whole, then… brother… sister… what do you DO in your flavorless, gray, mushworld? Do you just sip tepid water in a wooden chair near a wall? Do you only focus on work and eat healthy and go to bed at nine o’clock, whether you’re tired or not?

SLAM YOUR HEAD ONTO YOUR DESK UNTIL YOUR SENSES ARE RATTLED CLEAN.

IF YOU’RE READING THIS ON A SMARTPHONE, USE IT TO POUND YOURSELF IN THE THROAT UNTIL THE ADRENALINE JUMPSTARTS YOUR HEART.

Movies like this are why movie lovers love movies. Get fucking excited.