The Losers (2010) – in your face, over the top

As long as there are comic books that haven’t been adapted (or adapted successfully) to big screen, we’ll be regularly  assaulted with over-the-top, self-aware, tongue-in-cheek, archetypal, good vs. evil, paper-thin stories. Most of comic book culture revolves around fallen heroes, and every once in a while a movie is made that perfectly translates that comic book tone into a film. Everything is life or death, everyone has a specific role, nothing is as it seems and almost nothing has any consequence or logic. On a rare occasion, an action film can successfully subvert tired cliches. The Loses manages to do that, keep a straight face with its characterization, and still look good in the process. It’s just fun to watch.

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Inception (2010) – a new frontier in filmmaking

Here’s a great infographic for Inception that actually manages to explain the movie’s multiple layers. It does so visually, and with a geometrically impossible object – which is the in-joke, of course. The film spends so much time establishing the rules of its universe, as it begins to observe some characters break those rules, the point of following them seems kinda … moot. And yet, with all the underused elements in it, and the obligatory shoot-out in act 3 – I still strongly recommend you watch it. Why?

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Dennis Hopper RIP; thanks for Easy Rider, man

“For a brief moment there, there really seemed to be an independent film movement. Then it was over.” That’s how Dennis Hopper has described the unexpected and massive popularity of his 1969 movie Easy Rider. The little fill really did come out of nowhere and established Hopper, Peter Fonda, and a very young Jack Nicholson as the ‘fresh new faces to watch’ in the movie industry. It cost less than $500k, and left behind so many changed lives, a couple of generations who have been on the brink of a new way of thinking. The kids needed a little nudge, and Easy Rider was that tiny last straw.

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Machete – from fake trailer to real movie

You remember those fake movie trailers in Tarantino’s Grindhouse? A couple of them played just before the first film, and a couple more – during the intermission. Looks like one of them is being made into a real movie – Machete with Danny Trejo. This is either another sign of the looming apocalypse (you know, it’s officially the end of the world when Hollywood runs out of ideas), or just a hilarious ‘idea becomes concept, which becomes product’ cycle, which makes sense – and money. After all, The Colbert Report was originally a promo for a non-existing segment. It became a show.

Anyway, Danny Trejo is filming it, and according to IMDB, most of the people that were featured in the fake trailer are involved in the actual movie. Lohan, Seagal, De Niro, Johnson, Alba, Rodriquez. Seemed like a hilarious stunt-casting at the  time, but now you can actually see a plausible (and immensely enjoyable) film in there. Hope Robert Rodriquez (who’s directing it) will get all the creative freedom he needs. Here’s the trailer, enjoy:

Greatest 9,331 movies of all times

For the past 9 years (yes, it’s nine, not a typo), Brad Bourland, 58, of Austin, Texas has been rating/reviewing movies. He’s got 9,331 so far, and wants his site readers/visitors to help him complete it to a nice, round 10k. Obsession, hobby, or just another slick marketing ploy? Visit his site, read up on the … hobby

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At the Movies is canceled

Disney/ABC is pulling the plug on the popular ‘movie-critics-going-at-each-other’ show in August. It lasted 24 years. As far as I know, At the Movies died when Roger Ebert lost his voice in 2006. Yes, Gene Siskel’s death in 1999 was a big blow to the show, but the two of them have been doing it so long between ’75 and ’99 and knew each other so well that Ebert was able to continue the legacy of intelligent, informed, entertaining arguments about the state of cinema. He had a tough season with rotating guests in ’99-’00 (Kevin Smith and Richard Roeper were my personal favourites). Roeper stuck around for a few seasons as a second chair to Ebert, but the last few years were a big mess. ABC/Disney tried to put in Ben Mankiewicz and Jeffrey Lyons , but  got horrible reception, bad ratings, and people just didn’t like them. Besides, what the hell happened to Roeper? Pushed out?

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