April 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
Pain and Gain is exactly the kind of movie that stands to lose the most money due to illegal download. Its core audience makes up the core illegal download populace. I bet Pain & Gain will be at the top of the most downloaded movie of the year list, as well as most money lost due to illegal downloading.
Michael Bay had to have been aware of this during the process. There is no way this was an overlooked error. Some sort of missed calculation? It cost just 26 million, that’s what it cost to storyboard Transformers. No this was a gift from the benevolent Michael Bay. To his fan base, the dudes and bros just like him. So while they sit at home on their computers watching his movie, he doesn’t have to worry about how much money hes losing on the front end. This film solidifies him with his base, and they will support him in the primaries, Transformers 4, by being first in line at the midnight showing at every IMAX 3D, digital 3D, or regular 2D screen in the country.
This was a brilliant move by Bay and it keeps him sharp and gives him a more rounded character. It will be interesting to see how the physicality of this Pain and Gain affects how he tackles Transformers 4. There have already been reports quoting him saying as much. Suggesting that there would be something different about the next film in the saga.
I think this weak weekend says as much about Bay as it does about his fans. Not only his fans but the movie going public in general. They want big loud action fests, on the best speakers and on the best screens. They want to be wowed, and it looks like they will be this summer. However, the fact that this small film by Bay is not doing well right now can mean two things, the first being that the average movie goer can tell the difference between a small movie that they feel will be entertaining to them or not. We have seen this time and time again, this year and last, and in 2011 and every year before that. People go see the movies that are marketed in such a way that it appeals to their sensibilities, and not so much which actor happens to be starring in it.
This also means that this kind of action dark comedy genre film is better left to the ranks of horror, and that means cheaper is better. I like the 5 to 15 mil range for something like this if it comes from a studio. The right indie project could do big numbers in this genre.
But that’s kind of the point. This is an indie for Michael Bay. And how much it grosses doesn’t matter, It’s just a heavily priced commercial for Michael Bay’s brand, along with its two stars, Wahlberg’s main fan base his action movie dudes, and The Rock’s main fan base is Wrestling fans. I think that’s a cross section of fan base, Wrestling, Action Movie, Michael Bay movies, and illegal downloaders. The studio takes a hit, but they will recoup in the long run, they always do, and it’s a gift to Bay for the billions.
– W.B. Preston
- Musclebound Mayhem In Pain & Gain (eventful.com)
- Download Pain & Gain Movie US Digital Millennium Online Streaming (brownkatty8.wordpress.com)
- Weekend Box Office: “Pain” shows few gains, “Big Wedding” is a bust (rogersmovienation.com)
- Pain and Gain Review: A Roided-Out Crime Movie (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Movie Review: Pain and Gain (cwtampa.cbslocal.com)
- ‘Pain & Gain’ Reviews: Should You See Mark Wahlberg On Steroids? (hollywoodlife.com)
- Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg Talk PAIN AND GAIN, G.I. JOE 3, and the Prospect of a G.I. JOE/ TRANSFORMERS Crossover (collider.com)
- Michael Bay’s ‘Pain & Gain’ – What Did You Think? (slashfilm.com)
- Download Pain & Gain Movie Online Hd/dvd/ipod format Online Streaming (oblivion2013.wordpress.com)
- Movie Review: Pain and Gain (cwpittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
January 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
For those of you that have not heard the rumors, and I can not imagine that there are many people reading this who have not, JJ Abrams has been selected to helm the first installment of the new Star Wars Trilogy. Lens flares a side for a moment, I can not honestly say that I am surprised. I knew they would choose some one established with a strong foundation in Hollywood and entertainment, and, with regards to George Lucas, comparatively young. JJ is experienced and hungry for what has proved elusive in his relatively short feature film career, a huge money-making, crowd pleasing, all four quadrants, billion dollar hit. The aims of this joint venture between Disney and Abram seem to jive in terms of final product. He is a commercial filmmaker, Star Wars is a commercial product, I get it. But I suppose I was hoping for a little more innovation. Something to really make us say wow. And by ‘us’ I mean we in the geek community who follow these kinds of insider behind the scenes comings and goings. The majority of the people who will watch this film, the very same people Disney and all other major studios hope to market to, have no idea who JJ Abrams is. We, the film/sci-fi/ fantasy/ comic book fans are the only ones that actually care who makes this film.
We care because damn it we love it. It’s more than just entertainment, or a product. We love it for different reasons. Some love it because of the light sabres, some find the heroics thrilling, others love the characters, and others love the comedy. Some find the morals and philosophies (especially in the original trilogy) to be thought-provoking and worthy of further exploration outside of the films themselves. For whatever reason we love Star Wars, it has nothing to do with money.
So where does that leave us? Michael Arndt is writing it, which is a cause for celebration, and JJ, supposedly, is going to direct. I guess my only concern is will there be the kind of moments in the film that will make us love again. Obviously these films are for children and merchandising is a large driving force behind these, and most, blockbusters. But what is largely lost when you start with a toy and try to build a story or franchise or film around that toy, is soul. You get this soulless, film by committee, corporate, scientific, algorithmic, commercial masquerading as a film. There is no heart or warmth in a story whose characters were never loved by their creator. Just a prepackaged, previsualized, simulation, the story, the characters, the setting don’t matter because the kid watching his favorite cartoon is going to have the toy flashed in his eyes a million times before the movie premiers. Then he’s gonna go to the store and his mom is gonna buy it.
And I like JJ, it’s a fine choice, I’m sure he loves Star Wars just as much as the rest of us. He will deliver a fun adventurous rollicking movie, that we will all enjoy. But will it have soul? Will it have life? Will it have heart? I still hope so.
- JJ Abrams to Direct Next Star Wars Movie (newser.com)
- J.J. Abrams Directing ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′? (screenrant.com)
- J.J. Abrams: ‘Star Wars’ Director? (justjared.com)
- J.J. Abrams to direct next Star Wars film (thetimes.co.uk)
- J.J. Abrams will reportedly direct the next ‘Star Wars’ film (theverge.com)
- ArtsBeat: J.J. Abrams to Direct Next ‘Star Wars’ Movie (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Reports: JJ Abrams to direct next ‘Star Wars’ (sacbee.com)
- Film: Newswire: Today in Star Wars rumors: J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars after all (avclub.com)
- Report: J.J. Abrams Will Direct The Next Star Wars [UPDATE] (kotaku.com)
- J.J. Abrams to direct next ‘Star Wars’ (bizjournals.com)
January 3, 2013 § 2 Comments
Its 2013, and with another year of movies behind us we decided to list our favorite 10 films of the year past. First up honorable mention.
Chronicle and Cabin in the Woods.
These two genre pieces began the year off with a bang, along with another movie we will get to later on down the list. Chronicle feels like an inevitable entry, a cross between the contemporary trend of superhero movies and found footage, shaky cam, first person perspective movies. An interesting first film from Josh Trank, a fresh eye definitely enhanced this cautionary tale of youth and power being a disastrous combination.
Cabin in the Woods deconstructs the horror genre beautifully while at the same time being a more than competent entry into that genre. It’s hilarious and gruesome, while at the same time providing a commentary on the 30 plus years of fans whom flock every year to watch teenagers die painfully. Perhaps fulfilling some sort of fantasy of middle aged men watching ungrateful teens full of life and vigor unappreciative and unworthy of such endowments. Some say it announces the death of the genre, I say it announces the rebirth.
And on to the ten.
#10 Cloud Atlas
The idea is wonderful, the imagery is gorgeous, the music is sublime, the acting serviceable, the direction workman like, the script is ambitious to say the least. Taken altogether unfortunately it does not quite fit. My favorite section is the bit about the music being written by the great Ben Whishaw, which I think could have been a film unto itself, obviously with the inclusion of his past and a bit more about his love affair. I found this portion of the film hypnotic and wondrous, and I was upset every time we were torn away from it, not unlike being torn away from a lover, when all you wish to do is hold them in your arms. And this brings us to my main issue with the film. The inter-cut narratives send us hurdling through space and time every few minutes. From a slave ship in the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic jungle colony, and back to a 21st century nursing home. I love every segment differently and for separate reasons, and I feel like a lot of people loved individual sections of the film, and had we been able to stay with that character, latch on to that conflict, hold on to that lover for just a bit longer, the film would have been embraced by many more viewers. But alas, we must make do with what we have, and what we have is an ambitious, epic, serene film, that reminds us we are watching a movie every few moments rather than allowing us to get lost in the whole affair.
#9 The Raid
Nonstop action. I don’t want to sound like a poster quote, but wow, what beautiful chaos. An astounding feat was pulled off right beneath the noses of the movie going public. Also something that has not really been available to mainstream niche audiences. A film that mostly only die hard action/cinema (cinephile- I hate the term) fans have seen, and did not crossover to general audiences. This film was not hijacked by popular culture, to feature on some fraternity nitwits t-shirt. (No axe to grind here) The Avengers are cool now. Let me say that again. It’s cool to be a fan of the Avengers. Obviously talking about them incessantly isn’t going to get you laid anytime soon, but the fact that the girl you are hitting on has more than likely seen the movie and knows who Tony Stark is makes my point. I remember a time when only true geeks knew what an Avenger was and we were a tight nit community. My digression is not without a point, The Raid is kind of a niche geek film that not many people have seen, or will likely see. Yet it’s phenomenal, and dare I say, a better genre exercise than said Avenger flick, for my money any how. The two films have much in common. Cliche video game story lines, and goofy dialogue. You can watch both with the sound off and you won’t miss a beat. But The Raid articulates its genre with vision and preciseness, maybe a luxury a small film has that a large blockbuster does not. It serves the blockbuster to paint with large strokes, film making with a hammer, The Raid is image capturing with a scapel. The result is a kick to the head.
#8 Project X
An instant classic. The Party movie of all party movies. Yet there was a strange reaction from my generation of film fanatics, they claim to have hated it. They say its a hipster movie or a bro movie or some sort of perversion on the party film. No it isn’t. Its the eventuality of Animal House, Bachelor Party, PCU, Old School, Superbad. Those films made a promise, and that promise was Project X. The film delivers on all fronts, its literally about nerds throwing a party and trying to get the girl. They get the girl, they throw the greatest party ever, and they suffer the consequences. The fact that it’s found footage only serves to tie it to this generation, to the youth of this time even more. I said it before, it is my opinion that if this movie had come out in the 80′s, obviously with the caveat of changing social mores and language to fit the time period, my generation, the same people that claim they hate it, would unabashedly love this film. So do yourself a favor, sit down, have a few drinks and laugh your ass off as you watch this movie.
Whoa. This movie kept catching me by surprise. Just when you think you’ve got an idea what is going on, it flips your idea over on its head. It didn’t shatter any ideas that came before it, but it takes all of those ideas and takes a long hard look at them and reconstructs them into something you’ve never seen before. It’s a visceral experience, one that is at the same time painful and joyous. You get the sense the characters are folding into one another, as the story folds into itself. It’s a heady, complex, sci fi, action, coming of age story , with western sensibilities and a dose of mob drama. If that doesn’t pique your interest, stop watching movies. This is why movies exist.
#6 Moonrise Kingdom
His movies feel like dreams, and this one the most lucid of all. A dream of young love, of first love, unjaded and ignorant of the truth, juxtaposed with the jaded, faded love of yore. Burnt out love that perhaps once resembled the young love at the center of the story, now a distant memory. Love becomes a prison to escape from with secret midnight trysts with a mistress. But before all of that, before the fighting and crying and pain and resentment, you were young once, and in love. This is that dream. Try to remember why you fell in love in the first place.
Breathtaking cinematography, and harrowing imagery puts this film here on my list. I don’t care that some of the plot lines go unexplained or explained away in a silly matter. You have never seen Sci Fi this big, on this scale, in this way. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone but monster aliens fighting each other on an alien world is awesome. Period. And when it is captured with such a keen eye it literally takes your breath away. It might be silly, but it’s never stupid like an Event Horizon. It takes great care to keep you invested and interested and never misuses your trust. The last thirty minutes is batshit but it at least has the decency to bring you along for the ride. I will watch this many times.
#4 The Master
“You tell me what you think this movie is about.” might just be the theme of the year. Some dislike the ambiguous nature of the films that have been coming out as of late, I saay there’s room for a bit of ambiguity. Let the audience think for themselves a bit. It won’t hurt them. This movie however requires the audience to do a lot of heavy lifting, although both principle actors do quite a bit of lifting themselves. It’s not about any one thing, how could it be? It’s a journey into the self, or selves of the principles involved. Including PTA. Why would it have a pinpoint thing its about. Does life? What’s a flower about? I sympathize with bewildered audiences, sitting there in the dark watching this movie, waiting for a story, or a conflict, or a purpose. If your looking for any of that here, you’ll be searching for a long time. Go watch the Avengers, plenty of that in there. It’ll tell you exactly what it’s about, over and over and over again. You know, I forgot to say something.
#3 The Grey
More Ambiguity. Why live? Why die? Why fight? Why give up? Why do anything? The film asks these questions, more subtly than I, and its answers lay in the viewer. A strangely quiet and introspective thinking man’s action flick. It glides and drifts like snow, in and out of light. There are truly terrifying scenes of horrific violence and pain, but this film is constructed in such a way as to never let us take death for granted. Its unflinching and unwavering gaze on death put chills in my spine, not for the images on the screen, but for the thoughts roaming in my own head. Watch it in the dark if you dare, but you won’t fear the wolves. What can man do?
This movie takes all that is Bond, and turns it up a few notches. It borrows heavily from the blockbusters and action flicks from the last decade, all of which owe there very existence to the Bond series, and rolls them into one gorgeous package. It’s sleek, it’s stylish, it’s shot with perfection, and it’s cool. Really cool. Too cool in fact, it winks and laughs along with the audience, and it never misses a beat. The third act is problematic, but everything else is so sumptuous it doesn’t even matter. I love this movie. It confronts Bonds past, blows it up even, making a statement for this being the definitive Bond. Which it is.
#1 Django Unchained
I was worried about this one. The subject matter, the controversy, Foxx and DiCaprio in roles I never would have chosen them for, yet now I have trouble seeing anyone else in those boots. Tarantino’s masterpiece. It tackles controversy by spitting in its face, and laughing. Kill your past, it cries, in blood. Unchain yourself from your burdenous history. Be becoming, always. It’s not only stylish and expertly crafted, its hilarious, and never holds any punches. This is one Tarantino has wanted to make for a long time. Cool, calm and collected, it never betrays history, yet it captures the sentiments of the now. Yes this was a terrible time in our nations history, terrible things were done to people because of ego and pride, but can we not rise above it? Can we not behave as civilized people? Even if our ancestors could not? Let us learn from the past and leave it there, not be shackled to it like Prometheus, allowing our painful histories to gnaw at our hearts forever more. He blew himself up too, which was pretty awesome.
- Best Films of 2012! (theeor.wordpress.com)
- Top Ten Movies of 2012 (bizarrocentral.com)
- More Details on THE RAID Sequel and Cast Confirmed (geektyrant.com)
- 2012 in review: 10 movies to see – or see again (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- ‘Avengers’ Voted ‘Most Overrated Movie of 2012′; Cronenberg on Comic Films: Not High Art (screenrant.com)
- Top 10 Movies of 2012 (Vikki Myerscough) (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Dave’s Top 10 Films of 2012 (collider.com)
- Top Movies To Look Out For In 2013 (screencrave.com)
- The 4: Favorite Movies 2012 (cwtampa.cbslocal.com)
- Nordling’s 10 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2013! (aintitcool.com)
September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
I haven’t done a review for a while, because I’ve been thinking about my format and how I want it to look, and what I want to say. I suppose being honest is the best way to go.
I saw Prometheus on opening day at the IMAX. I followed all of the marketing for the past two years, leading up to the release, looked at all the pictures, watched the trailers over and over again, and was way over hyped for it. I was looking forward to it. As the film began I remember thinking that I was experiencing something that I had not experienced in many many years. A film was actually delivering on its promises. The cinematography is gorgeous, the 3D is prevalent but not gaudy and in your face. The effects are breathtaking and masterfully rendered, the score is engrossing and meandering, and the acting is honest and for the most part ‘unhammy’. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and by the time Shaw is having the surgery I was wincing and gagging but smiling from ear to ear. This was disgustingly satisfying. And as we all emptied the giant IMAX theater I left thinking that everyone leaving with me had just had one of the great movie going experiences of our lives. Boy was I mistaken.
Much to my surprise the majority of the people hated it. Had I missed something? Did my cinema I.Q. drop sometime between walking into the screening and walking out? How could I have had the exact opposite reaction to a film than seemingly everyone else in the world? And it was not just the general movie going public that I disagreed with, it was critics and cinephiles, and film geeks just like me. Was I wrong? Was the feeling in my heart, that child like feeling that Prometheus had given me, was that somehow wrong? This had never happened to me before. Usually if a movie is bad but I still enjoy it, I will admit that it is not really a good movie, and I can understand the majority of the world hating it, but I still enjoy it for my own personal reasons. But this is not the case with Prometheus. It is technically well made, in every aspect, and the script is clear cut and efficient. No fat, no extraneous storyline or overreaching themes. Its a straight up Science Fiction horror film. Some kind of strange Frankenstein monster in reverse. And I love every minute of it.
This past weekend I showed my girlfriend the movie for the first time. (She dodged it while it was at the theater, she thought it looked too scary for her). But i finally got her to watch it, and she said she really enjoyed it and thought it was scary, which is what I thought she would say. But then she provided some interesting analysis. She said she did not like how Holloway died. She said he should have lived until the end and sacrificed himself to save Shaw. Is this the answer? This tiny bit of subverted story telling? Is having the “love interest”(as sparingly as the love story is utilized in this film) die too early and in an unromantic and quite startlingly abrupt fashion the reason that this film was so criticized and poo pooed as light summer blockbuster fluff? Obviously many people have cited the many many questions raised by the film that go unanswered, to whom I say this is a movie not a text book, either you enjoy it and go for the ride or you don’t. The fact that the storytellers chose not to explicitly define every cryptic moment and spoon feed us every answer to every question should be celebrated, not derided. I suppose my question is if it had ended in this more conventional way, would general audiences have enjoyed the film more? I still think the film is spectacular and looks gorgeous in Blu-Ray, and I marvel at the achievement accomplished by everyone involved. I think history and public opinion will change on this one upon repeat home viewings. FRONTROW
- James Cameron Talks ‘Prometheus’ & ‘The Avengers’ (screenrant.com)
- ‘Aliens’ Director James Cameron Reviews ‘Prometheus,’ Tried To Buy Rights To ‘Jurassic Park’ (slashfilm.com)
- PROMETHEUS – 10 Minutes of Deleted Scenes (geektyrant.com)
- Fox sets early window for ‘Prometheus’ (variety.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ Blu-ray To Feature Nearly 15 Minutes Of Footage Deleted From Ending (slashfilm.com)
- Prometheus, thoughts… (cubicgarden.com)
- Prometheus 2 Is Happening (gizmodo.com.au)
- Prometheus puts the Giger back in Alien (kamikazeearth.com)
- Damon Lindelof On ‘Prometheus’ and Marketing in the Digital Era (screencrave.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ DVD/Blu-ray Deleted Scenes Revealed (screenrant.com)
March 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
John Carter Review
By: W.B. Preston
First off, let me say I did not go into this movie expecting to like it. Quite the contrary. I thought it was going to be bloated, poorly plotted and ridiculous. Instead I got a well plotted and paced, fun action adventure. But while not quite bloated, John Carter is dense. There is no getting around it. There is a lot of information being thrown at you, in a short amount of time. At the end of the first act, the audience is asked to juggle three separate Martian factions, multidimensional beings, John Carter’s nephew, and the meaning of the relationships between them all.
The gist of it is this: there are two humanoid warring factions, on Mars, and one tall green species that hates both humanoid sides. The Red Humans have a Princess, the Blue humans have a Prince, and the multidimensional beings have given a powerful weapon to the Blue humans and the Prince, for no other reason then that it is easier to control the Blue (dumber) humans then the red. In order to make peace, the Red King will marry off his daughter the Red Princess, to the Blue Prince. John Carter winds up in the middle of this when he is whisked off to mars by one of the multidimensional being’s transportation device. He is captured by the tall green Martians and must navigate this tricky ecosystem in order to survive and eventually make his way home. He learns customs, languages, religions, and Martian History during his adventure. Yes I know this sounds extremely convoluted and messy, and in many ways it is. However In some crazy way, Andrew Stanton and his team have streamlined all of this information into a two hour, action-packed, blockbuster.
By no means is this a perfect movie. There are many terrible dialogue choices, and Taylor Kitsch is terrible in this. In fact I would venture to say that John Carter would have been even better without John Carter. He is the weakest link in this film, followed closely by the screenwriters, most notably the dialogue. But even with all these missteps (critique of the marketing to come) this is one of the best experiences you can have at the movies. The 3D was nonexistent, but I urge you to engulf yourself in John Carter through the IMAX experience. It truly is something to behold.
What lies at the center of this movie is love ultimately. A love for a father, a love for a daughter, a love for a nation, a love of power, a love of freedom, a love lost and everyone vying to obtain the object of their love. In the end, what you love, defines who you are, what your actions represent and what your fate shall be. There is a powerful message buried somewhere deep in the muddied dialogue and bloody skirmishes. Unfortunately, it seems many people will not get the opportunity to find the message for themselves, due to the terrible marketing.
The marketing for this film is criminal. Seriously. Whoever is responsible should be taken to court and tried for crimes against cinema. Punishment should be to watch every movie ever made until death. The strange thing is, it is so simple. The marketing should have focused on the Princess! Her struggle to save her kingdom, and find her place in this world, and John Carter’s ability and unwillingness to help her. That is all they needed to convey, and everyone would have gone to see it. Instead they decided to go the non-plot route, where we see a bunch of random shots of jumping and walking and mugging, and then the title card. Andrew Stanton should be furious with Disney‘s marketing department. In the end this movie gets a 3/5. Slightly lower than Avatar but way higher than Prince of Persia or Clash of the Titans, And a seriously fun time at the movies.
- John Carter Review (thevisionaryfilmfanatic.wordpress.com)
- ‘John Carter’ – What Did You Think? (slashfilm.com)
- Willem Dafoe, Andrew Stanton, and Dominic West Dish on Their John Carter Journey to Mars (popsugar.com)
- Now Playing: John Carter (towleroad.com)
- John Carter – Movie Commentary (monsterscifishow.wordpress.com)
- John Carter – a review (couchslobs.com)
- ‘John Carter’ movie director sticks to sci-fi roots (mnn.com)
- Movie Review: JOHN CARTER (geektyrant.com)
- ‘John Carter’: Creating Woola, lizard-dog Lassie of Mars (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Hollywood Marketing Efforts: The Curious Case Of John Carter (reelseo.com)
February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
New Spider-Man trailer, with a few new scenes.
February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
Could be fun.
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – First Footage from the Film Revealed! (geektyrant.com)
- Seth Grahame-Smith: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 2′ is a Possibility (screenrant.com)
- Watch the First Footage from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (dreadcentral.com)
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (quarterquell.wordpress.com)
- Abraham Lincoln Running with his Vampire Hunting Axe (geektyrant.com)
- Take a Look Inside Our Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Image Gallery (dreadcentral.com)
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (disclose.tv)
- ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Images: President with an Axe (screenrant.com)
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – 5 More New Images (geektyrant.com)
- Honest Abe Has An Axe To Grind In These Stills From ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER!! (aintitcool.com)