30 August 2012


We've got one more release date in August left, I know, but just for a junky horror movie, so let's hit fast-forward and take a peek at the year's wobbly transitional month, when the crap genre films that wouldn't fit in summer meet and mingle with the crap prestige films that aren't actually good enough for the real fast and furious part of Awards Season. Okay, that's not fair, and one of this month's prestige movies actually looks very prestigey indeed. But you get my point: September has, over the years, become another dumping ground. So let's sack up and dig in.


Terrence Malick's sixth feature, To the Wonder, opens at Venice. Nobody knows whether this means it opens anywhere else in 2012. But it will officially exist, and that is all that matters.


And here's the very model of a crappy wannabe Oscar drama The Words, with Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer confronted with a moral choice. At some point, I hold out hope that our culture's Bradley Cooper Moment will be over, but I am aware that it is not going to be soon.


I don't like the word "limited". As in, The Master is in limited release as of today; but how limited? Less limited, I imagine, than the one-night-only 70mm projection that happened in Chicago a couple weeks back, when I wasn't looking. And will not be repeated until sometime in the winter of 2013, it is said. So even though it's the first film entirely shot on that gloriously wide format since the 1990s, I, for one, will not get to see it that way for months yet, which is a real pisser. And I don't even love Paul Thomas Anderson's movies, not really, but golly, was I excited for this one in 70. Bah. Still ought to be a highlight of a dodgy month.

How dodgy? Resident Evil 5 in 3D dodgy. I still haven't seen Resident Evil 4, and I fear this is the time to fix that.

The arguably less desperate & transparently mercenary use of 3-D this weekend comes in the re-release of a cartoon, Pixar's great Finding Nemo, and of all their movies, this is the one that wants it the most, so I, for one, am hugely excited.

Finally: Nic Cage wanted his own Taken, and they're calling it Stolen.


The surest sign that summer is completely over: weekends crowded with a bunch of wide-releases. In this case, no fewer than four, the first time that number has been hit since June. Which was, you may notice, in summer, but run with me here. More releases, fewer tentpoles, and that's what makes the last third of the calendar year go 'round.

And three, of them, at least, look positively fucking dreadful: House at the End of the Street, which had damned well better be more than just a stalk-and-kill teens movie, because Jennifer Lawrence is way too talented for that; End of Watch, a cops vs. druglords movies that, judging from the trailer, appears to have been shot on cell phones; and most unpromisingly, Dredd, a new adaptation of Judge Dredd with an eye toward being more faithful to the comic book than the Stallone vehicle was, though it does not seem to consist of anything besides Karl Urban seeing mean things in a less jokey way.

It's all enough to make a fella look forward to Trouble with the Curve, which may be naught but a feel-good movie about fathers and daughters starring the un-retired Clint Eastwood in a movie written and directed by first-timers, but at least it appears to involve recognisable human emotions.


People I trust admire the work of animation director Genndy Tartakosvky, making his feature debut with Hotel Transylvania; the whole project feels too thrown-together and the cast is a disaster of stunt casting and people I cannot stand, so it's going to take more than just a talented director who was hired as a replacement for somebody else to make the idea of Adam Sandler as a cartoon Dracula palatable. The annoying thing is that, of all the weekends this month, this is the only obvious winner of the box-office race, so I'll be obliged to see it regardless.

Jockeying for 2nd place are another Oscarbaitish drama about parenting, Won't Back Down, AKA "The Viola Davis Make-Up Oscar Role", and Looper, which I am inclined to call my most-anticipated of the month, which has a lot more to do with the combination of writer-director Rian Johnson and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt than with the rather overdone feeling of its sci-fi concept, because the last time those two collaborated on a genre riff that felt way too obvious and bland, it was Brick, and that was an awfully damn good movie.


Jeremy said...

Well uh...

at least The Master is coming out...hopefully in my area...

*staying positive*

David Greenwood said...

The funny thing is that I am a big fan of both Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) and Paul W. S. Anderson (Resident Evil 5 in 3D). Me being a fan by no means makes Paul W. S. Anderson any less of a hack, but there's just something awesome about the little stable he works with in all of his movies, and the Uwe Bollish manner in which he somehow finds funding for the most ridiculous crap imaginable... frequently starring his wife of course!

Do you need to see RE4 to enjoy RE5? Well, given how little care any of the RE movies' seem to care about not just the games, but previous entries in their own series, I'm going to say probably not. RE4 was actually the only one of the RE films that I've seen, I knew nothing going in, and I know nothing having seen it. Lots of Milla Jovovich jumping with guns in slow motion though...

In all seriousness his film "Soldier" is one of my favorite films. Its greatness may have been a fluke, though I will always like the first Mortal Kombat for nostalgic reasons... "Your soul is MINE!" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Jeremy said...

Oh, and Looper! Forgot all about that one!

Although personally, I'm a much bigger fan of Brother Bloom then Brick.

Mr. K said...

As a comic book fan, I will say that Judge Dredd is a great concept, that allows bad-ass action as well as high-concept satire. I know that doesn't translate well to screen, necessarily, but hopefully the fact that Brits are at the helm of this British institution instead of Americans is a good sign.

I've tentatively heard it described as the sci-fi version of THE RAID, which also sounds cool.

The.Watcher said...

Dredd is The Raid, only with Dredd. It's literally the same fucking movie, with the same premise and execution, it looks like. Except Raid was a great action flick, and this looks like it will suck.

I wasn't even aware that a new Malick film was coming out. This is certainly a welcome surprise, as I wasn't expecting a new movie for at least another 5 or so years.

WBTN said...

There's also Branded, which looks like all previous mindfuck movies squished together into one film.

As for Malick, I'm surprised that he's directed another movie so fast. Time may tell if that's a good thing or not, but I'll be optimistic for the time being.

Too-Tickii said...

So are you not going to review The Oogieloves? It looks formally bracing.

Tim said...

In re: Malick. Not just a new movie this year - if nothing goes wrong, he'll have ended up releasing more completed films from 2011-2014 than he did from 1973-2005. After To the Wonder, he's shooting a back-to-back pair of films, and there are lingering rumors of an IMAX documentary made out of the unused Tree of Life material.

In re: The Raid vs. Dredd. I haven't seen the former yet, and maybe this will be the exact best reason for me to do so. I also know that there's really no chance of it being egregiously worse than the original, so that helps.

In re: The Oogieloves, I fear that I am not critic enough to write that move the aesthetic defense it no doubt deserves.