Archive for May, 2012

28
May
12

Safety Not Guaranteed (dir. Colin Trevorrow)

Synopsis: A magazine employee and two interns head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson, Karon Soni

Release: June 8th

This next film is an independent, light-hearted comedy film that I think will stand out as one of the more interesting indie films to be released this summer.

 

I don’t have as much to say about this film as I did for other’s so I won’t bother categorizing.

Interestingly, Safety Not Guaranteed is inspired off a real life classified ad that was posted in 1997 in the magazine Backwoods Home so I’ll be intrigued to hear what the person who posted the original ad has to say about this film once is released.

I have a feeling this film is going to be good based on the reviews and accolades it has already received. The film premiered at the Sundance film festival and it received critical acclaim from viewers. It went on to win the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and was soon picked up by a distribution company.  So hopefully it’ll be worth watching!

I terms of storyline, Mark Duplass plays Kenneth, a man who puts the ad in the newspaper. Aubrey Plaza (From Parks and Recreations)  plays Darius, the magazine intern who ends up becoming close with Kenneth. Through the interactions between Kenneth and Darius, we’ll definitely see a dynamic relationship unfold. I also wonder if Kenneth will actually be capable of time traveling?  In real life, if someone had met an individual like Kenneth, they may think he was an odd person…but maybe he’s not odd at all, but actually someone who’s done something interesting with his life. Hmmmm….??

On the other hand, we’ll also see an interesting relationship develop between the magazine reporter, Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) and the other intern Arnau (Koran Soni). It seems like Arnau has been sheltering himself from all the opportunities in life. Jeff notices this and ends up taking Arnau on an adventure with the intent to broaden his experiences. Seems like it’ll serve as an interesting, comical subplot that’ll hopefully tie in with Kenneth and Darius attempt to time travel. It’s definitely not a recycled hollywood narrative so we can all look forward to seeing something fresh.

Here’s a clip from the film which show’s Jeff trying to motivate Arnau to be a real man and “do something stupid”

Aubrey Plaza’s character form Parks and Recreations seems to have some common traits with her character in this film so if you enjoy P and R you’ll probably like this as well. Plus, Mark Duplass is a talented and funny actor (…and successful writer/director).  He appears to be a hard-working man in Hollywood that has  slipped under the radar so everyone should check this film out to see Duplass’ talent (I’ll provide a link to his IMDB below so people can browse through and see some of the work he has done).

AND OF COURSE…

There is also the important question: “Well, does he actually know how to time travel and will they eventually time travel by the end of the movie?”….. Hmmm, we’ll have to find out…

Mark Duplass’ IMDB Page – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0243233/

Aubrey Plaza’s IMDB Page – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2201555/

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14
May
12

Prometheus (dir. Ridley Scott)

Synopsis: In the late 21st century, a crew of explorers discover a map which contains the origins of mankind on Earth. The crew of the spaceship Prometheus are sent on a scientific expedition to follow the map to the depths of space. They end up exploring an advanced civilization of an alien race and soon face a threat to humanity’s very existence.

Release Date: June 8th (3D & IMax)

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender

Well, I guess the only way to start this off would be to say: This is going to be an epic movie.

 A “Semi” Prequel to the Alien Series: Many have been wondering (..and nerds alike have been arguing) if this is a direct prequel to the Alien franchise (I.e, exploring the origins behind the Aliens in the franchise). Apparently, it’s a separate story which precedes the events in Alien, and is not directly connected to the Alien franchise. However, there are some brief connections that can be made that tie Prometheus to the Alien universe.

To elaborate, the only connections I see between Alien and Prometheus is that in the future, the world will be owned by the megacorporation, Weyland Industries (supplier of weapons, vehicles and androids)  and that there appears to be a similarity between the space pilots who explore the unknown depths of space (..or better known as the “space jockey”).

About the writer, Damon Lindelof: One of the writers for Prometheus is Damon Lindelof. If you don’t know him, he was one of the co-writers (…and eventually became the lead writer) for the television series Lost. Lost had a complex storyline that blended supernatural events with science fiction. It also left many people mindfucked. Lindelof’s writing skills are perfectly set for a movie that is based within the Alien universe. He’ll definitely spice up the storyline with some thought provoking ideas. I’ll elaborate on this briefly below in the next section..

Question for Consideration, Where did Humanity Come From?:Since this isn’t a direct prequel to the Alien franchise, a whole new set of ideas and mythologies open up. Based on what you see in the trailer, a team of explorers find archaeological imagery from several unconnected cultures, which includes the AztecMesopotamian and Magdalenian civilizations. The film will also be providing a bigger and more provocative question towards the existence of humanity. Questions that aren’t usually addressed in other science fiction films. This’ll be good though. It’ll add some , philosophical depth to the movie and leave us intrigued.  To sum up it up,  we’ll definitely be seeing a lot more than just a team of astronauts floating around space while aliens attack them.


About the director, Ridley Scott:
Why will this film will be epic? Ridley Scott has been lauded for his science fiction films. In fact, he’s done some of the best science fiction films of all time, Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). Since then, he’s done nothing, so this will be his first sci-fi in thirty years. There’s a lot of anticipation awaiting this release and I’m sure Ridley won’t disappoint.

In terms of his film style, Ridley’s always been a visual person who puts a lot of detail into his production design (I.e, settings). After watching a video of Ridley at ComicCon, Ridley claims that he wanted to stray away from the “gritty, grunge” look that Alien had and more towards a clean, futuristic look. If you put two and two together…What does this mean?… It means were bound to see some stunning, jaw-dropping camerawork that depicts a sleek, futuristic atmosphere (Such as the image provided above… ISNT IT BEAUTIFUL?).

In terms of soundtrack, Ridley likes to shoot with the score in mind so climatic scenes will be complimented with an intense soundtrack (Demonstrated finely in films such as Inception). If you watch the trailer, you’ll notice how the background music adds on to the intensity of the scene (especially near the end when the loud screeching/siren noises become more prominent). So we can all look forward to hearing an awesome soundtrack that’ll most likely make us jump out of our seats.

R-Rating =  Horrific, Shocking Scenes: This won’t be strictly science fiction. After all, Alien had some horrific moments. Ridley stated that he wanted to scare the audience with the same type of horrifying surprises that occured in Alien. I.e, When one of the crew members chokes, convulses and then has a baby alien burst out his chest.  Since we’re seeing a new type of alien species, we’ll probably see some fresh (..but disturbing) material that’ll hopefully leave us in a horrified state (…This is good…that is, if you enjoy that type of stuff). It’ll be a slow buildup, but the horror will come…oh, it’ll come .

Extra: Here’s two interesting promotional videos attached to the film that surfaced on the internet a while back. Check them out.

The second video is stubborn and doesn’t want to appear on my page, so here’s the link via YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-a7H4eNDH4


05
May
12

Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson)

Synopsis: Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As a result, various authorities in the town try to hunt them down.

Release Date: May 25th (US)

Wes Anderson is back with his 7th feature film and once again, he’s put together a lowkey, indie film which has an ensemble cast of eccentric characters.

The Work of  a True Auteur: Wes Anderson has made a reputation for himself as a film auteur. By auteur, I mean that he carries the same themes and style throughout each of his films. That means that Moonrise Kingdom won’t fall short of having typical Anderson-ish dry humor, flawed characters, colourful sceneries, british classic rock soundtrack and of course….Bill Murray.

An Interesting Concept: The two main characters in this film are children and this is a first for Anderson. So we might catch an interesting perspective on a youthful adventure, as seen through Anderson’s quirky narrative – I.e, the shot in the trailer where the young protagonists are seen next to a smoking motorcyle that has been caught in a tree (Hmmmm?)

It looks like this film will be exploring the idea of the unknown. In the beginning, we see ordered institutions – the camp, the nuclear family household and the Christian church. The runaway lovers will be going against this ordered system by venturing off into the wilderness and exploring the unknown. This is good because it’ll disrupt the level of normality in the small town as the community goes haywire over the disappearance of the two young children. Of course, that means we’ll see some humorous interactions/conflicts between the town folks.

The Actors and their Character Portrayals: Anderson loves to cast the same actors in his movies (Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, etc…), but what I love more than this is the new actors that appear in Anderson’s films.

Let’s break it down…

  • Bruce Willis as Captain Sharp (The Sherriff)- Amazing choice. Willis has proven he can do comedies in the past and he’s always got a little bit of wit to him (I.e, John McClane in the Die Hard series). He’ll probably be portraying your typical, burn out old man.
  • Frances McDormad as Laura (the mother)- McDormad will be playing the megaphone wielding mother who appears to be in overdrive. Out of all the female actresses, McDormad appears to be the best fit for this character. In the past, she’s proven she can portray strange, but humorous characters- I.e, Fargo, Burn After Reading etc…
  • Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward – Norton shows great versatility as an actor, so moulding himself into an Anderson character won’t be a problem for him. We haven’t seen much of him lately.. and in fact, I don’t remember a memorable role he has done in the last few years (The Hulk…? ..hmm..nahhh). Hopefully he’ll have some memorable moments in this film.
  • …AND..Harvey Keitel has a role in the film. This will probably be a small role or cameo but nonetheless, who doesn’t enjoy a good Harvey Keitel cameo? I.e, his role as “the Wolf” in Pulp Fiction

Extra: Moonrise Kingdom will be headlining at the Cannes Film Festival this year on May 16th, so let’s hope it’s a hit!

Heres some pictures of the cast..

05
May
12

Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg)

Synopsis: Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

Release Date: Unknown

The Return of Cronenberg: The director of the film, David Cronenberg has been glorified as being one of the few directors who can go beyond the normal limitations of cinema. His films are known to be dark, psychologically intertwined and tend to blend elements of horror/science fiction. His most notable film that falls into this category is The Fly which was released in 1986 and stars Jeff Goldblum.  However in recent years, his fans haven’t been tolerating his turn to mainstream cinema.

This was taken from an interview in THE GUARDIAN:

“Legions of horror fans have expressed dismay, even anger, at Cronenberg’s apparent desertion of the special effects-heavy stomach-churners with which he made his name. Cronenberg, they argue, has sold out, moving into the mainstream with films such as A History of Violence and Eastern Promises…”

Blah, blah, blah, “He’s a fucking sellout! He’s lost his style!”. Well, there’s no need to worry because I believe this film will show a return to Cronenberg’s dark, psychological style and I believe that is what Cronenberg does best. So I think were in for a treat, as we haven’t seen Cronenberg supply us with his typical eyebrow raising scenes and WTF moments in quite some time – I.e, seeing Robert Pattinson take a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the palm.

Adapting Don DeLillo’s “Cosmopolis”: The book that this film is adapted from is intended to show the pre-9/11 culture as a “spectacular downfall”. Since there is violence, sexual taboo, financial greed, corruption and odd adventures/characters, this seems like the perfect project for Cronenberg to tackle. His adapted screenplay and direction will compliment the book nicely.

Robert Pattinson? Huh?: Pattionson replaced Colin Farrell, who was originally cast. But I’m not too worried. Don’t let the Twilight kid make you not want to see this film. I’ve watched a few clips and his acting seems to be on pair with the dark narrative. I hope this is the post-Twilight Pattionson trying to eliminate his vampire, heartthrob image. From what I’ve heard/seen, the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand, car pissings, and eye stabbings will help get rid of any Pattinson hate that is lingering around.

Extra: Cosmopolis has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  As of now, the release date is unknown. Hopefully it’ll be out by the end of the summer…