Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

2012 Summer Movies

April 26, 2012

The weather is getting warmer. The days are getting longer. That can only mean one thing:

The summer movie season is coming!

In addition to not having to go to school, it was the summer movies that made me count the days to summer vacation. The films that come out during the summer have it all, action, drama, comedy, romance and lots of cool special effects to keep things from getting boring.

In addition to the usual mix of superhero and animated films, this year’s batch of summer films are based on the following:

  • A nonfiction book
  • A book by Saddam Hussein
  • A Broadway play
  • Two fairy tales
  • A 1960’s soap opera

So, here are a few I would like to highlight.

May
The Avengers

A superhero film that Marvel fans have been waiting for, since it features, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the Hulk. Phew! That’s a lot of superheros. Expect to see a lot of fanboys on opening night. How can you tell the fanboys from the regular moviegoers? Simple the fanboys will be wearing either Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow or the Hulk t-shirts. This film opens on May 4.

Dark Shadows
Would you believe that in the 1960’s there was a soap opera about a vampire? Yes it is true and it was called Dark Shadows. The soap opera was about the Collins family and one member in particular, Barnabas Collins, who was cursed to live as a vampire by a witch. The show ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971 and developed a cult following, which lead to films and a brief return to television in the 1990’s. Now Tim Burton has directed the theatrical version, with Helena Bonham Carter as psychologist Dr. Julia Hoffman and none other than Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, the very reluctant vampire. The film opens on May 11.

The Dictator
Here’s something else from the “Would You Believe” file. Saddam Hussein wrote a book. Yes, it is true and it is a work of fiction called Zabibah and the King. The book is about a love affair between a wise king and a beautiful peasant named Zabibah. Now would you believe that Sacha Baron Cohen made a film based on this book? Yes, this is true, as well. This film stars Cohen as the title character, as well as Megan Fox and John C. Reilly. It opens on May 11. By the way, I think theater managers would like it if you leave the pancake mix at home.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Who wants to watch a movie that features women at various stages of their pregnancy? Neither do I.  This stars Cameron Diaz, Isla Fisher and Jennifer Lopez and opens on May 11.

June
Rock of Ages

Who wants to play air guitar and jump up and down on a sofa?  Obviously Tom Cruise does, since he is starring in this film based on the Broadway play of the same name. This film also stars Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin. It opens on June 1.

Jack the Giant Killer
The trend of fairy tales to the big screen continues with a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. This is a motion capture film that was partially filmed in the forest that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Hobbit. The films stars Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy, and it opens on June 15.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Honest Abe was a vampire hunter as well as a president who tried to keep the country together? Wow, the dude burned the candle at both ends. Actually, this is a film by director Timur Bekmambetov, the man who brought us Wanted, and it stars Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie and Benjamin Walker. The film opens on June 22.

Brave
A soon to be classic from the folks at Pixar. This film features a female protagonist who has to use her moxie and archery skills to undo a curse. Features the voices of Billy Connelly, Emma Thompson and Kelly MacDonald. The film opens on June 22.

July
The Amazing Spider-Man

Another movie Marvel fanboys have been waiting for. Personally, I think the reboot was unnecessary. The powers that be could have ended it at Spider-Man 3 and concentrated on other superheros in the Marvel universe.  Of course, the fanboys will be easy to pick out in the audience, since they will be the ones wearing the Spider-Man t-shirts. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field and it open on July 3.

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Another animated film for the summer and another installment in the Ice Age “saga”.  This time an iceberg is involved and it is used for a good purpose. The film features the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo and opens on July 13.

The Dark Knight Rises
Yet another film that fanboys have been waiting for, albeit this film is the one DC fanboys have been counting the days and hours to and guess what t-shirts they will be wearing? Anyway, it features Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I admit, I’ve been looking forward to this film because I want to see how Christopher Nolan ends the trilogy and I do hope this is the end of any and all Batman films. Directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan captured the darkness of Batman very well. Things got lost when director Joel Schumacher took over. So, let’s end it with The Dark Knight Rises and if the powers that be wants to do another superhero film let them pick from other characters in the DC Comics universe. The film stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway, and opens on July 20.

Here Comes the Boom
Here comes a comedy about a mixed martial arts fighter. Sounds like it will become a classic, like Citizen Kane. Don’t you think? Yeah, I don’t think so, either. It stars Kevin James and Salma Hayek, and open on July 27.

August
The Bourne Legacy

This Bourne movie doesn’t feature Matt Damon, but it does feature Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. The film opens on August 3.

Total Recall
Talk about your useless remakes. The one with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone was good enough. Can’t the powers that be greenlight something original for a change? (Yes, I know I say that a lot.) Anyway the film stars Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale and opens on August 3.

The Expendables 2
If you like shoot’em up movies with explosions and car chases, then this is the film for you. Stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Bruce Willis and opens on August 17.

ParaNorman
Now this film sound interesting and original. It is a stop action animation film about a boy who can speak to (as well as see) dead people and uses this skill to save his town from an old, old curse. Features the voices of Leslie Mann, Anna Kendrick and Casey Affleck and opens on August 17.

Well, those are just a sampling of the movies that will be coming out this summer. Just be sure to save me a middle seat in the middle row.

Sources:
http://www.reelz.com/article/1421/summer-2012-preview-25-movies-well-be-talking-about-next-year/

http://www.collinwood.net/info/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1589395859/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1589396138&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1FQXRKHC99VX0TRB9DSW

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

Has the Well Run Dry?

March 10, 2011

Doing a blog like this gives me the opportunity to share interesting personal discoveries. Case in point, not too long ago I took my nephew to see Yogi Bear (in 3D). I had railed against the film in an earlier blog entry (see December 2, 2010 entry, Can’t the Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone) because I thought it showed a lack of imagination among studio executives. After all, just because the technology exists to make a movie with a computer animated Yogi and Boo-Boo doesn’t mean that such a movie should be made.

Well, I watched the film with my nephew and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it. It was an entertaining story. Dan Ackroyd was great as Yogi. Justin Timberlake was a very good Boo-Boo and the human actors looked to me like they had fun with their roles. So, the powers that be aren’t so bad for greenlighting Yogi Bear.

Of course, not all is sweetness and light in the Land of Blog. I learned that two previously successful films, one from the 1980’s and one from the 1990’s have either been remade or greenlighted. The films are Arthur and The Bodyguard.

The remake of Arthur is scheduled to come out in April. For those of you not familiar with the movie, the original Arthur is a comedy released in 1981 and starred Dudley Moore as a spoiled and boozy man-child millionaire who must choose between marrying for money or love. Liza Minnelli starred as the woman he ultimately chooses and Sir John Gielgud was Arthur’s erstwhile butler. I saw it when it first came out in and while I didn’t get all the jokes and lines, I liked the movie. The remake follows the same story line except that the 2011 version Arthur isn’t boozy and Helen Mirren plays Arthur’s nanny.

As for The Bodyguard, Warner Brothers recently approved a remaking this film. The Bodyguard came out in 1992 and dealt with a former Secret Service Agent who is hired to protect a pop star from a stalker. The original starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. The story has been updated, so instead of having the bodyguard be a former Secret Service Agent, the bodyguard is a former Iraq War Veteran and he has to content with the stalking via Twitter, Gawker Stalker and other Internet sites. So far, no actors have been chosen to star in the movie.

Good gravy! What has gotten into the studios? First they mine the comic books, then the sitcoms, now recent movies? It is one thing to redo Clash of the Titan because special effects are more advanced in the 2010’s then they were in the 1980’s. Arthur and The Bodyguard didn’t have any major special effects to begin with, so what could be improved about them? These films were both successful and good movies in their own right. Why couldn’t the studios leave them alone and greenlight a project that is not a remake or reboot? After all, there is so much talent and money out there. It is hard to believe that studio executives could not find, let alone fund, an original project.

Then again, I could be wrong. The new versions of Arthur and The Bodyguard could end up being just as good, if not better, than the original versions. Maybe they just needed some infusion of 21st Century sensibilities and doing that would give these films a little something extra to make them better creations.

Yeah and if you believe that, then I could sell you some bridge in Brooklyn and afterwards flap my arms and fly to the Moon when you find out that I don’t hold the deed to such a structure.

Sources:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/2011/02/22/greta_gerwig_finally_acknowledged_by_arthur_poster/

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/usmovies.thehollywoodreporter.com/warner-bros-remake-bodyguard

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082031/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103855/

Name That Genre

October 27, 2010

Movie posters not only tell you what movie is playing, they also tell you about the genre of the movie. Images, as much as the title, play a role in letting the viewer know whether the film in question is a romance, comedy, horror or action movie. So, let’s see if you can guess what genre is being portrayed based on the following descriptions

1) Scantily clad damsel in distress, if the poster is pre 1960 or realistic image in an absurd setting for post 1960’s posters.

2) Male and female gazing at each other or in an embrace.

3) Physically fit protagonist holding a weapon.

4) Main characters in an odd pose, in extreme close up or in an odd situation.

A) Comedy            B) Romance            C) Horror            D)Action

Answers
1) C, Horror. Yes, before the 1960’s the horror posters were remiss if they didn’t feature a damsel that was about to be harmed by the monster/malevolent entity. Classic poster that play on this theme are The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob and The Mummy. You can find pictures of these posters here:

http://designcrave.com/2010-10-06/101-vintage-campy-horror-movie-posters/.

After the 1960’s, as movie posters moved from drawn to photographed and later Photoshopped posters, they took on a realistic yet bizarre situations. Examples of this are 28 Weeks Later, The Mist and Nightmare on Elm Street (the original 1984 release) You can find pictures of these posters here:

http://www.iwatchstuff.com/2007/03/21/28-weeks-later-poster.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a1/The_Mist_poster.jpg

http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?startat=/getposter.asp&APNum=1373352&CID=ABE8DB38B5C24855B857748A2E6EC033&PPID=1&search=671&f=c&FindID=671&P=1&PP=15&sortby=PD&cname=Horror+Movies&SearchID=

2) B, Romance. Yes, From Gone With The Wind to Love Story to Titanic to The Time Travelers Wife and loads of movies in between, this is one genre that didn’t change its presentation when posters moved from drawn to photographed creations. The male and female leads are very prominent in the poster. They are either in an embrace, gazing into each other’s eyes or sharing a tender moment together. Sigh Ain’t love grand. You can find pictures of these posters here:
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,26637,27155&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=romance+movie+posters&cp=6&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=f026TP3HAoL78Abd9NWYDw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CEMQsAQwAA&biw=1024&bih=597

http://www.moviegoods.com/movie_poster/love_story_1970.htm

3) D, Action. Arnold, Sly, The Rock, Jean Claude and Bruce don’t indulge in pork rinds and beer. They’re too busy either chasing after bad guys or running from bad guys. When they aren’t chasing after bad guys, they are lifting big heavy weapons and using them to shoot the bad guys. Movie posters such as those from the Terminator series, the Die Hard series and the Rambo series show the protagonist with a weapon and a look of “I’m ready for a fight.” You can find pictures of these posters here:

http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=597&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=Action+movie+posters&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

4) A, Comedy. What do You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Get Him To The Greek, and Evan Almighty have in common? Yes, they are all comedy movie posters and they all show the protagonist in an odd pose, in extreme close up or in an odd situation. After all, the powers that be are trying to sell a comedy. You can find pictures of these posters here:
http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=597&tbs=isch%3 A1&sa=1&q=Comedy+movie+posters&aq=f&aqi=g1g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

Of course, not even the best designed movie poster can turn a dud into a classic, but I have to admit that movie posters of any genre look cool and some are more cool looking than others. As to which are which, that’s a blog entry for another time.

Sources:
http://designcrave.com/2010-10-06/101-vintage-campy-horror-movie-posters/

http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEa455dB7tc7cb

http://www.iwatchstuff.com/2007/03/21/28-weeks-later-poster.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a1/The_Mist_poster.jpg

http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?startat=/getposter.asp&APNum=1373352&CID=ABE8DB38B5C24855B857748A2E6EC033&PPID=1&search=671&f=c&FindID=671&P=1&PP=15&sortby=PD&cname=Horror+Movies&SearchID=

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,26637,27155&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=romance+movie+posters&cp=6&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=f026TP3HAoL78Abd9NWYDw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CEMQsAQwAA&biw=1024&bih=597