Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Random Poll: Which Peter Pan Trailer Tune is Better?

The trailer for Joe Wright's re-imagining of Peter Pan (titled Pan) hit today, and it looks like a fantastical version of the beginnings of Peter Pan. We seem him getting kidnapped out of his bed, meeting Hook, and facing off against Hugh Jackman's Blackbeard. What do I think of the trailer? Well, I can't hear anything other than the Christina Perri song playing in the background. 

Does anyone remember when Coldplay's "Clocks" played in the trailer for the 2003 version of Peter Pan? All I keep thinking of is Jason Isaac and Olivia Williams running to find their children in a kind of slow motion while that song played. Perri's "I Believe" blares throughout the trailer amid flying ships and scenery chewing. Which do you like more? You can check out both trailer below the poll in case you need a refresher!

Hold On To Your Butts...'Jurassic World' Tease Drops

Seeing Jurassic Park in the theater in the summer of 1993 was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. When the T-Rex attacked the SUV with Tim and Lex in the backseat, it was sheer pandemonium: people were screaming, kids were bawling, and concerned parents left the theater. Perhaps moviegoing experiences will never be that insane again with everything being chatted about on social media, and the first trailer makes me yearn for the original dinosaur blockbuster. Jurassic World's first teaser leaked today, and I have some mixed feelings. 

I'm generally against reboots, but I was originally very stoked about this. I am shaking my cane like an old man, but everything in this trailer seems too CGI-ed. 

"What do they got in there? King Kong?"

No, just a team of special effects technicians. 

The tease features some very clear homages to the original Park, and that's great to see (the gallimimus running and the bait used to lure a big baddie), but I am hesitant about the genetically created dinosaur. Up the stakes? Sure. Play more into the "man isn't God" theme? Absolutely. The shot of the whale-y dinosaur splashing the audience made me realize that animals in captivity might never be free. Yeah, that's right. I got all Blackfish on you for the Jurassic World teaser.

I was ready to write off the entire thing...and then that slowed down version of John Williams' score kicked in. I was sort of transported back to 1993, and I realized that the Jurassic Park movies are so much a part of my childhood that I don't think I will be able to have a rational reaction to it. This one's about a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur...and then things alllll go to hell. Natch.

Oh, hey Bryce Dallas Howard as a gorgeous but shortsighted scientist. I assume she is bad because she's talking about genetics one minute and then she's running for her life with a flair not unlike Laura Dern with a flashlight dragging behind her.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cool Rider! It's Maxwell Caulfield's Birthday!!!

I love Grease 2, and I will never apologize for it. The shy-brooding-nerd-turned-motorcycle-hunk leading-man, Maxwell Caulfield, went over the top to impress Michelle Pfeffer's leader of The Pink Ladies. Let's be honest here. We'd all do a lot less for the adoration of Michelle Pfeiffer, right? Caulfield is celebrating his 55th birthday today! Let's all celebrate by watching "Who's That Guy" from the much maligned musical sequel, shall we?!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fifty Shades of Suck: I'm (Banging) On a Boat!

The Fifty Shades of Suck podcast has returned! We are going to get back on track to recording this on a weekly basis, so we are going to bug you more frequently now. Isn't that great?!?!

We start off the podcast with a live viewing of the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer. Somehow Megan avoided it all this time, and you get to hear our reactions as we watch it, If you like watching along, use the video above! The Fifty Shades of Suck podcast is interactive now! 

Megan and I almost get to the halfway point of the book, and we tried out something different. She read all of the Christian stuff, and I read the rest, including all of Ana's idiocy dialogue and action. It's to the point where feminism is truly dead. Sure, it's been dead since page one of the first book, but now that Christian and Ana have declared actual love for each other, it's going to get to an entirely new level of annoying. 


There's a strangely detailed segment about how Christian had someone dry his hair as a kid, and Megan and I spend way too much time talking about it.

Oh, and they bang on a boat. Just when readers are thinking, "are they going bump uglies in this chapter," EL James has our insipid pair do it in Christian's cabin. 

If you are new to Fifty Shades of Suck, my best gal pal Megan and I meet up every week to read a chapter from the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, but we provide our own snarky commentary.  Last year, we subjected ourselves to the first book, and now we are chugging right along through the first sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.  If you would like to play catch up, the first set of podcasts are available here, and Fifty Shades Darker chapters are available below.  We hope you enjoy, and share them with your friends!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

'Mockingjay' Improves On Everyone's Least Favorite Book

Let's get serious here. Does anyone like the novel Mockingjay? The final installment in Suzanne Collins' mega-successful young adult dystopian trilogy is the most divisive among Hunger Games fans, and the apprehension towards the final film seemed obvious. Not only were fans wondering how the franchise would go out, many (myself included) hated the decision to split it into two separate films. For the record, Harry Potter was the only franchise that needed to do this. Twilight didn't, and, it seemed, that The Hunger Games was simply drawing out the series to a more lucrative close. 

I personally haven't revisited Mockingjay since it was released, and I urge fans to not feverishly re-read Collins' final novel before going into this adaptation. After The Hunger Games left audiences a bit famished two years ago, Catching Fire destroyed everyone's expectations. Mockingjay -- Part I doesn't have the action that whet everyone's last winter, but it sets the stage for an emotional climax. It also features strong performances from everyone involved. Sorry, David O. Russell. Jennifer Lawrence is better in Catching Fire and Mockingjay than she was in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle--Oscars be damned!

The action picks up almost exactly where Catching left off. Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen is now shacking up in the underground barracks of District 13 while plans against the Capital are made. Peeta is being held captive, and District 13's President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) is a quiet, careful presence. Katniss is going to be used as a symbol of the resistance, but Coin is hesitant at first, because she thinks the Games broke Katniss' spirit. Mockingjay reads like war novel, and the tone of the film is very grey and somber. Some of the districts have crumbled altogether, and director Francis Lawrence isn't afraid to show the small towns smoking and destroyed. There is a creepy moment early on where Katniss visits District 12, and the skeletons of her fellow townspeople lay scattered in this young adult wasteland. 

Did Mockingjay need to be split into two films? No. I admit, though, that I was taken by the penultimate segment. It lacks action, and it does feel like it's turning into The Hunger Games: Mockingjay PR Campaign in the first half. A camera crew follows Katniss around to film propaganda material to rile up the other districts, and the audience might wonder when the plot will actually kick in. We wait around for something to actually happen, because we are promised something will eventually transpire. The cast makes it all rather compelling. Lawrence has mastered the single tear cry, and the short scenes between her and Moore are, honestly, thrilling. Where would we get to see two women arguing war tactics in a blockbuster winter release? It's also very bittersweet to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final film roles (the film is dedicated to him). 

The emotion amps up in the last 20 minutes or so, and I could almost hear my audience drooling for more (Effie's fleshed out film role was much appreciated as well). I could probably watch a Hunger Games film every winter (especially if they continue to dress up Josh Hutcherson in Capital clothing that makes him look like Liberace's favorite rentboy). Mockingjay's seemingly early chilly critial reception seems a bit overblown. This film definitely sets us up for something big, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Contract Makes Appearance in 'Fifty Shades' Trailer!

If you have listened to the Fifty Shades of Suck podcast (starring yours truly and Megan), you would know how much we hate EL James' decision to include Christian Grey's dom/sub contract in full multiple times. We are closing in on the halfway mark of Fifty Shades Darker, and it hasn't made an appearance yet. I mean, it probably will. 

The full length trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey just debuted, and it features a shot of the contract! Rapture! Joy! Not only will we read the whole thing, but we will be fucking forced to look at it projected onto a movie screen. Fan-frickin'-tastic! 

Some other things are realized with this trailer:

1. Thank the BABY JESUS that Charlie Hunnam is far, far, far away from this.

2. I mean, I don't hate this...

3. No one could make Anastasia Steele's dialogue sound remotely real/credible/intelligent. Dakota Johnson is fighting a losing battle here. Poor thing. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

'Fifty Shades' Poster: Anyone Else Get a 'Stepfather' Vibe?

When I went to the movies tonight, there were two big Fifty Shades of Grey standees positioned right near the entrance, and, naturally, I have some thoughts. 

They give both Ana Steele and Christian Grey an individual poster, but Ana's just looks like a bad perfume ad. These have to be next to each other or one wouldn't have any idea why Dakota Johnson is just hanging out. Secondly, I get a Stepfather vibe from his poster. Is he going to use that tie to strangle Anastasia Steele. We are supposed to think that he's an iconic figure, but it just supports the notion that they have one of the most unhealthy relationships ever committed to the page. 

Just saying...