A new trailer for Silver Lining Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawerence and Robert De Niro and directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings & The Fighter) has been released. Ignoring the fact that the mentally-ill are really good looking, I think this is a good step for both Cooper and Lawerence are solid actors, but need to push themselves into riskier territory. This could be it for their careers. From the looks of it, the challenge seems to work for both of them.
Before it even hit theaters, creators Steven Soderbergh and star Channing Tatum (which this movie is based off of) is pushing for a transition from film to a Broadway musical…yep that’s right. As if Broadway already attracts enough women and gay men, the screenwriters will also write the book for the musical and can be expected to see it on the big stage next summer in 2013. If this film does well this weekend (estimated around $25-30 million), then we can see this project being put on the fast track. Positive reviews are pouring out for this film and many are saying that it’s more enjoyable for men than women. I’m going to refrain from any jokes.
Magic Mike comes out on Theaters Today.
There’s nothing like a good ol’ kung fu film, and though the first group of people I wouldn’t necessarily think of when associating with martial arts is RZA of Wu-Tang Clan and Russell Crowe, this red band trailer does look very enticing.
It’s almost July, which means we have pretty much hit the half point on the calendar year. Though the summer movie season isn’t over and usually the best films come out during the fall awards season, there have been plenty of films to go around in terms of quality, sheer entertainment and successful storytelling. There have also been other films that really know how to suck the life out of its viewers, and so, without further ado, here are the Superlatives for the films of 2012 (just for the first half of the year)… there’s got to be a better way of writing that.
*Note: Some films still have not yet been seen…
The Most Amazing Film When Watched for the First Time, but then Isn’t So Great the Second:
The excitement over this movie was so great, and it truly delivered the first time you watched it. Midnight showing, ecstatic crowd, true submersion into the film. I geeked out really bad after this movie, thinking that is could be one of the greats. Then I watched it for the second time with my girlfriend, and wow, I was surprised how bored I was throughout the movie. To The Avengers defense, my all time favorite films are the ones that I can watch over and over again and still love and adore (a la Pulp Fiction, The Social Network), but man, it really lost its mojo after the first viewing. I went back and watched it for a third time coming to a conclusion that I rather fall asleep than watch this movie again. No doubt it’s a good super hero movie, but it is at its best when you watch it just once. Good Job Avengers!
The Best Channing Tatum Film of 2012:
21 Jump Street!
It is officially the year of Channing Tatum. I mean, who knew the white guy who can dance from Step Up and the white guy from the worst titled film of all time (Fighting) would eventually become a huge star. Yes he’s jacked and has a face but there are plenty of actors who have those similar traits. So what’s the difference? I have no clue. Maybe it’s cause he’s also a white boy who can play basketball? Anywho, he’s had a pretty big year so far and it’s only getting bigger (no pun intended) with his new film Magic Mike coming out (review coming soon) directed by the great Steven Soderbergh. Besides all the stripping and unconvincing romances he’s in, I think we’ve finally seen where he is at best. Vulgar and brash comedies. 21 Jump Street was not only one of the funniest films of the year, it is one of the best films of the year period. Jonah Hill helps, but who know playing an idiot would be such a comfortable character for him. Probably a lot of research. All jokes aside, 21 Jump Street is well written, high energy film that is fun, fast pace and hilarious that lasts for hours (I’m done…).
The Worst Ending Known To Mankind:
The Devil Inside Me! (Congrats!) No poster needed.
No, I didn’t pay to watch this movie, but I heard rumors about the ending and it’s thrashing from audiences, so I checked it out, and it was every bit terrible and probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. Pretty much, the ending is not part of the film. The film ends as a message to the audience to go watch the ending on the internet where it provides a url site (thank goodness they provided that though). Throughout the blogosphere, everyone was complaining and disowning the movie, and with this tactic, yeah, they deserve it. But let’s be real, if you paid a full admission ticket for The Devil Inside Me, you got what was coming.
The Best Film(s) That Provides the Fact That Teens Are Stupid as Hell:
Tie: Chronicle & Project X
The thing about this superlative is that I actually really liked Chronicle. It was one of the better found footage films that we’ve been slapped across the face with, and I really thought they did an excellent job selling us these kids who empower telekinesis-like abilities. On the other hand, Project X was one of those films that try to sell itself on booze, drugs, sex and girls and make us believe that this is an experience of a film. And unfortunately, it sold well. But in the end, if I’ve learned anything is that teenagers shouldn’t be given any power and responsibility because either they are going to destroy to city of Seattle or have midgets trapped in the oven. Either way, their useless. (Maybe the teens could’ve called themselves the Super Sonics…)
The Most Unnecessary Use of a Shaky Camera:
The Hunger Games!
I actually really liked The Hunger Games so don’t take this as a negative review or opinion. But when I took my sister to watch this film, she puked. We sat in the back too just to make sure she didn’t puke…she puked. A lot of others complained about its ridiculous cinematography and without disagreeing, it was a little much. I thought it worked well for some of the themes and specific attitudes for the film, but it started to feel like Michael J. Fox decided to take a try at being director of photography…(sorry). Nonetheless, it was a great film and I actually liked the shakiness, but still, when you get someone to vomit, it definitely has to have some sort of honors.
The Best Film I Haven’t Seen Yet:
I haven’t seen this film yet, I really want to, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it. Now only if I could…
The Best Film of 2012…So Far:
You can read the review (just scroll down) which means I don’t have reiterate my love for this movie. It’s just great. Everything works. The cast works so well. There’s clear direction and purpose, and we are taken for the most enjoyable film of this year. Other films that were considered were The Hunger Games, Chronicle and Prometheus (but I thought I would get murdered for saying that…).
The Worst Film of 2012…So Far, But It’ll Probably Stay Here For The Entire Year:
The Lucky One!
Oh gosh, this was an excruciating train wreck to sit through. I made a deal with my girlfriend to watch this movie, and I actually still consider Zac Efron somewhat of a decent actor (I may get murdered for this over liking Prometheus) but this was just awful. Besides his inability to deliver simple dialogue, I had no clue what the freak was going on! All I knew was that Efron’s character liked to go on walks, the little sensitive boy played the violin, but not in public, because he’s sensitive, oh, he also has a tree house that he runs to (even during a thunderstorm next to a river…), the woman is a cougar, Efron is the cougar’s prey, and the mother from Meet The Parents is there. Sounds like a good book to read to people who are deaf. Oh wait, it actually is a book. Look, I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book, but I hope they’re nowhere near as bad as his films translate to because this is pretty terrible stuff. Efron considers himself as the lucky one, but all that witnessed this film and paid for it truly was unlucky. But I wouldn’t mind a High School Musical 4.
Here’s to a better and grander second half. It’s going to be a very exciting finish.
Oh, and here’s one more superlative.
The Best Scene of 2012:
Aaron Sorkin is a brilliant writer and his work is undeniably some of the best in the business. But I’m not thoroughly surprised he has his own “Sorkinisms” where we see his dialogue being reused. I mean, genius is not infinite. Take a look.
Though this trailer has been out for a while, I am anticipating this film with a lot of enthusiasm just because I love Oliver Stone and his work. Though he’s got a few actors in here that have yet to prove that they are anything besides a face, I have faith in Stone that he can get it done. And anytime Benecio and Salma are in a film, it’s sold me.
Savages will be released July 6th, 2012.
What isn’t cliche anymore these days? Pretty much every major movie we see today contains a cliche plot line, story, character, an element that the audience already has witnessed. Wes Anderson though, has introduced his own cliche. Using the theme of family and biological quirkiness, almost all of his films are identical through its dialogue and approach. What’s interesting, well at least for me, is that this never gets old. Some may feel his material is too obscure and more of a redundant act, but I personally take appeal to his work because it’s creative, fun and sometimes, it’s okay to be different.
In Anderson’s newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, he goes after the king of cliches, young romanticism. Okay, it may not be the biggest cliches ever, but if anything, it portrays a dilemma almost all of us go through, and we’ve seen our fair share of adolescent love affairs. But this isn’t your ordinary love story. It’s nowhere near from the usual order.
Sam and Suzy are in love. Sam is an orphan and Suzy is the oldest of four, but is barely understood. Loved may be the more appropriate word, but that is questionable. Sam is a khaki scout part of Troop 55, where he is unwelcomed, outcasted and intelligently different from the rest. Suzy, though attractive to the eyes, is not your average teenage girl. She’s weird, disappointed with life and has a track of angry and violent incidents. Pretty much, they are perfect for each other. And they soon realize this is such an Anderson-esque introduction. They send letters to each other, and at one point, where there lives are so unbearable in its current state, they decide to run away and camp out to some undisclosed location on an island off New England. It’s like an emo version of The Blue Lagoon. But there’s so much more substance and less of the awkward nudity and sex scenes. Thank goodness.
Though this is Wes Anderson, this had a different feel to it, as it wasn’t as dark nor anywhere near as heavy as some of his other work especially in The Royal Tenanbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. But it has his previous works’ tones, from his simplistic but attractive way of basic interaction, conversations, displaying scenes involving characters and his signature work in cinematography. If Anderson released a film every year, then yes, this act would get tiring and repetitive, but he clearly doesn’t, and he knows he can’t. This is why he has such a strong fan base because his work is great but released in small quantities. That’s an equation for success in Hollywood. Don’t showcase your act too much.
We get our handful of intriguing characters that have so much depth, but all act in similar manners. Anderson has this way of portraying all these major individuals in identical manners, but there is such distinguished traits and tendencies that allow each figure to stand on its own. It helps that he’s got an excellent cast, most likely his best, from Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton and the ever impressive Frances McDormand, but the two that shine the brightest here are the little ones.
Sam played by Jared Gilman and Suzy played by Kara Hayward are absolutely tremendous and lovable. At first, you look at them and are just like, “these kids are weird”. But then we are slowly revealed their identities, their struggles and why the escaped for a romantic but unrealistic love escapade, and we just can’t resist this relationship. Their chemistry is off the charts, and they really showcase the innocence but also the curiosity of teenagers barely out of their children’s phase.
Like any other Wes Anderson film, the music is so good, and you can tell he really emphasizes his score collection just like any good director will know how important it is to not just screw around with it. There’s just so much here that is great, it’s hard to compare this to any of his other works because though they were good, I feel that this is by far Anderson’s best work. It takes some time for this film to really engage the audience, at least for me, but the more I was seeing, the more I was engaged. It was an ascending experience where eventually, I didn’t want this story to be finished. I wanted to keep watching Sam and Suzy, their growth and their acceptance that though life has really sucked for them, they at least have each other, and that’s all they need. It’s such a naive but dreamy way of thinking, and I think every person wishes they could go back to that idealistic mindset.
Simply, I loved everything about this film. It was a transcending 90 minutes, and I would’ve loved for another 90. From the alien orgy-fest that we are currently riding in right now, it’s nice to have such a successfully different film where I don’t have to see explosions, destroyed cities and all that other nonsense to be entertained. And so far, Moonrise Kingdom has been the best entertainment I’ve seen this year.
Moonrise Kingdom gets 4 stars (out of 5). It is currently in Limited Release.