Author Archives: Marielle Pawson
By: Marielle -
It’s hard to pretend I care about anything coming out this weekend when Prometheus opens June 8th (omgomgomg!) But, let’s see what we’ve got.
*reads: Battlefield America, For Greater Glory, Snow White and the Huntsman*
Based on those titles, I have the sinking feeling this is going to have a lot more patriotism and Kristen Stewart than I’d prefer.
Battlefield America -
I’m disturbed when kids know word-for-word the sexy lyrics to pop songs—not because I care about censorship or their precious innocent minds—but because I wish they could have a nice, fun childhood before being drowned in such shallow, frothy bullshit. It’s bad enough when a supposedly inspirational-believe-in-yourself-you-can-do-it-incredibly-talented-urban-types-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks-!!1 movie with adults in it c-walks into theatres. At least then we get a dose of C-Tates™ brand swigger.
“Fo’ Reel. Get it, girl? Movies.”
But, ten-year-olds? Oh, don’t worry! They added some douchey adults to deliver small town theatre audition calibre zingers. Is that the cousin of the dude from Smash Mouth?
The kids are acting like the worst adult clichés. It isn’t cute. You’re emboldening the terrorists.
For Greater Glory -
For Greater Glory Trailer Movie HQ by drillrade
Let’s not stop with that snap judgement because this seems generally intriguing. A civil war in Mexico with priests, women and children signing up despite their rag-taggedness. An oppressive Government vs. The People. ‘Freedom’ uttered about eight hundred times. An undeniable sacrifice for faith. And a strong message: Don’t oppress the Roman Catholic faith the way that Roman Catholics have other religions!
Also, sexy Catholic love.
“I promise we will do it in the butt without contraception, mi corazón.”
I can see conservatives being for the idea of stopping the evil government from waging a war on their religious freedoms, as they experienced when Obama said ‘Happy Holidays’ that one time, but against the idea of Mexicans.
Meh. I’d probably tear up when that young boy dies for emotional impact, but I also cry when they’re out of Alphabits at the store.
Snow White and the Huntsman -
Snow White and the Huntsman (official trailer 2) by Bambam Alegre
Are people getting nerd-boners for this? I can technically understand the hype for, say, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, because people love overused trends they think are actually nerdy counterculture smushed together into one thing—but Snow White? It’s modern ’cause she’s a real tough warrior woman who’s apparently fighting a battle related to being fairest in the land.
UNNECESSARY! Maxim already decided this for us in their “2012 Hot 100″.
This is certainly irrelevant because everyone knows Thor is the fairest in the land.
Sit tight and wait for Prometheus. There’s a Charlize Theron I can support.
By: Marielle -
Chernobyl Diaries -
A group of plucky young pals go on a tour of Prypiat, the ghost town near the site of the famed Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in 1986. You can actually do this, as long as you don’t mind any lingering radiation that will definitely not give you super powers. Unless you want to honour his X-Files legacy and make Cancer Man a thing.
He holds the powers of ominously explaining things and chain smoking Morleys.
+10 Super Creepy Points for using a real location for your horror flick. But +10 Horror Cliché Finger Wags for making another horror flick with scary kids. I mean, sure, a child suddenly appearing is one of my worst nightmares too, but only because I don’t want to have to raise it.
No thanks. (via)
It’s based on a story written by Oren Peli, the creator of Paranormal Activity, who is also a video game programmer. Seems like good cred there. But, it looks like it could turn into a shaky mess due to the hand-held cam as well as maxed-out jump scares**.
MIB 3 -
I’m of the generation who were the prime age to enjoy the original Men In Black in 1997 (TGIF-watching, Green Day-listening, pajama-pants-in-public-wearing middle schoolers.) This non-awaited 3rd instalment brings Agents K and J back for us to catch up with twelve years into the new Willennium. Only now there’s time travel and new aliens to fight.
Fifteen years later, and I personally have no interest in checking this one out. But, can I transport myself back to that time in order to appropriately judge it for a new generation?
*searches through CD collection and finds “Big Willie Style”*
Yes, people of a particular age or taste might enjoy this one. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be great.
Arm yourself with a beer for each quarter and you might have a few nostalgic laughs along with the middle schoolers.
**I am paranoid these are occasionally going to pop-up. I just double checked the term “jump scare” and became afraid that the site’s designer is a clever bastard and somehow included one on the page and immediately closed the tab.
By: Marielle -
The Dictator -
I’m one of those people who has a visceral reaction, an unavoidable cringing, upon viewing intensely awkward situations: like terrible singers on American Idol or health education videos trying to reach the kids via white rapping.
Borat, Bruno, and the original Da Ali G Show, excelled at creating that cringe factor with the interaction of an outrageous character and an unsuspecting target to great comedic effect (particularly the HBO show and to a lesser extent Bruno.) A lot of the tension was bearable because you’re laughing at the expense of both people: the victim and the wacky idiot. Sacha Baron Cohen’s improvisation skills, ability to maintain his character without breaking, and huge ballsy-ness are what made for the big laughs.
The Dictator, however, is a scripted comedy. Its lack of those authentic elements takes away that real edge and Cohen’s strongest talents. The reactions of the other actors just seem relatively cheap. But what else can he do? Cohen’s completely recognizable at this point and can’t fool everyone anymore. Those mankini things were everywhere!
And never where you wanted them to be. (via)
The man can still play a wacky idiot and write offensive jokes, but those jokes come off as almost safe and the movie like a stale parody. Sounds like the makings of a good Netflix choice down the road.
“Prepare to fire!”
“Sir, which weapons?”
“All of them.”
What the hell, Liam Neeson?!
What To Expect When You’re Expecting -
A movie for made for people who had a baby (or got married, or bought that house in the suburbs…) because trendy magazines told them to.
I know it’s supposed to be a sarcastic, here’s-how-it-really-is-girlfriend-amirite take on the realities of pregnancy and 30-something relationships, but to me it’s just an issue of “Good Housekeeping” in disguise. They’re trying to be cool and down-to-earth and take a stab at the American dream by creating the ultimate movie for yuppies.
“Women be house-buyin’! Know what I mean, other upwardly mobile young professionals with token diversity?”
This is just New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, but instead of a large cast with intertwining stories taking place on one holiday night, it’s a large cast with intertwining stories taking place in a stroller commercial. It’s that visceral cringing in a completely different way.
I know this isn’t a documentary or anything, but it just comes off as so plastic. Let’s get real about pregnancy and simultaneously envy the woman walking around in six-inch-heels that Sex and The City told us we had to have! The humour relies on buying into the same stereotypes that it pretends to want to tear apart.
By: Marielle -
Dark Shadows -
It’s quite the contrast to preview a feverishly anticipated premiere which turned out to be the most massive opening weekend of all time (and will possibly trump Avatar for all-time gross) to now turn our attention to Dark Shadows. But, only because I don’t know what that is.
Join me in looking it up on Wikipedia, will you?
“Dark Shadows is an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971…The series became hugely popular when vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) appeared a year into its run. Dark Shadows also featured werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe.”
Whoa. Regular monsters and man-made? That sounds pretty righteous for a 60s soap opera. I would have figured 60s daytime TV to be more like this:
To say I have been disappointed in Johnny Depp’s roles as of late would be an understatement. He’s gone full Pacino. But, when he’s in his element—often a Tim Burton movie—not even a harsh case of the crotchpox can dampen my enthusiasm. I also like melodrama for comedic value and heavily stylized pieces that give a cult-ish and possibly even campy feel.
The witch, Angelique (Eva Green), has a reverse-gender Pepe Le Pew thing going on that creeps me out a tad.
Out of all of the cartoon skunks, Pepe is the rapiest!
The humour is certainly cheesy, and I must admit, I wasn’t too interested in this trailer at first, but it has a charm that’s grown on me—you guessed it—like a case of the crotchpox (irritating yet sexual?) However! Nothing tastes fresh about this, and I’d love to see Depp move beyond this tired ground. Helena Bonham Carter is sort of stuck supporting her hubs, but Depp really needs to move on.
This relies heavily on one’s particular taste since it retains the same cult feel as the original TV series. Ready a fourth.
By: Marielle -
Aww yeah! It’s finally here! Time to get psyched!
Let the assembling begin!
Time for some good old fashioned avenging!
Avengeance is a dish best served with fists!
Just cut to the trailer…
We’ve all been waiting for another comic book movie that doesn’t disappoint. Because it seems like, save for a handful*, they all do. Joss Whedon’s mainstream success train is on fire and continuing to barrel straight through to our hearts, causing intense heartburn that hurts so good. So, uh, it’s safe to say he’s a superior writer to most, and it appears his directing is on par (yes, he’s directed many episodes of great TV, nerds, I know.)
I try to avoid reviews before writing these previews, but it’s next to impossible to shut out the glowing praise this is already receiving. Joss knows how to handle a well-crafted, exciting, and emotional comic book story, as he’s shown with his “Astonishing X-Men” run a few years back, as well as the comic versions of his TV shows (most notably, Buffy and Firefly.)
Truly astonishing: January Jones made this boring.
I was pumped when I heard Joss was writing and directing The Avengers, not only because some of my favourite stuff has been penned by him, but because he handles an ensemble cast expertly. And we’ve been building up to this moment for years, sometimes with individual character features acting as mere mediocre introductions *cough* Captain America *cough* leading up to the main event**.
At least he had fun. Oh, this is still The Avengers.
The ensemble point is vital because with so many main characters coming together in one film, there needs to be careful balancing and emphasis. Luckily, Whedon has shown repeatedly he can handle incredible teams. Also, big snakes.
: A Toast
As a bonus, enjoy this faux 1978 “made-for-TV movie” style trailer of The Avengers. HULK SEDUCE!
*Most awesome: Nolan’s Batman series, X-Men 1 and X-Men: First Class, Iron Man 1, Scott Pilgrim. Whatchu got, comicbros?!
**To be fair, I haven’t seen Captain America… yet.
By: Marielle -
Time to get bogged down by some more cases of the seen-its!
The Five-Year Engagement -
It’s getting unbelievable how often trailers give you the entire plot. Sure, a movie about a long engagement and unbearable, meddling parents and a couple who have completely reasonable grounds for putting off their wedding seems like it’s predictable—so why does it matter? But, can’t we just pretend we don’t know what’s going to happen in this one?
Who thought she’d run into that door?! That was crazy!!
Romantic comedies about weddings are certainly familiar ground. It’s like, you turn on the TV every day and there’s one being advertised for or featured as the afternoon movie. It’s the same basic story with the same basic climax (if you can call it that! Amirite?) with the same basic ending. Would it kill romantic comedies to spice it up once and awhile? It’s been decades! How are we supposed to stay interested when it’s the same routine day in and day out, romantic comedies? Go shave your legs at least.
I’d watch Jason Segel shave his legs and enjoy it, and this Emily Blunt character seems charming enough. But, if you’re going to retread such mundane ground, you have to do better than slapstick pratfalls, punchable parents, and relying on the actors to make it work.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits -
Have pirates been done before? Of course. But, these ones are claymation and delightfully British! What’s that? Those so-called Caribbean pirates were British? I said, delightfully.
The makers of Wallace & Gromit, Aardman Animations, practically have a patent on cute and funny clay adventures. They manage to make a worn-out trend fun again (the last time being somewhere between The Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and when that first swarm of haggard, slutty-Captain-Jack-Sparrows did their walks of shame on November 1st, 2003.) It certainly seems more clever, charming, and funny than all of those Bruckheimer milkings combined. I can even ignore that it’s unnecessarily in 3D. (The claymation is cool enough, guys.)
The Raven -
Someone appears to be copy-catting the “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe in their devious murders. Or at least I have to assume so; I’ve never read it because it sounds super boring. It’s a well-known narrative poem from the mid-1800s, and if The Simpsons did it, you know it’s engrained in our culture. And because of that, I’m vaguely familiar with it. And there ain’t no murder mystery involved.
Cue the ‘nevermore’ puns.
It’s my understanding that there is literally a talking raven in the poem and I’m surprised this doesn’t have a CGI one that squawks to John Cusack as he tries to solve the case. They might as well: it seems about as cheap as wanting to write a murder movie but needing popular, classic, and free source material to add a sense of gravitas and dollar signs to your flick.
(I miss you, Mr. Show)
To add insult to injury, the acting sucks 19th century gothic revival titties.
Safe (2012) -
There seems to be a movie called “Safe” every couple of years (just 1995, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011; no big deal) similar to how there’s a movie where The Stath is punching Asians in the face every couple of years*. (Interesting sidenote: Jason Statham is described as being a former “black market salesman” in his IMDB profile. I would much rather find out ‘of what?!’ than write a preview for this, but thems the brakes.)
All black market ponderings aside, this one looks kinda cool. Once again, protecting a special kid isn’t new, but The Stath always delivers on suave-yet-hardcore action. And what more do you want from a Jason Statham movie anyway?
To quote the man himself, “You ain’t ever gonna get an Academy Award for doing Crank  and you certainly won’t for doing all the other movies I’ve done.”
By: Marielle -
I don’t have much to say about this except that it looks pretty gosh darn cute. That and it makes the “apes” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes look like furry pieces of crap. You guys couldn’t hire real monkeys like Disney did? I know Andy Serkis thinks Andy Serkis is the epitome of monkey emoting, but clearly this guy wins out:
The secret is he’s an actual god damn chimp.
A couple of cheers to chimps: the easiest animals to anthropomorphize and therefore make us cry! I bet the reason they abandoned Oscar was because he was different. Chimps can be so cruel! Let’s wear some rubber bracelets and ribbons about it.
The Lucky One -
Why is the main conflict in romances that, at first, the lady doesn’t like the dude, and for no good reason? This handsome young gent has come along and is kind to you. What a prick! You’d better deny his friendship. Because you’ve been hurt in the past. By a man. Some stupid man knocked you up and now here’s another one of them all smiling and trying to talk to you. Sure, he’s one of those guys who always retains the look of a teenager which gives him a certain air of creep…
But, at least he’s not your abusive jock ex! Those guys are so easy to make babies with!
HOLD UP! *Record Scratch*
Ew, and he’s a police officer? Lady, what the hell?
A picture of you! Holy shit. There’s no possible way that could be explained with one or two sentences! What in the romantic-drama-clichés is gonna happen next?!
To find out, just watch the trailer. The entire plot is there.
Thanks a lot, Nicholas Sparks. You’re walking on thin ice. You get a pass because of wet Ryan Gosling… but you’d better watch your panty melting back.
Can someone photoshop out that blue object, please? It’s in my way.
Think Like a Man -
Okay, here’s a game. I’ve never heard of this movie, so I’m going to guess it’s 1.) a romantic comedy; 2.) about a woman who either magically gains the power to read men’s thoughts à la reverse-Mel Gibson in What Women Want or who finds success in her work/personal life by purposefully thinking like one of those prick men I keep hearing about; and 3.) is going to make me angry.
Actually, I have heard of that book by Steve Harvey. And it looks like I am possibly 3 for 3? But, I’m confused (probably because I’m not thinking enough like a man.) Who should act like a lady and think like a man? Women? Men? Both? What happens if I think like a lady and act like a man? I guess I could do all of that shoppin’ I always want to do and spend my own money from my high-powered business job that I always do things at.
Chris Brown is in this? Aw hell no! Is he going to be acting like a lady and thinking like a man? Because someone’s about to get bitch-slapped if that’s the case.
Why not a six-pack? Because Steve Harvey can be funny sometimes. But, people really need to stop basing books/movies/advice and other bullshittery on assumed gendered behaviour and how different men and women must be. It only continues to divide the sexes and make people fixate on clichés they see and ignore the countless similarities. I’ll be patiently waiting over here for Think Like An Individual Person, Shithead.
By: Marielle -
The Cabin in the Woods -
I’m a big Joss Whedon fan, but not in a blind, fangirl, ‘everything he touches turns to gold’ kind of way. It’s a popular tendency for those who get to know his work because his characters and worlds are easy to fall in love with. Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and the few seasons of Angel I’ve seen are all fantastic: the drama, the action, the comedy. He has a penchant for occasionally killing off well-loved characters, similar to George R.R. Martin, because that’s what real life is like. Spoiler: you and everyone you care about (and loathe) are going down. And like Martin, Whedon has a great talent for bringing fantasy elements down to earth and grounding them in realistic characters and brutal situations. The problem with Whedon is that, if you don’t share his taste, you’re not going to be impressed. For some, it’s love at first sight; for others, a deep connection forms over time. Unfortunately, some people don’t have the attention span or the open mind to get what he’s going for.
This was a comedy episode…
To his credit, he’s never sold out to broader tastes to cash in on easy paycheques. Now, with Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers later this spring, it looks like Whedon is going to get some big mainstream exposure.
Whedon and co-writer Drew Goddard (also of Buffy and Angel, as well as Lost and Cloverfield fame) fully embrace the horror/thriller genre, and it looks like the results will be polarizing. The types of people who aren’t in on the joke, well, won’t get it. The story of some sexy teens who are terrorized in the woods by a group of scientists who control the environment is both satire on the genre while simultaneously being a real horror (and sci-fi?) flick. The set-up is much like the relationship between writers/directors and their characters. Sadistic writers, anyway.
Maybe I do have blind faith. The people who like the Saw franchise probably won’t like it. I think that real genre fans will. Me? Oh, I don’t like horror movies. See you next time, Joss.
Every time I hear one of those few Trailer Voice Guys speak, I know some standard studio fare is coming. Is it because they can’t quite make the material stand on its own or because they think some serious hand holding is required? I mean, someone actually says Guy Pearce’s character is a loose cannon. With dialogue like that, I think we can puzzle through it.
The president’s daughter is trapped on aFloatingCriminalSpaceIslandand it’s up to a guy who is “the best”, but who they don’t completely trust, to save her!
I wonder if those two will take the time during the escape to knock space boots?
The Three Stooges -
Do I have to? FINE.
Oh, weird, another deep yet smooth trailer voiceover.
This is the worst. I hate the real Three Stooges and their slapstick shenanigans. This remake looks bloody intolerable (I’m not British; a few blood vessels just exploded in the Taste centre of my brain.) This is up at ‘The Chipmunk movies’ levels of bad. It’s a perfect representation of the point where my rage and boredom meet.
And Kate Upton, where are your standar—right, you jiggle for money. Carry on.
Just smuggle in a whole 40.
By: Marielle -
Hey guys, remember the 90s?!
YEAH! TOTALLY AWESOME!
American Reunion -
The gang’s back together after being together for three movies and wisely disappearing for four direct-to-dvd American Pie series mutations, supposedly to avoid being creeped on by Jim’s dad.
“Don’t mind me! Do whatever you were going to do with whichever desserts. I’ll be over here.”
“Don’t you have a job you need to be at?”
If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, American Pie is the 90s’ ultimate teen sex romp that introduced a wide audience to stars like Chris Klein (also “Customer #2″ in Tilt-a-Whirl) and Tara Reid (also of “those freaky plastic-surgery-gone-wrong photos.”) The film’s reigning achievements are Stifler references and the (unfortunately) still currently used term ‘MILF.
Still the butt of the joke
American Reunion has everyone returning for their (13th?) anniversary high school reunion, including the jokes from the original! We’re treated to familiar critiques on gender like ‘boys will be boys and be slaves to their wieners’ and ‘girls be havin’ babies and watchin’ reality TV!’ It explores the assumed inevitable dilemma of those who desperately cling to their high school glory days and the crushing realities of career and family that they all freely chose for themselves. To be fair, those are the exact problems that people who desperately cling to their high school days perceive. Oh shit, I followed the American Dream and now I’m unhappy just like everyone else! *Impales self on white picket fence while wife rifles through wallet*
The original American Pie was good for what it was in its proper time and place. This sequel addresses the kinds of issues plaguing its past target audience (now in their late 20s/early 30s) and tries to bring some levity to anybody taking themselves too seriously. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the franchise’s sense of humour has matured as well.
The good news is “pooping the cooler” is about to become the hot new phrase for the next 13 years!
Titanic (3D!!!) -
Let’s go back even farther to the days of 1997. Nintendo 64 controllers were in our hands, a young Ryan Gosling starred on Breaker High, and Bill Clinton barred federal funding for research on human cloning. Well, look at us now, Prez, I can make as many of me as I want! (What? Oh. I see.)
A struggling young actor named Leonardo DiCaprio also steered the Titanic into our collective girl pants. Also, there was old timey car sex!
I’m gonna go ’1912 Renault DOWN-Town!’
Regular readers (hi, mom…) know I disapprove of remakes and re-releases and Titanic is no exception. And ‘disapprove’ really means strong hate for lazy studio money grubbing. The special effects in the original were great and they don’t need a modern, trendy update as an excuse for another billion bucks.
MOAR CGI IN MY FACE, PLEASE!
Titanic still sits at #2 in the All-Time Top 20 Box Office list and #3 when adjusted for inflation. It was a cinematic phenomenon, despite it not being a perfect movie (OMG, there was totally room for him on that floating door, bitch!) In addition to being a visual spectacle, it was a sexy, historical romance between a classy dame and the hottest drifter-artist I’ve ever seen!
Rose, I’m flying!
I’m always torn between rating a movie for its original merits vs. trying to gauge it in its current context.
Fans are getting lubed up for some young Leo and Kate and drowning action. A large part of me wants to cast this off in shame, but if you’re motivated to catch it in its 3D glory, it might look kinda cool?
By: Marielle -
Mirror Mirror -
The story so nice (and free cause it’s in the public domain) they made it twice! …This year. Amongst a catalogue of, like, forty other ones.
Mirror Mirror is the first of two Snow White movies to premiere in 2012, and it’s also the cheesier and somehow whiter one. It’d be nice for a studio to take their savings from not having to pay royalties to step up their game. Even the sets and costumes leave a lot to be desired. Did they even bother to askNathan Lane to change out of his usual weekend garb?
Seriously, though, this looks awful. The whole trailer is a cringefest. There’s so many worn-out ideas (and I hesitate to say ‘at play’ because that would suggest some semblance of fun), and not just because it’s Snow White again, but because it looks like the only new thing they’ve brought to the table is the omg-the-stakes-have-never-been-higher-and-bombs!!! music in the trailer. Wow, what suspense! Some old beauty queen is pissed her looks are going, and they shoehorned in a line about gender roles being reversed four seconds before Armie Hammer, winner of the Most Handsomest Wealthy Aryan* award for the second consecutive year, dips Snow White back in his arms.
And that’s being generous. Julia Roberts’s performance makes me wanna slap her back to the 1990s. And after watching Jennifer Lawrence kill it in The Hunger Games last weekend, I feel like Lily Collins should furrow those hyper-eyebrows in shame.
*Ironically, Hammer is half-Jewish.
Wrath of the Titans -
The sequel to 2010′s Clash of the Titans (in 3D!!!), the unfortunately titled Wrath of the Titans follows some heroes doing ancient Greecey stuff and—hey, hold up—is that Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)? Are they perhaps making a subtle comment on upping the badass level of a previous effort? Or perhaps Clash was all just a terrible dream and now it’s totally on??
Nevermind. Perseus just asked that chimera, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!” Ah well.
I’m hoping that they learned something after the first’s failure. I recommend you check out The Hunger Games instead. Liam Neeson is starting to enterSamuelL.JacksonTerritory, guys.