Tag Archives: movies

The Vow is the sequel to every romantic comedy ever made

This would be a better poster if she was lying comatose in a hospital bed.

I will likely never see The Vow, which opened last weekend. But I learned this about its premise:

A car accident puts Paige (McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Tatum) works to win her heart again.

This could be the sequel to every romantic comedy ever. At the end of any movie in which two people fall in love and get married, the woman conveniently obtains a coma and the husband has to win her heart again (thus allowing for a rehash of the same movie).

“Shit,” says the husband. “We’ll have to meet cute again! And she’ll probably also consider a pompous and/or mean guy who is obviously not right for her.”

Seriously, with Hollywood so enraptured by sequels, I can’t believe they missed the opportunity to graft this movie onto an existing franchise.

Think about the possibilities:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith Take A Vow: Angelina Jolie has a coma, and Brad Pitt has to both win her heart back and explain to her why she has all these assassin skills. It’s 1 part romantic comedy, 1 part Jason Bourne movie.
  • Vow to Drive: Carey Mulligan hits her head, and Ryan Gosling returns to town to quietly make sure she and her son are doing okay. She’s getting harassed by medical bills, and Ryan Gosling ends up killing a bunch of HMO lawyers before leaving town (again).
  • Love Vowed Actually: Every person in the movie falls into a coma and a whole new cast of famous actors and actresses, each playing a doctor, fall in love with their respective patients.
  • We Vowed To Free Willy: Willy hits his head on a submarine, gets an orca concussion, and ends up back in a zoo somehow.
  • E.T.’s Head Hurts: E.T. gets a concussion from a bike accident and in his confusion calls in a distress signal. His species destroys planet Earth.

the immortals radio trailer is kind of fascinating (in the way perfectly smooth drying paint is fascinating)

Spotify is running a 30-second audio ad for Immortals, a new sword-and-sandals-and-no-actual-set-locations movie coming out in November.

Video game? Movie? Obstacle course mud run? Does it matter?

Making fun of B-grade special-effects vehicles like this one isn’t a fresh joke.  But I was so thoroughly impressed by every single word I heard in the trailer that I simply had to go into the Spotify history and listen to it again.

If you put every action-fantasy movie and video game into a blender and hit liquefy, the resulting smooth, undifferentiated gray syrup would be this movie trailer. Literally nothing sticks out, except for the fact that literally nothing sticks out.

[The following is the transcript from the ad.  The text in quotes is dialogue from the movie.  Non-quoted text is the narrator for the trailer.]

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Maybe Nicolas Cage Is Secretly Making Great Art

Saw this banner ad this morning:

Hasn't Nic Cage made this movie about 5 times already?

You know what they say: do what you love, and then find somebody to pay you to do it.  With Nicolas Cage, I’ve always thought it was backwards: find what people will pay you to do, and then learn to love doing it.

I’m sort of blown away by the movie posters Cage has been featured in, all since 2007 (the last one is a movie coming out in 2011).  Seen collectively, I think they suggest an overarching project; a collective work of art, wherein each component seems absurd and shallow when viewed individually, but taken together, there develops new depths.  They say Hollywood has no new ideas, but I think Nicolas Cage is taking “no new ideas” to a sublime new level:

Cage's credits, in order, starting in 2006: The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, Next, National Treasure 2, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing. Incredible run, that.

some things I learned from movies over Thanksgiving break

To be fair, the movie was reasonably funny. And I love me some Patrick Warburton voice acting.

Lesson: Jerry Seinfeld’s dramatic range is no greater as an animated bee than it is when he plays himself in a sitcom.

Worth seeing, but keep expectations moderated.

Lesson: It is more difficult than you’d think to create a movie ending where everything goes off the rails in a satisfying manner.  Adaptation and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels are the shining examples here.

The dragon looks like a Pokemon ripoff.

Not sure why it wasn't funnier.

Lesson: A good way to test-run your animated kids movie: Put four boys ages 5-11 in a room with the movie and some blown-up balloons.  If, by the end, they’ve stopped watching the movie and are playing with the balloons, your movie probably isn’t very good.

white Christian wish fulfillment

Lesson: To be honest, I only saw about 30 minutes of this.  But I have never seen a more patronizing and exploitative 30 minutes of mainstream cinema.  Good lord.  The fact that this movie won awards and drew so many theatergoers is a bigger harbinger of this country’s demise than any economic indicators.

update: edited for spelling and because I calmed down a bit

Best Picture Nominees

They announced the nominees for Best Picture this morning.  They’re expanding the list to 10 movies, so that they can further dilute the notion of “Nominated For Best Picture” in the service of marketing campaigns.  I’m glad to see Pixar’s Up getting on the list, although I don’t think it is Pixar’s best movie.  And I hate to stereotype a movie I haven’t seen, but… 

 

A Lifetime Original Movie, right?

The Blind Side?  Seriously?  Isn’t that a Lifetime Channel exclusive?  And Sandra Bullock is nominated for Best Actress? 

Sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, I overheard an Entertainment Tonight-type television show talk about Bullock as taking the title of “America’s sweetheart” from Julia Roberts, who “held it for ten years.”  Besides speaking as if describing a title belt (a funny idea already), I like the idea of Sandra Bullock taking the title of “Julia Roberts” from Julia Roberts.  

At the risk of sounding elitist, I’m going to go all in on The Hurt Locker (which I have seen) being a vastly superior movie in every possible way to The Blind Side.  And I’d say the same about Star Trek.  And probably The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove, which I assume does not contain paternalistic depictions of racial empowerment that make you feel rather queasy.  Which is the impression I got of The Blind Side from watching its trailers. 

Has anybody actually seen The Blind Side?  Can anybody tell me if it’s as bad as I assume it is?  Mostly I wrote this post so I can try this wordpress poll feature. 

Hollywood Is The Least Creative Place On Earth

From this NYTimes article on Avatar and its impact on blockbusters:

And a new “Spider-Man” episode is not due until 2012, now that Sony Pictures has canceled a planned fourth installment from the director Sam Raimi and the star Tobey Maguire, choosing instead to focus on a reinvention of the series, with a new director and cast.

Ugh, how dated!

The first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man came out in 2002, was generally well received, made $114 million dollars its opening weekend, and finished with $820 million dollars between its domestic and foreign takes.  The next two movies in the series combined for $1.67 billion dollars in combined worldwide box office gross.

Now, 10 years later, they’re going to “reinvent” the series with a new director and cast?  I guess Hollywood really is the least creative place on Earth.  Don’t mistake me for a big Spider-Man fan.  I imagine this is how that studio conversation went:

Big Suit One:  We need more money.

Big Suit Two:  Remember Spider-Man?  Those movies made a shit ton.

Big Suit One:  Yeah, but Toby Maguire is lame now, and won’t do another movie.

Big Suit Two:  We don’t need him.  We’ll make the same movie again!  Call it a reimagining!

Big Suit One:  The first movies still look fine.  What is there to change?

Big Suit Two:  Nothing!  People are suckers!

We won't take a risk if we can possibly avoid it

This is worse than the current trend of taking simple touchstones from a 1980’s childhood (Transformers, Where The Wild Things Are, G.I. Joe) and turning them into blockbusters.  This is taking blockbusters from ten years ago and turning them into blockbusters.  It’s even less creative.  What’s next?

  1. Gladiator, with Johnny Depp as a wacky pirate Maximus!
  2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with Robert Pattinson and Emma Watson replacing Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.  Do I hear the sound of a million tweens swiping credit cards?
  3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with Sean Connery!  Same premise, but you need special effects for the younger parts of his life!
  4. Capote, still with Philip Seymour Hoffman!  He just can’t play the character like he did it last time!  What will he come up with!?!?
  5. The Dark Knight, with a ton of famous actors playing Batman!  It’d be a cross between I’m Not There and The Last Waltz, but for Superhero movies!