Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The end of another season has brought more than the usual change in temperature to the residents of a city. As they go through some tragic events, the residents, and especially a group of medical students, must re-evaluate their lives and face new questions. On top of that the movie going audiences must re-evaluate their movie choices and face a new question: "Shall we go see After Last Season?"
Several weeks ago internet gleaning individuals were tantalized by a strange article on on Videogum.com introducing them to on After Last Season, a film so awful, so offensive to the eyes, so cardboard that it could only be the joke of some sick pervert. Well, today Videogum had some more news on the subject. Apparently one of their bloggers got a hold of After Last Season creator Mark Region and squeezed from him exciting news. Apparently the movie is in no way a joke, it isn't even a comedy, it is a "Hitchcock-esque mystery thriller" according to Region. On top of that, it had a budget of $5,000,000 (that is 5 million). oh, trust me, I know what you're thinking: "That can't be right, it looks like it had to of had a budget of at least 25 million." but you're wrong. apparently "The special effects, which appear in the trailer, cost a big part of the movie’s $5 million budget." Oh, well that makes sense. if you haven't seen the trailer yet check it out here at Apple Trailers:
Yes, that's right, it's a legit movie. It has appeared on Apple Trailers along other movies like it such as Where The Wild Things Are and Year One. After Last Season will be seeing a wide theatrical release this coming June and If you are lucky enough that "wide" encompasses a theatre near you. I'll try and bring you more on the film as I learn more and maybe if you're luck I'll even go see it for all of you but only time will tell.
-Daniel, eternally glad that they didn't use a cardboard MRI on him before his colonoscopy
Friday, March 27, 2009
Eric: Alright, we've corrected each other enough. Now, Nicolas Cage, as comfortable as an astrophysics professor in this as Mark Wahlberg was as a biology professor in The Happening, figures he can find the sequence within this mess of numbers from crazy Lucinda. Who scratches her fingers to bloody pulps at one point, mind you.
Eric: He doesn't merely try, he does. What doesn't make sense is that Cage and his pistol don't save anyone, and cannot, because the number of deaths on paper are always the number of people that die.
Eric: So Cage runs around, trying to prevent disasters from killing people that are already going to die, while his son falls into the same madness Lucinda was plagued with fifty years ago. Did we mention the fucking time capsule?
Daniel: Nah, but I mention he finds it 50 years later so it's all good. Um, yeah, he actually threatens one of the space angels with the magnum and, what's a space angel to do in that situation? What anybody else would do of course, he vomits a blinding light and disappears.
Daniel: I guess that we should mention that the angels are trying to abduct Cage's son so that they can go all Planet of the Apes on the boy and have him mate with the adorable 9 year old Abby so that they too can repopulate a new, earth-like planet, complete with it's own tree of knowledge. This movie has a very religious undertone or at least streak to it.
Daniel: At this point I want to let all of you know what actually built up to this chase (one of my favorite parts of the movie). A night before the disaster Cage calls the FBI from a pay phone and tells them to tape off the intersection where he knows the accident to happen. This phone call is quick and confusing and he hangs up
Eric: Blocked off yet?
Daniel: Yes, thank you. The cop replies with "Sir, just calm down. If you'll come with me we can sort this all out." There follows a shot of an FBI "rape van". Cage obviously can make sense of all of this and takes off with superhuman speed into a crowd of naive business men and woman.
Eric: So Hagitha and her daughter Abby side with Cage, and want to stop the world from exploding. But they don't know how. By taking a trip to her deceased, schizophrenic mother's shack, why not? And what do they find out there? That the old nut has scratched in an explanation for the mysterious backwards EE on her paint-by-numbers time capsule paper. It means "EVERYONE ELSE". You get that after seeing it dug into the beneath-the-bed-board over and over. And over.
Daniel: They also find a helluva lot of Jesus Stones which are everywhere in this fucking movie and, to tell you the truth, really play no part in it whatsoever. They show where a space angel has done some mischief or such I guess...
Eric: Right, right. Stand near them, and stare intensely, at least.
Daniel: Or give them Jesus Stones.
Daniel: A Boomer, from everyone's favorite Xbox 360 game Left 4 Dead.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Despicable. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is getting a straight-to-Criterion-Collection release. I can think of a lot of films that deserve this treatment less than Curious Case, but because it wasn't a terrible movie, and just a... there movie? An okay movie? An unoriginal movie? The glaring mediocrity of it being overlooked bothers me more than it would an outright bad film getting this level of critical treatment.
I know it made great technical advances. The same team that created the adorable, humanity-saving baby in Children of Men worked on the de-agening of Brad Pitt. It was an awe-inspiring job to anyone who puts stock in realistic special effects, and honing an art to near perfection. And Claudio Miranda's cinematography deserves notice, and praise, and should have taken home Best, next to what I thought was a meh job at it in Slumdog, but aside from technical and the way it was filmed, and Alexandre Desplat's music, and I guess art direction and production design can get a little love, Curious Case has earned near none of the attention it won.
I'm thinking I may be kicking a dead horse with this review, but is it really kicking a dead horse if the horse keeps standing up, and trotting away from you? When it first came out and got consistent positive criticism, I found it mildly annoying. When it got nominated as one of the "best" pictures of the year, I thought people were making a huge mistake. And then I let it rest. Until finding out the Criterion Collection, the film collection I put plenty of stock in, what I consider to be the finest judge of watch-worthy films, decided to jam Curious Case into its happy little family. I really don't understand it.
David Fincher is amongst my favorite directors. Fight Club, Se7en, Panic Room, those were well directed movies. Brad Pitt emotes in Fight Club and Se7en. I don't have to ruin the ending to both, but come on, do you have to kill a guys wife, and make him a figment of Edward Norton's imagination to make him act believably? He doesn't do anything in the entire movie. He doesn't grow. He doesn't reflect a man who is aging backwards, he reflects a man who has had absolutely nothing wrong happen in his life. Anything bad that happens to him doesn't really affect him anyway, because he only has eyes for Cate Blanchett.
Eric Roth is the other big problem. I think I've heard this 30 times, but Curious Case does bear a number of similarities to his previous film Forrest Gump. Mostly in the romance department. Button, like Gump, spends his whole life, from elementary years onward, harping on this one girl. He can't get her off of his mind. At least in Button's case he gets to have a brief roll-in-the-hay with Tilda Swinton, but both of them have stints with prostitutes, and both are hopelessly drawn to women that don't really want much to do with them romantically for the majority of their lives.
These relationships are ultimately what get me. These aren't real relationships. Button has no reason to fall so hopelessly in love with a girl he met as a young old man. He hung out with her on the weekends, when she was visiting her grandmother. There's no reason for such a strong bond to have been built. And the way she treats him when she's legal? Miserably. But that's alright. When he wants her, she doesn't want him. When she wants him, he doesn't need her. Finally though, they get it right. They 'meet in the middle'. Which is nice. If they'd met in the middle, and had really met in the middle, that would be cute. But as is, there isn't reason for them to care about each other. Not to the extent they do, and not to any extent beyond common human decency.
Button doesn't react to death in any impactful way. And it doesn't impact him. People pass out of his life because they're old. Old people die. It's like any little boy having old people around him dying, because his mind is the same age as it should be. If he was born with an old person's mind, as he is in the F. Scott Fitzgerald story, it would actually matter to him that his friends are all dying. But in the film, it doesn't. His father comes to claim him when it's years too late. And he's fine with that. His friends and mentors all pass away. He's fine with that. He only has eyes for Cate. Unrealistic eyes for unrealistic Cate.Watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind really drove home how fake these relationships were. Spotless Mind gets relationships down. All the characters, they're real people, I can picture them coexisting with me. Not so in Curious Case. Also, the Katrina storyline? Useless. Absolutely useless. Cate Blanchett's retrospective is useless to a story that is perfectly simple to tell without flashing back to 2005 from the mid 1900s. It's under my skin, Curious Case. It could have done so much with the source material, and it could have done so much with the money, and the talent it had behind it, but a few mistakes and it falls flat on its face.
The only excuse for it being admitted into the Criterion Collection is the technical. If you had to have a good story to get into Criterion, it wouldn't be there. And as far as I knew, Criterion meant a film hits all the criteria necessary for it to be a great film. Turns out I was mistaken.
Fuck you, Eric Roth.
- Eric T. Voigt, Ending on a Belligerent Note