Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox: It Happened

I have no idea what this comic means, but it happened.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is here.


Time for me to have a joy-filled heartattack.
A Coen Brother trailer, then a Wes Anderson trailer. In the same day. It's like karma or something. Fantastic Mr. Fox looks and sounds every bit as awesome as I imagined it would be. Heavier on the slap-stick, heavier on the child-friendly. George Clooney's voice fits great, Bill Murray sounds like he's going to be the tops, and I'm already ga-ga for Jason Schwartzman's character Ash. Terrific. Or dare I say it: fantastic? No. No, that's stupid.

- Eric T. Voigt, Attacked

A Serious Man, October 2nd, 2009

It is now trailer time.

Happy-go-lucky? Care-free? A laugh riot? Definitely.
If Joel and Ethan Coen decided they were going to make five feature films every month for the rest of their lives it still wouldn't be enough. I appreciate one a year, don't get me wrong, but there should always be more. More of their bleak worlds and tender humor. More scoring from Carter Burwell. More shooting from Roger Deakins. Give me more.
But this'll hit the spot nicely.

- Eric T. Voigt, Rushin' It

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News Which Sadly Caused Me To Gasp From Excitement: Ray Tintori Directing a Spike Jonze Production

Spike Jonze directed Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, presented The Fall and produced Synecdoche, New York, on top of just having finished Where the Wild Things Are. One of my favorite film makers, responsible for so many good things in and coming into this world.

Ray Tintori directed two short films: Death to the Tinman and Jettison Your Loved Ones. He also directed a few fantastic music videos for MGMT, The Killers and Chairlift, and co-wrote the adorably post-apocalyptic short Glory at Sea. I wrote a short article a while back on how enthused I was about him, and in what dire need the world was for a full-out feature from the boy.

According to /Film, who almost never lies to me, Spike Jonze bought up the rights to a book by Shane Jones called Light Boxes, and Ray Tintori is set to direct it.

When I heard this news I looked like so:
And as the news sank in I looked like so:
I rule in favor of this news. All opposed? Is this how court works? Regardless, Ray Tintori is directing a Spike Jonze production of a book "about a mysterious town that endures a long, deadly winter. Told in short bursts, the story concerns the war the townspeople bring against February, an oddly real and powerful character" says Even better was the Wikipedia synopsis: "a fantasia about a war waged by a group of balloonists against the seemingly endless month of February." This is going to rock out with the power of fifty cocks out.

- Eric T. Voigt, Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Pantless


Time for me to get girlie. One of my favorite movies of all time is Pretty in Pink, because A) it is a girlie love story of a movie, B) it is a classic 80's John Hughes with the bolo tie fashions I've grown to love, and C) it has an amazing soundtrack. 

The greatest part of the film which causes me to rewind and watch over and over again is Duckie's lip-synced rendition of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness". 

Jon Cryer (whom has since disappointed me) was perfect as the nerdy cool guy, the "hipster" of his day, and admittedly caused me to swoon. There's just something classic and wonderful about dancing around a record shop to one of the greatest voices of all time that makes me wish I worked at Trax after school. 

Anyone who listens to "Try a Little Tenderness" without dancing around where ever they happen to be at that time is either crazy or just has really good self control. And a tip for filmmakers, throw an Otis Redding song in the mix, and I will love your film unconditionally no matter what. Tip of the hat to you John Hughes, tip of the hat.

***Brianna Wellen


It was good. Really good. There were explosions. And suspense. Also, good performances and philosophical discussions. In a war movie! (I know!)

Go see it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Special Alert!

I hate to do this, but the very special interview with Ted Borodaeff, the mime from Transformers 2 was pushed a few posts back, even though it was just finished today. So scroll down a bit!

-Kevin Kern, seriously considering not contributing to this blog anymore so read that interview and make it count

I Seriously Thought Eric Would Have Posted These By Now

UPDATE: There's a whole new gaggle of photos I don't want to upload, so I'll just link to them.


But I guess I can do it for him. More Fantastical Foxy-Woxy photos that make the first one look, creepier?

We all remember this interesting little picture, don't we? It's a little wider this time around and doesn't have that obnoxious watermark. Alright, soak it in. 

Are you ready? Here we go!

Ahhhhh, this is what I've been waiting to see. Animals in ski-masks? Mr. Fox sporting a double-breasted corduroy blazer? Sign me up. 

And finally

Oh, Mr. Fox, you sly sly devil, you. You sharply dressed vegtable-stalking, coy-talking, upright-walking sonuvabitch. Can't wait to see you on the big screen.

Alex Deaton - Likes Wes Anderson, but doesn't have a blood-sacrifice shrine in his closet like Eric and Brianna

I Don't Want More Tron, Grandma

Flashback to the Summer of 2006. On a hot, muggy day a boy crouches near his small, inadequate RCA television and eyes the cover of Disney's Tron skeptically. He looks towards the tower of other DVDs checked out from the library: Reservoir Dogs, The Godfather, Barton Fink. He turns to Tron but once more, grimaces, and pops it in. The teen sulks back to the couch, possibly shirtless, and begins watching what was apparently revolutionary in 1982.

The child fidgets and yawns through roughly 24 minutes before shutting it off in a vengefully bored stupor. Cut to three years later. The boy is now a boy, but in college, and has spent a great deal of his life trying to set aside the disappointment and shame earned from the viewing of the first Tron. He is almost brought to tears when he realizes he must refer to Tron as the first, because he has unfortunately learned that over two decades after the original's release a sequel is in the works. I am that boy.

The least exciting/most exciting moment in Tron

I didn't like Tron even a little bit. It tore out my joy like it had something to prove. The story was about as gripping as faulty velcro, and the acting was as good as faulty velcro. The special effects made me sad to be alive. The world felt so vast and artificial it tricked me into thinking I had agoraphobia for 5 full minutes. The knowledge that Tron Legacy is coming feels like icing on a cake of cement. I hate eating cement. 

The sneak peek at what Tron Legacy has to offer shows off just how far light-cycle races haven't come, how ugly new technology can be, and a creepy demonstration of Jeff Bridges ability to kill a man with a frisbee. I want this movie like I want a hole in the back of your head. Enjoy.

 - Eric T. Voigt, Computer Worlds Are Laaaaame

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nicolas Cage Is A Dish Best Served Cold

Take a look at this face:
That's Nicolas Cage. He's starred in over fifty films, and has seven projects in various levels of production deep into 2011. He's also one of the most disrespected, criticized, laughed at, mocked, harassed, and derided men in Hollywood. Did I mention he gets made fun of? With such bad-mouthing you'd think he was Carlos Mencia. And that guy sucks.

Why is a man who has worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, earning himself more money than you or I will ever dare to think of thinking about, considered such a bad actor? It's because Nicolas Cage is a very specific breed of actor who should star in very few movies.

For some reason or another Cage has been pegged as the go-to guy for adventure thrillers. He's forced to play the hero, and the every-man sort of hero we're all of us supposed to get behind. It's a very common archetype. There's a problem with this:

Nicolas Cage isn't an archetype; he's Nicolas Fucking Cage!

Time to play Good Cage, Bad Cage, where I'll explain why Cage is so good when he's good, and the worst person alive when he's bad.

Good Cage: 
In 1987 Nicolas Cage was given the honor of playing leading man H. I. McDunnough in Joel and Ethan Coen's sophomore film Raising Arizona. He played the hell out of it. He wasn't an anti-hero, but he wasn't someone worth rooting for. He was a dirty, fairly stupid hillbilly who just wanted to make his wife happy and raise a baby that wasn't his. Watch him escape the cops! He was off the wall, but he was adorable, and Raising Arizona shines as a beacon of hope to all those who would otherwise write Cage off. The amount of lunacy he exuded perfectly here would be his downfall in later years. Take, for instance, Gone in Sixty Seconds.

Bad Cage:
So now he's a car thief. A step down from Huggies. And is that Robert Duvall? Before this wasCon Air, and Face/Off, and although I've never seen those I've heard rumor they're terrible, and along with them Gone in Sixty Seconds was a good start to Cage's dangerously stupid run of career moves. Who makes a movie with Dominic "Swordfish" Sena? Watch him talk to his car and escape the cops! Seriously, what the hell is going on with everything in that scene? It isn't even so much his acting in this, but the fact that he was in this movie, that makes this such a Bad Cage. People think his hair is bad now? Anything is better than blonde. IncludingAdaptation.

Good Cage:
Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman are so hardcore they decided to cram TWO Nicolas Cages into Adaptation. That's right, not only does Nicolas Cage play Charlie Kaufman, he plays his/Charlie's own twin, who doesn't actually exist in real life. Blows your mind. Watch him get pissy about film! See, the mark of a Good Cage isn't that he happens to stumble into a decent film, it's that he adds to the film's decency. Which he does here. What a Bad Cage does is either totally destroy a film, or simply fill the shoes that anyone else in the entire world could have filled. Like in Next, World Trade Center, Bangkok Dangerous, and National Treasure 1 and 2.

Bad Cage:
I think National Treasure is where Cage decided if crime thrillers weren't going to ruin his credibility fast enough it was time to give action adventure movies a chance. It worked wonders. Not only did Cage sell out to Disney, he also kind of took exactly the same role Tom Hanks would later in The DaVinci Code: guy knowledgeable about stuff getting involved in ridiculously dangerous adventures pertaining to their field of knowledge. I wish that was more succinct. Watch him become part of the scenery! He continues down this path in Next, World Trade Center and Bangkok Dangerous sort of, but what gets people really riled up about Cage is The Wicker Man.

So Bad It's Awesome Cage:
Okay, if someone hasn't seen The Wicker Man compilation now is the time to do it. Please, please, hold your applause. There isn't much to be said about The Wicker Man performance aside from this: fuh? I don't know if anyone knew what they were doing when they were working on this project, but if they did know what they were doing they were very mean people. And the same can probably be said for Ghost Rider

Bad Cage:
Watch him try to play a superhero! Nicolas Cage doesn't get it. He shouldn't save people. He should just be. That's what he's best at. In Raising Arizona he was. In Adaptation he was. Twice. And he was, and very much so, in The Weather Man.

Good Cage:
Why couldn't he play a superhero with a bow? Because when Cage is a leading man he should be an average person with minor problems, or an insane person, but he shouldn't be a brave and heroic person without any problems. It's too easy, and that ruins him. With The Weather Man Cage's character isn't even well liked. Watch him fail! He's weak and unconfident, his family sort of steps all over him, and he's awesome in it. Give him some problems and he'll work wonders. Just remember how badass he's going to be in Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Calls New Orleans. 

My points here all add up to one thing: Nicolas Cage, when not playing a hero and when backed up by ample directing and writing, can and will give a great performance. For every Knowingand 8MM there is also an Adaptation lurking in the shadows. Plus I've heard nothing but good things on his role in the upcoming movie Kick-Ass, and he gets to work with Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen in The Green Hornet. I've got my fingers crossed for a solid Cage in both of those. 

 - Eric T. Voigt, Found Listening to The Knife While Watching Nicolas Cage Enjoyable



There you go, and yes, you are welcome.

Alex Deaton - Only slightly excited.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Anticipation Builds

After a hiatus from the blogosphere I bring joyous news of Funny People. I have seen the behind the scenes special and I am craving for next week to be here.

The scenes that will be seen in the movie of stand up comedians are actual stand up routines written by the actors for their character. Was your mind just blown? They took a show on the road picking up a few real comedians on the way such as Sarah Silverman and David Spade. So all that stand up footage, real stand up. As an amatuer in the film making world, I'm not sure if that's done often, but I appreciate it regardless.

I'm really liking the concept after seeing a few interviews of how much of Adam Sandler's character is based on Adam Sandler himself. It will give a nice retrospective and insight to him, a deepness we've seen in movies like Reign Over Me and Spanglish while keeping the goofiness that made him famous. I'm excited to see Seth Rogen keep on keeping on in the same personality that I love so dearly and I'm extra excited to see Jason Schwartzman. For a special treat before the movie is out please HULU "Behind the Scenes with Mark Taylor Jackson" and watch the coinciding videos to see Jason Schwartzman as his Funny People character in the uplifting TV show "Yo Teach!". Love it.

So cinemaphiles, I better see you all in theaters next week for Funny People. Because if this movie is only half as good as what I hope, it will be amazing.

***Brianna Wellen

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Interview with the Quietest Thing About Transformers 2

Recently, Eric wrote a review of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and in it he mentioned a mime. The mime in question (Ted Borodaeff) responded to the review in the comments section, and since then I've interviewed him (via e-mail) about his experience with the film. 
KK: How did you land your role as the mime in Transformers 2?

TB: I was called by the Philly casting director for Transformers 2 Heery Casting and asked to submit first off a photo of me as a mime. Then I actually went in and they took photos of me done up as a mime. Pics were taken by Jason Loftus CSA. They were then submitted to The director of Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen. I don’t know how many were submitted as some were in mime poses, and about a week later I was asked to work on the film.  I actually am a trained MIME. There are people in the business that actually know that. I also don’t know how many if any others were considered, but I would assume they were.

KK: How much did you know about the film and its director before showing up to work?

TB: Before showing up for the film, I knew about Michael Bay from his prior work, Transformers and Pearl Harbor and of course Bad Boys.  I also actually knew of him as he had done music videos. I am sure he knew nothing of me. I knew of him because of Meat Loaf and Tina Turner really. Then his movies. I also knew him vaguely as an actor.

As to the script I only was told I was in a scene where ultimately I would be chased away.  As I knew before and after, you get to know very little of his film before the filming begins and even in a scene you know only what you need to know, thus attempting to keep it from leaking before the release of the project.

KK: In the comments section for an earlier post on this blog, you mentioned that your part was very brief following the edit. How did you envision the scene before you saw the finished product?

TB: There actually are a number of copies of the film online, which strikes me as being odd that they were not deleted by Paramount or Dreamworks, but in this day and age they may have leaked them. But obviously someone inside did as I just watched a version where I am from 64 minutes 55 seconds to actually 66.08 seconds.

In this edit I am right in Kevin Dunn’s face and he says he will f’ing punch me and he says mimes freak me out then I go off and perform around the café, with cameras on me I believe most all the time.  In this edit you see me a couple tables away also miming a rope from the sky so to speak as I am lowered to the ground.

In the theater Kevin Dunn said, "will you get out of here?" and Julie White said, "Mimes freak me out."

I actually thought the scene would be at least a couple minutes, as we shot lots of footage. I envisioned the maitre d' serving them lunch as he did. I envisioned me at the table taunting Mr Witwicky. I was not really taunting, but when he threatened to hit me it was like you wouldn’t do that to a mime and I stuck around until Mr. Bay said I should leave.  In this edit Kevin and I were almost touching noses. He [Kevin Dunne] emphatically told me he liked a couple of the takes very much.  As a mime we not only show facial expressions, but they do hopefully reflect the inner soul.

Then as I said I went to the next table with an incredibly beautiful woman whom I was sure would be in the final edit, therefore so would I be in more of the scene.

Next I went in front of the 4 piece orchestra who had been brought in I believe from Cleveland School of Symphony or something like that.  Rather well known school really.

There was more going on between the Witwickys before the next big scene which I don’t want to divulge for those who have not seen the film. I hope the unseen footage makes the DVD. So to answer the question succinctly, at least 1.5 minutes or so. And in this film 1.5 minutes would have been long for anyone but the robots and the main stars.

Even in the brief scene. I am rather noticeable and even more so on IMAX.

KK: In that same comment, you mentioned you were a student of Marcel Marceau's. What was it like working with such a legendary figure?

TB: I was with an acting coach in 1999 while I was still an active Certified Public Accountant and she received a call from an international businessman who needed a silent clown for his brother's wedding. Specifically, he was the best man and ultimately he told me he needed me to mime his speech to his brother and his wife. I realized I knew nothing about being a mime. I rented the film Les Enfant du Paradis from 1945 with Jean-louis Barrault and Etienne Decroux. Decroux was a teacher of Marceau. I watched and the practice of walking in place and some of the other physicality needed to be a beginner.  I had been and still was a martial artist and teacher of [martial arts]. I had studied gymnastics and had decent knowledge of my body. I performed for 250 people. That man paid me triple what I asked for as he said it was incredible. I felt like I knew nothing and needed to know more.

True story: two weeks later I was studying with Marcel Marceau in New York City and then in Ann Arbor Michigan, then with two of his incredible students, Greg Goldston and Victoria La Balme. Marcel Marceau was the living master really. In private conversation he as well as I believe there is a much higher master. He was one of the most endearing, giving and funniest men I have ever met, both to myself and everyone else. I learned much from him, but I also learned something I had to break through and that at first was almost preventing me from performing. Then I realized he was my teacher. I am not Marceau. I am also a dancer. I was asked a week ago if I could dance like Michael Jackson. I had to say, "Michael was really beyond words to me but I am not Michael." Marceau was a genius in many many ways. To myself a real giver of light. I had seen him 50 years ago when he was first on The Red Skelton Show if you know who he is. 

I would never in a million years have thought I would study with Marceau or be a Mime in a Hollywood film or perform as a mime like character at The Blobfest in Phoenixville, Pa celebrating the movie The Blob or be working on a new silent show. I also went to the UK and studied what we call corporeal mime with two disciples so to speak, the last two assistants to Etienne Decroux. Marceau always said, I can teach you technique or try to, but I can not teach you how to act. That does come from us."

KK: How did Michael Bay behave on set?

TB: Michael Bay was rather focused on his work, and not to be out of line, but I bet he was focused on a few of the extras, as was I. He was rather to the point with me. He referred to me as Mr. Mime, which is my name in the script. He very succinctly told me what he expected of me in the scene, talked more at length with Kevin and Julie then let the cameras roll. After the first take he gave me an adjustment, was rather easy with it and had nothing more to say for the next number of takes.  Kevin Dunn gave me a little direction of his own as I am right in his face. Almost touching. He also let me know he liked what I did, especially in one of the takes. It had to do with the internal being expressed in my face. Julie White was rather quiet doing her job. It is my interpretation, but there was a piece of clothing Judy Witwicky shows her husband in the scene. It does not make the cut. Michael Bay did comment on whether or not it exceeded the budget. Is that an astute businessman or is it a penny pincher on a mega million dollar project? I haven't the answer. But since I have yet to be upgraded, I have my prejudices. All in all he seems to be rather focused on the order of the day. He has a lot to keep together. It was really rather cool to work that close with him.

KK: What do you think of the film as a whole?

TB: The film was mindless. The film was action packed. The film had way too much US military. The film went on way too long about pot brownies. The film really had nothing to say to me. All is cured because Megan said the L Word. Damn most of the world hasn't a clue what love is anyway. It's just another 4 letter word. I need, I want, It's mine, you're mine. I want to f you, there are many more for it. Things like the soldier in football paint...weird. BUT BUT BUT I have a short attention span and I did see it twice. Once on IMAX once on the regular screen. THE FILM HELD MY ATTENTION>> MADE ME FORGET ABOUT LIFE>> I DID NOT JUDGE IT WHILE IT WAS ON>>IT REALLY ENTERTAINED ME>  IT DID ITS JOB>  WAS the acting good? Great? I think that answers itself.  Some special effects could have gone further really. But this is retrospective critique. I could actually watch it again. It definitely is no Gone with The Wind, MIRACLE IN MILAN:(WATCH IT IF YOU HAVE NOT>ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES) It was not Fellini or Bergman nor could Michael Bay Ever Ever be. He is no Scorcese, He is no Tim Burton. I'd still see it again on DVD on A big screen TV.

KK: Do you have any upcoming projects we should look out for?

TB: I am working on a silent show, Dance Mime Silent Clown. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

MMMMM 2nd Edition

This moment is memorable not because of a film it was in, but because of it's association with one of the greatest and most interesting directors of our time. I'll let you take in the moment and let it speak for itself for a moment:

Spike Jonze and Fatboy Slim. An obvious combination really once you view the video. This quirky director danced in front of this movie theater often to Fatboy Slim songs (or at least one time other than this) and it earned him Fatboy's favor. After shooting this amazing "dance attack" as I like to call it Fatboy Slim made this his official music video for the song. Well done Spike Jonze, well done.

***Brianna Wellen

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Music and movies go hand in hand and the greatest film makers can balance the two so perfectly that even if a film itself is wretched, there may be a scene worth salvaging because of the marriage of image and sound. So let me introduce to you ladies and gentlemen my new daily segment, Most Memorable Music Moments in Movies. (this is a working title, suggestions are welcome)

Wes Anderson's films are breeding grounds for this segment, so let me begin with The Darjeeling Limited. The undeniable Anjelica Huston says it all as she sets the scene, "Maybe we could express ourselves more fully if we say it without words." Cue The Rolling Stones, and "Play With Fire" begins to play.

The song, so full of threat and melancholy yet such a pleasing melody all at the same time, perfectly reflects the mood of the scene to a point where I found myself right in the midst of it all, sitting at that table. This set of actors, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Huston wore their character's emotions so strongly in their eyes, the face on shots really are silently fully expressing themselves without words. I would almost dare to say that I have never been more impressed by silent acting than by this scene.

"Play With Fire" was to me the first time I heard it, an average song by The Rolling Stones, a band I had never cared for much before. This scene placed an entirely new depth of emotion behind the song, a true human connection that causes me to become completely lost in the song and feel and undying urge to watch The Darjeeling Limited. And that my friends is excellent filmmaking.

Happy movie watching cinemaphiles of the world.

***Brianna Wellen

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WMCA Volume Nine: Cougartastic

Today's What Miserable Cover Art features artwork that's downright oxymoronic paired with the title:The people at Disney confused the word lonesome with the word badass. That isn't a lonely cougar, that's an awesome cougar nonchalantly casing joints from the comfort of his bright yellow truck, nodding at the rest of the mountain critters as he drives by, an air of sophistication and superiority practically exploding from his fur.

In fact Disney may have confused Charlie with badass, too. If the title read Badass, The Badass Cougar I wouldn't see any reason to fret. It's just a huge stretch of the imagination to see anything gloomy in this handsome devil.

And Badass needs to find friendship? Who do you think is driving the car? Probably fifty-five close friends. I bet a lot of them are hot cougaresses, too. What Badass here is doing is being the best. So now, with all the corrections, this cover should read Badass, The Badass Cougar. Being Awesome Is The Only Thing To Do.


- Eric T. Voigt, Shootin' Up

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WMCA Volume Eight: Upsetting

The most disappointing collage ever:It- there- but... *sigh*.

- Eric T. Voigt, Flabbergasted

News: Extended Fantastic Mr. Fox Cast

I'm obsessive. I check the IMDB pages of Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joel and Ethan Coen, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman at least once every one and a half weeks. I wonder who my favorite film makers are, right? Upon checking Wes Anderson's, and looking into the development of Fantastic Mr. Fox I found a newly fleshed out cast list.

This is one of those things that makes the geek center of my brain go crazy. Finding this casting information reminded me of the excitement I felt upon seeing the very first screenshot from The Life Aquatic way back in 2004. It was like unwrapping a Christmas gift I'd been hoping, and begging and praying for all year long. Behold the cast, many recycled from projects before:

George Clooney as Mr. Fox, an Anderson virgin
Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox, also a virgin
Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean, The Life Aquatic
Bill Murray as Badger, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited
Owen Wilson as Coach Skip, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore (writer), The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited
Helen McCrory as Mrs. Bean, virgin
Willem Dafoe as Rat, The Life Aquatic
Jason Schwartzman as Ash, Rushmore and The Darjeeling Limited
Adrien Brody as Rickity, The Darjeeling Limited
Anjelica Huston, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited
Brian Cox as Boggis, Rushmore
Roman Coppola as Squirrel, The Darjeeling Limited (writer) and second unit director for others
Garth Jennings as Bean's Son, virgin (writer of Son of Rambow)
Jarvis Cocker as Petey, virgin
Wallace Wolodarsky as Kylie, Rushmore and The Darjeeling Limited
Mario Batali as Rabbit, virgin
Eric Chase Anderson as Kristofferson, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic
James Hamilton as Mole, still photographer for others

Listed on a fansite The Rushmore Academy are a few other credits. The list confirms the IMDB list, except for Brian Cox's role, and includes Wes Anderson voicing Weasel, Hugo Guinness voicing Nathan Bunce, Stven Rales voicing Beaver and Jeremy Dawson voicing Beaver's son. All those names can be found attached to crew roles in past Anderson films, so it doesn't seem like they'd be lying... or does it...

Yep. Excited. So much. Mmmm good.

- Eric T. Voigt

Monday, July 13, 2009

WMCA Volume Seven: "Only This Time I'm Gonna Stick My Tongue In Your Mouth, And When I Do That I Want You To Massage My Tongue With Yours."

I'm going to title each What Miserable Cover Art a line from a film. It could be from any film, whether I like it or not, and it could be vastly significant, or completely nonsensical. And if anyone can guess correctly which movie the line is from the guesser will win exactly one prize. 

Moving on, I'd like to acquaint everyone with The Bourne Ultimatum's DVD cover. Say hello, everyone. Say hello, Matt Damon:
Dreadfully drab. A drab blue. And kind of blurry, because fast paced cutting and high-speed action is the Bourne series' thing, and that really comes through in a still picture. It doesn't so much look like he's moving as it does the background was quickly pulled to the right. 

By this, the third in the series, I think we're expected to understand who Jason Bourne is and why he looks so determined, and has a gun. Bourne kicks ass and takes names without knowing his own, and that's why we like the big lug, but this cover doesn't conjure up feelings of admiration, it conjures up feelings of pity. He looks lonely on that sparse cover, and his face has managed to pull off determined and goofy in a stellar one-two expression punch. 

Note the blurb dolling out lofty praise, earning the film's credibility, comes from Maxim. It's hard to read but trust me, I held the box in my hands today, I know it says Maxim. I've never thought of Maxim having the authority to decide which action movie is better than another. I've never thought of Maxim as knowing what action movies were coming out even one decade ago, let alone decades. That's more than twenty years of action movies Bourne is beating out by their standards. 

Let Action Movies Are Awesome Weekly give The Bourne Ultimatum its blurbs, and let Maxim tell me if she is worth ogling: 
Maxim says yes. 

The Bourne Ultimatum doesn't have a terrible cover, but it doesn't have a cover worthy of its charm. I saw this baby in the theatre. I saw its younger brother Supremacy in the theatre, too. A movie with such class and might should have a cover with glitz. The film doesn't have anything to prove, but with a cover so lame it seems like it has negative proving power. 

Good movies should have good covers. Is that so hard to see? 

 - Eric T. Voigt, Silky Smooth

Tom Cruise: Intense Profile

I don't have anything smart or funny to say. "Do you ever?" Shut up! It's just that I noticed this, and it made me smile, and frown, and then I posted.

Firm Cruise

Mission Intense Cruise II

Minority Cruise

Mission Intense Cruise III

Diversity is overrated.

- Eric T. Voigt, Kinda Lazy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

WMCA Volume Six: "You Blew It Up! Damn You! God Damn You All To Hell!"

A good half a year back we accused The Haunting in Connecticut to have the worst poster ever. It must not have noticed, because said poster is now the image on every DVD and Blu-ray copy all across this great United States of America. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, worst to worst:
I'm really hard pressed to think of anything worse than this. A kid, obviously experiencing some mild discomfort from his wool jacket, vomiting solid gold in space, set against a nondescript stone wall, proclaiming proudly "based on true events." Get a hobby, The Haunting in Connecticut, and stop bothering the rest of us with your despicably half-assed marketing. I had to look at this every day I walked to class for about two months, and now I have to fear finding it in my local Target, Blockbuster, and maybe even on Netflix? You're the worst. 

If The Haunting in Connecticut received the poster-to-cover treatment I would like to put in a request for The Hurt Locker:
Mmm mmm. Now that's what I'd like to see every day for two months.

 - Eric T. Voigt, Can't Stress The Displeasure Enough

Castrating Trailers

A physics lesson: movie studios enjoy making money. They make money for fun, and they make money to survive. They release movies to make money. A movie makes money for a studio when people go see the movie in theatres, buy copies of the movie, or sell the rights to the movie to other money-hungry entities like television stations, publishing companies, and smaller studios. If a lot of people see a movie that movie will make a lot of money in turn. The more money a movie makes the more money a studio makes.

Why do people see movies? To be entertained. How do they know they want to be entertained by a certain movie? If they hear from people they trust that they'll like it, or if they see clips of the movie that amuse or enlighten them. What is an easy way to see many brief glimpses at a movie? Through the art of the trailer, anywhere from one second to over three minutes long, revealing moments from a movie that are meant to encourage people to become interested in the movie, and pay money to see more of it. Physics. 

Certain trailers are cut to appeal to certain audiences. A trailer made for, say, Away We Go is cut together to indie music, and presents scenes from the film that are amusing and touching, so you're already invested in the characters and hope to see more of the same in the full feature. A movie like Transformers 2 shows off the flashy computer graphics and massive explosions because they want people to come to the movie to see giant transforming robots beat the hell out of each other. They don't show the 30 minutes of exposition and military jargon because no one wants to see a movie for that. I'm being longwinded, but stick with me, I'm going somewhere.

Jennifer's Body was written by Diablo Cody, directed by Karyn Kusama, and stars Megan Fox. It has two trailers: the Red Band trailer cut for a more 'mature' audience and the Green Band trailer cut to appeal to tweens and the general public. The Red Band is allowed to have more profane language, bloodier violence, and had the power to sell the movie. See for yourself:

The Green Band Trailer is not only safer for children, it is safe from anyone who could have been interested in the movie's Red Band aspects. The Red trailer included a sense of humor, a better, more elaborate look at the story, better music, and what I hope was a sound representation of the movie. The Green plays up the horror, sticks with the generic suspense music before shifting into watered down heavy metal as opposed to the fun energy The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" brought in the Red, and the trailer makes the film seem boring. 

I'm not a Diablo Cody defender. I thought Juno's gotta-be-hip-gotta-be-witty dialogue was tiresome and barely funny for most of the movie, and think despite a few good performances wasn't able to lift itself out of the screenplay to become a good film. Sure, sure, she isn't to blame for the sets, or the music, or the direction, but she had a heavy weigh-in on the film. As for Jennifer's Body, I'm interested. I was interested in Juno, yes, but the dialogue seems to flow better in this, a campier, self-aware film than Juno ended up being. I think it has what it takes to be at least pretty entertaining. At least, that's what the Red Band trailer is having me believe.

The Green Band trailer for Jennifer's Body is an out-and-out castration of the first. It slices it open, and leaves it shriveled and impotent. Had I seen the Green before the Red I'd have had absolutely no faith in the film. It doesn't look funny, it doesn't look smart, it doesn't look good, damn it. It looks like I'd never see that in my life, that Green Band's interpretation. How is that a smart marketing move? See, I'm connecting what I said earlier to what I'm saying now. I think the release of such a soulless trailer next to the meatier, interesting trailer is a god awful plan. Most people, at least most people who would want to see the movie, wouldn't appreciate the Green anywhere like they would the Red, but many of those people will never see the Red Band trailer if they don't frequent film sites, or see any of the shit Fox has to release the Red with. 

There are plenty of films that have released perfectly adequate Red and Green trailers. Funny People and Observe and Report, recently. Most anything produced by Judd Apatow, ever. Why did this have to happen to Jennifer's Body? And why is it that she isn't alone in this treatment?
I saw the Green Band trailer for The Goods and nearly spit at my computer in disgust. It didn't look funny, and it felt like it had the potential to suck humor out of the world, leaving giant holes of sadness and anger where the once was mirth and joy. Then I watched The Goods according to Red Band, and things got better.

Sure they both have severely unfunny Pearl Harbor jokes, but the Red Band tries to make something of it. I may actually see The Goods thanks to the Red Band.

What are marketers thinking with this craziness over here? Give the people a fair look at both movies, not vastly different, good versus bad trailers. I've made my peace. You have three days. 

 - Eric T. Voigt, Knows What He's Having

WMCA Volume Five: I Wish It Was Just Anachronistic

Kids have the darndest covers:

For a design I'm pretty sure was put together on a computer it represents the basest internet understanding. It gets that websites are found on computers, and that www. and .com play a role in the matter. The phrase 'download' is at least in its vocabulary. Unfortunately none of this knowledge managed to come together in a way that resembles anything you'd actually find in a website. What website used for downloading ghosts would be titled '' when '' makes for what the site is actually used for. Otherwise it could be a blog for people who have downloaded ghosts in the past. And the giant arrow pointing to a clearly labeled download button is ridiculous. Either put the download button in a better location, or let the button do the talking for itself. 

I imagine the process of downloading a ghost wouldn't involve a ghost being sucked into a computer screen, rather it would allow you to export the ghost whenever you pleased after you'd completed the download. This ghost is being sucked into, not blown out of, the computer screen. How lazy is it to have three designs for a ghost on the same cover, two of which are making the same hand gesture? My vote is 'very lazy'. 

Isn't the capitalization wacky? Isn't the background not cringe-worthy? Wouldn't any child of moderate intelligence want to pick that up and put it in their DVD player? If any toddler is spotted showing the remotest interest in this case it should be smacked across the mouth, and swiftly, to deter future idiocy. Covers like this need to be strung up by their pinkies and raked. 

 - Eric T. Voigt, Finished Some Nice Cold Pizza

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Criterion Collection DVDs. Their goal is to offer higher quality, uncut, "Director Approved" movies with more extra stuff to make a better overall viewing experience. On the matter of Wes Anderson movies, the Criterion Collection means to me my favorite cover art by the one and only Eric Anderson.
However, I now find myself in a position where the only Wes Anderson movie I lack from my collection is Bottle Rocket and I seek out to buy the film I discover the Criterion Collection version is $32 MORE than the regular DVD. It is obvious the cover art is a million times superior and would fit in nicely on my shelf, but is all the extra stuff really worth it? Bottle Rocket itself as a film is mediocre in the spectrum of the Anderson movies and is simply needed as a staple of the Director's work in a collection as his first feature film.
This is also begging the question, should I replace my unCriterion Rushmore and Darjeeling Limited DVDs with Criterion when the time is right?
Dilemmas dilemmas. Damn you Criterion Collection.
****Brianna Wellen

The Music of Yojimbo

I saw Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo the other night, an entirely badass film down to every last frame, visible tape jobs and all. To back up the power of samurai Mulberry Field (Toshiro Mifune) as he glides through a town split by violence the score, composed by Masaru Sato, pushes him be an even cooler king among men. The music feels like it's sauntering through the town itself, a wicked gleam caught behind its eyes. Mixing Eastern themes with Western, boasting mouth-watering percussion and string sections, showing up on all the right cues... it is comprehensively cool.

Now for some bad news: I can't find it for cheap keeps anywhere. I checked Amazon, and the CD is from 61 dollars up, and there are two vinyl copies for about the same. There's only one track on YouTube, too. So I'll buy the film, damn it. Crafty musicians.

- Eric T. Voigt, Should Be Sleeping

Cinematic Brain Food #3

Sometimes when I recall a given film, I think unsophisticated thoughts about the butterfly effect. Obviously the characters and events depicted in The Godfather exist in a world without the classic film as well as the novel that inspired it. So in this world, Mario Puzo will never write a fictional tale concerning the Corleone family, Francis Ford Coppola will never direct a film based on it, etc. So maybe the Corleones are approaching a future radically different from our own! THINK ABOUT IT!

Alex and Eric Hate Trailers: Episode 4 (We Bring the Pain)


Hump Day:

Eric: "It's beyond gay." is just great. Still watching.

Alex: Agreed. "That puts a little wrench to the works, doesn't it?"

Eric: Humpday is giving me this little grin that I'm interpreting as "I'm going to be a great movie. Enjoy me. Shhh. It's alright." As ridiculous of a premise as two straight men setting out to make a porn together after years apart, and one with a wife, this looks like it's going to be handled realistically and hilariously. And there's Duplass power.

Alex: Duplasss! I fully and wholeheartedly agree. I was grinning the whole time. The acting! So good! I know kevin hates it when we say this word, but this is prime mumblecore. The best that the sub-sub-sub-genre has to offer.

Eric: This is beyond mumblecore. The camera work is actually something.

Alex: I know! But the basics are still there. And the basics are gooooooooood.

Eric: I want to see Humpday fairly bad. I missed it at the town over's film festival. Shouldn't have.

Alex: Shame. And I do too.


Alex: Alright, so HUH?! Let's be real here, what is this? A drama? A thriller? A war movie? A comedy? (I'm opting for the last) This is one of the most bizarre mainstream trailers I have ever seen. Good thing spiderman can't get killed by rockets, right? I mean, how long was he "dead", and if it was longer than, oh I don't know, an HOUR, how could they not know he was COMATOSE. Fuck.

Eric: If the trailer is any indicator this film is going to have a soundtrack bursting with the height of adult contemporary. The cinematography reminds me of the Funny Games remake, crossed with Gran Torino. How cartoony is that explosion? Jake Gyll calls Portman "Snoop Dogg" right before they kiss... this is a comedy. A drama, coming around in a near full circle to be a comedy.

Alex: Just over-the-top ridiculous. I mean, when you're stricken by the "death" of your beloved husband, it only makes sense to FUCK HIS BROTHER right? No. It doesn't. Stop being bad, "Brothers". And go home.

Eric: Catch how many times the kids said 'dead' in the beginning? Jeez. Tough kids.

Alex: Ready for the next?

Eric: Duh.

The Hurt Locker:

Alex: I'm hurting to watch The Hurt Locker!...... sorry. Looks good! I'm especially fond of the super slo-mo used on the explosions and their immediate effects. Gives a sort of push-pull feel to what could be too quickly paced action sequences. And the acting looks very solid. I like Jeremy Renner. Too bad he was SPOILER ALERT shot in the head in Jesse James.

Eric: I honestly didn't realize that was him. He's great. I was right upset to find out that I'm not going to see this until 14 days from now. I want to see this. Acting looks great, story hints at hitting some regular modern warfare standards, what with marital trouble, and race relations, but that's okay, because the bomb handling is quite uncharted. Did you know Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes are in this? Ballsy move of the marketing team not to play that up.

Alex: Hell yeah! (on Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes)

Eric: nuff said?

In the Loop:

Alex: "I will marshall all the forces of darkness to hound you to an assisted suicide" = brilliance

Eric: That was way better looking this second time around. I genuinely want to check it out. Like, for seeing purposes. I like the pop-culture references, mixed with all the satire, mixed with the pessimistic look at international politics. Yeah... I'd see this.

Alex: "It'll be easy peezy lemon squeezy." - "No, it will be difficult difficult lemon difficult"

Eric: My favorite line.

Alex: I could quote my way out of this one. I've been dying to see it for a while now. And James Galdolfini is in it! He's the main wild thing!

Eric: Always a plus. Did you see him in The Man Who Wasn't There?

Alex: Yessir i did indeed

Eric: Quite great.

Alex: He was indeed.


Alex: DID YOU SEE THAT?! A CRACK WENT IN BETWEEN ADAM'S AND GOD'S FINGER ON THE SISTINE CHAPEL! OMG SYMBOLISM! Roland Emmerich really just wants to see the world get blown the fuck up. Cool it, Roland! We're fine how we are, kind of! Yeah, it looks god awful.

Eric: It's a really strange cross of what look like true-to-life special effects, and Knowing quality special effects. Believe me, you don't want your effects to be on scale with Knowing. Since when can Amanda Peet and John Cusak play leads in a movie about the destruction of the entire world? The JFK aircraft carrier bowling over is such bullshit. Way to hit us where it hurts. Think you'll see it?

Alex: Oh totally (not totally).I wouldn't waste a dime on Emmerich's shitty catastrophe films.

Eric: I think I might see it with Daniel. We did see Knowing, after all.

Alex: uuuuuuughhhh

Eric: Right. Sorry. Self control. Got it. The Informant time

The Informant!:

Eric: Well... Steven Soderbergh and me have a like-dislike relationship. I'm a fan of most of his work. MOST of it. With the eye-sore halo effect going on, along with the production design making me want to blanche, AND the zany character playing opposite a number of straight-men... I don't know about this one. Feels like an Ocean's Twelve. I hated Ocean's Twelve.

Alex: Yeah i'm a little iffy. Part of me wants to chuckle and perhaps go see, but the other part is telling me NO.

Eric: Right!

Alex: But Matt Damon does seem WaCkY!!!!

Eric: I mean it has a good cast. Some would say great. And a few lines make me near-laugh. But eh.

Alex: Mhmm. I'm fifty fifty

Eric: And I am 25-75.


Alex: Zombies?

Eric: Zombies!

Alex: GO!

Eric: One of the finest intros I ever have seen.

Alex: Harrelson! Eisenberg! Breslin! Cute girl from Superbad!

Eric: What this is going to boil down to is acting. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone? I think they'll do just fine. The zombies look nice and grotesque. No scrimping.

Alex: None at all. Zombie kill of the week? Awesome touch. "You guys want some purell?"

Eric: Oh man, that line is the fantasticness.

Alex: It's nice and campy. Very self aware. Looks like a lot of fun.

Eric: I'll be enjoying it in Octoberish

The Goods (Redband):

Alex: Kristen Schall: "You Motherfucker."

Eric: She said it.

Alex: She did. I think it looks quite comical. And Jeremy Piven!

Eric: Looky here, lets all get on the Jeremy Piven train, choo choo! Screw that guy. What's he ever done for me? "Entourage"? Smokin' Aces? This looks like it has potential. Po-ten-tial. I'm not marking this good or bad. The red band looks far better than the normal, for sure, but it has lots of room to disappoint

Alex: Does, but it has some great moments in the trailer.

Eric: True.

Alex: Im 60%-40% on this one.

Eric: Very true. I laughed vocally at some. I'm going to say I'm 50-50. Why are we doing these bizarre percentages all of a sudden?

Alex: I have absolutely no idea. 

Eric: What's next?

Cold Souls:

Alex: Giamatti playing Giamatti? Check. Metaphysical plot? Check. Dark sense of humor? Check. A bunch of sad sacks being sad sacky around eachother? Check. I will be seeing this. And seeing it fast.

Eric: Paul Giamatti is one of my top favorite thirty actors, for sure. And in a movie like this, with reality getting a piping hot injection of absurdity, well, that's just awesome. People calling this Kaufman-esque are honoring Charlie Kaufman AND not giving credit to Sophie Barthes, who this is the debut feature of. Surprising.

Alex: "Your soul is in Russia."-"What?!" His expression is priceless, and the ensuing cut to him walking down a freezing street in an ushanka is perfect.

Eric: AND the cinematographer, Andrij Parekh, gets credited at the very end as part of who the film is by, right next to the director. Pretty sweet. His work feels Lance Acord like, who shoots for Spike Jonze. That won't help the Kaufman connections. Lines so great. MUSIC so great. I was way into the soundtrack for the trailer. Hopefully hearing it in the movie.

Alex: Agreed agreed agreed. Unanimity!

The Road:

Eric: I shouldn't have read the book, damn it. All I can see is what they're doing wrong. I can't express how much I hate the 'television showing disaster' stuff, and now I hate seeing how early into their lives they go, because the book doesn't do that. But then I forget the inaccuracies, and it looks awesome, and I'll just set aside my knowledge from the pages and concentrate on what looks like a great movie.

Alex: The epic joy of Where The Wild Things Are released against the utter bleakness of The Road.

Eric: HaHA

Alex: The news footage was added on to the trailer by the studio, and Charlize Theron's character SPOILER ALERT commits suicide within the first ten minutes of the film END SPOILER ALERT.

Eric: Wow. Well done. Sets my mind at ease.

Alex: After hearing those things, and knowing they cut the trailer together to look more fast paced AND reading the first review of it which praised it as a near-perfect adaptation of the book, I'm sold and super excited.

Eric: Well then... I am too. That's good information, there, Alex. Real good.

Alex: I did my research cause I love me some Cormac.

Shutter Island:

Alex: Scorseeeeeeeese! Now THAT'S a thriller. Looks well written, acted, shot, blah, blah. I'm kind of fond of the nightmarish, surrealistic imagery. Kind of a lot. And the plot seems like it could have a bunch of good twists, which is something Scorsese excels at. Excited? Yeah. Yeah I suppose I am.

Eric: Scorsese is such a directing king. This looks creepy. Almost too creepy. Awesome. Agrees be upon what you said, my child. And this has Max von Sydow! Bergman's boy.... 

(A considerable amount of time passes)

Eric: You done about it?

Alex: Hah, yeah we milked that shit.


Eric: Jeez was this cast built to rock the house. Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Christopher Plummer. Awesome. Directed by Shane Acker, of three awesome shorts previously? Spectacular. Given the producing blessing of Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov? Quite the feat. And a trailer that makes me wish I liked Coheed and Cambria? One of my most anticipated films, up there with a few of what we've already discussed here today

Alex: All goodness of a gothic-post apocalyptic piece wrapped up in a fresh new story with beautiful animation. I am incredibly eager about this one. The fact that it almost makes me ignore the shudder worthy song at the end? Amazing. Let's call it a day, every other post-apocalyptic animated feature film, this one takes the cake. And yes, the cast! Brilliance!

The short film that it's based on, by the same director, just makes me that much more sure it will be wonderful,

Eric: Is it weird that I get a Land Before Time vibe?

Alex: Yes. Yes it is.

Eric: Well, deal.

Alex: On to sherlock?

Eric: Ha. Why not.

Sherlock Fucking Holmes:

Alex: Well, well, well. What do we have here? It certainly isn't Sherlock Holmes, I can tell you that. Saving the world? Sherlock Holmes solved fucking mysteries. On a small scale. No no no this is Guy Ritchie masturbating all over Robert Downey Jr. while he stands waist deep in a pool of uninspired period set pieces. And fights a guy shirtless in a boxing ring? So you can see his muscles are actually made of gelatin? Stop it Guy Ritchie. You're done.

Eric: Guy Ritchie has undoubtedly made another heaping pile of shit. Not for lack of trying otherwise. He has Jude Law, and Robert Downey, Jr., and even a sexy, gussied-up Rachel McAdams to work with, but no, he is Guy Ritchie, and everything he touches turns to complete shit. Fuck it.

Alex: Can we talk about the filters, please?

Eric: Please.

Alex: Is it just me, or does it look like he smeared ash and shit across the lens, the had a thin veil of smoke fill every set? Awful. Just unattractive. And very incondusive to what should be A FUCKING PERIOD PIECE

Eric: Guy Ritchie is to film making as bears are to chocolate-covered campers. 

Alex: Hahaha. I get it. He mauls filmmaking into a bloody, unrecognizable pulp. Not to be all literal with your awesome joke or anything. 

Eric: Yeah, that.

Alex: Well this was productive.

Eric: It was. I think we did a good job here, and are awesome.

Alex: I think we are awesome too. 

(no one reads this)