Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Tops of 2012 - July

TED was very funny. I laughed a lot during it. It will continue to live on television and quotes between friends. There is not much else to say beyond that, though I will say it has the potential to be the best comedy of the year.

ROCK OF AGES was an awful, largely boring film. This so-called trip through the 1980's, after being heavily scrubbed, white-washed, and given a commercial sheen, suffers from bad acting, bad mash-ups, bad dance choreography, and wasted potential and misdirection with Tom Cruise's Stacee Jaxx.

THE FP is even worst than the above. This ultra-dumb low-grade sci-fi flick is another one of those "short films blown to feature length" failures. It has acting that ranges from oak-wooden to obnoxious, a lame score that rips-off John Carpenter, and a very degrading portrayal of women, even when judged against, say, the films from Troma Studios. It never goes beyond its one-joke presence, that the video game Dance Dance Revolution is used for fights and human sport, and drags throughout its miserable running time.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was great as the last entry of the Nolanverse but only so-so as a film itself. Sometimes it feels like a re-hash of the previous films, to diminishing results, but some of the performances and the always entertaining score by Hans Zimmer were fantastic and memorable.

Best Films of 2012

1. The Avengers

2. Chronicle

3. The Secret World of Arrietty

4. The Hunger Games

5. The Cabin in the Woods

6. 21 Jump Street

7. The Grey

Worst Films of 2012

1. Project X

2. Dark Shadows

3. The FP

4. The Devil Inside

5. Rock of Ages

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chris Marker - RIP

If you went to a quality film school, you would always remember his art and see him often. If you are a fan of Terry Gilliam's work, you would have seen where he got his ideas for 12 Monkeys. If you are a Criterion Collection fanatic, you know that his DVD is the first must-have for your collection.

Today, it was reported that Chris Marker, well-noted French artist whose films ultimately revolutionized the world of cinema, has died. He was 91 years old.

The man was both known for his highly experimental art and fiction films and his self-seclusion and limited interviews. To this day, many people still talk about, mention, and are influenced by La Jetee, his 1962 short film that largely consists of still photography, yet weaves World War II footage, a high-concept sci-fi tale, breathless romanticism, all before a truly bittersweet and ironic ending.

Another noted work, which is partnered up with La Jetee on its Criterion release, is Sans Soleil, his odd but beautiful film-essay/travelogue through human life and memory. Most will note and recall the film's immense love for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, whose sets and locations are featured, and the presence of a soothing female narrator.

He will surely be missed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trailer Review - Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas
1st Extended Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Due to the different time periods and parallel lives, I will just list the actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, and others.

Scene Pop: The car crash.

Briggs Breakdown: 2 car smashes, 1 human free-fall, 2 blows to the head, 2 floods, 2 tight rope metal bridge walkings, numerous dead bodies, crazy old people driving, a whipping, a make-shift door, and a toilet plunger attack.

Effective?: I would say yes, but it still looks very trippy and heady, even with a long 6 minute trailer cut.

Check it Out?: Wait until the critics. The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer both have been a long way since their great sci-fi epics and I don't think as of right now that this will do them any favors. I could be completely wrong and change my opinion come the film's release but both this and Life of Pi aren't really wowing me other than finger pointing at their special effects.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gangster Squad To Undergo Revisions, Date Change

Back in March, I said in my trailer review of That's My Boy that I skipped over some better picks to cover first. One of those was the trailer for Gangster Squad. Since then, I still haven't seen the trailer, despite many opportunities to due so. The only thing I overheard about it from many was the presence of an anachronistic rap song that could have derided everything the film was trying to accomplish and sell.

I am now unable to see this trailer properly. I also, along with the rest of America, will have to continuing waiting for the film. Due to the still lingering situation and controversy generated by the Aurora theater shooting, Warner Bros has decided to postpone the film till January for seemingly mandatory re-shoots. The problem in question is a scene that was glimpsed in the now-pulled trailer, where some people fire off their tommy guns behind a movie screen.

I see this "problem" as a bit maddening, though I can understand the reasons for the further delay. Like Warner Bros, I would have also decided to move the release date due to this ill-timed event. Since the film is to be one of the expected films for awards consideration, the company could have just moved it to November and December, without removing the film's intentions and original state. I know that those months are highly violatile at the box office but the film could have a chance to survive and wow some people, even if the film turns out to be not all that great or possibly pretty bad to watch. It could had enough time to lose some of the bad vibes generated by the tabloids and talking heads of the world without losing steam. Look at 20th Century Fox's strategy with The Watch, which undergone a name change (prevously known as Neighborhood Watch) after the stigma of the Trayvon Martin shooting, yet the company stuck by it and maintained its release date for this Friday. I do not have high hopes for that film and have mocked it often but I do at least respect the audacity of not caving under the pressure of public sentimentality. If Hollywood did that at all times, then no film would be released in theaters.

The re-shoots are the worst thing to do for this film. I know I said otherwise about re-shoots with Channing Tatum and G.I. Joe 2. You can call me a hypocrite, but I call it being human. However, those re-shoots were done for pure business reasons. This is being done just to keep the well-dressed blow-hards on cable channels and morning talk shows off their case. By doing this act, you not only create a giant risk of ruining the film after it has been completed and canned, you also in a way benefit the fame-seeking, heinous Aurora murderer. He set out to shock the world with his depravity for attention and social buzz, and Warner Bros sadly conceded to him. As a strong counter-point to this censorship, let's just say that, Quentin Tarantino released Inglorious Basterds this year instead of 2008. I can absolutely believe and bet that he would never re-do the film's movie theater climax. He would have out-right refuse to, knowing well that this sicko would not outlive his work of art.

From the footage and news I gathered from the scene in question, it does look highly striking and could have been a memorable moment for the film. Like Warner Bros, I have no idea what they can do to top and replace it. Unless the company changes their mind, I do hope that the original cut of the film will be released later on home video, or as one of those annoying Blu-Ray only director's cut.

Trailer Review - Life of Pi

Life of Pi
1st Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Suraj Sharma and a Bengal tiger.

Scene Pop: The whale jump.

Briggs Breakdown: 2 tiger fights, 9 3D effects, 1 poor zebra, 1 sunken ship, 1 sea storm, 1 fish storm, a meerkat swarm and rampant green screening.

Effective?: I guess you can say yes.

Check it Out?: I say no. Yes, it might be epic and looks breathtaking at times, but nothing truly wowed me. It wasn't the lack of story, which is completely easy to follow here, or the mixed response to Sharma's acting or the bad 3D tiger animation. It just felt completely and emotionally empty, even with the big sweeping score attached to it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Trailer Review - Man of Steel

Man of Steel
1st Teaser Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Henry Cavill is...a hitch-hiker and a new member of The Deadliest Catch.

Scene Pop: The sonic boom at the end, though I much preferred the kid with the cape.

Briggs Breakdown: Um...... One sonic boom and plagiarizing the score of Lord of the Rings.

Effective?: Inconclusive.

Check it Out?: For myself, hell yes. I genuinely love this trailer, despite its shortcomings and non-conformity to the expectations of comic book fans and normal audiences. Sure, the Malick-esque imagery could be toxic if Zack Snyder abuses it in the final film, not to mention infuriate those still spurned by Superman Returns, and everyone including myself had the same jokes and whines about it. However, there is time for future teasers and trailers for all of the punching and winking and flying. This is giant turnaround from the teaser poster and really beautiful to take in, even when you watch the second version with Kevin Costner replacing over Russell Crowe's narration. Both are striking but I prefer Crowe's a little more; More majestic than salt of the earth.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Tragedy

Walking into my local multiplex today was not a fun time, as well as anyone else. As it has been reported all throughout the nation, a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises turned deadly in Aurora, Colorado, when a 24-year-old man opened gunfire into the large crowd. As of this writing, 12 have been confirmed dead and many others are in critical condition or injured.

This is a senseless tragedy, inflicted by an individual who calculated and preyed on the innocent lives of all those there. My thoughts and prayers go to those impacted by these cruel turn of events.

This deadly shooting is sure to impact everyone expecting to see the film this weekend, as it has for myself today. During the sequence where Bane and his cronies take hostages on Wall Street, I squirmed in my seat and felt disgusted for myself. It just didn't feel right with me.

This is also going to impact movie theaters as well. I can expect the once strict sanctions and rules before entering a theater right after 9/11 will either be temporary or permanently enforced once again. Midnight screenings will also be affected or alright cancelled.

Again, my thoughts and prayers go to Aurora, Colorado.

The Dark Knight Rises - Review

Christopher Nolan can now finally move on in his profession, able to leave behind his take on the Batman mythos. As the last entry in his Dark Knight trilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a fitting grand finale, with a great ending to send everyone off, both the characters and the audience. As a film of its own, however, is another story. Nolan certainly had his hands full to try and come up with something after the immensely provocative second entry, THE DARK KNIGHT, and it seems here that he was able to squeak by, making an interesting piece of relevant social commentary among the brief appearances of heavily uniformed individuals. Unfortunately, the bombastic prose, predictable story, and sometimes joyless execution made for more times waiting in your seat instead of cinematic arousal. After a film where chaos and anarchy overcoming a city felt real and honest, you can't just microwave it and expect it to be thrilling once again.

Many years have passed since Batman become a martyr for his beloved Gotham. He took the blame for killing off the so-called new protector of the city, Harvey Dent, and now Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a recluse from society, even for special events held on his own grounds. The first one to wake him up from some of his stupor is master manipulator and expert cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who steals his mother's signature pearl necklace. The next person is John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a "hothead" police officer who is aware of Wayne masking his emotions and has the spunk to seek to change Gotham's future for the betterment. Since this comic-book movie is to be a blockbuster, it then must have a deadly antagonist to awaken the Batman again. Enter Tom Hardy as Bane, a genetic freak with a demented breathing mask who wants to successfully annihilate the social infrastructure of Gotham, making everyone equal under his own rule and separation from the rest of America, before literally turning into ashes.

This is a film that absolutely feels like its running time and yet still truncated. Despite having 165 minutes of material, many plot developments are scuttled around, lacking any true sense of danger, and some scenes go way too fast and unexplained. When they move more slowly and easy to digest, they can be filled with Nolan's now-expected heavily laden monologues or twists you expected back in the first reel. Then there are the subplots that reach beyond bafflement into being daffy. One such plot is that Bane is being helped by someone with mob and money ties. If you watch the film, you will know who it is in less than half a nanosecond. Seeing how we all know previously that the Joker partnered up with such individuals before ultimately betraying them in the end, you would think this person also wouldn't err. This person also brings up another crucial problem: Nearly all of the new cast of characters are futile and transitory. For instance, though she is played by the talented and lovely Marion Cotillard, Miranda Tate is a snore, a wavering flower we are supposed to care for and take serious later in the picture. Matthew Modine is wasted opportunity as a police commissioner while Juno Temple is sadly given just a cameo role as Selina's best friend and ally, Holly Robinson. As for Bane, Tom Hardy looks the part and has the fun swagger of the methodical killer, constantly walking with his hands on his armor suspenders, but a lot of times his body language doesn't match up or synch with his ADR voice-over, which was done due to early testing reports of people mishearing all of his words. The voice further comes into question, as it is very sinister at times or can sound like Tod Slaughter just entered the booth.

The only two that get to shine out and make the material worth something are Hathaway and Levitt. Hathaway was a perfect casting decision, not just for being Catwoman but also as a suitable companion/equal to Christian Bale. Like Bale, her "normal persona" is all about subtle movements and quirks while her alter-ego walks the borderline between campy and seriousness. Her rendition of the female tweener is a mixture of Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt; a woman who is approachable while being a bit high-class, yet purrs her way into hearts and violence. Levitt, on the other hand, is thankfully able to continue his advancement as a future leading man and action hero. His reformed orphan turned caring soldier in blue really brings the human warmth to the film, which sadly is not as prominent as it needs to be for this conclusion. Then, of course, you have Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman reprising their welcomed roles to great effect, though Caine is only given a couple of powerful scenes before being removed from the proceedings.

Anyone who enters into the imagination of Christopher Nolan are aware that composer Hans Zimmer is the true superstar. Once again, he delivers a pounding blitzkrieg of noise and triumph, making many memorable pieces of music, especially the signature theme of rising and rebirth. The sound mixer seemed to agree but made the bad decision to often let the music wreck the wall of sound, as actor's lines and sound effects are mere whispers during several key moments. The action sequences are hit or miss, with the important motorcycle chase at the end of the first act, which features the re-appearance of Batman and many dangerous stunts, being the stand-out. Nevertheless, those fun diversions become eclipsed by goofy acts of coercion, such as the sequence where two armies rush at each other, somehow often unable to shoot each other despite being on a one-way street, while at the same time making ample room for two people to fight it out and deliver corny dialogue.

I didn't walk into this film with high expectations or bitter distrust after a week of mean-spirited online debates. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is enjoyable at times but a little too overtly fluffy and laughable solemn. It works in conjunction with the preceding two films and is the second best among them. For some, this will be a big deal for them and/or a momentous masterpiece. I'm glad for what Nolan has done to comic-book films and he does well to an extent here. I might not want to re-watch this over and over again, or truly worth the asking price to see it in IMAX, but it is fine last hurrah.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dark Knight Rises Reviews Come Out, Death Threats Made

The Dark Knight Rises comes out this Friday, starting with the usual midnight screenings on Thursday. Several critics have already seen it and released their reviews on to the web, with the negative reviews obviously being the ones accosted and menaced by numerous commenters. Two critics, Marshall Fine and AP's Christy Lemire, have received the worst of it, causing Matt Atchity, Editor in Chief at Rotten Tomatoes, to release a press statement and then later disabling all user comments from being made on The Dark Knight Rises page. A ton, a ton of fans of Christopher Nolan's take on Batman had the time and vicious energy to spite these two people, and a couple others. All of this, for a film they have not seen yet.

Whenever a movie critic, whether professional or amateur, lays out their opinion on any film, they know that others might/will respond back with agreement or anger. With the popularity of the internet, this debate over the merits of a film has been increasing in its virulence, as many chose to hide behind user-names to deliver mean, inhuman remarks. Both as a critic and an artist, I know that my works will not always win over people and I always try to handle comments in a civil manner, unless it goes way over the line, which has thankfully been very minimal for myself. But all of this expected yet still chilling news have lead to this personal plea.

I don't follow or know of Marshall Fine's writings but I am fully aware of Christy Lemire. I have read some of her reviews for the Associated Press. However, I'm more apprised of her through her participation as co-host of Ebert Presents at the Movies. She's a hard-working individual and one of the most notable female reviewers in the profession today. Like practically every single critic that I read, watch, and follow, I do not always agree with her opinion. I also don't use her negative reviews of certain films that I loved as a grudge against her or as a reminder to never forget and forgive her. She, and Fine, did not deserve bitter hatred and cruel tactics against them just for a film unseen by nearly everyone.

Of course, other than daring to go against the vision of a popular auteur, this rancorous brouhaha is also motivated by the numeral scoring of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The review-collecting systems of the two websites were specifically designed both for business and pleasure; They gauge the overall critical spectrum of a product, while also reserving space for the opinions of users, to give an general impression to the American public, from the insiders of Hollywood to the average citizen who wants to look up the score before walking into the theaters. These percentages do matter nowadays, but some have taken it way too far as an indicator of perfection and a rallying cry to attack someone. The tipping point was in 2010, when Armond White was one of the few who didn't like Toy Story 3, causing the film to lose its 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I personally do not like White and his opinions but his review has not changed anything for me, nor am I perturbed by the inability of Toy Story 3 getting an A+ on its final exam, so to speak. As Billy Wilder famously wrote, nobody's perfect. Hell, even one of my best friends isn't crazy about that film and I still value his opinion highly.

Though I appreciate what Atchity has done and wrote, I don't fully agree with his ending sentiment that people can't be angry at movie reviews. You have every right to be. Sure, there are more pressing matters in life to argue over but a review of a work of art can be included. Sometimes the ire from a movie review can causes others to stand up and do something about it, thus changing history itself. Bosley Crowther found that out the hard way, when his review of Bonnie and Clyde back in 1967 and numerous further attacks on it caused him to lose his job at the New York Times and lead to rise of people like Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert. Even Ebert's mistrust and venom for slasher/horror films, from the late 70's to his noteworthy special program on At the Movies with Gene Siskel to the present day, have provoked some to talk back to him through either celluloid and digital cameras or through writings and coverage of the genre. These two highlighted moments were done without anyone resorting to death threats, bodily harm, and sexual violence toward the defending individual. Instead, the people just made their counterpoints that much more sound and reasonable.

I am not afraid to lay out my review of The Dark Knight Rises come this weekend. Even if I get some flack of any kind, which I doubt considering my traffic numbers, I will just say "oh well" and move on. Trolling is no way to go through life. Many have chosen to think otherwise, whether under guises or through their own reputation as a "professional" film critic. Not to get too political, but it is truly sad that these individuals have abused their privileges and freedom to speak ill against these two film critics for not liking something they expect to love, all the while turning a blind eye and not giving a thought to the predicaments facing individuals such as Ali Farzat, who have been impacted by such threats.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Comic-Con Recap / Other Movie News

Once again showing the disturbing new trend in the overall objective of the San Diego Comic-Con, the only big news coming from the mega-event were adaptations of comic-books, or anything from film or television, instead of anything from the medium itself. Of course, considering that the current works from the big two companies are currently proving a famous quote from Madame de Stael to be true, "One must choose in life between boredom (Marvel) and suffering (DC)", it is probably for the best that they hide behind the shadows of Hollywood. Especially with the continuing creator rights controversy with both.

As discussed thoroughly on Comics Alliance, The Marvel Studios panel revealed "Phase Two" of the Marvel movie universe. After the colossal success with The Avengers, as well as its noteworthy ending that had many non-readers scratching their heads, Marvel and Disney are continuing their plans to produce sequels to their big three superheroes in the next couple years, before the inevitable tent-pole Avengers sequel.

Released in the popular month of May next year, the 13th to be exact, is Iron Man 3. Footage and pictures were released, with two things being major stories. The first is the slightly strange tan-dominated new Iron Man suit, which would fit for say desert recon and camouflage. The other is that Ben Kingsley will in fact, as expected by all, be playing the vicious Mandarin. Helmed by Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang director Shane Black and based on Warren Ellis' "Extremis" arc, this looks to be a major departure from the first two films.

Set to come out on November 9th, 2013, the awaited Thor sequel will be numberless but with the attached subtitle The Dark World. The subtitle draws up nothing for me, I was never an avid Thor reader, but Comics Alliance theorizes that it will involve the world of the Dark Elves, Svartalfheim. However, my wishes and expectations seem to be coming true, as news/rumors have revealed that the Enchantress will be featured heavily in the next installment. This holds a bit of truth, considering others have said that Thor's relationship with Natalie Portman's Jane Foster will be more important to the plot. The film already has some bad news to report, with Mads Mikkelsen removed from the project. Expected to be the main villain of the story and coming off a major acting win at Cannes, it does bring a little suspicion to the creative side of things.

April 4th, 2014 will bring forth Captain America: The Winter Soldier, an announcement that caused major Cap writer Ed Brubaker to shout out two words, eight letters over Twitter. He should be happy, since he is the person who created the Winter Soldier character, that being the never dead, Russian re-programmed and former friend of Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes. Studious fans of Captain America: The First Avenger, or anyone with a DVD copy of the film, will remember that Bucky was rescued by Cap in a dangerous, green-lit science office, where no one sent there came back alive. His later CGI-helped fall into a winter river will prove the second clue. This looks exciting, especially with the potential of bringing Captain America into the modern warfare of black ops, call of duties, and whatever other popular video games the creators will use for research.

"Phase Two" will also have two other entries that many have caught on to and expected to be placed into production. On August 1st, 2014, The Guardians of the Galaxy will come out. Since the appearance of Thanos at the end of The Avengers, this is the first thing many were waiting to be announced. The fairly obscure superhero team, seen in the concept art above conceived by Charlie Wen, have been popping up recently in video games (Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3) and T.V. (The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes), but all that truly matters is the film itself. Marvel Studios is going to need to push their marketing power for this one, avoiding the faults seen in the build-up of John Carter, to make it work with jaded viewers. The current release date in August shows this fear. But when you take in the fact that one of the heroes is a talking raccoon, the popular Rocket Raccoon, it should be no problem making a space action-comedy out of the material.

Edgar Wright and his long-time friend/collaborator Simon Pegg have not been very secretive of them being attached to Ant-Man, the long-gestated film whose hero wasn't included in The Avengers, despite being a founding member of the team in the comics. Test footage was shown and given good grades, so there is hope. However, I just hate Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, who was either a wet blanket or a wife-slapping scumbag. The new film might have a better version of the character, plus the more enjoyable Wasp, so I will hold my feelings for now, though this is still the one I don't care for as much as the others.

The only thing to come from DC Comics, who have been tripping over themselves constantly with their lack of competition in the film division beyond Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, was first footage and the teaser poster for Man of Steel. I don't usually like to critique the posters for major releases, but I had the same opinion for trailers and look where I stand on that. The poster is pretty blah but made worst by the distracting detail of the suit. It looks like the Supes' blanket was made by the Michelin Man.

Other posters and footage shown were for other big sci-fi flicks to come, including Guillermo del Toro's robot vs. kaiju Pacific Rim, which just got a spread in Entertainment Weekly, and the return of the Americanized kaiju king, Godzilla. I'm looking more forward to the former than the latter.

One of the things floating around the web instead of the Con was a comic fan movie. Unlike the many others, this one had some talent behind it. Thomas Jane, who played the Marvel vigilante The Punisher in an unpopular 2004 film, made his own 10 minute movie/test reel/viral campaign to return the role. As seen here, titled with the Twitter tag #DIRTYLAUNDRY, the film is entertaining and feels more at place with the comic book than the very misguided 2004 film, mixing harsh gore (which is unfortunately CGI) with sadistic acts of revenge. I get the early build-up to introduce the scum you want to see be scrubbed off the street but it goes a little too long before Castle finally snaps. Still though, Jane got the voice back and he swings a mighty Jack Daniels.

Trailer Review - Oz: The Great and Powerful

Oz: The Great and Powerful
1st Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: James Franco in the distracting role of Oz, Mila Kunis as some beauty, Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch (I think), and Rachel Weisz as the Wicked Witch.

Scene Pop: The transition from B&W full screen to colored widescreen.

Briggs Breakdown: 3 circus acts, 2 3D effects, 3 establishing world shots, a big explosion in the courtyard, a deadly tornado, an awful CGI fall, and too many flying monkeys to count.

Effective?: Yes, solely for the visuals, lite story developments, and the killer ending.

Check it Out?: Regardless of my opinion, practically everyone will be heading to the theaters to see this next March. The Wizard of Oz is an American classic. For myself, the 1939 film is a powerful whisper; it is one of the best films ever yet I don't address my favoritism of it to others. As for this film, I'll be seeing it but the Burton-esque artwork, that annoying audience-baiting producer credit for Alice in Wonderland, and massive overdose of green-screening are bewildering. I did like the goofy, fake 3D effects though.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Trailer Review - Alex Cross

Alex Cross
1st Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Tyler Perry and his super-serial face, Matthew Fox as the more intriguing, campy serial killer, and Dr. Cox himself (John C. McGinley) as the Chief of Police, complete with customary exposition-laden jacket.

Scene Pop: "How are you going to convince me to leave Detroit?"

Briggs Breakdown: 3 destroyed cars, 1 blown-up conference room, 1 car crash, 1 pull-up, a fight in a decaying theater, wannabe UFC-fu, use of a RPG, rampant criminal mind camera-shaking, and rampant dubstep.

Effective?: If you mean for a film airing Sunday night on CBS, then I guess you can say yes.

Check it Out?: Ha ha ha, ha ha ha. Give that trailer editor the ten thousand dollars! This has to be the funniest "comedy" film of the year. Let's list everything hilarious/wrong: The "Detroit" line, Perry's flat joke delivery, the overall low budget quality of it all, Perry's flat serious delivery, that abysmal dubbed-in line, the "Don't Ever Cross Alex Cross" tagline, that awful badly rendered, puke green rocket explosion, Tyler Perry in general, and the fact they used dubstep in a serious manner. Film news followers already knew this film wouldn't end well, when Idris Elba stepped down from the project and Perry stepped up, and this trailer proves it. Except for Fox, who looks to be having a grand ole time, this is all just hokey malarkey.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Trailer Review - Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher
1st Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Tom Cruise. That's it.

Scene Pop: Reacher bashes a rock into the back of someone's head.

Briggs Breakdown: 2 body scars, 3 head bashing into objects or vice-a-versa, 2 injuries to the groin, a mighty tackle in the rain, an arm-breaking stomp, and potential use of a taser and an automatic rifle with scope.

Effective?: Sorta. Only as a generic affair.

Check it Out?: Not really. I'm not really aware of the "Jack Reacher" book series by Lee Child, but I have been hearing the distresses from fans that the diminutive Cruise was cast as the bulky, tall pulp hero. The only thing I really liked was the car engine noises in the background audio, which does effectively pump up the footage. However, from the whiny bed-ridden victim and his eye-rolling narration to the non-presence of story to the bad edit job with the concluding handicap match to that random rock explosion, I was just stoic and weary from the banality of it all.

Trailer Review - The Man With the Iron Fists

The Man With the Iron Fists
"Red Band" Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Lucy Liu as Not-O-Ren Ishii, Russell Crowe as a pleasure seeking cowboy, Dave Batista as a colossal golden iron-man, and RZA as the rarely seen main character.

Scene Pop: RZA popping someone's eyeball out of its socket.

Briggs Breakdown: 15 kills, 8 throat slashes, 2 gunshots, a sanctioned beheading, a destroyed bell, and one flying eyeball.

Effective?: Yes and No. It promises violence and kung-fu battles but the story falls by the wayside.

Check it Out?: Cult folk only. This is not going to be another kung-fu crossover flick; It is possibly destined to be placed next to the misguided failure The Warrior's Way. Hopefully, the action will stand up, unless it is just more bad CGI work. Also, I do wish the story will matter beyond being RZA's rapidly scribbled drawings in his trapper keeper.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ernest Borgnine - RIP

Ernest Borgnine, long-time character actor and Oscar winner for his performance in Marty, has died. He was 95 years old.

In recent times, Borgnine has been an easy pick for sprightly grandfathers and senior citizens, such as his recurring role as Mermaidman on Spongebob Squarepants. Back in his prime years, particulary 1955, he was either a tempestuous, scenery-chewing son of a gun or a jolly, lovable lug. In 1955, he pulled off two great performances, as Robert Ryan's angry goon in Bad Day at Black Rock and an unloved butcher in the award-winning Marty. The majority of his works, whether on television or film, may have a vast difference in quality, from starring in action classics such as The Wild Bunch and The Dirty Dozen to cheese-fests like Convoy and The Devil's Rain. Despite all of that, you were sure to get a fun little spectacle from Borgnine.

He will surely be missed.