Wednesday, August 27, 2014

9 Movies Currently MIA or Otherwise (As of August 2014)

Premiering today across the nation, to combat The November Man and to get any kids not tied down by school prep back into the theaters, is the movie Underdogs, the animated soccer flick from Argentina, where it had the more accessible, memorable title of Foosball. Oh wait, I'm totally incorrect. It seems that everybody, including major publications, seemed to forget to spot that Underdogs has been removed from the schedule. According to IMDB, the film is now to be buried away in the winter months of 2015, January 15 to be more precise. The movie was my last top pick of this summer output and I was very hopeful to forgo an afternoon of hot weather to instead spend an air-conditioned visit at the cinema, with the film in front on me. Unfortunately, The Weinstein Company, as they always do, dampened my dream and are now hurting the potential of the product. For god's sakes, who would want to watch a soccer film in the middle of a snowstorm?

Now, changing the release date of a film is common practice, as seen this summer, when Warner Bros. decided at the last minute to move Jupiter Ascending from July 16 to February 5, 2015, due to so-called "post-production problems". But not all movies get to have the luxury of a major press release or even a brief news story. Some recent films have elapsed into relative obscurity, despite much fanfare and presence of movie trailers. Below are a few movies that have caught my eye yet still reside in distribution purgatory. Or do they?


Plot: A flight to Tokyo hits some unknown, supernatural turbulence. Stars Ryan Kwanten, Jaime Chung, Leslie Bibb, and Amy Smart. Directed by Takashi Shimizu (The Ju-On/The Grudge franchise).

Pre-Release Buzz: Just a forgettable, nondescript trailer, set to a pathetically slow cover of "Leaving On a Jet Plane". The movie was originally supposed to come out on August 31, 2012 (!). I noted this movie back during my 2012 summer overview, where I decried it alongside another horror film, The Possession.

Current Status: October 3, 2014 should be when the plane thriller finally makes its descent into theaters. Suffering from multiple delays, the most likely reason for this cold-feet approach is because of its production company/distributor, CBS Films. The film division of the CBS Corporation has had a tough time breaking into the movie business, often delivering less than stellar features or, in the case of the unsung Seven Psychopaths, are more known for their poor domestic box office returns. 7500 is thankfully coming out in the Halloween season but I expect it to more alike to CBS' The Last Exorcism: Part II than The Woman in Black, in terms of quality.

Dino Time

Plot: Three kids mess around with a scientist's time machine and find themselves messing around with dinosaurs. Voices include Pamela Adlon, Tara Strong, Yuri Lowenthal, and Jane Lynch. Produced by the Southern Korean powerhouse CJ Entertainment and specifically designed to meet the 3D quota for theater owners.

Pre-Release Buzz: Was to be released on December 7, 2012. The movie's trailer and poster were fairly ubiquitous two years ago, with the latter still being displayed at my local metroplex.

Current Status: Unknown. Despite the notable marketing push and earning a rating from the MPAA, the film was never released here in America, not even on home video. IMDB states that the movie is currently making its way around the globe but it still lists the false USA date. CJ Entertainment is not hurting right now, as they just helped make Snowpiercer a global attraction, so your guess is as good as mine. It seems I'm the only person who cares about this animated trifle.

The Green Inferno

Plot: Clearly borrowing from the despicable template of the cannibal horror craze, a group of environmental activists are captured and ready to be served as dinner to the tribe they wished to protect. Eli Roth's latest film.

Pre-Release Buzz: Was to be released on September 5, 2014. Premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival, its trailer made waves online, and was highly sought for both Roth supporters and detractors.

Current Status: Postponed Indefinitely. This is the most recent addition, as the film has currently made the rounds on news sites. Production company Worldwide Entertainment and distributor Open Road Films are at war with each other over who has to pay for the film's marketing, with neither side giving way. A settlement may come just in time for Halloween but the dilemma is not an easy fix.

Keith Lemon: The Film

Plot: A film vehicle for a raunchy British "comedy" character. Think along the lines of Sacha Baron Cohen's personas, except far, far worst.

Pre-Release Buzz: None, other than a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and multiple wins at the British equivalent of the Razzies, the BARFTAs.

Current Status: N/A. I'll admit that I put this here because of my own perverse obsession to see this arrive stateside after the harsh slacking it got in the U.K. The Inbetweeners actually had a limited release with their first film in 2012, so this travesty might have a chance; I've heard Happy Madison is always looking for crass entertainment. If not, illegally posted videos on YouTube are the best bet.


Plot: An underage assassin goes after the people that killed her parents. Stars India Eisley and Samuel L. Jackson. An adaptation of the violent ecchi-filled anime, which was popular back during the heydays of the 90's anime rush.

Pre-Release Buzz: A trailer was released at the start of this year, which I covered in an edition of Trailer Review. Nothing much came after it but recently, several posters were released online. Wikipedia has it listed as coming out this Thursday (August 28, 2014).

Current Status: Unknown, but most likely will be buried away from sight any day now, possibly on home video and/or VOD.

The Loft

Plot: Five friends use the titled location as a place for their love affairs, until a dead body is found one night. Stars Karl Urban, James Marsden, Rhonda Mitra, and Wentworth Miller. A remake of a 2008 Belgium film and being helm by the same director, Erik Van Looy.

Pre-Release Buzz: Just it being previously listed for release on August 29, 2014. Absolutely no material has been seen of the project, hence why the image above is from the original film.

Current Status: Unknown. Universal pulled the movie late June and moved As Above, So Below into the open spot. No word on its new home but given the lack of publicity, it looks to be a real stinker.

The Mighty Eighth

Plot: No story has been handed out but judging from the teaser trailer, it looks to be a half found footage, half normal war picture about the Eighth Air Force, a WWII unit that carried out several bombing missions over Europe.

Pre-Release Buzz: Nothing but the teaser trailer, which was released back in November 2013.

Current Status: Apparently, this isn't an upcoming movie but a future HBO miniseries, the third WWII drama from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg; this explains why the trailer features a noticeable sound bite from Saving Private Ryan. Despite this clarification, there has been no news of the project since a January 2013 press release about the company acquiring the rights to the book, "Masters of the Air". IMDB doesn't even have a page for the series under the current name; even the Masters of the Air page is completely blank. Probably by the end of the year, most likely Veterans Day, the big push for this miniseries will finally spring up.

The Polar Bears

Plot: A film about the Coca-Cola Polar Bears. That's it.

Pre-Release Buzz: A trailer for the feature was all over the place two years ago, preceding nearly every feature during the fall movie season. Of course, this prevalence was due to corporate synergy, as Coca-Cola has a contract with the likes of Regal Cinemas.

Current Status: Guess what? I done goofed again. The Polar Bears was actually released back in December a short film. But this flummoxes me a great deal: If it ended up being a short, why wasn't it put in front of anything after all of that time and energy?

The Seventh Son

Plot: A farm boy is trained by a grey-haired master, in order to save the world from darkness. Why does that sound familiar? Stars Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore. Very loosely based on the first book of "The Wardstone Chronicles".

Pre-Release Buzz: Was to be originally released on February 22, 2013, but was moved to October 18 in order to complete the special effects work. Then, it was moved to January 17, 2014, when Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. decided to end their business relationship. Legendary even gave the pic a panel at last year's Comic-Con.

Current Status: February 6, 2015. Universal picked up the movie but decided to give it a year off instead of a mercy killing. All this trouble over a fantasy movie that is sure to bomb fast and hard.

So there you have, 7 movies in limbo and 2 products that had highly misleading trailers. There are probably some more films I forgot to cover here and there surely will be some more films to be given the shaft. I guess I'll just have to write about those features another time.

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