Saturday, October 22, 2011


Ben Affleck's been given the reigns to one of Stephen King's coolest novels, The Stand. And I'm surprised to say I'm very much okay with this. Every couple years we get a little news about this book or The Dark Tower getting the theatrical treatment, but somehow (despite the massive fan base) these rumors never seem to pan out. Well, if it happens this time Ben sounds like a good choice to me. True, his films regularly leave me feeling... I dunno... incomplete. Like the elements were all good on their own, but somehow the writing didn't pan out, or maybe the film approached something a little too coldly. I felt this in Gone Baby Gone, I felt this in The Town... Though somehow that makes sense for The Stand.
The second act finale alone leaves you in a state of shock and that ending is just blood cold.
Ben's ability to work with actors adds an exciting element to this piece. His flicks always look really good from a cinematography standpoint. And the scope is already almost there. I think The Stand would be a positive step for Affleck, and Affleck may be a good influence on The Stand. Especially after that massacre of a miniseries.
Somebody mentioned Jon Hamm for The Walking Dude. That would be awesome! What do you all think?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Thing, The Prequel To The Thing, The Remake Of The Thing

This weekend I made it a point to go out and catch the first midnight of The Thing, the new prequel to one of my all time favorite films: The Thing... I'm cool with using the same title personally. It does have a number of cross-over moments with the original which is what makes the idea so much fun. Anyway, the major complaints from reviewers are as follows:

1. The movie is a carbon copy of the original.

Response: It's really really not. I promise you at the very least it is not the same movie. Some elements are the same because the variables of the creature its self must remain in order to stay true to form. But the greater majority of the film is its own thing. It even paces its self differently which may hurt it, but at least it is its own movie.

2. The ending is weak.

Response: Yes the initial ending may be a little weak, but it ask a number of interesting questions... like what world would spawn a creature like this? How intelligent is the creature really? Besides, if you wait just a few moments after the credits begin rolling, you are treated to an excellent little bit of cinema that legitimately made me gitty. I'm a fanboy for John Carpenter's flick so nothing makes me happier than properly being set up for that superior film.

3. The main character seems to have already seen the original film given her knowledge of the creature.

Response: That is a joke. When you see the original film, that test scene is genius and you know what(?) a little too smart for Kurt Russell's character. All-be-it cool. I love that sequence. So when we get to a similar sequence in this prequel I was actually really happy with the choice Mary Elizabeth Winstead made. It was an excellent example of taking two different characters in similar situations with different backgrounds and giving them different logical realizations. Surprisingly, Mary's actually makes more sense. This may be the element that most kept me in the movie, enjoying the movie.

In Short: The Thing (2011) is an alright flick. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a good actress and while Joel Edgerton seems like a would-be Kurt Russell he's still quite good. The CG doesn't look as good as the practical effects of the original, but it's not bad. Honestly, if a few more things had happened in that finale I think I would have loved it. So if you like the original at all, this is worth a view. It's more interesting, in my opinion, to go out and see a connected story than a full on remake. That's what Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes did. Though Rise stood well on its own merits (that franchise always called for a more realistic Ape). The Thing is more like another chance to see what this creature does. I think it's unlikely this will lead to any further sequels/prequels. But it was nice to get just a semi-interesting one off like an additional episode.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wet Floor: Moments That Breathe


I just saw it for the second time and somehow... it got better! I don't know how much work Sorkin did on this screenplay, though I'm assuming quite a bit. But I'm left with just a truly wonderful moment stuck in my head... there's the recognition the Pitt is cursed, truly jinxed, and Pratt steps up to bat and then there's this perfect directorial explosion of brilliance. Sound, Cinematography, Performance... it's all just pitch perfect here. These are always brief comments on films (and I'd like to keep it that way), but man that was such a brilliant scene. This film truly makes me wonder about the potential of baseball if certain peoples (who shall remain nameless) would get their heads out of their asses and recognize that the game could use a couple steps into modernity. That is the fight, no? Anyway, I recommend this one. Even if the very end doesn't hit as hard as I'd like, the scene before sure sticks and that's good enough for me.

Genre: Walk and Talk with less walk and a little more Baseball.

The Ides Of March
While not quite as strong as I would have hoped from Clooney's Junior attempt at directing (Good Night and Good Luck was amazing!!), I still felt like a great deal of the film worked. Firstly it looked beautiful. Then, the performances were pretty top notch. So the real problems I had were the cliches in the writing. Mostly the whole intern subplot (though that is really the movie). It's cool to watch good performers make something like this though. However, if you want a real political thriller that bites, I suggest you just wait for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Genre: Political Intrigue meets Easy Puzzle Film

Ryan Gosling twice in one month?? Oh how lucky we are. But he's only part of what makes this flick so superb. Excellent directing and writing intermingle in a stylistic reality... and honestly I can't get that song out of my head! But my favorite part of the whole thing is just that very beginning chase sequence. I submit that it be considered amongst the Greatest Car Chases Of All Time list. Yes, it's that good, cause I've never seen one so smartly executed before. Bryan Cranston makes his mark as well and there's a whole cast of quality characters. Somehow I can't fully express what this movie makes me feel. I simply suggest you see it.

Genre: A Hero's Journey

I dunno. See it if you must, but it's really not all that.

Genre: Meaningless Sickness Film that ignores any and all interesting plot developments in lieu of whiney annoying characters

That wraps me up for right now. It's actually been a pretty great month in filmdom. What with three of the above as well as Warrior! Man I can't say how good that film was enough.