Wall Street 2 International Trailer

 

I still have trouble with Shia LaBeouf in the principle role, but I must say that with each subsequent bit of marketing, the 20 years on Wall Street sequel is looking better and better. With the Rolling Stones featuring heavily on this trailers soundtrack, it seems (just a bit) that Oliver Stone is taking a page out of the Scorsese playbook.

“I once said, greed is good. Now, it seems it is legal.”

Despite being one of the centerpieces of the first trailer, it remains a knock out line and probably should be on the poster. Michael Douglas is clearly reveling in one of his more well known rolls. When are we going to get Romancing The Stone 3?

The International trailer for “Money Never Sleeps” is tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?

Oscar Bounty: The Secret of Kells.

 

We have been a bit lax in covering or providing information on this years biggest surprise Oscar Nomination, the Irish animated film The Secret of Kells, which beat out the likes of Ponyo, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Mary and Max for securing the fifth nomination in what is arguably the category of the highest caliber across the board in this years Oscar race. If there is one film set to benefit from the exposure it is this one.

A newly minted one-sheet is above (highlighting it’s nomination) and the trailer, a clip and an extended 2009 promo-reel are all tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?

Bookmarks for Feb. 14-17

  • Some Came Running: “Shutter Island”
    Glenn Kenny positively reviews the Scorsese’s newest opus: “So all things being equal, even the most devoted of Scorsese fans couldn’t necessarily be blamed for expecting little beyond a very very grand piece of Guignol, with inimitable style and panache but maybe not so much resonance. So I am thoroughly happy to report that, to my eyes and ears at least, Shutter Island is, in the Godardian formulation, a vrai Scorsese film, in its way the most fully realized personal work of the Scorsese-DiCaprio collabs, a puzzle picture that, as it puts its plot pieces together, climbs to a crescendo that aims to reach that perfect note of empathetic despair we haven’t seen/heard in a Hollywood picture since Vertigo. I think it very nearly gets there.”
  • Top 10 Stills of 2009
    Part one of two in which InContention looks at compelling stills from 2009 films.
  • Best and Worst worst date movies
    “One Slate writer brought a prospective beau to see the morbidly erotic In the Realm of the Senses, which also involves genital mutilation and which happens to be one of her favorite movies. She never heard from him again. “Just as well, since anyone who can’t roll with Realm O’ isn’t my type anyway,””
  • Robert Smith – “Very Good Advice”
    Robert Smith has turned his attention to Almost Alice, a collection of songs inspired by Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. He’s joined by the likes of Owl City, Avril Lavigne, the All-American Rejects, and many other of your favorite artists. (The movie’s actual score was done by Danny Elfman, though Avril’s track will show up during the credits.) Take a listen to Smith’s “Very Good Advice” streaming here. It includes less tears than the original.
  • When talking about your influences works against you.
    It’s fair. If you’re going to attack Tarantino, the first thing you typically do is cite him for plagiarism, which for me is missing the point — the locations and sequences he films are always slowed down to his distinctive pace. So why is Martin Scorsese celebrated for his cinephilia while Tarantino’s is held in evidence against him?.
  • Avatar, the French New Wave and the morality of deep-focus (in 3-D)
    Jim Emerson wonders why James Cameron would use a shallow depth of field in Avatar, a technique that often uses blur to signal depth, in a film that already has depth through its use of 3D. He bolsters his position through references to Cahier critics’ defense of the freedom deep focus allows viewers, arguing that with so much to look at in Avatar, Cameron’s dictatorial shallow focus is inexcusable.
  • Hollywood sign coverup part of campaign to purchase Cahuenga Peak
    A nonprofit group plans to cover the Hollywood sign with a banner urging “Save the Peak” this week, announcing its effort to purchase nearby Cahuenga Peak from private developers for $11.7 million.

 
 

You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:

Quick Thoughts: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Percy JacksonI don’t doubt that Rick Riordan’s series is a fabulous read. Full of Greek mythology and more than a little action, it makes for a fast paced tale of adventure but how that translates onto the big screen isn’t exactly great. I’m sure one of the reasons Fox brought director Chris Columbus on board to direct the first film in the series may have something to do with his success in kicking off the Harry Potter franchise. What they failed to take into account is the fact that Harry Potter already had a rabid fanbase where as Percy Jackson…let’s just say he’s no pre-pubescent magician.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief has a whole lot going for it. The story of demigods living amongst humans in the modern world certainly offers many an opportunity for story telling. In this particular world, Zeus has forbidden the gods from communicating with their mortal children in fear that they will overlook their Godly duties but when Zeus’ lightning bolt is stolen, Zeus gets angry (and a little irrational). He knows his brother Poseidon didn’t steal it but he thinks Poseidon’s son Percy may have and so an ultimatum is set: return the bolt in two weeks or face war. Typical God stuff wouldn’t you say? It also brings this whole Gods not interacting with their half human kids into question.

Here’s where the story really kicks off (as much as it ever does). As everyone searches for the bolt (who wouldn’t want to rule Olympus?) Percy comes to know his true origin, is taken into a camp for special kids (other demigods like himself), gathers a few troops and heads off to rescue his mother who has been kidnapped by Hades, the ruler of the underworld, a dude who also happens to be his uncle. Basically, there’s a whole lot going on including some digging through Greek mythology. To the film’s credit (likely due to screen writer Craig Titley who adapted Riordan’s book) the convoluted associations between characters and the mythology associated with them is peppered throughout the film quite well. The only problem is that with all of the supernatural stuff flying around, the film still manages to be pretty dull.

The action is yawn inducing, the effects good in places and laughably bad in others, the comedy occasionally works and falls flat in other places – it’s a bit of an uneven mess, one that’s heightened by the appearance of some amazingly talented actors. Makes you wonder what they were thinking when they agreed to some of these roles. From Kevin McKidd as Poseidon to Catherine Keener as Percy’s mother, there are a spattering of appearances from some heavyweights including Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Melina Kanakaredes, Joe Pantoliano and Uma Thurman. When one appears, you can’t help but groan – yes, it’s that bad (with the exception of Sean Bean as Zeus who is just…well, awesome). As for the leads, Logan Lerman as Percy has a promising career ahead of him; he may not be great but neither is the material and he does show promise (along with a fair amount of screen presence) while Alexandra Daddario’s pretty face is likely to turn up again, hopefully in another role where girls kick ass.

Percy Jackson is a disappointment considering the amount of money thrown at it and the calibre of talent involved. It’s a bit of a slog at nearly two hours but you know what? It’s worth every penny for the awesomeness of seeing Hades and Persephone duke it out. Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson are easily the highlight of the film and they steal the show in their short interlude. Someone should really think to cast them in The Life and Times of Hades and Persephone because they’re genius together. And seriously, is it even legal to look this amazing? And I’m not talking about Coogan.

Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson in Percy Jackson

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

All About Evil – Guess Who


I thought it might be fun to see if people can figure out who that is in the poster for All About Evil

All About Evil is…

a twisted black comedy set in the world of a classic old horror movie– and a love letter to classic movie houses everywhere! The evil begins when Deborah, a mousy librarian, inherits her father’s beloved but failing old movie house, the Victoria. In order to save the family business, she discovers her inner serial killer– and starts turning out a series of grisly short films. Deborah quickly cultivates a rabid legion of San Franciscan gore fans who help catapult her to new-found local celebrity– business booms so quickly, she’s forced to bring on a full film crew of like-minded misfits to meet the demand! Her adoring public, and even her biggest fan– high school student Steven– don’t realize that the murders in the movies are all too real. But will this brooding youth catch the blame as Deborah’s steady stream of ‘actors’ keep disappearing at an ever-quickening pace? What grisly fate awaits those that dare enter the Victoria theatre?

You can find out who that is in the poster under the seat…
Would you like to know more…?

Finite Focus: Epilepsy! (Enter The Void)

As 2009 films go, there is a lot of love around these parts for Gaspar Noé‘s sensational masterpiece Enter The Void: Three of the dozen or so contributors to Row Three chose it as their ‘best film of 2009’ and it should bear mentioning that they were the only three that saw it! Hyperbole aside, I am well aware that this tour-de-force opening credit sequence does not play nearly to the effect of seeing this on a massive screen, but for sheer insanity (and complete lack of practicality), I offer them to you in all their garish, electronic, spastic, GLORY!

Those wondering if the film is as assaultive as the below credit sequence, well, it is and it is not (Row Three Review). The film is not as directly punishing as Noé’s previous Irreversible; rather, Enter The Void is more melodic and breezy for the most part and this sequence is the most prankster-ish element. Enjoy.

More Oscar Show Changes (music, speeches, presentations)

 

Every year, the day after the Oscar presentation, beside the winners there is all sorts of talk about what went well at the Oscar show and what sucked. And every year someone always mentions the musical performances. Some people love those bits and others tend to think they lengthen an already yawn-inducing show and just bog down the entire ceremony.

– Well, we’re about to find out exactly what an Oscar show will be like without all of the performances. Oscar producers have already contacted the nominees and told them their services will no longer be needed. Instead, the music will be played in snippets over the top of clips from the nominated film. Ruffled feathers anyone?

While in some ways I’ll miss the performances (would’ve been damn fun to see Bridges perform his song from Crazy Heart), I do agree that it tends to just slow down the night a little bit. Also, I remember people throwing a fit a few year back when “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” won best song; because the on stage performance was undefendably atrocious. But I had to constantly defend the win (I still do) because within the context of the film, the song absolutely deserved to win. So placing the song within it’s film as to give it some context and depth will be a nice touch I think.

– Next up are the droning on and on speeches (“the single most-hated thing on the show,” producer Bill Mechanic said). The producers have asked potential winners to prepare two speeches: one 45-second bit for the on-stage, “what the Oscar means to you,” and then a second speech to be given backstage to a “Thank You Cam” during which the winner can thank specific people. These bits will be posted online and winners can email them to whoever they choose and even post them on their Facebook profiles.

– Amidst all of these tweaks and changes, apparently they’re going to stick with the way the presentations were given out last year: with the five previous year’s nominees reading the nominees for the Best Actor and Actress categories this year. A lot of people hated that bit last year but I thought that the ones that were done well were pretty good and more big stars is better than less big stars in my opinion. I also like the personal approach some of the actors took to their presentations; looking directly at the nominee and speaking just to them.

The Oscars will be broadcast on Sunday, March 7th. Here are the Best Original Song nominees:
“Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from Paris 36 Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyrics by Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from Nine Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart Music and Lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

 

Mamo #160: Oscar nom nom nom

We eat the Oscars! While no one would be foolish enough to base their Oscar pool bet on our analysis of this year’s nominations, we’ll help you sift through the madness of Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker vs. 8 Films No One Will Remember Two Minutes From Now, 2010.

**Additionally, both Matts would like to apologize profusely to Marion Cotillard, upon whom they have significant, publicly-acknowledged crushes, and would be Facebook friends with if they could.

Brad Pitt + Wes Anderson = Tati-Inspired Goodness

A few days ago, after I had revisited Jacques Tati’s magical widescreen epic Playtime, I was cruising around the net reading up on him and his body of work. Thanks to an article from the Guardian, I stumbled across yet another Youtube hidden gem: a Japanese cell phone commercial that Wes Anderson made with Brad Pitt. Shot in one take, it features Pitt pulling off a pretty good Monsieur Hulot as one gag after another (all reminiscent of similar ones in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, the first Tati film in which the famous character appeared) unfolds onscreen. The commercial is pretty short, and the video quality is somewhat blurry, but it still makes for a pretty delightful half-minute of your time.

P.S. Could this point the way to a bigger Anderson-Pitt collaboration further down the road? Only time will tell…

You can find the commercial tucked under the seat, as well as the more widely-seen one for American Express in which Anderson paid tribute to François Truffaut’s Day for Night.

Would you like to know more…?

Everything You Need to Know About Kevin Smith vs SW Airlines

Normally I shy away from these self-righteous celebrity stories that tangle with the media or have some crazy, drunken experience at a night club or whatever; because honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Celebrities are just people and I don’t really care what they do on their own time (public or private). It’s not interesting to me in the slightest. But this is Kevin Smith.

A quick rundown of the story is that Smith was ejected from a SouthWest flight because he was allegedly too fat; though SouthWest wouldn’t actually use the term “fat.” There is a lot more to the story and involves having bought two seats, a bunch of conspiracy theories and some obvious half-truths coming from the SW employees on the plane. And of course Kevin Tweeting the hell out of the story immediately following his ejection. SW, not realizing who they threw off their plane, are now in full on panic mode trying to placate the situation because of Smith’s platform.

So A) this isn’t just some quick run in or happening at a night club or something. This was an “epic” event that (the way Kevin tells it) spanned about 5 or 6 hours and doesn’t involve only him. And B) It is now a mission of about a million Smith disciples and the story has just gone completely platinum. It’s just too juicy not to have some fun with.

If you’ve seen the An Evening with Kevin Smith movies, you know this guy tells personal stories like no one else and is not short of self-depricating humor. If he wasn’t a great indie film maker, the guy should seriously be doing stand-up in NYC or something. Seriously; it’s that entertaining.

So when this story began to take the webs by storm late Sunday night, I had to check it out because you know, you just know, that Smith is gonna rant about this in some entertaining fashion. And rant he did. Below you’ll find all the links that tell the story from Sunday night through right now. I mostly recommend listening to the SmodCast in which he relates the whole story to his wife immediately upon arriving home.

SmodCast episode 106 (on iTunes)
Kevin Smith’s Twitter
SW Airlines Twitter
Silent Bob rages
SW apologizes, but defends policy
SW Rep, Linda talks to Kevin
SW Airlines policy on “customers of size”