Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review: Trick 'r Treat

I finally saw Trick 'r Treat! The movie that was pushed back by Warner Bros., then shelved, before ending up as a direct-to-dvd release. I never understood why though as the trailer looked promising and there was good word of mouth.

I guess people took offense to the kid killing that happens in the film, but this movie definitely isn't worse than any random Saw sequel. I thought the movie was quite tame, even if it was mean spirited.

Trick 'r Treat is an anthology; there are different stories that take place on the same Halloween night. Characters do crossover into the different stories.

The film starts off very strong with Leslie Bibb and Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse) as a couple, with Bibb being the Halloween hater of the two. Lesson learned: don't be a Halloween hater. I was impressed director Michael Doughtery managed to create quite a lot of suspense in such a short amount of time. This segment is maybe 5+ minutes long (or short).

Next we have Dylan Baker as the town's principal, who also happens to be a crazed killer. This segment is particularly mean spirited, yet Baker pulls it off with a certain light-heartedness. IMHO, it's the best segment of the bunch as it's a realistic horror we're dealing with here: there could really be some crazy person putting poison or razorblades into your candy.

Then there's Anna Paquin and friends who are out and about in sexy costumes looking for a good time. This is my least favorite story. Without spoiling anything, I wasn't particularly fond of the way the story played out. I prefer realistic horror over the supernatural.

Then there was The School Bus Massacre. I do dig urban legends and this segment was well executed. However, to me, the end of the story felt so out of place. I think the first two stories set up a Trick 'r Treat world where we're dealing with realistic horrors so I found it disappointing when Paquin's story and the School Bus Massacre took a different route. If the order of the stories was changed, I might not have felt the same way.

The last story features Brian Cox as another Halloween hater, who gets a visit from Sam, a tiny trick-or-treater in orange pjs and a sack over his head. It's a freaky segment and Cox definitely learned his Halloween lesson.

Visually, the film looks amazing. Doughtery really captured the Halloween atmosphere. And overall, it was quite enjoyable while watching it. Though when the credits rolled, boyfriend and I just sat there in silence for a minute, unsure what to think. I don't know what it is, I guess the film doesn't work as a whole for me. But I'm not saying it's a bad movie. A 3/5.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Can't Decide If I Like Shutter Island

Oh Shutter Island! I watched you yesterday and I still can't decide what to think of you. I can appreciate your visuals and botchy editing, yes both were very effective. I can appreciate the cast you ensembled, well, except for Leo DiCaprio (I'm just not fond of this guy and he feels out of place here). I can appreciate what you're trying to accomplish. It's just not working for me.

I didn't find DiCaprio's character all that interesting and didn't care much for his backstory, which, by the way, was a bit too much with nazi-Germany and the death of his wife. I was annoyed with Mark Ruffalo, a great actor who was completely wasted here. He basically does nothing the entire movie. And with the exception of Sir Ben Kingsley, the rest of the cast is wasted too. Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, and John Carroll Lynch are barely in the film at all. Levine and Clarkson in particular feel pointless. Too much time is spent working towards the 'twist' and by the time we get there, we get a 5-minute explanation. The end. That's it. Yes, I'm aware of DiCaprio and Ruffalo's little conversation at the end, but it was too little too late. I was already checking my watch for the gazillionth time and telling boyfriend they should wrap things up already.

I really wanted to like this. And a part of me does like it, but there's another part that says this isn't a good movie. The thing is, I watched Pandorum (starring Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid) the night before and I really can't decide which is the better movie. At least that movie wasn't trying so hard.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poster: more Piranha 3D

Oh noes! What happened here? I LOVED the French Piranha 3D poster, it was teaser-y and Grindhouse-y and I liked the font! And the tagline was better!

Via IMP Awards comes the US poster and it's just too much, you know? Besides the piranha overkill here, I just absolutely detest the title font. I can't explain it, but I feel rage just looking at it.

I don't like the tagline at all. I mean, the French poster said 'Sea, Sex and... Blood' and while that isn't the most original tagline in the world, it does sum up what Piranha 3D is supposed to be: a fun, cheesy B-movie. The above poster's tagline is just trying to cash in on the 3D trend. AND WE ALREADY KNOW IT'S IN 3D, IT'S IN THE DAMN TITLE!

And the poster is too glossy. If I was on Twitter, I would add a #fail.

This poster does give us a look at the cast billing. No one's billed above the title. Good. Then we get respectively Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Jessica Szohr, Steven R. McQueen with Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I want this poster #4

Another day, another cool poster! Here's the newest poster for Scott Pilgrim vs the World and this one actually features Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)! About time, I think! :)

I like this one much better than the teaser, featuring only Cera. I like the inclusion of Ramona and her seven evil exes. Especially, Chris Evans, he just makes me laugh.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is set for an August 13 release and stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Mae Whitman, Brandon Routh, Kieran Culkin and Jason Schwartzman.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poster: Piranha 3D

(via IMP Awards)

Here's the French poster of Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes)'s Piranha 3D! I quite like it. It's Grindhouse-y and Jaws-y. The poster is perfect for a film that is supposed to be a fun, cheesy B-movie.

Only.. if this is the French poster, then why is the tagline in English?

Piranha 3D is set for an August 20 release in the US and stars Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames, Jessica Szohr, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, and Jerry O'Connell.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Scream 4, just stop it!

Scream 4, I'm this close to breaking up with you, because things are getting ridiculous. Zap2it is reporting that Ehren Kruger is rewriting the film. Let that name sink in. Ehren Kruger. EHREN KRUGER. The man responsible for gems such as Reindeer Games, The Ring Two (hate this one with PASSION), The Skeleton Key, Blood & Chocolate and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (I agree with Megan Fox, who said: "I'm in the movie and I read the script and I watched the movie and I still didn't know what was happening"). How this man is still working in Hollywood, I don't know!

He also wrote Scream 3, my least favorite of the original trilogy. Apparently, Kevin Williamson is out and Kruger has been hired to work his magic. Well, this explains all the script changes and Lauren Graham's exit.

Even Hayden Panettiere is not pleased with all the changes, reports Zap2it. And Hayden's been in a lot of stuff that wasn't.. good. Be worried!

In other news, Mary McDonnell (Donnie Darko) and Community's Alison Brie have joined the ever changing cast.

Hello, Spider-Man

It's official: Andrew Garfield (Lions for Lambs, Boy A) is our new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! Congrats, Andrew! /Film has all the details up about his casting so I won't get into it here.

Garfield beat out, among others, Anton Yelchin, Jamie Bell, Josh Hutcherson and Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson.

While I think Garfield is talented and I'm happy his talent got noticed, I'm a bit unsure about his casting. Isn't the reboot supposed to focus on Peter Parker's high school years? Garfield, at age 26, was the oldest actor of the bunch competing for role. How believable will he be as a high school student?

Then there's his looks. Personally, I find him too attractive to be nerdy Peter Parker.

And third, Garfield is an acclaimed and serious young actor. The guy won a BAFTA in 2008 for his role in Boy A! Why go the superhero route when you have a promising career? I'm afraid the Spider-Man reboot will do more damage than good. I think they're rebooting the franchise way too soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Poster: Easy A

Here we have the Australian poster for the comedy Easy A, starring the lovely Emma Stone. I like it. It's an attention grabbing and fun poster. Emma is a cute girl and I really enjoyed her in Zombieland.

The problem I have with this poster is the above the title billing of Emma Stone. I know she plays the lead, but it just looks off to me. Will people really go see this film because it's an Emma Stone movie? I think this poster would've worked fine without her name above the title. Like this Knocked Up poster featuring Seth Rogen, but without his name on it.

Closer inspection of the Easy A poster tells me other talented people are in this too: Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Thomas Haden Church, Stanley Tucci. And a visit to IMDB tells me Dan Byrd is in it as well (love him!). I'm kinda hoping the US poster will take a different approach. I think a fun image of Emma as social outcast with the other youngster looking on could work. Keep the tagline and what's on the note, and put several names at the top of the poster, including Bynes (has teen and 20-something fans), Badgley (Gossip Girl fans) and Church and Tucci (both Academy Award nominees, could be appealing to an older and/or different audience). I think it would sell the movie better than just focusing on Stone.

Scream 4, what's going on?!

I'm a big Scream fan. I was obsessed with it when it was released here in The Netherlands in 1997 and rewatched it over and over on VHS. I can pretty much recite the entire opening sequence and believe it or not, that's what I do when I feel a panic attack coming on in the subway (it's called task concentration and redirects attention away from yourself - see, being a psychologist comes in handy sometimes). I didn't consider myself a teenager, but a Screamager. Along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (show, not movie), this movie shaped the person who I am today. It's the film that got me interested in screenwriting and just movies in general. It's the reason this blog exists! The opening is genuinely scary and the rest of the script is solid. The cast is fun and fresh (hello, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan and Jamie Kennedy!). It's a really good movie that lost a lot of love over the years. For some reason (the teen horror craze that followed it, that made people tired of WB horror?), people love bashing Scream.

I always defend Scream, except for part 3 of course (screw you, Ehren Kruger!), but even I'm getting concerned about Scream 4 here. Kevin Williamson has been writing the fourth installment for ages. I mean, seriously, excluding Vampire Diaries, that's all he tweets about. I worship at the shrine of Williamson, but something is going on.

Let's see:
- Scream 4 is already in production, yet the script keeps changing
- Lake Bell tweeted she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts
- Over a week ago, Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham announced she had joined the cast and this morning I woke up to the news that she dropped out as well

Also, I'm not a big fan of the cast they have ensembled. Adam Brody and Marley Shelton (replacing Lake) have now joined Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson and the original castmembers Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette. It all seems very glossy for a movie that's supposed to go back to Woodsboro. Sure neither Scream 2 or 3 lacked in the familiar faces department (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jerry O'Connell, Scott Foley, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey), but they didn't stick out like a sore thumb. They blended in with new talent like Timothy Olyphant and Emily Mortimer (okay, I don't like Emily Mortimer, but that's beside the point). Round the cast out with unfamiliar faces, please! The addition of Brody and Shelton (I love Marley!) is just too much. It's starting to look like Scary Movie 5!

I'm trying to have faith here in Scream 4, Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven, but all this news is not making the project look good. To be continued, I guess.