Morning Bleary-Eyed fans, hope everyone had an excellent weekend…well, at least better than Sony did with the new Ghostbusters film. Only have time for a quick recap of last weekend’s Box Office results, but I really have to apologize for the lack of posts recently and of course I want to spend just a moment to mourn all the lives lost in the past few weeks. I love films more than a lot of things, but escapism right now feels, I don’t know, wrong. Especially when so many are suffering. Now I don’t want to speak for anyone other than myself (Manchicken has his own opinions), and it’ll be quick. So just as simple as it can be: Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, All Minority Lives Matter, and NO ONE deserves to die at the hand of another other, absolute extreme circumstances notwithstanding.
Also, to keep in the spirit with the subject of the website, but honestly, they had the answer to the future’s woe’s back in 1989. It was in a slacker time travel comedy that starred a young Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, called Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure:
We don’t have much in the realm of content this morning (while I will do the updated box office since we have some really cool numbers to go over), but based on the recent success of Disney/John Favreau’s The Jungle Book, I wanted to show off Disney’s latest live action update.
Since Maleficent (which was more of a “behind-the-scenes” version of Sleeping Beauty), Disney has been on a constant string of success with their live-action material from their animated films. Like last year’s Cinderella:
To this years’ epic The Jungle Book, it’s now hard to ignore the charm and actually faithfull filmmaking going into these new live-action adaptations.
In 2017, Disney hopes that we will enjoy another update of a classic tale and bring the same care along with it. As short as it is, I give you the very cinematic looking Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer:
I’m not sure if you saw the same teaser I did, but from the very beginning, with the cold and snow sweapt castle and the lone light at the top of the tower in the Disney logo, I was hooked.
I only have a few comments regarding the teaser. First off, I’m not sure Ewan McGregor (portraying the sex-feind candalabra Lumiere) knows what a French accent actually is. Hopefully his Jedi training will kick in and he’ll change a bit. On the opposite spectrum, you have Ian McKellen’s Cogworth using every aspect of Magneto and Gandalf to not giving a flipping crap about what a French accent might be. Even the titular star, Emma Watson as Belle doesn’t even try. I will not say she’s stuck as Hermoine from the Harry Potter films, but I’d like the actors to do something like, oh I don’t know, THEIR JOB!
Secondly, I have to give Disney such props by allowing Alan Menken to do the music for this film. The reason I say that is that, is Menken also did the score to the 1991 Animated Beauty and the Beast. It’s almost as if Disney is daring you to call them on it.
Finally, I have to get excited with them choosing Bill Condon to direct the film. While he does have a few Twilight movies on his resume, we can’t hold mistakes against people who lose bets all the time. The films he did that are spectacular far outweight anything else.
So, I’m excited that one of my favorite Disney films is getting updated with excellent actors, a competent director, and a fantastic (yet repetitve) scoremaster. Now, if only they would only do my favorite Disney film:
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” – Stephen King, “The Gunslinger”.
The first sentence in what would become an epic sprawling book series created over several decades.
In my middle school years, I discovered an author who would change the course of my life. As the terrible and disturbing years that counted as my adolescence gave way to an awkward period of pubescence, not many things were what you would call “comfort”.
After using “reading material” (and I use that term loosely) to indulge in teenage desires, I soon found that certain genres took me away from the hell of bullying, school, and you know, general Middle School BS. For me, Stephen King and his World’s did that. The first novel I read was “The Green Mile”. I was inspired by Michael Clarke Duncan’s (may he rest in peace) performance as the unfortunate victim of racism and fear. Not only did I feel a connection with Duncan’s character, John Coffey, but once the prose was displayed upon paper, I was forever enchanted by Mr. King and eventually became a “Constant Reader” as he likes to put it. Now, obviously, I could not relate to the character in form of race, but being an outsider was simply a feeling that has never left me, even through to this day.
My second run-in with Mr. King’s work was a bit different. After finishing “The Green Mile” on vacation in Colorado, I was brought along to a used bookstore in which I discovered the first three volumes of Mr. King’s dark fantasy series: The Dark Tower. The odd tale of a “Authurian-Like” figure going on a journey through time, multiple dimensions, and the supernatural grabbed me and enveloped my feelings and thoughts. It took me almost another decade before I was able to finish the series (King began the series formally in 1982 and it was finished in 2004), but every step of Roland, The Gunslinger’s journey was my own as well. I know many a person that feels the same way.
Then in 2012, Warner Brothers and Ron Howard announced they wanted to take on a huge project with a hybrid film/television version of The Dark Tower series. HBO, one of the sister companies of WB would air the show and WB would distribute the film. This ambitious announcement was also met with an announcement that Javier Bardem:
the creepiest creep
that ever creeped) was originally set to play Roland, but that fell through and Russell Crowe was given the option for the role. That also fell through and everyone’s favorite weirdo actor, Matthew McConaughey was offered a role in the film, which many thought of him portraying The Gunslinger Roland as a given.
Well, WB backed out, and four years later, we’re staring down the sandalwood grip pistols of a joint Sony/Media Rights Capital/Columbia Pictures amalgamation filming right now! That’s right, the start of The Dark Tower film is happening as you read this. Directed by a relative unknown, Nikolaj Arcel, who’s most notable credit comes from writing the screenplay of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is an odd and bold move, but clearly Sony trusts this man and with Stephen King providing the bones, there is a lot that can go south, but let’s choose to ignore until the film is finished and we’re strapped in for a unique ride.
With all of that, the actual news of this story is, yesterday, we were given the first images of Roland himself, portrayed by Idris Elba, an actor whom Stephen King himself called “One of the Best Actors” Working Today. High praise from such a legend. So without further ado, see our “hero” for the first time:
All of these images come curtosey of Twitter (Mr. Elba’s I do believe) and if you’re familiar with the books or now intrigued by them, Idris Elba looks glorious as Roland, The Gunslinger. Now you cannot have a protagonist without an antagonist. This character first comes in the form of “The Man in Black” as mentioned above. And while he didn’t get the lead role in the film, none other than Matthew McConaughey himself was cast opposite Idris Elba.
I realize this post doesn’t give much for the non-reader, but please understand that there is a massive following for these books and I encourage you, if you enjoy dark fantasy, science fiction, and any novel Stephen King has ever written, The Dark Tower is for you. And as one of the main protagonists says: “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Jake Chambers, “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King.
This is going to be a really awkward movie review for me. First of all, it’s going to be quick. I really don’t want to spend much time talking about this film. And then I don’t want to waste your time reading about this film. So, let’s get this over with, shall we?
Green Room is a “Trapped Horror Film”, (think the first Purge film, REC, The Shining, The Cube, etc.) Now, The Shining is a good example of a “Trapped Horror Film”. The trapping is done by the weather and the malevolence of the Stanley Hotel. The film then adds to the terror by having one of the trapped become the main feature of violence and antagonism. Another excellent example is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). Again, a trapped environment with the tension so high that it hangs the cast by their underwear.
Now comes Green Room. If you haven’t heard of it (I would not be surprised), then just understand it’s a sub-standard version of any sort of closed location horror film. I just didn’t have a lot of love for the way this film was handled.
Created and written by a relative rookie indie film director, Jeremy Saulnier, who seems to be limited to writing some awkward dialogue and having possibly the most washed out color design in film I’ve seen recently. On top of that, the creation of a film to showcase how a bunch of heroin producing Neo-Nazi’s enjoy their pastime is hardly something I look forward to in general. It seems live punk-metal music is their true passion…oh, and hating all races, that’s a close second.
Anyway, the only thing I can really establish was the movie was filmed well. That does show Saulnier’s talent. Most of his film credits come from that of a cinematographer. He does seem to have a knack for extreme closeups and every actor savors it when it’s their moment to shine. The only real veterans in the film are Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots, who reunite again since the campy Colin Farrell vampire remake Fright Night.
Oh, there was another reason this film was created: giving Patrick Stewart the chance to be a bad guy. And the British Knight does a great job at being hateful and frightening. It’s entertaining to see the Enterprise captain calmly tell individuals to kill a no-name band and send attack dogs to maul people mercilessly.
Ah, that’s also a point that I could not stand in this film. I’m sure there is a reason why I felt this way, but I just cannot get past a film that depicts graphic use of animals for horrific gains. Of course the dogs were not hurt in the making of the film, but even having them “act” like they were killing people put a thorn in my head that I couldn’t remove with an entire lobotomy.
Honestly, not only was this film poorly made, completely meh on the actors, and just a complete silly mess of a story, but it just made me sick to my stomach.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
Unless your absolute favorite movies are Human Centipede, Hostel, or House of a 1000 Corpses, then skip this movie. There is hardly any Patrick Stewart and what he does looks so unnatural that it’ll take you out of the film. Is it even possible to want to spit on a film?
Going to try something new for comedic films. In general, when you go to see a comedy, there is only one thing you need: the movie needs to make you laugh. I could go for a huge review of the actors, the director, cinematography, atmosphere, writing, dialogue or even the absolutely insane demands some actors make while filming.
But what I’m trying to say is, all you want to ask is one question: Was it funny? We’ll answer it as quickly as we can so you can get back to procrastinating. You really should fix that lock on on your bathroom.
Anyway, I’m going to try out the new format and we’ll go from there.
Are the actors good?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Jillian Bell are hilarious. There are also some awesome cameos, but no spoilers here. Anthony Mackie seems like he’s trying too hard. He should probably stick to being an Avenger for now:
Is the story stupid?
Not at all. It’s actually pretty touching. I wouldn’t mind adding it to Christmas and “coming of age” comedy classics. And there is only one or two moments of “fantasy/science fiction” that are not drug induced.
Who should I see this with?
Your best friends. It’s all about friendship and growing up and if you can’t relate, you’re likely not human, but I’m not judging. I think Grandma might want to skip this one. Unless she is still into the drug scene, then, more power to her.
General note on comedy films: try your best to see them with a large crowd, like opening weekend. You will feed off the crowd as they laugh and you’ll have a lot more fun. Just my personal experience, take it or leave it.
What movies would you compare it to?
Anything Seth Rogen and James Franco have been in
Anything Judd Apatow has written or directed
Harold and Kumar Series
Finally: Was it funny?
Yes. It’s very much the juvenile humor we’ve come to expect from anything Seth Rogen is involved in (well, with one exception). It’s got it all, absurd situations, drugs, sex, and Top 40 music. JGL is amazing. He sings, dances, gets beat up and adds all the feelings the movie needs. Seth Rogen does his normal stuff and you’ll love him for it. The Night Before is funny and you need to see it with your friends at home when you’re drinking, smoking, or completely sober. You already missed opening weekend, so just wait for the home release.