Super Trailmix and 2015 Film Preview

You may have noticed a very reduced rate in Trailmixes. There is a reason for that. I have come to loathe trailers. I don’t watch them anymore. The television shows I watch are 95% on Netflix or Hulu. I’m cutting the fucking cords. Coincidentally, my film going experiences have actually gotten better. No stale jokes. No known plot twists. No expectations. It’s a much better experience. I do however like to look forward to what is going to be coming out in the next year. I’ll ad some trailers in here where I can but for the most part it’ll be a list of what I’m eager to see this year. Have fun.

I’m not going to sort these by release date because some of them don’t have one yet. I’ll just bunch them together. You’ll be fine.

Star Wars : The Force Awakens

Directed By – JJ Abrams
Starring – Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hammill, Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, and Andy Serkis

Uhhh, yeah, how could this not be the first movie that pops into my head. Sure the prequels were utter failures. Sure I hated Star Trek Into Darkness. I didn’t hate Star Trek though. I also loved Super 8. I love that there is a new cast mixed with our old friends. The trailer, which is only a tease, looks like a film that will mixed practical effects with special effects. This is a good sign. I’m excited for it. I’m not going to watch the full trailer whenever it gets released. The anticipation of what it could look like is enough to get me excited.

Releases December 18th, 2015

Inside Out

Directed By – Pete Doctor
Starring – Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Phyllis Smith

ORIGINAL PIXAR MOVIE! YES! Yeah, I know, Brave was original and disappointing. This however is being directed by the man that gave us Up and Monster’s Inc. This is a very good sign. The voice talent is new and intriguing. I’m a sucker for anything Bill Hader. Hopefully this puts Pixar back on the map for top notch animated films.

Releases June 19th, 2015

Midnight Special

Directed By – Jeff Nichols
Starring – Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, and Joel Edgerton

A thriller/sci-fi film about a father and son who go o the run after learning the son has special powers, directed by the man who brought us Mud and Take Shelter. Both those films were huge successes in my eyes, especially Take Shelter. That film still haunts my dreams. This was hopefully supposed to be ready last year but has been pushed to the end of this year. Should be great per usual.

Releases November 25th, 2015

Knight of Cups

Directed By – Terrence Malick
Starring – Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Imogen Poots, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy, and the voice of Ben Kingsley

Terrence Malick makes the best trailers. They’re always so grandiose as if you’re about to see something that will change the way you view the universe. Actually, I think that’s what Malick always aims for. He wants you to think differently after seeing every one of his films. The guy is amazing and surprisingly underrated. You never really hear his name brought up with the great filmmakers working today. It’s a shame. In this film it looks like he’s trying to make a psychological Wolf of Wall Street. Who knows, maybe he’ll tell us the story of Jesus in the middle of it. He does that sometimes. Looks wonderful.

Releases December 11th, 2015

Mad Max : Fury Road

Directed By – George Miller
Starring – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult

Well, this looks completely bonkers. If anybody else was at the helm of this I wouldn’t be as excited but since Miller is back to direct this, the remake seal of death cannot be slapped on and I have more promise for it. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a wild fucking ride. Seeing Tom Hardy in anything is worth the price of admission really. What’s to lose?

Releases May 15th, 2015

Tomorrowland

Directed By – Brad Bird
Starring – George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, and Judy Greer

The trailer is neat. Okay, I have a very big problem with this film. It’s co-written by Damon Lindelof. Look up my Star Trek review and you’ll see why I have a problem with anything he touches. The dude is just too clever and complex for his own good. He has great ideas but can never seem to carry them out for more than an hour before the whole thing explodes into confetti. I’ll take this trailer with a grain of salt. Still, the trailer is really neat.

Releases May 22nd, 2015

The Hateful 8

Directed By – Quentin Tarantino
Starring – Channing Tatum, Walter Goggins, Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell, and Kurt Fucking Russell

The thoughts I have reserved for Quentin Tarantino go like this…I like he’s an asshole. I think he’s so far up his own asshole that he has become and asshole himself. Like some sort of asshole metamorphosis. Besides that, I also think he’s a fantastic filmmaker. Inglorious Basterds is one of my favorite films of all time alongside Reservoir Dogs. Pulp Fiction gets an ungodly amount of praise but it’s still a bitchin’ film. Quentin just needs to wash the taste of my mouth that he left with the final 25 minutes of Django Unchained. I hated the end so much that I still haven’t rewatched it even though the first two hours were amazing. This film takes place in the West in the post-civil war Wyoming. Finally, he makes a western. It should be a show nonetheless.

Releases November 13th, 2015

Maps to the Stars

Directed By – David Cronenberg
Starring – Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Olivia Williams

Looks like David Cronenberg is finally having a go at a David Lynch film. You’re most likely not going to see any bio-horror like his earlier films or his violent realism like in Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. This looks like a straight psychological thriller. The difference is that Cronenberg is behind the camera. I seriously can’t wait for this one. Julianne Moore is on a roll lately and Robby Pattinson wow’d the shit out of me in The Rover. I wanna see what he does next.

Releases February 27th, 2015

The Sea of Trees

Directed By – Gus Van Sant
Starring – Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, Ken Watanabe, and Katie Aselton

Based off of the real Aokigahara Forest in Japan, a forest where hundreds of people go to commit suicide every year, Gus Van Sant gives us a hopefully suspensful and deep film about the value of life. Vice Magazine did a story on The Aokigahara Forest and ever since then I’ve been fascinated. It’s a beautiful forest where people go to die. Fascinating stuff. The fact that Matthew McConaughey is in it is also a big plus.

No Release Date Yet

What We Do in the Shadows

Directed By – Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Starring – Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, and Ben Fransham

This has actually already been released mostly everywhere but the US so I’m adding this because I’ve anted to see it so bad and we still have two weeks to go. Looks hilarious and a welcome back to funny after Flight of the Concords ended so damn long ago. Looks silly as hell.

Releases February 13th, 2015

Jurassic World

Directed By – Colin Trevorrow
Starring – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Jake Johnson

Ahhh, sequels/remakes. They’re never as great as you think they’d be are they? Well, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was fantastic, but that was an anomaly. This one has promise though. First off, it stars Chris Pratt. I love this guy. He’s always hilarious and and always seems to be involved with successful films and shows. The other good sign is that Colin Trevorrow is directing the film. His first film, Safety Not Guaranteed, was a pleasant surprise with a sci fi twist. Hopefully this will surprise me as well.

Releases June 15th, 2015

Ex Machina

Directed By – Alex Garland
Starring – Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, and Oscar Isaac

The writer of 28 Days/Weeks Later and Sunshine is behind the camera for this sci-fi story about artificial intelligence. The whole trailer gave off a very creepy vibe to me. Oscar Isaac is co-starring which is a great reason to see this one.

Releases April 10th, 2015

Crimson Peak

Directed By – Guillermo del Toro
Starring – Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Doug Jones

Haunted House love triangle from Guillermo del Toro? Sign me up please. I actually enjoyed Pacific Rim but I’m glad Del Toro is getting back to his creepy roots. It’s been a while.

Releases October 16th, 2015

The Look of Silence

Directed By – Joshua Oppenheimer

You mean to tell me that there is going to be a follow up to one of the best movies of 2013? Yeah, I’m excited. The Act of Killing was robbed of an Oscar and if this film is anything like it, I’m going to be floored. I urge you guys to see Act of Killing before seeing this. It’s a masterpiece of documentary film making.

Releases July, 2015

Spectre

Directed By – Sam Mendes
Starring – Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Naomi Harris, and Ben Whishaw

I love Sam Mendes. I think that Skyfall is the best looking James Bond film and one of the best films of the series. I’m sad that Judi Dench is no longer involved with the franchise but honestly, it was time. This should be nothing short of awesome. Dave Bautista? We’ll see. Christoph Waltz? Oh, hell yeah.

Releases November 6th, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Directed By – Ron Howard
Starring – Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson

The loved Rush. I thought that Hemsworth was fantastic and can be a fucking star if he isn’t one already. The fact that Howard is now tackling Moby Dick, which to my knowledge hasn’t been done successfully yet, is awesome. Plus, I love boats. This should be fun.

Releases December 11th, 2015

Other titles with minimal information provided…

Sicario – Director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Enemy, Prisoners) tells the tale of a FBI aent trying to catch a drug cartel leader. Stars Emily Blunt, Jon Bernthal, and Josh Brolin.

The Lobster – This is the synopsis. “A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods.” Director Yorgos Lanthimos, wrote made the batshit insane Dogtooth, comes back probably even weirder. I can’t wait.

The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu, fresh off the success of Birdman, directs Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and the “now in everything cool” Domhnall Gleeson, in a revenge film set in the 1820s frontier. Yeah, that’s fucking awesome. I can’t wait. Official release is January of next year but it will most likely be shown sooner.

Film Review : About Schmidt (2002)

IMDB Score – 7.2
Rotten Tomato Score – 85%

Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor – Jack Nicholson
Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actress – Kathy Bates

Cannes Film Festival Nominee for Palm d’Or

Directed By – Alexander Payne
Starring – Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Kathy Bates, June Squibb, and Dermot Mulroney

A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter’s wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

I’ve been meaning to get out to see Alexander Payne’s new film Nebraska, which has been playing in my local art house for two weeks now. I’m going to have to get motivated or else I’m not going to be able to see it due to the five or so films that I still have left to see in this waning year. I’m a new fan of Payne. I saw Election about eight years ago and only recently revisited it on this site. I rented Sideways the year it came out and couldn’t finish it before I had to bring it back to the rental store. The Descendants was the first of his films I saw in theaters and while I loved it, I still haven’t revisited it since. There does seem to be a bit of a strange relationship I have with his films. On the one hand I find them unique and enjoyable and on the other I just can’t seem to watch them and appreciate them like some have. Hopefully Nebraska breaks that mold but until then I wanted to round out his mainstream filmography by watching About Schmidt.

The film is completely centered around the character of Warren Schmidt, played beautifully by the amazing and legendary Jack Nicholson. I don’t really know of anybody who isn’t a fan of of Jack and while his recent “retirement” from film have left most of us saddened, it’s honestly been a long time coming. We’ll still have his giant body of work to go back to and relive again and I hope his performance in this film is included because it was one of his best. The film is a character study focused directly on what happens to people when their age forces changes in their lives. Nicholson’s Schmidt goes through death, retirement, and the realization that his only daughter is getting married to somebody whom he finds intellectually substandard. It’s something that millions of Americans have gone through in their lives and will continue going through. Nicholson handles the role with subtle sadness and obvious disdain for the situation he’s in. He’s not ready for life on his own and it’s not going to get any easier. The only thing that is keeping him balanced is the six year old Tazmanian child whom he is supporting through a televised charity agency. He writes letters to this poverty stricken child like he’s writing an old friend. It’s more of a way to grasp his reality than actually wanting to inform his “foster child” of what’s going on in his life. It’s like therapy for him. This is the driving theme in this story…dealing with sadness.

Payne is used to this. His films have always been layered with emotion and usually feature somebody who is on the brink of a breakdown. George Clooney could have won an Oscar with his performance in The Descendants. Paul Giamatti SHOULD have won an Oscar for his performance in Sideways. He wasn’t even nominated. Now Bruce Dern is winning awards left and right for his portrayal of man who thinks he won a million dollars in Nebraska. Payne brings the pain in almost every film (Horrible pun, I’m so sorry) and he didn’t break that mold when making About Schmidt.

The supporting cast was great as well as most of the comedy came from them. Kathy Bates plays a free spirit with horrible marriages she doesn’t mind talking about and Dermot Mulroney plays a lovable but completely annoying and lame brained man who is to marry Schmidt’s daughter. The film has a bunch of those little awkward moments that make you squirm and writhe with unease but it never breaches into unsettling. It’s like little moments of watching Steve Carell on the Office.

Overall a very good film that should be remembered as one of Jack Nicholson’s best roles in a lifetime of amazing roles.

4/5

Film Review – Gravity (2013)

IMDB Score – 8.8
RT Score – 97%

What can be said that hasn’t been said already about Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece Gravity? First off I want to make an urgent plea for anybody reading this review to see this film in theaters, not only a theater, but a nice one. Go see this in an AMC with fake IMAX or travel and see it in the real thing. I’m going to be dishing out a lot of dough to see this in IMAX multiple times. It’s a theater experience you really CAN NOT MISS. That being said let’s get to the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my film of the year. This is arguably the most visceral theater going experience I’ve ever had as well. I forgot to breathe through the entire film. You may look at the run time of 90 minutes and feel sad that it isn’t longer. I couldn’t sit through a two and a half hour film like this. I would have a heart attack. From the absolutely stunning 12 minute first unbroken first shot to the rolling of the credits I couldn’t catch my breathe. I was in a constant state of intensity. Did I mention that there are only two actors in this film? TWO! It’s am achievement unlike any other to make such a flawless film with only two people. Cuarón steps in front of James Cameron for creating a world that we have never seen before but guess what…actually exists. Have you been to space? Yeah me neither. Well, this film takes you there. It’s the most realistic portrayal of space I have ever seen and according to most space people, is very accurate in depicting what would actually happen during a disaster like the one occurring in the film. Cuarón took a huge leap of faith by making a film with no explosion noises in the background. There is no sound in space and Michael Bay can suck a fat one after seeing this film. What was thought to take the audience out of the fear of doom actually made it that more horrifying. It’s a film that utilizes silence as a tool and utilizes it well. The film though is not completely silent. There is a wonderful booming score to really lift the dread through the roof. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was wonderful.

The acting is also very good. I’m not even talking about Clooney. George hams it up the only way he knows how and while it was wonderful to watch, it wasn’t a stretch from his normal screen personas. This is Sandra Bullocks movie. I’m not fan of hers. She’s always fallen into the category of “I don’t mind them as a person but holy shit do they annoy me on screen”. Bullock hasn’t been that annoying but she has had her moments. Not in this film. She carries it. From start to finish she does a fantastic job portraying a person in utter peril. I believed she was in danger and I was strung along wishing and hoping she’d be okay. The transformation she goes through in this film is outstanding and a great piece of writing.

Don’t let the state of the art visuals and camera work fool you. This is an art film. It’s got this deep theme of rebirth and meaning of existence and a hint of religious overtones that make it more than a thriller in space. I obviously can’t go into much without giving away spoiler points but lets just say that Sandra Bullock goes through many stages of emotions that are artistically crafted through images.

Speaking of images, I can’t say enough how floored I was by the look of this film. I’m a camera nerd and the shots in this thing are nothing I’ve ever seen. There are shots going through space and into helmets and back into space without cutting leaving me to wonder what kind of sorcery Cuarón concocted to pull these shots off. This is why it’s so utterly important to see this on the biggest screen possible. It just isn’t justifiable to see it on a small screen.

This is my film of the year. This is the best action/thriller/sci fi movie I’ve seen in forever and I’ll be damned if something else comes along knocks this off as my number one film of 2013. When awards season comes around if this film doesn’t sweep the technical awards then they have no meaning anymore. There has never been a film like this and unless Cuarón decides to devote another seven years of his life to one project then there never will. Here I come Gravity. Prepare to take a lot of my money in the next two months.

5/5



Film Review : Election (1999)

IMDB Score : 7.3
RT Score : 92%

I’ve always been a fan of Alexander Payne. The Descendents and Sideways were very enjoyable and while George Clooney got recognized for his work by the academy, Paul Giamatti got robbed of a nomination. His performance in Sideways was fantastic. I recently read that Payne’s newest film Nebraska got a great response at the Cannes Film Festival and that Bruce Dern won best actor. I’m looking forward to that. That being said you’re not going to find those pivotal acting performances in this film. Election isn’t that kind of movie. It is a very dark comedy about high school that gets by on its wit and satire. I enjoyed it but not as much as Payne’s later work. Matthew Broderick plays a good down on his luck and ultimately bad person but it’s the characters surrounding him that make the film. It’s a film that brought on by these characters, sheds light on political and moral corruption, effects of seduction, and fucking blatant adultery. Like I said, it’s dark. Also, I’m glad Chris Klein is no longer really working. He never worked in the first place. He’s so bad. YOU ARE AWFUL SIR.

3/5