Saturday, August 6, 2016

@dontbreathe "Don't Breathe" Scariest movie of the year?

There are people out there that believe Fede Alvarez' remake of "Evil Dead" is better than the original. It's better conceived, that's for sure. More professionally shot, no doubt overall better? Debatable, but definitely not a ludicrous claim. The original 1981 film is a cult classic, but that doesn't mean it's a great movie. Alvarez tried his best to maintain the B-Movie horrors, but expertly direct the whole thing. Good on him.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Suicide Squad" is another bust because the director, yet again, had no creative freedom.

Having finally seen it, I have to say, it's another letdown from, not just the DC movie universe, but summer movie season 2016 as a whole. It sucks. I know. Will this be a lesson for Hollywood execs hell-bent of remaking, sequeling, rebooting EVERYTHING? I think we need another season like this before we start pushing the panic button, but people are keeping a close eye.

"Suicide Squad" is another nail in the coffin for DC, but this time it's not Zach Snyder as the scapegoat to blame. David Ayer directed this one and he's shown good chops in the past, most notably on the underrated WW2 Brad Pitt flick "Fury." There have been reports of ongoing friction between Ayer and Warner Bros. over final cut. Are we surprised? Of course not. Making a superior movie is a business first and, always, foremost. From sources I've spoken to, Ayer wanted a finished project that was going to be an R rating. That's what we wanted as well. This is "Suicide Squad," these are scum of the earth villains, why are not getting the goods?

At the end of the day isn't that what it comes down to? Creative freedom? I haven't caught Zach Snyder's "Ultimate Cut" of "Batman v Superman," but I've been told it's far superior to the theatrical version. Maybe Ayer can do the same and give us a director's cut on DVD. Mattel, on the other hand, seem to have it going on in terms of what they want their movies to be about. They've also given creative freedom to such projects as "Deadpool" and "Guardians of the Galaxy." HUGE hits that were not your typical Marvel superhero movie. I'm concerned about DC's lack of imagination, energy and overall fondness for reinvention. That will be their downfall.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best Animated films of the 21st Century?

You're going to be seeing a lot of "Best of the 21st Century lists" coming up in August because the BBC will be unveiling the poll they conducted with hundreds of film critics worldwide. It will stir up debate no doubt, but here's my take on it, but genre by genre. I first did Comedy. Now here is Animation:

Is Kevin Smith's "Yoger Hosers" as bad as people are saying?

MONTREAL — “Boy, you guys are in for a disappointment” Kevin Smith quipped, introducing the Canadian Premiere of “Yoga Hosers” at the Fantasia Film Festival this past weekend. Greeted by an extended standing ovation, Smith wiped away tears and was genuinely touched by the reception, mentioning that it rivaled a similar high point in his life when he received a standing ovation at Cannes.
At Sundance this past January, “Yoga Hosers,” a goofy, silly romp about two millennial Canadian teenage girls that face off against evil Bratzis, one-foot-tall Canadian Nazis made out of bratwurst, was met with frosty shrugs, many calling the film a new career-low for Smith. But as he explains (and later detailed in a tweet — see below) Smith acknowledges that he doesn’t have it all figured out just yet as a moviemaker, but still cares what critics think.
“I’m 45, still trying to figure it out, but by the end of this movie you’re going to be like he’s fucking confused,” he said, adding jokingly, “If you’ve seen ‘Tusk‘ you know I don’t give a shit anymore.”
The movies from Smith for the last decade or so have been overtly different than the slacker, socially relevant cinema he delivered in the ’90s. Then, he was an upcoming young director who wanted to change the way movies were made. “Clerks” was made for just $27,000, with Smith maxing out 10 credit cards, taking money from his college education fund, and selling his pricey comic book collection to make the film. The plot was simple: “I wanted to make a movie about two guys that talked about pussy and ‘Star Wars,’ ” he explained. It became a sensation, making $3 million dollars, becoming an anchor in the ’90s indie revolution, and Smith’s fanbase only grew from there.
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp in Yoga Hosers 2016

Now he’s a 46-year-old filmmaker, who also happens to be a Dad, and has been following his own muse, keen to return to his own filmmaking voice after dalliances with Hollywood fare.
“What you are about to see is what I intended to be a kids movie. I made it for tween girls. I never made a kids movie in my life,” Smith said about his latest effort. “This is the movie I wanted to see when I was a 12-year-old girl,” the director added.
Smith was just supposed to give a quick introduction, but the seasoned storyteller wound up talking for almost an hour to a captivated audience hanging onto his every word. It was a treat listening to him explain his train of thought about how “Yoga Hosers” was formed and the personal significance of the film itself, which stars his daughter Harley Quinn Smith, and Lily-Rose DeppJohnny Depp‘s daughter, both making their first movie. “It was like summer camp for the kids, they learned film school on the set,” Smith said.
Johnny Depp’s presence in the film — the actor met Smith because their kids attended the same elementary school — was an inspiration in forming the film, with the actor obsessively phoning the director as French-Canadian detective Guy Lapointe, a character that would appear in both “Tusk” and “Yoga Hosers.”
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp in Yoga Hosers (2016)Depp’s name surely brought out the curiosity factor with producers, and Smith recalls how he presented the project: “I walked into the offices of StarStream, the people that would eventually finance this movie, and I was just like, ‘Hi, I would like to make a movie for around $4 million bucks about two little girls in a cartoony version of Canada starring two kids that haven’t really acted before and, to be honest with you, one of them is my own kid and, they are gonna be fighting Canadian Nazis made out of bratwurst called Bratzis. Oh and, by the way, Johnny Depp is in it too.” Needless to say, the pitch worked.
Smith maintains that you can enjoy the film by simply reveling in the absurdities, saying, “It may not be your cup of tea, but just know that the spirit with which it was made was fun.”
“Yoga Hosers,” which Smith describes as “Clueless” meets “Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College,” opens on September 2nd.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Is "Sausage Party" any good?

No, that is a legitimate question. I've always liked Seth Rogen. His movies seem to perfectly capture the male psyche of the 21st century. There is something almost humane about watching a high as a kite Rogen hanging out with his slacker buddies and trying to, realistically, go through adulthood endeavours with some struggle.

"Sausage Party" has none of that. It is reaped in no reality whatsoever. Then again, this is the first CGI movie to be R rated so some baggage must come with that distinction and the film, directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, has baggage. At the end of the day the plot about grocery store condiments that try to find a meaning in their lives isn't as shocking as one might expect. There is somewhat of a coherence to the film with its theme squarely rooted in the topic of religion and blind belief. I dug that. Fine, that's a topic I admire quite a bit and the film does raise some interesting points.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Best Comedies of the 21st Century?

You're going to be seeing a lot of "Best of the 21st Century lists" coming up in August because the BBC will be unveiling the poll they conducted with hundreds of film critics worldwide. It will stir up debate no doubt, but here's my take on it, but genre by genre. I decided to start with comedy.

1) "Borat"
2) "The 40 Year Old Virgin"
3) "Anchorman"
4) "Superbad"
5) "Bad Santa"
6) "Old School"
7) "Bridesmaids"
8) "Wedding Crashers"
9) "Step Brothers"
10) "Shaun of the Dead"
11) "Pineapple Express"
12) "21 Jump Street"

Interesting decade for the genre. A lot of Will Ferell. He basically changed the game, brought a lot of meta to comedy. "Borat" was the king though, that was the most political a comedy could get. It was about us, every laugh had to come with a sting. We knew there was racial intolerance out there, but Sacha Baron Cohen lays it bare for our eyes and shows  how real the problem really was.

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