Monthly Archives: April 2015

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl: Trailer Reflections

1. “So if this was a touching romantic story, our eyes would meet and suddenly we would be furiously making out with the fire of a thousand suns; but this isn’t a touching romantic story”.

  • I hope this isn’t a case where a film tells us everything it isn’t going to be without actually being about anything. People often forget to have an endgame when rebelling against established narrative practices.

2. Token black best friend saying stuff like, “punk ass cat”, makes me go “ughhhhh!”.

3. Annoying trait of novice director showcasing their knowledge of film by having their main characters be knowledgeable about films in a way that most normal people aren’t.

4. What is it with the recent trait of white women finding themselves by way of fatal disease? Between ABC Family’s Chasing Life, the film adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars, and this, I can safely say it’s a trait I’m growing tired of. Soon you’ll have young girls trying to get diagnosed with cancer so they can “find themselves” and date sensitive guys. I know movies are supposed to have a little romanticism but having all these women’s lives suddenly open up and become fulfilling once they get cancer seems a little self centered/indulgent.

  • Even Michel Gondry’s 2013 film Mood Indigo gave a grounded portrayal of what havoc a fatal disease can wreak on a young woman’s life and the people who love even with Gondry’s requisite whimsy.

5. Molly Shannon. It’s good seeing her. She’s so talented and so much funnier than Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and most other modern female comediennes. It’s a shame her movie career never took off. She had the goods…….has the goods.

6. Anyone notice  at about the 1:37 in the trailer another girl appears? She’s pretty, vibrant, caring and seems to be cancer free. Glad to see the movie has another girl lined up for Greg (the main protagonist) after his current crush becomes worm food.

7. Dealing with cancer can be magical when you have health insurance.

8. Do kids still hang out on steps eating rocket pops just shooting the breeze or is that just nostalgic wishful thinking?

9. “Life can keep unfolding itself to you as long as you pay attention to it.” Huh?

10. In all fairness it does look like the guy who plays Earl (R.J. Cyler) brought his A game. The scene where he confront’s Greg near the end of the trailer looks pretty intense.

11. Lastly, and not to make this a tribute to Michel Gondry, but doesn’t Greg and Earl’s practice of remaking classic films cheaply and stupidly (yet with heart) mimic what the main characters did in the film Be Kind Rewind?

12. I know the context is different but it still seems like a stolen idea.


Burying The Ex: Trailer Reflections

1. Why are people not more excited about this?  Joe Dante is directing films again. Forget how formulaic the plot looks. If Ingmar Bergman had decided to direct a boy meets girl rom-com, no one would dare utter the word formulaic. Instead they’d say, “how brilliant of Bergman to use genre conventions to subvert audience expectations”, or something. I think Dante deserves the same amount of respect and trust in view of his remarkable body of work.

Joe D and Gremlin.0

2. I could care less that “Burying The Ex” has a surface resemblance to “Life After Beth”. I don’t care because the director is Joe Dante…..the great Joe Dante. Lets not turn this into a Chasing Liberty vs. First Daughter thing.

3. Big ups to Dante….he always pays tributes to his influences/forefathers. At about the halfway point in the trailer you see our hero outside a movie theater. Advertised on the marquee are two films: “Cat People” (1942) and “I Walked With A Zombie” (1943). Besides being great films (especially “Cat People”) they are both the work of renowned horror/noir filmmaker Jacques Tourneur.

4. Kinda wish the trailer didn’t reveal that the main character’s brother gets eaten by his zombie girlfriend.

5. Does every affable-quirky leading man in a movie have a slothful, slovenly, wise older brother/best friend? Besides the obvious potential for cheap jokes, it seems like a way to show the audience what the main character would be like if he gave up on himself. Another good example is Jack Black’s character from “Orange County” (2003).

6. I know that execution-wise the movie will be excellent cinema (it’s Dante after all), but in idea form it seems like a discarded plot for a “Masters Of Horror” episode.

7. Speaking of Joe Dante’s TV work, when will we get an “Eerie Indiana” movie, or TV revival?

8. It seems the main character has difficulty choosing between Ashley Greene and Alexandra Daddario? Boo-Hoo. I know one of the girls is dead but excuse me if I reserve my sympathy for someone with real problems and not “Andy Hardy” problems.


9. The 2008 anthology film “New York, I Love You” (spun off from the excellent “Paris, Je t’aime”) was an altogether terrible film. It’s one redeeming quality was the segment directed by Brett Ratner (not kidding) starring Anton Yelchin. Check it out.

10. Anton Yelchin wasn’t terrible in J.J. Abrams “Star Trek”.

11. Nil Baskar wrote a terrific book on Joe Dante’s work as a director that encapsulates his impressive oeuvre. The book features a great interview with Joe Dante along with in-depth reviews and analysis of his landmark films. It’s a great read.

12. Lastly, keep and eye out for Dick Miller. Dick Miller is the man.









Fantastic Four (2015): Character Trailers Reaction


Four separate trailers/featurettes for the four leads of the new Fantastic Four film have arrived. Like most of you, when it comes to recent news about the new Fantastic Four film, I head straight to the comment section. This is where a good collection of the Internets racist bigots are too be found. They’ve been congregating there ever since news broke that an “n word” would be playing Johnny Storm. Of course, following hot on their heels are the reformers. These tireless souls make it their duty to correct the inevitable racist arguments that arise online in discussions regarding topics like politics, feminism, religion and entertainment just to name a few.



Watching the bigots and reformers go at it is equal parts hilarious and saddening. On the one hand, people getting so worked up about a simple casting decision is amusing. On the other hand, I know the fury and consternation behind all this goes a lot deeper than simple pettiness, revealing the struggles America’s had coming to terms with who we are as a people and what we’ve been though as a country. This gives me pause…..



Personally, I try to keep my views simple regarding the new Fantastic Four film. I’m a fan of Josh Trank’s first film Chronicle so I’m definitely going to see it (although, I think the true strength of that flick lies with the script). As for Micheal B. Jordan being cast as the Human Torch, I say; Why not? We already saw what happens when an “ideal” white actor gets a chance at the part.





I’m sure Micheal B. Jordan can do better than that. Furthermore, people can go ahead and stop with the whole, “Kate Mara is white and Micheal B. Jordan is black, so they can’t be brother and sister”, argument. Forget for a second how this statement shows a complete ignorance of science, genetics, and the adoption process. Instead, for comparisons sake, let me draw your attention to the great chemistry Chris Evans (Johnny Storm) had with Jessica Alba (Sue Storm) in Tim Story’s Fantastic Four films. Here is a clip showcasing their chemistry:


Oh, that’s right. There is no footage of Chris Evans and Jessica Alba’s chemistry because they had none. They were believable as brother and sister in the same way Leonardo Dicaprio was believable as Jay Gatsby. In other words, not at all. They failed despite having everything the racists say the new versions of Johnny and Sue Storm should have (namely, a more visible form of a familial bond). So what does that tell us. Maybe that an actors melanin levels should not be a deciding factor in picking them to play a part. I think its best to stick with choosing people for parts based on stuff like acting talent, chemistry with other performers, and charisma.


Thoughts About Survivor Trailer

Thoughts About “Survivor”:

1. Is this the most high concept/biggest budget Lifetime movie ever made?

2.You think the guy would stop killing people if they gave him a better criminal nickname? The Watchmaker?……..Really!? I’d kill people too if I was named that.

3. James Bond gone rouge. Just joking, but it’s sad that Pierce (a very capable actor) gets kind of pigeonholed in the James Bond mold; even in his non-Bond films. I mean, look at him in this trailer: he’s a terrorist bomber that dresses like he works for MI6. He even uses high tech James Bond type gadgets and gizmo’s in bomb building making it look like he raided Q’s warehouse. Aren’t mass bombers supposed to be crazy people who live in the woods making bombs out of toilet paper, fireworks, and ammonia?

4. Robert Forster deserves better than this. He also deserved an Oscar for his role in Jackie Brown. Seriously, he was fantastic in that.

5. Angela Basset is taking over the role of the “token black woman whom the studios wouldn’t cast in the lead so to pacify her (and the ever more diverse movie going audience) they gave her a small part with very powerful implications in the story. Couldn’t Angela Basset have played the lead in the movie, and Milla have taken the secondary part.

For other examples of this type of typecasting  see:

  •  Viola Davis in Black Hat
  • Angela Basset in This Means War
  • Viola Davis in Night And Day
  • Pam Grier in Escape From L.A.
  • Hattie McDaniels in Gone With The Wind

6. What hath Liam Neeson wrought? Am I the only one kinda over the whole aging action hero (or villain) thing? It’s getting ridiculous. Can’t you just defeat one of these guys by pushing them down the stairs, or denying them their medication. What’s next? How about Woody Allen as a CIA operative,or Alan Alda as a contract killer?

7. They stole the whole falling down the stairs while shooting scene in the trailer from The Bourne Identity.

Also, everything else in the trailer was stolen from the Bourne franchise, down to the blue color tinting of the film.

Dubstep in the trailer is always a No-No

I liked V For Vendetta. Director James McTigue took the Wachowski’s otherwise ham-fisted script and gave it a nice energy and injected some much needed humor. He’s also has shown himself to be very adept at directing action. That alone make this project not completely uninteresting

Then again, he also directed Ninja Assassin and The Raven….so yeah.

He was also first assistant director to George Lucas on Attack Of The Clones which is akin to the The Aostle Paul being tasked with holding the coat’s of the Sanhedrin as Stephen was being stoned.

Was Milla Jovovich called Alice in the trailer?

Milla Jovovich……so it’s not a total loss. Although having her play the harried heroine doesn’t work so well in my opinion. She has such a strong will and presence on screen that’s its hard to believe she’d be threatened by the likes of suave Pierce Brosnan in a suit. Because of this, none of the victim roles I’ve seen her play over the years, have ever really worked for me.

When I think Box Office, I think Dylan Mcdermott.



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