Let's take a gander at what I suspect will be the top 4 Hollywoodish slicks coming out, shall we?
At weekend end, I'll give thoughts on those I've seen and discuss Independent flicks as well.
HOLLYWOOD IS ROLLING OUT THE FOLLOWING...
District 9THE PITCH:
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly find a kindred spirit in a government agent that is exposed to their biotechnology.
Cool. Very cool. Fun. Violent. Scary.
This is the one all the pimply-faced 13 year old boys in Long Island will try to sneak into this weekend. I'm sure I'll see this as well. Why? Because Peter Jackson is involved. And despite what you may think of him, deny the Lord of the Rings trilogy is brilliant and I will brand you an idiot when it comes to movies.
The guy also made one of the most horrific and terrifyingly funny horror films of all time, Dead Alive (originally titled Braindead in New Zealand).
Rent it at your own risk. Just don't eat dinner during.
Trailer for Dead-Alive (aka "Braindead"):
I'm excited for District 9 film because I think it will be a sci-fi movie of ideas. But I also know it will very bloody. You can count on it. I am not a fan of gore, particularly when it involves explicit human suffering. I used to be a HUGE horror fan when horror was fun and funny in the 80's and 90's. Now it's plain sick.
Why filmmakers want to show graphic violence with people suffering during is beyond me. Like we need this in the world right now? Sure, show me suffering, life is equal suffering and joy, but I don't need to see the knife going into the skull slowly while the person screams, okay? Sadistic motherfuckers.
I do think, however, this is a film to see in the theaters.
So on a Mikey Movie Madness scale of 1-10, (1 being 'see if on your couch if your sick and can't leave the house' and 10 being 'you need to be flayed and set out to pasture if you don't see it in the theater'), I give this a tentative 7.
The director, Neil Blomkamp, is a New Zealand based visual effects guy. We all know the tract record for visual effects guys being able to tell a story is pretty awful, but I am optimistic. Again, when Peter Jackson is nearby, it's really hard to fuck up.
Speaking of Peter Jackson, have you seen the new Lovely Bones trailer? Sweet Jesus. I want to buy a ticket NOW. The book was pretty damn good, but the movie? Gonna blow us away, I do believe.
Lovely Bones trailer:
Time Travelers WifePITCH:
A romantic drama about a Chicago librarian with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates for his marriage.
Another flick opening today is The Time Travelers Wife. I read the book and let me tell you - if you like sappy love stories which make NO logistical sense, then this may be your cup of tea. Everyone told me, "Oh the book is SO good you HAVE to read it." I did and it's...okay. The point of view of the main characters is pretty fantastic and she's very dry and funny. I hope they kept the same tone in the movie.
Look, I know movies are hard as shit to make so the fact they actually made it and it's in the theater is pretty amazing, so yes, PROPS FOR GETTING THE MOVIE MADE. But I'm not sure on this one.
For one, Eric Bana is in it. Now, I like the guy. I do. He was an amazing badass in Star Trek and is good when he plays a fucker. When he plays the nice guy...not so interesting. This may be a case of Boring Nice Lead Characters (see yesterday's post on Nurse Jackie), but hey, I could be wrong.
Bana was pretty great in Munich, but then, it's a Spielberg film so no one is the star but Spielberg. He was also good in Black Hawk Down, another war movie we had to endure and I'll never endure again, thank you very much. He survived the lumbering bore which was and somehow made it out of the Ang Lee fascinating wreck of a movie, Troy Hulk, so the guy is a fighter I'll give him that.
Rachel McAdams is the 'wife'. She is an interesting actor. I'm not sure what kind of true acting chops she has, but it's hard to fault her after seeing her in Mean Girls (what a cunt) and in the slam-bang, super-duper, nifty action thriller Red Eye...she's done some crap, like The Family Stone (someone make Sarah Jessica Parker quit acting, please) and the kinda-funny Wedding Crashers, but she may surprise us. I hope so.
The real reason I think this has a chance is the delightful Bruce Joel Rubin did the adaptation. This guy can do hardly any wrong. I don't care what anyone says, Ghost and and Deep ImpactJacbo's Ladder and even Stuart Little 2 are great movies. Great, great movies. Sure, he wrote Brainstorm (poor Natalie) and The Last Mimzy (what happened there?), but no career is perfect. Can't be. And we'll never, ever, ever know the true story behind the fights between Mr. Rubin and the studios and the directors. It's all a hellish business and the fact the movies got mad at all is fucking brilliant.
Mikey Movie Madness score: 5 - maybe in theaters if District 9 is sold out, but probably a good DVD
Also coming out is The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard starring the ever sexy actor the NYC theater community hates, Jeremy Piven. Jeremy Piven is like Stanley Tucci. They will be 70 and I'll still find them sexy. Why is that?
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Used-car liquidator Don Ready is hired by a flailing auto dealership to turn their Fourth of July sale into a majorly profitable event.
Eh. Not sure why, but doesn't make me want to see it. Hard sell on the trailer, tho.
Anyway, the movie looks like something you'd watch on a plane from LA to NYC. I don't know...maybe it's better than it looks, but it looks like Judd Aptow meets desperate Will Ferrell meets Paul Rudd slumming to pay for his new house in Montauk.
I'm not excited. I'm sure guys who smoke pot on a Saturday afternoon and think Bevis and Butthead is subversive comedy (which, yes, it was, sometimes) will LOVE this, and those who truly feel Talladega Nights is a smart, genuinly funny comedy, but I...I...I'm worried.
The director, Neal Brennan, has done a tone of TV, big with the sorta-funny but very smart Chappelle Show which lots of people adore, but he has yet to do a big screen flick. I hope he pulls it off but my hopes are not high.
The writers wrote Balls Out (yikes) starring weirdly hot Seann William Scott and (get ready) Randy Quaid. It was direct to DVD. Not a good sign...ever. I've seen countless direct to DVD and most are plain dull and deserve their unfortunate fate. Maybe the writers are solid and they have yet to show how solid they are because rabid and mean William Morris agents keep fucking up their studio deals, who knows...but I hope, for them, the script shot was the one they sorta wrote.
Mikey Movie Madness Score - I give this a 4, but may go up to a 6 if I hear it's any good.
The other flick teenage girls and gay guys might see, is Spread with the immensely diverse and Tycoon-driven Ashton Kutcher.
A sex comedy centered on a serial womanizer and his jilted lover.
I saw the trailer and I thought there was something there with Mr. Kutcher's performance. I don't know what it was, but he was playing with his voice, his mannerisms, his body language...I saw, maybe, some acting there. I hope I'm right.
Mr. Kutcher is one diverse motherfucker. He produces TV, he produces movies, he's married to a woman addicted to plastic surgery, he's smart, driven and very, very handsome (to some...I still think he's kinda 'dude' hot; hot but not really hot but fun to hang with and drink).
While I don't think this movie will rock anyone's world, I do think, down the road, a lot of people will consider this one of the better films Mr. Kutcher was in. Why? Because the director is David Mackenzie who made the truly disturbing and well-grounded sexual thriller Young Adam with a fearless Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, as well as the very underrated Asylum based on the mind-boggling Patrick McGrath novel of the same name.
He's a daring, talented Brit who knows his way around the darker parts of us humans and is not afraid of exploring them all for our glee. I think he is going to bring out a part of Mr. Kutcher we don't often see...and, Anne Heche is in it (very, very good in the current HBO series Hung), and we all know how good she is at playing a fucking psycho.
This woman has some major psychological demons. Good for her for getting control of her life. I mean that. Still can't believe this was her years ago:
Mikey Movie Madness score - I give this a 6, but I am hoping, after seeing it, it will rise to an 8.
That's it for now, kids.
MAKE IT A DOUBLE-FEATURE WEEKEND!
See you at the cinema!!!
Mikey Bryan - Your Movie Madness Guru...