MOVIES IN BRIEF

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TRAILERS IN BRIEF

The Ladykillers(2004) - I've got my ticket!

25th Hour - Tobey Maguire as producer?  Maybe instead of a big salary for Spider- Man, he got a medium salary and this producer gig.

Chicago - The Moulin Rouge of 2002.

Interrogation of Michael Crowe, The - They had a trailer for this Court TV original movie, but I think we missed it already.  Sounds like a remake of, what was that called?  Now and AgainNow and ThenBefore and After?  Before and After, that's it.

Incidentally, what's with the character named Cheryl Crowe?  It's like the bad guy named Kudrow in Mercury Rising.

About Schmidt - Looks good!  Does Jack need another Oscar already?  Anyway, they used the music from Pay It Forward in the trailer; what do I win?

Bruce Almighty - The magic is back!

Final Destination 2 - What's with all these sequels?

Dumb and Dumber 2 - Don't know.  They didn't show a clip.  Okay, the full title is When Harry Met Lloyd: Dumb and Dumberer.  Whew!

The Whole Ten Yards - Well, that franchise is now broken!

Bad Boys 2 - Again with the Klan.  I thought they broke up already.  Some might say this is a step back for Michael Bay.  I wonder what Mr. Bay thinks?

X-Men, Part 2 - Yawn.

Terminator 3 - Well, let's just put it this way: they need to do something really, REALLY different this time.

Just Married - Just in time to cash in on Brittany Murphy.  For a second there I thought it was the Dude, Where's My Car sequel.

EXtreme Ops - Something like that.  I never know which of the other letters to capitalize anymore.  I know eXistenZ is spelled that way...  Anyway, Ops might be a good double bill with 2001's Out Cold.  Not 1989's Out Cold, or 1999s Out of the Cold.  Or 2002's Out in the Cold.

The Hot Chick - Switch, reborn.

Star Trek: Nemesis - This movie succumbed to a 21st Century phenomenon known as indifference.

Empire - The first poser of the season.

Kangaroo Jack - It would probably make a good video game.

Two Weeks Notice - as in, how long it will stay in the theaters.

What a Girl Wants - Every young American girl's dream, to travel to England to find out her father's a British politician with a respectable place in high society.  Just don't get Mad Cow disease, for God's sake!

Analyze That - Harold Ramis has taken over Sydney Pollack's place in Hollywood as The Dependable Director.

Maid in Manhattan - Oh, Wayne, we hardly knew ye.

Frida - Quite possibly the strangest cross-promotion ever.  Everyone from art galleries to libraries to the Post Office got involved.  Also, Alfred Molina goes for the Gold.

Die Another Day - the hit and run of the season!

The Emperor's Club - Dead Poets Society, but without all the bad stuff.

U-Boat - Sequel to Down Periscope?

Scooby-Doo - Eggby Goes Down

Stealing Harvard - The largest cinematic summit of actors/skateboarders, Jason Lee and Tom Green.  I wonder if the Skateboarders liked this movie... 

    Don't kid yourselves, though.  By 2012, Tom Green will be on the Oscar track,  making his Majestic.

Catch Me If You Can - No!  I don't want to ruin the surprise...

Gangs of New York - Is this film coming out or what?

The Ring - Oh, Lord of the Rings?  I'm going to go see it!

Formula 51 - Fastlane: The Movie

Femme Fatale - Bombed just in time for Thanksgiving.

White Oleander - The 'Steel Magnolias' of the 2000s.

The Tuxedo - Follows an ancient rule of movie titles: the Ultimate rule.  You can imagine a studio exec saying "Well, if the movie's going to be called 'The Tuxedo', it better be about the Ultimate Tuxedo!"

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie - Will this be the first major quasi-Christian entertainment breakthrough into the mainstream of culture?  Personally, I don't want to find out for myself.  

    Apparently, they keep saying every 5 minutes: "Remember, kids!  Eat meat!"

Harry Potter 2 - does anybody care?

The Two Towers - By God!  Is it the will of Sauron?  Or has this movie in one week already gotten into the top 10 at the IMDb?  I'll tell you one thing, though - it'll never beat Memento!

Sweet Home Alabama - Not to be confused with Crazy in Alabama.  Lemme tell ya something - if this film isn't number one at the box office the week it opens, there's going to be a lot of people in a lot of trouble.

Red Dragon - I don't get it.  It's supposedly a Brett Ratner film, but no role for Chris Tucker?!

The Santa Clause part II - The sequel no one wanted.  Sure would help the box office receipts if Tim Allen was still on TV!

October

The Country Bears - Don't give up on the ad campaign yet, Disney!

Die Another Day - Yep, the next Bond film. I wondered why ABC was showing all those old Bond films.

Blue Crush - As opposed to Orange Crush; might be a good product tie-in. All they have to do is make some Orange Crush dyed blue. Apparently based on an article about women surfers, they take a perfectly good true story and make a boring movie out of it. Furthermore, there seem to be no big stars in it, so ya gotta give them credit for taking a big risk.

Daredevil - Isn't Ben Affleck getting enough work already?

Road to Perdition - Why can't they just call it 'The Road to Perdition'? Looks like a nice CG reworking of 'Miller's Crossing'. Tom Hanks as a mafia hitman should be enough of a draw, right?

Swimfan - The audience I saw this trailer with seemed pretty hip, and we all kind of simultaneously went "Yep, looks like a clone of 'Fatal Attraction', all right."

K-19 - Looks decent enough. Like 'Thirteen Days' but from a Soviet sub point of view. I just wonder why they didn't mention that Kathryn Bigelow directed it.

I Spy - Looks decent enough, but Owen Wilson?  (...is it still playing?)

 

FILMS IN BRIEF

Brotherhood of Satan - I'm in dream sequence Heaven!  Very of its time.

Deconstructing Harry - A little too self-congratulatory, even for Woody. Woody plays the meanest man in the world and ranks himself fourth after Hitler, Goering and Goebbels.  He may be overly neurotic, but at least he has a healthy ego.

Planet of the Apes - Classy filmmaking.  Rick Baker's career finally comes full circle.

Uncle Saddam - Based on this documentary alone, Saddam should be nuked!  He's no garden variety Middle Eastern dictator.  On the other hand, if it weren't for all the killings he's responsible for, immediate family or otherwise, he's basically living the American dream then, isn't he?  He's an Old School CEO; move over, Kenneth Lay.

That's My Bush! - I don't know.  Seems too much like the real administration to me.

Dennis Miller: The Millenium Special - 1,000 Years, 100 Laughs, 10 Really Good Ones - Oh, man!  I feel slightly hoodwinked.  I didn't realize this was 3 years old.  I didn't see it at the time, but it seemed fresh.  Dennis kinda acts more like someone impersonating him than himself, somehow (Carvey?) , but I guess he's been that way for a while now.  Norm redeemed the affair.  Good production values overall.

Oh yeah.  I do TV now too.

Super Mario Bros. - Plumbers!!!!!

Saving Silverman - Like Ruthless People, but without the laughs or the brains.

Thinner - Ironically, this film portrays Gypsies in a positive light.

The Secret of NIMH - Science Fiction based on Science Fact.  Kinda like the new Planet of the Apes.  Also, John Carradine sounded like Robert Mitchum.

The Musketeer - What? No Spota?  Oh wait, there is one... Dumas must be rolling in his grave.

2010 - What? No Spota?

The Manhattan Project - Dirty Bomb: The Movie.  Also file under "Before they were in 'Sex and the City'"

November

Go - Pulp Fiction Lite.  The three stories even break down the same: drugs, sex, and a cover-up.

Pulp Fiction - Still holds up!

Kiss of the Dragon - A little bit like La Femme Nikita, with Tchéky Karyo doing Gary Oldman's role from The Professional, and featuring Bridget Fonda who starred in the American remake of La Femme Nikita, Point of No Return.  How insidious!!  Jet Li does good, though.

Scanners - Jesus Christ!

Man of the House - Yet another Seattle film filmed in Vancouver.  The Oedipus complex in action.  This film's a textbook example of how a soundtrack can be used as a hypnotist's device to lull a whole movie-going nation to sleep.

Bleak Cable night - Spy Hard - So painful.  Poor Marcia Gay Harden!  Didn't Nielsen learn anything from Repossessed?  Kinda nice to see Ray Charles, actually, even though the joke was obvious.  I wonder if they ripped off Chico Marx with the following exchange: "When I get through with you you'll look like Swiss cheese."  "Ah, that's-a no gouda."

A Hard Day's Night - Fun movie, and it is like a surrealistic documentary.  Pretty bawdy script given its target audience at the time, if you get down to word-by-word analysis.  Great soundtrack, of course; they don't even have all the songs in the movie!  Not enough DVD extras, but all the interviews you could possibly want.

Casino - I think I finally figured out the difference between this and GoodFellas, and it's that in GoodFellas, the characters have more fun.  Casino's much too business oriented.  And much more show-stoppingly violent.

Crooklyn - Spike Lee's use of the Shouting Match is not as effective in this film as it was in Do The Right Thing.

The Beastmaster - How did John Alcott get roped into this?

Death To Smoochy - Might've made a good Simpsons episode.

Troll - Where all the Harry Potter excitement really began...

Titan A.E. - Beings of pure energy beware!

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within - Thunderbirds, reborn.

Stuart Saves His Family - I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  I have an idea for Al Franken's next book: "Ann Coulter Is A Bitch and other observations".

John Q - I hate beginnings like that.

Life, Or Something Like It - Just try to think of Angelina Jolie and Ed Burns in LOSLI as the characters from Say Anything, all growed up.

Joy Ride - Starts off okay but gets too silly.

It Runs in the Family / My Summer Story - Somehow, it's just not the same.

Vanilla Sky - Decameron Crowe!

The Wild Pair - Non-anime version shows where Lloyd Bridges headed into 'Hot Shots' territory.  Bubba Smith does okay as the Police Academy graduate.

Cast Away - Academy Award nominee for Best Dietitian.  And remember, caterers.  If you're catering a meal for someone who's been trapped on an island for four years, DON'T SERVE CRAB!!!!!!

Commando - Silly, sometimes violent, fun.  Interesting soundtrack.  The guy from Queen does a good job.

Let's see, what's on TV right now... Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - Early Molly Ringwald.  Filmed on location in an (abandoned) quarry.  Let's face it, it's all about the title.  Like 'Castle Freak' or 'Future Shock'.

Back to the Future, Part II - Goofy fun.  I still like this movie anyway.  It also acts as an indictment of 80s greed, and even of the myth of the man who makes it rich, starting out with one popsicle stand and ending up owning a fleet of 80,000 trucks, 19 worldwide factories, a yacht... you get the idea.

October

The Specialist - Is it a film noir?  I do remember the big special effect sequence where the house on stilts falls down.  Oops, something else is on...

Signs - Average.

September - slow month

See No Evil, Hear No Evil - Kevin Spacey, way back when.

Nuns on the Run - Poor George Harrison! There was a controversy, possibly manufactured, on the film's release in early 1990, because they were running ads declaring the film the funniest 'of the decade'. If I remember correctly, they had a good explanation of Catholicism.

Bad Boys (1995) - Are the cable channels prepping us for the sequel?

AUGUST

Bedazzled(2000) - I admire the film's energy and production design.

Someone Like You - Yuppie Cinema

Osmosis Jones - The Farrellys take gross-out gags to the cellular level. Get ready for the sequels: 'Osmosis Jones and the Temple of Pus' and 'Osmosis Jones and the Last Stent'.

Evolution - Entertaining enough movie. I like the effects and that catchy theme music! Scientifically, though, the movie says more about our culture of instant gratification.

Dude, Where's My Car? - Lebowski Jr.

Houseguest - An open love letter to Capitalism. Never before, maybe never since, has there been a film with so little plot that had so much energy! Also, one remarkable thing about it is that the film features a parody, or rather an exact replica, of McDonald's commercials that were running (on TV) at the time of the film's release. Hell, the film's director probably directed those commercials, too.

Assassins - This film contains violence, adult language, and gratuitous shots of Seattle.

Battlefield Earth - My question is this. Now, Forest Whitaker has done two films with John Travolta who is a Scientologist. Is Forest a Scientologist too?!

Dr. Strangelove - Classic. Great DVD with about all the extras one could want.

The 6th Day - Could've been a sci-fi classic if it weren't for Ah-nold.

The Ninth Gate - The REAL Millenial Doom movie.

Whipped - Still amateur night.  It has the plot of the Three Stooges movie Corny Casanovas, but with an extreme megadose of modern gruesomeness.

Hannibal - Anti-hero worship.

JULY

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