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April 29, 2010

The May 2010 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man II

Either I'm getting too old for this, or this is the least exciting launch to blockbuster season since, um, last year.

MAY 7

IRON MAN 2

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
He hates Iron Man, duh-de-duh-de-duh-duh, Mick-ey Rourke!

WILL IT SUCK?
Jon Favreau is back and is a known and welcome quantity as a director. Justin Theroux only has one other screenplay under his belt, but it's Tropic Thunder so I'm satisfied. Whole cast (minus Terence Howard) is back plus Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle, and John Slattery.

Early buzz is mildly disappointed, but still happy.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Summer may blow its load early. Be surprised if anything actually beats this (Toy Story 3 or Twilight: Eclipse stand a chance). $444mil.

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BABIES

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Doc about four babies growing up in Namibia, Mongolia, Japan, and the US, respectively.

WILL IT SUCK?
Hard to get a read on this one since not much is known about the filmmakers. That having been said, if you like babies, you'll get your fill. Cute trailer.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I don't know about releasing it wide, but this is certainly good counter-programming for Iron Man. $1mil.

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MOTHER AND CHILD

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ensemble drama about several mothers/would-be mothers (Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington).

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The May 2010 Movie Preview" »

April 01, 2010

The April 2010 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Kick-Ass

Think of April's line-up as the opening acts for the summer blockbusters.

APRIL 2

Wide

CLASH OF THE TITANS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Wow, Harry Hamlin really pulled it together and...oh, no, wait, this is a new guy.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. I'm surprised because for every The Thing, there's twenty any remake you can think of off the top of your head that sucks. That having been said, Louis Leterrier is a solid action director. He won't make you think, but he will keep you entertained. Good cast, too: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicholas Hoult, Pete Postlethwaite, and Danny Huston.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Originally this was supposed to come out March 26th, but then they decided to make it 3D which, apparently, takes a week to add. So now it has to vie for space on 3D screens with the second frame of How to Train Your Dragon. This, however, is a rich person's problem. $157mil.

THE LAST SONG

(3/31)

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Man, that Notebook guy sure wrote a lot of books.

WILL IT SUCK?
This is the first time that Nicholas Sparks has had a hand in the screenplay adaptation of one of his novels. No idea what impact that will have. Director has done some good TV (Pushing Daisies, Grey's Anatomy, Weeds). Greg Kinnear is, you know, Greg Kinnear. Yeah, I'm not that psyched.

However, this is called Not Without My Daughter 2 in the Philippines, so it has that going for it.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Combining the Miley Cyrus crowd with the Sparks crowd with an inexplicable two-day head start should be successful counterprogramming to a bunch of CG scorpions. $70mil.

TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Finally someone brings back the use of the word "too" in a sequel title.

WILL IT SUCK?
You know by now whether or not you like the Tyler Perry.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The audiences have already decided that they like the Tyler Perry. $58mil.

Limited

THE GREATEST

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Boy meets girl (Carey Mulligan). Boy dies in car crash. Boy's family tries to cope with the fact that the girl is now preggers.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good but not great. Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan play the parents.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Mulligan is a hot indie property, and with Leaves of Grass suddenly pushed from this weekend to the summer, the field is suddenly wide open. $8mil.

THE WARLORDS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Here's a history lesson. Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro were there for the Tapei Rebellion of the 1860s.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed, but the reuniting of Lau and Kaneshiro for the first time since House of Flying Daggers is enough to get me interested even before you throw Li into the mix. Not for nothing, but the flick won Best Actor (Jet Li) Best Director, Best Film and five other awards (nominated for a total of 13) at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Continue reading "The April 2010 Movie Preview" »

March 24, 2010

Baumbach, Murphy, Greenberg, and Greenberg - Friends in Art

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Herein lies select responses and some commentary following a roundtable interview with James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem frontman, and more importantly for the sake of this interview, the original score artist in writer/director Noah Baumbach's newest film.

Wantonly neurotic, fresh off of a mental breakdown, and finding himself once again in his family's Hollywood hills mansion after having a pre-mid-life in Brooklyn (or, because he has to be more specific: Bushwick) - Roger Greenberg, of Noah Baumbach's newest, Greenberg, rarely feels comfortable operating in the present tense, preferring instead to relish in the comfort of nostalgia. A similar sentimentality runs through many of the songs by James Murphy and his celebrated electro-rock outfit, LCD Soundsystem.

Baumbach, who got to know Murphy musically and emotively after he first heard “New York I Love You.” It isn't a stretch to imagine a character like Roger listening to a band like LCD Soundsystem. When the director started to consider what kind of soundtrack would be appropriate for Greenberg, he called up Murphy. What began as mutual respect and admiration between the two artists quickly became an amicable (and kind of adorable) professional relationship.

Continue reading "Baumbach, Murphy, Greenberg, and Greenberg - Friends in Art" »

Screening Tonight: “The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”

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The Bushwick Food Coop is screening “The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" tonight at Tandem Bar.

Here's the story:

“When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call “The Special Period.” The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.”

Beers are $3, door donation is suggested at $5, doors are at 7 w/ the film at 7:30.

March 03, 2010

The March 2010 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Chloe starring Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried

This month offers a surprisingly good mix of potentially solid mainstream and indie fare. But don't worry, there's plenty of crap to go around, too.

March 5

Wide

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Tim Burton sequel to the Lewis Carroll adventures. With Johnny Depp, of course.

WILL IT SUCK?
Tim Burton is a visionary in the best sense of the word. Screenwriter did Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Depp as the Mad Hatter seems a slam dunk, and he's joined by Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Anne Hathaway, Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, and Timothy Spall. Looks like the first bona fide event movie of 2010 worth checking out.

Early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Green Zone the following week has a sliver of the same demo, but this will dominate the month. $207mil.

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BROOKLYN'S FINEST

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Three cops' (Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke) paths intertwine in an undisclosed New York borough.

WILL IT SUCK?
From the director of Training Day, and this is supposed to be better (according to IMDb). Also stars Wesley Snipes, Lili Taylor, Ellen Barkin, Will Patton, and Vincent D'Onofrio.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Snagged w/in 24 hours of premiering at Sundance last year, so somebody thinks it has potential, enough to buy a Super Bowl spot and give it a wide release, two things that almost never happen with Sundance buys. Still, don't know if that will translate into wide release money. $26mil.

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Limited

THE SECRET OF KELLS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Kid looks for a book. A really, really important book.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The March 2010 Movie Preview" »

Open House: Docu on Williamsburg's Frenzied Development

The MoMA is screening a 31-minute film today at 4pm and 7pm about the residential transformation of Williamsburg over the past few years. It's called Open House, and is directed by Diane Nerwen.

In recent years, Williamsburg, one of the most visibly transformed neighborhoods in New York City, has seen a host of new residential construction and glass-and-steel structures spring up on blocks long defined by factories and modest row houses. While the housing bubble was deflating across the country, forty-story luxury buildings were being erected along the Brooklyn waterfront at an unprecedented rate. Chronicling developers literally tearing apart the neighborhood and frenzied property owners desperate to cash in before the market collapses, Open House reveals an urban renewal project on a scale not seen since Robert Moses’s “slum” clearance of the 1960s.

Diane will lead a discussion with the audience following the screening of the second film, Behind the Iron Gate, which is a 55-min Polish documentary about Za Zelazna Brama, "one of the biggest housing estates built in the center of Warsaw between 1965 and 1972."

If you miss it tonight, an encore screening will be tomorrow night at 7pm. For tickets and more info, visit MoMA. Here's the trailer:

The Invaders: Coming to a Sugar Plant Near You!

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Some designers aren't too psyched on the "forthcoming condo-ification" of the Domino Sugar Plant, so, they made this fun little movie poster.

Curbed writes: "It's from the gang at by-encore, apparently no fans of the makeover of the old sugar refinery. To be fair, the Williamsburg waterfront has been well on its way to becoming a sci-fi freak show for years now."

Enlarged image after the jump.

Continue reading "The Invaders: Coming to a Sugar Plant Near You!" »

February 11, 2010

The Films of the 2000s

February 02, 2010

Brooklyn Boondoggle

Brooklyn Boondoggle is a short documentary by my friends at Meerkat Media detailing and humanizing the eminent domain issues that the gargantuan Atlantic Yards development brings up. I caught the flick at a small screening at a bar that would have to be bulldozed for the Atlantic Yards (although not without a fight) and thought the movie was pretty spectacular. Now its online!

Brooklyn Boondoggle from meerkatmedia.org on Vimeo.

January 25, 2010

Machete To Become Real Film

We can't wait to see it:

Certainly you'll recall the big cool quotient around Machete, that famously fake trailer by Robert Rodriguez from Grindhouse. It was considered the single best thing about that Weinstein Co double-feature flop that also included Quentin Tarantino's pic. Rodriguez' fake trailer hinted at a good story (Mexican day laborer is set up, double-crossed, and left for dead -- then starts everyone's worst nightmare) and carried an even better catchphrase ("They just fucked with the wrong Mexican.") Machete's YouTube video alone has 1.4 million views, which wasn't lost on Hollywood. The result was 6 studios all very interested in domestic distribution rights to Rodriguez' latest.
via

December 03, 2009

The December 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Brothers

While nothing this month stands out as an awards season frontrunner, there's lots of potential Oscar suitors to choose from, and isn't it more interesting that way?

DECEMBER 4

Wide

ARMORED

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Armored truck guard (Columbus Short) agrees to inside heist with his co-workers (Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich), but changes his mind when someone (Milo Ventimiglia) gets hurt.

WILL IT SUCK?
All eyes on Kontroll director Nimrod Antal, who failed to impress with his American debut, Vacancy. Also not encouraging, the let's-reveal-everything trailer. A little more pressure added since Antal's directing Predators, until you remember that Predators probably isn't a good idea to begin with.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Not much action to compete with. $57mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Maybe if Sidney Lumet directed.

BROTHERS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Guy (Jake Gyllenhaal) comforts his recently widowed sister-in-law (Natalie Portman) like, you know, Biblically. Then his brother (Tobey Maguire) returns from the war. Turns out he wasn't dead after all. Awk-ward.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The December 2009 Movie Preview" »

October 29, 2009

The Ten Most Dubious Films included in the Criterion Collection

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I just wrote a snarky little listicle for Vice:

To be released by Criterion is the benchmark of excellence. Their 25-year-old catalog includes indispensable work from masters including Cocteau, Renoir, Maysles, Kubrick, Cronenberg, Godard, Kurosawa, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Sturges, and, of course, Fellini.

It’s an impressive list of talent, which is why you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the director responsible for film #40 in their catalog. Michael Bay. That’s right, Michael Bay, the dung beetle of cinematic vapidity, best known for his unparalleled skill at rolling oversized balls of shit into our nation’s cineplexes. If you’re not familiar with his work--is this possible?--Bay is responsible for Bad Boys I & II, Pearl Harbor, and Transformers, not to mention the career of Megan Fox. (She hates him too). Currently, Bay is remaking The Birds, which I’m assuming will be re-imagined to include a bikini-clad Maxim covergirl who blows away blood-sucking zombie pigeons with a grenade launcher.

Check out the list here.

October 02, 2009

The October 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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A Serious Man

Is it wrong of me to be more psyched about Black Dynamite than Where the Wild Things Are?

October 2

ZOMBIELAND

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jesse Eisenberg of the Dead

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. Also starring Woody Harrelson, Mila Kunis and Abigail Breslin. Don't know much about the creators, but the trailer's a hoot.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
More Shaun of the Dead than Scream. $18mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Best Zombie Kill. Give it time. The Academy will get there.

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WHIP IT

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ellen Page gets into roller derby.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. The directorial debut of Drew Barrymore. With Alia Shawkat, Kristen Wiig, Zoe Bell, Marcia Gay Harden, and Daniel Stern. And roller derby handles like Malice in Wonderland and Eva Destruction.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Similarly demo'd Fame crashed and burned, but this has more names. $44mil.

Continue reading "The October 2009 Movie Preview" »

September 30, 2009

New Wes Anderson 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' Trailer

Thankfully, this one is much better than the first. There are also some cool featurettes over at fantasticmrfoxmovie.com. Look for the film on November 25th

[Check it out in HD here]

September 08, 2009

Tonight: "Wildwood, NJ" at Union Pool

Union Pool is screening Ruthless Films' "Wildwood, NJ" - a 1994 documentary and unintentional precursor to MTV's "True Life: I'm a Jersey Shore Girl" - at 9pm tonight. @UnionPool also announced that Maker's Mark will be providing cocktails.There's probably no better way to bid adieu to summer than by sipping whiskey and laughing at beach-folk's personal problems and social myopia, so post-Labor Day Tuesday is perfect timing to see the movie.

Watch the video below for a sample of the amazingness that was mid-'90s Wildwood. SPOILER: fake nails, heterosexual whimsy, and girls who love physical altercations abound. If you can't be on hand at the screening tonight, you can also buy a copy of "Wildwood, NJ" directly from Ruthless' website (highly recommended).

September 03, 2009

The September 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
[Check out Dave's amazing new project straight2dvdmovies.com]

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Extract

The month begins and ends with thrillers about people who live their lives through androids or other people while they stay at home. Think Hollywood's getting a little passive aggressive about people who don't go out to the movies?

September 4

GAMER

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Gamers control real-life death row inmates as if they were characters in an first-person shooter.

WILL IT SUCK?
From the guys who gave you Crank and Crank 2, so expect lots of stylized action...and not much else. Interesting cast: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Zoe Bell, Alison Lohman, Milo Venitmiglia, John Leguizamo, Keith David, Kyra Sedgwick, Efren Ramirez, Sam Witwer, and Chris 'Ludacris" Bridges.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Probably about as well as any late summer/early fall action flick (like, say, Crank). $28mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
I'm not sure the Academy knows what a gamer is.

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EXTRACT

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Factory Space

WILL IT SUCK?
Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy) has a proven track record. Cast is hot: Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Kristin Wiig, J.K. Simmons, and David Koechner.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Will probably do well for a Mike Judge film, which isn't very good. $20mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If they didn't recognize Office Space...

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CARRIERS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
You know those tough who lives/who dies decisions you have to make during a zombie attack? Same ones generally come up during a global viral outbreak.

Continue reading "The September 2009 Movie Preview" »

September 01, 2009

Woody Allen's 'Manhattan' Remade As 'Brooklyn'

[via]

After the jump, the opening scene to Woody Allen's classic. (And my favorite opening scene from any film, well, ever).

Continue reading "Woody Allen's 'Manhattan' Remade As 'Brooklyn'" »

August 28, 2009

Bushwick Film Festival Kicks Off Tonight

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The third annual Bushwick Film Festival will begin tonight at 6 pm at Lumenhouse. Tickets are $8 a day or $20 for the entire weekend - and that includes unlimited free beer. So head to 47 Beaver Street and get your movie-watching drink on.


From the organizers:

"The THIRD ANNUAL BUSHWICK FILM FESTIVAL features three days of screenings, Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, and music. More than two dozen shorts and full-length narrative films and documentaries will be screened as well as an art show titled SUM OF NOTHING curated by recent SVA grad and BFF's Art Director Sarah O'Donoghue."


For more information please see www.bushwickfilmfestival.com.

August 21, 2009

Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' Trailer

Love him or hate him, Michael Moore gets people talking. His new one is out Oct. 2.

In other news, we're looking forward to Matt Taibbi's assuredly epic healthcare smackdown in the upcoming Rolling Stone. Here's a teaser.

August 18, 2009

Tarantino's Top 20 Movies Since 1992

I admit it. I'm a big Tarantino fan. I even loved Grindhouse and Jackie Brown. Still, this list is nothing less than bizarre. Friday? Speed? I'll give Tarantino credit for his unique aesthetic, but does Team America really deserve to be on this list? And watching him get excited about Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan's Unbreakable—I can't bring myself to call him M. Night—is just a little uncomfortable.

What films did he leave out? List away in comments.

July 30, 2009

Stages

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Brooklyn kiddos collectively filmed, cut and produced a film about smaller Brooklyn kiddos:

In New York City's changing Lower East Side, a group of older Puerto Rican women are brought together with a group of inner city youths to create an original play from the stories of their lives. Over a twenty-week period, the participants confront stereotypes and examine their own histories, exploring themes of immigration, relationships, coming of age and growing older. Woven together, their stories take on new meaning, first as they are spoken across generations, and later when they are performed in a sold-out show.

I am impressed 12 filmmakers with 12 visions can come together to produce one film and am ready to have my heart melt all over the place by the finished product. Last showing during the Latino Film Festival is tomorrow and tickets are here.

July 22, 2009

Ticket Giveaway: Tickets to Animation Block Party

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Rooftop is screening a night of animated films for the Animation Block Party this Friday at 8pm on the lawn of Automotive High School (next to McCarren).

Venue: On the lawn of Automotive High School Address: 50 Bedford Ave. @ North 13th St. (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) Directions: L to Bedford Ave. or G to Nassau Ave. Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location 8:00PM: Doors open 8:30PM: Live music by Teengirl Fantasy, presented by Sound Fix Records 9:00PM: Film 10:30PM: Filmmaker Q & A 11:30PM-1:00AM: After-party: Open Bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner Tickets: $9 at the door or online Presented in partnership with: 5 Gum ® , Cinereach, New York magazine, City Council Member David Yassky & Automotive High School

You can get tickets here, or just head over and comment on this facebook status for a chance at winning two tickets to the screening!

July 16, 2009

Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective Documents the Apocalypse

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The Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective has a screening event at the Music Hall of Williamsburg this Friday night based entirely around the impending apocalypse. It's called: The End!

There will be an apocalyptic screening of 20 short films produced by members of the collective and a special live performance by The Midnight Masses (features members of Dragon of Zynth and Trail of Dead).

After the jump, check out the promo video which absolutely confirms my suspicions that Bedford Walks was entirely organized by The Zombie Union to create an apocalyptic harvesting field for braaaaians..

Continue reading "Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective Documents the Apocalypse" »

July 02, 2009

The July 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Humpday

Comedy continues to dominate, with Big New Releases from Sacha Baron Cohen and Judd Apatow, though Harry Potter will pwn the month.

July 3

PUBLIC ENEMIES

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) vs. John Dillinger (Johnny Depp).

WILL IT SUCK?
Gotta say I agree with the choice of director. Michael Mann (who co-writes) made his bones on cops and robbers. One of his co-writers, Ann Biderman, also has some good crime under her belt (Primal Fear, Copycat). Cast doesn't exactly suck, with Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Rory Cochrane and Lili Taylor thrown into the mix.

Early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
It's Purvis vs. Dillinger, not Batman vs. Jack Sparrow. Ice Age will pull any demo that might otherwise make that mistake. $78mil.

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ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
In case you were wondering, yes, they do have a plausible explanation for dinosaurs being around during the Ice Age. Well, an explanation, anyway.

WILL IT SUCK?
Co-director of the original and director of the sequel is back, along with writers from the original plus Simpsons vet Mike Reiss. So there's hope. Also Simon Pegg joins the voice cast, and that's always fun.

Early buzz is meh.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Ice Age movies are only getting bigger grosses, but this is the first time they've launched in the summer. 2nd frame of Transformers is nothing to sneeze at, but at least there's a cushion of a weekend before Harry Potter hits. $205mil.

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I HATE VALENTINE'S DAY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
How to Lose a Guy in Five Dates

WILL IT SUCK?
Wasn't Nia Vardolos just in a romantic comedy? This one has more in common with Big Fat Greek however, given that she wrote it and co-stars with her Greek co-star John Corbett. Also her directorial debut. And how they kept Judah Friedlander out of the trailer is beyond me. Vardolos penning the screenplay tips the odds in favor of not suck.

Continue reading "The July 2009 Movie Preview" »

June 25, 2009

Eugene Levy Needs to Fire His Agent

Meet Gooby! [via]

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June 10, 2009

Ticket Giveaway: Rooftop Films First Williamsburg Summer Show

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Rooftop Films' first Williamsburg show of the season is tomorrow night, with a special "carnival-like screening event" of No Impact Man on the lawn of Automotive High School, hosted in part by The Fledgling Fund. No Impact Man is a documentary directed by Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein which follows a local family with global implications, as they challenge themselves to make no environmental impact for one whole year.

Here's a bit more on the carnival-like aspect of the event:

The lawn of Automotive High School will host a celebration of environmentally-friendly activities, as Rooftop Films and The Fledgling Fund utilize the screening of No Impact Man to engage audience members in making environmentally-friendly lifestyle commitments . There will be information about local foods, opportunities to volunteer in local environmental projects, composting demonstrations, ideas about reusing old products, and a demonstration of biodiesel cars from the students of our hosts at Automotive High School. Audience members who make personal video pledges to change aspects of their lifestyles will be entered into a raffle to win various prizes. The Hungry March Band, New York’s legendary political street brass march band will help create a festive atmosphere as they perform in the anarchic style that has become their trademark.

Buy tickets here, or if you're feeling lucky visit our Facebook page and comment on our most recent update mentioning Rooftop Films for your chance at a pair of tickets.

Doors are at 7 tomorrow night (thurs), Sound Fix Records presents live music by The Hungry March Band at 8, the film is at 9 and the after-party is an open bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner.

[photo via]

May 20, 2009

Summerscreen is Back: Now with Zombies!

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The L Magazine's Summerscreen film series in McCarren Park announced their lineup today and yup, we've got zombies! And Jim Carrey. This year marks the film's first year out of the pool, and it looks like they're setting up at the ball fields closest to Turkey's Nest in McCarren Park.

The films will be shown at dusk on Wednesday nights starting July 8th and area restaurants will be on hand to sell food and beverages. Admittance is absolutely free.

This year’s lineup of films includes:

July 8: Reality Bites
July 15: Evil Dead 2
July 22: 24 Hour Party People
July 29: Wild at Heart
August 5: Fame
August 12: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

More info at summerscreen.org.

[Photo by the conklins on flickr.]

May 13, 2009

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

It looks like Debbie Gibson's career is going awesome:


[thanks Derek]

May 08, 2009

The New Woody Allen Trailer

I'm actually pretty excited about seeing Larry David star in a Woody Allen film. Plus it's great to see Allen back in New York. From The Observer

"It used to be Diane Keaton with me—she always used to tell me, ‘I’m terrible, I’m awful, I can’t do it, you should get someone else.’ And she was always brilliant. Well, Larry is like this,” said Woody Allen via telephone from his Upper East Side apartment last week. The 73-year-old director was discussing his new movie Whatever Works.

“I gave him every opportunity to get someone else, [said David]. I was kind of uncomfortable. I was out of my comfort zone,” he said. Then he laughed. “Of course, the comfort zone is not very big! I take one step to the right and I’m out of my comfort zone.”

Whatever Works is Woody Allen exactly as you want your Woody Allen to be. It’s witty, dark, poignant, zany and hilarious, and showcases a New York filtered through the Allen lens as we’ve never seen it before. Meaning, forget the Upper East Side! This film creeps through the crooked and narrow streets of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, knishes to hanging chickens.

And as for Mr. David … he indeed pulls it off and then some playing Boris Yellnikoff, a half-suicidal almost–Nobel Prize–winning physicist who suffers from night terrors (he wakes up with strangling death screams) and minor OCD (he washes his hands and sings “Happy Birthday”--twice!--in order to kill all the germs), then tosses it all away (literally) and considers the majority of Earth’s population too stupid and meaningless to even deal with.


trailer via

Cymbals Eat Rooftop Films

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Rooftop Films' opening night party is a week from today, and tickets are going, going, (almost) gone! It's short films with a Cymbals Eat Guitars / open bar sandwich.

The deets:

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 8pm
This is What We Mean by Short Films
Opening Night
We kick off our 13th year of “Underground Movies Outdoors” with short films that don’t take long to astonish, amaze and inspire.
Venue: on the roof of the Open Road Rooftop
Address: 350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music by Cymbals Eat Guitars .
9:00PM: Films
11:30PM - 1:00AM: Open Bar at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge St), courtesy of Radeberger beer
Tickets: $9 at the door or online at going.com

Also, programmers have released the summer schedule through June, which includes a slew of dates around the LES and SoBro but so far only one date (Thursday, June 11) in Williamsburg! Hopefully we'll get a few more in July and August. June at the Automotive High School is buggy, anyways...(right?).

May 06, 2009

Rejected Gladiator 2 Script Leaks... Did We Mention Nick Cave Wrote It?

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Okay. This already wins the award for the most bizarre story of the week. First off, why the hell would Ridley Scott ask mopey rock icon Nick Cave to write a script? Why would Cave agree to said project. After agreeing to write the thing, how could Cave have thought that including a scene where Maximus battles the Vietcong with a flamethrower would be a good idea? And of course the largest elephant in the room... why in God's name do we need Gladiator 2? Most of us are still traumatized by the steaming pile of crap that was the original.

Gone Elsewhere has been generous enough to provide a synopsis of some of the script's highlights. After being meeting Roman Gods in the afterlife and being reincarnated, Maximus starts kicking some major ass:

Middle Eastern Battlefield: Maximus stands surrounded by hundreds of Crusaders as they battle a Muslim army. Everyone dies around him, only Maximus remains untouched.
- Europe: Maximus battles tanks in World War 2.
- Vietnam: Maximus battles Vietcong with a flamethrower.
- The Pentagon, Present Day: Maximus washing his hands in a men's room sink. He stars at himself in the mirror... reflecting. Mordecai stands behind him... whispers: "Until eternity itself has said it's prayers." Maximus exits; proceeds into a large war room containing a dozen men in suits.
This sounds so bad actually, we must admit our curiosity is piqued. Thankfully, Gone Elsewhere puts things in perspective.
This is not a reflection on the quality of the piece, but I'm not really interested in seeing a sequel to Gladiator featuring elements of mythology and the supernatural. They weren't present in the first film and they simply feel out of place here.

It's like making an action-packed follow-up to Schindler's List with a cryogenically-frozen Liam Neeson helping to save a doomed alien species 10,000 years in the future. Sure, there might be an interesting story there... but it doesn't make sense given the pre-established universe.

We're trying to locate the script, so link us up in comments if you find it!

May 01, 2009

The May 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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As is becoming the norm, May looks to be the most densely-packed event picture month of the summer.

MAY 1

BATTLE FOR TERRA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
The human race invades a peaceful planet because our planet done got blow'd up.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. Garnered some praise on the festival circuit.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
It's got balls to open against Wolverine. And that's about all it has going for it. $5mil.

-----------------------------------------------------------

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
A Christmas Carol, but with exes.

WILL IT SUCK?
Before you scoff that this is just another silly Matthew McConaughey romcom, remember this. This is coming from Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Spiderwick Chronicles helmer Mark Waters. It is however, also coming from the writers behind Rebound and Four Christmases. Okay. You can go back to scoffing.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
THIS is how you compete with Wolverine. $71mil.

-----------------------------------------------------------

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Wolverine Begins

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The May 2009 Movie Preview" »

April 22, 2009

Korean Abdul-Jamar [sic] in GRIFT

Coming soon to a theater near you...

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But one thing. It's Korean Abdul-JABBAR man. Get your hipster grifter shit straight. And can this be the last we ever mention her? Now that the meme has reached street art status I think we can pack it all up in our fanny packs and call it a day. Spotted in W'burg by Delete Yourself.

April 13, 2009

Michael Bay Signs $50M Deal To Fuck Up 'Thundercats'

We're just happy when anybody makes fun of Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer. From the Onion [via]

"I couldn't be more excited to completely fuck this up," said Bay, who plans to begin production on destroying the live-action adaptation next month. "ThunderCats has a great story, endearing characters, action, adventure, space-travel, and fantasy. It will be an honor to run it into the ground."

"I'll use every directorial tool I have to suck the very life and charm out of this beloved cartoon," added Bay, claiming that the film could turn out to be the most colossal piece of shit he's ever worked on. "I won't rest until I get every last scene exactly wrong."


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April 03, 2009

The April 2009 Movie Preview

by David Dylan Thomas

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It's the last hurrah before sequels and reboots dominate the theaters for three and a half months (let's be honest, the last half of August is a wash). And we begin with... a reboot of an eight-year-old franchise.

April 3

FAST & FURIOUS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Reboot.

WILL IT SUCK?
Do you want to watch cars go boom? I think this will deliver. Other than that, weep for the potential that director Justin Lin showed in Better Luck Tomorrow and then didn't deliver on, including the last Fast/Furious flick which, by the way, has the same writer as this one.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Between Adventureland this week and Hannah Montana and Observe and Report next week, you are actually shredding a little bit of the demo, but bringing back all four original leads should make for a decent opening. $108mil.

------------------------------------------

ADVENTURELAND

(Moved from March)

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Superbad Amusement Park

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The April 2009 Movie Preview" »

March 31, 2009

'C Me Dance'

We are totally going to see this on opening night.

March 25, 2009

New Department of Eagles Video: "No One Does It Like You"

The band premiered this last night at MoMA. It's directed by directed by Patrick Daughters and Marcel Dzama. [via]

Speaking of which.... we're LOVING the new Grizzly Bear. Here's our favorite track.

March 06, 2009

The March 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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The month begins and ends with unconventional superheroes. Slightly different demos, though.

MARCH 6

WATCHMEN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Think The Incredibles, but like, really, really, really, really dark. Really.

WILL IT SUCK?
With 300, Zack Snyder took the technology pioneered in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Phantom Menace and manipulated it to recreate the look and feel of a comic. While he's using more actual sets this time out, it seems clear (especially from the trailers) that he gets the importance of the aesthetic and how to achieve it. As far as the actual depth of the comic, which is what separates it from the pack, on a story level at least it appears he's stayed true to the darkness. David Hayter, who co-penned the better X-films, had a hand in the adaptation. The casting is also promising, employing talented lesser-knowns like Matthew Goode and Jackie Earle Haley. The 20 minutes shown at Butt-Numb-a-thon apparently killed.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Anticipation is huge, but highest among a fairly select group of fans. I mean, had you heard of Watchmen before this movie was announced? I only know about it because I once made a concerted effort to learn more about graphic novels and this was one of the first (and most often) recommended. I wonder if this is a few people anticipating loudly instead of the masses being truly psyched. Still if 300, an even more obscure comic, could get by on kick-ass visuals, there's no reason this can't. $236mil.

--------------------------------------

ALL ABOUT STEVE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Sandra Bullock stalks Bradley Cooper. But, you know, in a cute way.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The March 2009 Movie Preview" »

Requiem For a Day Off

The hopes and dreams of three ambitious people are shattered when their school-day adventures begin spiraling out of control.

February 28, 2009

Bullets, Bombs, and Babes, "This Ain't No Hula!"

As Rumproast commenter t4toby summarizes, this scene from 1987's Hard Ticket to Hawaii has it all:

Skateboarding, off-center ponytails, blowup dolls, pectoralis muscles, rocket launchers, ROCKET LAUNCHERS!!!, gratuitous violence, totally unnecessary second rocket launch attack on aforementioned blowup doll...I challenge you to come up with a better action sequence!

Evidently, B-movie director Andy Sedaris (not to be confused with David Sedaris) directed a handful of these things in a series known as Bullets, Bombs, and Babes:

Sidaris was best known for his Bullets, Bombs, and Babes series of B-movies produced between 1985 and 1998. These films featured a rotating "stock company" of actors mostly made up of Playboy Playmates and Penthouse "Pets", including Julie Strain, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Cynthia Brimhall, Roberta Vasquez, Julie K. Smith, Shae Marks, and Wendy Hamilton. Several of his films were done wholly or largely in Shreveport using many local actors or actors with local ties.
Needless to say, we need to watch the entire series ASAP. Check out the amazing trailer to Hard Ticket to Hawaii after the jump. You gotta love a movie with the catchphrase "This Ain't No Hula!" [hat tip Rumproast]

Continue reading "Bullets, Bombs, and Babes, "This Ain't No Hula!"" »

February 27, 2009

Big In, uh, Shanghai

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If you know me, you know that I'm a big slut for a good magazine layout. But with prices of specialty &/or foreign mags running at around $15 a pop, websites for Chinese hipster inspired print such as M-Style scratch the itch just as well. Over at the Shanghaiist, they seem to agree:

Hipsters get a lot of flack in the U.S. and Europe for fetishizing elements of fringe movements and regurgitating them into something completely sterile and inauthentic - all of the style and none of the substance, so to speak.

And yet (for us, at least) the cheap beer and great music is a welcome escape from the whisky-and-green-tea, Eurotrash house, everybody clad in some skimpy shade of black scene that's dominated Shanghai so far.

Bombarded with the now long dead pop culture trends of yesterday's East, some Hong Kong-goes-Brooklyn gems passed under the radar. These kids might as well be living in my building, no? But we've always been fans of the Asian aesthetic. I mean, McDonald's is giving away Hello Kitty watches in their Happy Meals nowadays (which I know one FREEburg writer is super excited about). It's no wonder Michel Gondry loves him some Eastern city lights....

(Exciting news & a peek at Gondry's newest, Tokyo!, after the jump)

Continue reading "Big In, uh, Shanghai" »

February 05, 2009

The February 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Gomorra

Looks like your best movie options this month are to stay in making lousy Oscar predictions and hoping that Dollhouse doesn't suck.

FEBRUARY 6

HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Love, Not Actually

WILL IT SUCK?
If this were a TV show, I'd have more confidence. Director Ken Kwapis has helmed some solid eps of The Office and Freaks and Geeks. The one thing I didn't like about his Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, on the other hand, was the direction. Never saw Vibes or Dunstin Checks In, though. And the writers did Never Been Kissed.

Remarkably recognizable casting, though: Jennifers Aniston and Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck...but I'm most psyched to see Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin together again for the first time since Ed.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
A little bit of competition from Dance Flick and Pink Panther 2 this week, but next week is the real bear, Confessions of a Shopaholic. $61mil.

-------------------------------------------

THE PINK PANTHER 2

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
This is what you get for going to see Pink Panther 1, America.

WILL IT SUCK?
Even during the trailer I was going "Oh, my God, is this thing still going?" They've added some top shelf talent (John Cleese, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, Aishwarya Rai) but they kind of had that already (Cleese replaces Kevin Kline). Agent Cody Banks and One Night at McCool's director Harald Zwart takes over for Night at the Museum 2-bound Shawn Levy and the writers are brand new. As with the first, Martin has a screenplay co-credit but I just refuse to believe it.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The only thing with this high of a profile for miles around is Friday the 13th, and that's a completely different demographic (although a Clouseau/Jason crossover flick would rock). $71mil.

-------------------------------------------

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CORALINE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Girl finds a parallel universe with an alternative, perfect family for her...or is it?

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The February 2009 Movie Preview" »

January 20, 2009

Sample Sundance Short Films on iTunes

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The Sundance Festival has put 10 of their short films on the iTunes store, as part of 10 Voices from 10 Films Over 10 Days. It started January 16th and wraps up on the 25th. So watch 'em while they're free...after the 25th, they zap themselves right back into the internet.

From the site:

This year, 10 short films from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival will be presented as FREE content available for download January 15 through 25, 2009 exclusively on iTunes. In an effort to get to know the 10 for 10 filmmakers a little bit better, here's a look behind the curtain to see the wizards at play.

My favorite is Instead of Abracadabra, a really funny short about an aspiring magician. The director created it after watching showreel for a local magician. "You could really feel the panic when something went wrong and how he acted to cover things up again," Eklund said. "I felt I just had to do something that had the same sort of nerve."

Others of note (actually, they're all good, so visit 10 Voices from 10 Films Over 10 Days at Sundance for all the links) include:

I Live In The Woods
Really weird, awesome animation about a crazy farmer dude who kills people in the woods. Sundance calls it "insane, gory fun."

Countertransference
This short film is "textured with both hilarity and depth," but also known for causing $1,400 worth of damage when their equipment truck hit a parked car. Ah, anecdotes.

This Way Up
Sundance says it "embodies the ideal animated short: perfect length, a ton of laughs and ingenuity seeping from every 3-D angle," but more importantly, it was produced (?) by Mike Judge of The Animation Show.

Magnetic Movie
Originally "conceived during a six-month venture to the NASA laboratory," Magnetic Movie is pretty unique, as it really shows you what a magnetic force field looks like, on a head full of perfectly clean LSD. We're talking no backaches here.

Again, visit Sundance for the rest.

January 14, 2009

New Neko Case Single

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Neko Case has a new record coming out March 3 and Anti has just made the first single available for free download. It's called "People Got A Lotta Nerve" and we like what we hear. Plus, if you add it to iLike, ANTI will donate a buck to Best Friends Animal Society.

Today, we are especially happy to bring you "People Got A Lotta Nerve," the first single from Neko Case's forthcoming album Middle Cyclone (out March 3), because for every blog that reposts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko Case and ANTI- will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society. The promotion will run from January 13 to February 3, 2009. Five dollars will be donated for every blog post and one dollar for every user of iLike that adds the song to his/her profile. Details and instructions after the break.
DOWNLOAD: Neko Case - People Got a Lot of Nerve (MP3)

January 01, 2009

The January 2009 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
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Chandni Chowk To China

Hope you like horror. Let me rephrase that. Hope you like crappy horror.

January 9

BRIDE WARS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway battle to see who's the most popular actress, I mean, to see who gets a popular wedding venue.

WILL IT SUCK?
Gary Winick has done all right since Tadpole (13 Going on 30, Charlotte's Web) though one of the writers co-wrote Saving Silverman. The other writers worked on the American version of Creature Comforts, which wasn't bad. Likely outcome is meh.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
No competition from the week before since Hollywood is giving up on movies that weekend, and no romcoms for miles after. $47mil.

--------------------------------------

THE UNBORN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Unborn twin vs. born twin.

WILL IT SUCK?
Wins the award for most problematic one sheet. Are you trying to titillate me or scare me because when you're talking about evil unborn ghost fetuses you can't do both. David S. Goyer writes, which can be a very good thing (The Dark Knight) but he also directs which hasn't worked out so well (The Invisible, Blade: Trinity). And how did Gary Oldman end up in this mishigas?

Continue reading "The January 2009 Movie Preview" »

December 05, 2008

The December 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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The Brothers Bloom

You expect December to be lousy with Oscar hopefuls, but damn.

December 5

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Punisher reboot. After, you know, one film. Kind of like The Incredible Hulk.

WILL IT SUCK?
Apparently, Lionsgate booted director Lexi Alexander (Green Street Hooligans) from the project and started pushing for a PG-13 rating, all this after getting good buzz at Comic-Con. On the other hand, there's nothing about any of that in this recent interview with Alexander. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, since they don't reference it at all.

I'd say it doesn't matter either way given the sad history of comic book adaptations that are not from seriously established indie directors (your Nolans, your Singers, your Raimis), however, there were (are) some interesting elements here. One, Alexander's one of the first (only?) women to direct a comic book film, a male-dominated genre to put it lightly. Two, the script was based on Garth Ennis' (Preacher) take on Punisher, which pretty much necessitates a hard R, so attempts to soften that will probably fail miserably. Finally, the script comes from half of the Iron Man writing team and a Prison Break scribe, so there's potential.

On the other hand, looking at the trailer, I'm not convinced this isn't just Max Payne 2.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Between the second frame of Transporter 3 and the first frame of Extreme Movie, it's in trouble. $34mil.

Continue reading "The December 2008 Movie Preview" »

December 02, 2008

Filmmakers: Get Famous This Summer

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Hey filmmakers! Rooftop Films wants you to know that you've got about a month to get your submissions in for the "early bird" fees ($9) to be considered for their 2009 Summer Series. Submit online at RooftopFilms.com.

From them:

Submit your movies! We are currently accepting submissions for the 2009 Summer Series. In May 2009 we will begin celebrating our 13th year of bringing the best underground films in the world outdoors and to the rooftops of New York. Submit your films and videos now and participate in one of the most unforgettable, unique, filmmaker-friendly, independent film events in the world!

Rooftop Films

December 01, 2008

Improv Everywhere In Your DVD Player

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picture via new york mag

Improv Everywhere, Charlie Todd's amorphous group of agents that may include some of you, has released their volume 3 DVD featuring all of their previous stunts just in time for the holidays! It's $20 and shipping is free. I'd put this in the "worth it" category for your hard to shop for boyfriends and jaded fathers.

From ma inbox:

Disc includes:
- Every mission on our site since the last DVD (17 total including Frozen Grand Central, Food
Court Musical, and Human Mirror)
- The never before seen Ted’s Birthday Redux mission video! A DVD exclusive!
- A new featurette on the Rob! mission
- Commentary track for every mission
- An hour of bonus material, including Improv Everywhere’s talk at the New Museum in Manhattan

Below the jump, relive some of my favorite Improv Everywhere stunts from the past couple of years. And mark your calendars! The annual media drool fest that is the No Pants Subway Ride is happening January 10th. Stay tuned to Improv Everywhere for updates, but we'll probably remind you here just the same.

Continue reading "Improv Everywhere In Your DVD Player" »

November 09, 2008

The November 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace

With the sudden departure of The Soloist, Fanboys and The Road from the roster, November just got a little less interesting, but I'm confident James Bond and Danny Boyle will help me forget.

Just Opened

ROLE MODELS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott do the whole man-child learns values by mentoring actual children thing.

WILL IT SUCK?
David Wain directs and co-writes with some of his State cohorts. Love The State. Haven't been as impressed with State alums' film work since (though I have yet to see Wet Hot American Summer...I know, I know). I will say this, however, the red band trailer is much funnier than the, um, green band trailer.
Oh, and Elizabeth Banks is officially in every movie coming out this year.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
2nd frame of the much-higher profile Zack and Miri's gonna hurt and this week you've got Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson in Soul Men. $18mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No.

--------------------------------------------

MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
The Madagascar animals go to the plain-y part of Africa instead of the jungle-y part.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The November 2008 Movie Preview" »

November 08, 2008

Moviehouse at 3rd Ward

Take a trip back a few weeks and relive the 18 days preceding our most recent election, Sunday night at 3rd Ward. This looks pretty cool.

We know the results of the election (and they couldn't be better), but this month, Moviehouse invites you to take an intimate look at the people and communities that make up our Swing States in Red Blue Roadtrip. Moviehouse founder, Chris Henderson and Graham Meriwether travel through 12 swings states in the 18 days preceding the election, capturing portraits of 18 communities large and small, wealthy and impoverished, rural, and urban.

Then, Daniel Ross and Tom Vigliotta examine the decline of NYCs manufacturing industry in Uncertain Industry. Over the last 50 years manufacturing jobs in NYC have shrunk from 1 million to 100,000. The filmmakers explore what losing losing this vital source of jobs meant for New York City's economy.

This free screening series, brings the very best in local filmmaking to 3rd Ward every 2nd Sunday. The evening begins with drinks, snacks and beats from VJ Clay Franklin and ends in a lively discussion with the filmmakers.

3rd Ward is at 195 Morgan Ave. Doors are at 7, films at 8, and its FREE! Booya for Sunday night movie nights.

October 29, 2008

Empire Begins


Empire from Empire on Vimeo.

October 27, 2008

Gondry Shooting a "Top Secret Project" in Williamsburg

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img via flavorwire

Orient Ave. is quickly becoming one of our favorite streets in the 'burg, as it features steak-knife stabbings, squatters, and Williamsburg's own Michel Gondry (who, it turns out, is no longer missing). The latter, Mr. Gondry, is apparently busy shooting some kind of top secret project outside his house today, which he kinda-sorta told a passerby is a music video. Flavorwire reports:

Last night I passed by two guarded, trash bag-covered cameras in front of his house that had been set up earlier that day. When I asked the guys watching the equipment if Gondry was involved, they smiled but would not confirm it. When I then asked if Michel Gondry was paying them well to stay up all night, they said yes.

She returned this morning to check back in and see what the deal is. "I returned at 7 a.m. this morning and spotted Gondry busy sweding with a group of lackeys. One of them joked that they were working on a student film; Gondry told me that he was shooting a music video but would not reveal the artist."

I'm betting its someone awesome, as Wikipedia lists Gondry as a director on videos for pretty much all of the world's biggest artists - from Beck to Kanye to the White Stripes, and everyone in between.

He'll be at Strand bookstore tonight promoting his latest book, You'll Like This Film Because You're In It, tonight, so hopefully someone will get the skinny and send it in.

October 03, 2008

The October 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Josh Brolin as W.

Is it strange that the movie I'm most psyched for this month has "porno" in the title? No. I don't think so.

OCTOBER 3

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Far inferior remake of Beverly Hills Chupacabra.

WILL IT SUCK?
The one good thing I can say about this movie is that the casting probably saved the life of its lead, a stray dog named Rusco. Early buzz is shockingly (albeit apologetically) good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
City of Ember doesn't make things any easier the following week, but there are no other talking pet movies for miles. On the other hand, it's called Beverly Hills Chihuahua. $18mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
We all know about the Academy's bias against talking animals.

-------------------------------------------------

NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Kat Dennings and Michael Cera stumble into a first date in NYC.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. The long overdue follow-up effort from Raising Victor Vargas helmer Peter Sollet. More interestingly, a teen romcom based on a novel.

Continue reading "The October 2008 Movie Preview" »

September 18, 2008

Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York

This looks great. Its out in New York on October 24. Directed by Charlie Kaufman (Academy Award-winning writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), the film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener,Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton and Hope Davis. Higher quality version here.

September 17, 2008

Tom Cruise Tropic Thunder Scene (w/ Flo Rida)

You probably have about 5 hours to watch a balding Tom Cruise dance to Flo Rida in Tropic Thunder before this gets pulled down from YouTube. So, check it out.

September 05, 2008

The September 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Burn After Reading

For some reason, Hollywood has decided to release fifteen movies a week (except the first week) in September.

SEPTEMBER 5

BANGKOK DANGEROUS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Nicolas Cage plays a hitman who loves his job and doesn't do anything to jeopardize it. Nah, just kidding.

WILL IT SUCK?
On the one hand, IMDB has this as the highest-rated Pang Bros. (creators of the original The Eye) film yet (it's an English-language remake, in fact, of their own eponymous film). On the other hand, it's not being screened for critics. Take a look at this NSFW clip and tell me what you think. I'm personally hoping for gloriously bad.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
It's opening against nothing, which can only mean one thing. It's the beginning of September and nobody goes to the movies. $18mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Nic Cage: Worst Hair

--------------------------------

EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE ITALIAN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Guy pretends to be Italian to get with a girl.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The September 2008 Movie Preview" »

August 20, 2008

Ethiopiques, Kenyan Benga, The Ex, And WFMU... All FREE

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Needless to say, this is going to rule. More information here.

August 15, 2008

A Cult Grows in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Paper published an article today interviewing the filmmakers behind "Cult of Sincerity", a straight-to-youtube feature documenting the lives of a bunch of 20somethings living it out in Williamsburg. In what not only marks the end of the straight-to-DVD route, "Cult of Sincerity" is also trying a different strategy to make back some bills.

The film is totally free, you can view it on youtube, or, catch it on Channel 13 on August 23rd. Don't have cable or internet? Well, It's screening at Stain Bar that night as well, where "important scenes in the film were shot". All the filmmakers ask of you is that you go to aimestreet.com/cultofsincerity and sign up...they get 2 bucks a pop for that and you get free music.

Here's the trailer, and if looks like it'll keep your boat afloat go watch the full feature on YouTube.

Read the full article at the Brooklyn Paper, and go watch the film on youtube.

July 31, 2008

The August 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Looks like Pineapple Express might be the best this month has to offer...

JULY 1

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jet Li is the mummy. And Maria Bello is Rachel Weisz.

WILL IT SUCK?
Probably the most notable replacement is actually behind the camera, with Rob Cohen (Stealth, xXx) taking over for Mummy 1 & 2 helmer Stephen Sommers who, in spite of all the suck he brought to Van Helsing, really seemed to have a knack for these films. Cohen has a knack for making Brett Ratner seem inspired.
Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (creators of Smallville, two of the 73 writers on Spider-Man 2) definitely have a knack for this sort of thing, so their writing will fight Cohen's direction.

And it's always fun to see Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh together (check out Twin Warriors if you ever get the chance).

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
This is, arguably, the last major action-adventure flick of the summer. $101mil.

-----------------------------

SWING VOTE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
One guy gets to decide the fate of a U.S. presidential election. No, not Karl Rove.

WILL IT SUCK?
Director's a newcomer and the co-screenwriter did Bad Company (the Chris Rock/Anthony Hopkins one) which bodes well for the we-hope-it'll-be-so-bad-it's-good Bangkok Dangerous, which he also wrote, but not so well for this.

Continue reading "The August 2008 Movie Preview" »

July 02, 2008

The July 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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The Wackness

Just to be original, I'd try to tell you that there's something more interesting happening this month than The Dark Knight, but that would be a lie.

JULY 4

HANCOCK

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Alcoholic superhero gets PR makeover.

WILL IT SUCK?

Dude, how awesome would it be if this turned out to be a Herbie Hancock bio-pic with Will Smith in the lead, and all this superhero stuff was just a scam?

I think the mock-superhero genre is played out (the death knell was My Super Ex-Girlfriend). The only thing that gives me hope here is the combo of underrated helmer Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom) and X-Files vet writer Vince Gilligan and Vincent Ngo, who wrote a couple of those kick-ass BMW shorts back in the day.

Early buzz is mixed with audiences taking a shine while critics bring up the specter of Last Action Hero.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Will Smith with July 4th weekend all to himself? I don't care if the marketing campaign can't make up it's mind as to what kind of movie this is, he'll pwn that shit. $192mil.

-------------------------------------

THE WACKNESS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Kid grows up in New York dealing dope to his therapist while dating the therapist's daughter.

WILL IT SUCK?

It's not the second coming of Rushmore or anything, but it's a good, hip, indie coming-of-age flick. More here.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Been building good buzz since Sundance. $10mil.

-------------------------------------

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Doc about the life and work of that weird-looking muppet. No, wait.

WILL IT SUCK?

Continue reading "The July 2008 Movie Preview" »

June 17, 2008

Full Grown Men

Finally, a summer movie we want to see is about to be released at Cinema Village on Wednesday, June 25th. Appropriately, it's called Full Grown Men, channeling our angst at the ten million *retarded* superhero movies released every year for the 11-year-old boy demographic. Full Grown Men features Amy Sedaris (worth the price of admission right there) and Debbie Harry as a mermaid. The trailer looks solid too: [hat tip Buzzfeed]

Amy Sedaris Outtakes after the jump.

Continue reading "Full Grown Men" »

May 30, 2008

The June 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Angelina Jolie in Wanted

It's a race to see who can lower expectations the fastest this month, with M. Night, Mike Meyers, a post-Evan Almighty Steve Carell and a post-Hulk Hulk all offering their wares, often at the same time.

JUNE 6

YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
You got your Apatow in my Sandler! You got your Sandler in my Apatow!

WILL IT SUCK?
Basically this is a contest between the general suckiness of most Adam Sandler movies (represented here by I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry helmer Dennis Dugan) and the general goodness of Judd Apatow's writing efforts (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin).

With Robert "TV Funhouse" Smigel and Sandler (who rarely writes his suckfests) co-writing, I'd like to think that the odds are in Apatow's favor, but given Sandler's horrendous track record, I just can't muster the faith.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
With Dewey Cox and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the box office honeymoon with all things Apatow may be waning, but Sandler's had nary a revenue misstep when he's stuck to comedy. $111mil.

--------------------------------

KUNG FU PANDA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Panda learns kung fu. The title's pretty accurate.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. The kung fu itself is supposed to be pretty kick-ass. Seemed to get a better reception at Cannes than Indiana Jones.

Continue reading "The June 2008 Movie Preview" »

May 12, 2008

Visioneers

We have absolutely no idea what to make of this trailer, but we'll see anything starring Zach Galifianakis as George Washington or Nathaniel Buckner.

Poultrygeist and the O'Reilly Meltdown

These two videos are completely unrelated, save for the fact that they're both hilarious and deeply disturbing.

We're totally going to see this just-released film Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, via Buzzfeed

Of course, the movie would have been better if some of those zombie chickens were unleashed on O'Reilly. [via HuffPost]. UPDATE: Youtube pulled the clip. You can watch it here.

May 07, 2008

"Blindness" Trailer"

Jose Saramago’s book "Blindness" is one of our favorites in recent memory. We're excited to hear there's going to be a movie:

When a sudden plague of blindness devastates a city, a small group of the afflicted band together to triumphantly overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine. BLINDNESS, starring Academy Award-nominee Julianne Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal, Mark Ruffalo, Sandra Oh and Danny Glover, is a psychological thriller about the fragility of mankind. Adapted from Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago’s masterwork, the film is directed by Academy Award-nominee Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) from a screenplay by Tony Award-winner Don McKellar (“The Drowsy Chaperone”).
It's slotted for release this Fall. Check out the new Blindness trailer here.

In other movie news, we're also excited about HBO's "Recount," which premieres this month. Despite her lack of boobage, we can't imagine better casting than Laura Dern for the role of Katherine Harris. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Continue reading ""Blindness" Trailer"" »

May 06, 2008

2008 Summer Screen Schedule At McCarren Pool

We just posted the full schedule at McCarrenPark.com.

May 01, 2008

The May 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

indy-skull-3.jpg

Last May, three potentially great blockbusters came along and broke our hearts. This month four movies with the same potential (well, maybe not Speed Racer) are in play. Are we ready to love again?

MAY 2

MADE OF HONOR

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
My Best Female Friend's Wedding

WILL IT SUCK?
Hey, I'm as big a Michelle Monaghan fan as the next guy, but even I have my limits. From the director of such classic sequels as City Slickers II and Leonard Part 6. Two of the writers did Surviving Christmas and The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas but, to be fair, they also did Can't Hardly Wait and the underrated Josie and the Pussycats. Early buzz not good.

By the way, is this not the goofiest film promotion of late? I mean, who wouldn't want to get married at a movie premiere?

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Counterprogramming only works if your movie doesn't suck balls. Just ask License to Wed. $44mil.

------------------------------------------

IRON MAN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
He is Iron Man. Duh-de-duh-de-duh-duh. Vote for him.

Continue reading "The May 2008 Movie Preview" »

April 03, 2008

The April 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

harold-and-kumar-2-escape-from-guantanamo-bay-inte.jpg
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Oftentimes, April is the East River of months, a dumping ground for corpses of films that are already dead but just don't know it yet. Fortunately, there only seem to be a few of those this year.

April 4

LEATHERHEADS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Old-timey football romcom.

WILL IT SUCK?
I've zero interest in football movies, but I know what happens when George Clooney directs. He could make a Larry the Cable Guy film and I'd go see it.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Ironically, George Clooney does not do well in romantic comedies. $36mil.

----------------------------------------

SHINE A LIGHT

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Scorcese finds a way to fit in the 5 Rolling Stones songs he hasn't put in one of his films yet by making a concert movie.

Continue reading "The April 2008 Movie Preview" »

March 31, 2008

Harmony Korine's Mr. Lonely

We're willing to cut Harmony Korine some slack for the unwatchable Julien Donkey-Boy and for being a total fucking dick. He did direct Gummo after all. His latest, Mr Lonely, actually looks pretty interesting. From the IFC website

Only Harmony Korine (writer of KIDS, auteur of GUMMO, JULIEN DONKEY-BOY) could weave Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, her daughter Shirley Temple and flying nuns into a hypnotically funny and truly poignant tale of the instability behind fanaticism and the redemption we can hope to find in one another. The film follows a lonely Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna) who is invited by a beautiful Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) to a commune full of other impersonators including the Queen of England, Madonna, Sammy Davis Junior and James Dean, in the Scottish Highlands. In a parallel story line, the incomparable Werner Herzog plays a Latin American priest who learns his missionary of nuns can literally fly.

March 07, 2008

The March 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

sleepwalking.jpg
Nick Stahl and Charlize Theron in Sleepwalking

After last March gave us 300 and Zodiac, this year's take on the month feels like kind of a let-down.

------------------------------------
March 7
------------------------------------

CJ7

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Stephen Chow's E.T.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed. I think people were expecting more from the writer/director/star of Kung Fu Hustle.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Needs more aggressive marketing. I loved Kung Fu Hustle and I had no idea this was coming out. $3mil.

------------------------------------

COLLEGE ROAD TRIP

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Martin Lawrence Vehicle

WILL IT SUCK?
Didn't we just get over a Martin Lawrence film? From the director of Cruel Intentions (the cream of his crop) and writers behind Bubble Boy and Santa Clause 2. Looks to be this year's RV.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Probably no better or worse than that last Lawrence outing. $31mil.

------------------------------------

10,000 B.C.

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Remember that movie Caveman with Ringo Starr? Okay, what if we were asked to take that seriously?

Continue reading "The March 2008 Movie Preview" »

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