Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Cage’

The Great SXSW 2010 Preview Dump: Headliners

March 10, 2010

Why not wait until 48 hours before the SXSW Film Festival kicks off to post our preview? That’s a question that will haunt Squally until we crawl into our premature grave. While nobler movie bloggers pack their bags for Austin–visions of Harry Knowles smeared with BBQ dancing in their heads—here’s a humble look at what’s screening over the next nine days. First up: a rattle bag of marquee fodder which includes the Duplasses’ venture into the mainstream, Robert Duvall facing off against Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans as a stoner hero and the triumphant return of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Read the first part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.

Cyrus

The Duplass Brothers do a David Gordon Green, moving to a bigger budget and familiar faces, while mining a familiar seam of discomfort that doesn’t seem so radical in hindsight. Things look like they’re turning around for loser John C. Reilly when he meets the hot Marisa Tomei. The problem is she has a stay-at-home son played by Jonah Hill. That means he’s going to be plenty gross and creepy.

Four Lions

Fresh from Sundance, where it failed to raise hackles, comes British satirist Chris Morris’s terrorist comedy. A quartet of hapless Sheffield Muslims cook up a suicide bomber plot that, in the best tradition of Anglo-cringe comedy, comes undone through their own stupidity. The point is that while fundamentalism and dimwittedness go hand-in-hand, the results are no laughing matter. Feel-badness all ‘round, then.

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Spring Movie Preview 2010

February 27, 2010

Will Avatar make every successive Hollywood blockbuster look like it’s underachieving? For at least the next few months, the answer’s yes. Studios are responding to James Cameron’s monolith by turning everything into 3D whether it demands it or not. This slash ‘n’ burn blockbuster policy is in keeping with a season filled with retreads, reboots and sequels.

High points? While the prospect of Shrek 4 may no longer seem so appetizing—admit it, you didn’t even know it was being released this year—fanboys are salivating over the already spit-sodden Iron Man 2. The airport paperback set, on the other hand, are looking forward to Bourne Goes to Iraq, aka Green Zone. Carrie and co. will also flounce back onto our screens in a new Sex and the City.

Maybe Squally will stick to the return of Mike Newell and the singular pleasures of Tyler Perry. Regardless of the quality, feel the width. This is a star-laden line-up, with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway all returning to the screen. While they cash the checks, we’ll continue to tip less mainstream fare in our Must See Movie series. Click on the titles for trailers, etc.

Alice in Wonderland
Release date: March 5
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
After damn near 20 years of hit-making, Tim Burton finally found himself as a director by turning to established properties like Willy Wonka and Sweeney Todd. A marriage with Lewis Carroll should be a nice fit. Alas, this “sequel” to the original cockeyed gospel looks like an unholy mess. Depp channels Peter Lorre as the Mad Hatter.
Fun fact: Critic Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that Carroll’s final work Sylvie and Bruno “is no doubt the first book that tells two stories at the same time, not one inside the other, but two contiguous stories.” Heads up, Disney. Get Todd Solondz on it.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson
Damon mans up as Roy Miller, a Chief Warrant Officer whose job sniffing out WMDs in Baghdad is compromised by the U.S. administration. In the time-honored Hollywood tradition, he goes rogue. Hey, if they didn’t want him to make waves, they shouldn’t have put him in the middle of the desert.
Fun fact: Bourne director Paul Greengrass first approached Tom Stoppard to adopt Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, but was turned down.

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Trailerama: Kick-Ass

November 13, 2009

One day, a high school nerd decides to stop talking about superheroes and become one himself. In this adaptation of the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. comic, he joins the superhero community largely through moxie alone. Trouble is, some of these characters aren’t what you’d call well-balanced. There’s at least one chuckle to be had in this trailer, as well as the thought that most contemporary superhero films are so aware of their absurdity, that any satire might be redundant. Fans, we suspect, will largely be attracted to the generous helpings of mega-violence. Be warned: this is from the same studio who brought us The Spirit. Onetime Guy Ritchie mucker Matthew Vaughn directs a script by his Stardust scribe Jane Goldman.

Trailerama: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

October 12, 2009

There’s a wonderful moment about two minutes into this trailer–maybe where Nicolas Cage starts going on about the iguanas–where what seemed like a horrible idea suddenly has the potential to become quite wonderful.

Knowing: What Happened?

March 25, 2009

knowingPatrick Goldstein tries to get to the bottom of why around 3 million people went to see a Nicolas Cage movie this weekend. The film made $24.8 million, topping the much-slathered over Rudd/Segal I Love You, Man and Owen/Roberts Duplicity. What he learned might shock you. Actually, it won’t. Okay, it might.

I asked three Hollywood marketing gurus for their expert analysis. And while they all had different opinions about the appeal of the film (produced by Summit Entertainment), they agreed on one thing: It wasn’t about Nic Cage. In fact, the consensus was that people don’t go see Nic Cage movies, since there are too many movies in too many genres that all starred Cage that didn’t make a ripple at the box office. In other words, audiences see fantasy adventure fables that happen to star Cage, but not because they star Cage.

In sum, Goldstein’s brain trust explain that the trailer emphasized a similarity between the film and National Treasure in a similar manner to the way I Love You, Man tried to make you think you were watching a Judd Apatow film and Duplicity tried not to make you think you were watching Closer 2: The Next Day.

Goldstein lobs out that Knowing also tapped into the zeitgeist by showing the world falling apart at the same time as the world is falling apart. Looking at that one-sheet, though, all Squally sees is the world turning into a lot of numbers. “It’s better to be lucky than be good,” he writes, which you can put right alongside “Nobody knows anything” and “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.”

Did you see it? Why? Was it any good?

My Thoughts Exactly

March 11, 2009

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