“Yes Man” Poster

When was the last time Mister Carrey was funny? And we mean really funny? Horton Hears A Who doesn’t really count, so whats before that. Fun With Dick And Jane? Not funny. The Number 23? Yes, funny, but inadvertedly so. Lets settle on “its been a while.” So much so that we look less and less forward to his funny ones as we do his more interesting, serious ones.

But at the very least, with this poster, it looks like he is having fun. And he’s got Zooey Deshanel to play with, and Terence Stamp, who seems to have replaced Sam Jackson as the man who needs to be in everything. And its being directed by the guy who made The Break Up (Yay!), Down With Love (Bah!) and Bring It On (Oh?), so there’s a luke warm chance it’ll be, ye know, watchable.

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The Worst Teaser Trailer Of All Time Ever?

Yes. Absolutely.

“Terminator: Salvation” Teaser Trailer

Not a bad teaser trailer, all things being equal. The one quick shot of a person being snatched by a giant mechanical hand from out of the building is really cool and very creepy. Bale has never given a bad performance, but he is not immune to being in bad films. Its getting increasingly difficult to remain totally negative about this whole endeavour, but we’ll keep at it anyway!

Who watches the Watchmen trailer?

Empire have the exclusive on the first trailer for Watchmen, the Zac Snyder-directed movie adaption of the brilliant graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. You can watch it here or on the no-doubt-soon-to-be-removed youtube version below.

(EDIT: the Empire online link has been removed for now. The article (here) clearly went up too soon, although AICN are linking to it too.

EDIT #2: Empire seem to have lost their exclusive. It’s up all over the net, and Apple trailers has the glorious HD version here.)

The film itself isn’t due out until March 2009, but to say it’s eagerly anticipated doesn’t even begin to describe the fans’ expectations.

Set in a parallel 1980’s set world, Watchmen tells the story of a group of costumed superheroes, who are now outlawed. They have to renew their association, though, when one of their own is murdered and the whole group appears to be targeted.

Snyder’s film version has cast Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhatten, Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, Patrick Wilson as Niteowl, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian, Matthew Goode as Ozymandias and Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II.

The trailer is fab. The comic-to-film comparison is very impressive, without appearing too comic-y. For the special effects on Dr. Manhattan to be this good so early in the process bodes well. Although he does appear to have been given a pair of hide-his-modesty briefs at 1:38 – let’s hope that’s just the trailer! We’re still not quite buying into Matthew Goode as Ozymandias, but the others look the part (well, as much as you can tell at this stage with the masked Rorschach).

And a comment on the choice of song used: the Smashing Pumpkins’ The Beginning is the End is the Beginning. Not The End is the Beginning is the End, as used on Batman and Robin – nice cheeky touch! Hopefully it’s Snyder’s way of telling us that this won’t be shit.

Review for “The Dark Knight”

 

In the year of summer blockbusters being dominated by comic book movies, the one that cast the biggest, darkest shadow was Nolan’s sequel to the rebooted Bat franchise. And as much as you may have found Iron Man surprisingly good, The Incredible Hulk surprisingly better or Hancock surprisingly original, nothing will prepare you for how just how surprising The Dark Knight is.

As is the general rule of thumb, with sequels must come darkness. Darkness was expected, but what is unexpected is just how dark this sequel gets. Getting right down to the nitty-gritty of psychoanalysis of psychotics and exploding it up on to an IMAX screen, for 150 minutes you will bear witness to a genuine cinematic genius at the top of his game making not a comic book movie, but a massive crime epic for the ages.

From the get go, everything has changed from Begins. Gotham City itself has been revamped; gone is the grimy asthetic and downtrodden slums, in comes a city made purely of skyscrapers, glass and steel. Gone to is the stranglehold that crime had over the city, with just a flash of the Batsignal enough to have petty criminals running indoors. Following a very quick cameo from The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) who seems to have been relegated to petty thug/drug dealer, we’re introduced to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Gotham’s new D.A. and known to many as the city’s white knight. He is dating Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, replacing a not-missed-at-all Katie Holmes), who of course is holding a candle for Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale). But he is too busy helping Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman), with the help of some nifty weapons by his developer Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), to capture the new head of the mob family Salvatore Maroni (Eric Roberts), and then head home after a night of crime-fighting to his helpful/sarcastic butler Alfred (Michael Caine). As if all of this wasn’t enough, tossed into the mix is the live grenade known only as The Joker (Heath Ledger). Following the open bank heist that has been available online, and a superb taste of the intricacies of the plot, The Joker gets one of cinema’s greatest ever introductions, involving a pencil magic trick that will stick in your mind for days. Unlike Maroni and the other bad guys of Gotham who want nothing more than money and power, The Joker wants nothing more than to watch the city descend into chaos, believing it to be mankind’s natural (dis)order.

To say anything more about the labyrinthe storylines would deflect from the awe you’ll feel watching the clockwork plot tick off in front of you, but despite what you’ve read or seen in the trailers, nothing of extreme importance has been revealed in any trailer to date. One thing that you may have read is that Ledger’s performance is extraordinary, and while it is difficult to seperate it from his untimely death, everything you have read about him regarding this movie is absolutely true. He plays the character with so much magnetic surrealism that it is impossible to tear your eyes from him, even as he slicks the screen with a greasy menace not seen in any other villian, comic book movie or otherwise, in quite some time.

But this is no one trick pony; Bale is as charasmatic as ever, constantly at odds to do what is right and do what is normal, while all of the remaining of the supporting cast are at the top of their game. But special mention must go to Aaron Eckhart, even before the tragic events that result in him become Two-Face, he fills the screen with such potential hope that even though we all know the road he is eventually going to end up on, and as interested we all are in seeing his transformation, you will be half-hoping that the film makers will change their minds and let him be the normal hero.

The film-makers in question, the Nolan brothers sharing writing duties and one directing solo, have a history of taking psychologically interesting characters and placing them in pyschologically entrancing situations (think of Guy Pearce in Memento, Robin Williams in Insomnia, Hugh Jackman in The Prestige), and here, instead of letting it remain subtext, allow it to envelop everything in a murky haze of confusion. The Joker may be insane, but his brand of organised chaos takes a highly developed mind, and uses his ability to find a person’s darkest place and manipulating it to make sure they all play off each other. Its a highly intelligent route to take for such a blockbuster tentpole movie, but it in no way distracts or subtracts from the action scenes, including one involving an 18-wheel rig, a police escort and the Batpod that is most likely this summer’s best action sequence.  The film is all for spectacle, be it the big, some of which you’ll have seen in the trailers, or the small, like the tantalizing reveal of Two-Face, which represents another ground breaking turn in CGI/model work.

The film isn’t perfect; around the half way mark the plot makes a sharp U-turn that may infuriate some audience members, any toilet breaks will result in missing several important key scenes, and some of Lucius Fox’s new gadgets, such as the “sonar phone”, go beyond ultra-modern technology into impossibly-sci fi. But these are minor niggles against a film that has set a bar for itself and any sequels just so god damn high. The ending is just as much a cliffhanger-ish ending as the original, but with Nolan having already stated that he isn’t as interested in coming back for a third slice, if this is the last of his entries into the Bat-cannon, then he has ended it not only on the best comic-book movie of the year, but possibly ever, not to mention possibly his own best film yet, or the fact that it may very well be the best film of 2008.

Nine Out Of Ten

Trailer Park Triple – Max, Choke, Elegy

The first trailer for the John Moore-directed Max Payne has been revealed to the interweb:

For some reason, this seems better the second or third time you watch it. As trailers go, it’s nicely paced and edited, with some good shots on view without (seeminly) giving too much away. It helps that it has Marilyn Manson’s “If I Was Your Vampire” as the soundtrack. Hard to say at this early stage if Wahlberg &co will do justice to the video game source, but we’re not giving up hope. Yet.

Next up is the redband trailer from Choke, based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel:

Still using the great Clap Your Hands Say Yeah song, “Satan Said Dance”, (anyone else noticing a trend in trailer songs being used….?), this trailer has more new footage, more new laughs, more naughtiness and, more importantly for some of you, more boobs! This film is shaping up nice and the early good word from the likes of Sundance and SXSW bode well.

And if you haven’t joined the Fox Searchlight facebook page yet, go do so now! Just the other week, they sent members a link to four potential TV spots for Choke, and we got to vote on the best one. So even if the one you vote for didn’t get picked, you still get to see all the clips. And wait! There’s more! The official movie page, http://www.chokeonthis.net, has some extra clips, such as passages from the book being read by exotic dancers. Need to get past the US age restrictions? Then pass yourself off as a wealthy writer-producer (Name: Larry David, DOB: 2 July 1947, Zip Code: 90210).

And on a different note, we have Elegy:

No soundtrack songs involving Satan or vampires, but we still have the potential ick-factor of Penelope Cruz sleeping with Sir Ben Kingsley. Yep, you read that right. This is adapted from Philip Roth’s novella The Dying Animal and directed by Isabel Coixet, and concerns a college professor (Kingsley) having an affair with one of his mature students (Cruz). Dennis Hopper and the ever-excellent Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard round out the supporting cast.

Correct Opinion: bringing a little something for all the family.

Conan The Poster

It still doesn’t have a director, or even a person playing the lead character yet, but that hasn’t stopped producers from, eh, producing this poster for the upcoming reboot of Conan. No word yet on whether or not he’ll be a Barbarian, a Destroyer, a King, or if it’ll be something akin to Conan Begins. Does anyone really care to see the backstory of a….. what is Conan? He’s not quite a Viking, is he? Get back to me on this.

Anyways, the script has been written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, creator of such classics as Sahara and A Sound Of Thunder. But seemingly Hollywood found these two movies to be so fantastic that not only did he get the opportunity to write Conan, but according to IMDb, at least 5 other movies as well. All is well.