Friday, March 18, 2005


War Of The Worlds (teaser trailer #2
A hokey, old fashioned alien invasion story played completely straight with tons of gee-whiz special effects. Ready-made Summer blockbuster trash. Independence Day was fun in the theater but it seems almost too stupid now. Obviously I still wanna see this.

Rock School
The teacher seems like a big stinky douche. This should be interesting.

Sin City

This is reminding me more and more of a darker Dick Tracy... and that's not a bad thing at all. At the very least it LOOKS just like the comic. Frank Miller deserves credit for getting this thing made and for still retaining what is presumed to be a great deal of control over the finished product. Still, once you get past how cool it looks there are some flat out awkward moments in the trailers... and some of the casting is dubious, to put it mildly (Josh Hartnett? Hello?). One good sign - even though Miller shares the director credit with Robert Rodriguez, it's pretty obvious that Rodriquez handled the heavy lifting. One bad sign - throwing Tarantino's name in the trailer as "guest director" when his involvement is probably very small.

The trailer doesn't give much clue as to what the film is actually about. It's supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Welcome To The DollHouse. Eight different actresses play the lead character throughout the story. Whatever. I'm interested. Like all of Todd Solondz' films, Palindromes has been getting mixed reviews since it debuted on the festival circuit last year. People by and large have hated everything he's since Dollhouse but they always seem to talk about his films afterwards. If I didn't know any better I'd think that this quiet nerdy guy with his awkward character based films is the most consistently controversial filmmaker around today... but that can't be right. Can it?

Herbie Fully Loaded
Two questions:
1) How can Michael Keaton look at himself in the mirror anymore (or Matt Dillon for that matter)?
2) Why is Lindsey Lohan in a jumpsuit the whole time?

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (trailer #3)
I'm sure the geeks are going to find things to bitch about because this is based on one of the only books they've probably ever read (and it was probably only read recently in anticipation for the film) but nobody ever listens to those guys anyway. This looks great.

Masculine Feminine
Godard on the big screen. How could you not go? Here's hoping someone gets around to doing the same for Contempt and Band of Outsiders.

A Scanner Darkly
Recently, the most embarrassing thing about the constant embarrassment known as the Oscars is the still young animation category. It's quickly become the prize given to whatever CG movie made the most money in a given year while wonderful and/or technically superior films like Tokyo Godfathers, The Triplets Of Belleville and Waking Life don't even get nominated. Yeah the original Shrek was a lot better than I thought it would be (better than that trash Monster Inc., not even close to Toy Story 2) but I'd rather watch any of the previously mentioned films any day of the week. A Scanner Darkly is Richard Linklater's new film that uses the same computer rotoscoping technique he debuted with Waking Life. Not only has the method been obviously fine tuned since last time (it looks incredible) but it arguably makes more sense in the context of this story than it did for the earlier film. A Scanner Darkly is based on the Philip k. Dick novel about a drugged up narcotics officer who doesn't realize he is chasing himself because his brain/consciousness is split in two. There have been many adaptations of Dick stories over the years (it seems like there is a new one almost annually) and most of them aren't very good. Even the good ones (Blade Runner, Total Recall) bear little resemblence to their source material. If this is half as good and true to the book as the trailer makes it seem it will be totally worth it.

Red Eye
This looks like the kind of film that will seem a lot less interesting when I find out more about it. Wes Craven is one of those talented directors (like George Romero) who long ago got lost somewhere in genre oblivion. For a while he traded one genre (slasher movies) for another (winking, post modern slasher movies) but it's really all the same thing. A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Serpent and The Rainbow are still probably his best films. This trailer entices me if only because, at this first brief glance anyway, it's like nothing he's done in over a decade.

What Is It?
Apparently someone gave Crispin Glover a movie camera. Who knows? Maybe it'll be brilliant. I'm not asking for coherence. I'm just asking for something completely Crispin. Would it shock anybody if this just turned out to be his home movies? Probably not.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
This is all anybody ever wanted to see. After suffering through two god awful prequels and years of George Lucas second guessing himself and those who made him rich (exactly how many different versions of the original trilogy do we need?) he might have finally done it right. Part of the problem is that this is what the entire new trilogy has always been leading up to but Lucas never really had it planned out as fully as he always said he did. He had vague ideas and sketches but when it came time to do it he just started skimming. It's like we got the cliff notes without ever seeing the source material. He had a sense of something much larger (originally 9 films altogether, remember) and if he would have had the energy, or the willingness to let other writers and directors take the reins, it could have happened... and it could have been glorious. As it turned out, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has pretty much rendered Star Wars moot. Now this trailer comes out. Not that Lucas even really cares what I or anybody else thinks but if he's actually done it, if the film is as perfect as this trailer, then all is forgiven (or something else fittingly geeky).
There are arguably only two great films in the entire series. I don't seriously think this will be the last Star Wars film and I hope this is a sign of good things to come. I also hope that he will let other directors (preferably ones who have have a bit more practice over the course of their careers) handle any future projects. Also, I hope that live-action Jedi TV series starring Mark Hamill becomes a reality because I'd probably rather watch that than any of the films at this point.
Not that it really has to do with anything but hi-def or not, some of the shots in the trailer look a little too video. I didn't notice that in the last movie.

Mirror Mask
Written by Neil Gaiman and directed by illustrator Dave McKean. It looks like one of their old graphic novel collaborations (Violent Cases, Mr. Punch, The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish, etc.) come to life... which is probably something that people will be saying a lot about this movie in the next year or so. Wouldn't it be something if the purest expression of a comic creator's vision ever put to film wasn't even really based on a comic book? This gives me a good feeling about the adaptation of Death: The High Cost Of Living that Gaiman has been trying to do for years, based on his own comic... but nevermind the Sandman movie. If Mirrormask turns out as good as it looks it kind makes doing a Sandman movie pointless. Of course, doing a Sandman movie always seemed kind of pointless anyway. So yeah, everybody wins.


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