The pReview Re-viewing
March 9, 2012!
clicking movie posters will open their Official Sites in a separate window
by Jeff Finck
Good (insert time of day)! How in the (insert expletive) are you?! Today, I am feeling fat AND sassy! I got six on deck for you: Star Wars Episode 7: Prince of Persia in Space is up first. The youngest Olsen sister manages to continue to not make the same mistakes her older sisters did and NOT star in a How the West Was Fun remake. Eddie Murphy takes a stab at the silent film genre. A bunch of 30-something year olds try to have lives after having kids. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt try to teach Yemen how to fish. And a renegade troupe of percussionists turns an entire city into their own personal drum circle.
Disney claims that this is the Star Wars of this generation, but the more I see the trailers for this, the more I'm thinking this is going to be the Bedknobs and Broomsticks of this generation. Click this to view my full review of John Carter's trailer:
This is one of those fabled "found footage" movies we've all been hearing about, but never actually see.. Wait.. Oh, right, I mean that we have all been repeatedly fed since The Blair Witch Project turned it into a novelty. To take this one step further, this is not only a found footage movie, but a remake of a foreign found footage movie in the vein of Rec.. or Rec2.. or even Rec3. Elizabeth Olsen (of the Olsen twins lesser known.. for now.. sister fame) plays Maggie Gyllenhaal, a young woman who travels to a lakeside house with her father in order to fix it up to be sold. After spending the night, she is put through the full gamut of torturous acts, both psychological and physical.. Terrorized at every turn, being forced to watch It's Pat in 3d.. Really sick shit. After all is said and done, the movie boasts an 88 minute length and that all of the events in the movie happen in real time. Just like the documentary, Highlander. This’ll probably worth a look-see.
A Thousand Words
Eddie Murphy is pretty well known for his mouth. Not in the way, say, Jenna Jameson or Glenn Beck is (haha, SYNONYMOUS!).. but I think it's fair to say that Eddie Murphy likes to talk. Hell, if any of his characters over the years were silent protagonists.. he'd just be like Keanu Reeves without the aloofness.. or like Jackie Chan without the martial arts! This is a movie that exploits the fact that we, as a nation, have RELIED on Eddie Murphy being able to talk. This is basically director, Brian Robbins' commentary on what it would be like if we censored Eddie Murphy. So for 90 or so minutes, we get to watch Eddie Murphy make faces and sound effects at us like Bill Cosby fucked Michael Winslow and a newer, more kid-friendly Eddie Murphy popped out. Probably fun for the whole family.. Unless you have an older brother or sister who misses when Eddie Murphy was allowed to speak his mind. And curse.
Friends with Kids
Lesser known Hollywood sweethearts, Jennifer Westfeldt (from Kissing Jessica Stein) and Jon Hamm (from my dreams) decided that they hadn't seen their friends as much lately and that the root of that problem is that their friends had all settled down and started having kids. So she decided to write and direct a movie based on that very subject. This indie comedy stars all sorts of random ass people: Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), Jon Hamm (again.. from my aforementioned dreams), Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd and my IRISH dreams), and Ed Burns (writer/director/indie veteran) round out the gentleman. Jennifer Westfeldt stars as well, plus Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (from SNL), and Megan Fox shows up as a homewrecker to round out the female cast. The story focuses on 3 couples and their trials and tribulations of growing up and basically never having lives ever again because of they have kids. Because that's what kids do to you. They sprout from you and then murder you in a fit of instinct and confusion.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
This is based on a 2007 novel of the same name, written by Paul Torday. The story goes like this: Some guy asks Emily Blunt to ask Ewan McGregor to help them introduce salmon sport fishing into the Yemeni waterways. Ewan McGregor protests because of the chances of survival of the salmon, despite the fact that they will be fished and probably die any damn way. Also, because this is like finding a homeless man, wining and dining him, and then dropping him in the middle of your private island and then hunting him for sport. In any case, at the behest of the Prime Minister of England, Kristin Scott Thomas forces the whole thing to happen anyway and Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt fall madly in love while the salmon are being sacrificed upon an altar of natural gas and limited oil reserves. That's just the cliffs notes. The underlying story here is the improvement of Anglo-Arab relations.. Which is fairly topical at the moment, and is a topic well worth promoting. But again, I am pretty sure that this is the Aesop's Fables version of Surviving the Game.
Sound of Noise
Probably not officially being released all that widespread, I felt the need to promote this bitty film about 6 percussionists who hold a city under seige.. with music! The story spawns from a 2001 short film called Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers. This takes that great idea and blows it up to the size of the Stay Puft Marshmallow man standing on the shoulders of the Cloverfield Monster! These six musicians make a plan to use non-traditional instruments to make their music. The trailer shows them doing everything from holding up a bank to shred the money and use various bank tools as instruments, to commandeering a surgical patient and an operating room to clap everything in concert. Like hundreds of guerilla artists before them, these guys are continuing to redefine what art is.. and I fucking love it.
Final Verdict: (to the tune of my favorite traditional AND non-traditional instruments)
John Carter: I'm going to go with the sound of a cash register chinging, backed up with the Wilhelm scream.. because after you pay them money, you will scream that dramatically when you realize you've already seen the half dozen movies this is!
Silent House: The sound of a hollowed out human skull. Very tribal, very morbid.. and seeing as the Olsens are fairly skeletal, it seems appropriate.
A Thousand Words: In light of the importance placed on using and NOT using words in this movie, I'm going with beat-boxing. Not quite words, not quite drums.. but nearly racist if I hadn't prefaced this with "In light of the importance placed on using and NOT using words.."
Friends with Kids: You know that sound that babies make when they want something? Or that sound children make when they don't get their way? Or that scream kids make when they skin their knee or lose an arm to a lion attack? Now imagine John Williams manages to turn that into a symphony. This looks like a cinematic representation of that.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: The darabuka drum for its sweet, tinny, Middle Eastern sound. When I think Yemeni salmon fishing, I think darabuka. And when I think darabuka, I think.. that sounds like someone slapping metal pots.
Sound of Noise: I can only describe my anticipation of this movie with the video of these guys playing an apartment like Michae Jordan played basketball.. or Lou Gherig played baseball.. or Chetan Anand plays badminton. CLICK HERE!