I have to admit, I have a fondness for “fake” movies – movies populated by either no-names or yesterday’s almost-stars and made quickly to cash in on a trend or title. They’re made cheaply, but with just enough slickness to cover the fact that they’re using the same sets over and over. These are not popcorn movies, these are the unpopped duds left at the bottom of your greasy bag. When I was a kid, fake movies were in the theater right alongside the real ones. Charlie Band flicks such as GHOULIES and ELIMINATORS played right alongside Robert Redford’s OUT OF AFRICA. Most of the kids preferred the fake movies because they delivered monsters, guns, explosions, corny jokes and the occasional tit shot. In recent years, they’ve disappeared from the big screen, relegated to the direct to DVD market before finding a permanent home on the SyFy channel. With their downgrade of size and status, fake movies have become a little too fake, a little too predictable, lacking the magic and fun they once had. SPIDERS, through some sort of fluke, is a fake movie that’s getting a theatrical release. Whether market research has deemed this type of material ready for a comeback or if this is some type of planned failure to be written off as a loss, we may never know. But what I do know is, this is one of the most bullshit looking movies I’ve seen get a theatrical release since the 80s, and I’m first in line. Read more
Archive for Feature Film
*** Originally published on Beyond the Marquee, 07/17/12 ***
I hate the word “epic.” It’s been robbed of its meaning by teens that loiter around hot topic saying stupid stuff like, “Bro, that burrito at lunch was effin’ EPIC!!!” or “Last night was EPIC… I straight puked all over the sidewalk!!!!” Well, here are two real definitions of the word according to dictionary.com: 1) heroic; majestic; impressively great. 2) of unusually great size or extent. Well now that Comic-Con is finished and the press embargo has been lifted, I can tell you that Christopher Nolan’s new film The Dark Knight Rises is truly epic. To call it anything else, would actually be a slight on the adjective. Read more
*** Originally published on Beyond the Marquee, 06/22/12 ***
I watch a lot of “bad” movies. This is mostly my choice, as I enjoy kitsch, sleaze, schlock, shock and many other forms of “garbage” that folks usually thumb their noses at. It’s a guilty pleasure that’s healthier than, say, binging on junk food – though that’s easily my second vice. But if you’ve eaten nothing but Doritos and ice cream for the last two days, your body craves a nice clean salad. Well, on June 29th, Dreamworks serves up People Like Us, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s nutrient dense offering that had me leaving the theater feeling nourished and satisfied. And to be perfectly honest, I’m kind of surprised.
*** Originally published on Beyond the Marquee, 06/16/12 ***
Looking back at decades past, we often feel a blend of nostalgia and embarrassment. Usually music brings the nostalgia, fashion brings the embarrassment. Sometimes it’s the reverse: some clothing styles make a comeback and sometimes you just can’t believe you wore out that NKOTB cassette. On June 15th, Warner Bros. releases the film version of the Broadway hit Rock of Ages. Starring Latin American sensation Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand… and of course Tom Cruise, the cast members perform their own musical numbers. This is certainly going to draw fire from music snobs and folks who just woke up from 30 year comas – but those who can sit back and enjoy it are in for “nothin’ but a good time.” Read more
*** Originally published on Beyond the Marquee, 06/06/12 ***
As many BTM readers are aware, the Seattle International Film Festival is in full swing and this year’s slate has been full of promising indies. Sadly, I missed Wednesday night’s documentary, Charles Bradley: Soul of America, following the singer over the months leading up to his debut release. (If you haven’t heard the 60-something year old’s cover of Nirvana’s Stay Away, you’re robbing yourself of pure joy.) But my disappointment was swiftly quelled as Thursday night saw the world premiere of 419 a found footage/documentary-style thriller… and I DID get to see this one.