Welcome to “Another Movie Guy?”! Normally I review recent new releases, and then mention similar movies worth checking out. I had originally intended to review Watchmen, but Evan, a fellow contributor and avid Alan Moore fan, beat me to the punch. So rather than bore you with yet another take on that hype-saturated dystopia, I thought I’d bring you brief glimpse of what you can expect in the coming months. After all, nothing is more fun than passing judgment on movies I have yet to see:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_hIIDEQY3w
Terminator Salvation. Christian Bale replaces a doughy Edward Furlong in this sequel/reboot to the Terminator franchise. The Governator is unsurprisingly absent, and instead of we focus on John Connor, the Last Chance for Humanity, as he goes toe-to-toe with the infinitely capable machines. I only hope that Bale brings the same angry intensity he had during the verbal evisceration of his cinematographer.
Why this looks awesome: Explosions! Gun fire! Big metal things! Allusions to failed Iraq policy: “IF WE STAY THE COURSE WE ARE ALL DEAD!”
Why this is irredeemably shitty: For one thing, McG replaces James Cameron at the director’s chair. If you recall, McG is the same guy who directed Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and the Offspring video for Pretty Fly (For a White Guy). How anyone thinks that this guy could competently direct semi-serious action spectacle (with bonus time paradoxes) is completely beyond me. Oh, and they don’t even try to have the trailer make sense.
Why you will see this anyway: Christian Bale knows his way around an action movie. You remember how many times Sarah Connor pumped her shotgun one-handed after T-1000 stabbed her in the shoulder (seven). You forgot that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines ever happened.
The Limits of Control. Jim Jarmusch is no stranger to the detached assassin movie.Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai has great performances, and singularly badass methods of execution. Now instead of Forest Whitaker, we have that African guy from Casino Royale.
Why this looks awesome: High-powered rifles! Badass killers! Exotic locales! Tilda Swinton! FUCKING BILL MURRAY!
Why this looks irredeemably shitty: Jim Jarmusch is sometimes a little too detached for his own good. You remember how boring Stranger Than Paradise got. And hasn’t the killer-with-a-guitar thing been done before?
Why you will see this anyway: It’s got an unbelievable cast. You love movies about hit men. You feel that Jarmusch can fill the void that Jean-Pierre Melville left. You’ll see anything will Bill Murray in it. That man can stare at a wall and make it entertaining.
Star Trek. This is JJ Abrams’ reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise. With a young cast and Erica Bana as the villain, Abrams aims to make a movie that’s not just for Trekkies and Cale.
Why this looks awesome: Space opera badassery! Chris Pine’s upward glance! Bruce Greenwood delivering ridiculous lines with uncommon authority! Simon Pegg!
Why this looks irredeemably shitty: Zachary Quinto, the guy they hired to play Spock, doesn’t convince you. Yes, it is difficult to appear coldly logical in short sound bites, but Quinto is nevertheless no Nimoy. There’s something unnerving about Kirk fucking Uhura. Oh, and the dramatic music gets increasingly corny as the trailer continues.
Why you will see this anyway: Star Trek has been impenetrable to many and adored by some. You’re glad Abrams instinctively realizes that it’s best not cater to the esoteric obsession of nerds that would be displeased with any final product. This looks like the perfect popcorn movie.
(500) Days of Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom, a hopeless romantic who listens to The Smiths in an elevator. Summer (Zooey Deschanel) overhears the tune and begins to sing along, and Tom is smitten right away. They begin a relationship and Tom’s thoughts turn to the future. Yet an odd voice informs us that this is is a story about love, not a love story. She leaves him heartbroken.
Why this looks awesome: Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Zooey Deschanel! Joanna Newsom! Allusions to your favorite Alex Cox movie!
Why this is irredeemably shitty: With animated sequences and other visual flourishes, this movie could wind up too cute for its own good. Animated blue birds, are you kidding me?
Why you will see this anyway: Talented, good-looking actors can (probably) overpower material that’s too cute for its own good. You remember all too well when things were going great, and your significant other gave you a similarly unpleasant surprise. Come on, admit it – you’ve been Tom before. Hell, you even put that same Hall and Oates song on a mix for your ex.
Observe and Report. A pervert flashes Anna Farris. Now it’s up to the mall security chief, played a chubbier-than-usual Seth Rogen, to get that scumbag behind bars. Since this is written and directed by Jody Hill, the guy responsible for The Fist Foot Way, you can count on this being dark and with few likable characters.
Why this looks awesome: Vomit jokes! Self-deluded narration! Ray Liotta! Mall punks getting abused!
Why this looks irredeemably shitty: You can just imagine Hill pitching this to a studio exec: “It’s like a cross between Paul Blart and Travis Bickle!”
Why you will see this anyway: You’re getting sick of the Judd Apatow approach to comedy. Do you really need another movie in which a funny-but-hapless guy gets a beautiful girl to fall in love with him? It doesn’t actually happen like that. An asshole mall security guard seems far more plausible. And besides, you’ve been waiting for Anna Farris’ chance to escape the clutches of mediocrity.
That’s it for this week’s special “Another Movie Guy?”! Tune in next week when I’m in favor of my execution.