Smart People is a movie that wants to say smart and incisive things about smart people. Mostly, it does.
If you want to see what’s going to be in the Iron Man movie, today’s announcement and showcase of the new unlockable suits in the game may provide a sneak peak. This is the very first Iron Man suit ever built. In a life changing moment, Tony Stark is attacked and captured by terrorists. While being held captive, Tony is forced to build a weapon of mass destruction. With the help of Yinsen, Tony builds the Mark I suit instead and uses it to escape. Thus, a new Super Hero is born: IRON MAN!
What begins as an effort to get “a little culture” before a spring break filled with partying ends, turns into a descent into a new kind of hell.
When Mick struts onstage, he resembles a Gerry [Thunderbirds] Anderson marionette on crack, while good ol’ Keef looks like he might not make it to his next solo – but The Rolling Stones can still rock the vast majority of today’s bands under the table. Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light is more of a concert film than a documentary – though it does cut to some ironic and even prophetic clips from the early Stones.
Married Life is a Douglas Sirkish melodrama with noir overtones. Based on the John Bingham novel Five Roundabouts to Heaven, it’s the story of a married man who has fallen in love with another [younger] woman, but won’t leave his wife because he’s afraid it would destroy her life. Rather than divorce her, he therefore resolves to murder her – humanely – to save her from the pain it would cause her.
It’s not an official Summer Blockbuster until there’s a game attached. The folks at Sega have been doing the full court press on their upcoming The Incredible Hulk Video Game. The game features key moments from the film, as well as additional plotlines and characters from the character’s rich comic-book universe. Players smash through New York City, battling gigantic enemies amidst soaring skyscrapers in a massive open world. If the game sticks to the formula of the last Hulk game it’ll be a hit. Sega launched the official game website today – http://incrediblehulkthegame.com. I don’t like it, it’s overproduced and way too much flash. But I’m really looking forward to playing this game. In addition to being a movie tie in, the game will have a fully destructible world, you’ll be able to "hulk out" and whip some candy asses in a fully realized sandbox environment. What’s not to love? The game hits the street this June.
Apparently, even Simon Pegg’s rewriting of a Michael Ian Black script wasn’t enough to keep Run, Fatboy, Run from becoming a mash-up of romantic comedy and sports movie clichés. This is not quite one of the worst movies of the year. There are major spoilers in this review – because, well, I can’t see the point in not mentioning them. They’re clichés!
It’s been awhile since Kimberly Peirce directed a feature film [that would be her first, 1999’s Boys don’t Cry], but she’s back with another character driven drama that is important for more than just its characters – Stop-Loss.
If it’s Tuesday, it must be Bluesday (copyright EM) and we have a tone of interesting news on Sony’s PS3 upcoming firmware upgrade. Not only are we going to get the new Profile 2.0 update which will bring us Blu-ray Live functionality. I saw this at CES earlier this year and it looks really promising. The Internet interfaces that was showcased at the Blu-ray conference looked beautiful and fully like Web 3.0. My fear is it’s going to end up being just as lame as all Internet enabled DVDs in the past. Not only is the new PS3 upgrade bringing us profile 2.0 capabilities, but today rumor has it that you will soon be able to download a copy of your Blu-ray movie directly to your PSP. I recently picked up an 8 Gig SD Duo stick for $80. How cools will it be to be able to drop your movies onto your PSP. It’s nice to see studios finally loosing up on their draconian DRM and helping people take their content with them. The first two movies to support BD- Lve will be Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The 6th Day. Here’s the full press release on the PS3 Upgrade.
Update (Tuesday, 8am) – Sony saw my post and decided, “Y’know what? Let’s release this update now!” So get it while it’s hot.
In Supernatural fandom the two lead actors of the series, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are often referred to as J2 by fans of the hit CW/Warner Brothers series, but Padalecki is about to take on a new J in his life, Jason Vorhees the hockey masked machete wielding psychotic killer of the highly successful Friday the 13th slasher movie franchise.
It was announced yesterday, March 21st that Platinum Dunes in association with New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures is in final negotiations with the Supernatural star to take on the lead role in their ‘re-imagination’ of the 1980 horror/slasher flick about teenaged camp counselors at a camp called Crystal Lake who begin to meet untimely and gruesome fates at the hands of a mysterious killer.
Jared Padalecki, who is well known to TV viewers as the hunky Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls and the intrepid ‘hunter’ Sam Winchester in Supernatural, is no stranger to being involved in successful remakes of older films, having had roles in the remakes of ‘House of Wax’ and ‘Flight of the Phoenix’. While the Friday the 13th movie he is set to begin production on this spring is listed as a remake, the movie will have a different focus on the storyline than the original movie.
The movie, which is being produced by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller from a script being penned by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift and directed by Marcus Nispel (2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pathfinder), will differ from the original movie in which Jason made only a brief appearance as a deformed child sans what became his trademark hockey mask. In the updated version, the story will be centered on Padalecki’s character who, while investigating the killings at Crystal Lake, comes up against a masked and dangerous Jason Vorhees.
The newest version of Friday the 13th which is being overseen by Cale Boyter and Guy Stodel of New Line Cinema, who was responsible for the release of the 1980 original and very first Friday the 13th movie, is planning a appropriately enough release date of Friday, Feb. 13, 2009.
Jared Padalecki can also be seen in brand new episodes of his hit series Supernatural which returns to the CW Thursday night line up on April 24th at 9PM EST and in the movie ‘Thomas Kindade’s Home for Christmas’ in which Padalecki stars in the role of famous artist Thomas Kinkade which is set for theatrical release just in time for the Christmas holidays.
Platinum Dunes is also prepping to do remakes/re-imaginations of three other well known horror movies, Near Dark, which included well known horror actor Lance Henricken, Wes Craven iconic ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ (which boasted a young and still somewhat unknown Johnny Depp as part of its cast) and Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller ‘The Birds’.
This small effort from the Jud Apatow funny factory skips the f-bombs but still manages to be funnier than at least one of his R-rated efforts.
What can you do when you’re corpulent, skeletal or really, really short and are facing your first day of high school? Apparently, you can expect to get thumped on a regular basis; crammed into lockers, trophy displays and such; and get kicked when you’re down.
How can you avoid these problems? Well, there’s always Drillbit Taylor: Budget Bodyguard. As played by Owen Wilson, Drillbit is a homeless deserter who stumbles into a great scam – charging three kids of the aforementioned general builds for teaching them to keep the school bully and his equally malevolent sidekick from using them as punching bags.
The three are the corpulent Ryan [Troy Gentile], the really, really short Emmit [David Dorfman] and the skeletal Wade [Nate Hartley. The bullies are Filkins [Alex Frost, apparently taking his bully role from Elephant and making him a complete psycho] and his sidekick, Ronnie [Josh Peck] – and they are definitely serial killers in training.
The Kristofor Brown/Seth Rogen screenplay features more physical violence than all three of the other hits to come from The Judd Apatow production line [I guess something has to escalate to fill the space of all those missing cuss words]. Steven Brill’s direction is pretty straightforward – the pace picks up for the violence; slows slightly for the jokes [allowing beats for audience response], and slows appropriately for the one romantic plot arc.
It’s the romantic arc between Drillbit, faking his way as a substitute teacher, and the lovely, but lovelorn Lisa [Leslie Mann, who is brilliant as usual] that brings the homeless con man out of his scam and into admitting that he actually likes his intended victims. This revelation occurs just in time to try to stop his equally homeless friends from stealing all of Wade’s family’s possessions.
For Wilson, the character of Drillbit pretty much plays to his strengths: aw shucks charm with an underpinning of darkness. He’s fast on his feet, though not as much as he thinks he is – and, of course, when it comes down to crunch time, he makes the right choices even if the result won’t be that good for him.
The punching bag trio come from the usual assortment of circumstances: Wade’s mom re-married a guy who is proud of having been a bully in school and has two sons who look to be following in his footsteps; Ryan’s single mom dotes on him to the point of enabling his weight gain, and Emmit seems to appear from the ozone.
Filkins has become emancipated, and the idiot Principal Doppler – Stephen Root’s second most oblivious character [after Office Space’s Milton] – takes that to mean he’s a nice, honest boy who is being maligned by the trio’s allegations of violence. The only person outside the trio who seems to like Wade is a little Asian girl named Brooke [Valerie Tian], which is good because he has a definite crush on her – and has joined all the same clubs [including the Asian Heritage Club] as her in hopes that he’ll be able to work up the courage to talk to her.
Ryan’s claim to fame is that he’s a not too terrible rapper – a sequence where he raps against Filkins is one of the movie’s highlights. Emmit, it seems, doesn’t have any notable skills, but shows an immense amount of courage at a crucial moment.
While the climax of the movie might not be what you’d expect – you’d think three nerds would outthink the bullies – there is an intelligence at play in their actions, especially in how they organize them. And there’s a moment near the end that harkens back what we are sure must be an apocryphal tale about Filkins – a perfectly timed bit of business that gives Wilson one final bravura moment to follow up his one moment of genuine heroism.
Sure, Drillbit Taylor doesn’t have the same level of language and gross humor as, say, Superbad, but it still has plenty of bodily function humor and decent sight gags. It never reaches the heights of Superbad, or Knocked Up, but I have to say I enjoyed it more than The 40-Year Old Virgin [despite Steve Carrell, I still don’t regard that one with much respect]. Drillbit Taylor is a little more violent than it needs to be, but it works well enough, overall, that I can recommend it – just.
Final Grade: C+