There has been a ton of news lately regarding all of Marvel Studios upcoming pictures, but today we were reminded that the next film is coming soon! The second trailer for Thor: The Dark World has been released online during Youtube’s Geek Week, and it’s as interesting as the first. We’ve got some awesome moments from Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth, with a cool character reveal that – actually, let’s just watch the trailer:
Marvel’s Phase 2 is swinging into action, with the impending release of Iron Man 3, which kicks off this year’s Summer Schedule, and now the release of the first trailer for the 2nd Thor movie – Thor: The Dark World. This will be the first Non-Iron Man sequel (cause we’re ignoring Ang Lee’s Hulk) and will be followed by Cap 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the 2nd Avengers movie.
Now I don’t like to talk about depressing things, but something has been bothering me for some time. I feel it is time to talk about it, right here, right now. It is something we all know about, but are not quite sure when it raised its ugly head. It is something that invades our everyday life. It is the horror of Photoshop, the tool to make stars look even prettier.
So I was very excited to see Star Wars: Episode 1 in the theater for it’s re-release in 3D. Not because of the 3D, because I think 3D is the worst fad since parachute pants, but I wanted to see it because….well it’s Star Wars and I’m a huge Star Wars geek. And even though I knew what I was in store for with the terrible Jar Jar Binks jokes and horrible performance by Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker, I was paying that admission price to at least watch the pod race scene and the Darth Maul v.s. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.
Aside from mediocre acting from everyone except Liam Neeson and sometimes Ewan McGregor, the movie suffers from the same problems that it did almost 13 years back. The pacing was just God awful. You get a little bit of action and then some terribly long wandering around Tatooine and then an albeit cool yet ultimately too long pod racing sequence. After the pod race and short Qui-Gon/Maul skirmish we are treated to yet another extended lull in the story to deal with politics before the last twenty minutes of action finale. The political aspect is necessary to set Palpatine up as Supreme Chancellor, but one might wonder why Lucas didn’t just start the saga with Palpatine already as Supreme Chancellor. And while the political scenes are intriguing and moderately well done to a first time viewer, those who have seen the movie numerous times aren’t very enamored by them. I kept fighting the urge to go take a pee break during the senate scene because I didn’t want to miss the Jedi Council scenes with non-puppet Yoda.
I’m kind of interested to see how the Phantom Menace re-release does in the box office after it’s historic $933 million dollar worldwide gross back in 1999. I’m also wondering just how people nowadays who haven’t seen it would react to the mediocre acting and Jar Jar hijinx, because I think we can all agree that there are blockbuster hits out there with far worst acting and way stupider shit that Jar Jar Binks plaguing our movie screens. (Twilight anyone?) After watching the movie in theatres again I recall feeling a little bit bored with the segments in between the action sequences, but I overall was glad that I went because of the nostalgic feel I get and watching the epic lightsaber fight at the end. And I also now have a sweet pair of Darth Maul 3D glasses to wear anytime I want. I give the re-release a 2 out of 5 grizzlies. Definitely one point off for the 3D fail aspect of the movie, but at least the experience didn’t suck anymore than it did thirteen years ago.
This is to be the 3rd piece of a fairly new series here at Grizzly Bomb. For each feature we will examine an individual genre and the quality of its films produced within a specific decade, like, for example – the 25 Best Action Movies of the 90s or the 25 Best Comedies of the 80s. These lists will be compiled from a point system determined by votes from each member of the staff. It’s very scientific. We use Excel. So here it is…
30. Transformers (2007)
29. Signs (2002)
28. War of the Worlds (2005)
27. The Island (2005)
26. Equilibrium (2002)
25. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
24. Idiocracy (2006)
23. Vanilla Sky (2001)
22. A.I. (2001)
21. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
20. Evolution (2001)
19. Pitch Black (2000)
18. I Am Legend (2007)
17. Sunshine (2007)
16. Terminator: Salvation (2009)
15. Cloverfield (2008)
14. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
13. Primer (2004)
12. Children of Men (2006)
11. Moon (2009)
10. Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
The third chapter in the prequel saga was easily it’s strongest, and though it obviously still can’t compare to the original movies, it’s not without its charms.
6 years worth of CG effects and stale acting all pay off when we finally see Anakin’s transformation. First he facilitates the murder of Mace Windu, slaughters some younglings, and then chokes out Padme. After that it’s all out war with Master Kenobi, which doesn’t go well for little Ani. The loss of his legs and subsequent dip into the river of lava left him slightly agitated, and triggered the emperor’s robots to transform him into the Vader we all knew and loved.
Best Quote: “You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.”
Trivia: George Lucas originally intended to have Peter Cushing reprise his role as Tarkin, years after his death, through the use of stock footage and digital technology. However, the idea was scrapped when the footage of Cushing was deemed unusable.
9. Minority Report
Welcome to the world without crime. In the futuristic Washington DC, there’s no crime because your ass is put away the moment you think of committing a murder. Thanks to the all-powerful ‘Pre Cogs’ and the Pre-Crime unit, murders are virtually unheard of. And the system is flawless, or at least we are lead to believe so until the head of the Pre-Crime Unit (Cruise) is pegged by the trio of psychics for future murder.
One of Crusie’s last big hits before jumping on Oprah’s couch and alienating half the country, Minority Report also helped familiarize American’s with Colin Farrell’s name.
Best Quote: “Mr. Marks, by mandate of the District of Columbia Precrime Division, I’m placing you under arrest for the future murder of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin that was to take place today, April 22 at 0800 hours and four minutes.”
ET meets Short Circuit. I think it was impossible for anyone who grew up in the 80s not to think that when they saw Wall-E. Pixar pretty much always hits it out of the park, but for me, this has to be looked at as one of their best. Poor little Wall-E, left to clean up the mess left by the lazy humans that thrashed the planet. So when we join him he’s plugging along doing an impossible job, doomed to die alone. Until that is the appearance of Eve. Wall-E falls in love and is inspired to follow her into space where we see what has happened to the remaining human population. This is basically a post apocalyptic tragedy disguised as a kids movie.
Best Quote: “Too much garbage in your face? There’s plenty of space out in space! BnL StarLiners leaving each day. We’ll clean up the mess while you’re away.”
Triva: Within the first 5 minutes there is monologue via the holographic billboards. The first dialogue between WALL·E and EVE begins 22 minutes into the movie. The first human dialogue begins 39 minutes into the movie.
The single highest grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation) is 2009’s Avatar, a classic story that can be related to films like Disney’s Pocahontas, and has some pretty obvious pro-environment undertones. But it was successful not because of the story, but for 2 reasons in particular.
1. It was, simply put, the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen. It’s also the only movie I’ve seen where I can say it was worth the upcharge for the 3D. 2. The Party Crahser was in it.
Best Quote: “Well, well, well. I’d say diplomacy has failed. ”
Triva: Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Col. Quaritch. James Cameron rejected him because he’d already cast Sigourney Weaver, and he didn’t want people to think it was Aliens all over again.
Here it is again. Ineptitude at FOX killed Firefly, a show that could have been our generation’s Star Trek even quicker than NBC killed the original Star Trek. The result was creator Joss Whedon releasing Serenity as a way to help close off the story and give fans some closure. Granted, it didn’t work as most of us are still clamoring for a revival, but this is where we are.
The movie itself is all about the River Tam situation finally coming to a head, as our beloved outlaws are hunted down by the Alliance’s finest assassin. Though sad, it was a fitting end as we are allowed to see Mal come out on top and get a win for the Browncoats.
Best Quote: “You all wanna be looking very intently at your own belly buttons. I see a head start to rise, violence is going to ensue. Probably guessed we mean to be thieving here but what we’re after is not yours. So, let’s have no undue fussing.” Trivia: In the cargo bay, just after a Reaver is shot, some of the crates behind River have the message “Reusable Container: Do Not Destroy” printed on them. It’s an inside joke. The ship set had to be rebuilt from scratch for the movie because the original, from the show, was destroyed.
5. District 9
District 9 took the alien genre in a whole new direction, taking place years after the aliens have arrived in South Africa. The story follows Wikus, a government agent tasked with relocating the segregated alien ‘Prawns’. The Prawns have lived in poverty in District 9 for 20 years, with little compassion from their human ‘hosts’. Once Wikus is exposed to their biotechnology and slowly transformed into one of them, the tables are quickly turned as the oppressor becomes the oppressed, and is soon sought after by his own government and forced to work alongside the ‘enemy’ to reverse the changes and help the aliens leave Earth. This is an alien movie that shows us who the real monsters are.
US Release: August 14, 2009 Director: Neill Blomkamp Notable Cast:Sharlto Copley Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/4 (Best Picture, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay) US/Total Box Office: $115,646,235/$210,819,611 Best Quote: “Here, you can take that, you want to keep that, as a souvenir of your first abortion, ay. You can feel like you’ve done one of these too.” Triva: After the feature film based on theHalovideo game series which was to be directed by Neill Blomkamp fell through, producer Peter Jackson went to Blomkamp and offered him $30 million to make whatever he wanted. The result was this film.
4. 28 Days Later
This 2003 Sci-fi thriller helped launch current Zombie craze, though really it’s not about Zombies. This isn’t a case of the dead rising from there graves so much as it is an infection of RAGE!
Ok, the rage thing was kind of cheesy, but the movie was great. We got introduced to Cillian Murphy and depending on what theater you went to, you got 1 of 3 different endings.
Speed and aggressiveness would have to be key factors that set this apart from other Zombie-type movies.
Best Quote: “He was full of plans. Have you got any plans, Jim? Do you want us to find a cure and save the world or just fall in love and f–k? Plans are pointless. Staying alive’s as good as it gets.” Triva: Horror novelist Stephen King bought out an entire showing of the film in New York City.
3. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko is the story of… well, a kid named Donnie Darko. Donnie suffers from extreme dissociation, time fugues, and insomniac hallucinations AKA Puberty. We follow Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he experiences weird dreams, hallucinations, thoughts of murder, moments of utter clarity, and creepy chats with a dude in the most horrific bunny costume ever seen. What we eventually find out is that Donnie is caught in a time loop, and only he can align his life properly to escape it, and save the world. I think. I guarantee you won’t figure that out after the first watching. This is a ‘time traveling’ mindf–k of a movie with a strange cast of A-list actors (Drew Barrymore, Patrick freakin Swayze), well deserved of it’s #3 spot.
US Release: October 26, 2001 Director: Richard Kelly Notable Cast:Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Patrick Swayze, Seth Rogen, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Noah Wyle, Ashley Tisdale, and Drew Barrymore. Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0 US Box Office: $1,270,522 Best Quote: “You’re right, actually. I am pretty- I’m, I’m pretty troubled and I’m, I’m pretty confused. But I… and I’m afraid. Really, really afraid. Really afraid. But I… I… I think you’re the f–king Antichrist.” Triva: The movie takes place in 1988. Frank tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. If you add these numbers, the sum is 88. When Samantha asks when she can have kids, Donnie says: “Not until 8th grade.” Donnie mentions to his therapist that his dog Callie died when he was eight. (He is later seen holding a stuffed toy dog in her office.) Donnie jokes about the Back to the Future DeLorean which had a speed of 88 MPH. According to the television reporter, the fire at Jim Cunningham’s house was extinguished “sometime after 8:00 last night.” The red-eye flight that almost crashes is Flight 2806 which boards at Gate 42 at 12 AM. The climax of Donnie Darko occurs one week before the 1988 US presidential election, when George Bush won on November 8, 1988 11/08/88. The movie was shot (for a budget of less than US $5 million) in 28 days. There are 28 scenes in the director’s cut of this film.
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
In my mind, this is right up there with The Dark Knight as the biggest Oscar snubs since the turn of the century. Jim Carrey’s sad bastard ‘Joel’ is stuck in his own mind as he’s hired a company to go in and erase any memory of his ex-girlfriend. During the process though he changes his mind and decides he doesn’t want to let go of her, leading to an epic game off hide and seek within his mind to try to save her from deletion. Carrey’s performance, the best of his career, really cuts true to anyone who has suffered heartbreak and just wanted to forget. The film though comes full circle when Joel and his ex – Clementine Kruczynski have a chance meeting and fall for each other again. It’s maybe the most warped romance ever.
Best Quote: “Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage, but it’s on a par with a night of heavy drinking. Nothing you’ll miss.” Trvia: The original screenplay by Charlie Kaufman included a short conversation between Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) about the album “Rain Dogs” by Tom Waits during one of the opening scenes on the train. During this conversation Joel says he remembers buying the album and liking it, but he can’t remember anything about it. While the dialogue was stripped from the film, during the fast shots of Stan (Mark Ruffalo) showing Joel the items he has brought in that remind him of Clementine a copy of the CD “Rain Dogs” can be seen for just a moment. Also the “blue ruin” reference comes from a lyric on the same album.
1. Star Trek
2009’s Star Trek was a smash hit, and in a rare turn, it was actually the best movie of all the Trek movies, which isn’t something you often see in the 11th chapter of a franchise. I’m looking at you Moonraker. What Abrams did here was effectively launch another sequel, but also successfully rebooted the franchise. This was for me, the best movie of 2009, just edging out Inglourious Basterds. It was action packed, and funny, and the cast was great and extremely likable which isn’t easy when you’re replacing icons. The upcoming Star Trek 2 (12) is one of the most anticipated movies pending right now, and that is because this one was so universally enjoyed. Live long and prosper baby!
Best Quote: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.” Triva: There is a supposed “odd-numbered movie curse” associated with the Star Trek films in which the odd-numbered films tend to be weaker and the even-numbered ones tend to be stronger. This curse was supposedly proved false with the poor reception of film ten, Star Trek: Nemesis This new Star Trek is the eleventh film. Years before, Simon Pegg‘s character in Spaced joked that every odd-numbered Star Trek film being “shit” was a fact of life. Pegg noted: “Fate put me in the movie to show me I was talking out of my ass.”
So that is our list, I hope you enjoyed it. Here are a few fun facts about the results…
MOST APPEARANCES IN THE TOP 30
Chiwetel Ejifor/Ewan McGregor/Glenn Morshower/Odette Annable/Jamie McBride/Julie White/Cillian Murphy/Tom Cruise/Mitch Baker/Sean Bean/Christian Bale/Sam Rockwell/Terry Crews/Jude Law/Giovanni Ribisi/Julianne Moore/Anton Yelchin/Sam Worthington (2 Movies Each)
MOST FREQUENT DIRECTOR
1. Stephen Spielberg – 3 Movies (War of the Worlds, AI, Minority Report)
2. Michael Bay – 2 Movies (The Island, Transformers)
MOST POPULAR YEAR
1. 2005, 2009 (5 Movies Each)
2. 2001 (4 Movies)
3. 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 (3 Movies)
4. 2008 (2 Movies Each)
5. 2000, 2003 (0 Movies)
It’s been a bumpy road for the screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After a slew of fickle directors (including David O. Russell and Mike White) backing out of the project, as directors do, it was finally announced that Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) will be taking the helm. Now, with the script reaching completion, we still have no definitive word on a female lead for the film.
Originally it was supposed to be Natalie Portman, which would have been awesome. But she had to back out (some garbage about having a baby), and will be on the project as producer. Then there were rumors of Mia Wasikowska, who recently played Jane Eyre in the film of the same name. One period piece under her belt, why not another? It doesn’t matter that I thought she was 14. After that, it was all about Anne Hathaway. That makes sense; because, really, what has Anne Hathaway not been in lately? If a film lately has a 20-something female lead, I’m actually to the point where I’m surprised when she’s not in it.
It now appears that we have moved on to Emma Stone. How is this any more definitive than any other rumors we’ve heard so far? Well, it isn’t. It would only be super awesome if it were true. She doesn’t necessarily strike me as a shoe-in for a film in the time period, but her role in Zombieland gives her a pretty good edge on this particular film. She’s beautiful, she’s talented, and she has experience with the undead. What more could you really ask for?
According to both Bleeding Cool and Deadline Emma Stone is now officially a no go for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on film. Not much on why she isn’t doing the film but the bottom line is that she said no. That’s the bummer man.
What Ever Happened to Original Summer Movies? It’s Okay, I Made a Solid List For You to Watch…
When I volunteered to do an article about summer movies, I felt right at home. Ever since we were in high school, Doc Kronner and I would set up movie events in the summer where we would gather scores of friends together to partake in the best and worst movies of the season. But they were event movies for a reason, we would always debate afterwards whether one movie was better than the other, how much it impressed us or let us down. It was great times to be had. Needless to say, I had my list of ten movies that I was looking forward to. A solid ten in my mind that I could get myself excited about.
Then I got the bomb dropped on me. I had to do the article that involved no sequels and no comic book movies. That kind of made me blow up my list and start from scratch. The tent pole pictures of the summer were all comic book movies or sequels. I actually had to research what was coming out this summer in order to write this article. However, I’m glad it worked out this way, because I think I have some stuff you guys need to check out. Not because it has a built-in fan base, but because it just looks damn interesting and it’s about time we covered something original for the summer, right? So in chronological order, I have some summer movies you need to check out that are either original, or might be flying under your superhero radar.
Bridesmaids (May 13)
Now, I hate the marketing team that keeps begging this the female equivalent of The Hangover. It should be expected considering the massive success of the movie, but remember when The Sweetest Thing was supposed to be the solution to the R-Rated female comedy? Let’s keep the comparisons on the down low and look at the basics. You have a Kristen Wiig starring vehicle. Check. She wrote it too? Check. Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, and Ellie Kemper? Check. Aww, sweet, Jon Hamm? Yeah, sign me up. As long as the Target Lady or Gilly doesn’t show up, I’m game.
Hesher (May 13)
Okay, technically this film has been around since early 2010 doing the film circuit run, but it’s finally getting a wide release this summer and it’s definitely going to be way under the radar. It’s my job to make sure you see this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Hesher, a bad-ass troublemaker that enters the lives of T.J. (Devin Brochu – Rubber) and his dad (Rainn Wilson) after the loss of his mother. Natalie Portman is also in this movie, and since she is the only reason I would ever punt a small animal just so she can say ‘hi’ to me, that means I would be seeing this movie. But the thing is, this movie is supposed to be awesome. Even without Natalie, I think I would still be talking about how we need to see this movie. The trailer’s nice, go check it out and see why Gordon-Levitt is starting to become one of my favorite actors.
Super 8 (June 10)
This is the closest movie to an ‘event flick’ on my list. Amongst my friends, I think I was one of two that actually made it to the end of Lost after six seasons. I actually DVR’d Undercovers too, so that shows I am a J.J. Abrams slappy. However, the guy is a great storyteller, and Spielberg endorses him, so you know you are going to get a visual treat. And lens flares. Like, a million of them.
Regardless, this has Kyle Chandler(I will always carry the football for you Coach Taylor) and it has a childhood nostalgic feel to it. Abrams combined the plot of a monster/alien movie getting loose with a dramatic idea he had about growing up making Super 8 films with his friends, and getting fascinated with filmmaking. Yet another coming of age movie, but throw a little action and sci-fi in there and you get probably the movie I most look forward to on my list.
Also, Julie Bowen is also in it, so it’s another reason to see if she yells an awkward, “HAPPY LOOK OUTAH!”
Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
Yeah yeah, it’s based off a graphic novel. I don’t care, I need to mention this movie, which is also the second movie on my list that screams ‘event movie’. James Bond, Indiana Jones, Olive Wilde, Sam Rockwell…uhh, hello awesome cast? I remember seeing the first teaser trailer one year ago where no one knew what the movie was until the title card came. I remember people in the theater groaning asking aloud, “You cannot be serious…” I then turned to my girlfriend and she turned to me and said, “We have to see that on the title alone.” And that is why I hang out with awesome people. But I digress. It’s a high concept movie, but with Jon Favreau behind the lens I think we will be good hands. Or we better hope so because he passed on Iron Man 3 and Avengers for this. That has to count for something, right?
30 Minutes or Less (August 12)
Aziz Ansari is a genius. He’s probably the best sidekick to have in anything media related, because he steps in with the best observations or reactions to make awesome comedy. With Jesse Eisenberg playing straight man to Aziz’s manic best friend, that should be on the list. If I attempt to explain the plot, I tend to lose interest because it sounds pretty weird. Just know that Eisenberg digs Ansari’s sister, has a bomb strapped to his chest, and must rob a bank so Danny McBride can hire a hitman. See? How that’s how you set a tease.