February 2011 Archives
If you've voted in our first annual Movies Without Pity Awards, thank you thank you thank you! If you haven't, you must be the member of some sort of guild or academy or somesuch, and have cast your votes elsewhere. Because why wouldn't you want to let your picks for "Best Movie," "Worst Supporting Actor" and "Most Yawn Inducing Oscar Bait" be known to the world? Voting is in its final days, so make your choices!
In addition to those categories, we also have "Favorite Guilty Pleasure Movie," "Pretentious Documentary You Actually Liked" and several others that are part of our final round of voting. And there are even more categories on Facebook! You can cast your vote from now until Sunday, because we start tallying them up on Monday, and the ultimate winners will be announced February 18! Help make the first MWoP Awards the snarkiest yet!
Another Friday, another unoriginal, lazy, empty rom-com to discuss. Oh, and one starring Jennifer Aniston? And Adam Sandler? Even better! Nice to see you two here again! It's so great that you guys keep doing this to me. (Ihateyousomuch.)
When two films come out on the same subject at around the same time, there's usually a clear victor. And although it came out several months ago, and very few people saw it, I have to give the "Best Romans fighting Picts north of Hadrian's Wall Movie" award to Centurion. The Neil Marshall-directed movie starred Michael Fassbender and was a tense action-thriller full of scenic highland chases. Kevin MacDonald's The Eagle is also a tense action-thriller, but it stars Channing Tatum, and while he's believable as an American soldier in... well, every movie he makes, he's less believable as the commander of a Roman legion. Not even giving all the other Romans American accents can cover up the fact that the man's not a terribly dynamic actor. That said, the movie is entertaining, and even occasionally humorous (both intentionally and unintentionally), and you'll definitely never look at Billy Elliot the same way ever again.
The commercials for Cedar Rapids make the movie look like a sequel to The Hangover, and they're not far off. We do follow Ed Helms and three of his friends as they engage in day (or more) of drug-and-alcohol-fueled misadventures. But while that movie was about trying to discover what your mistakes were and undo them, Cedar Rapids is about learning how to make mistakes, and finding out that mistakes don't make you a bad person. And Helms isn't reprising his mature dentist character from that film -- instead, he's assumed the Zach Galifianakis role of a naive man-child, and instead of a man-purse, he has a hidden wallet strapped around his midsection.
Why ask for ideas on how to improve your city's image if you're going to reject the best one? The mayor of Detroit apparently felt that the Twitter-suggested "erecting a statue of Robocop" was not the best way to boost his city's public image, and we respectfully disagree. (As do others.) Dystopic and bloody though it may be, Robocop is still most non-Detroitians' fondest memory of Detroit (even though the movie barely even filmed there), so why not idolize the cyborg civil servant who cleaned up the town? It'll be a great tourist destination, it's a symbol of the motor oil that flows in the city's veins. In fact, we think more cities should put up statues of their most famous and/or controversial movie residents. Here are a few we'd make a pilgrimage to.
Kevin Smith has announced that he's going to stop directing, but we'll believe it when we see it, and then throw a party. Because he really has to stop. And he's not the only one. There are plenty of directors who should simply cut their losses and close up shop, and we're calling them out in the first annual Movies Without Pity Awards. And you get to vote on them!
Should M. Night Shyamalan retire after failing to turn things around with that Airbender movie? Or should Woody Allen call it quits, since nowadays he only makes movies for the critics? You'll have until Monday to vote on these categories before we close the voting period and begin the tabulation, and don't forget to vote on Facebook, where there are even more categories to choose from. The ultimate winners will be announced February 18!
Ed Helms has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame thanks to The Daily Show, The Office and The Hangover, and while his newest starring vehicle, Cedar Rapids, bears only a superficial resemblance to the latter movie, it's just as hilarious. Helms plays an insurance salesman who's never left his small town, and is exposed to a world of debauchery and corruption in a trip to a convention in metropolitan Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We attended a press conference with Helms where he talked about his character, The Wire and getting naked with Kurtwood Smith.
Apparently, the old way of filmmaking is dying, and sequels to blockbuster franchises are the only things holding Hollywood up. Don't get us wrong, we love a good sequel, but there's always the risk that a great movie can be sullied by a sub-par follow-up, and the whole affair can get really boring. That's why we're going to judge past sequels, and yet be optimistic about future ones in our first annual Movies Without Pity Awards!
Which movie was the "Movie that Most Needs a Sequel" from 2010? Which was the "Worst Follow-Up to an Awesome Movie"? Which was the "Movie That Should Become a TV Series"? And what about next year? Which is your "Most Anticipated Sequel of 2011"? You'll have a week to vote on these categories before we end the voting segment and start tabulating, and the ultimate winners will be announced February 18. And don't forget to vote on Facebook, where you can weigh in on even more topics!
When MGM plunged into financial peril recently, the seemingly indestructible James Bond franchise was temporarily put on hold; it seems to be back on track now, with Daniel Craig returning for a third time as the super-spy, but perhaps some new blood would put the franchise (and MGM) on stronger financial footing? (Remember, Timothy Dalton only got two films, too.) Someone young, popular, maybe with the initials "J.B."... Hey, what about Justin Bieber? The kid is already everywhere, he's got plenty of good years left in him, and he's got some dance moves that could maybe come in useful in a parkour chase through a construction site. Plus, the title of his new concert film, Never Say Never, is already practically a James Bond title. We've plotted out his stint on the Bond franchise for the next decade
While there was a certain amount of beauty to be had in director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's previous outings 21 Grams and Babel, it's hard to find any in Biutiful. Not only is it another real downer of a film, it also takes place entirely in the crowded, dirty slums of Barcelona, Spain, which makes it visually, as well as emotionally, harsh. A few truly beautiful scenes peek through, but for the most part the movie is a series of devastating revelations and creeping dread. But there's plenty of drama to go around the cast of characters, which means it'll probably win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (Although Javier Bardem likely won't win Best Actor.) After all, Babel was nominated for Best Picture, and that was a pretty disturbing film. Biutiful isn't as sly with its interconnectedness as Babel, but it's got everything -- poverty, illness, mental illness, the plight of immigrants and death.