Shameless Advertisement #26 – April 2012

1 04 2012

Boy, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

But anyways, back by popular demand (and by that, I mean I feel compelled to resurrect this), the Shameless Advertisement highlights the upcoming month’s most anticipated new release.  While I advocated for “The Five-Year Engagement,” and still anxiously await it, the readers are fanboyishly most excited in April for “The Cabin in the Woods.”  I don’t get it, but then again, I haven’t really tried.  We’ll see if I make it out for this one.

I’ve never been a Joss Whedon fanboy, but I understand that there’s a significant portion of the Internet that is.  So they can rejoice at their appetizer for May’s “The Avengers,” his horror-comedy “The Cabin in the Woods.”  I, on the other hand, will still try to figure out what it is that has the Web so enamored with this man’s work.

Enjoy a month of moviegoing, folks – summer’s almost here!

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Shameless Advertisement #25 – October 2011

1 10 2011

Well, it’s October!  Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday I showed you all those trailers for October releases and the month was still an abstract concept?  (OK, it was basically three days ago.)  Well, you all voted on what looked like the best bet being released this month, and the consensus was on “The Ides of March.”  Here’s how I primed you all to like it:

“The best of the month may come in its first weekend with ‘The Ides of March,’ a political thriller written, produced, and directed by George Clooney, who also puts in some time in front of the camera.  The real star is Ryan Gosling as a campaign manager torn between opposing sides of a presidential race.  The movie will surely have important and relevant implications for the way that the modern campaign is run and will no doubt be a major player in the Oscar race this year.  Even if it’s just an early check on your best of 2011 laundry list, this has to be a must-see for every cinephile.”

And since I didn’t give September its fair shake (sorry, college called), here’s what the readership of “Marshall and the Movies” thought would be best to highlight, “50/50.”  (It was a tie with “Drive” and I didn’t like it as much.)  Here’s an excerpt from my review, in case you missed it on Thursday.

“’50/50′ is of that transcendant category of movies about the human experience.  It takes us through all the messiness that ensues when cancer interferes with our everyday lives with an incredibly even keel.  The movie can switch from heart-wrenching to hilarious to heartening on a dime, largely to due to Reiser’s very personal script but also thanks to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s incredibly powerful performance.”

Here’s what you have to look forward to this month from “Marshall and the Movies!”

The return of the OSCAR MOMENT.  It’s that time of the year.  Get excited.  First predictions of the year out on Monday.  I don’t know how I’m going to do the individual columns this year, but they will come fast and furious.

Review after review after review.  I have two Post-It notes on my dashboard with the movies I have left to review.  My goal is to get them all in before the end of the year.  We’ll see if that’s possible.

Lists.  They are easy to do.  Expect them to pop up more frequently.

Shameless Advertisement #24 – August 2011

1 08 2011

Now that I actually got votes on the WTLFT poll, it’s time to bring back the “Shameless Advertisement” series from the grave!  Dormant since February, it’s now time to give a shameless plug to a movie that looks the most promising to readers of the site.

While there was one voter (COUGH Steven Flores) who said there was nothing they wanted to see in August, four voters seemed to have no problem finding something to look forward to.  Problem is, they were divided on what that movie is.

There was one vote for “Colombiana” and one for “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” neither of which look terribly good to me.  There was also one vote for “The Help” and one vote for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” both of which look very interesting to me.  Since I get to break the tie, better make it…

“The Help!”  If for no other reason than I’d take Emma Stone over just about anyone right now.  Here’s what I wrote about the movie in the August preview post:

“Getting a head start on the weekend by opening on Wednesday is ‘The Help,’ which looks to be a late-summer sleeper, hoping to please the oft-neglected female crowd by adapting a best-selling book.  But with this one looking to be less geared towards one gender and even a potential awards play, this could outgross ‘Green Lantern’ or other summer flops.”

Word of mouth is good, so hopefully this will be a great late summer surprise hit.  Those are always nice.  Who knows, maybe there will even be an awards play.  But it will need the critical support to get it.

As for what you can expect from me…

Did you know I write reviews?  I’ll hopefully start closing the gap between how many movies I’ve seen and how many reviews I’ve written.  Three months of watching without writing makes for a pretty sizable list of reviews left to write.  Seeing more movies on top of that makes it worse.

The return of the Oscar Moment!  It’s time for talk about awards season to become slightly in vogue again, and I intend to get ahead of the curve again with analysis on last year and what it could mean for this year, along with some sizing up of the contenders for 2011.  Fingers crossed for a cagematch between “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tatttoo.”

F.I.L.M. tie-ins.  The “F.I.L.M. of the Week” column this month will largely be recommending alternate viewing for your favorite stars, leading you towards dependable and reliable movies from Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and Paul Rudd.

Comedy in the spotlight.  Much discussion in Weekend Update and perhaps the “Classics Corner” column will center on the state of comedy in Hollywood in 2011.  Be prepared to think!

And that’s pretty much August!  I head off to college too so don’t be surprised if things dry up for days at a time, but I’ll do my best!

Shameless Advertisement #23 – February 2011

1 02 2011

It’s February – which means that it’s the last month where we have to live in 2010!  With the Oscars getting underway in 26 short days (eek), the theater near you is beginning to chunk the films for “Black Swan” in favor of “The Roommate.”  Nothing quite like the quality cycle of moviewatching, is there?

But what February release earns the shameless plug as voted on by my readers?  There was a horse race between “Sanctum” and “Cedar Rapids” with one vote each, and I’ll break the tie by ruling in favor of the Ed Helms comedy (which doesn’t open until MARCH where I live – grrrrr Fox Searchlight).  Here’s what I wrote about the movie in my February preview post:

“On the indie side of things, ‘Cedar Rapids’ sure looks promising.  A fish-out-of-water comedy involving Ed Helms’ small-town boy getting into trouble in the booming metropolis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the movie seems like a perfect foil for Sandler’s comedy.  With John C. Reilly, Sigourney Weaver, and Rob Corddry on board, I’m really looking forward to this.”

So that’s that.  Enjoy “Cedar Rapids” when it comes to a theater near you!

As for other things you can expect on “Marshall and the Movies” in this incredibly abbreviated month, here’s a quick rundown.

The Oscars. Well, duh.  Live blog?  For sure!  More “Know Your Nominees?!”  You bet – every three days!  Editorial pieces about the race itself?  If all goes well, then yes!  I hope to provide fun and enlightenment on this exciting season for all my readers!

F.I.L.M. features Oscar nominees. The Friday column “F.I.L.M. (First-Class, Independent Little-Known Movie) of the Week” will continue through February with past underrated or under-seen gems from the Oscar class of 2010.  See these stars before they could affix “Oscar nominee” before their names (or maybe after for certain overachievers).

Rom-Com to Oscar Gold, Part 2! It’s actually coming … nearly three months later.  I promise.

Reviews, reviews, reviews. Nothing changes.

I’m looking forward to a great February with you all!

Shameless Advertisement #22 – January 2011

1 01 2011

In a heated four-way tie for the most anticipated movie of January 2011, I chose “No Strings Attached” over “Country Strong,” “The Green Hornet,” and “The Way Back.”  Why?  Because it has Natalie Portman but, more importantly, Natalie Portman.

This is the first movie since “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” that has been shamelessly advertised without having been soaked in Oscar Moment champagne, so here goes just what I wrote about it in the January preview post:

“No Strings Attached” looks like a suitable romantic comedy.  Starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, the movie tells the story of two lovers who only want a physical connection – in other words, the flip side of the coin of “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s directed by Ivan Reitman, who helmed old classics like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters” but also new stinkers like “Evolution” and “My Super-Ex Girlfriend.”  All I can say is that this had better not be for Natalie Portman what “Norbit” was for Eddie Murphy.

And I made a few New Year’s resolutions that I thought were worth advertising on this post:

1. Revitalize the Facebook page

One of my goals for 2011 is to enhance the community that reads and supports “Marshall and the Movies.”  And since certain people are a little skittish about commenting (or just forget to visit the site), I know it might be easier to connect with people by bringing my site to them on the site they are most likely to check everyday.

So, to start off the New Year strong, I’m going to try to breath some life into the discussion boards!  There will be a contest to reward the most active participant, and the winner will receive a DVD or digital download of “The Social Network!” The contest will run until Sunday, January 16, and points will be distributed as follows: 1 point for replying to a topic, and 2 points for starting your own topic!

What are you waiting on? GET TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE NOW AND START DISCUSSING! (please)

Fun fact: did you know that Mark Zuckerberg made the primary color of Facebook blue because he is red-green colorblind?  Now you know.

2. Absorb the classics

Can you believe I’ve NEVER seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie?  It’s actually been an act of defiance as I have been waiting for a new year to start so I can devote a whole twelve months to study the director’s work.  I plan on watching a manageable one movie per month in a series I’m calling “Hallowed Hitchcock;” here’s my tentative schedule.  I’ll gladly take any suggestions!

January – The 39 Steps
February – Rebecca
March – Shadow of a Doubt
April – Notorious
May – Rope
June – Strangers on a Train
July – Dial M for Murder
August – Vertigo
September – North by Northwest
October – Psycho
November – The Birds
December – Family Plot

Also in January…

F.I.L.M. tie-in with Oscar nominees. Prepare for the next two months of the “F.I.L.M.” column to feature an unheralded or unknown performance from one of 2010’s Oscar-nominated performers.  Expect Natalie Portman at least once …

Extensive Oscar coverage. I’m debating whether or not to live blog the Critic’s Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and/or SAG Awards.  Sound off below!

Reviews, reviews, reviews. Expect some 2011 mixed in with some 2010.

I’m looking forward to a great month!  Remember to participate, and you can help me make “Marshall and the movies” an even greater community for movie lovers on the web!

Shameless Advertisement #21 – December 2010

1 12 2010

Good choice, readers.

For the first time in the history of “Marshall and the Movies,” I can give my readers a pat on the back for choosing an excellent movie as their most anticipated movie of the month.  Thanks to the Houston Cinematic Arts Festival, I got a chance to see “Black Swan,” December’s top pick, about four weeks ago.  In case you didn’t read my overwhelmingly positive review, let me pick out a few quotables:

“At 18, I’m probably a little young to be using the phrase ‘they don’t make ‘em like this anymore,’ but I can’t help but have it come to mind when talking about ‘Black Swan.’  Simply put, Darren Aronofsky’s brilliant directorial artistry has culminated in a stunning masterpiece that is unmatched in vision or ambition by anything that cinema has churned out in a long time.

It’s so bold and daring that to call it wowing simply doesn’t do the experience justice.  Aronofsky weaves together the beauty of ballet with the terror of psychological meltdown with such nimble grace that it leaves you reeling long after leaving the theater.”

So needless to say, YOU NEED TO SEE “BLACK SWAN!”  Every minute until you do is wasted.  As for the other movies people wanted to see in December, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” took second place with two votes.  “True  Grit,” “Rabbit Hole,” and “Another Year” each garnered one vote as well.

We are looking at a great month for movies, so enjoy all the options – there are plenty of movies that didn’t receive a vote that still look fantastic!

As for what you can expect from “Marshall and the Movies” this month, let me lay it all out for you:

Awards, awards, AWARDS!!! I’ve been building up to Oscar Season since March … and now it’s finally here!  To keep you updated on the trends, I will begin a weekly round-up of major trends involving critics groups, guilds, and everything else that plays a part in influencing the Oscar every Friday – starting December 3.  The “Oscar Moment” column focusing on individual movies will die down a little bit now that most movies have been covered, only popping up here and there to cover those that I have missed.

Reviews, reviews, REVIEWS!!! If you thought there were a lot of reviews in November, just brace yourself for December.  In addition to covering the multitude of December release, I’m also going to try to include my reviews of all the other 2010 releases I’ve seen this year.  The “Classics Corner” column will cover an old movie pertinent to December releases, and the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” column will tie into many things, including Christmas and the DVD release of “Inception.”  Also exciting – “Save Yourself!” returns with a warning against a movie you may be tempted to watch this month.

Year-end wrap-up. Just like any critic, I’ll wrap up what I’ve learned about the movies in 2010, culminating in my year-end top 10 list (and most likely an honorable mention list as well).

So look forward to a great month to cap off a great year?  (P.S. – Because I can’t find anyplace else to put this video, you should check this great YouTube video out.)

Shameless Advertisement #20 – November 2010

1 11 2010

The readers have spoken.  The most anticipated movie of November is Danny Boyle’s latest feature, “127 Hours,” based on Aron Ralston’s best-selling book of perseverence “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”  The movie looks to be quite the Oscar contender, particularly for James Franco in the Best Actor category.  I didn’t write much about it in my November preview post, but I did write quite a bit in my Oscar Moment.  Here’s an excerpt:

“‘127 Hours’ isn’t a conventional movie.  Its success will be mainly because of Boyle’s directorial skills as the movie requires a firm hand behind the camera.  The movie tells the story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a camper who winds up stuck in a canyon for over five days, ultimately leading to … well, you know.  It gets rough, and Boyle said he wants the movie to be a challenge to moviegoers.  The premise doesn’t seem very translatable to the big screen, and making it work is surely a directorial triumph.

The movie is also highly dependent on Franco’s performance, since he’s the only person we will get to watch for most of the movie.  Early reviews from Telluride and Toronto say he pulls it off marvelously, and a Best Actor nomination seems all but inevitable.  Franco nearly got one in 2008 for ‘Milk,’ but he’s been doing quality work for quite some time now that a nomination seems like it’s a long time coming.”

It’s worth nothing that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” came in a close second with three votes, and “For Colored Girls,” “Love & Other Drugs,” and “The King’s Speech” each received a vote.  All good picks!

And here’s what I’m planning on writing for you all in November!

Lots and lots of Oscar Moments.  I plan on wrapping up my takes on all this year’s contenders for major categories in November, mainly to beat the National Board of Review’s picks to officially kick-off the Oscar season.  What’s left?  Unseen candidates “True Grit” and “The Fighter,” darker movies like “Blue Valentine” and “The Way Back,” and lighter fare like “Love & Other Drugs” and “How Do You Know.”  Expect a couple of surprising posts too.

From Rom-Com to Oscar Gold.  What does this mean?  Find out in a two-week feature starting next week.

Lots and lots of reviews.  Where were all my reviews in October?  Not written, that’s where!  I’ve been watching a lot and writing very little, but I’m going to try to make November’s trend to watching a lot and write a lot.  I’ve seen “Hereafter” and “The Town,” so both of those reviews will be coming up.  Expect plenty of reviews of November’s releases and some reviews of this summer’s release sprinkled in the midst of those.

Who knows what else is coming?  There’s Classics Corner, the weekly F.I.L.M. column, and random factoids galore!