Random Factoid #477

17 11 2010

I have to admit, I’ve always wondered if I would ever walk into a theater thinking I was seeing one movie and then see another.  I get particularly suspicious when the trailers before the movie don’t seem to match in tone with the movie I’m about to see.  What I could only imagine became a reality for some audiences this week.  According to Cinematical, here’s what went down:

“Families at Showcase Cinemas in Revere, Massachusetts were expecting to see ‘Megamind,’ a colorful, animated superhero adventure presented in eye-popping 3D. Instead, they got the first few minutes of ‘Saw 3D,’ a bloody, gruesome horror movie presented in 3D so that you can literally see eyes popping. It remains uncertain whether or not the traumatized children and their shocked parents began to flee after the footless man cauterized his leg stump with a burning steam pipe or after the woman got lowered into the buzz saw.”

Now these kids are scarred for life, all thanks to the negligence of a projectionist.  I didn’t think this actually happened, but now one person’s mistake could lead to a whole lot of therapy.

Did anybody else think this didn’t actually happen?





REVIEW: Megamind

7 11 2010

Pixar’s “The Incredibles” produced many great quotes, but I’ll never forget the grave statement that the villain syndrome made towards the end of the movie: “When everyone’s super, no one will be.”

The point I’m trying to make here is not to draw a comparison between “Megamind” and Pixar’s 2004 gem, and that’s not just because it hardly exists since the two aren’t even in the same ballpark in terms of quality.  What I want to say is that movies involving superheroes and supervillains have pervaded so far beyond the Marvel and DC universe that the word “super” has lost quite a bit of luster.

The latest creation from the minds at DreamWorks animation (their third in 2010) is following hot on the heels of “Despicable Me,” another supervillain movie that somehow managed to set the box office on fire in spite of its middling mediocrity.  The two do have quite a few similarities, largely the central characters who put on the façade of a villain when they are actually big softies.  Neither offer anything new for viewers who have sat through countless superhero movies for kids, and “Megamind” importantly raises the question of how long audiences will toleration this repetition before it all drowns into monotony.

There’s some nice humor throughout the movie to help offset the predictable plot, and it’s a bearable watch that could be marginally enjoyable given you watch it in the right disposition.  The talented voice cast brings their A-game to the table: Will Ferrell with his over-the-top schtick, Tina Fey with her brilliant sarcasm, Jonah Hill with his “Superbad” obsequious dork rambling, and Brad Pitt with his … well, he does the deep voice, and his kids will scream with excitement when they hear him.

I will give “Megamind” that it does attempt to jump into musings on the nature of good and evil and the inherent nature of man. However, these concepts are explored in the most basic, watered-down, “Sesame Street”-manner that they might as well have not been attempted.  Really, the whole movie could have just not been attempted to save us all some time.  Sure, it’s fine entertainment, but don’t we already have more than enough quirky superheroes and supervillains?  Do we really need a blue one with a giant cranium?  C+





What To Look Forward To in … November 2010

11 10 2010

Folks, we are moving closer and closer towards the best movies of the year – at least according to the Academy.  How many Oscar nominees are we looking at in this bunch?  How many box office smashes?  I’m looking forward to a healthy helping of turkey and movies this month.

November 5

The highlight of the week for me has to be “127 Hours,” although I’m sure New York and Los Angeles are going to hog it for several weeks before it comes to Houston.  Turning such a gut-wrenching story into a life-affirming movie is something I’m really excited to see.  (Check out more of my thoughts in the “Oscar Moment” I wrote on it.)

“Megamind” seems to be a little bit of “The Incredibles,” a little bit of “Shrek,” and a little bit of every Will Ferrell movie.  The combination should be fun – keyword should.  This is no certain bet.

“For Colored Girls” looks intense and depressing.  I do have to ask though – does anyone know what the plot is going to be about just from the trailer?  It’s basically like a montage of angry African-American actresses looking to put on a show for the golden Oscar.

As for other movies on the indie circuit, if “Client 9” looks so interesting to you, just pay the $10 to watch it during October on iTunes. A story about Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution ring is certainly a story that many don’t want to hear, but how much of it we really want to spend hours of our time hearing is debatable.  I’ll talk more about “Fair Game” in an Oscar Moment next week, but I think it looks like an intriguing contemporary thriller.  I just hope it doesn’t become some blatant political manifesto.

November 12

I liked “Skyline” better when I saw it as a little movie called “Independence Day.”  Carbon copy much?  On the same note, I liked “Unstoppable” better when it was called “The Taking of Pelham 123.”  Denzel Washington even stars in them both.

To save the weekend, there’s Rachel McAdams in “Morning Glory!”  As if she’s not enough, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton are on board for this drama-comedy mix that doesn’t seem to favor any genre over the other.  What a great surprise awaits us!

November 19

HARRY.  FREAKING.  POTTER.  That’s really all.

The Next Three Days” brings us Russell Crowe far removed from his Oscar days, here as a man trying to organize a prison break for his wife.  Even with Paul Haggis (Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Crash”) onboard, I still can’t really get behind this.

Again, I hate to delay my thoughts, but more will be coming on “Made in Dagenham” in an Oscar Moment.  I think it looks like a fantastic comedy, and I love Sally Hawkins.

November 24/26

The only movie not getting a head start on Thanksgiving weekend is “The King’s Speech,” so expect the Oscar buzz to cue up in a big way around this weekend.

As for those movies opening on Wednesday, there’s quite an interesting array of releases.  We have Christina Aguilera and her crazy vibrato in “Burlesque.”  There’s also the dubious “Faster” starring Dwayne Johnson … er, The Rock.  Apparently the remake of “Red Dawn” is supposed to open too, but given MGM’s financial troubles, I’m hearing that’s not going to happen.

There are two nice options this holiday weekend, one for families and one for adults.  “Tangled” comes from the Disney animators who can’t cut it at Pixar, and the company has been furiously selling it to boys after the gender deserted “The Princess and the Frog” based on its name.  Notice that the movie is not called “Rapunzel” in an attempt to make it seem less girly.  Nonetheless, I can almost guarantee you that once the turkey has settled, my family will be headed to this.  (Side note: WHERE ARE THE CHRISTMAS MOVIES THIS YEAR??)

And another semi-cop out to save commentary for an Oscar Moment, but “Love and Other Drugs” looks to be the weekend’s adult hit.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, the story of one of the earliest Viagra salesman seems like a well-acted, steamy comedic outing.  I’m in, although this could go wrong.

So, what are YOU looking forward to in November?  Looking like a pretty thin slate, but not a shabby one.