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 #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!


Shameless Advertisement #19 – October 2010

1 10 2010

Well, this is my bad.  There was only one vote on the October poll because I put it up a little delinquently, so I really can’t complain with the results.  I don’t think it will surprise anyone that the winner is “The Social Network.”  With a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes on Metacritic, this is the real deal.  Here’s some of what I said back in my Oscar Moment in August:

The buzz started with the release of some tantalizing teaser trailers and an intriguingly mysterious poster.  When we saw the full trailer playing before “Inception,” it was a wowing experience (that would still pale in comparison to the two and a half hours afterwards).  The trailer’s opening minute is very unique as it has nothing to do with the movie at all.  Rather, we watch people interacting on Facebook, a reminder of how much it has enhanced our connections to our friends.  Then we pixelate to Mark Zuckerberg, and the history begins.

From just the trailer alone, “The Social Network” looked like a movie for our time, more clearly zeitgeist-tapping than any movie in recent memory.  It takes a dramatic look the founding of Facebook, one of the defining inventions of our time, but also seems to tackle the subject of how the social networking site has affected the way humans communicate with each other.

I won’t post the poll itself because it will take up too much room for just one vote.

As for what you can expect from “Marshall and the Movies” this month, I don’t really have any big plans.  I’m hoping to get work on the much-delayed podcast going at the end of the month, perhaps with a launch around Thanksgiving.

Oscar Moments are now bi-weekly. I usually post them on Tuesdays, but now, they will also run each Friday.  Much of the rest of 2010’s offerings will be discussed this month, including “Love and Other Drugs,” “Made in Dagenham,” and “Rabbit Hole.”  A new set of predictions should be up soon as well.

A Classics Corner post to tie into “The Social Network.” If you’ve been reading reviews, surely you know what I’m referring to.  Post should be up in the next week.

Halloween of horror! I’m not sure how I’ll bring Halloween into the blog, but expect some of it in the back half of the month, either through examining more current movies in the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” column or by seeing some classics and reporting my experience in the “Classics Corner” column.

This month is pretty loosely structured, but I think it should provide good reading and good fun nonetheless!  Enjoy your month at the movies!

Shameless Advertisement #17 – August 2010

1 08 2010

I’m going to be doing something a little different with the shameless advertisement from now on.  Since I use it to kick off every month, I thought it would be a great podium to announce what’s coming up on “Marshall and the Movies” as well.

So with that being said, here’s what the readers want to see in August: “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.”  With six votes, it dominated the field, only receiving competition from “Step Up 3” (one vote).  Here’s what I wrote about the comic-book adaptation of a different color in my August preview post and the trailer:

And then aiming somewhere in between [men and women] is “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” a different kind of comic book movie. The usual hero is someone awesome; here, the hero is pathetic Michael Cera fending off seven evil ex-boyfriends of his new girlfriend. Anna Kendrick makes an appearance in the movie in some aspect, so that’s probably enough to get me to see it. Don’t be surprised if this is an out-of-nowhere smash hit. The style looks pretty irresistible.

As for “Marshall and the Movies,” here’s what you can expect in August:

  • The launch of my podcast! It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve been looking for the right time to get it up and going.  No permanent rhythm (or even temporary rhythm) has been established for the podcast yet, nor has a name been selected either.  But I can tell you this: I will be hosting guests from some of my favorite podcasts to debate the Oscar nominees from the 2000s.  Look for it in the back half of the month.
  • The return of the “Save Yourself” series! It always managed to get pushed to the bottom of my “TO WRITE” list, but after three months away, it’s time for “Save Yourself” to make its triumphant return.  The first will be … brace yourselves … a MAJOR Oscar nominee.  What could it be?  Find out … August 8.
  • Comedy week! Leading up to the last big release of the summer season, the Drew Barrymore/Justin Long comedy “Going the Distance,” I’m going to be doing a big week of reviews covering the comedic releases of 2010 so far, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  There will be some surprises, as some I have found great and others just miserable.  This marathon week of comedy begins August 21.
  • More Marshall and Julie! The series that really serves as my 13-day response to “The Origins Project” that I created continues into August.  It will wrap up on August 9 with an afterword to come at a date to be announced.
  • More Oscar Moments! With the field getting set for film festivals in Venice, Toronto, and New York, it’s time to get serious about the Oscar season!  I’m looking now to sort out the frivolous from the contenders.  Is “The Social Network” the real deal?  Is “Eat Pray Love” meant to be taken seriously?  What’s going on with “The Town?”  That and more in this month’s Oscar Moments.
  • No more “Inception” talk … just kidding! The “Classics Corner” series will take a look at some movies that influenced Christopher Nolan’s tale of the subconscious.  Look for that coming up in a week or so.

But we can’t quite leave July behind either!  Here are the results of the commenting contest from July.  With a whopping 324 comments, it was a banner month for “Marshall and the Movies,” doubling the amount from April when I ran my last contest.  So thanks to everyone who helped make July so great!

Rather than make the contest random like April, July’s contest was just based on the numbers.  First, second, and third prizes are as followed.

3rd place goes to … Aiden R of “Cut the Crap Movie Reviews” with 18 comments!  I didn’t think I would have a third place, but I just won a giant “Salt” poster (or should I say, Angelina Jolie poster) at an advanced screening that I’m looking to dump.  And while I’m at it, I’ll throw in another poster from my closet at no additional charge.  Of course, if this doesn’t appeal to him, I can gladly call up the fourth place finisher.

2nd place goes to … Red of “Anomalous Material” with 19 comments!  He wins a $10 gift card, which I sure hope he enjoys to use on whatever he desires.

1st place goes to … Simon/Ripley of “Four of Them” with 29 comments!  A repeat winner … unbelievable.  She wins a poster from a Christopher Nolan movie of her choice.

So congratulations to all the winners, thanks to everyone who commented, and have a great August both at the movies and here at “Marshall and the Movies.”

Shameless Advertisement #15 – July

1 07 2010

Well, folks, Anniversary Month has arrived. But before we start all those festivities, it’s time to start off the month like I do any normal month – with a shameless advertisement. Because like it or not, us movie bloggers wouldn’t be here without the movies.

Only three movies managed to get votes for the most anticipated of July. Second place, with two votes, went to M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender.” I hope you’re onto something; maybe it will be a return to form for the battered director. Sneaking in at the last minute to gain one vote was “Predators,” another reboot in a summer replete with them.

But, with a whopping six votes, and convincing me that everyone who reads (or at least votes) is sane, the winner is…

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Shameless Advertisement #14 – Banks Lee & The Three Clicks

29 06 2010

I have to give this guy a shameless advertisement.  I’m calling it right now – this could be the next Julie Powell and “Julie & Julia.”

Banks Lee was featured in an article that ran on Yahoo’s frontpage on Friday, and I caught wind of his blogging project through that article.  Listen to his quest:

My name is Banks Lee, and I’m a big guy. Not obese, but still big. I’m 6’2″ and weigh roughly around 310 lbs. Why am I telling you this? Because I am not able to fit onto the new Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey attraction at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL.

But don’t worry. This blog is not to criticize Universal Orlando for not making the ride vehicles roomier. No, this blog is to chronicle my journey to get into shape and lose enough weight to be able to get on Forbidden Journey. Even when I achieve this goal, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop exercising or eating right.

The name “The Three Clicks” comes from a rule that Universal Studios has that the shoulder restraint has to click three times into the belt.

The whole project has a whole bunch of stuff that Americans love.  We love people losing weight.  “The Biggest Loser” is a hugely successful show and Jillian Michaels is a celebrity because it makes us feel good to see people transform their lives.  It gives us confidence that we can take off a lot of weight if we put ourselves to it.  And it involves “Harry Potter,” a literary phenomenon that pretty much everyone has read.  And if they haven’t read it, they’ve probably seen the movies.  It seems like a golden combination.

So go over to “Banks Lee & The Three Clicks” and support what could be an enormously popular quest to be fit.  Even if it doesn’t succeed or become a pop culture phenomenon in its own light, you’ll be helping someone become healthier.

Shameless Advertisement #13 – June

1 06 2010

Hollywood got some of its big guns out in May, and much of it was just noise.  “Iron Man 2” didn’t meet lofty expectations, “Robin Hood” will barely (if at all) cross the $100 million mark, “Shrek Forever After” is just now picking up steam after a low opening, and the future doesn’t look so rosy for either “Sex and the City 2” or “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.”

But June looks to change things.  It boasts only two big sequels and three major studio tentpoles.  This is the make or break month for the summer: if things don’t turn around in June, writers will be throwing phrases like “financial disaster in Hollywood” or “the death of movie theater” around.

Thankfully, we have good movies coming out in June!  There’s plenty to offer both the mainstream and the art house crowd.  The wider range of interests was shown in the poll results.  One person voted for Sundance hit “Winter’s Bone” while another voted for the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz vehicle “Knight and Day.”

But with three votes, the resounding (and hardly surprising) winner and the most anticipated movie of June is…

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Shameless Advertisement #12 – May

1 05 2010

Well, folks, it’s time.  The blockbuster has popped up here and there in 2010, but Hollywood is about to hit us with a cavalcade of them.  And it all starts here.  In May.

Two of these blockbusters – “Robin Hood” and “Shrek Forever After” – failed to even get a vote for the month’s most anticipated.  We will see if the box office mirrors the expectations reflected here.

A surprise vote-getter was “Babies,” the documentary that follows the first years of four infants across the world.  It scored the same amount of votes (or vote, singular, one vote) as the tentpole action movie “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

I can now be assured that I have female readers judging by the two votes “Sex and the City 2” movie received.

But every other film being released in May combined couldn’t measure up to the staggering five votes that the most anticipated move in May received.  Thus, the shameless advertisement of May is for …

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Shameless Advertisement #11 – April

1 04 2010

Welcome to the first official month of spring AND the last month before summer movie season!

After the poll of what you were most looking forward to this month, there seemed to be a fair majority voting one way. Props to “Clash of the Titans,” “Date Night,” and “I Love You Philip Morris” for each collecting one vote.

But, you all clearly felt that the biggest attraction in April is …

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Shameless Advertisement #10 – March

1 03 2010

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for … it’s MAAAAAAARCH (as if Oprah were screaming it)!

The poll results yield four one-vote getters: “Green Zone,” “She’s Out Of My League,” “The Bounty Hunter,” and “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

However, with three votes, the most anticipated movie of March 2010 is…

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Shameless Advertisement #8 – January

1 01 2010


It’s January.  I’m not crazy about any of the choices this month, so I will probably spend it catching up on 2009’s awards contenders and second viewings.

But that’s just me.  7 of you all found something you wanted to see.  “Leap Year” and “When In Rome” each got one vote, as did “The Spy Next Door.”  To whomever that person may be, I sincerely hope that was a joke.

The two movies that managed to garner multiple votes were both movies that I lambasted in my preview.  So how did I choose?  As some author once said, “When you have to choose between two evils, choose the one that you’ve never tried.”  This philosophy is to the dismay of “Youth in Revolt,” which looks about as “been there, done that” as Michael Cera.

So, the winner of January’s shameless (or shameful) advertisement is…

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Random Factoid #152 / Shameless Advertisement #7

27 12 2009

I usually don’t eat popcorn unless I am at the movies.  I feel like eating it at home makes it feel a little less special when I munch on it at the theater.

When I do eat at home, I usually don’t have a preference of brand.  My mom buys Pop Secret, and I taste very little to distinguish it from any other brand of popcorn.

However, after seeing this commercial tonight, they are officially my favorite brand forever.

Shameless Advertisement #5 – December

1 12 2009

Well, December is finally here!  Bring on the Oscar movies … and plenty of other fun movies!

There was another pretty good turnout for this poll.  In a tie for second place were “The Princess and the Frog,” “Avatar,” “It’s Complicated,” and “Invictus.”  Unfortunately, the runners-up get nothing except a link to their trailers.

There was also a tie for first place.  Rather than prominently feature “Up in the Air” for the third time, I decided to spread the wealth. So the winner, and the readers’ of “Marshall and the Movies” most anticipated movie of December 2009 is…

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Shameless Advertisement #4 – November

1 11 2009

The readers of “Marshall and the Movies” have come out in record number to tell me what movie the readership is most anticipating in November!  Give yourself a pat on the back for that.

There was a 6 way-tie for second place, ranging from indies such as “That Evening Sun,” “Precious,” and “The Road,” to mainstream fare such as “The Box,” “A Christmas Carol,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

But, by an overwhelming margin, the movie that is most anticipated in November is…

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