Friday, May 4, 2012

Watchin' Trailerz with Doug (May 4)

You guys. The Avengers opens today. Which means everyone's at the theater. Which means no one is reading this column. Which means Patrick won't even bother editing it (guy's like a modern-day Hays Code, he is). Which means I finally get to say what I've always wanted to say for as long as I've been writing for this blog. And that is (wait for it) ... San Dimas High School football rules!

This Is 40
Release date: Dec. 21, 2012

Saw this trailer before The Five-Year Engagement last weekend (you are the MOST jealous), and ... it looks fine? Good? I'm on record as being a big Judd Apatow fan -- I even like his "failures." Although, actually, Knocked Up may be my least favorite movie of his, and that's what this film is the "sort-of-sequel" to (very clever, said nobody). I have faith, however, that Paul Rudd will continue being awesome at being Paul Rudd.

Madea's Witness Protection
Release date: June 29, 2012

Yes! Why not? Eugene Levy costars in this (doing a "funny" voice in a "hilarious" costume, no less), and he never makes a bad movie (except for nearly every one of the movies he makes [seriously, what happened to that guy?]). I think the real Madea sat behind me the other night at the Patio Theater during a screening of 21 Jump Street. And that experience wasn't nearly as funny as this preview would have you believe. Finally, am I the only one who can't stop picturing Admiral Richard Barnett whenever I see Tyler Perry? What I'm saying is I'm excited for Star Trek 2 (known on IMDb as Untitled Star Trek Sequel).

Release date: TBA

This documentary looks more like a MOCKumentary, amIright? Still, I laughed at almost everything Will Arnett said. How can such a funny man star in such an unfunny sitcom like Up All Night? Riff man, riff!

A few new trailers for movies we've previously featured came out this week. Here they are (in no particular order):

Release date: TBA

I'm all out of my words. #dodougsjobforhim


  1. Saw "The Avengers" this morning at 3AM in IMAX 3D (my first IMAX 3D movie since "Avatar") expecting it to be packed, but only 20 people (plus the theater staff that had handled the many sold out midnight screenings) showed up. Guess when everybody has a work to go to in the morning but me they can't afford to attend a 3AM showing. :-(

    This was a blast from start to finish, the fastest 142 min. movie ever. Even missing a few of the Marvel movies that have come out over the past couple of years ("Iron Man 2," etc.) I could follow the plot easily and the characters were so well-played by actors/characters we've become so familiar with the whole experience adds-up to the Super Bowl of superhero movies. Let me put it this way: the least interesting/fun character of the main bunch is Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, and yet he's still fun to watch and awesome (though closer to the "Star Wars" movies than his 'R' rated prime). The many fights (physical and intellectual) between the clashing personalities of The Avengers were the stuff geeks dream of; Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. sparring is a highlight. Everybody (even Scarlett Johansson) brings their A game, plus Jeremy Renner's 'Hawk' is made to be a bad-ass so unlike his comic book character I want to see him get his own movie franchise (quick, before "Mission: Impossible" or "Bourne" locks him up). There's not a single lull in the movie (the slow parts in-between the action scenes serve to build character or set-up a latter set-piece) and, when the laughs/action come, they're knowing and the type of thing a superhero geek appreciates. Don't even think of leaving the theater until the very end of the long credit scroll to see Whedon wink at his knowing audience (half the people in what was left of my crowd hated it and the other half laughed out loud, myself included).

    I'll complain about specifics when the "Avengers" podcast is posted next week (one is coming, right?) but by far the best thing about this take on Marvel superheroes was Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Whedon and the still-part-of-the-character "Hulk" prequels' canon has given Ruffalo plenty to work with to make Banner an interesting/conflicted guy in which the fear of a Hulk-out is as interesting/fun as the actual one. When the Hulk does come out to play it though it doesn't feel like a stunt, but a well-integrated part of a well-thought out storyline in which everybody gets enough or just-enough on-screen time to make everybody happy (fans, actors, merchandise people, etc.). Ruffalo's is easily the best Banner characterization since the Bill Bixby take on the character from the 70's TV show, although some of the people I talked to afterwards were complaining there was too much Banner and not enough Hulk smashing stuff (plus they wanted Edward Norton back and didn't even know who Mark Ruffalo was... Philistines! ;-)). Oh well, can't please everybody.

    I'm going back again tonight to see it (in 2D this time; 3D was OK but it's not the greatest) because I want to see this in a packed house to get that 'opening night' audience reaction I missed at 3AM. And that new "Dark Knight" trailer? Holy shit, if they're going to do what I'm thinking they're going to do (click Doug's link above, but be warned it kind-of spoils it) then Joseph Gordon Levitt's casting was not for naught.

    Doug, here's a trailer/movie for you to look at based on last week's affection for the 'Ruby Sparks' trailer: .

    1. Doug featured Seeking a Friend for the End of the World here. We are excited about it.

    2. I saw a banner for "Friend at the End of the World" at the theater I saw "The Avengers" at, which prompted me to go online to find out more. It seems like odd counter-programming for the summer blockbusters, but if it comes close to capturing a tenth of the drama from "Melancholia" or "Another Earth" it's going to be a good flick. Never seen a Steve Carell movie before and never seen "The Office," so this might be a first for me too.

  2. I don't think I've ever been so uninterested in a movie so hyped. Avengers Schmavengers - we only really need three superhero movies - Superman, Batman and Spiderman (Batman being the most interesting character, the other two bringing the best spectacles) with the occasional obscure/more interesting characters like The Watchmen, Kick Ass and Scott Pilgrim thrown in to mix things up a bit. I liked Iron Man mostly because of Robert Downey Jr. but as far as comics go, for some reason it's hard for me to believe that anyone gives a crap about characters like Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, etc. anymore. I certainly never did in the few years I was actually into comics.

    I am excited for the new Batman and Prometheus though - great new trailers for both of those. And Mansome looks pretty awesome too.

    Vargas, I checked out that link - hadn't heard of that and love the premise, though I really hope Carell steps out of his box a little bit for this one as seeing the same thing from him over and over is wearing thin.

    1. Sol, you should still see "The Avengers" even if you don't care about anyone in it besides Stark/Iron Man because this movie is a culmination of sorts to how the character (and even his relationship with Pepper Potts) have evolved since the previous two movies. Robert Downey Jr. is front and center throughout "The Avengers"; when he isn't in a scene you can fall asleep and wake up when Tony flies in for an argument/discussion/fight/heroic deed. If you miss it it's like missing "Iron Man 2.5" or "Iron Man: The Lost Performance."

      Dude, just get your butt into a theater (2D or 3D, doesn't matter which) and watch "The Avengers" so you can walk away with a silly fanboy grin in your face. At the office where I'm job interviewing today the oldest guy here (in his 60's) saw it at midnight with a relative (him for the 2nd time) and they had as big a blast as me. And you want spectacle? The movie's last act when the bad guys attack NYC (midtown Manhattan specifically, which is where I'm sitting right now looking for work) is as jaw-dropping a superhero spectacle as has come down the Hollywood pike in some time. It's not a perfect movie, but damn if I didn't come out feeling like a kid again despite me never giving two shits about half the characters in "The Avengers" (i.e. the 'B' heroes that can't placate for the absence of 'A' one's). It's all in the execution and, unlike "Cabin in the Woods" (where I feel he botched it), Joss Whedon totally delivers the goods in this one.

      Don't miss out Sol, especially if (as heavily hinted by the 'F This Movie' gang on twitter and Facebook) next week's podcast is all about "The Avengers" (hopefully the new one from Marvel, not the crappy Warner's 1997 adaptation of the same-name British spy TV show of the 60's). Do you really want to be left out of listening to a new podcast? Don't think so. ;-P

  3. Well that's a pretty convincing argument, Vargas, but if I go, I won't get to be that contrarian douchebag who refuses to see one of the top-grossing movies of the year even if it is pretty good - everybody LOVES that guy. I dunno, I guess I was pleasantly surprised by Iron Man (another comic book character I had NO interest in) so I'll probably give it a shot eventually. Theatres in my neck of the woods are PACKED for the first week of openings like these so I'll likely avoid until it dies down a bit.

    Good luck on the job hunt - today is actually the 3-year anniversary of my getting laid off in the wake of the 2008 crash (go punch a guy on Wall Street for me would ya?) but I ended up being far happier in my new job - it often work out for the best!



  5. Hey, you know what has NOT haunted Peter Parker his whole life? FINDING OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS PARENTS.

    Where is the fanboy outrage over completely rewriting Spider-Man's origin? They freaked out about organic web shooters back in 2002, but this is ok? Is it a sign that they've come to be way more accepting? Or is it just that NO ONE CARES about the new Spider-Man movie in a summer with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises?

    1. I'm not a comic book guy (i.e., NERD), but I think the latter is true -- in such a ridiculous summer for movies, SPIDER-MAN is being ignored. And maybe ... rightfully so?

      How was THE AVENGERS?

    2. ^^^ Our claws are out and ready to strike on Spidey, we're just waiting until the movie comes out to see if our worst fears are realized. Who knows, maybe the movie will prove to be so awesome (like the first one was in 2002) Parker's new origin story will be this year's version of '02's 'organic webbing.' Personally I like that (again, based on the potentially-misleading trailers) Gwen Stacy seems to be onto Parker's secret identity from the get go, a departure from both the previous movies' relationship with Mary Jane and how Gwen was portrayed in the comic book series. At my 3AM screening of "The Avengers" the latest "Spider-Man" trailer got the least reaction ("Dark Knight Rises" obviously had the loudest one) so you might be right that it's apathy toward the reboot idea that's making people not care that they're dramatically altering the "Spider-Man" myth.

      So, are we getting our own version of "The Avengers" with an all-star podcast next week that reunites all the commentators from the 100th podcast in one room? The return of the comic book guy from the "Green Lantern/Favorite Superhero Movies" podcasts (which will now have to be re-recorded to make room for "Avengers" and "Dark Knight Rises")? Or, just maybe, a "joke" podcast about 1998's "The Avengers" bomb? Possibilities... endless... :-)

  6. OK, just came from a 2nd midnight showing of "The Avengers" and it went like gangbusters. I can't think of a wasted/needless scene in which something (a plot point, a good laugh, etc.) doesn't happen for a reason/purpose. Here are some random comments for those that have seen it, so if you haven't seen the movie yet...


    -the worst scenes are stacked back-to-back at the start: Loki's "Highlinder"-like entry into our world/destruction of the base and Black Widow's Russian torture/interrogation. They still work as set-up for good stuff later on, specifically Natasha's interrogation of Loki and Loki banging on Stark's mechanical heart device with his scepter.
    -even the little Calcutta girl that gets Banner into the isolated shack in India serves the purpose of pointing out how early into her life Black Widow was indoctrinated into her craft.
    -Romanoff's mention of Banner controlling his condition for a year ('you want to keep the streak going, don't you?') is a recall to the first made-for-TV movie after the series ended, 1988's "The Incredible Hulk Returns," in which Banner had managed to keep from Hulking out for two years. The event that got Banner angry and turned him into the Hulk in this made-for-TV movie's plot? The appearance of a certain Asgarth demi-God named Thor.
    -since Ruffalo is playing the same Banner character from the "Hulk" prequels it helps if you think of him as being the way he is for nine years. Banner is now a veteran of being with his condition, not the same angry guy from '03 or the hopeful-for-a-cure '08 guy, so his personality reflects the fact he's given up on a cure and is learning to live with who he is.
    -in the 'Superhero' podcast of April '11 either Mike or Adam mentions that, in the '08 "Incredible Hulk" movie, his realization that Bruce can't have sex with his girlfriend was a humanizing point that made him sad. "The Avengers" tops that for me with Banner's mention that he tried to put a bullet in his mouth and 'the big guy' spit it out. Holy shit, Banner can't get emotional with his loved one and can't kill himself... let that sink in!
    -pay attention to what Agent Coulson says to Nick Fury just before he dies, because then Fury says the exact opposite (plus the lying about the trading cards) to get Stark and Rogers back into their game;
    -nobody actually says the location of where Loki implants the device when they find out (Stark by power of deduction, Banner with his gamma tracking device right before possessed Hawkeye's arrow explodes) until deep into the NYC fight;
    -when Loki orders the crowd to kneel and starts giving his speech, shouldn't he be speaking German since this is taking place in Germany? How can this crowd of Germans understand Loki and Capt. America when they're speaking in English?
    -Loki is thrown around/smashed by every member of The Avengers team except for Black Widow (Hawkeye does it with his explosive arrow). It becomes a recurring joke and, at the end, the movie's biggest/best laugh.
    -the single continuous shot of the superheroes fighting throughout New York (from Iron Man flying in/Captain in street level to Hawkeye on a building corner to Black Widow riding around to Hulk/Thor smashing the big fish-like monsters into Grand Central Station) is incredible, even better (though less 'money') than the now-classic 'posing' shot of the entire group.
    -there's a shot of a car that isn't damaged by the debris/firepower when Cap/BW/Hawk walk by it (and stays focused on the car) after they've crash-landed that's clearly a paid promotion for the brand (which I wouldn't mention even if I remembered). You also see paid promotional signs for a well-known bank (rhymes with Shittybank :-P) but, if you actually lived here, that's what midtown Manhattan looks like.