I haven't actually watched a single film in 2007 other than My Brother which I screened at a film festival. I usually don't watch much at the beginning of the year and use this time to catch up on films from the previous year, or maybe pursue other hobbies. I did this in December too before holiday season and so here are some reviews that I just guessed at what they'd be like using everything i know about movies. This is really a fun exercise. Anyway, many of these films have already come out, so please tell me how my blind guess compares with your experiences
TMNT-This strikes me as the exact opposite of what they might teach you in a film marketing class. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were popular when I was growing up in the early 90s and, well, me along with my age group aren’t necessarily a good audience for this movie, because we’ve kind of grown up. I’m not up-to-date with what cartoons are being played on Saturday mornings I don’t really know if anyone currently under the age of 14 even knows what the Ninja Turtles are, and the rest of us can’t explain it to them because we’ve sort of forgotten. .
Zodiac-I’m pretty sure that David Fincher (the director of this film as well as Fight Club and Se7en) is a jerk. His film “Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons” was filming throughout New Orleans when I was there and once I was near the shooting and everyone on his crew I talked to said he was, so he must really be bad. If one or two people think you’re a jerk, ok, but everyone seemed to just be in agreement about this. Anyway, as for Zodiac, it might win its opening weekend, but it’ll be forgotten within a year. Probably just a good thrill ride, nothing more, as some people are making it out to be.
Shooter-Mark Wahlberg, your last 2 movie choices were awesome so I’ll let this one slide, but this does not look like anything remotely original. It looks like a Bourne Identity copy-off, so please don’t talk about how much you love this movie when you’ll be having to eat your words when the bad reviews come in this week. And by the way, I don’t know why people responded so well the Bourne Identity or rather, could the people who responded well to it please admit that it was all about the cool car-chasing and fighting scenes and it had nothing to do with the plot or character development (because it had none)?
300-Sin City taught us (or at least me) that all the cool special effects in the world does not redeem a violent movie if it has no soul to it. Sin City wasn’t about real people. The people in that movie (except possibly Bruce Willis) drank nothing but alcohol, did nothing for recreation other than secure hookers and brutally kill each other, and had no moral qualms about anything. In other words, they weren’t real, just the embodiments of perverted adolescent fantasy. For that, I have a hunch that Frank Miller isn’t so much interested in the history of Greek warfare as he just wants to show a bunch of blood, gore, and other guy stuff. Consdering, he did actually seem moderately knowledgable about the historic period in an interview, I might be wrong though and I’d be eager to be proven so.
Blades of Glory-I’d have to say that this might be the make-or-break-it film for John Heder’s reputation. He will now be 3 films removed from Napoleon Dynamite. Benchwarmers did well at the box office but wasn’t amazingly well-received. School for Scoundrels did not do well at the box office despite aggressive marketing (although while I haven’t seen it, it looked like a good vehicle to me), so considering the hype for this film, it might be his last chance to win audiences over as John Heder or stay trapped in Napoleon Dynamite forever. I’m more anxious to see how SNLer Amy Poehler and Will Arnett do in this movie.
Wild Hogs-It’s a buddy comedy/road trip kind of movie, but what’s odd about it is its group of “buddies” are the four most random people in Hollywood. John Trovolta is a cult icon known for his singing and dancing, a few choicy roles and his scientology; William H. Macy is one of those character actors who nr, Martin Lawrence is a hack comedian, and Tim Allen have probably never been in the same room with each at the same time. They’ve probably never been within a 5-mile radius of each other
Meet the Robinsons-I couldn’t even stay awake through the trailer. It’s a cartoon
Breaking the Gates-If they really thought that a film about the Rwandan genocide would be a film of artistic merit, they would not have released it in the first three months of the year. They would have released it somewhere near the end for Oscar consideration. Thus we are left to conclude that it’s probably some generic action flick.
Astronaut Farmer-I have to wonder what Billy Bob Thornton is doing here. It’s one of those triumphant value-of-the-human-spirit movies and he seems like the least likely guy to be on screen when the orchestra swells up and plays that sappy music that it plays in these kinds of movies. His screen persona is that of a cynical and jaded personality. Let’s review what he’s been in: Intolerable Cruelty (a black comedy about the fickleness of marriage), Man Who Wasn’t There (a film noir), Bad Santa (another black comedy), Primary Colors (his character was one of the more shady members of President Clinton’s staff), A Simple Plan and Bandits. But I don’t know, I like space movies, so I might give him the benefit of the doubt.
Smoking Aces-This would be one of the few from the last couple of months that I’d have a mild interest in seeing and I can’t explain it because I don’t know much about it. I’m just attracted to it by the name. The title sounds cool: something with playing cards and guns. Or maybe they’re shooting at cards with guns? I don’t know. It’s probably some hip and shiek nourish thriller-type thing. The other thing I know about it is that I saw Jeremy Piven on Regis and Kelly and he said something like “this is the best movie I’ve ever been in.” On the one hand, he has been in Black Hawk Down, Runaway Jury and a bit part in the Rob Altman movie The Player whose cast included practically everyone in Hollywood. He’s also been in some of the worst movies of the last 2 decades: Rush Hour 2, Chasing Liberty, Very Bad Things and Singles.
Freedom Writers-Coach Carter, Glory Road and now this. Does anyone else see this pattern of January as Dead Poets’ Society rip-off month where they do the overused plot of actor stretches his range by being an inspirational teacher/coach who turns things around for a group of dummies/retarded people/repressed/at-risk youth, etc. I’m not saying that this wouldn’t be a good movie, but I am saying that if you’ve seen any of the above mentioned movies along with The Emperor’s Club, Mona Lisa Smile, Take the Lead, Stand and Deliver, Hoosiers, or We Are Marshall, I’m betting you’ve probably seen this movie too. Still, within the list above, I might cite a couple (Glory Road, Mona Lisa Smile) as slight variations, and if it’s based on a true story (unlike Emperor’s Club or Mona Lisa Smile) then it’s a story slightly more worth telling
Stardust-Is this a fantasy film or a period piece? What are Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer doing here? Is Robert De Niro just giving up on acting and trying to commit career suicide? He’s arguably the best actor of his generation so he shouldn’t take parts like this.
Georgia Rule-The standards for Lindsay Lohan are going to be high because the stories of her being late to set and upsetting the producer is going to more publicity than this movie is going to get. I actually think that this will be good and do decently. I won’t see it, but if you like this kind of film, I’d blindly recommend it.
Reign Over Me-I’m just flabbergasted. I have no idea what to think. Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle are such a random pair of variables that I can’t even begin to predict where this movie will go.
Blind Dating-So it looks like American Pie with blind people. That doesn’t sound funny, it sounds insensitive and mean-spirited. Oh, god forbid, you’re 22 and a virgin. Wasn’t the standard for it being an embarrassment that you’re a virgin 40 just last year? Oh, Jane Seymour is in this again, haha.
The Hawk is Dying-I love the music in the background, but, um, what the hell is this about, again? Let’s recap and I am not making this up: First, we see that this movie was an entry in Sundance Film Festival. Not that it won anything, it was just an entry. So basically the art house crowd let the movie be screened for them. Paul Giamatti spots a hawk through some binoculars and starts panicking. The hawk isn’t even attack him, he’s just sitting there in a field. If birdwatching is that stressful of an activity for him, maybe he should take up croquetting. Words appear on screen such as: “between passion and obsession” “sanity and madness” and these moments “define our lives.” There’s some talk about how he has to train a hawk or something. Some guy in voiceover says that “it’s possible for a man to live his whole life and not know whether he’s a coward or not.” Um, he’s just birdwatching and carrying a hawk on his arm, this isn’t really that big of a deal. Then some guy says “put down the bird” or something, like it’s a gun. Again, everyone here is just overreacting a lot. Oh yeah, and Paul Giamatti kisses someone towards the end of the trailer. How nice. Oh yeah, and Samuel L. Jackson is in it, dispensing advice to Paul Giamatti about his birdwatching obsession, or something. It’s confusing.. I need an aspirin,