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Oct 10, 2008

TGITDNMAR (10/10/08)

It's that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It's The Day New Movies Are Released.

Ah...just three wide releases this week, with a handful of limited ones (of which I'm profiling only one). That's more like it. Note to Hollywood: don't ever release 12 movies in one weekend again, please, regardless of their quality. I can't take it.

Body of Lies
Part 2 of Ridley Scott's "Lead characters that never share screen time," apparently. I can't wait to watch Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington "star" in some drama where one is in the North Pole while the other is in Paraguay - should be awesome.

I wasn't excited about seeing this from the trailers, as American Gangster left me pretty cold, and I'm not a huge Crowe fan, and this didn't help matters, either.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 20%, or the chance that Leo's character survives until the end credits. (And Daniel - I wrote all of this in your comments section first. The recycling is happening here.)

Well, the lustre has certainly been snatched from Guy Ritchie's diamond over the last few years, and -- wait a sec, did I really just use that horrible "snatch" reference? I did indeed. Sorry about that.

Anyway, the point still stands. I would bet that even Brooklyn, Donut, Six-Pack and whatever the rest of MadGuy's kids names' are haven't even seen Guy's last three films. Bonus points - can you name them without cheating (the movies, not the kids)? I couldn't, and I'd consider myself a fan of his.

This one thankfully seems to be him bringing it all back home, going to his roots, and any other euphemism there is for when someone gives up on trying the alternative and reverts to the tried and true. With an "edgy" cast (which must not be edgy if I'm using the hack term edgy), including Ludacris, Jeremy Piven and Tom Wilkinson in a bald cap and a dumb name, the crowds are sure to pile in. Or not.

Speaking of that cast, get ready to have yourself some Mark Strong overload. I wouldn't have recognized the name two weeks ago, but his appearance here and in Body of Lies (in what is being called the best performance of the movie by many), along with his kickass resume over the last few years (Stardust, Syriana, Sunshine, uh, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) tells me that we're only going to hear more from him. The downside? One of his next projects is the Nic Cage-starrer Kick-Ass. There goes that good buzz...
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 50%, if it hits Phoenix. If not...video.

City of Ember
Obviously, I don't watch enough Nickelodeon or Disney Channel or wherever the hell they're adverting this flick. Sure, I've heard of it, but I've seen nary a commercial, much less a trailer. Thumbs down for the marketing department there, as with Tim Robbins and Bill Murray aboard, there's plenty of appeal for adults.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 10%, on principal alone. If I'm not good enough to advertise to, maybe I don't want to see your crappy "Family" film. Jerks.

I don't have much of an angle here that can't be surmised from seeing one commercial for this: look, it's a Blair Witch rip mixed with a Cloverfield rip, which itself was also a Blair Witch rip of sorts. Throw in a helping of 28 Weeks Later..., The Descent, and/or some other zombie movie and watch my interest level fall. Meh.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 2%. You know, I was fine with the alternative commercial style (with the name of the flick and/or website on the top of the screen) when Forgetting Sarah Marshall did it, but I'm already sick of it. I think. Or maybe this movie just has no appeal for me. What a downer to end on.

20 people have chosen wisely: on "TGITDNMAR (10/10/08)"

Daniel Getahun said...

Recycle reschmycle, I appreciate the linkage. I don't think people need to stay away from this movie in droves or anything, but if you have better options you might want to roll the dice.

Speaking of which, this is the first time I've even paid attention to what RocknRolla is about. I think Swept Away pretty much swept away any thought I had that I would see another Guy Ritchie movie (I didn't see that one), but you're right that if this is a crime caper it's probably worth a shot.

I was seriously thinking "FF-UN" as I was watching Mark Strong throughout BoL.

Good point about the weird commercial style. I noticed it and will keep an eye out for it even more now...

Nick said...

Body of Lies doesn't interest me, either. I'm not a huge Crowe fan or big a DiCaprio fan, though both have won me over in certain roles (3:10 To Yuma and Catch Me If You Can, respectively).

I occasionally watch Nick and Disney, and I still haven't seen trailers for City of Ember. The most I've seen was an interview with Tim Robbins on The Daily Show. He was like "I hate being dragged to those horribly kiddy movies, because they always suck. This is one that actually doesn't suck, which is why I made it." *shrugs*

As you might have seen from my blog... [REC], the Spanish movie that Quarantine is a remake of (and which preceded both Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead, I believe), is a really well-done film. It had a couple issues, but was actually really tense and scary. I'm hoping that this remake will both be good and fix up the issues that the original had (though I doubt it). I'm gonna be checking this one out.

Also, the 28 Days/Weeks Later things are NOT zombies, damnit. They're human and infected.

(And neither are The Descent creatures... I don't care for that movie, but I know it well enough to know they aren't zombies... they're weird Gollum monsters).

Fletch said...

Nick - I saw something about [REC] when I was reading up on Quarantine, but I missed the part where it flat out stated that it was a remake. Didn't [REC] just come out like 6 months ago?

I know, I know about the 28 Weeks people. Rage virus. Whatever - they're zombies, and so are the people in I Am Legend. In my world, if it looks like a zombie and more or less acts like a zombie (conveniently neglecting the speed of their movements), then it's a zombie, regardless of whether or not that's technically accurate. Tough. ;)

I like Leo; he was indeed great in Catch Me, and The Departed grows on me exponentially with each viewing (it will soon be my favorite movie at this rate). But this one strikes me more on the line with Blood Diamond, which I didn't really care for (and which was the first review ever done here...seriously, go read it and see how bad I was. Boy, have I changed. Ok, maybe not.).

Daniel - yeah, I'm in dire need of doing a new FF-UN; I just haven't had inspiration strike lately, I suppose. Perhaps Strong will be next up.

Ritchie gets a pass; his early successes would likely each rank in my Top 100, if not higher...

Rachel said...

I told Brad I wanted to go see a movie in the theater this weekend and I didn't care what it was (words that never come out of my mouth). So I'm letting him pick (which also never happens, but he always agrees with my choices, or pretends to) and it will probably be Quarantine. I can handle horror every now and then, but it's never original and that bothers me.

I adore Leo, but never liked Crowe. And Body of Lies simply does not interest me. I'll get my Leo fix in December with Revolutionary Road, with no Crowe in sight.

The rest I have no qualms about skipping.

Count von Count said...

I am Legend featured vampires.

This, I would know.


Fletch said...

I am Legend featured vampires.

This, I would know.


Not the one with Will Smith...

Nick said...

I agree with Count von Count. Sorry Fletch.

You know nothing of zombies :P .

Graham said...

First, I agree with Fletch: they're zombies, not vampires. Despite the day/night thing, they act like zombies. Same with the 28 Days Creatures: looks like a zombie, etc. This basically boils down to whether or not your want your categories to be broad and general (as I do) or technical and specific (as nick clearly does).

Second, Romero has stated that the modern, Romero zombie was inspired by the 1964 film The Last Man on Earth...which was an adaptation of I Am Legend. So the reason they look and act like zombies are not because they are reminiscent of zombies, but because zombies are based on them.

Third, Body of Lies was good, not great, but I love Crowe and Scott, and love Departed and onward DiCaprio, so I was kinda the target audience. But although I liked it, it was not anything special.

Finally, Mark Boone Jr. should get a FF-UN. I'll write it myself if necessary.

Nick said...

I'd fight for my life on the 28 Days/Weeks creatures not beings zombies. They share absolutely no characteristics... at all. They aren't dead (which is key to being a zombie), they don't eat flesh... or at all, actually (which is also key to being a zombie). And I'm pretty sure Danny Boyle even once said they weren't zombies.

As for Romero... I believe he said he was inspired by I Am Legend (the novella that inspired both films you mentioned). But that's just semantics. Also, I was almost sure that it was the survival/last man on earth portion of the story that inspired Romero, not the creatures. Not to mention that the novella, they were specifically mentioned as vampires, not zombies... and Romero has stated that he never intended Night of the Living Dead to be zombies, but ghouls. Fandom simply turned them into zombies, which he then altered to fit for Dawn. If you notice, the creatures in Night and the creatures in Dawn act quite differently from one another (in fact, Night, Day, and Land are closer to each other than they are to Dawn... which probably has something to do with the fact that Dawn stands out as his masterpiece).

t j adams said...

i know this is kind of a side step to the whole zombie/non-zombie argument (and they aren't zombie's dammnit!), but rec actually came out a while ago in spain. i think over a year ago or maybe two. it was massive there and it's only just gaining attention now because of the remake. as far as i know, quarantine is almost an exact copy of rec. right down to the trailer being pretty much word for word (if the subtitles were right, that is).

Nick said...

tj: heck yeah! *high fives* (about 'not zombies').

But yeah, that's what I've been saying, too, about Quarantine/[REC]. I've seen [REC], and it really is almost an exact copy. It's not EXACT, but it's pretty close. Quarantine added some stuff that wasn't in the original, and it changed the original 'reasoning' for the zombies.

Clive Dangerously said...

The new commercial format seems to be the new standard; I saw ads for Pineapple Express and House Bunny using that format. I'd suspect it's just a reaction to people using DVR. This way, you don't even have to see the commercial to know when it comes out.

Fletch said...

Nick (and Count) - I Am Legend featured neither zombies nor vampires, to be accurate. They were just infected folks, like the 28 Later series.

Graham - I wrote this post before I started the FF-UN series. It's not quite the tribute he may deserve, but you should be glad to know I was giving him some love.

Everyone on the zombie discussion: for the love of god, I know that the Rage people in 28 x Laters and REC and I Am Legend are not TECHNICALLY zombies. The point is this: if I told you about a movie where humanoid creatures sucked blood, had sharp teeth and hated daylight, BUT THEY LOVED GARLIC AND STAKES THROUGH THE HEART and were called Scallawags, wouldn't you still think to yourself, "Yeah, that's some vampire movie." I sure would. Zombie is just my generic term for humanoid creatures that are somewhat effed up and chase after regular humans, in the hopes of killing them and/or eating them and/or giving them viruses. I hope this clears up the zombie/not-a-zombie discussion.

Oh, and they're not vampires, they're Scallawags!!

Clive - excellent point about the DVR. I spaced on that altogether, though it ties in with the horrible batshit crazy ads that TBS was doing on Family Guy that pissed me off some months ago. I feel much better about the format now, though I will now be pissed that I keep having to suffer through the "DVR ad fixes" when I don't have a DVR. :(

Graham said...

Fletch, this comment on your Memento post makes it clear that you do need to do a Mark Boone Jr FF-UN post. Nick writes: "And I always see him in the most random roles. He'll just appear, and I'm like 'oh, it's that guy!'"


Anyone watching Sons of Anarchy?

Nick said...

Fletch: Understandable... but to me, zombies are only zombies if they're dead and they eat people. Infection and chasing people is just a side-effect. And the ones in all those other movies don't fall under the definition or even category of zombie, which is why it boggles my mind as to how somebody can even put it in a similar category when they're not even remotely close. That's all I'm sayin.

Fletch said...

Graham - consider it done. I've been in need of a FF-UN anyway, so he fits the bill.

Nick - why'd you even say "understandable," when you go on to completely negate that? ;) I'm gonna start calling everything zombies from now on just to press your buttons. By the way - best zombie movie? 28 Days Later...

Nick said...

Worst movie ever even conceived, much less made? Fletch.



Fletch said...

There's gotta be a way to block IPs here somewhere...

How dare you blaspheme against Fletch, and on my birthday, no less? That's a slap in the face to all of humanity, and trust me, you won't like it when humanity slaps back.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I need to put in a plug for "City of Ember." Just saw it and wasn't frankly expecting much but it was really good!! I did a little review for it on my blog.

Basically it's a fun adventure movie that is a kind of futuristic "Goonies."

Here's my review.

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