The 2011 Release Calendar (November & December)

Well, here we are. Normally this is where all the Oscar movies come in. But, unlike this year (or maybe like this year, I don’t know what it looked like back in January. Probably the same.), almost none of them are scheduled yet. They usually pop up after hitting festivals and stuff. So, now we’re left with what is essentially a list of some big budget Oscar potentials (most of which don’t work out) and the big budget movies designed to make money while the Oscar films take prestige.

Also, stay tuned, because tomorrow — or Monday. Actually probably Monday. Tomorrow is Golden Globes day — I’m going to throw up a post right quick about the movies that don’t have release dates that were either pushed from 2010 or are known to be coming out this year. These are the ones that we may or may not see by year’s end, and are the ones I am excited or intrigued enough about (or can’t wait to berate) that I want to tell you about. For now, let’s round out the 2011:

Puss in Boots

Here’s a movie about the cat’s life before he meets up with Shrek and the bunch. So, basically, you kill one franchise, you try to start another. Not a bad decision, but not exactly a creative one either.

What can they possibly include in this? This is like American Dad taking what Family Guy did and just copying it, only differently. I don’t care. I won’t see this. Have fun giving this film $150 million, America. You’re all winners.

2 stars.

Tower Heist

Do mine eyes deceive me? Is Eddie Murphy going back to old Eddie Murphy? Or does he just look like that? I’m gonna hope this is Eddie Murphy swearing on film again. That was always the key to him doing great things. Brett Ratner is one of those average type directors. He’ll give you something entertaining, but it’s not exactly much more than that. I think his best movie was Red Dragon, but I haven’t watched that in a while. I don’t remember how that plays. X3 is not the greatest movie, but it’s not the worst movie. And the original Rush Hour is entertaining too. But, there’s a certain shallowness to his movies that just kind of leaves them there where they are. I don’t really care about them. They just — are. I’m not really expecting much more out of this.

It’s about a bunch of people who fall prey to a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme. Then they decide to go rob his apartment complex thing.

Stiller, Murphy, Casey Affleck, Jon Voight, Téa Leoni, Matthew Broderick, Wallace Shawn, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, Dave Chappelle, Tim Blake Nelson, Alan Alda, Bobby Cannavale, Judd Hirsch, Charlie Murphy (Charlie Murphy!) — look at this fucking cast.

3 stars. I’ll hope for more, but it’s Brett Ratner. If it is 4, it’s a flatlining 4.

Immortals

For those of you who haven’t seen Tarsem Singh’s last film The Fall, do so immediately. It’s one of the most gorgeous movies you will ever see. And it is also shot entirely on location with little to no special effects (by special I mean, digitally added by computer and not, unique or extraordinary). If you pay attention to some of the cuts and camera movements in the movie, and believe the director’s claim that all of them are totally done without special effects (and I’d really like to), then it’s one of the great achievements in modern directing. (Ignore his first film, The Cell with J-Lo. We all make mistakes.)

Just to give you the plot, in case you’re like, “I don’t give a fuck what it looks like,” The Fall is very Pan’s Labyrinth-like (came out the same year, so no copying involved. It also took years to make.) in that it’s about a person using fantasy to escape their reality. A stuntman is paralyzed in an accident and loses his legs. And a little girl is a patient in the same hospital. And she becomes his friend, and he tells her this whole epic tale (which is then shown on screen), with alterations and revisions as he goes along (sort of mirroring it to his own life but also based on her reactions) in order to escape from being bedridden. Here are some images from the film:

Beautiful, right? One would hope this film is even remotely as good looking as that one is.

This one, Immortals, in case you forgot, (it is rare though that I get the chance to tell people about The Fall) is about (it’s action/fantasy, which means he can do whatever the fuck he wants.) Hyperion, a titan (yes. Real clash of the titans.), declares war on humanity. He’s played by Mickey Rourke. As he should be. He searches for the Epirus Bow, a weapon that’ll allow him to free the rest of the titans from Tartarus and get revenge on the Olympians who beat them in that Greek war thing between those two. (Something about slavery. Probably. I guess this means we’re doomed to repeat it. Maybe that’s what the movie’s for.) Since the gods can’t take sides, they leave it to Theseus (who I guess is the minotaur guy, unless he’s gonna be going around like, “That’s just my name, I was called Theseus long before he was. Fuck Michael Bolton.”), a priestess (Frieda Pinto. Always good for eye candy.) and a slave (Of course. Bring in the class any way you can.) to protect humanity from Mickey Rourke and save the gods. If there were a spec script based on my life, this would be it.

This sounds amazing. 4 stars. Just in case it sucks. I’m expecting 5 though.

Jack and Jill

Punch Drunk Love was a long time ago. Remember when we had hope that Adam Sandler would mature as an actor and start doing these good movies that required him to act? Yeah, this puts the final nail into that coffin.

The picture pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this movie, doesn’t it?

1 star.

Happy Feet 2

No word on what this is about, at all. But it’s dancing penguins. Does it need a plot?

4 stars.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

I wanted a Harry Potter movie, but I guess I’ll have to watch this piece of shit instead.

I won’t. I really could care less about this movie or the people who go see it. You go see this and leave more seats in my theater where Immortals is playing. It’ll be great.

2 stars. Not my cup of arsenic.

Arthur Christmas

I won’t say anything about this except, this tickles me. Everyone who knows me knows exactly why.

It’s about Santa’s “ultra-high-tech” operation beneath the North Pole, and his son, Arthur, who has some sort of mission he has to complete by Christmas morning.

I like the cast of characters. And I like that it’s British. McAvoy (hey, he won’t die in this one!), Hugh Laurie (cool older brother), Jim Broadbent, (Santa, credited as “the guy in charge at the North Pole”) Bill Nighy (Grandsanta), Imelda Staunton (Mrs. Santa, which has to be a Bad Santa joke), and Ashley Jensen (from Extras, a “lowly elf from the Giftwrap Battalion”). Sounds like it could be fun.

3 stars.

The Muppets

I’m so excited for this. The reason this will work is because it’s being made by fans of the product. They’ve watched episodes. They love the characters. The will be reverent to the product while also doing their own thing. Plus I hear the script is actually really funny and the visual gags are impressive as well. I’m a sucker for visual gags (please, Hollywood, give me more Naked Gun and less Date Movie), so I’m hoping this turns out well.

Also, let me say, there’s a script floating around about Jim Henson — it’s not so much a biopic as much as it’s it crazy fever dream hybrid of Henson’s last days as he was dying of the illness that was killing him (he refused to go to a doctor just because he didn’t want to be a bother to anybody. Had he gone at any point, he would have been okay.) along with his life story, intertwined with sections of the muppets interacting with him and singing along and stuff. It’s a brilliant script. It takes a couple of pages to get into, but once you’re into it, it’s hard to put down. The whole thing is made up too, which makes it better. I mean, it’s not false, it’s just, it makes up certain things for the movie’s sake. But in doing so, provides a much better picture of this man’s life than any straight biopic could have done. Please, somebody, let this movie be made.

That’s all. Back to Muppet movie. 4 stars. Very excited.

Project X

No poster. So let’s post one from the other Project X.

All we know is that it’s about a group of kids trying to document a house party that goes awry. And it’s a comedy.

3 stars.   ?    No clue.

Hugo Cabret

You have to hand it to Martin Scorsese. Just when you think he’s done, he reaches into the bag of tricks. The man has made every kind of film imaginable (except a Western and a War Picture. And please, Marty, please give me these two. Oh my God, give me these two), and now he’s doing a children’s movie. This will be probably one of the best children’s movies ever made. I say this with just the right amount of hyperbole.

Set in the 1920s, I’d imagine, it’s set in a Paris train station. And it’s about a boy who lives in the walls of the station who finds a broken automaton (that’s a robot) and decides to fix it. And he gets some help from the man who owns the toy store, who is none other than (though I doubt it’s explained … but it’s Marty, so I guess it will be) Georges Méliès. Who is Georges Méliès? (Love how I can do all those accents, right?) He’s a French guy who made movies back when movies started … you know, back in 1902 and shit. Didn’t think anything came before Disney, did ya? Well, he made a bunch of shorts and was known for editing and camera trickery. He also made A Trip to the Moon which is a movie so famous that even you’d recognize a picture from it (you being someone who doesn’t watch black and white movies because they’re “old”).

See what I mean? Everyone knows that picture. No, that is not Jackie Gleason, and yes, the Smashing Pumpkins did borrow the concept for the “Tonight, Tonight” video. It’s a brilliant film. Check it out, it’s 108 years old:

I’m linking it to you with the awesome French guy narrating over it. You can click the related links to hear it without the guy talking, but trust me, at least the second time, you want to hear this guy talking over it. It actually doesn’t get funnier than the commentary he does for Méliès’s Joan of Arc film. Oh, shit, youtube has it. Check this shit:

And there she is. We had so much fun watching this half-delirious at 9 am in a film class dedicated entirely to color. Actually, I should just post some of the stuff we watched in that class sometime. It’s all trippy and racist. Everyone’ll love it.

Anyway, so that’s Méliès. You can see why Scorsese wanted to do the project. What’s even better? You know how there are people that just cast based on actors and not on resemblance? Sometimes it’s required and all, but, rarely do you see someone who actually looks the part. Especially in old movies. Scorsese don’t roll like that. This motherfucker knows how to do detail. Case in point: you see that picture of Ben Kingsley as old Georges up there? Take a look at the real Georges:

Scary, right? I’m not gonna say anything else. It’s Martin Scorsese. What has he done that hasn’t been good?

5 stars. Come on, now.

New Year’s Eve

I’m angling to get the screenwriting job on Flag Day. Except I don’t really know where to run my ideas up. Seriously though, I’d be so grateful if they hired me to write Thanksgiving Day. Oh, man, St. Patrick’s Day? I’m your man. Erin-Go-Braless! And Cinco De Mayo? May Day? May Day! I’ll write that one. It can be a biopic. I’ll do a bang up job writing September 11th. (Fuck you it’s not too soon. September 12th wasn’t too soon for me, and I live here.) I can write Memorial Day. It’ll be something to remember. Okay, I’m done. I ran out of stupid holidays to turn into bad ensemble films.

Good luck trying to make Halloween, though. Might run into some logistical problems on that one.

Really though, you saw Valentine’s Day, what the fuck do you think this is gonna be? This is gonna be Love, Possibly.

2 stars. Actually, 3. Valentine’s Day was harmless.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked

Fuck this franchise. Fuck the kids who go to it. All they do to make it is auto-tune! There is nothing redeemable in this movie! It’s awful. The only thing that keeps me from putting these at 0 stars are the puns in the titles. Either way…

1 star.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

You know you’ll see it. Despite the other terrible movies the man’s done lately, he usually delivers when it comes to his Golden franchise. And now that they’re trying to phase him out, and phase in Jeremy Renner, dude needs to step his game up. Will he? Probably not. He’ll probably go all Knight & Day on us and completely ruin his screen image to go along with his in-shambles personal image. But whatever. Let him do whatever his thetan tells him to do.

I’ll assume it’ll be the worst in the franchise, even though Brad Bird knows what he’s doing. But even so…

3 stars. It can be a 4, but, let it prove itself. I want awesome. I don’t want your idea of awesome, Cruise, I want real awesome.

Sherlock Holmes 2

I’m sold. Guy Ritchie is back, therefore this movie will have all the personality of the first one. And then some. Just keep up on the scripting duties and we’ll be fine. The first one was kind of like Iron Man, where you had the boring villain just to get into all the good shit in the second one…

Actually, that’s a terrible analogy. Now I’m worried this is going to suck like Iron Man 2 did. And they’re both Downey, and he fucked up Due Date, and really he hasn’t made enough good movies to really live up to all that good will he’s gotten in the last two years…

No, let’s just assume the man will keep the good stuff coming. All he needs to do is talk. He can do that. Just fix what you did wrong in the first one, and we’ll be fine. And no unnecessary action sequences either. And more of that Hans Zimmer score. Really liked the out-of-tune pianos and crazy klezmer-style riffs. That shit was amazing.

4 stars. Just make the non-action scenes as good as the first movie, and give me a better story. Then I can live when you add chases and shit for no reason. Guy Ritchie, please let them let you do it Snatch style. That’ll make it so much better to get through.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

She looks pretty good, right? I mean, for the character, not, like, attractive. Eww. You really go for that shit? That’s fucking disgusting.

I’m just playing. How’s your mother?

I’m really excited for this movie. The original just kind of snuck up on me. I heard everyone was in love with it, then popped it on once Netflix had it watch instantly. And I remember starting it with some other goal in mind — probably writing. And I was going to write while watching it. And then, 30 minutes into the movie, the laptop was put aside. And then 60 minutes into the movie, I’m sitting on the floor in front of the screen with a pillow clutched to my chest like, “what’s going to happen next?” It’s great because it starts after something big happens, and then you’re somehow immediately following this guy on this mundane quest, that slowly becomes a bigger and bigger quest. And then alongside this stick of dynamite comes in that is this girl. Goth chick up there. She’s a computer hacker whom you know nothing about, and every single one of her scenes is incredibly spellbinding to watch. And I don’t know why. Anyway, you should check out the original. It’s fantastic. Though I’m guessing you’ve probably already started reading the books like everyone else has. See the movie. It won’t hurt.

Though I will be watching going, “I wonder how many takes he made them do of that….you think he used a real dildo too?”

5 stars. Oscar hopes too. Which is great. Because if he wins this year, he can be nominated and won’t have to win, so that way people don’t start that whole, “which is better” argument like they did with Let the Right One In and Let Me In. (Let the Right One in. Just saying.)

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Anyone in America know anything about Tintin? Anyone?

Also, there is no secret about the unicorn. It doesn’t exist. There, I just saved you 110 minutes.

I’m kind of pissed at Spielberg for giving in to the dark side. I mean, he was going real well back in the early part of the decade. A.I. was a wish he fulfilled for Kubrick, then Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal (light and fluffy…not that great…but we’ll let it go), War of the Worlds (effective, if overdone and bogged down by Cruise), Munich. Then he goes and does Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Skullfuckers. Man, George Lucas had really given up by that point, hadn’t he? He was like, “Let’s just make something that takes elements from both of our careers, and then ruin it!” The last part was implied. He doesn’t know that’s what he’s doing, he just does it. Now Tintin? Oh boy.

I have hope for Steve based on the film two down from this on this list. I hope that was a private goal of his — have two films directed by him come out on the same day at the box office, so that every dollar taken in by Hollywood goes directly to him. That must be a good feeling.

I’m sure this will be good. I’ll call it 3 stars but we know it’ll probably be 4. But really, Steve? Going the Peter Jackson route? Why? You made Jaws.

Jaws.

We Bought a Zoo

This hasn’t even started shooting yet. I have no idea how they’re going to make this release date. There isn’t even a poster. Usually the poster comes like six months before shooting. So if there’s no poster, there’s no way this can get done for Christmas. But, stranger things have happened. Instead of a picture of a zoo, I’m posting a picture of this:

Actually, this really sounds like a deceptively simple movie. It sounds awesome.

“A father moves his family to the English countryside to own and operate a zoo.”

That’s it. That’s all it is. Matt Damon is the father and Scarlett Johansson and Elle Fanning are the family. There’s really nothing more to say. Cameron Crowe is usually a sign of good things. Let’s hope this works out.

4 stars. Hoping for 5.

War Horse

So, yeah. Once again, a Spielberg film only Spielberg could ever make work. The film is about the horse. How genius is that?

The horse, who lives in the countryside with a young boy, is shipped off to war to be used for the cavalry. And the horse witnesses blood and fire and stuff, serving on both sides of the trenches (like Blondie and Tuco?) before finding himself in No Man’s Land (want to win me over? Make a movie about the trenches of World War I). And the kid, unable to forget his companion and not old enough to enlist, goes on a journey to get the horse back.

I can picture the possibilities now. And knowing Spielberg, he will exploit them to the fullest.

5 stars. I will be crying within the first 90 minutes of this movie.

And that’s it. That’s all the movies. We’re done. (Not really.)

Prognosto Endo.

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