The crew is back, finding reasons for hope (Inception) and doubt (Salt) and plenty to gawk or gander at in the ever-changing landscape of late July.
I barely have any idea what this is about but I am so fucking stoked to see it. Leo Dicaprio, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are, like, dream thieves or something? Most of the movie seems to take place inside a dream world where city blocks fold in on themselves and gravity barely exists and shit is blowing up everywhere in slow motion. Hell, yes. Also, it’s directed and written by Christopher Nolan and that dude has an awesome track record; and not just with Batman.
Between Christopher Nolan and the stellar cast, this may be the summer movie I am most excited for. The plot seems interesting with DiCaprio as a thief who steals secrets from his target’s subconscious, but could also go too far into sci-fi territory. Hopefully with Nolan on board the story will remain tight and well-paced.
Most of the mainstream audience love Christopher Nolan for his work on the Batman films, but I have been a fan ever since Memento and I haven’t missed a film of his since. I am still not entirely sure what the plot is (something involving entering dreams), however I am intrigued enough to see the film with the full IMAX experience.
Man, I didn’t even know Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in this, that’s awesome. I was already impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page in a movie that crosses The Matrix with an actor (I’m so sorry Keanu; I just went with the easy joke… I’m ashamed). It’s a big reunion for Batman Begins fellas (Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine) allowing the creative team the ability to tell a story that isn’t burdened by the fan mythos of doing a Batman film. I’m completely going to see this.
One interesting thing about this film: the character of Salt, played by Angelina Jolie, was written for a man (Tom Cruise, I think). And that’s about all that interests me about this movie so far. Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent and a captured Russian spy or something tells her she’s a sleeper agent secretly working for the Russians so she goes on the run and so forth. I might be more interested in this if the previews didn’t look so generic and if Salt didn’t look like a female, anemic stick-figure parody of Jason Bourne. I can’t accept that someone who looks as brittle as the pretzel sticks on my coffee table can jump off a bridge onto a moving truck and not snap her femur.
The trailer for Salt has me intrigued. I like Angelina Jolie in action roles and this looks like it could be a decent spy thriller, perfect for the summer. Jolie’s involvement adds a touch of class to what otherwise could have been a crummy action flick with a lesser female lead attached. It’s also interesting that Jolie’s character was originally a male role written for Tom Cruise. I don’t think I’m the only one who is glad that Cruise passed.
Is it just me, or is Angelina Jolie not all that appealing anymore? This seems to be a generic thriller that I would only go see if there was nothing else to watch.
Argh, there’s no way I’m seeing this. The trailer is so dumb — she’s accused of being a secret Russian agent, and then instead of refuting a crazy claim by an unreliable prisoner, she runs away and looks completely guilty. It would be an entirely different story if the trailer showed us some reason why the crazy prisoner is to be believed beyond the fact that Salt runs away, or if the audience was given some better grounding in the story. But we aren’t because the trailer went for splashy and cool. Well, it’s not cool, because you withheld too much necessary information.
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
It does look at times awesomely bad. But it’s still going to be bad to the umpteenth degree. Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone made a movie that combined Marmaduke/Garfield/Cats and Dogs with Air Bud as the hero (“Save me Air Bud!”) and was fully trying to be terrible while being aware of it? Yeah, it’d probably be a waste of time. Cats and Dogs has got Chris O’Donnell in it, and when has he ever done a bad movie? Never. Not even once. Especially not Batman and Robin.
Charlie St. Cloud
Laugh all you want at a poorly-titled movie starring Zac Efron as a guy trying to deal with his grief after his younger brother passes away while under his watch. It has all the markings of a sappy teen flick that will drive girls who haven’t pasted over their Efron posters with pictures of Robert Pattinson to the theatres. However, the film is directed by Burr Steers, writer and director of the great Igby Goes Down, which is enough to make me give Charlie St. Cloud a chance.
I’m watching the trailer, it’s Zac Efron and a little brother, things are tough because their father isn’t around for some reason, but they’ll stick together and win the big boating race or something. And then they’re in the car. And then the other car is driving towards the driver’s side with the little brother. And here’s my reaction: “Wait- what! Nooooo! Little brother!” And then things are crazy and sad. So, sorry Zac Efron, I was going to avoid this because I can’t be seen going to a Zac Efron picture, but then you added the super-sadness. Not my thing.
Dinner For Schmucks
This is a remake of The Dinner Game, a French movie where wealthy socialites have a contest each week to see who can bring the dumbest guest to dinner. Paul Rudd is a businessman who reluctantly agrees to this in order to get a promotion, and Steve Carell is the schmuck he invites. And also Zack Galifinakas is there. The cast is great and it looks like it will be entertaining, but I’m a bit put off by its lack of an R rating. Comedies like this seem to suffer in quality when the characters are put in emotional and embarrassing situations but can only respond with words no harsher than “poop.”
This film generated a minor controversy, since the Yiddish word “Schmuck” can be interpreted as a curse word. This looks to be a funny comedy that reunites Steve Carrel and Paul Rudd for the first time since The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
While I am disappointed that this isn’t a movie about a Fake Psychic Battle society, as I originally thought it was, still it’s got Steve Carell, and I love Paul Rudd (even if I do always forget his name; always wanting to call him Vince Vaughn even though I know that isn’t who he is). I’m looking forward to this, two different trailers made me laugh, that’s kind of the litmus test here.
The Extra Man
Kevin Kline returns to cinema! Remember that guy? Yeah, he’s awesome. In The Extra Man he plays an aging male escort of questionable but hilarious moral character, who takes on Paul Dano as his roommate. I was going to make a joke here about Kline drinking Dano’s milkshake, but it ended up sounding dirty.
I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival and it highlighted by a great performance by Robert Duvall. Definitely worth seeing if you can.