The Silver Bullet ~ Interstellar (Trailer #3)

interstellar

Synopsis: A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Release Date: November 7, 2014

Thoughts: I’m so ready to see Interstellar. Not that I needed any more convincing after the teaser and first trailer for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi drama, but this recently released preview shown at Comic-Con definitely ramps up my anticipation.  I cringed a bit when I saw how long the trailer was but thankfully Nolan (Batman Begins) remains a cagey filmmaker and doesn’t let go of many plotlines and important pieces of info that could spoil the overall experience.  Bolstered by a truly A-list cast featuring Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Jessica Chastain (Mama), Ellen Burstyn (Draft Day), and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises), the rocket boosters are starting to truly heat up to send this one into orbit come November.  Can’t wait.

The Silver Bullet ~ Whiplash

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Synopsis: A young musician struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer.

Release Date: October 10, 2014

Thoughts: If early awards buzz is to be believed (and in this PR heavy brave new internet world every trumpeted performance should be taken with a grain of Kosher salt) then Whiplash is going to be a movie audiences will want to add to their Oscar shortlist.  Actually, it’s supporting actor J.K. Simmons (Labor Day) who might want to make sure his tuxedo fits because his performance as a driven music teacher coming down hard on a young drummer (Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now, That Awkward Moment) is earning raves across the board.  With Simmons reprising his role from a 2013 short of the same name, this represents a rare case of a short film being expanded into feature length.  Another film I’m greatly looking forward to this year, Whiplash could be 2014’s little indie that could.

The Silver Bullet ~ Ouija

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Synopsis: A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.

Release Date: October 24, 2014

Thoughts: The only thing worse than a bad horror movie is a bad horror trailer and this overlong first look at Ouija doesn’t bode well for the October release.  Giving away possibly all of its twists and turns along with its basic flimsy plot, if ever a movie called for a teaser short on information but big on atmosphere it would be this one.  Not the first horror film to center on a Ouija board (1986’s Witchboard also comes to mind), I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long for a movie studio to give the omnipresent sleepover entertainment another chance to cash in at the box office.  From the looks of it, you may get more unexpected scares venturing into your own attic to get your Ouija board off the shelf…

The Silver Bullet ~ The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Synopsis: The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug’s lair; but can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it?

Release Date: December 17, 2014

Thoughts: All those eyebrows that have been raised since Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth and the land of elves, hobbits, dragons, and wizards will finally get a chance to rest once the final chapter of The Hobbit trilogy is released in December. Though the trilogy hasn’t been met with the same rapturous acclaim that The Lord of the Rings films accumulated, there’s no denying Jackson has leveraged his talents to see it all through to the very end. I was slow to warm to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and thought The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was an improvement so I hope that trajectory continues. Even with the endless debate about Jackson’s use of advanced filming technology and employment of 3D can’t diminish my overall respect for his hefty accomplishment. Looking forward to this, no question.

The Silver Bullet ~ Ghostbusters

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Synopsis: Three unemployed parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Release Date:  August 29, 2014 (30th Anniversary Release)

Thoughts: I wouldn’t normally feature a trailer for an older film so prominently on this site, but seeing that said film is 1984’s Ghostbusters and that the re-release is set to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the 80s hit comedy I decided to make an exception.  There’s not a lot particularly special about this trailer, and anyone that’s remotely familiar with the movie may feel it comes off as more of an ad for the upcoming BluRay release than anything else…but my nostalgia meter went off the charts the moment Ray Parker Jr.’s Oscar nominated theme song started up.  Playing for only one week in theaters (though these limited runs often turn into two weeks at least), I ain’t afraid of no ticket prices and will happily see this one on the big screen again.

The Silver Bullet ~ Wild

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Synopsis: A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

Release Date: December 5, 2014

Thoughts: Remember that time that Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar for Walk the Line?  Yeah…that seems like a distant memory now.  Though I still feel Witherspoon was led to the podium by a campaign based on charm rather than an award winning performance (Felicity Huffman should have been honored for Transamerica that particular year), she’s proved more often than not that she’s a smart cookie of an actress.  Paired with Jean-Marc Vallée who led not one but two actors to Oscar victory in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club and working with a script by Nick Hornby (About a Boy) based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild could be the movie that brings Witherspoon (This Means War, Mud) back into the top tier of Hollywood’s A-List.  Don’t expect some wimpy outdoor version of Eat, Pray, Love either…the trailer indicates Wild will be a raw journey for all involved.  That alone makes it worth looking forward to.

The Silver Bullet ~ The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

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Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.

Release Date: November 21, 2014

Thoughts: Though I’m still not crazy about the last book of The Hunger Games trilogy being split into two parts being released this year and next, I have to admit being fairly excited for November to roll around so I can get a look at the first chapter in the epic finale. I’ve held off on reading the book until the release is closer but based on how well The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire made their way to the big screen, I have high hopes that these next two installments will maintain the gold standard of its predecessors. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Julianne Moore (Carrie), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Woody Harrelson (Out of the Furnace), and Elizabeth Banks (Man on a Ledge) should be sitting pretty this Thanksgiving.

The Silver Bullet ~ Mad Max: Fury Road

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Synopsis: An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life.

Release Date: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: It’s been 30 years since Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and it feels like this follow-up/reboot has been filming for nearly the same amount of time.  It always amazes me the gestation period for certain blockbuster movies and Mad Max: Fury Road has been in utero long past its intended release way back in 2009.  With returning director George Miller and a new Max (Tom Hardy, This Means War), this first look at the action adventure set for release in May 2015 looks heavy on sand, style, violence, and atmosphere…all keeping in line with the series Miller started in 1979.  Add the always intriguing Charlize Theron (A Million Ways to Die in the West) to the mix and Warner Brothers already has a furious head start on laying claim to the summer of 2015.

The Silver Bullet ~ Unbroken

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Unbroken

Synopsis: A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.

Release Date: December 25, 2014

Thoughts: A film with such pedigree comes along once in a blue moon so even if this trailer for Unbroken had been two minutes of orange juice being poured I still would have this on the tippy top of my most anticipated films of 2014.  Directed by Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) from a script by Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis) adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s blockbuster bestseller, Unbroken could appear to some as the most tasty of Oscar bait treats.  However, seeing that it’s based on the incredible true story of a P.O.W. during World War II and his journey toward forgiveness, I just can’t deny the classic feeling the movie invokes within me.  Fingers, toes, and eyes are crossed that this impressively moving trailer is backed up by an equally worthy film.

Movie Review ~ And So It Goes

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The Facts:

Synopsis: A self-centered realtor enlists the help of his neighbor when he’s suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.

Stars: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Frankie Valli, Scott Shepherd, Frances Sternhagen, Andy Karl, Annie Parisse

Director: Rob Reiner

Rated: PG-13

Running Length: 94 minutes

TMMM Score: (2/10)

Review: Instead of a straight-forward review, here’s how I imagine Rob Reiner pitched And So It Goes to Diane Keaton:

Rob Reiner: Hey Diane, I have a movie I think you should be in with Michael Douglas. It’s about –

Diane Keaton: Rob, I’m just going to stop you right there.  I have some questions.

RR: Um, ok…is it about the movie?

DK: Sure.  First things first.  Can I wear only cream, taupe, and ivory shirts with large collars?

RR: Well…yes, I think that would work.  See, you’d be playing a-

DK: Great! Yes, I love those shirts, they are so comfortable and I really feel I can be myself in them, y’know?

RR: Yes. I know.  Now that we have that straightened out –

DK: Ooooo!  And skirts!  I need to wear skirts that end above the knee and are five times the circumference of my body.  At all times.  I could maybe go for pants but only in inclement weather.

RR: I’m not sure the skirts would make sense to the character…

DK: Great!  And I’ll want to hike the skirts up under my armpits so it looks like I’m being consumed from the waist up. And belts…the bigger the better.

RR: Let’s talk more about that later, I’d like to tell you what the movie is about.  You’d be playing a widowed lounge singer living next door to a grumpy old guy played by Michael.  The whole plot revolves around him being forced to take care of his granddaughter abandoned by his prison bound son.

DK: I was in the original Broadway cast of Hair…did you know that?

RR: I did…and you were great.

DK: I know, right?  I’ll sing torch songs, then?

RR: Yes, and I’d be playing your pianist because I can’t NOT be in a movie I’m directing.  I think, however, that I’ll wear a toupee so people won’t recognize me.

DK: Why don’t YOU wear a big skirt and a belt?

RR: No, I think the toupee is enough of a challenge for me.

DK: OK.  Y’know Rob, I was thinking.

RR: About the character?

DK: (laughs) No!  I don’t think I’m totally sold on your idea of just dressing in beige colors the whole time.  I think we need to throw in some reds and polka dots…and red polka dots.

RR: Diane, you suggested the color palette.

DK: (laughs again) Noooo…I think that was your suggestion.  So I’m playing a romantic at heart that convinces this old codger next door that you’re never too old to change?  Hmmmm…sounds an awful lot like As Good As It Gets with my old Reds costar Jack Nicholson.

RR: Well that’s probably because Mark Andrus wrote the screenplays for both.

DK: Ah…so it’s a sequel?

RR: No, no…just a painfully clumsy re-working of that film, lacking any sort of humor, warmth, or honest emotion.

DK: Yikes…sounds pretty bad.  Didn’t you direct Stand By Me, Misery, A Few Good Men, and When Harry Met Sally… those were great films, Rob!

RR: Yeah…I know.  I think Sally Struthers put some sort of curse on me.

DK: Is there anything of value in the movie?

RR: I’m thinking of casting Frances Sternhagen in a thankless role that she could do in her sleep.  And ever since Frankie Valli was passed over to play himself in the movie version of Jersey Boys

DK: Ooo…I think that movie is going to bomb…looks terrible.

RR: Totally!  Anyway…now Frankie has the acting bug…I’ll just give him one awkward scene and that’ll shut him up.

DK: What about the granddaughter, is she cute at least?

RR: Not really…she has the bad habit of looking directly into the camera…but if I have time after my toupee lessons I’ll try to break her of that.

DK: Well Rob, I gotta tell ya…this sounds like a pretty bad film from the outset.  The kind that should go straight to Netflix instead of playing in the theaters.  The type of movie that people may say “What are Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton doing in this garbage?”  The sort of experience moviegoers young and old will find impossible to relate to filled with characters no one can sympathize with.  I’ll just bet that the script is illogical, incoherent, insipid, contradictory, and clichéd at every possible turn.  I mean, next thing you’ll tell me is that Michael’s character will deliver a baby with his bare hands and I’ll film a sex scene miraculously wearing more make-up than I did before the humping started two minutes earlier.

RR: Well…what if I promise you can wear a red polka dotted neckerchief in two scenes?

DK: I’m in!!!!