Archive for the ‘At First Sight’ Category

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘A Serious Man’ looks BEYOND Coen-y

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

And don’t get me wrong, that’s a great thing.  Any Coen Brothers movie release is a GD event here in these parts.

Watch this and then let’s count the ways.

1 – Violence.

2 – Droll fat lady.

3 – Marital problems/infidelity.

4 – Desperate dude.

5 – Money!  in an envelope.

6 – Wheezy old guy in the back room

7 – The Feeling of overwhelming angst mixed with nervous humor.

Check x 7.  And some others I’m sure, including the mystery.  They’re not really interested in pulling you into the story are they, but in case you’re wondering, here’s the plot lifted from

“A Serious Man” is the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and “F-Troop” is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous colleagues, Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny (Aaron Wolf) is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job. While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter-writer is trying to sabotage Larry’s chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person – a mensch – a serious man?

Well, that sounds about right.

It’s interesting they cast a bunch of no-namers and non-Coen regulars.  I wonder if they wanted a publicity break from the Brad Pitt and George Clooney effect on ‘Burn After Reading.’

It premieres at the Toronto Film Festival and is then released early October.  I’ll be there and I have a pretty clear idea of how I’ll be feeling the next morning, these movies have a vibe that sure does stick.  Shit, I’ll be hearing that head-to-chalkboard rhythm for the rest of the day I imagine.  ‘We’re gonna be fiiiine,’ he says.  Hmm, I don’t believe it.  Shall we take bets on who dies?

AT FIRST SIGHT: It’s a time machine and it’s also a hot tub

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Hot Tub Time Machine:

What do we think what do we think…..

This doesn’t give us too much here, which I’m glad because if I learned anything from ‘The Hangover’ it’s that a spoilery trailer can really ruin a flick.  That last speech by Craig Robinson really put me on board though because I had that Terminator discussion literally 5 days ago with Dan.

When does this come out?  Uhhhh, lemme see….  February.  February!  Shit that’s far away.

I will now spend the next 6 months with my fingers in my ears going ‘lalalalala’ so maybe this movie can stand a chance and not get buzzed to death.

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘Metropia’

Friday, July 24th, 2009


A still from Tarik Saleh’s ‘Metropia’

This one looks a little nutty. Like I want to see it just to see how nutty it will be. I don’t exactly expect it to blow me away, but it’ll make me furrow my brow for sure.

Metropia, a Swedish sci-fi animted film will open up Venice Film Festival’s Critic’s Week. Its director, Tarik Saleh is a former graffiti artist and founder of Atmo Media Network. His history as a graffiti artist tweaks the look of his CG in a good-creepy way which makes me want to go see it.

Basically, Metropia takes place in 2024 in a world that is menaced by “a dangerous champoo seeping into people’s thoughts.” The trailer is not particularly informative but gets the feeling across for sure:

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘Zombieland’ trailer…

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

…is available for viewing.  Why don’t I get that for you……

Does this look good?  I’m too busy thinking about the cast.  I am on a lot of these trains, ya know what I’m saying.  I saw ‘Adventureland’ and therefore love Jesse Eisenberg.  What a doll.  He’s selling?  I’m buying.

‘Hey, I’m Jesse.’

I’ve seen ‘Superbad’, ahem ‘The House Bunny’, and *cough cough cough cough* ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ *cough cough cough*, and a common good between them: Emma Stone.

‘Hi, I’m Emma’

And then of course ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ herself is always a treat.

‘How long is my hair here?’

And then of course, Mr. Woody Harrelson.

I just wanted an excuse to post this.

What was I talking about again???


Monday, July 20th, 2009

This lovely gem opens on Friday. I think it looks funny. And what I say goes.


Friday, July 17th, 2009


I found this charming press photo with a little ’18′ censor circle over his package – for you sensitive folks out there.

Oh, foreign film. How I love thee. I was wandering around the Apple trailers site and stumbled across Hungarian filmmaker Gyorgy Palfi’s Taxidermia. Wow. It’s like Delicatassen meets Amelie, horrifying and charming all at once. The synopsis? Why sure:

TAXIDERMIA contains three generational stories, about a grandfather, a father, and a son, linked together by recurring motifs. The dim grandfather, an orderly during World War Two, lives in his bizarre fantasies; he desires love. The huge father seeks success as a top athlete — a speed eater — in the post-war pro-Soviet era. The grandson, a meek, small-boned taxidermist, yearns for something greater: immortality. He wants to create the most perfect work of art of all time by stuffing his own torso. Historical facts and surrealism become intertwined as magical realism, like in the works of Gabriel García Marquez or the Hungarian writer Lajos Parti Nagy; the script is based on two of the latter’s stories. Palfi added the third story, that of the grandson the taxidermist.

- From Apple trailers website

It’s set for limited release here in the States on August 14th. I’ll be catching it at the Nuart on the Westside.

Here’s the official website (worth checking out for sure) and here’s the trailer:

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Mr. Fox1

Mr. Fox2

Stills from Wes Anderson’s ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ (courtesy

Um. These scare me. It’s like a Disneyland ride gone bad. The first looks like they’re all coming to get me – you know, where they walk towards the camera and then all their hands cover the lens like I’m being swarmed. And the second looks like we’ve interrupted Mr. Fox while he was – well, let’s let our imaginations run with that.

So I can’t say that I’m hyped about this film. The problem is that I LOVE Wes Anderson. But (A) these stills are not only creepy, they’re quite plain compared to what I hoped would come from Wes and (B) I never read The Fantastic Mr. Fox so I can’t quite get as excited about it as I am for Where The Wild Things Are. Do I watch it as a faithful Wes fan? Or scrap it to DVD cause I might have nightmares of oversized Briar Rabbits? Somebody help.

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘Extract’ – Not at all what that title makes you imagine.

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Who’s not sick of Jason Bateman?  (I raise hand.)

Who thinks Mila Kunis is impossibly cute and charming? (My hand is still up.)

Who finds the mere image of Ben Affleck in a long haired stoner wig amusing? (I make a shruggy ‘ehhhh’ expression.)

Who loved ‘Office Space’ and considers themself a true Mike Judge fan?! (I try to raise my hand, but my brother doesn’t let me.  Because no I haven’t seen ‘Idiocracy’ yet, it’s not even on my queue.  Look, I’m sorry, I’m adding it now!)

Mike Judge has a new comedy coming out!  I got you a trailer of it!  (Hold out til the end, k?)

What do you think?  Looks funny enough right?  J.K. Simmons and Kristen Wiig 4evs and also yes that is ‘Vote for Pedro’ Pedro there in the hat.  Comes out on Labor Day.  Get it?????

Fun fact: Mike Judge was born in Ecuador.

You’re welcome.

AT FIRST SIGHT: This. is going. to be. amazing. ‘The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus’

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Dr. Parnassus

Film poster for ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’

Holy mother this one is up there with Alice in Wonderland. I can’t say I exactly stalk Terry Gilliam, but I do think he’s more than brilliant. Due to the simple fact that he’s behind this fantastical film, I know it’s going to be utterly amazing. The kind of amazing that I’ll watch over and over again, just like Brazil.

Now, tons of people are throwing support behind this because it’s ‘Heath Ledger’s last film.’ Which, okay, yes it’s nice to be sentimental about Heath but come on! Let’s give Terry his just desserts. So, I’m saying this here and now: it’s okay for you to go and watch this film because of Heath, but please, please recognize Terry’s genius. Okay. Happy now.

Anyhoo, the gist of the story? It’s amazingly complicated. There are deals with the devil (many) and promised children and schemes to get around deals with the devil. You can read the whole thing here: IMDB. In any case, we know the story will be intriguing and amazing. Set design and costumes as well. And the cast? Well… it’s kind of dreamy. Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer AND Tom Waits. Wow. This is going to kick everything’s ass all over the place. You know where I’ll be on September 24th. Here’s a clip. I had nothing to do with the French subtitles, it showed in Cannes so, well, you get it:

AT FIRST SIGHT: ‘Spread’ – Please don’t.

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

I had come here to write about the lack of LOLs in the trailer for ‘Couples Retreat.’ despite many a face I love, but then put up the trailer for ‘Spread’ right after it.

Thoughts as I watched: Why is he talking like that?  Um, that is so the girly way to spell Nikki.  I hate it when the world is full of dumb, slutty women all except for ONE.  And who is this nobody?  If the plot of this requires one nugget of sympathy for this guy, I see a problem.  ‘A Van Halen video’???  When I think of Van Halen videos I think of awkward dance routines and one naughty teacher, not a Hollywood pool party.  Stop talking like that!

I have strong doubts this is set for wide release, so I guess my main problem is that Ashton Kutcher while obviously ridiculously good-looking is supposedly smart and also somewhat talented.  At least charismatic, no?

Figure it out, dude.  Or whatever, don’t.  You do have an age-defying woman in your arms and a dumpload of cash from all your reality TV programs…  That’s probably enough.