Cinema Knife Fight: COMING ATTRACTIONS FEBRUARY 2012
CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT: COMING ATTRACTIONS
By Michael Arruda & L.L Soares
(The Scene: A toy store. A little girl screams when a Teddy Bear floats off the shelf and starts to chase her. MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES enter scene.)
MA: That’s a new low for you. Picking on little kids.
LS: Don’t look at me. I didn’t do that. Who do you think I am, Yoda? Besides, if I could do that sort of thing, I wouldn’t waste it on kids. I’d pick on adults. Like this.
(LS waves his arms and a stack of game boxes falls off a shelf and crashes on top of a man’s head. The man screams and his girlfriend rushes to his aid.)
MA (dressed as Darth Vader): Impressive. Very impressive.
MA: So, how exactly did you do that, Yoda?
LS: Don’t call me Yoda. If I’m any character from STAR WARS it’d better be Darth Vader….or Chewy!
MA: You could be the Emperor.
LS: That shriveled up old dude? No way— what’s with all this STAR WARS talk anyway?
MA: Well, two reasons. The main reason is the first movie we’re reviewing this month, CHRONICLE, is about a group of young men with some super powers that look strangely familiar. They can move objects without touching them, and my thirteen year-old son commented that it looks like they’re using The Force.
LS (groans): Actually, it’s called telekinesis, and it’s been around in literature and movies a lot longer than The Force.
MA: I’m not so sure about that. After all, when talking about The Force, we’re talking about events that happened “a long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away.”
LS: Hey, I was actually looking forward to CHRONICLE. Why did you have to go and bring up STARS WARS for?
MA: Well, the other reason is THE PHANTOM MENACE is being re-released in 3D in February.
LS (grins): The one with Jar Jar! Hey – you didn’t say the full title. It’s really STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999). Don’t tell me we’re reviewing that one, too?
MA: Nope. We’ve seen THE PHANTOM MENACE. No reason to see it in 3D.
(Samuel Jackson strolls by wearing a Jedi robe.)
JACKSON: Take a seat, you two! And put on a pair of 3D glasses!
MA: Uh, not this time. Go seek out some fans who don’t care that they’re seeing the same movie YET AGAIN! It’d be nice if George Lucas would come up with something original.
(JACKSON ignites a light saber. LS waves his arms, and JACKSON disappears.)
LS: Take that! You foolish Jedi! (to MA) I never was all that impressed with Sam Jackson as a Jedi. He’s actually a lot scarier in PULP FICTION (1994).
MA: Neat trick. How did you—?
LS: A magician never reveals his secrets.
MA: Tell that to Penn and Teller. Anyway, getting back to the movies we’re reviewing….
CHRONICLE actually looks pretty cool. It has an interesting trailer, and it looks like it has potential. On the other hand, it also has the potential to be pretty stupid. We’ll have to see.
LS: This is another new movie to use the popular “fake documentary” style. It looks like someone is videotaping it while it happens. We just saw this applied to exorcism movies in THE DEVIL INSIDE, and it should be cool to see it used in a story about three guys with telekinetic powers. I’m looking forward to this one.
MA: On February 10, we’ll be reviewing SAFE HOUSE starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington. I’m looking forward to this one. I always enjoy Washington, as he’s one of my favorite actors working today.
On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of Reynolds. I didn’t enjoy him all that much in GREEN LANTERN (2011).
LS: I’m with you. I like Washington, but I’m still on the fence about Reynolds. I’ve liked him in some things, but GREEN LANTERN wasn’t one of them.
MA: The story itself, about a CIA agent, played by Reynolds, taking on a fugitive, played by Washington, looks OK, but certainly doesn’t wow me. This one could go either way, but I do like Washington a lot, so I’m guessing I’ll like this one.
LS: I’m willing to give it a chance, but I’m not really too psyched to see this one. Maybe it will surprise me.
On February 17, we’ll be reviewing GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (2012), the sequel to GHOSE RIDER (2007), a movie that I had mixed feelings about. I still say that Nicholas Cage is a lot of fun as an action star, but I’m also a big fan of the comic book character, Ghost Rider is pretty cool, and the first movie had a lot of scenes that made me wince. That said, this one looks like it could be potentially better than the first one. I sure hope so. Even if it’s bad, I’m sure there will be some great Nick Cage moments to keep it from being totally awful.
MA: It’s hard for me to get excited about GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE. I’m not a big Nicholas Cage fan, and this is a sequel, and so my expectations aren’t high. Although it does have Idris Elba in it, and I usually enjoy his work.
LS: I like Idris Elba, too. As for Cage, his last two movies, SEASON OF THE WITCH and DRIVE ANGRY (both 2011), were both a lot of fun. So, we’ll see what happens. It could go either way.
MA: We finish the month with GONE (2012), a thriller starring Amanda Seyfried. I like Seyfried a lot, as every movie I’ve seen her in I’ve found her completely captivating to watch. So, I’m looking forward to GONE.
LS: I like Seyfried, too, but I’m not always happy with her movie choices. While I thought she was the best thing in JENNIFER’S BODY (2009) acting-wise, it wasn’t that great a movie. But I did think she was great in CHLOE (also 2009). And you liked her a lot in RED RIDING HOOD (2011). But then I think that she was also in MAMA MIA (2008) and the DEAR JOHN (2010)…..Ugh.
I never know when a new movie starring Seyfried is going to be good or dismal.
MA: I didn’t see JENNIFER’S BODY, and although MAMA MIA was goofy, Seyfried was great.
The trailer for GONE makes it sound like a pretty ordinary tale. Seyfried plays someone who believes her sister was abducted, but the police think otherwise. The question will be, is Seyfried’s character telling the truth or is she crazy?
LS: I find it hard to care. The trailer for this one looks pretty bland.
MA: I’ll be interested to see how this one plays out. It’s written by Allison Burnett, one of the screewriters for UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING (2012), which is NOT a good sign. However, keeping an open mind, maybe her work here will be better.
LS: Yep, always gotta keep an open mind. I always want her to be in a good movie. This one looks like your standard woman-in-jeopardy thriller, like the Ashley Judd movie KISS THE GIRLS (1997). Similar kind of vibe. For some reason, I’m not really all that excited about it.
MA: Well, that’s it for this month’s Coming Attractions column. So, now that we’re finished, are you going to tell me how you moved those boxes?
LS: That’s easy. I did it like this. (Waves his arms again, and this time stacks of toys fall from the shelves and crash onto MA’s head) See?
MA (seeing stars circling his head): That’s not exactly what I meant—.