CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT – COMING ATTRACTIONS
by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares
(The Scene: A mysterious cabin in the woods. Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares cautiously approach the structure.)
LS: What are we being so cautious for? We’re horror writers! We love freakish cabins like that!
MA: It’s not the cabin I’m worried about.
LS: What, then?
MA: Shh! I’m worried about those guys! (points to a stone wall to the right of the cabin, and sitting on the wall are the new Three Stooges.)
LS (shudders): Yikes! They are scary! I love the Stooges, but the new movie coming out this month has me terrified!
MA: Me, too! Let’s get to the cabin quick!
(They run to the cabin, LS pulls the dilapidated door off its hinges, and both writers enter. The inside of the cabin is dark and spooky.)
LS (smiles): There’s no place like home!
MA: I’d turn on a light but then we’d be forced to see what’s inside this place. (to camera) I know, without light, how can you see us? Gotta love dramatic license.
LS: Lights? We don’t need no stinkin’ lights!
MA: Anyway, welcome to this month’s COMING ATTRACTIONS column, the column where we preview the movies we’ll be reviewing this April.
Up first, on April 6, it’s AMERICAN REUNION. There’s a good chance one of our staff writers will be covering this one.
LS: I hope so. I didn’t mind the first AMERICAN PIE movie back in 1999, but the characters weren’t good enough to launch a bunch of sequels. For some reason, the trailer for AMERICAN REUNION looked really annoying to me. The only good news is, this is supposedly the last film of the series. Unless it does boffo box-office, and then, I’m sure, the franchise will be resurrected.
On April 13—Friday the 13th! —we’ll be bringing you reviews of three new movies. First up, it’s THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. This one could go either way. It looks like it starts out as a typical “bunch of kids go to stay in a deserted cabin in the woods” movie. We’ve seen that before—too many times, actually—in everything from FRIDAY THE 13th sequels to the EVIL DEAD movies to Eli Roth’s CABIN FEVER (2002). And lots of bad movies. The thing about this one, though, is that it’s supposed to take this clichéd set-up and do an interesting new spin on it. We’ll see.
MA: I’m not sure what to think of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. The trailer didn’t really do much for me. I am glad however, that we get to review a new horror movie. There really haven’t been many horror movies so far in 2012.
It’s written and directed by Drew Goddard, the man who wrote CLOVERFIELD (2008), so this is a good thing. However, it’s also the first time Goddard is directing a movie, so, we’ll see. It’s also written by Josh Whedon, who has a long and varied resume and has written, among other things, TOY STORY (1995) and ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997).
LS: That’s what you know Joss Whedon from?
MA: I don’t know Josh Whedon from a hole in the wall. I’m just listing some of his movie credits.
LS: I’m guessing you weren’t a fan of the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997 – 2003) and ANGEL (1999 – 2004) TV-series. Because those are what made him a household name. Man, could you think of lamer credits to mention?
MA: They’re his movie credits.
LS: Yeah, but who cares about those credits! He’s known for BUFFY and ANGEL!
With talent like Goddard and Whedon involved, I’m thinking CABIN IN THE WOODS has a good shot at being a pleasant surprise. I hope so, at least.
MA: It features a mainly young cast, including THOR himself, Chris Hemsworth. The cast also includes veteran actor Richard Jenkins, who we saw recently in LET ME IN (2010).
LS: And, for Whedon fans, there are two familiar faces from Whedon’s underrated series, DOLLHOUSE (2009 – 2010)– Fran Kranz (who played Topher Brink on the series) and Amy Acker (who played Dr. Saunders, and was also “Fred” on ANGEL).
MA:The same weekend we’ll also be reviewing the new big screen update of THE THREE STOOGES—a film I’m looking forward to only because I’m a huge Three Stooges fan. I have to admit, based on the movie’s trailers, I don’t think this one is going to be so hot, but you never know. You can always hope, right?
(There is a commotion outside the window. The Three Stooges, wearing carpenter overalls, begin hammering on the outside wall.)
LS: Hey! Keep it down! We’re working in here!
CURLY: We’re workin out here!
LARRY: Say, they can’t tell us to be quiet! We’ve got a job to do!
MOE: So what are we standing around out here talking for? Let’s get working! (slaps the other two)
CURLY: I’ll work when I’m ready!
MOE (hits Curly on head with a hammer): Are you ready?
CURLY: I’m ready!
(They return to hammering the walls.)
MA: Guys, we really are working—. (A cream pie suddenly hits MA in the face. LS laughs at him, and then a cream pie hits him in the face as well.)
MA: We’d better stop this routine now. It’s almost as bad as the new movie trailer.
LS: At least the cream pie is tasty! It’s coconut cream!
MA: Chris Diamantopoulos plays Moe, Sean Hayes plays Larry, and Will Sasso plays Curly. Sean Hayes, who plays Larry, is of course known for the TV show WILL AND GRACE (1998-2006), on which he played Jack. Interestingly enough, Hayes also played Jerry Lewis in the TV movie MARTIN AND LEWIS (2002).
LS: And Will Sasso was a regular on MAD TV from 1997 to 2009, and was also in the short-lived William Shatner series $#*! My Dad Says (2010 – 2011). But who is Chris Diamantopolous?
MA: Most of his work has been on TV so far. Shows like THE STARTER WIFE, 24 and UP ALL NIGHT. In fact, all three of these guys built their careers on television, so THE THREE STOOGES might finally make them movie stars.
LS: Or might not.
MA: THE THREE STOOGES was written and directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, otherwise known as the Farrelly brothers, and they’ve been responsible for some pretty good comedies over the years, including THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (1998) and DUMB AND DUMBER (1994).
LS: I also like their movie KINGPIN (1996) a lot. But they’ve also made their share of duds, too. Based on the trailers, I’d say this might be a bit painful to sit through. But I’d be really happy if it surprised me.
MA: Heck, Larry David is even on hand, as Sister Mary-Mengele. Take that for what it’s worth!
LS: Somehow that doesn’t reassure me.
MA: The science fiction adventure LOCKOUT also opens on April 13, and we most likely will have one of our talented staff writers covering this one. It doesn’t do a whole lot for me, as it looks like ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) in space!
LS: Yeah, I’m not going to be too sad that we can’t review LOCKOUT. It does look like a rip-off of ESCAPE, except, instead of Kurt Russell as the cool Snake Plissken, we have Guy Pearce as some ultra-cool dude named Snow. (yawns)
On April 20, THE MOTH DIARIES opens to a limited release. I don’t know much about this one, and there’s a good chance it won’t even be playing near us. At first, I thought it might have something to do with that Richard Gere movie, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES (2002), but I think it’s actually about vampires. If it comes near me, I’ll try to review it.
MA: I’d say chances are incredibly slim it will be playing anywhere near me.
STAKE LAND looks like ZOMBIELAND (2009), but with vampires instead of zombies, and without the laughs.
LS: So basically it doesn’t look like ZOMBIELAND at all.
MA (laughing): No.
Actually, it does, in that the world is being overrun, but by vampires, not zombies. I thought the preview looked halfway decent.
LS: STAKE LAND is another one of those movies, like YELLOWBRICKROAD that came out on DVD last year and got a lot of buzz, so I’m interested in seeing it. Hopefully it’s better than YELLOWBRICKROAD, though. That one was a disappointment.
On April 27, we’ll be reviewing THE RAVEN. This one reminds me a bit of the new SHERLOCK HOLMES movies that Robert Downey Jr. has been doing, because it looks like another case of a cerebral character from the 1800s being turned into an action star for mass consumption. Except this time it’s a real historical figure.
MA: Real historical figures transformed into action stars? Where else have I heard that concept before?
LS: Well, there’s another movie coming in June called ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER.
MA: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I’m on the fence about THE RAVEN. I like the concept, the idea of Edgar Allan Poe solving murders and chasing down a crazed killer who’s basing his crimes on Poe’s stories, and the film looks atmospheric. While I’m not a huge John Cusack fan, he is a very good actor, and so he should be fine as Poe, but for some reason, this one’s not exciting me. I guess because I haven’t seen or read anything about it that seems to imply that it will be really special.
LS: I like Cusack, but, seriously, I don’t know why they didn’t cast Jeffrey Combs in the role instead. Most people will remember Combs from his iconic role as Herbert West, the RE-ANIMATOR (1985), but he also played Poe on an episode of the Showtime series MASTERS OF HORROR, and also played the role in a one-man stage show. Seems to me he has pretty much made Poe his own. Cusack seems like a bit of a letdown in comparison, because, in the trailers at least, he seems more like John Cusack that Edgar Allan Poe.
MA: I’ll also be reviewing the latest Jason Statham action pic, SAFE, which also opens on April 27. I guess I’ll be doing that one by myself. I’ve become a Jason Statham fan the past few years, as I’ve enjoyed his recent performances, and so I’m looking forward to SAFE, even if it looks like just another action movie. I’m hoping Statham’s presence will lift it above the fray.
LS: Yep, there are some blockbusters on the way in May. (Sticks his head out the window where the Three Stooges are working.) You guys have any more cream pies?
MOE: Would you like another cream pie?
LS: Of course. They were delicious.
MOE: Boys, let’s give the man another pie.
(They fire Three pies at LS, who ducks, and all three pies hit MA. LS laughs.
LS: I just love the Three Stooges, don’t you?
MA (wiping pie from his face): Oh yeah. They’re a riot.
© Copyright 2012 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares