OCTOBER 1ST, 2010
David Fincher (director)
Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield, Brenda Song
David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin take on the story of Facebook, specifically its beginnings in the dorms and classrooms of Harvard. There’s a lot of darkness to be found in a seemingly typical story of ambition, greed, and divided friendships made more dramatic by virtue of the massive scale and speed of the Facebook phenomenon, and the disproportionately enormous amounts of money and power thrust on those involved.
Good or Bad: You can’t argue with the pedigree, and the promotion so far has been excellent. Trailers and ads have made no bones about the fact that this is a grim, dramatic take on the origin on the popular service, and the gravitas of those involved seems to communicated that this isn’t just a silly cash-in tale. Sorkin’s script has been repeatedly praised, the film is stirring up the powers at Facebook, Reznor is finally delivering his first feature-film score, and Fincher seems to be perfectly at home digging the sinister out of Harvard’s hallowed halls. Here’s hoping this is as good as it looks.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Eh, more interested in that movie about the guys who invented porn or whatever. I’d watch that shit in 3D!”
Let Me In
Matt Reeves (director)
Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins
A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian
remake of Let The Right One In has certainly divided fans of the
original. On one hand the original is a masterpiece, a haunting and
beautiful film that proved there was still life to the genre- what could
the director of Cloverfield hope to improve on it? On the other hand,
the trailer looks interesting, yet very familiar. Unfortunately, it
seems as if some of the material from the book that was left out of the
original was left out here, and there’s always the scary thought about
what decisions might have been made to certain themes in the original.
Uncle Mitch Says: “You see that little Chloe chick in Kick-Ass? Let Me In, indeed!”
Chris D’Arienzo (Director)
Mae Whitman, Patrick Wilson, Malcolm McDowell
Barry Munday (Patrick Wilson) is a goofus ladies’ man who loses both his testicles after an irate father finds his daughter giving Barry a handy in a movie theater… and destroys Barry’s junk with a trumpet. *pauses for effect* Then Barry receives a letter from Ginger (Judy Greer), a girl he recently got more than a handy from, informing him that he is to be a father. With no balls to make sperm to make more babies, Barry realizes this is his one and only chance at fatherhood.
Good or Bad: Eeeeehhhhhhhhh… 50/50. Patrick Wilson looks pretty hilarious in this, and it has a fun cast – Greer is always a pip and Billy Dee Williams and Kyle Gass show up – but the concept is a little too cute and given that it’s coming from an untested filmmaker, I gotta err on the safe side and say BAD.
Uncle Mitch Says: “This is a comedy? Man loses his jewels and falls in love with an ugly pregnant broad? Sounds like a horror movie to me.”
Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki, Morgan Spurlock (directors)
Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki and Morgan Spurlock will explore the hidden side of everything.
Good/Bad: Good. When you can get no less than a half dozen top documentary filmmakers to collaborate on a project with source material as widely read as Freakonomics, chances are you’re off on the right foot. Early reviews say the film is pretty faithful to the book, which was a best seller. With topics as varied as sumo wrestling corruption, baby names and bribing kids to do well in school, could be a sleeper hit.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I heard them sumo wrestlers were blood doping with fried chicken.”
Christian Alvart (director)
Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper
A squinty-faced social worker (Renée Zellweger) rescues a little girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the little girl is, I don’t know, haunted or evil or something. J-horror lite happens. Zellweger gets scared bad enough a few times that you can actually see her eyes.
Good or Bad: The film has already been released everywhere but America, so this one we don’t need to guess on. Word on the street is that it’s horseshit wrapped in suck, roasted with not-scary, then stuffed in a juicy waste-of-time.
Uncle Mitch Says: “For shit about how kids is scary, Barry Munday looks scarier.”
Adam Green (director)
Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder
After learning the truth about her family’s connection to the hatchet-wielding madman she faced in the first film, Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher.
Good or Bad: Good! The first one was certainly solid and a lot of fun and it’s comforting to see Adam Green returning for both writing and directing duties (with Kane Hodder and Tony Todd both reprising their roles from the first). And hot off of Hatchet‘s warm reception, Green wrote and directed Frozen, which has gotten really good reviews (read Devin‘s!), so the guy’s obviously been honing his craft and not just sitting on his laurels. I think Green’s gonna end up being a dude to keep your eye on.
Uncle Mitch Says: “See? That’s why I’ve never been to Louisiana. Voodoo, homicidal swamp jockeys and goddamned alligators. OH – the movie? Yeah, I’m sure there’ll be tits – sounds like a good time.”
–Jeremy G. Butler
Deon Taylor (director)
Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Douriff
LOL. A chain letter serial killer.
Good/Bad: Perhaps there is a way to make high-art with a film about a guy who kills teens who don’t forward a chain letter. This idea may sound antiquated and positively 2001, but worry not friends, the chain letter also works through text messaging. Can the dulcet tones of Keith David bring the kind of class a film like this needs? Brad Dourif is a person in this movie. That’s a thing. Oh yeah, dude kills ‘em with chains. He kills them with chains.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I accidentally off’d a bunch of teens once. My gimmick was that I’d ask for their spare change, and if they didn’t hand the shit over, I beat ‘em to death with the tire out of my Nova’s trunk.”
OCTOBER 8TH, 2010
Randall Wallace (director)
Diane Laine, John Malkovich
The Disneyfied version of the true-life tale of Secretariat, one of history’s most famous race-horses, and the horse’s impressive victory at the 1973 Triple Crown. Directed by Braveheart’s Randall Wallace, the film focuses on Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), fighting through sexism and various other against-all-odds roadblocks, to work with a wacky trainer (John Malkovich) and shape Secretariat into a champ.
Good or Bad: I thought the world got its fill of uplifting horse movies from Seabiscuit and Flicka, but apparently not. The trailer brags that the film comes from the producers of Miracle, Invincible and The Rookie. If that means something to you, then you’ll likely enjoy the film. It doesn’t look actively bad so much as thoroughly cookie-cutter and average, which in my book is usually a worse moviegoing experience than watching a bad film (at least that can be fun).
Uncle Mitch Says: “What is this shit? How come horses never talk in nothin’ anymore? How much better would this look if the fucking horse was talkin’ and crackin’ jokes?” â€¨
Life As We Know It
Greg Berlanti (director)
Christina Hendricks, Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel
Two single adults become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident.
Good/Bad: Bad. Another Katherine Heigl comedy. Another heartwarming tale of raising a baby unexpectedly. Neither of which are anything remotely new. Heigl’s films seem to be coasting right now despite, well, sucking. Everything about this film screams like derivative sentimental dreck. But the film doesn’t look too have much in the way of direct competition in the romantic comedy genre, which could translate into pretty good opening box office.
Uncle Mitch Says: “16 years after My Father the Hero, who would’a thunk I’d prefer Depardieu’s films?”
Sam Taylor-Wood (director)
Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Threlfall
A chronicle of John Lennon’s childhood, his relationships with his mother and his Aunt Mimi and his first meeting subsequent friendship with Paul McCartney.
Good or Bad: I think this is going to wind up being bad, honestly. Or at least generic and bland – which is sad. Sam Taylor-Wood makes her feature-directing debut (her only other helming gigs coming in the form of a Buzzcocks centered short and some artsy erotica films for an anthology) off of Matthew Greenlaugh’s adaptation of Julia Baird’s memoir. It played Sundance this year to mixed reviews – mixed meaning “decent” to “bad.” Lennon deserves better.
Uncle Mitch Says: “That’s the best title you could come up with? The fuck…?”
–Jeremy G. Butler
John Curran (director)
Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich
A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman’s path.
Good/Bad: The Score didn’t work out for Norton and De Niro, so we bet they’re hoping for something a little stronger here. Could director John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don’t Live Here Anymore) be the key? Plus, could this be De Niro’s first great role since Stardust? There’s always Little Fockers, after all… (shudder)
Uncle Mitch Says: “C’mere Milla… I’ll show you who’s got stones…”
My Soul To Take
Wes Craven (director)
Max Thieriot, Nick Lashaway, Zena Grey
16 years after supposedly dying, a serial killer seems to have returned to Riverton to whack the 7 kids born on the same night. The teens all believe it is actually the killer’s spirit, which may have lived on in one of them, and thus look to themselves when they all start not being alive anymore. It’s all very retarded seemingly.
Good/Bad: While I’ve had a few face-to-face (though unenthusiastic) endorsements, I can’t get over how terrible this looks and sounds. The trailer is incredibly silly and comes across as typically pandering teen slasher, not a return to form from old-school horror director Wes Craven. The lead actor, Max Thieriot will appear next year in the spiritual Psycho remake, House at the End of the Street, so it will be interesting to see how he fares as “Bug,” the lead kid in this film. If I see it. Ultimately I’m not very interested in teen hysterics and melodrama with the occasional kill, especially when I Spit On Your Grave will likely be bringing more than its fair share of viscera to whatever screens it lands on that weekend.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Can’t I just spend two minutes watching all the tits and murders on FaceTubes? There’s tits right? Don’t have time for all that young people crying bullshit– I’ve got weird places to pass out.”
Ben Wheatley (director)
Robin Hill, Robert Hill
A crime family looks to unmask the police informant in their midst who threatens to take down their business.
Good/Bad: Probably Good. This indie British gangster film / comedy has won some awards at the Austin Fantastic Fest, the British Independent Film Awards and the Jury Prize at the Raindance Film Festival. Reviews have generally been favorable. Film is the first feature by TV director Ben Wheatley, who reportedly shot it in just eight days. Julia Deakin (Coronation Street, The First Men in the Moon) is getting some praise. But the cast is mostly Brit regulars and lesser-knowns. Could be a sleeper hit on a small scale here in the Colonies.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I’m still wary of terrace films after Lakeview beat me down like Rodney King.”
(limited | documentary)
Charles Ferguson (director)
Matt Damon (narration)
This documentary takes on Wall Street and Washington, targeting the individuals and institutions that allowed for what the film posits was an entirely preventable financial crisis.
Good/Bad: Documentaries about such broad topics with such blatant agendas are always tough. Cinema by its very nature is a manipulative, emotional medium, and there is always a danger of highly politicized documentaries making a viewer feel informed, rather than actually informing them. That said, the reaction to this doc has inarguably been strong, being named the best single film at Cannes by a poll of 19 film critics. Damon’s narration has been praised, and Ferguson’s background in the financial and business sector give him a qualified base from which to explore the topic.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Just spend all your dollars on hookers, and liquor, and scat porn- then ya got nuthin’ left for the bastards on Wall Street to take! Come to my seminar to learn more- S’in my garage on Tuesday…”
It’s A Funny Kind of Story
Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (directors
Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Keir Gilchrist
Based on Ned Vizzini’s novel, we follow the coming-of-age tale of Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a quirkily troubled youth who checks himself into a quirky psychiatric ward where he is taken under the quirky wing of Zach Galifianakis and stumbles into a typical romance with a girl (Emma Roberts) far edgier and darker than him.
Good or Bad: I’m very tempted to say BAD. This has all the trappings of the kind of cloying indie-darling-of-the-year bullshit that drives me nuts. Galifianakis is doing his regular thing here, which he is great at but is also starting to wear thin now that he’s so omni-present. Another 50/50 call. The trailer has some good laughs and this is from people creatively behind Half-Nelson and In Treament. I’ll go with GOOD, but a very wary GOOD.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I only like movies about hospitals when they got sexy bitches in ‘em, like that Angelina Jolie movie. I don’t see no sign of big juggs in this film. No dice.”
Stephen Frears (director)
Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Bill Camp
A young newspaper writer returns to her hometown in the English countryside, where her childhood home is being prepped for sale.
Good/Bad: Good. Director Stephen Frears is capable of putting together good films, such as Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, High Fidelity and The Queen. Gemma Arterton is starting to look more and more like a movie star and the trailer from earlier this year looked pretty good. Film is based on the comic strip / graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Is it wrong to still fantasize about Gemma Arterton and 10W-30?”
I Spit on Your Grave: Unrated
Steven R. Monroe (director)
Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese
A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.
Good/Bad: The original is still incredibly misjudged thanks to the subject matter and exploitation title, but I Spit On Your Grave holds up as a brutal, important film. Hopefully the remake, which is being released unrated, understands what made the original so effective. But the first teaser poster, with the absolutely terrible tagline of “It’s Date Night!”, doesn’t inspire hope. They soon rectified it with a poster mimicking the original but the damage had already been done.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I never let a dame fellate me in a bathtub ever again after the original!”
OCTOBER 15TH, 2010
Jeff Tremaine (director)
Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and the rest
The band of self-destroying pranksters returns to bring their special brand of destructive magic to the third dimension. There will be poop.
Good/Bad: Silly question, of course it will be amazing. This could be the best film of the year. While many miss the Jackass crew, it’s good that there’s been a significant length of time since the last film. We’ve had a break, they haven’t been overexposed in a while, and now the timing is just right for them to come and exploit 3D to its fullest potential, right at its modern beginning. I almost wish this came out after TRON so we could just pull the plug on 3D and end it right there, while it’s on top.
Uncle Mitch Says: “The one with the flying shitter, right? Sure, yeah, I’ll go see a bunch of retards fuck up themselves.”
Robert Schwentke (director)
Bruce Willis and the Gang
When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive.
Good or Bad: Gonna have to call bad. Based on a graphic novel by Warren Ellis that I admittedly haven’t read, the premise sort of feels like Kick-Ass: The Golden Years. Director Robert Schewentke’s only other major releases to-date were last year’s barely-noticed The Time Traveler’s Wife and 2005‘s rather awful Flightplan, and screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber were the dudes who wrote Whiteout. Even with Helen Mirren (let’s be honest – Willis and Freeman haven’t done a lot lately to keep a hold of the goodwill attached to their names), this looks like it’s gonna be a mess.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Fuck it, I’m gonna watch Die Hard.”
–Jeremy G. Butler
Tony Goldwyn (director)
Juliette Lewis, Sam Rockwell, Hilary Swank
A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.
Good/Bad: Good. Looks like Hilary Swank is about to make her scheduled resurfacing from post-Oscar dreck and underperformers. Hard to believe a double Oscar winner having had this much trouble finding good films to do. Director Tony Goldwyn mostly sticks with TV these days, but he did do the other Diane Lane cheating movie, A Walk on the Moon, which I liked. Sam Rockwell is getting his wrongly-accused convict on and the film is sporting other Oscar nominees Melissa Leo and Minnie Driver and a fairly solid-looking supporting cast.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Sure, I’d go gay to get a piece of Hilary Swank…”
OCTOBER 22ND, 2010
Tod Williams (director)
Well…no one really knows at the
moment. Everything is being kept under pretty tight wraps – hell, the
only cast member listed on the film’s IMDB page is Katie Featherston,
and she has a big “(RUMORED)” right next to her name. Sooo…it’s a
sequel! We got that much, at least. Although it could be a prequel…
Good or Bad: Fuck
it – I’m calling good. The first one was (bullshit ending aside)
extremely effective and unsettling and the guys in the marketing
department knew EXACTLY how to handle it. Oren Peli, writer and
director of the first, is coming back as a producer, while Tod Williams
(The Door in the Floor) is directing Michael R. Perry’s screenplay.
Perry is probably the X-Factor here, having turned in a lot of scripts
for some better-than-average genre television.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Gonna
have to pack an extra pair of shorts for this one…lesson learned. Also
– is that douche from the first coming back? Screw THAT guy.”
–Jeremy G. Butler
Clint Eastwood (director)
Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jar Mohr
A supernatural thriller centered on three people — a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy — who are touched by death in different ways.
Good/Bad: Good. The pedigree on this film alone should guarantee success: Director Clint Eastwood and writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland) and starring Matt Damon. Curiosity factor about the principals tackling genre material should also be high. And these days, Matt Damon doesn’t really know how to do bad movies. East wood calls it a chick flick, “but one that men will like too. Or at least one that won’t make them want to stick a Swiss Army Knife in their leg” Damon calls it Eastwood’s “French film.” They can call it whatever they want. Eastwood directing Damon in a genre flick? I was already in the theatre seat before the film started rolling.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I say call it Good Will Haunting. No wait, The Good Specter. Or how about Ocean’s e-Heaven? The Really Departed? Hold it, I know: The Bourne Id-Entity. Winner.”
The Company Men
John Wells (director)
Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones
The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company – and how that affects them, their families, and their communities.
Good or Bad: Should be good. I dig Affleck as an actor (some of the time, anyway) and he has a pretty strong supporting cast to balance him out. This is writer/director John Wells’ Feature directorial debut, but he has built a solid career in television drama. I’d certainly expect to see a For Your Consideration campaign being mounted for this in the next few months.
Uncle Mitch Says: “What is this? Some touchy-feely emotional nonsense? Wait – Maria Bello? I think my dick wants to see this. Talk about touchy-feely!”
–Jeremy G. Butler
OCTOBER 29TH, 2010
Kevin Greutert (director)
Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Cary Elwes
Some actors really needed a paycheck so they’re being killed by saws in a shitty movie. IN 3D
Good/Bad: Saw finally reaches the magical 7th installment, which is angling for some more box office cash by charging you 17 bucks a ticket. I mean, by being turned into 3D in post. There are people out there who say that at least Saw is trying something different with the overreaching storyline, and to them I say, find another another film series. Rewatch Phantasm or something, just please don’t make another Saw film turn a profit. Please. Let’s make the next year Saw-free.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I used to set traps in my yard but the neighborhood kids keep getting stuck in them.”
Gareth Edwards (director)
Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy
Six years ago NASA launched a probe into space to collect possible samples of alien life. Then the probe crashed upon re-entry over Central America. When new and freaky life forms began to appear, the upper part of Mexico was quarantined while the American and Mexican military struggled to contain these new life forms. In the present, a journalist and an American tourist team up to try and make it through the monster infested war zone to the US border.
Good or Bad: Anyone who regularly reads this site is already aware that we think this could be very cool. Written/directed by FX artist Gareth Edwards, it has the makings to be an interesting lil’ monster-stomper at worst, and this year’s District 9 at best. Done for an impressively small budget, it at least looks to have the same naturalistic approach to the special FX as District 9.
Uncle Mitch Says: “Where were all these monsters? You call a movie “Monsters,” I wanna see some monsters in that trailer. I saw a movie called “Big Tits” once. Guess what? Trailer was wall to wall big tits, everywhere.” â€¨
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is an assassin with a reputation for lethal efficiency, until he finds himself drawn to one of his intended victims, a con-woman named Rose (Emily Blunt). He spares her life and then farcically acquires a young apprentice (Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint). Believing Victor to be a private detective, his two new companions tag along, while he attempts to thwart the murderous attentions of his unhappy client.
Good or Bad: For a film with such a solid British comedy cast – also including Rupert Everett and Martin Freeman – this comedy doesn’t seem to contain any laughs, at least not judging by its trailer. It is directed by Jonathon Lynn, who once gave us Clue and My Cousin Vinny (which deserves more respect than it gets), but he also gave us Sgt. Bilko and Trial and Error and The Whole Nine Yards. As the Brits might say… yawn cocktail.
Uncle Mitch Says: “I didn’t pay much attention in school, but I’m pretty sure George Washington kicked the shit out of the Brits. So why do they still get to show their faggy shit here?”
(Looking for buyer, Potentially Delayed)
George Hickenlooper (director)
Kevin Spacey, Kelly Preston, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz
Good/Bad: Along with the documentary Casino Jack and the United States of Money (which opened in May), this is the second film this year about Jack Abramoff. The notorious lobbyist and con man got arrested and is serving plenty of time in jail, but he also got Kevin Spacey to portray him in a film, so at least there’s that. Also- so this is where Jon Lovitz went!
Uncle Mitch Says: “Hookers in Saipan? This Jack fella’s got good taste!”