Tuesday, August 28, 2012


John Hillcoat's Lawless may seem a bit late to the game by exploring the illegal manufacture and distribution of alcohol during Prohibition because HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" has been mining similar territory for a few seasons already. But Hillcoat's film was in development for years, under various titles and even with a wildly different cast, before it was finally financed and brought to the screen by Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. The result is one of the year's most gripping films: a great drama with a compelling story, fantastic performances, and stylish direction that immediately stands with the best pieces of art that explore this time period.

Director: John Hillcoat
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Premium Rush

It's a coincidence that Top Gun director Tony Scott died in the same week that this film hits theaters, because writer/director David Koepp's Premium Rush is the Top Gun of New York City bike messenger movies. The story is ludicrous, but much in the same way that Scott's kinetic style inspired countless men to sign up to be Navy fighter pilots after watching his movie, Koepp and his team know how to make riding a bike look freaking cool. A departure from the serious cinematic realm in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt generally likes to operate, Premium Rush is a goofy, fun film with memorable and ridiculous action scenes. 

Premium Rush
Co-writer/Director: David Koepp
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Expendables 2

Before it hit theaters in 2010, many pegged The Expendables as the return of the 80s and 90s action movie that fans had been clamoring for. Its cast was the biggest group of cinematic heroes ever assembled (like The Avengers, but without any spandex), and I even wrote a now-embarrassing editorial expressing my hopes for the film before it entered into production in 2009. After a disappointing first film, The Expendables 2 reunites the action hero cast and adds even more big names to the fray, thankfully correcting many of the problems in the first entry and this time realizing that for a movie like this to be entertaining, everyone just has to have a little fun.

The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Ultimatum provided a perfect capstone to Matt Damon's Jason Bourne character, with the closing shots mirroring the opening of The Bourne Identity as we see the recovered amnesiac floating face down in the water. It's a perfect ending to the series...but there's more going on than we thought. In a fresh twist, series writer Tony Gilroy (now directing as well) and his brother Dan (The Fall) have crafted a brand new story that does something very interesting: the final minutes of Ultimatum play out in the background of the first fifteen minutes of The Bourne Legacy, connecting the worlds and pulling back the curtain on machinations that we've never seen before but were always working behind the scenes during the previous films. Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, an agent at another clandestine organization known as Outcome, and he must fight to stay alive when the events of Ultimatum go sideways and the plug is pulled on his program.

The Bourne Legacy
Co-writer/Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton

Monday, August 6, 2012

The NJNM Podcast: Ep. 100 - The Quest (Guest: Jared Blanchard)

In this week's momentous 100th episode, Tyler and Ben bring the original team back together with Pat Miller and Jared Blanchard to discuss Jean-Claude Van Damme's 1996 film, The Quest.

Character Name Game Intro - 2:23

Media Consumed
Recounting Various Adventures at the UCB Theater - 3:05

"Frasier" - 5:35

Cloud Atlas trailer - 8:25

Captain Eo at Disneyland - 12:55

The Quest - 19:18

Tyler Drops A Bomb  - 49:03
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 51:10
Character Name Game - 54:08
Where You Can Find Us - 56:00

"Frasier" Guest Caller Montage

Friday, August 3, 2012

Total Recall (2012)

Talk about an unnecessary remake. This wasn't just a poor facsimile of the original, it was as if director Len Wiseman ran Paul Verhoeven's 1990 original through a copy machine so many times, perpetually copying each copy, that every last ounce of intelligence and thematic relevance found in the first movie faded away, leaving only the basic story foundations intact. Total Recall is a sad and perfect example of "all style and no substance."

Total Recall
Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The NJNM Podcast: Ep. 99 - Kazaam and Steel (Guests: Free and Eli Reyes from GeekTyrant)

In this week's episode, Tyler and Ben are joined by Free and Eli Reyes (from GeekTyrant.com) to discuss Paul M. Glaser's 1996 film Kazaam and Kenneth Johnson's 1997 film Steel.

Character Name Game Intro - 3:55

Media Consumed
Conan - 5:00
Steel Panther - 7:05

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story - 9:10
Roasted Glacier - 12:05

BBC coverage of The Olympics - 13:25

Wreck-It Ralph early press event - 17:10
Total Recall (2012) - 18:00

Kazaam - 24:00

Next Time: The Quest  - 1:08:25
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 1:10:55
Character Name Game - 1:21:30
Where You Can Find Us - 1:22:48

Articles Mentioned: Early Look at Wreck-It Ralph & Video Blog