Thursday, May 31, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman

Commercial director Rupert Sanders makes his directorial debut with Snow White & The Huntsman (or SWATH), and there are certain moments in which his flair for visual effects pay off in this gritty take on the classic story. But mostly this movie seems like producer Joe Roth's baby. Roth has become the go-to guy in Hollywood for fairy tale movies after the billion-dollar success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and he's got Oz: The Great and Powerful and Maleficent also coming up in the next couple of years. By mixing some of the hottest stars of the moment with expensive-looking effects, Snow White & The Huntsman never quite shakes the feeling that it's more of a "movie by formula" than a story that truly needs to be told.

Snow White & The Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The NJNM Podcast: Ep. 90 - The Karate Kid (Guest: Vince Mancini from Filmdrunk)


In this week's episode, Ben and Tyler are joined by Vince Mancini (from Filmdrunk.com) to discuss John G. Avildsen's film The Karate Kid.



Introduction
Character Name Game Intro - 2:55

Media Consumed
Tyler
Thor - 3:52
"Portlandia" - 5:25
"Saturday Night Live" - 9:05

Ben
Akira - 13:38
Third Annual Hero Complex Film Festival - 18:00

Review
The Karate Kid - 27:45

Wrap-Up
Next Time: "Mystery Movie May" Continues! - 1:09:50
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 1:10:40
Character Name Game - 1:19:30
Where You Can Find Us - 1:21:45
Articles Mentioned: HCFF Day 1, Day 2, Day 3; Top 10 Van Damme Flicks, Dark Shadows

Men in Black 3

When the first Men in Black movie came out in 1997, my dad and I built a homemade neuralizer for me to play with. We took a piece of hollow silver pipe, drilled a hole in one end near the top, secured a red light in it, then ran wires down the middle of the shaft to a button on the back. It didn't actually wipe anyone's memory, of course, but I didn't care - I had my very own neuralizer, and it was awesome. I loved the first Men in Black movie. I had Will Smith's theme song memorized (who am I kidding? I still do), and I was excited about the sequel when it came out a few years later. But the mediocrity of Men in Black 2 turned my devotion to the series into total apathy, and I haven't bothered revisiting those movies since then. A lot of people my age had similar reactions.

Now it's 15 years after the original and 10 years after the second movie, and director Barry Sonnenfeld and stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back again for more alien action in Men in Black 3. Why? Because they can, I guess. There doesn't really seem to be a great reason for this movie to exist, other than the genesis of it came from Will Smith and he's powerful enough to make it happen. No one was clamoring for a sequel, especially after a pretty questionable second attempt. Against all odds, Men in Black 3 is not a terrible movie. But it feels like a movie that knows it barely has any reason to exist, cribbing a Back to the Future time travel story and providing just enough of a narrative to keep us interested.

Men in Black 3
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Battleship

Taylor Kitsch isn't exactly having a banner year. He's the star of one of Disney's all-time worst box office bombs, John Carter, and now he's leading the troops in Universal's Battleship, which is not only one of the worst blockbusters in recent memory, but also one of the most idiotic movies I've ever seen. It makes John Carter look like The Godfather. It's not that the plot is stupid - we've seen alien invasion movies before, and some of them are actually good - but that the filmmakers seem to be the only ones who don't realize they're making a movie out of a damned board game. This one was dead in the water before it even left port.

Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dark Shadows

I wasn't expecting much from Dark Shadows, the latest in the ubiquitous onslaught of vampire films, so to say the film lived up to my expectations may be a bit misleading as far as its overall quality. Tim Burton's latest collaboration with Johnny Depp is good enough to amuse, but not quite good enough to do anything else. It's not overly funny, though it's supposed to be a comedy, and it's not scary at all, though it has elements of horror running through it as well. So the result is a hodgepodge of tonal inconsistencies, and though it has brief moments of the Burton we used to know, Dark Shadows is, ironically, a vampire movie with no bite.

Dark Shadows
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz, Michelle Pfieffer


The NJNM Podcast: Ep. 89 - Sneakers


In this week's episode, Ben and Tyler discuss Phil Alden Robinson's 1992 film, Sneakers.



Introduction
Character Name Game Intro - 1:45

Media Consumed
Tyler
Season 1 of "Girls" - 2:35
Clock Suckers - 8:12
Not Another Avengers Review - 9:55
The Avengers - 11:30

Ben
The Three Musketeers - 16:30
The Firm - 18:33

Review
Sneakers - 21:15

Wrap-Up
Next Time: "Mystery Movie May" Continues! - 47:45
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 48:55
Character Name Game - 54:20
Where You Can Find Us - 57:55

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Dictator

The Dictator is a bit of a departure for Sacha Baron Cohen. In previous movies in which he's played the lead (Ali G, Borat, Bruno), Baron Cohen has interacted with members of the public who were completely unaware that he was playing a character. He still plays a larger-than-life character here, but this time, the film he inhabits is completely fictional. Does this change in comedic style work as well as his previous efforts? Read on to find out.

The Dictator
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Jason Mantzoukas, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley


Monday, May 7, 2012

The NJNM Podcast: Ep. 88 - Earth Girls Are Easy


In this week's episode, Tyler and Ben discuss Julien Temple's 1988 film, Earth Girls Are Easy.


Introduction
Information about this week's show - 1:45

Media Consumed
Tyler
Bare Knuckles - 4:10

Ben
Fire and Ice - 16:35

Review
Earth Girls Are Easy - 26:37

Wrap-Up
Next Time: Mystery Movie - 54:35
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 55:55
Where You Can Find Us - 58:15