Posts Tagged entertainment

Random Movie of the Week: Rolling Kansas

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Stoner movies are really tough for people to judge because some find it tough to take them for what they are.  These movies really have evolved into their own sort of subgenre in the comedy world that some will embrace or find absolutely appalling.  Also when people think about stoner movies the main stream classics such as Dazed and Confused, Hal Baked, Pineapple Express, Harold and Kumar, Cheech and Chong and so much more come to mind.  Each one offering something different to the genre, but in my opinion the best ones are the films that are the lesser known indie films due to their lack of star power which brings me to this week’s random movie, Rolling Kansas.

Rolling Kansas’ plot synopsis is as follows:  The Brothers Murphy (James Roday, Sam Huntington, and Jay Paulson) are all struggling with their own personal demons and troubles most revolving around money.  So in an effort to improve their situation, the brothers set out on a journey with two of their closest friends to find the magical forest of marijuana thanks to a map left to them from the deceased parents, the Hippies Murphy.  But of course this movie would not be fun if obstacles or weird encounters did not occur along the way from Texas to Kansas and back.  Here is the trailer:

Being an independent film it goes without saying that the humor in this movie ranges from very dry to at times to laugh out loud hysterical.  I found the characters pretty well drawn out.  They explored a lot of depth about each of the brothers without spelling it out for viewers by having characters say what they thought and felt.  Viewers will see that calling this movie a stoner movie is not really far considering weed is not smoked often in this movie and is not vital to the background or development of the characters.  Plus the people the stumble upon are greatly played and provide a lot of awkward, stitch-inducing laughs especially the introduction of Rip Torn as the wise Oldman.

Rolling Kansas is the directorial and writing debut of Thomas Hayden Church who many would recognize from his acting credits.  It has the slap stick feel of Super Troopers without being too over the top.  But the humor would not be effective if it were not for the young actors executing the lines.  Let us start with James Roday as Dick Murphy who most of us would recognize from USA Network’s Pysch.  It was a different sort of role for Roday considering he had to play the older, more mature member of the group that is trying to cope with his failing business, depleting marriage, and personal finance issues.  Sam Huntington delivered his lines with perfect diction that only he could as Dinkadoo Murphy.  If you have seen this movie you know what I mean such as “Kevin, where did you get these tools, off the bottom of a fucking lake?”  My friends and I all buckled over laughing at that scene.  The other noteworthy performance is Rip Torn as Oldman, a kooky yet prudent drifter.

Overall, Rolling Kansas is easily a 9/10 in my book.  Being an indie film do not expect much production value.  The same song is played throughout the movie which I kind of liked but I could see where it would bother others.  If anything else, this movie will introduce you to new nicknames for weed like “goofy boots.”

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Have a Big 2012 Second Half

Entering June, we must realize we are almost half through another year of movies, some great and some not.  Looking forward to the remainder of 2012 there are still some high publicity films four of which feature Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is steadily becoming one of the bigger names in Hollywood (and I do not just say that because he has a longer name).

Last week a new poster was released for Looper.  For those that do not know about Looper, it follows Joe (Gordon-Levitt) a hitman in 2042 who assassinates individuals sent back in time by a mob in 2072 until his latest hit, his future self (Willis).  Curious as to how close Gordon-Levitt looks to Willis?  Click here to see for yourself.  But Looper will not be released until late September so there is still a lot of time to get excited for this one.

(Photo from Collider.com)

The fastest approaching film with Gordon-Levitt is the highly anticipated third installment to Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises.  If you do not know anything about this film I would honestly be impressed.  Set pictures, videos, interviews, promotion art, and more are everywhere about this so I am not going to bother talk about plot detail and how big this movie is.  Although I am not entirely sure what Gordon-Levitt’s role is in it but I know he is a police officer.

Another film gaining some attention now is Robert Koepp’s Premium RushPremium Rush is about Wilee, a bike messenger in the city that picks up an envelope that has the unwanted attention of a lot of potentially dangerous people.  For those who do not know Koepp, I guarantee you know his movies just do not recognize the name.  He written some of the best action movies of the last two decades and even done some directing, including one of my personal favorites, Stir of Echoes.  Premium Rush is set to hit theaters August 24, 2012.  This should test what star power Gordon-Levitt may hold as a leading man.

Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush (left), The Dark Knight Rises (center), and Looper (right).

Finally, to conclude 2012 Steven Spielberg will take us through how Abraham Lincoln led the North to victory in the Civil War in Lincoln.  This film holds a lot of promise since it has Spielberg at the reins and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee-Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Sally Field and more talented actors.  Gordon-Levitt is set to play one of Lincoln’s son and not much else is known about his role in the Civil War.  Below is a set photo from Collider.com:

(Photo from Collider.com)

Needless to say I am becoming a big Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan.  These four movies are some of the bigger films of the remainder of the year that I am looking forward to seeing.  Below are the trailers in case you have not seen them or want to watch them again.

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer:

Premium Rush Trailer:

Looper Trailer:

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Random Movie of the Week: 61*

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Sport biography movies are all starting to blend these days.  Usually they follow them from their days as a child to when they eventually become pro and are rather formulaic whether it is about football, soccer, boxing, baseball, or any other sport.  But one that stands out in my mind is Billy Crystal film about the his sports hero growing up, Roger Maris, and the rude awakening he had when he got to the “greatest baseball team of all time” the New York Yankees.  It does not show him in high school hitting balls over the fence or in his back yard playing catch with his friends.  You jump ahead to being in the big leagues for a few years now before signing with the Yankees.  Now if you know anything at all about the sport of baseball, you know that the Yankees have a reputation for “buying players,” if that is what you want to call it.

61*’s synopsis is as follows:  Family man and professional baseball player, Roger Maris (Barry Pepper), battles both on and off the field to be a successful with the demanding New York City audience as he enters a season-long home run competition with aging teammate Mickey Mantle (Tom Jane) to pass the record New York Yankee legend Babe Ruth.  Here is the trailer:

It is rare to find a movie directed by the great Billy Crystal and surprisingly it is not a comedy!  Do not get me wrong, there are plenty of humorous moments in the film but for the most part it is a very good drama.  I first saw this film with my dad who has been a die-hard Yankee fan since birth and told me often about going to Yankee Stadium to see his favorite player, Mickey Mantle.  61* focuses on off the field events on top of on the field exposed me to all sorts of things I had no prior knowledge about including Mantle’s work hard, party harder mentality and the real toll the pressure of the city had on the Maris family as a whole.  Seriously makes you think about the athletes you idolized growing up and all the potential real problems they may have.

On top of the fantastic story told in 61*, the acting was impeccable.  Barry Pepper embodied the role of Roger Maris.  Pepper is often in the supporting role so it is nice to see him take lead in a movie and do so well at it.  If you caught one of my previous random movies of the week, Stander, then you know I am a huge Tom Jane fan and here is another movie of his that is lesser known where he really shows his acting chops.  Jane’s portrayal of Mantle is uncanny from how he looks to how he talks.  This movie features great, underrated performances from its two leading men.  Then there are all the supporting actors, too many to even begin to mention!  I guarantee when you watch it you will say “Hey, he’s in…” or at least “I know him from something…”

My rating for the movie is a definite 9/10.  Billy Crystal’s passion for this season in baseball history just shines through.  Even if you do not follow sports, you will find something to love about this movie!

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Damon Lindelof Comments on if Prometheus Viral Campaign & Trailer Spoil the Film?

(Photo from Collider.com)

It is safe to say that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus has had some of the smartest marketing I have ever seen for a film.  Not only does it tease us with some of the horror and action to be seen but leaves a lot of questions in your mind about how it all comes together.  So there is still a lot of mystery behind the film and everyone is keeping a tight lip about it.  The reason for the secrecy is that the completed version of the film is much different from the original script because of the involvement Lost writer Damon Lindelof according to Adam Chitwood of Collider.com.

Prior to Lindelof tossing his two cents into the script for Prometheus, Jon Spaihts had written essentially a direct prequel to Scott’s Alien.  An interview with “Entertainment Weekly” reveals that it was actually Lindelof’s idea to have Prometheus be a “parallel prequel.”  I must say that is pretty genius because ever since Alien 3, the xenomorph and all its different forms have lost their flair.  Alien Resurrection and the AVP’s just were no good.  This also should allow for a Prometheus 2, should fans demand it.

Lindelof then goes on to comment on the viral campaign, the videos featuring Michael Fassbender as David 8 and Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland.  This is what helps place it in front of Alien if you were to plot it on a timeline.  In Alien, Weyland Industries is well established where as in Prometheus it is just starting out considering its creator is still young and alive.

The latest full length reveals a lot more about the events in Prometheus.  If you have not yet seen the trailer that debuted almost two weeks ago refer to one of my earlier blogs about it.  If you have seen it, do you think it showed too much?  Lindelof states that with a lot of trailers lately you walk out thinking you just saw the whole freaking movie, why would you want to go see it now?  As I stated earlier I think there is a good balance of what it does show and what is left to your imagination.

Now the final bit to the interview was about what does the title of the film/ship stand for and/or suggest?  As the myth goes, the Gods were uncertain over the potential intentions of the human race if give the power of fire.  So how does this apply to the film?  To put it plainly without giving too much of the Prometheus’ story, Lindelof says:

“So the essential story is:  I don’t want to give my kid this toy because eventually he will develop it into a weapon that will kill me.  So I will therefore withhold it from him.  And what is the price I must exact on somebody who betrays me?”

Does this mean the human in the film are given an opportunity of greatness and when they choose to do the wrong thing with it other worldly being will unleash a wrath upon them?  I cannot wait to see Prometheus!  For more on the story here is a featurette released not too long ago:

 

Consulted Article:

Chtiwood Adam. “Damon Lindelof Talks Turning an ALIEN Prequel into PROMETHEUS, the Viral Campaign, Revealing Too Much in Trailers and More.”  Collider.com.  Date Published:  May 11, 2012.

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New Photos from David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson

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Whenever I see David Cronenberg’s name attached to any movie I know I in for something unique.  His films range for the abstract, such as Videodrome, The Fly, and eXistenZ, to his raw dramas, Eastern Promises and A History of Violence.  The later being a lot of his most recent film but now is returning to the kind of movies I can only describe as psychedelic with his latest venture, Cosmospolis.  Not much about the plot has been revealed just yet but Collider.com reports the movie follows Pattinson who “plays a successful banker whose entire life unravels over the course of a single day.”  If you have not seen the trailer here it is:

It is no secret the Robert Pattinson’s involvement in Cosmopolis draws a lot of attention to it but it does appear to be a different kind of role for him.  Granted he usually plays a desired male lead but never in the form of a playboy.  I could be wrong though, he might not be a playboy in the film but judging from the near nude scene with Patricia McKenzie and the line from Sara Gadon that she “smelled sex all over” him, well I am just connecting some dots.  The trailer seems to hint that this care-free playboy is going about his day in his luxury limo until something seems to go wrong (some scandal) during the day that casts him into the presence of some unlikely company, one person being poor-hygiene character played by Paul Giamatti.  To be honest, Giamatti being in this film is what most interests me since he picks nothing but good scripts.

Here are some recently released stills of some of the other stars of Cosmopolis: Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, and Juliette Binoche:

(I do not own this photo)

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Consulted Article:

Chitwood, Adam.  “New Images of Robert Pattinson, Jay Baruchel, and Samantha Morton in COSMOPOLIS.”  Collider.com.  Date Posted:  May 8th, 2012.

 

 

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