Cobra Command, ‘Gummo,’ ‘The Host’ and Tyler Perry Are All Defended in the 10 Best Movie Stories of the Week
Another week bites the dust, and here we are to digest what we’ve swallowed over the last seven-day stretch. It hasn’t been a very monumental week. Mostly we complained about Hollywood stretching its previewing potential to death with something now termed a “tweaser.” And we prepared the world for another release date crowded with unbearable crap (unless you’re lucky to see some of the indies, foreigns and docs we consider worth seeing). Not that we don’t have the usual contrarian or defensive perspectives going to bat for all that junk.
These cases of labeling mostly panned productions as underrated or simply “not that bad” or at least “having some good ideas” was also interesting following a huge response at the beginning of the week to the latest Criticwire Survey asking writers, “What movie widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece do you dislike (or maybe even hate)?” That turned into a discussion of the difference between something being bad or just disliked and some semantics about the term “overrated.” Surely there’s something to be said about the term “underrated,” as well.
Anyway, once again the Reject Recap features ten significant stories ‐ news, features, lists, opinions, etc. ‐ that people were talking about this past week. As usual there’s a mix of FSR content and outside links. And we’ve additionally found some videos worth sharing, too, both this week being recut trailers playing with genre (this meme will never get old).
Start your weekend right after the jump.
We got dragged along by the Hollywood hook jammed into our anticipation when a “tweaser” to a teaser trailer for The Wolverine hit the web ‐ specifically Vine ‐ just days before the real deal. Actually, two real deals if you include the international version. Scott commented on the actual previews: “They’ll both make you long for the Darren Aronofsky version that never was…[and] are severely lacking in anything resembling energy or impressive action. That train fight near the end? Ersh. Flat, mopey line readings? It’s now down to blind optimism that this thing has any life to it.”
More on the Wolverine marketing:
“WOLVERINES!” Or: How Many Trailers Are Too Many Trailers? (Criticwire)
In an op-ed piece titled “How Digital Libraries Made My DVD Collection Better,” Alexander opened up about what his shelves of DVDs and Blu-rays means to him as the world moves away from physical media: “Those rows of discs are my autobiography. It might be hard to understand for those who consider movies disposable entertainment, but this is what makes the transition to digital media so difficult ‐ almost unfathomable ‐ for me. If the act of lending a disc to someone feels like I’m intimately sharing a part of myself, then the abandonment of a disc is letting a piece of myself go. If I give into streaming and allow a communal library ‐ curated by someone else, bloated with movies that don’t represent me ‐ to become my collection, where will I see myself? That empty existential vacuum is what opened up before me as my digital consumption increased.”
Without any further delay we presented a list of “9 Greatest Discoveries We Made at SXSW 2013,” including such favorites as Prince Avalanche, The Retrieval and Drinking Buddies. Here’s Rob’s highlight of the last: “Joe Swanberg isn’t exactly the first name you think of when it comes to laugh out loud comedy or emotionally affecting drama, but that didn’t stop him from crafting my favorite discovery at SXSW…The result is a very funny, surprisingly emotional and incredibly honest look at the unfortunate boundaries of friendship.”
Via Screen Rant, here’s a recut trailer for Batman Begins to make it seem more like Kick-Ass:
The kids may be disappointed by the latest from Harmony Korine (well, to them, the latest from Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens), so they’re not likely to seek out the director’s earlier works. Too bad. In this week’s Over/Under column, Nathan made the case for his directorial debut, Gummo, at least being better than the Korine-scripted Kids. He wonders how it would play with the new haters: “What sort of weirdos strip their shirts off and have fake wrestling matches with inanimate objects in front of other people? The sort of weirdos who are worth watching. If all the teenagers I saw disgustedly walking out of Spring Breakers this weekend could just get a glimpse of that kitchen chair scene, then they’d really have something to complain about. Just imagine how much fun it would be to watch their horrified reactions…”
More on Korine and Spring Breakers:
Harmony Korine: ‘Spring Breakers’ is A Poetic Video Game
Spring Break Forever: When Scarface and Selena Gomez Go Where the Boys Are
6 Filmmaking Tips From Harmony Korine
SXSW 2013 Review: ‘Spring Breakers’ Is…
The answer to whether or not The Host is better than Twilight wouldn’t be saying much, but it’s significant to a discussion of young female empowerment. In her Filminism column at Film.com, Jenni Miller addressed what the new Stephanie Meyer adaptation gets right that her popular franchise didn’t: “It presents a far more interesting and relatable heroine despite the utterly batsh*t plot…the ideas here speak to the confusing hormonal soup many teenage girls find themselves swimming in at Melanie’s age. We want to be independent, even if that means hurting ourselves in the process. We’re often torn between two loves, or as Wanda’s suitor aptly puts it, of two minds. And it’s no coincidence that a large part of the movie is heavy with both threatened and actual violence against Melanie; teen girls are taught that the world is a dangerous place, and it’s up to us to protect ourselves or rely on others to rescue us at the last minute. The subtext for this is sexual violence, of course, but we’re not in such daring or adult territory.”
More on The Host:
Review: ‘The Host’ Is a Cry For Help From What’s Left of Andrew Niccol
Most critics don’t like his movies, and many others dismiss them without even giving them a try. But Todd Gilchrist sees something in Tyler Perry deserving of a piece in his defense. At Movies.com he wrote, “That the alternative is rom-com garbage about men and women in perfect jobs looking for perfect relationships ‐ and invariably finding them ‐ is a testament to our increasing desire for empty-headed wish fulfillment. What Tyler Perry, amazingly, incisively and so often entertainingly tells us is that we’re all the same ‐ we all have problems, we all struggle, and finding solutions are seldom easy. But most reassuringly, he also says those solutions are almost always within our grasp. And the fact not only that he grasps that idea, but repeatedly utilizes it to such powerful effect, shows that whatever sort of genius he demonstrates, intentional or not, should not be ignored.”
With the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation being this weekend, and with Wreck-It Ralph showing us that it’s okay to like the bad guys, Brian celebrated the villainous organization Cobra. Here is one reason he gave for rooting against the Joes: “Cobra’s Progressive Nuclear Disarmament Plan: It may seem to the untrained (or open) eye that Cobra is out to nuke the entire world and bask in the chaos. In fact, if you examine their overall scheme more closely, they are actually looking to end the nuclear arms race entirely. When they invade the summit of the global nuclear superpowers, the first thing they do is force all attending countries to fire, and then immediately destroy their own ICBMs. Sure, Cobra has Project: Zeus, an orbiting WMD delivery system, but they understand that when it comes to nuclear weapons, the world must be united under one banner in order to maintain peace. No borders, no separate nations, no conflict. War would forever be abolished. Cobra Commander is basically one hacky sack and a tie-dye cape away from being re-dubbed Hippie Honcho.”
Via Badass Digest, here’s a recut trailer for The Hangover to make it seem more like a horror film (with surprisingly few differences, actually):
Not movie-related, but Game of Thrones returns tomorrow night, and our own throne-occupier, Neil, is back with his “Blog of Thrones” column. This week he previewed Season 3 by looking back at the first two seasons and giving a recommendation to fans who haven’t read the books: don’t. “Just know that for those of us who have read the books, watching the show is a special torment. We know where some of these journeys end, and there are moments where I hope that Benioff and Weiss will deviate from the books and let certain characters live. Their track record suggests otherwise. You shall all know the pain soon enough.”
More TV coverage:
Bryan Fuller on Kickstarter: ‘Pushing Daisies’ Would Need $10 Million
The Walking Dead: ‘This Sorrowful Life’ Has a Hollow Ring to It
Justified: ‘Peace of Mind’ Thankfully Doesn’t Offer Any Peace of Mind
In a way, David’s latest list shows that movies understand how lame and ridiculous cameos from hot music acts are. Looking at scenes in which mostly dated performers are interrupted by the plot of the films they’re in, he includes bits featuring Smash Mouth, The Offspring and a certain white rapper in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: “Here’s what I love about what this says about Vanilla Ice: apparently even after a ninja fight breaks out at his weird warehouse rap concert, he’s still okay with it enough to not only continue the show, but make up an entirely new rap song about the interruption. That’s amazing. That’s like if Bob Dylan had suddenly broke out into a song called “Soy Bomb” during that Grammys performance.”
More on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Yo, It’s the Green Machine: Michael Bay Casts His ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’
What Must Michael Bay Do to Sell Fans on the ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot? (Movies.com)
After a href=”http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3225329/prometheus-2-in-space-no-one-can-hear-ridley-scott-and-fox-scream-at-damon-lindelof/" target=”_blank”>a report from Bloody Disgusting claiming that Ridley Scott and Fox are “freaking out” about making a sequel to Prometheus, which insinuated that Damon Lindelof was the reason they can’t figure out what to do next, Slashfilm followed up with the screenwriter and cleared his good name. But there’s still the matter of nobody having a good idea for where to go with Prometheus 2. Germain Lussier noted the real, common reason behind this mess: “It’s also important to note that we’re in a time where studios think about sequels every single day. Sometimes that means a film leaves too many questions open, or maybe it means they’re forced to created a story where there isn’t one. In the case of Prometheus, it seems there’s a bit of both. They wanted a franchise, and getting to Alien too quickly would ruin that.”