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Film Reviews

Review: Your Highness

To be straight-up, Your Highness, despite being about what i

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s frequently referred to (and played for comedy) as a “quest” is aggressively-episodic and thus feels like a 102-minute sketch. A Saturday Night Live sketch? An In Living Colour sketch? A god forbid it, Cedric The Entertainer Presents sketch? No, the kind of short-form comedy a bunch of friends perform to crack each other up; even if they’re the only ones actually laughing in the very-full high-school auditorium. Being that David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and James Franco are doing this with tens of millions of dollars that could be spent towards I dunno, cancer research or funding like ten Harmony Korine movies, it may seem a little upsetting and somewhat of a waste of time. Truth be told though, despite it not being overtly funny, Your Highness is purely able to float by through its utter eccentricity.

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Review : Battle Los Angeles

Described ad nauseum as “BLACK HAWK DOWN WITH ALIENS” by bloggers and its own filmmakers, Battle Los Angeles arrives onscreen with a resounding lack of flair or passion. Being that the film's entire point seems only to evoke other pop-culture memories, it makes sense that what we get is a utterly limp action picture. Ridley Scott's aforementioned film (which was inspired by The Battle of Algiers itself) used semi-cinema-verite with plot and characters driven entirely by action to comment on the confusion and brotherhood of war. Being that those themes are hardly original, the subtle integration of them within an action-extravaganza made them feel actually powerful and not maudlin or cheesy. But of course since Battle Los Angeles has nothing actually on its mind other than entertainment, it feels almost offensively hollow.

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Trailer for Kelly Reichardt's follow-up to Wendy & Lucy, Meek's Cutoff

Those who've seen 2008's utterly excellent Wendy & Lucy found it either a) An apt depiction of America's economic and social turmoil anchored by a stunning performance by Michelle Williams or b) BORING. If your answer was the latter, let's not have lunch together anytime soon. Anyway, the trailer for her next film, a western reuniting her with her star looks quite promising. It hit the festival circuit last year to rave reviews and it's easily one of my m

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ost anticipated films of the year. The 1:33.1 aspect-ratio and psychological horror vibe (and it's PG!) fascinate me even more. Having a cast as strong as that doesn't hurt either. Since it's not based off a comic-book though I guess it won't be discussed very much; no costume bulge to analyze for 15 minutes.

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8 James Franco Career Ideas

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Actor, dreamboat, Oscar host, author, self-effacer, professor and now video artist. Is there anything James Franco can't do? Probably not, but here's a suggestion to what he at least should consider before becoming David Blaine's apprentice.

  • Charlie Sheen's replacement on Two and a Half Men
  • The past, I don't know…25 years have proven that Martin's son (not Emilio) has difficulty consuming things that don't contain alcohol, cocaine or venereal diseases. Of course, this has only postponed the production of his ever-popular CBS show. The Applebee's/John Mayer crowd are going to lose it! But Mr. Franco can certainly step in and bring his usual charm. The stoner uncle! Can't you just see it?

  • Republican Presidential Candidate
  • Bobby Jindal? Mitt Romney? Do I have to even mention the snowmobile lady? Yeesh! The party is going to have to hope for a country singer to run or something. If Franco threw has hat in the ring though they could have a shot. Of course, he'd have to be busy not doing poetry n' shit and focusing on the stimulus, but look at his sideways smile!

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    Beats Obama any day of the week.

  • Street-Artist
  • He could assume an alternate identity known as Frankie James. His work would probably be more on the Mr. Brainwash side of things; all his “art” could be pictures of him with dicks drawn on various parts of his face. It's all of a piece!

  • Justin Bieber's Public Enemy
  • If the Bieb wants more street-cred, he's going to need to start a feud with someone in the music industry. Being that he would shit his pants at actually having beef with Ghostface Killah or T.I., it's best to do it with a movie star. Obviously the two of them need more media attention too.

  • Speech Therapist
  • With The King's Speech's inevitable Best Picture victory on Sunday, it's safe to say that overcoming a stutter is so hot right now. Every time you shout “I have a voice!” Franco could reaffirm you with his stoner-giggle rendition of “Yes you do.”

  • Poli-Sci T.A.
  • Because the one in my class has waaaaaaaaay too thick of a French accent.

  • Pitchfork Music Critic
  • Because if the dreamy James Franco said that Mumford and Sons suck, my friends would finally agree.

  • Movie Blogger
  • And finally, the best one. Who better to offer his opinions on a Comic-Con video blog about how a B-List actor claims that the sequel to a reboot of a movie based on a board game is “really about the characters”? Sure, he's not 300 pounds, bearded, spectacled, smelly, socially-challenged or a fan of middle-of-the-road romantic comedies released Fox Searchlight, but we can make him. One of us! One of us!

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    Hack-extrodinare D.J. Caruso to direct "Preacher"

    Straight from the mouth of Satan's Twitter account, we now know who will direct the development-hell friendly adaptation of Garth Ennis' Vertigo series, Preacher. In case you aren't familiar with it; I'll give you Wikipedia's (always the best source) description:

    Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a down-and-out preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer was accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church.

    Genesis, the product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon, is an infant with no sense of individual will. However, as it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, it might have enough power to rival that of God Himself. In other words, Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, may have become the most powerful being in the whole of living existence.

    Custer, driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, goes on a journey across the United States attempting to (literally) find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers. They allow him, when he wills it, to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O'Hare, as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy.

    During the course of their journeys, the three encounter enemies

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    and obstacles both sacred and profane, including: the Saint of Killers, an invincible, quick-drawing, perfect-aiming, come-lately Angel of Death answering only to “He who sits on the throne”; a serial-killer called the 'Reaver-Cleaver'; The Grail, a secret organization controlling the governments of the world and protecting the bloodline ofJesus; Herr Starr, ostensible Allfather of the Grail, a megalomaniac with a penchant for prostitutes, who wishes to use Custer for his own ends; several fallen angels; and Jesse's own redneck 'family' — particularly his nasty Cajun grandmother, her mighty bodyguard Jody, and the 'animal-loving' T.C.

    I'll admit to having not read the entire series, so I'm no fanboy, but this irritates me. Most of my irritation comes from the fact that we're going to get another movie that proudly proclaims “FROM THE DIRECTOR OF DISTURBIA”, because Shia LaBoof's XBOX Live account being disconnected = GREAT CINEMA. I do remember seeing portions of his film The Salton Sea on TV once, but all that I can remember was Vincent D'Onofrio's character who had no nose because of snorting too much coke. Oh D'Onofrio, I miss your “I AM HOLLYWOOD'S PREMIERE VILLAIN CHARACTER ACTOR” period. But uh, back to the point; Caruso boasts that he's going “back to the dark side” but once you've fetishized the Michael Bay-aesthetic of “cool” people walking in slow-motion there's really no hope for artistic salvation. Oh well, at this point we can at least hope for post-converted 3D.

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    Editorial

    We’re through the looking glass here, people : Ethan’s Pre-Film School Top 100

    Studies have shown that years of film academia being rammed down your skull will make you think that the greatest films ever made are in fact only made by Carl Theoder Dryer, Stan Brakhage, Howard Hawks and Max Ophuls. Okay, I made up the studies part but either way don’t expect to see any of those names on this list…even tough they’re all great!!!! (don’t stone me). But either way, read the list and love it…please…because I spent a lot of time on it.

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    Movie News

    ODDSAC (the Animal Collective movie) trailer hits the interwebs

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H48VtETngA&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

    Being at least somewhat of a hipster, I was legally obligated to post this trailer. This is not really a film but a “visual album” from the best band in the world, Animal Collective. Just judging by this if you’re one of the people who’s only knowledge of the band is through “My Girls” you might be a little freaked out by what you’re seeing. This looks far more “Hollinndagain” than “Merriweather Post Pavillion” and I guess I’m open to that.

    ODDSAC is currently playing at Sundance and for all we know could become the next “The Wall“…but it’s far more likely that it will just be some art project that a few weeks from now won’t see more than the closet of Noah Lennox/Panda Bear.

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    Ten 2010 Movies that you *should* be looking forward to…because I really am

    Before I get into this I should note that Shutter Island was on here for awhile but the whole delayed-to-February thing in combination with seeing the trailer so many times has given me a kind of blue balls effect. Still, I eagerly await anything from Eyebrows. Anyway, here…we…go.

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    Why Avatar is indeed awesome

    JC

    The people who complain about Avatar’s story being “Dances With Wolves meets Ferngully” are like people who claim they don’t like John Goodman because he’s overweight. Goodman’s weight serves his persona as the lovable and funny guy who could very well be your zany Uncle. Ignoring his dominating screen presence and talent just because he doesn’t look like a typical handsome leading man is flat-out dumb. Avatar’s simplistic story serves it’s themes and visual splendor. We don’t need a twist ending where everyone is a robot for a movie to be good, it’s fine to sometimes just have something standardly play out in front of you just so that you can further appreciate what extraordinarily is being done. I don’t need John Goodman to lose 200 pounds and have a shirtless scene to appreciate what he’s doing while watching an episode of Roseanne.

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    Cool Stuff

    In which Ethan pimps his newly-formed Tumblr account

    Yes, I decided to file this under cool stuff.

    Anywho, me and Dave had previously discussed the idea of me starting a Screen Geeks-sponsored blog that would contain my incoherent ramblings about movies. He had the idea of hosting a blogspot thing-y, but I wanted Tumblr seeing as how that’s what all the cool kids use these days. Dave could not use his technical wizardry though to have SG host it though. So we kind of both lost our enthusiasm on the idea and didn’t discuss it again. But on a whim (the whim being browsing the Tumblr of the illustrious Hunter Stephenson) I buckled down and finally started my own Tumblr account.

    Before I link to it I should prepare you for what exactly it contain. It will obviously center on pop-culture, but it was also probably range into bizarre personal stuff that are only hinted on my Twitter account. But here’s the damn thing in all it’s infantile glory : http://ethanves.tumblr.com/

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