Monday, July 27, 2009

Tim Burton's New Movie Surprises No One

Fantastic sets which are sure to overshadow the story.


Creepy yet endearing characters which are now just creepy.


Helena Bonham Carter.


Johnny Deep in some kind of a dress and heavy make-up acting like a fool.


Oh yeah, and Danny Elfman phoning it in.


I feel like I've seen this movie and I haven't even seen it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Isn't Hollywood Funny?

Let me see if I've got this right.

Zack Galifianakis, the guy who makes a baby look like it's masturbating in the movie The Hangover...

Is also starring in a Disney movie to be released this Friday.

The guy who made a baby look like it was beating the bishop...

Is going to star in a Disney movie about talking Guinea Pigs that save the world.

The guy who made a baby look like it was Jerkin' The Gerkin'...

Is now collecting a pay check from Walt Disney.

Do I have that right? Let me see if I've got it one more time.

The guy who made a harmless, cute baby look like it was bludgeoning the beefsteak...

Is now working for the same company who created this guy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Turns Out I'm Easy On The Eyes

Evidently, and completely unbeknownst to me, Lazy Eye Theatre has been under a bit of a microscope lately. Yes, whilst I toiled away on the keyboard, eyes were watching. And scheming. And judging. And scheming some more. And then some more judging on top of that.

It seems that some tests were conducted regarding Lazy Eye Theatre. Major tests. Scary tests. Tests involving controlled groups. And sample sizes. And words like "x factor." And phrases like "if x = y then d must be the constant." Maybe animals were involved, maybe not. It's still kind of hazy but here's what I know so far.

100 people were asked a series of questions in a room that maintained a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees. Of those 100 people, 23 fell asleep, 12 threw up due to heat exhaustion and 65 completed the testing. Those 65 were then split into two groups. One group was given a placebo and submerged in water for several minutes. The other group was given electro-shock. Two people died during this phase of testing and due to that there's a minor investigation going on into the incident, but that's not important right now. Those 63 people were then given sandwiches to eat. 23 of those sandwiches were turkey, 20 of those were roast beef, 10 of them were tuna salad and 10 of them were peanut butter and jelly. The 10 who ate the tuna salad complained of stomach aches, which lead us to believe that the sandwiches had been left in a hot car too long. The 23 who ate the turkey said it was bland and could have used more mayo. And the 10 who ate the peanut butter and jelly became blissfully ignorant.

The 63 were then taken into a large room, split into two separate groups and asked a series of gradually complex questions. One group was praised for their right answers and given encouragement when they gave a wrong answer. The other group was beaten about the knees whether they got the answer right or wrong. During this phase of the testing, 13 people left calling the testing "the biggest pile of hairy horseshit ever." Of the 50 that were left, they were then asked a simple question. "Do you like to read Lazy Eye Theatre." And with some major coaxing and some promises that were made that would never be kept, 12 people answered yes. They were then beaten about knees.

So as a result of all of this, I have been given a major award courtesy of Tommy Salami from Pluck You Too that says "I'm a great read." At first I thought it said I was a great lay, but then I read it again and discovered that's not what it said at all.

So I say thank you to Tommy at Pluck You Too (which by the way is a damn fine read itself) for bestowing this great honor on me. And I will now tap 7 blogs that I deem a great read.

Fox at Tractor Facts

Nathanial at Film Experience Blog

Rick at Coosa Creek Cinema

Alex at Film Forager

Ibetolis at Film For The Soul

Kevin Olson at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies

And Greg at Cinema Styles

Monday, July 20, 2009

TOERIFC Monday - Black Book

Please join in on the discussion over at Only The Cinema. See you there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Interesting Thing Happened On The Way To Hogwarts

The Harry Potter franchise is an interesting one. In the history of cinema, has there ever been a franchise that gets better with each movie? That's not to say that The Half-Blood Prince is the best one of that batch, but it may be the most interesting one.

I sat for two and a half hours last night watching Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince and not once did I look at my watch. Not once did I find myself nodding off (which for one reason or another is a major concern for me these days). I was riveted. Is it because of all the new story developments? No. Is it because of all the action one would expect with summer fare? No. Truth to tell, when I left the theater and thought about it some more, nothing much really happens in this movie. Well, one things happens, and I'll spare the readers of that spoiler for now.

If nothing else, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince is a really nice postcard from an old friend keeping in touch. Unlike most sequels that speed up to try to engage audiences, The Half-Blood Prince slows down and focuses solely on the characters. And what a nice experience that was. Sure there will be a lot of people (my wife for one) who will leave the theater bored. Who will say that the movie was a bust. That there were no major battles. No giants. Or centaurs. Or flying cars. But not this guy. This was good old-fashioned storytelling, and it was like taking in a breath of fresh Spring air. Harry and Hermoine, the Weasleys and Dumbledore have all become characters we love. We've literally watched them grow up and grow old before our eyes. So it's not a ridiculous notion to think that when we get excited for the next Harry Potter movie, it's because of these characters. Not because of wizardry and giants and flying cars. And it's nice to see a franchise understand that.

In a quest for movies to be new and different, The Half-Blood Prince bests them all by not doing much of anything. And it has been the best surprise of the summer thus far.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New District 9 Trailer

Hey Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp. Don't fuck with me, okay. Seriously. This trailer for District 9 looks really good. I mean, really good. And it makes me want to see the movie really bad because I've been longing for a really good sci-fi movie for a long time. But if this is going to be another one of those "hey, lets put all the cool shit in the trailer to make the film look really good but in truth those scenes in the trailer are really the best part of the movie which means the movie really blows but it's okay because we're going to market the shit out of it and we will have made all our money in the first couple of weekends before bad word of mouth really screws us" scenarios, then just tell me now. Just put me out of my misery and let me move on to the Fall. Just don't tease me into thinking this is going to be really cool with your anti-alien poster campaign and this trailer. Just don't do it, alright? Seriously.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Scene Of Note From The Game

I'm a big fan of David Fincher's work. I write that knowing full well that I hold only a few of his films in high regard. Yes, I like Seven. And yes I like Fight Club very much. But truth to tell, I don't think those films will go down in my history book as timeless. As the years go by, my love for them whithers. Like my Green Machine from my youth. No one loved that thing more than me, but now I'm older and it doesn't hold the place in my heart it once did. Maybe that means I'm evolving. Maybe it means I'm maturing. Maybe it means I'm way too big to still ride it. Maybe it means I'm growing into a stodgy old fart. I don't know.

When I say that I'm a big fan of David Fincher's work, I say that because of his innovation. Because of his fearlessness. Because of his ability to make his films create a visceral reaction. No doubt he is very talented, I just don't know that he is working on all cylinders. And I'm not sure that I ever want him to. What makes Fincher great is that he is constantly exploring. Trying different things. Even his failures are interesting.

When I say that I'm a big fan of David Fincher's work, two films come to mind. Zodiac, which I think is his most mature work. And The Game, which is just wonderful fun. And of those two, the film that I keep going back to is The Game, his most overlooked work. I often revisit it, reliving the experience of Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas), wishing that I was new to it all once again. You can truly only experience the game once, but it's still a lot of fun playing it over and over.

The criticism I've heard of this film is its lack of believability. In reality, this could never happen and I would say one of Fincher's talents is in making the unbelievable, believable. But what's great about The Game is that Fincher makes you want to believe. To forgive things so you don't mess with the fantasy. Probably the hardest scene to swallow, for me at least, is the one where Nicholas goes and visits Christine (Deborah Unger) at her "apartment." When Nicholas discovers who Christine really is, CRS shows up and the bullets fly. Every time I see this scene, my brain battles with me. It says "No way this could happen." And my heart says "Maybe. Maybe it could." But my brain says "did they already rig that apartment with small explosions to look like gunshots? Is that rocksalt they're shooting? Rubber bullets?" I try to justify it in my head and it never quite works for me.

The Game was on AMC last night and right before I fell asleep this scene of note played out. Again, I was struggling, trying to justify it logistically in my head. And then I noticed something I had never noticed before. A slip in the fantasy that maybe is the reason why I have such a problem with this scene. When CRS begins to infiltrate the apartment, they are shooting from the sidewalk into the windows. Nicholas and Christine leave for the backdoor. Then there is a quick cut where we see the CRS gunmen shoot out the front door. Huh? Up until this point, every bit of the game is played through the eyes of Nicholas. Everything he is experiencing is from his point of view. Except this one quick scene. And I wonder why Fincher showed it at all. Was it to make us doubt that CRS is really not about Consumer Recreations, but more of a terrorist group? Was it to show us that they were really using bullets, making us even more amazed that they pulled it all off? I don't know. But I don't think it works. And what's more, that simple shot hurts more than it helps.

Of course all this would be great fodder in the form of an extra on a Criterion edition of the DVD, which will probably never come to fruition. So I guess until then, this discussion (or lack thereof) will have to reside in the halls of Lazy Eye.

Thanks to Movie Screenshots and Movie Quiz for the screenshots and storyboards.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Celebrating The Good Of The Bad

This week and this week only Greg at Cinema Styles is Hosting the Ed Wood Blogathon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Roland Emmerich Can Go Screw

I've watched Roland Emmerich blow up the White House and the Empire State Building and most of Los Angeles. I've watched him drown the Statue Of Liberty and flood all of New York. He has destroyed the United States time and time again in terrible movie after terrible movie. And now he's going to do it again with his next disaster flick 2012.

Here's what I want to know. At what point does Homeland Security start investigating this guy, because he sure does get his rocks off making a mess of this place.