Friday, November 21, 2008

Trailer Curmudgeons, Vol. 7: No one cares what a wiener cat thinks

(Tonight, we will be featuring special thoughts from our cat, Wiener Cat, who is short and enormous. Also, she is a cinephile.)

This time on Trailer Curmudgeons, we're looking at the big, Oscar films. And the films you'll probably actually SEE instead of the big, Oscar films. Don't lie.

Australia (Wednesday)

Quicktime. Check out the Web site here. You can explore the eight themes of Australia, which include land, fire, water, Aborigines and Nicole Kidman.

Todd: Seven years after his Moulin Rouge! was a sensation and kicked off the musical boom of the early Aughts, Baz Luhrmann has returned with a movie that looks like every other movie ever made. It's as though the sheer act of not making a movie created a huge pressure that built and built and built within him until he was sitting at his screenwriting table and just frantically tossing nouns onto sheets of paper. "COWBOY! FIRE! ABORIGINE! BOMBS! LADY! HOEDOWN! TUXEDO! BOAT! UMBRELLA! Good God, Baz, the magic just never left!" In short, this will either be completely ludicrous or COMPLETELY LUDICROUS.

Libby: This looks like Nicole Kidman trying to one-up the entire filmography of Meryl Streep in a single film.


Milk (Wednesday)


Todd: Recent events being what they are and that whole, "Let's give the Oscar to Crash for no reason!" thing of a few years ago being what IT was ALONG with the Academy's recent trend of giving Oscars to long overdue directors like Scorsese and the Coen brothers, this seems like it could be a sleeper winner for Best Picture, since it takes all of the gay themes that frighten Academy members and couches them in a familiar setting (ah, the sweet, blessed biopic, nectar to an Academy member's soul). This is pretty obviously Gus Van Sant, mainstream director, instead of Gus Van Sant, indie wunderkind, but that's a helluva cast, and Victor Garber should pretty much just get it written into his contract with Hollywood that he gets to play all mayors from now on. INCLUDING Marion Berry.

Libby: I like that big rainbow flag.

Wiener Cat: You realize making me comment on every entry is a really stupid idea, right? I'm just gonna fall asleep anyway!

Cadillac Records (Dec. 5)


Todd: Here's ANOTHER biopic, but this one apparently stumbles into a lot of potholes the genre holds for people: famous people introducing themselves to other famous people ("We named our band after one of your songs!"), having a white guy be our window into the world of a minority group that he is exploiting and having slightly talented singers with terrible acting skills play much more talented singers of the past. Also, having Beyonce sing Etta James' "At Last," instead of just lip-synching it, like a GOOD actress would have the common sense to realize was the right course of action is, I'm sorry, Andy, blasphemy.

Libby: Listen. We're going to have to give Beyonce an Oscar. Otherwise, she's going to keep making movies. This is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Todd: You're not scared she'll be encouraged and make more movies?

Libby: Who, then, would run the Dereon jean empire, Todd? WHO?

Wiener Cat: Wiener Cat has discovered a fun bit of carpet fluff and is on strike.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Dec. 12)


Todd: Fox has, apparently, taken one of the great, cerebral SF films of all time and turned it into a movie where football stadiums are destroyed. Because that's totally what they were going for in the original. This might be OK if the destruction looked at all cool, but it looks kind of half-assed, and the storyline is apparently something cooked up by Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio while they were on a retreat to help Hollywood figure out how to stop climate change (by, apparently, making multi-million dollar movies that use lots of fossil fuels, I guess). But, hey, Jon Hamm! Whoo!

Libby: But, c'mon! Casting Keanu Reeves as a robot/alien/whatever is definitely a step in the right direction!

Wiener Cat: nb b nnnn.vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvyu7bhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh5

(That's how the neighborhood reacts when they see Wiener Cat a'comin'.)

Gran Torino (Dec. 17)


Todd: That sound you just heard? That's the sound of everyone drawing Social Security stirring excitedly (well, as "excitedly" as they do anything) in their La-Z-Boys and saying, "What's this? A movie that speaks to my everyday concerns and interests like kicking Koreans?" For real, though, I loved Million Dollar Baby. I completely bought into its weird blend of '40s Warner Bros. boxing programmer and '70s-era social message picture. But this movie looks like something Clint Eastwood dreamed up after a long night of watching Fox News. Shame he'll probably win Best Actor in one of those, "Hail the old guy!" wins instead of any number of other folks. And if Jasper Beardley doesn't win Best Supporting Actor for this, why, I'll shake my cane feebly.


Wiener Cat: hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The Wrestler (Dec. 17)


Todd: I have this friend named Moses (who sometimes blogs here, actually), and this looks like a movie that he dreamed while sick with cholera or something, because it combines one of his favorite things -- PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING -- with something completely out-of-left-field -- Mickey Rourke? -- with a storyline that looks like every Oscar contender ever (seriously, take out the wrestling and wasn't this sort of the storyline of Jack the Bear or About Schmidt?). Darren Aronofsky, tired of having his phantasmagorical images of life and death dismissed by critics unwilling to just GO WITH IT in The Fountain, has turned, I guess, to Dogme 95-style affectations attached to what looks like a fine, if overdone, story, and, predictably, the critics are lapping it up. Still, I'll see this. Curse you, Bruce Springsteen.

Libby: Mickey Rourke's face looks funny!

Wiener Cat: Wiener Cat actually bolted at the sight of Mickey Rourke.

The Tale of Despereaux (Dec. 19)


Todd: The book for this was cute, but the movie is apparently one part Ratatouille, one part Dumbo, one part Shrek and one part mystical-properties-of-soup late-night infomercial, so I'm not so sure I'll be seeing this one, especially with a voice cast made up of the Most Annoying Voices in Hollywood (TM). Still, props (grudgingly) for making a non-Pixar, CG-animated film that ISN'T full of pop culture references.

Libby: I just want to punch Matthew Broderick's voice in the face.

Wiener Cat: TTTTdddddddddddddddddddd

Todd: That's cute! She's trying to spell my name!

Libby: Ugh. This is how annoying people are with their babies.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Dec. 25)


Todd: This movie looks like it could be really sad. It also looks like it could be really boring. It also looks like David Fincher apparently said to the production designer, "Let's make every scene look like it was shot inside of a Dickensian village snowglobe you might find in an old gay man's curio cabinet." Still, Zodiac was one of the great, unheralded films of last year, and this is a great IDEA for a movie, even if I'm not sure they actually made a great movie. Probably the movie I most want to see of the big Oscar contenders, even if about 75% of me is sure it will be awful.

Libby: Sorry. I'm distracted by the thought of Brad Pitt Dickensian snow globes. Sounds like a mid-morning QVC show if ever I've heard one.

Wiener Cat: Wiener Cat is asleep on the Sour Patch Kids, but hopefully she can be roused for ...

Marley and Me (Dec. 25)


Todd: Every Christmas, there's one movie the studios throw out there because they know your grandma won't see any of the Oscar movies or action-heavy franchise movies. This year, they're betting this movie will be that one your Grandma loudly demands to see when you're holding up the line and you have to buy 16 tickets anyway and everyone's sick and tired of being around each other and, "TODD, CAN WE SEE THE MOVIE ABOUT THE DOGS ALREADY? I HEAR THERE ARE SOME LAUGHS IN THAT ONE!" Fine. All right, Grandma. You win, Owen Wilson.

Libby: Also starring Jessica Rabbit as the dog trainer. Great.

Wiener Cat: ` asssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssas

(I ... didn't know she felt so strongly about dogs.)

Revolutionary Road (Dec. 26)


Todd: As recently as five years ago, Revolutionary Road was one of those great American novels no one but English majors had ever heard about, so depressing was it. And now it's been turned into one of those movies your grandma is going to refuse to see in favor of "THAT MOVIE WHERE THE DOG DOES THE THINGS AND I THINK THEY RUN AROUND SOME?" It appears like this has been turned into a movie pretty faithfully, and I'm one of the few who thinks Sam Mendes has, generally, gotten STRONGER as a director since American Beauty (Conrad Hall totally held his hand through that one), so this, of course, means that Leo-maniacs everywhere are going to be disappointed to find out in VERY GRAPHIC DETAIL why, exactly, it was a GOOD THING that Jack froze to death in the North Atlantic instead of settling down with Rose and crankin' out a coupla kids.

Libby: I can feel our marriage dissolving as we watch.

Wiener Cat: 4fvgr/................,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hereby request a review of the funniest "Mother" since "Slap Bet" stat!