Los Angeles' AFI Fest - I'm sorry, AFI Fest 2014 Presented by Audi, as they generally ask us to say at least once per article, is like Comic-Con for movie bloggers, in ways that are good and bad. It delivers the first looks of the season at many high-profile awards contenders, at screenings that are nigh-impossible to get a ticket to; and makes even the press have to wait in long lines to try and see anything else.
Fortunately for this site's purposes, I'm less interested in covering the new Martin Luther King biopic than I am midnight movies about monsters, Paul Thomas Anderson's attempt at a stoner comedy, and tense tales of criminals killing each other all over the world. Here are my full reviews of seven films (in no particular order) coming to, if not theaters, then at least an on-demand service near you soon.
(This took me all week to finish. Buckle up, and please note that not all embedded trailers are SFW.)
I'm starting to think people who preordered the Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray might feel a little screwed over, since it seems that ever single bonus featurette is slowly making its way online through official channels. And yeah, I'm about to exacerbate the problem. But if I taught you the word "exacerbate" today, then we're even, because you learned something. And you're about to learn foreign languages, too. WAIT! Don't click away yet.
Normally, movies get new voice casts for foreign language markets, but considering the relatively limited vocabulary of Groot, Marvel just got Vin Diesel to do him for every market. Here are a few examples, including Kazakh and Ukrainian.
We could start with the fact that in the age of Wikipedia, most kids probably don't even know what an almanac is. And continue with the truth that I almost deleted the email this came in because it sounded like the title of one of the zillion or so Holocaust documentaries I get sent invites to around this time every year.
Michael Bay-produced found-footage about time travel? Did not think it would be that. Like, I'd expect a name along the lines of Take-Backsies. Anyway, here's the trailer, which I think I would like a billion times better if it weren't unnecessarily found-footage.
I don't know why Fox keeps calling this the characters' "big-screen debut" in publicity materials (it isn't, not by a long shot) but so long as that's the only historical revisionism going on, and we don't get Snoopy singing "Bow wow wow, yippie-yo yippie-yay, Snoopy Dog on the muthafuckin' house"...
Also, Charlie Brown can't hook up with the red-headed girl. Movie, if you do that, we're through. But so far you haven't misstepped.
Damn it! Why are the best toy ideas wasted on kids?
It looks like if you want to reenact the cartoons of your childhood or the new-classic Robot Chicken DC parodies, you might have to get yourself a toddler first, or at least walk shamelessly into their section of the toy store. The Legion of Doom's swamp headquarters, which also looks suspiciously like a giant Darth Stewie helmet from Family Guy (repaint possibility!) will NEVER be made in scale to your $20 Mattel DC Universe figures, but Imaginext, which already got a kickass action-loaded Batcave, now has a place for the baddies to hide out.
Because a bright blue saucer in a green swamp screams "hiding." Of course, the kids this is aimed at think putting their hands over their faces equals hiding, so they're not too hard to fool when you think about it.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - This is what happens when you wait too long to make a sequel, even if it's good. Actors die, tastes change, and the artist/writer everyone once loved for being a misanthropic, drunk, misogynist anachronism is now hated...for STILL being a misanthropic, drunk, misogynist anachronism. Never mind that many aspects of this sequel are actually superior to the first - Josh Brolin's Dwight beats Clive Owen's, the 3D is insane, and the city actually feels like more than just a digital backdrop this time around. Audiences by and large weren't into it, and odds are we won't get a part 3.
And as I've said before, I can't really disagree with the reasons why people hate the movie - it's the ultimate power fantasy of emasculated drunken assholes who don't really kick ass but wish they could. But if you ask me, there's nothing wrong with that; I am, at times, one of said assholes, and this is pure escapism for my worst impulses. Bring it on again. As with the original, this disc includes an all-greenscreen version in fast-forward, lasting 16 minutes...sadly, there aren't many other extras, leading one to believe that the usually prolific Robert Rodriguez may be holding out for a double-dip that there won't be sufficient demand to ever make.
Sam Howzit, Flickr
Man, remember arcades? The noise of cabinets trying to outdo one another with their crappy blown-out speakers, the flashing lights, the Liquid Paper curse-words on the machines, the drug deals... arcades were the bomb.
How old do you imagine the average WWE fan to be?
Given the prominence of John Cena and has record for having done the most Make-A-Wish fulfillment ever, the PG rating of the show, all the toys for sale and so on, you'd probably guess young, and I don't mean Mae Young.
You'd be wrong.