LifeCell
LifeCell Anti Aging & Beauty Tips

Another look at “The Town”

The new international trailer and clip that have been circulating has me a bit more amped up to see the new crime thriller adaptation from director-cowriter-star Ben Affleck than the one I ran here last month. It’s not just shorter, it’s more to the point and less pretentious. The even shorter clip isn’t bad either. And, say what you will about Affleck, by casting himself toe-to-toe with both Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, he’s not afraid to put his own oft-questioned acting skills toe to toe with the two most dynamic new leading men around right now. I questioned that a bit a in my prior post, but I admire his nerve.

I’ve seen these at several spots, but since I saw them there last, so Screenrant gets the h/t.

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

As if putting together a film festival weren’t hard enough

The organizers of the beloved Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF to its friends) have to put up with an infestation of that feared denizen of the east coast, the bedbug. Fortunately for them, the actual festival doesn’t start for nearly a fortnight. What could be worse, well…

Related Posts

“Persons Unknown,” I hate you.

All will be revealed by the end of summer.

Yeah, right.

First of all, NBC didn’t even broadcast the third-to-last episode. It apparently ‘debuted online,’ whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. If you want to cancel a series, fine, but don’t skip an episode without anything resembling an explanation.

Anyway, I finished the final hour of “Persons Unknown” last night and I was disappointed, to put it lightly.

All along, the series has been spotty and uneven, leaving me with my eyes closed and head shaking as Character A does this or Character B does that. Casting decisions were also sketchy. I could handle Cameron from “Ferris Bueller” as a corporate magnate because Alan Ruck can act. But the choice of head baddie (Joanna Lipari) was a head scratcher. I had an eighth grade English teacher who was ten times as menacing. Then the Doctor from “Star Trek: Voyager” shows up as a corporation board member with a thick mane of white hair and a take-no-shit attitude. Part of Robert Picardo’s shtick is that he’s bald. Seeing him with flowing locks of white hair is just going to make the audience laugh. Is that really what they were going for in the last half hour of the season/series?

And what the hell happened between the second to last episode and the last episode? Last we left them, the gang was bouncing around in an overturned van with the least competent ‘man in blue’ in the company (which is why they give him corpse duty, apparently) and suddenly Janet is in a hospital, Charlie and Bill are speeding down a highway in a stolen car, Moira and Erica are in Morocco (Morocco, really? WTF?), and Graham has been captured with no explanation as to how any of this happened.

All will be revealed.

What was the point of the program? They imply that the ‘winners’ move onwards and upwards, but to what? Joe supposedly won his first contest, and he ended up in Round 1 again. Ulrich went from being a badass manager type to a blubbering idiot after Janet batted her eyelashes a few times, and we’re supposed to believe that this program chooses the best and the brightest? (And really, was Janet that hot?)

So since I don’t really know anyone else who watched this show, I googled the show’s title and the first result to come up was an article entitled, “Is the ‘Persons Unknown’ Finale the Worst Series Finale Ever?” I literally laughed out loud.

We’re supposed to be rooting for Janet, who is just a mom who wants to get home to her kid. After finally getting out of the town, we see her trapped in a hospital, only to escape and finally reunite with her daughter. Her mom’s henchman is supposed to be ‘driving them to the border’ yet they stop at a seedy hotel so that they can sleep — why didn’t they just sleep in the car? The henchman said he’d be ‘right outside’? Keep moving!

No matter, it was just a plot device to get Janet asleep so she could wake up dramatically in the other hotel. We even get a shot of Joe waking up in (could it be?) the same hotel. Well, they’re back in the program, but at least they have each other.

Nope.

Joe is with a whole new group of guinea pigs, and Janet’s ex-husband, who apparently impressed the head baddie (still not one-tenth as menacing as my English teacher) enough to earn a spot in the program. Don’t worry about his girlfriend, who is trapped in a cage somewhere next to Ambassador Whatshisname. Meanwhile, Janet and the gang find themselves on a big ship in the middle of the ocean.

The end.

Good premise, terrible execution.

All will be revealed.

I hate you.

Related Posts

Ghosts are scary, sharks are terrifying…

So a ghost shark must be mother-freaking horrifying. Moreover, the filmmakers have skipped the original and gone straight to cashing in with a sequel with, what else, “Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws.”

If you’re wondering “is this a joke?” the answer is: “of course.” If you’re wondering, “is this for a real movie?” the answer is: maybe. The directors, a couple of New Zealander-Americans (New Zealandish-Americans?), are planning to go the “Machete” route here.

H/t Cinematical.

Related Posts

True Blood 3.11 – “Be brave. We’ll die together.”

I’d like to begin this week’s blog with a plea to the publicists at HBO to provide us with some more photo assets for “True Blood,” because I have to believe that you’re just as sick of looking at this all-purpose promo shot as I am. But what can I do? We haven’t been given new shots in ages, and that’s really the most appropriate picture I’ve got to kick off the proceedings. Basically, what I’m saying is blame HBO, not me. In the meantime, though, have another look at the gift that keeps on giving, week after week after bloody week…

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let me applaud Alan Ball and his crew for offering up an awesome nod to the competing programming – yes, the Emmys – by kicking off tonight’s episode with “True Blood: In Memoriam,” which was a little bit of genius…and, if I’m to be honest, was more effective that the Emmy’s “In Memoriam” segment. (Loved the song, Jewel, but the pacing of the whole thing was off, possibly because they’re not used to scoring it to something other than just some plain old orchestral music.)

On to the episode proper. Bill blows into Fangtasia on a quest to find Sookie, but on his way toward the basement, he’s stopped by Pam, who tries to tell him that he just needs to chill out and put things into their proper perspective. He ignores her and heads for the stairs, but he’s taken down by Pam’s handy-dandy silver spray. As it happens, Sookie looks to have another savior: Eric’s Russian stripper girlfriend, who’s bitter at being blown off by him – possibly because he’s been underestimating her (who knew she was a cardiologist?) – and decides to let Sookie go…and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since she pops up and saves Bill from Pam’s wrath. Pam’s kinda pissed about the situation, since she’s of the belief that things are going to go to hell if Eric isn’t able to present Sookie as a gift to The King.

Lafayette and Jesus are coming down from their crazy-ass trip. Jesus was clearly moved by the experience, but Lafayette, while admitting that it was pretty unique even for him, isn’t particularly interested in revisiting the situation again…and that was before he had his first flashback. But how about that second flashback, with all of the dolls coming to life and talking to him? Loved it.

So Jason’s girlfriend is a were-panther, eh? You can’t blame him for being a little upset at this revelation, especially since – as he informs her – he’d figured that her big secret was “shoplifting or something.” He bristles at her suggestion that he might not be a real man, but, hell, compared to the guys in her family, he actually is kind of a wuss. With no one to talk to, Jason finds himself wandering over to the the football field, where he finds his young high-school student nemesis from earlier this season alienating his girlfriend and pissing off his teammates from working them so hard, but I can’t tell if it’s because he’s on something or if it’s because he’s just kind of an obsessive jerk. (It’s probably both.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts

Mad Men 4.6 – Life? Don’t talk to me about Life…

I’ll bet you thought I was going to entitle this week’s blog “The Cure for the Common…” or something relating to the gag that kicked off tonight’s episode. Believe me, I was tempted: I thought it was pretty hilarious that this young punk – 36-year-old Danny (Strong) claiming to be a 24-year-old – strolled into Sterling Cooper Draper & Pryce with half a dozen ads based around the same general theme, with his only real defense being, “Uh, did you see me shaking hands with Roger Sterling out there?”

Looks like the candidates are pretty slim pickings, which would certainly be enough to bum Don out even if he didn’t have all of this other stuff going on in his life, but, man, he really tried to drag Peggy down to his mood, despite her unabashedly optimistic attitude about how well things are going for her. You’d think he’d be in better spirits, what with his CLIO nomination and all. (By the way, is this the first time we’ve heard mention of the CLIO Awards? It seems like it might be.) Then again, you’d also think he would’ve noticed after all of this time that Peggy isn’t the same shy girl who used to cower every time he raised his voice…although, in fairness to Don, she does tend to fall back into that old pattern when she’s around him.

Huh. I wasn’t expecting a flashback to the first time Don and Roger met. Don was selling furs…? I don’t remember hearing that tidbit of information before, either. Funny how Roger’s first reaction to one of Don’s ad slogans was to disparage it. And, holy cow, look at Joan, would you? She’s a red-headed Marilyn Monroe, especially with her hair done up like that. Man, when she dropped that fur coat, I found myself wishing “Mad Men” was on HBO…and then I laughed out loud when they cut back to Roger reminiscing about what I’m pretty sure I was imagining myself.

I couldn’t begin to guess how many bowls of Life I ate as a child, so I had a smile on my face as soon as I saw the familiar multi-colored letters of the cereal’s name…which is the exact opposite of the expression on Pete Campbell’s face when we first see him. He’s so serious these days, not unlike a li’l Don Draper circa Season 1. (Probably not a coincidence.) I liked Lane’s dismissal of Harry’s attempt at namedropping as well as Joan’s reminder to New Boy that he can get up and get his own damned drink. Peggy’s not going to waste her time drinking, though. Instead, she has to do battle with Stan, the firm’s new art director. What a jerk. Clearly, she’s going to end up sleeping with him…or kill him. One or the other.

And speaking of jerks, here’s Ted Shaw, coming up to Don and Roger in order to be his usual dickish self. As a Marx Brothers fan, I had to laugh at Roger’s description of the purported general as “Rufus T. Bullshit,” which was almost as funny as the expression on Pete’s face when he realized that he might have to work with Ken again. Great guest spot from Mark Moses, getting a chance to play a drunken Duck Phillips. The menage a trois of handholding between Don, Joan, and Roger was too cute, but…wow, they’re really going to go for broke and head straight from the CLIO Awards back to the office to meet with the people from Life? Ballsy, Don, real ballsy…especially when it’s Harry who’s stuck having to entertain the troops until he gets there. Good thing most everyone was a “Peyton Place” fan back then, I guess. That, and it’s a good thing that the SCD&P bar is always well stocked.

Or is that a good thing?

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts

Entourage 7.9 – Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

I’ve been focusing so much on Vince’s downfall this season that I’ve pretty much ignored the possibility that Ari’s career might be in trouble as well. I figured he just dodged a bullet after Deadline Hollywood ran a story about his not-so-kind treatment of his employees, but Ari might have opened his big mouth for the last time. After making a scene in front of his embarrassed wife, Amanda Daniels, and some of the NFL board members (a classic Ari Gold rant that included plenty of insults and even a few borderline violent threats) Ari discovers that it wasn’t Amanda who leaked the tapes, but rather her assistant – a former employee with a grudge.

Apparently, Amanda was just interested in teaming up with Ari to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles, but now that opportunity is gone for good. It definitely wasn’t Ari’s proudest moment, but I’m sure he’ll survive. Of course, the suggestion that Amanda would suddenly be willing to work with Ari after threatening to ruin him only a few episodes ago seems ludicrous in and of itself. I mean, why the sudden change of heart? It’s not like they were ever friends, and Amanda clearly still isn’t over Ari’s sabotage of the Warner Brothers gig that ultimately went to Dana Gordon.

entourage_7-9

Simply put, it would never happen, though I am warming up to the idea of Drama doing “Johnny’s Bananas.” I still feel like Drama takes the craft of acting a little too seriously to consider voicing a character on an animated show, but after a series of conversations with Eric’s secretary, Jenny – where we not only learned that the job would only take an hour or two a week to record, but that his condo has been foreclosed – it makes sense that Drama would finally decide to do the show, even if he is selling out as a result. It’s just a shame he didn’t come to that conclusion a little earlier, because it looks like Phil put a lot of effort in creating that presentation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts

The 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards: The Post-Game Wrap-Up

First of all, I’d just like to say that it’s cruel of both “True Blood” and “Mad Men” to air new episodes on the same night as the Emmy Awards, especially when neither show is sending out advance screeners anymore. Yes, I’m a big whiner, and I don’t care. It’s 11 PM, the Emmys have just wrapped up, and now I’ve got to go blog both shows. I’m sorry, but there’s no way around it: this sucks.

Okay, enough of my bitching. Let’s talk about the Emmys.

As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Fallon did a fine job as host. The “Glee”-inspired opening segment was awesome: Jon Hamm ruled that bit with his sweet-ass dance moves, but Joel McHale leaping in front the camera was pretty awesome, too, and once they switched over to the live performance, I laughed out loud at just how happy Randy Jackson seemed to be to get to play in front of the audience. Sometimes you forget that the guy’s got some serious studio-musician street cred.

The minstrel-in-the-aisles bit was hit or miss, but Stephen Colbert was hilarious, and I was pleasantly surprised at Kim Kardashian’s performance. Jimmy’s quick quip at Conan’s expense was pretty funny, too. I wasn’t as big a fan of the farewells to “24,” “Law & Order,” and “Lost,” mostly because all I could think was, “This kind of takes away from the seriousness of the farewells to the folks in the industry who really have died.” The segment with the “Modern Family” cast meeting with the network was hysterical, though.

And now on to the awards!

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts

A movie moment for the Emmys (and Mad Men, too)

Just two of the many reasons that the still-underrated 1955 “It’s Always Fair Weather” ranks very high on my list of my all-time favorite film musicals is it’s sardonic yet cheerful send-ups of advertising and this new medium called television as well as its brilliant use of the brilliant song-and-dance gal Delores Grey. This clip has all three in spades. (Ms. Grey appears at the 1:23 spot.)

Just for the record, yes, that’s the immortal Frank Nelson (uncredited) as the announcer, and Gene Kelly (who codirected with Stanley Donen), Dan Dailey and dancer-choreographer Michael Kidd in a rare acting gig near the beginning. The music is by Andre Previn, best known these days as a conductor and arranger, with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who wrote every single golden word in this movie and, as far as I’m concerned, deserved the Nobel Prize for World Literature, though that’s probably just me.

Related Posts

Weekend box office: Demons take robbers (maybe, kind of) in a photo-finish (updated — results reversed)

To be perfectly honest, this whole business of the box office horse race is a bit silly. Box office is not a zero-sum game and is probably a bit more like horseshoes than hand grenades. The success of one film doesn’t necessarily take that much away from the success of another. In this weekend’s case, people who felt like seeing an attempt at a stylish robbers-’n-cops thriller were edged out very slightly by people who wanted to see another scary mockumentary. This weekend, the results are close enough that the “actuals” may be different enough from the estimates to reverse the #1 and #2 positions.

TakersTo be specific, the horror tale, “The Last Exorcism,” earned an estimated $21.3 million for Lionsgate, while the crime thriller “Takers” netted an estimate of $21 million. Aside from being extremely close, it’s worthy of a huge asterisk. As per Box Office Mojo, “Exorcism” was in 668 more theaters while Screengems/Sony’s “Takers” had the week’s highest per-screen average ($9,519). The heist picture had a budget of $20 million, extremely modest by contemporary studio standards, which means that it’s very much on its way to profitability. However, like prior horror mock-docs, “Exorcism” is by far the profitability king this weekend with an announced budget of $1.8 million. That’s enormously tiny in Hollywood terms and makes this a big win for producer Eli Roth, first-time feature director Daniel Stamm, and the screenwriting team of Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland, whose unpromising looking upcoming ‘net-driven horny-teenager flick, “The Virginity Hit” got a certain amount of bloggy attention a while back.

On the bad news side for “The Last Exorcism,” Nikki Finke has noted that the film received a “D” from Cinemascore. She decreed, in typically blunt Finkian fashion, “they hated it.” Well, that seems a fair enough assessment, except that it might not be that simple. The ending has been generating a certain amount of complaints even from critics, who have been mostly supportive of the film. Clearly horror fans and others who plunked down $10+ more, however, may be feeling cheated and we have reports of audible responses from audience.

A friend and I have been having for decades having to do with mostly good movies with bad endings versus mostly bad movies with good endings and which are “better.” Perhaps like the critics who were kind to “The Last Exorcism,” I believe the journey is more important than the destination but, of course, it’s the destination you often remember most easily. I wonder if any of those D-graders had second thoughts on the way home as their immediate anger lessened and they remembered the “good parts” on the way home.

[UPDATE: Yes, that difference was small enough to be reversed. According to Nikki Finke and Box Office Mojo, the "actuals" have reversed the order of the this week's top 2l.  "Takers" took $20,512,304 and is now #1, while now #2 "The Last Exorcism" received $20,366,613. That's a difference of just over $145,691.]

In other news, the week’s #3 film was ‘The Expendables” with $9.5 million estimated in its third week. That expanded 3D only reissue of “Avatar” I spent time discussing on Thursday night turned out not to be monkey wrench to anyone else’s success. It only managed to get into 12th place, earning a decent but definitely non-blockbuster $4 million in about a third as many theaters as a typical wide-release.

Finally, the indie/limited release beat is percolating along nicely with good news for the first half of a fact-based French 2-part gangster thriller “Mesrine: Killer Instinct” starring the memorable Vincent Cassel. Meanwhile, my mild obsession with the success of “Get Low,” which continues to thrive, is mellowed by the knowledge that it’s not likely to match the years #1 indie so far, “The Kids All Right.” As usual, the details are available as handled very nicely by Peter Knegt over at Indiewire.

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in

Related Posts