Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Hello I'm Michael Bay, Director of Transformers"

Say what you will about Michael Bay's films, but you gotta give the man some credit for going the extra mile to make sure the 3D presentation of Transformers: Dark of the Moon is primo. This letter written by Bay to projectionists was posted on American Cinematographer's facebook page and details his wishes for how his film should be presented (I wonder if the letter will be posted for tonight's IMAX screening?). It's an interesting insight to a process that's rarely acknowledged or done these days. Click here to see some more letters to projectionists from visionary directors such as Terrence Malick, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch.

PS. I'll report back on the movie tomorrow (not a fan of the films, but I'm strangely hyped for this one; will I ever learn?). Until then, here's a glowing review by Harry Knowles.

Monday, June 27, 2011

R.I.P. Peter Falk

Two-time Academy Award nominee Peter Falk has passed away. RIP Columbo. I highly recommend William Friedkin's underrated heist comedy The Brink's Job if you haven't seen it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cars 2: A Pixar Wreck

I guess it had to happen sooner or later, and it's perhaps not surprising that Pixar's golden track record has been tarnished by Cars 2, an unnecessary sequel to one of their lesser films, its existence made only possible by the franchise's apparently lucrative merchandising. It's currently sitting in the mixed yellow zone at Metacritic, and I tend to agree with the comments at the negative end of the spectrum. As you can expect from Pixar, the film is stuffed with dazzling action sequences, faultless animation, etc. Unfortunately there's little that's emotionally engaging about any of it here: not the waffly, cliched Bond-riffin' spy plot, not buck-toothed tow-truck lead Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) whom you want to clobber constantly, and as already proven by the first film, not its distancing human-less, all-vehicle world. Cars 2 feels like an aberration from Pixar, a hollow, exhausting, shrill, blatantly studio-ey product. It's also the first Pixar film that's ever given me a headache. Boo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Site Tip: How To Avoid Renting Subtitled Movies

So it appears there are many of you out there who do not like reading subtitles when watching a movie; here's a quick tip on how to avoid renting subtitled movies if it ain't your buzz:

First off, do not go to the Foreign section. Check the genre on the movie description. If it says "Foreign" in there, run away, far far away.

Secondly, check the audio and subtitles info. If the only language option available is not English, then it's most likely that it's English subtitled and in a foreign language.

(If you think we've made a mistake in the data, e.g. you rent a foreign movie though we say that it's in English, let us know and we'll fix it up)

This is of course, not to discourage you if you are a bit curious about world cinema - in fact, we encourage you dig into our foreign film section, there's so much amazing stuff out there - but if you just can't stand reading subtitles, this is how you can avoid renting movies with them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Classic Trailer: Diva

Jean-Jacques Beineix's wild, influential, super-stylish "New New Wave" thriller Diva is getting a long overdue re-release by Vendetta Films today. Essential viewing if you're a fan of '80s cinema. Check out the trailer here:

Also new to DVD from Beineix: Locked-In Syndrome, Roselyn and the Lions, Moon in the Gutter. Betty Blue has come out on Blu-ray, but alas it's the shorter version.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NZ Film Fest Announcements

Not long now before the New Zealand Film Festival unleash their full programme for 2011; they've just announced on facebook that the online version will be available from 6 tonight, and the printed programme out tomorrow. Currently their website has a smattering of tasty announcements, including the gonzo Rutger Hauer grindhouse flick Hobo with a Shotgun, Kelly Reichardt's highly regarded revisionist western Meek's Cutoff and the brutal Aussie crime thriller Snowtown.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We need this playing in ALL our theatres pronto!

For those of you who can't stand people who use their cellphones in theatres - and I hope that's all of you! - check out this hilarious pre-show PSA from Austin, Texas' super-cool Alamo Drafthouse featuring an angry patron who left a voicemail after being kicked out for texting. So good...

(via Ant Timpson)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Trailer: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The first trailer for David Fincher's remake for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has arrived. It's just a green-band trailer, so no sexy and violent stuff. Not sure how I feel about this one: I'll probably check it out because of Fincher's involvement, but it looks almost exactly like the original film, maybe with added Fincher-esque visual sleekness. Funny how it's being sold here as "The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas" - will this really put bums on seats? Anyway, everyone knows the books now and the remake will be welcome for those subtitle-averse viewers.