Trailer analysis: Yogi Bear, and Thor

If you need further proof that Hollywood has become a parody of itself, then by all means check out the teaser trailer for Yogi Bear. Be sure to feast your eyes on the trailers for the Smurfs movie and the Jack Black version of Gulliver’s Travels while you’re at it.

The special sneak preview of the the upcoming live action Yogi Bear movie hit the net last night. Needless to say, it looks fairly by-the-numbers. Let’s see:

  • Live action blended with horrendous CGI? Check!
  • Genuinely talented actor taking a paycheck by voicing the titular character? Check!
  • B-Grade talent in the human roles? Check!
  • Animals dancing and shaking their butts to pop music? Check!
  • Tedious slapstick humour? Check!
  • In FUCKING 3-D?? Check and mate!!

I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of the Yogi Bear cartoon, but I’m pretty sure taking your kids to see this should equate to child abuse. It looks like absolute garbage, and will probably kill your kids’ brain cells. You may as well toss them a bottle of Jack Daniels and tell them to have at it.

Do kids really like seeing these shitty-looking CGI animals dance to pop music so much? Like, really? Teach your kid to read, participate in team sports, plant a fucking tree for God’s sake, or at the very least just stay at home and watch the original cartoon! How can they possibly fill an entire movie with picnic basket stealing gags? It’s filler, fodder, junk food for the brain. Any kid going into this movie is going to walk out of it a little dumber.

The trailer may as well contain a voice over saying: We think kids today are stupid. We’re going to take a beloved cartoon character and shit out a lousy movie with him, fill it with pretty colours, lots of dancing, and lame jokes, because today’s kids just love that stuff!

Kids aren’t that stupid, are they? Take them to see the Pixar stuff, take them to Harry Potter, they can handle that. But this movie looks like it will be shit. Stop taking kids to see this worthless trash and they’ll stop making it!

Ugh. Whatever. It’s a stupid kids movie. Not the first. Not the last. But I’d never take my (theoretical) kid to see something like Yogi Bear. I’d have too much love and respect for my offspring.

It breaks my heart to see Anna Faris in this movie. I do think she has talent, and she’s really hot, too. It’s  also disappointing to see Dan Aykroyd sell out with voicing Yogi the bear, and not doing all too great of a job of it, either.  He’s a gifted actor, writer, and comedian. He’s one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, a true comedic pioneer, he’s an Oscar nominated dramatic actor, he’s a Ghostbuster for God’s sake, and hey, his wine brand is pretty good, too. So it’s really come to this, huh?

In addition to the exciting Yogi Bear news, some leaked footage of a 5-minute Thor trailer has been popping up as well. Good luck finding it, though. It gets pulled as soon as it gets uploaded. I can’t say I’m a big Thor fan or anything, my familiarity with the character really only extends to the “BY THE HAMMER OF THOR” line repeated so hilariously in various TV shows and films, namely Anchorman. Ha, ha. Personally I can’t really see the appeal of a space viking that has a big hammer as a weapon, but whatever.

Some thoughts on the trailer:

  • It’s never occurred to me until right now how much Anthony Hopkins sounds like Marlon Brando, and his role gives off a Superman/Krypton opening kind of vibe.
  • I have no idea who the actor playing Thor is. He must be new. I’d swear he was an ex-wrestler or something if it weren’t for the fact that he’s British and can apparently act without grinning into the camera.
  • “For a crazy homeless man, he’s….pretty cut.” Tee hee, funny line.
  • Natalie Portman alone should get my ass in the seat.
  • The best thing about the trailer was the Iron Man reference.  Oh boy, I can’t wait for Iron Man 3. When’s that coming out??
  • The costume design is impressive, but not too surprising considering the film is helmed by Kenneth Branagh, director of Shakespearean adaptations such as Henry V, Hamlet, and As You Like It. I’d say Branagh’s involvement in the project would be an encouraging factor, but then again, this is the same guy who voluntarily acted in Wild Wild West.

So I’m sure the verdict isn’t quite in yet. Some folks are hella excited for this movie and died of nerdgasms upon viewing the trailer, but I think a lot of people are still waiting to make up their minds. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if Thor is any good or not.

Movie Review: Inception (2010)

Inception is a very impressive movie in that it works spectacularly well as a big action/thriller blockbuster with plenty of awesome, edge-of-your-seat sequences, and as an original, thought-provoking science fiction film. All too often a film like this may scrap its ideas and resort to mindless action, or fall under the weight of its own story. Inception presents an extremely ambitious plot and follows through with it admirably, not once taking any shortcuts or cheating the audience. It was immensely satisfying from beginning to end.

The cast is fantastic, featuring some of the best actors working today: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, and Ken Wantanabe. When you think about it, they’ve all taken on thankless roles here. It’s not as if most of them have the opportunity to show their skills as actors with a variety of emotions or long, dramatic monologues, which they are all perfectly capable of doing. They accomplish something arguably much more difficult: they guide us through this world that Nolan has created and make ideas that must have seemed a little silly on paper completely believable. These are real people at real risk. But, then again, maybe they aren’t? Yeah, Inception will no doubt inspire endless theorizing, especially about its ending.

Leonardo Dicaprio plays the main character and he has the meatiest part. He plays a complex and truly tragic character, as we learn more and more about him as the movie goes along. He was incredible in his role and reminds us once again why he is one of our most talented actors. It would be terrific to see his work here recognized come Oscar season as one of the nominees for Best Actor. It might not happen, but you can be sure that the movie itself will find its way on to the list of the Academy’s 10 best films of 2010.

So, yes, Inception lived up to the hype. Yes, it was worth the wait. Yes, Christopher Nolan has done it again. It is definitely one of the best science fiction films of our time. The best works of science fiction are all about ideas, whether they explore where we’re going with technology, or the possibility of life of different planets, or alternate realities, etc. Nolan’s film makes the bold choice of exploring the mind, and the mind is absolutely infinite.

Movie Review: Predators (2010)

If you’re a big fan of movies where characters speak softly and dramatically and try to explain everything that is happening, then PREDATORS just may be right up your alley. But I personally found it to be exhausting. 90% of the dialogue is tedious exposition: characters explain, explain, and EXPLAIN, what’s going on, what their plan of action is, who everyone is, and why everyone is there. But why bother trying to explain who these characters are? Any audience member with half a brain will expect most of the characters to be dead by the end anyway, and even with all the long-winded explanations, we really don’t get a better idea of who these guys are than we already could assume just by looking at them. Here’s a helpful hint for any screenwriter: WHIPPING OUT WALLET PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS DOES NOT COUNT AS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. We already figured this out with the first Alien Vs. Predator movie, which shockingly had more interesting characters, and- dare I say?- was more entertaining.

I wonder if someone who has never seen a Predator film will find this to be a good movie. As a person who is familiar with this series, I wasn’t sure why the Predator creatures would kill unarmed men. I may have nodded off during one of the many exposition-spewing monologues, but I recall something about there being two different kinds of Predators on the planet, with different creeds and codes locked in a civil war of sorts, so maybe there’s an answer there. That’s a small complaint, though.

What bugged me the most was, well, the entire thing. In Predator 1 & 2, you figure that the Predators didn’t hand-pick Arnold Schwarzenegger or Danny Glover to hunt, but they just stumbled upon them or something. Each and every character in PREDATORS was chosen for specific reasons to go on that planet to be hunted, but why are these creatures going through all this trouble? If they’re going to elaborately capture them, parachute them onto the planet, just to pick them off seemingly at random, why not just hunt on Earth? Seriously, what the fuck? It makes no sense.

Should I have just turned my brain off and enjoyed the action? I mean, it’s not like the original 1987 film with Schwarzenegger is known for its impeccable writing, right? But PREDATOR has its fun, while this movie does not. It is dead serious. The characters play it completely straight, which is more than you could say for good ol’ Arnold, who was practically winking at the camera the entire time. The only person I could see having some fun with their character was Laurence Fishburne, who really livens thing up, but is in the movie briefer than you may expect.

There were some decent action scenes I guess. I liked it when they were gunning apart those dog-like creatures and there is a cool sword fight. Like, seriously guys, if the Asian mob guy finds an ancient sword and DOESN’T use it later in a big dramatic showdown, I would ask for my money back.

Maybe as a fan of the Alien and Predator movies I was expecting too much. It’s not like this one movie could singlehandedly redeem an entire series, but what kind of victory is it for a fan when a movie you’re looking forward to doesn’t suck completely, but isn’t all that good, either? PREDATORS was not the redemption I was hoping for, but it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not a terrible movie, but I wouldn’t say it was all that good, either. It was kind of stupid.

And the ending. Don’t get me started on the ending. Boy, talk about your piece-of-shit endings. As the screen cut to black, I was almost expecting a giant middle finger to appear on the screen, or maybe a disclaimer stating: “We couldn’t figure out a way to end this movie, so we’re going to let you draw your own conclusions.”

Lindsay Lohan’s going to jail.

Do you ever wonder that maybe the life stories of these tabloid queens like Lindsay, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton are actually works of complete fiction, presented to us elaborately through television, the internet, and magazines? If that’s the case, then I think they need to hire new writers, because we’ve seen this story before. And it’s gotten boring to watch. God forbid I might pick up a book.

For more information on Lindsay Lohan’s sentencing, please feel free to consult literally every website you can think of.

10 things you may not know about the TV show, “Full House”

Fancy yourself a Full House fan? Here are some facts that you may not know about the classic TV show:

  • Ray Romano auditioned for the role of Danny Tanner.
  • Stephanie’s catchphrase, “How rude!” was initially an ad-lib by actress Jodie Sweetin, which caught on so well it became a regular line.
  • Lori Loughlin is actually third cousins with Priscilla Presley, which was the tipping point for her casting, as that would make for an interesting trait for Jesse’s love interest.
  • It’s common knowledge that Jesse’s last name in the first season was “Cochran” and changed to “Katsopolis” from season 2 and on. However, Joey’s original last was “Goldstein” instead of “Gladstone.” It was changed because Joey did not look Jewish enough.
  • Everyone knows that Michelle was played by twins. The Twins on the show, Nicky and Alex, were played by a set of Quadruplets.
  • Joey’s girlfriend in the 7th season, Roxy, was originally meant to be played by Dave Coulier’s then-girlfriend Alanis Morisette. She had to back out at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by actress Felicia Michaels. It’s rumoured that Coulier and Michaels sparked up an affair, which became the subject of Morisette’s hit song “You Oughtta Know.”
  • A plot line involving DJ becoming pregnant and finally deciding to have an abortion was planned for the 6th season but was deemed to edgy for the show’s family friendly tone, and was scrapped.
  • When asked in interviews which Olsen twin they liked better, most cast members stated that Ashley was the easiest to work with and that Mary-Kate was all too often troublesome.
  • The infamous house in San Francisco, shown in exterior shots and known as the Tanner’s house, is rumoured to be haunted and/or cursed. Between 1978 and 2004, 3 suicides and 2 murders took place in the house.
  • Writers of the show have said in interviews that if they went on to do the final 9th season, it would be revealed in the last episode that the whole series would have been a dream. It would cut to a terrible car wreck with Danny Tanner waking up, seeing his 3 daughters and wife mutilated beyond recognition in pools of blood, followed by his horrified screams. The last scene would have been Uncle Jesse receiving the terrible news on the phone, then riding off into the sunset on his Harley.