With the release of Iron Man 3, last week started the summer movie season. So you think that this week, the studios will try to attack with another big, action packed blockbuster, right?
Surprisingly, the only big budgeted studio movie that’s coming out this week is a period film based off of material that is more fondly remembered as reading material for high school. (We’ll get to that one in a second.) Outside of that we got a Horror/survivor film from Chile and a comedy in which the plot seems too…familiar. So we start off with…
Director: Nicolas Lopez
What’s it about? In Chile, a group of travelers who are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare.
TRAILER link below (WARNING! Red Banned trailer link below! NSFW)
My thoughts? Back in 2004 I gained interest in director Nicolas Lopez after hearing about his first film, Promedo Rojo. After watching the trailer (Click HERE to see it yourself) I was instantly intrigued. I saw a pretty clear idea of what what his sense of humor is and saw that he had a bold visual style. I only recently watched the film on Netflix, and while it’s pretty rough around the edges, and it does have a pretty bloated feeling that most first films have, I was still entertained by it. Lopez had a sure and confident style, and it was a style that I dug the vibe off of. Though I haven’t seen it myself, I hear really great things about his most successful film, F**k My Life (click here for the trailer of that film). From what I heard about F**k My Life, it shows a real growth and he’s able to not only keep his sensibilities, but also be able to tell a good story with strong characters.
Aftershock is his first English language film. Loosely based on what happened to Chile in 2010 after an 8.8 earthquake, Lopez seems to have taken a bit of inspiration from his leading man, horror director/writer/Inglorious Basterd Eli Roth. Judging by the trailer, Aftershock will have the same basic structure as Roth’s Cabin Fever and Hostel in that the first half of the film will be a comedy full sex and booze and then it will turn and become a blood bath in the second half. Looks like it could be a pretty great thrill ride. While I’m not really sure if Eli Roth is ready to be the next movie star, judging by the trailer I don’t think he needs to have Brad Pitt’s charisma to make this movie entertaining. Knowing that Lopez based this movie on his own experiences from surviving the earthquake would hopefully mean that this film will have a bit of an authentic feel to the terror. This screams (winkwink) to be seen with a crowed theater, so hopefully that will be the way I get to see it.
Director: Tina Chism
What’s it about? Wade Walker is eager to propose to his girlfriend, Grace Peeples. But after a year of living together, the beautiful, successful Grace is still cagey about introducing average guy Wade to her ambitious, upper crust family. So when Grace leaves for an annual reunion at her parents’ swanky Sag Harbor compound, Wade decides to crash the gathering, charm his soon-to-be in-laws and slip a ring on Grace’s finger.
However Wade’s plans go hilariously awry when he meets the high-powered, seemingly picture-perfect family who’ll do whatever it takes to keep up appearances. Wade soon finds himself caught in a web of white lies and comic dysfunction, and realizes that his only hope of ever marrying Grace means a take-no-prisoners face-off with Judge Peeples, Grace’s disapproving dad who won’t accept anything less than the very best for his favorite daughter.
TRAILER link below:
My thoughts? You know, I like Craig Robinson. I also like David Alan Grier. But, I straight up don’t like this weak looking attempt to just redo Meet the Parents. I’ll tell ya, watching a comedy trailer and not laughing at all is no fun. I’m not even sure if I can muster up anything else to say about this. I guess I like the song at the end of the trailer? I’ll politely pass on this one. I’m sure my mom will like to watch it though. Oh, it has Malcolm Barrett in it too? He was awesome as Lem from Better Off Ted. Man, that was a great show….that episode where Veridian was doing it’s best to not racial discriminant but ended up making the company look even more racist was so genius……..ok…moving on.
Director: Baz Luhrmann
What’s it about? “The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
TRAILER link below:
My thoughts? When they announced that Baz Luhrmann was going to direct a new adaptation of The Great Gatsby, it was pretty clear that this wasn’t going to be your average movie adaptation. This was proven further when they announced that the film itself will be shot in 3D. The idea of shooting Gatsby in 3D sounded like the most preposterous idea (if you’re going to do a classic literary book as a 3D movie, do The Grapes of Wrath.Plenty of cinematic 3D excitement! There’s a dust storm AND a flood!) but giving Luhrmann an excuse to shoot a period film in 3D with HIS unique visual style, well….that just sounds insanely intriguing..
The trailers for The Great Gatsby have been very eye catching and very Baz. Every frame is full of detail and visual pop, as expected. Though knowing that, I still wasn’t sold on the 3D element yet. That changed after I saw one of the trailers in 3D in front of OZ The Great and Powerful. I was blown away. Luhrmann’s visuals in 3D are intensely an immersive experience and I was completely sucked in.
But, I can gab on and on about Luhrmanns visuals all day long, however can he deliver on solid storytelling? I still hope so. I’m a big fan of this Red Curtain Trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge). His last film, Australia, I felt buckled under it’s attempt to be this generations Gone With The Wind, but I won’t fault him for trying to be ambitious. Hopefully he can focus and remember to tell the story while still blowing us away with his eye candy.
As for the cast, DiCaprio seems to be a strong choice for the role of Gatsby. Leo has been very careful with his film choices, and he doesn’t choose roles very lightly. I’m excited to see how DiCaprio and Luhrmann’s collaboration will be like since they haven’t worked together since Romeo + Juliet. I also think Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton are extremely talented actors and are just waiting for the roles that will give them the push that they need to be A listers. While I don’t know if Gatsby will be that film for Edgerton, this has the potential to be a star making role for Mulligan. While I know a lot of folks love to crap on Tobey Maguire in a post Spider-Man world, I still generally like him as performer and this part seems to be a good fit.
While The Great Gatsby seems like a wild card to be a Summer release, I love that it’s a bit wild looking and different from your average summer blockbuster.
So what about you guys? Are you down to see The Great Gatsby? Does Aftershock sound interesting? Did I offend you and you DO want to see Peeples? Let us know in the comments below!