Justin: OK, so first off. I need to start with a confession. I have a hard time not associating John Williams with Superman. And it probably says something about my age, but the the theme for the original Superman is what instantly starts playing in my head whenever I think of Superman.
Dennis: I hear you. This murmuring, ominous thrumming thing does not scream Superman to me.
Justin: I’M SCARED AS SHIT MAN. I guess it’s better than the BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHM Inception sound that has colonized the mind of all movie composers. But this trailer is heavy, heavy on mood.
Justin: What has Quentin Tarantino collectively done to our brains that makes it damn near impossible to not like what he does, at least on some level. Because there’s a lot to like about Django Unchained from this trailer, but there’s also a lot going on that just feels, well, it gives me a slight case of the Wiggins.
Dennis: I think I’m onto your mind grapes there. The thing that makes Quentin Quentin is the fact that he’s the movie geek of all movie geeks, mining the darkest, most obscure corners of movieland for ideas and then reinventing them with a virtuosic gift for dialogue and fiendishly clever plot-twistery. Whether it’s the heist film (Reservoir Dogs), blaxploitation (Jackie Brown), or pulp fiction or grindhouse (well, Pulp Fiction and Grindhouse), QT’s cinematic alchemy creates some peerlessly exhilarating movies. Some of the best I’ve ever seen, in fact. But in his last film, Inglorious Basterds, I found myself getting a little…something. (Sorry if all this technical jargon is too inside.) An arse-kicking exercise in Nazi-scalpin’ wish fulfillment, Basterds, packed as it is with the requisite virtuoso setpieces (the ones in the farmhouse and the basement bar are as good as anything he’s ever done), has a certain queasy…something underlying everything. You know what I’m getting at?
Dear, sweet, bow-happy Katniss, that girl can’t help but go a-murderin’ every other film that comes in her line of sight. It would be a bloodbath if not for the PG-13 rating, thank the gods.
This week’s Plot Device Power Rankings have indeed been bested by the Tween Juggernaut (actually, I’d watch a movie called “Tween Juggernaut”), but it’s also got plenty of new entrants just salivating to take it down. Like a documentary on bullying! How appropriate. And let’s not forget Greek Mythology, which if I understand it correctly boils down to Liam Neeson is punching things again. Man that guy likes punching.
PLOT DEVICE POWER RANKINGS for WEEK 13 of the 2012 MOVIE SEASON:
Look, we get that films are a family thing, a cultural pastime you should enjoy with the little ones in your life. If reading early can encourage a life of literacy, then watching movies early should make them better film watchers. Right? RIGHT? Aw damn who are we kidding. Hollywood produces a crap-tonage of movies for kids, either explicitly or implicitly, whether from the Dr. Seuss catalog, or just pulling a tried and true plot device out of the bin. Damn kids.
PLOT DEVICE POWER RANKINGS for WEEK 9 of the 2012 MOVIE SEASON
We are in the deep, harsh, soul sucking depths of the movie season, that time where the cutting cold of the weather outside still isn’t enough to make you walk into a movie theater. Still, the Hollywood’s not shutting down and Nick Cage has a shit ton of bills to pay. Seriously, that guy must own thousands in hair plug payments. Also, Reese Witherspoon is back. Consider that your fair warning.
PLOT DEVICE POWER RANKINGS FOR WEEK 7 of the 2012 MOVIE SEASON
Ever so often there’s just not enough time to compose a thoughtful, reasoned, argument or, as is our case, start hammering away on a keyboard. In those desperate moments, Dennis and Justin have to chat it out, like bros.
In today’s NSA wiretap transcript, we talk about the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man that debuted this week. It’s only been a few years since the web-slinger was seen on the screen, but now he’s back with a new batch of handsome (and pretty) faces, including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, and Rhys Ifans among others. All of that sounds nice, but is it any good? And is the world really ready (or in need of) another Spider-Man movie?
Justin: OK, first off, GWEN STACY!
Dennis: Garfield - suitably-gangly and unimposing. Stacy/Stone. Hot. Can we just say that?
Justin: I mean, I want to root for Gwen Stacy and I adore Emma Stone. But man…my nerd knowledge just makes me sad for the future.
Dennis: Is Spidey’s costume made of old ABA basketballs?
Justin: With a fresh coat of paint from Sherman Williams! That thing is shiny!
Dennis: Dennis Leary saying the word ‘Unitard’ just sounds meaner than it should.
The 2012 box office continues to plod along, splashing in puddles while its studio parents, with mounting irritation, try to hurry it along because it’s getting late and jacuzzi payments are coming due. Belabored metaphors aside, ain’t no one goin’ to the movies these days. Could it be that this year’s movies, relying as they have on certain hackneyed plot devices, are uniformly disappointing? Naaaah- can’t be that. I blame the critics.
So, in this week’s utterly critic-proof crop plot devices, we’ve got a child star dressing up in gran’pa’s suit, low budget superheroes, aquatic mammalian feelgoodery, and more!
PLOT DEVICE POWER RANKINGS for WEEK 5 of the 2012 Movie Season!
Something remarkable happened at the box office recently when two, yes, TWO action movies fronted by women debuted. And one of them claimed the top spot. Yes, the Plot Device Power Rankings proved its supremacy, and legitimacy, once again, but that’s not the point here. What’s interesting is that we’ve got a ‘splodey, derivative, ludicrous and loud action flick winning the box office that doesn’t have a dude running the point.
That won’t last long. Why? Because here come the dudes, again. Or, maybe we should say, out of respect, the older gentlemen. These aren’t your Will Smiths, Vin Diesels or even Shia LeBeoufs. No, these are actors who can clearly remember the Reagan and Carter administrations. Within a two week span a pair of Hollywood’s, uh, mature, statesmen will be bare-knuckling their way into theaters, with Liam Neeson leading the way with The Grey, followed by Denzel Washington in Safe House.
Let’s just get it out of the way now and say both of these movies give off the air of uninspiring energy drinks. Sure, they’re filled with blinding amounts of caffeine, enticing food dyes and the promise of brief, enjoyable highs. But they’re ultimately empty. Unless, of course, you pop a big, even aging, name on it.