Thursday, April 28, 2011

Most Anticipated Movies of 2011

Usually you do these kinds of lists in January or December of the previous year. I’m late, but luckily there hasn’t been much released in the first quarter of the year that I was interested in. So here’s my top 20 anticipated movie list for 2011. I’m getting this idea from my boy MadMan.

1. Tree of Life

2. Super (Review Soon)

3. Super 8

4. X-Men: First Class

5. Extraterrestre

6. Stake Land

7. Hobo With a Shotgun

8. Anonymous

9. Apollo 18

10. Carnage

11. Rubber

12. Knights of Badassdom

13. Piranha 3DD

14. Conan the Barbarian

15. Cowboys & Aliens

16. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

17. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

18. Immortals

19. Captain America: The First Avenger

20. Thor

Intentionally left off the list: The Hangover Part II and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Two movies that will no doubt be completely underwhelming compared to their predecessors. So it’s hard to anticipate something where there’s a high probability of disappointing me. Throw Transformers; Dark of the Moon on there too.

Tree of Life: Ever since the movie was first announced to be in production back in 2008. We finally have a trailer to go with the title, so it appears to be finally getting released.

Super 8: Creator of Lost J. J. Abram’s new movie, produced by Steven Spielberg will definitely generate some hype this summer. Abrams always delivers exceptional teasers to his work to draw in interest and it’s hard to turn away from this fantastic trailer.

X-Men: First Class: A brand new trailer this week peaked my interest for this movie, ignoring the terrible one-sheets. My prediction, this comic book movie will be the best of the pack; better than Captain America, Thor and The Green Latern which I didn’t even put on my list. The CGI and setup just looks so terrible.

Extraterrestre: It’s high my list because of the lack of information I have for it. But it’s essentially Cloverfield… with aliens.

Stake Land: Yeh Yeh it’s another zombie movie… but watch this trailer and tell me this doesn’t interest you a tiny bit.

Anonymous: Disaster film expert, Roland Emmerich (2012, Independence Day, The Day After a Tomorrow) has taken on a script that has nothing to do with the destruction of American cities. The plot? What if William Shakespeare, didn’t write the plays and sonnets he’s known for.

Apollo 18: A movie that depicts events about a moon mission, that ended up being canceled, or at least that’s what the public was told. Trailer here.

Cowboys & Aliens: Director of Iron Man, John Favreau’s adaptation of a comic book based on a western setting that gets invaded by aliens. The footage has been described as Unforgiven meets Independence Day. The trailers look action packed, but how long into the movie will it really stray from a gritty

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol: The last Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise. In this movie, it’s rumored that Jeremy Renner will be taking over the reigns as the new MI agent and Cruise (Ethan Hunt) will be training him for future movies in the franchise.

The rest of the blockbusters are clumped together at the bottom of my list because I just don’t expect them to be great movies. Thor and Captain America will be mediocre “starting films” for the Avengers movie that started filming this week, but I question how interesting these movies will be. Captain America is over Thor because Hugo Weaving is playing Red Skull… which just sounds badass. Can’t wait to see him in the skull.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

REVIEW: Hobo With a Shotgun (Jason Eisener, 2011)

I am all for “camp” in movies. Drag Me to Hell, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness pull off some of the best genre specific camp in cinematic history. It worked well because Sam Raimi understands how to immerse the audience with drama, create tension and finish scenes with a combination of humor and stylized hommage. Even the Spider-man trilogy has plenty of instances where Raimi can create campy situations out of a relatively serious synopsis. I enjoy tongue-in-cheek movies that strive to deliver exactly what is advertised, but Hobo With A Shotgun’s attempt at humor falls apart as the audience realizes the camp feels more like cheese.

Hobo vs Slick

Hobo With a Shotgun takes place in a decrepit city with a crime presence worse than Robocop, Batman Begins and Predator 2 combined. A nameless Hobo (Rutger Hauer, who’s also in Batman Begins) walks the streets, dreaming of buying a lawnmower and constantly witnesses excessive violence, police corruption, prostitution and drug dealing. People live their lives in fear of a crime boss named Drake (Brian Downey) and his two sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). After witnessing Drake and his boys decapitate a man and stick the head on their front of their truck in the first minutes of the movie, Hobo becomes aware of just how bad things are. He later saves a prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth) from Slick’s attempt at rape but in the process gets assaulted by Slick and thrown out in the street to be left for dead. Abby takes in the Hobo after his act of kindness and rests him back to health.

A victim of the crime boss - decapitation by barbwire attached to a truck

Hobo is about to finally buy his lawnmower at a pawn shop when the shop gets held up by three robbers. Instead of spending the money on his dream, the Hobo reaches for a shotgun conveniently loaded and displayed right next to the lawnmower. The result is massive killing spree where the Hobo transforms into an justice wielding anti-hero, killing anyone associated with the waves of crime over the city. The news of the Hobo’s rampage reaches all media outlets (as if people still get their news on the street from TVs stacked together in a store window) and it is not long before the Hobo is infamously known.

Hobo with his shotgun

The gritty gratuitous violence doesn’t come close to looking realistic, so Hobo With a Shotgun won’t turn your stomach. It’s really hard to take scenes seriously that involve getting on a school bus with a flamethrower to burn children alive or sawing someone’s head off with a hack saw while they are screaming for help (and oh by the way…surviving). These scenes are of course over the top, but there is nothing holding them together from the rest of the movie. Most of the scenes look like they were shot and edited (thrown together) in a weekend.

It should be known that Hobo With a Shotgun was not an adaptation of another screenplay or book, but rather an adaptation of a fake trailer that was made specifically for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse. This may explain the choppy screenplay but doesn’t explain the poor excuse for dialog, especially the lines delivered by Bateman, who come off as a bad Stifler (Seann William Scott) clone. As mentioned, the attempts at humor fall flat in most instances, except for a few clever Newspaper Headlines: Hobo Stops Begging, Demands Change and Parents Smile as Bodies Pile.

Hobo mad

With a budget of $3,000,000 it’s hard to imagine the final product comes out as amateurish as it does. Hobo With a Shotgun is close to being unwatchable and to put this movie in perspective; barely beats out the level of film quality found in Uwe Boll’s films.

Grade: 46/100