Here’s The Trailer for Rim of the World

So, apparently, the plot of this Netflix film is that the aliens have invaded and only a group of children can save us.

In other words, humanity is screwed.

Anyway, I guess this is kind of like Stranger Things meets Independence Day.  It was directed by McG and you can tell the audience that this film has been made for by the fact that the trailer describes McG as being the director of The Babysitter instead of the director of Terminator: Salvation.

I have to admit that I’m always kind of amused by the fact that people actually call the director “McG.”  I know, I know …. it’s a childhood nickname, like Beto.  Still, it’s always a little hard for me not to smile whenever I hear anyone casually talk about “McG” in an interview.  I remember listening to that infamous Christian Bale rant from the Terminator set and thinking that Bale sounded like a rather unpleasant person to work with.  But then Bale said something like, “McG, are you going to say something?” and I just started laughing.

Anyway, here’s the trailer.  It’s a Netflix film so I guess it will be streaming sometime in May.  Have you noticed recently that Netflix seems to be kind of obsessed with the end of the world?  I guess they’re hoping to reinfect us with some of that Bird Box fever.

Here’s The Trailer for American Woman!

Sienna Miller is one of those extremely capable actresses who rarely seems to get the type of roles that she deserves.  She’s played a lot of girlfriends and a lot of loyal wives.  Check out Foxcatcher, The Catcher Was A Spy, and American Sniper for just a few examples.

However, the soon-to-be-released American Woman appears to give Sienna Miller a role with a bit more depth than those previous roles.  In American Woman, Miller plays Deb, a 31 year-old grandmother whose life is turned upside down when her teenage daughter vanishes, leaving Deb to raise her grandchild.  Taking place in a small Pennsylvania town, the film spans 11 years and, from what I’ve heard, it gives Miller a chance to show what she can do with a really good role.

The trailer for American Woman dropped today and, not surprisingly, it was totally overshadowed by the latest Spider-Man trailer. The trailer looks pretty good, though.  Some of the images are evocative of films like Gone Girl, Winter’s Bone, and Under the Skin.  Will the film live up to the trailer?  We’ll find out on June 14th!

Here’s the trailer for American Woman:

I Watched The Phenom

The Phenom is a movie that really took me by surprise.

It’s about a pitcher named Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons), a kid just out of high school who has a 100 mile fastball and a big future in major league baseball.  However, after a promising start, Hopper is struggling.  He has control issues.  He’s throwing wild pitches.  He’s losing games.  The team finally sends Hopper to see Dr. Mobley (Paul Giamatti), a sports psychologist who say that he can help Hopper regain his focus.

Hopper has a lot to deal with.  He’s still just a teenager but he feels like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  He promised his mom that he’d buy her a new house and, at the same time, the press is constantly hounding him and demanding that he give them a good quote every time that he loses a game.  Meanwhile, Hopper’s father (Ethan Hawke), who has always put tremendous pressure on his son, is failed ball player himself and a drug dealer.  Hopper finds himself torn between two philosophies, his father’s belief that winning is the only thing that matter and Dr. Mobley’s more gentle approach to the game.  The problem is that, with everyone wanting someone from him, Hopper doesn’t know who he can trust.

The Phenom is a baseball movie and the main character is a pitcher but hardly any of the action takes place on the mound.  Instead, most of the movie takes place in either Dr. Mobley’s office or in Hopper’s head.  The Phenom does a good job of showing the type of daily pressure that Hopper is living under.  All of his life, everyone has told Hopper that he has a special gift and now, he’s so scared of not living up to his potential that he can’t get the ball across the plate.  At the same time, the film is also critical about the the emphasis that society puts on celebrities and professional athletes.  While Hopper goes into the major leagues straight out of high school, his valedictorian girlfriend struggles to pay for college.  Because Hopper can throw a fastball, no one has ever cared about whether or not he actually got an education.  But what’s going to become of Hopper and all the professional athletes like him when they can no longer play the game?  Hopper is a kid who was always told that he would never have to grow up and now, he’s expected to make adult decisions about the rest of his life.

Johnny Simmons does a really good job playing Hopper and the film really makes you think about the pressure that society puts on professional athletes to constantly win.  Most people can get away with having a bad day but, if a pitcher or a quarterback does it, the whole world wants their head.  The next time I want to yell at whoever’s pitching for the Rangers, I’m going to remember Hopper and this movie.

The Phenom was directed and written by Noah Buschel and it is currently streaming on Netflix.

Spider-Man Meets Mysterio In The New Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

The new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home opens with a warning from Tom Holland.  Do not watch this trailer if you have not seen Avengers: Endgame and you want to avoid spoilers.  It should also go without saying that, if you are avoiding Endgame spoilers, do not read any further on this post.

Spoilers below:

Judging from the trailer, Spider-Man: Far From Home finds Peter Parker mourning the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark.  Looking to get away from the pressures of crime fighting and saving the world and also wanting to pursue his crush on Zendaya’s MJ, Peter joins his classmates on a trip to Europe.  Were all of Peter’s classmates from Spider-Man: Homecoming wiped out by the Snap?  According to Avengers: Endgame, bringing everyone back did not change anything that happened over the previous five years.  Peter got lucky that MJ apparently wasn’t around to graduate high school and move away while he was non-existent.

Peter may want to escape from it all but Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has other ideas.  Judging from the trailer, it appears that Peter has replaced Tony with three new mentors, Nick Fury, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, making the transition over from the Iron Man films), and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio.  Of course, anyone who is familiar with Mysterio’s history knows that Peter should be careful about trusting him.

The trailer also introduces the concept of the Multiverse.  With all the questions that Endgame raised about time travel and alternate realities, the Multiverse is surely going to be an important factor moving forward.  For instance, it may explain how there’s both a Loki TV show and a Black Widow movie in production when both of those characters were apparently very dead at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Spider-Man: Far From Home opens on July 2nd.


The Covers of Gun Molls Magazine

Prepare to take a trip back to the roaring twenties and the days of prohibition with 8 dangerous covers of Gun Molls Magaine!  

For 19 months, from 1930 to 1931, Gun Molls Magazine gave its readers stories about crime and gangster romance.  Most of the covers were done (and, in a rarity for the pulp era, signed) by illustrator Chris Scharre and featured women either in danger or making trouble on their own.  Though most of the issues of Gun Molls Magazine have been lost, a few have survived.

Here are 8 of the surviving covers of Gun Molls Magazine:

What Lisa Watched Last Night #198: Psycho Stripper (dir by Jake Helgren)

Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Psycho Stripper!Why Was I Watching It?

Why was I watching it?  Seriously, with a name like Psycho Stripper, how couldn’t I watch it!?  There’s an art to coming up with a good title and whoever came up with Psycho Stripper has obviously perfected that art.  The title was so great that I even abandoned the neighborhood Cinco De Mayo party early, just so I could watch the movie in the comfort of my own home.  That’s the power of a perfect title!

Also, I have to give some credit to Lifetime, here.  Before they showed Psycho Stripper, they showed Magic Mike.  So, on Sunday night, viewers got a chance to see two separate versions of the life of a male stripper, the yellow-tinted Steven Soderbergh version (seriously, I like Magic Mike but, whenever I watch it, I worry all that yellow is going to burn my retinas) and the wonderfully over-the-top Lifetime version!

What Was It About?

Amber (Karissa Lee Staples) owns her own dance studio, has a lot of friends, and is about to get married to the wealthy (if kinda wimpy) Owen (Mark Hapka).

Hunter (Tyler Johnson) is a handsome and charming male stripper who dresses up like a fireman, can change a flat tire, and who happens to be really good with an ax.

Together, they solve crimes!

No, not really.  Instead, Hunter shows up at Amber’s bachelorette party.  He’s supposed to just be a part of the night’s entertainment but, instead, Hunter keeps showing up wherever Amber happens to be.  First, he just wants dance lessons.  Then, he’s kind of dating Amber’s best friend, Taryn (Rachele Brooke Smith).  Then, he’s bringing Amber a gift to thank her for the lessons.  Suddenly, he’s asking Amber if she wants to get lunch!  Amber doesn’t think that it’s a good idea for her to have lunch with Hunter, especially since Owen seems to have a hang-up about her hanging out with a mysterious man who has a great body.

Then again, Owen has issues of his own.  For instance, he doesn’t seem to have quite gotten over his previous girlfriend, the one who died mysteriously….

What Worked?

Okay, so I absolutely loved this movie.  I mean, how couldn’t I?  It combined two of my favorite things: over-the-top, in-your-face melodrama and dancing!  This movie was a lot of fun and Tyler Johnson really threw himself into playing the role of the psycho stripper.

The film also had a bit of a subversive side, as well.  Hunter may be a psycho but you still kind of find yourself on his side, if just because everyone else in the movie is so judgmental of him and how he makes his living.  Owen’s family is extremely wealthy and all of his friends are extremely privileged.  When they start giving Hunter a hard time about being a stripper (with one of them even throwing a dollar bill at him), you can’t help but feel a little bit bad for him.  (Of course, then he starts killing people and you’re like, “Okay, never mind….”)

My favorite character was Taryn, who was not only a good dancer but also the greatest best friends that one could possibly hope for.  She got all the best lines.  My personal favorite was, “We’re going to get in this car and plow his ass down!”

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked.  This was Lifetime at its best.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

A Lifetime film set in a dance studio?  To be honest, almost the entire film was an “Oh my God!  Just like me!” moment.  I related to Taryn.  I’d like to think that, if there was a psycho wandering around outside, I too would be smart enough to grab a knife before going outside.

The last Bachelorette Party that I went to had a stripping fireman, just like this movie.  However, I don’t think he ever killed anyone.  Actually, rumor has it that he was a real fireman who had too much to drink that night.  Who knows?  Life is indeed a crazy tapestry.

Lessons Learned

Beware of strippers bearing gifts.

Scenes That I Love: The Opening Tracking Shot from Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil

I’m pretty sure that I’ve shared this scene before but, if I did, it was several years ago.  Through the Shattered Lens has been around for nearly ten years now, after all.  (TEN YEARS!)

Since today is Orson Welles’s birthday, I wanted to share at least one scene that I love from his films.  Even though I didn’t want to go with the obvious choice of picking something from Citizen Kane, there was still a wealth of scenes to choose from.  But, in the end, I really didn’t have any choice but to go with the tracking shot that opens 1958’s Touch of Evil.

This scene really does show why Welles was such an important director.  It’s not just that the scene is a masterpiece of suspense, starting out with a close-up of a ticking time bomb and then leaving us to wonder just when exactly it’s going to explode.  It’s also that the scene perfectly sets up the odd and sordid atmosphere of Touch of Evil.  It’s a scene that begins in America, takes the viewer into Mexico, and then literally ends with a bang.  And it does it all in just one shot!

Because of a throw-away joke in Ed Wood, there’s a widely-held but incorrect assumption that Welles was forced to cast Charlton Heston in the lead role in Touch of Evil or that Welles and Heston didn’t get along.  Actually, Heston was the one who fought for Welles to be given a chance to direct Touch of Evil and, when the studios attempted to fire Welles from the project, Heston stopped them by announcing that he would quite if Welles wasn’t allowed to complete the picture.  It may be tempting to make jokes about Heston playing a Mexican cop but, if not for him, this film probably wouldn’t exist right now.  And that would be a tragedy.

With all that said and done, here’s a scene that I love:

4 Shots From 4 Orson Welles Films: Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight, The Other Side of the Wind

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

104 years ago today, the man who forever change not only American cinema but world cinema, George Orson Welles, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Beloved by film students while often being unappreciated by mainstream audiences, Orson Welles was responsible for some of the greatest and most important films of all time.  As so often happens to the innovators and the creators, the film industry conspired to silence him.

Fortunately, his legacy has survived even the greatest of efforts to destroy it.  Though he may have died 34 yeas ago, Welles lives on and continues to inspire filmmakers everywhere.

In honor of that legacy, it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Orson Welles Films

Citizen Kane (1941, dir by Orson Welles)

Touch of Evil (1958, dir by Orson Welles)

Chimes at Midnight (1965, dir by Orson Welles)

The Other Side of the Wind (2018, dir by Orson Welles)

Music Video of the Day: Stefan by Hrdza (2018, dir by ????)

Today’s music video of the day comes to us from Hrdza, a band from Slovakia.  It’s an adaptation of an old folk song and it’s a nicely energetic and fun little video, I think.  I have to admit that as I was watching it, I saw a lot that reminded me of my own family.  I think it’s kind of nice that I can relate a song and a music video from Slovakia to my own big Irish-Italian-Spanish family.  Some things are universal!

I should mention that I discovered this song through the weekly #ILikeToWatch live tweet.  This song and video was selected by twitter user @WarrenPeas64.