Terminator: Genisys (Official Trailer)


983792_828630217177092_2451992593817557827_n

I’m not sure if the 5th Terminator film is a prequel or a sequel. Time travel and paradoxes and all that jazz sure make it difficult to figure that out.

Now, what we do know is that Terminator: Genisys (whoever came up with that title should be shot) will take things even farther than the first film which is suppose to kickoff a divergent timeline that makes the first four films a moot point.

So, this means that Terminator: Genisys may be both prequel and sequel, but also a reset of the whole franchise. See what I mean about confusing.

Here’s to hoping that screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier have a better handle on all this jumbled time travel and resetting stuff.

Terminator: Genisys is set for July 1, 2015 release date.

Film Review: Endless Love (dir by Shana Feste)


EDL_31_5_Promo_4C_2F.indd

Oh, what a disappointing film this turned out to be!

When the trailer for Endless Love came out way back in the closing days of 2013, both me and my BFF Evelyn were seriously excited about seeing it.  The trailer was great!  It featured Florence + The Machine!  The movie looked hot and sexy and fun and…

Well, let’s just rewatch the trailer, shall we?

Here’s the thing:  Sometimes, trailers lie.

I saw Endless Love when it was originally released in February but I didn’t review it.  I meant to review it but somehow I never got around to doing so.  And, unfortunately, the film itself was so bland and forgettable that I actually struggled to think of anything to say about it.  Some movies make you laugh.  Some movies make you cry.  Some movies make you mad.  And some movies are just there.

Endless Love is a just there type of movie.

That said, when I saw that Endless Love would be making its cable debut on Cinemax on Saturday night, I decided to give it a second chance.  “Who knows?” I thought to myself, “Maybe I just went into the film with unrealistic expectations.  Maybe I was just in a bitchy mood when I saw it.  Maybe, on a second viewing, I’ll discover that Endless Love works on a purely emotional level…”

No such luck!  Having watched Endless Love a second time, I can now actually remember enough about the film to finally get around to writing a review.  However, I have also now been reminded why I didn’t care much about the film the first time I saw it.

Endless Love is essentially a collection of generically pretty scenes that all feature pretty performers thinking about love, talking about, and making love.  Recent high school graduates David (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade (Gabriella Wilde) start going out.  Jade comes from a wealthy family.  David does not.  Jade’s overly protective father, Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), does not approve of the relationship because Jade has an ivy league future ahead of her while David has no plans to attend college at all.  Jade becomes more rebellious.  David lectures Hugh on the fact that nothing is more important than love.  Hugh takes out a restraining order against David.  Jade goes off to college.  David tries to secretly see her.  And, of course, there’s a fire.

(Though, unlike in the original Endless Love, the fire is not deliberately set.  This is Endless Love  reimagined as a Nicholas Sparks novel.)

And who really cares?

The problem with Endless Love is that we’re supposed to care about David and Jade and we’re supposed love how obsessed they are with each other but David and Jade are two of the most boring people ever so who cares?  Alex Pettyfer is nice to look at.  Gabriella Wilde is pretty.  But, as a couple, they have next to no chemistry.  Instead, they come across like one of those vapid couples that my boyfriend and I always worry we’re going to end up getting trapped in an endless conversation with.

(“How did you two meet?  Wait, before you start — let me tell you how we met… It’s a great story…you guys are going to love this…we were both attending kindergarten on a dance scholarship but the ballet kids all hated the ballroom kids.  Then they moved to Iceland and I asked my dad if we could move to Greenland and then…”)

And again, this just shows the power of a good trailer.  Watching the trailer, you would never guess how boring David and Jade truly are.  Incidentally, the best parts of the trailer are all taken from a “David and Jade dating” montage that occurs about halfway through the film.  As such, the scenes that made me want to see Endless Love pretty much just serve as filler in the actual film.

Also, Florence + The Machine are nowhere to be heard in the actual film.  And their haunting, atmospheric music would have been out of place anyway.  Florence + The Machine embraces the power of ambiguity and Endless Love takes place in a world where there is no ambiguity.

However, there is a lot of blue.

Seriously!  (And yes, I do realize that there’s a typo in my tweet but everyone is allowed to be illiterate on twitter so get off my back.)  This movie opens with a high school graduation where everyone is wearing a blue robe and the entire cast is so oppressively cheerful and overwhelmingly pleasant-looking that I briefly wondered if they were supposed to be a graduating class or a cult.  Later on, David works at a valet at a country club and, of course, he wears a blue shirt.  Everyone who belongs to the club also appears to be wearing a blue shirt, except that it’s a lighter shade of blue than David’s blue.  It’s just odd-looking and reinforces the feeling that Endless Love is less a movie and more a collection of commercial outtakes.

Endless Love, of course, is a remake of a film from the early 80s.  The first Endless Love isn’t very good but it’s at least a lot of unintentional fun!  And you can read my review of it (and even watch the film!) by clicking here.

Back to School #75: The Spectacular Now (dir by James Ponsoldt)


1371723939_the_spectacular_now

Though the film was embraced by critics and performed fairly well at the box office, it’s hard not to feel that The Spectacular Now was one of the more overlooked films of 2013.  For all of its acclaim, it’s a film that was not only ignored at Oscar time but which also rarely seemed to feature much in Oscar speculation.  That’s a shame but not particularly surprising.  With a few notable exceptions (American Graffiti, The Last Picture Show, Ordinary People, and Juno, for example), films about teenagers are usually ignored by the Academy, even if the film in question is as good as either Easy A or The Spectacular Now.

In fact, I would argue that, along with being one of the best films of 2013, The Spectacular Now is a Say Anything… for my generation.

The Spectacular Now follows two teenagers over the course of their senior year in high school.  Sutter Kane (Miles Teller) is one of the most popular kids at school.  He’s charming, he’s funny, and — perhaps not surprisingly — he’s also deeply troubled. He’s angry that his father is no longer in his life and he often takes his anger out on his mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh).   He works as a salesman at a men’s clothing store where his boss (Bob Odenkirk) is willing to overlook the fact that Sutter often comes into work drunk.  Sutter, you see, also happens to have a slight drinking problem that is slowly but surely transforming into full-blown alcoholism.

When Sutter is dumped by his long-time girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson), he goes on a drinking binge that only ends with him being woken up on a stranger’s lawn by Aimee (Shailene Woodley).  Aimee is one of Sutter’s classmates and is the complete opposite of most of Sutter’s friends.  Aimee is shy, doesn’t drink, and prefers to spend her time reading manga.

As you can probably guess, Sutter and Aimee do become a couple.  And yes, Sutter does help Aimee come out of her shell and Aimee does help Sutter to start to deal with all of the pain and anger that he attempts to hide.  You can probably predict all of that but what you can’t predict is just how likable and believable both Teller and Woodley are as a couple.  You believe in their relationship and the film handles it (including the scene where they have sex for the first time) with an unusual amount of sensitivity.

There’s an extended sequence towards the end of the film where Sutter and Aimee finally get to meet Sutter’s father.  At first, you want to be as exciting and as optimistic as Sutter is.  This is especially true once you discover that his father is being played by Kyle Chandler, who is one of those actors that you just instinctively want to like.  Of course, Sutter’s father turns out not to be the hero that Sutter was expecting to meet and it’s simply devastating, for both the viewers and the characters.  I’ve always felt that it takes a certain amount of courage for an actor to play a truly bad character.  (By bad, I don’t mean evil as much as I mean just the type of fuckup that we’ve all known and by which we’ve all been let down.)  Chandler has that courage.

I guess it would be a bit predictable for me to wrap this up by saying The Spectacular Now is a spectacular film.  So, instead, I’ll just recommend that you see it.

SpectacularNowBottom