By Anthony Cancasci
There are a lot of movies out there. And I mean a lot. And nobody, not even the most dedicated of us movie nerds, can possibly hope to see them all, no matter how hard we try and how many times we pray to Zoltar (a little Big reference for my Tom Hanks fans out there). So, I now present you with a small taste of some films that you didn't know were great, or perhaps even existed. Some just fell under the radar, some don't get enough credit, some have been lost in time, and others are just too off the wall to be considered by your average mainstream audience. Let's begin.
No, it's not a porno. Long before Robert Downey Jr. was taking the nation by storm as a sarcastic, quick-witted guy who's constantly accidentally getting hurt during insane gunplay in Iron Man, he was starring in Shane Black's modern noir comedy as a sarcastic, quick-witted guy who's constantly accidentally getting hurt during insane gunplay. Such a diverse talent. Regardless, Downey Jr. makes this film his bitch in every sense of the word. Most of you know Shane Black, if at all, as the man behind the Lethal Weapon films and Iron Man 3 (as well as this summer's The Nice Guys #shamelessplug), but it's in this often overlooked gem in which he truly shines as a writer and director. The film follows small time crook Harry Lockhart (Downey Jr.) as he is mistaken for an actor and paired up with private investigator Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) to accompany him on what soon becomes an entanglement of murder and mystery in the depths of Los Angeles. It's everything you could want in a film: effortlessly cool, with a confident bravado that tops off its own snark. It's one of those rare great films that you simply can't believe wasn't appreciated by a larger audience. Ahead of its time, I guess.
You'll Like It If You Like: Deadpool, Hot Fuzz, Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, Burn After Reading
Classic Quote: "Perry: My $2000 ceramic Vektor my mother got me as a special gift. You threw in the lake next to the car. What happens when they drag the lake? You think they'll find my pistol? Jesus. Look up "idiot" in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?
Harry: A picture of me?
Perry: No! The definition of the word idiot, which you fucking are!"
We all know Christopher Nolan is a genius matched by no other in his field. He reinvented the concept of a space travel film, he reinvented how we saw Batman on screen, he even changed the way we thought about our dreams. But before he was the megastar director he is today, he was the creator of Memento, truly one of the most scrupulously genius and irreverently energetic movies to ever warp the mold of storytelling. With an original script from Nolan, based on his brother's unpublished short story, Memento tells the story of Leonard (Guy Pierce), a man with short term memory loss who is hellbent on finding his wife's killer, keeping track of his clues largely through the use of polaroid photographs and tattoos. The story is told completely out of order, as we watch one story arch unfold in reverse through small scenes, while another arch plays out in a separate time frame, completing the gaps we've missed out on context-wise. It's a fucking insane film. When you can't remember how you started the conversation, how do you know the person you're having it with can be trusted?
You'll Like It If You Like: Inception, American Psycho, The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, The Departed
Classic Quote: "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts."
When you think of Cameron Crowe, you think of Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. When you think of Tom Cruise, you think of Mission Impossible, Top Gun and probably some awful summer blockbuster I didn't bother to see. What you don't hear of is that the two collaborated is a uniquely inventive remake of a Spanish mind-bender about accidental deformity. That's right. This film follows rich playboy David Aames (Cruise) as he is disfigured in a car accident after meeting the love of his life (Penelope Cruz). His vain personality succumbs to insanity, given his predicament, and we are left to wonder why his story is being told through a conversation with a therapist (Kurt Russell) in an asylum for the criminally insane. Blend the already brilliant story structure and picture-perfect cinematic storytelling with Crowe's signature use of pop music as a score, and you're ready for one of the best films you've never seen.
You'll Like It If You Like: Minority Report, The Matrix, Inception, Ex Machina, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Classic Quote: "You can do whatever you want with your life, but one day you'll know what love truly is. It's the sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet."
I included this film not because it was widely dismissed, but because I don’t believe that it got near the recognition that it deserved. A remake of the 1981 cult classic, this film both adapted the raw, visceral in-your-face-yet-subtle style of the first while also adding its own charisma and volatile, energetic stylings, modernizing its tact for the new generation. I truly consider it the punk rock of horror films in this day and age. It respectfully handles obscene amounts of gore with beautiful cinematography that credits first time director Fede Alvarez where credit is due. You feel like you're not meant to be watching what you're watching, an instinctive sense of guilt surrounding the brilliance of witnessing a woman carve pieces of her own face off with a glass shard. Too many films these days try to make their horror feel like the type that could easily relate to the audience at home, while Evil Dead paints a vivid image of a lurking presence of evil that is not horrible to imagine, but horrible to witness. I truly believe it to be one of the best made horror films of my own generation, and one of if not the best remakes of all time.
You'll Like It If You Like: It Follows, The Cabin in the Woods, House of 1000 Corpses, Hostel, The Conjuring
Classic Quote: "You're all going to die tonight."
In the mid-1990's, music was everything. Everywhere you turned was another semi-punk/grunge band longing to be reveled by the nation's plethora of angst-ridden teenagers. And this film captured the experience of non-corporate middlemen in suburban American, peddling CD's to the masses in a local music store that seems to only have one adult working there. Mini skirts, loose cardigans, Gwar, this movie is 1995 on a silver screen platter. It's also funny, cool, and way too highly sets your expectations of a first job. Perfect for any wannabe hipster or just plain movie lover, I constantly suggest this movie to the girls I'm friends with.
You'll Like It If You Like: Dazed and Confused, Almost Famous, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Heathers, Palo Alto
Classic Quote: "You know that feeling when you get out of a warm bath... well... you make me feel like a bath?"
By Jack Dignan
It's hero vs hero. Friend vs friend. Team Cap vs. Team Tony. It's Civil War, and it's one of my most anticipated films of the year, arguably my most anticipated comic book film, battling it out for the top spot with Suicide Squad. The film's latest trailer, which hit the web yesterday morning, is all sorts of brilliance, and as the film gets closer and closer, my anticipation continues to grow and grow. Thankfully, this trailer didn't show us much more than what we already know, but what it did give us were some extended looks at things we've already seen, as well as some cool bits and pieces of newer moments, including our first look at Spider-Man. It's a well made trailer that doesn't give away much, and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn confirmed that, telling his fans that the film's best moments haven't been revealed.
Nothing more needs to be said about plot other than what's been said in my previous articles. The Avengers are split, Captain America taking the lead in one side and Iron Man taking the lead in the other side. Taking Cap's side is Scarlett Witch, Falcon, Ant-Man, Hawkeye and, of course, the Winter Solider. It sounds like a solid lineup, but they've got powerful competition over on Team Stark, including War Machine, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow and yes, even Spider-Man. But more on him later. Not going to lie though, Team Cap is looking good, although maybe that's just because I want to chill with Ant-Man. He seems like a fun dude, can you really blame me?
While the first trailer smacked us in the face with emotion, this second trailer ups the drama, really adding to the stakes and the scope of the whole thing. It's a battle that's affecting all of them, and this trailer really shows it. It's action heavy, Avengers fighting Avengers all over the place. It's during these battle montages that we're given good glimpses of some of the characters in action, and it seems that Civil War is going to be bringing the best out of all their abilities. Black Panther is bullet proof? Fuck yeah. Scarlett Witch can bring people down to the ground with the flick of her wrist? Fuck yeah! Ant-Man riding on one of Hawkeye's bullets that's being shot towards Iron Man? FUCK YEAH! THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SEE!
In this trailer we're even given our first good look at Crossbones in action, fighting it out against Captain America. To be honest, I feel like this scene is going to be how Civil War begins. It'll be one big action sequence, playing out as a cool opening, but maybe even a way of tying in a new Avenger or two. Could it lead to the discovery of Black Panther? Or maybe it's like the opening of Age of Ultron and it's just a lot of fun, but doesn't serve as an important scene. No matter what relevance it is, I'm really looking forward to seeing these two battle it out, and it's pretty safe to say that it won't even be the standout battle. That's looking like it could be the Cap vs Tony battle we've now been given two glimpses off, this time with a callback to the first Captain America that I didn't even pick up on until second viewing. "I could do this all day." Goddamn, Steve. You just continue to play with my emotions.
Now, the part I really wanted to talk about here was the Spider-Man reveal. Am I surprised he's in this trailer? Not at all. Would I rather have waited until I saw the film to see his reveal? Not too fussed. Am I pleased with how he looks? Absolutely. It's the Spider-Man I know and love, taken right out of the comics and adjusted to better suit the big screen. I have a great feeling about Tom Holland and the few seconds we've seen of him is looking promising, especially the mechanical eyes which I can only presume had something to do with Tony Stark. I feel confident is saying that this won't be the first time we see Peter Parker's abilities in action, but it may be the first time we see his costume, and if so, stealing Cap's shield is a hell of a reveal. Also, "hey, everyone" may just be the most Spider-Man thing Spider-Man has ever said.
Every bit of footage we've seen from this movie is just looking better and better, and while I hope that continues with all the footage they'll be releasing before the film comes out, I won't be watching any of it. I've seen enough from this movie, and it certainly has me sold. I've already got plans to see it twice and I'm sure I'll be seeing it many mores times. Could it be the best Marvel film yet? I sure hope so, especially since it's based on my favourite comic series of all time. This is the Marvel movie I've been waiting for, and it might even be a better Avengers movie than the last actual Avengers movie. Check out the trailer below and the film opens in Australian cinemas on April 28th. Tickets are on sale now.
By Chris Campo
The original Ghostbusters is one of those movies that will forever be burnt into pop culture history. Because of that, many people were worried when they found out that Ghostbusters will be getting a reboot, and a lot of assholes were worried when they found out that the Ghostbusting team would be all women. Yet, the movie was made, and now we have a trailer to really get a taste of what this film will be like, and I kind of like it.
I am, myself, a fan of Ghostbusters, but I don't freak out about it or hold it on a ridiculous pedistal like some do. This trailer opens with a nostalgia trip, and I have to admit, it instantly hooked me. The text onscreen was neat and that slow version of the classic song, familiar to the first Jurrasic World trailer, got me. And as the rest of the trailer played, I realised we could have a fun film on our hands.
The opening gag was not funny. At all. The slime-puking ghost just wasn't what they should've opened with, and the joke at the end with Melissa McCarthy's character getting possessed also didn't hit well. Other than that, I did catch myself giggling throughout this trailer. I'm not familiar with Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon, but Kristen Wiig, to me, is one of the funniest women in Hollywood. Melissa McCarthy isn't my favorite actress in the world, but she seems to be doing a different style here, and it seems to be a welcome change. The humor is what I'm buying in this trailer. Chris Hemsworth pops up in this trailer as well, and he was the single funniest part of last year's underwhelming Vacation, so that has me excited. It seems to have a fun tone, in my opinion. Its comedy style isnt exactly the style of the original, so that could be why most fans are not digging this trailer.
What I don't dig, however, are the visuals. The opening ghost looks pretty sweet, but the CGI overall is horrendous. I understand this is a trailer to a film thay probably isn't finished quite yet, but still, since this is such an effects heavy film, you'd think they'd show off something that looks better. Even fan favorite Slimer makes a cameo here and he's too cartoony and old looking, like it's from an animated movie. His appearance was cool, and it's a great bit of fan service, but it was completely off-putting.
On top of all that, the final scenes of the trailer, where the Ghostbusters are all fighting off ghosts in Time Square, looked bad. Like, really, really bad. It reminded me of last year's Adam Sandler comedy, Pixels, and we all know how Pixels turned out. I guess I'm just getting sick of every big budget film having an epic showdown in favor of a satasfying third act, and that seems to be where this is heading too. It's getting repetitive and familiar, especially in the realm of comic book movies.
The characters all seem to do their job, but it's hard not to imagine the original cast back in the game. No, not because they're women, but because the original is just so iconic. That's why, for me, Jurrasic World didn't fall flat. The characters weren't just rehashed versions of the original, but that was a sequel and this is not. The original cast will cameo, although not in their original roles, but that doesn't excite me too much. It seems a little too same-y, and having the original cast back will just make it seem like the whole film is a nostalgia trip and that's not what I want from this film.
Overall, this trailer certainly isn't great, but it is pretty funny. I wasn't terribly excited for this film in the first place, but this trailer has my butt in the seat. Paul Feig is a talented comedy director and I'm confident this can be a funny and exciting adventure. I just really hope they polish those special effects, which I'm sure they will by the time the movie his theatres this July.
By Jack Dignan
It’s been thirteen years since Pixar took us deep into the sea with Finding Nemo, a smash hit with both audiences and critics alike. Now, in 2016, we finally get Finding Dory. Or at least, we’re about to, but for now, we have the trailer. The first look at the film was released a couple of months back, and while it didn’t really raise my expectations or anything, it was just a teaser. It was meant to tease and tease it did. With this new trailer, we get a slightly better look at the anticipated sequel, and while it still holds back a lot, what we get is looking promising. It hasn’t raised my hype just yet, but it’s on track to be a good film.
It’s safe to say that Pixar have successfully plunged audiences back into their underwater universe. If nothing else, this feels exactly like a Finding Nemo sequel should. The animation is looking gorgeous, as you'd expect, replicating the style from the first film, as well as most of Pixar’s movies, which yes, is a very good thing. With The Good Dinosaur the environments were ultra-realistic, and while it worked in that film, putting that in Finding Dory wouldn’t suit. I’m not going to lie, I was worried they were going to do that. The technology is available and they could’ve easily used it, but the cartoony look suits this film best. Let’s hope they don’t change this before the final film is released.
The plot for Finding Dory is still very vague, and perhaps that’s a good thing. All we know is that Dory is in search of her family, and this trailer doesn’t really give us too many new plot elements to go off. This has my curiosity raised. Is the story really as simple as it appears, just like with The Good Dinosaur? Or will Pixar be taking this simple premise of going home and turn it into some deep and moving tale, just like with Inside Out? As much as I love The Good Dinosaur, I’m really hoping it’s the latter one.
One thing I’m most definitely worried about is that Finding Dory’s plot will replicate Finding Nemo’s, and this trailer certainly hints at it. Many sequels, particularly comedy sequels, fall into this trap, replicating the first film's plot scene for scene. In this trailer, we have the return of the turtles, as well as what seems to be an office of sorts where Dory is trapped (just like the dentist in the first film), and the whole thing involves a plot about finding a family member. It sounds very familiar, and I really hope Pixar have a few tricks up their sleeves.
When it comes down to it, however, this is merely another teaser, and I don’t want to know the answers to all my questions until I’m seated in the cinema in June. What we got this morning was a cute teaser for what I’m hoping will be a very cute movie. It’s an adventure I can’t wait to go on, and we’re just a few months out now. I’m sure we’ll be getting another look at the film in the coming months, and maybe by then my very small doubts will be washed away. Pixar, I have faith in you. Don’t let me down. Finding Dory opens on the 16th June and the trailer can be viewed below.