Friday, March 02, 2007

Zodiac, Black Snake or Wild Hogs?

I really don't think I'm much of an elitist. Or, if I am, I'm not a very good one, because as anyone who's been here before knows, I see a heck of a lot of movies.

That said, the trailer for "Wild Hogs" has just about all I need to see, I think. John Travolta getting smacked in the face by a bird, and possibly bird feces? Yes, the first time you see that, it's funny. But once is enough. When you have four stars in a movie and I just can't stand two of them (Travolta and Tim Allen), the odds are already against you in my book. I have a lot more time for William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence (when he's not in drag and a fat suit), but I'll wait for them to be in better movies.

With "Zodiac," on the other hand, count me as definitely in. That said, however, David Fincher is the exact place where I fail the geek test. Although I like his movies OK, I simply don't understand the reverence that geeks have for him. What I do admire is his attention to detail and the care with which he constructs his stories. And with the Zodiac killer, knowing how the case impacted his childhood, he seems to have his best story yet (plus Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr., both pluses in my book.)

And I'm in for "Black Snake Moan" too. Craig Brewer's "Hustle & Flow" has already entered that category of movies I pop in when I've had an extremely long day. You know the kind. Movies like "Office Space" or "Dazed and Confused." Movies that just make me feel good. And Brewer's tale of the pimp who just wants to be rap star works for me every time.

With "Black Snake Moan," however, it seems he's tested the limits just about as far as he can go, with only his second movie. From the reviews I've seen so far, it seems that despite its rather lurid subject matter, the final product is actually rather sweet and tame. I like what he does with music and how he takes on and breaks down stereotypes, and I can watch Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson do just about anything, so I say bring it on.

I should have reviews of each, one by Sunday and one by Monday, so please feel free to come back and check them out, and have an entirely enjoyable weekend.

And, since it's Friday, as a bonus, here's a photo I cribbed from Rob Zombie's Myspace page which comes from the trailer he made for the middle of "Grindhouse." It's called "Werewolf Women of the SS," and I think that's probably about all you need to know.

40 comments:

Invisible Lizard said...

I'm with you on the Hogs movie. It does seem like one of those where they scraped together all of the funny parts for the trailer. However, the "do tell" clip with Martin and William H. makes me laugh every time I see it. I'll probably rent it.

I think we're going to see Zodiac tomorrow, so I'll definitely check back to see how you liked it.

Reel Fanatic said...

That is definitely the best part of the trailer, Mr. Lizard, and it points to why I like Martin Lawrence .. just the expression on his face makes you want to hear what comes next from poor Mr. Macy

Mercurie said...

David Fincher is one of my favourite directors--The Game and Fight Club are two of my favourite films--so I'll probably go see Zodiac. Of course, I'll probably wind up seeing Wild Hogs at some point, too.

Jonathan said...

Yeah, I guess I'm one of those many Fincher geeks out there especially when it comes to "Seven" and "The Game," which is one of the most crimnally underrated films of all time. I tend to even think it's better than "Seven" in a lot of ways. I have to admit though I was not one of the lovers of "Fight Club." I thought it was a good movie, and Edward Norton was great in it. I think what actually bothers me is Brad Pitt; he does his usual winks and nods at the camera in a roll that really needed him to do a complete 180 on his persona like he did in "Babel." This was eight years ago, and I can appreciate that he's become a much better actor since then. However, just a few years prior he turned in an amazing performance in "Seven," so I think he had it in him it just didn't get put on screen.

I like Martin Lawerence as well, but I'm trying to think of one of his movies that has actually been any good. I enjoy "Blue Streak" on a purely juvenile level, but other than that I guess I would have to go with his concert film, "Runteldat." I thought it was a brilliant piece of openess and honesty that you rarely get in a stand-up piece; definately a nice sleeper pick for those Lawerence fans that have never bothered to watch it.

Reel Fanatic said...

I absolutely adore "Runteldat," Jonathan ... I don't very often buy standup comic shows on DVD ... In fact, the only two I own are one from the imcomparable Bill Hicks and "Runteldat" .. No one will ever be as funny as the late Mr. Hicks was, but Martin Lawrence comes pretty darn close

carrie_lofty said...

Is that Werewolf thingie a take-off from Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS? The only reason I know of that particular bit of 70s kitch is because we named my daughter Ilsa -- after Casablanca, tho, not any SS qualities.....

Reel Fanatic said...

Not sure, Carrie ... It probably is, but I guess we'll have to wait and find out .. With Zombie, Eli Roth and others directing the trailers for the mid-section of Grindhouse, it should be a lot of fun

Neel Mehta said...

I saw a sneak preview of Wild Hogs. "Do tell" is not in the movie. Fortunately, there are other funny moments that aren't in the trailer.

Jennifer said...

I completely agree. I'm definitely in for Zodiac. Black Snake Moan is probably going on my Netflix list. You couldn't pay me to see Hogs.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm not sure which annoys me more, Neel, when they have all the best parts in the trailer or when the trailer has good things you don't see in the movie .. for example, in the commercial for "Jackass 2," I laughed every single time I saw the dude getting his tooth pulled by a car, but it never appeared in the movie (I'm assuming it's probably some kind of DVD extra)

Marina said...

I'm giving my money to Fincher. For the most part, he does no wrong.

"Werewolf Women of the SS" what a title. Love it.

Ian said...

Rotten Tomatoes, if you subscribe to compiled review blurbs, gave Wild Hogs a 20%, Zodiac an 82% and The Number 23 a 9%, with some brutal quotes about Jim Carrey's career from the critics. I have to admit, I'm overly reliant on reviews, but with the price of a movie ticket it just doesn't pay not to do research anymore.

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Just for the record:
ZODIAC=incredibly worth your viewing time. I got out of the movie a few hours ago and I can't think about anything else....

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the good word, Crystal ... I'm definitely psyched to finally see it tomorrow!

NickDean said...

I'd be interested in knowing more about what doesn't do it for you with Fincher. And "Zodiac" does look good.

I think I agree with pretty much everything everyone has said here -- especially about "Wild Hogs."

Chris said...

Heh, your favorite part of the trailer in Wild Hogs, in fact seemingly every clip from the trailer, is way different in the movie. The trailer cutter had an idea of the rhythms of comedy, and the filmmakers did not. But, looks like someone beat me to the punch on that info. My favorite part was Travolta kicking the leaves, which is also completely different in the film.

Reel Fanatic said...

That part with the leaves was funny the first time I saw it, Chris, but it only worked with the element of surprise .. once you find out he's yelling at a kid, why would anyone want to see it again in the actual movie?

Eaglewing said...

I was sorta 'meh' on Black Snake Moan, until I saw a music video of Sam Jackson singing from the movie along with various clips. Sign me up if that's the kind of music in the flick. Then I read a good review in the local paper tonight too, so now I actually want to see it.

No way at all that I'd pay to see Hogs. It just looks lame. And that always ticks me off when a really good bit in the trailer isn't in the movie. The one I always point to is from Vin Diesel's A Man Apart. Say what you will about the quality of the movie, but [spoiler alert!]in the trailer he perfectly delivers a great line at his wife's grave - "Don't watch me now." Then the music and action clips hit. It makes you think he's about to go really dark and insane to get retribution. Then it's not in the movie or the extras, and the movie doesn't really have that edge. Bit of a structural letdown...

Reel Fanatic said...

The music that I've seen so far is indeed amazing, Eaglewing ... One other movie that made great use of the Fat Possum blues catalog was Big, Bad Love, about the now late Southern writer Larry Brown . they also threw in a Steve Earle and two Tom Waits to round out a great set

Chris said...

I guess you can argue that most scenes from trailers take away the surprise from the scene in the movie.

As for that previously mentioned scene, for me it was just the fact that he was kicking a pile of leaves (with the accompanying "Grow up, Toby") that was funny, and in the movie they show a different take (you don't even get to see the leaves being kicked).

Justin said...

I'm going to try and go see "Zodiac" this afternoon - it's my first real "must-see" of the year.

I'm interested in "Black Snake Moan" but will probably end up Netflixing it in four months.

"Wild Hogs?" God, no.

Justin said...

Oh, and I didn't realize there were going to be trailers in the middle of "Grindhouse." Makes me want to see it even more.

Reel Fanatic said...

It should just be a blast, Justin .. From everything I've heard, Tarantino's half should be a blast, and I'm sure Rodriguez can keep pace

Crystal Green's Blog said...

I got to see Tarantino and Rodriguez at San Diego Comic-Con last summer, and the GRINDHOUSE footage they'd completed at that point brought down the house. It was from Rodriguez's movie, and the action was frenetic, grotesque, and hilarious--everything you'd expect. Can't wait!

Elizabeth said...

I probably wouldn't be bothered by movies like "Black Snake Moan" if I didn't have the sinking suspicion that some people might be taking it seriously.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm afraid you might be right, Elizabeth .. In Brewer's defense, not having seen it quite yet, I think he's gone out of his way with the campy posters to let people know it's not to be taken that way ... I'm hoping it will be fun, but I won't find out until tomorrow

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Codered Marty said...

Is that Werewolf thingie a take-off from Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS ? The only reason I know of that particular bit of 70s kitch is because we named my daughter Ilsa -- after Casablanca , tho, not any SS qualities.....

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