Friday, December 24, 2010

So, Kevin Smith has made a horror movie. Can that possibly be a good thing?

Actually, before I jump into that, though I don't have the time this morning for anything even approaching a full review, I just wanted to say that if you do one thing this weekend (beyond, of course, celebrating Christmas), go see "True Grit."

Sure, it's a remake, but it's also one of the best movies the Coen brothers have ever made, largely because they restrain themselves and let The Dude and young Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross have a ball. It has more of the humor from the book than the original movie did and a hauntingly perfect score by Carter Burwell. And even though the last five minutes or so is a thoroughly unnecessary coda of sorts, before that, from the point that Josh Brolin and even better, Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper turn up, it's the best 20 minutes or so I've seen in a movie this year.

So, just go see it already. After that today, I've just got a series of clips that caught my eye, and a "Community" treat at the end since my DVR has missed the show during its Christmas break.

Every time mi hermano hears the name Kevin Smith, he simply calls him a tool, and given the director's most recent public antics, I most often have to agree with him. That said, however, it really looks like he just may have cooked up something fascinating with his upcoming horror movie (yes, really) "Red State."

I try to be a pretty tolerant dude, especially when it comes to religious views, but when you picket soldiers' funerals (and I really still can't understand why in the world they do that) and those of just about anyone else you decide is somehow unworthy, than you go straight to hell in my book. Or end up the model for a horror film by Kevin Smith, which seems to be the all-too-well-deserved fate of the Rev. Fred Phelps.

As you'll see from this teaser trailer for the flick, which is debuting at next year's Sundance Film Festival, Michael Parks plays the preacher here, and Stephen Root, Melissa Leo and John Goodman factor into this too. Enjoy the clip, and then stick around for some more.

I have a sinking feeling that, like most likely "Red State," Miguel Arteta's "Cedar Rapids" won't open wide enough to reach my little corner of the world whenever it drops next year. And that will be a real shame, because as you'll see from this first trailer I know of, it looks like just the broadest kind of comedy, and quite possibly the very funny variety too. Veryfunnyguy Ed Helms of "The Office" stars as an insurance salesman sent to a conference in the titular city, where he encounters John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and assorted other oddballs. Enjoy the clip.

The more I see of "Source Code," Duncan Jones' followup to the rather sensational "Moon" (rent that already!), the more it just looks like the most generic kind of early-year thriller, but here's hoping I'm wrong. Jake Gyllenhaal stars and finds himself transposed into the body of a soldier so that he can stop the impending bombing of a train. These ticking-clock kind of thrillers really are just about my single least favorite little subgenre of movies, but I'll probably give this a chance just for Mr. Jones' sake when it hits April 1. Enjoy the UK trailer.

Before that comes out, I think the movie I'm most looking forward to seeing early next year would be Peter Weir's "The Way Back," which supposedly opens "wide" Jan. 21. Colin Farrell and Ed Harris are the only name stars among a slew of Russian actors in this tale of a group of men who escaped from a Russian gulag in the 1940s. Not the cheeriest of subjects, perhaps, but Weir is a master at grand storytelling, so this should be pretty great. Enjoy this clip of Farrell from the flick, and like I said, stick around for a "Community" treat at the finish.

To watch more, visit

Of all the shows on hiatus right now, I think I miss "Community" the most, so I guess that makes it my favorite network show right now. And a lot of the spirit of why the show is so great is captured in this Avengers sendup of the cast. I'm not sure who did it, but kudos, because they're all really funny, especially Shirley as the Scarlet Witch and Pierce as the not-terribly-incredible Hulk. Enjoy the picture, have a great Christmas weekend, and go see "True Grit." Peace out.


Andrew said...


Thanks for the "Moon" suggestion. Also I will have to see both versions of "True Grit."

I recently saw both of Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much." The James Stewart one was my favorite though I liked him more in "Rope."

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Tony's Regan Roommate

Reel Fanatic said...

And a Merry Christmas to you too .. I'm glad you liked "Moon" .. I have yet to run across anyone who has seen it that doesn't .. It's been forever since I've seen the original "True Grit," but I suppose in honor of the new one, they've put it in my local Redbox, so I think I'll be checking it out again soon.

Chalupa said...

True Grit isn't so much a remake, but another adaptation of the Charles Portis novel. I can't really abide John Wayne, so I was glad the Coens just did their thing.

Reel Fanatic said...

I didn't mind John Wayne as much as you, Chalupa, but The Dude was better, and having read the novel, I have to say the Coens just came a lot closer to capturing the real spirit of Portis' work