Friday, July 15, 2011

Great things coming for the kid in all of us - especially me - from Scorsese and Aardman

Actually, the photo above is one of six or so album cover creations by Next Movie in honor of the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which you may have heard of by now. You can see them all by clicking here, but I just chose the Snape/Elvis because it's an easy classic and Alan Rickman just rules.

And before we get into the aforementioned great things for kids, both in spirit and in actuality, there's some news out there today from 24 Frames that, while it does involve Santa Claus, really couldn't have less to do with younguns. And if you've seen the original movie, you already know what I'm talking about.

We've been on a pretty solid winning streak for R-rated comedies lately ("Bridesmaids" and "Bad Teacher" have been my favorites this summer), but for me, "Bad Santa" is really just about the best one of the last 10 years or so, mostly because of its joyously unfiltered and thoroughly funny filth, with a genuine holiday spirit somehow still running through the whole thing.

And now, this morning, comes word that Dimension Films has commissioned two competing scribes, Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips (neither of whom I know anything about), to pen scripts for a "Bad Santa 2," with the winner hopefully getting made and the other one, if it's not just horrible, possibly saved for a "Bad Santa 3." Sequels can often turn my stomach as much as anyone, but I'm a true "Bad Santa" believer, so I can just say bring it on. And every day is really a little bit better with a little "Bad Santa," so here's just a taste of veryfunnylittleman Tony Cox and the late, great Bernie Mac (in, don't say I didn't warn you, a truly and blissfully foul-mouthed clip) before we move on to today's main courses. Enjoy.

OK, moving on to today's main clips (and just about as far away from "Bad Santa" as you can get), the honor of following up that truly foul bit goes to Martin Scorsese, who has really delivered a winner with this first trailer for "Hugo," even if he has obnoxiously shortened the title of one of my favorite books from "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" (was that really too long? Sheesh.)

I'm hardly a moralist, even when it comes to kids' movies, and I wouldn't be a very good one if I ever wanted to be, but along with less fart jokes, what they could really use is much less product placement and more of the three W's, wonder, whimsy and wacky. Well, when it comes to the first two, I haven't been as psyched for a young folks' movie as I am for "Hugo" since Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are," which I still watch a couple of times a year and will never tire of. Except for the awful music, this trailer for Scorsese's Thanksgiving flick starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law and Sacha Baron Cohen gets just about everything else right, and I can promise it will be the only time in the foreseeable future that I'll spring for anything in 3-D. Enjoy.

And when it comes to the wacky, it really doesn't get much better than the claymation offerings from Aardman, best of all the "Wallace & Gromit" collection. For anyone who may not know, a fire struck the main warehouse storing most of Aardman's best stuff in 2005, wiping out, as Nick park put it at the time, the studio's "entire history."

Since then, however, and with a big assist from Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman has rebounded in a big way, and soon (well, March 12 in the U.S. of A., so fairly soon) will be back on the big screen with "The Pirates! Band of Misfits." As you'll see from the first trailer below, it's as loopy as ever, and somehow stars Hugh Grant as the voice of Pirate Captain. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. And if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do some swimming and then try to squeeze into a matinee of that "Harry Potter" flick. Peace out.


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