What I Learned From Green Lantern

15 inane thoughts went through my head as I watched Green Lantern.

In an attempt to act our age and go out on a Friday night, my friend Nicole and I went to a screening of Green Lantern. Seeing movies the day they open is not something we normally do and we were a little taken aback by the number of people (guys) there.

Nicole: When did this movie open?
Me: Today.
Nicole: That explains it.

But we made the most of it and I tried my best not to make fun of Serena Van Der Woodsen. Here is what happened as we watched Green Lantern. Continue reading “What I Learned From Green Lantern

What I Learned From Super 8

Packed theater? Check. Retro flashbacks? Check. Special effects? Check. Funny, clever dialogue? Check. Massive Spielberg nostalgia? Quadruple check. Best movie of the summer? Definitely.

In Super 8, which grossed $37 million this weekend, a practically unknown cast of kids carries the J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi flashback flick. It is easily the most entertaining, fun movie I have seen in ages. That didn’t stop me from having some ridiculous thoughts as I watched Super 8. Here they are:

Continue reading “What I Learned From Super 8

Preview: Tropic Thunder

It is always strange for me when what I’m learning in my film classes manifests itself in some way in current films and pop culture. Today after my Race, Ethnicity and the Hollywood Musicial and a discussion about the use and meanings of blackface, I went to Entertainment Weekly online and read this preview of Ben Stiller’s latest directorial effort, Tropic Thunder (opening August 15).

The film, directed and co-written by Stiller and starring Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr., is an epic comedy about the production of a Vietnam Era film.

Downey, pictured in the center, plays Kirk Lazarus, an Oscar winning actor cast in the role Sgt. Osiris.

From EW.com “Problem is, Lazarus’s character, Sgt. Osiris, was originally written as black. So Lazarus decides to dye his skin and play Osiris, um, authentically. Funny? Sure. Dangerous? That’s an understatement. ”If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey says. ”If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.” [..]

The question is: Can this satire not only be a box office hit but not be a read an offensive portrayal of African Americans?

Stiller says: ”I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality. ‘I had no idea how people would respond to it.” (When a rough cut of the film was screened, it scored high with African-Americans.)

And Downey says: ”At the end of the day, it’s always about how well you commit to the character. ‘I dove in with both feet. If I didn’t feel it was morally sound, or that it would be easily misinterpreted that I’m just C. Thomas Howell in [Soul Man], I would’ve stayed home.” [Source]

The bottom line: Satire, when it’s done right, can be the most effective way to make a point. Tropic Thunder is not necessarily making a statement about blackface (see Spike Lee’s Bamboozled), but it is definitely making a statement about Hollywood and those who make moveis. I’m most interested in seeing how more people, other than a sample audience, respond to Tropic Thunder.

The trailer for Tropic Thunder debuts online March 17.

The 15 Most Anticipated Summer Movies

Today Hollyweird is buzzing with all sort of news. Rosie O’Donnell is leaving The View (which unfortunately is the only reason I watch that show), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (aka the reason I watch The Tudors) is headed to rehab, Heather Mills is no longer dancing (not that that’s really a bad thing), and Jack Valenti is still alive.

Life is quite exciting at the moment, except my finals start in about two weeks. But the fact that the summer movie season is right around the corner, makes all this stress worth it. (Maybe.)

That being said, what are the 15 most anticipated movies of the summer?

From Entertainment Weekly

15 Summer Movies We Can’t Wait To See
From blockbuster sequels (‘Ocean’s Thirteen, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) to quirky comedies (Knocked Up) and indies (Waitress), here are the movies that have us most excited about the season. — By Joshua Rich
15. Ocean’s Thirteen (June 8)
14. Live Free or Die Hard (June 27)
13. Evan Almighty (June 22)

12. Pirates of the Caribbean: At End’s World (May 25)

11. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (July 20)

10. Rescue Dawn (July 4)

9. Sicko (June)

8. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (July 13)

7. Waitress (May 2)

6. 28 Weeks Later (May 11)

5. Knocked Up (June 1)

4. The Bourne Ultimatum (August 3)

3) Transformers (July 4)

2. The Simpsons Movie (July 27)

1. Spider-Man 3 (May 4)