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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robot Sweatshop's Winter Movie Preview

As we inch ever so much closer to the holiday season, Hollywood is preparing for one of its busier seasons, second only to summer. While the winter/holiday season usually turns out several profitable movies, this year is extremely unique in the fact that it has already produced one of the most highly anticipated movies ever in New Moon. While everyone predicted that the movie would be huge, I am not so sure they anticipated the third highest grossing weekend ever behind only Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3. New Moon also shattered the record for midnight showings, taking in an estimated $26 million, breaking the record set last summer by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($22 million). Take that nerds! If the swirlies you got throughout high school weren't enough, now teenage girls are putting you to shame!

This type of movie being released at this time of year could have a huge effect on the winter movie season. New Moon has a chance to make a run at Dark Knight and Titanic territory in terms of ticket sales and worldwide box office gross. The entire movie biz has known for a while when New Moon would be coming out and as any good business would do, they have prepared for it when they have given their movies release dates. Any big budget movie that has a genre anywhere close to that of New Moon will either push a release date back or move it well ahead to avoid the huge spotlight cast on the Twilight franchise. With all of this reshuffling going on, any possible competition will be no where in sight, meaning that all of these Twilight psychopaths will see New Moon even more times than they would have anyway. My wife is a huge fan (she won't admit she is a nerd, is there a difference between those 2 words) of the Twilight books and despite admitting that the first Twilight movie was complete garbage, she still saw it 3 times, just think what would happen if this movie is watch-able? All I will say is "God help us all".

Update: Since I first wrote this post I went and saw New Moon (Took my Dad to see it for his Birthday). While it was definitely not good, it was much better than the first, werewolves are definitely more interesting than vampires with no fangs that don't bite people.

What kind of movie season are the rest of us in store for you ask? Robot Sweatshop has your guide to some of the other movies coming out this winter that could be worth your ridiculously expensive movie ticket. Most of of what you will read is based off of what I have read or seen on television or the internets, but if any of the Robot Sweatshop team see any of these movies, we will update the post so please check back for this. Feel free to leave your own comments as well about any of these films or ones we missed that are worth seeing.

The Road
Directed by John Hillcoat, starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron
Release Date: November 25
Is it safe to say that whatever Viggo Mortensen attaches his name too has a great chance of being good? With the exception of Hidalgo (which I didn't see) everything he has been in since Lord of the Rings began I have throroughly enjoyed. Director John Hillcoat is a relatively unknown directory which for me isn't a red light, but more of a yellow light.

This movie is based off of the novel by Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote No Country for Old Men, which I felt was a great movie despite my feelings about the ending. The story revolves around Mortensen's character and his son traveling by foot across a post-apocalyptic world in search of survivors, preferably those that have not converted to cannibalism, which apparently is the hip new trend. Think Walking Dead minus the zombies. Since us here at Robot Sweatshop can't get sneak preview press passes to film screenings, I have to get my information off of others and the internet, but I can tell you that from what I have heard so far, this is a truly disturbing film.

Expect an update on this movie soon as I will most likely be giving this one a shot.


Ninja Assassin
Directed by James McTeigue, starring no one you ever heard of
Release Date: November 25
There has been plenty of promotion for this movie for about a month before its release and I will say from what I saw it looks pretty cool. When you are going to see a movie called Ninja Assassin I think looks are all that counts right? The movie's plot (like anyone cares) revolves around an orphan ninja named Raizo who is raised by a secret society of bad ass ninjas, but decides to leave the group after they kill his best friend and decides to become a kick ass philanthropist. That's the whole movie. The end.

I'm just kidding, of course he wants revenge, ninja style!

The movie was directed by James McTeigue, who also did V for Vendetta, which I completely hated but still heard from others who really enjoyed it. The Wachowski Brothers, who you might recognize as the dudes who brought us the Matrix trilogy, produced Ninja Assassin so you can expect plenty of great special effects. I am sure there are plenty of people who felt that the Matrix trilogy would have been way better if they cut out all of the horrible acting and just gave us one movie filled with all action. This movie might make these people feel like the Wachowski's were reading their diary.

There will definitely be an update on this movie, if not from me, it will be from my dad who would skip my wedding to see a flick like this.

Update: My dad saw this and said it was one of the bloodiest movies he has ever seen. He absolutely loved it, but he also loved take that however you would like.


The Slammin Salmon
Directed by Kevin Hefferman, starring the dudes from Super Troopers
Release Date: December 11
Since their breakout movie Super Troopers in 2001, the guys of Broken Lizard have gone on to make more of their own movies and also do their own things as well. I have watched several interviews with these guys and the way they create their Broken Lizard movies is truly a collaborative effort with all 5 guys (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Paul Soter, contributing with the writing. Until this latest movie, Chandrasekhar has handled the directing duties, but for Slammin Salmon, Kevin Hefferman is in the director's chair.

This time around the guys are all working at a restaurant owned by a former heavyweight boxing champ, played by Michael Clarke Duncan. To motivate his poor waiting staff he starts a contest, whoever can get the most tips gets $10,000 dollars, whoever comes in last he will beat the shit out of. The movie seems like another Waiting, which I loved, just a little more over the top. This is a similar situation when they followed up Super Troopers with Club Dread, a spoof on horror films that may have been better received had it not been for the Scary Movie franchise. Had it not been for Waiting, this movie might have more hype. The trailers I have seen so far have not impressed me.

If anyone ends up seeing this please leave a comment and let us know how you liked it, I will most likely be passing on this and counting the days until Super Troopers 2 comes out, which it being developed by Broken Lizard as we speak.


Directed by James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver
Release Date: December 18
One of the most anticipated movies to come out this year, James Cameron is back with hopes of totally reinventing special effects like he has done pretty much every time he puts out a new film. It is hard to imagine that the last movie he directed was Titanic but since then he has been mainly churning out documentaries and writing fairly popular televisions series (Dark Angel, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and one movie which was Terminator 3, easily the worst one so far, but that was most likely because he chose not to direct.

Avatar is the story about a group of humans that are brought to a distant planet called Pandora to fight in a war between humans and the inhabitants of this planet. There have been plenty of trailers circulating and they all look amazing, and from what I have read the film was created with an entirely new approach to 3D with Cameron inventing his own cameras to get what we wants out of the film. Avatar at IMAX sounds like it is going to be amazing.

This is easily going to be the biggest movie other than New Moon and will be the only movie to come out between now and its release date that has a shot at finishing number one at the box office. I will not be surprised to see New Moon on top until this film comes out a week before Christmas, which is sad. It is unfortunate that a filmmaker like Cameron cannot get the same hype and attention that this Twilight crap does. He is truly one of the most revolutionary filmmakers we will ever see in our lifetime, if not the biggest.

I will definitely be seeing this in IMAX, I will update this one for sure.


Sherlock Holmes
Directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Release Date: December 25
I recently just saw a trailer for this movie and I have to say it did not have much of a Guy Ritchie look to it, it looked more like Van Helsing with Robert Downey Jr. instead of Hugh Jackman. I am not surprised however seeing that it's a big budget action movie with plenty of star power and there is probably a hope that this will turn into another huge franchise for Robert Downey Jr. Guy Rithie is probably giving them just another big name rather than a big contribution artistically.

As you already know, the Sherlock Holmes story involves a detective of the same name and his partner Watson who solve mysteries while acting all British-like, tea, crumpets and all the jazz. The trailer included plenty of explosions and action, I am sure the intention is to take the story and reinvent it for the 21st Century but still give it the old timey look, exactly what they did with Van Helsing. We all remember how that movie turned out right? You can probably expect the same, but maybe Downey and Jude can carry it. We'll just have to wait and see, I mean you will have to wait and see, I will not be seeing this.


The Wolfman
Directed by Joe Johnston, starring Benicio Del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Release Date: February 12
There has been plenty of information circulating about about this movie over the internet, unfortunately it has more about its ever changing release date and not about the actual movie itself. It was originally supposed to be released in the spring of 2009 and it was then pushed back to February 2010. As for the reasons for this pushback is unknown, it could be for reshoots, which is never good, or maybe Universal, who is distributing the film, felt releasing a horror film of this magnitude would be better suited for Valentines day. Apparrently horror movies are pretty popular on this holiday, I'm not kidding.

The story is based off of the classic tale of a dude turning into a werewolf when the moon is full, Benicio Del Toro plays the dude and Mac Tonight plays the moon, not sure anyone will get that joke. From the few trailers I have seen there is plenty of action and CGI special effects, which for most werewolf movies might be a bad thing. I think the true fans wish that thing's could go back to when actors and actresses had to spend 3 days getting their makeup put on before they would do a scene. While I don't see this happening ever again, it would be nice to meet somewhere in the middle, similar to what Guillermo Del Toro has done with his Hellboy movies. Hopefully for everyone's sake The Wolfman will try to accomplish this as well. We will have to wait and see.

An update on this will probably be coming as I am looking forward to seeing this one.


The best of the rest:

Shutter Island
Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo
Release Date: February 19
Scorcese's first film since winning the Oscar for The Departed, expect another nomination.


Alice in Wonderland
Directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp
Release Date: March 5
Tim Burton teaming up with Johnny Depp, why haven't these guys teamed up before? Oh wait


Clash of the Titans
Directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Release Date: March 26
Another huge movie starring Sam Worthington. Has anyone ever burst onto the scene like this with 3 100 mil plus blockbusters in less than a year with really no previously well known films? Crazy.


Hot Tub Time Machine
Directed by Steve Pink, starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry)
Release Date: March 26
Yes you read this movie title right, look up the trailer, there is no need to explain it, the title explains everything and is all I need to see.

Trailer (Restricted so look out for a few curse words!):


Dan Brooks said...

You took your dad to see New Moon? There is something very wrong about that...

Mick Macrina said...

There is something very wrong with my dad, I take him to the movies every year for his birthday and that is the one he picked....if it helps I told him I will take him to a real movie Avatar when it comes out too.