Tag Archives: Michael Cera

MOST ANTICIPATED FOR 2017

2 Jan

So he were are. 2016 is history and as we look back on the best films of the year, we can also look towards the future and what’s coming down the cinematic pipeline. Here are my top ten most anticipated films -(provided we make it far enough in the age of Trump to actually watch them).   You can check out last year’s most anticipated here.

 

10 – Molly’s Game 

What’s it about? A young skier who get’s her own FBI investigation after creating an international poker series.

Why is it on the list? Aaron Sorkin is stepping into the director’s seat here, adapting a memoir by Molly Bloom. One of the finest screenwriters of our time, I’m curious to how Sorkin does behind the camera. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba costar.

Release date – Unknown 

 

 

 

9 – Annihilation  

What’s it about?  All we know at this stage is that the plot has something to do with a team of scientists heading into the jungle for a secretive experiment of some kind.

Why is it on the list? Because Ex Machina was one of the most wholly original and singular sci-fi films in recent memory and Alex Garland has teamed up again with Oscar Issac. Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Natalie Portman round out a dream team of actors.

Release date – Unknown

 

8 – Wind River 

What’s it about? A Native American reservation becomes a murder scene which prompts an FBI investigation led by a veteran tracker.

Why is it on the list? Another accomplished screenwriter making a directorial debut. Taylor Sheridan‘s scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water were both brilliant and I’m curios to see the acting duo of Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner in a non-superhero context.

Release date – Unknown for now, but I’m hoping to catch this at Sundance.

7 – The Bad Batch 

What’s it about? A blood soaked love story of sorts set in Texas. Also, cannibals.

Why is it on the list? I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian-western-vampire coming of age story A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but I was intrigued enough to see she had major directing potential. This new effort seems to have a Tarantino-influenced vibe and features a slew of great character actors including Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Giovani Ribisi, and Diego Luna.

Release date: Though it’s played a few festivals, a widespread release date is unknown.  

6 – I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore 

What’s it about? A revenge thriller about a women tracking down the thieves who burglarized her house.

Why is it on the list? Fresh from his role in Jeremy Saulnier’s excellent, white-knuckler Green Room, actor Macon Blair takes a shot at directing his own original script. The premise sounds gleefully Coen-esc.

Release date: February 24 

5 – Mother  

What’s it about? “…a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home…” – IMDB

Why is it on the list? Because it’s Darren Aronofsky’s first film since the interesting-but-ultimately sub-par Noah.  Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Domhnall Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris star.

Release date: Unknown 

4 – Dunkirk 

What’s it about?  “Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II” – IMDB

Why is it on the list? Christopher Nolan is one of the rare few directors who can effectively blend pedestrian blockbuster fare with an inspired artistic vision.  This has potential to be one of 2017’s biggest critical and commercial hits.

Release: July 21 

3 – Lemon  

What’s it about? A boy gets dumped by his blind girlfriend.

Why is it on the list? Though Lemon is her first feature, Janicza Bravo has one of the boldest directorial voices in indie film today mixing awkward sensibilities reminiscent of films like Napoleon Dynamite and the works of Todd Solondz and Wes Anderson. Check out her short Gregory Goes Boom!  (NSFW) which also stars Michael Cera and Brett Gelman to get a taste of what we might expect from Lemon.

Release date: Unknown 

2-  Blade Runner 2049 

What’s it about? A sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. 

Why is it on this list? Though most modern sequels/reboots don’t hold a candle to their origins, the fact that this is being helmed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Arrival) and shot by cinematographer legend Roger Deakins (1984, No Country For Old Men, Skyfall, and so, soooo many more) might be reason enough to make an exception. The icing on the cake is a top-notch cast consisting of Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robyn Wright, Mckenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto and Barkhad Abdi.

Release date: Oct 6

1 – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

 

What’s it about? “A teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family takes an unexpected turn.” – IMDB

Why is it on the list? The Lobster was unexpectedly my favorite film of 2016 and, I’m itching to see what Yorgos Lanthimos is cooking up.

Release date – Unknown 

 

 

Entertainment (Sundance 2015)

7 Feb

What is the difference between Courtney Love and the American flag?

This is one of the many questions comedian Neil Hamburger (Gregg Turkington) asks his audience in the anti-humor film Entertainment. Written by Tim Heidecker from The Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Joband directed by Rick Alverson (The Comedy), the film follows an aging comedian as he stumbles his way across an increasingly surreal landscape. He crosses paths with a number of bizarre characters played by Michael Cera, Tye Sheridan, and John C. Reilly.

Entertainment as a film acts a metaphor for Hamburger’s comedic routine, which is ironic considering the film defies every single notion its title implies. The audience is forced to watch Hamburger perform his off-color and sad jokes in front of an unimpressed audience at a series of late-night bar shows. The pain and awkwardness of these shows only becomes subsided by incredibly lengthy takes of Hamburger wandering around some deadbeat tourist attraction or making creepy phone calls in an effort to reconnect with his estranged daughter. It’s as if Alverson and Heidecker were purposefully trying to make something that would not only offend their audience, but drive them to a near-maddening boredom as well.  If so, they completely succeeded; I counted 28 walkouts within the first hour of Entertainment’s running time – and this was at a private screening reserved for the press.

Despite what some reviewers will say, I don’t believe there is a such thing as a “good B movie”.  A film is a terrible one regardless of what the artists’ intentions may be. So what if they succeeded in making a bad film? it’s still just a bad film. The characters here are so excruciatingly annoying and the narrative is so bizarrely infuriating that it’s hard to see any redeeming qualities in Entertainment at all. While general audiences should loath this film with disdain, those few individuals familiar with and fans of Neil Hamburger’s style will surely have a new cult favorite on their hands. Heaven help them.

Rating: 1/10 

Similar to: Gummo (1997), Escape From Tomorrow (2013), The Comedy (2012)

Magic Magic (2013)

12 Aug

Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Silva made waves at this years Sundance Film Festival with two superb films staring Michael Cera that were both filmed on-location in Chile. Micheal Cera hasn’t always been one of my favorite actors, but his performance in Magic Magic shows he can be more than the self-conscious teen nerd he has come to be known for (Superbad, Juno, Arrested Development).

Magic Magic is the story of an American girl named Alicia (played by the always lovely Juno Temple), who visits her cousin studying in Chile.  Because of an unexpected exam, her cousin Sarah (Emily Browning) is separated, leaving Alicia to journey with a group of strangers towards a vacation home on a mysterious island. Of course, things aren’t always what they appear to be, and what starts out as an innocent trip with some friends turns into a bizarre and unforgettable journey.

What really makes this film remarkable is the wonderful casting and chemistry that this group of friends share on-screen. Michael Cera is brilliant and adds a subtle but welcoming amount of comedic relief. Juno Temple is also fabulous and creates an intense mood in the film through her performance. Emily Browning, Catalina Moreno, and Augustin Silva make a great and believable supporting characters.

Some friendly advice: if you are the type who hates spoilers then DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER, as it gives away far too much of the plot. If you aren’t into the weird, psychological sort of films, then this might not be your cup of tea, but I think Magic Magic is one of the year’s best for it’s unpredictability, wonderful cast, and intense thrilling script.

Rating: 8/10

Similar to: Black Swan, Repulsion, Sisters