Saturday, December 31, 2011

Young Adult

Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, Young Adult is the story of a 30-something ghost-writer for teen novels who learns that her old high school boyfriend has a new life as a family man. Returning to her hometown to reclaim her ex-boyfriend, she befriends a man whom she tormented back in high school. The film marks a reunion between Reitman and Cody following their 2007 collaboration with Juno as their new film explores a woman on the verge of a meltdown. Starring Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, and the voice of Reitman regular J.K. Simmons. Young Adult is a biting yet witty character-study from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody.

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) has just received news about her former high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) as he just became a father for the first time. For Mavis, she decides to return to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota with her dog Dolce and a mixtape that Buddy made years ago hoping to reclaim him from his new life. Staying at a hotel, she goes to a local bar where she meets an old schoolmate in Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) who wonders why she’s back. The two start to befriend each other despite Matt’s unpleasant memories about high school as she reveals why she’s back though Matt doesn’t think Mavis’ plan to reclaim Buddy is a good idea.

After finally contacting Buddy, the two meet as she later meets Buddy’s wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser) where Mavis is surprised by Buddy’s new domestic lifestyle. Still thinking that Buddy is unhappy where the two later met at a sports bar that Matt works at where Beth’s band played a song that Mavis had in her mixtape. Things get worse when Mavis encounters her parents whom she hadn’t bothered to contact as she ends up having a meal with them as she is reminded about her recent divorce. With news about her teen novel series that she’s ghost-written being cancelled, though she is currently writing another one, she hangs out with Matt as she reveals another plan to win Buddy over. Instead, she is forced to face the realities around her as well as the issues that she’s dealing with.

For anyone that thinks that high school were the best years of their life because they were popular and were able to have great skin and such would often face tribulations where it becomes harder for them to grow up. For a woman as delusional and immature like Mavis Gray, it’s only part of who she is as she uses her immaturity and high school memories to ghost-write a very popular series of teen novels. Still, she is a mess as she faces the cancellation of her series while just going through a divorce and lead a life that isn’t very exciting. She watches bad reality TV and drinks big liter bottles of Diet Coke to maintain her figure while only having her small dog Dolce to keep her company. When she receives news about her ex-boyfriend’s family life, she has this fantasy that she can save him from that dull world and reclaim him.

The Mavis Gray character is something that is very different from some of the character that director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody had previous explored. Mavis is a really un-likeable person for the fact that she’s very immature and has no grasp in reality for what she is about to do this guy who has definitely moved on. Returning to the home that she despises, she would befriend an old schoolmate in whom she remembered for being beaten up in school because he was accused of being gay when he really wasn’t. For the Matt Freehauf character, he sees something in Mavis where the two share their common bond for their hatred of their hometown as well as into why people seem so content into living a town where it’s pretty boring.

Diablo Cody’s screenplay is, so far, the best thing she’s done as there’s a new maturity to her writing in the way she explores the banality of American suburbia as well as this woman who is definitely on the verge of collapse. While Mavis does do a lot of despicable things and doesn’t really seem to care about anyone except herself. There is something about her that makes her pitiful for the fact that people do want to help her though they don’t seem to do it in the right way. Only that Matt Freehauf character seems to get her despite the fact that he doesn’t really like as he knows she is having a hard time trying to move on even though she doesn’t treat him well either.

While the script has a lot of humor that is witty and sarcastic in the style of Cody’s writing including the word “Ken-Taco-Hut”. There is a more cerebral element to the writing as Cody also gets a chance to tackle the world of teen novels where she creates a narration of Mavis writing the next novel that pretty much delve into the material that Mavis writes. There’s a true complexity to the writing as well as a shock value to what Cody brings as the film’s screenplay is definitely the major highlight of the film.

Jason Reitman’s direction is definitely engaging for the way he presents the film with lots of wide shots of the small towns shown in the film as it’s shot on location in parts of upstate New York. While there’s not a lot of big technical moments as Reitman chooses to go for a very straightforward approach to framing scenes in humorous and dramatic moments. Still, he does create some surprises as he opens the film with this 10-minute sequence of what Mavis’ life is like before she returns home. Then the credits appears as Mavis drives home to the tune of Teenage Fanclub’s The Concept from their 1991 landmark album Bandwagonesque.

The film has a very playful feel to it throughout the entirety of the first two acts though it does get more dramatic by the time the third act rolls around. Still, Reitman chooses to underplay the drama while its big moment where Mavis just loses it at a party is more restrained than it is expected despite Mavis’ uncontrollable behavior. The film also has this sense of intended blandness to the way a suburban place like Mercury, Minnesota looks like as it looks like every other small town in America. The locations do play as a character there’s a wonderful quaintness to it but also a place where anyone that’s lived there long enough might want to leave. Overall, Reitman creates a truly solid and witty film that explores a woman’s meltdown as she returns to the place that she had left a long time ago.

Cinematographer Eric Steelberg does a nice job with the film’s photography where a lot of the film’s look is straightforward though the coloring does get a little de-saturated as it progresses to emphasize Mavis’ troubled state of mind as she would unravel in the course of the film. Editor Dana E. Glauberman does an excellent job with the editing to play up Mavis’ unraveling in the course of the film as it features some great montages of her fixing her hair or the opening credits scene while a lot of the editing is very straightforward.

Production designer Kevin Thompson, along with set decorator Carrie Stewart and art director Michael Ahern, do some very good work with the set pieces created such as the bar where Mavis meets Matt along with the sports bar and Buddy‘s home to emphasize the suburban world that Mavis dislikes yet gravitates towards to. Costume designer David C. Robinson does a terrific job with the costumes from the sweatpants and t-shirt to emphasize the drab look of Mavis along with the glamorous dresses that she later wears to try and win over Buddy. Sound editors Perry Robertson, Scott Sanders, and Warren Shaw do some fine work with the sound from the raucous atmosphere of the bars that Mavis and Matt hang out to the way music sounds and is cut off at through her Mavis’ car.

The score work of Rolfe Kent is superb for the jazz-folk music pieces created for the film to emphasize its quirky tone as well as Mavis‘ unique behavior while also providing low-key yet somber pieces for its dramatic moments. Music supervisor Linda Cohen does a fantastic job with assembling the soundtrack that includes lots of 90s alternative rock cuts from acts like Cracker, the Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub, 4 Non Blondes, and many covers performed by Mateo Massina of songs by Pearl Jam and other 90s acts. The only song not from the 90s is played is an obscure Diana Ross song in the closing credits that emphasize the trouble of growing up which is suitable for what the film is about.

The casting by Jessica Kelly and Suzanne Smith is outstanding as they create what is truly a very memorable ensemble cast filled with people in some very standout roles. Among them is Mary Beth Hurt as Buddy’s mother, Richard Bekins and Jill Eikenberry as Mavis’ parents, Hettienne Park as a Minneapolis friend of Mavis, Louisa Krause as the hotel front desk girl, John Forest as Mavis’ wheelchair-bound cousin who annoys both Mavis and Matt, and J.K. Simmons in a voice cameo as Mavis’ boss. Collette Wolfe is excellent in a small but very crucial performance as Matt’s sister Sandra who idolizes Mavis despite her flaws. Elizabeth Reaser is great as Buddy’s wife Beth who tries to be very kind to Mavis while being very content as a mom and drummer for a 90s cover band. Patrick Wilson is pretty good as Buddy where even though it’s a bland kind of role, Wilson makes Buddy into a likeable, normal kind of guy.

Patton Oswalt is magnificent as Matt Freehauf, an old schoolmate of Mavis who hasn’t gotten over high school as he reluctantly becomes Mavis’ ally despite warning her that will backfire on her. It’s a dramatic but light-humored performance from Oswalt as he also has to walk with a cane as he becomes this one guy that really understands Mavis and pities her. Finally, there’s Charlize Theron in a tremendous yet fearless performance as Mavis Gray. Theron brings a lot of humor to her character as a woman that is obviously immature in the way she speaks and how she often picks at her hair. Yet, there’s also a sadness to this woman who can’t really get herself together as Theron makes this very un-likeable character human as it’s definitely one of the best performances Theron has given.

Young Adult is a brilliant yet jabbing comedy-drama from Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. Featuring fantastic performances from Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt, the film definitely serves as a real turning point for both Reitman and Cody as they take an un-likeable character and make her into someone real and sympathetic. While it may not have the quirky humor of Juno or the heavy-drama of Up in the Air, the film does have a confrontational tone without being too grand. In the end, Young Adult is a remarkable film from Jason Reitman and company.

© thevoid99 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year-End Reflections of 2011

Well, it's pretty much been a thrilling year for me considering that I spent 2010 going through personal issues, leaving, and try to get myself back into writing. After all, 2011 had me do more essays and bigger projects that gave me more to do while I also got to finish a screenplay and I've got a few other script projects in the works as outlines. Overall, I would say I had a pretty incredible year.

I think the big thing for me this year was the fact that I was able to expand my horizons as far as the world of film is concerned. I knew there were filmmakers that either I haven't been familiar with or filmmakers I've heard of but don't know enough of their work. There were also films that I discovered and became big fans of. In the world of music, not much happened other than a few re-discoveries and some discoveries I've made during that whole period when I did my 1991-20 project for at my music blog. Here is a list of the 10 Best Things that Happened for Me This Year.

If anyone missed this film on the big screen, it's a big loss as I would probably rank it as one of the best cinematic experiences I've ever had. Largely because it's unlike anything I had seen in film that was on a big screen. It just took me on a journey and I didn't want to end although I left the Tara Theater confused and bewildered over what I saw. More importantly as a critic, I would say of all the reviews I wrote that year. That was the hardest because it defied everything I knew about plot conventions and storytelling. Even when I was finished, I still felt having to tinker with it as it's a film I hope to see again while I'm also excited that Terrence Malick will have a few more films coming out in the coming years.

Before May of 2011, I only heard of Lynne Ramsay by name and the fact that she was considered one of the best filmmakers working today by the Guardian. After doing the Cannes marathon that May, everything changed as I became a fan of her work where I recently did an Auteurs piece on her. It was Morvern Callar that really became the film that introduced me to her as I was entranced by what she does as a filmmaker and let things fold without dialogue. It certainly gave me ideas on what I would do if I ever become a filmmaker.

3. The New Discoveries

There's always something about doing marathons or take part in a LAMB Movie of the Month which is to make some discoveries. Along with Lynne Ramsay, there's filmmakers that I'm glad to discover like Nicolas Winding Refn, Steve McQueen, Andrea Arnold, Jacques Audiard, and Jeff Nichols. Even veterans like Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Bresson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Powell & Pressburger, Alain Resnais, Carlos Saura, Chantal Akerman, and many others allowed me to realize a whole new world is out there away from the confines of Hollywood.

4. Re-Discovering the Cure

The Cure was a band I've always enjoyed but never delve back into their catalog as I was disappointed by their last studio album. Then I heard about these Reflection shows where the band played their first three albums with returning keyboardist Roger O'Donnell and original drummer/keyboardist Lol Tolhurst rejoining the group for these shows. It gave me the chance to re-discover the band throughout the entire catalog where I found some new favorites and realized there was a whole lot more to the band than just Pornography, Disintegration, and all of the Goth-pop stuff as I hope whatever new album they make would be a return to those early recordings.

5. Essays, Screenplays, & All Sorts of Crazy Shit.

While last year had me do a couple of director-based essays that I called the Auteurs, it gave me the chance to expand my range as a writer while writing about films also did things. The 1991-20 project really gave me the chance to stretch myself more as I originally went for something simpler but it ended up becoming much bigger than that. Writing these essays and doing all of these things definitely gave me a break from writing reviews while doing the screenplay stuff also gave me an outlet to try and make something of my own as I did finally finish a script called Ugly last month as I'm now in the process of working on two outlines for the moment.

6. New Musical Discoveries.

With a lot that is going on in the world of music, I will confess that I found the music year of 2011 to be uninspiring. There's some pretty good albums here and there that came out this year but nothing that really grabbed me. Particularly with rock as I've become very disenchanted with that genre as the big discovery I've made this year was in the band Talk Talk and their 1991 album Laughing Stock which was different from everything that I was hearing on top 40 radio or in mainstream rock. I also made discoveries in bands like Spacemen 3, Kraftwerk, and Slint. I like to find something new that excites me whether it's an old band or something just so I can feel good.

7. CM Punk & Zack Ryder

I'm a longtime pro wrestling fan for about 20 years going back to the days of WCW and WWE in the early 90s and watching the Monday Night Wars unfold. Though I think the current product of WWE isn't as exciting as it once was during the Attitude Era of the late 1990s and early 2000s when there were the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, HHH, Chris Jericho, and THE MOST ELECTRIFYING MAN IN ALL OF ENTERTAINMENT in the Rock. There has been a few guys that has kept me excited. One is CM Punk who definitely has an attitude that isn't seen much in pro wrestling as he's a guy that has built his career up for many years and is now the WWE champ. Then there's Zack Ryder, a young wrestler who was definitely lost in the shuffle by a lot of superstars as he used the Internet by having his own Internet show and is now the United States Champion. With another Internet sensation in Bryan Danielson the World Champion WWE's Smackdown, it's a good year for the Internet marks.

8. Minimalist Filmmaking

For me, films with lots of plot, dialogue, exposition, and such tend to bore these days. There's too much to grasp into and at times, it lags the pace for me. Films like Morvern Callar, Somewhere, Last Year at Marienbad, and Jeanne Dielman 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles have really shown the idea where it's all about images telling the story rather than some form of dialogue, exposition, and action. These films definitely gave me ideas for the script I had been working on for months as well as the other ideas I've been having.

9. Expanding the DVD library

Thank goodness for Barnes & Nobles Criterion DVD sales. It gives me the chance to gather whatever money I've saved and blow it on DVDs where I can assemble an awesome collection. Definitely to the people who often come to my parents house where they would be in my room and see the films I have where it's likely that they have never seen these films. For me, my DVD collection represents exactly who I am as I hope to expand more for 2012 and actually be a show off for once. That's the only thing I'll flaunt, my DVD collection.

10. The Bloggers

I have to give love the bloggers that I constantly read every day and to those that comment on my blog. So, I just want to thank James @ Cinemas Sights, Ed @ Between the Seats, Bill of Bill's Movie Emporium, The guys @ Big Thoughts from a Small Mind, Bryce @ Things Don't Suck, The Final Girl Project, The Gang @ Anomalous Material, Andrew of gmanReviews, Ryan of the Matinee, Dan of Dan the Man's Movie Reviews, Film Intel, Alex of the Film Forager, Norma of The Flick Chick, Jake of Not Just Movies, Bonjour Tristesse, Andy of Andy Buckle's Film Emporium,">Steeve of Cinematic Paradox, Cinema Du Meep, Laura of City Lights, Phil of Phil on Film, John of John Likes Movies, Leysa of Eternity of Dream, Jessica of the Velvet Cafe, Sam of Duke & the Movies, Alex of And So it Begins..., and Joel of Deny Everything. Thank you all for giving me something to read other than a bunch of dumb posts from the IMDB and the idiotic

Well, that is it for 2011 as I will post one more review before the end of the New Year. Until then, I will close with what is undoubtedly one of the best wrestling promos eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-ever!!!!

Take care, spike your hair, woo-woo-woo, you know it!

(C) thevoid99 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Auteurs #6: Lynne Ramsay

Of the filmmakers to emerge in the late 1990s in Britain, Lynne Ramsay is probably one of the most original and provocative filmmakers of her generation. From 1996 to 2002, Ramsay had already made three short films and two feature films that garnered lots of acclaim and accolades. After that, not much happened following plans to develop Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones that fell apart once the involvement of New Zealand blockbuster filmmaker Peter Jackson got involved. This would lead to a nine-year break between films as the interest towards Ramsay grew in the intervening years where she has finally returned in 2011 with her third feature film in We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland on December 5, 1969, Lynne Ramsay was just an artist with an interest in film where she graduated at the National Film and Television School in 1995. During her years in film school, she was learning to be a camera operator as it grew more into her wanting to take control of her own work. The training she would receive would lead to a trio of acclaimed short films that would help bring buzz to an emerging artist.

Small Deaths/Kill the Day/Gasman

Ramsay’s career would begin with a trio of award-winning shorts that would reveal the themes that Ramsay would explore throughout her career. While short films often be the starting point for emerging directors to hone their craft. Ramsay’s shorts would show a vision that was unique and felt very new to the world of cinema. Particularly for the way children are portrayed as well as its themes pertaining to death and loss.

Ramsay’s first short Small Deaths is about three different characters named Anne Marie in three different stories each relating to some encounter with loss. One about a girl having to see her dad leave for work unsure if he’s coming back while another involve two young sisters at a cow field where they see a cow die. The third involves a woman being the victim of a sick prank involving a heroin overdose. The short display an example of what Ramsay would do as a director in the way she portrays different themes as well as a style that was engaging and playful as the 1995 short won Ramsay the Jury Prize short at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.

Kill the Day is about a drug addict’s struggle to stay clean shows a much looser style in the way Ramsay tells the film in terms of its narrative and directing style. The short would feature an array of editing styles and visual cues that Ramsay would hone in the years to come as she gained key collaborators in editor Lucia Zuchetti, cinematographer Alwin H. Kuchler, and set designer Jane Morton for this period. The short also showed how Ramsay can take a grim subject like drug addiction and loss by finding some form of beauty into the storytelling in the way she used flashbacks for the addict character as he reflects on his childhood. The short would win Ramsay another Jury Prize short at the 1997 Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival.

Ramsay’s third short Gasman would be the culmination of her previous shorts as it told the story of two siblings going to a Christmas party with their father where they meet two other kids who is revealed to be their half-siblings. Presented in a visual style that is almost like a home movie and shown from the perspective of a young girl. There is also a tone of the film that is much looser as the actors seem to improvise in the short in the way Ramsay chooses to direct her actors. The short would have Ramsay return to Cannes in 1998 where she would another short film Jury Prize as well as a BAFTA Scotland award for Best Short.

The three shorts would help create buzz for Ramsay as she was approached by studios in Britain to create a feature. Notably as she had gained support from those that had seen and praised her shorts with many wondering what she would do with a feature film. In the years since, her shorts would play to her status as one of Britain’s top directors as they’re continually seen by film buffs.

With the goodwill she’s gained from her shorts, Ramsay was asked by studios to create a treatment for a feature film that would eventually become her first feature film about a young boy dealing with guilt in 1973 Glasgow during a garbage strike. Entitled Ratcatcher, the film would mark the start of one of the most promising careers from a new filmmaker.

With her collaborators, Ramsay chose to create a film filled with unknowns which included Tommy Flanagan from Kill the Day as the father and Ramsay’s daughter Lynne Jr. as the daughter. For the role of the film’s protagonist James, Ramsay chose William Eadie in the part as he plays this boy whose innocence is shattered by the death of a friend during a playful fight that wasn’t violent at all. In this approach to the story, Ramsay chooses to follow this boy as he befriends an older girl whom he starts to discover the world of sex in a very innocent manner.

Since the film is also a period piece set in 1973 Glasgow during a garbage strike, Ramsay finds beauty amidst this very grimy world of trash and rats that surrounds the location as if the place seems hellish but the people living there seems quite content about it. Ramsay’s direction is quite stylish for the way the drama plays out that includes some very tender moments involving James’ parents where they dance to Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s Somethin’ Stupid which would show Ramsay’s gift for her use of music in film.

Another key moment of that use in music is a very playful, fantasy scene of a mouse being tied to a balloon as it goes way up in the air to the moon to the tune of Carl Orff’s Gassenhauser that is known largely for being the musical theme from Terrence Malick’s 1973 debut film Badlands. In an interview for the film’s DVD, Ramsay admit that she just wanted to use the piece though people told her that she shouldn’t do it because it’s already done in a famous film. Yet, it’s part of Ramsay’s genius for the way she can use something that is already known but make it fresh as the film itself does have a very Malickian influence in scenes where James is running around a wheat field. This mixture of dream-like beauty in a decayed setting filled with trash gives Ratcatcher a tone that seems very unique that isn’t seen much from any director that is just starting out.

The film made its premiere at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival in its Un Certain Regard section to great acclaim while opening the Edinburgh International Film Festival that year. Despite a very limited release in the U.K. and U.S., the film would give Ramsay numerous accolades from numerous critics and festival prizes. For Lynne Ramsay, the acclaim she had received from her shorts and in Ratcatcher was just the beginning of her flourishing career.

Ramsay’s sophomore feature would be an adaptation of Alan Warner’s 1995 novel Morvern Callar about a woman who finds her boyfriend dead of a suicide as she takes his finished manuscript and puts her name on it while going on a trip to Ibiza with a friend. The film would be a turning point for Ramsay as she employed a much looser style of storytelling as she collaborated with Liana Dogini to co-write the script. The film also marked a departure for Ramsay as she chose to have someone famous to play the titular character rather than an unknown as Samantha Morton was cast to play the part.

With newcomer Kathleen McDermott in the supporting role of Morvern’s friend Lanna, Ramsay chooses to go for a more grittier and free-flowing style in terms of its look and flow than in the more dream-like tone of Ratcatcher. Notably the scene of a New Year’s Eve party where Alwin H. Kuchler’s photography has a grainy yet vibrant look to it that is heightened with more colored palettes in the Ibiza scenes. Still, there is a sense of controlled camera work and direction such as the way the camera follows Morvern as she walks towards it at a supermarket to the tune of Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra’s Some Velvet Morning.

Since the film, like Ratcatcher, is an exploration on death and guilt along with the actions and choices the protagonists make. Unlike Ratcatcher, which explored a boy’s confusion over the role he played in accidentally killing a boy. The choices of Morvern Callar are much more ambiguous into the way she reacts to her boyfriend’s suicide and the decisions she made regarding his unpublished book that he just finished. What is more compelling throughout the film is the fact that Ramsay chooses not to judge Morvern for what she does such as chopping her boyfriend’s body and burying it somewhere while taking whatever money he had to go on a trip to Ibiza with Lanna.

The trip to Ibiza and other towns in Spain would eventually become a turning point for Morvern in the way she’s reacting to grief along with an overwhelming offer that she has received for the book that she claims to have written. The looseness of the film becomes more prevalent as there’s less dialogue that appears where Ramsay is clearly experimenting more with long scenes that don’t involve music nor any kind of sound. There is a dream-like quality to some of those scenes while Lucia Zuchetti’s editing creates crazy montages for the surreal moments in the Ibiza scenes that play up to Morvern’s sense of grief that she’s dealing with.

One of the key elements that makes the film so engaging to watch is Samantha Morton’s performance. Unlike the naturalness of the non-actors that Ramsay was able to capture in her previous work, Morton adds a dynamic that is very entrancing to the way she portrays this woman’s grief. Since a lot of the performance is mostly silent, it allows both Ramsay and Morton to explore a character in her grief as she continues to lose herself through everything she does. The film’s ending which has Morvern in a club where everyone else is dancing while she has her earphones listening to the Mamas and the Papas’ Dedicated to the One I Love as she is moving in slow motion is truly one of the most gorgeous shots ever presented in film.

The film premiered at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where it would win two prizes while the film would also receive a British Independent Film Best Actress prize to Samantha Morton and a Scottish BAFTA Best Actress prize to Kathleen McDermott. Despite having a limited release, the film increased Ramsay’s reputation as she was becoming one of Britain’s finest directors as her cult started to grow worldwide. By this point, Ramsay seemed to be on the verge of bigger things to come but it eventually led to a nine-year break between feature films.

AMBER commercial/The Doves-Black & White Town music video

The clout that Lynne Ramsay received for her two films gave her the chance to adapt one of the top bestselling novels at the time in Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel The Lovely Bones. The story of a young girl’s murder as the girl tries to help her mourning family to try and catch her killer. The story definitely fit in with Ramsay’s theme on death as she and her Morvern Callar co-screenwriter Liana Dogini began to write the project in 2002 though Ramsay’s involvement began in 2001 just before the novel had come out when studios discovered its unpublished manuscript. With filming set to happen in the summer of 2003, it all came crashing down when Dreamworks Studio and Steven Spielberg expressed interest in doing an adaptation on Sebold’s book.

Ramsay was forced out of the project as it eventually became a 2009 film directed by Peter Jackson of the Lord of the Rings trilogy films. The film eventually received lukewarm reviews as Ramsay expressed her views on Jackson’s film in a 2011 interview where she thought Jackson’s film wasn’t very good. During that period Ramsay was working on The Lovely Bones, she directed a commercial that starred Samantha Morton for the AMBER unplanned pregnancy counseling. The commercial had an entrancing style that followed Morton as a woman in peril which indicated the sadness of unplanned pregnancy without any kind of social motives and such.

Another project Ramsay in the aftermath of The Lovely Bones failure was a music video for the British band Doves and their song Black & White Town which returned Ramsay to the world of children that she explored in Ratcatcher. While the original video was re-edited by the band’s label without her consent, the original version was able to be seen at the website for the Academy British film group that reflects Ramsay’s own vision.

While these projects were stop-gap releases for the filmmaker, the long absence would only increase her cult where in 2007, the British publication The Guardian named Ramsay as one of the world’s 40 best filmmakers at number 12. Despite that accolade, many wondered if Ramsay would ever return with a new film.

Following the fallout of The Lovely Bones, Ramsay got involved in the adaptation of another book in Lionel Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. Shriver’s novel was about a woman reflecting on her life as a mother to a boy who would end up killing students in his school. With help from American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh as an executive producer, Ramsay chose to take part in the film in 2006 through its development and financial struggles took the process much longer to do. Once actress Tilda Swinton came on board to star and help produce the film in 2009, production was able to gain ground for a 2010 shoot.

In Ramsay’s approach to telling the story of a woman, who is the unreliable narrator, dealing with the guilt of her son’s action. Ramsay chooses to create a narrative that shifts back and forth to emphasize this woman’s recollection of her life with her child while struggling to maintain a normal life. In this approach to the narrative, Ramsay brings an ambiguity to this exploration of guilt as she offers to ask more questions rather than gives answers in the film. Notably towards the end as Tilda Swinton’s Eva asks her soon to be incarcerated son Kevin (Ezra Miller) about why did he do what he did. Kevin’s response is one of confusion and sadness considering the troubled and complex relationship between mother and son.

Ramsay’s style is still evident in the tricks she had done with her previous films but there’s something different to her approach with this film. Her use of music such as blues and country play to the emotions of what Eva is feeling while there’s also something very unsettling in the way she uses Buddy Holly’s Everyday to a scene of Eva driving at night to a street where it’s Halloween and kids are trick-or-treating. Another moment in the film that happens early is when the film flashes back to a period in Eva’s pre-Kevin life where she’s at the La Tomatina festival in Spain where this mix of squished tomatoes presented in slow-motion as Eva is carried by thousands of people. What the scene doesn’t show is that sense of excitement due to the sound which is playing something that is far more horrifying over the chaos over what Kevin does.

Ramsay’s direction is also different for the way she presents suburban family life as it’s the first film of hers not to be set in the U.K. While most films of American suburbia has this mix of outer beauty with something inside that is very dark. Ramsay doesn’t go for that because the home that Eva lives in for its present sequence is a mess in and out as she is ostracized by people. At one point, there’s a scene where she’s in a supermarket as she hides from a shooting victim’s mother and when she’s to check out. Her eggs had already been smashed yet she still takes it so she can evade more trouble from this woman that really wants to kill her. It’s Ramsay’s emphasizing Eva’s own alienation as she is lost in her own hell while having to take the guilt for being responsible in having a son that is a psychopath.

The film finally premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival to great acclaim as it signified Ramsay’s return following her long, nine-year hiatus from the big screen. The film would also receive acclaim from critics in Britain and the U.S. as Ramsay’s name was becoming more prominent than ever.

Despite having a short filmography of three shorts and three feature films from 1996 to 2011, Lynne Ramsay has managed to create something that a lot of filmmakers would love to have. With her long-awaited return finally yielding another great film in We Need to Talk About Kevin, the question is what will she do next? Plus, will she make fans wait another nine years? Only time will tell yet the material she’s already made so far has made her a filmmaker that film buffs will definitely want to keep looking out for. Particularly with female filmmakers that can bring something different to the table as Lynne Ramsay is one of those group of women who are the best at what they do in the art of making films.

© thevoid99 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Most Anticipated Films of 2012 (Pt. 2)

50 More Films for 2012


Red Tails

Directed by Anthony Hemingway. Screenplay by John Ridley & Aaron McGruder. Story by Aaron McGruder. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Daniela Ruah, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, and Method Man.

Snow White & the Huntsman

Directed by Rupert Sanders. Screenplay by Hossein Amini & Evan Daugherty. Based on the stories by the Grimm Brothers. Starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Ian McShane, Stephen Graham, Bob Hoskins, Lily Cole, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Nick Frost, Eddie Izzard, and Ray Winstone.

John Carter

Directed by Andrew Stanton. Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon. Based on A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Lily Collins, Thomas Haden Church, Samantha Morton, Dominic West, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, and Willem Dafoe.


Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Lem Dobbs. Starring Gina Carino, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Mathieu Kassovitz, Michael Angarano, and Michael Douglas.

Jack the Giant Killer

Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay by Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dan Studney. Story by Darren Lemkie and David Dobbin. Based on the British folk tale. Starring Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, Eddie Marsan, John Kassir, and Ewan McGregor.

World War Z

Directed by Marc Forster. Screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Michael Carnahan. Based on the novel by Max Brooks. Starring Brad Pitt, Mirelle Enos, James Badge Dale, Lucy Anarish, Bryan Cranston, and David Morse.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Written by Tommy Wirkola and D.W. Harper. Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, and Peter Stormare.

Total Recall

Directed by Len Wiseman. Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback, and James Vanderbilt. Based on the novel We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick. Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, John Cho, Bokeem Woodbine, and Ethan Hawke.

The Bourne Legacy

Written for the screen and directed by Tony Gilroy. Based on the novel by Eric Van Lustbader. Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, Oscar Issac, and Joan Allen.

Underworld: Awakening

Directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. Screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski and John Hlavin. Based on characters by Len Wiseman, Danny McBride, and Kevin Grevioux. Starring Kate Beckinsale, Sandrine Holt, Michael Ealy, and India Eisley.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Directed by John Chu. Screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Arnold Vosloo, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, and Bruce Willis.

The Expendables 2

Directed by Simon West. Written by Sylvester Stallone. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ghost Rider 2

Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Screenplay by Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman. Screen story by David S. Goyer. Based on the Marvel comic. Starring Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Fergus Riordan, Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Christopher Lambert, and Johnny Whitworth.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, based on his mashup novel. Starring Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Jimmi Simpson, Dominic Cooper, Antony Mackie, and Alan Tudyk.

There’s a lot to offer in terms of the action and world of blockbuster films as there’s potential projects that could bring in big bucks and lot of excitement for filmgoers. First is George Lucas’ production about the Tuskegee Airmen in the film Red Tails while Kirsten Stewart plays Snow White as she battles Charlize Theron’s evil Queen in an action-epic version telling of the Brothers Grimm tale in Snow White & the Huntsman. Andrew Stanton moves from animated films to live action for a big sci-fi epic in John Carter while Gina Carino fights off foes in Steven Soderbergh’s action-thriller Haywire. Bryan Singer creates a very big version of the famed British fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer. Brad Pitt is in a post-apocalyptic thriller in Marc Forster’s World War Z. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton fight off witches in an action-comedy in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Remakes and reboots are happening as Colin Farrell stars in a remake of Total Recall while Jeremy Renner is part of a new series of the Bourne franchise. Sequels for films like Underworld, Ghost Rider, G.I. Joe, and The Expendables are going to happen as some hope they will improve on their predecessors. Particularly as Dwayne Johnson takes over for G.I. Joe and Arnold Schwarzenegger will make his return in a big role for The Expendables 2. Finally, there’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter where Abe Lincoln kills vampires. If that concept alone doesn’t put asses in the seat, then why people make movies?


American Reunion

Written for the screen and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Based on characters by Adam Herz. Starring Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alysson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mena Suvari, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cho, and Eugene Levy.


Directed by David Wain. Screenplay by David Wain & Ken Marino. Story by David Wain. Starring Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Lauren Ambrose, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn, and Alan Alda.

The Dictator

Directed by Larry Charles. Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer. Based on the novel Zabibah and the King by Saddam Hussein. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly, and Anna Faris.

Rock of Ages

Directed by Adam Shankman. Screenplay by Chris D’Arenzio, Justin Theroux, Allan Loeb, Michael Arndt, and Jordan Roberts. Based on the musical book by Chris D’Arenzio. Starring Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Malin Akerman, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kevin Nash, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Cruise.


Written and directed by Leslye Headland. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Adam Scott, James Marsden, and Kyle Bornheimer.

The Five-Year Engagement

Directed by Nicholas Stoller. Written by Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segal. Starring Jason Segal, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pratt, and Jacki Weaver.

Dog Fight

Directed by Jay Roach. Written by Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy. Starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifanakis, Dylan McDermott, Jason Sudeikis, Katherine LaNasa, Sarah Baker, John Lithgow, and Brian Cox.

Casa de mi Padre

Directed by Matt Piedmont. Written by Andrew Steele. Starring Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Nick Offerman, Genesis Rodriguez, and Pedro Armendariz Jr.

Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

Written and directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, Erica Durance, John C. Reilly, and Jeff Goldblum.

The Silver Linings Playbook

Written for the screen and directed by David O. Russell. Based on the novel by Matthew Quick. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Stiles, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Chris Tucker, and Robert de Niro.

2011 was a very bad year for comedies as a lot of them didn’t really stand out or met any kind of expectations. 2012 looks like it will change all of that as comedies do need something to get people laughing. The gang from American Pie returns for a reunion while Sacha Baron Cohen returns as a dictator traveling to America. Will Ferrell is lined up for a trio of comedies such as an appearance in Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie while fighting Zach Galifianakis in a political race in Dog Fight and speaking Spanish for a telenovela parody in Casa de mi Padre. Judd Apatow has a couple of more comedies up his sleeve in relationship-based films such as Wanderlust and The Five-Year Engagement.

There’s also something for women from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay as they produce the female-based comedy Bachelorette about a trio of women who become bridesmaids for a girl they hated in school. The hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages is coming to the big screen from Hairspray! musical filmmaker Adam Shankman. Finally, David O. Russell returns with a story about a former teacher who comes back from a mental hospital to reclaim his old life.

Animated/Family Films

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Directed by Chris Renaud. Screenplay by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul. Based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Featuring the voices of Zac Efron, Danny Devito, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, and Betty White.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Directed by Eric Darnell and Conrad Vernon. Screenplay by Noah Baumbach. Featuring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, and Frances McDormand.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Directed by Brad Peyton. Screenplay by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn. Story by Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn, and Richard Outten. Starring Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristen Davis, Luis Guzman, and Michael Caine.


Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay by John August. Based on the 1984 short by Tim Burton and Leonard Ripps. Featuring the voices of Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Conchata Ferrell, and Martin Short.

There’s some good films that families could enjoy such as Universal’s adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax while Dreamworks has another Madagascar film where the gang are trapped in Europe. Josh Hutcherson for a sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth as he’s joined by Dwayne Johnson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens, and Michael Caine for another adventure. Tim Burton returns to his old 1984 short as he turns into a stop-motion animated feature film which marks a reunion between him and Winona Ryder since 1990’s Edward Scissorhands.


Magic Mike

Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Reid Carolin. Starring Alex Pettyfer, Channing Tatum, Olivia Munn, Mircea Monroe, Kevin Nash, and Matthew McConaughey.

The Wettest Country in the World

Directed by John Hillcoat. Screenplay by Nick Cave. Based on the novel by Matt Bondurant. Starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Gary Oldman.


Directed by Oliver Stone Screenplay by Shane Salerno and Don Winslow. Based on the novel by Don Winslow. Starring Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro, Mia Maestro, and John Travolta.

The Gangster Squad

Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Screenplay by Will Beall, based on the novel Tales from the Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman. Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, and Sean Penn.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy. Based on the book by Paul Torday. Starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

The Grey

Directed by Joe Carnahan. Written by Joe Carnahan and Ian McKenzie Jeffers. Starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale, Joe Anderson, Dallas Roberts, and Dermont Mulroney.

Seven Psychopaths

Written and directed by Martin McDonough. Starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson.

Welcome to the Punch

Written and directed by Eran Creevy. Starring Mark Strong, James McAvoy, and Andrea Riseborough.


Directed by Ben Affleck. Written by Chris Terrio. Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Clea Duvall, Taylor Schilling, Michael Parks, Kyle Chandler, and John Goodman.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Directed by John Madden. Screenplay by Ol Parker. Based on the book These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton.

Premium Rush

Directed by David Koepp. Written by David Koepp and John Kamps. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung, and Aasif Mandvi.

There’s a lot of films coming that offers something for serious-minded viewers that delves into various styles. Steven Soderbergh takes Channing Tatum’s experience as a male stripper into the film Magic Mike while John Hillcoat and Nick Cave explore the world of Prohibition bootlegging in The Wettest Country in the World. There’s more gangsters in the 1940s/1950s crime drama The Gangster Squad. Oliver Stone delves into the world of drug trafficking with Savages while Ben Affleck explores the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis for the political thriller Argo.

Martin McDonough makes his long-awaited return following 2009’s In Bruges with his writing drama Seven Psychopaths. Mark Strong and James McAvoy play two different men who become unlikely allies in the thriller Welcome to the Punch. Liam Neeson is trying to survive against the cold and nature in The Grey while Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bike messenger who is on the run from Michael Shannon’s dirty cop character in Premium Rush. In the lighter side of things, Ewan McGregor is part of a program where the Middle East is introduced to fishing in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen while Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy go to India in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.


Under the Skin

Directed by Jonathan Glazer. Based on the novel by Michel Faber. Starring Scarlett Johansson.

Dark Shadows

Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith. Screen story by John August and Seth Grahame-Smith. Based on the novel by Dan Curtis. Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bohnam Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, and Christopher Lee.


Directed by Neil Jordan. Written by Moira Buffini. Starring Saorise Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley, and Daniel Mays.

There’s a trio of different films for genre-specific fans that don’t dwell into the world of cheap horror or sci-fi. In Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson is an alien who kills men for her planet. Tim Burton’s second 2011 feature in Dark Shadows has him explore vampires who comes back to life in the 20th Century. Neil Jordan’s horror thriller also has him exploring vampires about a mother-daughter’s relationship.


In Our House

Written and directed by Brian Savelson. Starring Jena Malone, Zach Gilford, Gabrielle Union, and John Slattery.

For Ellen

Written and directed by So Yong Kim. Starring Paul Dano, Jena Malone, Jon Heder, Margarita Levieva, and Dakota Johnson.

Jack & Diane

Written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray. Starring Juno Temple, Riley Keough, Jena Malone, Leo Fitzpatrick, Haviland Morris, and Kylie Minogue.

2 Days in New York

Directed by Julie Delpy. Written by Julie Delpy and Alexia Landeau. Starring Julie Delpy and Chris Rock.

Lay the Favorite

Directed by Stephen Frears. Screenplay by D.V. DeVincentis. Based on the memoir by Beth Raymer. Starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn, Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon, and John Carroll Lynch.

Red Hook Summer

Written and directed by Spike Lee. Starring Limary Agosto, Turron Kofi Alleyne, and Daniel Beaker.

On the Road

Directed by Walter Salles. Screenplay by Jose Rivera. Based on the novel by Jack Kerouac. Starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Alice Braga, Terrence Howard, and Steve Buscemi.

Something in the Air

Written and directed by Olivier Assayas. Starring Dolores Chaplin, Lola Cretin, and India Menuez.

There’s a lot going on for art-house fans, auteur-followers, and indie film buffs as it presents an alternative to the world of mainstream films. 2012 might be Jena Malone’s year as she has a slew of indies lined up for her in the family drama In Our House, the road film For Ellen, and the lesbian-drama Jack & Diane. Julie Delpy returns with a sequel to her 2007 film 2 Days in Paris as Chris Rock plays her new lover.

Four of the world’s best filmmakers will have new films to present. Stephen Frears creates a crime-comedy that involves the world of sports gambling while Spike Lee goes into a personal drama about a boy’s summer with his grandfather where Lee will reprise his Mookie character from Do the Right Thing. Walter Salles’ long-awaited adaptation of the famed Beat novel On the Road is finally set to come out in 2012. Olivier Assayas goes back to the 1960s where he creates a coming-of-age story about a young man’s reaction towards the social changes in Europe.

The Filthy 15 Films to Avoid for 2011

For every film that comes out, there is always the films that are guaranteed to suck and will be a complete waste of money for those who see these films. That’s right, here are the films to not go see for 2012.


Directed by Peter Berg. Written by Jon Hoeber and Eric Hoeber. Starring Taylor Kistch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Liam Neeson.

As if films based on video games weren’t bad enough, a film based on a board game where Naval forces fight off against aliens is just as bad. Based on the trailers released for this film, it’s very that clear it looks like Transformers on water but with a lot of bloated special effects and more bullshit action. With a $250 million budget, it looks like another of one of those bad Hollywood films where it’s all flash and no substance.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2

Directed by Bill Condon. Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg. Based on the book by Stephanie Meyers. Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Elizabeth Reaser, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Maggie Grace, Michael Sheen, Joe Anderson, Dakota Fanning, Cameron Bright, and Lee Pace.

The franchise that made lots of money but also made a lot of enemies with critics is finally come to an end with its fifth and final film where it will pick up where the first part of Breaking Dawn left off. There, the freak baby that Bella gives birth to will be unveiled as another stupid war between vampires, werewolves, and whatever else is out there happens while Taylor Lautner will be topless like usual. At least it’s the final one.

One for the Money

Directed by Julie Anne Robinson. Screenplay by Lix Brixius, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. Based on the novel by Janet Evanovich. Starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds, Patrick Fischler, John Leguizamo, and Fisher Stevens.

Originally set for a 2011 release, the crime-comedy was pushed for 2012 due to numerous delays as it’s another stupid comedy where Katherine Heigl tries to look tough and funny only to be more idiotic. Reuniting with the same screenwriters who wrote The Ugly Truth, it’s definitely an indication of Heigl’s fading star power as she has become one of the most un-likeable personalities working today in movies.

The Three Stooges

Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Screenplay by Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, and Mike Cerrone. Starring Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso, Sean Hayes, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Larry David, Jennifer Hudson, Lin Shaye, Stephen Collins, and the cast of The Jersey Shore.

After years of development hell, a film version of The Three Stooges is finally happening but based on a trailer that was deemed unwatchable. Many are saying it never should’ve happened as the Farrelly Brothers are aiming extremely low by putting the Three Stooges in a modern setting with people from The Jersey Shore. If that was enough reason for why Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro, and Jim Carrey chose not to do it. Somebody give these guys some extra money for not doing this piece of shit.

Men in Black III

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Screenplay by Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson, and Michael Soccio. Based on The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham. Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve, Jermaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Emma Thompson.

The franchise that made Will Smith a mega-star finally returns after a long-decade hiatus as Smith’s Agent J goes time-traveling where he meets a younger version of Agent K played by Josh Brolin. Due to the lackluster reception of its predecessor and reports of an unfinished script in production plus a huge budget. It looks like the film won’t meet expectations story wise while the time travel premise doesn’t seem promising either.

Mirror Mirror

Directed by Tarsem Singh. Screenplay by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller. Based on Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. Starring Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean, Nathan Lane, and Julia Roberts.

The second Snow White film has Lily Collins in the role with Julia Roberts as the evil queen. While the film is meant to be a comedy, the trailer for the film shows that it looks very silly while it features jokes that children won’t get. With Tarsem known for lavish spectacles, it seems like that this film will be too over-the-top for anyone to take it seriously even if the film isn’t meant to be serious.

The Biggest Movie of All-Time 3D

Written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

The idiots that brought the world such awful spoof films like Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Vampire Sucks will once again make another piece of shit that defies the idea of what a bad movie can be. In fact, these guys aren’t even filmmakers considering the money they have and the little effort put into these vomit-inducing projectiles. There hasn’t been any cast information revealed but then again, what moron is willing to put their soul on the line to be part of this bullshit project that doesn’t even deserve to be called a film, a movie, or anything that resembles any form of art. Garbage isn’t bad enough to call their so-called shit that they’ve made for the past six-seven years as this film will have them spoof Avatar and whatever else they can come up with.

The Vow

Directed by Michael Sucsy. Written by Michael Sucsy, Marc Silverstein, and Abby Kohn. Starring Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Scott Speedman, Sam Neill, and Jessica Lange.

21 Jump Street

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Taylor. Screenplay by Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall. Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, Ellie Kemper, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, and Ice Cube.

This Means War

Directed by McG. Screenplay by Simon Kinberg and Timothy Dowling. Story by Timothy Dowling and Marcus Gautesen. Starring Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger, Laura Vandervoot, and Angela Bassett.


Directed by Pete Travis. Written by Alex Garland. Based on the comic Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Heady, and Jason Cope.

Wrath of the Titans

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Screenplay by Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson, and Steven Knight. Story by Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson, and Greg Berlanti. Based on Clash of the Titans by Beverley Cross. Starring Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Edgar Ramirez, Bill Nighy, Toby Kebbell, and Ralph Fiennes.

A Thousand Words

Directed by Brian Robbins. Written by Steven Koren. Starring Eddie Murphy, Cliff Curtis, Clarke Duke, Kerry Washington, Jack McBrayer, and Allison Janney.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Directed by Kirk Jones. Screenplay by Shauna Cross. Based on the book by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. Starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Joe Manganiello, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Anna Kendrick, Brooklyn Decker, and Dennis Quaid.

The Lucky One

Directed by Scott Hicks. Screenplay by Will Fetters. Based on the book by Nicholas Spark. Starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, and Blythe Danner.

There’s more films to avoid for 2012 that no one should see as Channing Tatum will try to prove his extremely limited acting range in the romantic drama The Vow while trying to be funny in a film version of the hit 80s TV show 21 Jump Street with a possible cameo by Johnny Depp. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are friends who end up fighting each other over Reese Witherspoon with a stupid appearance from the un-funny Chelsea Handler in This Means War. A re-boot of Judge Dredd will happen although there’s been reports that its director has been locked out of the editing room which definitely means trouble. Clash of the Titans will have a sequel as Sam Worthington will sport dumber hair and more awful special effects will happen.

In the world of comedies and drama, there’s a slew of really bad movies to come as Eddie Murphy continues to pander to families with crap family movies like A Thousand Words while another silly ensemble where Cameron Diaz and J-Lo try to get pregnant in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Finally another stupid and mopey romantic drama based on another stupid Nicholas Spark book in The Lucky One where Zac Efron is a war veteran who falls for some guy’s girl. Oh… BLECH!!!! Oh, there’s also going to be more shitty movies coming out that will involve Adam Sandler, any teen-based thing, another Scary Movie, and all sorts of junk.

That is for what is ahead for 2012. There’s a lot more that will be coming out but making this list alone is overwhelming. So until then, let’s try and make 2012 a good film year.

© thevoid99 2011