Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our Preview of This Week's New Releases (for Friday, October 12th)

Andrew: Hello readers! It's been a busy week for us here at Two Tickets For... both from a standpoint of trying to crank out more fresh content but also balancing that with out day jobs. It's also going to be a busy weekend what with FOUR brand-spanking new wide releases hitting theatres plus Sarah starts a new job this weekend. So while we may not be able to see all of the movies we'll talk about in this post by this weekend, don't fret - we'll try to find time somewhere.

Sarah, as I just mentioned we see the release of four new films in theatres that cover a fairly broad spectrum of genres. The most prominent film coming out this weekend is the latest directorial effort from Ben Affleck, Argo, but we also have a new horror movie in Sinister, a new family comedy in Here Comes The Boom starring Kevin James, and a wackier, R-rated action/comedy in Seven Psychopaths

(Let's take a second right now to mention that we were fortunate enough to be invited on the As You Watch podcast the other day and we talked about all four of these movies with Nick from The Cinematic Katzenjammer, Joe from Two Dude Review and Vern from Vern's Video Vangaurd. We posted about it the other day HERE and we wrote down the different time codes for the different segments of the podcast in case you'd just like to listen to the part where we discuss these films.)

So Sarah, let's talk about the big movie this weekend, Affleck's Argo, which has been garnering a LOT of Oscar buzz already. It's based on the true story of the 1979 Iran hostage situation in which supporters of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took 52 hostages. Six embassy workers were able to escape and take refuge with a Canadian ambassador but were still in danger, so CIA "extractor" Tony Mendez (played by Affleck) concocts a scheme to fly to Tehran, have the six hideaways pose a Canadian film crew for a fake sci-fi film called “Argo” and get them out alive. Sounds heavy, and the trailer makes this look amazing. What are your impressions of Argo?

Sarah: I am really excited for this one! I think that it looks amazing and I love that it's based on a true story. It looks like it will have some intense moments that will make you extremely nervous for the actual people the characters are based on. I have been diligent NOT to read up too much on what happened to the agents, because I really would like to be surprised for this one! While I am typically not a huge Affleck fan, I too have heard great things about his directing job here. And the rest of the cast is killer so I don't know how they could really go wrong.

Official Trailer for Argo

A: Good call on the great looking cast, let's talk about that for a sec. Along with Affleck in the lead role of real-life CIA agent Tony Mendez, we also have Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) as his CIA boss, Jack O'Donnell, who greenlights the mission; Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) as Lester Siegel, a Hollywood producer who teams with Affleck to add cache to the mission; John Goodman (Trouble With The Curve) as real-life makeup-effects artist John Chambers, who also teams with Mendez; Victor Garber (Legally Blonde) as Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor, who takes in the Americans and helps with their extraction; and then a few of the notable actors who play the Americans being extracted include Tate Donovan (Hercules), Clea DuVall (The Faculty) and Christopher Denham (Sound of My Voice).

That's a large, impressive cast and I’m leaving out some other notable names, too.

S: It's a incredibly impressive cast! I love John Goodman and Bryan Cranston, so I am excited to see them in this. I saw Arkin and Goodman on Good Morning America and they were so funny going back and forth in real life so I can't wait to see how they bring that comedy to the big screen. 

I will be interested to get a little more insight on how good the performances are by the actors playing the refugees. I have seen each of those actors in like one other thing, but other than that I haven’t seen much of them. 

A: Agreed, I really liked Christopher Denham's performance in Sound of My Voice and I feel like one of the most important scenes in the film will be the one you see in the trailer where Mendez is trying to convince the refugees of the plan. This movie is getting tons of Oscar buzz for all sorts of things, like Arkin and Goodman for Supporting Actor; Affleck for Director, Actor, Screenplay; and of course Best Picture. Should be a good one.

Ok, let's move on to the more family friendly fare coming out tomorrow, the Kevin James comedy Here Comes The Boom. James plays a science teacher whose school is about to cut funding for the music program, so he decides to become a mixed-martial arts fighter to raise the money to save the program. Pretty simple idea even if it is a bit preposterous like the trailer looks. Thoughts?

S: I am so mad about this one. It looks like a complete rip-off of Warrior! I like Kevin James and find him funny in things like The King of Queens and Hitch, but lately, he has been doing some really baaaad stuff. I just don't understand it. Here Comes The Boom looks cheesy and predictable. I just wish I knew how these directors and producers get all these big names to be in their films!

Official Trailer for Here Comes The Boom

A: Well remember from our discussion about this movie on the As You Watch podcast that Here Comes The Boom is a Happy Madison Productions film and Kevin James and Henry Winkler are two of Adam Sandler's boys, and Salma Hayek co-starred as Sandler's character's wife in Grown Ups, so there's that connection, too.

But I agree with you on being upset about the content matter of this film - mainly because I'm expecting it to kill at the box office while looking like it's not very good, while Warrior only made $23 million at the box office ($2 million less than its budget!), and was our absolute favorite movie of 2011.

Now I will give the movie this - I just did some research (read: looked it up on Wikipedia) and found out that Kevin James is good friends with the MMA fighter Bas Rutten, who not so coincidentally also stars in Here Comes The Boom, and James actually trains with him so it's not like he isn't familiar with the subject matter. (I should hope he knows it, he's one of the screenwriters, too.) So at least it sounds like the movie won't just be pulling stuff out of thin air, or that James isn't cut out for the role.

S: I guess I can give it that. He does look healthier in this movie than he has in a while so that's good for him. I just am not impressed with this one. Oh well, you're right, it will make a ton of money and will be a huge hit with the kids. Crap movies that get put out and make a ton of money are such a joke in the movie world. But I guess you have to appease all audiences.

A: Ok, so on to our third movie of the week which is decidedly NOT kiddy fare, and that's the second feature-length film from director Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths. His first full-length film (which he also wrote) was the great, dark comedy/drama In Bruges that starred Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a pair of hitmen sent to cool their heels in Bruges by their boss, played by Ralph Fiennes. It's a fantastic movie that I highly suggest everyone see.

McDonagh directed and wrote Seven Psychopaths as well and by all accounts it's even better than his first (at the time we're writing this preview it holds a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 54 reviews). It also stars Colin Farrell, this time as a screenwriter named Marty (a not so subtle film version of McDonagh himself) who comes up with a great name for a movie, "Seven Psychopaths." But that's all he can think of, until his best friend Billy, a criminal played by Sam Rockwell, and Billy's partner in crime Hans (Christopher Walken) kidnap a dog belonging to a gangster played by Woody Harrelson - all of which throws Marty into a crazy situation that could help him write his movie.

Official Trailer for Seven Psychopaths

From what I've read so far about the movie, Sarah, it sounds like a very meta, hilarious comedy with plenty of winks and nods that don't hamper the movie but instead play to the strengths of the entire cast. I really want to see this one.

S: I am excited to see this movie simply for the cast. This is another amazing cast that brings action and comedy together in a way that  should be incredibly impressive. I can't quite get a good understanding of what the storyline is so far, but at the same time I don't really want to know. I have been on this kick lately where I want to be surprised at the movies again.

Since I haven't seen In Bruges, I don't know the director's style and that adds a whole new element of surprise. This movie will do very well in the box office this weekend based on the cast alone so we will be seeing this one. 

A: I hope it does well at the box office, but I fear that the casual crowd will flock to Here Comes The Boom and Argo (which it should for the latter).

Last but not least, because it's October and Halloween is quickly approaching, we get a new horror movie coming out this weekend called Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke and produced by the team that brought us the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious.

Normaly I’d try to explain the premise here, but it's probably easier for anyone unfamiliar with the premise of the film to watch the trailer below, and if you have not done so and would like do, dear reader, you can click on the link below the trailer to read my review of Sinister as well. I explain the synopsis there, too, if you don’t want to watch the trailer.

Official Trailer for Sinister

(Click here to read Andrew's review of Sinister)

Ok, so that will wrap things up for us this week! Sarah, I think it's safe to assume that we'll be seeing Argo at some point this weekend, and if possible we'll try to fit Seven Psychopaths in there, too. Here Comes The Boom.....maybe if we can see it for free, otherwise it might not be until DVD that we catch it.

S: Yes! So readers, be on the lookout for possible reviews of those movies this weekend and Andrew wants to write a new What Would Two Tickets For… Do? column tomorrow about casting Mary Jane and Harry Osborne in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. So we’ll probably write that tomorrow!

A: Correct! So look out for that, and as always, thanks for reading!

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