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Movies for the Week of April 11th, 2014

Draft Day
Oculus
Only Lovers Left Alive
The Railway Man

Draft Day

draft-day-posterGlenn Criddle: One for the American football fans I think. It looks half decent if you like this kind of thing but it’s oh so not for me. I’m not even sure this will get a UK release in the cinemas to be honest anyway.

Martha Page: Hey, that’s the guy from Waterworld.  I like him.  I also like football.  I’ll definitely be checking this out.

Alex Jowski: I’m not sure how this could make for an exciting movie without blowing everything crazily out of proportion.  Ivan Reitman’s directing though; he’s compotent so he might be able to pull it off.  I mean, draft day is when a bunch of football owners and coaches sit around, look at all the options they have – who they can get from colleges versus the needs of their teams, etc.  Theoretically this sounds like a war movie where all you ever see are just the guys sitting around a map discussing troop statistics.  Draft day is thrilling for the fans as I’ve known plenty of football fans who clear their schedule to watch ESPN coverage of the event – which is still just dudes in a room talking stats.  I’m sure the excitement this movie has to offer is something that only sport fans will understand and I’ve no problem with that.

Josh Hadley: I hate football, no, I DESPISE football so this movie is not made for me… a great cast WASTED on a goddamn FOOTBALL movie for fucks sake. A movie of Electric Football would be more interesting. I should care about the “characters” in this film why? Oh, look the film is endorsed by the NFL and a little behind the scenes note here… they will ONLY endorse a project if it paints them in a good light so that right there tells you this will have no surprises at all. Screw this movie.

Charley McMullen:  This was a terrible trailer, wasn’t it?  The Line “Someone always comes out looking like a donkey, and I got the feeling it could be you if you don’t make this deal!” -shitty and generic though it may be- was used as punctuation and a shot of Jennifer Garner using a fire extinguisher (On a fire?  Whaaaaatt?!) being presented as a joke were this trailer’s trump cards.  Wow.  The rest of it hinged on Kevin Costner’s likeability, so it’s pretty much a colossal failure all the way around.  Having no knowledge of -or interest in- football makes it way, way worse for me.  I can’t imagine ever watching this for any reason.  In fact. if they show it on a plane I’m on, I’m going to take 9 tiny whiskey bottles into the bathroom and see you motherfuckers on the ground.

Mike White: As best I can tell, Draft Day is the date when it gets really cold and one must put a rolled-up towel at the bottom of one’s back door to prevent cold wind from getting into one’s house.

What that has to do with this movie about football, I don’t know. I’m guessing that this film is like Moneyball but for football players. I don’t know. I don’t care.

What I do know about is apostrophes and how to use them. That’s more than I can say about the person who designed this poster:

Jillian Zurawski: If I wanna sit there and watch people draft football, I’ll stick to “The League”, thank you very much. Buuuut I’m not big on sports movies, although I do like a few – but they’re usually ones involving kids like “Remember The Titans” or “Little Giants”. The preview reminds me of that drafting losers movie with Brad Pitt & Jonah Hill that came out not too long ago. Kevin Costner IS awesome, so if the movie is full of suck, at least he’s charismatic enough that he makes bad movies watchable.

the league

mister X: TOTALLY outta my wheelhouse…but so were MAJOR LEAGUE, THE NATURAL,  THE LONGEST YARD n’ NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, and i dug those flicks  anyway. this one looks like it has potential to me…ESPECIALLY since  it looks like they cast the kevin costner that has a pulse

Oculus

oculus-posterGlenn Criddle: BOOGEYMAN! I have to say this may be a little bit of fun. The idea’s goofy enough to be enjoyable and there looks like there’s some pretty decent creepy/uncomfortable moments along the way so I’d happily give this it’s day in court. It does seem to borrow some ideas from Uli Lomells video nasty classic and maybe it will do them a bit better. I will reserve my enthusiasm a bit though as these things can have a tendency to disappoint and this is one of those very cleanly shot, polished looking horrors that often just don’t appeal to my grungy grindhouse tastes. Maybe thats because they just feel to prim and tidy, just how studios like them. Top tip to horror producers, forget the HD image, the 3D and the CG enhancements and the posh toys the studios give you. You will make a more convincing film if you concentrate on a decent story, being a bit more playful with what you do and a little less audience friendly, packaged and safe.

Martha Page: Amy from Doctor Who?  The worst companion ever.  But this is so the type of horror movie I really want to watch.  I’m so conflicted.  Will I be able to tolerate her enough to enjoy the movie?  I don’t know.

Alex Jowski: Karen Gillian.  She was a capable actor on Doctor Who for many seasons – but what I didn’t realize until just now is that she is terrible at affecting an American accent.   Many British actors are great at it, Hugh Laurie and David Morrissey are two that immediately come to mind.  For fans of House or The Walking Dead some people didn’t even know they were from the UK until they spoke on a DVD commentary.  Karen Gillian, on the other hand, is clearly Scottish.  She is clearly trying to hide that accent in the movie and play an American girl but she still sounds like she walked right out of a Highlander audition.  Her accent paired with the Americans in this movie was a little off-putting.

But not too off-putting because the movie actually looks pretty good.  This trailer was WAY better than the teaser I saw a few months ago which was basically “haunted mirror super scary.”  There’s a story here with some intrigue.  The film’s been getting some positive early reviews, which is surprising since I’ve found the “from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious” to be a death sentence more often than not.

Josh Hadley: Ooooo haunted objects… so Amityville direct to video sequel territory… was a haunted clock or a haunted lamp too lame for you? How about a… wait for it… HAUNTED MIRROR????

Do the “Producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious” produce EVERY GODDAMN HORROR FILM THESE DAYS? Oh wait, that is just a selling line to hide the fact that this film has EIGHT (8) “Executive Producers”. EIGHT (8). If each of them is an “Executive Producer” then the term is meaningless is it not? Also, none of the credited EIGHT (8) EXECUTIVE PRODCERS on this movie worked on either Paranormal Activity nor Insidious (they did for the various and seemingly unending sequels though) so this is NOTHING more than a tagline to lure dumb people into the theater to see yet another cheap peice of shit no one will remember in 3 months. Jason Blum (who actually produced Paranormal Activity and Insidous) is not even an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER on this, he has no credit other than “consultant”… SO HOW IS THIS MOVIE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PRODUCERS OF PARANOMAL ACTIVY AND INSIDIOUS? Also, to show just how pointless of a credit that is… Jason Blum has 31 (THIRTY ONE) movies coming out this year or the next (and I am not counting ones simply listed as “announced”). Yeah, when you “produce” a movie every 2 weeks that really sets a standard of quality doesn’t it? It also shows that the title of “Executive Producer” has no meaning outside of “I wanted my name on this so I showed up on the set one day”. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER is meant to be a title given out to the top decision making person for a film… not every person who drunkenly wandered onto set and made a suggestion.

Charley McMullen Yeah, it’s a clusterfuck of jump scares and predictable bullshit, and the world has little use for another one, and, yeah, this one is also being sold as another jagged sock from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious.  Way to make some progress, fellows!  The scariest thing in the trailer, however, was the unfortunate shape time has given to Rory Cochrane’s head.  It’s been a while since Rex Manning Day.

Mike White: Oculus is a short that was turned into a feature. I just hope that it doesn’t feel like a short that was turned into a feature.  Watching the preview, which begins with the Doctor’s companion (Karen Gillan) unveiling an evil mirror, reminds me a lot of several other films such as the classic 1990 film Mirror Mirror (not the Julia Roberts movie) or the 2008 film Mirror.

I’m very happy to see Rory Cochrane show up in this.  I’ve been a fan of his since Dazed & Confused and loved him in Love & a .45. I was sad when was on CSI: Miami because I know he’s more talented than that show allowed him to display. I’d kind of like to see Rory Cochrane and Andy Serkis play brothers in a movie. That would be cool.

Oh, wait, we’re talking about Oculus. This preview seems to give away the entire film apart from the last two minutes and I can guess at those.  Can we take bets on this film leaving open the possibility of a sequel?

Jillian Zurawski: So this is about that magic mirror thingy from Harry Potter… Except it’s a bizzaro mirror!… Where instead of showing good things, it’s like “The Ring”! This doesn’t look bad at all, hopefully it’s not full of over used jump scares & shaky/jump flash ghosty cam a lot of these types tend to have though.

mister X: i tried…i REALLY tried to give this trailer a shot, but they started  with a shot of karen gillan’s legs n’ then i saw ‘from the producers  of PARANORMAL ACTVITY’ and my brain went elsewhere…ending up with me  wondering if gillan’s carpet matches her drapes

kg1

Only Lovers Left Alive

only_lovers_left_alive_ver5Glenn Criddle: Considering the Vampire fatigue most are feeling I suspect this may slip through many folks watch list. It looks pretty decent to me though and it’ll be nice to see a well acted, well written vampire story. Maybe this could blow the cobwebs off of the genre which lets face it, along with the zombie film has become almost entirely bogged down in some very bad films and even more mediocre ones. I’ll give this a shot, going by the trailer it’s got my attention.

Martha Page: This is a vampire movie for old people.  BLAH.

Alex Jowski: Well this is definitely a Jim Jarmusch movie.  You don’t even need an onscreen credit to acknowledge that – his arthouse stank is all over this movie.  I’ve liked some of his films, hated some others, but they were all damn odd.  Like all of Jarmusch’s films everyone in this movie just looks ugly – except for Anton Yelchin.  No amount of Jarmusch stank could every taint that hottie.

yelchin

 

Josh Hadley: Really? Are vampires still a thing that people will pay to see? This looks like Twilight if it were directed by Jim Jarmusch and did anyone really ask for that? It IS directed by Jim Jarmusch? REALLY? I am tapping out… I can’t do this anymore…

Charley McMullen Evidently, the last way to make an original vampire movie is for it to not be a horror movie.  Leave it to fucking Jarmusch to figure that one out.  I love you, you insane nerd!!  Tilda Swinton is an actress who was born to play a vampire if ever there was one, and I’m oddly comforted by the notion that vampire movies for adults can still get made, even if it is only once every 20 years or so.  The trailer didn’t give me a whole lot of information (at least not that I could recognize and -full disclosure- I’m not as sober as I probably should want to be), but it did a hell of a job capturing the drug / rollercoaster vibe of Trainspotting…With Vampires and I say why the shit not!  I’m just happy there’s no forced love triangle and the ending is still up in the air.  Nice work, Jim!

Mike White: A movie staring Tom Hiddleson and Tilda Swinton directed by Jim Jarmusch and filmed in Detroit?  I’m sold. I don’t need to see a preview. I just need to see the film. So get on it, won’t you?

Jillian Zurawski: Well… this is… different. It’s either going to end up being good, or really REALLY bad. At least they’re not sparklepires! So, that’s always a plus.

mister X: i dig jarmusch…don’t rush to see his flicks but tend to enjoy them  when i do catch ’em, but this one i kinda like…even tho the vamps  seem a bit emo it does look like they are creepy in a DELIBERATE way  again-but what REALLY caught my attention was a few shots in the  trailer that made it clear he shot some of it in detroi. one of the  reasons i haven’t left is because when i do start making vids with  stories again this town is a location NIRVANA!

The Railway Man

the-railway-man-movie-poster-3Glenn Criddle: Now this looks like a damn good story. Great actors and a rather relevant story to these times, I can see quite a bit of potential for a bloody good film here. I’ll go see this for sure.

Martha Page: Did they just rape that guy?  Is this a rape revenge movie from a guy’s perspective?  If it’s about  a guy getting raped than The Railway Man is just a horrible title.  They ran a train on him and now he’s out for vengeance.  Actually, that’s got me interested even though I hate Nicole Kidman.

Alex Jowski: This is a movie I would have to watch at a specific time – when I have the time to devote my mind to it.  There is some pretty heavy stuff going on in this movie.  It looks great actually with a fantasitc cast and a compelling story.  But this isn’t something I could just watch on a whim so it’ll probably be a few months before I check it out.

Josh Hadley: EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh Hadley is not here… he walked away from Trailer Park this week with his head held in a pose of both shame and anger at the Only Lovers Left Alive trailer so he can not make remarks about The Railway Man… which is unfortunate since he would have liked this trailer.

Charley McMullen:  Bring some moisturizer and a humidifier if you have to because -between Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgaard- this shit defines dry.  Best Case Scenario:  This movie has managed to capture the good things about war movies without being political (kind of like David O. Russell’s Three Kings) and offers actual insight into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder without shoving an ideology along with it.  Worst Case Scenario:  This thing just screams“We’re understated as FUUUUCK!!”  and loses any chance at insight amidst the cast doing little more than “Academy Clip Fodder” and ends up being a whole lot of nothing.  Either I’ll be right, or they’ll be wrong.

Mike White: Another group of respectable actors populate a remake/sequel of Bridge on the River Kwai.  I’m sure that my mother will like this film but I’m not really interested in seeing it.

Jillian Zurawski: This looks like it could be quite good. Not necessarily one of those “I really want to see it” flicks – but it got my curiosity up to where it’s not like I would mind seeing it if someone else really wanted to.

mister X: i always get suspcious when obvious oscar bait isn’t put on the hook n’ dropped in the water during awards season, but beyond that: probably really good but holds no appeal to me storywise

i’ve seen enuff ‘life can be fukked up’ movies to hold me for the rest of my years

Next Week
Transcendence
A Haunted House 2
Bears
Heaven is For Real

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.
7 Comments
  • jwiderski
    April 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Executive producers are often times just people who put money into a movie, and with a movie that has eight exec. producers, only one or two will ever visit the set. The reason that these names appear on so many horror movies is that these investors (who are associated with Blum) will put their money into projects similar to the ones that have made them money in the past ie. Paranormal Activity & Insidious. With an independent(ish) movie like this the more Exec. Prod. means that the movie just has a bigger budget.

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