Monday, March 31, 2014

'Non-Stop' is the 786th Reason Why I Don't Want to Fly

A plane doesn't seem like the best place to stage an action movie.  It's small and tight.  Over the years, however, plenty of thrillers have been set thousands of feet in the air.  Air Force One, Flightplan, Executive Decision and, thankfully, Airplane! have all primarily or partially been set in the air.  Many people are afraid to fly, and if you throw in a terrorist plot, you really have passengers shaking in their boots.  The latest of this mold, Non-Stop, stars Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore.

Neeson plays Bill Marks, an air marshall who begins receiving texts messages threatening to kill one passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is deposited into an offshore back account.  Grizzled and gravelly-voiced, Marks hates to fly, but he makes nice with Jen (Moore) who talks him down when the flight goes off.  He trusts her immediately, and, along with several members of the crew, he tries to find the one person who assures him that someone will die.  Shouldn't be that hard, right?  A plane can only hold so many people, and Marks surely should be able to find the person texting him...right?

As suspicions mount on board, we begin to meet the passengers, a standard array of different civilians.  Corey Stoll (drool) plays a cop from New York City, and Nate Parker (drool) is a cell phone programmer.  Reigning Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o appears in a small role as a flight attendant.  The media begins spinning events of Marks' past to make it look like he went crazy and is holding the passengers hostage.  Man, Bill is having a bad day.  

Non-Stop's not as complex as one would think going in.  When the terrorist and the motive are revealed, I realized that I was overthinking it.  It's just a popcorn thriller set in the air.  No more, no less.  You want a terrorism plot line where you second guess everyone on board?  Non-Stop's the movie for you!  You like your Liam Neeson gravelly-voiced, skilled with a firearm and just a bit tortured?  Climb onto Non-Stop!  I do wish Neeson would leave the action movies behind for just a bit.  He's a strong presence on screen, and he's great at beating the hell out of bad guys, don't get me wrong.  Give me a thoughtful Neeson again.  That would make me really stop and pay attention.  

'Magic Mike 2' Get a Title. And Lots of Raised Expectations.

The hysteria over Magic Mike's release two years ago was unlike anything I've seen.  Women (and gays alike) were constantly talking about seeing their sexiest men alive shimmy and shake and, most of all, take it all off.  Seeing it in theaters was an interesting experience, to say the least.  In the VIP section of my local AMC, women were drunk and yelling at the screen.  Whenever a hot actor came on screen, there were catcalls and gleeful cheering.  It might be one of two theatrical experiences I've encountered where it really felt like a "ladies night" at the movies.  The other was when I worked as a manager at a Carmike Cinemas and women came out in droves in their heels for the first Sex and the City.  Both experiences were fun and over-the-top and a bit surreal.  

It was announced on this weekend (star Joe Manganiello confirmed that filming is set to begin in the fall) that Magic Mike 2 has finally gotten a title, and I think it's a doozy.  It's called Magic Mike: XXL.  Um..what?  Did someone say perfect sequel title?  I think so!  Is this one all about Big Dick Richie?!

The sequel will be directed by Greg Jacobs, Steven Soderbergh's first assistant director.  He's been at Soderbergh's side for the majority of the last six or seven years, and, in addition to Magic, he has worked on Contagion, Side Effects, Behind the Candelabra, and The Girlfriend Experience.  Mr. Tatum is writing the screenplay, and it's going to be a "road movie."  Let's look at a picture of my movie husband hard at work.

To be that pen...

It hasn't been confirmed as to who is coming back or who is interested in joining the cast.  I sure hope Tatum, Manganiello, Matt Bomer and newly-minted Best Actor Matthew McConaughey all come back.

Neil Patrick Harris is Rocking Some Hedwig Hair

How does everyone feel about Neil Patrick Harris taking on the title role in the Broadway debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch?  Entertainment Weekly debuted the first look of Mr. Harris in the famous Hedwig hair, and, I must say, I am very excited for him.  It's a big, strange role, and I'm stoked that this is his first major project after How I Met Your Mother finishes on Monday.  

If you aren't familiar with Hedwig, you should at least check out John Cameron Mitchell's 2001 film.  It received awesome critical acclaim, and Mitchel won Best Director at Sundance.  It's a beautiful and loud rock musical.  I hope Mr. Harris does a fantastic job.  

By the way, EW's article mentioned that he lost 20 pounds for the role.  Where the living eff did hot, skinny Neil Patrick Harris lose 20 pounds from?!  I'm just asking...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Afraid of My Guatemalaness? I Forgot How Much I Loved 'The Birdcage'

The hubby and I ventured to Miami last week to check out some apartments for when we move in June.  I had never been to Miami, and I was super nervous about the trip, because I've never lived so far from home before.  The day that we left, Jason was at a dentist appointment and he dropped me off at the mall so I could buy some new shoes.  I have a horrible habit of wearing shoes down until they have holes all over them.  After I bought some new footwear, I ventured into FYE to kill some time.  The first thing I saw when I walked in was a copy of The Birdcage, the Robin Williams-Nathan Lane drag-themed comedy.  I immediately bought it, because it was only $5 (how I didn't own this already was beyond me).  I also thought it would contribute to my Miami education. 

The man and I enjoying the beach.

I forgot how effing funny The Birdcage actually is.  There I was, relaxing on the couch on a Sunday evening, and I was laughing so loudly that I was afraid that I was going to wake up my roommates upstairs.  I don't think I've seen the movie in years.  How well do you know The Birdcage?  We all have seen it, right?  Perhaps there are some young people out there that have no idea what I'm talking about?  Here are some things I learned while watching it the last time!

Director Mike Nichols had to be placed under a sound blanket during this scene, because he was laughing so hard.

Hank Azaria created two voices for houseboy Agador Spartacus.  He was afraid he would come across too much like a stereotype, so he asked a gay friend who told him which voice to use.  I wonder if his servant voice in front of Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest is the other one?

I have a feeling my husband thinks I'm just as dramatic.  Not a fact about the film.  Just an observation...

Grover's Corners, the town Mama Coleman says she hails from, is the town from Thorton Wilder's Our Town.  Guess some of my theater education fell through the cracks, because I sure as heck didn't remember that.  

My two favorite moments?  They might be cliche, but they are great and they happen to be from the same scene (Armand's onstage dance montage and Albert's "try more gum").  Nichols asked Nathan Lane and Robin Williams to do one take of every scene strictly sticking to the script.  After they got it in the can, they would do the scenes again, and Nichols would let Lane and Williams improvise as much as they want.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Should I Endure Ah-Nuld to See Olivia?

Normally, I would not entertain the idea of seeing an Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner.  One may understand that his movies aren't my cup of tea.  The previews for his latest, Sabotage (which opens today), have been all over the place.  Apparently, I am watching the wrong channels.  Movies that come out on March that are targeted towards men of a certain age always feature lots of guns, lots of muscled, grizzled men, and lots of car chases.  Again, not my forte.  There is something in Sabotage that interests me, though, and her name is Olivia Williams.  

You know who Olivia Williams is.  She was in An Education...Hanna...The Ghost Writer (or The Ghost if you lived anywhere else in the world).  Maybe you know her as Bruce Willis' wife in The Sixth Sense?  If that's all you know her from, shame on you!  She's luminous, and I never know whether she's going to smile or stab me.  Well, she's a cop in Sabotage, and she has this delicious Southern accent.  I want to see the movie just because she's in it, but I wonder if I should subject myself to it.  What do you think?

So, what do you think?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Go Ninja Go! 'Turtles' Reboot Teaser Drops

My brother was more of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan than I was growing up.  Sure, I got swept up in it, but he owned pretty much every single toy on the planet that was TMNT related.  I had heard news that Michael Bay (shudder) was producing a reboot, but I had forgotten all about it.  Well, cowabunga--a teaser has just been posted online.

The teaser features plenty of Megan Fox as April O'Neil.  I was particularly stoked to see her sporting a yellow leather jacket.  There is destruction aplenty in this short preview while William Fichtner provides voiceover work.  The only thing I kiiiiind of wish is that they used the big, rubbery suits for the Turtles.  Of course they are going to be CGI in this, but I was secretly hoping for some Jim Henson Studios caliber makeup.  Oh, well, I guess we all have to live with it.

Is it weird that I still hope they love pizza?  They kind of look moodier in the face here.  I remember goofier mugs.  

Random Poll: Who is Sexier at Standing Sideways?

Anything with Channing Tatum is newsworthy to me.  Obviously.  As I looked up posters this morning (because that's something I legitimately do) I came across the character posters for this summer's Jupiter Ascending.  Mr. Tatum is showing off his biceps and elf ears in a profile shot as planets orbit in the background.  We all know I orbit around Channing, so this works for me.  Doesn't it look like a sci-fi Great Gatsby tale?  

The next one-sheet I came across was for Tom Cruise's new vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow.  Mr. Cruise is also standing profile with tons of armor surrounding him all Terminator-y.  I wanted to know who everyone thought was sexier.  Channing is obviously hot right now, but Tom is still pretty dependable, right?  If you can look past all the Scientology crap, you might still think he's hot.  We aren't even talking about movie potential here.  Hotness is the only factor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Pretty Good Muppet Caper

It is a fact that everyone loves The Muppets.  If you deny this statement, I will automatically not believe you and pity you.  The Muppets have been around for as long as I could remember, so when they "rebooted" the franchise in 2011, I thought it was kind of weird.  The Muppets are an institution that have always been there.  

As a huge fan of the last movie, I was excited to see them all again, but I was also wary.  The original title (The Muppets Again!) was scrapped, and the trailers made me nervous.  It looked too gimmick-y, too different that the 2011 sequel that I loved so much.  As Muppets Most Wanted started, I realized that I just needed to shut up and enjoy the ride.  Muppets Most Wanted will make you laugh and smile, and that's all one could really hope for, right?

The sequel opens quite seriously where The Muppets left off.  As the extras file out and the crew starts packing up, Kermit and the gang wonder why the camera is still hanging around.  The studio must have granted them a sequel!  Ricky Gervais immediately shows up as Dominic Badguy, a tour manager who wants to represent The Muppets, and he suggests that they go on a European world tour while they are still hot.  Level-headed Kermit has his reservations but eventually agrees.  Meanwhile, the world's most dangerous frog, Constantine, breaks out of a Siberian gulag.  At Dominic's suggestion, Kermit goes on a walk and Constantine, who could be Kermit's twin, switches places with our beloved, green hero.  

Dominic sets up for The Muppets to perform sold out gigs all over Europe, but he and Constantine really have their eyes on a number of heists.  None of The Muppets (except for Animal) sense that Kermit has been acting strangely.  His new broken English is often hilarious, and Miss Piggy thinks her man has finally come around to committing to her the way she has always dreamed.  Ty Burrell plays a French detective hot on Constantine's trail, and Tina Fey pops up as the prison guard who oversees Kermit's miserable stay in the gulag.  

Muppets Most Wanted reminded me a little bit of The Great Muppet Caper, my all-time favorite Muppet movie.  It has exotic locales, fuzzy intrigue, and celebrity cameos out the wazoo.  Keep your eyes peeled for Miranda Richardson, Tom Hiddleston, and even Russell Tovey.  I squealed when I saw his name in the credits, because I swore I saw him briefly as a delivery man.  None of the parents in the theater seemed to understand my glee.  

The only thing to complain about is that there were moments of visual effects that are distracting.  Not because they are necessarily bad (the final celebrity cameos are obviously green screened poorly), but because they remind me of how amazing it was to see these characters in the 80's and 90's.  Remember when The Muppets rode bicycles?  That blew my mind as a kid, but now it's all too easy.  Not a quibble of the movie per se, but of the reality of it.  

The music delighted me.  A friend of mine (a Muppet enthusiast, if you will) hadn't seen this one yet, and he thinks the music is bad.  Maybe you need to see it in the context of the movie.  All I have to say is that Constantine sings a disco-themed love song to Miss Piggy that made me laugh out loud, and Miss Piggy's duet with Celine Dion didn't disappoint.

You love The Muppets.  Don't deny it.  This time around it's bigger and sillier and more madcap.  It's a romp, and this one will have you smiling all the way until the end.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jessica Chastain!!!

I fell hard for Jessica Chastain when she skyrocketed to prominence a few years back.  Can anyone else recall such a fiercely meteoric rise to the A-list?  Not only is Chastain a good actress, but she was in everything in 2011 and 2012.  In a matter of months, she proved her range in such diverse projects that some were already proclaiming her the next Meryl Streep.  She turns 37 today.

Her roles in The Help and Zero Dark Thirty are my favorite.  I wanted to be Celia Foote's friend so badly when I saw her in The Help.  Her warmth radiated through the screen.  The last moments in Zero, conversely, hit me more emotionally than I ever thought a movie about Osama bin Laden could.  When Maya learns that bin Laden is dead, she gets on a plane and the pilot asks her where she wants to go.  Maya begins to weep as the pilot heads back to the cockpit.  

Kills me.  

In the next two years, Chastain has no less than six films coming up, including Insterstellar, Crimson Peak, and Miss Julie.  I am prepared for her to wow me with every layered, varied performance.  

Happy Birthday, Jessica!!!

Come Look at the Freaks!

Even though I didn't like how American Horror Story: Coven turned out, I am excited for the news of the newest season of AHS.

It just broke that the new season will be titled American Horror Story: Freak Show.  That's just the in your face kind of horror that fans expect from Ryan Murphy's show.  You can already see the promos, right?  Twisted bodies...dilapidated carnivals...Jessica Lange chain smoking and delivering snappy lines.  Some details were also revealed.  This season will officially will be set in Jupiter, Florida in 1950, and Lange is the overseer of one the country's remaining freak shows.  Which AHS alums will be featured in her freak show?

You know...just because...

And the one I'm most looking forward to?  Angela fucking Bassett!!!

In honor of the title announcement, I think you should all listen to "Come Look at the Freaks" from the musical Side Show.  Just to get everyone in the mood, ya know?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy 'Frozen' on DVD Day!!!

See that?  I just made up a holiday!  

If you can believe it, I have yet to pick up my copy of Frozen, and it's really nerve-wracking considering that the only thing clogging up my Facebook newsfeed is the joyous celebrating over this instant classic.  I will hopefully get my hands one one soon, and then you will have to pry it from my cold, nay, frozen, dead haaaands!!!!

Enjoy, everyone!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Breeeeeaaaakkk!!! Limited Posting this Week at Movie MoJoe!

This week might be a bit quiet at Movie MoJoe.  The fiance and I are heading down to Miami tomorrow (road trip!) to check out the area that we're moving to in June.  Oh, by the way, in case you didn't hear, I'm moving in June (the hubby and I are heading south for his medical residency rotations).  Since we are going to be enjoying the sun and checking out apartments, it is very probable that I won't be able to write much.  

The entire notion of this trip reminds me of last year's Spring Breakers.  You know, without the early 20's debauchery.  And the crime.  Aaaaand I don't think James Franco will be down there.  Ok, fine, this is NOTHING like Spring Breakers, but I bet we will see some drunk college students enjoying a week off from their studies!  If I do see a Britney Spears piano performance with some pink masked, gun-toting co-eds, I will let everyone know.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Musical Theater Slasher Movie?! Not Everyone Loves Jazz Hands

Hold the phone.  Hold the effing phone!  How did I not know about Stage Fright?!  There I was, minding my own business at work.  Since there was a lull in the work, IMDB was my destiny, and there was a trailer for the new slasher movie SET IN A MUSICAL THEATER CAMP!!!  The synopsis online says, "A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater."  It's seriously Camp meets Friday the 13th.  This movie was made for me!

Minnie Driver gets it pretty early on the in trailer, and I assume that's because someone actually watched her performance in The Phantom of the Opera.  Oh, I'm sorry.  Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.  Her daughter, Camilla (Allie MacDonald) is now going to the musical theater camp, and they are going to produce the very show that was playing when her mother was murdered.  A creepy guy with a creepy ass mask starts killing campers while saying such pun-worthy lines like, "Break a leg!"  Ok, the mask isn't that creepy considering is looks like it belongs to one of the kids from 3 Ninjas Kick Back.

This is obviously my new obsession.  There's even a sequence in the beginning where the campers are auditioning that looks like it came right out of Camp.  It looks like a throwback to an over-the-top comedic horror flick.

Gotta love tech!

Are the rights to this available?  Can we do this show?  Anyone?  Anyone?!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Random Poll: Who Would YOU Want to 'Star' in the New 'Wars'

Variety reported yesterday that director J. J. Abrams has narrowed the search for his new Episode VII lead down to a few young actors. Since I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, I can only judge these strapping young dudes on what they have done and on their potential hot factor. It's been said that Abrams is looking for a more diversified cast for the start of this set of sequels. Let's bring on the boys!

Ed Speleers

Ed Speleers is probably most known as Jimmy Kent on Downton Abbey, but some might recognize him from Eragon we well. He's got a bright face and could pull of a Skywalker shag. He's a cutie. 

Odds that I'd like to see him swing his lightsaber (out of 10)? 8.  Look at that face!

Jesse Plemons

Let's stick with blonde, cute television actors, shall we?  Jesse Plemons was seen on Friday Night Lights and the final season of Breaking Bad, and he was also seen as Phillip Seymour Hoffman's son in The Master.  He looks a lot like Hoffman that I sort of have to pick my jaw up off the floor.  

Odds that I'd like to see him swing his lightsaber? 8.5--he gets extra points for that square jaw.

Matthew James Thomas

Could Abrams be searching The Great White Way for his new lead?  Matthew James Thomas has been seen on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark and the Tony Award-winning Pippin.  Does anyone else get a James McAvoy vibe from him?  Like a McAvoy...Christian Borle mixture?  Anyone?  I'm glad Abrams is considering stage actors.  It would be a huge break for him

Odds that I'd like to see him swing his lightsaber?: 7.  He's cute, but he doesn't really do it for me.

John Boyega

At the age of 20, John Boyega is the youngest in contention for the lead role.  His most notable credit is the 2011 actioner Attack the Block, about a group of South London teens fighting off an alien invasion.  Boyega may lack big screen experience, but he's already got a knack for taking down things from outer space.  Could this relative newbie bring a spark to the franchise?  

Odds that I'd like to see him swing his lightsaber? 8.5, although I feel like a pervert thinking that he's hot.  He's just a baby!

Ray Fisher

Like Thomas, Ray Fisher is more known as a stage actor.  He's looks the least like a boy, but I don't know how old the character is supposed to be (that picture doesn't do him justice, but he's the most elusive of all the guys up for the part).  Last year, Fisher portrayed Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man, a role that required him to change his physique.  I personally think he's hot as hell.

Odds that I'd like to see him swing his lightsaber?: 9.5...I wonder how heavy his lightsaber is...

Whoever nabs the most coveted part ever will battle Girls star Adam Driver.  Other than this recent announcement, Driver's casting as the new Star Wars villain is the only thing we've heard.