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I could complicate this with some kind of diatribe about the merits of the buddy cop genre, and the possibilities inherent in turning them on their heads, but let’s just focus on the fact that Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock are playing a pair of superstar cops, and Will Ferrell and Marky Mark Wahlberg are playing The Other Guys. That’s either a recipe for complete disaster, or a funny-ass movie. The trailer shows some potential:

The Other Guys hit theaters August 6th.

Saturday Night Live has produced a ton of terrible movies over the years. Many of them came from funny sketches, but had a tough time translating a few minutes of laughs into a 90 minute film. The MacGruber sketches aren’t all that funny to begin with, and they have a hard time carrying a 2 1/2 minute red band trailer. Ouch. Check it out, if you dare:

MacGruber limps into theaters May 21st.

If you haven’t heard of The Expendables, take a second to go over the cast:

  • Sly Stallone
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Bruce Willis
  • Dolph Lundgren
  • Mickey Rourke
  • Jet Li
  • Jason Statham
  • “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  • Randy “The Natural” Couture
  • Eric Roberts
  • Danny Trejo

So. Much. Testosterone. I don’t think it’s possible to stuff any more machismo into one movie. With a cast like that, the story would have to be about a team of elite mercenaries hired for an impossible mission. And it is. Meaning this could be the most badass movie ever made. Or it could be a complete trainwreck. Either way I’ll be there. Check out the trailer, which may set records for 80s action star appearances and explosions:

The Expendables storms into theaters August 20th.

Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs the World

How many of us can relate to falling in love, only to find out that the object of your affection comes with a little baggage. Scott Pilgrim can. In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Micheal Cera’s title character falls deeply, madly in love with Ramona Flowers, but she comes with a catch. In order to keep her he must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Yoink. Check out the trailer for this unique movie:

Also, SlashFilm has 66 high-res photos from the film, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World comes to theaters August 13th.

Who doesn’t love The Evil Dead? Sam Raimi’s 1981 classic is one of the great masterpieces of the horror B-movie genre, and set the tone for countless other (mostly less successful) films. And it introduced the world to Bruce Campbell!

Filmmaker Lee Hardcastle decided to pay homage to the classic, and created a condensed version of it. He managed to smash down all of the action in the film to 60 seconds, and recreated it in clay. As it turns out, claymation is a great way to keep the low-budget charm of the original. Check it out:

Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart

I’m a fan of country music. Real country music. Not the fake plastic stuff you hear on most “country” stations these days. Music that tells stories of life on the road, stories about trains, stories about love and loss. Music sung by men and women who have spent their lives travelling the country, collecting tales for their songs and living life to the fullest. Music that’s soaked in whiskey, steeped in blues, and drenched in heartbreak.

So it stands to reason that I would enjoy a movie that follows an old country musician while he plays out his career in tiny bars, in remote places, to dwindling crowds. And I did. A lot.

Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a country legend whose star has faded and fanbase has aged. He’s been married four times. He drives a beat up old pickup truck. He’s an alcoholic. In other words, he’s a living country music cliche. His agent books him a tour of the Southwest, playing dive bars and bowling alleys. He’s eeking out a living, doing the only thing he knows how. Something he once loved, and maybe still does, but something he doesn’t seem fully engaged in anymore.

Since Crazy Heart is a modern independent movie, it’s safe to assume there is some grand epiphany and some major changes in his life. Both happen, but neither is handled in a trite way. The story is solid, the acting good, and the characters well-sketched. But, for me, what made the movie was the music.

Jeff Bridges and Colin Ferrel do an admirable job singing and playing guitar, but what really impressed me was the songs. T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham wrote original songs for the film, and they are universally good. “The Weary Kind” won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and it is certainly deserving, but my favorite was “Fallin and Flyin”. The opening line of the chorus, “It’s funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ for a little while”, sounds like something Hank Williams, Sr might have written. The songs are simple, straightforward, and everything that’s good about country music.

At one point in the film a reporter asks Bad Blake what current artists are “real country”. He dodges the question, but the implication is clear: Bad Blake is real country in way not many current artists are. And that’s a real good thing.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Christoph Waltz is awesome. He was completely deserving of his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for portraying Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. Eduard Khil is awesome too. His wordless singing has been all the rage on the internets lately, and still makes me laugh after about 25 viewings. So it stands to reason that Christoph Waltz + Eduard Khil = TOO MUCH AWESOME. Waltz did a bit for Jimmy Kimmel Live where he pays homage to the Russian singer:

How does Kimmel get folks to do these videos? He is truly one of comedy’s greatest heroes. Thank you Jimmy. Thank you.

If you’re a 14 year old girl (or just someone who watches ANY tv) you know that vampires are VERY hot these days. Between Twilight to True Blood it seems like all women are looking for in a man is a brooding countenance, pale complexion, and fangs. Whenever something gets this popular it’s inevitable that people will start making fun of it. And I say “Rock On”. In this case literally.

Suck seems to have a pretty conventional story, up to a point. A struggling band is taking their last shot at stardom, hitting the road playing dives for uninterested drunks. They need something to catch people’s attention and get them listening, saving them from having to get real jobs. That’s all pretty standard. The twist is that they all become vampires, and by doing so, get famous. Along the way the meet Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper. Honestly, this thing could be a train wreck of epic proportions. Or it could be a classic “so bad it’s good” cult favorite. Check out the trailer:

Suck played at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it doesn’t seem to have a wide release date set. For more information check out the movie’s official site.

A second trailer is out for Iron Man 2, and while it still looks good, I’m starting to think it might suffer from a common action movie sequel disease: villain overload. Check it out:

Iron Man 2 swoops into theaters May 7th.

This is genius. It’s a generic trailer that points out the cliches and stereotypes that riddle Oscar winning movies. Funny stuff, and appropriate to watch during the Oscars:

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