Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Chances of me seeing it: 20%. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was exceptional (in fact, I believe I put it in the runners-up for my top 100 films of last decade), but despite sharing a director I don't know if I can really stomach sitting through a feature-length documentary where I despise every single person that appears onscreen. Except the hookers, I guess. They're just making a living, and probably humiliating their parents. But only really, really good reviews will persuade me to watch this film. The subject matter is just too fresh and too irritating. I'll probably watch Inside Job instead. It has Spitzer too but at least it's not about him.
Chances of me liking it: 10%. God, Spitzer, what the fuck? Going to whorehouses while you're governor? I thought that kind of shit only happened in grungy B-movies. You couldn't just jack off for a few years? If New York elects a Republican governor this fall then feel free to consider it your fault. Asshole.
Beyond the jump, we got a packed week. Tons of trailers. New Harry Potter, new Coen brothers, and, most importantly, new Human Centipede.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Chances of me seeing it: 100%. Well, no shit.
Chances of me liking it: 80%. I liked all of the last four Harry Potter films to one degree or another and Deathly Hallows is actually my favorite book in the series, probably because I generally prefer darker, more adventurous fantasy and Deathly Hallows is the darkest and most adventurous Harry Potter book, so I'd be surprised if I didn't enjoy the film. But I'm still not sold on this entire splitting one book into two movies idea, and even if I like it, unless Deathly Hallows: Part I simply knocks me on my ass to a degree that no Potter has come close to achieving I will never be convinced that splitting it best served the story. It just feels like a naked cash grab by Warner Bros.
It's a shame because if they had brought back Alfonso Cuaron from Prisoner of Azkaban to direct and made the whole thing into a three-hour mega-epic the Potter series could have had a Dark Knight / Return of the King-level event on their hands. Now we'll never know. (Also, as a spoilery side note, that is an awfully fresh-looking Dumbledore corpse seventeen seconds into the trailer, seeing as Voldemort cracks Dumbledore's tomb open something like a year after his death. I guess they didn't wanna scare the kiddies, which frankly doesn't bode well for the depiction of some of the book's events.)
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Chances of me seeing it: 55%. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was a lot like Snakes on a Plane in that beyond the initial high concept and internet hype there just wasn't much there. The filmmaking was shockingly bland for such a shockingly grotesque story, something there's no reason to believe will be remedied in the sequel, and the Uwe Boll-esque sense of self-importance radiating from this trailer really doesn't help. Nevertheless, as an idea man Tom Six does have a uniquely fucked mind, so I'll read reports and see if there's any validity to his claims that Full Sequence is "the sickest movie of all time." If so I guess I'll have to check it out.
Chances of me liking it: 10%. Maybe Six has substantially improved as a filmmaker in the last year. But I doubt it.
Gnomeo and Juliet
Chances of me seeing it: 0%. Nope.
Chances of me liking it: 0%. I love how the trailer actually has the balls to namedrop William Shakespeare even as they defecate on his corpse. If this movie ends with Gnomeo and Juliet committing suicide I will eat a full-sized garden gnome on webcam. I'm completely serious.
The King's Speech
Chances of me seeing it: 99%. Almost every movie blog I read insisted on introducing this trailer by declaring this film the new frontrunner for Best Picture, which, by the way, I find insanely irritating. I know there's decades of tradition, but why don't we at least wait until November or so before we start shitting Oscars in the direction of the first thing that features World War II, huh guys? That kind of knee-jerk idiocy is why The Reader got nominated over The Dark Knight and The Wrestler. All the same, it's still hard to imagine I won't see it, if only to be able to fully participate in the Oscar conversation.
Chances of me liking it: 60%. It looks elegant and very well-acted if a bit stuffy and melodramatic. I love at the end where Geoffrey Rush tells Colin Firth that "you're the bravest man I know" for overcoming his stutter. Never mind all the people actually fighting in the war; true courage is being able to shove words out your face.
Chances of me seeing it: 0%. It's weird — the synopsis describes this film as "a riveting new drama," so how is it that I'm not riveted?
Chances of me liking it: 0%. I like how when this shit is made in French people pretend it's high art, but when it's made in English it's Unfaithful, starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere.
The Lion of Judah
Chances of me seeing it: 0%. The question is less "what are the chances of me seeing The Lion of Judah?" and more "how many lambs would I butcher in cold blood to get out of a mandatory viewing of The Lion of Judah?" Having barely made it through the 107 seconds of this trailer with my mortal sanity intact, I'm going to go with one billion.
Chances of me liking it: 0%. I love the part where the trailer describes The Lion of Judah as "one of the most exciting and inspirational animated adventures of a lifetime." It seems like cheating to count a mayfly's day on earth as a "lifetime," but hey, you gotta take the loopholes where you can find them. It's ironic that this movie is about farm animals because I'm fairly sure that the liquified shit of farm animals sprayed all over a reel of film then projected onto a theater screen would be more entertaining than this movie. Here's my great idea for the next project the directors of The Lion of Judah should undertake: a documentary about them running every existing reel of their film under an electromagnet, then throwing whatever's left into an incinerator.
Chances of me seeing it: 10%. It looks vaguely interesting, but it also really creepy and depressing, and not in a good way.
Chances of me liking it: 5%. I'd rather take my chances with the Eliot Spitzer documentary.
Night of the Demons
Chances of me seeing it: 15%. It's not that I don't like straight-to-DVD garbage from time to time. Hell, with Netflix View Instantly, it's easier to watch straight-to-DVD garbage now than it ever has been before. There's literally tens of thousands of hours of it a couple clicks and five seconds of load time away. So I don't begrudge anyone who watches Night of the Demons (especially since it's starring the awesome Monica Keena, the one reason I would consider it), because I can see where they're coming from. Sometimes you just want a low-budget piece of shit. But when I watch a low-budget piece of shit it's usually fantasy or teen comedy, not horror. Just personal preference.
Chances of me liking it: 3%. I'd have to be really, really, really, really drunk.
Red White & Blue
Chances of me seeing it: 15%. I guess a bloody revenge thriller can be fun from time to time. But little about this one really jumps out at me other than how hard it looks like it's trying. Hookers hookers hookers hookers torture, aren't we edgy as shit? Aww yeah. So edgy.
Chances of me liking it: 5%. At least The Human Centipede has imagination.
Chances of me seeing it: 0%. Are you assholes for fucking real? What the fuck makes you think anyone would be debase themselves to be subjected to this moronic drivel? I'd rather watch American Idol. I'd rather have my dick split down the middle with a straight razor.
Chances of me liking it: 0%. It's like Rising Stars and The Lion of Judah are in some grand competition to see who can make the most insipid piece of shit on earth. In this contest, I'm not sure whether to say there are two winners or two losers. Either way, the rest of us definitely lose.
Space Battleship Yamato
Chances of me seeing it: 8%. I like pulpy sci-fi as much as the next nerd, but I see no compelling reason that I should watch this instead of just watching one of the literally thousands of episodes of spaceship TV shows I've never seen, which look no different than this and might even not have obnoxious Japanese music blaring. Or, better yet, just watch Firefly again. Shit, Firefly ruled! Obligatory naked Christina Hendricks.
Chances of me liking it: 4%. The following is written in the synopsis box of the YouTube video I've embedded: "If anyone in Hollywood has a brain, they would get this released here. That would be awesome. The Japanese look like they really nailed this by staying true to the design and story of the source material. American studios would have surely messed it up by screwing around with the details." Yeah dude, real good. America could never dream of living up to the high fucking art that I've just witnessed. Speaking of which...
Chances of me seeing it: 100%. Coen brothers.
Chances of me liking it: 90%. The Coens have one of the highest batting averages of any living director this side of Christopher Nolan, and the fact that last year's A Serious Man is the weakest film I've ever seen from them while still being a very solid three-star effort says it all (although I admit that I've yet to see their consensus worst, 2004's The Ladykillers). But the style and tone and genre of True Grit looks to be much, much more along the lines of No Country for Old Men than A Serious Man, and No Country is pretty much a masterpiece. Add Jeff Bridges into the equation and I'll be shocked if this isn't a very realistic contender for being the best western since HBO's Deadwood. Oh yes, I am indeed jazzed.
Chances of me seeing it: 85%. If there's one thing that 2005's The Matador proved, it's that a hitman comedy can be a pretty damn fun time. Really, it seems that any traditionally violent subgenre + comedy works. Zombie comedies? Awesome. Slasher comedies? Better than straightforward slasher flicks, anyway.
Chances of me liking it: 65%. It's got a pretty great cast, to start. Love Bill Nighy, love Emily Blunt (aka the real Mrs. Jim Halpert), love Martin Freeman (aka the British Jim Halpert). Rupert Grint is the wild card but he definitely displayed stronger comic timing than his costars in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so I'll give him a chance to move beyond Ron. The question isn't whether the cast is great or whether the plot seems solid but whether or not the film can maintain the trailer's humor for two hours or whatever, which I have no way of knowing. But I'm very interested.
What would I rather be raped by than watch this movie: A bear
Chances of me liking being raped by a bear more than watching Yogi Bear: 100%
And the week's winner is: I'm gonna have to go with the most obvious answer and say True Grit. It's hard to get away from the brilliance of the Coens, and if the film is even vaguely along the lines of No Country that'll instantly make it one of the best films of the year. But I'm also looking forward to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, albeit only half as much as I would be if we were getting the whole story rather than just half of it, and Wild Target looks like a solid dark horse candidate. I think the real question this week is what the worst movie is. The Lion of Judah, Rising Stars, and Yogi Bear in one year? Jesus, Hollywood, why don't you just nuke America from orbit and get it over with quicker?