May 2011

Viral Publicity for The Dark Knight Rises

Upcoming film's new website integrates fans as it reveals promo stills

Well played, Nolan. The promotional website for The Dark Knight Rises is up, and it's not your typical piece of flashy publicity. Take a gander. It's just a 23-second clip of some weird chanting. What the hell is this and what does it have to do with Batman?

Some clever kids downloaded the .wav file upon discovering the website and investigated. Run it through a spectroscopy program and you'll find it's more than just sound. There's text hidden in the file, made visible by software that converts sound data to images. It reads "#TheFireRises". 

Five Summer Movies That Probably Won't Suck

No Spoilers and No Guarantees

     As I see the trailer-parade of summer movie season I always get a little weepy. I look forward to the summer months for two reasons: 1) I don't work and 2) movies. The movie lineups over the summer months are filled with big-budget violence, sex, and potty humour with just enough nice inedependent films on complicated personal matters to get the brain working and let the eyes rest. Looking at this summer's lineup proves to be more of the same, with a promising buffet of big-ass blockbuster blow-outs, new-big-name comedies, and art-house film-festival byproduct. Here are my 5 picks for "Most Likely Not to Suck", in order of release.

Do You Use the Bechdel Test?

Although I’ve been familiar with the fact that Hollywood is full of morons who don’t know what it’s like to be a woman at all and generally make and sell movies that cater to a male-centric audience since I was a child and noticed that most of my beloved characters, unless they were princesses, were not female, I’ve only recently become aware of the Bechdel Test.

Priest

Vampire-hunting super-priests with PTSD

     I had two reservations walking into the theater to see the new Vampire Horror-Adventure flick, Priest. One was that the film would not live up to what is a great, genre-bending graphic novel of the same name. The other was that I was going to walk out of the theater in 87 minutes thinking less of Paul Bettany. On both accounts, I left feeling...unsure?

2011 Summer Movie Preview: Comedies

Believe it or not, we're in something of a comedy renaissance these days. Thanks to a combination of ambitious sitcoms outlasting most of their more traditional contemporaries and a bolder approach to feature-length comedies, the genre has been more interesting today than it's been since its last heyday in the mid 1980's. This summer, a number of interesting-looking laughers are slated for wide release. Here are some of the top contenders for the throne of 2011 comedy king.

2011 Summer Movie Preview: The Blockbusters

When it comes to the two biggest movie release seasons of the year, I usually find myself leaning in favor of the winter/holiday season releases. They tend to be more to the serious end of the spectrum, the closer to the "arts" side of "arts and entertainment" (re: Black Swan and True Grit this past year, among others). Still, I can't deny the appeal of the loud, shiny, bombastic summer blockbuster. Things in that department have started out fairly strong for the water-testing May releases like Thor, so the atmosphere seems positive for the headlining entertainments of the rest of the summer. Here's what's heading to the multiplex when school lets out.