Well this will be emotional.
We FINALLY finished it! Just in time for your last weekend of parties before Christmas… our gift to you… The Xmas Power Hour! Enjoy!
Well it’s finally here… Paramount Pictures released the first official World War Z trailer starring Brad Pitt. And that’s pretty much all we have to say about it…
Online critics and The Kibitzers alike have been pretty harsh on the trailer- most notably for the drastic changes the film seems to have from the book. That, and the ridiculous way in which these “zombies” attack.
Director Marc Foster not only decided to allow his undead horde to be fast-moving (a break from tradition but as we saw in the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake- it can be done) but also to behave like a school of piranha or swarm of locusts. The trailer’s opening scene with Gerry Lane guessing what creature his daughter is thinking of alludes to this wild animal theme.
Paramount and star/producer Pitt also had to bring in Damon Lindelof (co-author of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus) to re-write a new ending for the movie even after footage for the third act had already been shot. Its release date has been pushed back from winter of 2012 to summer of 2013 as well. So it seems World War Z is off to very rocky start. But hey- no one said the zombie apocalypse was easy, and turning it into a successful movie seems even harder…
For now let’s look back at the Kibitzer’s fan-made trailer and see how close we got to the real thing. YouTube users and zombie fans might hate on us for making a fake trailer, but something tells us they’ll be wishing we had been in charge of the film!
With rumors circulating that Walt Disney Pictures is interested in a Rocketeer reboot, we here at the Kibitz knew exactly what we had to do! Especially with the box office success of the of the Iron Man franchise, it makes total sense why they want a piece of the flying superhero pie. As with their other films of late, hopefully the creative minds at Disney will have a slightly darker, more adult, take on the original 1991 film. So without further ado, here’s our remake of the high-flying, Nazi-fighting, American hero.
The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a multi-billionaire family, that follows their financial challenges from 2007 on, in the wake of the economic downfall. Directed by Lauren Greenfield, who won the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for this film, the film follows Jackie and David Siegel, who have amassed their wealth from the timeshare industry. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace — dubbed ‘Versailles’ (the largest single-family home in America). Over the next two years, their sprawling empire collapses due to the economic crisis – cutting employees, buildings, and their lifestyle. The film then tracks their struggle in financial turmoil, providing some humorous moments as well as surprisingly depressing and heartfelt.
Once the economic bubble bursts, the one on one interviews with both David and Jackie Siegel take on deeper intimacy — it shifts into an emotional film that sees their marriage go to the brink. Greenfield again captures these emotions perfectly and helps the viewer not only understand the family they are seeing collapse, but actually feel for them. For example, by the end of the film, with most of the household staff laid off, Jackie’s job includes wandering around scraping dog poop off the carpet in room after room.
Greenfield did an excellent job showcasing the Siegel family’s incredible life before the collapse, and then making it hit home with everyone in the audience. Side stories throughout the film provide more background and depth into the characters that make the film that much more personal. Overall, the film is a microcosm of the ‘American Dream’ gone wrong, providing lessons for all of us to learn from.
Kibitzers Rating: 4 out of 5
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes to the big screen as an adaptation of the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith — a story given to us as a ‘found diary’ of Lincoln, detailing his secret past — as a vampire hunter. It tracks his life from childhood up through Presidency, the Civil War, and his assassination. The movie starts with Abe finding out about vampires by watching his mother succumb to a vampire bite, sparking his hatred and vengeance towards them. Along the way he meets a friend, Henry Sturges, who helps him with his training and understanding of the vampires — making Abe the most feared vampire hunter in the country.
First off, the movie actually works. I’m not really sure how it happened, but I was entertained the entire time and only at 1 or 2 scenes did I find myself questioning what was actually happening or why (ex – horse scene). The alternate history storylines have always fascinated me, so seeing one of my favorite presidents destroy every vampire in his path, was pretty enthralling. Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers) does an excellent job portraying Lincoln also. Without a strong character as Lincoln, the film would have absolutely collapsed, but Walker adds a bit of depth to the role. Not to mention his silver tipped axe is a lot of fun.
That being said, the film is a hybrid horror movie and straightforward biopic that dances between taking itself seriously and being fun. It doesn’t seem to want to choose either one and actually strays towards the serious too much. The fight scenes are well choreographed (maybe too well), and besides a completely ridiculous horse fight scene, they work well (especially the plantation fight). Frustratingly so in almost every fight scene, the infamous CG dust is sprinkled throughout it to hide the animations and make things seem smoother. It creates a compacted shot that makes it difficult to see the whole fight at times.
It is definitely entertaining, however a bit less so than I expected. I wanted more development of the storyline — a lot is left up the viewer to assume/figure out. I also will tell you NOT to see it in 3D, it is not worth it at all and might actually take away from the film overall.
Kibitzers Review: 3 out of 5 – fun, but lacking overall.
June has arrived and with Summer just around the corner, so is SilverDocs! Tickets go on sale today for the week-long documentary film festival in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Silverdocs runs from June 18 to 24 and you can find the full film lineup here.
Opening this year is the doc Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which follows the unbelievable journey (see what I did just there) of the band’s new frontman, Arnel Pineda, as he leaves his separate ways (worlds apart) in Manila and becomes part of one of the most popular American rock bands of all time. If all the classic songs aren’t enough, the inspiring rags to riches tale of Pineda should also leave you lovin’, touching’, squeezin’.
Keeping the good tunes going, the festival is closing with another music doc. The Big Easy Express follows the bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show as they travel on a six-stop tour from California to New Orleans by railway. This mix of beautiful scenery, jam sessions and concerts looks to surely please the audience and will keep their legs tapping.
Got more time to kill? Check out our top-ten films after the jump!
Bradley Parker does well to make his directorial debut on the coattails of Oren Peli’s second stab at (co)script writing. That way, even if Chernobyl Diaries sucks, the fact that it’s “from the writer that brought you Paranormal Activity,” will bring in enough fans to cover the cost of production. That’s right, the studio has taken that page from Oren Peli’s notebook as well – make it as cheap as possible and pray for it to be wildly successful for higher profit margins. I can’t say I blame them. Still, given the budget restrictions and a cast of relatively unknowns, Park, Peli, and crew fully utilize the cryptic setting and our imagination to deliver a jumpy suspenseful thriller.
more after the jump!
While I was desperately trying to strategically time my coughing fits to avoid missing the subtle gems hidden in the dialogue of Wes Anderson’s newest movie, Moonrise Kingdom, the wife of the man next to me leaned over and whispered – “This is funny!” To which he immediately responded – “This is weird.” Somewhere, Wes Anderson is smiling.
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom is a story of the love between Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), the troubled daughter of two unhappily married lawyers – Laura (Frances McDormand) and Walt Bishop (Bill Murray); and least favorite Khaki Scout Sam (Jared Gilman), orphan, currently at scout camp for the summer. After a lengthy pen pal relationship following a chance meeting in a dressing room for a church play, the young couple decide to declare their love for each other and elope. Upon discovering Sam’s disappearance, Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) reaches out to ineffectual island sheriff Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) to begin the manhunt. Captain Sharp’s search brings him to Suzy’s house, where to the surprise of Laura and Walt Bishop; they find Suzy missing as well. On the brink of an anticipated record breaking storm, all (ir)responsible factions, including the other young scouts, join together to bring the children back to safety.
our thoughts after the jump! Continue reading