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Dinner For Schmucks Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 30/07/2010 @ 14:31
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 270
Films seen this week: The Hole, Frontier Blues, The Last Airbender, The Sorceror's Apprentice, South of the Border, Step Up (3D), The Wildest Dream, Made In Dagenham

Superhero News: Thor footage and Avengers line-up revealed
Apologies for featuring two Superhero News sections in a row, but the news coming out of Comic-Con was just too good to pass up. First of all, Kenneth Branagh showed a full five minutes of Thor footage that ScreenCrave have broken down here. I managed to see the footage before Marvel took it down (honestly, you'd think they didn't WANT people to be excited about their movie) and I have to say, it looked pretty damn good. Visually, it seemed very much in keeping with Iron Man, which makes sense as it directly follows on from the post-credits sting with Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) finding Thor's hammer in the desert. My jury's still out on Chris Hemsworth's acting (his shouty delivery of “You are an old man and a fool!” seemed a bit dodgy to me) but he certainly looks the part. I'm also disappointed that the lovely Kat Dennings isn't playing an evil costumed supervillain like The Enchantress but you can't have everything. Also, I was very excited to see the clip of The Destroyer at the end of the clip, even if I had to ask fellow Marvel nerds on Twitter what it was. (I'm a huge Marvel nerd myself but I'm not as familiar with Thor as I am with, well, everyone else). Colour me officially excited for Thor, anyway.

The other big news was that Marvel unveiled the supposedly full line-up for The Avengers and duly brought all the actors on stage to prove it, confirming the rumours that Jeremy Renner is indeed playing Hawkeye (I bet that purple costume gets toned down though), Mark Ruffalo is indeed replacing Ed Norton as the Hulk and that Joss Whedon is indeed on board for directing duties. I actually think having the Hulk in the movie is a big mistake, assuming the plot isn't going to be about the Avengers taking on the Hulk, but that's a subject for a future blog. I'm delighted at the Jeremy Renner news (it's perfect casting) and optimistic about the Whedon confirmation, since his skill with an ensemble cast is well-established and his comic-geek credentials are unimpeachable. That said, I'm sad that there's apparently no room for Ant-Man or The Wasp, though I'm secretly hoping that they've actually cast Carla Gugino and are just holding something back.

Trailerwatch: Dinner For Schmucks
I'm not really sure what to make of this one. On the one hand, I loved Le diner de cons, the 1998 French film it's based on (that's how long it's taken for the film to get made – the remake rights were snapped up back when the film first came out), though it clearly isn't that faithful a remake, since the original film was more or less a two-hander and certainly didn't feature a large dinner-table full of, er, schmucks (shame they didn't translate that title literally). I'm also a big fan of both Steve Carell and Paul Rudd (to say nothing of Jemaine Clement and Zach Galifianakis), so on paper I should be very excited about this, but neither of the two trailers are particularly inspiring or, dare I say it, particularly funny. In fact, the second trailer, here, is even less funny than the first one (below), though I did laugh at “He's friends with Morgan Freeman!”. More than anything else, it seems like the filmmakers are afraid of their own premise and have toned the film down as a result - the change to make it so that Rudd's character only agrees to the dinner so he can get a promotion is a huge cop-out for a start – if you were going to stay close to the spirit of the original you'd cast Billy Bob Thornton in the Paul Rudd role and have him be as objectionable as possible.

You can also predict the entire plot from the two trailers, from Rudd's relationship with his girlfriend (one of the trailers has her saying variations of “You're not doing that horrible dinner thing, are you?” at least three times) to the inevitable friendship between Rudd and Carell's characters where he finds out about the premise of the dinner but goes along anyway to help out his new buddy. Still, I've been wrong before, so hopefully the film will surprise me. It opens here on 3rd September. Curiously, the film is also currently in the trending topics section on Twitter with a “promoted” label next to it, meaning that the studio has paid Twitter for their film to be a trending topic. I'd love to know a) how much Twitter charges for that sort of thing and b) how effective it is.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with offbeat French biopic Gainsbourg, British kitchen sink gangster drama Down Terrace and remake-of-sorts (in that it's different enough from the original that fans won't be too upset) The Karate Kid all making it into the top ten. I'll also put in a good word for Oliver Stone's South of the Border and point out that The Bad Lieutenant and Greenberg are *still* clinging onto their second runs, though you can only catch them at the Odeon Panton Street. Interview-wise, you can still catch our exclusive interview with Buffy star Charisma Carpenter (soon to be seen in The Expendables) and we also have press conference interviews with three of the stars of The A-Team: Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley (from District 9) and Bradley Cooper. Speaking of which, it has been pointed out to me that I should have mentioned how often Bradley Cooper's abs are on display in my A-Team review. They're on display quite often, if you like that sort of thing.

1. Toy Story 3
2. Inception
3. Heartbreaker
4. Splice
5. City Island
6. Leaving
7. Gainsbourg
8. Down Terrace
9. The Karate Kid
10. Shrek Forever After

DVD Of The Week: I Love You, Phillip Morris (out Monday 2nd August, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is I Love You, Phillip Morris, which, shockingly, still doesn't have a distributor in the US. (Are American audiences really that scared of the gays?) Written and directed by the team behind Bad Santa (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa) and based on a true story, it stars Jim Carrey as Steven Russell, a jailed homosexual conman who falls in love with fellow prisoner Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and devotes himself to securing his release. Carrey is terrific as Steven, delivering one of his best screen performances and generating surprisingly sweet chemistry with Ewan McGregor. The script is frequently hilarious and the direction is inventive and engaging throughout, aided by a fabulous soundtrack. Extras include: an eleven minute Making Of featurette (including on-set interviews with some of the supporting cast); 15 minutes of interviews with Carrey, McGregor and Ficarra and Requa and the UK trailer. Shame there's no deleted scenes, directors' commentary or blooper reel though (Carrey can always be relied on for a good blooper reel). Still, the film was more or less overlooked on its initial release and deserves to be seen by a wider audience, so consider it highly recommended, slightly disappointing extras package notwithstanding.

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