Director Reiner certainly has nothing to prove at this point. After all, this is the man who gave us films like This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me,
, and A Few Good Men. Still, some of his recent efforts have been mediocre at best, as if Reiner’s aiming to perfect the in-flight film genre. That’s why this trailer for his newest film, Flipped, is so refreshing. Sure, it’s heavy on the nostalgia and will inevitably draw comparisons to The Wonder Years and My Girl. That aside, it’s great to see Reiner back in his game as he shares the story of Bryce (played by Callan McAuliffe) and Juli (played by Madeline Carroll). If anything, it’s just nice to see a family film that’s not a sequel from a franchise which should have died years ago (The G-Force sequel is coming, people).
Based on the novel by Nick McDonnell, Twelve introduces us to White Mike (played by Chase Crawford, perhaps conveniently busted for pot possession recently), a young drug dealer living the good life among Manhattan’s youngest and richest. Yes, White Mike seems to have it pretty set, with a business relationship with a Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson no less, but this all spirals out of control in the sexiest way possible. Customers start asking for the new “it” drug called Twelve; White Mike’s cousin shows up dead. In short, it basically looks like Schumacher’s sex and drug-filled tribute to Gossip Girl. Twelve also stars Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Rory Culkin, and Zoë Kravitz.
In a mind-bending moment of television, Ann-Margret and the Bay City Rollers play a classic song in front of “possibly one of the greatest audiences in the history of show business”. The pairing of Ann-Margret with the tartan rockers is campy enough—especially fun is the sense that she’s thinking the same thing many viewers are: “What the hell is going on here?” But that’s nothing compared to the crowd shots. I wonder what that one lady was knitting? [Via MetaFilter]
Full disclosure: my tolerance for neo-electro, or nü-rave, or whatever the hell you want to call it, began and ended with Justice. A handful of artists who may fall under these umbrella terms are still great—Hot Chip comes immediately to mind—but understand that they’ve remained so via genre dilettantism. The category itself, loosely defined by minimized acid house textures and hyper-compressed, white noise rhythms, is both redeemed and limited by its simplicity. The unanimous gushing over Sleigh Bells’ recent LP suggests that this big ‘n’ dumb thing still holds a lot of appeal for a lot of people, but not for this critic. A recent video from Mr. Flash, a member of the French-tested, Vice-approved Ed Banger label, seems to exemplify this: all T&A, bright lights, and shock value, but little reason to turn on the song on its own.
Color me surprised, then, when a friend tipped me off to Huoratron, and the high-concept film clip for his new single, “Corporate Occult”—and I liked it! Like, I could actually imagine LISTENING to it! The severe-looking Finnish producer’s trick seems to be going for slight complexities—- an arrhythmic drum sample here, a demonic chipmunk scream there - where his kin may be content to turn up the volume.
The very NSFW video that accompanies it, directed by the undoubtedly talented Cédric Blaisbois (also responsible for the Mr. Flash video linked above) is similarly deceptively trite. What I first dismissed as yet another attempt to outdo Chris Cunningham is… still derivative of that iconic director, but it’s hard not to crack a smile at the outlandish violence. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say that it plays like a cautionary tale about going home with the kinds of chicks you’re likely to meet at a neo-electro/nü-rave/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it show.
To close, I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend, on Huoratron’s pseudonym: “Huora means whore by the way. one of emancipative things i have been to has been their gig when the whole audience was shouting ‘huora, huora, huora’ together. It’s like a postmodern church.”
This Friday, writer/director Nicholas Stoller and producer Judd Apatow brings us Get Him to the Greek, a spin-off of the critically acclaimed comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008). Russell Brand again plays rock star Aldous Snow, who releases a disastrous song called “African Child” that basically torpedoes his career, until music exec Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) drags him from London to LA for a career-rebooting reunion show. Brand sings his own tunes in the film, rather like Jeff Bridges recently in Crazy Heart. Get Him to the Greek opens this Friday and this brought to mind other examples throughout film history of actors playing musicians for real and singing songs for themselves. These are some of my favorites… share yours in the comments section.