Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I like Godzilla. I like the movies he stars in. I like lookin' at 'im. I like thinkin' about 'im.
Warner Bros. is rebooting the franchise next summer starring Bryan Cranston and has released two teaser videos that seem to be trying to evoke the found-footage, this-is-happening-now-ness of "Cloverfield," the "Blair Witch Project" of giant-monster-invasion cinema.
You have my attention, WB. Just resist the urge to include any baby Godzillas or taxi-cab toenail jumps and we should be all good.
The masterminds behind "The Matrix." The nation's most beautiful and architecturally significant skyline. And Magic Mike in Spock ears.
The just-released teaser trailer for "Jupiter Ascending," the latest sci-fi tour de force from Chicago's own The Wachowskis — home from Hollywood and operating out of their Kinowerks shop in the North Side Ravenswood 'hood — looks like a return to form for the filmmaker sibs, whose last few films have struggled to find the sort of mass acceptance of "The Matrix" trilogy a decade ago. Now by "return to form," I mean a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster-type thing (one with obvious mainstream potential), a July release by Warner Bros. and a peak-of-his-success star in Channing Tatum, and not to imply that the quality of their work had somehow fallen off. To the contrary, I might be the world's biggest apologist for 2008's "Speed Racer" and strongly believed "Cloud Atlas" — one of my favorites of 2012 — should've been validated with a Best Picture nom at this year's Academy Awards.
It should be fun for Chicagoans to see how the local natives portray the city in their first major film on their home turf. "Jupiter Ascending" shot this past summer at several locations across the city. While it will be their first at-least-partially-Chicago-set film, it won't be the first time they've worked a little Windy City interest into their movies. An astute ear will pick up on the Chicago street names used in the first "Matrix," despite that installment's having been shot primarily in Sydney, Australia.
Now, in the inevitable interest of making this about me, I would just like to note that back in 2012, not long before the "Cloud Atlas" release, I had the good fortune of kicking it a bit one night with the Wachowskis at a private party before a concert by Chicago musician Xoe Wise. Because they're famously private people, I've never written anything about that evening before, but by now nearly a year and a half ex post facto, I'm assuming the statute of limitations on that has run out.
All I would say anyway is that they were both extraordinarily kind, and very accommodating of a shameless fan who tried desperately not to appear shameless, but still a great admirer ... just, you know ... appropriately, impressed but not, like, undignified or creepy, but not aloof either ... OK, so that didn't work out at all when I talked to Andy, my conversation with whom I still can't recall a single word because it was all I could do to keep my tongue out of a double windsor. I fared a little better with Lana, and I think even managed to impress her momentarily with my correct application of the word "mellifluous" in reference to Wise's vocal stylings. Perhaps the coolest part was seeing them during the show anonymously make their way through hundreds of concertgoers as the standing-room-only crowd ostensibly remained unaware of who they were sharing air with.
"Jupiter Ascending" is slated to be released July 25, 2014.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Unfiltered pic of Chicago taken last night after my screening. Like a black and white movie. pic.twitter.com/bLJVWceA7r... If you were gonna be swinging past my crib last night, you shoulda popped on up. I've got some thoughts on Spike Lee's "Oldboy" I wanted to bounce off you anyway.
— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) November 26, 2013
Holla atcha boy, Roepey!
[Editor's note: I do not actually know Richard Roeper and any implication herein that I am acquainted with any Richard Roepers, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental.]