Tag Archives: Laura Dern

Downsizing Trailer #2 (2017) *Go Big By Going Small*

I hated Nebraska and Sideways and was wishy-washy on The Descendants, but Alexander Payne’s new concept for Downsizing is so clever, I’m curious.  I want this to be good, but I will put a SPOILER WARNING on this trailer because I think it gives away a major plot twist it didn’t need to, so be forewarned.

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.  Directed by two-time Oscar-winner Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways) from a screenplay by Payne and Jim Taylor, Downsizing arrives in theaters on December 22.
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Downsizing Trailer #1 (2017) *Go Big By Going Small*

* Text from Coming Soon
Following the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Paramount Pictures has released the full trailer for Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, his long-in-development sci-fi shrinking comedy starring Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, Saving Private Ryan) and Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters, Saturday Night Live). Check out the Downsizing trailer in the player below!

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.

The cast also includes Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds), Hong Chau (Inherent Vice, Treme), and Jason Sudeikis (We’re the Millers, Saturday Night Live).

Directed by two-time Oscar-winner Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways) from a screenplay by Payne and Jim Taylor, Downsizing arrives in theaters on December 22.
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My Favorite Scene: Jurassic Park III (2001) “The Dactyl Enclosure”

As the fourth installment in the Jurassic series prepares to stomp into theaters this weekend, we end our month-long look back at the series with one of the weirdest franchise sequels of all-time: Jurassic Park III.  It’s not that JP3 is horrific.  Some people will argue that it succeeds more than The Lost World did; at the very least being succinct.  What I found most remarkable about the film when it came out, and still do, is how there was absolutely and completely no interest in it whatsoever.

Universal barely marketed the film.  It had no buzz.  After the initial excitement on The Lost World, most people settled to the opinion that it was pretty subpar, and no one was screaming for another visit to NOT THE ORIGINAL ISLAND, but the island from the movie that everyone agreed sucked, only four years later.  Coupled with the “Spinosaurus” (and I’m not the paleontologist I was at age 8, but I still think that sounds like the most made-up thing ever) making the T-Rex its dino…..slave (there’s a better word but I try to keep this family friendly) and the whole film just seemed to have no reason at all to exist.  It was nice to see Dr. Grant again, sure, but they kind of undermined his smarts by making him dumb enough to get shanghaied back onto a dino island in the first place.

So is there anything at all to recommend JP3?  Yes, actually.  Like some of the best parts of The Lost World, it’s a set piece mined from Crichton’s first novel and had actually been planned as part of the first film before being cut from the final script.  The entire sequence in the aviary with the pterodactyls is just pretty freaking awesome.  They’re completely different from any dinosaur in previous films and the way they shroud the whole enclosure in mist with the dactyls attacking in and out of banks of fog really is a great action piece.  Does it save this film.  Noooooooo.  I am glad to see, though, from trailers, that we’ll be seeing our flying friends again in Jurassic World.

My Favorite Scene: Jurassic Park (1993) “T-Rex Attack”

Jurassic World, the fourth entry in the Jurassic Saga, is three weeks away, so guess what we’re doing in this column the next three weeks?  Oh it is time for a stroll down dinosaur memory lane beginning with the biggie: Jurassic Park.  It’s hard to recreate today the amount of buzz this film had on all levels of the population.  You had fans of the novel, you had Spielberg in his prime, you had a genius marketing campaign and you had every kid in the entire world from 3-103 who has ever gone through a “dinosaur phase”.  By the time the film was released, I was vibrating at such an unbearable rate that even my overprotective parents let me go to my first-ever PG-13 movie.

It was one of the greatest theater experiences of my life, and not just because my best friend got so scared by the time the dilo attacked Nedry that he literally ran out of the theater.  There are films that come along ever five years or so, that reimagine what we think F/X are capable of, and the true mark of one of those films is that the original effects hold up.  The dinosaurs in Jurassic World look no better than the T-Rex, who took its place amongst filmdom’s greatest monsters, with its entrance and attack on the convoy.  Everything still looks stellar 23 years after the initial release and oh my sweet Lord typing that made me feel old.  That’s no knock on Jurassic World, but rather just a measure of how far a leap forward this was for special effects.  The funny part about it, if you listen to interviews with Spielberg, is that out of the whole scene, the hardest effect they had was making the rings of water on the glass emanate outwards!
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Movie Review: When the Game Stands Tall (2014) *Why Sports Matter*

Alexander Ludwig in TriStar Pictures' WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL.
Winning streaks are a big deal in football (the American sort for those not in the States).  Professionally, the record is 17 games.  In college, the record is 47 games.  That’s chump change compared to the high school record.  De La Salle High School won 151 games in a row.  That’s twelve years without a loss; from 1992 to 2004.  Thirteen straight championships.  That’s unbelievable.  When the Game Stands Tall isn’t about all the teams that went undefeated and steamrolled their competition.  When the Game Stands Tall is about the team that started at game #152 and lost two in a row. Continue reading Movie Review: When the Game Stands Tall (2014) *Why Sports Matter*