I’ve used this space on a few occasions to profess my love for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series and today’s opening paragraph will get a similar treatment. Director Zak Levitt‘s aptly titled Bad Boys debuted this past Thursday night and, even as someone who grew up adoring the Chicago Bulls, I loved almost every second of it (even with his Detroit roots, I could have lived without the Kid Rock narration). The film focuses on the years of Detroit Pistons basketball known as “The Bad Boys Era”, which included back-to-back NBA Championships for the franchise in ’89 and ’90. As is often the case with 30 for 30 films, Levitt does a nice job of framing the Pistons’ iconic run within a societal context; in this case, the 1967 Detroit riot. In doing this, the pic not only offers a fascinating perspective of the team itself but also great insight into what their trademark physical style of play meant to a city still reeling from the effects of the riot. Less important, but an added plus nonetheless, is the fact that I’m now buzzing with nostalgia for the SNES game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.
My broken record praise of 30 for 30 aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Steve’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set visit, Transcendence interviews and Matt’s review, Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit, and Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more. Do the right thing and keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. First Trailer for David Fincher’s GONE GIRL
The first trailer for David Fincher’s Gone Girl adaptation landed online early this week and only added to the excitement I already had for the film. Set to the cool soundings of Elvis Costello’s “She”, the trailer does an excellent job of creating a moody atmosphere that paints only in the broadest of strokes. Not to wish my life away, but is it October yet?
2. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Set Visit
I am by no means proud to confess that I haven’t seen the director Rupert Wyatt’s summer 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I’ve heard great things about it and sci-fi is traditionally one of my genres of choice so I really have no valid excuse other than to say that I just haven’t gotten around to it. As a fan of Matt Reeves, though, I have a feeling that the July release of his follow-up Dawn of the Planet of the Apes should give me all the motivation I need to bump Rise up on my watch list. Whether you’re like me and looking forward to Reeves’ take or just a fan of the franchise in general, I think you’ll do well to check out coverage of Steve’s visit to the New Orleans set of Dawn which includes: set visit recap and set interviews with the great Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and cinematographer Michael Seresin.
3. TRANSCENDENCE Review and Interviews
Like many, I’ve been interested in Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence, for some time. I didn’t expect that his outstanding collaborations with Christopher Nolan would necessarily guarantee quality in the director’s chair but, equally, I did not expect this type of response. The film is currently getting raked over the coals by most and Matt’s review calls it “lifeless”. I still plan on seeing the film for myself but I have to admit that my anticipation has been lowered considerably. If I haven’t already scared you away, I still think it’s always a good idea to have more Morgan Freeman in your life so I encourage you to check out Steve’s interview with the actor who also discusses the success of The LEGO Movie as well as Christina’s interview with Wally Pfister, Johnny Depp, and writer Jack Paglen.
4. THE EXPENDABLES 3 Set Visit
It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about the appeal of The Expendables franchise and how its ability to laugh at itself goes a long way with me as a potential consumer. At the risk of recycling old material, I’m standing by that sentiment today and ask that you take it into consideration the next time you find yourself feeling critical of the all-star, macho spectacle that is this franchise. Just try and have fun with it and, while you’re at it, check out Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit recap and his set interviews with Sly Stallone and director Patrick Hughes.
5. Zack Snyder Talks BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN
It’s a rare feat when I visit the comments section of any website and come away thinking that I just read something that resembled interesting, respectful discourse. That said, the comments within this interview of Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more features some solid back and forth regarding character traits of Batman and Superman and, almost for that reason alone, earns a spot in this week’s recap. Matt even got in on the fun and sparked debate by asking who the Big Blue Boy Scout is if you tear away his values.