Last night I turned to Xbox Live to check out Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color for the first time. While not quite as impenetrable after one viewing as its predecessor, 2004’s Primer, Upstream still demands the utmost attention of its viewers in exchange for the slightest hint of clarity. The dialogue is sparse, the setting is ever-changing, the editing is heavily dependent on juxtaposition as a way of creating meaning, and the sound design/foley work is turned up to “11” at times. Whereas Primer played more to the intellect behind making time travel a reality, Upstream is an extremely visceral experience that is more interested, or at least more successful, in eliciting an emotional response than explaining how a rare organism can be harvested, used as a method of mind control, and ultimately link humans to pigs. The exact degree to which it succeeds will vary from viewer to viewer but it’s ultimately an experience I recommend taking in.
Of course a movie like Upstream lends itself to more than a few lines of my humble analysis, but that’s not actually why we’re here. In this week’s Top 5 you can check out the first trailer and poster for Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, a generous number of set pics from director Jonathan Liebesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Steve’s exclusive phone interview with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, the first trailer for Ender’s Game, and a look at Iron Man by the Numbers. A brief recap and link to each will greet you after the jump.
1. First Trailer and Poster for Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY
Based on its excellent first trailer, I’m confident that director Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity (first poster here) will have much to offer not only moviegoers but the sci-fi genre as a whole. That said, my biggest takeaway will likely be to bolster my own personal belief that space is immensely dark, unbearably scary, and absolutely not something I ever want to voyage into.
2. First Set Images from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Like many of you, the Ninja Turtles and my childhood are intrinsically linked. The feeling of loving nostalgia that many have for the Transformers franchise, I have for TMNT. I say this only as an acknowledgment that, while it was easy for me to turn my back on Transformers after the colossal suckfest that was Revenge of the Fallen, I will have no such luck in abandoning my beloved Turtles. As such, my only hope is that director Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is solid because I’m in this franchise for the long haul regardless. I’m completely at their mercy and while set images aren’t historically a great indicator of quality, Megan Fox on a trampoline (with video!), these pre-CGI turtles, and casting William Fichtner in an “iconic” role aren’t bad starts.
3. Kevin Feige Talks THE AVENGERS 2, DOCTOR STRANGE and Much More
You may remember throwing up in your mouth while reading last week’s Top 5 where I not so subtly praised Marvel and its recent cinematic domination. Regardless of the fact that I never got that free copy of their Phase One Box Set I was hoping for, the fact remains that Marvel Studios has been incredibly well received at the box office (and, for the most part, critically). Although one person is never completely responsible for the success/failure of an endeavor as collaborative as filmmaking, it’s hard to argue with Marvel Studios’ track record during the tenure of its President Kevin Feige. To that end, if you’re at all interested in the studio’s future projects and a ton of other Marvel movie-related topics, then Steve’s exclusive phone interview with the aforementioned Kevin Feige comes highly recommended.
4. First Trailer for ENDER’S GAME
Having never read the book, I came into this first trailer for director Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game adaptation with little expectation and zero preconceived ideas of how it should look. Unfortunately, I left the trailer with roughly the same amount of expectation and a lingering sentiment of “what’s all the fuss about?”. Put differently, I’d say I felt similar to how most of my fellow moviegoers felt when the first trailer for Watchmen hit and I was thrilled beyond words only to look around and see myself surrounded by a bunch of confused/disinterested looks.
5. IRON MAN by the Numbers
In honor of Iron Man 3‘s release last weekend, our own Brendan Bettinger graced the site with his proprietary blend of math smarts and research/presentation skills resulting in this feature, Iron Man by the Numbers. Anyone interested in the franchise as a whole and how each individual film stacks up from a financial and critical perspective would do well to follow the above link as soon as possible.