That trailer for the “Cats” movie is… unnerving.

What unholy hellspawn gave birth to this abomination?

Seriously, who the hell saw the final result from the CGI tests and said, “This! This is what we want! Something that looks like a mad scientist’s fever dream of human/cat hybrids gone horribly wrong.”

To be fair, I’m not a fan of the Broadway musical of the same name. I’m familiar with the songs because people I know and love really like the musical and own the soundtracks and have played them many times over the years in my presence, but all I’ve seen of the stage play is the clips they use in the advertisements when it’s in town. I thought the play’s costumes were a little funky, but they worked.

This? This lands solidly in the uncanny valley which is weird because those are real humans prancing about that look like someone forcibly inserted an animatronic tail in their assholes while injecting them with the world’s worst hair growth formula. They look vaguely cat-ish with realistic ears, but they have human eyes and teeth. And I thought the CGI hedgehog in the upcoming Sonic movie looked disturbing. This takes it to a whole other level. The oddest part is that they somehow seem even more naked than if they were actually naked.

I suppose if you’re a fan of the Broadway show this will do nothing to dissuade you from seeing the movie, but at the same time this does nothing to lure non-fans into the theater.

What has been seen cannot be unseen so my only relief was to share my pain.

The latest trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has hit the net.

And suddenly I’m 9 years-old all over again. For all I know the movie might be as bad as the prequels, but for the moment I couldn’t be more excited.

Movies I’m Looking Forward To: “Looper”

Now here’s a use for time travel I hadn’t considered. The mob in the future still deals with problems by having them killed, but it’s still a pain in the ass having to get rid of the body and all that crap. How do you ensure that the evidence of the hit is never found? Easy, send the poor bastard back in time 30 or so years and pay someone back there to kill them and dispose of the body.  It’s an easy payday for the hit men too. They just show up at the right spot and time and shoot whoever appears in front of them, collect the gold strapped to their backs, and dispose of the body someplace remote. Joe is living the high life thanks to this job. At least until the day the mob decides to close the loop:

What I find particularly interesting is the amount of makeup they’ve put on Joseph Gordon-Levitt to make him look as much as possible like a 30-year-younger Bruce Willis. There’s another clip out there showing comparisons between the makeup and old photos of Bruce and while it’s not exact, it’s a pretty good bit of work. Seeing as Bruce Willis really only has one character he can play in an action movie (Bruce Willis) it’ll also be interesting to see if Joseph can pull off a half-decent imitation of him. Lastly, it’s a sign of Joseph’s rising star that the trailer focuses on him as the main character over Bruce who usually commands star billing.

For my mother: The “Dark Shadows” trailer.

From what I understand, Dark Shadows was a TV soap opera from the 1960s about a vampire and zombies and ghosts that did stuff of a soap opera-y sort. I have no idea having never watched the show myself, but my mother has said on more than one occasion that she loved it. It was pretty popular for being such an odd beast compared to other soap operas of the time and having some rather lower production values that, near the end of the series, made it somewhat campy.

Still, it’s a soap opera and I, as a rule, don’t watch soap operas so I wasn’t all that interested when I heard that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were teaming up to make a feature film about the show.

That is, until I saw the trailer:

That does look like it’ll be amusing especially with Depp in the lead role. A part which he has apparently wanted to take on for years having been a fan of the original series himself. Hopefully it’ll live up to my mother’s expectations as well.

Movies I’m Looking Forward To: “Sucker Punch”

Zack Snyder’s latest film is due in theaters March 25th and the trailer looks pretty cool:

Here’s the official synopsis:

Close your eyes. Open your mind. You will be unprepared.

“Sucker Punch” is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary.

She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls—the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish)—to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).

Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey—if they succeed—will set them free.

Of course it could just end up a confusing mess, but I’m optimistic it’ll be a fun ride.

Trailer for Marvel’s “Thor” his the net.

Of all the Marvel comic books Thor wasn’t one of my favorites and, based on the promotional stills released for the upcoming movie, I wasn’t expecting it to interest me.

Then I saw the trailer:

And it looks like it might not be half bad. Don’t know if I’ll bother with seeing it in 3D, but I may try to catch it in the theater.

Movies I’m Looking Forward to: “Cowboys and Aliens”

I’m not much for Westerns myself, but this is a good way to get me to watch one:

Yeah, that looks fun.

Movies I’m looking forward to: “A Christmas Carol.”

I realize that for a lot of people it’s a tad bit early to be talking about the upcoming Krismas season, but the first wisps of crisp autumn air in September always get my mind thinking along those lines so you’ll have to bear with me. Of course this year has been pretty damn cool all year long so you should probably be thankful I’m only just now starting to think about it. Oddly enough, for someone who considers himself quite the skeptic, one of my favorite seasonal stories is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I’ve read the book many times over the years and I often watch the various productions put to film with my favorite probably being the one starring George C. Scott back in 1999.

Now Robert Zemeckis is going to give it a shot with yet another motion captured computer generated 3D animated version of the film (which seems to be the only kind of film he makes anymore) starring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth. And it looks like it just might be a new favorite. Check it:

I was disappointed with Zemeckis’ adaptation of The Polar Express mostly because the story required quite a bit of stretching to turn it from the wonderfully illustrated children’s book (which I own) into a feature film, but also because the computer animation fell victim to the uncanny valley effect. The motion capture was wonderful, but the eyes seemed dead and zombie-like. One of the ways to avoid the uncanny valley is to go for a more stylized look which is what they appear to have done for A Christmas Carol. So far it’s looking pretty good and will probably be a must-see for me this year.

 

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” trailer hits the net.

I’m not a huge fan of the X-Men comic book series, but of the various characters involved in it over the years I am a bit of a fan of Wolverine. After the third X-Men movie, which was less than amazing, I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for the Wolverine spin-off movie but after watching the trailer I must say it looks like it just might be worth checking out. Check it:

I think it’s safe to say that Marvel made the right decision to finally set up their own movie production division as it seems to be doing pretty well in putting out halfway decent adaptations of their various comic series. I even thought The Incredible Hulk was pretty decent even though a lot of folks weren’t excited by it. Iron Man was just a boat load of fun all the way around and largely due to Robert Downey Jr. This new Wolverine movie looks like it might continue the streak.

“Iron Man” trailer hits the net.

I was never a big fan of the comic book or the old cartoon series (but I did watch it). Just the same this looks like it’ll be pretty good. Iron Man Trailer.

You’ll need Quicktime to view the trailer, but it looks pretty good.