Concerned Citizens of Gotham – Episode 8 – The Mask

Dan Shick – Welcome back, fellow concerned citizens, to another episode of Concerned Citizens of Gotham (link below)!

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.14.57 AMOn this episode, Jordan and I find ourselves nearing our wits end. So join us in disecting one of our least favorite episodes of FOX’s Gotham, as we  deviate from Gotham more than usual by ranting about driving in LA, making up songs about each other with the help of previous guest host John Guberud and his guitar, along with our usual riffing about the insanity that is FOX’s Gotham.

As always, keep in mind that this episode contains explicit language. Feel free to join in the discussion by commenting and sending us a Gotham rant of your own! If you do, we’ll make  your exasperated opinion of this exhausting show a special feature in our next episode.

Enjoy!

Harry Podcast and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Dan Shick – Hello, Pottheads! In our new podcast, entitled Harry Podcast, Ryan Dosier, Jordan Beckwith, and I provide an in-depth discussion of the beloved Harry Potter films with views from a Potter expert (Jordan), a Potter fan (Ryan), and a Potter newb (Dan). Packed with tons of attempted comedy and idiotic commentary, even Muggles will enjoy Harry Podcast.

From the guys who brought you The Muppet Mindset and Concerned Citizens of Gotham comes… Harry Podcast and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Concerned Citizens of Gotham – Episode 7 – Penguin’s Umbrella

imageDan Shick – Hello, fellow concerned citizens! On this weeks episode of The Concerned Citizens of Gotham (link below), Jordan and I experience even more fatigue from the abundance of mediocrity in this weeks episode. If the look on Jordan’s face in this picture doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the quality of this episode, then surely the Gordon faces below will.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 4.19.39 PMJoin us as we discuss episode seven, entitled “Penguin’s Umbrella”, and feel free to join in the discussion in the comments section below!

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 4.20.16 PMAs always, keep in mind that this episode contains explicit language. Enjoy!

 

Celebrating 30 Years of Back to the Future

back-to-the-future-part-ii-originalMichael Wermuth, Jr. – Well, it’s finally 2015, the year they went to in Back to the Future Part II. Hmm, and it doesn’t quite look like 2015 yet. But not only that, but it’s also the 30th anniversary of the first Back to the Future (or at least the anniversary year should be celebrated). So I’ll celebrate the trilogy with this special article.

The Back to the Future trilogy is one of the best movie trilogies ever. There’s so much greatness from it. There’s such great characters and acting, including Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, Leah Thompson as Marty’s mother Laraine, Crispin Glover as Marty’s father George, and Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen (and some of Biff’s relatives in the past and future). My favorite of the trilogy is the second one, which is the only one to actually bring us to the future, as well as the only one to travel to multiple years (from 2015 to an alternate 1985 to 1955). The third one is my least favorite, and I’m sure it’s many people’s least favorite of the trilogy, but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. As far as “third movies” go, it is one of the best.

Back_to_the_Future_(time_travel_test)_with_Michael_J._Fox_as_Marty_McFlyLet me talk about my experience with the films. Like many live-action movies that had animated shows based on them, I was first exposed to Back to the Future via the animated series (and would later watch it again when reruns aired on Fox in 2002). I first saw the first film in 1994, after getting the movie as a Christmas present, and upon watching it felt an “oh no” feeling when I saw it end with “To be continued…” (I hadn’t noticed the “Part” parts of the sequel titles), but a few months later I rented both sequels during one weekend and enjoyed them. Several years later, I got the DVD set, and have enjoyed all the bonus features included. I have never played any of the video games (neither the poorly-received NES games or the more recent games that are widely praised by fans) or been on the ride (as I’ve never been to Universal Studios).

And when I first saw the movies, I was confused. After being familiar with A Christmas Carol and knowing that nobody from the past, present, or future could see or hear Scrooge, I was confused that other characters in the past and future could see and hear Marty and Doc. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I understood things changing because of the time travel. Before then, I was confused by Biff suddenly being nice at the end of the first one (but not noticing the changes in Marty’s family), and for years wondered how Biff was able to use the sports almanac to change history and improve himself (not really having a concept of gambling or going back in time to make bets on known winners). And I thought the time machine was more of a stimulation, albeit one where it was possible for people from the past and future to use and one where it was possible to be trapped in a time period.

back_to_the_future_part_2The movies have a lot of great quotes, including Doc’s catch phrase, “Great Scott!” and Marty’s, “This is heavy!” (and 1955 Doc’s confusion over the term), as well as “Nobody calls me chicken” (I wonder what would happen if somebody offered Marty chicken to eat). The Café ‘80s scene in Part II is great (if only there were actual ‘80s restaurants). I like many of Mr. Strictland’s lines, especially the ones about slackers, and like it when Biff tells Strictland that his magazine can’t be homework “because I’m not at home”. And the movies have great music, including Huey Lewis’ “Power of Love” and “Back in Time”.

While Part III isn’t terrible, it is my least favorite. Of course, this one is more like a retread of the first one, except that Marty gets stuck in 1885 after running out of an important resource that would make it easier to go back to the future, having to wait a little bit of time to be able to go back. But it does have some great things, like Mary Sheenburgen as Doc’s girlfriend Clara. But while it feels more like a retread, there are many jokes and situations that appear in all three movies, with clever variations, from Marty being knocked out and waking up thinking he had just been dreaming, to the villain being hit with manure, to a confrontation with a Tannen at the popular hang-out place of the time period (with that Tannen being a bully to a different McFly relative, though we never get to see Buford bully Seamus). While Part II does not feel like a retread, it does bring the characters back to the events of the first film in a very impressive way (and the writers/producers had originally wanted them to travel to the 1960s, changing it because to them that plotline did feel like too much of a retread of the first).

backto1The Back to the Future trilogy seems to be one that everybody likes. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone who hates them (okay, there is one person who told me he doesn’t like the movies, but I’m, not sure if he was joking or not). And it should stay a trilogy, though if there should be a fourth one, I’d like to see a midquel of the trilogy from the Doc’s perspective.

Concerned Citizens of Gotham – Episode 6 – Spirit of the Goat

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.14.57 AMDan Shick – Hello, folks, and welcome back after our holiday hiatus! Our first step of the new year here at The Movie Mindset is to bring you an extra special episode of Concerned Citizens of Gotham (link below). Why is this episode so special, you ask? Well, because this is our longest episode yet…by far.

But that’s not so bad, right? Consider it a bonus! A late Christmas gift! Merry Christmas, concerned citizens.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.17.03 AMOn this week’s podcast, we talk in depth about the sixth episode of the season, entitled “Spirit of the Goat”. I’m sure the title is already a good indication of how amazing this episode was.

Today, we welcome yet another special guest John Guberud. The opening to this episode also contains our new theme song, played gloriously on guitar by John and written by all three of us. As promised in the episode, here is the picture of Ricky Schroder, which Jordan and I insist looks exactly like John:

moPF5DlK0-ZorCFu_sWxzBA

 

 

 

 

 

And now, a picture of John:

198173_614908268854_667985540_n

 

 

 

 

 

It’s uncanny, isn’t it?

So enjoy this weeks episode of Concerned Citizens of Gotham! As always, please keep in mind that this podcast contains explicit language.

As promised in the episode, here is the screen grab of Gordon’s hilarious tackle:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.16.14 AM

Concerned Citizens of Gotham – Episode 5 – The Viper

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 4.11.03 PMDan Shick – Hello, fellow concerned citizens! We’re back with another episode of our podcast Concerned Citizens of Gotham, in which we talk about everything that is wrong with Fox’s new show Gotham, episode by episode.

After a two week hiatus, Jordan and I are ready to jump back into the world of Gotham to tackle issues like portable ATM machines, crazy street drugs, and what constitutes as appropriate breakfast serving sizes.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 4.11.21 PMAs promised, I’ve posted both of the amazing Gordon faces from this episode in this article for your enjoyment!

Enjoy episode five and, as always, feel free to join in the discussion in the comments below!

Keep in mind that this podcast contains explicit language.

Why The Flash Is Such a Great Show

In a television season overflowing with superhero related television, it’s hard to know which television series stands out from the others. Upon watching all of this year’s shows, ranging from Gotham and Arrow to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, I found that no series matched the wonderfully stellar performances of The CW’s The Flash.

Adapted straight from the blockbuster DC Comics franchise, this television series tells the story of ordinary forensic scientist Barry Allen, and his encounter with an accident that turns him into the impossible: A super fast speedster that can run at inhuman lengths in mere seconds. Using his powers, he tracks down other “meta-humans” who share similar abilities in order to protect the city. But this is beyond your average superhero type story. With each episode builds more suspense and more intrigue.

So what makes The Flash so superior to all of the other superhero films and television shows that we’ve seen throughout the years? For starters, The Flash is not only wonderfully entertaining for its likeable characters but it’s intriguing plots will constantly keep you on the edge of your seat. The Flash is constantly expanding its horizon, quicker than I’ve ever seen from any show on television. With each episode, we’re handed another piece of the puzzle that ultimately reveals the bigger conspiracy at hand. What seems like a fun television show is really a complex and compelling science fiction mystery adventure, and with each satisfying new episode, I’m constantly clamouring for more.

The Flash leaves much room for speculation, and it will easily leave you discussing the events of the latest episode beyond its airdate. Every episode is the next piece of the puzzle and it’s all coming together spectacularly. There are few nitpicks that I have about the show, including how none of Barry’s (a.k.a The Flash)’s real life associates haven’t discovered that the two are one and the same person. It should really be obvious by now to some characters. It some episodes some moments feel like “filler” dialogue and there are far too many unnecessary Arrow cross-overs that are an attempt to make viewers watch both shows, even though I am not particularly fond of Arrow in many ways.

In conclusion, The Flash is a show that soars above all others in its genre and beyond. It’s a show that’s brave with its storytelling, it’s captivating story opens the door to unlimited possibilities in the near future, and I’m so super thrilled to see what direction it goes in next.

Essential Children’s Films Everyone Should Grow Up With

5670999ffe25e4bd664bc9486adef5171a494e7fMichael Wermuth, Jr. – Today I thought I’d list a number of children’s/family films that most kids should see and probably have (especially depending on when they were born). They don’t have to actually like the movies, they just need to see the movies by the time they are pre-teens. I’ve tried not to be biased here, and there are some movies that I thought about listing but then changed my mind about (and there’s quite a few kids movies that I really like that are not on this list because I don’t think they’re essential enough, if at all).

Animated Disney Movies (at least five of them):

474234It goes without saying that the majority of Disney’s animated films are essential viewing for children. It may be hard for the kids to have seen every animated Disney film (well, maybe not that hard, since they’ve all been available on various video formats). I feel like children should see at least five Disney films in the Disney animation canon and/or Pixar films.

I also don’t feel like every animated Disney/Pixar film is necessarily essential, so here’s a list (within a list) of what I think are the most essential Disney animated films. Some of your biggest favorites may be missing, but then again, so are some of mine.

Essential Disney Animation Canon: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Meet the Robinsons, Tangled, and Frozen.

Essential Pixar: Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Cars, Wall-E, Up, and Ratatouille.

Mary Poppins:

mary_poppins_1964_9One of Disney’s biggest achievements is this film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, with many great songs, great special effects, and a memorable animated sequence. Though really young kids might get bored with how long the movie is (I did the first time I saw it… It seems like it is really long for a childrens movie from the 1960s).

Old Yeller:

Based on the book, Old Yeller is about an old yeller dog who comes into the lives of a family whose father was gone on a cattle run. Of all the fully live-action Disney movies, I feel this one is most essential for kids. Well, unless you think they won’t like the ending.

Muppet movies (except maybe Muppets From Space):

MuppetmovieposterI feel like kids should see at least one of the theatrical Muppet movies (well, I don’t think Muppets from Space should be considered essential viewing, but then again, maybe they’ll like that one better if they haven’t seen much Muppets). Which one should they watch first? Well, if they haven’t been exposed to the Muppets before, then The Muppet Movie or The Muppets should be the first one they watch. If they like adventurous, action-packed films, then The Great Muppet Caper, Muppet Treasure Island, or Muppets Most Wanted should be viewed first. If it’s humor they’re interested in, then The Great Muppet Caper or Muppets Most Wanted. If they’re interested in movies about show business (would a kid have such interest?) then The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, or The Muppets. If they’re interested in movies based on classic stories, then The Muppet Christmas Carol or Muppet Treasure Island.

The Wizard of Oz:

The classic 1939 film of the book is considered the definitive movie adaptation (in fact there’s hardly been any other straight-forward movie adaptations of the book). This is something every kid should see (though I do know one kid who hasn’t).

The Land Before Time:

Land_before_time_xxlgThis movie features five dinosaurs on their journey to the Great Valley, a land with plenty of green foods for leaf eaters to eat. This movie is a classic, and has gone on to spawn many direct-to-video sequels aimed more at children, with many songs and more humor, the quality of the sequels varying (I have only seen the first few sequels, and I must say that II and III are good, IV and V not that good), as well as a television series. This movie was directed by Don Bluth, who was responsible for a number of other animated children’s films that should be on this list, including The Secrets of Nimh, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and An American Tale.

A Christmas Story:

One of the best Christmas movies of all-time is this film set in 1940, about a kid who wants a Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas – which various adults tell him would cause him to shoot his eye out. But in addition to that main plot, there are also many small plots (in fact I feel there are long gaps that don’t involve the gun) as well. It’s hard to find a line from this film that people don’t quote, and it’s a great movie to watch all day on Christmas.

Home Alone I and II:

MV5BMTUzMzg4MTg2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDM4OTk4._V1_SX640_SY720_The first two Home Alone movies are great. I don’t think there are any children of the ‘90s (and maybe 2000s) who have never seen these two. These movies, starring Macully Culkin as Kevin, a kid who mistakenly gets left alone when his family goes on vacation and has to fight off robbers, are great slapstick fun. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern put in great performances as the Wet Bandits.

Despicable Me:

A recent movie, Despicable Me has been a fairly insane hit. I’m surprised at how much I liked it. And pretty much everybody knows about the Minions by now.

Babe:

Babe_ver1Babe is a movie about a pig who after helping save a flock of sheep is made into an honorary sheep dog by his farmer. It’s a funny, wonderful movie with great characters (including Ferdinand the Duck and a trio of singing mice), a nice plot, and some funny scenes (such as when the granddaughter cries when she finds that her grandparents made her a doll house for Christmas, as opposed to getting her the house she saw in the commercials, or when Babe hums “Jingle Bells”, or when one of the puppies comments that Babe would wet the bed).

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

Well, if you’re not a kid anymore and haven’t seen every movie I put on this list, then don’t feel bad, because I haven’t, either. This is one that I haven’t seen, but it seems like such a classic. I have seen the remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is good and close enough to essential status as well.

The Never Ending Story:

220px-NeverendingstoryposterOkay, so here’s another one I consider essential that I haven’t seen, I don’t think (I know once at school they played one of these films, can’t remember which one and I don’t remember actually paying attention to it), but it seems like this is an essential film for children of the 1980s

The Sound of Music:

Wow, another essential one that I haven’t seen. I must live in a cave or something (at least it’s a cave with an internet connection). But many of the songs from The Sound of Music are memorable.

And those are among the most essential movies kids need to see. Your kids should see all or most of these. And if you haven’t seen any of these movies as kids, then your childhood must have been sad.

What We Expect From A Sequel

The-Hobbit-The-Battle-Of-The-Five-Armies-posterDan Shick – We’ve already recieved our fare share of movie sequels this year, and with The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies steadily approaching in a few weeks, I thought it might be a good time to examine the idea of movie sequels and what we expect of them.

When a sequel to a movie you admire is announced, it’s natural to get excited. The idea of seeing characters you love on the big screen again is an enticing thought, but as movie history has shown us, it’s often very difficult to capture the same spark that made you fall in love with the original in the first place. Sequels often prove to be underwhelming, disappointing affairs.

1885653Now, there have been many sequels over the years that have managed to take the series to new and exciting places; The Dark Knight, The Godfather Part II, Empire Strikes Back, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Spiderman 2, to name a few, but it’s often rare that a sequel meets or exceeds our expectations.

So what does a movie sequel have to do to get it right again?

1. Hire the same director. 

Dawn_of_the_Planet_of_the_ApesThere are exceptions to this rule, as Empire Strikes Back and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have shown us that sometimes a change in the creative lead can be a good thing, but most instances of sequel-gold have shown us that the director of the first film should always direct the follow up.

What would The Dark Knight or Spiderman 2 have been sans the director who made the originals worth getting excited about in the first place? The director of the original film, assuming said film was good in the first place, has a deep understanding of the characters we love, and therefore should continue to tell their stories.

2. Honor the original, but don’t be a carbon copy. 

Dumb-and-Dumber-ToWe don’t want to see a sequel that tries to copy or heavily reference the first film in order to win us over. It doesn’t work. In fact, it can often be the very demise of a sequel’s success. This is a fault that has plagued many sequels, including The Hangover II as well as the recent Dumb and Dumber To. When the same plot is thrown at us a second time, the excitement of seeing the characters we love up on the screen again is tainted by the staleness of the “been there, done that” feeling that we just can’t shake.

3178bjtThe recent comedy 22 Jump Street attempted to address this by  turning itself into a meta commentary on tropes often found in sequels, and it proved to be incredibly insightful and hilarious in exploring the idea of a sequel and how it should relate to the original film. It relied on this meta approach too much, however, and therefore found itself to have a somewhat hollow center, becoming a shadow of its former self; a hilariously entertaining shadow, but a shadow nonetheless.

The bottom line is that you should never try and replicate the success of the first film by copying it. The best sequels always strive to find new and unpredictable places to take our characters. Look at Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight; two sequels that broke free from “sequelitis”, if you will, by exploring territory uncharted by the previous film. These two films, in particular, lead me to my next point.

3. The darker you go, the better. 

the_dark_knightThough this doesn’t always pertain to comedies, most sequels that are deemed successful are often much darker than their respective  counterparts. It’s a much more emotionally resonate experience when we see the characters we love get dragged through the dirt. You can feel Batman’s pain when he’s left cleaning up the unexpected mess he’s made in Gotham from the previous film. The byproduct of this mess, found in Heath Ledger’s show-stopping villain The Joker, makes for an exciting direction for the series, and presents our hero with thrilling and edge-of-your-seat tension that makes you root for the hero on a much deeper, albeit more depressing, level.

Empire_strikes_back_oldLikewise, previously starry-eyed farm boy Luke Skywalker finds himself in a similar situation in Empire Strikes Back, where he is quite literally tested to the very limits of his right hand- er, his emotional boundaries. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the film in the last 30-plus years.

The point here is that the experience of the sequel is transcended not by merely trying to top the previous film in terms of budget and special effects, but rather in emotional depth and thematically challenging material that elevates the character to new levels.

4. Continuity in the music is essential. 

Use the main theme again, but don’t change it too much. We want to hear a familiar score that eases us back into the world we know and love. Now, that being said, the music shouldn’t strive to be a carbon copy of the original, in much the same way that the story shouldn’t repeat itself. We want something that is familiar yet fresh at the same time.

Jonah Hill;Channing TatumIt’s good to bring something new to the score, but don’t change it too drastically. Mark Mothersbaugh’s score from 21 Jump Street, for example, was surprisingly deep, quirky, emotional and, at times, atmospheric. His score for the sequel 22 Jump Street, however, acted as a pop-remix of the original. This created a disconnect between the tone of both films, as his pop-remix version of the original’s main theme often felt shallow and uninspired, eliminating, in the process, many of the aspects of the original’s emotionally resonate theme in favor of a DJ-style dance floor zaniness.

The-Dark-KnightOne of the many things that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy does so well lies in its soundtrack’s progression from film to film. There are many new pieces of music and themes introduced in each subsequent soundtrack,  but the main themes that so memorably inhabited the previous films comes into play again in familiar and sometimes inventively show-stopping ways.

When you hear Hans Zimmer’s familiar Batman theme soar once again into the surround sound of your local cinema, it makes you want to stand up and cheer. The soundtrack of a sequel is incredibly necessary in bringing back the emotional punch of the previous film that we have come to love so much.

 

Those are just a few aspects to consider when crafting a sequel, in hopes of making it a successful companion piece to the original film.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions to add, feel free, as always, to let your voice be heard in the comments section below!

 

Why Inherent Vice Is Our Most Anticipated Movie of the Holiday Season

MV5BMjI2ODQ2NzUwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU3NTE4MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Dan Shick – There are many big blockbusters heading our way this holiday season, from Peter Jackson’s farewell to middle earth in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies to Ridley Scott’s sprawling biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings. But there’s one movie being released this month that has us more excited than anything else being offered up under the Hollywood Christmas tree: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

So, why are we so excited?

1. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest creative minds in Hollywood today.

I have lot of admiration for Anderson. He is an auteur of the highest order who, with each subsequent film, introduces audiences to something different, thought provoking, and strange. Often very strange. His films deserve to be lauded as modern day masterpieces, and from the looks of the trailer for his newest endeavor Inherent Vice, a film based on the psychedelic, drug-filled murder mystery novel by author Thomas Pynchon, it looks like Anderson has succeeded in creating something special yet again.

What’s great about Anderson as a director is that he never repeats himself. Each film that he makes is often completely different from the one that proceeded it. Look at Magnolia, an epic and emotional three-hour character study about seven miserable people living in Los Angeles. Anderson follows that film with the much smaller, far weirder romantic dramedy masterpiece Punch Drunk Love. There’s a jarring change from this film to There Will Be Blood, his follow up feature that’s a deadly serious, epic period piece that is rightfully considered by many to be a modern American classic. Four years after this we get The Master, Anderson’s brilliant film loosely based on the inception of scientology.

75The contrast between the tone and focus of these films couldn’t be more different, and in an industry where most filmmakers strive for narrative and tonal consistency as a through-line for all of their films, it’s refreshing to have a filmmaker like Anderson who is constantly challenging not only audiences, but himself as well.

2. The performances will likely be amazing. 

10678861_918417181520749_2260683743849609462_nPaul Thomas Anderson, or PTA to many of his admirers and also fans of typing-shortcuts, is an actor’s director. He continuously finds unorthodox ways to produce incredible performances from his actors, and there are no shortage of great actors for Anderson to play around with here. The cast consists of Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Martin Short, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Michael K. Williams. Unfortunately, PTA is now sorely missing his ace-in-the-hole Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Arguably one of the greatest actors of our generation, Hoffman supplied many of PTA’s films with a slew of brilliant characters, including a small but show-stopping role in Punch Drunk Love. Descriptions can’t do the explosive phone exchange in the film between Hoffman and Adam Sandler justice, so check it out for yourselves:

And therein lies the reason that PTA is considered an actor’s director. He lets his actors loose to explore their character’s to their fullest potential by allowing them to do long takes of improvised dialogue, and it works beautifully in all of his films.

Though Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be a sorely missed presence in his future endeavors, PTA seems to have found his next golden boy in the form of Joaquin Phoenix, who teams up with him for the second time after turning in a career-high performance in The Master. In Inherent Vice, it looks as though Phoenix may just be able to top the level of dedication, brilliance, and weirdness he gave to that film. Pheonix’s character in The Master is quite possibly one of the best, most transformative performances seen in a film this decade, and I can’t wait to see what he does here.

3. Anderson is tackling comedy. 

strange-trailer-for-paul-thomas-andersons-inherent-viceMost of his films are actually funny at times, but often in a very low-key way. Here, it looks as though PTA is trying his hand at slapstick comedy. He has cited the zany humor of the Zucker Brothers, the brilliantly hilarious creators of Airplane! and The Naked Gun series, as influences here. Being that the Zucker’s created some of my favorite comedies of all time, including the criminally underrated Top Secret!, a film that you should check out immediately if you haven’t already, this excites me even more than I already was.

Moments in the trailer for Inherent Vice are inspiredly silly, much in the manner seen in the Zucker’s films. That being said, I’m sure there is much more to the film than zany gags, as Vice also appears to be a heady, marijuana smoke-filled haze of pseudo-experimental storytelling, something that often defines PTA’s repertoire of work.

4. The soundtrack will likely be amazing. 

o-INHERENT-VICE-facebookIt seems as though the soundtrack from this film will be combining aspects of both PTA’s earlier films, like Boogie Nights, for example, which featured a slew of hit songs from the later seventies and the early eighties, with aspects of the soundtracks to his later films like There Will Be Blood and The Master, in which a vast majority of the tracks consisted of original pieces from composer Johnny Greenwood.

Greenwood’s scores are often explosive and entrancing. That being said, I do miss the earlier collaborations between PTA and composer Jon Brion, who worked together on every film up until There Will Be Blood. If you haven’t heard Brion’s score for Punch Drunk Love, do yourself a favor and check it out. I’ll start you off on the right path:

 

There you have it, folks! Those are just a few of the reasons why director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will likely have more to offer than any CGI-filled adventure to Middle Earth or Biblical territory could possibly offer. If you aren’t familiar with Paul Thomas Anderson and his body of work, then I highly suggest you give them all a watch as I’m sure you’ll find yourself smitten.

Look for Inherent Vice in theaters across the country on December 12th. Until then, enjoy an amazing scene from The Master: