Well, they say "teaser trailer", which normally implies 30 seconds of text with maybe one shot from the actual movie, but this is 2+ minutes of actual footage, which to me means "trailer". Meh, either way it made me all tingly in my special place. Well, one of them...
This isn't a review as such, not least as there are at least 1.6 billion better places to read film reviews (I've counted), and also it'll be much less organised than that. I'm also a terrible film reviewer, because I tend to overlook the flaws in most movies (ironic, huh?). It's more that I had a few disjointed thoughts that I wanted to express somewhere, and 140 characters on Twitter just wasn't going to cut it.
I'm a sucker for romcoms - I have a fairly low bar for them, and all I really want/expect is to chuckle a bit, see likeable characters have a generally good time, then go home. Obviously a few well known classics rise above that (When Harry Met Sally, Four Weddings, etc.), and some don't even manage to clear the tiniest hurdle (The Wedding Planner and The Accidental Husband come to mind as being particularly dreadful), but most slot into a middle of the road bracket with a conventional arc, which I have no problem with - if I want high art there are other places to go.
For the first third or so I wasn't quite settling into The Rewrite, and it took me a while to realise why. Despite the implications from the trailer, this isn't really a "romantic comedy". I mean there are laughs, and there's a low-key romance, but it's far more about the development of the main character, going from once-famous writer, to begrudging teacher, to willing educator. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't Dead Poet's Society or Dangerous Minds, but it makes it a far more interesting movie than you might expect.
Despite having all the trappings of a traditional romcom, it follows its own path, rather than the expected "meet cute, hit it off, obstacle/misunderstanding, acrimonious break up, reconciliation, happiness" arc. I'm not saying it has a radical plot twist or pans out in a way you can't see coming, but it made a pleasant change to watch a film that just has a story to tell and swerves around a few expectations, rather than one which ticks off the normal boxes.
There's clearly a biographical influence from the writer/director (Marc Lawrence, who also did Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, and Did You Hear About the Morgans?). Two Weeks Notice, despite its missing apostrophe, is one of my favourite modern romcoms. While it follows the normal structure, the disagreement between the characters (essentially an unavoidably broken promise) sticks in my mind as one of the few examples in the genre where it actually makes sense for the characters to have a falling out about it. Too often it's a misunderstanding that could be cleared up in one sentence, or a stupid lie, serving the plot but making no sense.
I digress. The main character in The Rewrite had one big hit then a string of failures, and is struggling enough financially to take a teaching job. Marc Lawrence studied at the university at the centre of the story here, and he's not made a film since 2009's critically and commercially disappointing DYHATM? (I'm not writing all that out again). While the story is relatively simple, there are a variety of nice character touches throughout. Almost all the people we meet are given a few moments to demonstrate a bit more depth than we might first expect, without resorting to swinging too far the other way ("she's a goth...but just wants to be loved!" "he's a jock...but secretly loves poetry!"). The Star Wars kid is a possible exception, but even that ends up illustrating a larger point.
The cliche factor is probably the main thing which sticks with me. Obviously it shares a lot of factors with other similar films - if you can't stand Hugh Grant then move along. But there are various points where a lot of movies would have gone a conventional path, and this goes a different way. Not radically so, and not all the time, but enough to make me feel like Marc Lawrence was, if not deliberately subverting a few expectations, at least just sticking to his own ideas.
One low-key example I may be reading too much into, but it struck me. Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei are having a discussion/argument at the back of the restaurant where she works. They're frequently interrupted by servers coming between them with trays of crockery, and I figured it was just a matter of time until a typical slapstick moment played out during an over the top hand movement. But no - it's a reasonable discussion between normal people, and they're both paying enough attention not to knock stuff over. You know, like reality. I'd love to know if there were any studio executives wanting a big crash/laugh for the trailer, and got talked out of it (how many times have you actually laughed at someone falling over on screen anyway?).
I worry this is coming across as implying that seeing this film was a life-changing experience, not least due to how much drivel I've churned out about it. I don't mean to oversell it - just because it defied my own expectations a bit doesn't mean that it's ground-breaking or will blow people away. But it just came across as having a bit more to it than meets the eye, much like many of the characters in it. Not cavernous depths full of hidden meaning, but enough to make you realise there was just a bit more than you might have first thought. Maybe not as rom or com as some others, but consistently likeable, well executed, and felt like it's been actually written by someone who knew what he wanted to write, not churned out by a romantic comedy machine.
Saw this for the first time in many, many years recently (or possibly ever?) and while it's aged surprisingly well, I couldn't help but be reminded of the many, many mistakes that people have spotted in it! Here are a few of the best...
During the scene when Dorothy and Scarecrow are fighting with the trees, Scarecrow says "I'll show you how to get apples" and he gets hit by the apples. In the very next shot, a quick view of Dorothy reveals she is wearing black shoes, not her ruby slippers.
During the sequence where Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, Dorothy's pigtails are first short (above her shoulders) and as the song progresses her hair gets longer (below her shoulders), then short, and then long again.
In the scene where the Wizard is about to bestow 'awards', the Scarecrow is lined up second from the left as the Wizard begins to speak. In the next shot while the Wizard is still speaking, the Scarecrow 'jumps' to the far right.
At the start of the "lions and tigers and bears, oh my" sequence, Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Man are all standing separately, then the shot cuts and they're suddenly arm in arm.
When trying to escape the Witch's castle, the big doors close, and the gang stands in a line and starts banging on the doors. Between shots Dorothy and the Tin-man switch sides.
As the chandelier falls on the guards at the witch's castle, all the candles are blown out by the time it lands. The next shot shows some of them relit.
After the Tin Man's dance, Dorothy and the Scarecrow shuffle over to a tree trunk where the Tin Man then sits. During this, the oil can in Dorothy's basket clearly falls out, but in the very next shot it is back in the basket.
At the end when the Wizard and Dorothy are in the balloon basket, the tie down ropes on the right side keep going from tied to untied and back to tied again through different shots.
Just before the Wicked Witch leaves Munchkinland she says to Dorothy, "just try to stay out of my way" and her broomstick is facing upwards. In the next shot it's facing downwards.
When the Lion is pulling up the Tin Man with his tail on the way to the castle, you can see a square block inside the Lion's costume to hold the tail on.
The Tin Man starts chopping the Witch's door and it's not the same one we just saw three shots before. The wood is a different color and the dark metal brace has been polished in the close-up.
Glinda tells Dorothy, "Their magic must be very powerful " and Dorothy has her left hand around Toto. In the next shot she's holding the flowers in front of her.
After the Tin man opens the door with his axe chopping its wood, Dorothy steps out and the door is totally fixed.
In the scene where the Wicked Witch in Munchkinland goes over to observe the ruby slippers on her dead sister's feet, when she is up close there's not much space between her and the slippers but when she turns around and says "they're gone," she's further away, then she's closer again in the next shot.
Prompted by the recent hideous realisation that Friends started 20 years ago, making me extremely old, I was taking a look at 1994 movies and realised a) there are quite a few very good ones, and b) there are quite a few mistakes in them. Who'd have thunk it? So check out some of the best below, and a full run down of all the 1994 bloopers here. Enjoy!
At the airport the black sign on the side of the bus disappears for one shot.
When they are giving Mia Wallace the adrenaline shot, they mark her chest with a red magic marker. When the shot has been given, the red mark has disappeared.
During "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?", Simba's reflection in the water isn't consistent - the rocks he's standing on are closer to the water than they appear in the reflection.
After Leon rescues Mathilda from the SWAT team and dodges the snipers, he shoots out a ventilation fan to make an escape route. He gets off two shots before we see the vent, but when it does we see about 7 bullet holes around the vent. Then the camera goes back to Leon as he continues firing. When the camera switches back, the holes around the vent are different.
The "No Shoplifting" sign is gone when Randal sells cigarettes to the girl.
In the scene where Forrest goes and visits Jenny (and is introduced to his son), there is an iron on the ironing board in the background. It stands up, then down, then up. The child's artwork in the background also disappears.
During the shoot-out in the restroom, the villain fires shots down the length of stalls. Then as he walks down kicking each door open there is a shot from inside one of the stalls. You can see where the explosives were taped to the back of the door to make the gun shoot holes. There is residue on the back of the door and all of these rectangular clean area where the holes ended up being.
When Norton loads his gun the bullets are scattered over the table. When he takes aim the bullets are neatly in one place, but after has has shot himself they are scattered as before.
When Winona Ryder is leaning against the fridge, the magnetic letters behind her change position between camera angle cuts.
When Jackson is in the meeting about the symbols, he circles the seventh symbol with a blue marker. In the next shot, look close and you can see that the blue circle around the symbol is gone.