Tag Archives: films

Five Essential Movies for Guys, Coming This Spring


You’ve suffered through The Reader and slept through Doubt. You’ve been underwhelmed by Slumdog Millionaire and seen The Dark Knight so many times its greatness is starting to fade (but only from overuse). What then, men, is coming to theatres in the next few months for you to see?

Never fear, as ryoni.com has rounded up the five essential films you need to see as 2009 gets underway.

Watchmen (March 6th)

If you haven’t heard of this and aren’t already salivating/building a shrine/re-reading the comic for the 19th time, may I simply ask where the hell you’ve been? Alan Moore’s undisputed masterpiece is finally making it to the screen, with art input/direction by original artist Dave Gibbons.

Why it Will Be Good: The best graphic novel ever written gets 160 million dollars and an insanely committed team bringing it to the big screen. If the trailer is any indication, this is going to be a phenomenal film. The comic is extremely complex and layered, and if everyone stays on top of their game, this could be one of the most intelligent, creative comic-book adaptations ever filmed.

What’s in it For the Guys: Well, besides watching Dr. Manhattan blow up huge swaths of forest and create giant crystal cities on mars, you’ve also got Carla Gugino and her understated, mature sexiness playing Sally Jupiter, and the ridiculously beautiful Malin Akerman playing her daughter, who spends a good chunk of the comic (and hopefully the movie) wearing extremely short skirts designed to drive us insane.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1st)

The very best parts of the previous X-Men movies—the Wolverine story—are extended into a feature film. Set in my native Canada, this is sure to feature a bevvy of fantastic set pieces and one of the better comic-origin stories out there. Plus we get to see how Sabertooth comes about, too.

Why it Will Be Good: Although Brian Singer isn’t doing this one, we’ve still got high hopes. Of course Hugh Jackman is coming back, and the studio has picked a capable-if-unproven director in Gavin Hood. Without the entire X-Men franchise to deal with, this could be a great origin story, which is always where some of the best parts of all comic-book movies come from anyway.

What’s in it For the Guys: Well, besides all the snow-covered action (you just know there are going to be 20 shots of blood landing on fresh white snow—they can’t resist, these guys), Wolverine’s girlfriend is played by Lyn Collins, who has been smoking hot in this season’s amazing new HBO series True Blood. If she’s anywhere near as good in this film as she’s been on the small screen, guys will have no trouble finding plenty of things to enjoy here.

Terminator Salvation (June 5th)

Try not to be distracted by the recent rant by Christian Bale that made the interent go a little crazy recently—this is shaping up to be a great addition to the Terminator Canon, if we can call it that. Apparently taking a much more character-oriented direction than Terminator 3, that’s what brought Christian Bale on board, standards raised after the feast of excellence that was The Dark Knight.

Why it Will Be Good: Because it’s a kind of prequel to all the previous Terminator films. You remember how John Connor kept coming back—through time travel—and talking about that big old SkyNet war in the future? And we had futile little glimpses of it, but then everything else was set in the present day? No more of that—time travel, I mean—now we get a movie set in 2018 that is specifically about those very SkyNet wars, the things that seemed so damn cool in the first place.

What’s in it For the Guys: Bryce Dallas Howard is hot, although not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why (we think) this film also features Moon Bloodgood, who besides having the coolest and most insane name for a movie star, well, ever, is damn good looking. She’s got Korean, Irish, and Dutch heritage, which has got to explain something. Keep an eye out.

Observe and Report (April 10th)

The second mall-cop movie coming out in a six-month span, here’s betting that this one is going to be the funnier of the two, by a big margin. Seth Rogen plays the mall security guard who has to deal with a flasher on the loose, and the movie is rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence. Excellent.

Why it Will Be Good: Seriously, anything is better than Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and this movie’s story of a security guard with aspirations to be a real police officer should give Ray Liotta, who plays an actual detective, plenty of opportunities to re-inhabit his amazing role from the underrated NARC, swearing and all.

What’s in it For the Guys: Ana Faris is always a reliable addition that ups the hotness-quotient of any film, and even though we’re pretty sure the “graphic nudity” is likely going to be almost all male-based, you never know. There are a few other hotties in the cast, so here’s to hoping.


Sasha Baron-Cohen’s follow-up to the unbelievably hilarious Borat, Bruno is his parody of all things fashion, an unbelievably over-the-top (for the rest of the world) fashionista who specializes in putting stereotypical industry-types into embarassing, hypocritical situations.

Why it Will Be Good: If Baron-Cohen has amassed enough material in-character that still seems realistic, there’s no way this won’t be hilarious. Although things certainly got more difficult for him after the worldwide success of Borat, word is that he started filming Bruno very soon after, so hopefully a whole bunch of otherwise in-the-known industry types had the wool pulled over their eyes.

What’s in it For the Guys: Admit it, there’s nothing like seeing a bunch of macho dudes put into hilariously embarassing situations by a flamboyantly gay Austrian who is faster and quicker with his jokes than practically anyone else in the world. Bruno was already legendary on the Ali G Show, and you just know he’s saving up some dynamite stuff for the film.

Why 2008 Was the Year the Pirates Won Big (no, not Pittsburgh).


Last year, the pirates won.

Forget the Super Bowl, which anyway happened in 2009, I’m talking about something else: movies. For years, an endless stream of online pirates have been engaged in a fierce battle with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), fighting over the right to control movie distribution.

But it looks like 2008 was the year the MPAA, at least by a certain measurement, finally lost. According to Waxy.org, who did a study of how many Oscar-nominated films were available online on the day the nominations were announced, 2008 is absolutely off the hook:

Out of 26 nominated films, an incredible 23 films are already available in DVD quality on nomination day, ripped either from the screeners or the retail DVDs. This is the highest percentage since I started tracking.

Twenty-three! I’d call that a serious problem. So would the New York Times, who just did an article on precisely this subject, along with the explosion of streaming piracy.


On one side, the pirates: anonymous, resourceful, and entirely illegal. This group of content-stealers have absolutely no legal jurisdiction or right over even a second of the films they distribute, but that’s the point. Piracy is, by nature, designed to subvert and circumvent every distribution method that might bring legitimate profits to anyone who’s had a hand in producing a film.

On the other side: Hollywood. Although their marketers are evil, evil geniuses who can read the whims of a mass audience like the rest of us read a children’s book, they’ve proved surprisingly slow at adapting to any sort of digital-distribution model, and have let internet pirates and all who benefit from them step into the void, downloading and viewing a ton of content for free.


Why has Hollywood been unable to figure out how to monetize their content, especially now, with years of heavy broadband penetration already behind us? The answer isn’t so difficult: profit margins and budgets are set-up with specific channels in mind: we sell this many DVDs, we make this much money.

When a whole bevy of new techologies comes cascading into a pre-existing industry, every start-up video site and online movie channel looking for percentages, it’s hard for a set of big, slow-moving studios to adapt. These are conglomerate-owned business, after all, and it’s not easy to hitch an entire division to an unproven new concept.

None of this changes the fact that the studios still haven’t figured out what to do about their piracy problem, which leads many to believe there might never be a solution, at least not one that ensures the kind of profits once experienced.

Now that so many people have had a chance to download movies and watch television shows without commercials online, entirely for free, there might be no going back to paying $20 for a brand new DVD or a high-quality stream online. Piracy is going to change the entire industry.


One of the key things about piracy is the metaphor: every time studio heads talk about how much cash they’ve lost due to piracy (ie how much cash they didn’t make), they frame it in terms of, well, piracy: guys in big boats with weapons coming and stealing gold. They talk about money lost, and compare anyone who downloads a movie without paying for it to someone who walks into a store and steals a shirt.

Not exactly.

There are two problems here, and until Hollywood figures out the mental gap between their metaphors and the average American downloader, they’re screwed. One is that piracy is the illegal viewing of a copy of something, not stealing the direct material itself. If I went into a store, copied the exact design for a shirt, and then went home and made it myself and wore it to my heart’s content, we might be getting somewhere closer to a workable metaphor for movie piracy.

There aren’t millions of people going into stores and stealing DVDs with packaging and booklets and all the rest, avoiding the eyes of store clerks and alarm systems as they run desperately through parking lots, so to act like everyone downloading from the Pirate Bay is doing exactly that is counter-productive.

If it were really the case that every pirate were stealing a produced, commercial object, would piracy be so rampant? There’s a great amount of mental distance between direct shoplifting and downloading an XVID.


Secondly, piracy doesn’t cause the studios to lose money they previously had, it simply cuts into predicted profits on their content. In other words, it leaves them unable to monetize their product as much as they’d like, which they equate to massive loss through stealing. Again, a new set of metaphors is needed.

Some kind of solution is surely on the horizon: Netflix is now streaming some titles directly, and Apple’s iTunes sells a ton of content, too. So there’s not much to worry about there. What is crazy, however, is the saturation point that piracy finally reached this year, and the desperation it’s surely inspiring in the hearts of movie executives already panicking about the recession. Will they stave off piracy and figure out a way to claim huge swaths of the internet as their own, ready to be profitable? We’ll find out in 2009!