Five for the Fifth: July 2012 Edition

Hello folks, it’s time for the July 2012 edition of Five of the Fifth!

As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here. So let’s get started, shall we?
1. Well, since yesterday is American’s Independence Day, some of you might’ve been watching some war/military-themed movies.

There’s no shortage of US war films made in the past couple of decades, such as Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Dawn, Letters From Iwo Jima, The Thin Red Line, The Hurt Locker, etc. and no doubt the degree of performances certainly vary from film to film. Some even became career-making role, just ask Jeremy Renner.

So my first question to you is, who’s your favorite American soldier(s) in movies?


2. Ok, it seems like every couple of months there’s a Tom Cruise movie! I find it ironic that his wife Katie Holmes filed for divorce whilst he’s filming his sci-fi actioner Oblivion. Ahah, obviously he’s um, oblivious of what’s coming to him?

In any case, yesterday we’ve got a first glimpse of Cruise’s crime drama Jack Reacher. Take a look at the trailer below:

The film is based on a crime novel by British novelist Jim Grant (pen name Lee Child) and Cruise’s character is Jack Reacher, a former US Army Military Police Major who’s called in to solve the case of a sniper shooting that leaves five dead.

I personally think the trailer is a big giant meh. It doesn’t seem to offer anything fresh or intriguing and I’m already bored seeing Cruise in this role. And reading the character description on Wiki made me laugh:

Reacher is 6′ 5″ tall (1.96m) with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds (100–115 kg). He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair.

Seriously? Tom Cruise… 6’5″?? What kind of camera magic would it require to create such a trick?? 😀 Y’know, as I read the description, I immediately think of Armie Hammer who recently played the Prince in Mirror, Mirror. I mean, the guy IS 6’5″ tall. Yeah, he probably doesn’t look tough enough, but I think he can manage.

So, did you read the Jack Reacher series? What are your thoughts of Cruise in this role?

3. Well, half of the year has come and gone. I haven’t made my top five movies so far yet, as I still haven’t seen a bunch of good ones like Moonrise Kingdom. But from what I’ve seen so far (including those that have premiered last year outside of the US), these are my five favorites:

Now, which five movies made your top five so far?


4. This movie wasn’t even on my radar before. I haven’t seen the original classic, somehow it just never appealed to me. But this new poster of Oz: The Great and Powerful that my pal Castor posted on his blog did get me intrigued.

I had no idea they were making a prequel to the 1939 fantasy adventure The Wizard of Oz that tells how the Wizard arrived in Oz became the ruler. Sam Raimi is helming the flick, starring James Franco and a slew of great female cast: Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz. Hmmm, I’m curious now, but maybe I should watch the original first in order to enjoy this one?

What do you think folks? Any of you looking forward to this one?

5. Ok, for the last question, I’m going to open up the floor to you all…

What movie/casting news you learned the past week that excites you the most? Do share link/photos/video, etc. in the comments.

Well, that’s it for the July edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀

108 thoughts on “Five for the Fifth: July 2012 Edition

  1. I’m sort of cheating a bit but my favorite American solider/military guy would be Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman’s MASH. But I just re-watched that recently, so it’s very fresh in my head. And he’s a doctor, not a solider, and he was drafted and wasn’t even regular military. Basically, my answer kind of sucks.

    Best movie news in the last week? Edgar Wright wrapping up a test reel for Ant-Man.

    1. Ahah, no that is totally ok John. A military doctor is essential in the war so yeah, that’s a GOOD answer! 😀

      Edgar Wright doing a test reel for Ant-Man?? Cool! Link please if you have ’em.


    1) Favorite Soldier? Jeff Winger, “Stripes”!

    2) I liked the Reacher trailer, and obviously, its possible for someone short to dish out massive damage as a martial artist, no question. But LOL. Tom cruise just looked silly surrounded by those people We need “Lucky Charms” the movie, next Tom!

    3) Top five so far this year? Uhhhhh

    The Grey
    The Raid: Redemption
    And uh…. two movies to be named later.

    Seriously counting on the second half of the year in order to round out my 2012 top ten!

    4) YOU’VE NEVER SEEN THE WIZARD OF OZ?? Ruuuuuuuuth. Cmon now. We need you to fix that up! Get after that! It’s one of the most beloved films of alllllll tiiiime!

    5) The Comic-Con schedule got posted. I’ve been in a bit of a daze all week!

    1. Hi ya Fogs!

      I’m afraid I don’t know about Stripes, but Bill Murray in another Ivan Reitman comedy? I gotta see that!

      Yeah it’s possible that he could take out all those guys, but I just think they should cast someone who’s at least 5’10” or so, but I guess I’m just hang up on the height thing.

      The Grey makes your top 5 eh? I’m curious now, I’ve been meaning to rent it but ends up watching something else instead.

      He..he.. I knew someone’ll chide me about not having seen Wizard of Oz. I’ll see it eventually Fogs, seems like I can’t elude that one anymore, ahah.

      Man oh man, you know how jealous I am of you for going to Comic-con this year!!

  3. 1. Probably Capt Miller (is that Hank’s character in SPR? or the sniper who does all the praying, played by Barry Pepper). Oh actually does R Lee Ermey’s drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket count?

    2. You pretty much summed up my thoughts on the Reacher trailer… meh. Far more excited for Renner in Bourne Legacy. That looks awesome!

    3. I’m going to hold off on because I’m going to do a post like this soon. Glad to see Hunger games in there though.

    4. I’m just excited about the cast and Raimi’s involvement. Not too fussed that it’s a prequel to Oz.

    5. Most exciting movie news of the week? Hmmm Pretty happy that Dark Knight Rises is going to be sooooo long! That’s a rubbish one. Um Jena Malone cast in new Hunger Games film? I think that’s all I got!

    1. I haven’t seen SPR but I think that’s his name. I knew someone would pick him.

      Yeah, I think the Bourne Legacy one is far more compelling, even though I’m generally not a fan of Renner. He kind of looks like Daniel Craig but without the cool accent, ahah. Who knows I might like him in the future.

      Looking fwd to seeing your top 5 list, Pete.

      You’re a fan of Raimi, eh? I wonder if he’ll make it more comedic horror, ahah.

      Oh yeah, almost 3 hrs long for TDKR! I don’t mind that one bit!! I just make sure I go to the bathroom right before it starts, ahah.

    1. ah it works!!

      I have written long comment but cant publish 😦

      1. capt Miller, the sniper and the doctor in saving private ryan.

      2. not interested with cruise.

      3. Prometheus will be in my list…but I havent seen much 2012 movies…been busy with brit series.

      1. Glad it worked, Nov. I didn’t know you were having trouble commenting on my blog. What a bummer!

        Well, glad I put up that picture of Hanks in SPR, I got a feeling he’d be a popular pick 🙂

        I haven’t really done a list either Nov, that’s why I include it as one of the questions here. Not sure which ones will make my top 10 at the end of the year.

        1. it never been a problem b4. My 2nd comment is a lot shorter than the previous one.

          Well…SPR is my #1 war movie of all time 😉

          My list in the end of year will b like last year, movies I watch the whole year regardless their released date

          1. Sorry that you had to comment twice Nov, that is super annoying. Yeah I think my list will be that way too since the release date varies so much from country to country. Technically Coriolanus was released last year elsewhere.

  4. Ted S.

    As always this is fun post Ruth.

    1. I don’t really have a favorite character from a war film but I do like Jim Caviezel’s private Witt in The Thin Red Line quite a bit, I guess he’s sort of the main character from that film.

    2. You know me, anything with Tom Cruise I’ll go see it. I’ve never read any of the Jack Reacher novels but I still remember people were pissed off when he was cast as Lastat in Interview with the Vampire, including the author of the book Anne Rice. Well it turned out he was actually good as Lestat and Rice even apologized to him after she saw the film.

    3. I haven’t seen many films so far this year so I can’t really list top 5 yet but The Avengers and Prometheus are my top two.

    4. Not sure of Raimi’s new flick, I remember reading about it last year and it just doesn’t sound that interesting to me.

    5. I’m very intrigue with Iron Man 3, especially with the new concept work they’ve just released. Also, Matt Damon joining Tom Cruise in the remake of Magnificent Seven remake sounds very cool.

    1. Woo hoo! That is my answer for #1 too, Ted. I absolutely LOVE Caviezel’s performance in The Thin Red Line, he made the film for me. No wonder he was practically in every scene, Malick must have liked him too.

      Ha..ha… you do love Mr. Cruise. I don’t mind him in some movies but this trailer just didn’t appeal to me at all, and once I read about Reacher character I was on the floor laughing! He was good as Lestat, I’d give him that.

      Have you see Wizard of Oz? I feel like those who haven’t seen the original probably don’t really care much about the movie. It’s a ‘we’ll see’ for me for now.

      Btw, did you know anything about Andy Lau turning down the role because he just had a new baby? So who’s his replacement? I thought why didn’t they get Chow Yun-Fat? I mean he’s a good actor and quite popular in the States as well. Magnificent Seven remake? Hmm, I haven’t even seen the original yet, sooo many remakes these days.

      1. Ted S.

        I might pickup one of the Jack Reacher books and read it before the film opens, just to compare the book and film. I mean I was huge fan of the Lestat novels and I didn’t mind Cruise playing the role at all and this was before I became a Cruise fan.

        Yeah I saw The Wizard of Oz when I was very young, haven’t seen it since though. That’s why this sort of a prequel doesn’t interest me much.

        1. If you’re going to start a Jack Reacher, then I recommend starting at the beginning with ‘Killing Floor’. You’ll see immediately why Lee Child made an impact with the character and the style of thriller he’s become known for. Touch base with me if you’re interested in giving the audiobook a try. Dick Hill has become synonymous with the character as the series narrator.

          1. I might give it a shot, Michael. I’m assuming it’s on a CD or is it a different format? I’ve been thinking of picking up an audio book to listen in the car.

      2. Ted S.

        Also, yes I read about Andy Lau not being in Iron Man 3, I wonder how big of a role that is. I assume since they’re going to the Far East territory, they might actually introduce us to The Mandarin, he’s sort of the Joker to Iron Man.

  5. PrairieGirl

    5. Rufus Sewell and Haley Atwell in the new BBC mini-series Restless:
    My anticipation is VERY high for this! Ruf is a spy who gets a new trainee in the form of Haley, and they also fall in love… delicious! It’s two 90-minute episodes coming out in December 2012… looks like I’ll be able to put my region-free DVD player to good use again ;-D

    1. This is splendid news, Becky! Well anything about Rufus getting a lead role is always good. I wish we could see it soon though, as it’s a BBC miniseries and I don’t have cable 😦 I’ll be blogging about this one for sure! Thanks for the tip.

  6. PrairieGirl

    4. Will LOVE to see a prequel to TWOO. With Sam Raimi directing, wish I saw that Bruce Campbell was in the cast ;-D. The only downer is James Franco, not excited about him. I think once you finally see TWOO you’ll end up really enjoying it. But if not, at least you’ll have another classic under your belt…

  7. 1. I’ll offer the same comment I just placed on T’s site: “‘Jack Reacher’ offers one of the greatest miscasting decisions, like ever. As someone who has read a good number of the titles in Lee Child’s book series (where the character is a 6′ 5″ 225 lb. former United States Army Military Police Major), Tom is starting to stretch things. He’s fine as Ethan Hawke, but this? The film should have the adjective from ‘Spider-Man’, ‘The Amazing Jack Reacher’.
    2. That’s a hard one. I think for his anti-authoritarian nature, I’ll always be partial to Lee Marvin’s Major Reisman from Robert Aldrich’s underrated ‘The Dirty Dozen’.
    3. Here are mine:
    • The Avengers
    • Prometheus
    • BRAVE
    • Moonrise Kingdom
    • The Grey
    4. I think the poster is intriguing, but then ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is among my all-time fantasy favorites (not my kids, though — they’re not too crazy about those flying monkeys ;-)).
    5. I got nothin’.

    Thanks, Ruth.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Michael,

      I’m a big Tom Cruise fan but yeah I think this role might back fire on him and the studio, seems like so many people who’ve read the books are pretty ticked off about his casting.

      Those damn flying monkeys still freaks me out, I got nightmares the fist time I saw Wizard of Oz and I was like 11 at the time.

    2. Ha..ha.. yeah I saw your comment there Michael and I mentioned about this post. We must’ve been commenting at the exact same time 😀

      Glad to see you mention a classic actor for favorite US soldier.

      Yay, nice to see BRAVE on your top 5, I’m thinking once I see Moonrise Kingdom I’ll have that on my favorite list, too.

      I better watch for those flying monkeys once I see the original Oz. I might end up agreeing w/ Ted, I generally can’t stand monkeys, let alone flying ones!!

  8. Can’t think of favourite soldiers – not a big fan of war films, or rather I haven’t seen enough to know. Do the army men in Toy Story count?

    I like Tom Cruise, I think he’s nuts but a good, charismatic actor. I’ve only read one of the Jack Reacher novels and while I enjoyed it, it’s not ingrained in me so I think he’ll be able to pull it off.

    My top five films of this year do take into account the difference in US and UK release dates – and there’s not five yet:

    1. The Avengers
    2. The Descendents
    3. The Muppets
    4. The Artist

    James Franco annoys me – he needs a good shake and reminding that he’s bloody lucky to be in the industry he is and being so successful. He’s putting me off the prequel – although I didn’t know it existed til reading this article so I’ve got time to work on my prejudice 🙂

    Not so much announcements but I’m very, very excited about both Skyfall and Les Miserables. Both have the potential to be brilliant or utterly heartbreaking. I’m hoping for the former.

    1. Hi Louise, glad to see you drop by.

      Ha..ha.. well they are in the military so yeah, why not? 😀

      I’ve never even heard of Jack Reacher until now, and probably neither is a lot of Americans so I guess casting an actor much shorter than the character in the book won’t be a big deal, I just find it hilarious.

      Ah, I do like The Descendants too, I think that made my top 10 last year.

      Not a fan of Franco either, I’m more impressed by the female cast on that prequel.

      I’m looking forward to Skyfall and Les Miz too, man sooo many great movies coming out in the later half of the year!

  9. I kinda liked the “Jack Reacher” trailer. As for it featuring one of the greatest miscasting decisions due to Cruise’s height, that’s only if the movie is going page by page by the source material. I think it’s clear by the final scene in the trailer that his size isn’t a detail that the film is serious about.

    This is a prime example of why I always prefer reading a book after seeing the movie. It seems so much harder to seperate expectations when we’ve read the book first. Yet a movie is on an entirely different canvas with considerably more handicaps and restrictions.

    Thankfully I haven’t read these books which would probably hurt my opinion of the trailer. But since I haven’t, I have so foundation other than what I saw and it did interest me.

    1. You made a valid point, Keith. I guess the screenwriters are taking a lot of liberties w/ the movie adaptation, as is often the case, and since the novels aren’t hugely popular, it probably aren’t as huge of a deal as with say, Harry Potter, I mean if they cast a tall, gangly kid with blond hair as Harry I’m sure the fans will be up in arms 🙂

      You’re right about reading a book AFTER seeing the movie, I have done that a couple of times. It’s a different experience reading the book beforehand though, like w/ Hunger Games, I feel like I enjoyed it more as I understood what’s going on.

      Glad you like the trailer, who knows maybe the subsequent ones would impress me but this one, not so much.

      1. I can see your point about the trailer. It’s really pretty basic in terms of presentation and it’s ending leaves you saying “ummm, well, ok”.

  10. 1. I like the MASH answer up there. Also, I enjoyed George C. Scott in Patton.
    2. No opinion.
    3. I’ve only seen two movies in the theater so far this year. The Avengers FTW, at least until Les Mis and Skyfall release. 🙂
    4. Originally, Robert Downey, Jr. was going to play Oz, in which case, I would have been interested. James Franco? Ugh, no.
    5. I’m not really interested in the movie, etc. but I have been impressed with the images of Naomi Watts as Lady Di. She looks pretty dead-on:×386-46950.jpeg

    1. Hi Sam, I forgot that you don’t really care for Mr. Cruise 🙂 Oh, if RDJ had been in the Oz prequel, I’d be much more enthused about it, too. Yeah, Watts does resemble Diana w/ that hair and makeup but I still think the real Princess was far more stunning.

  11. 1) Will Knott from A Midnight Clear. Ethan Hawke’s understated performance is heartbreaking to watch as the futility of war unfolds before him.

    2) Can’t watch Cruise in anything anymore. Risky Business is about all I can stand him in.

    3) The Innkeepers, The Avengers (twice), Cabin In The Woods (twice) …. ok so I’m a Whedon fanboy, and that is all I can recommend. Haven’t seen Moonrise Kingdom or Prometheus yet. I really haven’t gone to the theater much at all this year. A very uninspiring year. Been watching more TV (past and present) lately. Looking forward to Looper and The Dark Knight Rises.

    1. Haven’t seen A Midnight Clear, yet. Is it very violent, Dave? If not then I might give it a watch.

      Ahah, well so you have been avoiding all those Mission Impossible movies I reckon?

      What TV shows have you been watching? Btw, bummer that you’re no longer blogging man.

      1. A Midnight Clear has some mild violence. It’s no Saving Private Ryan that’s for sure. Nice ensemble cast. Peter Berg, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon, Gary Sinese, Arye Gross and John C. McGinley (loved him in Office Space). It’s directed by Keith Gordon of Christine and Revenge of the Nerds fame. I recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s the kind of movie that stayed with me long after it was over.

        Haven’t seen MI:3 but I tried to watch the new MI:4. Even Brad Bird couldn’t save it for me. Couldnt’ even finish it. Not really surprised Katie’s leaving Tom. I really liked her in Go and Pieces of April. He kind of derailed her career. She was also miscast in Batman Begins which didn’t help.

        I’ve kind of soured on American TV. The only two shows I’ve been watching fervently is Breaking Bad and Homeland. I’ve been etting caught up with Buffy and Angel. Missed them the first time around. Really I’ve been watching a lot British TV on Netflix: Peep Show, The IT Crowd, MI-5, Sherlock, Survivors, Little Britian, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Spaced, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Whitechapel, Red Riding, People Like Us, etc and loads of English celebrity panel shows on Youtube like Mock The Week, The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year, QI, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, and my favorite… Would I Lie To You?. Really funny stuff. There’s no holding back when it comes to the Brits skewering their politicians or celebs.

        I just can’t find the time to blog and I’ve never been short-winded as you know. I don’t know how you do it and with such aplomb! Also while my mind is a vast repository of older movies I haven’t been really keeping current with the new movies. There just hasn’t been much to get me out to the theater lately. I guess I’m happily resigned to trying to hold my own with Tyler, JackDeth72 and Ted S’s posts and comments. And of course yours Ruth … that goes without saying. 😉

        1. Scratch that on Keith Gordon being in Revenge of the Nerds. I was thinking of Robert Carradine for some reason. Although Keith Gordon directed his brother, Keith Carradine, on Showtime’s Dexter. So maybe that’s the connection. I don’t know. Lol. Fun Fact: Keith Carridine is the father of Martha Plimpton.

        2. Ted S.

          Hey Dave,

          I’m actually very glad Ruth lets me post my ramblings on her site here, I also started my own movie blog a few years back and like you, I just didn’t have the energy to keep posting new items. Good thing I met Ruth and even better she let me post my useless knowledge of the movie industry. 🙂

        3. I think you might have a point there about Katie’s career going down the tubes when she married Tom, but then again she was never a successful actress. Seems like the Scientology thing is what tore them apart though, can’t say I blame her.

          Yep, I’m into British TV myself. I haven’t been able to continue on Spooks (MI-5) and also still need to catch up on Sherlock season 2. Then I wnat to see Downton Abbey, I LOVE period dramas. There’s hardly any US show I want to see, though I think I will check out ARROWS (I posted the trailer a couple of months ago).

          Hey, would you mind guest posting again here, Dave? I always welcome writing talent and people who love movies such as yourself. Long posts are fine, I mean if you’ve got a lot to say, then what’s stoppin’ you? 🙂 I always appreciate your comments, Dave, thanks so much!

  12. 1. Wow, that’s tougher than I thought! Mine is someone British…am I gonna get deported?
    2. Not something I will seek out. Agree that they should have gotten Hammer or maybe Chris Hemsworth. The description reminded me of Thor. “I need sustenance!”
    3. Agree on 3 of the 5, the others I haven’t seen. I have yet to discover the other two…I suspect my Top Ten for the year will include TDKR & Looper though.
    4. DEFINITELY WATCH THE WIZARD OF OZ! it is a mandatory classic LOL I am intrigued by that poster…interesting cast as well. Thanks for the heads up 🙂
    5. I guess Jena Malone in Hunger Games 2, I haven’t read the books or anything but I’m psyched for the sequel.

    1. Ahahaha, too funny Paula! Well if it’s a Brit playing an American soldier it’s fine 🙂

      Yeah, I think either of those big, tall guys would work for Reacher, they fit the description perfectly.

      Oh you saw Salmon Fishing? Or you meant Hunger Games??

      Mandatory classic you say? Yeah I probably will watch it sooner than I had planned on as all the comments here is making me curious about it. Don’t hate me if I don’t dig it though 🙂

      I haven’t read the rest of the Hunger Games books either, so I have no clue which character Jena is supposed to be playing. But yeah, I’m excited for it too.

        1. Hmmm, my mind is going blank. Oh wait, is it Fassbender in Inglourious Basterds?? His finger mishap thing isn’t very smart though, ahah.

          1. That’s the one, Lt. Archie Hicox. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer…he was a film critic for goodness sakes. If it has to be someone American I’ll say Hilts (Steve McQueen) or Hendley (James Garner) in THE GREAT ESCAPE 🙂

            1. I knew it, and I don’t blame you. I just rewatched 300 again and instead of just looking at Leonidas, I was also paying more attention to Stelios, aka Fassbender with long hair and six-pack 🙂 I forgot he was a film critic, that really was an awesome role, he made the movie for me instead of Pitt.

  13. 1: Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (R.Lee Ermey) from Full Metal Jacket. – he has some of cinema’s finest dialogue (and apparently a lot of it was Ermey himself).

    2: I have no frame of reference on this one but I actually normally like Cruise.

    3: I havent seen that many from this year at all. I’m still catching up from last year. The ones that I have seen are…
    This must be the place
    Jack goes boating

    4: this looks great. I had no idea this was even in the works.

    5: I ain’t heard sh@t 😉

    1. Glad to see you put Coriolanus on your top 5 Mark. I want to see Headhunters too!

      I just heard about the Oz thing a couple of days ago myself, I guess I wasn’t paying attention.

  14. Favorite soldier? Wow, I watch so few war movies I don’t know I’m even capable of answering. Even when I see some, I never rewatch them. I did like Eric Bana in Black Hawk Down, though. As for the new Oz movie I’m not too excited – James Franco annoys me and it looks quite cartoonish, like Alice in Wonderland. As for the casting news I haven’t heard any but I do like the first picture of Naomi Watts as princess Diana the movie looks exciting.

    1. I don’t watch war movies much either, Sati. I’m too scared to watch Black Hawk Dawn despite the great cast. I do love Eric Bana! Yeah, I’m meh about Franco too, but the female cast looks great in that Oz prequel.

      I’m really curious about that Diana movie, I hope they do the Princess justice and they try to be respectful about her.

  15. What do you mean you had no idea they were filming OZ? I’ve been covering the casting and the shooting for over a year now! Bad Flixy, bad 🙂

    1. Sorry Dez, I must’ve skipped over those as I’ve never even seen the original. I guess you could blame selective reading, ha..ha.. or maybe I was distracted by all the gorgeous boys you have all over your site 😉

  16. The somewhat “origin” story of Oz had always been interesting to me. In the original story, Oz only appeared near the end, and it was basically a story about Dorothy’s journey.

    Tom Cruise playing a 6 footer made me laugh. But then again they might CGI his face like they did with Armie Hammer’s face on that “other” Winklevoss twin. Still think its a bad idea.

    1. So maybe if I see the prequel first before the original I might get the story more? It’s amazing how beloved that classic is and I’ve managed to elude that after all these years, ahah.

      Oh no, CGI would’ve been horrible, just cast someone who’s actually tall enough to be believable!

      1. PrairieGirl

        Hey Ruth, see the original TWOO first, by all means. The story is easy to follow, and as fantasies go it’s superb for its time. It’s just that the original spends 95% of the movie getting Dorothy and her entourage to Oz and the wizard. You only see the wizard for a few minutes near the end, so I love the idea of a prequel that shows who he really is and how he got there. I can tell you’re trying to put off seeing the original… nice trick, but you are busted!

        1. Ha..ha.. no, I wasn’t about to weasel my way out of seeing the original, I just thought that since this new one is a prequel, maybe it’ll make me understand the original more?? But if you say that it’s actually the other way around then yes, I will rent the original first before I see this version 😀

  17. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    #1: Favorite officer and group of soldiers?

    1: Lt. Hanley (Rick Jason), Sgt. Saunders (Vic Morrow) and his rifle squad, Kirby, Caje, Littlejohn, Doc and assorted guest stars of the week on ‘Combat!’.(ABC Television, 1962-67)

    2: Captain Nelson (Errol Flynn) and his platoon of paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines in ‘Objective, Burma! made in 1945.

    Outside of its opening 20 minutes, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is just an extended episode of ‘Combat!’.

    #2: Tom Cruise looks more closely suited for a re-make of ‘The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World’, from 1967. It’s sad when the hero’s car looks and sounds cooler than the hero.

    #3: The year’s not over yet.

    #4: Fantastic, beautiful looking looking poster! I hope ‘Oz, the Great and Powerful’ lives up to it.!

    #5: ‘God Bless America’, ‘Killer Joe’, ‘Looper’.

    1. I knew you’d have some good answers for #1, Jack!

      There is actually a movie called ‘The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World’?? Ha..ha.. yeah, the car is definitely cooler than the driver!

      Your answer for #5, I’m guessing you’re excited about the trailers??

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        Good questions deserve good answers.

        Yes. Here’s the link.

        It’s a low level spoof of the Bond genre. With Tom Adams, whose personal weapon of choice is an obsolete German 1918 Broom handle Mauser that’s kept in a holster across his back. Don’t ask me ‘Why?’.

        The trailers basically sold me on the films I mentioned. Especially ‘Killer Joe’ and ‘Looper’!

        Oh, BTW: I recently read that Tom Hardy has signed on to play Max in a re-boot of ‘Mad Max’. I have paper lunch bags close by, should you need to

          1. I was really surprised to see that Mad Max is going forward…i thought it was going to stall permanently. Hardy’s made at least 2 movies since it was delayed. Interesting how the money side is (or isn’t) working in H’wood right now.

            1. I think w/ the success of Prometheus and obviously TDKR, it might be easier to get funding for Mad Max, I mean Theron and Hardy are quite bankable I’d think. I can’t wait to see those two together, I LOVE both of them!

              1. jackdeth72

                Hi, Ruth and Paula:

                If you have the chance or good fortune. See ‘The Take’ from ITC and the UK.

                It’s a four part miniseries about a criminal family in the 1970s through early 1990s. Tom Hardy plays Freddy. A tall, violent, seemingly slow witted, sometimes vile thug and older brother to Jimmy (Shaun Evans) who has everything. Both brothers are just getting into the drug business with Turks as the story begins. Through deals set up by their father, Ozzy (Brian Cox). Who’s in prison on somewhat related charges.

                I caught it on Dish Network’s Action channels and was blow away by Freddy, James, their wives and Ozzy. Very good stuff!


                1. Oooh Brian Cox AND Tom Hardy together?? I have to find that one, hopefully it’s available in iTunes or Amazon on Demands. Sounds great Jack, thanks for the tip!

                2. Hi Jack, I have seen it! I liked it a lot although it’s a bit brutal. Some bad things happen in it, but Hardy is excellent…i actually grew to loathe him, which is pretty amazing. IIRC, he met his girlfriend Charlotte Riley on that shoot, which is pretty amazing as well, considering.

    2. “Captain Nelson (Errol Flynn) and his platoon of paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines in ‘Objective, Burma! made in 1945”

      One of the great WWII films of the 40s (even if the British didn’t like it for ignoring their hefty contributions during the actual Burma campaign)! Raoul Walsh directing Errol Flynn (in one of his best roles) at their peaks. Gritty and suspenseful, it’s a great selection, Kevin.

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Michael:

        Good catch with your comment!

        The Burma Theater was a mostly hit and run operation with the majority of boots on the ground being Brit, Aussie and Anzac. With a large dash of native Kachin and Chindits being supplied by ‘Over The Hump’ supply flights from the US Army Air Corps, RAF, Australian and New Zealand cargo aircraft.

        General Orde Wingate really didn’t get a solid, defendable toehold in country. To begin flanking and maneuver attacks until after the big glider landings at the end of ‘Objective, Burma!’

        It’s still a great war film. Right up there with ‘The Battle of Britain’, ‘The Desert Rats’, ‘In Which We Serve’ and ‘They Were Expendable’.

  18. Wow…that Oz poster looks awesome. Knew nothing about the film until I saw this. Very intriguing.

    Jack Reacher looks fun but it also looks a bit dated now given the Bourne films, the reboot, the new direction of James Bond. Hollywood must think we have very short memories.

    1. Glad to be the one to break the news to you Dan 😉 Yeah, the Reacher trailer doesn’t seem to offer anything new, plus Cruise being in 2 other movies back to back doesn’t help. Seriously Hollywood, we need fresh new faces already, why can’t good actors who are far hunkier than Cruise like Eric Bana doesn’t get roles like this??!

  19. Favorite solider… that’s a mighty hard question. I think humor approach is the best one. Mash is one alternative or why not one of the soldier characters in multiple Monty Python scetches? Forrest Gump… there are quite a few to choose between.

    Jack Reacher is unknown territory.

    My top 5: We Need to Talk about Kevin, Take Shelter, Tyrannosaur, Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus.

    Oz: sounds like a nice cast, so why not? Read some of those books to my children when they were young, we had a lot of fun with them.

    News: I honestly don’t follow news about movies that much, not on a weekly/daily basis. I’m constantly building my excitement for The Hobbit though. Less than half the year to go now before it arrives!

    1. I never would’ve thought of Forrest Gump but you’re right he’s a soldier and he even got a Purple heart!

      I’m hoping to see Moonrise Kingdom tomorrow, I reckon that’d be in my top 5 too. Very curious about Take Shelter.

      I think the Oz movie would be a good one to see w/ the kids, Jessica, I’d think it’d have a PG or PG 13 rating.

      The Hobbit really can’t come soon enough! Sooo many great actors in that one whom I love. I might get that EW magazine w/ Bilbo & Gandalf on the cover 😀

  20. 1. I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor’s performance of the behind the desk soldier who actually got to grips with being a proper solider, in Black Hawk Down. Small role, but good.

    2. Haven’t yet seen the trailer! *shock*

    3. Top 5 movies of the year so far, in no particular order, The Avengers, Cabin in the Woods, The Artist, Prometheus and Headhunters.

    4. Adore the poster! Makes me feel all nostalgic over Oz. Strangely enough, my favourite Wizard of Oz themed film is actually Return to Oz. loved it’s darkness. The wheelers still scare the crap out of me.

    5. Can’t think of anything! Though… I will say 2 WEEK UNTIL TDKR!

    1. I might have to bite the bullet and watch Black Hawk Dawn as it also has Eric Bana in it. I’m just afraid of the extreme violence. Generally war movies are not my cup of tea.

      Another vote for Headhunters, better rent that soon. I have a thing for Nikolaj 😉

      What’s Return to Oz? Is that a sequel then? Never heard of it.

      YES, 2 weeks until TDKR! Can’t friggin’ wait!!

      1. Ted S.

        I have Black Hawk Down on BD Ruth, I can lend it to you but I just a warning, it’s quite intense so you might not enjoy it. Believe it or not, I had to look away at one particular scene because it was too intense for me! So just FYI.

      2. Return to Oz is a loose sequel based on the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy makes a return trip to find that Oz is not how she left it –

        I love it. It’s a childhood favourite of mine and still stands up pretty well now. It’s dark for a kid’s film though. Love it.

        Nikolaj is brilliant. There are a fair few squirmy moments in Headhunters though, so be warned!

  21. Hi Ruth,

    My favorite American soldier in film would have to be from the role played by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. I did not read the Jack Reacher series, but this is a performance that we\’ve all come to expect from Tom Cruise. Johnny Depp is another actor who also tends to do the same types of performances. So, I\’m not very intrigued to see this latest one from Tom. I need to hold off on my top five until next week because I have to see some films I have wanted to see. I\’ve never really been a fan of James Franco, but the movie poster and the brilliant female cast is intriguing enough for me to want to see it. Finally, I came across this link with news about what should be expected in a sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. I must say that I agree!
    Always a pleasure to join the conversations on FlixChatter!

    1. Hello Raul! Thanks for participating.

      Another vote for Hanks in SPR, I knew he’d be popular 🙂 Well this is very typical for Cruise, kinda like Ethan Hunt but more bad-ass.

      I think the female cast and perhaps the visuals of the film is the draw for me to see the Oz prequel, then maybe I’ll see the original, he..he…

      Btw, I did see Amazing Spiderman. I like it, but there are some issues I have w/ it. I’ll write the review over the weekend.

  22. The good news: a film based on one of the great Jack Reacher books by Lee Child is really going to happen, after years and years of development on various titles in the series that will number 16 novels when The Affair is released this fall. The bad news (perhaps): Jack Reacher, written as a six and a half-foot, sandy-haired slab of a man, will definitely be played by Tom Cruise in Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot.

  23. Castor

    1. He is not from the movies but from Band of Brothers, my favorite soldier is Lieutenant Ronald Speirs because he is such a badass leader.

    2. Tom Cruise should be fine for the role despite the height discrepancy. I’m just a bit tired of seeing him take all the interesting starring roles in spy action thrillers…

    3. You should see Moonrise Kingdom. Easily the best so far!
    1- Moonrise Kingdom
    2- Brave
    3- The Avengers
    4- Ted
    5- 21 Jump Street

    4. I’m not really sold on James Franco in the lead but otherwise, this sounds like an awesome movie with an excellent premise. I haven’t the Wizard of Oz yet myself…


    1. Oh yeah, TV mini does count Castor, so good choice there from Band of Brothers.

      Yep, seems a bit tiresome to see him in such a role again to me.

      Ha..ha.. I just saw 21 Jump Street, I totally see why you’d have it in your top 5, it’s funny as heck. A bit too vulgar for my taste but I did laugh a lot.

      Yay, finally someone who hasn’t seen Wizard of Oz!!!

      So what’s gonna be your answer for #5? You’ve reported so many things so I’m curious which one excites you most 😀

  24. What a fun set of questions! Okay

    1. My favorite American soldier in movies? hmm, I gotta go with SERGEANT YORK played by Gary Cooper! Portraying the most decorated American War hero of WWI. By far.

    2. I haven’t read Jack Reacher, but I’m not all too thrilled about Cruise in the role. While I have nothing against Cruise, someone else would seem to fit the role better.

    3. Hmm, my top 5 so far of the year?

    The Avengers, The Hunger Games, John Carter, Moonrise Kingdom, and 21 Jumpstreet

    4. I am looking forward to a return to the land of Oz! I’ve been anticipating it and it’s nice to see more info about it since I started tracking it months ago. Seems less and less like a fairytale now as it’s shaping up into reality.

    5. After having seen that photo of Matt Damon in Elysium, I am excited to see more of that!

    1. Hi T!

      A classic pick, NICE. I still want to see Gary Cooper in Wings, too!

      Yep, a TON of other actors would’ve been a lot better than Cruise in that role.

      You like Jump Street too? I saw that last nite and though I didn’t suddenly become a fan of Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum, the movie was very funny!!

      That’s cool that you’ve been anticipating that, I hope it lives up to your expectation.

      Elysium is one of my anticipated movies in 2013, still haven’t seen any pics of Sharlto though, hope he’ll have a decent part in it.

  25. 1) Sefton (as played by WIlliam Holden) from “Stalag 17”

    2) No clue about this book series or Cruise’s association with the film. I will probably pass.

    3) This has not been a terribly productive year at the cinema thus far but if I had to pick my 5 favorite films they would have to be: Prometheus, Avengers, Farewell My Queen, While We Were Here, Haywire

    4) This looks kind of interesting actually. Look forward to Raimi’s visioning of Oz. Should be a feast for the senses.

    5) I have not keeping up with that much in the past few weeks when it comes to casting, etc. I think the James Bond exhibition looks like a winner though –

    1. Nice mix of top 5 there Iba. I really want to see ‘Farewell My Queen’ though it seems like there’s a new Marie Antoinette adaptation every couple of years, ahah. I haven’t seen the Sofia Coppola one though.

      Oh man, I WISH the Bond exhibition would make it to my neck of the woods, as you know I’m a 007 fangirl!!

  26. philmn94

    Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher — possibly one of the worst casting decisions of all time, IMO. It’s certainly right up there with casting Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum in “One for the Money.” Both actors are pretty much the opposite of the famous novel characters they play.

    I’ve read all of the Jack Reacher books, and I didn’t see anything in the trailer that portrayed the spirit of the books, other than the scene where a bunch of guys try to beat up Reacher, and they all go home in need of medical help. In the books, Jack Reacher goes days without showering or changing clothes. He never does laundry; he just goes and buys new cheap clothes off the rack at the nearest thrift shop, and throws the old stuff away. Jack Reacher doesn’t own a car; he walks everywhere, or takes the bus. It appears that the movie’s Jack Reacher will be quite a bit different than the book version.

    It would appear that both authors “Lee Child” and Janet Evanovich were so happy that their novels were being made into films that they didn’t care who would be starring in them.


    1. Hello Phil, always glad to see you stop by man! Ha..ha.. yeah I think I’m w/ ya there in regards to Cruise as Reacher. I didn’t know Heigl’s movie ‘One for the Money’ is based on a famous novel. Man what a wasted opportunity, she is a terrible actress!

      Heh, from what you described they definitely took a LOT of liberty in this movie adaptation for Reacher, heck I think they forgo it completely. I wonder why authors don’t mind seeing their visions getting *butchered* like that.

      Thanks for the insight, Phil.

  27. 1. I don’t know if I have a favorite on American Soldier. Is Forrest Gump counts?

    2. Don’t think I’m interested to see this movie. It seems like a safe movie for Cruise? Quite a shock news (the divorce) but I can see why it happens 😉

    3. My top 5 movies would be… The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, Brave, The Lady, Prometheus (lacked drama movies, I need more dramas!)

    4. Oh, sounds that it could be a great movie! Look forward to that

    5. I don’t really follow much casting news, but I’m excited to hear Nicole Kidman will be Grace Kelly.

    1. Hi Andina, you’re the second person who mentions Forrest Gump, yes he definitely counts 🙂

      Yep, I think Tom-Kat’s marriage is kind of like a time bomb, as is a lot of celebrity’s marriages out there.

      Hey I just finished my review of Amazing Spiderman, looking forward to reading yours now.

      Yeah, Nicole is certainly beautiful enough to play Grace Kelly, though my first choice would’ve been Charlize Theron.

  28. Hi Ruth, hope you had a great holiday weekend.

    1) I am really drawing a blank here. First one to come to mind is Captain Miller from Saving Private Ryan, but this is a tough question.
    2) I’m with you on this one: meh.
    3) My early favorites: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Take This Waltz, Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus, Cabin in the Woods. Not necessarily in that order.
    4) I wasn’t interested until I saw that cast. I will watch anything with Michelle Williams.
    5) Honestly, I have zoned out a bit this week. Can’t think of any movie news that got me excited.

    1. Hi Eric, I actually saw quite a few movies this past week, which is more than I have in a long time!

      Tough question eh, that’s why I put up a photo of the SPR soldiers up there 🙂

      I finally saw Moonrise Kingdom and I can totally see why it’s in a lot of people’s top 5 list!

      Michelle Williams is indeed a great actress, she’s come a long way since Dawson’s Creek, she must be the most successful out of that show now.

  29. 1. I can’t answer this one for the life of me. I try to avoid war movies beacuse they are certainly not my cup of tea, so I’m having a hard time remembering even one character that I’ve liked.

    2. No, I haven’t read the Jack Reacher series (that name is weird). About Cruise, he’s a fantastic actor but this role doesn’t seem interesting AT ALL.

    3. I haven’t seen nearly enough 2012 movies (I can’t even list a Top 5) but the three best I’ve seen so far are:
    – The Hunger Games
    – Chronicle
    – Prometheus

    4. I didn’t love the original but this one’s got me excited for the cast and the director.

    5. I watched the trailer for Celeste and Jesse Forever and it looks REALLY good. Casting: finding out Philip Seymour Hoffman might be having a role in Catching Fire!

    1. I’m w/ you about war movies, Fernando, most of ’em are just too brutal. That’s why my favorite is The Thin Red Line and for classic, Twelve O’Clock High, as it shows more of the psychological aspect of the troops, not the battle itself.

      Hey, I think I saw your comment on someone’s blog about Wizard of Oz, don’t worry man, I haven’t seen it but I don’t know if I will LOVE it as much as others do.

      I think Hoffman is now confirmed in Catching Fire. Wow, that cast is shaping up to be brilliant!

  30. Wow, great column, Ruth!

    1. This is a no brainer for me. Private Daniel Jackson (Barry Pepper) from “Saving Private Ryan.” Everything about that character (the fact that he’s a sniper, his Bible quoting while popping Nazis, his lefthandedness) is incredible and Pepper nails it. I was actually going to name my hypothetical son Jackson after him for a long time, until I started teaching and ran into a bunch of Jacksons who were all butts. 🙂

    2. Haven’t read any of the Jack Reacher books and I’m not overly impressed with the first trailer. But I do love Tom Cruise, personal real-life craziness aside.

    3. My top 5 so far: 1.) The Avengers 2.) The Other Dream Team (which I hope people get a chance to see soon) 3.) The Hunger Games 4.) Moonrise Kingdom and 5.) 21 Jump Street, which I never imagined I would enjoy as much as I did.

    4. I can’t believe you’ve never seen The Wizard of Oz! How is that possible?! A definite must see, even though I’m not the biggest fan of it overall. Some movies you just have to see, though.

    5. I like the casting of Jena Malone in Catching Fire. I think she has the requisite edge for the role she’ll be playing and I wasn’t sure someone like Mia Wasikowska could pull that off.

    1. Wow, you love that Barry Pepper character enough to name your yet-unborn son after him? That is saying something. I don’t know if I ever like a character that much, though I’ve always liked the name Logan for a boy, and I do like Wolverine 😉

      I like Tom Cruise in some movies, this one just doesn’t interest me in the least.

      I don’t know what ‘The Other Dream Team’ about, is it a documentary??

      Yeah, the casting for Catching Fire has been impressive so far, esp. now that Hoffman has joined as well.

      1. It is indeed a documentary, about the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, who won the bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games despite having only been a country for like, a year. Much more to it than just a sport movie! I have a review on my blog if you’re interested but it would be poor form to link to it here I think. 🙂

    1. Hi Alex! Glad to see you mention The Thin Red Line, my fave soldier would be Caviezel’s character.

      Magic Mike in your top five and you’re a guy! 😀 I probably just rent it, I’m a bit more curious because of the good reviews but believe it or not, male strippers just don’t appeal to me.

      Oh yeah, Watts as Diana looks good, I hope they do a good job w/ the film. The Princess deserved that.

      1. Alex Withrow

        Ha, I really think Magic Mike was horribly marketed, the trailers make it look like it is ONLY about stripping but it isn’t, at all. Really dug that flick!

        1. Yeah, that’s what I read in some of the reviews. I guess they market it as just a fun stripper movie to bring in more casual moviegoers. For me though it actually has the opposite effect. Once I read that there’s a deeper meaning behind it, I’m more inclined to see it.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s