Paramount Pictures has decided to not invite critics to the nationwide screenings of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, in what one might suspect is an attempt to quash bad reviews. A very targeted select group of online outlets were chosen to screen the film (were any women invited?), and the buzz coming out of their reports has been surprising – the movie isn’t horrible, it might even be a little fun. So why isn’t Paramount screening GI Joe to press if the few critics that did see the film enjoyed it? It’s a question that has been the subject of conversation in the movie geek circles on Twitter last week.

But the bigger question is… does not screening a film for critics mean that a movie is bad? In today’s by the numbers, I take a look at the films released over the last year that were not screened for critics. And by not screened, I should clarify — I mean outside of NY/LA junket screenings.

The graph above shows the 16 films from the last 12 months that weren’t screened for critics nationwide. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Crank 2

The Guardian asked Cardiologist Simon Grant to review Crank 2: High Voltage from the logistical point of view. The resulting technical critique is actually rather amusing. Here is an excerpt:

“Artificial hearts are pretty poor, primitive devices. They supply enough cardiac output to keep you slowly plodding around, but they certainly don’t allow for martial arts and sprinting. Overcharging them won’t give you super-speed, either.”

The doctor admits that real artificial hearts work on the same principal shown in the film, power is transferred to the machine through your skin. However, shocking yourself with a taser of car battery is “more likely to fry the electrics” than power the device. He calls the heart surgery in the beginning “implausible in the extreme” and a transplant would require a tissue-type match. Read the whole article on The Guardian‘s website.

Early Twitter Buzz: Crank 2: High Voltage

crank 2 poster top

Crank 2: High Voltage was not screened for the press, much like the first film. So I decided to do a round up of all the fast and dirty reactions from the moviegoers that caught the midnight showing of the Neveldine/Taylor sequel. So far the consensus is that if you loved the first film, you’ll probably enjoy the second one. If you disliked the first film, you’ll probably hate the sequel.

Photo_4_edited-1_normaldanhacker: Crank 2′ was absurd, insane, brilliant and altogether fantastic. It’s exactly what I would want from a ‘Crank‘ sequel.

Hpim0138_normalWTValdes: just saw Crank 2! Just as insanely ridiculous and hilarious as the first one.
Hgdk_normalStevePhoenix: Crank 2 is good. Ridiculous, over the top and funny, but if you want a film where you don’t need to think much, this is the one for you
Img_7141_normalTuck30: Man I thought the first crank movie was bad. The second one is even worse glad I didn’t pay
More after the jump.

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When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, one critic live blogged his review from his cell phone in an attempt to be first. Thankfully this form of reviewing hasn’t really caught on (although, I do recall that one of the video blogs live blogging the new Street Fighter movie). The guys from Human Giant are now trying to take this idea to the next possible level… make it interactive.

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Filming Crank 2


Last year we told you that Crank directors Neveldine/Taylor had decided to film Crank 2: High Voltage entirely using consumer grade video cameras, allowing them to put the cameras in places filmmakers normally aren’t able to. They also had plans to shoot some sequences using a “moving bullet time camera rig” composed of 8 small video cameras attached to a curved light weight piece of speed rail.

Collider has edited together some of the studio-released B-roll footage, which you can watch for yourself after the jump, showing the madmen at work, strapping little consumer grade cameras to remote control cars and using the custom built “moving bullet time camera rig”. I can’t even imagine what the end result will look like.

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New Crank 2 Movie Poster

Lionsgate has released a new poster for Crank 2: High Voltage, with the tagline “He was Dead… But He Got Better.” It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than that. Full poster after the jump.

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Official Crank 2 Trailer Unleashed

After the uncensored red teaser trailer leaked onto the interwebs last week, Lionsgate rushed to get an official trailer for Crank 2 online. And the trailer hit the web on Thursday night on IGN. The new trailer is a lot more traditional, and gives you a better idea of exactly how insane the sequel might be. I’m still waiting for the man in suit action that was hinted at from the gigantic head photos from a while back. You will notice a moment in the last few seconds of the trailer where Chev Chelios grabs on to some heavy duty power lines. I believe that is the moment when things get gigantic. Watch the trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments.
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Crank 2 and Outlander Movie Posters

Latino Review has a first look at the teaser poster for Crank 2: High Voltage (pictured right), which is a variation on the original Crank teaser poster (pictured left). Click on the poster above to see the image in regular resolution.

A few months back Outlander was gaining momentum in online circles, but The Weinstein Co will have none of that and has decided to bury the film with a late-January limited release — which is basically the kiss of death. And the best their marketing team could come up with is to sell the possible cult b-sci-fi/action action film with the face of Jesus, and nothing more. How are possible ticket-buyers to know that it’s a film about vikings who team with a human alien to take on an alien creature crash to earth? Watch the trailer here. Check out the new poster after the jump.

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NSFW: Crank 2 Movie Trailer

A promotional movie trailer for Crank 2: High Voltage has hit the web at IntralinkFilm. The trailer is packed to the brim with swears, nudity and all sorts of cool NSFW stuff. Jason Statham is back as Chev Chelios, in the direct sequel to the insane, unstoppable, 2006 action film Crank. In the sequel, Chelios faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working. Neveldine/Taylor shot the film using consumer and prosumer digital video cameras, promising to present some of the most insane handheld action ever seen on the big screen. It looks even more insane than the first film, almost like the ultimate B-action movie. Watch the trailer below and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks to AICN for the tip.

Crank 2: High Voltage is set to hit theaters on April 17th 2009.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the two madmen behind Crank, appeared on The Movie Blog Uncut and talked briefly about their upcoming adaptation of Jonah Hex.

For those of you who don’t remember, a few months ago, a photo of Thomas Jane made up to look like Jonah Hex leaked onto the internet. At first some believed it to be a concept photo for the actual film, but Neveldine and Taylor quickly denied any knowledge. Jane came out and publicly admitted that the concept photo was actually something he did on spec, in an attempt to convince Neveldine and Taylor to cast him in the film. So what is the outcome? Will Neveldine and Taylor cast Jane as the gunslinging anti-hero?

“He’s a great guy,” admitted Brian Taylor, later adding “But we… don’t see the guy as Jonah Hex, to be quite honest with you. But we like him.”

“It was a really huge compliment to us,” Mark Neveldine added. “And we’ll have him in one of our movies.”

So who is going to play Jonah Hex? The directing duo wouldn’t reveal any names.

“We have some options.”

And the casting process won’t really begin for a few more months. The duo are still hard at work editing Crank 2: High Voltage, and are planning to begin pre production in January 2009. Principal photography would begin in March 2009 in either Louisiana, Georgia or Arizona.

Another interesting tidbit that was revealed during the show was in relation to the lightweight consumer grade cameras that they used to shoot the Crank sequel. Apparently the cameras allowed for so much freedom, that they shot over 279 hours of footage in the 31 days of production, which is more footage than James Cameron shot on Titanic (138 days).