Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trailer for "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Suddenly I really want to see this...I've heard great things so far, especially about Sally Hawkins' performance, which some are touting as the breakout performance of the year. The only odd thing about the trailer is that in advertising a comedy, they mention that it's by the director of abortion drama Vera Drake.....not exactly a happy movie (though I hear it's great).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Next "Australia" podcast: Cinematography

This is going to be one gorgeous movie. And if the delicate piano music near the end is from the film's actual score, then it's just one more thing this movie has going for it.

Trailer for "The Wolfman"

starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, and Hugo Weaving. This could actually turn out to be pretty creepy. Oh, and the reason the footage is so bad is because it's from someone's handheld camera at the Comic-Con screening for the movie.

So...I think I have a new favorite TV show...

I picked up the first half of season 1 of AMC's "Mad Men" last night, after hearing so much about it (and it's 16 Emmy Nominations) and wanted to see what all the fuss is about. For those not familiar, it takes place in the 1960s, where advertising men on MADison (haha) Avenue reigned supreme. If that doesn't sound interesting, then think again; it's fascinating and it explores the fact that everyone has many layers within their personality. I won't talk about much of the plot, but there's so much going on that if I started talking about it I might accidentally ruin a twist (and this is only after 6 episodes!). Here's a few things that I CAN comment on:

The Opening Credits Sequence: Best I've seen in a long time.

The Cast/Acting: They're all excellent, especially Jon Hamm as mysterious Don Draper and Vincent Kartheiser as smug and uppity Peter Campell, who just wants to impress Don (and possibly take over his job).

The Writing: sharp and smart without being over the top or grating. Though there's plenty of drama, the show doesn't try to force in a bunch of "explosive dramatic moments" (something that bothers me about most TV dramas). Instead of blowing a bunch of hot air, the show's dramatic moments are often handled in low whispers.

The Production Values: As good as any movie set in the period. Costumes and sets are all top notch.

The directing: the best for last. The camera work is beautifully handled, and feels like it could be up on the big screen.

I know the show just started it's second season last week, but I'd advise anyone interested to start with season 1, because even though there are only 13 episodes, there's a lot to catch up on.

Grade: A

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince TRAILER!

Unfortunately, it hasn't surfaced on youtube yet, so you'll have to click HERE to see it. looks pretty fantastic, and the little boy playing Tom Riddle looks really good. This, Quantum of Solace, and Australia all in one excited!!! As someone who was underwhelmed by the sixth book, I'm still pumped for this.....I love David Yates' darker touch...

Here it is on it in this easier format before the studio takes it down (if they do...)

Fergie's role in "Nine" revealed....

she is, La Saraghina....(the black and white picture is the version of Saraghina in Federico Fellini's film 8 1/2, on which the musical Nine is based).

Fergie is excited about adding the role of a prostitute to her acting portfolio.

The Grammy-winning singer has been cast as Saraghina in "Nine," a big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical. She will perform the saucy song "Be Italian" with Guido, played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

"She's basically a prostitute on the beach," Fergie told The Associated Press in an interview. "She introduces him to the world of sexuality. It's a very strong song. I'm just thrilled I get to play a character. I'm singing, but I'm not singing as myself. I'm going to be singing as a character, and that's what's really exciting to me."

Fergie, 33, joins Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson in "Nine," directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago"). Filming is set to begin in October. Fergie, whose real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, had minor roles in the "Poseidon" and "Grindhouse" movies.

"I'm speechless," she said of the opportunity to work with the film's A-list talent. "I'm definitely going to be a sponge on set. I want to pick up on everything that all these brilliant actors are bringing to the table. I'm probably going to be the quietest that I've ever been while working just because I want to watch and learn."

She was in Las Vegas on Monday to debut her two new shoe lines at the World Shoe Association show in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Fergie, who released her hit-packed solo album "The Duchess" in 2006, said she's now in the studio working on a new album with the Black Eyed Peas, their first new record since 2005's "Monkey Business."

"It's a new sound," she said. "We're going into the future. We're not doing the same old thing. We're not trying to copy what's out there on the radio. We're being artistic and pushing the envelope."

The TRUE singer of the Quantum of Solace theme song REVEALED...

or rather, singerS:

SOURCE: Reuters

Alicia Keys and the White Stripes' Jack White have recorded the theme song to "Quantum of Solace," the 22nd James Bond film, which will be released worldwide in November, Columbia Pictures said Tuesday.

The song, "Another Way To Die," is the first duet in Bond soundtrack history, the studio said in a statement. White wrote and produced the song, and also played drums. The soundtrack to the movie will be released October 28 by Keys' J Records label.

"Quantum of Solace," starring Daniel Craig and directed by Marc Forster, will be released in North American theaters on November 7. Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis had previously been rumored as the vocalists for the latest Bond theme.


As much as I wanted to see Amy Winehouse do it, this is still a really cool (and totally unexpected) choice. I love Alicia Keys' voice, but I'm not a big fan of the type of music she's been singing recently, so hopefully the song will edge away from blues-hiphop fusion and into a more rock/ballad type song.

First two posters from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" remake...

they're actually pretty intriguing.....

First batch of Toronto Film Festival entrants revealed

June 28, 2008
by Alex Billington

As much as I love the Sundance Film Festival, it does only come once a year. As a perfect compliment to that fest, the Toronto International Film Festival takes place every September and is just as fun and exciting of a festival. This marks their 32nd year and promises to be one of the best with an already intriguing line-up of films revealed. Although none of these films announced in this first batch of titles really stands out, except for one, The Good, The Bad, and The Weird, I’m interested in discovering new films that I haven’t yet become familiar with. As a brief introduction to the festival that is set to begin on September 4th this year, we’ve listed the first few titles that were announced in their diverse line-up.

As was already mention, Kim Jee-woon's The Good, The Bad, The Weird debuts in the Gala Presentation at the festival. Most films announced this week are from Cannes, including the following award winners: Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or winner Entre les Murs (The Class), Catherine Deneuve's Un conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale), Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys, Jean-Pierre Dardenne's and Luc Dardenne's Le Silence de Lorna, Steve McQueen's Hunger, Walter Salles' and Daniela Thomas' Linha de Passe. Additional films from Cannes include: Atom Egoyan's Adoration, Terence Davies' Of Time and the City, Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir, Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan, Bent Hamer's O'Horten, and Pablo Trapero's Lion's Den.

Other films showing at the festival include: Jia Zhang-ke's 24 City, Jerzy Skolimowski's Four Nights with Anna, Juraj Lehotský's Blind Loves, Lisandro Alonso's Liverpool, Barry Jenkins' Medicine for Melancholy, Gabriel Medina's The Paranoids, Matthew Newton's Three Blind Mice, Pablo Larraín's Tony Manero, Federico Veiroj's Acne, Amos Kollek's Restless, and Götz Spielmann's Revanche. The remaining line-up for the complete festival will be revealed entirely on Wednesday, July 23rd.

So far there’s a good selection, but I’m anxious to see what else will show up. I’m hoping Fernando Meirelles’s Blindness, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, The Coen Brother’s Burn After Reading, Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Pierre Morel’s Taken and Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna will also debut there, as I’m very excited to see all of those films in a festival setting. Although we’re still in thick of the summer movie season, I always keep independent movies on my mind. I’m very excited for the Toronto Film Festival to swing around because it really kicks off the Oscar season of films usually with a great line-up. Last year Juno, Michael Clayton, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and In the Valley of Elah all premiered at the festival. Stay tuned for our coverage and much more closer to September!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince trailer hits the internet tonight!

And I'm guessing it will be a lot better than the pathetic 15 second teaser shown before The Dark Knight. In the meantime, here's two new pictures from the movie. The first is Dumbledore in action, and the second is a young Tom Riddle:

Venice Film Festival Lineup announced!!

Running August 27th through September 6th, the 65th Venice International Film Festival will open with the Joel and Ethan Coen's "Burn After Reading," described as a dark spy-comedy. Festival director Marco Mueller, returning for his fifth festival, unveiled the lineup this morning in Italy, including the event's competition, out of competition, and Orizzonti sections.

The complete lineup for the 65th Venice International Film Festival follows.

In Competition "The Wrestler" directed by Darren Aronofsky "The Burning Plain," directed by Guillermo Arriaga "Il papa di Giovanna," directed by Pupi Avati "BirdWatchers," directed by Marco Bechis

"L'Autre," directed by Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic "Hurt Locker," directed by Kathryn Bigelow "Il seme della discordia," directed by Pappi Corsicato "Rachel Getting Married," directed by Jonathan Demme "Teza," directed by Haile Gerima "Paper Soldier," directed by Aleksey German Jr. "Suet," directed by Semih Kaplanoglu - Turkey / France / Germany

"Achilles and the Tortoise, directed by Takeshi Kitano - Japan "Ponyo on Cliff by the Sea," directed by Hayao Miyazaki - Japan (animated) "Vegas: Based on a True Story," directed by Amir Naderi - USA "The Sky Crawlers," directed by Mamoru Oshii - Japan "Un giorno perfetto," directed by Ferzan Oezpetek - Italy

"Jerichow," directed by Christian Petzold - Germany "Inju, la Bete dans l'ombre," directed by Barbet Schroeder - France "Nuit de chien," directed by Werner Schroeter - France / Germany / Portugal "Inland" (Inland), directed by Tariq Teguia - Algeria / France "Plastic City," directed by YU Lik-wai - Brazil / China / Hong Kong/China / Japan

Out of Competition "Puccini e la fanciulla," directed by Paolo Benvenuti - Italy "Yuppi Du," directed by Adriano Celentano - Italy "Burn After Reading," directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen - USA "35 Rhums," directed by Claire Denis - France / Spain "Cry me a river," directed by JIA Zhangke - China / Spain / France (short film) "Shirin," directed by Abbas Kiarostami - Iran "Tutto e musica," directed by Domenico Modugno (1963) - Italy "Vicino al Colosseo... c'e," directed by MontiMario Monicelli (short film) - Italy (documentary) "Do Visivel ao Invisivel," directed by Manoel de Oliveira - Brazil / Portugal (short film) "Orfeo 9," (1973) directed by Tito Schipa Jr. - Italy "Les Plages d'Agnes," directed by Agnes Varda - France (documentary) "Vinyan," directed by Fabrice Du Welz - France / UK / Belgium "Encarnacao do demonio," directed by Jose Mojica Marins - Brazil "Nel blu dipinto di blu" (Volare), directed by Piero Tellini (1959) - Italy

Out of Competition Events "Bajo el Signo de las Sombras," directed by Ferran Alberich (1984) - Spain (documentary) "Gracia Vida en Sombras," directed by Lorenzo Llbobet (1947)- Spain, 90' Fernando Fernan Gomez, Maria Dolores Pradera, Isabel de Pomes, Alfonso Estela "Ketto Takadanobaba," directed by Masahiro Makino, Hiroshi Inagaki (1937) - Japan "La rabbia," directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1963) (previously unreleased version) - Italy In collaboration with the Far East Film Festival, Udine "Girara no gyakushu / Samitto kiki ippatsu!" (Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit!), directed by Minoru Kawasaki - Japan "Queens of Langkasuka" directed by Nonzee Nimibutr - Thailand

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Mamma Mia!" - REVIEW

There are several routes you can take when you attempt to weave a story out of the songs by a particular band. Either A) try really hard to cleverly work songs in and create a semi-coherent story, or B) barely try at all, and hope there are more hits than misses. The latter seems to have been the approach taken on the stage play and now movie called "Mamma Mia!" which strings together the songs of ABBA in the laziest manner possible. The first half, maybe even two thirds of the film, though never dull, never quite take off; there's a certain spark missing, even in a large dance number that eventually ends with all the town's women dancing on a pier. There's little cleverness to be found in the first half, even with the cast trying their hardest (sometimes a bit too hard in the case of main character Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried). This leaves one burning question within me however: with the weak choreography, paper thin story (with plot holes big enough to fall into), and weak attempts to fit as many ABBA songs into the movie, why did I still walk out of the theater with a big smile on my face? It's just proof of what can happen when a movie finally catches fire and becomes interesting, even when it happens a bit too late. Streep, as usual, is good, but even then I found her to be better than expected. All of the characters are so broadly drawn, and there's so little room for deep characterization that I figured that even Streep would prove to be fun but still forgettable; I was wrong. Though the movie may be about a 20 year old's wedding day (seriously, WHO GETS MARRIED AT 20 IN THIS DAY AND AGE?) it's the "oldfolks" who are the most fun to watch, namely Streep, and her two pals, played by Julie "Mrs. Weasley" Walters, and Christine Baranski. When the trio are on screen (either together, or separated) the movie seems to gain a little something extra. The trio of potential fathers are also fun, though sometimes they get stuck in the swirl of the unfocused story, flashy colors, and overloads of estrogen crowding the screen. But in the end, it all comes down to Streep, who (surprisingly) ends up being the figure we care the most about. She has two standout scenes, one in which she sings about watching her daughter grow up, and the other about the challenges of love ("The Winner Takes it All") in what is easily the best scene in the film, despite Phyllidia Lloyd's amateurish direction. Though the beginning is such an awkward mess, it manages to pull itself in time for the big moment, which packs a few hilarious surprises bound to have all but the most cold hearted smiling and laughing. In some ways, it may be the perfect summer movie: laziness, sun, people in bright colors, scenes by the beach, happy songs, and a big fat Greek wedding to top it all off.

PS: stick around during the credits for two more additional performances, the second of which involving some outrageous costumes that had the theater in stitches.

Grade: an affectionate C+

Nominations: Best Actress - Meryl Streep(#4), Best Original Song - Thank You for the Music(#3)

Number of 2008 films seen: 21

Predictable casting at its best

Johnny Depp is to play the Mad Hatter in a new version of 'Alice in Wonderland'.

The 'Sleepy Hollow' actor is teaming up with director Tim Burton again for the movie, a re-imagining of the classic children's tale. A source said: "Tim has had designs on 'Alice in Wonderland' since before he was famous. "He has a knack for turning what seems like stories for just kids into gripping, spooky fables loved just as much by adults. "He's held out on doing 'Alice' until he got a big enough budget. Now this film is financed by Disney so money won't be a problem."

The movie - which is scheduled for release in 2010 - will be the seventh time Johnny and Tim have worked together. They have previously collaborated on 'Edward Scissorhands', 'Ed Wood', 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', 'Corpse Bride' and 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'.

Disney produced an animated version of 'Alice in Wonderland' in 1951.

Meanwhile, Johnny is said to be teaming up with director Terry Gilliam to make 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'. Work on the project was halted after just five days in 2001, with the setbacks chronicled in a documentary, 'Lost In La Mancha'.

Actor Jean Rochefort suffered a double hernia on the first day of filming, while the second day saw most of the set in Madrid washed away. Johnny allegedly refused to wait for his co-star to recover before filming could begin again and pulled out of the role, causing financiers to pull their backing and the project being aborted.

A source revealed: "They are having another crack at it after putting a deal together. Johnny is a bigger star now than he was then, thanks to the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, and there is every confidence they can pull it off."

Teaser for Pixar's next movie "Up" (2009)

Only Pixar could get away with a teaser so vague and random, because somehow I have a voice inside of me asking, "I HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE".

"Wolverine" Comic-con footage now online!

This was taken by someone at the screening with a handheld camera, but you still get a decent look at the footage. Watch it while you can before the studio takes it down!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Holy crap I made a movie!

This is the finished product of my one week film camp at Pepperdine University where I got to (along with a group of 4 others) act, write, direct, and edit a short film. Now, the version below is heavily edited, and lots of good stuff got taken out (including an entire 3 minute continuous mini-short film that was supposed to play over the credits) from the original 10 minute version, but still, it's cool to be able to show this. Shout outs to my partners in crime Rachel, Spencer, Ben, and Matt, along with our mentor Chris Salazar (aka the technical genius), and everyone else at this camp, which (though exhausting) was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

Just to make it clear: I'm the super pessimist who (due to the recording equipment or something) sounds disturbingly like Ray Romano.

The very first thing you hear was my own little last minute touch.....

Early review of "Tropic Thunder"

This makes me happy:

hey guys -

Just got back from an early Paramount screening of “Tropic Thunder” in Santa Monica, and while the theater experience there was highly unfortunate (the sound was horrible, and even dropped out completely during the last action-packed act, TWICE) - I’m happy to report that Ben Stiller has hit this one out of the park. Tropic Thunder is both completely F’ed up and hilarious.

For those of you that don’t already know the plot - Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black play three hollywood actors: Stiller is the action hero, Downey Jr. is the oscar winner, and Black is the crude comedy actor. They’re shooting a fact based war film which goes well over budget. The director (Steve Coogan) under the gun to fix the failing film - takes his actors to “the shit” - dropping them in an actual jungle and telling them that they’ll be filmed with hidden cameras. Problem is that they’ve been dropped in the middle of an
actual drug war zone.

While the concept is completely ridiculous (and impossible) - the laughs are hard to resist and I laughed a lot. While there are a few stumbles here and there as a few minor scenes lag - Overall the parts of the film that work completely outweigh the parts that don’t. I don’t wanna spoil all of the good gags - so I won’t get too deep into Spoiler territory - but just to be safe, for those of you who want to go in completely fresh, I suggest you stop reading right now.


Last warning… cause here I go - SPOILER ALERT - Well I’m not sure how much of a spoiler it really is, being that his appearance has been reported on just about every news and gossip site around - but Tom Cruise is in this - a lot - and he’s freaking hysterical. He gives a comedic Magnolia-like performance that will undoubtedly bring back his movie star cred from audiences. He’s really funny, and shows up quite a few times. It made me completely forget all about his odd couch-jumping, Xenu hailing ways. Hate him all you want - you cannot deny why this guy was - and will continue to be - a massive movie star.

There are quite a few more hilarious celebrity cameos, and a GENIUS opening of fake previews before the movie starts that play like big budget sketches from the brilliant and completely underrated Ben Stiller Show. The other bright shining light is Robert Downey Jr. as a white Russell Crowe like actor, who undergoes surgery to play the movie’s black platoon leader. It’s really, really funny.

Without a doubt, the most under-used actor in the film is Jack Black - which if you hate him is probably a good thing. I am a fan myself, and while he manages to still have some priceless moments including his hilarious trailer for his Nutty Professor like film called “The Fatties: Fart 2″, where he plays all five fat members of the family in the film, Eddie Murphy style, he sadly spends the bulk of the film stuck in a boring drug addiction withdrawal plot. They could have written a more creative character arc for him.

But overall, the film is a lot of fun. It’s also a pretty hard R with lots of blood, gore, action and language. So I say run, not walk when Tropic Thunder opens August 13th.


Tim Burton finds his "Alice"

Tim Burton has finally found his "Alice" for his upcoming live action (and possibly 3-D) adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" in the form of Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. Production is set to begin in November according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, if you're expecting just another remake, think again; word on the street hints that Burton plans to take the story to weird and wonderful heights (ex: Alice as a heroin addict...hell yes). Even less surprising (though much cooler) buzz hints that Helena Bonham Carter will have a role as none other than the villainous Queen of Hearts. I know it's ridiculously early to get excited about this, but I'm already sold....

"Australia" headed for re-shoots....

Hugh Jackman Reveals Nicole Kidman Heading Back To Work On ‘Australia’
July 25, 2008
SAN DIEGO, Calif. --

Weeks after giving birth to daughter Sunday Rose, Nicole Kidman is already preparing to go back to work.

According to her “Australia” co-star, Hugh Jackman, Kidman is heading back to the set of the epic film.

“We are doing a little bit of re-shooting in a couple of weeks so she is sort of back to work finishing off the film,” Jackman told Access Hollywood at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego on Thursday.

Normally I would consider this a troubling sign, but here are a few things to consider:

A) Kidman just had a baby, and there were probably some stunt scenes (ie: horseriding) that she couldn't do in the later stages of filming.

B) Jackman mentions only Kidman going back, and not himself or other principle actors; so it's not like the entire production is in trouble and everyone needs to head back.

C) seeing as much of the film was shot on location, there may have been sounds or objects (ie: a plane flying overhead) that disrupted a particular shot.

and D) it's Baz Luhrmann in the director's chair; he takes forever in post production anyway. Moulin Rouge had plenty of re-shoots, and yet it's one of my favorite movies ever.

I would only start to get worried if in a few weeks or a month the studio says that the whole film is being pushed back from it's November 14th release date.

Teaser for "W" has arrived!

And now for some thoughts on:

1. The movie overall:.....I can't's either going to be a good Primary Colors-esque semi satire, or it'll just be a huge misfire; It could look as though they rushed the project too much just to get it out in time for election year...

2. The Cast, as broken down by letter grades:

Josh Brolin as W: B

Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush: B+

James Cromwell as Bush Sr. : C- (a good actor, but his face is just too strikingly different to make a believable Bush Sr.)

Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush: B

Toby Jones as Karl Rove: B+

Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell: A-

Ioan Gruffud as Tony Blair: D+ (why couldn't they just get Michael Sheen?)

Thandie Newton as Condoleeza Rice: A+

Scott Glenn as Don Rumsfeld: B-

Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney: B

Friday, July 25, 2008

Footage from Steven Soderberg's "Che"

The movie itself got mixed reception at Cannes, but early word is that Benicio Del Toro is amazing as Che Guevara....I think this backs that up pretty well...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trailer for "The Brothers Bloom"

The sound isn't working on the computer I'm using, but from what I can tell, this might be a pretty fun movie (that, and it might allow Rinko Kikuchi to redeem herself for her overrated performance in Babel...who knows, maybe she's really good at comedy...).

First footage from 2009's "Wolverine" screened at Comic-Con 2008

Moving from one Hugh Jackman vehicle to the next, we have news that early footage from the 2009 film "Wolverine" showed footage at the convention. The film (directed by the Oscar winning director behind foreign language film winner "Tsotsi") is an origin story that tells how Logan became the kickass X-men that series fans all know and love. However, that doesn't mean that Jackman will be hogging all the screen time and fancy stunts; the cast also includes Liev Schreiber (aka Mr. Naomi Watts) and Ryan Reynolds (Mr. Scarlett Johannson). I've never been a huge X-men fan, but this seems like it could be worth waiting for. Unfortunately, no videos have surfaced (though perhaps within the next few days....??) but there is a nice description courtesy of a reporter from

At the end of the 20th Century Fox presentation where they showed new footage from The Day the Earth Stood Still and Max Payne (more on that exciting footage coming soon), the studio who has produced the most Marvel comic book movies so far pulled a surprise on the packed audience by bringing out Hugh Jackman, who had just gotten off a plane from Australia where they had just finished filming X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Written by David Benioff and directed by Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), the movie had been cloaked in secrecy except for a few scattered pictures that have leaked out, and Jackman was really excited about debuting some of the first footage at Comic-Con, since they weren't able to bring any of the "X-Men" movies there. He thanked everyone in the audience for helping make comic book movies so big in the past few years as well as going to see the three "X-Men" movies because it's the fans who helped make Jackman's career.

Jackman introduced Len Wein, the creator of Wolverine, who was in the audience, but that wasn't enough for Jackman, as he jumped off the stage and ran over shake Wein's hand and thank him for creating such a great character. Once he was back on stage, Jackman gave a really heart-felt speech to Wein saying, "I waited a long time to thank you personally and I wanted to shake your hand, mate. It's one of the best comic book characters ever created and as an actor, it's a challenge to play and I've just done it for the fourth time, and I still feel there's more to find out and that's down to you, from your great mind and heart creating a great character."

Jackman promised that the movie is "big, action-packed and bad-ass" and that we'll see a lot of "berzerker rage" in it, before showing the footage that was cut together especially for Comic-Con, even though he promised that it would look even better when the movie comes out next May.

The footage went by so fast that it was impossible to catch everything the first time--and they only showed it once unfortunately--but it begins with Jackman's Logan and Liev Schreiber's Victor Creed dressed in military gear in a detention cell where they're being interrogated by the younger Major William Stryker, played by Danny Huston. He says, "You were sentenced to death for decapitating a senior officer. Your sentence was to be carried out by a firing squad at 1000 hours. How'd that go?" Then Wolverine said, "It tickled." We see the two of them put in front of a firing squad who shoots at them, but they escape and we see Logan walking away as the building explodes behind them.

Stryker continues asking them if they're tired of running and denying their true nature and tells them he's putting together a "special team with special privileges" referring to the early stages of Weapon X or Alpha Flight. As he says this, we see brief glimpses of all the other characters in the movie, including Taylor Kitsch's Gambit, who looked amazing in action, Lynn Collins as Silverfox, Kevin Durand as The Blob, and even a short glimpse of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.

Most of the non-action scenes in the footage were dialogue sequences between Jackman and Schreiber with them talking over whether to take up Stryker's offer, and this is obviously what's going to lead to the long-time friends having a difference of opinions that leads to their age-old conflict. Logan says to Creed something about wanting to make a difference and asks how he'd like to get started, at which Creed tells Logan, "We didn't sign up for this. Who do you think you are? This is what we do! Become the animal."

From there, we get a few scenes of the experiments done to Logan to turn him into Wolverine, which looks like it was designed after the classic origin tale told in Barry Windsor-Smith's "Weapon X" story with him bursting out of the vat with the adamantium spikes coming out of skin. There was also a brief glimpse of Logan as a boy in a kimono with his claws extended which harks back to images from "Origins" and Frank Miller's take on the character's roots in Japan.

We see a few quick bits of Wolverine fighting some of the characters, including the Blob and Gambit, but the best moments are when he's taking on Sabretooth (of course)--sorry, Tyler Mane, but I think Liev Schreiber is going to make a lot better Victor Creed--and the clip reel ended with Wolverine hanging from the top of the helicopter while it's flying through the air.

Even though the usual claims were that this was unfinished footage, it looked good enough to make a pretty kick-ass trailer and fans of the character should be happy if the movie delivers on what we were shown.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens on May 1, 2009, and Jackman mentioned that they'll be presenting more footage and have a full panel for the movie at Wonder-Con in February.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Since we're done with more than half of 2008...

here's a quick look at where my top ten list stands for the moment....

1. The Dark Knight A
3. The Fall B+/A-
4. In Bruges B+/A-
5. Iron Man B+
6. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull B+
7. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day B-
8. The Visitor B-
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian B-/C+
10. Be Kind Rewind B-/C+

and where my nominees would stand if the year ended tomorrow....(ranked)

Best Picture:
1. The Dark Knight
3. The Fall
4. In Bruges
5. Iron Man

Best Director:
1. Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight
2. Andrew Stanton - WALL-E
3. Tarsem Singh - The Fall
4. Martin McDonaugh - In Bruges
5. Jon Favreau - Iron Man

Best Actor:
1. Colin Farrell - In Bruges
2. Lee Pace - The Fall
3. Christian Bale - The Dark Knight
4. Brendan Gleeson - In Bruges
5. Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man

Best Actress:
1. Cantinca Undaru - The Fall
2. Frances McDormand - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
3. Amy Adams - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
4. Natalie Portman - The Other Boleyn Girl
5. Renee Zellweger - Leatherheads

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
2. Ralph Fiennes - In Bruges
3. Aaron Eckhart - The Dark Knight
4. Gary Oldman - The Dark Knight
5. Jordan Prentice - In Bruges

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Hiam Abbass - The Visitor
2. Gwyneth Paltrow - Iron Man
3. Cate Blanchett - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull
4. Natalie Portman - My Blueberry Nights
5. Shirley Henderson - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Best Original Screenplay:
2. In Bruges
3. The Fall
4. The Visitor
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull

Best Adapted Screenplay:
1. The Dark Knight
2. Iron Man
3. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
5. The Other Boleyn Girl

Best Editing:
1. The Dark Knight
3. In Bruges
4. Iron Man
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull

Best Cinematography:
1. The Fall
3. The Dark Knight
4. My Blueberry Nights
5. In Bruges

Best Art Direction:
2. The Fall
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
4. The Other Boleyn Girl
5. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Best Costume Design:
1. The Fall
2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
4. The Other Boleyn Girl
5. Leatherheads

Best Animated Film:

Best Foreign Language Film: none seen

Best Original Score:
1. Thomas Newman - WALL-E
2. Carter Burwell - In Bruges
3. Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard - The Dark Knight
4. John Williams - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull
5. Krishna Levy - The Fall

Best Original Song:
1. Down to Earth by Peter Gabriel - WALL-E
2. The Story by Norah Jones - My Blueberry Nights
3. The Call by Regina Spektor - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Best Visual Effects:
1. Iron Man
2. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
3. The Dark Knight
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull
5. The Fall

Best Makeup:
1. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
2. The Fall
3. The Dark Knight
4. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull

Best Sound Editing:
1. The Dark Knight
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull
5. Iron Man

Best Sound Mixing:
1. The Dark Knight
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
4. Wanted
5. Iron Man

I can't wait to see how much this list transforms over the next 6 months!

A FAKE Revolutionary Road poster

Just something someone made to hold everyone over until some actual posters/trailers start emerging....which may not be for a while. The picture in the poster is an actual screenshot from the film...that much is real. Click to see a larger version.

This is totally winning Best Original Song this year...

Today in bullshit....

This is one of the most infuriating things I've ever read...


Dear Ethan,

After careful consideration I have decided to end my life. Things haven’t been going very well for me lately, but more importantly I am keen to reduce my carbon impact on the planet. Like the average Briton I probably produce around 9.3 tonnes of carbon each year. I am 26 years old, and reckon I could live for another 60 years; if I end things now I will save a total of 558 tonnes of carbon, for which I believe future generations should be grateful. But I have a question: what is the most ethical way to commit suicide? I don’t want my self-destruction to be destructive to the planet!

Yours faithfully,
Zach Montague

Dear Zach,

I empathise with your selfless decision. All responsible studies show that there are just too many people living on this planet for life to be sustainable. At least you have had the courage to do something about it, in a small and local way.

In fact your suicide could actually save far more carbon than you realise. Think of the children you might have had, and what CO2 vandalism they could have done. Your death will also reduce the carbon impact of friends and family members you leave behind – all those journeys they won’t make to visit you, unnecessary presents they won’t have to buy or wrap. I estimate that over 60 years your suicide will stop your loved ones from producing 583.2 kg of carbon from gift-buying alone. So your death will be even more generous than you know!

To your main question, which is a good one. As we know, many suicides are harmful to the environment. I often wonder about the state of mind of people who asphyxiate themselves with exhaust fumes in their cars – do they not know that every minute their car is chugging out up to 70g of CO2? As for people who jump off buildings, they seem to give no consideration whatsoever to the toxic cleaning products required to scrub the pavement. Suicides should take more time to think about the impact of their deaths on their surroundings.

I think the key to a green and ethical suicide is to leave no trace of your body behind. Selfish families will insist on holding a ceremony to dispose of bodies, often without a thought as to the environmental impact. A church funeral means people driving miles, maybe even flying to attend, not to mention the damage done by a gas-guzzling old hearse. It might be argued that once buried, human bodies provide food for other species, but as one brave EU environment commissioner reminds us, embalming fluids pose a danger to ‘living organisms’ – maggots and beetles that feast on the deceased – and should be banned. Will your family stop and think of the poor insects?

Even worse, they might opt for cremation. Did you know that 437,000 wooden coffins – the equivalent of 140 000 trees – are wastefully burnt in these self-regarding ceremonies in Britain EVERY YEAR? Cremation pollutes the environment with dioxin, hydrochloric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. All your good intentions in taking your own life could be undermined at the touch of an incinerator button.

So ideally your suicide should leave nothing to bury or cremate. A colleague in America advises eco-warriors who choose Carbon Suicide to throw themselves off a boat, so that the body disintegrates on the seabed and makes little impact on the ozone layer. However, I’m not so sure. Whales, dolphins and fish have a hard enough time with pollution and nets without having to avoid or swallow human carcasses, shoelaces, belts and buttons. If you do take the sea-suicide option, please remove all your clothing first (and post to a green charity shop prior to death).

In my view, probably the most ethical way to commit suicide is by self-cremation. Go deep into a forest, douse the body sparingly and set yourself alight. The ‘experts’ assure me that there is as yet no environmentally-friendly flammable liquid to match petrol. However, before turning to the Great Satan gasoline, I think a truly committed individual might experiment with vegetable oil and bio-fuels – after all, if they can power green cars, surely they can burn a green carcass! But even if you have to use a few (carefully measured) cups of petrol it will do far less damage to the eco-system than a conventional cremation. (Ironically, an obese over-consumer may burn more easily.) What’s more, the few remains of your body can be recycled by foxes and other small carnivores. So you will be sparing the planet from your 558 tonnes of carbon and literally giving a hand to Britain’s beleaguered wildlife at the same time.

My last word to you, Zach: don’t leave a suicide note. Even using a single sheet of paper contributes to the felling of trees for profit and the threatened extinction of many animals. Why ruin your selfless ethical moment? Post it on MySpace as a shining example to future generations of how to choose life by ending it all. Good luck!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Half Blood Prince" teaser trailer


"The Dark Knight" - REVIEW

Gargantuan. Mysterious. Dark. Ominous. Menacing. Labyrinthine. Overwhelming. Wicked. Brilliant. All of the above words apply to The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's follow up to the excellent Batman Begins. In the months building up to this film's release, the hype escalated to almost ridiculous levels, in no small part thanks to the buzz about Heath Ledger's performance. However, I would be lying if I told you that The Dark Knight surpasses Batman Begins. It does not merely surpass obliterates in on every level, and does something almost unheard. The Dark Knight improves upon its predecessor and then goes even further so that it elevates itself above being "just a comic book movie". It transcends that status and becomes a full fledged crime thriller that more than lives up to its title (this one ain't for the kiddies). Instead of the usual formula where the bad guy and the hero simply keep meeting up and fighting, Batman (and his allies) is forced to be something of a detective, tracking down clues to prevent the next heinous crime by a self described "agent of chaos". This brings us to the film's central figure of evil: the Joker. If you think that all the hype for Heath Ledger's final complete performance will only leave you underwhelmed think again. Both his performance and the film as a whole surpass their HUGE expectations and deliver on all fronts. The Joker isn't just a token bad guy; he is a study of the randomness of chaos; a villain without motive who simply "wants to watch Gotham burn". Ledger is so hypnotic while on screen, that you will feel how for every syllable, even in the most insignificant word, how deeply immersed Ledger was into this character. It seems appropriate that as the film goes on, and the Joker's plots become more sinister, that his makeup begins to crack and wear away even more. However, it would be unfair to write off the rest of the cast. Christian Bale is in fine form as our hero Bruce Wayne/Batman, and thankfully his "Batman voice" sounds much better most of the time (towards the end it sometimes feels a bit too much). Gary Oldman as good cop Lt. Gordon, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, and Michael Caine as Alfred also turn in strong performances, along with Aaron Eckhart as the city's "White Knight". Director Nolan and crew have also made significant upgrades. Whereas Batman Begins' fight scenes were often too close , Nolan pulls back the camera a bit during the man-on-man fights to allow us to see who is who. Even better though, is the vehicular chase/battle, which consists of police cars, the batmobile, transport trucks, and a very destructive 18 wheeler. If things weren't already tense enough, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score takes the tension to almost unbearable heights, namely when several shrill violins ring out in an odd rising motion continuously as the camera cuts between characters in multiple locations. Wally Pfister's cinematography is also worthy of praise, particularly when the camera goes for uninterupted takes and circles two people in the midst of a verbal confrontation. However, perhaps what really makes The Dark Knight stand out is its sense of humor. There are times when moments are so bizarrely dark, that they are funny (in a twisted sense of course). There is only one complaint I have about the film, and it's that I'm now in a bad spot. I have to choose between this and WALL-E for my favorite movie of the year, even though they're so wildly different. The Dark Knight is as brooding and dark and disturbing as WALL-E is beautiful, romantic, and charming; they're almost like Yin and Yang.......I guess that only leaves me with one option then..

Grade: A

Nominations: Best Picture(TIE #1 WINNER), Best Director - Christoper Nolan(TIE #1 WINNER), Best Actor - Christian Bale(#3), Best Supporting Actor - Aaron Eckhart(#3), Best Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger(#1 WINNER), Best Supporting Actor - Gary Oldman(#4), Best Adapted Screenplay(#1 WINNER), Best Editing(#1 WINNER), Best Cinematography(#4), Best Original Score - James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer(#3), Best Makeup(#3), Best Visual Effects(#3), Best Sound Editing(#1 WINNER), Best Sound Mixing(#1 WINNER)

Number fo 2008 films seen: 20

The next addition to "Nine" is.......


LOS ANGELES, Calif. --

In her first significant leading role on the big screen, Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson) of the Black Eyed Peas has been cast as one of the final puzzle pieces in Rob Marshall’s ensemble musical, “Nine” for The Weinstein Company, Access Hollywood has learned exclusively. The casting will be announced Friday.

While there are several female leads in the film, including Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren and Marion Cotillard, as well as Academy Award nominees Penelope Cruz and Kate Hudson(announced Wednesday), Fergie’s role will be significant.

The musical revolves around the women in the life of the male lead character, Guido Contini, who will be played by two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis. The show is loosely based on the life of Italian director Federico Fellini, and inspired by his masterpiece, “8 ½.” “Nine” opened on Broadway in 1982 and was revived starring (amongst others) Antonio Banderas (and later, John Stamos), Mary Stuart Masterson, Jane Krakowski, Chita Rivera and Laura Benanti.

Fergie has had smaller roles on the big screen in recent years, including 2007’s “Grindhouse” and 2006’s “Poseidon.” She began her acting career on the small screen on the show “Kids Incorporated.”

“Nine” begins shooting in October.

*Sigh*....not really a surprise, but still sucks to hear it...

Plans for a sequel to fantasy film The Golden Compass have reportedly been axed following a series of protests from the Catholic Church.

Scholars slammed the children's movie last year for being anti-God and anti-religion - and even officials at The Vatican stepped in to criticise the film, which stars Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.

Now author Philip Pullman, who wrote the His Dark Materials trilogy the film was based on, has confirmed he has not been contacted over a follow-up, adding to industry speculation a second installment will not be made.

He says, "When the first film was in production, I was talking to the studio and to (writer/director) Chris Weitz and producers quite frequently. I'm sure I would be now if the sequel was in production."

But he admits he still has high hopes for another film: "I know everyone would like to see a sequel and I know I'd like to see it."

Film studio New Line Cinema is refusing to discuss the future of the trilogy.

The only possible good that can come from this is that I won't have to worry myself with questions like "will that scene be left in there?" or "will the person they cast as so-and-so do a good job?".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teaser for 2009's "The Watchmen"

Starring: Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Hayley, Carla Gugino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode, and Malin Ackerman

The Dark Knight review form for critics

click to see a larger version.

"Body of Lies" trailer

It looks good, but I think it's about time all the awards prediction websites removed this from the major categories. It will probably be smart and entertaining, but a best picture contender? Not so much

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No words are needed to describe how awesome this is...

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Sneak peek at Ridley Scott's "Body of Lies"

The full trailer should be online within the next week.

New trailer for "Blindness"

In spite of some of the bad press the film got at Cannes, this new trailer has renewed my interest.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All 9 "Dark Knight" Tv ads and all 3 trailers

compressed into ONE video....ain't that snazzy?

Kate Hudson joins Rob Marshall's "Nine"(2009)

Someone's making sweet music with Kate Hudson—and it's not Lance Armstrong!

The Oscar nominee has joined the cast of director Rob Marshall's movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Nine.

And get this: Hudson's role, an American writer for Vogue named Stephanie, wasn't even in the original Broadway show. Marshall & Co. created it just for her!

And what a cast she's joining...

The movie will star Daniel Day-Lewis as world-famous film director Guido Contini, who must balance the women in his life while making his latest movie. Nine was inspired by Federico Fellini's autobiographical film 8 ½.

The stellar ensemble playing Guido's many ladies include Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren.

"[Hudson's] revelatory skills as a singer and a dancer lead to the creation of the role," Marshall said in a statement released earlier today.

Composer Maury Yeston has even written a new song just for Hudson.

Marshall is still looking for his Saraghina, a woman described as a "whore from Guido's youth."

Nine has hit a couple of sour notes along the way. Javier Bardem had originally signed on as Guido, but dropped out in May, citing exhaustion from his work in the last year and an awards season that was capped off with an Oscar for his work in No Country for Old Men.

Catherine Zeta-Jones also ditched playing Guido's film muse Claudia, because she reportedly felt her part wasn't substantial enough. The role eventually went to Kidman after Marshall, who directed Zeta-Jones in her Academy Award-winning performance in Chicago, declined to make enough changes to satisfy Zeta-Jones.

Nine first opened on Broadway in 1982 with Raul Julia in the lead role. In 2003, a hit revival starred Antonio Banderas.

A rep for the Weinstein Company says filming is scheduled to begin in October in London.

Theatrical trailer for "The Spirit"

I wasn't too interested in this when I saw the teaser trailer (which showed next to nothing interesting other than the Sin City-esque visuals). However, this one (which also highlights the female cast and the villain played by Samuel L. Jackson) is much more unique and intriguing.

In case the video gets taken off of Youtube, here's another (lower quality) video:
Find more videos like this on The Movie Community

Finally, a poster for "The Duchess"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trailer for "Ghost Town" with Ricky Gervais/Greg Kinnear

Looks like it has the potential to either be good....or the concept will grow old with 10 minutes and it will draaaaaaaaaag...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Walt Disney Pictures Studio has gone over to the dark side

and even WORSE:


Once again ladies and gentleman, here to express my feelings, Mr. Peter O'Toole!!

"Cold Mountain"(2003) - REVIEW

In regards to Anthony Minghella's Oscar winning "The English Patient", my feelings have always mirrored those of Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld": I just don't understand why it gets so much love. So even though I enjoyed Charles Frazier's novel "Cold Mountain", I remained hesistant about renting the film because I knew that the now deceased Mr. Minghella was at the helm. Luckily, he redeems himself here. Though the film was shot in Romania, and starring very few American actors, Mr. Minghella still manages to capture the horrors of the Civil War, and the central long distance romance between Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) and W.P. Inman (Jude Law) with aplomb. When Inman is sent off to war, Ada thinks everything will be alright, and that (like everyone else) the war will be over "within a month". Unfortunately, when the war drags on and gets bloodier and bloodier, things take a turn for the worse. In the village around Cold Mountain, a group of thugs led by Teague (Ray Winstone) are slowly gaining control of the land while cruelly punishing anyone who they deem to be a deserter from the frontlines. When Ada's father dies, she finds herself in the worst situation possible, for she cannot do manual labor, and there are no young men left in town to help her. Enter Ruby Thewes (Renee "Blowfish" Zellweger), who hears of Ada's plight and comes to help Ada get her farm and herself into working form. As multi-national as the cast is, the cast all manage to pull off Southern accents (ranging from decent to pitch perfect) well enough so that they feel believable as Americans. Kidman and Law make good as soft spoken lovers, and Winstone is perfectly dispicable as Teague, but it's Zellweger who shines the most, making Ruby more than just a cheap comic relief character; she gives her true depth in addition to perfectly rattling off the wisecracks. In addition, the film boasts a handful of smaller roles, wonderfully performed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, and Donald Sutherland. Adding to the authentic feel are the rich costumes, striking cinematography (the shots of reddish smoke over the chaotic battlefields looked like paintings). However, despite the picturesque beauty, the film does not forget to show us that war is hell; some of the scenes, both in and out of battle, are harsh and unsettling. Who would've thought that a group of foreigners would make one of the best Civil War films in recent memory......

Grade: A-

Nominations for 2003: Best Picture(#4), Best Director - Anthony Minghella(#4), Best Actor - Jude Law(#3), Best Actress - Nicole Kidman(#5), Best Supporting Actress - Renee Zellweger(#2), Best Editing(#2), Best Adapted Screenplay(#2), Best Cinematography(#1 WINNER), Best Costume Design(#2), Best Art Direction(#3), Best Original Score - Gabriel Yared(#3).

And just for laughs:

"Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" - REVIEW

NOTE: I apologize in advance for how poorly written and scatter-brained this review is...

The story starts when Elf Prince Nuada decides that humans have done too much careless damage to the earth above; he sets out on a mission to retrieve three sacred pieces of a mythical crown that will allow him to awaken the indestructible golden army, built centuries ago under his father's rule. Of course, his attempts to destroy mankind won't go interrupted. Enter Hellboy, Liz, and Abe Sapien, a trio of mutants (more or less) who work for the governement's secret branch, Bureau of Paranormal Affairs. They're ready to put a stop to Nuada's chaos with wit, better special effects, and a curiously uneven screenplay. Wait...what? Oh, that shouldn't be a problem, perhaps the film makers can just throw in more special effects! Unfortunately, these do not prove to be the answer. I know Guillermo Del Toro has a side of him that loves comic book characters, but perhaps he needs to learn two important lessons first: 1) Bigger isn't always better, and 2) you need to have a better grasp of English to write a good screenplay for this sort of character. For now, Mr. Del Toro should probably stick to films written in his own language, as it tends to yield better results (the masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth). It's not a bad film, but at times Hellboy 2 suffers from Del Toro's lack of a nuanced grasp on the English language. What's truly ironic is that everytime Del Toro tries to make things BIGGER, they end up not being as satisfying; his close up one on one sword duels are much more exciting than his face off between Hellboy and a giant plant creature that tears the sh*t out of a few city blocks with ease. Then later, when Hellboy and company enter a vast underground cavern, the areas that are the farthest away seem fake while those up close look breathtaking real. Also, his multitude of bizarre creatures, though intriguiing to look at, don't really have their desired effect, because we have little intimacy with them. Though there were only a small handfull of creatures Del Toro designed for Pan's Labyrinth, each one had a specific purpose and was necessary to the plot; here, they just feel like Del Toro's way of showing off how creative he is. Only two new creatures stand out, and one is criminally underused. The first is Johann Kraus, a German wisp of pyschic smoke who stays contained within a sort of diving suit. Kraus (brilliantly voiced by Seth MacFarlane) gets plenty to do, and his bickerings with Hellboy (also perfectly cast Ron Perlman) are all well executed. However, the Angel of Death, perhaps the coolest looking and most intriguing of all the throw away characters, has one important task, and then disappears as quickly as he/she/it came. That being said, there are plenty of enjoyable moments, namely a sidesplittingly funny moment where Hellboy and Abe sing along to a Barry Manilow song (it's nice to know that the movie openly doesn't take itself seriously at all). All in all, it's a mixed bag, but an oddly enjoyable chaotic mess of a mixed bag. I really feel the urge to rent "The Devil's Backbone"....or to watch Pan's Labyrinth again....just something to remind me of what a genius Del Toro can be.......

Grade: B/B-

Nominations: Best Art Direction(#3), Best Costume Design(#2), Best Visual Effects(#2),Best Makeup(#1 WINNER), Best Sound Editing(#3), Best Sound Mixing(#3)

Number of 2008 films seen: 19

"Sense and Sensibility"(1995) - (lazy)REVIEW

Part of me can't stand Jane Austen, while the other half of me loves her. I can't stand her because her stories always concern the very upper crust of society, never delving into the truly pressing woes of REAL people, yet I love her because there's still something charming and witty about her stories as she subtly pokes fun of the traditions of the time. Though I'm not sure I like it as much as 2005's Pride and Prejudice, Ang Lee's adaptation does succeed on a number of levels, first and foremost in its casting. Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, and everyone else could not have been more perfectly cast. Thompson's screenplay is also a triump, and Ang Lee's direction is strong as well (though Joe Wright's worked better for his Austen adaptation). My only major complaint is that the middle starts to drag a liiiittle bit, but otherwise, it's a success.

Grade: A-

Nominations for 1995: Best Picture(#4), Best Director - Ang Lee(#3), Best Actress - Emma Thompson(#3), Best Supporting Actress - Kate Winslet(#2), Best Adapted Screenplay(#2), Best Cinematography(#1WINNER), Best Costume Design(#1 WINNER), Best Art Direction(#1 WINNER), Best Original Score - Patrick Doyle(#1 WINNER)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Looks like Josh Brolin is now a method actor...

seriously, what better way to get into character as George W. Bush than this?

Source: yahoo news/associated press

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) Police say actors Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright, along with members of a crew fiming an Oliver Stone movie, were arrested during a bar fight in Shreveport.

Shreveport police Sergeant Willie Lewis says Brolin, Wright and five others were arrested just after 2 a.m. Saturday at a club called the Stray Cat bar.

Lewis says a call to deal with a rowdy patron drew interference from other patrons.

The Times of Shreveport says Brolin was booked and posted $334 cash bond to be released. Police could not say Saturday whether he or the others had been released. The paper said they are part of the crew on an Oliver Stone film, "W," about President George W. Bush.

A call to Brolin's publicist was not immediately returned Saturday night.

4 clips/promos for "The Dark Knight"

the final marketing blitz begins.....

New poster for "007: Quantum of Solace"

while it's a cool poster, what's really interesting is the apparent change in release dates (it was originally set for November 7th). Rumors are suggesting that the studio bumped this up so that they would have a slot for the next surefire Will Smith blockbuster "Seven Pounds" (*gag*).

EDIT: thanks to filmedge, I now know that October 31st is simply the British release of the film, and that the US will still get it on November 7th, as originally planned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Persepolis"(2007) - mini REVIEW

While Pixar's film's may be becoming increasingly more grownup, they still aren't anything near what one would call a "cartoon for adults only". Persepolis, (France's failed submission for Foreign Language Film, yet successful Animated Film nominee) is one such adult cartoon. While it's animation style and primitive (though beautiful) black and white coloring may make it seem to be aimed at a younger audience, this is no cartoon for the kids. War, death, love, sex, and political philosophy are all major players in this moving adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's semi-autobiographical graphic novel. The story covers the life of Marjane as Iran and Tehran witness the rise and fall of the Shah regime, the dictatorships that follow, and the eight year war with Iraq. Though at times it's quite grim, the screenplay injects a handful of hilarious moments, the highlight of which is watching Marjane's awkward transition into womanhood; the animation perfectly captures the narrator's feelings about her rapidly changing physical features with humorous exaggeration. If there's one flaw in the storytelling, it's that Satrapi and her co-director Vincent Parranoud often resort to using blackouts as a means of scene transition, instead of coming up with something clever to link them. All in all, a different and refreshing take on a dark period of history that deserves to be seen.

Grade: B+

Nominations for 2007: Best Animated Film (#1 WINNER)

Michael Bay's Rejected script for "The Dark Knight"

well, unfortunately it's just a joke, but it sure sounds like something that hack would write. Anyway, it's pretty hilarious in how Michael Bay-esque it is (especially after seeing Transformers). Make sure to click on the pictures so you can actually read what's on them.