Friday, July 31, 2009

My Halfway Award Winners...



Best Picture:
The Hurt Locker

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker

Best Actor:
Sam Rockwell - Moon

Best Actress:
Zooey Deschanel - (500) Days of Summer

Best Supporting ActorTIE:
Michael Gambon - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
AND
Zachary Quinto - Star Trek

Best Supporting Actress:
Rachel Weisz - The Brothers Bloom

Best Original Screenplay:
The Hurt Locker


Best Adapted Screenplay:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Best Editing:
The Hurt Locker

Best Cinematography:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Best Art Direction:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Best Costume Design:
Cheri

Best Original Score:
Clint Mansell - Moon


Best Original Song:
N/A

Best Animated Film:
Up

Best Foreign Language Film:
N/A

Best Makeup:
Watchmen


Best Visual Effects:
Star Trek






French poster for "Antichrist"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trailer for Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

New poster for "The Informant"

New "District 9" featurette

2009 Venice Film Festival Lineup announced



International competition of feature films, presented as world premieres

FATIH AKIN - SOUL KITCHEN
Germany, 99'
Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Uenel

GIUSEPPE CAPOTONDI - LA DOPPIA ORA
Italy, 95'
Ksenia Rappoport, Filippo Timi, Giorgio Colangeli

POU-SOI CHEANG - YI NGOI
China - Hong Kong, 89'
Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Michelle Ye

PATRICE CHÉREAU - PERSÉCUTION
France, 100'
Romain Duris, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jean Hugues Anglade, Alex Descas

FRANCESCA COMENCINI - LO SPAZIO BIANCO
Italy, 96'
Margherita Buy, Guido Caprino, Salvatore Cantalupo

CLAIRE DENIS - WHITE MATERIAL
France, 100'
Isabelle Huppert, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Isaach De Bankolé

JACO VAN DORMAEL - MR. NOBODY
France,
Jared Leto, Diane Kruger, Sarah Polley

TOM FORD - A SINGLE MAN
USA, 99'
Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode

JESSICA HAUSNER - LOURDES
Austria, 99'
Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini

WERNER HERZOG - BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS
USA, 121'
Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Michael Shannon

JOHN HILLCOAT - THE ROAD
USA, 112'
Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall

VIMUKHTI JAYASUNDARA - AHASIN WETEI (BETWEEN TWO WORLDS)
Sri Lanka, 80'
Thusitha Laknath, Kaushalya Fernando, Huang Lu

AHMED MAHER - EL MOSAFER
Egypt, 125'
Omar Sharif, Cyrine AbdelNour, Khaled El Nabawy

SAMUEL MAOZ - LEVANON
Israel, 92'
Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen

MICHAEL MOORE - CAPITALISM
USA, 120'
(documentary)

SHIRIN NESHAT - WOMEN WITHOUT MEN
Germany, 95'
Pegah Feridon, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth, Arita Shahrzad

MICHELE PLACIDO - IL GRANDE SOGNO
Italy, 101'
Riccardo Scamarcio, Jasmine Trinca, Luca Argentero, Laura Morante, Silvio Orlando

JACQUES RIVETTE - PIC SAINT LOUP
France, 84'
Jane Birkin, Sergio Castellitto, André Marcon, Jacques Bonnaffé

GEORGE ROMERO - SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD
USA, 90'
Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Walsh, Devon Bostick, Kathleen Munroe

TODD SOLONDZ - LIFE DURING WARTIME
USA, 92'
Ciarán Hinds, Emma Hinz, Charlotte Rampling

GIUSEPPE TORNATORE - BAARÌA
Italy, 150'
Francesco Scianna, Margareth Madè, Raoul Bova, Enrico Lo Verso, Michele Placido, Vincenzo Salemme, Monica Bellucci, Laura Chiatti

SHINYA TSUKAMOTO - TETSUO BULLET MAN
Japan, 80'
Eric Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto

YONFAN - LEI WANGZI
China - Taiwan, Hong Kong, 120'
Chih-Wei Fan, Terri Kwan, Joseph Chang, Kenneth Tsang

Trailer for the Coen brothers' "A Serious Man"!

It's about time...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall join Ben Affleck's next directing attempt: "The Town"


Source: Slashfilm.com

Prince of Thieves follows Doug McRay (Affleck), a thief from Charlestown, the neighborhood just north of downtown Boston. McRay robs a bank but soon falls for Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), the manager of the bank. She lets things proceed, not realizing that he was under the mask of the guy who robbed and traumatized her. Meanwhile the FBI agent played by Hamm is trying to catch McRay and also seemingly falls for Hall.


That all sounds tidy and contrived, but Affleck told Collider that he’ll use a very realistic take on crime.

Rather than a heist movie it’s very realistic. You see how the guys really operate and what they really do. It’s about their lives, the connection to one another, and the way that where they live is changing. It’s unusual and kind of complicated for a movie that has a conventional genre at its root.

There’s also a big climax in Fenway Park, which Affleck has previously said he’s negotiating to use as a location in the film. If Fenway let Fever Pitch shoot in the stands, lets hope they don’t shy away from this.

Given the sure hand for character Affleck showed in Gone Baby Gone, I’m hoping this will indeed be more than just another crime movie. He was previously able to nail the deep personalities of his Boston characters, and I’m hoping he follows through and hits another home run. Hopefully, the major change that will happen next is to the film’s title. Affleck said The Town may not end up being the final title, and I pray that is the case.

2009 Toronto Film Festival acquires even more titles...


Dorian Gray Oliver Parker, United Kingdom
World Premiere
In Victorian London, the handsome Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) is swept into a social whirlwind by the charismatic and cunning Lord Wotton (Colin Firth). Immersed in the hedonistic pleasures of the city, Dorian vows he would give anything to keep his youth and beauty – even his soul. Based on the Oscar Wilde novel, Dorian Gray examines the destructive power of beauty, the blind pursuit of pleasure and the darkness that can result from both.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Rebecca Miller, USA
North American Premiere
From all outward appearances, Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) leads a charmed existence. An anchor of feminine serenity, she is the devoted wife of an accomplished publisher (Alan Arkin) 30 years her senior, the proud mother of two grown children, a trusted friend and confidant. But as Pippa dutifully follows her husband to a new life in a staid Connecticut retirement community, her idyllic world and the persona she has built over the course of her marriage will be put to the ultimate test. Adapted from writer-director Rebecca Miller’s novel of the same name, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee presents the complex portrait of the many lives behind a single name.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Werner Herzog, USA
North American Premiere
Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a homicide detective with the New Orleans Police Department, is promoted to Lieutenant after he saves a prisoner from drowning in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, during his heroic act, he severely injures his back and is put on prescription pain medication. A year later, Terence – struggling with his addictions to sex, Vicodin and cocaine – finds himself in the battle to bring down drug dealer Big Fate, who is suspected of massacring an entire family of African immigrants.

Capitalism: A Love Story Michael Moore, USA
North American Premiere
On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece Roger & Me, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film-goers into uncharted territory.

Harry Brown Daniel Barber, United Kingdom
World Premiere
Harry Brown is a provocative and thought-provoking modern urban western featuring a tour-de-force lead performance from two-time Academy Award®-winner Michael Caine. Harry Brown has lived to see his community descend into crime and violence, and ruled over by a gang of teenage thugs. After his best friend is brutally murdered and the gang leader responsible walks free, Harry reaches a breaking point and revenge becomes his only aim.

Perrier’s Bounty Ian Fitzgibbon, Ireland/United Kingdom
World Premiere
When Michael’s (Cillian Murphy) debt to Dublin kingpin Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) is called in and one of Perrier’s goons accidentally ends up dead, Michael escapes to the mountains with his father Jim (Jim Broadbent) and best friend, Brenda. Flat broke, on the run and with only 24 hours to pay up, Michael is forced to confront his true feelings for Brenda and make amends with his father. However, with Perrier and his gang in hot pursuit, time is running out for Michael and only fate, a bit of luck and possibly a gang of savage dogs will save him, in this cracking gangster comedy.

A Serious Man Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, USA
World Premiere
Imaginatively exploring questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behaviour, dental phenomena, academia, mortality and Judaism – and intersections thereof – A Serious Man is the new film from Academy Award®-winning writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen.

Triage Danis Tanovic, Ireland/Spain
World Premiere
Mark (Colin Farrell), a war photographer, returns home from Kurdistan without his friend and colleague David (Jamie Sives). As time goes on, it becomes clear that Mark holds the key to the truth of David’s disappearance.

Whip It Drew Barrymore, USA
World Premiere
Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut stars Ellen Page (Juno) as Bliss, a rebellious Texas teen who throws in her small-town beauty pageant crown for the rowdy world of roller-derby. Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, Pollock) plays Bliss’s disapproving mother, while Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live) and Juliette Lewis (Old School) play roller-derby stars. Whip It also stars Eve, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern, Alia Shawkat, Ari Graynor, Andrew Wilson, Zoe Bell and singer-songwriter Landon Pigg.

Women Without Men Shirin Neshat, Germany/France/Austria
North American Premiere
Shirin Neshat’s first feature-length film is based on a magic-realist novel written by Iranian author Sharnush Parsipur. The narrative interweaves the lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953, a pivotal moment in Iranian history when an American led coup d’état brought down the democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah to power. The film chronicles each woman’s quest for change and their mysterious encounter in a magical orchard.

Two new stills from "Prince of Persia" (2010)



This film is actually starting to look halfway decent, which is a bit of a relief...

Monday, July 27, 2009

My overdue Halfway Awards for 2009....



I know that most of what you're about to see will have changed dramatically by the time the Oscars draw near, but hell, it's fun to do this now to have something to compare. It's as simple as it sounds: I'm going to reveal where my personal Oscars (the Texans) would go at this point in the year (I waited a little longer, so that now I'm judging out of 30 films total). I'm just putting up the nominations (and I won't do 10 Best Picture nominees until my lineups are just about finalized in early 2010). So, without further adieu, your current (picture-free) slate of nominees for the 2009 Texan Awards ("winners" will be revealed later this week)...

Best Picture:
(500) Days of Summer
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Moon
Star Trek

Best Director:
JJ Abrams - Star Trek
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Duncan Jones - Moon
Marc Webb - (500) Days of Summer
David Yates - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Best Actor:
Johnny Depp - Public Enemies
Jesse Eisenberg - Adventureland
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Sam Rockwell - Moon

Best Actress:
Amy Adams - Sunshine Cleaning
Emily Blunt - Sunshine Cleaning
Zooey Deschanel - (500) Days of Summer
Michelle Pfeiffer - Cheri
Maya Rudolph - Away We Go

Best Supporting Actor:
Michael Gambon - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Jackie Earle Hayley - Watchmen
Anthony Mackie - The Hurt Locker
Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Watchmen
Zachary Quinto - Star Trek

Best Supporting Actress:
Marion Cotillard - Public Enemies
Eva Green - Franklyn
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Away We Go
Kristin Scott Thomas - Easy Virtue
Rachel Weisz - The Brothers Bloom

Best Original Screenplay:
(500) Days of Summer
Adventureland
Away We Go
The Hurt Locker
Sunshine Cleaning

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Cheri
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Star Trek
State of Play
Watchmen

Best Editing:
(500) Days of Summer
Franklyn
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Best Cinematography:
Cheri
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Public Enemies
Watchmen

Best Art Direction:
Cheri
Easy Virtue
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Franklyn
Watchmen

Best Costume Design:
Cheri
Easy Virtue
Franklyn
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Watchmen

Best Original Score:
Alexandre Desplat - Cheri
Michael Giacchino - Up
Elliot Goldenthal - Public Enemies
Clint Mansell - Moon
Hans Zimmer - Angels and Demons

Best Original Song:
N/A

Best Animated Film:
Coraline
Up

Best Foreign Language Film:
N/A

Best Makeup:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
Watchmen
Angels and Demons

Best Visual Effects:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Star Trek
Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen
Watchmen
X-Men Origins: Wolverine





International teaser trailer for "Dorian Gray" starring Ben Barnes and Colin Firth

Mila Kunis joins Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (2010) with Natalie Portman


Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Extract) has signed on to co-star oppositeNatalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

The supernatural drama is set in the world of New York City Ballet. Portman stars as a veteran ballerina who finds herself “locked in to a competitive showdown with a rival dancer, with the stakes and twists increasing as the dancers approach a big performance.” But it isn’t as simple as that — the big twist is that Portman’s character is not sure whether her rival is a supernatural apparition or if she is having delusions. Kunis is playing the rival dancer named Lilly.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Moon" - REVIEW


An independent sci-fi movie. Not exactly what we expect in the Hollywood of today, is it? "2001: A Space Odyssey" aside, when someone mentions sci-fi, you probably think of blasting lasers, faraway planets, exotic alien races, and technology way beyond anything we have on earth. Sci-fi is not a genre that is easy to associate with "independent filmmaking", and the success of "Star Wars" and the recent "Star Trek" film only make it more difficult. The closest thing recently has been "Sunshine" (2007), but even that film, in its third act, moved into more conventional territory. So, for those of you hoping that somewhere out there is a worthy companion piece to your limited edition digitally remastered "2001" DVD that you bought despite already owning another copy, fear not. The film you're looking for is Duncan Jones' "Moon", and while it may not been the timeless classic that "2001" is, it's more than worth a look in a summer crowded with transforming robot aliens, teen wizards, and romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl or Sandra Bullock (I'm not sure either of those two ladies would have film careers if it weren't for that genre).

Unfortunately, I have to be vague, because not only is "Moon" short (95 minutes, including the credits), but the story is also quite limited and moves based almost entirely on discoveries and twists. So, let's start with what I CAN tell you: set some years into the future (we're not told how long), mankind has found a way to harvest clean energy off of the Moon, and thanks to Lunar Industries, the Moon now helps supply a massive portion of the whole world's energy. The Sarang Station, Lunar Industries' HQ, is run by one astronaut at a time, on a three-year contract, after which the astronaut is sent home and a replacement comes. There's also GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), the computer who helps keep everything running. The current human employee is Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), who has only two weeks left in his contract and then he finally gets to return home to see his wife and daughter. Everything is going fine until Sam hallucinates while he is out picking up a container of Hydrogen from one of the mining vehicles, and gets into a crash. He wakes up hours later in the Sarang infirmary, with a bit of memory loss. Later, he goes out to look at a mining vehicle that seems to have broken down, and once inside, he finds...himself. Obviously, he panics. Is it just a hallucination? Has all of his time alone caused him to go crazy? The rest is best for you to discover on your own, but suffice it say that despite little actually "happening", there's plenty to keep you interested.

The smartest thing that Jones and crew have done with "Moon" is the way it is paced. Scenes are not dragged out endlessly just to fill time; we see just enough, and then it cuts, but does so without feeling over-edited (*cough*Wolverine*cough*). Details are established efficiently (we learn about Sam's family via a video message from Earth, as well as the company he works for) and despite the low budget, the effects are convincing enough to make us believe that Bell is indeed thousands of miles from any other humans. The mostly white set adds to the clinical, sterile, lonely, and impersonal nature of the station, which Sam does his best to brighten with some posters and pictures from home taped around his bed. Camera work is neither flashy nor lazy, mostly very calm, but briefly switching over to close-ups and handheld work when Sam has one of his most significant encounters with the bizarre. For a debut feature, Jones' direction is stunning assured, and quite commanding from the opening frames.

The biggest accomplishments though, are Rockwell's performance, and Clint Mansell's haunting score. Rockwell basically IS the whole movie, and while I'm not sure his work is the tour-de-force that it's been touted as, it's certainly very strong work. Surpriningly, Jones and the script never push Rockwell into manipulative tear jerking, in spite of his almost soul-crushing loniness. He never is forced to cry and scream awkwardly, but instead all of his performance feels very real, and un-flashy. However, while the script doesn't push Rockwell into maudlin hysterics, it also doesn't quite push him far enough in the other direction, robbing the performance of some power. He's never given the chance to be truly nuanced or devastatingly subtle as the later portions of the story would allow (which is strange considering the ethical dilemma confronted in the film). But, to back it all up, we have that other strong aspect: Mr. Mansell's score. Mansell has a history of doing beautiful, haunting music for films (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain), and his work here is no exception. Though not as dynamic as the scores of "Requiem" or "Fountain", it does stick with you, and help drive the minimal story forward.

So, we've talked about the positives, but alas, we must move on to the negatives, other than the one already mentioned in the previous paragraph. Really, my only other complaint(s) is that there are times when the script puts too many discoveries/twists almost too close together. They aren't back-to-back necessarily, but when they popped up I couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, there needed to be more time, so that each one could breathe and fit into the story better. At the rate the film was going, a few more minutes certainly wouldn't have hurt at all. Then, there's the big ethical dilemma. Thankfully, there are no preachy moments on the subject, but a few scenes exploring Sam's thoughts on what was going on might have added another, very rich layer to the film that could have resulted in a much larger impact on the audience. However, these are not so glaring as to make me dislike the film or feel disappointed by it. I was more than pleased, and I look forward to seeing what Jones does next. It's just that, well, sometimes less isn't more.

Grade: B+/A-


Saturday, July 25, 2009

A description of Jon Favreau's "Iron Man 2" teaser footage


Sadly, no videos have been made available anywhere...

Source: Slashfilm.com

Jon Favreau premiered a sizzle reel for Iron Man 2 during the film’s Hall H panel. You can read a description of the footage after the jump.

Tony Stark is eating a donut while laying in the hole of the huge donut on the roof of Randy’s Donuts. Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury yells up “Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to exit the donut!”

Cut to: Stark and Fury inside the restaurant eating and chatting. Stark asks if Fury was going to ask him to join his group again, to which Nick responds “I remember, you do everything yourself. How is that working out for you?” Stark asks Fury if he is supossed to look at his working eye or the eye patch.

Cut to: A government court hearing, where Tony is talking with Pepper Potts a few rows behind him. Senator Stern Asks Tony if he posseses a weapon, the iron manweapon. Stark says that its not a weapon, and that technically it’s a high tech prosthesis.

“Its a weapon Mr Stark!

“If your priority was to protect…”

“Well you can forget it!”

“I am Iron Man, the suit and I am one. You cant have it!”

The Senator calls Rhodey to the stand. Rhodey walks by Stark and tells him he’ll deal with it.


The Senator asks Stark what his point is and Stark responds that his point is “You’re welcome, I’m your nuclear deterrent,” … “I’ve kept the world safe, what more do you want? I tried to play ball with these ass clowns!” The Senator then says “F— You Mr. Stark!”

A montage begins with shots of newspapers and magazines with Stark on the cover. Voice over in a Russian accent “You come from a family of thieves and butchers…” Shots of Rourke putting together his whiplash suit. A bunch of random shots, including a bunch of girls dancing in front of a display with the American flag, and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, kicking ass. Rourke arrives at the race car track in his Whiplash suit. He activates it and the wires light up with electricity as he whips them around. Stark is bloody, in his racing suit, down on the concrete. We see a close-up of Rourke laughing.

Cut to: Iron Man flying through the night air, dodging missiles which explode behind him, as he blasts towards Earth.

The Iron Man 2 logo appears on the screen, along with the music.

Then we get an extra sequence. Rhodey in a air plane hanger. Justin Hammer walks over and asks what this is about and Rhodey says it’s classified. Hammer looks down at a suit, which appears to be Stark’s old Mark II armor. “Is that what I think it is?” “What can you do for us?” Hammer shows Rhodey a bunch of different weaponry. Rhodey tells Hammer “I think i’ll take it.” “Which one?” “All of it.” Cut to: A shot of War Machine blasting off his guns.

"Where the Wild Things Are" featurette

Friday, July 24, 2009

There is...SO much wrong with this picture...mommy, I'm scared

It won't be long before Stephenie Meyer tells them all to drink the special kool-aid so that they can all become sparkly vampires...

First trailer for Disney's "Tron" sequel

"(500) Days of Summer" - REVIEW


There is a scene in "Shakespeare in Love" (don't worry, just go with it) in which Queen Elizabeth (Judi Dench) asks to a room of people if a play can, "truly show us the nature of love?" That film took place at the end of the 1500s and was released in 1998. Now, several centuries later in movie-time and 11 years later in our world, maybe a play hasn't shown us an honest look at love, but perhaps a movie has.

That movie is Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer", which is one of those rare romantic comedies that is a delight from start to finish. Though told semi-linearly, we actually open around day (290) in the relationship between Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). Such an opening would seem to be strange, or disorienting on paper, but that's the beauty of Webb's film. Even as it jumps forward and backward and forward again, we never lose track with names or faces or plot devices; the story revolves entirely around Tom and Summer's interaction, and as such it's impossible to feel disoriented or lost. And while part of the credit goes to the editor, this lovely little film wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the screenplay, which wisely has a lot of laughs and never weighs them down, even in the less-than-happy moments. And of course, the crowning acheivment(s), even more so than the script or Webb's direction are the performances from the two leads. They play off of each other with ease, with Levitt's quiet normality and Deschanel's adorability used to maximum effect. Perhaps in the film's finest moment, we see them enter a dark period in their relationship, and we're introduced to it via a sublime parody of black and white avant garde films, topped off with a hysterical nod to Ingmar Bergman. Even in its "darkest" moments, it never become weighty or tries to make itself into something melodramatic. The levity is maintained, albeit somewhat bitter-sweetly, the entire way through. And yet somehow, it still has a feeling a reality to it, without going too far. The unpredictability of people in relationships, particularly two people as different as Tom and Summer (he believes in fate and love, she thinks it's all hogwash) is rendered beautifully, but not overdone; we aren't forced to listen to a 10 minute conversation between the two of them about whether love exists or not...we get to see it and make up our own minds.

As far as artistic and technical aspects, there's nothing much to rave about aside from the soundtrack, which is brilliantly utilized...and on a non-artistic note, the two actors who play Tom's closest friends are both very well done with what little time they have on screen (one in particular, is hilarious). But in the end it all comes down to Deschanel and especially Levitt to carry the movie, and they do it effortlessly. So effortlessly, in fact, that you may not want to leave the film's little world even when the credits start to roll. And in a summer drenched with loud special effects bonanzas and a few stuffy period pieces, that's more than a little refreshing to find.

Grade: A-

It's coming....


Please don't be lying to us Gary Oldman...

Source: CHUD.com
They (Gary Oldman and the fine folks at Warner Bros.) just announced at Comic Con thatBatman 3 will begin shooting in 2010. We don't know who will be behind the lens (Nolan's looking pretty booked), who the villain will be, what the title will be, or if it'll be the further evolution of a smarter look at Batman or if dollar signs rule the day.

August 21st is "Avatar" Day!





SAN DIEGO - James Cameron originally wrote "Avatar" as a way to challenge the special-effects firm Digital Domain, where he served as chief executive. But it took technology 14 years to catch up with his vision of a faraway planet populated by otherwordly plants and animals where humans embody avatars just to brave the landscape.

"In the same way that I wrote 'Terminator' just to get a directing gig, I decided to write a story that was full of creatures and characters that would push the art of CG for that company," he said. But after artists there said it couldn't be done, Cameron shelved the idea.

Ten years later, when he realized technology had caught up with his cinematic visions, he dusted off the concept and helped develop technology to make it work. On Thursday, he presented world-premiere footage of his progress to more than 6,000 fans at Comic Con.

The "Titanic" director showed more than 20 minutes of footage from the film.

"Avatar" introduces viewers to the planet of Pandora, where the lithe, blue, indigenous Navi people inhabit a lush and wondrous place dense with green forests, fluorescent pink flowers, bizarre hammerhead dinosaurs and flying dragons. Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully, a soldier on duty there, and Zoe Saldana plays Neytiri, the Navi princess who befriends him.

Saldana learned the fictional Navi language and studied with a dialect coach to perfect a Navi accent on her English.

"I'm from Queens," the actress said.

Sigourney Weaver, who plays botanist Grace Augustine, studied the fictional flora and fauna of Pandora to prepare for her role.

"Every single plant and creature has come out of this crazy person's head," she said, pointing to Cameron.

A longtime sci-fi fan who likens himself to the average Comic Con conventioneer, Cameron said "Avatar" is more than just a fantastic tale 14 years in the making.

"The technology could be made (for it) to happen, but also (it) was just wanting to do something, I don't want to say important," he told fans. "But something that has this spoonful of sugar of all the action and the adventure and all that, which thrills me anyway as a fan, but also wanting to do something that has a conscience, that maybe in the enjoying of it makes you think a little bit about the way you interact with nature and your fellow man."

It may seem like a simple story about "nasty" humans fighting with "those beautifully, spiritually evolved Navi," he said. "But it's really not, because we make science fiction as human beings for human consumption."

"It means the Navi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are or maybe what we realize we're losing," he said. "And the humans in the film, even though there are some good ones salted in, represent what we know to be the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future."

He announced that fans worldwide could see 15 minutes of the film for free on "Avatar Day," Aug. 21. The film is set to open Dec. 18. Comic Con continues at the San Diego Convention Center through Sunday.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First trailer: "The Book of Eli" (2010)


Well...disturbing similarities to "The Road" aside, it looks interesting. I'm just worried about the release date; January is a notorious dumping ground for films that studios simply want to get rid of...

First poster: "Jonah Hex" (2010) with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New poster for "Shutter Island"

"Alice in Wonderland" teaser trailer is here!! (FIXED AGAIN)

A look at "District 9"'s crazy alien technology, a more detailed synopsis, and a new TV spot




Source: Slashfilm.com

Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare – they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

More new "Iron Man 2" stills



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trailer for "Bright Star"



Well...aside from that distracting narration, the trailer looks really promising. The only question is whether the September 18th release date includes the US...or are we going to have to keep waiting for this one?

New picture of Scarlett Johannson in "Iron Man 2"

Extended clip from "9"