Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Official - Ridley Scott is Directing the Alien Prequel!

Wow, I'm not sure I even believe it! Variety is reporting that Ridley Scott is officially attached to return as the director of an Alien prequel and is being written by newcomer Jon Spaihts. It looks like Scott is tired of seeing the franchise he created get pounded into the ground. I can't really blame him though. Aliens vs Predator: Requiem completely slaughtered the franchise with no hope for a revival... until now. The story is being setup to precede Scott's 1979 film, but as for what exactly will take place, those details are being kept under wraps at the moment.

Even though Alien was a good movie, I still feel James Cameron's Aliens was the best installment in the franchise - but that's just me. "What do you mean they cut the power?! They're animals! How can they cut the power?!" Awe, Hutson. Gotta love 'im!

It's interesting to see how times have changed - Alien only made $11 million back in 1979. That's just crazy talk now-a-days. Anyway, now that I know Scott's on board, I have semi-high hopes for this prequel. Let's hope it's good, pretty sure no one wants another Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. (rolls eyes)

If you forgot what Alien was about, the film tells the story of a crew in a commercial towing ship returning to Earth. However they are awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planet. The crew discovers all too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them. The real warning, however, occurs when an alien explodes out of John Hurt's stomach - Alien mayhem ensues...

Are you excited?...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twilight Newcomer

Bryce Dallas Howard Adds 'Eclipse' To Her Franchise-Film Resume.

We look back at the actress' interesting career, which includes 'Spider-Man 3' and 'Terminator: Salvation.'


She will be playing the evil vampire, Victoria, who stalks Bella Swan in the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. According to Summit Entertainment, the original Victoria played by Rachelle Lefevre, had "a scheduling conflict" and would be unable to partake in the Eclipse shoot set to begin later this month.

I find this reasoning a little suspect. It's not like Lefevre is some hot-shot Hollywood actress who has movie studios knocking down her door for movie roles. Even if you hate the Twilight movie franchise (me!) you have to admit this series is going to make $bank$. And if you're a "nobody" (ahem, Lefevre) you'd be crazy-stupid to turn down the role. So I'd like to think Summit wised up and FINALLY decided that Lefevre was HUGELY missed cast (just like the rest of the cast. See my dream Twilight cast here:
The Twilight cast that SHOULD have been...), and decided to get someone else,... someone BETTER.

I will say it does annoy me when midway through the series they cast someone else. I feel the series loses its touch in a way. However, being that I strongly disliked the Twilight movie, I really don't care at this point. I feel Howard is pretty much perfect for this role. She's not my first pick, but she's a hell of a lot better than that Lefevre chick. Out with the old and in with the new!


So Twilighters, what do you think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tron Legacy Teaser

I really wish I had gone to Comic-Con 2009 this year (you can bet I'm going next year). There were tons of rad movies being introduced along with directors and actors as well as concept ideas such as this one here - Tron Legacy. Now the 1982 TRON is a cult classic in my opinion and even though the special effects are highly out dated to the point of laughable, it's definitely one to see. This is the same teaser trailer that was shown last year at Comic-Con (and in 3D this year) and this is still the best footage from Tron 2 that we have. But this isn't actual footage from the movie, but rather test footage created to sell the movie. They are using some of these set pieces and lightcycles, but that's about it.

Watch the early test trailer for Tron Legacy:



Disney is bringing Tron Legacy to theaters in late 2010, although a date isn't set yet.


What do you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Guilty Pleasure Movies

We all have ‘em, some are more discreet about ‘em than others, and we all get embarrassed once others find out about 'em. I'm referring to our little guilty pleasures. I define a guilty pleasure as something you enjoy even though you probably shouldn't, either for personal reasons or because of the embarrassment you’ll feel once others find out. Of course there are many types of guilty pleasures, but I’d like to shine the spotlight on movies. A guilty pleasure movie is a mindless thing that we can't quite explain that makes us enjoy bad films. Not only do we enjoy them, but *gulp* we sometimes own them. These are movies that you know without a doubt, are awful and cheesy, without the intention of being so (this is key), and yet we still secretly love them anyway. Why? Because they are shameless, blameless, fun. I've made a list of some of my favorite movies and even though I know they are ridiculous, I love 'em anyway. In no particular order, here are my top 5 favorite Guilty Pleasure Movies




The Covenant (2006)
When I first saw the trailer to this movie I said to myself, "That looks so dumb." However, one Sunday afternoon it was on TV and having developed a Hollywood crush weeks prior on the main actor - Steven Strait - I thought "what the heck." I didn't anticipate the ending result. I completely fell in love with this movie and remember buying it the next day, making my friends watch it with me. Of course they hated it and laughed in my face. But could I really blame them?

This movie is an unbewitching brew of cliches and acting at its finest (note the sarcasm). Everyone in this film looks like the same chiseled Abercrombie & Fitch model and you can’t tell who’s who. Now the real question is would I like this movie if I didn't have a crush on the main actor? I guess I'll never know. But seriously with lines like this, "I'm going to make you my little WI-atch," I can't help but love it. It's quite entertaining.







Step Up (2006)
Stripped of surprises and coasting on cliches, Step Up holds much of its hopes on the two leads - Channing Tatum (yum) plays a tough guy who has a problem with authority and Jenna Dewan plays a dancer finishing her senior year at Maryland School for the Arts.

Essentially, it's up to these two to generate whatever interest and tension the movie has, which isn’t much. Sure the chemistry between the two is hot and the dancing is great, but it falls way short with its mind-numbing plot. I think it’s because of the main characters, who are very likeable, that makes this movie bearable, not to mention fun and entertaining. If anything watch it for the dancing – there’s some pretty good work there. And can I just say, I love how the two actors met and fell in love making this movie and are currently newly weds. So sweet!






She's All That (1999)
She's All That is not likely to make a mark or be remembered by anyone for very long, but it's harmless shameful fun. It’s amazing what a brush can do for one’s hair, not to mention a hip haircut and contacts.

In She’s All That, Laney gets a makeover and turns into a babe-and-a-half. Zack realizes what a manipulative jerk he is, and Taylor returns for the predictable standoff with Laney for Zack’s affections – need I go on? There are lots of pretty faces and hard bodies in this very predictable movie. It has an extremely simple-minded plot that unravels quickly. This cheese-ball movie seriously makes me roll my eyes from time to time, but I still manage to enjoy it just the same. They don't call 'em guilty pleasures for nothin'.






The Fast and the Furious (2001)
At first glance, The Fast and The Furious is a slick, souped up flick that features cars, half naked hotties and more car races than you can count, but upon closer examination the terrible flaws in the movie begin to stand out. It’s terrifically awful movie-crack to say the least. You know it’s bad and yet you find it entertaining enough to finish watching it.

Paul Walker isn’t the sharpest tack in the box, but let’s be honest, that’s not why this pretty-boy was cast. You can just see the guy struggle through this movie. At times it’s as though you can see the rusty wheels turning in his head as Walker attempts to remember his lines, contort his face and hit his mark appropriately. “NOS,… I need NOS.” It’s awkward, it’s forced, and at times really painful to watch. But like I said it’s just entertaining and for reasons unknown, I still really like it.






House of Wax (2005)
Hooray for the good bad slasher flicks! Although it takes the title of the 1953 spooker starring Vincent Price, the story is something else. Camping teens get lost in a seemingly deserted town with a madman on the loose. Really, the remake of House of Wax is a throwback to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the gazillion other slasher movies that were spawned in the '70s and '80s. Only now the teens are dreamboat hotties with perfect chiseled features and super white teeth.

This movie is just fun and funny (don't forget, Paris Hilton is in it). The film builds to an out-of-control and very, very waxy climax, but not before Hilton performs a striptease for the camera and later dies awesomely (yeah that’s a word). And let us not forget the all too gorgeous, brooding Chat Michael Murray who struts his stuff like he owns the place. If you're a bit thrown at moments like this, just remember, the filmmakers are probably assuming you're drunk. But a horror film could be a lot worse. It could be a lot less entertaining than this one, and that’s exactly what this movie is - entertaining.





Runners Up Include:
Save the Last Dance

I Know What You Did Last Summer




OK readers, spill it! What are some of your favorite
Guilty Pleasure Movies?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Host Cast

This book was released over a year ago and after finally making the time I finished reading it. I have to say Stephenie Meyer (same author of the Twilight saga) sure has a way of pulling her readers in and never letting go. I simply could not put the book down and when I had to I couldn't wait to pick it up again. This is Meyer's first adult novel and she delivers with thunderous applause. Of course I've always been into Science Fictions films - Aliens, Predator, Terminator etc. - but this was the first time I have ever read a Sci-Fi novel. Even though the focus in this book is all about relationships, love and betrayal the main theme is all Sci-Fi.

The plot:
The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
If they ever make this book into a film I have no doubt it will be absolutely amazing and if done right it could possibly be even better than the book. While reading I envisioned these actors portraying these main characters. With that being said, I present to you The Host cast.





Camilla Belle as Melanie 'Mel' Stryder/Wanderer






Hero Fiennes-Tiffin as Jamie Stryder

&

Henry Cavill as Jared Howe



Tom Sizemore as Jebediah "Jeb"
&
Alan Ruck as Doc




Channing Tatum as Ian O'Shea

&

Scott Porter as Kyle O'Shea






Anne Archer as Magnolia "Maggie"

&

Clea DuVall as Sharon




Malin Akerman as Seeker (Lacie)
picture her with dark brown hair



Emmanuelle Chriqui as Jodi (Sunny)




Kristen Bell as Wanderer "Wanda"



There ya have it folks. The Host cast that SHOULD come to past should they ever make this great Sci-Fi novel into a movie. In the mean time I highly recommend reading this book if you haven't already.



Who would YOU cast?...

Alice in Wonderland Teaser

I'm sure many of you are just as excited to see this film as I am. I've always been a huge Tim Burton fan. I love his work! It's definitely distinctive and quite charming. Disney has just released the teaser for the new Alice in Wonderland. Enjoy!





I must say, after viewing this teaser it is every bit as wonderful as I was expecting and hoping for. It has a cartoon feel to it, but I think it works well with this film. It's also very dark and has a strong fairytale feel to it as well - which I love. I feel Burton did an excellent job casting for this film too. Johnny Depp looks amazing as the Mad Hatter (not that I had any doubts). It doesn't even really look or sound like him either. I doubt one would even be able to tell unless they knew it was him. Needless to say, I am super excited to see this movie in 3-D! I would love it if this was the only clip we saw before its release date, March 5, 2010, however I think we all know that will never happen.

To view more art on this film click here: Tim Burton's Topsy-Turvy Wonderland


So, what do YOU think?...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Triangle Trailer

Rarely does a scary movie come out that is actually scary. Trailers can be deceiving to say the least, i.e. The Unborn, The Strangers (awful movies btw). I don't know what it is exactly, but I just love scary/creepy movies. It's all about the thrill, I suppose. Empire just debuted the trailer for Triangle. It's a lost-at-sea psychological thriller that looks like it gets crazier as time goes on. It starts out with a group of people sailing on a yacht on the open sea who get caught up in a major storm. Once they make it out, they come across a cruise liner, and once on board they discover that it's completely empty. From there things get really twisted. It looks like it could be really good. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In theaters October 16 2009.





Would you see this movie?...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Teaser

Uh, could this title be any longer? Here is the first teaser for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. This movie is based on the book by Rick Riordan and directed by Chris Columbus, whose credits include Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets and my personal favorite Adventures in Babysitting. It's a story about a 17 year old boy who discovers that he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods. It reminds me a lot of Stardust (excellent movie btw). Despite the dark feel to this film it's actually a comedy.

I really wish Hollywood would go back to JUST teasers. Most trailers give entirely too much away before hand, hence forth ruining the element of surprise - ex. Bruno. It would be nice if this was the only teaser we saw before the movie, but sadly I feel they will show a lot more footage prior to the films release date - February 12, 2010. With that being said enjoy the teaser.



Look any good?...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Review

I’m not one for reading the books - even though I’m told again and again I should. I’m just not a huge Harry Potter fan. However, I highly enjoy the films and it has to be said the Harry Potter movies just get better and better. This is the first HP film I actually got super, super excited about. The film is dark and moody, visually striking and magnificent, intense and sometimes scary - I can’t believe I screamed during the movie.

With Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - the sixth book in the series - the plot thickens to include not the usual trickery, but urgent themes of love and devotion. Not only are the Hogwarts students threatened by the Voldemort forces, but there is also that pesky and sometimes terrifying teenage hormone issue to deal with as well. Harry’s hot for Ginny; Ron’s finding the persistent (not to mention annoying/funny) Lavender hard to resist and poor Hermione is pining away. Ah, the angst of young love. If love 'n' romance were a minor element in the last films, it emerges as a major player this time around and delivers wonderfully.

Things start off powerfully in this latest installment as both Muggle and wizarding worlds are under attack from evil Death Eaters. London is in peril as the boundaries between human and magical worlds grow more precarious. Just as Harry is about to embark on a possible romance with a girl from a railway station cafe, he is whisked off by Dumbledore to help recruit Horace Slughorn to return as a professor at Hogwarts. As we find out, Slughorn holds important secrets which offer clues to defeating Voldemort.

The Hogwarts School now feels more like a dusty castle rather than a fairytale playground. There is a sense of danger lurking and the film is all the better for the darker and more grown-up undertones.

This is a huge summer movie that meets all expectations. Overflowing with action, love, heartbreak, drama, humor and dazzling performances you hardly notice the length of the film, clocking in at 2hrs 33min. For the first time after seeing a HP movie, I wanted more. Needless to say, I didn’t want the movie to end. However, when it finally did I have to say the ending shocked me quite a bit. I suspect life will never be the same for Severus Snape or anyone else for that matter. Thankfully, we have two more installments to go. The seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be divided up into two films. Part 1 hits theaters November 2010 followed by Part 2 which hits theaters July 2011. I have no doubt these films will be anything less than entertaining, emotional and all around delightful.


RATING: A-


I eagerly await YOUR thoughts on this movie...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Full-Length District 9 Trailer

Sony has just debuted the latest full-length trailer to District 9. Many of you have already seen the District-9 Teaser, and for those who are still in the dark, you're not alone. This movie kind of came out of nowhere. They definitely kept this film on the down-low - which in a way is kind of good, I think. There's a sense of mystery and intrigue to a movie that isn't bombarded with ads and promoting tactics. Today we finally get an insight as to what this movie is all about. A story about an extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions in Johannesburg, South Africa when suddenly they find a "kindred spirit" in a government agent from MNU who is exposed to their mysterious biotechnology.



This movie has potential. It definitely holds my intrigue. If anything it's just nice to finally see an original story line with fresh new actors. Sony will be bringing District 9 to theaters everywhere on August 14th.



Worth seeing?...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Public Enemies Review

Acclaimed director Michael Mann, whose credits include The Insider, Collateral and my personal favorite Heat, brings to life the true story of depression-era bank robber John Dillinger, played by one of my favorite actors ever, Johnny Depp. Dillinger was America's first Public Enemy No. 1. This crime drama is based on the best-selling book of the same title by Bryan Burrough. This movie is a series of disjointed bank robberies, prison breakouts, car chases and machine-gun shootouts.

Mann's attempt to be cutting edge just doesn't work in this period piece. The picture quality lacks the crisp visual clarity. I’m assuming Mann wanted a glossy, old-fashioned look to his film, but to me, it just looked dull and washed-out. The nighttime sequences are fuzzy and the daylight scenes are dim and gray. The more intimate images – including the many tight close ups – almost look as if they had been captured by a camera phone. Plus after spending time with these characters, you never really get to know anything about them - almost as if Mann was rushing the storyline, which is odd considering the movie is almost 2 ½ hours.

The love affair between Dillinger and Billie Frechette (Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard) was sweet and sassy in some parts, like when John says to Billie “I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars... and you. What else you need to know?” (There was a round of applause in the theater following that line.) However, their relationship never goes below the surface to reveal the feelings behind the mutual attraction. We get to see them roll around in bed for a few minutes and see Dillinger make promises about providing Billie with a new and exciting life. They dance to the song "Bye Bye Blackbird," which is played repeatedly throughout the movie, but you never quite feel the passion that you so desperately need in order feel their undying devotion and love.

However, the movie did have some strengths. The sound, the period clothing, the vintage automobiles, and the soundtrack were all top-notch. Depp's performance is less flashy than most of what he's done in years past, proving he's not just an oddball. If anyone doubted, he can do “normal” things, as well. One of my favorite scenes is when Depp is driving alone and bursts into tears after witnessing the cops take away his girl. I truly felt the wretched pain he was going through. That to me is what I call great acting! You can also see in his portrayal of Dillinger why people liked the outlaw. He had a very charismatic personality. (However, we still don't know anything about Dillinger's motives, influences, or background.) And it has to be said, it seriously blows my mind that Depp can sport a perv-stache and still look incredibly gorgeous. Very few actors can claim that feat.

So much of this gangster drama is so good, fun and entertaining, and yet the rest wasn’t. The movie holds some interest with its title (which never appears until after all the credits have rolled), but it could have been so much better had it developed a rooting interest for either the bad guys or the good guys. All in all this movie is exactly what I was expecting – mediocre at best. But let’s be honest, the real reason this movie peeked my interest was for my love of Johnny Depp – one of the most talented and celebrated actors of his time.

Thoughts?...

RATING: C+


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