Monday, September 28, 2009

Teaser Trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street

FREDDY'S BACK!

New Line has debuted the first teaser trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street. Although this is a remake from the (in)famous Platinum Dunes (responsible for the recent Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes), it actually looks great. It looks dark, thrilling, beautifully stylized, and possibly more intense than the original. I'm not the biggest fan of this franchise, but I will be seeing this in theaters. Without further ado, check out the brand new teaser trailer below!



A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people inside their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is directed by first-time filmmaker Samuel Bayer, who got his start directing commercials. The screenplay was co-written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick (The Saint, Doom). This is a remake of Wes Craven's original Nightmare on Elm Street horror classic from 1984. New Line / Warner Brothers is bringing A Nightmare on Elm Street to theaters on April 30, 2010.


Will you be seeing this in theaters?...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Full Teaser Trailer for The Descent: Part 2

I loved the first movie which came out in 2005. I didn't think it would be as scary as it was. It freaked me out like crazy! I'm super excited they are making a sequel. IGN debuted the official teaser trailer for the film a couple weeks ago. It looks a lot like its predecessor, but who cares - it's a horror flick. It looks really good and super scary to me. Can't wait!




Distraught, confused, and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter emerges alone from the cave system where she encountered unspeakable terrors. Unable to explain to authorities what happened - or why she's covered in blood - Sarah is forced back to the subterranean depths to help locate her missing friends.

The Descent: Part 2 is directed by Jon Harris, who is making his directorial debut after working for over 10 years as an editor. The screenplay was co-written by newcomers J Blakeson, James Watkins and James McCarthy who also wrote and directed Eden Lake. Expect to see this film hit theaters next month, October 14th.



Would you pay to see this movie?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andrew Niccol Adapting Stephenie Meyer's Novel 'The Host'

Now this is very exciting news. Gattaca and Lord of War director Andrew Niccol has been hired to write the screenplay and direct an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's first adult novel titled "The Host", which just hit bookshelves last May (Amazon). Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz have used their own money to acquire the screen rights. Apparently it was tough getting the rights. "We wanted Stephenie to be involved in the adaptation and have her endorse and be part of the creative decisions," Wechsler told Variety.

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.

The backstory is that Meyer has been fielding offers for "The Host" left and right (following the success of Twilight) but has been denying most of them. However, the producers continued lobbying her and her reps "with a significant offer, a strong vision for the project and a collaborative spirit." Meyer eventually said yes to them. She was heavily convinced because two of her favorite sci-fi films are Gattaca and The Truman Show, which were both written by Niccol. I'm super excited to see they are moving forward with this adaptation. I think if done right, this novel will translate quite well onto the silver screen. I really enjoyed the book - I couldn't put it down. I already have a cast in mind and everything, which has proven in the past to be a bad thing, but alas, have a look-see here: The Host Cast. If you've read the book let me know what you think of my cast.

Thoughts?...

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Informant! Review

If only The Informant! was as giddy as its exclamation-point title, or even as funny as its TV commercials. It’s pretty much The Insider played for laughs, The Talented Mr. Ripley without the murder.

Mark Whitacre (Damon + 30 pounds, which I could never quite get use to. lol) is an ADM division chief when we meet him in 1992, a bio-chemist trying to get a new production line running. Things aren't working out when he yells "Sabotage!" ADM gets the FBI involved, and that's when Whitacre spills the beans on pretty much everything he’s suppose to keep private. And throughout the movie the agents (
Scott Bakula and Joel McHale) are uncertain at whether or not Whitacre is telling the truth.

Damon and his Oceans Eleven director
Steven Soderbergh team up for this "true" story movie, with Damon playing Whitacre - a guy whose inner life is a blizzard of random, yet crazy-funny thoughts about the kinky stuff they sell in Tokyo, or the goofy Feds who don't treat him like Tom Cruise. "Didn't these people see The Firm?"

Soderbergh plays this story straight, relying on the amateurish silliness of Whitacre and the story's increasing absurdity to deliver laughs. However, The Informant! never finds the ring-ding-ding of the last Ocean's movie. It's surreal, but not a laugh riot. I found it to be mediocre at best. The film was just under 2 hours, and yet it felt like 3 in a 1/2 hours. In my opinion it's not worth paying full price to see it in theaters. Of course I did think Mr.
Matt Damon's performance was outstanding and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was nominated for an Oscar.
RATING: D+

What did you think of this film?...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remembering Swayze

Beloved actor Patrick Swayze has died at the young age of 57 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His publicist released this statement yesterday: "Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months."

The actor was in a number of iconic films, most notably "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost." Watch some memorable scenes from throughout his career below.


May he rest in peace






What are some of your favoirte Patrick
Swayze moments/films?...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Latest New Moon Trailer

Over the weekend I saw Sorority Row (which was fun, predicable, scary and dumb all wrapped in one. I give it a C-). Anyway, before the movie started, The Twilight Saga: New Moon was one of the many trailers we saw. If you're a friend of mine, you already know how much I HATED Twilight, so I have zero expectations for the sequel. However, being that Summit Entertainment "fired" former director Catherine Hardwicke (YAY!) and hired a more seasoned/experienced director, Chris Weitz, I have a little more hope. Kristen Stewart still bugs the hell out of me though, but alas. Movie hits theaters November 20, 2009.




Bella Swan is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen, but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.



What do you think of this trailer?... Will you
be seeing this movie in theaters?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best & Worst Book to Film Adaptations

Behind every great movie there’s a great script. And behind so many great scripts, there’s an even better book. Everyone knows that most of the time, the book is much better than the movie. But let’s face it, how often do any of us read the book?

So what makes a great book to film adaptation?

This magical combination is not just the result of portraying the characters, plot, and settings with religious devotion, because all of that can be done pretty well. The real key to a great book to film adaptation lies in the film's success at concentrating and magnifying the true feelings readers have when they read the book. It’s having the ability to transmit central messages of the book in meaningful ways as well as dealing with the time constrained world of cinema.

But how is this achieved?

What a book to film adaptation should do is take time to boil the book down (so to speak) until the best parts are concentrated together in a way that multiplies what made the book great, powerful and emotional to begin with. That way those feelings can jump out from the screen and grab people who've never even thought of reading the book, not to mention keeping the fans happy. It can be done, but for some reason it’s not very often. Here are my top 5 best & top 5 worst book to film adaptations:



BEST


Sure The Count of Monte Cristo takes some liberties with the book, there's no doubt about that. In this updated version, Mondego is Dantes' best friend instead of only being a rival in love. Surprisingly, this variation has been written with intelligence and adds to the drama and the psychology of Mondego's character. While an interesting twist has been added to the escape from Chateau d'If, the main - and predictable - difference is in the conclusion, a Hollywood happy ending, which I actually liked a lot better. The director preserves the original charm while bringing a modern visual style to life. With a book of such voluminous size it would have been a daunting task for any director to summarize in two hours, so given that, I feel this book to film adaptation is done very well.



Sticklers will point out the things that writer-director Peter Jackson cut or made up himself as evidence that his massive film trilogy doesn't quite compare to J.R.R. Tolkien's books, but surely even the most nitpicking fanboys were gasping over the way Jackson filmed the battle of Helm's Deep, or Bilbo's explosive going-away party. Jackson managed a double miracle: He brought out the spectacle of Tolkien's work while keeping in all the politics that made it meaty. This trilogy will go down in movie history as one of the best trilogies ever made.




There’s a lot of action in the novel, and Steven Spielberg managed to fit most of it in the movie. He had to cut a few sequences here and there (the T-Rex in the river scene would've been awesome to see, alas), but in the end he stayed very faithful to the novel. Of course the character John Hammond is more of a villain in the novel. In the movie he’s just an idealistic old man with a heart of gold and a childish imagination. The only real villains are Dennis Nedry and the velociraptors, the latter being a lot more clever than the former. Jurassic Park is a historic movie for few reasons (no pun intended). It introduced Michael Crichton to the pulp fiction masses and it gave us one of the best adventure movies of the ‘90s.






I have a passion for films with dark settings. What's even better is when the film is not only dark and dismal but also deep and engrossing. With a combination of Anne Rice's script and Neil Jordan's direction, the overlooked Interview with the Vampire not only looks great but contains good material. Most of the time when a film is based on a novel it will try to capture the themes of the novel by choosing areas to work from. Luckily Anne Rice also wrote the screenplay and understood more than anyone else what areas needed addressing, providing the backbone to the dialogue and plot.

Putting aside some hokey dialogue from time to time, I feel among the vampire genre and even as a drama this is a classy piece of work from an intelligent director with a flair for dark style, and more importantly produces an epic tale with strong direction. If you have the interest for a drama, specifically based around vampires there is little choice other than this. Through its great performances, (Tom Cruise especially) and stunning sets, costumes and music, one things for sure, you wont forget this one easily.




Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather began what I call the best cinematic depiction of Mafia life in America. The Godfather gave us Al Pacino, one of Marlon Brando’s most famous roles, James Caan, and Robert Duvall – to name just a few.

This movie quickly became one of the cornerstones of modern American cinema. The Godfather, which is my all time favorite movie, is also impressive because it spawned one of the best sequels ever. The same cannot, unfortunately, be said for the third film, and much of the fault lies in the director casting his untalented daughter in the lead.

It really does a remarkable job keeping true to the story - all the goodness is intact without drying up the plot. And it has to be said, in a way it's actually a little better than the book. I don't think any book to film adaptation has met that feat. It is unlikely that any depiction of the mob and dysfunctional families in general will ever rival The Godfather, and Coppola will always remain the father of this genre.





WORST


For those who have not read I Am Legend will most likely enjoy the movie, but for those who have read the book will agree when I say the movie paled in comparison. Why the hell is it so hard to use the source material when making a movie based on that source? Seriously! So much of what made the book interesting and really cool was flipped, turned and tossed into something else. The book is so amazing and yet no adaptation of it has yet captured even a fraction of the magic. The vampires (not zombies, like in the film) know where he lives and they taunt him nightly until he drinks himself to sleep with classical music blaring to drown out the vicious roars and taunts. The ending is also completely different from the book, which is extremely disappointing because the books’ ending was amazing! I understand changing things up a bit, but the whole storyline?! They pretty much soiled the good name and story of a great book.





This dumbed-down version of Homer's Iliad was more an homage to Brad Pitt's bronzed pecs as Greek warrior Achilles than to the great Trojan War. Being "inspired" by one of the great works of literature can mean many things, including dressing Brad Pitt in a pleated leather miniskirt (rolls eyes). But where does the crap end and inspiration begin? No one expects Troy to be a faithful adaptation of Homer's magnificent whopper. But a dead weight epic like this one raises more questions than it answers, most notably, how do movies like these get made in the first place?




The Scarlet Letter was a pitiful loose interpretation of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel of adultery and its implications. Apparently the producers didn't think that Hawthorne's novel was complete, so they ended up adding witch trials, Indian raids, feministic ideals, and a politically correct happy ending. The costumes and scenery are well done, yet Moore's acting as well as the screenplay are so obviously contemporary that they destroy any illusion of the time and place. The entire movie is simply a waste.





Queen of the Damned was absolutely terrible. They tried to compress this intricate plot of two amazingly bad-ass books into one film, and as an unforgiving result this film ended up doing so much of a hack job it was barely recognizable. They cut out so much of what made this book amazing it was ridiculous. This book is my favorite in the series and I highly recommend reading it, in fact I strongly encourage reading the entire series for that matter. I was quite upset they failed so miserably on the silver screen, that and the fact that they picked a terrible cast.





Let the hate mail begin - I stand by my opinion when I say Twilight was a totally and utterly huge piece of poo! While there were maybe some occasional bright spots (careful, if you blink you’ll miss ‘em), the movie failed horrifically to capture what everyone loved about Twilight to begin with; namely, the sensational heart-pounding, strong re-living of a first serious love through Bella's eyes. What seemed in the book sweet and wistful came across like a bad spoof on the screen. This movie is definitely and without a doubt cringe worthy. Feel free to read my full review here: Twilight review.




Books are great, there's no doubt about that. However, movies are a lot of fun, not to mention they take less time out of our "meaningful and busy" lives. It's just unfortunate when a great book to film adaptation fails to capture the books true meaning, emotion and plot.

So what are some of your best and worst book to film adaptations?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Sexy Nine Photos

Out of all the movies that will be released this Fall, Nine is the movie I'm looking forward to seeing the most. I blogged about this film back in early Spring when the first trailer was released, but now we have sexy new photos to "ooo & ah" over. Director Rob Marshall's remake of this film has taken it up a notch with his star-studded, remarkable cast.

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as film director Guido Contini, the film follows his creative and personal crises while attempting to balance the many women in his life: his wife played by Marion Cotillard, his mistress played by Penélope Cruz, the star of his film played by Nicole Kidman, his confidant and costume designer played by Dame Judi Dench, an American fashion journalist played by Kate Hudson, a whore played by Stacy Ferguson "Fergie", and his mother played by Sophia Loren.




Take a look!















The Weinstein Company will debut Nine in theaters everywhere on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th

And yes that is Fergie singing in the trailer. I love it!






Look any good?...


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