Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take a Dive into 'Shark Night 3D'

Source: Heat Vision

If there wasn't enough bloody underwater action in Piranha 3D for ya, rest a sure, because David R. Ellis, director of Snakes on a Plane, will be delivering more in the form of a shark. His latest and greatest project is Shark Night 3D. In case you didn't already know, I'm a huge fan of sharks - Jaws, Shark Week etc. They are fascinating creatures. So naturally I'm drawn to shark related shows and films. The only trouble with shark movies is they tend to lean more on the super-duper cheesy side. However, I have a pretty good feeling this movie isn't going to take itself too seriously - making no apologies.

The cheesy story follows seven people who spend a weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf area where their vacation quickly becomes a nightmare of hellish shark attacks - go figure. Now Heat Vision has word on the casting of the victims. Joining the project are Joel David Moore (Avatar), Chris Carmack (Into the Blue 2: The Reef - wait, they made a sequel?), Sinqua Walls ("Friday Night Lights") and Alyssa Diaz ("As the World Turns"). Obviously Ellis isn't going for the highest quality of talent here, and with a movie such as this who needs to.

Piranha 3D succeeded in all areas that Snakes on a Plane failed. I'm hoping Shark Night 3D will deliver the same caliber P3D did. However, with the cast so far, it doesn't seem like it'll pack as much of a comedic punch. Ellis needs to cast a couple of A-list has-beens to up the ante. Also, it'd be nice if the film worked as a stand alone piece of fluff without the 3D gimmick (meaning, I could've still enjoyed Piranha without the 3D). Anyway, I'm still not expecting much… I mean HELLO?! but of course, like always, I'm still interested. (haha) Shooting starts this September. Stay tuned for the first look coming sometime soon.

Sound interesting?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Takers Review

Talk about your mega B-list cast. Takers leans heavily on style and attitude, the film won't win a single point for originality, but director John Luessenhop keeps the action rolling along regardless. A crew of five high-living bank robbers (Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy and singer Chris Brown) has managed to pull off several lucrative jobs through meticulous planning. But when a former colleague (T.I.) gets out of jail he suggests another score - their biggest one yet. At first the crew are a little cautious about this heist. However, going against their better judgement they proceed anyway. You know they are heading for trouble this time around, partly because of the tension among the thieves and partly because a pair of cops (Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez) are hot on their trail. In addition, they have to deal with Russian mobsters who want to get in on the sweet action. I found the storyline to be pretty basic for the heist movie, but the writers - Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus - provided enough clever twists and character details to keep the audience engaged. The cast also helps to liven up the material. They may not be the best group of actors (ahem, Paul Walker), but they sure are nice to look at. I was actually impressed with Hayden Christensen this time around, which is saying a lot, because he has bugged me in the past. And of course Zoe Saldana shines beautifully in every scene she's in. This movie didn't get the best of reviews from RottenTomatoes - ranking in a low 27%. It's definitely a B-rate movie with testosterone written all of it, hands down, but I found it to be one healthy dose of entertainment. The stunt work is pretty amazing, and the pace is steady enough to keep you watching right up to the lame and somewhat ambiguous conclusion. Can't say I was happy with end result, but what are ya gonna do? It’s not a work of Oscar material, just a fairly simple film, convincingly acted and smartly paced.

RATING: C-

What did you think?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Piranha 3D: For Your Consideration"

Source: FunnyorDie


OH. MY. GOSH. This seriously made me laugh so hard! Just in time for Piranha 3D too, which comes out on MY birthday, August 20th. If I wasn't going to Vegas this weekend I'd be all over this crazy out-of-wack movie opening night, baby. Anyway, as a bit of crazy-fun promotion for the movie, TWC has whipped up a funny video - "Piranha 3D: For Your Consideration." Basically it's a spoof on how deserving this movie is of an Oscar. Piranha 3D is leading all of the other main categories, so why not offer it up for things like Best gun-toting jet-ski fight in a piranha related film. Well folks, I guess this solidifies "why" Piranha 3D is the front-runner and should be considered as a contender with Inception and others. Check it out!


A tremor under the surface of Lake Victoria in Arizona unleashes scores of prehistoric piranhas, an event which rallies the local sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue), who risks everything to save her townsfolk.

Piranha 3D is directed by French horror filmmaker Alexandre Aja, of High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes (the remake) and Mirrors previously. The film's screenplay was co-written by Alexandre Aja, Josh Stolberg (Good Luck Chuck, Sorority Row), Pete Goldfinger (Sorority Row), and Grégory Levasseur (High Tension, P2, Mirrors). The Weinstein Company will be bringing Piranha 3D to theaters this Friday, August 20th (best day of the year).


You know you're dying to see this movie!

Black Swan Trailer Unveiled

Source: IMDb


Swan Lake has always been a favorite ballet of mine, so naturally I’ve been following this movie for some time now. I’m thrilled Fox Searchlight Pictures has finally unveiled their trailer to Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. From what I’ve read, I was expecting good things from this movie, but now I see it’s better than I thought. It looks well made, intense and thrilling. I’ve heard “supernatural” elements are involved as well, which I think adds a bit of kick. My guess is that Kunis' character doesn't even exist, that she's just a figment of Portman's imagination. Hmmm... I’m definitely intrigued! Take a look.

Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life is completely consumed with dance. Artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) casts Nina for the lead in their opening production of Swan Lake. But Nina has competition - Lily (Kunis) - a new sultry dancer who exhibits all the innate ease and sexuality that Nina lacks. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Black Swan is directed by Darren Aronofsky of Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and The Wrestler. And it was written by Mark Heyman of The Fountain and The Wrestler and Andres Heinz. Fox Searchlight Pictures is bringing Black Swan to theaters everywhere December 1st.



Look any good?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Brand New Photos from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

Source: Firstshowing

I know I’ve said it a few times, but I’ll say it again. Man, I wish I was at Comic-Con this past year!! I guess the panel for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was pretty disappointing, but I heard the new footage they showed was nothing short of amazing. The last trailer we saw for this two-part finale sent chills down my spine. I can’t wait to see it! Have a look-see below. And I just heard there's going to be another trailer coming sometime soon that will solely focus on Part I of Deathly Hallows. I actually don't think that's necessary, but whatever. Anyway, it's unclear how soon we'll get to see this trailer, but in the meantime Warner Brothers has just released a set of awesome new stills from Harry Potter's final cinematic adventure.


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If you haven't seen it yet, check out the phenominal spine-shivering full-length trailer for Deathly Hallows right here!

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is again directed by British filmmaker David Yates, of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince previously. The script was also written again by Steve Kloves, of Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and also Half-Blood Prince, but not Order of the Phoenix. This is based on J.K. Rowling's very popular series of books which have already concluded. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I will arrive in theaters on November 19th. I can't wait!



Are you as excited as I am to see this?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lovely, Still Trailer

Source: Fristshowing

WOW! What a charming, romantic indie drama we have here. This trailer seriously put an ear to ear smile on my face and I'm not going to lie, it almost brought a tear to my eye. Lovely, Still stars two phenomenal (Oscar winning) actors – Marin Landau and Ellen Burstyn. Landau plays an elderly chap discovering love for the first time with Burstyn. Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks also star in this, as well. This just looks like one of those delightfully warm and refreshing films. It's not for everyone, but I really want to see this. Have a look!



Lovely, Still was both written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Nicholas Fackler, a 24-year-old up-and-coming filmmaker from Nebraska - wow, that's incredible btw. This first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2008 and also played at the Milwaukee and Chicago Film Festivals. Monterey Media is finally bringing Lovely, Still to limited theaters on September 10th. This looks great!


Let me know what you think...

Drew: The man Behind the Poster Trailer

Source: Firstshowing


I’m always up for a good documentary and this one looks great! Drew: The Man Behind the Poster was unveiled at Comic-Con this year (yet another reason I wish I had gone). It’s a film about the legendary Drew Struzan. He’s the genius behind all those iconic posters we all know and love. Many of the movies from my childhood featured Drew’s poster art. He’s quite a talent. Apparently there’s a book coming out soon as well. I'm excited for this film. It features interviews with Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox and so many more great movie peeps. Take a look!




Drew: The Man Behind the Poster is directed by up-and-coming American filmmaker Erik Sharkey. Sharkey along with Greg Boas and Charles Ricciardi are the film-making team behind this doc. "Telling the tale through exclusive interviews, the journey spans Drew's early career in commercial and album cover art through his recent retirement as one of the most recognizable and influential movie poster artists of all time." These three filmmakers have crafted a comprehensive presentation about the artist, the art, and the stories behind Drew's most recognizable creations. This movie still doesn’t have a distributor or release date yet, but I’ll keep you updated.


Look any good?...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock - The Master of Suspense

Not only is today Friday the 13th (Oooh, spooky-scary), but today we celebrate one of Hollywood's most beloved suspense/thriller directors of all time - Alfred Hitchcock. I wouldn't consider myself a huge Hitchcock fan, but I do like some of his films. One of my favorite movie genre's are suspense/thrillers, so naturally I'm drawn to his work.

Hitchcock films certainly set the pace in many ways. He was nominated for Best Director five times, so it's clear that other filmmakers acknowledged his talent and skill. He was mostly nominated for his biggest hits, like Rebecca, Spellbound, Rear Window and Psycho (just as George Lucas was nominated for Star Wars) so unfortunately he never won.

Today, Vertigo is considered Hitchcock's greatest and most personal achievement and is routinely placed on lists of the ten best films ever made. It's surprising it only warranted two Oscar nominations - sound and art direction - sadly he lost both. It's amazing to consider that Hitchcock was 60 years old when he made Psycho. His age was not a factor and the film's smaller scale was a personal choice rather than a financial necessity. Psycho is definitely one of my all time favorite Hitchcock films and it seems to be the apex of Hitchcock's popular and critical appeal. Thanks for making some of the best thrillers around. We tip our hats off to you, Alfred.


Happy Birthday!
(1899-1980)
May you Rest In Peace.



What are some of your favorite Hitchcock films?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Greatest Movie Trilogies of All Time

When it comes to a series of films that are part of a trilogy, the series usually loses steam by the third movie. There are not a whole lot of franchises out there that have pulled off a successful trilogy (click here to see what I mean Trilogies Gone Bad), but when it does happen, it is a thing of beauty for both audiences and the studios that profit. Below you will see a small list of (what I believe to be) the greatest movie trilogies of all time!




Bourne
The Bourne films are three quality, action-packed films - emphasis on "quality." Most action thrillers forgo intelligent story-telling, but this series puts its story first and through terrific writing, choreography and directing it takes hand-to-hand combat to a whole new level.








Toy Story
What an incredible joy ride from beginning to end. Pixar really outdid themselves with this fresh new tale of misfit toys. Every movie one-up'd the previous, becoming better and better with each film. Fantastically fun!





Lord of the Rings
Director Peter Jackson did a rare thing with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he was able to find a balance between cinematic aestheticism and faithfulness to the literature, thus appeasing both die-hard Tolkien fans and people who had never read the books.





Star Wars (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi)
No list of movie trilogies would be complete without mentioning the Star Wars saga. I don't think there's a single person (I should hope not anyway) that would disagree with me when saying Lucas' original space opera remains to this day one of the most beloved trilogies of all time.





So the aforementioned trilogies are the creme da la creme/best of the best. If it weren't for the last chapters in
Indiana Jones and The Godfather they would definitely be on this list, but instead they are my honorable mentions. We also may have to revisit this list when the next Christopher Nolan Batman film is released.

What trilogies make your best of the best list?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Other Guys Review

On paper, the pairing of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in a buddy cop action comedy doesn't sound like the smartest move a filmmaker could make. But thanks to the unlikely chemistry between the two leads, and Wahlberg's surprising ability to be funny without over doing it, The Other Guys delivers some pretty good laughs. The testosterone-loaded Wahlberg doesn't pull faces or deliver jokes the way Ferrell does, but when he declares he's a peacock that needs to fly, you've got to wonder why he's been keeping his inner comedian hidden for so long. Over the years I have become quite fond of Wahlberg and his films. He’s definitely the main reason I wanted to see this movie to begin with.

Director
Adam McKay surrounded Ferrell and Wahlberg with a bunch of scene-stealing guest-spot actors. Michael Keaton is back in the world of comedy, Eva Mendes is the brunt of jokes over her “Plain-Jane” looks, and Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson play the two superstar detectives who are given keys to the city even after piling up millions in damages while chasing down a lowly marijuana dealer.

McKay busts up cars, buses, storefronts, explodes vehicles and otherwise takes every single action set piece to the extreme, spoofing buddy cop films from decades past with such ridiculous, over-the-top, unbelievable action that there's no chance audiences won't get the joke. And speaking of ridiculous, I felt the plot was unnecessarily complicated for its own good. Still, when The Other Guys focuses on the banter between Ferrell and Wahlberg its shortcomings aren't as noticeable.

I felt it was a half an hour too long, and about one third of the jokes miss their mark - they just kind of felt forced or over-the-top to be truly funny. But overall it's better than Ferrell's recent movies and while it’s not the funniest movie I’ve seen - it's not in the same league as Anchorman or Talladega Nights - it definitely has its funny moments.
RATING: D+
The Other Guys was directed by Adam McKay and is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material.


Let me know what you thought…

Friday, August 6, 2010

Catfish Trailer

Source: IMDb


Don't let anyone tell you what it is…

One of the many intriguing movies screened at the Sundance Film Festival last February was a film called Catfish. The unassuming title didn’t really do much to catch my attention initially, and since the film screened under Documentary Spotlight, I'm guessing a lot of other people overlooked it as well. However, it managed to generate buzz anyway. Rogue Pictures, recently picked it up, which is strange, because they are generally known for horror films. But regardless of its genre Catfish definitely has my attention. At first I thought it was just a cute documentary about finding love and romance on line, so it definitely surprised me when it takes a turn straight into “thriller” mode. I think this is a well crafted trailer too. It just grazes the tip of the iceberg, if you will, showing us just enough to reel us in for the hook. Take a look!

The vague synopsis explains that filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost began to document an online relationship that was developing between Ariel’s brother Nev and a girl that he met on the Internet. They eventually decided to take a road trip from New York to rural Michigan to meet her, at which point they discovered something that was both “shocking” and “unsettling”. Rogue Pictures is bringing Catfish to select theaters on September 17th.



Are you intrigued?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Kids Are All Right Review

While two well known actresses portraying a same sex couple will draw a great deal of attention to The Kids Are All Right, those who check it out will find a very funny, entertaining and touching film about family and people trying to figure out who they are and where they are going in life.

Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) are a married couple raising two children, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska). The entire family is going through some changes as Joni prepares to start college in the fall. The Moms are trying to figure out Laser's deal (he’s been acting strange lately), Jules is starting yet another business venture no one really believes will succeed, and on top of all that Laser is curious about the sperm donor who helped make it all possible. So when Joni turns 18, he talks her into looking the guy up. His name is Paul (Mark Ruffalo
), he has an organic garden and restaurant, and he's cool with just about everything... not to mention super sexy. Hutcherson and Wasikowska have shining moments, but the movie, despite its title, is really about the grownups. Bening and Moore give stunning performances! What did you expect? Even Ruffalo does an amazing job. He creates a character full of charm and appeal. He has to lure us in, but also turn us off at the same time. Ruffalo finds the right mix of good guy and bad guy in Paul, which takes a solid actor to do something like that.

The Kids Are All Right is filled with awkwardness, tension, humor, sadness and kindness. It’s far, far funnier than you might expect. In fact, the film stops just short of becoming a full-fledged comedy, preferring to exist in both worlds instead. I found myself smiling throughout the entire movie. I simply loved it! It’s an emotional, heartfelt movie that offers a portrait of marriage that is rich, and above all, honest. I will say though, they could have done without the nudity. Even though there weren’t a lot of nude scenes, I felt it unnecessary to get the point across. It didn’t enhance the movie one bit. If anything those scenes just cheapened it.


In conclusion, I feel nothing is as wonderful or as wretched as family. It remains the singular human connection within which joy and agony exists - those we love are sometimes the same as those we loathe. Director
Lisa Cholodenko and cowriter Stuart Blumberg crafted a story of connections made and connections gone awry with wit, warmth and wisdom. It's one of the year’s most, endearing and authentic films. I would have liked a few more scenes near the end to give a more satisfying conclusion, but all in all it's a terrific film anyway.
RATING: B

Let me know what you thought.


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