Monday, November 29, 2010

James Franco & Anne Hathaway Hosting 83rd Academy Awards!

Source: FirstShowing

I love a good Oscar show, especially with a side order of delicious James Franco. Last night it became official, Franco and Anne Hathaway will be hosting the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony on February 27th, 2011. I guess it's the Academy's way of reaching out to the young-ens... demographically that is. Whatever the reason is I like it.. well sort of. I actually don't think we need two hosts, but maybe it'll work this time around. Hathaway and Franco have appeared in previous awards shows, but this will obviously be their first time hosting the big event.

Hathaway showed off her vocal talents in a musical number with previous host Hugh Jackman a few years back, while Franco has only appeared at the awards once previously in the form of a hilarious pre-taped sketch featuring his character from Pineapple Express (hilarious movie btw) chilling out with co-star Seth Rogen who was also in character. That clip had my rollin' for days! So funny!! Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer are very pleased to have both talents aboard saying...
"James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27.”
I have no doubt it will entertaining. I'm sure Hathaway's musical talents will be expressed during the ceremony, and the same goes for Franco's comedic throw-down (I just love him). The two have appeared in a variety of films, so anything is possible. The other interesting aspect lies in the fact that Franco has a good chance to be nominated for Best Actor from his performance in 127 Hours and word has it that Hathaway might be in the running for Best Actress for Love and Other Drugs. That could certainly make for an interesting evening. Ah, I love the early stages of the Oscars... the buzz, who's going to get nominated, what films will be picked etc. It's all very exciting. I hope the two do well hosting. I guess we'll find out when the Oscars air on ABC on February 27, 2011.


What are you thoughts?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen Has Passed Away at 84

Source: CJOB 68

"Surely you can't be serious?"
"
I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."

Leslie Nielsen has passed away. Canadian talk radio station CJOB 68 in Manitoba reports that he passed away due to complications from pneumonia at age 84. His nephew Doug Nielsen revealed the very sad news tonight that after being hospitalized for nearly two weeks, the infection was "just too much and at 5'30, with his friends and his wife by his side, he just fell asleep and passed away."

When I was a kid there were plenty of movies I saw well before I was old enough to truly enjoy and understand them. Ones that stick out the most are Airplane! and the first two installments of the Naked Gun films. Though there were plenty of jokes that went over my head, I remember loving the goofy nature and slapstick elements of those comedies. I always knew him as a comedian and was completely blown away when my mom and I watched some of his early work from the 60's.

His more serious roles include
Peyton Place and The New Breed and even appearances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color and Columbo. But it was his role as Dr. Rumack in Airplane! that would lead him to one of his most iconic roles as Detective Frank Drebin in the comedy series The Naked Gun. Though we greatly admire his early work in drama, it's his comedies that stick out the most. Below I've included a montage video of some our favorite funny Leslie Nielsen moments. Enjoy!



This is truly a sad loss today for the entertainment industry and audiences alike. As I continue to get older, the celebrities that pass away are hitting a little too close to home, more so than before. Fortunately, Leslie Nielsen has left behind a legacy of greatness in drama and comedy, stirring up countless emotions throughout a wonderful career that spans for over 60 years. We will remember him fondly.

*Rest in Peace*

What are some of your fondest Nielsen memories?


Must Watch: Hilarious Trailer for 'Your Highness'

Source: IGN

"You may quest the way you like, I will quest the way I like."
There's no denying it, this movie will definitely be the comedy to see in 2011. Universal Pictures has debuted their first hilarious red band trailer for David Gordon Green's Your Highness. I LOVED Pineapple Express, so it stands to reason I'll love this brilliant medieval stoner comedy as well. The film stars the likes of James Franco (who I love btw), Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel and Justin Theroux as the evil wizard. Talk about your star studded cast. This movie looks like one amazing, totally off-the-wall, insane comedy with a mixture of medieval elements, some awesome action, stoner jokes and much more. Can't wait! The trailer's a bit lengthy, but definitely worth the watch. Check it out!


Your Highness is a hilarious new fantasy movie about an arrogant, lazy prince (Danny McBride) and his more heroic brother (James Franco) who must complete a quest in order to save their father's kingdom.

Your Highness is directed by filmmaker David Gordon Green, who started indie with George Washington, All the Real Girls and Snow Angels, then went comedic with Pineapple Express (one of my all time favorite comedies) and hasn't turned back. He's also currently shooting The Sitter. Surprisingly, the screenplay was written by Danny McBride and "Eastbound & Down" creator Ben Best. Universal is bringing Your Highness to theaters everywhere on April 8th, 2011.

So, is this your cup of tea?

First Look: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Source: FirstShowing

I'm pretty much sick of all things Twilight, however, I do hold a very special spot in my heart for the books. I still maintain the movies are one big pile of stinky poo. I'm excited for the day they reboot the series and do it up right. Anyway, this photo debuted over Thanksgiving courtesy of FirstShowing. It's definitely an interesting photo. For those who have read the Twilight series know exactly what this represents. As for the rest of you, it's from a sex scene between Edward and Bella that they apparently did shoot. Director Bill Condon, is currently working on finishing the two halves of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (my least favorite in the series, btw). Still, I'm interested in seeing how the scene will be shot as there was a lot of controversy surrounding it in early reports.

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Oscar winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, Dreamgirls) will direct both new films in The Twilight Saga starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. The movie, based on the fourth novel by Stephenie Meyer's uber-popular Twilight series, and was adapted by screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg with Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt & Stephenie Meyer producing. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 will be released as two separate movies - the first arrives on November 18th, 2011, and the second on November 16th, 2012. Personally, I don't find it necessary to make this into a two parter. There's a lot of junk they can just leave out, but anything to prolong the process, right.

Thoughts?

Burlesque Review

I didn't expect to thoroughly enjoy this movie. It's no deep thought-out plot by any means - it's Showgirls meets Moulin Rouge - but it's definitely full of fun and exciting dance numbers that will make you want to hit the clubs afterwords. Right from the start Burlesque was irresistible. Christina Aguilera does a fantastic job holding her own as she steps into her first leading role, especially next to the likes of Cher and Stanley Tucci. She has an ease with dialogue that some people never achieve. Good celebrity crossovers are rare, yet more common than you might think: Singers to Silver Screens & Back.


Ali (Aguilera) is a small-town girl who dreams of the big-city lights. She sets out to accomplish this dream by purchasing a one way ticket to L.A. However, L.A. isn't what she was expecting and after she can’t get work as a professional dancer, she stumbles upon Club Burlesque. It's there she sees an extraordinary show put on by Tess (Cher) and her girls. Completely "wowed" by the stunning glitz and glam, she begs Tess for a job. Apprehensively, Tess agrees to give her a shot and from there the movie really takes full flight.

No one would ever call Burlesque original, but the movie is remarkable for its utter lack of traditional villains. The characters are all hugely appealing. Cam Gigandet, who's usually cast as bullies and bad guys (Twilight, Never Back Down), reveals a surprisingly sweet side (and back side... just saying) as a romantic leading man (his scenes opposite Aguilera are among the film’s best). Kristen Bell does a wonderful job playing Nikki - a self absorbed snob. You can understand her jealousy though, once Ali out-shines her. It's not that she has anything against Ali, she just likes the spotlight all to herself. Sorry Cher fans, for the most part this movie is all Aguilera. Sure, she belts out one solo, but sadly, that's all she wrote. And then there's Tucci, he never disappoints. Everyone gives fantastic performances. The sets and costumes are beautiful, bright and undeniably sexy. The music is fun an energetic. I definitely want the soundtrack! Burlesque is a fantastically fun and light piece of entertainment that will leave you wanting more. RATING: C -
Let me know what you thought...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Disney's 50 Animated Movies

Source: YouTube

How many Disney animated motion pictures are there you ask? Well, after Tangled, which just hit theaters this weekend, there are 50. That is an impressive feat! Disney's legendary legacy has given us some of the best animated pictures around. In case you are forgetting what movies Disney has made over the years, never fear, Disney Animation has whipped up a fun "count-up" video for us. It's an amazing walk down memory lane and it certainly inspires me to go watch every single one. Some of my all time favorites include: Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Lion King, Meet the Robinsons and Aladdin. Enjoy!



I've heard Tangled is a very cute movie and one worth seeing. Disney sure knows how to make good films. Since there were no titles included in this video, if you want to check out the complete list of all 50 animated motion pictures that Disney has made since 1937, you can right head over to Wikipedia. How many of you have seen every single one of these films?


What are some of your favorites?


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review

It's actually been a while since I've been this excited to see a movie opening night. The wait certainly didn't help either, having known about this movie for years now. However, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
-->definitely served up one meaty/spicy hot plate with this installment. Needless to say, it was well worth the long and tiresome wait. I'm only on book 4 in series, so I have yet to compare the two, but as a movie lover, I highly enjoyed it. It was a tad frustrating as a stand alone movie... what should have been phenomenal was merely really good. It's without doubt a solid prequel for the chaos to come though.

From the get go it's easy to see this movie is definitely the darkest, offering up more intensity and more thrills than it's predecessors. Rufus Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy) says it perfectly, “These are dark times, there is no denying.” Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), are still grieving the death of their beloved headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. However, they literally have no time to grief. Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes - who I just love btw) and his evil minion of dark wizards have taken over the wizarding world, casting heavy shadows on all things magical. And to top it off, The Dark Lord has his sights set on destroying Harry and will stop at nothing to see his will carried out. Play time is over! Harry is on the run for his life - he has become the hunted.

I absolutely loved the look and feel of this movie. It was both dark and captivating and surprisingly rich in color. Director David Yates (who took over the franchise when it entered its dark phase in Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix) does his best work yet. The strong suits of Yates are his choreographed action scenes, and there are quite a few thrilling ones in this movie. Since the kids are now on the run, they have the opportunity to take us on a whole new adventure, where we see some of the most visually striking cinematography than ever before. And a movie wouldn't be complete with music. Alexandre Desplat does a fantastic job with this score. I absolutely love his work.

Yeats does a wonderful job taking us away from the lighthearted children adventures and teen angst by throwing us into a terrifying dark world of adulthood. Each main character has their moment to shine, but what stood out the most was Emma Waston's performance. She shines as the troubled and resourceful strong young woman caught between her two best friends (She also finds time to control her eyebrows). The decision not to release the film in 3-D may have been due to production constraints, yet it’s a wise one nonetheless, one that makes me really happy. With the darkening of the images that occurs as a result of the process, it would have been nearly impossible to take in all the fine detail, because the movie is already extremely dark and shadowy to begin with.

HP7 Part 1 was extremely entertaining. It definitely has me excited for the finial chapter, which hits theaters next year, July 15th 2011, although I'm sad at the same time. Sad, because this phenomenon is finally coming to and end. For more than a decade now, Harry has captivated worldwide audiences with all his thrilling adventures. Now the boy wizard, who is officially a young man, is at last ready for his final curtain call.
RATING: B-


Let's hear it, what did you think?

Dancing at the Movies!

Source: youtube.com

For those who follow my blog know I love movie mash-ups. I also love a good movie with a side of dance. Below is one of the best dance movie mash-ups I've seen, courtesy of Youtube. It's a fun collection of dance clips from nearly 40 movies from comedies to dramas, from Fred Astaire to Michael Jackson. For whatever reason dancing magically brings people together, and to quote Footloose, Ren McCormack said it best:
"From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer... or so that their crops would be plentiful... or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit... and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate." And that is the dancing we're talking about. Aren't we told in Psalm 149 "Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance"? And it was King David - King David, who we read about in Samuel - and what did David do? What did David do? "David danced before the Lord with all his might... leaping and dancing before the Lord." *Leaping* and *dancing*."
Let's hear it, what are some of your favorite dance movies?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New 'Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides' Poster

Source: MovieWeb & FirstShowing


For those who are slightly, if not extremely excited to see the beloved Capt. Jack Sparrow return to the silver screen next summer, by all means, read on. Disney has been shooting the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Hawaii for a few months now and is preparing to release it right in the thick of summer, as always. To start hyping a new sequel, Disney has debuted a new skull & crossbones teaser poster for the film.

I wasn't too impressed with the last two films in this series, so when I heard they were continuing the story, I rolled my eyes in disappointment. However, I've been warming up to the idea, and now I'm pretty excited for it. I think it could be a strong, well done film. Here's hoping. We should see the trailer soon too. Can't wait for that! Also, below is a clip from our beloved Capt. himself. He gives us a little insight into what the movie will entail. It's pretty fun, so check it out. Enjoy!


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The Plot:
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Penélope Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.



Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides stars the lovely Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow again as well as Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench, Keith Richards and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a mermaid. The story is based on Tim Powers' book. Rob Marshall (Nine and Chicago), is directing the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film and is said to be shot entirely in 3D. If that's the case, it should be pretty rad to watch in 3D. This film is set for release on May 20th, 2011.


Who's with me?!

Unstoppable Reivew

Unstoppable certainly took me by storm. I half expected this film to be mediocre at best - a movie rental if you will. However, director Tony Scott, (Deja Vu, Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3) delivered with thunderous applause. It's seriously one wild ride, zooming by in full throttle. It's a terrific, man-on-a-mission adventure, with heroic railroad-men battling to stop an unmanned runaway train. (Cue, Soul Asylum's Run Away Train) And what's even cooler is that this movie is based on true events. Back in Ohio in 2001, a train backing cargo with toxic chemicals and no engineer on board, zigzagged across three counties in Ohio before it was brought to a stop. Why they decided to change the state in the movie to Pennsylvania is beyond me. No biggie though.

It's a difficult thing to craft a movie in which the bad guy is a runaway train.
(Cue, Soul Asylum's Run Away Train) And with that being said, you're unable to put a human face on the antagonist - it's soulless and uncaring... literally. Therefore the main struggle is less personal. However, it somehow works beautifuly.
Will (Chris Pine) is a rookie and Frank (Denzel Washington) is a veteran, and therein lies their derision for one another. Will doesn't like being looked down upon for his inexperience, while Frank is annoyed that the company is bringing on board low-paid, inexperienced workers to replace lifers like him. While these two are in the "getting to know you" phase of their relationship, bad things are happening elsewhere on the main line - a series of mishaps and errors results in an unmanned train and accelerating at an alarming 70 mph. At first, it's thought to be a "coaster" that can be easily overtaken and stopped. However, it doesn't take long for train dispatcher Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson), to realize the train is not only under power but is rushing into heavily populated areas. And to make matter worse the cargo of this mad runaway train (Cue, Soul Asylum's Run Away Train) is filled with toxic, flammable chemicals. That's where Will and Frank come in. They decide to take the risk and help stop the runaway train (Cue, Soul Asylum's Run Away Train) before it's too late.
I loved the look and feel of this film. The lighting, the colors... all beautiful and rich. Most of Scott's films share that similar hue of color, which at times I really enjoy. He does a great job with the film's momentum too. He avoids spending too much time on the made-up back stories and the main characters interactions. And even without solid character development you manage to love our blue-collar hero's anyway. Unstoppable is about racing to cheat disaster and, for the most part, that's where the filmmakers keep the focus. The goal is to elevate the heart rate and produce a few nail marks. (Goal achieved!)
This 95 minute Hollywood pop-corn thriller (which similarly resembles the 1994 hit thriller Speed) delivers just enough adrenaline to keep the audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation. I was certainly on the edge of mine - never a dull moment, which really surprised me btw. If you're looking for a fun suspenseful thriller, this is definitely your movie.
RATING: B
What did you think?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy 36th Birthday, Leo!

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Through the years Leonardo DiCaprio has proven to be one of the most talented and outstanding actors of his generation, not to mention sorely underrated. With films like Shutter Island and the ever impressive Inception, maybe the actor will finally get lucky and take home an Oscar this year. Although, luck has little to do with it. You can tell this guy has a gift and whether or not The Academy chooses to honor that gift doesn't really matter, he's an extremely gifted actor regardless... making him one of my all time favorites. I've been so impressed with his work over the years. Just knowing he's in a film is enough for me to to see it based on that alone.

One of my favorite and most memorable DiCaprio films is the 2006 Martin Scorsese The Departed. He completely blew me away with that power-house performance. He. Was. Phenomenal. The movie is excellent too and if you haven't seen it yet, do so immediately. His next project is Hoover, due out next year. It's a biopic on FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, focusing on his scandalous career and controversial private life as a homosexual and rumored cross dresser. Sounds interesting. I'm certainly excited to see where his career takes us next. Below is a fun movie tribute in honor of his birthday. Enjoy!

HAPPY 36th LEO!





What are some of your favorite Leo films?


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