Monday, January 27, 2014

Maleficent Trailer

Source: Firstshowing 

 "There is evil in this world, hatred and revenge."
I must say I do have my reservations regarding this movie. I fear it will be all too cheesy for my taste. But that being said, I'm still a tad bit intrigued, especially after seeing Disney's latest trailer for Maleficent, which gives us a much better idea of what's in store. It still looks a little cheesy, but I will hold all judgements until after I see the movie. I do love Lana Del Rey's haunting version of Once Upon a Dream though. It adds a marvelous sense of mystery and darkness to the story. Nice touch. See for yourself... 

(a production designer on Alice in Wonderland and Avatar) is making his directorial debut with Maleficent. The script is written by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast). plays the iconic villain from the classic Disney film Sleeping Beauty in this live-action spin that also stars Sharlto Copley (District 9), as Sleeping Beauty - kind of miscast in my opinion - (Super 8), Sam Riley (On the Road), Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Juno Temple (Atonement) and more. Disney sends Maleficent to theaters everywhere in 3D on May 30th, 2014. Visit the film's official website.

Look any good?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MGM's 90th Anniversary Movie Montage

Source: MGM

One of the longest running film studios is MGM, which stands for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The studio is definitely making a comeback after going bankrupt in 2010. Today MGM celebrates 90 years of movie magic! The studio began on April 12th, 1924 and since then has accomplished some of the best film making around, with over 200 Academy Awards including 14 Best Pictures. Relive your favorite movie moments featuring classics like Rocky, Terminator, Some Like it Hot, The Princess Bride, Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, The Hobbit, and much more.  Enjoy!



It's pretty impressive when you see the studio's work wrapped up in 2 minutes (most of their work that is). It makes me want to watch all my MGM favorites, like The Princess Bride, Terminator and Some Like it Hot. Along with these iconic films is the iconic lion that roars in their logo. That alone has become an eye catching trademark to say the least. I'm excited to see what else MGM has in store for us down the road. 
What are some of your favorite MGM films?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Review

As we return to the inner working mind of Tom Clancy’s covert-ops hero Jack Ryan, we enter a world full of thrills, duds and loads of action. 

Shadow Recruit wasn't a great movie by any means, but rather a decent entertaining piece of work.  It's definitely no The Hunt for Red October or Patriot Games (which is my personal favorite), but it was still fun.  If you have two hours to fill this isn't a bad way to past the time.  And though it  was predictable at times with a simpleton plot, I still found it enjoyable nonetheless.  There are definitely a few times that will make you jump. 

This reboot does a great job building the characters back-story - why he works for the C.I.A., why he hates helicopters, how he met Cathy, etc.   does an excellent job reviving the character and proves worthy of an action hero we can all get behind and support. I was a fan of the entire cast, actually, and even though I didn't love this movie I definitely see potential for a sequel. 
RATING: C+

Did you enjoy this movie?

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Oscar Snub 2014 Tribute

Source: JoBlo

As you may know the 86th Academy Awards Nominations were announced yesterday and it comes as bit of a surprise that so many amazing movies, actors, directors and film scores were snubbed by the Oscars this year. And while there are still plenty of excellent candidates, I'm shocked by the few that were sadly left out of the running. Nick Bosworth over at JoBlo put together a video honoring the ones who were snubbed, namely Tom Hank for Best Actor, Opera Winfrey for Best Supporting Actress, Saving Mr. Banks for Best Picture, Man of Steel for Best Film Score and Pacific Rim for Best Visual Effects.  Take a look...
 


This was definitely a difficult year to pick and choose only because there were so many incredible movies to choose from with some remarkable talent.  It's not that the Academy got it wrong completely, but they kind of did in a small way by snubbing those I listed above. The 86th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 2nd at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood with a live telecast airing on ABC starting at 7PM (EST) / 4PM (PST). This year's ceremony is being hosted by the charming and hilarious Ellen DeGeneres. 

Tell me who you feel the Academy snubbed this year...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wolf of Wall Street Visual Effects

Source: Brainstorm Digital


The The Great Gatsby, Pacific Rim, The Lord of the Rings... all movies that need great visual effects to capture the films fantasy world of make believe. One wouldn't necessarily think there would be a need for visual effects in a movie like The Wolf of Wall Street.  But apparently there is plenty of it in Martin Scorsese's film, as shown in this fun visual effects breakdown. Take a look and enjoy.

The Wolf of Wall Street is directed by legendary Academy Award winning filmmaker .  His impressive catalog includes everything from Taxi Driver to Raging Bull to Cape Fear to Goodfellas to Casino to Aviator to Departed to Shutter Island and Hugo recently. The screenplay is written by (Get Rich or Die Tryin', Brooklyn Rules, "The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire"), based on  's book of the same name. The film also stars Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jon Favreau, Kyle Chandler, Shea Whigham & Jean Dujardin. Paramount released The Wolf of Wall Street on Christmas Day of last year. 

Pretty cool, huh.

Lone Survivor Review

This true story about four Navy SEALs who embarked on an ill-fated covert mission to take down a high-level Taliban leader in Afghanistan is absolutely incredible. It's not political, it's not pro-war, but rather pro soldier. It's about strength, courage and survival, not to mention it show-cases the great capacity of human endurance, of desperation, of resolve, and resignation. From the film's title, it's no surprise only one SEAL survives - Marcus Luttrell () was the only one to make it out alive.  With the help of a near by village leader, he finds protection from the Taliban.  It's incredibly moving how these villagers put their life on the line to help a complete stranger too.  Basically, an enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Lone Survivor seriously impressed me. Needless to say it's remarkable what these men and women go through to protect our country. If you like war movies go see this movie or read the book of the same title. You will not be disappointed.   Just be prepared to tear up a little in the end.
RATING: B+

Tell me your thoughts?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

Source: YouTube & IMDb.com

It's hard to believe 2014 is here already.  It seems only yesterday I was writing this exact post for 2013.  Where does the time go.  Anyway, it is now time to preview some exciting, new movies.  This year holds a lot of promise, too, with oodles of goodies to get excited about - spanning from its array of comic book heroes, to thrillers, book adaptations, documentaries, all the way to prequels, squeals and remakes.  Below is a list of the Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of the year.  Enjoy!


25. Bears (April 18th)
A look at the life of bears living in Alaska's coastal mountains and shores. 


24. RoboCop  3D (February 12th)

In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (hottie ) - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.


Aliens invade Earth and inadvertently spawn a quartet of mutated reptile warriors, the Ninja Turtles, who rise up against them to defend the world. It'll be nice to finally see the gorgeous in a leading role on the silver screen again.


22. Transformers: Age of Extinction IMAX/3D (June 27th)
A mechanic () and his daughter make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons - and a paranoid government official - on them. 


21. Godzilla IMAX (May 16th)
A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla appears to wreak destruction on mankind. 


20. How to Train Your Dragon 2 3D (June 13th)
It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. 


19. The Lego Movie (February 7th)
An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.


18. Maleficent 3D (May 30th)
The "Sleeping Beauty" tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora. 


17. Noah (March 28th)
The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.


16. Divergent IMAX (March 21st)
Beatrice Prior, a teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian leader seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided society.


15. Transcendence (April 18th)
A terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.


14. The Monuments Men (February 7th)
An unlikely World War II platoon are tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.


13.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (January 17th)
Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.


12. Endless Love (February 14th)
The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.


11. Unbroken (Christmas Day)
A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.  


10. The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7th)
The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.


Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.


8. Muppets Most Wanted (March 21st)

While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick. 


7. 22 Jump Street (June 13th)

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college. 


6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 3D (May 2nd)

Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life. 



Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar's growing forces.


Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.


3.  X-Men: Days of Future Past 3D (May 23rd)

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.


2. Interstellar IMAX (November 7th)

A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. 


1.  The Hobbit: There and Back Again IMAX/3D 
(December 17th)
The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug's lair; but, can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it?


Looks like 2014 certainly has her work cut out for us. It's going to be a great year indeed! So tell me... which movies are you anticipating the most this year?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top 10 Best & Worst Movies of 2013

Ah yes, it's that time of year again, where I recap the best and worst films of the year.  Compiling the list for best movies was a little more daunting than expected, only because there were so many excellent movies to choose from, and putting them in order was a difficult task as well.  I never seem to have trouble compiling my list for the bad movies though.  It's kind of embarrassing how many horrible movies I saw last year.  With that said, I present the Top 10 Best & Worst Movies of 2013. Enjoy!

*Worst of the Worst*
Dishonorable mentions:
This Is the End
At World's End
Red 2
The Call 
The Place Beyond the Pines



10. A Good Day to Die Hard
Or just a bad day to kill a franchise. Now, I actually enjoyed this movie (perhaps it had something to do with my low, low expectations), but by no means is this a good quality movie. And while even McClane on his best day couldn't save this mailed-it-in pooper, at least Bruce Willis could have tried.

9. Broken City: 
Not as smart as you would think, not as cleaver as you would hope. It’s never a good sign when 5 minutes into a film you can guess the ending. Predictable and lackluster at best.  Next!

8. Girl Most Likely: 
Ahem, girl most likely to put you to sleep that is. Now I love , and I thought this would be funny, but more than anything it bored me to tears. Just pass.

 
7. Gangster Squad
It felt more like a cheesy, old-school video game rather than an actual movie. Way too artsy for this type of film.  And it just dragged on and on... and on. What looked like a cool gangster movie set in the 40’s, turned out to be a huge, bore-snore disappointment. I've had better.

6. White House Down
(rolls eyes) Oh, please. One of the most idiotic and cliché-ridden movies ever. It’s The Bourne Identity for underage simpletons. Cheesy with a side of bad acting. Even abs-for-days, , couldn’t save this hot mess.

5. Oz the Great and Powerful
This charmless 3-D prequel never should have seen the light of day. Let’s take one of the most classical movies of all time and just poo all over it. I think they spent all their time and energy making this movie look good in lieu of a decent script.

4. Mama: 
I’m confused. Was this supposed to be a comedy or a horror movie? What a complete and utter joke this mistake of a movie was! I generally don’t go to a horror movie to laugh. C’mon, now. Villains are supposed to be scary and mean,... hence them being villains. Duh.

3. The Bling Ring
Two words: Bore-Ring.

2. The Host
If you are ever sucked up into an alien spacecraft, and the extraterrestrials offer you a choice between getting probed with their instruments or watching The Host then fine, OK, option B, but still...

And the #1 worst movie of the year goes to...

1. Texas Chainsaw 3D
This was the first big movie released in 2013 and remains, even at the end, thee absolute worst movie of the year. Let’s see… Not even close to being scary, check. Attempts to bring compassion to the man with the chainsaw, double check. Horrible ending, triple check. I don't know who's worse, the folks who made this film or the suckers who paid to see it. Either way I am now dumber for having watched this.


**Best of the Best**
Honorable mentions:
Ender's Game
The Conjuring
The Great Gatsby
Catching Fire
Frozen


10. The Wolf of Wall Street
When folks like and Leonardo DiCaprio collaborate their talents to a crafty new take on excess and greed you get pure genius, not to mention exciting entertainment. And though this movie was over the top and about 45 minutes too long, that scene when Leo is trying to open his car door is hands down the best comedic performance of the year and possibly ever.

"I'll tell you what: I'm never eating at Benihana again. I don't care whose birthday it is." 


9. Man of Steel
Superman + Henry Cavill = last year’s best superhero movie. This reboot  was fresh, yet familiar and packed one powerful punch. Great cast, great costumes, great action, great script, great direction and all around great storytelling. Forget the haters, this movie was super-rad! 

"The fact that you possess a sense of morality, and we do not, gives us an evolutionary advantage. And if history has proven anything it is that evolution always wins."

 
8. Star Trek Into Darkness: 
This movie was everything a Summer Blockbuster should be and more. It was full of life, wit, smarts, intense thrills and sheer gratifying entertainment. Not only did it seriously blow our collected mind to pieces, but it met every high expectation we had. 

"Because you are my friend."


7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
As we returned to the magical world of Middle Earth we find ourselves overcome with adventure, thrills and excitement. 's technological 3D wizardry certainly lived up to all the hype. The pacing, the shot angles, the script, not to mention that astounding dragon in the end. W-o-w.  Superb.

"There is something about you. Something you carry, something made of gold... but far more PRECIOUS..."




6. Her
The most original and brilliant futuristic love story of the year. Here's to a captivating splendor that grabs ahold of you tightly. It’s sweet and soulful and will have you eating out of the palm of its hands by the end. 

Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It's like a socially acceptable form of insanity.”


5. Philomena
This true story, about an old lady trying to find her son that she was forced to give up as a young teenager, is incredibly touching, warm and surprisingly funny. Hope and forgiveness will resonate with you long after the credits roll. I have no doubt will get an Oscar nom for her sweet and charming performance. She was excellent!  This film was truly a wonderful delight.

“I didn’t see that coming, not in a million years.” 


4. Gravity
Visually stunning? Absolutely. Monumental? No question. Edge of your seat, gripping? Most definitely! Who knew from the trailer alone this movie would be as phenomenal as it was. It wouldn’t surprise me, either, if Ms. took home a golden statue for this role. 

"Half of North America just lost their Facebook."


3. Captain Phillips
The last 15 minutes will redefine acting for sure, not to mention it will have you balling like a little girl. Tom Hanks was incredible!  No doubt he will get an Oscar nom for his powerful performance. The movie as a whole is seriously one wild adventure.  And even though we knew the outcome, it still managed to have you on the edge of your seat begging for more. 

"You said you were a business man! Is this how you do business?"


2. American Hustle
, as usual, brings his A-game in this incredible look at what it takes to hustle. The 70’s are back, baby. Along with this amazing cast ( seriously blew me away), the cinematography, costumes, art design and editing are nothing short of spectacular. What an excellent movie with a killer ending. 

“She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate.” 


Drum roll please... And the #1 best movie of the year belongs to...

1. Saving Mr. Banks
Incredibly likable and extremely sentimental.  The most charming and charismatic film of the year belongs to our beloved Mary Poppins, or rather the story behind the iconic character and all it took to bring her to life. What gives Saving Mr. Banks its depth and appeal is the way it lets us look into the life, the pain and the heart of the young Helen Goff. If you haven’t seen this movie yet be prepared to be mesmerized. And don’t forget your Kleenex. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, indeed. 

"We can't make this film without the color red - it's set in London, for Pete's sake!"


There were a few movies I didn't get to in time like 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Elysium, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska, so who knows what these lists might have looked like if I had.  But there you have it folks. The floor is now yours... What movies made your best and worst list of 2013?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top 10 Best Trailers of 2013

These days, movie trailers can stand alone as their own work of art. It gives us, in about two minutes or less, a glimpse of what's in store. Its soul purpose is to hook and reel us in enough to say: "I'd pay to see that." How many times have you seen a movie based on the trailer alone? Countless times, I'm sure. 

Trailers have become bigger and more grand in scale over the years, some are weak, while others are solid. So, what makes a good, solid trailer? A good trailer combines the perfect music, with superb, well-edited clips. It brings emotion out of us when least expected. And most of all they never give too much away. So, if you want your movie noticed it's imperative you have an eye-catching trailer - whether or not the movie is actually any good is irrelevant. 

This past year we've seen some extraordinary trailers, some of which might be/were even better than the movies themselves. In no particular order I present the Top 10 Best Trailers of 2013

Endless Love:

Another day, another remake.  However, there is something hauntingly romantic and sinfully seductive about this trailer. It's edited to perfection. Young love, torn apart by parents and their fight to stay together, backed by the breathtaking "Addicted to Love" cover by Skylar Grey. It's all so beautiful. "Another kiss... is all you need..."
Release Date: 2/14/14


Man of Steel:

Here's an excellent example of an eye-popping, edge of your seat, gripping trailer.  Even if you didn't like the movie you can't deny this trailers "awesomeness."  Introducing the films enemy right away is brilliant. It's dark, full of action and yet it doesn't give too much away. An excellent trailer for an excellent superhero.
Release Date: 6/13/13   


The Wolf of Wall Street:
If there's anything we take away from this trailer (and movie for that matter) it’s that nothing exceeds like excess. Using popular music is pretty common when cutting trailers now a days, and no trailer this year excelled more than adding Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” to the chaotic, insane tone of the movie.  Brilliant. 
Release Date: 12/25/13 
Using new hit music is common practice when cutting trailers for upcoming films, but no trailer this year did it better than taking Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” and applying it to the chaotic, insane tone of the picture.  This trailer also gave us Leonardo DiCaprio popping-and-locking and then drops the music to let Matthew McConaughey do his crazy, hilarious chant.
Read more at http://collider.com/best-trailers-2013/#ixKGSqtLUqwr1OPO.99

Usingnew hit music is common practice when cutting trailers for upcoming films, but no trailer this year did it better than taking Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” and applying it to the chaotic, insane tone of the picture.  This trailer also gave us Leonardo DiCaprio popping-and-locking and then drops the music to let Matthew McConaughey do his crazy, hilarious chant.
Read more at http://collider.com/best-trailers-2013/#ixKGSqtLUqwr1OPO.99
Using new hit music is common practice when cutting trailers for upcoming films, but no trailer this year did it better than taking Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” and applying it to the chaotic, insane tone of the picture. This trailer also gave us Leonardo DiCaprio popping-and-locking and then drops the music to let Matthew McConaughey do his crazy, hilarious chant. Read more at http://collider.com/best-trailers-2013/#ixKGSqtLUqwr1OPO.99

Edge of Tomorrow:

Combine Tom Cruise with Call of Duty and Groundhogs Day and you get this movie.
Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/entertainment/2013/12/the-15-best-movie-trailers-of-2013/
Combine Tom Cruise, Groundhogs Day and Call of Duty and what do we get... this movie. Sure, it may not be any good in the end, but this trailer is definitely powerful non the less.  It's gripping and hypnotic in every way that counts.
Release Date: 6/6/14 


Noah:
This is most definitely an interesting take on the biblical story of old. It looks epic, dark and dreary, yet filled with hope and love, not to mention it has an amazing cast.  The beautiful musical score is hugely captivating as well. 
Release Date: 3/28/14
  

American Hustle:
Here comes the 70's in all its glory, fashion, music and hair-dos... oh, and those hair-dos.  Amazing. With an all-star cast, this trailer is eye catching, hilarious, mixed in with some intense drama.  Sold!
Release Date: 12/20/13
Don't tell the other trailers, but this dramatic trailer is my favorite. The slow building musical score reused from past films. The emotion it commands... bringing chills to your body no doubt. Even if the movie fails, which it could, but I seriously doubt it will, this powerful trailer most certainly does not. 
Release Date: 5/23/14


The Conjuring:
This was thee most terrifying movie of 2013, there's no doubt about it. A happy family moving into a new home. Kids fighting over rooms. Family game time...  family game (sigh), oh dear.  Never in all my life (so far) has a trailer alone made me scream.  
Release Date: 7/19/13


Her:
There's something quite beautiful about this trailer, even. Spike Jonze takes what should be "gross" and turns it into “sweet.”  This trailer is exciting, heartfelt, emotional and incredibly intriguing.  
Release Date: (expands everywhere) 1/10/14

Even though this movie is predicable, there's something extremely charming about it.  It is full of life, inspiration and hope. And if that isn't enough to reel you in then maybe Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Mary Poppins will. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Release Date: 12/20/13

 
What are some of your favorite movie trailers of 2013?
  
To view the Best Trailers of 2012 click here.


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