Meet Bob, Bob Arctor is the head of a drug ring. Meet Fred, a narcotics detective for the city of Anaheim. They are the same man.
The choice of roto animation is not just for fun's sake by Richard Linklater, it is used as a metaphor for what you are watching. It looks like real-life, but there is a thin separation from reality that hazes your judgement. That haze is reflected in Bob/Fred whose own dependence on Substance D is causing a rift in his mind.
Mental illness is depicted through Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) and Luckman (Woody Harrelson), Arctor's two main flackies with varying levels of psychosis. The two spend a majority of their days discussing alternative theories as to who is really responsible for their troubles. Most of these theories often lead back to the government. Ironically enough the government in charge of the rehabilitation clinic is the hub for the designer drug that is destroying the minds of citizens.
Drug culture has been more widely accepted in t…
This will be a major departure of sorts for Kevin Smith, previously known for slacker comedies and fart jokes, as he delves into the realm of religious fundamentalism. I look forward to this with some caution as Smith's last film was Cop Out, but if there is a film to be seen during the dead season of February and March this might be it.
An homage of sorts to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake as exhibited by "A Swan Song (For Nina)", but the score is not without Mansell's touches. "Lose Yourself" is a steady thrill that leaves you feeling like you are being washed away and "Night of Terror" shall leave you sufficiently disturbed during your drive home from the theatre. Overall, it is not as memorable as his scores for Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, or The Wrestler, but the score fits the film well.
Well, the critics have spoken and The Social Network is a force to be reckoned with come awards season. Indiana, Boston, LA, and New York have all deemed 'Social Network' the one to beat.
Eisenburg has netted a trophy for himself and I'm really hoping the Academy manages to look past his age and nominate him for Best Actor. David Fincher has also been causing a ruckus and I'm thinking we're looking at another sweep season this February much like The Hurt Locker last year when that film won Best Picture, Best Director and Original Screenplay.
Whether it is his glowing review of Norbit, his thrashing of Toy Story 3, or just his general pompousness, you are aware of Armond White.
His dismissal of Toy Story 3 came at a convenient time when the film was sitting pretty with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. "But Toy Story 3 is so besotted with brand names and product-placement that it stops being about the innocent pleasures of imagination—the usefulness of toys—and strictly celebrates consumerism." A claim that could have been taken at face value had he not followed it with this sentiment "Transformers 2 already explored the same plot to greater thrill and opulence." I am sure if one were inclined to interview Michael Bay at his most enlightened he would have never crafted an answer that insightful regarding hidden parables in his Transformers vehicle. White was at his most incensed when forced to sit down and type out his thoughts regarding Precious, but praised Norbit for its reflection of society, &quo…
Who's the weirdest director in Hollywood? Lynch? Von Trier? What was the best film of the year? Take a survey and see how other cinephiles think and you could win a DVD for your efforts. Be sure to leave a comment so I know who to include in the pool.
The contest is sponsored by Price Minister so feel free to hit their site and check out the rest of their catalog.
It's hit! Daft Punk's score for Tron Legacy has hit and it is everything I expected it to be. "Derezzed" broke first and is still the most recognizably Daft Punk song of the bunch, but "The Game Has Changed" is the most thrilling. "C.L.U." is your classic villain introduction theme and I'm also fond of "Solar Sailer", for what particular reason is not known, but give it a spin. Here's hoping for some Academy Award love this February.
Mel Gibson's last unfortunate tirade seems to have cost him some of the goodwill he had earned back following his great performance in Edge of Darkness and that is truly a shame considering how good this looks. Jodie Foster's most recent directorial effort looks like the most genuinely funny trailer I have seen all year.
The first peek at Terrence Malick's Tree of Life is attached to Black Swan and for those of you lucky enough to see Black Swan this weekend you'll get a look at one of the most anticipated films in recent history. Tree of Life stars Sean Penn as Jack and Brad Pitt as his emotionally-vacant father. Malick's film is reportedly on an epic scale and ranges from when dinosaurs roamed the Earth to current day America where Jack faces an unknown crisis.
Right now this is the front-runner. Many sites have pegged The King's Speech because of its prestige factor, but The Social Network has captured the zeitgeist of our time and like The Hurt Locker last year that effect cannot be overstated. What has me interested most is whether Jesse Eisenberg will be nominated for Best Actor. The category has skewed toward older actors recently, but I get the feeling the Academy will make a splash this year.
(Courtesy: Awards Daily)
This shot comes from David Fincher's Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Critics were split down the middle of this film, but it cannot be argued that this was one of the more beautifully shot films of recent memory.
An intimate portrayal of life, death and love presented a very common dilemna for a very unique man. We all die, it is how we live that truly defines us.
In many ways The Joker is much like Jaws. He is a force whose only intent is chaos. There is nothing to be gained, nothing wanted, only to destroy.
Dressed like a punk rocker that never grew up Ledger's Joker is the underbelly of society oft-ignored, but always present. He is the yin to Batman's yang. Gotham birthed this man, but ultimately he is a creation of The Dark Knight. The evils of society that drove Bruce Wayne to save the city drove The Joker to expose the hypocricies to the masses.
Between tics of flicking out his tongue to trace the scars that imprint his face this maniacal fiend aspires to be a leader to Gothamites. Sensing an opportunity to make that message abundantly clear he takes the shining D.A. Harvey Dent down to his level.
Arguably Heath Ledger's best performance, The Joker, represents the self-destructive, selfish nature of humanity. Each backstory he presents is one of loss, betrayal and ultimately, violence. His mind is one of optimism that eventu…
Gone are the quips. Gone are the superfluous gadgets. What we have left is a rejuvenation of a character that sorely needed it. A character who is brutal, not swift. A master killer in training. What we have is a Bond worth watching.
Daniel Day-Lewis has surprisingly been cast as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's upcoming Lincoln. Liam Neeson apparently was ousted from the race after being deemed too old. I honestly did not see Day-Lewis being chosen, but now I must say my curiosity is piqued.
Tron is a film about a renegade programmer trapped in a system he helped to create. The film follows the standard trope from anti-technological films of the period, where the protagonist works against a system run on logic rather than ethics. I suspect that films like this were popular at the time due to the high anti-communist and hence anti-technocrat ideals prevalent in the American psyche.
As a bit of an aberration in the genre, Tron doesn't read as a cautionary tale, but as one of hope. A humanist hero conquers the anti-democratic system in which he is captured and returns freedom to the land.
It's an inspiring notion and a fitting image in an age where the most popular source for news in America is little more than a propaganda arm for one of the two dysfunctional political parties.
It is not clear yet how far Shutter Island's campaign will go, but if Leonardo DiCaprio cannot garner a nod for that haunting performance than this will do. Inception will be nominated and I hope Christopher Nolan will be as well. Expanding the field of nominees is generally acknowledged as The Dark Knight rule and there is no way the Academy shuts Mr. Nolan and his film out again.
(Courtesy: Awards Daily)
Finally, a legitimate contender from Disney. If there is a year where an animated film could take the big enchildada this is it. There is no clear cut leader at this portion of the race, but I could see a nasty feud developing between The Social Network and The King's Speech and a darkhorse candidate (like Toy Story 3) sneaking out with a Best Picture victory.
(Courtesy: Awards Daily)
Full poster after the jump. It's a shame there are no Oscars given out for best poster design or the team behind Black Swan would have it easy. Looking forward to this finally hitting theatres in a few more weeks. It has been a wasteland for films lately.
I've been eagerly awaiting the premiere of Conan for a while now and it didn't disappoint. He may not be on NBC, but the quirky comedy that we know him for has not left him. Keep an eye out for Don Draper!
The material for a sequel might seem a tad familiar - Po (Jack Black) and the Furious Five protecting China from the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use an unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu- but the first was entertaining and I can't see this being any less fun.
A.R. Rahman's score for Slumdog Millionaire really wasn't to my liking, but his work for 127 Hours has picqued my interest. "Liberation Begins" is pleasantly reminiscent of John Murphy's "In the House - In a Heartbeat", while "If I Rise" is a favorite on iTunes I recommend "Liberation" or "R.I.P." Music is a huge part of Aron Ralston (his favorite band Phish didn't make the cut though) and I'm pleased that Boyle and Rahman nailed the musical element of the film.
Robert Duvall's career is a funny thing. He has very peculiar role selection, with a strong tendency toward playing tragic heroes, looking for redemption and living in the long shadow of their own mistakes. Examples of this include The Apostle and Tender Mercies. Not all of his films are like this, but he has the most curated career of anyone I can think of. Get Low is a film cut in this mold.
Everyone lives with a few regrets. We all have a few memories that make us twinge; maybe we all need therapy. Duvall's character in Get Low has lived an isolated life for four decades as penance for an unknown but oft whispered about transgression. The plot of the film revolves around the secret that kept him alone for all those years.
The plot moves along nicely, with revelations about the terrible secret moving slowly, but a talented supporting cast keeping things interesting.
All in all, it's not really the kind of film that appeals to me. Throw in a boob or a robot, of a boob on…
Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) is a thousand things to a thousand different people. A gumshoe detective with a cold heart and devilish grin everything about the man oozes cool from his stylish suits to the dozens of smokes he puts back a day--he is the man who the term "Bogarted" was created after. To Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) he is a partner in the private-detecting business, to Archer's wife he is a lover, to Det. Dundy (Barton MacLane) he is a lying pain in the ass and for Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) the only solution for her problem, of which she has several.
John Huston's first effort starts off simply enough: a woman strolls into Spade and Archer enlisting help to find her runaway sister, after Archer gets killed, things get messy. Brigid's actual motives are made clear and the object of her desire is The Maltese Falcon, the fabled treasure that men have been searching for for hundreds of years. Spade is under investigation for the deaths of Arche…
A tad disappointing that this won't be enjoying a stateside release before next year, but our friends to the North and the UK will be seeing this. Colin Farrell has really picked it up as of late when it comes to his role selection and Ray Winstone as a mob boss? Perfect casting. Add along the fact that it's written by The Departed scribe William Monahan and what's not to like?
Can't really say this is a surprise considering how much money this earned at the box office, but I was expecting more from Disney, more specifically a Best Picture for your consideration ad for Toy Story 3, not for a lazy re-imagining from Tim Burton. As the award season goes on I imagine more qualified films will make a push.
(Courtesy: Entertainment Weekly)
As reported by the LA Times Hero Complex blog writer Geoff Boucher in an interview with Mr. Nolan himself. Also noted in the interview is that The Riddler will not be featured in the third film and it will not be shot in 3-D.
The title gives us a clue as to what the third film will be about, redemption of some sort for Bruce and his alter-ego Batman, but now - and this is just an assumption - I'm thinking that Tom Hardy ends up playing a task force leader sent after the vigilante known as Batman. Anything after that you'll have to ask Christopher Nolan.
Sorry about the belatedness of this post, but I wanted to hold out until I could get the poster with the complete effect. Really looking forward to this soundtrack's release, every Daft Punk album is an event and I expect this to be no different.
After her brilliant performance in Dogville Nicole Kidman seems to have disappeared from any critical roles. Austrailia was what it was, and Nine hardly gave her anything to work with at all so it will be a pleasant surprise to see her do something of substance in Rabbit Hole.
Here is a look at Viggo Mortensen in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. The film also stars Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung and Keira Knightley as Sabrina Spielrein, the girl who causes a rift between the mentor and protege.
(Courtesy: The Playlist)
Now this is the trailer for The Fighter that I anticipated to begin with. David. O Russell's take on the true life story of Mickey Ward would not be a shot-by-shot remake of Rocky. The trailer that featured during the season finale of Mad Men eludes to a domestic drama with Ward's (Mark Wahlberg) family leading him down a path that may benefit everyone but Mickey.
When good men do nothing the path to evil is left obstructionless. Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is a man of a distant time, his father a relic of an era where lawmen carried no weapons. Anton Chiguhr (Javier Bardem) is a man of principals, unorthodox principles to be sure. With a cattle stungun in one hand and a silenced shotgun in another he is death incarnate. Between these two archetypes of good and evil lies Llewelyn Moss, a former Vietnam veteran who stumbles across $2,000,000.
Bell's bewilderment at the state of crime today echoes the sentiments of many Americans. In an age where cowardice is more common than bravery only fate can save us. Jones is very familiar as a lawman he has played it many times, but it is his weariness and fear that separates this performance from the rest. He is a man afraid and, rather than go out and be a part of this world, he will seek solace from the world. Jones' delivery during the, "then I woke up" scene is perhaps one of the…
The full poster after the jump. Three new posters for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan debuted today and of the three this one strikes me the most. The first poster utilized only three colors as well, but this is hand drawn and plays upon the themes of fear and transformation. As the rest of the academy award-worthy films draw near this film intrigues me the most.
Deadline is reporting that Tom Hardy has been cast in a "lead role" in the upcoming third Batman film, reuniting Hardy with Inception helmer Christopher Nolan. It hasn't been said whether he will be playing a villain or not, but the rumor mill has started regardless.
Here's your look at Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and David Fincher on the set of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo set in Sweden. If I didn't know that the picture on the left is Rooney Mara I would've never guessed that it was her.
In a lot of ways Tod Browning was the first visionary for the horror genre. His film featured terrifying characters that were the best for their time, foreboding scores and unsettling mis en scene. Dracula was well-recieved when it came out, but when Freaks was initially released the studio cut a half an hour of the film and disowned the final product.
The cast was essentially made up of actual disfigured people and lends authenticity to the entire film. You would tend to think that as the film goes on the "freaks" are the members of the traveling show, but they are in fact the able-bodied Hercules and the fair Cleopatra.
Hans, the leader of the traveling show, is swept up by the beauty of Cleopatra. Freida, the woman who secretly loves Hans, pleads with Cleopatra not to keep toying with Hans, when she inadvertantly slips that Hans is due to inherit a great fortune. With this knowledge Cleopatra plans on marrying Hans and running away with Hercules, the strong-man of the ci…
After being sent on assignment to see Buried, I was in the mood for a pick-me-up, so I snuck into a showing of Easy A. It definitely delivered a light-hearted and uplifting experience.
The film was blatantly open about its being a tribute to the films of John Hughes, and it did a good job of it. John Hughes was a talented film maker, and I'd love to see more films in this vein.
The acting is pretty good. Emma Stone has proven that she can carry a film. We'll be seeing more from her in the coming decades. This is likely to be something like a Pretty Woman breakout role. The supporting cast is great as well, most notably the performances of Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as the charming parents.
I'd definitely recommend checking out Easy A if you're looking for a lighthearted good time.
Gosling strumming a ukelele? Williams doing softshoe? This looks like the film that Hollywood needs (not more Katherine Heigl romcoms). Whether or not this turns out to be as good as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind I'll be waiting in line opening day.
Buried is, more literally than most times the term is used, an exercise in constrained film making. In this respect, parallels can be made to the Hitchcock classics Lifeboat and Rope. More generally the film is Hitchcockian inasmuch as it places an everyman character in a terrifying what-if situation. The build up of emotion in the film is intense. While there may have been too many plot twists for what could be expected from an hour and a half in a box, the scripting was quite remarkable for being able to remain interesting in such a setting.
The film has two main strengths. Firstly, the direction, cinematography, and set design were all perfect; each was surely a triumph of film making prowess. Buried is a movie that people will be watching in 50 years to talk about the technique with which it was made. The second great strength of the film is Reynolds' performance. He almost single-handedly carries the film. It's no small feat, as he is the only actor with on-screen time fo…
To the point, concise description, great poster. Using the tagline from the director of Slumdog Millionaire seems odd. I don't know if Slumdog Millionaire will attract people to see this film, but who knows?
If I wasn't sure before I'm positive now, this film is going to look beautiful. 127 Hours will give Franco the star-making opportunity he sorely deserves that Howl will not be able to provide for a mainstream audience. Given the screentime he will have to fulfill and his magnetic personality I'd say we're looking at a Best Actor contender. Danny Boyle might be looking at two Best Director Oscars in three years.
People have always feared change. Different people experience this to different degrees. The unknown always supplies contrasting emotions: fear and excitement. When vast cultural changes come about, artists will explore these themes in their work. This is what led to the wave of anti-technological films that crested in the late 70s and early 80s. Demon Seed is a story about a computer that gains sentience and thereafter wants to gain telepresence as well. It's quite a well done film; the antagonistic computer in this film acts with a cold logic that seems inhuman when you watch the film, but on later reflection becomes all too familiar.
Deadly Friend is a film that was released much later. Computers still weren't common-place, and very few people had much idea what they were capable of. The film came out after the wave of anti-technological films had begun to recede.
In this film, the protagonist is a nerdy anti-hero who is trying to become romantically involved with the attra…
This is quite a departure from Michael Giacchino's last work isn't it? "Hammertime" and "Sins of the Father" prove he can do creepy as well as his heart-breaking work in Up. I don't know what it is about using a child's choir, but it is rather unsettling and "The Blood Flood" reminds me that all too well.
With the announcement that 300 and Watchmen Director Zack Snyder will be taking the reins on the Superman reboot there is only one question left: who will be playing Superman?
From day one my choice has been, and will be Jon Hamm. He plays the quintessential All-American already on Mad Men and a man of his talents could bring some actual depth to the man would be a God. However, Hamm is forty years old and if Warner Bros. is looking for a several picture deal they may look to be going younger. And if that's the case Armie Hammer's impressive performance in The Social Network has to have him in consideration of some sort.
Wherever Nolan and Snyder go with casting we know that General Zod will be the villain (sorry Luthor) hopefully they can convince one of these two to become the man of steel.
There was a time when the response to the word Facebook was only, "huh?" Now we live in an age where many cannot go without it. Social networking has been primed for a lampooning for a considerable while and who better to deliver that than Fight Club helmer David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin?
If there a difference between dedication and obsession Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) doesn't know it. He created Facemash to spite an ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara). Said site later grows to become so popular he crashes the network at Harvard. The Winklevoss twins want him to create the most exclusive site for Harvard students, but Zuckerberg is beyond that. He wants a billion dollar entity. Zuckerberg then spends the rest of the time defending it from the man he thought was a good friend in Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). And a lurid lifestyle never before experienced offered by Napster founder Sean Parker sends Zuckerberg to unparalleled heights right before the fall.
Prior to production of Matt Reeve's remake of Let the Right One In, a lot of critics were skeptical as to why there needed to be an English version of a film that was less than two years old. In effort to not get sucked into the is this better, or worse than the original argument, I'll say this: Matt Reeve's adaptation of Let the Right One In is trying to accomplish something different than its Swedish counterpart.
This is not a shot-for-shot remake like Michael Haneke's Funny Games, Reeves keeps what works, but he adds his own vibe to the picture. Worries about the gore being amped up in a U.S. version are all for naught. The violence remains the same as well as the creeping tension of the original.
Owen is the product of a broken home, he keeps to himself and doesn't have many friends. In between classes he is tormented by bullies at school. Abby is the new girl next door and when her "father" isn't out at strange hours, he is skittish toward the l…
Jude Law's Harlen Maguire just exudes pure evil. When seeing this film in 2002 I remember being so infuriated at his character taking snapshots at the expense of the men he killed that it turned me off the movie completely. Eight years later I see the scene for what it really is: a father protecting his child from things that this world can't explain. Pure unadulterated evil.
The score for The Town was surprisingly good: "Charlestown" was a moody piece that started the film off on a right beat and "Nuns With Guns" & "Fenway" were everything that heist scenes should be scored to. I wasn't really aware of Harry Gregson Williams, but more attention will be paid to his name in credits from now on.
This looks good, No Country for Old Men good. With Bridges, Damon, and Brolin alongside newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, come December quite a few actors are going to be called from the Coen's latest awards contender.
With Let Me In holding steady at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and some awards consideration could be merited for the Swedish vampire film remake. This would be the first time since Silence of the Lambs Won Best Picture in 1991 that a horror film could be up for the top prize. Of course it bears mentioning whether or not Silence of the Lambs is indeed a horror film. Portions of Lambs suggests that Lector is almost a demon of sorts, enough to qualify as horror?
If not, then you have to go all the way back until 1973 when The Exorcist was nominated for Best Picture. Rebecca won Best Picture, but I would classify that particular title as suspense/thriller. Rebecca was taut, but never really crossed the threshold into frightening. Psycho was nominated for four Academy Awards (2 for technical, 1 for acting and 1 for direction) and, again, that is up for your interpretation of that film is in fact horror.
With the genre being so hotly-contested as to what is thriller, suspense, and actually horr…
When you wear masks for so long that you begin to forget who you are, when the seams of the mask begin to blend into your face, where do you go from there? Who are we? And what do our actions really say about us? Martin Scorsese's The Departed attempts to answer these questions.
You are born into a class and who you become is entirely dependent on that fact. Who your father was, determines who you will be. This is perhaps the more subtle version of what Scorsese was going for with Gangs of New York. Duties, friendship, loyalty all becomes blurred together as the three collide in an ending that leaves no question that The Departed earned Martin Scorsese his well-deserved Oscar. The Departed centers around two men who are radically different from their public personas. Will Costigan Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a Massachusetts State Trooper trainee who manages to permeate himself into Frank Costello's gang. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a SIU detective that Costello took in and h…
I imagine they must be busy at NullCorp with all the free tracks they are putting out for The Social Network. Is it too early to hold out hope that Reznor and Ross can get an Academy Award nomination for this?
If you are going to do a deconstruction of a superhero film, this is what it should be (looking at you Kick-Ass). I'm curious how many will draw comparison between Page's Boltie and Chloe Moritz's Hit-Girl.
In a country that prides itself on freedom from need, some can only grapple with mere survival.
Some men protect themselves with lawyers, with others, money. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) defends himself with a gun. Doug and his crew are planning their next job, the one that will be the job that puts Charlestown out of his sights for good.
Before he can leave he has to figure out a way around his involvement with a bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), who was part of their previous heist and an enthusiastic Special Agent (Jon Hamm), could put Doug away for life.
Stephen (featuring a stellar Chris Cooper), Doug's father, provides a powerful foil for MacRay as a man who didn't leave when the getting was good and ended up in prison for life. Stephen is what Doug hopes to escape becoming: trapped in Charlestown forever. James (Jeremy Renner) views Doug's hopes of leaving Charlestown as a personal betrayal and refuses to accept that proposition.
Boston could often be seen as…
Five free tracks from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's The Social Network soundtrack are available here. Reznor's NIN influences are evident on "Eventually We Find Our Way" and "The Gentle Hum of Anxiety" definitely feels like something that will be featured in a mood-heavy scene in the film. I'm looking forward to the release of the rest of the score.
Mark Wahlberg's Rocky turn so to speak. The true story of fighter Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) on the road to a World Welterweight title with the assistance of his half-brother Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale). Christian Bale, always brings dedication to a role - as exhibited by The Machinist - but this is taking it to another level. Hopefully this is the year Bale walks home with Oscar gold. Overall the trailer, like its boxing genre ilk relies on material done before, but I still look forward to this one.
Psycho has had a wide variety of influence on films, ranging from Pulp Fiction to The Usual Suspects. It is widely regarded as one of the best horror films of all-time.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is fed up; she's taking $40,000 from her boss and running away to California to finally wed her financially-strappe beau Sam. It's a nerve-wracking trip and after spending a night in her car she pulls into the quaint Bates Motel. There she meets the timid Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who, while well-meaning, is a little too curious for his own good.
Marion checks in and unpacks, all the while overhearing an argument taking place between Norman and his over-bearing mother. She lost her sanity Norman tells Marion, but when Marion suggests she stay in an institution Norman's easy-going nature disappears instantaneously. The shock of his outbursts wears off and Norman laments, "we all go a little mad sometimes" and Marion replies that "sometimes, just one time can be …