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Showing posts from February, 2012

'Star Trek 2' Round-up

A couple of pieces of note for J.J. Abram's upcoming Star Trek sequel:

Below is a set photo of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Benedcit Cumberbatch's unnamed villain. The Vulcan Death Grip is alive and well. Cumberbatch appears to be wearing a Space Fleet Officer shirt so perhaps a double-cross is at hand? Either that, or Cumberbatch ate Quinto's lunch during the shoot.

Finally, portions of Star Trek 2 will be filmed in IMAX! J.J. Abrams was taken with the process while serving as producer on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and decided to implement that into the sequel. In addition to the IMAX treatment, Star Trek 2 will be post-converted into 3D.

Join NMPF's Oscar Pool

A reminder: the deadline to join Never Mind Pop Film's 84th Academy Award Oscar Pool is Sunday. Bragging rights are on the line, are you ready to play?

The winner of the pool can claim one of three prizes
1) A banner link for your blog on NMPF
2) I can write a post specifically for your blog OR
3) You can write a post for NMPF to promote your blog


'Skyfall' Video Blog

Another exclusive video from 007.com has director Sam Mendes sharing his experiences from the set of Skyfall. Although Judi Dench apparently has final call on the film. Watch the video for more of Mendes' experiences working under the Highlander that is Judi Dench.


(007.com)

Community Back on Thursdays

Community will be back on March 15th on NBC! Creator Dan Harmon confirmed the news today on his Twitter account as well as mentioning the show will be back at its regular 8pm slot. Unfortunately, in order to make room Parks and Rec has been knocked off the schedule for five weeks until Up All Night end its season. NBC giveth and NBC taketh away...
For fans of Breaking Bad, Gus Fring—or as others know him, Giancarlo Esposito—will be added to the cast as well.
Watch the return when Community comes back on-air in 3 weeks!

Review: Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance 3D

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is doing his best Bill Bixby impersonation in Eastern Europe when we open Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance: he eats at local diners, passes onlookers with a wave, erupts into flames and spews bullets... well, I'm sure even on his best days Bill Bixby was guilty of that too.

Yet, that is where the comparisons between the two Marvel Comics characters end. While both David Banner (Bixby) and Johnny Blaze spontaneously change into their respective alter egos—the Hulk, and Ghost Rider—Johnny Blaze has much larger problems: when he isn't Ghost Rider, he's Nicolas Cage.

Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brain Taylor don't neuter the character this time around, the insanity is amplified ten-fold. When Nicolas Cage changes, he changes for the worst and the seared leather jacket and char-blackened skull makes all the difference. They have really let the jack out of the box for this one. Nicolas Cage is in full Bad Lieutenant mode for the sequel to t…

Spoiler?

I'm curious how Titanic will fare given that the little-known indie film did not do very well in its initial release. Audiences stayed away from it the first time, why would they come back for a theatrical 3D re-release?
By the way, does no one care about spoilers anymore? James Cameron has made an enemy in the film going public. An enemy that will handsomely reward him for the rest of his life.

Review: The Great White North (The Grey)

John Ottway (Liam Neeson) lingers in the frozen wilderness that are the oil fields of Northern Alaska. He protects the workers from the dangers that present themselves. Beneath the solid exterior of Ottway's demeanor lies a man that is lost: his wife is no longer in his life, he sees no good in what he does for the world, he sees no purpose left. He has only a day left until he flies back to Anchorage.

The plane ride is nothing more than normal, brief bouts of turbulence offset by the testosterone-laden chatter about what the workers will do with their paychecks, girlfriends, wives, etc.Turbulence becomes more noticeable than usual and the chatter teeters out; the men are scared.

The unabashed desire to live finds itself in Ottway. He straps himself into the seat and holds on for dear life as pieces of the plane start coming off around them. Now, faced with the unlikely prospect of being discovered, Ottway and the six remaining members of the flight are tasked with leaving the wr…

Iconic Score or Iconic Imagery?

One of my film theory professors once told me, "an audience would relate better to a blank screen with sound than to a film with no sound."

Look at the image above. Is it in any way evocative?

It is. The soaring skyscrapers have a softspoken majesty. The high contrast sawtooth of buildings so densely packed defines the city: New York. The image suggests bustling life hidden behind all of the glass and concrete. It's a beautiful and meaningful shot.

But something is missing.

Well-versed film buffs will recognize this as the opening shot from Woody Allen's 1979 masterpiece Manhattan. The wry humour and brilliant cinematography qualify this as one of my all-time favourite scenes in film. Both are top-notch, and by themselves would make a scene like this a positive addition to almost any film. The real strength of the scene, however, is the synthesis between the editing and the score, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. The relationship between the music and the visuals i…

Review: Suffer the Little Darling (We Need to Talk About Kevin)

"Snail. Scary knot of desires. Hungry snarl. Small son. Why do I have to love you? How have you won?" - Anna Stevenson

Eva (Tilda Swinton) and Franklin (John C. Reilly) started out happily enough, free spirits wandering around in the rain. No cares and no worries about tomorrow. When Eva finds herself pregnant she has to give up her career and settle out in the suburbs. This is a woman who spends a majority of her pregnancy trying to find the rewind button. If a child can sense it's not wanted, then Kevin had a headstart on hating his mother.

Kevin, portrayed through the years, isn't always a monster. He begins as petulant toddler that soils himself on command, transitions to a savant of emotional blackmail and emerges from his cocoon as the sociopath played by Ezra Miller. If he manages to get parts after his turn as Kevin, I will be shocked. Few characters inspire as much hatred as this son of a well-to-do family.

That Kevin starts to look like Eva makes his acts …

'Bourne Legacy' Teaser

A fractured trailer for a fractured man. The marketing team for this Bourne film has been smart; no one will forget that the last Jason Bourne was Matt Damon, but there never was just one.

BAFTA's 2012 Best Film Art

Every year the British Academy of Film and Television Arts releases artist depictions of the nominated films for Best Picture. 2012's collection stands head and shoulders over recent years. Thanks to Hey You Guys, all five nominated film brochures are available online (The Artist, Drive, The Descendants, The Help and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Highlighted are my top three selections.

Michael Bay Wants That Oscar, People!

Opportunities for Michael Bay to earn his first Oscar are dwindling with, what is presumed to be, his last Transformers film this year. Given that Transformers: Dark of the Moon faces some stiff competition this year from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Harry Potter and the Dramatic Conclusion, Michael Bay wants to remind you who rocked your world this year. Make Michael Bay happy.

Review: Chronicle

Andrew (Dan DeHaan) is an outcast. He keeps to himself at school, takes care of his cancer-stricken mother at home and generally seeks to avoid the wrath of his abusive father. His cousin, Matt (Alex Russell), is much more outgoing and happy with his lot in life. Venturing even further away from Andrew's social circles is Steve (Michael B. Jordan). Steve lives the dream that all high schoolers wish for: popular guy, class president, letterman athlete.

Matt is pretty good buds with Steve and after much convincing, he gets Andrew to come along to one of Steve's house parties. Matt's attempt to bring Andrew out of his shell doesn't go as planned, Andrew spends his time recording the partygoers. The camera was originally intended to prevent his father from beating him so often, turned into a device to allow him to create distance from others. Understandably, the other people at the party wonder if they will end up in a recreation of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

He …

Another Year, Another Race

(this post comes from Darren Mooney of The Movie Blog)
Oscar season is on us again. Although, to be fair, it's been going since at least November last year. It's something of a tradition that, the closer we get to the awards themselves, the more certain the outcome seems. To a large extent, that's still true this year. The vast majority of pundits seem to have settled on the belief that George Clooney will pick up the Best Actor award, Christopher Plummer will pick up the Best Supporting Actor award and Meryl Streep will take home her first Best Actress Oscar in quite some time. While there are those who would disagree with these assessments (for example, I think Viola Davis might pose a credible threat to Streep), those are the broadly-agreed major categories. However, the announcement of the nominees last week threw the Best Picture race into a bit of uncertainty, creating the impression that The Artist doesn't quite have the award locked down.

Again, I'm going to …

Bond Goes for the Kill

I don't think there has ever been a Bond with facial hair has there? Either way, Bond is back and on the prowl in Shanghai. Skyfall is due to begin its worldwide roll-out later this year in the UK and Ireland on October 26th and in North America on November 9th.

(Courtesy: 007)