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Showing posts from May, 2012

Search for the Truth in 'Red Lights'

This thriller has received poor critical word for its ending following its festival-run. Perhaps director Rodrigo Cortés (Buried) crafted a new conclusion to the film. Either way, I'm curious enough to see this thing through with a cast this talented.

Quentin Tarantino's Movie Universe Is All Encompassing

So it turns out that Quentin Tarantino's movie universe requires an almost insane amount of work. Per a discussion on Reddit, all of Tarantino's films (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds) are all interconnected. How nice it must be to live in a world where Hitler got offed in a movie theatre.

As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, ‘The Bear Jew’, is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance – which means that, in Tarantino’s universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker. Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unf…

Review: Follow Your Bliss (Moonrise Kingdom)

This review was originally posted as "People's Republic of Moonrise" on Hollywood Elsewhere
Wes Anderson is an acquired taste. His cavalcade of eccentric loners has spawned some of the most passionate fandom and some of the most bitter vitriol. Even previous works like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, judged to be Anderson's best films, have their detractors. So it seems the young romance and warm, yellow tints of Moonrise Kingdom invite remarks of being "too twee" and "reeking of hipster-ism", but at the Anderson's seventh directorial effort is one that looks at childhood in the faraway distance of an adult's mind.

A mail correspondence between Sam (Jared Gilman), a very efficient boy scout, and Suzy (Kara Hayward), the product of two intellectuals, initiates a love that soon sets a town asunder. Suzy and Sam abscond away from their respective families in a New England town to make a life for themselves. Their living in the wild is not as f…

Watch the Very Baity 'Les Miserables' Trailer

<p><A href="http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&vid=aa88f4cc-9d41-43e4-8ad3-186317750e2b&from=shareembed-syndication&src=v5:embed:syndication:&from=shareembed-syndication" target="_new" title="'Les Miserables' movie trailer">Video: 'Les Miserables' movie trailer</A> </p>
And the winner of multiple Oscars is...

In Memoriam

Thank those who came back and remember those who couldn't.

Review: Consider MIB2 Neuralized (Men In Black 3)

Not much has changed in the Men In Black fraternity. K is crotchety, J is busting balls and finding that his knowledge of this universe is infinitesimally small. What makes this sequel different is that K hasn't quite manned up about everything the job requires. There are further secrets of the universe and apparently quite a few of them involve time travel.

Boris (Jemaine Clement) has a vendetta against K, a bone to pick so to say. He was this close to destroying the Earth in 1969 and now he's out of prison. While he's on his way to bringing about the destruction of the third rock from the sun, he wants to make K's life a little more inconvenient. And what better way to inconvenience someone than by killing them back in time? Facing the extinction of the human race and a nineteen hour deadline, Agent J has to save K and the world.

Which brings me the shining portion of the third MIB: Josh Brolin. The repartee between Smith and Jones has gotten a little stale during t…

The Vault: Night of the Hunter (1955)

One of history's most notable characters was born out of Night of the Hunter. More importantly, it is a character that still sets people on edge today. Robert Mitchum's Preacher Harry Powell is so frightening in this film that he seems to be possessed by some uncontrollable evil. All it takes it a little singing and then the little hairs on the back of your neck begin to stand up…
John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce) are left without a father when Ben (Peter Graves) steals $10,000 and kills two men. While serving time before his execution, he meets "The Preacher" Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum). The Preacher is a bluebeard, marrying and killing twenty-five wives because he is sure that this is God's calling. Unfortunately, murder is not why the Preacher is behind bars; he is only serving 30 days for stealing a car. He hears Ben talking about the money in his sleep—but not where the money is hid. Once Ben is hanged, Harry Powell lusts for the opportun…

Baz Luhrmann's 'Gatsby' Takes A Bow

Well... when Baz Luhrmann adapts a literary classic, he does it with panache. Amitabh Bachchan, Jay-Z, 3D, he leaves absolutely no stone unturned.

Logo for 'Pacific Rim' Released

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures co-release Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, has been given a logo today. Not much was known about the film, but fortunately, a plot description was released today as well.

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the…

'Skyfall' Teaser Pushes the Throttle Toward Badass

Oh, Daniel Craig. How did we ever get along without you?

'The Master' Teases A Planview Performance from Phoenix

Are we going to see a Daniel Day-Lewis level of committment from Joaquin Phoenix? Given the oddities revealed in the teaser for Paul Thomas Anderson's latest, I believe so. Jonny Greenwood is characteristically eerie here as well. And to think that we still haven't even seen Philip Seymour Hoffman as the titular character. Hopes for this film are going to be very high come its release date on October 12th.

'Skyfall' Teaser Poster

007.comrevealed the first poster for the twenty-third installment in the Bond franchise today, and Bond is back and heading into some shadowy locales in Skyfall. Skyfall debuts in the U.S. on November 9th.

Eagle Eyes Can Catch Hoffman as The Master

The team at Cigarettes and Red Vines has received a few tidbits from Paul Thomas Anderson's forthcoming The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man who creates a new religion following World War II. The film will be Anderson's first effort since There Will Be Blood and the chance for a sneak peek at Hoffman in character is almost too tempting to pass up. Luckily, Anderson sent over a negative for Cigarettes and Red Vines to develop, and a look is available below.

I cannot make out much, but for those of you with better vision, enjoy!

Malick's New Film Titled 'To The Wonder'

Terrence Malick has always been known as a notoriously slow worker, but the fact that film enthusiasts have gone without a title for the Ben-Affleck-and-Rachel-McAdams led-drama for a year and a half tells you a lot. Thanks to The Film Stage we now know the film is titled To the Wonder, and a lot more about the film:
…a philanderer (Ben Affleck) who, feeling at loose ends, travels to Paris, where he enters a hot-and-heavy affair with a European woman (Olga Kurylenko). Said Lothario returns home to Oklahoma, where he marries the European woman (in part for visa reasons). When the relationship founders, he rekindles a romance with a hometown girl (Rachel McAdams) with whom he’s had a long history.
The story summary sounds exactly like what we should have anticipated from a romance directed and written by Terrence Malick. Now if we could just get a release date...

Review: 'Dark Shadows' A Half-and-Half Effort

White make-up, Helena Bonham Carter, misfits, it must be time for another Johnny Depp-Tim Burton collaboration. All jokes aside, the frequency of this duo's releases in the last ten years has created fatigue among moviegoers who expect a return to Edward Scissorhands, not Alice in Wonderland. Infuriatingly, the film cannot makes up its mind.

In a lot of ways, Tim Burton has not lost that romantic touch that makes up a majority of his films. Barnabas Collins was once a man. A very happy man. With loving parents, a doting fiance and a crazed witch that wishes him dead. Well, they can't all be winners, can they?

Now, hideously deformed, alone, and depressed, Barnabas finds himself shunned by humanity. He is chained inside of a coffin and buried into the hearth of Collinsport—the town that once lived him. Released hundreds of years later, Barnabas finds himself hilariously outdated in a time that worships at the cult of oddity. More importantly, his family finds him at a time of …

The 2012 Lammys

Another year, another LAMMYs hosted by the Large Association of Movie Blogs. For your consideration in the above categories: best blog, best design, most prolific, and best running feature (10 words or less).

Best Blog: There are far better candidates out there, but a guy can hope...

Most Prolific: A post a day is difficult given school, interning, and some semblance of a social life.

Best Running Feature: 10 Words or Less. Come on, you know some of you have laughed at a few of these.

'Argo' Trailer: Hooray Shag Carpeting and Long Hair

Ben Affleck's third directorial feature looks like it may be the one that will finally earn him acclaim. Let us hope that he keeps the shaggy do for the awards ceremonies. Along with Affleck, Argo stars John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Kyle Chandler and Bryan Cranston. By the way, does Bryan Cranston sleep? It seems like he has been in almost every other movie lately.

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

Review: The Dysfunctional Four (The Avengers)

The concept of teaming up Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Thor was a dream years in the making for most film fans. Then, finally, in 2010 proto-geek Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly, Cabin in the Woods) was named director of The Avengers.

For comic book enthusiasts The Avengers proves to be everything wanted from a team-up. For those who are less familiar with these heroes and their storylines, the film is a proverbial menu to choose from. Enjoy history and the limits that one man will go for his country? Captain America, at your service. How about Norse mythology? Thor, at the waiting. Eccentric billionaires with an addiction to thrill-seeking? Iron Man is around here somewhere. Rage problems? Hulk, please don't make him angry.

Really the only major roadblock for The Avengers is one Whedon similarly handled for Serenity: these are characters who already know everyone in their own universe, but now find themselves introduced into new ones. A fine line has to be drawn between makin…

Review: A Man of the People (Bernie)

Jack Black has a history for doing roles that only require he speak louder to be effective, but here he completely disappears as Bernie Tiede. How he came to be at Carthage is rarely mentioned, but upon his arrival he was adopted as one of their own.
From the onset of Bernie, we are introduced to a man seemingly without flaws. He practices his craft without peer, he volunteers with the local arts, he sings for the church, and there is hardly a favor he wouldn't do. He is possibly the most loved man in Carthage, Texas.
Marjorie Nugent (welcome back Shirley MacLaine) is recently widowed and lies on the opposite side of the popularity spectrum. Not a single citizen can be bothered to say a nice thing about her. So it strikes the locals as odd when Bernie takes such a personal interest in the widow. Her money was of use to him, but he certainly didn't live high on the hog. There was no romantic notions held in the opinion of others—the most affectionate moment between the two inv…

'Avengers' Universal Timeline

With Marvel's The Avengers coming out in less than two days, I thought it would be nice to bring everyone up to date with the timeline of all of the character's films: Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Iron Man. Thankfully, Patrick Casey Bennett of Comic Book Movies went to all the trouble for us. For the entire infographic check out the link below.

(Courtesy: Comic Book Movies)

Summer 2012 Preview

Summer 2012 is shaping up to be a prolific one for action movies. Whether you're a kid on school break, a die-hard action movie buff, or looking to score some AC, there are a variety of action flicks coming out this summer that will get your adrenaline flowing. 

The Avengers
Loaded with a plethora of prominent Hollywood actors (Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans) and a superhero team of all-star proportions (Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America) The Avengers is sure to be a treat for every movie geek. Under the threat of intergalactic invasion, these heroes must assemble to fight a planetary threat.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Another lucrative comic book movie franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man follows the story of Peter Parker and his newfound alter ego. While finding clues and investigating the death of his parents, Peter Parker comes face to face with his father's former partner, Dr. Curt Connors, and his hideous transformation, the Lizard. B…

Final 'Dark Knight Rises' Theatrical Trailer

As pathetic as this sounds, I can't bring myself to watch the trailer before seeing it on the big screen along with The Avengers on Friday. Enjoy!