27 September 2012

Win a 'Dark Shadows' Blu-ray Combo!


Warner Bros. and PartnersHub are teaming up to give one very creepy Johnny Depp fan the chance to win Tim Burton's Dark Shadows on Blu-ray. Simply take the quiz and post your score in the comments below. The contest ends October 16th, so get ready for Halloween with the app above.

Are You Creepy Enough Quiz! Do your friends refer to you as a Child of the Night or do you shiver at the thought of a creepy crawly? Take the Are You Creepy Enough quiz to find out.

Barnabas’ Terror Trivia! Are you a Barnabas buff? Take the 3 truths and a lie trivia all about Barnabas Collins and you can unlock clips and downloads from Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows Horror-Scope! Whether you are a Virgo Vampire or a Transylvanian Taurus, you can get your custom hauntified Horror-Scope.

From the incredible mind of Tim Burton comes the hit film Dark Shadows, based on the classic television series!  Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) has been trapped for two centuries by an evil witch (Eva Green) who just happens to be an ex lover.  Barnabas now has to struggle with the ever changing 1970s and save his families business!  With an all star cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller and more, Dark Shadows will be sure to whet your appetite for fun. 

First Peek at The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray Pack

For those of you who are extra-special Batman fans the design for The Dark Knight Rises blu-ray combo pack will be exciting. Special features include a documentary about the history of the batmobile, a featurette called The Journey of Bruce Wayne, trailers, and art galleries. The main event, though, is a 17-featurette in-depth look at the making of The Dark Knight Rises called Ending the Knight that documents how Christopher Nolan brought the caped crusader back to credibility.

If that weren't enough to sate your appetite, here is a look at the UK art for The Dark Knight Trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 3rd.

26 September 2012

'Stoker' Trailer Brings Back Memories of Hitchcock


Anyone else feeling shades of Shadow of a Doubt? Either way, as similar as the film feels, Mia Wasikowska is not turning in the same performance to what Teresa Wright gave nearly seventy years ago. Chan-wook Park is revisiting some of the same issues that he was known for in Oldboy: incest, trust, deceit. It will be interesting to see where his English language debut goes.

25 September 2012

Listen to the Looper Soundtrack



Nathan Johnson's score for Looper is a very industrial mix. Sets the tone well for a film based on chasing your future. "Run" and "A Day in the Life" are favorites of the listing.

23 September 2012

Review: The Anti-Moneyball (Trouble with the Curve)

As Trouble with the Curve begins, an array of images are glossed over as Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) walks down the hallway of his home. Don Sutton, Dale Murphy and Hank Aaron are all on display. The glory days are over this moment suggests, though those figures photographed would never admit it.

Gus, a longtime Braves scout, operates with a similar sense of denial. His contract is three months away from expiring and Phil Sanderson (Matthew Lillard having a career renaissance as a dick) and his computer-based scouting are leaning toward sending the old horse out to stud. Pete (John Goodman), the Director of Scouting, isn't convinced that Gus is done and wants to send him down to South Carolina to assess a potential franchise-player. The only problem? Gus's vision is going, but he is too stubborn to say so.

Mickey (Amy Adams) is just as stubborn as her father. She hasn't had a Saturday off and years, yet she still hopes to be made a partner at the firm. At Pete's behest, she decides to take some time off of work and go with her father to South Carolina. The two have been semi-estranged since the death of Mickey's mother and Gus leaving her while he went on the road. Life as a scout wouldn't be right for a girl, Gus argues, but Mickey could not be more adamant that he is wrong. As the two strive to get along while they both struggle with their own careers, both find out a second pair of eyes can offer a great deal of insight.

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood butt heads magnificently. When Adams and Eastwood are taking in a game, or fighting in a pool hall, the film is at its best. Trouble with the Curve has some faults with its writing, but the chemistry between the three leads appears in spades. Eastwood cashing in on his trademark grizzly bear visage clashes wonderfully with Adams's feistiness.

However, the film flounders when it focuses on the high school prospect that Gus and Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a rival scout, are both eyeing for the draft. The dialogue has a distinct tin-sound to it and ultimately it means nothing toward the development of Gus and Mickey's fractured relationship. Unfortunately, Trouble loses sight of the game often. Focusing on the arrogant Bo Gentry and the nefarious dealings of Matthew Lillard's scummy Sanderson just rings false in a film that at the end feels just a little too good.

**1/2 out of ****

21 September 2012

Review: City of Angels (End of Watch)

Consider this the break from David Ayer's dirty cop trilogy. While Training Day, Harsh Times, and Street Kings all feature figures who use the system to line their pockets and eventually are brought down by their hubris. What End of Watch represents is a fresh perspective on the cop genre not marked by stereotypes. Officers Taylor and Zavala (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) aren't fresh-faced rookies, though not worn down by the job either. Each man has come to the job with hopes that the job would bring a sense of financial stability and honor to their lives. It's a drastic shift for Ayer, and one that is appreciated.

Coming off of a kill deemed clean by the D.A., Taylor and Zavala are back on shift in America's most divisive police unit: the Los Angeles Police Department. They are regarded as cowboys and there is no love lost between them and fellow officers in the unit. Their reputation will be tested as a routine traffic stop turns into a running conflict with one of LA's most dangerous cartels.

Where End of Watch breaks away from most cop film is the point of view shots Ayer uses. The difficulty when using p.o.v. is that often the viewer becomes acclimated to the vantage point and the visceral thrill is gone shortly thereafter. However, End of Watch does not suffer from that drawback at all. Much like the lifestyle of a patrol office, we are exposed to the minute details of making stops for energy drinks, morning briefings and locker room chats. Sure there are the shoot-outs, but what keeps the thrill alive of those scenes are the intimate moments where Gyllenhaal and Peña are not in the line of fire.

Perhaps the most affecting scene of the film takes place at a wedding where Taylor and Zavala are nursing their drinks at a bar quietly reflecting on how far they would go for one another. When Zavala promises if anything happens to Taylor he will look after his wife, the pain on Taylor's face as he recognizes that his experiences as a Marine leave him far more ready for those consequences than his partner is almost as hard for us as it is for him.

Few leads have a rapport as strong as the one Gyllenhaal and Peña have built for this film. While the dialogue and bravado between officers clangs around, it's these two men that keep the core of Watch from ever fading. The relationship developed during the beginning of the film is not cast away in favor of gun-toting which only makes the final twenty minutes one of the most harrowing conclusions of the year.

***/****

20 September 2012

'Skyfall' Looks At Its Bond Girls


Quite a difference between Ursula Andress' role and what constitutes a female role for the spy franchise now. Naomie Harris think that it is “not enough just to look pretty anymore,” in the new 007.com video featuring the Bond Girls of Skyfall. I'd believe what she says: she has a gun.

'Hitchcock' Poster Is Sharp


Looks like Anthony Hopkins has the jump on Toby Jones when it comes to looking most like the Master of Suspense. The font choice for the title is a nice touch as well. While The Girl focuses on Hitchcock's unseemly relationship with Tippi Hedren during filming of The Birds, Hitchcock looks at his wife and partner Alma Reville during the making of Psycho.

May the Alfred-off begin November 23, 2012

19 September 2012

Discussion: Is Hollywood Lazy or Is It Us?


Short of the Week brings this kernel of conversation our way via First Showing

It is acknowledged that the mainstream films that are released on a regular basis are becoming less and less original, but I don't think that we can blame this on Hollywood. This is the result of moviegoers. Audiences flock to go see characters they recognize and feel comfortable with, now, this is nothing new as even in 1981 Superman and James Bond vehicles were two of the top-ten-highest-grossing films.

There is no reason to suggest why a film like Take Shelter or Win Win could not have been included in the top ten for that year, but marketability kept those films from being seen in thousands of theatres. What makes high-grossing films is their ability to be marketed, Gran Torino is surely an example of this. If Gran Torino were to be made without a star like Clint Eastwood, then that film would not have had the success it found with Eastwood at center stage. Without a major marketable star, director or easy to follow storyline, audiences tend to stay away.

Before we turn the page on this infographic simply saying that Hollywood is full of hacks without an original thought to their names, let us remember Hollywood also gave us Inception and The Social Network. Sometimes you have to look for quality instead of waiting for a thirty second teaser to come up during your regularly scheduled programming. Without a star, without a mega budget, without the advertising.

'Skyfall' International Trailer Brings the Fright


So it turns out that even as a platinum-blonde, Javier Bardem is a very frightening man. Is there no hairstyle on this Earth that can make him less imposing? Maybe a mullet?

17 September 2012

'Argo' Poster Bathed in Paranoia


The tension inherent in the trailer for Ben Affleck's forthcoming Argo has apparently spread to the posters. The response has been quite kind in Toronto and Telluride, viewers will be able to judge for themselves on October 12th.

15 September 2012

'Lincoln' Teaser Promises Much


The man comes around. Finally, Daniel Day-Lewis is able to speak in the new trailer for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Much like Henry Fonda in Young Mr. Lincoln, Lewis has to create a definitive tone for a man whose voice is not known. Unlike Fonda, Lewis has to do so for one of the most hyped films in recent memory. One of the greatest directors of our time tackling a subject of great consequence featuring one of history's most famous icons.

13 September 2012

The Vault: Rear Window (1954)

Ah, yes, another Hitchcock movie—

L.B. Jefferies, a photographer injured while in the line of duty, is stuck in his apartment with a broken leg and nothing to do but gaze out his back window. A man who prided himself on capturing the intensity of the safari now finds himself spying on his neighbors.

It all begins innocently enough: the sweltering heat ensures that every window in the city is open, and Jeffries can spy without much ado on an attractive ballerina dancer (Miss Torso), a very lonely lady (Miss Lonelyhearts), a composer, and a squabbling older couple. Now, none of these exhibits provide much amusement, but when the bedridden lady of that oft-feuding couple dissappears, Jefferies suspects that something horrible has happened.

It turns out that a brief venture in voyeurism is not as inncocent as it once was, and the view from the rear window is not as safe as it may seem.

As suspenseful as Rear Window is and how masterfully Hitchcock executes shots, this film is not referred to as Hitchcock's masterpiece. Vertigo was recently named the best film of all-time by Sight and Sound magazine, but I urge audiences to reconsider. Obsession is the name of the game for both films and the wit that Hitchcock is so well-known for is prominent, as is the knack for storytelling that Vertigo fails to recreate.

If there can be only one Alfred Hitchcock film led by James Stewart that focuses on obsession, let it be this one.

10 September 2012

New 'To the Wonder' Synopsis

For the very little that audiences know about Terrence Malick's upcoming To the Wonder, at least there is a new picture to tide everyone over until its wide release. Here is a synopsis, courtesy of Collider:

After visiting Mont Saint-Michel — once known in France as the Wonder — at the height of their love, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane (Rachel McAdams). Written and directed by Terrence Malick, TO THE WONDER is an exploration of love in its many forms.

Of course that is what the film is about ostensibly. Who knows what dinosaurs may be lurking around Ben Affleck's head?

08 September 2012

'Skyfall' Clocks In at 145 Minutes


For fans of 007, good news was just released: Skyfall's runtime will be 145 minutes. This will be the longest of the Craig-Bond films, one minute longer than Casino Royale and thirty nine minutes longer than Quantum of Solace. To boot, a video featuring behind the scenes footage of Skyfall's opening is available as well.


(Courtesy: 007.com)

If you are looking to stream movies online then why not try out one of the available film services that can be found on the web. Services such as LOVEFiLM have a huge catalogue of movies online including a wide range of action movies. You can even rent DVD’s including the entire James Bond collection.

07 September 2012

An Infinitely Better 'Twilight'


The site famous for replacing politicians' words and musicians lyrics has done it again: Bad Lip Reading has taken Twilight and upped the ante. Oddly enough, I find this version keeps more in touch with the tone of the film. "You slapped a fish." Yes, yes he did.

02 September 2012

John McClane Can't Take It Anymore


A weary New York police officer can take a lot: stopping terrorist plots, saving the internet, keeping planes in the sky, but even they can only take so much. The fragile romance between two star-crossed lovers being ended abruptly? It's just a little too much for even John McClane.

'Killing Them Softly' Poster Seeped in Subtext


The Master isn't about Scientology, Zero Dark Thirty isn't about the highlight of the current administration and Killing Them Softly isn't saying something about the current economic situation in the U.S. Got it?