Friday, November 12, 2010

The Way Back

Alright, due to unforeseen circumstances I have been away from my blogging, and not only that away from movies all together. I know the very minuscule amount of people whom actually read this blog were lost completely without it, but not to worry good people I am back and while I certainly am not feeling anywhere near 100 percent I still feel like writing again.

Tonight I am writing about a film I have been very much looking forward to, I may have even mentioned it before. It's "The Way Back" directed by Peter Weir. What makes "The Way Back" one of my most anticipated films of the year? Well, numerous things....the first being Peter Weir.

Weir has directed some incredible stuff, without ever becoming a household name. In the eighties he gave us "Witness" starring Harrison Ford. Then he gave us one of my all time favorite dramas "The Dead Poets Society" starring Robin Williams. He is also responsible for one of Jim Carrey's more memorable and better performances in "The Truman Show".

The last film he made was both an exhilarating and intense film that, for reasons beyond my comprehension, failed to connect with audiences. That film would be the epic and brilliant, "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.

It has been a while since that last film was released and now he is returning with the very epic "The Way Back" starring Ed Harris (The Abyss, History of Violence, The Truman Show) Jim Sturgess(21, Across the Universe) and Collin Farrell (The New World, In Bruges, Crazy Heart, Minority Report). All as prisoners in a Russian gulag (a very brutal and treacherous kind of russian prison) in Siberia who decide to escape on foot and walk a couple thousand miles in terrible terrain and climates to reach safety.

So whats so exciting? Well Weir always manages to make his films very cinematic and epic, this happens with his incredible locations for filming. He always has good acting in his films, and with the cast that he has that won't be a problem in this one. The trailer really inspires a lot of confidence that i am right about this film as well. I fully expect a sweeping cinematic epic with amazing set pieces, great acting and exciting/exhilarating sequences. I'm not sure when the film is set for release but it should be this December. Oh and Ed Harris is already getting Oscar buzz for the film.

Until next time enjoy the trailer...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scream


"Yes it is, Sidney. It's all one big movie. Only you can't pick your genre" Billy Scream




With my horror movie craze, and the fact that the trailer for Scream 4 was just released, I decided to watch horror master Wes Craven's 1996 film Scream starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Jaimie Kennedy and David Arquette. This film is one of the best in the genre, and it achieves this status because its not like anything else out there (except the other Scream films).




The film is about a teenage girl, Sydney (played by Neve Campbell) who is being stalked by a killer wearing a ghostface mask. First he calls on the phone and plays a "game" with you. The game involves asking horror film trivia questions and if you get them wrong...well you just don't wanna answer a question wrong.

Sydney's mother had been brutally murdered a few years before and she, up till this point, had been working on moving past it. Her boyfriend is kinda creepy but seems to be understanding while he slowly tries to take their relationship to the next step. Setting up him as a possible suspect.

The film seems like its all a cliche` but that's where Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street (original) The People Under the Stairs, The Hills Have Eyes (original)) works his magic. The whole film is making fun of the horror film slasher genre and all its cliche`s. Most of this happens coming from movie geek Randy, played brilliantly by Jaimie Kennedy as he gives "the rules of horror films and how to survive".

One of the best scenes has him sitting there watching "Halloween" and as Jaimie Lee Curtis is stalked from behind, so is he. And he keeps yelling out "Turn around Jaimie"....now that is pretty clever.

The film also references the actors and the directors past work. At one point a girl says "The First Nightmare on Elm Street was good, the rest sucked!" referencing the fact that the studio fired Wes Craven after the first "Nightmare on Elm Street" and they all indeed suck after that. Wes Craven also appears in a quick glimpse as a janitor wearing a Freddy Kruger sweater and hat.

All in all its a fun slasher film that doesn't take itself too seriously, which ends up being its best quality. It can be intense and goofy at the same time and it feels natural and not at all forced. Film geeks should love it just for the references, horror fans should love it for....well every reason. Recommended for anyone who is a fan of slasher/horror films. 3/5 Stars.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Critters! and Horror Film Catch Up

Alright, so I have failed miserably at keeping up with the blogging about all the horror films I have been watching! And I have been watching a lot. I will just give a star rating out of five to a few of them just so I can feel slightly like I have "reviewed" them. So here we go with the ones viewed so far:

"The Legend of Hell House" (1973) Low budget British film adaptation of Richard Matheson's "Hell House" 2.5/5

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" The original Wes Craven film where we are first introduced to Freddy Kruger. Fun, spooky and slightly campy 3/5

"Hellraiser" Clive Barkers 1987 adaptation of his novel "The Hellbound Heart" Slightly gory film that introduced audiences to Pin Head 2.5/5

"Psycho" Original version starring Janet Leigh and directed by Alfred Hitchcock 4/5

"Night of the Living Dead" 1969 Low budget zombie flick directed by George A. Romero 5/5

"The Evil Dead" Sam Raimi's low budget 80's film about a group of young adults going to stay at a cabin, and then getting possessed by wise cracking ghouls. Complete with the gore effects done with claymation 4/5 stars

And that's it for the catching up right now, I have to at least talk a little about a little 80's gem by the name of "Critters". Not to dissimilar from "Gremlins" its about a bunch of furry little aliens that eat anything and everything....including humans.


They escape from a maximum security prison and space and take a direct route to earth, landing at a farm where they try and eat the family there. Luckily the family isn't alone in the fight, two bounty hunters from space have come to stop the critters, whilst disguised as a rock star and the towns local drunk.


Yeah its got classic written all over it just from that synopsis. Add to the fact that it includes subtitles for what the little Critters are saying, (including numerous profanities) a killer 80's soundtrack and a few classic lines well you've got yourself a real gem! Its not terribly bloody, after all it is only PG 13. It stars frequent Horror film actress Dee Wallace (E.T. Cujo) and "Band of Brothers'" Scott Grimes as the kid/hero of the film. And personally I think its much more enjoyable than "Gremlins", not to diminish the latter film in any way though, its also a classic!

So that somewhat catches you up on the horror films I have been watching. I also saw "The Social Network" and I won't review it except to say get to the movie theater and see that film! Check back soon for a review of John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness".

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tenebre: Blood, Guts and Techno Music

Today's horror film was Dario Argento's "Tenebre" An Italian horror film released in Italy in 1982. Now the version I watched isn't the complete version, I don't believe its possible to rent the complete version in the U.S. Mostly because its heavily censored here for gore.

To really understand this film and all that it is you have to know a bit about Dario Argento. Argento is often (or was in his prime) referred to as the Italian Alfred Hitchcock. His movies had a certain suspense and tension that felt very Hitchcockian. The difference is the gore Argento uses in his films. I believe, at least in the 1980s Argento was the most heavily censored director here in America. But that's somewhat what made them Argento films....that and the music he used.

He used a band called Goblin for most of his soundtracks in the 1980's and they are all stellar and almost become a character in the film. In "Tenebre" it is almost the best part.

The story of "Tenebre" which I think is Latin for Darkness, is pretty generic. An American writer moves to Rome to write his next book. Once there brutal murders start happening that mirror, or are inspired by the deaths in his latest book, "Tenebre" He becomes convinced that he can solve who the murderer is, and soon finds himself a target.

Its fairly predictable, especially as all the suspects one by one are killed off to the point that it is almost spelling it out for you. This was pretty disappointing especially since "Suspiria" (one of Argento's previous films before this one) was so good. But the death scenes are pretty good, especially the killer music by Goblin that kicks in whenever someone is about to be let go.

The soundtrack is complete dance techno, that really makes you almost want to dance yet its got a real creepy vibe thumping through it at the same time. It really is the best part of the film in my opinion. I dare say the score may be better than "Suspiria" and that is saying a lot. I'd say its almost worth watching for the soundtrack...but then again you can go do a search for "Tenebre Goblin" and most likely hear it that way.

All in all it had some good tension and some nifty unique death scenes, but it really never lived up to my expectations. Its decent but certainly not on par with some of the other Horror efforts of the 1980's. I'd say it is worth checking out on television if its ever on, although I doubt very much it every will be.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Christine" The month of Horror begins!

For the next month I'm going to be posting mostly about Horror films, in honor of it being October and everything. I am going to be watching, hopefully, a horror film a day then posting my review on here. Now I have already seen most of the films I'm going to be watching, but I am rewatching them so that I can write reviews on them.

The films I have got lined up are some of the best, while maybe not most terrifying films (although some of them are) of all time. They are all on my list to watch for different reasons, but they all are classics in my opinion, and are films that should be seen by any Horror fan, or anyone who enjoys a good scare.

To start off with, we have the 1983 filmr "John Carpenter's
Christine". Now if you have read previous posts, you will know that Carpenter is indeed the Master of Horror, so its already got that on its side. Now you add in Stephen King, and a demonic car named Christine. Now if that doesn't all tell you its a classic
horror film, well then there is absolutely no helping you!

Keith Gordon stars as Arnie Cunningham, a geeky highschool kid that doesn't happen to have many friends except for his best friend Dennis, played by Dean Stockwell. Dennis is popular and the star of the football team, but is still best friends with the geeky Arnie.

Arnie finds an old beat up car and buys it, unbeknownst to him, its haunted. As Arnie starts fixing the vehicle, which is named "Christine" his friend Dennis starts noticing a big difference in Arnie, and so does Arnie's family. He no longer has that extreme geeky vibe, he has a dark edge and a quick temper.

Soon he is completely obsessed with the vehicle, doing anything for it. Including taking out all the boys who used to bully him back in the day. Its soon up to Dennis, a detective played by Harry Dean Stanton and Arnie's old girlfriend Lee to stop Arnie and "Christine".

The movie is fun, exciting and intense. Its not really that scary, and there is a huge lack of gore (due to the fact that Carpenter's previous effort "The Thing" failed miserably even though its amazing) But that doesn't stop it from being a classic. The excellent score written by Carpenter fuels the fire, the great cinematography brings "Christine" to life, and the acting is all very solid.

Its a good, fun horror film that isn't out to scare you to death, just out to give you a good time. If your looking for a good horror film, but don't want to be terrified I highly recommend "Christine"

Friday, October 1, 2010

True Grit: Trailer One

I've mentioned numerous times throughout this blog about how stoked I am for the Coen Bros. version of "True Grit" starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. I've mentioned that it could win awards, I've mentioned that Jeff Bridges would make the perfect Rooster Cogburn, and I've also mentioned it would be better than the John Wayne version (stop gasping, it is possible to do better than John Wayne in some films!)

Finally I have a trailer to back up my claims. And what a trailer it is! Gritty and beautifully shot, the simple music taking you from scene to scene, it could only be a Coen Bros. film. These guys are brilliant, they have never done a bad film, maybe a couple mediocre ones back in the day, but after films like "The Big Lebowski", "O Brother Where Art Though, "Fargo", "Blood Simple" and lets never forget "No Country For Old Men" I will see, and be unbelievably excited for anything they do, even if it was a film about grass growing.

And don't get me started on Jeff Bridges.....the Dude (Big Lebowski reference for those who are unfamiliar)....he is freaking brilliant. The whole film just looks incredible its set to come out in December (gonna be "The Fighter"'s big competition) , so here check out the trailer and let me know what you think of it!

Late review of The Town

I saw this about two weeks ago, but having two jobs really limits the time one has to write about movies....or anything for that matter, in fact its a miracle I even had time to make it to this movie! But lucky for us I did, and now here is my official review.

The Town has everything going for it, and I mean everything. A talented cast, a brilliant script, the perfect setting, and a director who is confident in his filmmaking abilities. That director, which may be surprising to some, although not to those of us who saw "Gone Baby Gone", is Ben Affleck.

Affleck fell into a rut with his acting (which was not his fault, but the fault of poor scripts, bad directors and even worse movie choices) But he always had shining moments. Even though he had the backseat to best friend Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting" he still had moving emotional scenes, for further proof see his tragic role in "Hollywoodland" where he played George Reeves, televisions first Superman who killed himself.

So his acting is good with the right script, but his directing is even better. He directed the heck out of the film "Gone Baby Gone" which got his brother Casey awards nominations. And he directs and acts in The Town with a vicious and sharp punch.

He also gets to direct last years academy award nominee for best actor from "The Hurt Locker" Jeremy Renner, who plays his role as Afflecks volatile best friend who seems to be on the verge of snapping the entire film.

The film is about bank-robbers from a neighborhood in Boston called Charlestown, which apparently produces the most bank-robbers than anywhere in the world. Affleck plays Doug, a man who robs-banks, but wants out. And he ends up falling for the bank manager whom they took hostage during their most recent job, and she is played by the wonderfully talented Rebekah Hall (The Prestige)

This poses a problem for Jem (Renner) who is Doug's best friend and partner, because he knows if she finds out who they are, she can turn them over to the feds who are wonderfully represented by Mad Men's Jon Hamm.

The story sets up some epic robbery scenes, one that takes place at "the cathedral of Boston" Fenway Park...that right there means I have to love this film as a Red Sox fan. But the intense chase scenes aren't what makes this film so good, its the characters and actors playing them.

Every character has a layer of depth and emotion, even the quick to violence Jem. Affleck's character is both heartbreaking and tragic, and while he is doing bad things, you still want him to come out on top, because you know he hates what he is doing. Its the first time I stopped seeing Ben Affleck and completely saw the character he was portraying. And everyone gets the film stolen from them by a short, brilliant scene with the unbelievably talented Chris Cooper (October Sky, American Beauty) playing Affleck's jailed bank robber dad, and the scene only lasts about three minutes!

Its an excellent movie, probably the best so far this year, second only to "Inception". Its intense, thrilling and moving all at the same time. If your into this kind of film, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scott Pilgrim VS The World


Ok I know this movie has been out for a while, so my review is quite late. But hey, I'm writing a quick one anyways. I saw this movie last weekend for the second time, and surprisingly (because most comedies I'll laugh the first time around then end up loathing every minute of it the second) i laughed almost harder the second time.




Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) is quite possibly one of the funniest filmmakers alive and he proves it again with Scott Pilgrim. He does what nobody else seems to be able to do....get Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad, Juno) to be more than just the awkward geeky indie kid. Don't get me wrong Cera has plenty of geeky indie awkwardness running rampant throughout the film, but he brings along a wackiness that he has never had before.




If you don't know the story line, its about Scott Pilgrim (Cera) who is the bass player in a band, has had a rough break up and is now dating a seventeen year old Asian chick that goes by the name of Knives Chow....his friends mock him endlessly for this. Then he meets Ramona, that mysterious pink haired hipster chick that captures his attention and affections.

To win Ramona however, he must defeat all seven of her evil ex boyfriends (and one girlfriend). Some of the hilarious evil ex-boyfriends are played by Brandon Routh of Superman Returns fame (he plays a vegan with super powers) and we get Cera reunited with his Arrested Development girlfriend Mae Whitman (she played Ann Veal on the television show) but the best is the main evil ex-boyfriend played arrogantly and brilliantly by my man Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited, I Heart Huckabees)

The film starts out like its set somewhere maybe in the real world, just with video game music playing as its soundtrack (yes legit video game music, we get lots of good stuff from the super-nintendo game Zelda: A link to the Past) but the more the story moves along the more crazy and video-game-like every thing gets. And its hilarious.


If you hate loud music lots of colors and fast editing...well you probably will hate this movie. But if you love originality, goofiness and killer good music well you'll probably love it, I highly recommend it if you haven't yet checked it out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Buckaroo Banzai and the 8th Dimension!!!


I don't know how it happened. I usually consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable and film-literate when it comes to classic 80's movies. But much to my dismay and utter shock, a masterpiece has spent my entire life evading me. But that all ended today, and all I can say is that "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8Th Dimension" is a brilliant work in 1980's film.

Let me tell you a bit of the plot, at least the little of it that makes sense, so that you can understand a little of what makes this film so freaking awesome. We have Buckaroo Banzai, played brilliantly by Peter Weller (Robocop). Buckaroo has the best job title ever, he is an Adventurer/Neurosurgeon/Rock-star/Scientist/Cowboy/Samurai/Comic-book Hero! And he has got his band of men (who also rock as his band) The Hong-Kong Cavaliers. Jeff Goldbloom (Jurassic Park, The Fly and Independence Day) stars as the newest addition to The Cavaliers all decked out in cowboy get-up. We also get Christopher Loydd and John Lithgow as the alien villains exiled to Earth.




The story starts off with Buckaroo being late for some government test of some vehicle, he is late because he is performing brain surgery. Finally Buckaroo Banzai shows up, hops in the car and with the help of a device very similar to the Flux Capacitor on "Back To The Future" Buckaroo ends up travelling to the 8th Dimension by way of travelling straight through a brick wall and coming back, but he discovered life.

Soon Buckaroo can see the evil aliens as they really look like, and the costumes are epic. We also can't forget that all the aliens have the first name of John.......such as John Parker, John Whorfin and.......well you get the idea. Throw in some great scenes of The Hong Kong Cavaliers rockin out in a club, shootin their six guns and lines like -

"You can check your anatomy all you want, and even though there may be normal variation, when it comes right down to it, this far inside the head it all looks the same. No, no, no, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to. " or -


"I've been ionized, but I'm okay now. "


"Buckaroo, I don't know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A girl named "John"? "




Yeah I know what you are thinking.......it sounds freaking incredible! Well just check out the trailer HERE its not that great of a trailer though, some goofy 80's music plus its got Jeff Goldbloom in his outfit. But there is another video I found that they claim as a trailer but its 8 minutes long and it shows some of the best scenes, you can see that one HERE.



Also some things to look forward to in the future on this blog, as Halloween gets closer I am gonna be watching lots of the best horror films in existence, then immediately reviewing them here so keep checking back for that! And possibly in the next little bit I'll have a review up for "The Town" but who knows about that!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Fighter

Every year a movie coasts for most of the year without being talked about much. Every year the trailer gets released and generates a little buzz and lots of the time the film doesn't live up to that buzz. But sometimes it does, and I personally think the film "The Fighter" will exceed any amount of buzz it gets. Already I am calling it for awards, not only noms, but wins.







I have mentioned this film before as one to look forward to, and finally I have a trailer to help back up my claims. "The Fighter" stars Mark Wahlberg as real life boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward who boxed in the mid 1980's. Amy Adams stars as the love interest and a skin and bones Christian Bale plays his troubled drug addicted brother.

The movie has everything that a good movie has going for it. A story about an underdog fighting against all odds to make his dreams come true, the tragic family member holding them back but only trying to help, the supporting but sceptical love interest and the world cheering against him. Yes it sounds a bit like "Rocky" but fortunately its based on a true story and we don't have to hear Stallone mumble his lines and get depressed while Talia Shire looks like she is about to cry while she whispers her lines. Instead we get Wahlberg doing a film he really honestly believes in (lets forget about "The Lovely Bones" "The Happening" and "Max Payne") while working with a talented director like David O' Russel whom he worked with on "I Heart Huckabees"



We also get Bale in the kind of role he dominates. It is a fact that when he loses weight and takes a pay cut he puts in the best performance, for proof go rent "The Machinist" and "Rescue Dawn" his two best performances of his career. He lost all sorts of weight for this and has put a lot of work into it. So the films has everything going for it, literally everything.


The trailer is gritty yet inspiring, the kind that only an award movie can truly look like. I will bet money that this is going to be one of the huge awards contenders, fighting mainly with "True Grit" for the top awards in acting and picture. But then again, I can't be sure of that yet until I see actual footage of "True Grit" but its the Coen's and they never lead us wrong. All I can say at this point is that "The Fighter" looks incredible, and I have no doubts it will be anything but.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buried


I know I talked a little about this movie before, but I gotta say I am downright stoked out of my mind for this film. Granted its not as much as "Inception" but my anticipation is getting pretty dang intense for this film.


If you haven't heard about it, "Buried" stars Ryan Reynolds ("Just Friends", "The Proposal" and "Definitely Maybe") as Paul Conroy, a contractor working in Iraq who is attacked and wakes up to find himself.........buried six feet under. He has a lighter, a cell phone and 90 minutes of oxygen left.....start the countdown.


The premise alone seems filled with promises of suspense. Its got the perfect countdown situation, the claustrophobic feel. Add in the talent of Ryan Reynolds, add in the bit from the new trailers that hints their might be more going on than meets the eye (who doesn't love a good mystery). It all adds up to be an intense, edge-of-your-seat film. Plus we can't forget or ignore all the overly positive reviews that not only flowed out after its Sundance screenings last winter, that are pouring out of screenings right now.


Now I can't say that this movie is bulletproof, after all it is quite risky. Asking an audience to be buried for 90 minutes plus in a coffin is asking a lot, especially today's audiences. People are so used to being fed mindless junk, yes I am talking about the never ending superhero obsession that has plagued cinemas ever since "Spider-Man" did well, oh and I can't leave out the always headache inducing films based on 80's action figures or cartoons (yes "Transformers" and the upcoming "Smurfs" films.....I am looking at you!) So are people who are so used to being spoon fed trash going to be open to a smart, intense thriller that doesn't include 80 explosions within twenty minutes and 900 screen cuts during each fight seen.........well the same worries were buzzing before "Inception" and look how that turned out.


Also we have Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes behind the cameras, and he just might be young enough and gutsy enough to pull this off. The risk all adds to my excitement...after all what is life without a little risk? Sometimes you just gotta roll the dice, take a breath and dive in....or in this case get buried in.....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting Stuck: 127 Hours and Buried

Two films I am very much looking forward to this fall are about being stuck in one spot for a period of time. And when I say stuck it comes out as an understatement. Both films feature one character being put in a horrific position and what they have to do to get themselves out. One is Danny Boyle's (28 Days Later, Trainspotting, Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire) new film "127 Hours" and the other is the film that took the Sundance Film Festival by storm earlier this year, "Buried" starring Ryan Reynolds.


"127 Hours" is based on the true story of Aron Ralston. Ralston is an outdoors junkie, pretty much living off the thrill of climbing mountains and biking. While cannyoneering near Moab, Utah, Ralston fell and managed to get a builder on top of his arm, keeping him stuck. He was like this for...127 hour and he finally decided to amputate his own arm with a dull pocket knife.

Now sure the guy would not have had this happen had he been smart and not gone out alone, or better yet told someone where he was going. The remarkable thing is not just that he survived, but how he did so. You have to be pretty strong to cut off your own arm with a dull pocket knife. And I'm sure the experience would change you drastically, which leaves room in a film for excellent character development.

Not only is the film blessed with Danny Boyle's unique stylistic direction, its also blessed with James Franco. I know he was lousy in the Spider Man films along with Triston and Isolde, and we wont even mention his brilliantly terrible performances of the twisted psychopathic artist, Franco on ABC's "General Hospital" recently. Instead we will focus on just how artistic of a person he is, and the passion he has for films. And we can even acknowledge his roles in "James Dean" "Pineapple Express" and TVs "Freaks and Geeks" for support that he indeed can act.

The film should be intense and gripping as we are with Ralston as he tries to figure out how to get out of the "tight spot" he has found himself in. I expect nothing but great from this film as I have long since learned to trust Danny Boyle completely. You can check out the teaser trailer here at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi298255897/

"Buried" is a different film all together. Almost the entire film takes place inside a box, which is buried beneath the ground. Oh and Ryan Reynolds is playing a man who is trapped inside said box, alive. Reynolds is Paul Conroy a U.S contractor who had been working in Iraq. He is attacked and wakes to find himself buried in a coffin with a cell phone and a lighter. The film mostly takes place in the coffin with him as he races against time to escape the treacherous death pulling at him.



Ryan Reynolds is a good reason to be excited for this film. He started out doing the stupid sleaze comedies and somewhere along the way grew up and grew into really good roles. He has great charisma that makes it impossible to not like him. And with "Buried" it appears he finally gets to really stretch his acting abilities. The film promises to be taught with suspense and promises to leave you on the edge of your seat. Its got three great trailers out for it. One where you only see black until a split second when he flicks the lighter. The other you only see photos of the film, along with praise for it. But you get to hear lots that really builds suspense. The third is him talking into a cell phone camera, telling whoever is watching his terrible situation.











Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Devils and Darkness: The Horror Season Comes Closer

The fall is approaching and with it is the plethora of blood, guts, creaking doors, loud noises, failed attempts and missed opportunities. Yes I am talking about my beloved and accursed Horror genre. Many films will attempt to scare audiences, many will do so but I must add that most the "scared" audience is mindless teenagers. Now I don't mean to generalize all you teenagers together into one mindless drone group....but I know from experience as a former teenager that you are indeed more or less mindless.



Now if you are an even half intelligent young to old adult, the majority of the Horror films will not scare you, at most they will bring a mocking laugh of incredulity flying from your lips. But next to the heaping pile of rightfully disrespected horror trash, there always sits a small neat stack of respectful, artistic and most of all scary horror films. Each year I watch closely filled with trepidation at the fresh stock of scary movies, always hoping that a few will meet my very strict standards.



Now if you thought films like "The Ring", "Paranormal Activity" or any one of the atrocious "Saw" films are scary...well then I'm sorry but you are not going to be saved, you are completely hopeless and again sorry for my generalizations. Most the good horror films already came out in the 70's and 80's and are now being revisited in misguided and unoriginal remakes. If they are good and new you can almost always bet they are A. Foreign, or B. small budget, art house films. You could have chosen A and B, and you would still be right.



So now that I have both bored you to death with my Horror rant, lets start talking about a few of the upcoming fright fests. You have already heard me talk about John Carpenter's "The Ward" and you'll read more about that another time. Right now I want to focus on "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "Devil".



"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" technically isn't coming out during this Horror season and is being released early next year on the 21st of January, and technically it is a re-make. So I may be a bit hypocritical with this one, but the original was made for television. This re-make stars Guy Pearce (Memento, The Proposition and L.A. Confidential) and regrettably Katie Holmes. Its about a family who moves to a mansion (as usual) and the young girl opens a door that contains evil creatures who want her. Yes i know cheesy premise......but that doesn't mean it wont at least be a fun horror movie, and Guy Pearce makes me look forward to it. Not to mention its being produced and overseen by the brilliant Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and producer of El Orphanato)



"Devil" is a different story altogether. First things first, its based on a story by the hack M. Night Shyamalan. But we can forgive this since he is good at coming up with ideas for the most part and isn't involved with the writing or directing of the film. The directing falls on the Dowdle brothers who both worked on the movie "Quarantine". The films premise is about a group of people who get on an elevator. The people get trapped, hi jinks soon ensue. And it would appear that there is a malicious and malevolent presence with them, this presence is more commonly known as the devil......only which one of them, if any of them is the devil?



Now this film could go many a direction and I hope it goes well because the trailer is excellent and it is kinda a cool premise either way. It is due out the 17 of September.



So there are just a couple of Horror films I am looking forward to, do not worry I will be posting more about Horror films as Fall continues, along with my top ten list of my all time favorite Horror films and reviews of them all.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ambition and Madness

"I go into movies thinking, we're performing, but with interviews, we're pretending to be completely real. I just can't get my head around it. And the things we say in this hour could permanently shape our personas. I mean, tell me that's not a little odd! And because I think that's odd, people think I'm odd. And that's strange. Know what I'm saying?" -Joaqin Phoenix


I'm going to talk about two movies that are coming out, two movies that have been on my radar for some time but I haven't gotten around to talking about them. So what prompts the sudden urge to write about both? Well, for one both just release trailers, and both look equally intriguing. One film is about ballerinas the other about an actor who quits to become........a rapper and yes I am talking about Joaqin Phoenix.

The first film is "Black Swan" I have been following this movie for sometime for a few reasons, the biggest is that it's directed by Darren Aronofsky. This brilliant man has given us "Pi" "Requiem for a Dream" "The Fountain" and the film that got Mickey Rourke his Academy nomination, "The Wrestler" He is immensely talented and always comes along with Clint Mansell doing his incredible scores.

Anyways "Black Swan" stars Natalie Portman as a talented ballerina who gets moved up to a more elite position at the dance theater where she dances. Where she meets another talented ballerina played by "That 70's Show"'s Mila Kunis. The two begin a rivalry, an intense rivalry. From what the trailer gives us numerous things are possible. 1. Mila Kunis is nuts. 2. Some thing supernatural is going on. 3. Natalie Portman is going insane. Now it is possible that all three are occurring, which would be greatly entertaining.

The film resembles my all time favorite horror film "Suspiria" directed by Dario Argento (a little fact, Natalie Portman is rumoured to be the lead in the "Suspiria" remake) Which also centered around ballerinas. Either way seeing as how Arronofsky is behind it, we an expect the very unexpected.

The second film is different, yet still just as, if not more, bizarre. A year or two ago Joaquin Phoenix announced he was quitting acting to pursue a career in Rap music. He grew his beard out, wore sunglasses and disappeared until appearing at a few of his "rap" concerts. This spawned the question, had Joaqin lost his mind? Had the great actor fallen far into obscurity? Well I personally felt it was a hoax, and was an artistic endeavor of some sorts.......it appeared I was right, maybe?

I first knew something was up when I spotted Casey Affleck filming Joaqin when he appeared on David Letterman. Suddenly "Documentary" popped into my head, or rather "Mockumentary". Now it is confirmed with the trailer for "I Am Still Here".

Its a documentary about his quitting acting and his attempt at a career in "rap" music. I personally think it looks great. And it could be a real great satire. But the question is still out there, was it all fake? Or did Joaqin really think he could make it as a rapper, whilst his best friend filmed him? Who knows, either way I'm terribly drawn in to it and I think that a lot of it has to do with sheer ambition of it all. I mean it is possibly the most ambitions endeavor ever attempted by an actor or any celebrity for that matter. This guy stopped acting and dedicated months and months to make this and create this whole persona. Because of the amount of the ambition, it is also the most risky move ever made. Real or fake, and i still tend to go with fake, its complete madness.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Master of Horror Returns

“What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things. That's why horror is such a powerful genre. All you have to do is ask yourself what frightens you and you'll know what frightens me.” --John Carpenter the Master of Horror.



If you are a fan of the horror genre then chances are you pretty much worship the ground John Carpenter walks on. The man pretty much gave us the slasher genre as we know it when he directed a very low budget film in 1978 that pretty much became a phenomenon. The film starred Jamie Lee Curtis and featured a brutal, creepy killer wearing a William Shatner mask. "Halloween" changed the horror genre.

He then continued on through the 1980's giving us incredible films like "The Thing" in which Kurt Russel gives, in my opinion, his all time best performance. Also included in the 80's decade from John Carpenter were "The Fog" "Christine" and "Prince of Darkness" But he didn't stick with just horror, he delved into campy action with "Escape From New York" and "Big Trouble In Little China" both starring Kurt Russel. But just because he occasionally stepped away from the horror genre, it didn't stop him from being branded with the title of The Master Of Horror.


John Carpenter continued into the 90's making less movies but still putting out decent horror films such as "In the Mouth of Madness" and "Village of the Damned" but then he seemed to flounder a bit and when 2001's "The Ghosts of Mars" hit theaters, Carpenter seemed to be done. The Master of Horror even stated he had lost all his passion for film making.

For the next 10 years he made nothing except two episodes in The Masters of Horror premium cables series. Until now...
If your a horror fan you should be getting excited. If your a ghost story fan you should be getting EVEN more stoked, because The Master Of Horror is back behind the camera with a film for the silver screen.

John Carpenter's "The Ward" was supposed to be hitting cinemas this fall but appears to maybe have been pushed back, but either way it's reason for excitement. It's set in what appears to be a haunted insane asylum and has a cast of mostly young women, its already set up to be a killer horror film.


The story as we know it so far is centered on a young woman who is institutionalized than terrorized by a ghost. I can't think of anything better for Carpenter to be directing. Nothing is more scary than haunted insane asylums. The films website was also opened not to long ago and you can go check out some cool videos about the film there at http://www.thewardmovie.com/ but be warned, the synopsis on the site may give a little too much away. Anyways, just be stoked that The Master of Horror has returned!




Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Tron:Legacy" what more could a geek ask for?

Right now the biggest "comic" book convention has been going on in California. At least it started out as a "comic" book convention. But Comic Con has grown much more into a "Pop Culture" convention. Showcasing films, books and of course comics. True most the films being previewed or announced there are either based on comics/graphic novels or anything else halfway geeky, its still a pretty cool thing and always releases awesome footage to amp up "fan boy" hype. And hey sometimes even if your not a fan boy you can get excited.
This year they have shown and talked about a couple of things so far that have me really excited. They are as follows:

1. Jon Favreau's "Cowboys and Aliens"

2. Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch"

3. the new trailer for "Tron: Legacy"

Jon Favreau started out as an actor appearing in films like "Rudy" and then got himself behind the directors chair, where he has given us "Swingers", "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" Now he is making geeks everywhere even more excited because of his new film awesomely titled "Cowboys and Aliens". If that title isn't enough to make you geek out and be excited than lets see if this cast list will. Its got Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde (House), Sam Rockwell (Moon, Iron Man 2, The Green Mile) Paul Dano (Knight and Day, There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) and Kieth Carridine. All battling aliens in the wild west!


"Sucker Punch" however is a different level of geek. If you have ever held a "Graphic Novel" (longer, usually more well written version of a comic book) in your hands then chances are you have heard of Zack Snyder. The man has made film adaptations of two of the most praised and critically acclaimed graphic novels of all time. Frank Miller's "300" and Alan Moore's "The Watchmen". His films are all visual eye candy, with killer soundtracks and killer action sequences. As you can tell my the trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3707110937/ "Sucker Punch" is no exception. The film with the tagline of "Alice In Wonderland With Guns!" stars the brilliant John Hamm(Mad Men) Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Browning, Zack Snyder usual Carla Cugino, Jena Malone and Scott Glen. And man does it look pretty awesome!


And now "Tron Legacy" Ive talked about it before, but dang does it look awesome! The new trailer is enough to make anybody who has seen the original freak out. It looks awesome, and really you can't go wrong with Jeff Bridges especially when he is battling a program that looks just like himself! If your confused by that last statement check out this trailer http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3371238937/ and then go watch the original if you haven't seen it! I can't even wait for December it looks so epic!


Any ways those are just a few things Comic Con has given us so far this year, I am sure I will be posting more about it but until then, take it easy!




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Own "Gangster" Film........

So a thought occurred to me the other day, an idea is a better way to put it, for a film. I have been wanting an idea to come to me that I could write, and then make with a low budget. This has been difficult because most of my ideas I get for films are not anywhere near achievable with smaller budgets. A couple of things factored into this idea I am having.

1. Humphrey Bogart
2. James Cagney
3. Gangster films
4. Reservoir Dogs

Let me explain these more. I was watching old school films last week, one featured the great Humphrey Bogart. Humphrey Bogart before becoming a romantic lead and being type-cast as the reluctant hero, he originally made his name playing villains next to James Cagney.

James Cagney was renowned for the brilliant 1930's and 1940's Warner Bros "Social Problem" (meaning gangster) films he was in. Now I love gangster films, they are great and I have always wanted to make a good gangster film.

The fourth factor in my idea was the film by Quentin Tarantino "Reservoir Dogs" The reason this plays in is that the film references older hollywood (mostly 1970s B movies) through the dialogue. I wanted to make a movie that referenced the old James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart "Social Problem" films, that also excelled at being a stand alone thriller and gangster drama. So my idea was born.

The Idea:

I don't have a title yet, or character names but as of now it is as follows: Two young men in their mid to late twenties are trying to make it as "criminals" any way they can. This involves doing anything from the occasional job for the local crime boss to the elaborate heist or bank robbery. The two have grown up together all their lives. One grew up being raised on James Cagney films. He idolizes everything about James Cagney and the characters he played and throughout the film he references the old movies through dialogue and even actions. The other is a quiet, serious kid that had a troubled childhood and has always followed his gangster loving friend into anything, so naturally he is following him into crime.

As the two start getting bigger and more intense jobs, they soon discover that they are in way over their heads, and have set off events with terrible and tragic consequences. Part of the film is a commentary on how films are primarily meant to be escapism, but sometimes they can become more than that for some people when they fail to separate the characters from real life. Also that the criminals and crime in real life are far more brutal and terrible then the glamorous depictions in film and how two people experience this and learn it the hard way.


The film is going to be primarily be a Crime Drama with elements of a thriller, a little action and some moments of humour, all while paying homage to the classic 1930s and 1940s Gangster pictures.

I like the idea so far, I feel good about it! I plan on starting the first draft of the script here in the next couple of days. The films I plan on referencing are:

1. "The Roaring Twenties"
2. "Angels With Dirty Faces"
3. ""G" Men"
4. "The Public Enemy"
5. "White Heat"

and probably a few more! Let me know your thoughts or suggestions, anything would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

They Just Don't Make Em Like They Used To........


"Democracy can be a wickedly unfair thing, Sabrina. Nobody poor was ever called democratic for marrying somebody rich " -Humphrey Bogart "Sabrina"

A few years ago I at Christmas I was given a DVD that contained "Breakfast at Tiffany's" "Roman Holiday" and "Sabrina" all featuring Audrey Hepburn. I had already seen "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and loved it. It ranks up there probably in the number one spot for my favorite Romance film. But I had never gotten around to watching the other two movies.

So this week me and my mom were bored and decided to put in "Sabrina" which came out in 1954. We had both seen the remake starring Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and Julia Ormond and directed by the late, great Sydney Pollack (Jeremiah Johnson, Three Days of the Condor, Tootsie, The Firm) . We loved the remake, so we figured we would give the original a try.
In the 1954 version directed by the brilliant Billy Wilder (The Lost Weekend, Sunset Blvd., The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot) we have the great Humphrey Bogart, Billy Wilder regular William Holden and the amazing Audrey Hepburn.

Both me and my mom both discovered how much better the old version is. It courses with a charm that the remake only hints at. And while Harrison Ford is good, he only plays Linus Larabee as a stick-in-the-mud (to use my mom's words) while Humphrey Bogart has real character. Really its unfair to try and cast anybody in a role already played by Bogart, he is one of the all-time great actors and movie stars and you just can't beat him. The same goes for Hepburn. In the remake Julia Ormond seems like she is trying to mimic Hepburn's performance even down to the inflections on her voice. She would have been better off doing something different with it, because you really just can't beat the innocent, wondrous performances of Audrey Hepburn. And of course William Holden was also incapable of giving a bad performance. This movie just reminded me that no matter what, you can't ever beat the original.


Which brings us to "Roman Holiday" starring Gregory Peck (To Kill A Mockingbird, Cape Fear) and Audrey Hepburn. This film is another completely charming film. Hepburn plays a Princess who has had enough and runs away, where she meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) who is a reporter, who knows she is the Princess, yet she has no clue he knows. He is taking her around Rome entertaining her, in hopes of getting an "inside" story on her. But of course, he falls in love.


What makes this one so good is largely Gregory Peck's performance. If you have seen him play Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird" you would think serious by the book kinda guy. He plays Joe Bradley completely different. He is a fun, care free playboy who is quickly running out of money and he plays it great. Unlike most films today, its completely believable when he and Hepburn fall in love with each other. As was the relationships in "Sabrina". Another thing that makes "Roman Holiday" so excellent is the ending, its so not the typical, Hollywood conventional ending.


If you like Romance films, and I mean good romance films (not crap like The Bounty Hunter or nonsense like that) than I urge you to go and rent these movies and watch em. They are in black and white, but even that adds an element of charm to the movies. They are great timeless films that I highly recommend. To use the old cliche`d term, they just don't make em like they use to..........

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life After Inception

After months and months of waiting and months of hype overkill, Inception has come and past. While I have seen the film twice (and even as we speak I am getting ready for my third journey through the brilliantly poetic madness Christopher Nolan through at us) I am not quite sure what to do now.

Sure there are other movies coming out to look forward to. "Charlie St. Cloud" will be good. "The Adjustment Bureau" should be intriguing and now I for sure have the Ben Affleck directed "The Town" to look forward to (anyone writing if off because of Ben Affleck needs to go see "Gone Baby Gone" to know how good he is behind the camera) Tron Legacy will be dazzling us this December with its "eye popping" 3D. And of course the awards season of movies like "True Grit" "The Way Back" and "The Fighter" will all be great films for sure.

But nothing in the foreseeable future seems worthy of the insane hype I gave "Inception" Ridley Scott's long-awaited "Untitled Alien Prequel" will probably start building its excitement in my mind soon, but even that is going to be tarnished with the wretched "eye popping" 3D.

In fact that's one of the main problems holding my hype and excitement back.....all this 3D. I mean we have "Step Up 3D" "Resident Evil" in 3D "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in 3D, "Harry Potter" in 3D and even the freaking "Smurfs" in......wait for it.......3D! Why does everything need to be in 3D? What next ""The Godfather" in EYE POPPING 3D!"? Why is the world so obsessed with this irritating gimmick? Its getting terribly tiring!

I keep asking myself why is there not more Chris Nolan's making films like "Inception" every single month? It's just not fair that we have to put up with so much absurd drivel! Sure good films will come out, I'll be excited and talk about them constantly. I just don't believe that until the next Christopher Nolan film is getting ready (Probably Batman 3) will I be truly stoked for a film. Either way, as always I will be here talking and rambling my crazy talk hoping that you are as excited about films as I am. That is all.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inception: The Official Review

10/10

Never before have I seen a movie that not only lived up to my ridiculous, obsessive hype. Inception did just that, in fact it far surpassed anything I had built it up to be. From the moment the first shot appears on screen, to the end when the screen goes black and the words INCEPTION blast into view you are left feeling both breathless and exhilarated literally at every point in the film.

Christopher Nolan has managed something truly remarkable with this film. Its as if he heard all previous criticisms that his films were emotionless and cold, that his action was weak and that his female characters were somewhat lacking and then worked on each aspect till perfection. There is literally no weak point in the film.

The emotion running rampant through the film is amazing. You care and feel for each and every character. Especially Cobb's played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio. And even Cillian Murphy's Fischer who is the target of the dream team.

The action was the most mindblowingly awesome stuff I have ever seen. I had built up the hallway fight seen featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt running on walls, to be the best thing I had ever seen (how could it not be, there isn't a shred of CGI in that scene) But the scene far surpasses any expectations and literally leaves you unbelievably breathless.

And for female characters; welcome Mal played hauntingly and tragically by the brilliant Marion Cotillard. Her performance was my favorite. Cotillard plays the mysterious Mal with such depth and uses nearly every emotion in existence to carry the character forward. If there is any Oscars going to the cast its to her.

Nolan completely immerses us into this world unlike "Avatar" it doesn't need 3D, super CGI and flashy colors to draw us in. The story and emotion carry you through the film as your travel through a dream, a dream within a dream, and a dream within a dream within a dream........

The film and storyline itself is brilliant. Its so compelling that you can't look a way for a second, and if you did you would be completely lost with in the dream. It begs for a second viewing just so you can try and make sure you know what really happened in the end, even though you may just not ever know exactly.

All I can really say is that NEVER in my life of being obsessed with movies have I enjoyed every last second of screen time of a film. Its exhilarating, breathtaking, mindblowing, thrilling, intelligent, haunting and poetic all at the same time. Seriously its the best movie of at the very least the past ten years and is really wanting to make itself comfortable as my favorite film of all time. Do yourself a favor. Go see this film. Sit down take a deep breath and go for the ride.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Inception: The Cobol Job


With only a day away from the release, reviews have been flooding in for Inception. Its up to about 160 positive reviews with only 10 negative thus far. Reading the negative reviews is hilarious. Its clear these "critics" don't like to think very hard while watching a film. Most of them seem like they hated it before the movie even started. With that said, even in the positive reviews it talks about how "smart" of a film "Inception" is going to be. Luckily for me I have been following the film since its "inception" so I know what "Projections" are and what the "architect" does and so forth. Many will not have the same benefit. But there was a prequel online comic released today, that does not have spoilers, but could help with some clarity before entering the cinema to have your mind thoroughly blown.


I'm posting the comic Inception: The Cobol Job and I urge you to read it, it will help before seeing the film, but it is not essential. And I am gonna cover a few terms from the film to also help with the experience.


Projections: Projections look like people. They are the subconscious security in a way. If the dreamer gets alarmed......well the projections attack the invader


Architect: The architect is who creates the dream world for the dreamer and the extraction team to enter. Their job is to create a world so it feels real and the dreamer won't know that they are dreaming. In the film there are two architects. One named Nash played by Lukas Haas (whom you can learn a little about in the comic) and Ariadne played by Ellen Page.


Tourists: Tourists are people (usually the ones paying the Extractors) who enter the dream world with the extraction team to see what its like and that their money is being used well.


Forgers: Forgers replicate other people into the dream world so the dreamer again isn't alarmed. The forger in the film is played by Tom Hardy


Extractors: The Extractor is the main person. They are the ones "stealing" the ideas. The Extractor in the film is played by Leonardo DiCaprio


Point Man: The muscle of the team, and they cover the details to make it all happen. The Point Man is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur.


Those are just a few terms that will be used in the movie that might help to know before going to see it. And again I urge you to read the prequel comic here at http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/inception-comic.html. It will be helpful I think.


I am seeing the film tomorrow night at Midnight, and will be writing up a full review Friday morning. So check back then to see that review!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Four New Clips

The "Inception" fire just seems to keep on burning and doesn't look like it will stop any-time soon. Over on the IMDB, the message board has become flooded with idiots and trolls ruining any real discussion of the film (usually this is a sign that the film is going to be a huge hit...just look at The Dark Knight board for example).

Reviews continue to pour in, all very positive at that. Also be warned Access Hollywood just did an interview with Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy who star in the film and from what I have heard, the interviewer ruins the ending. Luckily I have avoided that interview.

Instead I found four clips directly from the film, spoiler free clips. All of them are awesome and one of them even shows some action. Either way, these are the last videos I will be watching or posting until the film comes out in an attempt to walk into the theater and still be completely surprised by what is happening on screen. So enjoy these videos and keep lookin forward to Inception!



http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/inception/shared-dreaming

http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/inception/most-skilled-extractor

http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/inception/i-need-an-architect

http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/inception/dream-bigger

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Close To Perfection"

So just last night Warner Bros. finally lifted the embargo on "Inception" reviews. Now if you don't know what this means let me enlighten you a bit. Warner Bros first showed "Inception" to a bunch of critics a few weeks back. The embargo means that they were not allowed to review the movie until the embargo was lifted...lucky us, this happened last night.

Pretty much its unanimous that the film is amazing. Its getting all A +, 10/10, and 4 Star reviews left and right. Some are calling it a "masterpiece" and "near perfect". Also they say that this is the film that puts Nolan's name among the great directors. All of this is terribly exciting. The only mediocre review it has gotten is from lame comingsoon.net. Anyways thanks to Nolan Fans, who have compiled most the reviews on their page I have taken a few of my favorite reviews from there and posted them below:

"I will say this now, without reservation and fully confident that many will agree; Inception is easily the best big budget film of the year thus far. I’ll go further and say that it’s one of the most beautiful, well written, and fully realized high dollar films of the last five years. Inception, is close to perfection." - Film School Rejects (A+)



"Inception is a masterpiece. Making a huge film with big ambitions, Christopher Nolan never missteps and manages to create a movie that, at times, feels like a miracle. And sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a movie; while presented in woefully retro 2D, Inception creates a complete sense of immersion in another world. The screen before you is just another layer of the dream." - CHUD (10/10)


"Imagine a film being made in 2010 where you have absolutely no idea where it is going or how it will end. These were the worlds created by revolutionary filmmakers, like Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, David Cronenberg and David Lynch. With Inception we have a film and a filmmaker that has broken new ground and very nearly reinvented the form and he did it all without 3-D. Nolan gets there on the power of the story – and his vision was realized with the aid of the usual suspects – Wally Pfister’s cinematography, Hans Zimmer’s unbelievable score – the art direction, the visual effects – see it on IMAX and it will blow your mind. I am sure more than a few will discover that seeing the movie IN an altered state will also blow your mind, not that I’m advocating that." - Awards Daily

"Further, its sublime combination of theoretical and humanistic elements puts it in the company of films like, yes, The Matrix, but more accurately dense, character-driven concept movies like Synecdoche, New York, itself arguably one of the best and most important (if also impenetrable) of the last decade. But it’s also the kind of movie that transcends any easy comparisons, and resists previous standards of achievement, innovation, or impact, which is why it’s difficult to pinpoint the last time I felt quite so passionately about every single part of a cinematic experience. And that may ultimately be the film’s greatest achievement: to consume and possess its audience with that passion, whether you’re as inspired and excited as I am, or disappointed, confused or frustrated as many will no doubt also be." - Cinematical

"At 148 minutes, INCEPTION is hardly a quick film but it moves with such speed and efficiency that you never “feel” the length. Even when it’s over, the movie stays with you, begging for conversation, discussion, debate and, eventually, another viewing. I’m sure it’ll even pop up in your dreams. Nothing wrong with that. We should all be dreaming a little bit bigger." -JoBlo (10/10)

"…”Inception” is an exhilarating cinematic experience that suggests there is still room, even in the blockbuster world, for big ideas and dangerous emotions, and that may be the single most thrilling thing about it.." -Hit Fix


I also need to point out that many of the reviews coming out rave about DiCaprio's performance calling it his best yet and calling it brilliant! Now we just have ten short days away until the films release, and while I should be freaking out that I am seeing Paul McCartney live in one week, I can't get how incredible "Inception" is going to be...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Me In

"Let Me In" is, to me, one of the major problems seeping through American cinemas. For some reason I can't seem to fathom, Hollywood studios keep seeing the need to remake foreign films into American versions. It happened with "Funny Games" although the American remake of that film benefited by being directed by Michael Haneke who also directed the original and also starred Tim Roth.

Then it happened again with the British comedy "Death At A Funeral" the remake just recently came out starring Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Zoe Saldana. The most recent addition is 2008's Swedish adaptation from the book with the same title, "Let The Right One In".

The original Swedish film was arguably THE best vampire film I have seen in a very long time. It was cold, harsh and brutal. The film is about a young boy who is bullied and doesn't have any friends. A young girl moves in next to him and about the same time brutal slayings start showing up around town. The boy begins a friendship with the girl not knowing what she really is....a vampire. The original was great it had epic shots like one of a lady bursting into flames from her hospital bed.

Now we are getting "Let Me In" the American version starring (who is getting to be very overused) Chloe Moretz (500 Days Of Summer) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (who was great in the very underrated, possibly best film of 2009 "The Road"). Don't get me wrong the new one could be alright, I just don't really see the point.

Its as if people can't stand subtitles...yet you really do forget your reading them and its easy to absorb yourself into the film. The film is being directed by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves who might just be young and new enough to make this a good film and not just some studio trash horror film. Most American horror films lack what really makes a great horror film, eeriness and tension. They rely completely on loud noises, doors moving by themselves and super amounts of CGI, or graphic torture scenes meant to shock the viewer all in an attempt to scare the audience. This only works if your a preteen or trendy teenager who doesn't like to think so much (a vast amount of moviegoers sadly don't like using their heads while watching films)

I So hope that this movie avoids falling into Hollywood horror film conventions and can hold on to a scrap of what made "Let The Right One In" so good. And if your a horror fan I urge you to both read the novel "Let The Right One In" by John Ajvide Lindqvist and see the original Swedish film.

the trailer for the original is here http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3480485913/

and for the remake http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi4086433305/

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Soundtrack To Dreams...

So the official soundtrack by one Hans Zimmer comes out on the July 13, but you can hear samples of the tracks at amazon. Most of the soundtrack sound pretty incredible and gave me chills. Stand outs in my opinion are "Old Souls", "528491", "Mombasa", "Dream Within a Dream" and "Time". All these are intense and climactic.

"Dream is Collapsing" sounds a bit too much like The Dark Knight and something that Danny Elfman would write for it to be in my favorites, but the rest is all incredible and i am sure that I'll enjoy "Dream is Collapsing" more within the context of the film. Anyways if your interested in this film at all I advise checking out the samples! I plan on buying the soundtrack when it comes out! anyways hear them HERE at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ODL004/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1H7HGZYEJZ4G6BKC5HHQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"A Man and His Dream"


"Well, we’re being technically very ambitious, but in a more traditional film presentation way. " -Christopher Nolan on Inception


Today an article on the blog at NY Times came out featuring an incredible interview with the genius director of Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and now Inception...Christopher Nolan. Really the man is just plain awesome. I mean he always pretty much wears suits and dress clothing even while on set (apparently even on his very first low budget film Following, which was filmed with his friends on the weekend) That's Alfred Hitchcock style!


Anyways, this is a great interview and I strongly urge you to read it (even you Mom and Dad) because the guy is just plain awesome. Anyways here it is: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/a-man-and-his-dream-christopher-nolan-and-inception/

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Deathly Hallows

There are really two kinds of people in this world. Those who want Harry Potter to end, and those who don't. Fortunately for me, I belong to the latter. I absolutely love Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books and have read the final two multiple times. The final book "Harry Potter and the The Deathly Hallows" is unbelievably climactic and epic. So I for one was stoked when they announced that they were doing the final film in two parts. The first being released in November of this year.

Some of the films however haven't been, to put it nicely...good. The fourth one was great while the fifth missed a few steps with its acting but I personally feel the series really came into its own with the sixth film, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" sure it strayed from the book but the acting was great, the special effects finally something to enjoy in the series and the emotions running through the film were great (although the chemistry between Harry and Ginny was terrible).

Now we begin to get closer to the finale of the series and we are finally given a trailer. And I must say its a brilliant trailer. Extremely dire and epic in the way it plays out, much better than the recent trailer for the newest installment of the terrible film adaptations of "Chronicles of Narnia"

This final film looks brilliant and I can't wait for it. Its good for me to know that after Inception is over with I will still have a few films to anticipate and go slightly crazy for (Harry Potter, True Grit, The Fighter, The Ward and Tron Legacy) But with that said, here is the link for the trailer. I hope you enjoy.

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1638598169/

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Dive In and Drive Yourself Crazy...and Remind Yourself to Breath!"


"You should walk away from this! "Arthur-Inception


The other day I posted the opening paragraph of Peter Travers' Rolling Stone review. It gave us a little tease at the movie, but now luckily I have found a scan of the FULL review and thought I would share it here. You might have to change the zoom of your screen to see the words a little better but its well worth it!




Its pretty good stuff. My man Peter Travers' raves about the film pushing my excitement to very well near unhealthy levels! Only 20 days away now so we should be getting more reviews in the next week or so.
There are also numerous tweets appearing on Twitter from critics who have seen the film. One that particularly excites me is from Anupama Chopra, who writes for New York Times. He says "Inception: terrific, textured, mind-bending entertainment. There were moments I had to remind myself to breathe!"
I love his bit about reminding himself to breath. ALL the best thrillers and actioners usually make the viewer feel this way. Awesome stuff!
Also If you are getting to excited for the film and don't have any way to occupy the wait, I suggest seeing Toy Story 3 to help pass the time...it's the best film I have seen this year. I am gonna try and right an official review for it tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First review of Inception comes rolling in............

"The seed that we planted in this man's mind, may change everything. " Cobb-INCEPTION

The film is only a few short (yet still way too long) weeks away. So now is the time when press screenings begin and reviews begin flowing out and filling up the Internet (mostly Rotten Tomatoes). This is a pretty scary time for someone who is anticipating a film near the point of over-hype or obsession (like me obviously!) After all nobody wants to find out that their most look forward to film of the year is getting bad reviews. This usually results in denial and is a very very sad affair. I have been fortunate enough thus far in my life to make it through almost unscathed. Last years "Terminator Salvation" I had hyped up quite a bit only to be tragically let down. Anyways it is somewhat stressful. Luckily for us "Inception"...I want to use the word "fan" but can you really be a fan of something without seeing it? Either way we need not worry.

The first review has appeared, its gonna be in the next issue of Rolling Stone. Here I have the first paragraph of the review written by Peter Travers. He gives it 3 1/2 stars.

"The mind-blowing movie event of the summer arrives just in time to hold back the flow of Hollywood sputum that's been sliming the multiplex. 'Inception'...will be called many things, starting with James Bond Meets 'The Matrix.' You can feel the vibe of Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' in it, and Nolan's own 'Memento' and 'The Dark Knight.' But 'Inception' glows with a blue-flame intensity all its own. Nolan creates a dream world that he wants us to fill with our own secrets. I can't think of a better goal for any filmmaker. Of course, trusting the intelligence of the audience can cost Nolan at the box office. We're so used to being treated like idiots. How to cope with a grand-scale epic, shot in six countries at a reported cost of $160 million, that turns your head around six ways from Sunday? Dive in and drive yourself crazy, that's how.''

I usually agree with Travers. He normally gives only a couple of films four stars a year so he is pretty reliable. Now it doesn't say too much (I assume the full review will be more helpful) I would appear that he loves the film. Also I would like to note that he has never give a Christopher Nolan film less than 3 stars.

Now he seems to be worried about the old box-office results because it is very much a "smart" thriller. And lets look at the past few years big budget summer hits both "Transformer" films were complete and total brainless nonsense. "Iron Man" while entertaining, you need not open your mind in the slightest. "The A-Team" is enjoyably dumb(which it should be!) And if you look at the highest grossing movie of all time you get a completely dumb story...yes "Avatar".

So all these high grossing hits are all brainless......Travers may be on to something. But then again there was a little film starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger that made over a billion dollars, was released in the middle of the summer and while it did feature a man in a bat suit it was very heavy on character and story and very minimal on explosions and fighting..yeah "The Dark Knight". That film was much more of a thinking man's batman (much like the graphic novels) than an action mans film.

So who knows I think a couple 3 plus star reviews...good word of mouth on the opening weekend and we could have a very big hit on our hands..both critically and financially. Lets all hope the next 22 days pass by quickly and reveal more good reviews!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brand New Character Featurette

"You're asking me for Inception. I do hope you understand the gravity of that request. " Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) Inception












So as you know, I am dying for "Inception". I Literally have a countdown on my phone counting down how many days are left till it comes out. Which oh is pretty much 23 days! But there has been many a rumor circulating around the world wide web more commonly known as the Internet, that the only people stoked for the film are rabid Christopher Nolan fans or um as one poster on the IMDB message boards rudely put it "Internet blogging geeks".



I don't think that is terribly accurate..I know loads of people who are neither die hard Nolan fans or "Internet blogging geeks". But still I guess that could be maybe slightly right. The mystery surrounding the movie could very well be its biggest strength, yet could be its biggest problem thus far. While the mystery makes some people want to see it so that they too can figure out how the puzzle fits together, it can turn others off. So to those people who are confused or maybe not yet turned on to the movie...or for those who just need to keep the excitement building up and up to unmeasurable proportions.....just when I though I couldnt get any more excited for "Inception" they pull me back in with this latest TV spot AKA commerical.

Commercial doesn't really do this video justice...not even close. It feels much much more like a complete new trailer. It took up an ENTIRE commercial break during a re-run of NBC'S Last Comic Standing last night, and now is available online. Its now being called the Character Featurette and not to worry just like every thing else released..no spoilers. All I am going to say about this is that it is un-freaking-believable! It goes through each major character (except mysteriously not Ken Wantanabe's The Tourist) giving us more background and info on the characters and the story.



Now If you can watch this video and say it doesn't look incredible you have no soul and should stop watching movies IMMEDIATELY... really do yourself a favor click on the following link and have your mind blown...I'm not kidding this movie is going to be amazing.



http://video.uk.msn.com/watch/video/inception-trailer/2tfapc4j





In other "Inception" News...It won Spike Televisions most Man-ticipated film of the year..which is awesome! (it actually won it June 6Th but the Awards show premiered Sunday night on Spike TV)


Also not concerning "Inception" new trailers for "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and "Smurfs" came out today...I'll be covering those soon though.