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: "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 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


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 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!

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 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

and for the remake

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