Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Weekend Boxoffice Numbers


In Order

Marley & Me
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $36,357,586
Last Week: -
Total: $50,738,566
______________________________________________________
Bedtime Stories
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
This Week: $27,450,296
Last Week: -
Total: $38,029,113
______________________________________________________
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Studio: Paramount Pictures
This Week: $26,853,816
Last Week: -
Total: $38,725,647
______________________________________________________
Valkyrie
Studio: United Artists
This Week: $21,027,007
Last Week: -
Total: $29,520,979
______________________________________________________
Yes Man
Studio: Warner Bros.
This Week: $16,657,046
Last Week: $18,262,471
Total: $49,798,560
______________________________________________________
Seven Pounds
Studio: Columbia Pictures
This Week: $13,203,236
Last Week: $16,000,000
Total: $38,762,647
______________________________________________________
The Tale of Despereaux
Studio: Universal Pictures
This Week: $8,932,625
Last Week: $10,103,675
Total: $27,448,085
______________________________________________________
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $7,697,799
Last Week: $9,890,105
Total: $63,480,184
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The Spirit
Studio: Lionsgate
This Week: $6,463,278
Last Week: -
Total: $10,305,501
______________________________________________________
Doubt
Studio: Miramax
This Week: $5,339,742
Last Week: $680,948
Total: $8,484,863

Thoughts:
Marley & Me surprised alot of people this week and opened big at the box office. The 20th Century Fox produced film made $36 million in 4 days and should cruise past the $120 million mark at the end of its theatrical run. Disney's Bedtime Stories also opened good this week and is another solid opening for Adam Sandler. I was expecting this film to be number 1 this week, but I guess the family friendly flick, Marley & Me was too much even for Mr. Sandler. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the next film from director David Fincher, debuted to a solid $26 million opening. The film that's been getting the most hype lately has also been pretty positive in terms of ratings. Some of the folks I know saw it and said it was great. With a solid opening and positive buzz from people, the hyped fantasy film based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story with the same name, should reach the $100 million mark during its theatrical run.

Director Bryan Singer's long delayed World War II Nazi film, Valkyrie has finally hit theaters and opened to a strong $21 million. I honestly wasn't expecting this film to open too good considering the negative buzz on Tom Cruise lately and the several delays the film had to endure, but I guess I was wrong. I happened to catch this in theaters this week and a review should go up shortly. Last Week's number 1 film, Yes Man fell some spots this week. Though it fell 4 spots, the Jim Carrey film only dipped as low as 8% and I could see it going to $80 million in the coming weeks. The other wide release this week was Frank Miller's The Spirit which bombed pretty bad considering the amount of advertising and theater count its had. The film has been getting alot of negativity so I wouldn't expect it to make much and could possibly fall off the top 10 as soon as next week. I just saw the film yesterday night and a review for it is in the works.

Friday, December 26, 2008

REVIEW: Yes Man


Yes Man

Year: 2008
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Danny Masterson, Rhys Darby
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA: Rated Pg-13

I'm a big Carrey fan and always have been. I think the man can do just about anything if he really puts his time into it. So when I first saw the trailer for Yes Man, I thought it looked pretty fun. I mean sure it didn't look as funny as Bruce Almighty or Dumb & Dumber, but I was still willing to go see it because Carrey was in it. The real question was when?

Plot Outline:
Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is a dull man who is stuck in a dull life. He's been living the same life for three years ever since his girlfriend left him. His best friend Peter (Bradley Cooper) tries to draw him back into life, but Carl remains a hermit, saying no to every invitation he gets. When he accidentally forgets Peter's engagement party Carl decides to change his life drastically. He signs up for a Yes Man seminar by philosophy guru Terrence Bundley (Terrence Stamp) and embraces life by saying yes to any offer that's made to him.

Plot:
The premise of Yes Man isn't really good. I thought the film's plot wasn't really engrossing and it just felt too predictable. I mean a whole movie about a person saying "yes" to everything and getting something special in return? Its like that episode of Seinfeld, where George tries to change his life by saying the opposite of everything and getting a positive reaction back. The problem with that is that it was a 30 min episode compared to an almost hour and half movie here. I just didn't think their was enough material and cohesion to keep the movie following. Its as if they had to keep coming up with ideas even if they weren't related to the story, to keep the movie going such as the scene where Carrey plays the guitar to a stranger trying to jump off a building or the scene where Carry decides to try bungee jumping. Still, Yes Man succeeds in what its best at and that is to entertain you. The movie has a simple plot that's going to be easy to understand and fully get. The characters are easy to relate to and pretty straight forward. The film isn't really as funny as I would have hope for, but it still has a few laughs. I laughed alot more in Bruce Almighty than I did here. I still found some enjoyment in Yes Man, but just not as much as I would have hoped for.

Cast:
Jim Carrey plays as Carl Allen and hes probably the only one in the film that really stands out. I enjoyed his performance here even if it wasn't the best. I give props to Carrey for switching on and off from doing comedies while branching into other genres. I think Carrey can do amazing things when hes not grounded and limited to what he has to do. Zooey Deschanel plays as Allison and shes alright in her role. I didn't really think her character and Carrey's character shared much chemistry, but I thought she was a suitable actress for this job. Bradley Cooper plays as Carl's best friend, Peter. I'm not sure if I have seen him in another movie or not, but hes alright in this movie. He too does a suitable job here, but nothing that's going to stand out. Danny Masterson plays as Carl's other best friend, Rooney. Its nice to see Masterson doing more high profile movies like this after doing That '70s Show, but I'm not particularly sure if he was the right person to be playing this role. He doesn't get enough screen time or much dialogue and I just think hes out of place. He looks alittle too young around the other cast mates.

Picture:
The visual look of Yes Man is mostly great. The film being a new release benefits from a pristine film source. Film grain is not an issue and I wasn't able to detect any. The image was stable and consistent through out the films run time. Colors were pretty darn good with the film showing off alot of different locations. Its vibrant and very pretty to look at. I guess this doesn't come as much of a surprise considering alot of the films scenes are mostly shot outside. Black levels are also pretty strong and hold up well in darker scenes. The film never gets too dark or too bright and manages to keep a well balanced scene. Flesh tones are accurate and mostly natural. They aren't too warm or muddy. Detail is pretty good for the most part. Close up shots show a good amount of detail on the character's faces. Their are a few scenes that I thought could have looked alittle more detailed, but generally this is a good looking film.

Sound:
The films soundtrack is pretty average at best. It doesn't look like the films got its very own score and nor should it. A comedy flick like this shouldn't have epic music to go with the goofy dialogue, but it would be nice if the music we get here was at least satisfying. We get various music ranging from hip/hop to a bunch of melodies. These all sound fine, but I never felt satisfying with the music. I thought it was missing something like a clever tune or something. The film's got a decent amount of bass too. I wasn't expecting the film to blow me away with its bass, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it go alittle higher than what I had originally expected. Its not reference material, but its perfectly fine for a film like this.

Conclusion:
Yes Man is a decent, yet predictable movie. The film's plot feels unstable and not meant for a whole movie. Its easily forgettable and darn predictable. Still, it has plenty of scenes that will entertain you and give you a nice time at the theater. Just don't expect to burst in tears while rolling on the ground laughing. The films cast is pretty good with Jim Carrey showing yet again why hes better than his cast mates. The visual look of the movie is great with alot of vibrant colors and a stable image. The soundtrack isn't all that good and just didn't cut it for me. I mean its perfectly fine for a comedy like this, but I guess I was expecting alittle more. I would recommend you at least check this film out if your bored or looking for a film to see with the family.

Grade: C-

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everybody


Merry Christmas my fellow bloggers and have a safe holiday.

Trailers for 9, State of Play and Monsters vs. Aliens

9

When 9 (Elijah Wood) first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they'll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.
_______________________________________________________
State of Play

D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey (Russell Crowe), whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation's most promising political and corporate figures in "State of Play," from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland").

U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

McCaffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron (Helen Mirren), who has assigned him to investigate. As he and partner Della (Rachel McAdams) try to uncover the killer's identity, McCaffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one's integrity, love or life is ever safe.
_______________________________________________________
Monsters vs. Aliens

When California girl Susan Murphy is unexpectedly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall and is instantly labeled a "monster" named Ginormica. The military jumps into action, and she is captured and held in a secret government compound. The world learns that the military has been quietly rounding up other monsters over the years. Their confinement time is cut short however, when a mysterious
alien robot lands on Earth and begins storming the country.


As a last resort, under the guidance of General W.R. Monger, the motley crew of Monsters is called into action to combat the aliens and save the world from imminent destruction.

Thoughts:
9 looks very weird and creepy, but also kind of interesting. Its nice to see studio's taking a more darker tone with animation and this one looks pretty cool. The cast and crew look solid and I'm interested to see how this film turns out.

State of Play looks alright, but I guess I was just expecting more. I have been keeping an eye on this movie for some time now and when they finally released a trailer for it, it looks alright. I have yet to see The Last King of Scottland, but alot of people said it was great so I have complete faith in this movie. I hope it turns out good.

Monsters vs. Aliens looks definitely like a fun movie. The trailer was pretty funny and I'm down to see this in theaters. The voice talent looks good and the animation looks like it's up to the challenge.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend Boxoffice Numbers


In Order

Yes Man
Studio: Warner Bros.
This Week: $18,262,471
Last Week: -
Total: $18,262,471
__________________________________________________
Seven Pounds
Studio: Columbia Pictures
This Week: $16,000,000
Last Week: -
Total: $16,000,000
__________________________________________________
The Tale of Despereaux
Studio: Universal Pictures
This Week: $10,103,675
Last Week: -
Total: $10,103,675
__________________________________________________
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $9,890,105
Last Week: $30,480,153
Total: $48,366,989
__________________________________________________
Four Christmases
Studio: New Line
This Week: $7,701,375
Last Week: $13,074,470
Total: $100,110,827
__________________________________________________
Twilight
Studio: Summit Entertainment
This Week: $5,189,319
Last Week: $7,951,131
Total: $158,423,218
__________________________________________________
Bolt
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
This Week: $4,256,000
Last Week: $7,464,282
Total: $95,009,000
__________________________________________________
Slumdog Millionaire
Studio: Fox Searchlight
This Week: $3,053,760
Last Week: $2,175,518
Total: $12,037,510
__________________________________________________
Australia
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $2,174,188
Last Week: $4,169,277
Total: $41,796,525
__________________________________________________
Quantum of Solace
Studio: Columbia Pictures
This Week: $2,150,000
Last Week: $3,715,522
Total: $161,300,000

Thoughts:
Looks like it was a slow week this week which isn't much of a surprise considering Christmas is next week. Yes Man debuted to a low $18 million which is much smaller than what I has expected. I was expecting the Jim Carrey hit to gross $20 million at the least, but I guess it isn't much worse than his drama film The Majestic which debuted much lower. I saw the film yesterday night and am currently working on a review which should go up sometime this week. Will Smith's new film Seven Pounds grossed a pretty lukewarm $16 million making it one of Smith's lowest box office opening. The Tale of Despereaux also opened to a low number of $10 million. I was expecting this animated flick to open pretty big considering the number of theaters that carried it, but it flopped pretty bad. The Day the Earth Stood Still dropped pretty hard to the 4th spot. It looks like those negative reviews did their jobs. This certainly hasn't been a good year for good old Fox. Slumdog Millionaire made the top ten and grossed an additional $3 million. It opened in more theaters this week which resulted in more chances for people to go see it. The film is highly rated and has already been nominated many times. I'm still trying to make some time to watch this film.

Fast & Furious Poster Revealed


Universal Pictures has debuted the new poster for Fast & Furious, which is scheduled for an April 3rd release. The studio had already released a trailer for the next installment several months back.

Fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) reignites his feud with agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) in L.A. But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust if they hope to outmaneuver him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines, two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what's possible behind the wheel.

Thoughts:
Poster looks alright, but nothing to brag about. I'm still excited for the movie and I'm glad they brought the whole team back. I always thought the original was the best with the third film coming in second and the second film coming in dead last.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Frank Miller Helming Buck Rogers


Frank Miller and Odd Lot Entertainment, the creator and production company behind upcoming The Spirit are close to teaming again on the classic sci-fi property Buck Rogers.

Odd Lot is in negotiations to option the rights to "Rogers" from Nu Image/Millennium, which obtained those rights this year from the Dille Trust. Millennium is expected to get a credit on the movie but won't be involved in day-to-day production.

Miller will write and direct his own big-screen take on the comic serial; while the creator has only begun to sketch ideas, it's expected to be a darker take, with many of Miller's signature visual elements and themes, such as corruption and redemption.

Thoughts:
Not the biggest fan of Duck Rogers, but I have seen Daffy Duck portray the character on Looney Tunes and enjoyed what he did with it. I think Miller should just concentrate on Sin City 2 first before directing this. I think we have waited long enough for a sequel to one of the best films of 2005.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Universal and Verbinski Plan Online Fantasy Role-Playing Film


Universal and "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski have acquired a 2007 Wall Street Journal article they will use as the basis for a film about the online fantasy role-playing world and its detrimental impact on the real lives of players.

Verbinski will develop the film as a directing vehicle; Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) will pen the script.

The article by Alexandra Alter focuses on a married man who spends as many as 20 hours a day on a computer, existing through an avatar who is a thriving, musclebound entrepreneur. In reality, he is a diabetic, chain-smoking 53-year-old.

Verbinski will produce with Alain Chabat, Stephanie Danan and Sarah Shepard of WAM Films. The project takes root at the studio through Verbinski's Uni-based Blind Wink Prods. banner.

Thoughts:
Sounds kind of interesting. I was waiting for someone to make a film about this and it looks like now is the time. Curious to see how this turns out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rob Zombie Returns For Halloween 2


Rob Zombie is re-teaming with Dimension Films to direct a follow-up to 2007's Halloween entitled H2. Dimension has also released this teaser poster along with the announcement.

"I am very excited to be working with Bob Weinstein again and returning to the world of 'Halloween,'" Zombie says in the press release. "The remake laid the groundwork, now it's time to really take Michael Myers to the next level. I believe we've just barely scratched the surface of where we can take this series."

H2 will pick up at the exact moment the first movie stopped and follow the aftermath of Michael Myers' murderous rampage through the eyes of heroine Laurie Strode. Tyler Mane will reprise his role as Michael Myers; it's unknown if Scout Taylor-Compton or Malcolm McDowell will encore as Laurie and Dr. Loomis, respectively.

Thoughts:
Haven't see the new Halloween remake by Zombie, but I heard it was really bad and stayed away from the original.

Weekend Boxoffice Numbers


In Order

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $30,480,153
Last Week: -
Total: $30,480,153
__________________________________________________
Four Christmases
Studio: New Line
This Week: $13,074,470
Last Week: $16,755,478
Total: $87,775,974
__________________________________________________
Twilight
Studio: Summit Entertainment
This Week: $7,951,131
Last Week: $13,046,722
Total: $150,045,826
__________________________________________________
Bolt
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
This Week: $7,464,282
Last Week: $9,796,149
Total: $88,849,005
__________________________________________________
Australia
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $4,169,277
Last Week: $7,050,261
Total: $37,767,253
__________________________________________________
Quantum of Solace
Studio: Columbia Pictures
This Week: $3,715,522
Last Week: $6,752,390
Total: $157,583,232
__________________________________________________
Nothing Like the Holidays
Studio: Overture Films
This Week: $3,531,664
Last Week: -
Total: $3,531,664
__________________________________________________
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
This Week: $3,181,231
Last Week: $5,079,120
Total: $169,937,394
__________________________________________________
Milk
Studio: Focus Features
This Week: $2,598,638
Last Week: $1,834,914
Total: $7,590,976
__________________________________________________
Transporter 3
Studio: Lionsgate
This Week: $2,351,229
Last Week: $4,668,898
Total: $29,377,088

Thoughts:
Sorry for the late box office news, but I was really busy with work this week. Good opening for The Day the Earth Stood Still, but I was expecting the number to be much higher. This is a good opening for Fox whose last few films (The Rocker, Meet Dave, Space Chimps, Babylon A.D., City of Ember) haven't been the box office smashes the studio had expected them to be. Still, with negative reviews and bad word of mouth, I'm not expecting this film to cross the $100 million mark. Four Christmases stood pretty still and still managed to gross another $13 million, the film is easily on its way to pass the $100 million mark. Twilight is starting to slow down, but that isn't a bad thing. The film has already passed its budget and all this is just icing on the top. Australia is still hanging on and is continuing to try to make back its budget. The film currently sits at almost $38 million with probably another $14 million worldwide. It still isn't enough for the $78 million produced film. Their is already rumors of a February DVD/Blu Ray release. Milk had another good week especially since the film opened in more theaters now. Just got done with the review for it early this week. Easily one of the years best film.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DreamWorks Reveals The I Love You, Man Trailer


I Love You, Man stars Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jaime Pressly, Rashida Jones, Rob Huebel, Jon Favreau, Colleen Crabtree and Caroline Farah. The film centers on a man about to get married who actively seeks out a male friend to be his best man for the wedding.

The DreamWorks Pictures film opens on March 20, 2009.

Thoughts:
The movie looks pretty good. The trailer doesn't look too funny, but I'm sure the movie will turn out great. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are pure gold in terms of comedy.

REVIEW: Milk


Milk

Year: 2008
Director: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna
Distributor: Focus Features
MPAA: Rated R

Milk was easily one of my most anticipated films this Winter season. The films trailer looked really interesting and the reviews were also really amazing. Milk also couldn't have come at the right time of the year. I mean the US presidential election is over and all this talk about Prop 8 was looming around peoples heads, it just couldn't have come at a perfect time than it has. The only problem that kind of got in the way of my viewing was the films limited release. It was released in very few theaters like 36 when it first came out with other theaters having it alittle later. I had to go to a theater that's about 30min's away from my house, but it was so worth it.

Plot Outline:
Based on the true story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and how he was elected as the first openly gay city councilor in San Francisco in 1978. It follows how he got there, how he got people to help him, his various campaigns before, his lovers Scott Smith (James Franco) and Jack Lara (Diego Luna) and to his tragic murder.

Plot:
The film is based on the real life events of Harvey Milk and how he was the first gay person elected city councilor in San Francisco in 1978. Having not read anything about the real Harvey Milk or on what he did, my knowledge on the film was very vague. That still doesn't change the fact that Milk is easily one of the years best films. The story is fantastic and gives you a good amount of detail on Harvey Milk and what he did for what he believed in. Sure the film is predictable considering its based on someones life and anyone who reads about this film on wikipedia will easily know how it ends, but they will also be missing an experience that is every bit worth watching. The film also has many messages that get across nicely and ones that are really well made. Director Gus Van Sant who is a homosexual in real life, takes this film to new heights. Not because hes gay in real life, but because he knows what film he wants to paint on the big screen. He knows exactly what hes doing and treats this film with great care. I cant possibly imagine anyone else directing this film. Sure the film tends to drag alittle in the beginning, but few biopics are as fulfilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking as this film and it could not have come at a better time than now.

Cast:
Sean Penn plays as Harvey Milk and he gives an extraordinary performance as Milk, and one that's probably the best in his career. He melts into his character and you can really tell he was giving his best. Penn lives and breaths as Milk and their is simply no one else in my opinion that could have pulled this off. That Oscar is more than likely headed his way and he more than deserves it for his work in this film. Josh Brolin plays as Dan White and he too is simply great in this film. I'm not sure its the best performance he has ever given, but its sure one of his finest. He plays his part really smooth and is easily the right person to play it opposite Penn. James Franco plays as Scott Smith and hes a nice addition to the cast. He kind of of looks alittle uncomfortable in his naked scenes with Penn, but I think this is a big step up for him compared to his Spider-Man films. Emile Hirsch plays as Cleve Jones and he also gives a great performance. He plays the character Cleve Jones nicely and has a good amount of screen time to show it. I think its probably his finest performance yet. We also have Diego Luna playing as Jack Lira. Here is another fine performance in this already impressive cast. Luna easily adapts to his character and doesn't seem troubled to be playing this part. Probably the best work he has done yet.

Picture:
The visual look of Milk isn't something to brag about. The film although is a new release, has plenty of film grain through out its 2 hour run time. I'm pretty sure it was the filmmakers choice to make this film seem old kind of like how it would appear in the 70's. Theirs also alot of old footage used in the film to give the audience a glimpse of whats going on in that time period. These all look pretty bad, but I guess that was expected considering its old footage. The film's color levels aren't that great and seem to appear alittle muted in some scenes. Black levels are somewhat strong, but still don't hold a candle to some of the best I have seen for films. Some of the darker scenes look alright, but the black levels don't hold up much. Flesh tones seem perfectly fine and you can clearly see the characters faces. Detail is generally good, but aren't the best I have seen for a biopic. Close up shots show a good amount of detail, but it tends to get alittle soft in some of the far away shots.

Sound:
The soundtrack for Milk is pretty good. The film's music is composed by mastermind Danny Elfman. He does another good job here, but his music isn't used much. Their isn't that much music in Milk anyways. The films more dialogue rather than music which isn't a bad thing, but I would have preferred both. Still, Elfman's work here is another winner and it really helps move the film in a way. Milk isn't going to move anyone in terms of its bass. Like I said, this is very much a dialogue driven film so any bass we get is perfectly fine considering the film is a biopic. Dynamics are hardly used and it seems more front heavy in my opinion. The bass that we do get is hardly reference material, but honestly, its perfectly fine for this film. Its not like anyone was expecting it to blow our minds anyway.

Conclusion:
Milk is a fulfilling, entertaining, and a thought-provoking film that many biopics these day simply aren't. Its wonderfully told and nicely directed by Gus Van Sant. The films story is simply great and really engaging. Sure its pacing seems alittle off at times, but its little to fault with. The cast is equally impressive and has many strong performances. I'll be damn amazed if Sean Penn doesn't win Best Actor because he truly deserves it for his work in this film. The visual look of the film is very difficult to judge. The film doesn't look very impressive because I think it was the filmmakers decision to make the film seem old and grainy, but it also has a pretty good amount of detail. The soundtrack is pretty good with Elfman's score delivering the job, but only when its their. Milk is truly the movie to see in a time like this. Its riveting and really interesting. Its easily one of the years best film.

Grade: A-

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stephen Norrington to Reinvent The Crow


Stephen Norrington has signed on to write and direct a reinvention of The Crow, based on the comic created by James O'Barr.

Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media is negotiating with producer Ed Pressman to acquire the film franchise and finance the film.

Pressman produced the 1994 Alex Proyas-directed adaptation, in which rock musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) is murdered trying to rescue his girlfriend from thugs, and returns from the dead one year later to exact vengeance.

For Norrington, The Crow deal marks the end of a long screen sabbatical. After making his breakthrough with Blade, Norrington took on a big-budget comic transfer with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Neither the director nor his star, Sean Connery, has made a feature film since.

Thoughts:
Haven't seen "The Crow", but I know its got a certain fan base. Not really sure about the director. I mean he hasn't directed a movie since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which was awhile ago, but than again, he directed the first Blade film which was actually pretty good.

Fox Unleashes Wolverine Trailer


20th Century Fox has now officially revealed the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Opening May 1st, the Gavin Hood-directed action-thriller stars Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Will.i.am, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney and Lynn Collins. The prequel tells the story of Wolverine's epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program.

Thoughts:
Looks really good and it just goes to show you that Jackman was born to play Wolverine. This trailer was much more action packed than the Comic-Con footage I saw. As you can tell, the film looks much different than the X-Men films and looks to take a more serous route than those films.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hugh Jackman to Host 81st Academy Awards!


Hugh Jackman will host the 81st Academy Awards® telecast, producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon announced today. This will be Jackman's first time center stage at the Oscar show, although he has previously been a presenter.

"Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star," said Mark and Condon in a joint statement. "He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year's movies – and to have fun doing it."

Jackman stars in the current release Australia, directed by Baz Luhrmann. He will next be seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, having portrayed the title character in the previous three smash-hit "X-Men" movies. His other film credits include The Prestige, Flushed Away, The Fountain, Happy Feet, Van Helsing, Kate & Leopold and Swordfish.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Thoughts:
That's really surprising because I thought they might go with Jon Stewart again, but oh well. I think Jackman is a good choice and I'm sure he will do fine.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Two New Photos For Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds


Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds stars Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Bruhl, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, B.J. Novak, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Paul Rust, Michael Bacall, Omar Doom, Sylvester Groth, Julie Dreyfus, Jacky Ido, August Diehl, Martin Wuttke, Richard Sammel, Christian Berkel, Sonke Mohring, Michael Fassbender, Mike Myers, Rod Taylor, Denis Menochet, Cloris Leachman, Maggie Cheung and Samuel L. Jackson.

The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures film opens in theaters June 2009.

Thoughts:
I'm a big fan of Tarantino and his Pulp Fiction is still my favorite film of all time. So I'm really stoked about this film. The cast also looks weird, but also alittle exciting at the same time since you don't know how this is going to pan out. 2009 is surely going to be a fun year for movies.

International Poster for The Unborn


Empire magazine has debuted the new international poster for writer/director David S. Goyer's The Unborn, starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Carla Gugino, Jane Alexander, Idris Elba, Rhys Coiro and James Remar.

The film opens in theaters on January 9.

Thoughts:
Wow, that chick is sure damn hot. Poster looks alright and the film looks somewhat interesting. I saw the trailer for it and it actually looks alittle scary. Scary movies tend to not be that scary, but this film actually looks pretty darn creepy from the trailer they have shown us.

66th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees


Best Motion Picture - Drama

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Frost/Nixon (2008)
The Reader (2008)
Revolutionary Road (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)


Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Burn After Reading (2008)
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
In Bruges (2008)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio for Revolutionary Road (2008)
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Sean Penn for Milk (2008)
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008)
Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008)
Kristin Scott Thomas for Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (2008)
Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road (2008)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Javier Bardem for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Colin Farrell for In Bruges (2008)
James Franco for Pineapple Express (2008)
Brendan Gleeson for In Bruges (2008)
Dustin Hoffman for Last Chance Harvey (2008)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Rebecca Hall for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Frances McDormand for Burn After Reading (2008)
Meryl Streep for Mamma Mia! (2008)
Emma Thompson for Last Chance Harvey (2008)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Tom Cruise for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Ralph Fiennes for The Duchess (2008)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008)
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Amy Adams for Doubt (2008)
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Viola Davis for Doubt (2008)
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)
Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)


Best Director - Motion Picture

Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Sam Mendes for Revolutionary Road (2008)


Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt (2008): John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon (2008): Peter Morgan
The Reader (2008): David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Simon Beaufoy


Best Original Song - Motion Picture

Bolt (2008)("I Thought I Lost You")
Cadillac Records (2008)("Once in a Lifetime")
Gran Torino (2008)("Gran Torino")
WALL·E (2008)("Down to Earth")
The Wrestler (2008)("The Wrestler")


Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Changeling (2008): Clint Eastwood
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Alexandre Desplat
Defiance (2008): James Newton Howard
Frost/Nixon (2008): Hans Zimmer
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman


Best Animated Film

Bolt (2008)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
WALL·E (2008)


Best Foreign Language Film

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008)
Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (2008)
Gomorra (2008)
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (2008)
Waltz with Bashir (2008)


Best Television Series - Drama

"Dexter" (2006)
"House M.D." (2004)
"In Treatment" (2008)
"Mad Men" (2007)
"True Blood" (2007)


Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

"Californication" (2007)
"Entourage" (2004)
"The Office" (2005)
"30 Rock" (2006)
"Weeds" (2005)


Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Bernard and Doris (2007)
"Cranford" (2007)
"John Adams" (2008)
A Raisin in the Sun (2008) (TV)
Recount (2008) (TV)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Ralph Fiennes for Bernard and Doris (2007)
Paul Giamatti for "John Adams" (2008)
Kevin Spacey for Recount (2008) (TV)
Kiefer Sutherland for 24: Redemption (2008) (TV)
Tom Wilkinson for Recount (2008) (TV)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Judi Dench for "Cranford" (2007)
Catherine Keener for An American Crime (2007)
Laura Linney for "John Adams" (2008)
Shirley MacLaine for Coco Chanel (2008) (TV)
Susan Sarandon for Bernard and Doris (2007)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)
Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)
Kevin Connolly for "Entourage" (2004)
David Duchovny for "Californication" (2007)
Tony Shalhoub for "Monk" (2002)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Christina Applegate for "Samantha Who?" (2007)
America Ferrera for "Ugly Betty" (2006)
Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)
Debra Messing for "The Starter Wife" (2008)
Mary-Louise Parker for "Weeds" (2005)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama

Gabriel Byrne for "In Treatment" (2008)
Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)
Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers for "The Tudors" (2007)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama

Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters" (2006)
Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)
January Jones for "Mad Men" (2007)
Anna Paquin for "True Blood" (2007)
Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother" (2005)
Denis Leary for Recount (2008) (TV)
Jeremy Piven for "Entourage" (2004)
Blair Underwood for "In Treatment" (2008)
Tom Wilkinson for "John Adams" (2008)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Eileen Atkins for "Cranford" (2007)
Laura Dern for Recount (2008) (TV)
Melissa George for "In Treatment" (2008)
Rachel Griffiths for "Brothers & Sisters" (2006)
Dianne Wiest for "In Treatment" (2008)


Thoughts:
Pretty good list, but their are a few that seem alittle unusual like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder and James Franco for Pineapple Express. Also surprised about Milk not getting more nominations. I thought it was simply fantastic and easily one of the years best. Winners will be announced on Sunday, January 11th.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Terminator Salvation Trailer Now Online


Warner Bros. Pictures has brought online the new domestic trailer for Terminator Salvation! Directed by McG, the May 22nd opener stars Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Common, Jadagrace and Helena Bonham Carter.

In the highly anticipated new installment of "The Terminator" film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet's operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

Thoughts:
The trailer looks very "meh" to me. I was expecting much more from this movie, but that trailer wasn't impressive. The end part of that trailer looked simply ridiculous and not Terminator like. I still think it was a bad idea giving McG (Charlie's Angels, We Are Marshall) the directors chair. I'm also going to be pissed if they don't have Arnold Schwarzenegger doing at least a cameo for the film since he is and will always be the only Terminator in my book. I guess were going to have to wait and see, but my excitement level for this film just went down.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

REVIEW: Casino


Casino

Year: 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Frank Vincent
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

To tell you the truth, I really haven't been paying too much attention to director Martin Scorsese. Its not that I hate him or anything, its just I haven't come across his films as often as some other films. I have honestly only seen two films from him which were The Aviator and The Departed. Yes, I'm ashamed to say I didn't see the popular mob flick Goodfellas or the Oscar winning performance of De Niro in Raging Bull. The reason why I decided to take the plunge on Casino was because it was showing on TV today and I frankly didn't have much to do. Also because its been something that was on the back of my mind when the recent Blu Ray version of the film hit streets.

Plot Outline:
Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert De Niro) is a fantastic bookie who is chosen to run the Tangiers hotel and casino. Along the way, he marries a drug-addicted con-artist trophy wife named Ginger (Sharon Stone) and struggles with his friendship with loose-cannon Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) who is sent by the mob to keep Ace out of trouble. Rothstein is a complicated figure that wields a lot of power due to the respect he has gained from his mob bosses back home.

Plot:
The story is based on the book "Casino" by Nicholas Pileggi and Larry Shandling. Having not read the book, I'm not sure how much of the film is ripped from the book and how much is different. The film's story is actually really interesting and really entertaining. My eyes were literally glued to the TV screen after every scene. I just couldn't move away from this fascinating story as it kept growing. I'm not sure if it was just the witty dialogue or the serious tone of the film, but I just couldn't look away. The characters are all different in many ways and yet very believable. I was also impressed with the films setting. Judging by the films title, it was pretty obvious where the film would take place, but I really enjoyed the Las Vegas setting. I thought it fit very well with the films story and it was just an interesting location to look at. The film is also nicely directed by Oscar winner, Martin Scorsese. Scorsese really brings this film to life with the direction he went. If their is one thing that I really didn't enjoy in this film, its the documentary type voice over. The film has alot of these where a certain character of the film talks over on what hes doing in the scene. This isn't a big problem for me, but it does make the audience alittle irritated when they keep doing this in later scenes too.

Cast:
Robert De Niro plays as the main character of the film, Sam "Ace" Rothstein. He gives a great performance that is very enjoyable and very effective. His work is believable and really interesting to watch. I cant say anyone else would have played this part as good as De Niro. Sharon Stone plays as the crack head, money loving Ginger McKenna. She gives an Oscar worthy performance that I thought worked very well. She was very much in character and gave some serious effort. Its a shame she didn't win that Oscar because she really deserved it. Joe Pesci plays as Ace's psychotic friend, Nicky Santoro. Pesci is also another one that gives a great performance. His character "Nicky" is very smart and short tempered. Hes the type of person that doesn't give a shit if your a minute late or off by just alittle, he will still kill you if you don't do what he tells you to do. Pesci really brought this character to life and I really really enjoyed him in this film. We also have James Woods playing as Lester Diamond. He too gives a good performance that's enjoyable. I have been a fan of Woods for some time now and it was nice to see him playing this funny character.

Picture:
The visual look of Casino is surprisingly great. I saw this film on the AMC channel which is famous for old films and also famous for making films that aren't too old look old. Casino on that channel looked great for a film of its age. The films source is an excellent condition and I wasn't able to detect any film grain. Colors are very vibrant and really makes the film shine. Las Vegas has never looked this deep and colorful. Every little thing is nicely colored and has that lush look to it that makes it very pretty. Flesh tones are spot on perfect and hold up very well even in some of the darker scenes. Detail is very strong for a film that's now 13 years old. Close up shots show some good clarity and rich detail on peoples faces. From the type of clothing to the shiny bright lights of Vegas, Casino never fails to look anything other than spectacular.

Sound:
The soundtrack for the film is also a winner. The film features many music here and their that all sound just wonderful. Even though the film is pretty heavily dialogue driven, it still manages to gives us some awesome music to go with whats on screen. The film also never stops having music in the background which is a good thing for me since I don't mind more music as long as it sounds good and goes with the scene. For a film like this with alot of talking and heavy dialogue, you wouldn't expect much from the films bass, but you would be surprised. Casino actually has a good amount of bass that I thought sounded good. Sure it isn't pure reference like Transformers or any other live action film, but it still is good for a film of its nature. Dynamics are alright, but the film is mostly front heavy since theirs alot of dialogue.

Conclusion:
Casino is a fascinating film and one that gets better with each viewing. I wasn't expecting this film to be this good, but it really is. I haven't been sucked into a films story this much in a long time. I think I enjoyed it alittle more than Scorsese's latest flick, The Departed. The story is intriguing and petty engaging. The characters are all interesting and fun to watch. The cast is great with almost everyone giving out great performances. The visual look of the film is surprisingly great even if its on the AMC channel. For a now 13 year old film, Casino looks pretty damn impressive. The films soundtrack is also very good with alot of music that goes so well with whats going on. I can recommend this film to those looking for a great movie or if your a big Scorsese fan.

Grade: B

Transformers 2 Teaser Coming In February


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen director Michael Bay has posted an update on his official forum:

"Hey everyone. Back from Egypt and Jordan - we had a wonderful shoot over there. I will miss the crew they were an amazing bunch of people and a lot of fun. I'm stuck in the edit room up to my eye balls - also finished producing Friday the 13th and The Unborn - coming out the after the new year. Our Trailer for Transformer you have been asking about - First there will be a teaser poster soon after the new year, and the teaser trailer will be out either in the theaters early Feb. or on the Superbowl. Cannot decide yet. I'm going to release some set stills on this site in a few weeks. I'll keep you informed. Going back to do more selects now from my portable avid that I take home from work. It's late, see you."

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits theaters and IMAX on June 26, 2009.

Thoughts:
That's actually pretty soon and I'm somewhat stoked for a first glimpse of the next Transformers film. I thought the first film was very entertaining and cant wait to see how much more cooler the sequel is going to be.

Keanu Reeves Will Topline 47 Ronin


Keanu Reeves (The Day the Earth Stood Still) will star in 47 Ronin, an epic period film for Universal Pictures based on the true tale of a band of samurai swordsmen who avenged the death of their master in 18th century Japan.

Chris Morgan, who co-wrote Wanted and penned the upcoming Fast & Furious for Universal, is writing the script. Scott Stuber will produce through his Stuber Productions.

Reeves will play one of the swordsmen; the group and their master are revered in Japan for their revenge attack on Dec. 14, 1702.

The film will tell a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in "The Lord of the Rings" films, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator.

Thoughts:
Not sure if Keanu Reeves is the ideal person to be playing this part, but I guess were going to have to wait and see. The story doesn't sound too interesting either.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend Boxoffice Numbers


In Order

Four Christmases
Studio: New Line
This Week: $16,755,478
Last Week: $46,054,468
Total: $69,418,170
________________________________________________
Twilight
Studio: Summit Entertainment
This Week: $13,046,722
Last Week: $26,344,032
Total: $138,402,068
________________________________________________
Bolt
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
This Week: $9,796,149
Last Week: $26,581,002
Total: $79,381,422
________________________________________________
Australia
Studio: 20th Century Fox
This Week: $7,050,261
Last Week: $20,004,456
Total: $30,919,097
________________________________________________
Quantum of Solace
Studio: Columbia Pictures
This Week: $6,752,390
Last Week: $18,833,552
Total: $151,620,134
________________________________________________
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
This Week: $5,079,120
Last Week: $14,207,329
Total: $165,653,852
________________________________________________
Transporter 3
Studio: Lionsgate
This Week: $4,668,898
Last Week: $18,230,758
Total: $25,549,454
________________________________________________
Punisher: War Zone
Studio: Lionsgate
This Week: $4,271,451
Last Week: -
Total: $4,271,451
________________________________________________
Cadillac Records
Studio: Sony Pictures
This Week: $3,445,559
Last Week: -
Total: $3,445,559
________________________________________________
Role Models
Studio: Universal Pictures
This Week: $2,574,460
Last Week: $5,191,180
Total: $61,617,805

Thoughts:
Looks like a slow week this week at the boxoffice. Four Christmases still has the number one spot. I can see the film going on to make a good $95 - $100 million in its official run. Twilight bounced back this week to take the number two spot from Bolt. The film is currently at $138 million and has passed its $37 million budget some time ago. Bolt is continuing to do well and should finish near the $100 million spot. Australia moved up one spot from last week, but is it enough? The $78 million produced film currently sits at $30 million and is going to need some strong word of mouth if it wants to at the least make its budget back. Transporter 3 didn't move any spots and is only at $25 million. The film is probably going to be the lowest one in the trilogy. Speaking of another Lionsgate film, Punisher: War Zone, the only new wide release this week has bombed at the boxoffice. The film was made for $35 million and has only grossed $4 million on its opening weekend and is much lower than the first Punisher film. I guess its time they just leave that franchise alone and maybe give it another reboot like 6-7 years from now.