Friday 14 December 2012

Man of Steel Trailer

It's finally here, the Man of Steel trailer and I know you all have probably seen it a million times already, but I wanted to give my two cents on it and what this new Superman film means to me. First off, let's check out this stupendous trailer... If you've already seen it, feel free to just skip ahead, I am late to this party after all.

Wow! First, the music is haunting and epic, a hero's call to adventure. This step here is what Marvel fails to grasp with their movies. Their movies are awesome, fun and I adore them. Will watch them over and over, but this right here, this music lets us know that we are going to watch a myth unfold, something that will inspire and stir the soul. Melodramatic, maybe, but think about the Marvel trailers with their hard rock scores, their driving beats. It says roller coaster thrill ride, screaming through the skies at Mach 3. It does not say legend in the way this does. I was immediately put into the mind of Gladiator, not Angus Young and martial arts films.

Then we have Henry Cavill, our new incarnation of Clark Kent, the latest to don the mantle of the icon that is Superman. From what I see here, he takes up the torch left by the Superman of my heart, Christopher Reeve, and goes forward, seeming to make the role his own. The expression in his eyes, his movements, he is far removed and above the nice, but ultimately flat performance of Brandon Routh.

Finally, there is no comic relief here,  no cartoonish Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor. With Michael Shannon as General Zod in this clip along with the military, the arrest, that brief holding of hands with Lois, the incredible Amy Adams, this is going to be a mythic journey that will see Superman break then come back stronger. I also love the scenes from his childhood, how Mr. Kent, Kevin Costner, tells Clark that he maybe should have let those kids die. This is a father in a raw moment wanting to protect his child no matter what.

I was so moved by this trailer and it brought me right back to that stirring of the heart that I got when I first saw Christopher Reeve oh so long ago. I can't wait for this movie. What did you all think?

Tuesday 4 September 2012

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

I was shocked and saddened to learn that awesome actor, Michael Clarke Duncan, passed away Monday morning, September 3, at the age of 54. He'd been hospitalized since July 13 with a heart ailment. With over 90 film, television and voice credits to his name, the former bodyguard turned actor was perhaps best known for his roles in The Green Mile, The Scorpion King, Daredevil, Sin City, Planet of the Apes and Armageddon.

Monday 30 July 2012

Fast And Furious 6 News

 I loved last year's Fast Five, it was a full throttle epic with hot cars and hot men, but I am on fire for Fast and Furious 6. We are getting some scintillating new cast members and an even bigger story. Joining Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are former original cast mate and Machete Kills star Michelle Rodriguez reprising her role of Dom's girl, Letty. Seems the rumors of her demise were greatly exaggerated according to the after credits of Fast Five. Check it.

If that isn't enough amp your interest, Gina Carano, former MMA fighter and star of the killer flick Haywire joins the fray as well as British hottie Clara Paget, star of St. Trinian's II and Johnny English Reborn. They are both set to play some badass bitches. Also joining this killer cast is gorgeous The Raven star Luke Evans and Indonesian martial arts master and actor, Joe Taslim of The Raid. Rounding out this film is Tyrese Gibson who returns as Roman Pearce.

Fast and Furious 6 is directed by Justin Lin and due to hit theaters on May 24 of 2013.

Saturday 28 July 2012

The First Catwoman: Julie Newmar

In light of the smash hit The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway as the newest incarnation of the villainous Catwoman, I thought you all might a like stroll down memory lane with the elegant Julie Newmar, who first portrayed Catwoman on the old Batman television series from 1966-68. Here she is with Michael Yo, giving us some insights into working with Adam West and what she thinks of the new Nolan films.

I adored Julie as well as the equally marvelous Eartha Kitt. They both embodied the slinky, sexy gracefulness of Catwoman as she was originally imagined.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Epic Conclusion To The Superhero Trilogy

The Dark Knight Rises opens eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, in spectacular fashion with a jaw-dropping jailbreak at 30,000 feet. Super villain Bane crashes a plane and kills CIA agents along with one of his own,  all to obtain the services of one Russian scientist, who had eluded him.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er Gotham,  they are celebrating Harvey Dent Day (WTF?). It would appear that the Powers The Be in Gotham have created themselves a gigantic bull shit sandwich and are gnoshing with relish at the seemingly perfect world they have fashioned out of lies and corruption. Underhanded dealings are all good when you put the "bad" guys away. In this New World Order, Batman is still Gotham's Most Wanted and everything else, including the League of Shadows, is second banana. Bruce has hung up his suit, mothballed the Bat Mobile and sealed the Bat Cave. He resides at Wayne Manor, a broken, grieving man who is just counting the ticks of the clock until he can either end his misery or find another outlet.

His big depressive brood comes to a halt when Selina Kyle shakes his ass up by stealing his fingerprints and helping herself to his mother's pearls. More scales are ripped away by police officer John Blake, who proceeds to tell him that the orphanage supported by Wayne Industries is no longer receiving aid. Suddenly there just might be some purpose to his existence again. While Bruce finally ditches his pity party, Commissioner Gordon is injured in a seeming random crime gone wrong whereby he discovers a strange underground army forming. Evil is afoot in Gotham and there's going to be hell to pay times ten. It's Batman time.

Oh Dark Knight Rises, how do I love thee? I was strapped in and ready for action from the opening seconds and was impressed to nth degree. Nolan's gritty, relentlessly dark story is perfect for this conclusion. Bruce is the Dark Knight, he's not Spider-man. You want hopeful, fun, go watch Spidey and Lizard man one more time. This is pure doom, gloom and then some. As it should be. There were some slow, lighter scenes, Nolan teasing us for sure, but they were all drama heavy and necessary to the plot. Speaking of... All the twists and threads were mind-blowing and a bit hard to keep track of at times, but ultimately it was okay as everything made sense by the end. I thought Nolan used all the characters effectively, doling out their secrets in small doses for just the right impact There a couple of times I was left looking like a slack-jawed yokel. 

The f/x were dazzling. Not as many as in The Dark Knight, but not necessary for this film. They were just plain cool and hard core, especially the plane escape at the start and the collapse of the football field as poor Hines Ward is returning the kickoff.  Wally Pfister's cinematography is fantastic, allowing the architecture and vibe of Pittsburgh to shine through just like Chicago in the first two.

Image from Ron Phillips

As far as acting. we of course, got the goods from Christian, Morgan, Michael and Gary. They delivered their usual outstanding performances, though I found myself wanting a little more screen time with Lucius. However, Anne Hathaway blew me out of the water as Selina Kyle aka Cat Woman. Holy smokes did she deliver for the ladies and completely erase that rubber-suited slut bag performance by Halle Berry. She was smart, tough, and fast on her feet...In a word, badass. I'm sorry I ever doubted her because she needs her own movie right now. And there was my lovely Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the honest, eager cop John Blake. What a raw, earnest performance. He was a real hero, right up there with Batman. Tom Hardy gave a Herculean effort as Bane, he was scary, enigmatic and brilliant. Did not match the psychosis of Heath Ledger as The Joker, but he was terrifying. And for the critics who kept complaining that Bane and Batman were indecipherable, what movie were you watching? I understood every syllable they uttered. When a movie is this good, though, they need to nit pick.

Nolan totally pulled out all the stops on The Dark Knight Rises. It is an impressive, high-octane, grim action flick that delivers in every way. Is it better than The Dark Knight? No. The story this time was less about Batman and more about drawing closure. In that regard it's like the other third films in the great trilogies out there where the second film is always the best. Empire Strikes Back is better than Return of the Jedi and The Two Towers is better than Return of the King...You get the picture. This is a stellar conclusion to an epic trilogy, though,  and I can't wait to see it again. And again.


The end has many people agog, believing that what Alfred sees at the end is truth because well, the whole autopilot thing. And you know that Nolan loves to mess with our minds and keep us guessing. However, I don't think so. It is an illusion, a dream of Alfred's like the others . Bruce is dead. D-E-A-D. And not metaphorically, either. Why? Well, he's been basically on suicide watch since his parents were killed, but most especially since Rachel. Wayne has never been a happy man, it's not in his DNA. The only thing that gave him purpose was vengeance and that has been eating away at him. He's tired.

Furthermore, Bruce/Batman was stabbed mortally by Miranda aka Talia al Ghul. I thought the Batsuit was supposed to stop knives, but we all saw it go in and her twist it. So yeah, he's bleeding out. He got up, though, and pulled it together adrenaline style one last time for Gotham, like Maximus did for Rome in Gladiator. .Miranda's "keep him alive" was akin to Commodus' "bind him, so no one sees the wound."Anything else would be poor contrivance on the part of the writers and lessons the overall impact. The entire trilogy was geared towards the death of Batman. The Dark Knight had to die for a new one to rise to take his place. Bruce Wayne and his Batman are ash city with no happily ever after. Go ahead and call me brutal, say I'm wrong, but that's what I choose to believe. Some characters, like some people just don't get that happily ever after. They were born to pain and darkness. Period. End of story. It's the way the world works. Then again, there's always reincarnation...

Saturday 21 July 2012

Hell To Yeah! Man of Steel Teaser Trailer

Here it is my peeps, the official teaser trailer for next summer's most anticipated film, Man of Steel. I so cannot wait for this one.
Looks fantastic, but it also looks like Superman is having some issues about who he is. What do you think? I love the music, the voice over and that glimpse of the blazing jet Superman leaving contrails in the sky. It should be epic.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

I'll be the first to admit that I was prepared to thoroughly hate this film for several reasons. ONE: It's only been handful of years since Raimi's last Spider Man film. TWO: I got the impression that Marvel was trying to win over the Twilight crowd by hiring R-Patts twin, Andrew Garfield. And THREE: Hollywood and Marvel wanted to take Peter right back to high school and start over with his origin story AGAIN. Never mind that Peter has been an adult in his comics and cartoons for like three decades. Anyway...

So it was with a sense of deep-seated skepticism that I entered the theater on Sunday to see The Amazing Spider-Man. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Garfield pulled off the loveable dork that is Peter Parker very well. He imbued his Parker with a sense of awkwardness and vulnerability, yet captured that inner steel core that makes Peter rise to heroic heights once he gets his spidey powers. He has fun with his new-found powers, has those moments of WTFery as he discovers he can climb walls and oh yeah, that his hands now stick to things. Like ladies blouses. A side note: poor Tia Texada, gone from badass TV cop to subway eye candy.

Director Marc Webb certainly amped up Spidey's story, showing us a bit more about Peter's parents and utilizing some wonderful f/x that had my jaw agape a few times. He also fleshed out Uncle Ben and Aunt May a bit more with the incredible Sally Field and Martin Sheen in the respective roles. And I love, LOVE the fact that he dumped that eternal screaming damsel in distress, Mary Jane Watson, in favor of the smart, thinks-on-her-feet, Gwen Stacy, played by the awesome Emma Stone. For the first time I was not seized with the impulse to backhand Peter's love interest into next week. Props, Mr. Webb for giving Peter an actual partner and not some pretty toy who is basically good for nothing.

Rhys Ifans gave a great performance as Dr. Connors, the brilliant scientist turned super villain, who once worked with Peter's father. He showed us Connors' torment over the loss of his arm and his desire to help others while also giving us the arrogance that gets magnified when he injects himself with the serum. I also enjoyed Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy, a realistic hard ass unlike the comedic J. Jonah Jamison.

Okay, now we come to the not so good, the writing. What do you call having Peter's father be the scientist who develops the spider that bites Peter? Contrivance. In all capital letters. I mean, really? That's just lazy writing. You can play with the source material to a certain degree, but this is messing with the very heart of the story. And what happened to the Big Secrets of Richard Parker's past, the plot point that drove the trailer fever? A lot was left out or quickly glossed over until the Easter egg after the first credits. The writers were apparently already anticipating sequels. I hate when they save everything for sequels. Use your imagination more. And I'm also disappointed that they left out the immortal Spider-Man line "With great power comes great responsibility." How can you leave out THE line every one knows and loves from the comics?

The Amazing Spider-Man is a good summer action flick that I enjoyed and will see again. Not in the movies though. I'm saving for multiple trips to see The Dark Knight Rises.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

RIP Nora Ephron

I normally don't talk about the passing of celebrities here, but Nora Ephron was definitely one of the most groundbreaking women in Hollywood. Writer, director, producer, actress, essayist, journalist... she did it all. She made a name for herself in the Boys Club of Hollywood and cut a wider trail for those women who came after.

Nora wrote fifteen screenplays, including Heartburn (based on her novel), Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Michael, You've Got Mail and most recently, Julie & Julia. She also co-authored the Drama Desk Award winning play, Love, Loss and What I Wore.

She directed eight films, writing the screenplays for seven of them. When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle and Silkwood were all nominated for Best Original Screenplay. In addition to her work in film, Nora was also an accomplished author. She wrote five essay collections, including the NY Times bestsellers I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Reflections On Being A Woman and A Wallflower At the Orgy. 

Nora is an iconic creative spirit who redefined the genre of romantic comedy. She inspired countless women, including yours truly with her work. 

She is survived by her husband, author and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi of Goodfellas renown.

Saturday 23 June 2012

It's Here!! The First Trailer For Django Unchained

OMG, my friends! I hate using that expression, makes me sound like a giddy tweener, but hey, this is the trailer for Tarantino's new flick, Django Unchained,  and I am fourteen year old Justin Bieber fan excited. So no more talking, let's get to watching.

How epic was that? I love the look. Leo rocks it as Calvin Candie and well Christoph and Jamie, there are no words for how incredibly badass they are. I know I am going to be first in line this Christmas. So, honestly, what do you all think? Pedal to the metal in a muscle car awesome? Who cares? Or I'd rather have my eyes removed than watch another Tarantino flick? Talk to me.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Battleship: Light It Up, Baby!

When I first heard Hasbro was doing a live action film based on the board game from my childhood, I was like, WTF? Seriously, how you gonna bring plastic ships and pegs to life and more importantly, why?  I could not even conceive of anything unless it was some World War II tale because hey, battleships have long since been retired from the high seas.Was I in for a rush...

There is nothing I love more than a hard rockin, full-throttle, guns blazin' good time movie and Battleship served it up in spades. It had all the requisite components for an epic thrill ride. You got your screwed up protag who has to rise to the occasion like good heroes are supposed to do, you got your world threat, your hot eye candy, your spectacular f/x, your AC/DC tunes and, AND you got your true life heroes coming aboard for the ride to make this look extra cool.

If you have not turned off your brains by fifteen minutes in, I strongly suggest you do so.  There's not much to ruminate on, Battleship is built for action, not thinking. It takes a cast of typical action fare characters, throws in a few unexpected people, adds in a dash of subplot, then lets it rain fire and destruction. It's not particularly inventive, but it's high octane fun. The f/x are hardcore, mind-blowing sequences that will leave you going "hell yeah."

My fave part, though, is how they actually brought the battleship to Battleship. The USS Missouri hasn't looked this awesome in decades. I once stood on the deck of the Mighty Mo before she became a museum. And what a ship she is. I was living in Seattle while she was moored at the Bremerton shipyards along with  another Iowa class battleship, the USS Iowa. I can tell you that there are few experiences that compare with walking the deck of a warship. My memories made this movie just a little bit more kick ass.

So if you are looking for nothing but a good time, check your brains at the door, indulge in a huge popcorn and have yourself a hellagood time with Battleship.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Django Unchained: A First Look

Calling Tarantino fans, calling all Tarantino fans... Check out the brilliant production stills from his newest film Django Unchained, which is due to drop Christmas Day here in the States. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington and Zoe Bell, Django is Q's loving tribute to the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood genre of the Spaghetti  Western.

Saturday 24 March 2012

21 Jump Street: "Own Your Stereotypes, MFers."

I will be the first to stand up and admit that there was no way in the H-E double hockey sticks that I wanted 21 Jump Street the movie to be made. The original show was MINE. It was where my 26 year love affair with Johnny Depp was cemented. Then I saw the trailer and was like WTFH? A comedy? Oh so oh no, what blasphemy! However, some good tweeps and blog buddies, whose opinions I have grown to value, gave it great reviews. Then my sidekick aka The Nephew, wanted to see it. One arm twist and some big brown eyes later, off I went.

Friday 16 March 2012

John Carter

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom tales roared onto the screens this past weekend with John Carter and it was A plus amazing. This was a special f/x extravaganza that just blew my mind with an epic tale of Good vs. Evil that held me enthralled for two hours.

Thursday 23 February 2012

The Woman In Black

I had been dying to see this film as I love horror and most especially a great ghost story. I grew up fearing Bloody Mary in my bathroom mirror and am still trying to work up the nerve to enter Bachelor Grove Cemetery. Anyway, I got to see this on Monday and surprise! I was all alone in the darkened theater. Booyah! Cue the scary music.

Monday 20 February 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

My love for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson knows no bounds and I went to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island because he is one of the stars. Okay, well that and my nephew begged me to take him and his friend and I can't resist their cuteness. That is how I found myself at the theater last Saturday surrounded by kids and wearing, brace yourselves, 3D glasses. Now, I've written about my loathing of 3D many a time and fully intended to see the non-queasy version, but they only had one showing and that had been sold out. So, there I was wearing those damned glasses and 26 bucks lighter in the wallet for the two tickets.

Journey 2 is a rif slash sequel to 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brendan Fraser. Using the fiction of Jules Verne, Jonathan Swift and Robert Louis Stevenson as a takeoff for the adventure, the film centers on Sean, Fraser's nephew from the first movie. We pick up with the kid's life years after his amazing adventure with Uncle B and plot hole the first: What happened to the dough accumulated from the big ass diamonds from the original film? We never get that explanation. All we see is him being a miserable little so and so with 'tude to spare. Enter Hank, the Stepfather aka The Rock. He's a pretty cool guy and their relationship feels authentic with Hank trying too hard to be nice and Sean being extra-resistant. There is some great chemistry between them.

In order to try and bond with Sean, Hank helps him decipher a bizarre message sent from some mysterious coordinates. The message is supposedly from Sean's grandfather, who disappeared while looking for Jules Verne's fabled island. There's always some "mysterious" coordinates/map/message/emergency beacon/email from Nigeria to get the ball rolling. If it ain't broke, I guess. Anyway, without protest from Mom or any other logical arguments, Sean promptly takes time off of school to head to Palau. And if you're wondering how the eff he can do that no questions asked, why he's an A student. Gee, I was an A student and my father would have laughed, then kicked my ass if I decided to check out of school mid-year for a big damned vacation.

I digress.

Once on Palau, we get a few moments of Sean being a know-it-all before his comeuppance, then the inevitable meet cute with Gabato, a broke, but loveable helicopter tour guide and his teen daughter, Kailani. They agree to take our heroes to the island-that-doesn't-exist. Luis Guzman plays Gabato with his usual comedic flair. I love, love Luis and enjoy him every time I see him. No exception here, his character had me laughing and his chemistry with Vanessa Hudgens was evident.

The 3D doesn't really get going until they fly through this strange Category 5 hurricane and arrive on the island. How there is a Cat 5 storm that blows up in the middle of the Pacific with no weather agency reporting it is all part of the "mystery." It's not even good f/x, mostly a bunch of spinning stuff breaking away to fly at us. I expected better. Anyway, so now they're on the island, let's explore, yay!

It is of course, decorated in standard tropical, a very lush, gorgeous place, filled with strange animals like teeny elephants and giant lizards. There's apparently some sort of size bender that makes all the small animals large, the big ones tiny and so forth. Scientific theory from Gulliver's Travels. Although, why fireflies are still the same size and medium animals like eels become ginormous is not fully absorbed into this theory. Nor did we get to meet any Lilliputians, damn it. We do get to see a Swiss Family Robinson style tree house that Gramps had built from his sailboat. He even built a radio from an alarm clock and copper that he mined himself. Methinks Gramps had prior island experience with a certain Gilligan, Ginger and Maryann. Michael Caine does do a pretty good job as the old codger, though.

After spending the night in the Minnow, er tree house, they set off to find a way off the island. It apparently lies with Captain Nemo's submarine. Plothole number 2. Grandpa has been on this island for like 3 years and it's a mere 10 square miles. How has he missed this submarine? Anyway,they forage ahead and enter Atlantis, yes, that Atlantis. Riddle me this, how does an island that appears for a few years every 140 years or so, then explodes and sinks to the bottom of the sea again, keep a small city of buildings standing?

They pick up the necessary submarine clues in A Town then trudge through some more shock and awe 3D island flora. In a pretty cool series of f/x, our group hurtles through the air on honeybees the size of Smart Cars while being chased by a bird that is more pterodactyl than avian.

After putting the smackdown on the bird, our group gets separated as the island starts to sink. Hank and Sean make it to the Nautilus and fire things up while Gramps and Kailani go after the now lost Gabato. In furious spectacle of 3D, colors and dizzying camera angles, it is the proverbial race to escape before the island completely blows itself to Kingdom Come.

It's not a bad movie in spite of my sarcasm and my frustrating search for logic in a film that is clearly only intended to be mind candy. I enjoyed the ride, overall and even the normally nausea-inducing 3D was not too overpowering. My nephew and his friend, enjoyed the hell out of it and I, of course, loved the pec popping of Dwayne Johnson. (I'm so naughty, LOL)There's something for everyone, so go on, turn off your brain and have some fun.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Haywire: Boo-Yah Fellas!

At last, at last!! Hollywood has brought the world a true ass-kicking female action hero. Sure, it's happened in the sci fi realm, but not in the testosterone-fueled world of the action thriller. There have been forays before, but none with the high calibre talent of a Steven Soderbergh behind it. I do believe I have died and gone to feminist cinema heaven.

Friday 20 January 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution Trailer

Hell to the yeah!! I am bouncing around this Arctic blast Friday because the trailer for the new Resident Evil film has been released. Whoo freakin' Hoo!!! Resident Evil: Retribution is the latest installment in the highly successful horror franchise starring my girl Alice, played by the ultra cool Milla Jovovich. Check it out...

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Sundance 2012

It's that time of year when the Who's Who of Tinseltown gather in the frozen cold of Park City, Utah with the not-so-famous, but just as awesomely talented, and watch a crop of indie films that are sure to get people talking. Sundance 2012 kicks off this Thursday the 19th and runs through Sunday the 29th. Here's a breakdown of some of the flicks I find pretty cool and will be keeping an eye out for in my local theaters.

Friday 13 January 2012

Moonrise Kingdom Trailer

Okay, so you know I don't get all dewy-eyed when it comes to seeing the quirky character-driven flicks on screen. I usually will see them second run, in discounted matinees or with coupons. I pay top dollar for the spectacle, you know, the explosions, the fights, the star ships, the monsters, etc. But, every now and again, one of these films comes along and I have to see it. Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson is one of those films. I am very, very excited about this. Here's the trailer...

Thursday 12 January 2012

Thor 2 News

Patty Jenkins is out as Thor 2's director and why am I not surprised? Damn you, Marvel! Anyway, the company, which micro-manages their films to the nth degree, has signed on Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor. The script, originally by Don Payne, is now apparently being reworked by Robert Rodat, who wrote Saving Private Ryan, according to Screenrant. Rodat also received an Oscar nod for his work.

Friday 6 January 2012

OMFG An Evil Dead Remake

No,no,no,no,no, NO! *Jaw drops, head thunks* One of my worst nightmares has just come true. They are remaking Evil Dead and without Bruce Campbell, worse, they're even taking out the beloved character of Ash. Say it ain't so Sam Raimi! Come on, at least lie to me. This is horrible, an apocalypse for me and all Evil Dead fans everywhere. And I can't believe who they cast.