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Saturday, January 27, 2007

"1408" Trailer - Based on a Stephen King Short Story

I thought this was interesting. It looks half decent, but I don't know if it will be scary or not. John Cusak stars with Samuel L. Jackson in this horror/thriller based on a Stephen King short story. Take a loook:

"1408" opens July 13th. Cusak also stars in another anticipated film, "The Martian Child" this fall as well.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Original? Nope: New King Movie, Howard's Return and More

I thought this was worth mentioning for the sake of humor. As if Hollywood hasn't drained itself of enough innovation, the next Stephen King novel-turned-movie will be "The Mist". A film about a strange mist covering a town and the main characters lock themselves in a supermarket to survive an attack from strange creatures. Sounds like "The Fog" meets almost every zombie movie out there. How many movies do we need where the characters are stuck in a market or mall with lots of creatures stumbling around outside?
In other movie news Nicole Kidman is starring in a thriller called, "The Invasion" and yes it's exactly how it sounds: Aliens. Speaking of which M. Night just got the shaft from several companies when he tried to sell a script to his latest project which has aliens in it again. I guess after the bad wrap "The Village" and "Lady in the Water" got no one wants him these days. Harvey Keitel ("Resevoir Dogs") is in final talks to join "The Ministers". The film is about an NYPD cop that had her father killed by a group known as...guess. Anyway, this cop unknowgling falls in love with one of the people in this group and we can assume all hell breaks loose. Sounds like "Sleeping with the Enemy" to me. Anyway, atleast they're trying to do something a bit more original... Perhaps they don't know it's all been done before?
On a plus side, there does seem to be a little hope. Ron Howard has decided to make a comeback with "The Emperor's Children". A comedy of manners based on a book about three highly educated people who are thought to do something important and are having trouble meeting that expectation. Howard has made very few misses, I'll give a shot.

Brosnan on Thomas Crown Affair 2

Seems like someone is eager to make a comeback after he lost his day job to Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale". Brosnan is eager to get started on the sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair":

"Thomas Crown 2, for all intents and purposes, will happen," says Brosnan. "The script came in two days ago and it's good. We've announced it, we've said to the world that we're going to do it -- come hell or high water, we're going to do it. The bar is high on this one, the expectation is high on it."

Remember kids, the expectations are really high! So we'll probably be displeased with the final product. Actually, I've never seen the first film and had no interest to; however I find it funny Brosnan is scrambling to make such a comeback after "Casino Royale"-- Especially one like this. He was so worried about being typecasted due to Bond and now he's locking himself in a similar looking role. It's your career bud. The title of the new film will be "The Topkapi Affair".

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"The Dark Knight" Casting Update

Finally! Some news on my favorite superhero and the sequel to my favorite superhero movie, "Batman Begins"!
First off Matt Damon turned down the role of Harvey Dent (the pre-Two-Face) who will make cameo appearences in this film and probably be a major player in the third film. Other actors beign considered for the role are Josh Lucas ("Poseidon", "Glory Road"), Jamie Foxx (please don't...) and Edward Norton ("The Illusionist", "Fight Club").
Meanwhile Katie Holmes will not be in the new film, but the character she plays, Rachel Dawes, is still in the script. The filmmakers are looking for an actress to replace her now. While this doesn't surprise me, I wish she would return for consistancy sake. Clearly Warner Bros. didn't like the publicity she and Cruise got during the release of "Batman Begins" and this is their "answer" to it. But if there were anyone these movies could survive without, it's Holmes.
"The Dark Knight" is being directed by the genius of Christopher Nolan, again, and is shooting for a summer 2008 release. Can't wait!

More Spidy 3 Pics

The new Spider-Man 3 website has been updated by Sony/Tristar Pictures. It showcases new photos including these. Click the images to make them bigger:

The more I see this black suit the more I love it.

Thomas Haden church as Sandman. Go figure. He looks great though.

And of course there has to be a picture that makes your head tilt a little. What looks worse, this or the Transformers? Yeah, probably the Transformers... But looking on the brightside we don't have to worry about the "New" Goblin design sucking anymore, because we already know it does.

Looking forward to the film.

Image Day: 300 and Transformers

A new "300" poster was recently released. Very cool. Click to make the images bigger.

And now another hideous Transformer moment from Michael Bay. Good to know Optimus's eye look like a Ferbie doll's. Why are they placed so ridiculously low?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

REVIEW - "The Fountain" (2006)

I'm writing this review after seeing this movie for the second time in theaters. I saw it in November when it first came out and have had a lot of time to dwell on it; but I wanted to see it again before I wrote this. Now that I've had the time to think about it and the chance to go over the movie one more time, I can confidently say "The Fountian" is a masterpiece of unparelled beauty and soul. It goes beyond what makes a film a "film" and proves to be an experience just as much as a movie. The movie strikes at the soul and is meant to be watched with complete vulnerability. What I'm trying to say is, you should let this movie take you for the length it runs. For some it will be an overflow of emotional disposition. For others it will be something they don't want to think about and may walk out on. And few others might just see a glimpse of Heaven-- A glimpse of God.

The movie's story has gotten a lot of press which is why people were interested to see it. At first glance it looks like a story about a man, Tommy (Hugh Jackman), finding the tree of life and living for a span of 1000 years (1500 A.D. - 2500 A.D.) in order to keep Izzi (Rachel Weisz), his love, alive and well. If one is to enter the movie hearing this they'll be either astounded or outraged. The movie involves these same characters in different points of time (1500, 2006 and 2500) facing similar situations that could either be symbolic of one another in certian key ways or may infact have all happened.

To some extent the movie's storyline is up to the perception of the viewer. Part of what makes this movie so unique is that you can watch and freely accept different a different point of view each time. The basic story, however, is a love story more epic in its delivery than any other film I've seen. The basic points of the film are that of life and death. This may be part of the turn off for many people. There were many that disliked this movie because you did have to think about it and because it was confusing; but why was it confusing? Why did people not want to think about it? Probably because life is often something that many don't want to think about and death being a good thing, a "road to awe", is even harder for the basic movie viewer to accept. My significant other-- My own true love, if you will, saw this movie with me the first time. After hearing about the bad reviews the film recieved I made the comment that people were not ready to see a movie like this. She replied, "When will they ever be?" She's right. And that's why this movie goes beyond conventional filmmaking and in to a realm not explored by films, or at least not many films. This is the first I've seen.

Visually the movie is just as appealing. The beauty of the way the film is shot is, again, incomparable to anything else I've seen. And the emotion accents the situation(s) in the story perfectly. The beauty in the visuals are no more amazing than the beauty in the film. It's interesting to note that director Darren Aronofsky choose not to use any CGI in this film. The effects are done by shooting reactions under a microscope, extreme close-ups of contact lenses and very conventional effects. It was a good choice because it added to the movie's very organic feel. CGI is looking worse and worse with each passing movie, its great to see someone be innovative about special effects these days. Another powerful addition to film is the score by Clint Mansell. As if anything in this movie didn't flow together perfectly enough, the music could not have been more perfect for every scene it was heard in. The instrumentation, timing and use of theme punches the audience even harder with emotional prowess.

Hugh Jackman delivered a one in a million performance. His reaction to every tiny thing that happens in this movie is spot on. I beleived him. I would watch the screen and see a weeping Hugh Jackman and tell myself, "That isn't Hugh Jackman, not anymore. That's Tommy. I'm watching Tommy." The character took over and I've never seen a well known actor dissolve his image until he had lost his true identity in favor of a character. Weisz was amazing as well. She portrayed a character we could all genuinly love and feel for without being cliche. Their love really did feel like the love of 1000 years.

So why are people not ready for this movie? Is the concept of death being beautiful a lot for a viewer to take in? Probably, for some I doubt they think about it. Some may have just wanted a straight up chick-flick or a science fiction tale of overbloated proportions. That's ok though. This movie wasn't for them. Perhaps one day they'll think about these subjects and look closer at this film's message and powerful emotion. Is "The Fountain" the greatest movie of all time? Maybe not, but maybe it shouldn't be. I personally look at it as beyond even that. A film to be looked at in an almost spiritual light. Of course there will be people who disagree with that-- It's not for everyone. But I firmly believe it is a film to be experienced in such a way. If I were to choose a movie to end all movies, it would be this one. I don't know what Aronofsky intended to make, but what he did create is a piece of beautiful, spiritual art that can forever be held highly in atleast some people's hearts and souls. If that's what he, his cast and crew intended to do then, for this reviewer, they can confidently say, "We made it."

**** out of ****

Academy Award Nominations Announced

It's about what I expected, but I wished differently. I guess giving DiCaprio nominations for both "Departed" and "Blood Diamond" would give him too much of a chance. He deserves the award, but the Academy has rigged it pretty well so he won't I think. I certianly hope "The Departed" wins for Best Picture and Scorsese wins for Director. That's much deserved. Furious that "The Fountian" didn't get nominated for anything. "You Know My Name" should've gotten nominated for best song as well. Oh well, here's the list:

The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Alejandro González Iñárritu - Babel
Martin Scorsese - The Departed
Clint Eastwood - Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears - The Queen
Paul Greengrass - United 93

Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole - Venus
Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

Penélope Cruz - Volver
Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren - The Queen
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet - Little Children

Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children
Djimon Hounsou - Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Adriana Barraza - Babel
Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi - Babel

Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer - Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton & David Arata & Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby - Children of Men
William Monahan - The Departed
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta - Little Children
Patrick Marber - Notes on a Scandal

Guillermo Arriaga - Babel
Iris Yamashita - Letters From Iwo Jima
Michael Arndt - Little Miss Sunshine
Guillermo del Toro - Pan's Labyrinth
Peter Morgan - The Queen

After the Wedding
Days of Glory (Indigenes)
The Lives of Others
Pan's Labyrinth

Happy Feet
Monster House

Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
The Good Shepherd
Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall; Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins
Pan's Labyrinth
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs; Set Decoration: Cheryl A. Carasik
The Prestige
Art Direction: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

Vilmos Zsigmond - The Black Dahlia
Emmanuel Lubezki - Children of Men
Dick Pope - The Illusionist
Guillermo Navarro - Pan's Labyrinth
Wally Pfister - The Prestige

Yee Chung Man - Curse of the Golden Flower
Patricia Field - The Devil Wears Prada
Sharen Davis - Dreamgirls
Milena Canonero - Marie Antoinette
Consolata Boyle - The Queen

Deliver Us From Evil
An Inconvenient Truth
Iraq in Fragments
Jesus Camp
My Country, My Country

Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise - Babel
Steven Rosenblum - Blood Diamond
Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón - Children of Men
Thelma Schoonmaker - The Departed
Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson - United 93

Adlo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano - Apocalypto
Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso - Click
David Marti and Montse Ribe - Pan's Labyrinth

Gustavo Santaolalla - Babel
Thomas Newman - The Good German
Philip Glass - Notes on a Scandal
Javier Navarrete - Pan's Labyrinth
Alexandre Desplat - The Queen

“I Need to Wake Up” - An Inconvenient Truth
Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge
“Listen” - Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler; Lyric by Anne Preven
“Love You I Do” - Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Siedah Garrett
“Our Town” - Cars
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Patience” - Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Willie Reale

Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Camara - Apocalypto
Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock - Blood Diamond
Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton - Dreamgirls
John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin - Flags of Our Fathers
Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar - Apocalypto
Lon Bender - Blood Diamond
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman - Flags of Our Fathers
Alan Robert Murray - Letters From Iwo Jima
Christopher Boyes and George Watters II - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chaz Jarrett and John Frazier - Poseidon
Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover and Jon Thum - Superman Returns

The Blood of Yingzhou District
Recycled Life
Rehearsing a Dream
Two Hands

The Danish Poet
The Little Matchgirl
No Time for Nuts

Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)
Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)
Helmer & Son
The Saviour
West Bank Story

"Junior?" - Sean Connery in Indy 4?

Sean Connery is considering returning as Dr. Henry Jones, Indiana Jones father, in the next Indiana Jones film. He chose his words carefully saying, "Perhaps." And that it, "All depends on the script. I haven't gotten it yet."
I think this movie is kind of ridiculous. "Rocky Balboa" was ridiculous, but it had a pretty good reason to exist-- "Rocky V" sucked! That franchise needed to end on a much better note than it did. "Indiana Jones", however, had nothing wrong with it. It ended perfectly with all of the characters riding in to the sunset! "The Last Crusade" was a great film! Why this? Plus wouldn't Indiana's father be dead by now? Harrison Ford is no spring chicken, I can't see him running from boulders and swinging on whips in this next movie. Whatever, the movie is starting production this summer.

The Mummy Returns...Again.

Looks like Rick and Evie are back for more fun. Steven Sommers, who directed the first two Mummy films, is passing his chair to Rob Cohen ("Dragonheart", "The Fast and the Furious", "Stealth") to direct the thrid Mummy. It will be written by Al Gough and Miles Millar.
Plot details involve a "new concept" (whatever the hell that means...) and will include the grown son of Rick (Brendan Fraiser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz). The film will also dig up a new Mummy. I think that's a pretty good idea in itself. Imhotep is long gone thanks to the second film and we've done about everything that can be done with his character. Lets see a new mummy. And no Scorpion King crap!
I gotta say I loved the first film a great deal and while the second one was way over-the-top and just downright silly, it was so much fun to watch. They're some of the most entertaining movies out these days and I'd love to see another one. My main fear is that it'll go from really campy fun, to just flat out bad. "The Mummy Returns" was goofy, but watchable. Rob Cohen's movies are becoming less and less watchable with each one he makes. He hasn't done anything decent since "Dragonheart" and "Stealth" is one of the worst films to grace the screen. I hope he delivers a movie worth watching. Frasier and Weisz are in talks for the movie now. I hope they sign on, I love those two characters. They better get John Hannah to play Johnathan as well! You can't have a Mummy film with out Evie's doppy brother.

New Transformers (In Name Only) Photos

Here's a few more pictures in 2007's sure-fire canidate for Razzie Awards. Click the pictures to see them larger.

Here's a new, actually rather impressive, poster of Optimus in front of Earth and Megatron's eye. Atleast Optimus is recognizable.

Here's a shot for those of you who have figured out that Dreamworks probably payed $40,000 for the left one, $30,000 for the right one and $5.00 for Shia.

Expendable characters.

Set picture.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"

Darren Aronofsky has signed on to direct "Black Swan" a psychological thriller about a veteran dancer and the manipulative relationship with a rival.
While a psychological film about dancers wouldn't normally appeal to me, "The Fountian" was a film of unrivaled beauty and emotion. I'll see every film he touches from here on out.

New "Harry Potter 5" Screenshot

Here's the latest "stunning" pic from the next Harry Potter film. Click to make it bigger.

Yeah, not much to it, but I promised a certian someone that if there is going to be any new HP movie news on the web, it will be found here. "Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix" opens July 15.

"Spider-Man" News Spin

Producer Grant Curits of "Spider-Man 3" was interviewed recently saying how Raimi and the crew were spending several hours a day working on post-production for the new Spider-Man epic. When asked if there was too much going on in the film he responded:
"If you were concerned three villains is also too many, Curtis said that they don't just throw a villain into a Spidey movie. He says every villain in the movie has a connection to Peter Parker's story, which remains the center of the franchise. From Harry's growing tension with Peter over the death of Harry's father, to Sandman being the real killer of Uncle Ben, and Venom's connection to Peter (you'll have to see the movie to find out what that is!), everything is told through Parker's story."

Ugh, I still hope that stuff about Sandman being the real killer of Ben Parker is a pile of crap. Like I said, that totally defeats the purpose of Spider-Man's genesis. I still think the ending I predicted is coming.
The movie was screened recently and it was recieved very well. So well, that Sony Pictures decided to approach writer David Koepp (who just got done writing the fourth Indiana Jones film) to write a sequel. Sony was very impressed with the first cut of the film and are trying to move forward with a fourth installment. Koepp wrote the first "Spider-Man", the first two Jurassic Park films and "War of the Worlds". No word yet on whether the whole crew will stay for another movie, but according to Curtis, they're hard at work finishing "Spider-Man 3" and have not thought much beyond it.
Again, I wouldn't mind a fourth film because these trilogies are getting kind of old. I just hope Sony can keep all the cast and crew members of the first three if they plan on doing a fourth.