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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cloverfield Monster Revealed? (EDIT: Fake!)

Take this with an enormous grain of salt. I'm not sure if it's real-- There is no official confirmation whether it's real or not. So if I post it's a fake, don't moan. As far as anyone knows this is the supposed design of the "Cloverfield/01-18-08" monster.

If it's real, I'm okay with it-- Even the tiny monsters. It looks original, weird enough and potentially scary. However, again, I'm really skeptical. It's an odd design, but has a lot of potential. I'll be on it to check if this is what the real design is or not.


Yeah, I was right to be a skeptic. Apparently the picture is nothing more than submitted fan art-- What the monster "could" look like to someone out there. Shame, as I really do like the design. Anyway, now that we know it's a fake there can be a downplay of rants.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rambo Attacks Early Next Year

"John Rambo", the fourth Rambo film, will be in theaters January 25. For I movie I expected to be out in Spring, at the earliest, this is kind of a surprise. For those who have missed the online promotion for this movie, here is an R-Rated trailer that was recently released. No soccer moms and toddlers allowed: - Watch more free videos

Stewart Returns for Oscars

Many of my friends will be happy about this. Jon Stewart will be returning to host the 80th Academy Awards. I like the guy, but I wasn't impressed with his Oscar hosting skills. I'm still waiting for Billy Crystal to come back.
The next Oscars are Feb. 22 of next year.

Eveyln O'Connell Recast for Mummy 3

Maria Bello will be taking Rachel Weisz's character in the next Mummy film, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer".
Bello went on record to say Evelyn "has the same name, but she's a very different character than Rachel played. She's a bad-ass action chick. I had to train a lot. I had to do wushu, a martial-art form, some kick-boxing, swordfighting, rifle training for a couple of months before we even started shooting."
Okay... This is sounding worse and worse by every moment. First Weisz bales out because of schedualing conflicts, so instead of writing the character out they replace her? With Maria Bello? If that's not an insult to classic beauty and talent I don't know what is. They should've just written the character out and had this actress play Eve's...cousin...or something. At first I was elated at the thought of a new Mummy film-- Mostly because I love the characters. But what made the characters so great were the actors and if Frasier's going to be the only one returning, I can't see this being as fun and nostalgic of a ride.
"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer" arrives next year.

Norton and Pitt Return

No, it's not "Fight Club 2." They will reunite for a film based off a British miniseries called "State of Play." Kevin MacDonald, director of "The Last King of Scotland," is set to direct.
The story centers around a congressman who's career is stifled by the death of his wife. No hint as to when we can expect this, but it's a high priority for Universal Studios.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Robotech Stomps to Life

Perhaps the best thing "Transformers" has done has opened the door for other giant robot films. (And hopfully better ones at that.)
Tobey Maguire has plans to produce and star in a live action adaption of the anime series "Robotech". The story centers around the concept of three giant robots, built from alien technology, to fight off an alien invasion. No word on whe production will start. The film is being produced by Warner Brothers.

AVP2: TRAILER and News

First, if you have yet to see it, an R-Rated trailer for "Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem" has been released:

It has quite a bit of violence and some language in this version, so if your soccer mom is looking over your shoulder you can watch the green band trailer (for everyone) right here. (It's worth a look-- Quite amusing as it uses the Christmas song "Silent Night" in the background.) It's for theaters only, so its pretty low quality as it was recorded off a video screen:

Both trailers look really cool. As bad as the first one was, I enjoyed it a great deal. So I'm looking forward to this one.

Also it seems that, for the first time, the Predator homeworld will be revealed. This is great news considering many fans wanted this one to take place among the stars instead of another Earth-based outing. Stay tuned for more.
AVP2 comes to theaters this Christmas.

TRAILER - "Iron Man"

So the Iron Man trailer has been officially released. It's mostly a re-edited version of the one I posted here before and got taken down.

NOTE: If this one gets taken down, let me know and I'll find another one.

Indiana Jones and...

...The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the new title of the next Indiana Jones film. Shia LeBeouf revealed the title at the MTV Music Awards, of all places. It mirrors the kind of goofy class the "Temple of Doom" title had. Lets hope Speilberg comes through for us again.
Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull arrives May, 22 2008!

REVIEW - "Shoot'Em Up" (2007)

This weekend surprised me. “3:10 to Yuma” looked incredible with its charming cast and substance filled look; meanwhile, “Shoot’Em Up” looked stupid, but fun. In a generation where Tarantino fans are finally becoming filmmakers, stupid and fun have a better chance against smart and intricate. This time, the lack of substance wins over and “Shoot’Em Up” lives up to its title as a trash action flick with more charm than most westerns. (Wink. Wink.)

Clive Owen plays Mr. Smith; a carrot munching badass who seems to have a problem with every little OCD nitpick you can think of. After rescuing a pregnant woman and delivering her baby (while in a gunfight) he decides to save the child and protect the newborn until he can find out why there's a group so intent on killing him. (Or her? Doesn’t matter.) Anyway, Smith goes to his prostitute friend Donna (Monica Bellucci) to take care of the baby while he goes through gunfight, after gunfight, after gunfight, after gunfight…. I don’t have enough gigabytes to keep typing, but Smith tries to find out why the baby is important.

Now, as you may have guessed, I could care less about the plot of the movie. The movie itself, doesn’t care about its own plot. The biggest flaw with this film is, amusingly enough, when it tries to develop its characters—And that only leads to an extraordinarily ridiculous scene of Clive Owen in a gunfight while engaging in intercourse. That’s right everyone. He has sex while shooting at people. If there is now a dream every man desires to pursue, it is that.

On a more serious note, the cast has a ball playing such over-the-top characters. Clive Owen puts on his best “Sin City” face to play the cynical Smith. Bellucci is the most attractive she’s ever been and plays a truly heartfelt character, but the real show stealer has to be the incredible Paul Giamatti as Hertz. If anyone should get the most fun, over-the-top villain award for 2007, it’s Paul Giamatti. Every line he utters is some gratuitous madness that will keep the audience chuckling. His phone conversations with his wife are hysterical and his antics keep the film fun.

The satire of the film isn’t too subtle, but it says a lot about the American people. As fun as the movie is, it’s essentially “gun porn.” Gun fighting, more gun fighting and another touch of gun fighting! Sometimes a gun isn’t even involved—Just the bullets. In the movie a leader of a gun organization claims that people don’t like guns because they can cock them, slide the lock back and slip magazines in, but because it makes people feel powerful. While he ‘s saying all of this, Smith is pulling out a large number of guns and doing all those things he said people “don’t” like guns for. When in reality, we as audience just like the sound of the slide locking, the coolness of slipping a magazine in an automatic and watching how badass a guy looks while cocking a shotgun. It’s really funny considering the movie is basically making fun of itself for being gun porn. Is there no shame in how violent the American people are?

Okay, so obviously “Shoot’Em Up” won’t win any awards and it’s not for everyone. It’s destine to be a cult flick and I can see the DVD sales for this movie skyrocketing already. It’s just a fun, dirty action flick that isn’t afraid of looking trashy and letting the action completely take over. The character development sucks and some of the effects are not very good. But the acting is great, the lines are fun and there are scenes in this movie that will be forever copied by future filmmakers. Everything that you can possibly do with a gunfight happens in this movie. What more can you expect from a movie with the title, “Shoot’Em Up”?

*** out of ****

REVIEW - "3:10 to Yuma" (2007)

I’ve never been a big fan of the western genre. They all feel the same, sport similar clich├ęs and, predictably, end with a gunfight in your classic, broken down, western town. “3:10 to Yuma” hasn’t changed my mind about this genre. It still sports all the weaknesses of western films and a few more. What it does offer is some of the best acting of the year and some really complex characters that may be so multifaceted their development borderlines “stupid.” In any case, “3:10 to Yuma” doesn’t do too badly being another crummy western.

Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is ex-Northern soldier who lost his leg in the war. His family lives on a ranch in the midst of a drought and he can’t afford to pay off his land. His family doesn’t respect him and he limps around pathetically on his wooden leg—A constant reminder of his weakness. Russell Crowe’s character, Ben Wade, plays the outlaw wanted for robbing over twenty wagons. When caught, Evans volunteers to accompany Wade to the train leaving for Yuma prison; in return, he gets paid enough money to finance his land. The result is a long trip where Wade is lost, found and even needed so he can help his captors out of sticky situations.

As one might have guessed, Wade and Evans are the two most interesting characters in the film. Wade wants to escape, but we often find him helping his adversaries. Why? Is he a better man than we believe? Evans’ son thinks so, and puts his money on it in the end. What of Evans himself? The man has lost a great deal of honor and his trip to escort Wade drives him for more reasons than money.

In one of the best scenes of the film, Evans becomes the last one willing to get Wade on the train. In the midst of gunfire from Wade’s men, Evans drags him among barrels and horses to avoid being shot. Finally, Wade tells Evans he’s not doing it anymore. He could have escaped Evans grasp with ease, but decided to protect him instead-- Now he chooses to leave. Evans fights back and the result nearly leads to his death. However, before Wade can kill him, Evans admits that he’s never been a hero; even his family has always looked down on him. Realizing why Evans is really trying to get him on the train, Wade agrees to being put on board.

It’s somewhat confusing as to why actions like that take place during the film. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s really inspiring to see Evans so persistent and Wade becoming so humane to help him. (After all, the point of American westerns is to spark inspiration. Right?) At the same time you wonder why though. Is Wade a better guy than we think? The ending reveals all. If anything, this movie really bears down on the concept of honor. I don't think the western genre has ever seen such complex characters as these and it really says something about director Mangold’s talent. No doubt many enthusiasts will analyze and dissect these intricate characters until Armageddon.

On the other hand, there are the glaringly bad flaws associated with character relevance and goals. Peter Fonda, a fantastic actor in his own right, was by far one of the more interesting characters in the supporting cast. It is hinted at the beginning that there is some dark, past history between him and Wade, but do we ever find out what that is? Let’s just say the potential for Fonda’s character is “thrown” away. Ben Foster’s character makes an excellent secondary, or “real,” antagonist for the film. He always speaks about what Wade “had done for them,” but we never know exactly what that is. On another note, I found it interesting that there were some subtle homosexual hints coming from that character—Whether this was meant to be, I can’t say. The character gallops along with Wade’s men, trying to save his leader without much external motivation. (Even though it’s made pretty clear that Wade wouldn’t do the same for him.)

What of Evans’ family? Though his oldest son sneaks away to help his father and troop, Wade’s gang knows that Evans is helping escort Wade and where his family lives. Does Evans leave any assurance that his family won’t be harmed? No. All he has is the hope that his fourteen year old son will stay and protect his mother and sibling from a gang of eight ruthless gunmen.

The way Wade is handled on the way to the train station is rather mindless as well. Evans and the rest of the law enforcement act like Wade doesn’t have any arms or is permanently latched to his horse. He’s a killer and they seem to forget that. As an obvious result, a couple of the characters are introduced as nothing more than cannon fodder.

The final gunfight was expected and fun, but hard to swallow. How a man with a wooden leg sprints across rooftops while keeping his own against fifty men is beyond me. Something so ridiculous would have worked in “Shoot’Em Up,” but for a serious movie with real substance I expected a smidge more realism.

If anything makes “3:10 to Yuma” worth watching, it’s the acting and character traits of Bale, Crowe and their respected characters. Bale’s performance is Oscar worthy and Crowe looks so natural in his role. “Yuma” may have truly been lost had it not been for these two talents. Perhaps it will grow in me in a few years—It’s a good-looking movie with some charming qualities, but it's also a pretty typical western.

**½ out of ****