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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Iron Man is Watching You!

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Easily one of the coolest posters I've seen in awhile. If the movie rocks, this is one poster I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall! Awesome!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

10,000 BC Poster

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Roland Emmerich's "Apocalypto"-- I mean, "10,000 BC" is due next March. Sorry, for some reason I just can't get excited for this movie. Emmerich's last decent film was "Independence Day." I may pass... or not. Who knows.

Live Action Dragonball Begins Filming

I both laughed and wept at this news. The laughter was the excitment of a live action Dragonball Z movie and the fact that I knew it would be ridiculous. The weeping was that there was going to be a live action Dragonball Z movie and the fact that I knew it would be ridiculous. So I'm conflicting.
This is something that I've always wanted to see, but could Fox want this movie to be any crappier?

CHUD revealed that James Wong, the "genius" behind the "Final Destination" movies is set to direct the live action Dragonball movie. Meanwhile casting discriptions have been released for main characters and the information seems to give away changes to the story and key plot points. The casting information is below. Take it with a grain of salt:

[GOKU] 18 years old, Goku is considered uncool and unpopular at school, but he is in fact an extremely talented martial arts fighter who gets rigorous training from his grandfather, Gohan. After the death of his grandfather by the evil Lord Piccolo, Goku finds his destiny in his grandfather's dying request that he find Master Roshi and gather all seven Dragon Balls (of which he has one) in order to prevent Piccolo from succeeding in his desire to use the dragonballs to take over the world. Trained by Master Roshi, aided by Bulma and Yamcha, friends he meets along the way, Goku proves himself a formidable, almost undefeatable fighter. On many dangerous adventures to find the remaining Dragon Balls and thus save the world, Goku conquers physical and emotional challenges, ultimately saving the world but clearly impelled to spend his life searching for the Dragon Balls with his trusty companions...LEAD

[BULMA] 20s, female, pretty, with great intelligence behind her gleaming eyes, Bulma is a determined, competitive young woman whose father's five star Dragon Ball was stolen by Lord Piccolo, and who believes that she can harness their unlimited energy and change the world like Edison or Einstein. Bulma, who has a DBE (a Dragon Ball locator device), teams up with Goku, and with him meets up with Master Roshi and Yamcha as they attempt to collect the missing Dragon Balls before Piccolo can destroy the world. A resourceful and courageous young woman who's also a weapons expert, she overcomes many obstacles with her colleagues, only to find the seven Dragon Balls ultimately snatched from their grasp--but it's clear she's going to continue searching for them with Goku and Yamcha...LEAD

[YAMCHA] 20s, "the bad boy who has no trouble attracting women," he taunts Goku, Bulma and Master Yoshi, who are trapped in a sand cave, rather than helping them with his rope ladder. However, after overhearing Master Roshi's tale of Piccolo once nearly destroyed the Earth and are preparing to do so again, Yamcha has a change of heart and not only helps the three in the desert, but becomes a valuable part of the team. An ingenious young man whose utililty truck is the Swiss Army Knife of trucks--every tool and gear imaginable sprouts from its body--Yamcha joins Goku, Bulma (with whom he becomes romantically involved) and Master Yoshi on their quest to find the seven Dragon Balls before Piccolo...LEAD

[MASTER ROSHI] This older man is a good friend of Goku's grandfather, Gohan, and Goku comes to enlist his help after his grandfather is killed. Although he looks like a beggar, Roshi is one of the world’s most fearsome fighters. Master Roshi begins Goku's rigorous training to prepare him for the adventure of finding and fighting for the seven Dragon Balls to save the world from Piccolo's destructive plan. A wise, somewhat wry man who knows as much about human nature as he does about martial arts, Master Roshi is impressed with Goku's fighting but reminds him of his failings as well. Ultimately, Master Roshi sacrifices his own life in order to destroy Piccolo...LEAD

[MAI] Late 20s, female, her features exotic, sexy but deadly, dressed in gleaming black, with weapons strapped all over her body, she's a martial arts expert and Lord Piccolo's chief enforcer. Crafty and quick thinking, Mai uses her ability to shapeshift near the climax of the movie and takes on the form of Chi Chi, a young martial arts expert who's romantically involved with Goku and later saves Piccolo from Master Roshi's curse; once she is revealed she ends up in the fight of her life.

[LORD PICCOLO] An ancient being who despite his humanoid appearance, is from an alien race determined to take over the world. Piccolo is the cursed ruler of a demonic race who nearly destroyed Earth 2000 years ago, and with the coming of the eclipse and the possession of all seven Dragon Balls, he's prepared to free himself and do the job right this time. Crafty and smart, Piccolo has some disturbing news for Goku, namely that the boy is actually a Saiyan who's destined to join Piccolo as his right hand in destroying and enslaving the planet...LEAD

[CHI CHI] Goku’s lifelong love interest, Chi Chi is an attractive, tom boy-ish young woman who has grown up with Goku. She has studied martial arts and has always suspected that Goku possesses talents that are unusual and extraordinary. After Goku embarks on his journey to redeem his grandfather’s death, Chi Chi meets up with Goku and his crew at a tournament of champions where their mutual attraction finally heats up during a training session.

[GOHAN] Goku's kindly, wise grandfather, he looks like he's in his 70s but moves like Jet Li. An accomplished martial artist who trains Goku on the bow staff, he loves his grandson and is happy to prepare a special feast for him on his 18th birthday, as well as a special gift: a 3 star Dragon Ball. Tragically, Gohan is struck down by the high ninjas of the Namek-Jins, and as he dies he sends his grandson out to do face his destiny and do battle against them...

Goku, 18 in highschool? Piccolo tells Goku he's a Saiyan? The Namekians are evil now? Okay, so I knew they were going to change some things. Wong does have talent-- He had a huge part in making "The X-Files" a great show, maybe he can pull something off here? Doubtful.

Anyway, "Dragonball Z" (or maybe just "Dragonball," judging from the information above) begins filming this November.

Diesel and Walker Get Furious Again?

Not a fan of these movies, but I have some buddies who do like these films, so I'm going to take a moment to mention it. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the stars of the first "The Fast and the Furious," are in talks to reunite for the fourth film. (Diesel did have a cameo in the thrid movie though.)
I'll be honest, I have not seen the first movie all the way through. I didn't want to see the sequel because A) I had not seen the first movie and B) Any movie named "2 Fast 2 Furious" is begging to be laughed at. "Tokyo Drift" looks as stupid as it gets-- An entire movie based on drifting your race car? Pass. Maybe I'll watch the first one though and see if I have a stronger desire to see the fourth movie.

"The Mummy 3" Photos

Here's some shots of the actors from the next "Mummy" film.

Brendan Frasier returns as Rick O'Connell

Maria Bello as Eve O'Connell

I HATE Bello taking over for Rachel Weisz. Rachel is a much better actress, prettier and looks the part. Why does the picture above look so forced? Yuck. Brendan Frasier looks great though. Nostalgia is kicking in and I do want to see Rick gunning down another mummy. Otherwise this may be the "Mummy" series lowest point. Shame. I love the first one and had a blast with the cheesy second one. Maybe that talent that Rob Cohen put in to "Dragonheart" will come back? Not likely.

TRAILER - "Alien vs. Predator - Requiem" (Good Quality)

Here's the green band, theatrical trailer for AVP-R. I posted a poor quality version of it a few weeks ago, but this is of much better quality.

Love the trailer! It's actually looking pretty good-- I have to admit! Perhaps this might be a little more than a fun romp? Who knows, until it comes out I'm keeping my low expectations for it. Hysterical that "Silent Night" is playing in this trailer. I love it!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

REVIEW - "Eastern Promises" (2007)

“Eastern Promises” is a movie you watch while sitting up on the edge of your seat for a little bit. If not for the riveting storyline, then because of the amount of talent that is on screen for an hour and forty minutes. It was a good way in to the film before I realized my mouth had been open the entire time in awe. “Eastern Promises” takes the cinematic innovation of the independent film and merges it with that of the classic Hollywood atmosphere. The result is a story that is so well executed that’s hard to take your eyes off of. You’ll regret blinking.

When a nurse, Anna (Naomi Watts), delivers the baby of a mysterious young girl, she goes through her diary and finds a connection to a family-owned restaurant. The owner, Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl), knows this diary contains dark secrets about his son (Kirill, played by Vincent Cassel) that could hurt the flow of his crime-organized family. Now Anna must get help from the mysterious driver, Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who works under the family. Can he be trusted?

Obviously this is a very abridged version of the fantastic storyline; watching the story and characters unfold is like poetry. The film invests a lot of time in its characters and the story moves along at a brisk pace without any trouble. It certainly has a “Godfather” vibe to it, which is sure to please fans of the classic Hollywood style. Meanwhile, the foreign look and feel of the movie is sure to please many indie-lovers as well. It’s a beautifully shot film and the slightest subtleties are sure to spark conversation among literary film geeks. “What is the purpose of Nikolai’s beads? What is the point of showing the small fire in front of Nikolai’s face? What does Anna’s bike stand for?” I could go on, but watch it to understand it.

Acting? The best I’ve seen this year. Viggo Mortensen may have secured his Oscar this year. If he’s not nominated, then boycott the Academy Awards. Mortensen’s every word, every mannerism and every subtle facial expression is so well calculated it was almost impossible to believe he was the heroic Aragorn of “Lord of the Rings.” Armin Mueller-Stahl covers everything his character would be. He’s deceitful, but friendly, vile, but a gentleman—He plays his role with such presence that when he and Mortensen are on screen at the same time I was wondering how the screen didn’t explode under the pressure of so much talent. This isn’t to undermine Naomi Watts, who is as much of a classic beauty as an amazing actress, and Vincent Cassel, who has probably given the performance of his career in this film.

These characters move the story along like clockwork and its fun analyzing their moves and mannerisms. Nikolai is easily the most interesting character of the movie. His mysterious nature leads the audience to believe he means well, but there’s something different about him than the rest of the characters. (To say anymore would spoil it.) Meanwhile, Anna is a sympathizer—The audience connects to Nikolai through her and as a result we feel engrossed in this crime-family’s world. There’s really no escaping this movie. And you don’t want too.

David Cronenberg has come a long way in his directing career. Although I’ve only seen a handful of his films, which are good, none of them match the atmosphere of this character-drama thriller. He has taken a powerful story and pushed some of the finest actors to their limits to create something I can only call cinematic literature. It is a fine piece of filmmaking that begs to be revisited and analyzed like old-English writing. To not see this movie would be doing one a great disservice. This is top-notch filmmaking. While I enjoy a good action romp, it’s good to see that the Oscar season is kicking in to high gear after so many pirates, transforming cars and ludicrous gunfights have saturated the summer. “Eastern Promises” promises a great film.

**** out of ****

REVIEW - "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007)

Wow. I am really sick of apocalyptic zombie flicks. The “Resident Evil” movies never really started out with much promise anyway, but they’ve always been pretty fun. I guess I got my fill of zombies after seeing “28 Weeks Later” though. “Resident Evil: Extinction” isn’t the worst of these films, but it doesn’t necessarily offer anything new to Resident Evil or the zombie genre. Though it did try! But like the previous two movies, it pays little attention to character development and wanders aimlessly toward an ending that is preordained to be a ridiculous cliffhanger.

“Extinction” shows us a world where the Umbrella Corporation’s t-virus has spread across the globe. The human race is dwindling and the infected (zombies) outnumber them a hundred to one. The t-virus has turned the world in to a barren desert and small groups struggle to stay alive. One such group is led by Claire (a character from the Resident Evil video games) and two other characters that co-stared in the previous movie. Meanwhile, Alice wanders on her own, afraid to hurt anyone with her new powers found at the end of the last film. As our heroes struggle to survive, Umbrella is on the lookout for Alice, believing her blood holds the cure to save the world from extinction.

It’s as ludicrous as it sounds. The movie actually starts out with promise and throws out some interesting ideas. The appearance of this film is believable; it really does look like the end of the world. The infected look more like zombies this time around. Instead of the pale faces and Jack Sparrow eyeliner, the zombies are skinny, have crusty growths on their faces and actually look like a virus has been eating away their humanity. Umbrella is busy making Alice clones to go through a reenactment of something fans of the first movie should enjoy, and they even come up with the idea of trying to domesticate the zombies in an attempt to co-exist. (Which I couldn’t help but laugh at it. Wasn’t this spoofed in “Shaun of the Dead?”)

Unfortunately all these ideas go nowhere. The clone thing is never fully explained. It appears the only reason the idea was put in the film was to piss off Alice. The domesticating zombie idea seems like a big deal at first, but it’s dropped midway in to the movie with no further mention. Speaking of no further mention, what happened to Jill Valentine and the little girl from the previous movie? Fans of these films get no explanation as to why they aren’t with the group or what happened to them. (Not that I miss Jill, but it makes for a rather large plot hole.)

The film’s main villain is your classic, 1950s mad scientist—But with no motivation. He’s as cliché as an evil scientist could be and by the end of the movie I was reminded of the many Power Rangers monsters I would watch in my youth. Clearly my nostalgia didn’t help the movie. Every time he was on screen I wanted to fast forward.

Milla Jovovich stands as the final, consistent talent in this movie. Most actresses look cheesy in action roles, but Jovovich is believable. She keeps the film from being unbearable. Her character, Alice, is sure to be remembered among cult-action fans and Jovovich has secured herself as a class act, action star. I hope to see her in more adrenaline-fueled movies.

“Extinction,” of course, ends on another cliffhanger, ensuring the future of “Resident Evil 4.” The ending borderlines laughable, but I can see some fans of this film throwing their fists in the air and yelling “Hell yeah!” I can certainly understand why; it was a fun movie and I certainly enjoyed it more than “28 Weeks Later,” but it’s still a pretty big mess. For the “Resident Evil” fans, it’s not the worst of the three films. For those people not destined by the cosmos to love zombie flicks, pass. There are better stupid action movies out there.

*½ out of ****