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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Predalien Revealed!

The Alien/Predator hybrid that is making its big screen debut in the new film, "Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem," has been revealed in several action heavy pictures. Click each pic to enlarge. (Actually the first one doesn't get any bigger. But the ones after it do!)

Don't know what to think of the design yet. In some ways it looks cool, in other ways it just looks like pieces of both the Alien and Predator were pasted on each other. Not sure what I think of the Predator's dredlocks on the Alien head. Best to wait and see what its like in action, no?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ride, Dragon Emperor! Ride!

Director Rob Cohen has been very generous about keeping people up to date on the new Mummy film. Another picture of Jet Li as the Dragon Emperor has appeared. It's less silly and seems to give off a better vibe of what Jet Li will be like in this movie. Here's the caption for the picture. Minor spoiler alert:

"Just a quick one, family, to give you the first look at Jet Li as the Emperor riding into battle about to re-take command of 5000 terracotta mummies. The sword fight between Jet and Michelle Yeoh that I have been shooting for two days is nothing less than poetry. Such great stars of World Cinema, mano a mano against the desert mountainscape as the whole battle roars behind them. This a landmark day for me and my film."

Next summer!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TRAILER(s) - "I Am Legend"

Both a new full length and international trailer has been released for the Will Smith film "I Am Legend."

New Full Length Trailer -

International Trailer -

Both are very different, and they look like a lot of fun. But I am SO sick of armageddon centered zombie flicks. They're all the same, "28 Weeks Later" was one of the year's worst films, "Resident Evil: Extinction" was fun, but nothing more. Hell, "30 Days of Night" is more of a zombie flick than a vampire tale due to its premise. So why does this year need another zombie flick?
Well, it's highly anticipated (which means nothing) and Will Smith is in it. I guess I'll give it the benefit of the doubt if there's nothing else playing and enough money in my pocket. The CGI looks unimpressive and the been-there-done-that explosions don't encourage me. I must love movies a lot to even be considering this...

TRAILER - "Rambo" (Official)

The new trailer solidifies its late Jan. release date and is friendly enough to put in theaters. It also is the first trailer to carry the final, official name of this film, "Rambo." This works since the first movie was just called "First Blood," followed by "Rambo: First Blood Part II" and "Rambo III." So technically this is the first movie with just the title character's (last) name alone. I've got a good feeling about this one. "Rocky Balboa" was fantastic, I hope Stallone can deliver a good follow up to that one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jet Li in Mummy Form

Jet Li's appearence in the new Mummy film has been revealed.

Looks like good ole' Rick's in trouble-- Again! Still too early for me to tell what Jet Li will be like in this next movie. The pic is kind of goofy, but hey! It's the Mummy! We should expect some cheese, right? Too much hope on my part? Probably so.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

REVIEW - "30 Days of Night" (2007)

Going on the events of this film, I’d say it was about twenty-nine days too long. “30 Days of Night” was hyped as being a new take on the vampire mythos. Well, director David Slade did give us some new vampires—He made them dumber, far more needlessly violent and wrote enough of them in to the movie to be cannon fodder. Basically they’re just zombies with willpower. And my willpower to leave the theater was growing with every passing minute during this movie.

The plot, such as it is, gives us a small town in Alaska that sits through a full month of darkness once every year. In a badly explained turn of events, a hoard of vampires decides to take over the town as soon as the sun leaves. Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) must now try and survive the remainder of the month with the survivors of the town. That’s it…

The storyline basically ends after the vampires attack. The town is completely taken over by the first night and from there the film divulges in who is going to die next and how they are going to die. Do we ever get a full explanation for where these vampires came from? No. What about the boat? Do we know where they got the boat? No. Do we know how the stranger (played by Ben Foster and was the only interesting character in the film) got himself involved with these vampires? No. How about where do they go at the end of the movie? Nope. It’s a bad movie, why should it explain this stuff?

The flimsy plot is accompanied by some very off-hand moments in the film that are just gruesome and meaningless in every way possible. A young woman is sent out as bait to lure the survivors and is tortured before she is killed. Another man kills his own family so they won’t suffer the fate of being eaten by vampires. And then there’s the little girl in the grocery store. Lets just say I wasn’t the only person in the theater that laughed hysterically at the line, “I’m through playing with this one.” (Feeding on a dead body.) “Wanna play with me NOW!” Yes, that was meant to be creepy. Yes, it failed to be said creepiness.

I’m also reminded as to why Josh Hartnett hasn’t been in anything in awhile. The guy overacted throughout the entire film doing his best William Shatner impression and making sure he’s as serious as possible during this mess of a movie. Other characters? I think they tried to flesh out a love story of some sort, but I was obviously really engrossed by it because I remember so much of it. (That’s sarcasm for those who didn’t catch on.)

The vampires don’t act like your average vampire. They speak their native “vampire language” the whole time, all their teeth are sharp (as opposed to just two), they act more animalistic and they’re a lot dumber than the vampires portrayed in past films. They also make these screeching noises that are suppose to be scary, I think, but they were rather obnoxious. The sound effect was overused and un-welcomed. As I’ve said before, they’re more akin to zombies than vampires. They even have the “28 Days Later” infected-eye effect. So I guess when David Slade set out to reinvent the vampire character, what he really meant to do was make (another) bad, redundant, zombie flick. Congratulations!

The ending of the film is so ridiculous and anti-climatic that I wasn’t sure what to do—Except laugh. It left itself open for a sequel just incase it doesn’t bomb at the box office, but I don’t think that will be happening. “30 Days of Night” is long, boring, laughable and hard to sit through. Its ultimate sin is the fact that it left me self-aware. Whenever I’m sitting through a movie and looking around, checking my watch and finding the theater decorations more entertaining, I know I’m sitting through a dud. I’d say it’s the worst movie of 2007, but I’m having trouble recalling “Pathfinder.” It’s close!

½ out of ****

REVIEW - "The Kingdom" (2007)

I don’t think it would be too bold to say that “The Kingdom” is something of a “Blood Diamond” for this year in that it realistically portrays a country that is drastically misunderstood by the general American public and why it’s important we intervene. It doesn’t have the emotional prestige of “Blood Diamond,” but in place of it comes utter tension that will keep the audience gripping the arms of their chairs.

After two Saudi Arabia bombings, that took the lives American civilians and agents, U.S. Government agents secretly leave for the Middle East to investigate what happened. Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) and his team are not welcomed at first, but the seemingly unlikely allies come together to take down a terrorist threat. The friendship destroys the narrow notion that “Middle Eastern = Automatic Terrorist”—This is the catalyst for the anti-war theme that is accompanied by reasons American needs to intervene in the Middle East.

No matter what political party you’re for it doesn’t really matter, “The Kingdom” appears to “tell it as it is”. It’s no wonder it was ill received by most mainstream critics, because they would prefer a clear-cut message upholding one party’s beliefs or the other. The fact is that “The Kingdom” doesn’t have time to cater to such trifles because the majority of the movie takes place in another country and ends up becoming about that rather than America. Although, the movie does pull out good points as to why it is important for America to pitch a tent out there. It’s all fiction, but it does a good job of staying neutral while throwing out vital points.

I also commend the movie for finally blurring the line of friend and foe when it comes to Middle Easterns. Too often do Middle Eastern born actors play the parts of terrorists, and while that stays true here, the Saudi Arabian military become well-liked characters and even friends with the American Agents. The result is a blatant fact that not all Middle Easterns are terrorists and even places like Saudi Arabia have to contend with radical bombings and abrupt attacks.

Apart from the bold and surprisingly strong political statements, the movie delivers some fine, well-rounded characters. Jamie Foxx looks the best I’ve seen him since “Collateral,” and offers a level headed, approachable character that the audience can feel comfortable with. The interaction between his team (which includes Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner) and the Saudi Military is well executed and progresses well as the movie moves forward. Cultural differences are revealed, brotherhood is initiated and overall you don’t want characters from either team to end up dead— The end result, as far as deaths go, is notably appropriate.

The film begins with an eye-popping bang and then settles and develops before sending the audience in to the most tedious, final half-hour we’ll see this year. The obligatory action at the end may seem rather abrupt, but was important to the film. This is the part where the movie really begins playing with the audience: Knowing full and well what these people have done, I was feeling utter hatred and contempt for the Saudi terrorists. My fist pumped the air as several were gunned down before they could kill our main characters. It was both scary and invigorating.

Is feeling hatred for real groups of people during a fictional story bad? The action makes you feel okay about it at first. However, as the final line of the film is uttered, (delivered by both Agent Fleury and the son of a Saudi terrorist) you sit there remembering how you felt—Remembering how much hate you had for the Saudi “villains” and how good it felt to see them shot dead… Suddenly you feel like a horrible human individual, but only because both characters said the same line. (And no, I won’t reveal it here. Go see it.) After walking out of the theater, feeling horrible, I surmised that perhaps “The Kingdom,” isn’t trying to preach anything, but rather weigh the pros and cons of our current war. Perhaps it’s just saying that as an entire race we’re as hopeless as ever. Or perhaps you should decide.

***½ out of ****