Archive for April, 2008

29
Apr
08

May 2008 Movie Releases

 

 

 

 

“Iron Man” – Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark. Based on the comic book superhero. Opens May 1, 2008

 

“Made of Honor” – Patrick Dempsey’s best friend is Michelle Monaghan and upon returning from a business trip to Scotland, she’s engaged! And she wants Dempsey to be her maid of honor! But Dempsey is in love with her! Will I make it to the trash can in time before I puke? Opens May 2, 2008

 

“Son of Rambow” – British indie flick about a pre-teen kid in the 1980’s who is filming his own action movie, despite the fact that his stuntman/camera guy is of a different faith. And as usual, everyone wants to be in the movie. Opens May 5, 2008

 

“The Babysitters” – Katherine Waterston is a high school senior that picks up a few bucks by babysitting then goes for the gold with the children’s parent, John Leguizamo. She soon enters a spiral of hooking up her girlfriends with “upstanding” family men. Will there be an Unrated version of this? Opens May 9, 2008

 

“Redbelt” – Chiwetel Ejiofor is a martial arts instructor who saves the life of a Hollywood star and is propelled into a big time martial arts fight that he doesn’t want to do anything with. Was Van Damm-age asking for too much money? Directed by David Mamet. Opens August 21, 2008

“Speed Racer” – Here he comes… here comes Emile Hirsch . Yes, Emile Hirsch is Speed, Christina Ricci is Trixie, Matthew Fox is Racer X, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman are Speed’s parents… I’m gonna watch it for the visuals. Opens May 9, 2008

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” – It’s been 1 year for the kids, and about 1300 years for Narnia. Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund return (the actors playing them as well) to a different Narnia. Check out the trailer! Opening May 16, 2008

“What Happens in Vegas” – Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher wake up to find that they’re married to each other. Not based on a Britney Spears stunt… Opens May 16, 2008

 

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” – I don’t care what it’s about; I’m camping out for tickets! Star Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Shia LeBeouf, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Jim Broadbent. Opens May 22, 2008

 

“How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer” – Three generations of Mexican women struggling with romance. Stars Elizabeth Pena and America Ferrera. Nothing witty here. Opens May 23, 2008

 

“War, Inc.” – John Cusack is a hitman hired by Dan Akyroyd to kill a Middle-Eastern oil minister. Think “modern ‘Grosse Pointe Blank.’” Also stars Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff. Opens May 23, 2008

 

“The Foot Fist Way” – A martial arts instructor catches his wife cheating and goes on a downward spiral until he finds redemption. Supposedly, this movie was left for Adam McKay and Will Ferrell to watch and they watched it 10 times in a row before buying it. Opening May 30, 2008

 

“Meet Dave” – Formerly “Starship Dave,” Eddie Murphy is a giant spaceship inhabited by miniature aliens, the commander of which is Eddie Murphy. Uh, yeah. Opening May 30, 2008

“Sex and the City” – If you know anything about the HBO show, you’re doing better than me. Opens May 30, 2008

“The Strangers” – Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are a couple who move into a new house, only to be told that they are going to die. Supposedly inspired by real events. And I thought MY neighborhood was bad… Opens May 30, 2008

26
Apr
08

Remake Radar: Street Fighter

 

 

Welcome to the first edition of Remake Radar, where we tackle Hollywood’s penchant for remaking previous films (for better or worse). This week’s remake: Street Fighter.

 

“Street Fighter” (1994)

 

Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Kylie Minogue, and Ming-Na.

 

Director: Steven E. de Souza

 

Story: Evil druglord turned warlord General M. Bison (Julia) holds Allied Nations relief workers for ransom, and it’s up to one man, Colonel William F. Guile (Van Damme) to lead his troops against him, kickboxing if possible. Also thrown in for good measure is a news crew seeking revenge, a couple of cons, and a scientist being held hostage so he can create a genetic superwarrior.

 

Based on: “Street Fighter II” videogame.

 

What do we know now? According to screenwriter Justin Marks (“Voltron”) the movie will be based around Chun-Li, a female character in the series. Andrzej Bartkowiak (“Romeo Must Die,” “Exit Wounds”) will be directing. Dion Lam will be the fight choreographer (“The Matrix”).

 

Supposed cast:

 

Kristin Kreuk… Chun-Li

Michael Clarke Duncan… Balrog

Chris Klein… Nash

Rick Yune… Gen

 

Other cast members include Moon Bloodgood, Taboo, Edmund Chen, and Cheng Pei Pei.

 

Filming on “Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li” began in March 2008.

 

 

 

Sources:

 

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117981082.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 (Variety)

25
Apr
08

Movie News and Views April 25, 2008 Poster Edition

 

 

Yo Joe!

 

Hey everyone. Just giving a rundown of what’s in production, coming soon, or even just remotely on the drawing board. Enjoy!

 

-Chas

 

         Ayelet Zurer will join Tom Hanks in “Angels and Demons,” a “sequel” to “The DaVinci Code.” This stopped production during the writer’s strike, but has since picked back up. Also, if you know anything about the books, “Angels and Demons,” preceded “The DaVinci Code.” Go figure.

         Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) said the sequel, “Superman: Man of Steel,” is green for GO. Did he watch “Superman Returns?”

         Torture-porn director Eli Roth (“Hostel I & II”) is said to be working on a PG-13 movie. This little nugget of info speaks for itself.

         Universal Pictures is filing a class-action lawsuit Lionsgate because their movie “Witless Protection” is clearly a rip-off of “Midnight Run.” Seeing as no one watched “Witless Protection” (not even Yaphet Kotto, and he was in BOTH) there’s no telling how much money UP is gonna get.

         Ray Liotta, Seth Rogen, Anna Faris are all slated to be in “Observe and Report,” a movie about a mall security guard (Rogen) who gets in a turf war with local cops.

         For info on the new “G.I. Joe” film, click here: http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8376&count=0

         The Planet Earth is back for a proposed sequel to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” A documentary sequel? I’m not sure the Earth was all that convincing…

         Judd Apatow’s new comedy, “Get Him to the Greek,” is about an insurance adjuster who has to get a chaotic rockstar to the Greek Theatre in L.A.

         Virginia Madsen (sis to Michael) is playing Amelia Earhart in a new biopic.

         No more “Justice League.” Director George Miller had financial problems in Australia, and no one over here seems interested.

         Keifer Sutherland is in “Mirrors,” where he plays a mall security guard who discovers evil hiding in department store mirrors. What’s up with mall security movies?

         He can’t sing, but can he direct? Fred Durst directs “The Longshots,” about a poor Illinois town that backs a female quarterback who leads her team to the Pop Warner Super Bowl.

         “The Avengers” will unite many Marvel Superheroes. More info as it comes…

         Wes Craven’s new movie, “25/8,” is about teens haunted by a killer who died the day they were born. Alrighty…

         Zack Snyder (“300”) is doing an animated film based on “Guardians of Ga’Hoole,” a series of children’s books by Kathryn Lasky.

         Pixar’s slate to 2012: http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8196&count=175

         Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is slated to play the main character in “Prince of Persia,” based on the video game series. True story: I could never beat that game.

         “High School Musical 4” is in the works (whatever happened to “3?”)

         24 years too late, the straight-to-DVD sequel to “WarGames” entitled, “WarGames: The Dead Code” is coming. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

         “Goodie Two Shoes.” Not just a saying or an Adam Ant song, it’s a spoof brought to your by the guys who did “Meet the Spartans” and “Epic Movie.”

         Lindsay Lohan will be one of the infamous “Manson Girls.”

         As of today, April 24, 2008, Guillermo del Toro (“Hellboy”) will be directing “The Hobbit.”

 

Special thanks to: www.worstpreviews.com

 

          

 

         

 

 

24
Apr
08

Movie News and Views April 23, 2008: Trailer Edition

 

Hey once again everyone. Here’s the info on what new trailers are on the block, as well as the proposed release dates for the films. Enjoy!

 

-Chas

 

 

 

“The First Saturday in May” – Documentary by the Hennegan Brothers on that 2.5 minute race called, The Kentucky Derby. Sorry, the betting window has closed… Opens April 18, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/the-first-saturday-in-may/31077/video/trailer-no-1/2108665

 

“Earth” – From Disneynature (Disney’s going green), a documentary on Planet Earth. Narrated by James Earl Jones. Opens April 22, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1209&item=0

 

“The Babysitters” – Katherine Waterston is a high school senior that picks up a few bucks by babysitting then goes for the gold with the children’s parent, John Leguizamo. She soon enters a spiral of hooking up her girlfriends with “upstanding” family men. Will there be an Unrated version of this? Opens May 9, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8284

 

“How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer” – Three generations of Mexican women struggling with romance. Stars Elizabeth Pena and America Ferrera. Nothing witty here. Opens May 23, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/how-the-garcia-girls-spent-their-summer/21092/video/trailer-no-1/2108668

 

“War, Inc.” – John Cusack is a hitman hired by Dan Akyroyd to kill a Middle-Eastern oil minister. Think “modern ‘Grosse Pointe Blank.’” Also stars Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff. Opens May 23, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=878&item=0

 

“Recount” – Made for TV movie with Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, John Hurt, Denis Leary, and Tom Wilkinson about how Al Gore was “robbed.” It’ll be shown on HBO on May 25, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8271

 

“Andromeda Strain” – Ridley Scott and his brother take on the Michael Crichton bestseller. It’ll be premiering on A&E on May 26 and 27, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8272

 

“Miss Conception” – Heather Graham plays “beat the biological clock” as she goes through myriads of men, just to get a donor. Was there a line for this? Opens June 6, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/miss-conception/33427/video/trailer-no-1/2110408

 

“The Wackness” – Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Mary Kate Olsen, Famke Janssen and Method Man in a coming-of-age story, circa 1994. Your guess is as good as mine, but I heard Kingsley gets it on with Janssen and Mary Kate. Opens July 3, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1156&item=0

 

“Henry Poole is Here” – Luke Wilson is Henry Poole, a man who has given up on life until his neighbor finds the face of Jesus in his stucco. Also stars Radha Mitchell, George Lopez, and Cheryl Hines. Opens August 15, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1197&item=0

 

“Hamlet 2” – Where do I start? Steve Coogan is a failed actor turned high school drama teacher. When the school threatens to cut the drama program, he creates the play “Hamlet 2” (there’s a time machine involved). What follows is zany madness, complete with a your usual hijinks and a musical number called, “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.” Also stars Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler, David Arquette, and Elisabeth Shue. Opens August 22, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1195&item=0

 

“College” – Three best friends in high school check out a college. Been there, seen that. Opens August 29, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809834159/video/7491862

 

“My Best Friend’s Girl” – Dane Cook is a pro at picking girls up and taking them on the worst date of their lives, and have them running back to their exes. When Jason Biggs hires him to do this to his ex, Kate Hudson, Cook finds a challenge, as well as love. You would think that Biggs was a good enough reason to go back to Chris Robinson… Opens September 9, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1005&item=0

 

“Blindness” – A plague hits the Earth, causing everyone to go blind. Stars Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Danny Glover, and Sandra Oh. Opens September 19, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1183&item=0

 

“The Spirit” – Frank Miller takes the director’s chair and brings “The Spirit” to the screen. Gabriel Macht plays the titular character: a cop who fakes his own death to fight crime. Also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, and Jaime King. Opens January 16, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=841&item=0

 

“Battle in Seattle” – The 5 days in 1999 when demonstrators protested against the World Trade Organization. Stars Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, and Woody Harrelson. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.movieset.com/battleinseattle

 

“Young People F*cking” – Romantic comedy. Guess what it’s about? Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.ypfthemovie.com/

23
Apr
08

X-Files: I Want to Believe

 

Yep, that’s the title.

 

And, the cast of characters are making their rounds on the interview circuit. Click on a link to be taken to the interviews of:

 

David Duchovny           http://www.joblo.com/interview-david-duchovny

 

Gillian Anderson           http://www.joblo.com/interview-gillian-anderson

 

Frank Spotnitz              http://www.joblo.com/interview-frank-spotnitz

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the articles, and remember to pop back here and leave a comment. Thanks to Mike Sampson at JoBlo.com.

 

For more information, you can check out the Official X-Files 2 movie page at www.xfiles.com

 

11
Apr
08

Steal this article!

“Wanna copy?”

 

That’s how it always starts. “Tape this,” “burn that,” and even “record it for me.” As the technology for copying intellectual works (and I use that term loosely) gets increasingly better, the cases against copyright infringement pile up. Before I split too many hairs, let me go into the history of copyright infringement as I’ve seen through my lifetime.

 

I was a kid in the Eighties (living in KY) and didn’t have a lot. There was only one TV in the entire house and maybe one radio. I would play cassette tapes off my dual-deck tape player, and occasion dub one (wasn’t that what the function was for?) And it seems innocuous when you’re under 10: someone lets you borrow their tape; you copy it, and give it back. It didn’t have the exact quality, but it did have the songs you wanted.

 

As I got older, getting a “copy” of something basically meant that someone recorded a movie off HBO, Showtime, or Cinemax and gave it to you (which is –very technically- legal due to the 1983 Supreme Court ruling). While the “copy” I would receive was substandard (2nd only to the quality of scrambled porn), I did know of others who went to great lengths to get a VHS copy of a movie without buying it, due to the “scrambling” code imprinted on the tapes (no, I won’t give out names even if I could remember them). Sadly, I had a middle school teacher who had a video camera and “taped” a movie he had rented off his TV screen so he would have a copy to show to his history classes without always having to rent it.

 

Fast forward to a little after the year 2000. I’m sitting in a cafeteria on the college campus. Someone with a new computer and DVD burner is telling me that they’ve just downloaded a movie and burned it on disk. Being a film major I’m somewhat irked because I know that several people go into the making of a movie and this digital “thievery” is going to get worse before it gets better.

 

So, why do people decide to make copies? Here are my thoughts:

 

         Offers from friends: someone says, “Have you seen…?” You reply, “No,” and they follow up with “Wanna copy?” And this “saves” you money because you really didn’t feel like plopping down $5 at the blockbuster for “The Marine” (or whatever film you got a copy of but didn’t like).

         They want the movie, but can’t afford it. Yeah, it happens.

         Lack of “catalog” titles at the local video store. Most video stores keep current titles in their stock, and a few others that generate money. When you’re living in Bum Egypt, Nebraska it might be a tad difficult to rent Hitchcock’s “The Trouble With Harry.” I may be wrong, but you catch my drift.

         Space. A single disc gets tossed around and scratched; rendered useless before being tossed away. If you have the case and the ACTUAL DVD, you may have to be responsible and the chances you’ll destroy it are lessened (or maybe not).

         Don’t care/ won’t get caught. This applies to a lot of people because they’ll only do it a few times, and mostly for their close friends. The idea the guys dressed in dark suits with sunglasses knocking on your door while the SWAT team busts through the window just because you copied “Crank,” does tend to feel ridiculous. But…

         Fileshare programs. I don’t know the current crop on the block but I do know a little about this. The problem that stems from this, aside from the FBI and SWAT, is that the quality SUCKS. The halcyon days of VHS tapes made from the inside of theatres had better quality than some stuff I’ve seen. There are exceptions to this, but not many.

         The movie sucks, and no one should pay to watch it. See “Offers from friends.”

         Stickin’ it to the Man. The movie was made/distributed by Warner Bros. You burned it on an HP disc on your HP computer. It’s all in the ‘family,’ right? (HP is tied-in with AOL, which is owned by Time Warner, which is owned by the WB, which…)

         To get the film noticed. Probably the most valiant or honorable of reasons. With the fact that roughly 300+ American movies get distribution a year, and the fact that sometimes people just don’t have time, there are films that “slip through the cracks;” movies that you would probably liked had they came to the theater in your town, or the video store, or had you even heard about them. This can happen to a few independent films, and a large amount of foreign films waiting for distribution. Sad to say, this truism steady perpetuates itself.

 

I’ll close in saying this: yes, intellectual theft is wrong (even if the product isn’t exactly intellectual to begin with). Should you do it for any of the aforementioned reasons, whatever the case may be, please take it upon yourself to send some money the direction of the filmmakers, especially the independents.

11
Apr
08

The Best of Hest: 10 Iconic Charlton Heston Films

As some may know, actor Charlton Heston passed away on April 5, 2008 at the age of 84. With regards to his craft, I have sifted through his 126 films and now present to you the Top 10 Charlton Heston films in order of appearance.

 

 

The Ten Commandments (1956)

 

Straight out of the Old Testament, Heston portrays the life of Moses. His nemesis: Ramses, played by Yul Brynner who inhibits the classic cinematic antagonist. Throw in Edward G. Robinson as Dathan and Vincent Price for good measure. Biblical filmmaking has never gotten better than this.

 

 

 

Touch of Evil (1958)

 

If you’re a film noir person like me, this is on your must-see list (right after “The Maltese Falcon” and “Sunset Boulevard”). Heston plays Ramon Miguel ‘Mike’ Vargas (yes, a Mexican) who is recently married to Janet Leigh and is investigating murder in a Mexican border town. His nemesis: Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), the epitome of police corruption. I can’t recommend this film enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ben Hur (1959)

 

Taking a few cues from the Ten Commandments, this time Charlton is Judah Ben Hur, a rich Jewish prince put into slavery by his Roman friend, Messala (Stephen Boyd). What follows are the trials and tribulations of regaining freedom and vengeance. Oh yeah, and some impressive chariot racing.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

El Cid (1961)

 

Heston is the titular character El Cid /Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, the Spanish hero who drove the Moors from Spain. Also stars Sophia Loren. How can you go wrong?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Dundee (1965)

 

Cinema has had its fair share of megalomaniacs, from Charles Foster Kane to Daniel Plainview. One of the most overlooked of them is Major Amos Charles Dundee (Heston). It’s the post-Civil War years and a band of Apaches raid Army bases in Texas. Dundee decides to go after them, inducting a group of Confederates (headed by Richard Harris) and ignoring protocol by going into Mexico. Heston is great in a role that’s equivocal to Captain Ahab going after Moby Dick. Other reasons to watch the film include the supporting cast of Richard Harris, James Coburn, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Brock Peters, and Slim Pickens. Of note, this was the first major film from director Sam Peckinpah.

 

 

 

 

Planet of the Apes (1968)

 

The Hest is George Taylor, one of three astronauts that crash-land on a planet where simians rule and humans are the hunted. If you’ve never watched the original, make yourself do so. While current pop culture has given away the ending and every line has become part of American vernacular, there is something about sitting alone and watching this on your own. While Heston came back for a few minutes for the sequel, he did that for the paycheck. This is THE version of the film, unless someone makes a version closer to the book (where the apes had technology, like helicopters).

 

 

 

 

The Omega Man (1971)

 

In the second incarnation of Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” story, Heston takes the role Vincent Price played previous, except this time he’s up against the mutations caused by biological warfare whom have came together and called themselves the ‘Family,’ headed-up by Paul Koslo. Most notable about this movie (aside from the amount of times it’s been referenced on the ‘Simpsons’ or what the new ‘I Am Legend’ ripped from it) is the scene where Heston is driving down the streets of abandoned L.A. He stops, grabs his machine gun, and starts firing at a mutant. Classic.

 

 

 

 

 Soylent Green (1973)

 

The year is 2022 and the Earth is overcrowded, which doesn’t bode well for the already overcrowded New York City and Detective Robert Thorn. When a murder is linked to the obsessive food Soylent Green, Thorn investigates and finds out the deadly secret behind the new food. Also stars Brock Peters and Edward G. Robinson. Go ahead. Tell them, tell them all.

 

 

 

 

 Airport 1975 (1974)

 

I’m guessing they were going for a later date of release… Besides that Heston is Alan Murdock, a man who takes control of a 747 after a small plane collides with it, rendering the flight without a pilot. Somehow, they must land that plane! Also stars Gloria Swanson, Karen Black, Linda Blair, and Dana Andrews (no relation to me).

 

 

 

 

Earthquake (1974)

 

It’s still 1974 and Heston takes a shot at another disaster film: “Earthquake.” In it he plays construction engineer Stuart Graff, estranged from his wife Remy (Ava Gardner) and is having an affair with the widow of a co-worker (Genevieve Bujold). One of the eponymous disaster flicks of the Seventies, it also stars Richard Roundtree, Victoria Principal, and Walter Matthau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable mentions:

 

While Heston’s ‘leading man’ status waned around the late Seventies/ early Eighties, he became a supporting actor in the Nineties. His bit parts included:

 

Almost an Angel (1990)

 

He played God to Paul Hogan, but went uncredited.

 

 

Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

 

When Wayne (Mike Myers) is doing his homage to ‘The Graduate,’ he replaces Al Hansen (‘Bad Actor’) for Charlton Heston (‘Good Actor’).

 

 

True Lies (1994)

 

Heston is Spence Trilby, who overlooks the organization Ah-nuld works for. Oh yeah, and he wears an eye patch.

 

 

In the Mouth of Madness (1995)

 

I put this one in here not so much because Heston was in it, but it’s a fave movie of mine. Heston is the boss of a publishing company who’s looking for their star author, Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow). If you a fan of horror/ H.P. Lovecraft, check into it.

 

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your own Hest-Fest.