Archive for September, 2008

30
Sep
08

October Movie Releases

 

 

“An American Carol” – Kevin Farley (Chris’ brother) plays infamous unpatriotic filmmaker Michael Mallone (a shallow version of Michael Moore) who is contacted by three spirits of the past: General George S. Patton (Kelsey Grammer), John F. Kennedy, and George Washington (Jon Voight). Also stars Trace Adkins, Dennis Hopper, and Bill O’Reilly. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“Appaloosa” – Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris are friends hired to police a small town. It’s a Western. Also stars Renee Zellweger. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” – Animal-talking movie about a Chihuahua who goes from spoiled to gringo when she goes across the border. Features the voice of Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, and Andy Garcia. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“Blindness” – A plague hits the Earth, causing everyone to go blind. Stars Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Danny Glover, and Sandra Oh. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” – Aside from being the story of my life, this is the story of a London journalist who comes to the Big Apple to try his luck. Based on real events. Stars Simon Pegg, Megan Fox, Kirtsen Dunst, Gillian Anderson, and Jeff Bridges. Opens October 3rd, 2008

 

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” – Two punk kids at a concert fall for each other. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“Rachel” – A woman is getting married and her sister (Anna Hathaway) is there to bring the house down. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“RocknRolla” – London. Underground. Gangsters. Guy Ritchie. What more do you need? Also stars Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Ludacris, Jeremy Piven, and Tom Wilkinson. Opens October 3, 2008

 

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” – A woman who snags a job as a financial advise columnist must battle her addiction to shopping in order to keep her life from spiraling out of control. What other ideas were saved from the Disney studio waste-bin? Opens October 9, 2008

 

“Body of Lies” – Russell Crowe and Leo DiCaprio in a movie about trying to trap a dangerous Al Qaeda operative. Opens October 10, 2008

 

“City of Ember” – 200 years ago a city was built underground with a limited amount of power and resources. Time’s up. Stars Tim Robbins and Bill Murray. Opens October 10, 2008

 

“The Express” – Based on the true story of Ernie Davis, the first black American to win the Heisman Trophy. Stars Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid, and Clancy Brown (no relation). Opens October 10, 2008

 

“Quarantine” – A news reporter and a cameraman are stuck in an apartment while a deadly outbreak hits L.A. Stars Louisville native Jennifer Carpenter. Opens October 17, 2008

 

“Max Payne” – Mark Wahlberg plays the video game anti-hero: a maverick cop who is hunting down those responsible for killing his partner and family. Opens October 17, 2008

 

“The Secret Life of Bees” – Dakota Fanning is a 14-year-old girl on the run who lands at the beekeeping premises of the Boatwright sisters. Also stars Alicia Keyes and Queen Latifah. Opens October 17, 2008

 

“Sex Drive” – An 18-year-old takes his brothers ’69 GTO to get to Knoxville so he can get laid by a woman he met online. Put in your own response. Opens October 17, 2008

 

“W” – Oliver Stone presents a story of a man who knows how to party, how to gamble, how to have a good time. This man has some lows; notably, bad management over a sports team and oil company. However, he triumphs and becomes President of the United States. This piece of Americana opens October 17, 2008

 

“Changeling” – Angelina Jolie is a mom in 1920’s L.A. When he son comes up missing, she goes to the police. A kid is returned to her, but it’s not her son. Based on real events. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Opens October 17, 2008

 

“High School Musical 3” – Self-explanatory. Opens October 24, 2008

 

“Saw V” – Yeah. Self-explanatory, too. Opens October 24, 2008

 

“Synecdoche, NY” – In Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, Philip Seymour Hoffman struggles women and building a life-size version of New York in a warehouse for a play he’s staging. If you think that sounds weird, feel free to check out the trailer. Opens October 24, 2008

 

“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” – Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are roommates who are having problems making financial ends meet. Solution: make a porno. Kevin Smith wrote and directed. Opens October 31, 2008

Advertisements
29
Sep
08

In Passing… Paul Newman (1925-2008)

 

 

Actor, director, and humanitarian Paul Newman died Friday of complications in regards top lung cancer. He was 83. Born in Cleveland, OH, and growing up, had an affinity for theater. He began studying it before going into World War II, operating as a radioman/gunner. Upon returning to the States he finished his degree at Kenyon College and would later study acting at Yale and the Actor’s Studio in New York City. He entered Broadway and did original plays which included “Sweet Bird of Youth,” which he would later be in the film version as well. His first role was as Basil in “The Silver Chalice.” He would later go on to star in such movies as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Torn Curtain,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting,” “Slapshot,” “The Color of Money,” and “Road to Perdition.”

 

Newman’s humanitarian efforts stem from Newman’s Own, his signature salad dressing, popcorn, lemonade, salsa, etc. which brings in $200 million a year after taxes, all of which is donated to charity. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which he set up. And as of 2007 he started a $10 million scholarship at Kenyon College.

 

For more information, check out his IMDB page at:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000056/

 

Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

26
Sep
08

Movie News and Views Sept. 26, 2008 Trailer Edition

 

 

“Smother” – A young couple (Dax Shepard, Liv Tyler) are having problems in the bedroom because mom (Diane Keaton) has just moved in. Opens September 26, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1289&item=0

 

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” – Aside from being the story of my life, this is the story of a London journalist who comes to the Big Apple to try his luck. Based on real events. Stars Simon Pegg, Megan Fox, Kirtsen Dunst, Gillian Anderson, and Jeff Bridges. Opens October 3rd, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1094&item=0

 

“Synecdoche, NY” – In Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, Philip Seymour Hoffman struggles women and building a life-size version of New York in a warehouse for a play he’s staging. If you think that sounds weird, feel free to check out the trailer. Opens October 24, 2008. View the trailer a:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1150&item=0

 

“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” – Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are roommates who are having problems making financial ends meet. Solution: make a porno. Kevin Smith wrote and directed. Opens October 31, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=991&item=1

 

“Role Models” – Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd are energy-drink reps who get in trouble and are sentenced to community service via “Big Brothers.” Opens November 7th, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=772&item=1

 

“Milk” – Directed by Gus van Sant, this is the biopic on San Fran’s first homosexual mayor, Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn). Also stars Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, and James Franco. Opens December 12, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1151&item=0

 

“Valkyrie” – Tom Cruise heads up a cast of people trying to depose Hitler in Word War II. Based on a true story, and they’re stickin’ to it. Opens December 23, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=917&item=3

 

“Bedtime Stories” – Adam Sandler watches his sister’s (Courtney Cox) kids. When he reads them bedtime stories, elements of the stories bleed into reality with hilarious results. Opens December 25th, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=884&item=0

 

“Revolutionary Road” – Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet team up again, this time going forward a few years to the 1950’s, playing a couple dealing with personal problems while living in their Connecticut suburb. Opens December 26th, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=869&item=0

 

“Bride Wars” – Anna Hathaway and Katie Hudson are best friends who are planning on getting married on the same day. Hilarity and hijinks ensue, I’m guessing. Opens January 9th, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1259&item=0

 

“Inkheart” – Following the same theme of “Bedtime Stories,” this one has Bre-ndan “That’s FRAY-ZER, Not PHRASE-JOUR!” Fraser reading a book that comes to life. Opens January 9th, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=764&item=2

 

“Notorious” – Biopic of rapper Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. Stars Angela Bassett and Derek Luke. Opens January 16, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1206&item=0

 

“Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” – The Tyler Perry brand name continues with this one. Opens February 20, 2009. View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1256&item=0

 

“The Deal” – William H. Macy is a down-and-out film producer who agrees to do his nephew’s 19-century period piece. But when the action star slated to head-up the cast is kidnapped, he has to get creative. Also stars Meg Ryan, LL Cool J and Elloit Gould. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=804&item=0

24
Sep
08

Remake Radar: It’s Alive

 

 

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

 

“It’s Alive” (1974)

 

Stars: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farell, James Dixon, and Shamus Locke.

 

Director: Larry Cohen

 

Story: Frank and Lenore Davies are expecting their second child and soon give birth to a little monster. Literally, it goes on a killing spree any time it gets scared which happens quite frequently. “Hunting and killing babies doesn’t seem to be my specialty.”

 

What do we know now? It’s being released before the end of the year! Directed by Josef Rusnak from a re-worked screenplay submitted by Larry Cohen, it stars Skye Bennett, Ty Glaser, Laura Giosh, and Bijou Phillips. It’s already been released at a German film festival, and should be here in theatres or DVD by year’s end.

23
Sep
08

Movie News and Views Sept. 23, 2008 Poster Edition

 

 

To quoth the Staind, “It’s been a while…”

 

         Jon Favreau will be directing the “Iron Man” sequel, after the head of Marvel became upset that he took his “cause” to the Internet.

         Paramount Pictures has created a straight-to-DVD division. Watch for sequels to the films “Road Trip,” “Bad News Bears,” “Mean Girls,” “Grease,” and… wait for it… “The Naked Gun” to come to video store shelves soon. They plan on releasing 5-6 titles a year. Why?!?

         Ah-nold, the Governator, will have something to do with the upcoming “Terminator: Salvation” movie. Just what is not known…

         The joint Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson collaboration, “Tintin,” has been refused funding by Universal Pictures who cite that the film would HAVE to make $425 million, and they don’t feel it would happen.

         “The Strangers” will have a sequel.

         Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter of such films as “A Few Good Men,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War,” will be writing a movie about Facebook. Is MySpace not good enough? What about Hi5?

         Warner Bros. is planning a “Superman re-boot.” Think “Incredible Hulk” vs. “The Incredible Hulk.” Geez…

         Bruce Springsteen has written the theme to the upcoming Darren Aronofsky movie, “The Wrestler.”

         “Ghostbusters 3,” everyone’s favorite rumor, is supposedly in the works.

         “Where the Wild Things Are,” directed by Spike Jonze, has a release date of Oct. 16, 2009.

         “Spider-Man 4 & 5” are currently in the works, with Tobey Maguire reprising his role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

         Spike Lee is moving forward on “Inside Man 2.”

        

Info on the Coen Bros. next project: “A Serious Man” is the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous colleagues, Sy Ableman, who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job. While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter-writer is trying to sabotage Larry’s chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person – a mensch – a serious man?Tony Award nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (The Grey Zone) stars as Larry; Fred Melamed (Suspect) plays Sy; Richard Kind (The Visitor) portrays Arthur; and Minnesota actors Aaron Wolf, Sari Wagner, and Jessica McManus are cast as Danny, Judith, and Sarah, respectively. (taken from Worstpreviews.com)
 

 

 

         The makers of “Disturbia” are being sued for ripping-off “Rear Window.”

         “Rambo 5” will be coming to theatres. Maybe if we DIDN’T draw First Blood…

         The makers of Guitar Hero are refusing to let Brett Ratner make a Guitar Hero movie. I got nothin’ to say…

         David Hasselhoff will be in “Beverly Hills Ninja 2.”

         Disney is creating a new movie around their attraction, “Tomorrowland.”

         “Rashomon” is being remade.

         A movie is being based on the PC game, “The Sims.”

 

18
Sep
08

New James Bond theme

 

 

Check it out! The new theme for the Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace,” as performed by Alicia Keyes and Jack White.

http://www.imeem.com/people/Gnuk1-O/music/PFQVHzx8/alicia_keys_another_way_to_die_feat_jack_white/

12
Sep
08

Movie Review: Transsiberian

 

 

One solid ride from Beijing to Moscow.

 

Starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Eduardo Noriega, Ben Kingsley, and Kate Mara. Directed by Brad Anderson

 

Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer are Roy and Jessie, two Americans in Beijing who are helping disadvantaged kids in China through Roy’s church. Roy is affable, happy-go-lucky, and dopey; he’s a manager of a hardware store who loves trains, which leads them to taking the Transsiberia Express. Jessie we find out wandered into Roy’s life via a DUI accident and spends her time perfecting amateur photography. Both love each other, but are having their problems.

 

Enter Carlos and Abby (Noriega and Mara), two drifters who stay in the same cabin as Roy and Jessie. Carlos says that Abby is a teacher in Korea, but little else of what she or he does. As the film progresses each of the characters aren’t quite what they seem and try figuring the others out. Abby is just a drifter, Carlos is a drug mule, Jessie is dealing with her inner demons, and Roy is oblivious to the seedy side of people.

 

What follows is Jessie and Roy becoming separated, with Carlos and Abby staying with her. After an altercation with Carlos, Jessie finally reunites with Roy and is introduced to Grinko (Kingsley), a Russian Narcotics Detective who knows more about Carlos and Abby than he lets on. With the altercation becoming the main Plot Point the film hinges on, lies beget more lies and Roy and Jessie are soon on the run for their lives.

 

The incredible thing about this film is that it hangs on the acting of Emily Mortimer; I have no clue as to how close her real life may have been to the source material, but I never stopped believing her character. Woody Harrelson was subdued, Kingsley did a good job, and I haven’t seen Noriega in anything since “Open Your Eyes.”

 

If you, dear reader, detect even an ounce of ambiguity to the description, it’s because there’s so much about this film that I can’t/won’t tell you because it would destroy going to see this film. Brad Anderson is my one of my favorite psychological thriller directors (next to Christopher Nolan) and with films such as “Session 9” and “The Machinist” under his belt, this is in the same ballpark. Other critics have denounced the beginning as being slow but hey, not all movies have to “hit the ground running.” Plus the buildup in the movie is incredible. And the ending, while happy, still left my nerves unsettled for the rest of the night.

 

One fun thriller with “Strangers on a Train,” and “Rope” influence thrown in. Hitchcock would be proud.

 

My grade: A