Archive for November 5th, 2008

05
Nov
08

In Passing… Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

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Author and filmmaker Michael Crichton has passed on. Known for mixing sci-fi and medicine in his novels and films such as “Timeline,” “The Andromeda Strain,” and “Jurassic Park,” Crichton began his career not in literature but in medicine. In 1964 he was an undergrad at Harvard College and earned his graduate degree from Harvard Med School in 1969. While in med school he began writing under the pen names of John Lang and Jeffrey Hudson. This would eventually payoff with the first book released under his name, “The Andromeda Strain.”

 

With the success of “The Andromeda Strain” (the book as well as the movie) Crichton ventured into Hollywood. His first film movie was, “Westworld.” In the future at an amusement park called Delos there are androids that are like humans in every way possible, except they’re not supposed to harm human beings. Until now. Directed and written by Crichton, “Westworld” became a sci-fi staple with a sequel and proposed TV show. From there Crichton directed “Coma” (based on the Robin Cook novel), “The Great Train Robbery” with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland, “Looker” with Albert Finney, and “Runaway” with Tom Selleck and Kirstie Alley. I recommend all these movies.

 

But Hollywood had burnt Crichton out, and he was much happier writing. In between films he released the novels, “Eaters of the Dead,” “Congo,” “Sphere,” and “Jurassic Park.” In the early Nineties Steven Spielberg got permission to direct “Jurassic Park,” and Crichton was back in the Hollywood game again, this time he keeping the rights for movies based on his novels. However, he did co-write the screenplay to “Twister” as well as created the hit NBC show, “ER.”

 

Crichton passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 4 in L.A. from complications with cancer. He was 66.

 

Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

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05
Nov
08

Movie News and Views Nov. 5, 2008 Trailer Edition

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“Cadillac Records” – Biopic on the record company that gave starts to Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Etta James, and others. Stars Adrien Brody, Mos Def, Cedric the Entertainer, and Beyonce Knowles. Opens December 5, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1326&item=1

 

“Che” – Part One of Steven Soderbergh’s two-part saga on revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevera. Stars Benicio del Toro. Opens December 12, 2008 View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=974&item=1

 

“While She Was Out” – Kim Basinger is an abused housewife who gets out of the house and goes to the mall, only to run into murderous thugs. Eventually, she finds herself in the woods with only her wits and a toolbox. Opens December 12, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1333&item=0

 

“Gran Torino” – Clint Eastwood plays a man in his seventies (who knew?) who saves the life of his Asian neighbor’s son, much against his prejudice. He ends up in a war against the gang that assaulted the son. Opens December 17, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1332&item=0

 

“Seven Pounds” – Will Smith stars as a guy about to commit suicide who falls in love with a woman. Also, he tries changing the lives of seven people for the good. Opens December 19, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1093&item=1

 

“The Reader” – Ralph Fiennes is a British guy trying to unravel the mystery of his past: a woman (Kate Winslet) who made him read to her who was tried for Nazi war crimes. Opens January 9, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1058&item=0

 

“My Bloody Valentine” – A remake. In 3-D. Stars Jaime King. Opens January 16, 2009 View the trailer at: http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1279&item=0

 

“Notorious” – A biopic on the life of rapper Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. Opens January 16, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1206&item=1

 

“Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans” – No need to tell ya what it’s about; you probably need to be a fan. This is a prequel to the series (then why make it #3?) Word on the street is that neither Kate Beckinsdale nor director LenWiseman are returning for this one. Stars Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy and Rhona Mitra. Opens January 23, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1096&item=1

 

“Fanboys” – The “will it be released?” movie of the past two years, if ya haven’t heard of it is about a group of guys storming the Skywalker Ranch before the release of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Looking back, I’m glad I never thought up this idea… Opens February 6, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=650&item=1

 

“They Came From Upstairs” – Comedy about a family moving into their vacation home, which is currently occupied by CG aliens. Stars Tim Meadows and Kevin Nealon. Opens February 13, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1269&item=0

 

“The International” – Clive Owen is an Interpol agent spearheading an investigation into financial corruption. Naomi Watts is an attorney who teams up with him to take a bank down. Opens February 13, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1023&item=1

 

“17 Again” – Matthew Perry is a 37-year-old whose life hits rock bottom and wishes he was twenty years younger. He wakes up as 17-year-old Zac Effron, and is able to re-write his high school life. Hope he doesn’t wind up in a musical… Opens April 17, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1117&item=1

 

“Angels and Demons” – Tom Hanks returns to the character from “The Da Vinci Code” for this installment, a sequel based on a book that was the prequel to “The Da Vinci Code.” Got that? Opens May 15, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=659&item=0

 

“Monsters vs. Aliens” – Dreamworks CGI film about a aliens poised to take over the Earth until the U.S. Government releases their secret weapon: a team of monsters (gelatinous blob, scientist/cockroach, fish-man, giant insect, and 50-foot-tall woman). Looks like it’ll be fun. Coming March 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=850&item=1