Archive for June, 2009

30
Jun
09

Movie News and Views June 30, 2009 Trailer Edition

“Not Quite Hollywood” – “Oz-ploitation”: the 1970’s and 1980’s era of Australian filmmaking. “Mad Max” wasn’t the only movie to make it across the pond. Showing in limited release (which sucks for anywhere but NY and LA) on July 31, 2009

“Cold Souls” – Paul Giamatti plays himself, a tormented actor who seeks relief through “soul extraction.” Opens in limited release on August 7, 2009

“Shorts” – Robert Rodriguez movie about a small suburban community centered around the Black Box company, which is a be-all end-all do-everything gadget. A mysterious rainbow-colored falls from the sky and has the ability to grant anyone’s wish. Opens August 7, 2009

“A Perfect Getaway” – Milla Jovavich and Steve Zahn are on a honeymoon in Hawaii when they discover they’re being stalked by a pair of killers. Opens August 14, 2009

“Spread” – Guy (Ashton Kutcher) who sleeps around in a life of privilege meets girl (Margarita Levieva) who does the same. Sorta reminds me of Audrey Tautou’s “Priceless.” Opens August 14, 2009

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” – Based on the novel about a man (Eric Bana) who has a genetic disorder that causes him to time-travel when he’s under duress. He tries to have a relationship with a young heiress (Rachek McAdams). Go back (and forward) in time on August 14, 2009

“The World’s Greatest Dad” – Robin Williams is a recently divorced poetry teacher who dreams of being a novelist. And then a whole bunch of bad stuff happens. Opens August 21, 2009

“Final Destination 4” – A guy named Nick O’Bannon goes to the racetrack with his family and friends and receives a premonition about an accident. He saves them and cheats Death, which isn’t the kind of thing Death takes kindly too. The 4th installment of the series opens August 28, 2009

“Whiteout” – Kate Beckinsale is a U.S. Marshal assigned to Antarctica who must solve a murder case in 3 days or else be stranded with the killer. Based on a series of graphic novels. Opens September 11, 2009

“The Invention of Lying” – Ricky Gervais movie about a world in which everyone tells the truth and his character ‘invents’ lying. Barring any fibbing, the movie opens on September 25, 2009

“Shutter Island” – Scorsese pic about two U.S. Marshals sent to a mysterious island to track down a criminally insane patient. Stars Leo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. Opens October 2, 2009

“Zombieland” – As if we can’t get enough zombie movies, this one has Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg as two guys who must escort a band of survivors to safety. Also stars Abigail Breslin, and Bill Murray. Opens October 9, 2009

“Amelia” – A look at Amelia Earhart, the aviator who disappeared flying over the Pacific in 1937. Stars Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Virginia Madsen and Ewan McGregor. The film lands on October 23, 2009

“The Box” – James Marsden and Cameron Diaz are a couple with a kid living in dire circumstances when a mysterious stranger gives them a box that has a button on it. Pressing the button will reward them with $1 million however, it will also kill someone else in the world they do not know. Based on the Richard Matheson story, “Button, Button.” Decide if you will press it on October 30, 2009

“Old Dogs” – John Travolta and Robin Williams are two business execs on the verge of the Biggest Business Deal of Their Lives and have to take care of 6-year-old twins. Uh, yeah. Opens November 25, 2009

“Daybreakers” – 2017. A plague has changed most of the human race into vampires, which are threatened with a dwindling blood supply. Meanwhile a researcher (Ethan Hawke) struggles to find a way to save the human race. Opens January 8, 2010

“The Last Airbender” – Based on the Nickelodeon TV series about a successor to a long line of Avatars who must stop the Fire nation from taking Earth, Air and Water. Opens July 2, 2010

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29
Jun
09

Remake Radar: The Stepfather

stepfather_1987

 

Welcome to Remake Radar, where we take on Hollywood’s penchant for remaking films for better or worse (which is most of the time). This month’s movie:

“The Stepfather” (1987)

Stars Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen, and Shelley Hack.

Director: Joseph Ruben

Story: Loosely based on the “John List” story, a guy goes around looking for divorcees and widows with families in order to secure the “perfect family.” When the family comes up short on expectations, he kills them and moves on. He next sets himself up as a real estate agent. When the teenage daughter begins to suspect that her mom’s new interest may be a wanted killer, this “perfect family” comes under threat.

What do we know now? Substitute a boy coming home from military school (Penn Badgley) for the teenage girl, Sela Ward as the mom, and Dylan Walsh taking Terry O’Quinn’s spot, and ya got yourself a remake. The director is Nelson McCormick, the same guy who directed the “Prom Night” remake.

I’ve never watched the original, so I’m not gonna call this one.

Watch the trailers, compare the two, whatnot. Enjoy.

Original trailer:

Remake trailer:

 

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26
Jun
09

In Passing… Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

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Singer, songwriter, and entertainer Michael Jackson passed away yesterday, June 25, 2009. Born Michael Joseph Jackson in Gary, Indiana he was the seventh in line with brothers Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Randy and sisters La Toya and Janet. The Jackson siblings got into music and at the age of 5, Michael began showing his talent. He joined the band his brothers started and the group became known as the Jackson 5. In 1966 they won a local talent show with young Michael leading a cover of James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” and from there they toured the MidWest in a string of black clubs and venues, often opening for stripteases and other adult acts. The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records in 1968 and their first four hits (two of which were “ABC” and “I’ll Be There’) went straight to number one. In 1978 Michael starred as Scarecrow in “The Wiz” where he met and teamed-up with Quincy Jones who agreed to produce his album, “Off the Wall.” The album was released in 1979 and gave Jackson his first two solo hits: ‘Rock with You,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” 1982 brought the release of “Thriller,” which is in the top five best-selling albums of all time. “Thriller” contained the hits “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and the title track “Thriller” (which included the voice of Vincent Price). A video for “Thriller” was made by director John Landis who would go on to direct other Jackson videos. Jackson then became friends with Paul McCartney, singing duet on “Say, Say, Say” and “The Girl is Mine,” but the friendship dissolved once Jackson bought half of the Beatles catalog in an auction. In 1987 “Bad” was released, giving the singles “Bad,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Dirty Diana.” He went to the White House, obtained several awards, and was proclaimed “The Artist of the Decade.”

Sadly while the 1980’s crowned him “The King of Pop,” his kingdom began slowly slipping away; his celebrity status quickly overshadowed his career in music. Charges of child abuse and molestation began plaguing him. His skin seemed to become whiter each year. He married Lisa Marie Presley and divorced her in less than two years. Following that he married his dermatologist’s nurse Deborah Rowe with whom he had a son and daughter. They married and divorced in 1999. Afterward there was the debacle with his label, child abuse charges, losing the Neverland ranch and leaving the United States. Jackson was poised for a comeback beginning in the UK this summer. He was 50 years of age at the time of death.

Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

For more information check out his IMDB page at:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001391/

25
Jun
09

In Passing… Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)

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Actress Farrah Fawcett passed away today. Born Farrah Leni Fawcett in 1947 in Corpus Christi, TX, she grew up attending Catholic schools and attended University of Texas in Austin from 1966-1969 where she posed in the “10 Most Beautiful Coeds” from the college for Cashbox magazine. Hollywood literally called and she answered, moving to L.A. at the end of her junior year. She first appeared in a French comedy, “Love is a Funny Thing,” as Patricia. From there she appeared in “Mayberry R.F.D.,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “The Flying Nun,” “The Partridge Family,” and “Harry O.” Her fame rocketed after having roles on “The Six Million Dollar Man” (she also married its star, Lee Majors) and became even more famous for playing Jill Monroe on the female detective show, “Charlie’s Angels.” She was a sex symbol for the 1970’s and 1980’s and picked up films and TV shows/movies here and there, last notably being on “Spin City,” and “The Guardian.” In 1982 she divorced Lee Majors and began a relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal which has been on-and-off. In the past few years her health declined, suffering from anal cancer. She was 62 years of age.

Thoughts and prayers for her family and friends.

For more information check out her IMDB page at:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000396/

23
Jun
09

In Passing… Ed McMahon (1923-2009)

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Actor, producer, comedian, and entertainer Ed McMahon passed away early this morning. Born Edward Peter Leo McMahon Jr. in Detroit in 1923, McMahon grew up in Lowell, MA attending Catholic schools. At the age of 15 he was a bingo caller in Maine, followed by 3 years spent as a carnival barker. From there he joined the Marine Corps and served as a flight instructor and test pilot. He put himself through college as a pitchman for veggie slicers and earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1949. Then, he returned to active service and flew 85 missions in Korea. Afterwards he remained in Active Reserve and retired at the rank of Colonel in 1966. In 1957 he was paired with Johnny Carson as announcer and host for the TV game show, “Who Do You Trust?” This lasted for five years. When Jack Paar left NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Carson took his place bringing McMahon with him. The two were side-by-side from 1962 until the last show in 1992. In 1983 McMahon hosted “Star Search,” until 1986. Following “The Tonight Show” McMahon has starred in various TV movies and films such as “Burke’s Law,” “Baywatch,” “The Tom Show,” etc. In the past few years, however, his health has declined as well as his personal assets; in March 2008 he was recovering from a broken neck and subsequent injuries from a 2007 fall and in June 2008 his home fell behind in payments with Donald Trump having to buy his home so it could be “rented to him.” Troubles aside, McMahon has earned his place in American culture; his star on the Walk of Fame is on 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Jack Nicholson referred to him in “The Shining,” and “Weird Al’s” parody of “Who’s Johnny?” was “Here’s Johnny,” citing McMahon’s signature phrase from “The Tonight Show.” McMahon was 86 years of age at passing.

 

Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

 

For more information, check out his IMDB page at:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0573012/

19
Jun
09

Movie News and Views June 19, 2009 Poster Edition

spiderman 4

 

All the Hollywood news fit to blog!

– Kevin Williamson is currently hard at work on “Scream 4.” His work just got harder because star Neve Campbell isn’t interested in coming back.

– Shia LeBeouf and Frank Marshall have confirmed “Indiana Jones 5” is in pre-production stage which (hopefully) means that hopefully it’ll get done before the ill-fated “Raiders of the Lost 401k” becomes a reality.

– M. Night Shamma-lamma-ding-dong is currently proposing a 2nd “Unbreakable” movie. I hate to say it but the title “Intolerable Cruelty” has already been used.

– There is current controversy in regards to Christopher Nolan returning to the “Batman” franchise. Purportedly he’s going to finish his current film “Inception” before deciding to do anything. If Nolan does not return to the “Bats,” there is a possibility that Christian Bale won’t, either. I can see Joel Schumacher waiting in the wings…

– “Teen Wolf” to be remade. yay.

– “Bride of Frankenstein” is being remade.

– Rumor-mill: Michael Sheen as “Blofeld” in “James Bond 23?”

– Sean Penn leaves “The Three Stooges” production.

– Roy Rogers will be riding back on to the silver screen, at least in franchise form.

– The live-action “Akira” movie is dead.

– Ron Howard has signed on to direct the “Stretch Armstrong” movie slated for release April 15, 2011. I got nothin’…

– Hugo Weaving will return as Elrond for “The Hobbit.”

– Mickey Rourke will play “Whiplash” in “Iron Man 2.”

– Joe Carnahan (“Narc,” “Smokin’ Aces”) will be directing the new “A-Team” movie and Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper are in negotiations for it.

– “Monsters, Inc.” will get a sequel.

– John Stamos is working on developing a “Full House” movie. I’m guessing a “Family Matters” movie is next?

– “Predator,” “Total Recall,” and “Commando” are slated for remakes. Is anyone interested in remaking the “also starring Ahnuld” movie “Junior?”

– And a “Short Circuit” remake is “Johnny-Five alive.”

– “Heathcliff” will coming to the big screen.

– Dreamworls Animation schedule:

How to Train Your Dragon (March 26th, 2010): Directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch), and will star Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig and TJ Miller. Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, the story centers around a teenager who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. But when he encounters – and ultimately befriends – an injured dragon, his world is turned upside down.

Shrek Forever After (May 21st, 2010): Directed by Mike Mitchell and will feature the original all-star cast, including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas.

Oobermind (November 5th, 2010): Formerly titled “Master Mind.” Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar) and will star Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey. When super villain Oobermind defeats his archrival Metro Man, the world should be his oyster. But instead, Oobermind falls into total despair. It turns out that life without a rival is life without a point for him. So he creates a new superhero rival. Unfortunately, the new hero wants to be a super villain too.

Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (June 3rd, 2011): The next chapter of the 2008 blockbuster is directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and will feature the return of the original all-star cast, including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross. A new villain has emerged with a mysterious weapon so powerful it threatens the very existence of kung fu. It is up to Po and the Furious Five to protect all that they know. But first, Po must confront his long lost past.

The Guardians (November 4th, 2011): Directed by Jeff Lynch. The world’s five unlikeliest heroes – Jack Frost, North (aka Santa), Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), and Sandy (the Sandman) – must band together to stop an ancient spirit called Pitch (the Boogeyman) from plunging the world into eternal darkness.

Puss in Boots (March 30th, 2012): Directed by Chris Miller and will star Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots and Salma Hayek as Kitty, Puss’ love interest. Swords will cross and hearts will be broken in this adventure starring one of the most beloved characters of the Shrek universe – Puss In Boots. It’s a swashbuckling ride through Puss’s early years as he teams with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs.

Madagascar 3 (May 25th, 2012): Directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar). Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple; King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are along for the adventure. This time the road takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent Madagascar style!

– Guy Ritchie to remake “Guys and Dolls.”

– Fox remaking “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” I wanna puke.

– “Anchorman 2” is green for go.

And that’s all the news I got, people. Thanks to WorstPreviews.com and JoBlo.com for the info!

 

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17
Jun
09

Movie Review: Up

up

 

The Spirit of Adventure.

Starring the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Delroy Lindo, and John Ratzenberger. Directed by Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson

Nice, charming, amusing and dare I say, delightful.

Carl Fredricksen (Asner) was just a kid when two important events occurred: his boyhood hero Charles Muntz (Plummer), world explorer extraordinaire, is ostracized and called a fraud when scientists question the bones of a rare bird he returned with. He subsequently returns to South America vowing to only return to Stateside after he has captured the elusive, rare bird. Also, Carl meets fellow Muntz-fan and future wife Ellie. In a silent montage we watch Carl and Ellie grow up, get married, buy a house, try to have kids, Carl become a balloon salesman, and the death of Ellie.

Carl is now 78-years-old and the home he rebuilt and grew old in is now the only small plot of land not owned by a corporation planning to build. Aside from loneliness his life is interrupted by the construction crew and Wilderness Scout Russell (Nagai), who pesters Fredricksen in order to earn his Elderly Assistance badge (we didn’t have that in Boy Scouts). When an altercation with Carl’s mailbox leads to a further altercation with a construction crew member, Carl is sent to court for damages and is sentenced to spend his days at Shady Oaks retirement community.

On the day he is to be picked up Carl releases thousands of balloons that are strung through the chimney. It’s up, up, and away as he heads to Paradise Falls in South America just like his boyhood hero, Charles Muntz. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned because while in mid-air, there’s a knock at the door. Russell had hid under his front porch and would like to come inside. Thus begins a friendship between two unlikely people who need each other more than they would admit; Carl needs someone to help him out on his adventure and Russell needs a father-figure in replace of his dad who left his mother for another named Phyllis (a nod to the “Mary Tyler Moore” show). Along the way the duo become a group adopting a talking dog named Dug and the rare bird that Muntz had went to retrieve (which Russell nicknames “Kevin”). Matters get worse when Carl and Russell meet Muntz himself who will do anything, including murder, in order to capture the bird.

This movie works on sheer simplicity; there are no hidden layers, the love story was laid out within the first 10 minutes, etc. It’s about two characters whose growth comes through adventure and it’s better than I thought it would be.

Thinking back there weren’t any certain scenes better than the others; the movie is pretty even. I watched this in Disney Digital 3-D and the color was amazing. There is one particular scene in which the floating house is being dragged in front of a red-purple sunset. That and the color on the bird (which looks like a gigantic, rainbow-colored Dodo), are fantastic. Aside from that you get attached to the characters; Russell’s life really affects you.

One final note for the “trivia” crowd: John Ratzenberger plays Construction Foreman Tom. And a final personal note: I enjoyed this more than “Wall*E.”

My grade: A