Posts Tagged ‘2009



26
Mar
09

Remake Radar: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

taking_of_pelham_one_two_three_1974Welcome 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 Taking of Pelham One Two Three” (1974)

 

Stars: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman, and Jerry Stiller.

 

Director: Joseph Sargent

 

Story: Four gunmen with color codenames hijack the Pelham 1-2-3 subway train. They demand $1 million in one hour for the train and the hostages they are holding. A veteran NY policeman handles negotiations and tries tracking down the identities of the gunmen. But with the tunnel surrounded by cops on both sides, how are the gunmen planning on getting away?

 

What do we know now?: In 1998 the movie was remade for TV starring Edward James Olmos, Vincent D’onofiro, Donnie Wahlberg, and Lorraine Bracco. And it’s being remade for the silver screen again, this time starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, directed by Tony Scott (“Top Gun”,”Déjà vu”). It’s technically renamed “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” It will be in theatres June 12, 2009.

 

Original Trailer:

 

 

Remake trailer:

 

 

taking_of_pelham_1-2-3_2009

27
Feb
09

March Movie Releases

The movie release schedule for March.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1517105/march_movie_releases.html

watchmen1

24
Feb
09

Remake Radar: The Last House on the Left

last-house-on-the-left_1972Welcome 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 Last House on the Left” (1972)

 

Stars: Sandra Cassel, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Richard Towers, and Cynthia Carr.

 

Director: Wes Craven

 

Story: It’s the end of Sixties/beginning of the Seventies and two girls go to the city to see their favorite band. After the show they’re raped and killed by newly escaped convicts. On the run, the convicts seek refuge, unknowingly, in the home of one of their victims. The parents piece together what happened and begin their revenge…

 

What do we know now?: Coming soon! Starring Spencer Treat Clark, Joshua Cox, Garret Dillahunt, Tony Goldwyn, Sara Paxton, and Monica Potter. Directed by Dennis Iliadis. Opens March 13, 2009.

 

 

The Original Trailer

 

 

 

The Remake Trailer

 

 

last_house_on_the_left_2009

 

 

23
Feb
09

A Superhero, a Gay Activist, and a “Slumdog”: Recapping the 2009 Oscars

oscar1For those who didn’t watch yes, “Slumdog” majorly won the Academy Awards.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look back at what just happened, shall we?

For the first time in “I don’t know how many” years, a foreign actor hosted the Oscars. Hugh Jackman, the Australian actor known mainly for playing “Wolverine” in the “X-Men” franchise hosted for the first time. Maybe he was selected because he was listed as a “Sexiest Man of the Year.” Maybe it’s because people love “Wolverine.” Either way he did okay, as in “passable.” Instead of inserting himself into the ceremony or making quips, as so many others have done in the past, he got that business out of the way in the opening segment. His joke about “Kate Winslet, a British actress playing a German, Robert Downey, Jr, an American actor playing an Australian actor playing an African-American, and me, an Australian actor playing in Australian in a movie called, ‘Australia’” was inciteful, but that was about it. Jackman ducked-out to let the other presenters hold the stage more than he, and maybe that was the safest route to go. I’m not quite sure that he’ll be asked back or if he would even come back if asked.

There were several themes to this year’s Oscars. The first was to give the audience at home a “stripped down” feeling as to how movies are made. This worked somewhat in the beginning when Jackman was doing a musical number that critiqued the Academy on how they made their decisions while he danced around cardboard set pieces. As the show went on this theme was reiterated but given up by the last hour.

Another theme: the Academy doesn’t like action or superhero films. Nothing is more blatant than when a $1 billion money-making movie’s nominations are centered around film editing, visual effects, and sound. If that wasn’t enough action star Will Smith hosted a segment around this fact even stating that while action movies don’t get the Academy’s attention, they do get the fans.

What’s the deal with musicals? I’ve never been a big fan of them, but apparently Hugh Jackman is. Not only did he do an opening musical number (as mentioned above) but he did another that montaged so many previous movie musicals together. Helping in the song and dance were Vanessa Hudgens, Beyonce Knowles, and members of “High School Musical 3.” After everything was said and done Hugh Jackman thanked everyone on stage. The camera quickly cut to Penelope Cruz who didn’t appear amused one bit. It then cut back to Jackman who proudly proclaimed, “This was created by Baz Luhrmann.” The camera quickly cuts to Baz who’s sitting in his chair with a look on his face that said, “Now I know what it’s like to sell my soul for a paycheck.”

One of the cool things the awards ceremony did was to present the awards for Best and Supporting Actors and Actresses by having five former Best Supporting Actors and Actresses walk onto the stage, each actor or actress lauding a specified nominee. Good job.

I was conflicted on some of the montage segments, especially with the camera zooming in on one moment, then zooming out as if we were watching a TV screen, then finding another screen and zooming in on that scene, then zooming out… etc. It worked for the animation segment, and kudos to Pixar for allowing characters from other animation studios to share space with “Wall*E.” That was cool. However the Judd Apatow Comedy montage segment was not save for Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski joining in with James Franco and Seth Rogen (“Sorry, Mr. Spielberg, business is slow.”)

One other positive note: Steve Martin and Tina Fey announcing the awards for Screenwriting. They were a great duo and one of the better pairs for the awards show.

As for the winners, losers, and upsets, let’s get this out of the way: almost everyone knew “Slumdog Millionaire” would take Best Picture (and then some) and that Heath Ledger would have a posthumous Oscar for “The Dark Knight.” Aside from that, most of the other categories people felt ambivalent about. Kate Winslet won for “The Reader,” which most critics claimed wasn’t as good as her work in “Revolutionary Road.” Whether there was any additional sympathy for “The Dark Knight” is questionable, but Batman did take home Best Sound Editing among its nominations but was upset by “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which took home Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects. “Milk” won Best Original Screenplay and caused an upset for Mickey Rourke and “The Wrestler,” when Sean Penn took Best Actor instead.

And now, the winners:

Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”

Actor in a Leading Role: Sean Penn, “Milk”

Actress in a Leading Role: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Directing: “Slumdog Millionaire”

Foreign Language Film: “Departures”

Music (Song): “Jai Ho,” “Slumdog Millionaire”

Music (Score): “Slumdog Millionaire”

Film Editing: “Slumdog Millionaire”

Sound Mixing: “Slumdog Millionaire”

Sound Editing: “The Dark Knight”

Visual Effects: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Documentary Short: “Smile Pinki”

Documentary Feature: “Man on a Wire”

Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”

Actress in a Supporting Role: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Cinematography: “Slumdog Millionaire”

Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Costume Design: “The Duchess”

Art Direction: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Short Film (Live Action): Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Short Film (Animated): “La Maison En Petites Cubes”

Animated Feature Film: “Wall*E”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): “Slumdog Millionaire”

Writing (Original Screenplay): “Milk”

Source: www.oscars.com

22
Feb
09

My Oscar Picks for 2009

oscarSo, I haven’t had a chance to see every movie nominated for an Oscar. But I’m not alone. From what I’ve had a chance to see, here are my picks for the 2009 Oscars.

Actor in a Leading Role: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”. Frank Langella may get it for “Frost/Nixon,” but I’m rooting for the Rourke.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight.” This was tough because I would like to see Robert Downey, Jr. get it for “Tropic Thunder” as well.

Actress in a Leading Role: Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married.” This would be a great upset because Meryl Streep is nominated every-other year, isn’t she?

Actress in a Supporting Role: Penélope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Just a hunch. Maybe I’m wrong.

Animated Feature Film: “Wall*E.” “Kung Fu Panda” may have a shot and call an upset, but everyone loves Pixar. Does “Bolt” seriously have a chance?

Art Direction: “The Duchess.” It’s a period piece. Do you think any others have a chance?

Cinematography: “Slumdog Millionaire.” Filming in India vs. filming on studio backlots.

Costume Design: “The Duchess.” Again, period pieces nail this category.

Directing: “Frost/Nixon.” I’d like to see it earn an award, but “Slumdog” may have this one.

Documentary Feature: “Man on a Wire.” It’s the only one I heard about this year.

Documentary Short: Dunno.

Film Editing: “The Dark Knight.” Unfortunately aside from Heath Ledger, “TDK” is a blockbuster and they usually nail this category.

Foreign Language Film: “Waltz With Bashir.” Liked the trailer, but the movie never made it to my town. Also, it’s the only FL I’ve heard of this year.

Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Aging Brad Pitt will win an Oscar? Why not?

Music (Score): “Slumdog Millionaire.” Just a hunch.

Music (Song): “Down to Earth,” Wall-E. If Phil Collins can get an Oscar, why not Peter Gabriel?

Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire.” But I would really like “Frost/Nixon” to win.

Short Film (Animated): “Presto.” I saw that one.

Short Film (Live Action): Dunno.

Sound Editing: “Wall*E.” The blockbuster category.

Sound Mixing: “The Dark Knight.” Blockbuster category.

Visual Effects: “Iron Man.” Blockbuster category.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): “Frost/Nixon.” I would like this to win something.

Writing (Original Screenplay): “Wall*E.” A safe choice for this one.

Enjoy the show. Hugh Jackman is hosting this year.

30
Jan
09

February Movie Releases

“Coraline” – CG tale of a girl who unlocks a magical door in her home that leads to a parallel dimension where not everything is as it seems. Features the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Keith David, and Ian McShane. Opens February 6, 2009

 

 

 

 “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

 

 

 

“He’s Just Not That Into You” – Ginnifer Goodwin, with the help of Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson, try to figure guys (Ben Affleck, Justin Long, etc.) out. I just wasn’t that into the trailer… Opens February 6, 2009

 

 

 

“Pink Panther 2” – Steve Martin reprises his role as Inspector Clouseau. This time around, he has to stop a continent-wide crime wave. Opens February 6, 2009

 

 

 

“Push” – Psychic espionage movie (that’s a first) about altered people with extraordinary powers getting revenge on the agency that created them. Stars Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning. Opens February 6, 2009

 

 

 

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” – Isla Fisher is a college financial grad who supports her shopping habit by being a financial journalist and looking for a wealthy entrepreneur. Opens February 13, 2009

 

 

 

“Friday the 13th” – Remake of the classic 80’s movie. Opens February 13, 2009

 

 

 

“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

 

 

 

“New York, I Love You” – An anthology of twelve short films, all shot in the Big Apple. Stars include Kevin Bacon, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke, James Caan, Eli Wallach. John Hurt, Natalie Portman, etc. Directors include Brett Ratner and Scarlett Johansson. Opens February 13, 2009

 

 

 

“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

 

 

 

“Under the Sea 3D” – IMAX 3D literally goes under the sea taking place off the coasts of South Australia and New Guinea. Opens February 13, 2009

 

 

 

“Fired Up” – Two popular high school guys ditch football camp for cheerleader camp. Opens February 20, 2009

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

“Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” – Fairly explanatory. Opens February 27, 2009

 

 

 

“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” – The Capcom video game comes to the big screen again. Stars Kristin Kreuk, Chris Klein, and Michael Clarke Duncan. Opens February 27, 2009

 

27
Jan
09

Movie News and Views January 27, 2009 Trailer Edition

“All About Steve” – Sandra Bullock is a crossword constructor who finds true love with a CNN cameraman (Thomas Hayden Church) and crisscrosses the country trying to prove it to him. Opens March 6, 2009

“The Horsemen” – Dennis Quaid is a bitter detective investigating a series of murders that may be related to Biblical prophecies. Opens March 13, 2009

“Miss March” – A guy wakes up from a 4-year coma to find out that his “angel is the centerfold.” Opens March 13, 2009

“The Great Buck Howard” – John Malkovich plays a magician whose illusions are becoming more transparent. He takes on an assistant played by Colin Hanks. Watch for Tom Hanks playing Colin Hanks’ father (there’s acting for ya). Opens March 20, 2009

“12 Rounds” – John Cera has a girlfriend who is kidnapped by a man from his past and now he has 12 labors before he can rescue his love. Opens March 27, 2009

“Alien Trespass” – A spaceship crash lands on Earth and escaping from it is a creature called Ghota that wants to destroy the Earth. A friendly alien chases after him and inhabits the body of a local astronomer (Robert Patrick) who teams up with a waitress to find the Ghota. Opens April 3, 2009

“Hannah Montana:The Movie” – Fairly explanatory. Opens April 10, 2009

“Crank 2: High Voltage” – Jason Statham has his heart taken out by a Chinese mobster and replaced with a battery-powered device that needs regular jolts of electricity to work. Opens April 17, 2009

“The Mutant Chronicles” – The world of the future. Corporations have destroyed all the natural resources. The last remaining humans, lead by Thomas Jane, must fight to survive against the Necromutants. Opens April 24, 2009

“My Life in Ruins” – Nia Vardalos (creator of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) works as a travel guide leading some rag-tag tourists around Greece. She begins having epiphanies on her life. Opens May 8, 2009

“Imagine That” – When successful financial exec Eddie Murphy’s career goes down the tube, he finds answers in his daughter’s imaginary world. Opens June 12, 2009

“500 Days of Summer” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a greeting card copywriter who loses his girlfriend Zooey Deschanel. He sifts through “500 days” of them being together to find out what went wrong. Opens July 24, 2009

“Planet 51” – When an astronaut lands on a planet that fears alien invasion, he has to avoid capture and reclaim his ship to return to Earth. With the voice of Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Jessica Biel, Gary Oldman, and John Cleese. Opens November 20, 2009

“The Hurt Locker” – When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat.  As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James’ true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever. Coming soon!

“Slammin’ Salmon” – The Broken Lizard comedy troupe’s newest movie. Michael Clarke Duncan is former boxing champ turned restaurant manager $20,000 in the hole who challenges his waitstaff to come up with the money or else. Coming soon!