Posts Tagged ‘movie info



16
Jun
08

In Passing… Stan Winston (1946-2008)

 

 

Special effects master and makeup artist Stan Winston passed away last night at the age of 62. Winston’s start was doing gargoyle makeup for the 1972 TV movie, “Gargoyles.” From there he would do makeup for such movies as “The Wiz,” “The Thing, “Edward Scissorhands,” “Pearl Harbor,” “A.I.,” and “Constantine.” He’s more renown, however, at being the special effects guy for, “Aliens,” “Leviathan,” “The Relic,” “Predator,” “Constantine,” and the recent “Iron Man.”

 

Best wishes and deepest sympathies for the Winston family.

 

For more information, check out the L.A. Times article at:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2008/06/stan-winston-de.html

 

Stan Winston’s IMDB resume:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0935644/

 

Special thanks to Mike Sampson at JoBlo.com for his post on this.

30
May
08

In Passing… Harvey Korman (1927-2008)

 

 

 

Famed TV personality Harvey Korman passed away yesterday at the UCLA Medical Center in California from complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Korman was a talented comedic actor, appearing in several TV shows and movies with his beginning as the voice of the Great Gazoo for the cartoon “The Flintstones.” He would later go on to team up with Mel Brooks and play characters such as Hedley Lamarr (“Blazing Saddles”), Dr. Charles Montague (“High Anxiety”), Count de Monet (“History of the World, Part I), and Dr. Jack Seward (“Dracula: Dead and Loving It”). His real notoriety, however, came from being a character actor on, “The Carol Burnett Show” (1967-1978).

 

For more information, check out his entertainment resume at IMDB.com:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0466327/

 

“Count de Money!” “It’s COUNT DE MONET!” –“History of the World, Part I”

 

Best wishes to the family,

-Chas

30
May
08

Remake Radar: Highlander

Heeeere we are…

Yep, at the end of May and with another edition of Remake Radar. This month’s selection: the sci-fi fantasy summer sleeper flick, “Highlander.”

 

“Highlander” (1986)

 

Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart.

 

Director: Russell Mulcahy.

 

Story: Christopher Lambert (having just finished “Greystoke”) plays Connor Macleod (of the Scottish clan MacLeod) who was born in 1518 in the Highlands of Scotland. In the year 1536 he was killed by an immortal named “The Kurgan” only to wake up and walk and talk as if nothing happened. He’s quickly banished and moves out to the middle of nowhere, finds a wife, and begins settling down when he’s visited by Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Connery). Ramirez informs him that they are Immortal and cannot die unless they are beheaded. Oh yeah, and they can’t age or have children. For the next part, let me quote Connery from the movie:

 

From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.

 

It’s now New York City, 1986. Connor has to stay alive to fight against The Kurgan as well as keeping his identity a secret from Brenda Wyatt, whose knowledge of swordsmanship gets her caught in the middle of Connor’s quest for the Gathering whereupon if he wins, he will attain “The Prize”: the ability to be able to resume growing old, be able to have kids, and know the thoughts of all men.

 

And remember: There Can Be Only One!

 

Based on a story by Gregory Widen.

 

On a personal note, I hadn’t heard of “Highlander” until some point in the early-Nineties. Once I had watched the initial U.S. Theatrical Cut, I was hooked. Immortality. Scotland. Swordfighting. Women. What else did you need?

 

As with a lot of “original” material, “Highlander” spawned several films (I watched “Final Dimension” and “Endgame” in theatres) that sucked, but the TV show with Connor’s cousin “Duncan” (played by Adrian Paul) was worth watching (except for when they got into the “Dark Quickening”). I tried to like the sequels, but “Highlander 2” destroyed the “mysticism” of the first, the third was a rehashing of the first, and the fourth was entirely unneeded. As for the current direct-to-DVD “Highlander: The Source,” I’m wasting digital characters just mentioning it.

 

But for reasons unknown, there has been resurgence in “all things Eighties.” The rock band Queen has reunited (sort of) and have “rock musical.” “Highlander” itself now has a comic book. I guess it was only time before someone would begin plotting a remake.

 

What do we know now?: “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are on this one. They’re thinking of using the “guy who cannot die watches as girlfriends who can, do.” That was the angle Widen supposedly wrote…

 

I’m not calling this game just yet, but I believe that the remake will suffer from serious lack of a rockin’ soundtrack. No rumours yet as to if Lambert, Brown, or anyone else from the original will make a cameo appearance. Original producer Peter Davis will be overlooking the project, though.

10
May
08

Movie Review: Speed Racer

 

 

 

So this is what the ADD instant-gratification kids are into these days.

 

Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, and Richard Roundtree. Directed by the Wachowski Brothers.

 

When I was growing up, I watched “He-Man,” “Transformers,” and “G.I. Joe;” I was a kid of the Eighties. That being said, I had never watched the 1960’s cartoon “Speed Racer,” until I was much older and discontent with the latter-90’s cartoon offerings. With it having been released on DVD I watched a little of it with my younger brother and trust me, it didn’t take much speed to catch onto “Racer.” But I digress.

 

This movie’s (and I stress this is a movie, not film) storyline is this: Speed(Hirsch) is a racecar-obsessed kid living in a Technicolor world that looks like “Willy Wonka” on steroids. His childhood love Trixie (Ricci) helped him through high school and is his best friend/ love interest. After winning a race he’s visited by Corporate Owner Royalton (Roger Allam), your quintessential villainous “I can buy your existence” kinda guy, who makes an offer to Speed that unless Speed signs for him, his entire family and life are in jeopardy. This doesn’t bode well with Speed or his dad Pops (Goodman), Mom (Sarandon), his younger brother Spritle (Paulie Litt) or chimp Chim-Chim. Speed is approached by the infamous Racer X (Fox) and Taejo (Rain) to compete in the Casa Christo, the race of thieves, thugs, lowlifes and the desperate; it’s also the race where Speed’s brother was killed. Will Speed win it and go on to the Casa Grande, THE race where he can win a $1 million prize and show-up Royalton? Who is Racer X?

 

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, while I watched the movie the main question going on inside my head was: how do I review this thing. It’s not cheesy. It’s not boring. It’s not bad. Unfortunately, it’s not great, either. What settled in my head was this thought: there is a road between genius and madness, and this movie rips across it with reckless abandon.

 

On a technical level, this is one of the best green-screened movies I’ve ever seen. Yes, it is as visually assaulting as the trailer, with everything in crisp Technicolor; red, blue, orange, black, white, gray, green… if it couldn’t be done in the background, it was done digitally. The length of time the characters were on screen, the car racing, just about everything was done at “ludicrous speed.” (thankya, Mr. Brooks) If you try to get a handle on everything going on in a scene, you’d still be scratching your head over the first ten minutes of the movie.

 

What I will say is that the Wachowski’s have turned conventional storytelling on its ear. The quick-cuts and green-screening together with how they approached the “Speed Racer” formula… it may not be the greatest thing in the world, but it’s an approach that will soon take notice in filmmaking. Watch for it.

 

As for the acting… the “minor” actors of this movie seemed to have more fun than the major ones. Matthew Fox impressed me in the fact that I could believe in his character and that he can do more than crying on cue (sorry “Lost” fans). The other actor having fun with the movie was Richard Roundtree, who I would have never guessed would be in this movie.

 

All-in-all, I enjoyed the movie. My only complaints are that the characters were two-dimensional, and that this movie seemed to suffer from what the Speed fought against: corporate profit for the sake of profit. I wish it had been more fun to watch.

 

My grade: B (overall)

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

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