Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trailer: Will Ferrell & Zach Galiafinakis in 'The Campaign'

"Is anyone asking how my hand feels after punching that iron-like jaw of that baby?"

Looks like Will Ferrell's mind had a Ricky Bobby/George Bush baby and came up with Cam Brady, while Zack Galifianakis' made up twin Seth got his own movie.

I'll still see it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Red Band Trailer: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, & Jonah Hill in "The Watch"

For a red band trailer with 3 of my favorite comedic actors, I was expecting this to be better.  And who the hell is the 4th guy?  They couldn't get Will Ferrell to fill in?

Interesting fact:  This film was originally titled 'Neighborhood Watch', but was renamed after the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

'The Watch' hits theaters on July 27th.

He Said She Said: A Guy & Girl's Review of 'The Avengers: IMAX 3D'

"We're not a team.  We're a time bomb."  Those words encapsulate the driving force behind 'The Avengers'.  It is a destructive spectacle unlike any other, and at the same time an interesting character study on what happens when enormous egos are put in the same room.  Think 'Transformers' with a brain.
'The Avengers' follows the converging story lines of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as they are brought together by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to combat a force unlike anything the Earth has ever seen.  The army of other-worldlies is led by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor's exiled brother, who wants to gain control of an unbridled energy source called the Tesseract (which was also the MacGuffin in 'Captain America') and inenvitably rule the world.  The Avengers is rounded out by the best the Earth has to offer: the world's greatest spy, Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson), and the world's greatest archer, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).  But assembling superhumans who have each saved the world once before (in their own movie) proves to be a flammable situation.  Can this ragtag team band together in time to defeat Loki and save the fate of the world?

In short, 'The Avengers' is the best comic book movie since 'The Dark Knight'.  However, not everyone may like this movie.  Namely, my girlfriend.

She: I hated it.

He: I saw you rolling your eyes under those 3D glasses.  What could you have possibly not liked about this movie??

She: It was two and a half hours of aliens and creatures.

He: See, that sounds awesome to me.  And you've seen the other Marvel movies before... you didn't expect that from a comic book movie?

She: No.  I liked 'Iron Man'.  I liked 'The Incredible Hulk' too.  I don't mind superhero movies, as long as they're grounded in reality.  On this planet.  Although I thought 'Captain America' was cheesy, I liked it a lot better than 'Thor'.  If I would have known that the villian in this movie was Thor's brother, I would have lowered my expectations.

He: I actually liked Loki as the villian in this one.  He's much more formidable a foe than he was in 'Thor'.  Tom Hiddleston made Loki more menacing, crazed, and almost downright disturbing in 'The Avengers'.  His gaze approaches Hannibal Lector levels in certain scenes.

She: I will say this: 'The Avengers' was a lot scarier than I expected for a PG-13 movie.  People brought their little kids to this!

He: Good point.  Even the subject matter is decidedly more adult than the previous flicks.  You really feel like the world is at stake in this one.

She: And thankfully you made me watch the other movies, otherwise I would have had no idea what was going on.

He: Well, the storyline of this one isn't that hard to follow...

She: Yes, but the characters had no backstory.  If I hadn't seen 'Captain America', I would be asking "who the hell is this dork running around in the blue suit?"

He: I'm sure you'll catch flack from the fanboys for that one.  I did like how director Joss Whedon didn't waste time with that though... it definitely pays to see the previous movies. They didn't spend much time on Hawkeye and Black Widow either.  They gave them just enough motivation to have skin in the game without weighing down the movie with even more history to keep track of.  Plus, I'll never complain about casting Scarlett Johannson...

She: And even though I hate the story of Thor, he's not hard to look at...

He: So can we agree that 'The Avengers' is at least worth the price of admission?

She: If you know what you're in for, sure.  And the only way to see it is in IMAX 3D.

He: Couldn't have said it better myself!

'The Avengers' is now playing in theaters.

He Review: 9.5/10

She Review: 6/10 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Live Blog Review: 'The Avengers' Prologue Flicks ('Iron Man', 'The Incredible Hulk', 'Iron Man 2', 'Thor', 'Captain America: The First Avenger')

With the inevitable success of Marvel's new blockbuster, 'The Avengers', releasing today, it's only right that we should revisit the movies leading up to it.  I thought it would be fun to live-blog/tweet my thoughts while re-watching the flicks to refresh your memory as to why we loved (or hated) these movies.


'IRON MAN' (2008)
  • The opening scene is the best superhero movie intro this side of "The Dark Knight"
  • I used to have the cell phone Stark uses in this movie... dude's a genius billionaire and he hasn't designed his own phone yet? #weak
  • Jeff Bridges is an absolutely perfect comic book villian.  And bald guy.
  • Downey replaces Vince Vaughn with the off-the-cuff style of Favreau.  Similiar, sure, but welcome? Definitely.
  • Lighten up Terrance Howard, this is a comic book movie.
  • "The best weapon is the one you never have to fire, I respectfully disagree.  I prefer the one you don't have to fire twice".  Sick line.
  • Downey as Stark > Downey as Iron Man
  • Of course, the terrorists are from the Middle East!
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. - Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division... "Quite a mouthful" is right
  • Wait... Jeff Bridges is working with terrorists... The Dude does not abide!
  • Nevermind... he wants to rule the world himself.  USA!  USA!
  • Jeff Bridges beard >>> my beard
  • Tony, you look like shit... what happened, did someone rip your heart out?  Oh yeah...
  • "Next Time baby"... no, Terrance.  There will be no next time for you.
  • How did Jeff Bridges just jump into a suit he's never used before and become an expert?  And I guess it comes with voice modulation and loud speakers??
  • Wait a second... how did Tony, or Pepper, or the building survive that explosion?!?!  Oh yeah... this movie has flying people in it. 
  • "I AM IRON MAN."  And just like that, Robert Downey Jr. went from actor in rehab to multi-millionaire.  Damn it I want to be rich!

  • The abridged backstory for this flick is nice; I hope 'The Amazing Spider Man' does the same.  If you're rebooting your movie a few years after the original, you shouldn't be spending the first act on exposition.
  • Edward Norton's hair color changes just as much as his skin color in this movie
  • If some Brazilian fountain drink company put radioactive blood in my soda, I would be a millionaire AND a hulk.  Then Tony Stark & Bruce Banner would have to have an Iron Man Hulk baby to stop me.
  • Maybe if Banner wasn't spending his factory worker salary on all this lab equipment, he could afford a better apartment.
  • I wonder if William Hurt had to grow his eyebrows out for this role.
  • Tim Roth just shot that dog!!!  I bet he's a bad guy...
  • Is Edward Norton's hair black, brown, or dark blonde?  It's literally changing from shot to shot.
  • Ju Jitsu is cool for self defense, but Bruce should have learned Muay Thai.  Can you imagine a Hulk Elbow/Knee Smash?!
  • I used to speak Spanish semi-fluently, and I can't understand a word these Brazilian guys are saying.  It's almost as if Portuguese is a different language or something...
  • Gamma Rays must make your skin elastic as hell.  The Hulk is like 15x the size of a normal human and when he returns to Bruce, he doesn't have stretch marks or anything. #whatsyoursecretHulk
  • How do you kill The Hulk if bullets bounce off his skin?  #Hulk>>Superman
  • Sweatpants with the elastic band.  #HanesIsTheHulksSecret
  • I'm sorry, but everytime I see Liv Tyler, I think of three things: "Armageddon", animal crackers, and Steven Tyler singing "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing"
  • Whoa, that pizza shop owner has bigger catepillars eyebrows than William Hurt!  #theyrecalledtweezers
  • Lou Ferrigno cameo.  Priceless.
  • Wait, the dude from Judd Apatow's movies makes a cameo in this as well?
  • Why does The Hulk's shirt always rip off but his pants stay on?
  • Sound weapons are so cool.  So are car door shields.
  • College Campus Action Sequence>Forrest Action Sequence>>Final Showdown Action Sequence
  • You can still win the girl, Phil.  The Hulk isn't funny and charming.  He is actually kind of a dick.
  • HAHA he doesn't like the purple pants.  Lou Ferrigno must be offended. #fanboyjoke
  • Bruce Banner can't have sex cause he gets too excited?  I don't want to be the hulk anymore.
  • Tim Blake Nelson.  Great Supporting Character Actor.
  • "Why are you always hitting people?" Great Question, Tim Blake Nelson.
  • Wait... The Abomination is a Stegasaurus?
  • Bruce Banner must have just watched 'Mission Impossible: ' before jumping out of that helicopter.  #Regrettabledecision
  • Comic book movie or not, there's no way Bruce would have survived slamming into the concrete pre-Hulk.
  • Car door shields<<<Police car boxing gloves
  • How come The Abomination knows how to speak perfect English but The Hulk can barely put a sentence together?
  • Elbow bone spurs should be banned from future superhero/supervillian fights.  #unfairadvantage
  • Thank God The Hulk never attended an Avicii concert.  One clap and everyone would die.
  • Robert Downey Jr. must have been seriously hungover for that after-credits scene.  Either that or his makeup lady was.

'IRON MAN 2' (2010)

  • Was Mickey Rourke's mustache painted on for this movie?
  • Of course every supervillian has to have a weird, interesting pet.  For 'Iron Man 2'?  A parrot.
  • Looks like Jon Favreau decided to give himself a lot more screen time in this flick.  Happy Hogan has had more lines in the first 25 minutes than the entire first film.
  • The mantra of this film is MORE.  More Downey quips, more improv, more action.  Not sure if that's necessarily a good thing, but at least we're getting our money's worth.
  • Guaranteed that Mickey Rourke is as scary in real life as he is in this movie.
  • Sam Rockwell needs to ease up on the fake tanner, holy moley.
  • I forgot DJ AM made an appearance in this movie.  RIP.
  • Drunk Iron Man is not a role model, kids.
  • Fighting your best friend with titanium suits on, destroying everything in sight.  #IWantOne
  • Why doesn't Tony Stark like people handing him things?  I don't get it.
  • BOOM.  Tony Stark just rendered the periodic table obsolete.  Take that, high school chemistry teacher!
  • So 'Jarvis', Tony's self-aware AI assistant, is not more impressive and dangerous than the Iron Man suit?  Haven't these guys seen the 'Terminator' movies??
  • Black Widow changing for fight sequence>>>> Black Widow fight sequence >>>> Iron Man fighting Mickey Rourke, who's sitting at a computer
  • "Drop your socks & grab your Crocs..." Wow.  *DEAD*.

'THOR' (2011)

  • Seeing The Northern Lights... on the bucket list.  Either that, or I can wait for Thor to come to Earth.
  • Ever since 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', I will never be able to trust Stellan Skarsgard again.
  • Asgard looks like The Emerald City.  'The Wizard of Oz' was so ahead of its time. 
    How do they make Anthony Hopkins look so young?  They must have used the same youth technology on Rene Russo.
  • Why do the gods in this movie all have British accents? That's right... Kenneth Brannaugh directed it.
  • If Thor's hammer was forged in the heart of a dying star and its power has no equal, how can Captain America's shield block it?  #ImJustSayin #findingloopholes
  • I wish Idris Elba had more to do in this movie... like push drugs or solve murder cases.
  • Chris Hemsworth plays 'arrogant' almost as good as Robert Downey Jr.
  • Whoa... the last half hour was a prologue to the beginning of the movie?  What is this, 'Pulp Fiction'?
  • Is it just me, or does this drone machine monster seem rather unimpressive?
  • Loki better become more dangerous in 'The Avengers', cause right now he's coming off as a whiny younger brother, if a whiny younger brother had the ability to travel to different realms of the universe.


  • Howard Stark technology<<<Benjamin Button face transplant technology
  • I could watch Tommy Lee Jones read from a dictionary and be riveted.
  • "Wars are fought with weapons, but they are won by men."  Best line in the whole movie, and it was lifted from General Patton
  • This movie is about the little guys, who become the big guys, who become famous, who go overseas and punch a bunch of people to end world war.  It's uber-realistic.
  • I wonder how many pushups Chris Evans did before filming the transformation scene. My guess is a billion.
  • Two fists high for Hail Hydra?  It must be twice as evil as the Nazis...
  • "Each bond you buy is a bullet in the barrel of the best guy's gun" Great alliteration, US Government Marketing Dept.
  • It's a wonder I can understand what anyone in this movie is saying when all their lines are delivered with their tongues in their cheek.
  • It's obvious that Captain America should be disqualified from the Olympics for long jumping.  Dude's got hops.
  • How many faceless henchmen must die before we realize that Captain America must be stopped?
  • Zero gravity fight in 'Captain America' <<<<<<<< zero-gravity fight in 'Inception' 
  • Hugo Weaving makes a formidable villian.  Plus his German accent is spot-on.  I still want him to break into a cartoony Austrian Ahhnold impersonation though. 
  • How was Red Skull killed??  Did the ghosts from 'Raiders of The Lost Ark' consume him??
  • Ending was a bit trite... Captain America not only survived the crash, but was successfully frozen for almost 70 years? #CopOutEnding

Enjoy the flick and look out for Film Authority's review of 'The Avengers' in IMAX 3D, posting this weekend!

Posters Re-Imagined: 'The Avengers' Edition

At this point, who hasn't seen a TV Spot, Trailer, or Poster somewhere for Marvel's biggest bet, 'The Avengers'?!  Exactly.  So to kick off Film Authority's 'Avengers' themed Day-O-Coverage, let's flip the marketing on it's ear and take a look at the B-side of 'The Avengers' from some creative minds, shall we? 

Without further adieu, Posters Re-Imagined: 'The Avengers' Edition.

Next Film's rendition of what 'The Avengers' would look like as an independent film:
Has a very 'Little Miss Sunshine' feel to it...

Selected prints from the Assemble exhibit that Gallery 1988 is holding in Los Angeles right now...
Gallery 1988 Assemble - Rhys Cooper
Too much testosterone to include Bruce Banner??  It looks like Thor wants a piece of Black Widow...

DKNG Studios
Clean, simple.  I like it.

Caring For Others - Scott Campbell
AWESOME. POSTER.  This is from Scott Campbell, and it is going up on my fridge kiddo!

Finally, my favorite prints come from Mondo, a collectible arthouse boutique in Austin TX.  We'll start by supporting the two least cared-about characters on the team:

The Avengers - Hawkeye Mondo Poster
Still not sure what the world's best archer has to offer a team with a Hulk, but I guess we'll see...

The Avengers - Black Widow Mondo Poster
From Russia With Guns... And awesome boobs.  I would totally see this movie.

The Avengers - Thor Mondo Poster
It looks like Chris Hemsworth was lumberjacking in his free time and they superimposed his head on a drawing... in a good way.

The Avengers - Captain America Mondo Poster
I actually like this poster more than anything I saw for the 'Captain America: The First Avenger' movie.  They really should enlist artists to create posters for summer blockbusters.
The Avengers - Hulk Mondo Poster
Is that an alien in the background?? Damn you, Ridley Scott!!  Stay in your own movie!!

The Avengers - Iron Man Mondo Poster
Cool... I still prefer Black Widow's poster...
'The Avengers' is in theaters and IMAX 3D today!!! Get your tickets!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trailer: 'Call Of Duty Black Ops 2'... Future is Scary As Hell

Ok... so I'm bending the rules a bit here.  'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' is not a movie perse', though some would argue that its cinematic experience is every bit as exhilerating as any Hollywood blockbuster.

'Black Ops 2' starts in the 80s and follows through to 2025, where the US is on the brink of World War with China over precious metals. The story comes from the creative mind of David Goyer, who developed the stories behind films like 'Batman Begins', 'The Dark Knight', and the forcoming Superman flick, 'Man of Steel'. Game developer also enlisted Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution to keep the technology and warfare seen in the game grounded in reason for a realistic picture of the future. I am actually rather frightened by this trailer; it harkens back to the days when I saw the grim view of Judgment Day during 'Terminator 2'... there's a fine line between realistic entertainment spectacle and genuine fear of what's ahead...

In any case, I'm not much of a gamer anymore, but it's hard to deny the entertainment sensation that is the Call of Duty franchise. 'Black Ops 2" hits shelves on November 13, 2012.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trailer: Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Now this is what I BEEN sayin'.

This new trailer, which I believe is going to be playing before 'The Avengers' IMAX this weekend, amps up the hype machine for summer's (and perhaps the year's) most anticipated film.

Some footage from the breathtaking prologue is used, some shots from previous trailers as well, but this is a lot of new dialogue, some more action set pieces, and gives us a tease of what we're in for come July 20th.

AND We can now understand what the hell Bane is talking about, which is good.  Call me crazy, but is anyone a bit sad that Batman is a broken man in this one??

My level of excitement for this flick is as high as it can possibly get.  How about you?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Featurette/Trailer: Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Will Make Your Brain Explode in Anticipation

I'm trying desperately to avoid any further footage of this movie, and haven't even watched the new 3-minute trailer I included below.  I couldn't help myself with this relatively benign featurette though. I must say, the marketing department behind this movie deserves a serious golf clap. 'Prometheus' now rivals 'The Dark Knight Rises' as my most anticipated movie of the summer.
'Prometheus' hits theaters in 2D, IMAX, & IMAX 3D on June 8th.

Friday, April 27, 2012

First Look: Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in 'Hitchcock'

Talk about spot-on casting... these two share the same initials and the same turkey neck!  Will Hannibal even need to act for this one?!?!

'Hitchcock' follows the making of the Hitchcock horror classic, 'Psycho', and is based on the book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  I haven't read it, but apparently there were several trials and tribulations in getting the film made.  Color me intrigued (which I believe is somewhere between fuschia and robin's egg blue).

I wonder if this movie will get a shot-for-shot remake starring Vince Vaughn in 20 years...

First Look: 'Django Unchained' looks off the hook... see what I did there?

Well that was quick... Entertainment Weekly just released the first images from the set of Quentin Tarentino's new flick, 'Django Unchained'.

Sick overcoat, Christoph.  And Jamie, what is that color on your jacket... olive?  The costume designer for this movie must have been a store manager for Banana Republic.

Quite the ascot there, Leo.  Although I wouldn't suggest doing home improvement projects in a three piece suit.

This movie looks awesome already.  It looks like Quentin is going for a very specific look, which means that he has some serious ideas swirling around in that coke-laden genius head of his.  I loved the Spaghetti Western aspects of 'Kill Bill', so this should be as good or better.

Review: "Safe" Takes Absolutely No Risks

In 1998, there was a pretty crappy Bruce Willis actioner by the name of 'Mercury Rising' that followed an exiled FBI agent (Willis) who takes it upon himself to protect a young Autistic boy from numerous nameless assassins after he cracks a highly-secure government code.  'Safe' is the 2012 version of 'Mercury Rising', substituting action and swear words for the barely detectable heart of its predecessor.  What were producers Lawrence Bender, who has produced all of Tarentino's masterpieces, and Kevin Spacey, who has been tied to some of the best movies of my generation, thinking when they agreed to make 'Safe'?!

Jason Statham plays Bruce Willis, I mean Luke Wright, a tormented former NYPD detective and now undercard MMA fighter in New Jersey (what a backstory).  Wright is such a great fighter with obvious skeletons in his closet that he accidentally kills his latest opponent with one punch after taking a self-imposed beating during a fight he was supposed to throw anyway.  His victory has cost a lot of people a lot of money, namely a Russian mob boss who wants his payment.  The boss's son kills Luke's wife and unborn child, but leaves him unscathed to roam New York City's homeless shelters in anguish, urging him to kill himself.  Interestingly enough, you also find out (all through expository dialogue) that his old police friends don't like Luke's return to the Big Apple either.  For whatever reason, they kidnap him, beat him up, and again, urge Wright to commit suicide.

Meanwhile, a young, smart Chinese girl who is a wiz with numbers is kidnapped by the Chinese gang in NYC to run finances for several of the businesses the gang owns.  You find out that all of her business efforts were simply a test to evaluate her memory, as she is then tasked with remembering an extremely long and evidently important number for the head of the gang.  On her way to deliver the number to whoever, the Russian gang intercepts the motorcade, all hell breaks loose, and the girl escapes.  She crosses paths with Statham's character in the subway, literally on the edge, as he contemplates stepping in front of the next train.  He senses her danger, perceives her as his reason to live, and goes on a killing spree to thwart the efforts of the Russian gang, Chinese gang, and corrupt cops to capture her.  At no time do you care about this girl; she simply exists as a reason for Statham to kick ass.

The dialogue in 'Safe' is many times cringe-inducing, with characters simply used as plot devices to explain what the hell is happening, and Statham delivers one-liners that harken back to the days of Arnold/Stallone flicks (not in a good way).  The action, while brutal and at times impressive thanks to Statham, is rather pedestrian and often falls victim to the standard gun fight.

For all the nay-saying, there is some cool one-take cinematography during the scenes where the girl is abducted.  In addition, Statham does commit to his part in this movie, which encourages you to see the story through. 

Perhaps I'm being hard on 'Safe'; I just saw no reason for this one to be made.  Sorry Lawrence Bender.  'Safe' opens in theaters today, April 27th.

Acting: 4/10

Direction: 6/10

Writing: 4/10 

Movie: 5/10

Verdict:  Rent it if you're a Statham fan or you haven't seen 'Mercury Rising'

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Michael Fassbender is a Robot... New 'Prometheus' Viral Video

This viral marketing for Ridley Scott's new 'Alien' prequel-ish flick, 'Prometheus', has me freaked out.  Now that I know Fassbender is an android in this movie, his stoic appearances in the trailer (below) make more sense.  The viral vid is interesting and creepy as hell, and I am absolutely PUMPED for this movie.

'Prometheus' stars the likes of Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce ('Memento') and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell on 'The Wire'), and is directed by Ridley Scott, the legendary director behind blockbusters like 'Gladiator', 'Black Hawk Down', 'Blade Runner', and obviously, 'Alien'.  The script was co-written by Damon Lindelof, co-creator of 'Lost', so you know this flick is going to be ridiculous.

'Prometheus' hits theaters in IMAX 3D on June 8th.

Gotta love the *BRAHHHMM* sounds made famous by Hans Zimmer in 'Inception'.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Newsflash: Tarentino's 'Django Unchained' Synopsis

On December 25th, Quentin Tarentino will unleash his new flick upon the masses (see what I did there?).  I'll let the Weinstein Bros. tell you what it's about:

Set in the South two years before the Civil War, "Django Unchained" stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.

Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.

Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed by trainer Ace Woody (Kurt Russell) to battle each other for sport. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie's trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival...

Written and directed by Academy Award®-winner Quentin Tarantino, DJANGO UNCHAINED is produced by Stacey Sher, Pilar Savone and Reginald Hudlin. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole. DJANGO UNCHAINED will be released in the U.S. on December 25, 2012, and internationally by Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Christoph Waltz as a Civil War Mr. Miyagi, Jamie Foxx as a bad-ass-former-slave-bounty-hunter, & Leonardio DiCaprio as a villian?!  DONE.  Wake me for 'The Dark Knight Rises', then wake me for this.

Newsflash: Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' Has A Release Date

Darren Aronofsky's dream project, 'Noah', has been rumored for years now.  The budget was in the hundreds of millions and no studio would finance the biblical epic... until Aronofsky re-wrote the script and revised the budget.  Rumors were for Liam Neeson to star, but most recently, Russell Crowe has been attached to the project.  Paramount announced the production in October, and now we've got an official release date!

'Noah' will be released on March 28th, 2014.

Darren Aronofsky in a recent statement:
"Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family's journeyThe imaginations of countless generations have sparked to this epic story of faith. It's my hope that I can present a window into Noah's passion and perseverance for the silver screen."
I know it's a long way off and we still need to survive the Mayan calendar in order to see it, but this announcement has me PUMPED.

Review: 'The Cabin In The Woods' Is Fresh, Weird, & Cool

It's so hard to write about movies like this without spoiling the plot, which is what makes 'The Cabin In The Woods' such a treat in the first place.  Then again, to say "movies like this" would imply that there are other flicks out there like this one.

I admittedly am not a huge horror fan, so it takes alot for the genre to to peak my interest enough to see something in theaters.  Thinking back, the last horror movie I saw in theaters was 2005's 'The Descent' (which was awesome).  After hearing that 'The Cabin In The Woods' was an original take on the horror movie, I decided to bypass any further details and simply check it out myself.  I was not disappointed.

5 naive college students head to the mountains on Spring Break to get drunk and fool around.  There's a jock (played by a less-Thor-looking Chris Hemsworth), a slut, a nerd, a prude, and a pothead.  They slowly realize that things aren't what they seem... then bad stuff happens.  Sound familiar?  It is... but that's the point.

'The Cabin In The Woods' is both tongue-in-cheek and takes itself seriously; it's something we've all seen before and yet it's wholey original.  Confused?  Good.  Drew Goddard, the director, wouldn't have it any other way.  He expertly deconstructs the stereotypes played upon in every "cabin horror" movie the same way Wes Craven tackled the slasher movie in 'Scream'.  Goddard infuses humor to go along with the scares a la Sam Raimi's 'Evil Dead'.  And those are the two best compliments I can pay to 'The Cabin In The Woods'.

I could dance around the specifics for another 500 words or you could just trust me and see the damn movie.  It's strange, it's funny, it's original, it's cool.  I mean, where else can you watch a dude beat up a zombie with a bong disguised as a travel coffee mug??

Acting: 7/10

Direction: 9/10

Writing: 9/10 

Movie: 7.5/10



Friday, April 13, 2012

Newsflash: 'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' Officially Announced

None other than Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez distributed a press release today announcing the 'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' is officially in production.  'Sin City 2' has long been rumored, with stars like Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie attached to join the already star-studded cast, and with the Weinstein Company producing, who knows where we could end up here.

Obviously, specifics are being kept tightly under wraps, but Frank Miller's 'A Dame To Kill For' graphic novel centers around Dwight, played in the original 'Sin City' by Clive Owen.  Since my favorite scene in the original is the car scene during Dwight's storyline (guest directed by Quentin Tarantino no less), I'm pumped for this.  Evidently, so are Rodriguez & Miller:

Robert Rodriguez:

“I have wanted to re-team with Frank Miller and return to the world he created since the day we wrapped the original, but have felt a duty to the fans to wait until we had something truly exceptional that would meet and exceed what have become epic expectations. 'A Dame To Kill For' will certainly be worth the wait."
Frank Miller:

“The first 'Sin City' knocked out audiences who had never seen anything like it before. Robert Rodriguez and I are going to shake things up and deliver a ferocious film experience that is going to go even further than the first." 
"Ferocious"??? "Go even further than the first"?!  A dude got his nuts shot off within the first 5 minutes of the original.  How much further and ferocious could we go?

Newsflash: Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson Reuniting for 'The Internship'

Awesome news coming in today from FirstShowing.net... 20th Century Fox is bringing the Wedding Crashers back together.  Details still seem to be a bit scarce, but we do know that Shawn Levy, director of Steve Carrell's 'Date Night' & Hugh Jackman's 'Real Steel', is attached to direct.  Vince Vaughn is also producing and co-penned the script, so you know the flick will be worth at least a few laughs.

The film could almost serve as an unofficial sequel, or even prequel to Wedding Crashers as it follows two old school salesmen who, finding themselves suddenly unemployed and passed-by in the digital world, try to reinvent themselves by becoming interns at a major tech company.
I actually hope this is completely independent of 'Wedding Crashers'.  There are very few prequel/sequels, especially in comedy, that actually work as well as the original.  Either way, this should be well worth the price of admission.

Trailer: Joseph Gordon Levitt & Bruce Willis in Time-Travel Actioner, "Looper"

"This time travel crap... it fries your brain like an egg."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hitman Bruce Willis from the past.  Or does Bruce play Gordon-Levitt from the future?  And they're both trying to kill each other?  No matter who succeeds, doesn't that erase both of them from existence?  I'll be honest, I've been baffled by this time travel stuff since 'T2: Judgment Day'.

Here's Sony's synopsis:

In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.
'Looper' also stars Jeff Daniels, who is always awesome, and Emily Blunt, who I thought was phenomenal in 'Adjustment Beurau'.

Review: 'Titanic: An IMAX 3D Experience'

15 years after its initial release in 1997 (has it seriously been that long?!), James Cameron is bringing his ultra-successful blockbuster back to the big screen, with the added novelty of 'Titanic' appearing in 3 dimensions.  The big question is-- is this "limited engagement" even necessary, and does it deserve my hard-earned money to see again in theaters?  The answer is almost as big as the ship itself: YES & YES.

In case you were on Pluto when 'Titanic' came out, the film is the tried-and-true story of star-crossed lovers who overcome all odds to follow their hearts and fight for everlasting love on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic in 1912.  With dialogue that's, at times, almost as corny as my previous sentence, this mammoth of a movie could have easily collapsed on a trite story line, bloated budget, and ludicrously high expectations.  But like its main characters (and unlike the ship itself), 'Titanic' rises up to absolutely entertain on sheer human emotion and spectacle.

Jack Dawson (Leonardio DiCaprio) is a poor & happy Wisconsin boy who has made his life as a travelling artist, laying his head wherever he ends up at the end of the day.  Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is the well-to-do fiance' of an elitist oil tycoon named Cal (played brilliantly by Billy Zane).  Jack boards Titanic after winning a ticket during a lucky poker hand; Rose is on her way back to Philadelphia to wed Cal, albeit against her will, in order to retain her family's position as a wealthy name after her father's untimely death.  Jack meets Rose when she half-heartedly attempts suicide in order to gain attention.  Jack talks Rose off the ledge and also provides her a look at what it's like to sieze the day (which women find incredibly sexy... trust me).  The two inevitably fall for each other and fight for their love... both against the stereotypes of their class, as well as the circumstances destiny lays before them.

Is the story original??  Hell no.  It's Romeo & Juliet with a ship.  But most of today's stories originate at least partly from Shakespeare anyway.  Where 'Titanic' succeeds is in its execution, thanks to the sure eye of James Cameron.  The writing, though sometimes eye-roll-inducing, is largely genuine for kids in love.  The cast is phenomenal all around... Leo & Kate have outstanding chemistry, the supporting cast (especially Kathy Bates) make you care about the other lives on the boat, and the 197 minutes seem to fly by.  The sinking of the ship is as grand and terrifying as you could possibly imagine.  The budget, which at the time was the most expensive movie ever made, goes to good use.  Much of the special effects are done live in-camera, and the result makes for a very visceral experience, one that is as unforgettable as the amount of Oscar noms the flick received.

It's been 15 years since the movie came out and spawned so many pop culture memes, it's hard to believe you would have read this review if you hadn't already seen the flick, so let's get into the IMAX and 3D aspects, shall we?

Firstly, I must admit: I'm a huge fan of IMAX (no pun intended), assuming the film is designed to be viewed on a screen that size.  None of that "same movie on a bigger screen" BS... either actual IMAX footage (see 'The Dark Knight' and 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol') or a digital conversion to IMAX (see 'The Hunger Games').  The picture and sound is far superior and offers a much more immersive movie-going experience that I truly believe is worth the extra dough. 

So how does 'Titanic' match up?  Perfectly.  James Cameron personally monitored the conversion to IMAX and 3D, and the result is fantastic.  The IMAX makes the movie look and sound better than ever, and the 3D adds immersion without becoming gimmicky (no, Kate Winslet's nipples don't pop out of the screen at you).  While I would say that the 3D isn't absolutely necessary, I've never been so wrapped up in 'Titanic' before, and I've seen this flick at least 7 times by now.

In closing, 'Titanic' is one helluva movie that will appeal to all ages and genders.  The film is deeply rooted in humanity, love, and survival, which speaks to why it was so successful.  The IMAX 3D adds even more emotion and high stakes to the ride, making this movie a can't-miss in theaters.  Highly recommended.

Acting: 8.5/10

Direction: 10/10

Writing: 7/10 

Movie: 9/10

Medium (IMAX 3D): 10/10

Verdict:  MUST SEE!