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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Not So Arrested Development


Anyone who has read my posts on this blog should know how I feel about the late Arrested Development. I have said repeatedly that it was the greatest show ever to air on TV, and I still believe that with every bone in my body.

Ever since the final episode of the series aired in February of 2006, fans have been eagerly expecting the feature film that the aforementioned episode eluded to. Then, for a period of almost three years, nothing really happened, minus the occasional interview in which Jason Bateman would say that they were all interested in doing it. There was even an Independent AD Documentary Project. in the works.

Well, after all this waiting, it seems that the development of this movie is no longer that arrested. I don't want to speak to soon, but it looks like this movie is finally happening. Ron Howard, the producer, and narrator of the series, has signed on to direct. Mitchell Hurwitz, the genius creator has written a draft of the script. Almost every single original cast member has signed on to reprise their roles, even the more minor characters.

It looks like this movie is actually going to happen.

More to come.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Review: MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D

Horror films have been in a bit of a rut lately, with most movies being a remake of sorts (Asian or of the '80s slasher variety) or low-budget torture porn movies often followed with a number of sorts in yearly installments. While the movies are still popular in their niche the films are often critically panned and ignored by the general public. With a tag line of "Nothing says 'date movie' like a 3D ride to hell" you'd either ironically want to see it or label it as another stupid horror remake and ignore it completely. I'm pleased to say both reactions would be perfectly acceptable and depending on which one you've chosen you'd know whether or not its worth seeing this movie.



Seeing My Bloody Valentine 3D was a surreal experience. It's the kind of movie that you'd completely forget about upon leaving the theater but have fond memories of it anyway. The plot follows around a sheriff in a small mining town ten years after a miner brutally massacred a bunch of teenagers with a pick-axe. After the murderer was shot dead and buried by the cops, the small mining town became a tourist attraction of sorts from the popularity of the horror story. Now the killer has mysteriously returned while in the meantime the hot shot sheriff is suspicious that his wife has been cheating on him. Don't expect any more set-up than that during the film's short sans credits 90 minute run time.

If your expecting a thriller with elaborately crafted scares, you might as well stop reading this review now half the theater was laughing at any given time during the movie. My Bloody Valentine 3D NEVER takes itself seriously and as a result almost turns into a weird parody of the current horror remake scene, playing off of every single 3D gimmick in the process. The original 1981 My Bloody Valentine was not a horror classic by any means and if taken seriously this could have just been another forgettable remake much like last spring's Prom Night.

Without spoiling anything, the events revolve around the death of a woman who's only function in the film was to be naked for five or so minutes. The scene is ridiculous and we keep on getting glimpses of the sheriff re-watching the suggestive witness tape throughout. A lot of the characters would shout at sporadic moments and scenes that would supposed to be dramatic would drag on way longer than they should for comedic effect. At one time the sheriff stood by the grave and argued whether or not the killer was actually dead for upwards of 10 minutes, usually repeating the same "are you SURE he was dead?" line again and again.

If you've enjoyed Snakes on a Plane and are tired of catching up on the underwhelming Academy Award nominees grab ahold of some sarcastic friends and a $2 REAL-D surcharge and you'd be up for a fantastic time. Just don't expect to think much.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spotlight: Aziz Ansari


Some of you may have heard his sly, likable voice stringing you along a joke as though he were Mitch Hedberg. Others may have seen him on Human Giant. Others may have seen him pop up in countless internet shorts.

Well Mr. Aziz Ansari is now popping up onto the silver screen. Soon to be released are I Love You, Man, Observe and Report, and Funny People, three movies where he will be linked to funny men we know well. Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Judd Apatow have found a way to include Aziz in their cinematic antics, and it probably won't be too long until he has his own starring role.

For those of you who have not had a chance to listen to any of his stand-up comedy, do yourself a favor and go for it. He's a very talented comedian, and I can't wait to see what the future holds in store for him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Review: WALLACE & GROMIT - A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH



Wallace and Gromit are back, but this time on DVD in a 27 minute short entitled "A Matter of Loaf and Death."

Wonder what that could be about, right?

Well - in it, Wallace and Gromit are starting their new careers as bakers. Every morning they make a ton of bread and deliver it by throwing it like a newspaper boy, and destroying everything in their path. Its a great job, but it is a bad time for bakers, mainly because 12 of them have already been murdered. Now it gets interesting.

I won't tell you anymore though, because that's called a spoiler.

This is surely the darkest episode of the entire Wallace and Gromit series. It was a little uncomfortably dark, and that made it hard to enjoy the whole way through (for me at least). Still, the good ol'e british humor and creative gags are still there (Look at the 'Top Bun' truck pictured above.... Top gun...anyone?), but I could never fully get into it. Also, I was left wondering what happened to all the characters that we saw in 'Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit'. I understand that they were not needed in this film, but I would have at least liked to have seen where Lady Tottington was.

Still, check it out. If you are a Wallace and Gromit fan, you will likely get a kick out of it.

Ps.

Wallace and Gomit will hit theaters again next year with another feature film! Get excited.
3 stars

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Review: INKHEART


Do you remember how much silly fun you had watching the last Brendan Fraser movie? Which one was it? Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D? The Mummy 1, 2, or 3? Or was it George of the Jungle or Dudley DoRight? Brendan Fraser has always seemed comfortable doing cartoonish caracter in cartoonish movies. Sure he has done more serious roles, such as the pool boy in the James Whale biopic Gods and Monsters, but when you think of the next Brendan Fraser movie that is not what you think. Inkheart is a movie that in concept would have worked as the next Brendan Fraser adventure. It is a shame that it is only in concept because it does not even work on paper since is writing is one of the worst I have seen on adventure movies since the new Hulk movie.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2008 Oscar Nominations


Here we go, the list is here at last:

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Frost/Nixon: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
Milk: Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
The Reader: Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris
Slumdog Millionaire: Christian Colson

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins for The Visitor
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn for Milk
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie for Changeling
Melissa Leo for Frozen River
Meryl Streep for Doubt
Kate Winslet for The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin for Milk
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams for Doubt
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis for Doubt
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler

Best Director
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry for The Reader
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant for Milk

Best Original Screenplay
Frozen River: Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky: Mike Leigh
In Bruges: Martin McDonagh
Milk: Dustin Lance Black
WALL·E: Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt: John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon: Peter Morgan
The Reader: David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire: Simon Beaufoy

Best Cinematography
Changeling: Tom Stern
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Claudio Miranda
The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister
The Reader: Roger Deakins, Chris Menges
Slumdog Millionaire: Anthony Dod Mantle

Best Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter
The Dark Knight: Lee Smith
Frost/Nixon: Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Milk: Elliot Graham
Slumdog Millionaire: Chris Dickens

Best Art Direction
Changeling: James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo
The Dark Knight: Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando
The Duchess: Michael Carlin, Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road: Kristi Zea, Debra Schutt

Best Costume Design
Australia: Catherine Martin
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Jacqueline West
The Duchess: Michael O'Connor
Milk: Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road: Albert Wolsky

Best Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Greg Cannom
The Dark Knight: John Caglione Jr., Conor O'Sullivan
Hellboy II: The Golden Army: Mike Elizalde, Thomas Floutz

Best Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Alexandre Desplat
Defiance: James Newton Howard
Milk: Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire: A.R. Rahman
WALL·E: Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
Slumdog Millionaire: A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho")
Slumdog Millionaire: A.R. Rahman, Maya Arulpragasam("O Saya")
WALL·E: Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman("Down to Earth")

Best Sound
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Mark Weingarten
The Dark Knight: Ed Novick, Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo
Slumdog Millionaire: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty
WALL·E: Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, Ben Burtt
Wanted: Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño, Petr Forejt

Best Sound Editing
The Dark Knight: Richard King
Iron Man: Frank E. Eulner, Christopher Boyes
Slumdog Millionaire: Tom Sayers
WALL·E: Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood
Wanted: Wylie Stateman

Best Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron
The Dark Knight: Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber, Paul J. Franklin
Iron Man: John Nelson, Ben Snow, Daniel Sudick, Shane Mahan

Best Animated Film
Bolt: Chris Williams, Byron Howard
Kung Fu Panda: John Stevenson, Mark Osborne
WALL·E: Andrew Stanton

Best Foreign Film
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Germany)
Entre les murs (France)
Revanche (Austria)
Okuribito (2008) (Japan)
Vals Im Bashir (Israel)

Best Feature Documentary
The Betrayal - Nerakhoon: Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath
Encounters at the End of the World: Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser
The Garden: Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Man on Wire: James Marsh, Simon Chinn
Trouble the Water: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

Best Short Documentary
The Conscience of Nhem En: Steven Okazaki
The Final Inch: Irene Taylor Brodsky, Tom Grant
Smile Pinki: Megan Mylan
The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306: Adam Pertofsky, Margaret Hyde

Best Animated Short
La Maison en Petits Cubes: Kunio Kato
Ubornaya istoriya - lyubovnaya istoriya: Konstantin Bronzit
Oktapodi: Emud Mokhberi, Thierry Marchand
Presto: Doug Sweetland
This Way Up: Alan Smith, Adam Foulkes

Best Short Film
Auf der Strecke: Reto Caffi
Manon sur le bitume: Elizabeth Marre, Olivier Pont
New Boy: Steph Green, Tamara Anghie
Grisen: Tivi Magnusson, Dorthe Warnø Høgh
Spielzeugland: Jochen Alexander Freydank

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: PAUL BLART: MALL COP


In theory, I love it.

It's Die Hard, except a comedy. And not nearly as badass.

And it sucks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pushing Daisies movie a possibility, right after Arrested Development movie gets re-uncanceled


Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies has been a hit with the critics but ultimately after the first season was cut short from the writer's strike, the viewership has dwindled ever since. Luckily as with other cult shows Firefly and Arrested Development the possibility of a movie is very possible with the cast seeming to be committed as well as a desire to close all the loose ends from the second half of season 2 after its abrupt cancellation.

TV Guide revealed that Fuller is only really interested if he could get all six members of the cast back together. With all the former members going on to future projects, that could become increasingly difficult. Rumor states that with the Arrested Development movie much of the delay is focused around actor Micheal Cera who's recently pulled himself onto the A-list with hit films Juno and Superbad.

With the remaining three episodes of the second season of Pushing Daisies being held back by ABC and with the last episode staying on a cliffhanger there is a strong possibility that we'll see more of this series in the future. Currently Bryan Fuller's Dead Like Me is getting a direct-to-DVD movie five years after its cancellation, so this can very well be the case for Pushing Daisies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Still Watching...


Hey folks. I don't have much to say today, so I thought I'd give an update on the ever elusive Watchmen release date.

The March 6 release is not cancelled - just not determined. It seems that recently, and I'm summing up, Fox claimed they had the right to make this movie "first". They had bought the rights way back in 1986, but they didn't do anything. Now that Warner Bros. has stepped up to the plate to make the film, it seems Fox wants a chunk of the action. Though Fox was also offered a chance to make the film in 2005, they passed it up, saying the script was, and I quote, "one of the most unintelligible pieces of $hit" they had seen in years.

However, Fox is in the process of suing WB for the rights to the film. A judge will determine the release of the film.

I don't want to rant too much, but my bitterness towards Fox is growing more and more everyday. Maybe it's because they took, in my opinion, two of the greatest television shows of all time, Arrested Development and Firefly off the air. Maybe it's because I had a bad experience with some employees. Maybe it's because their news is fake. And now this.

Well that's all I have for you today. See ya.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chris's 10 most anticipated of 2009

Okay, I admit it. I'm starting to feel a little guilty with all these lists I've done lately but when the biggest news of the day is Bride Wars tracking stronger than Marley and Me in the box office, I'd much rather think about the good movies to come than sulk over the current movie rut. I guess last year we had Cloverfield at this time...that movie was awesome.

10. My Bloody Valentine 3-D


"Nothing says Date Movie like a 3D ride to hell", with a tagline like that this movie knows it will fall squarely in the guilty pleasure category. Like most of Lion's Gate's back catalog I am absolutely positive that this film will be roasted by the critics, and for good reason too. This film will likely have very little suspense and consist mostly of gimmicky thrills and projectiles thrown at the camera, however that is the exact reason I want to see this movie. Unlike similar gimmick films like Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D where thrills are delivered by the way of a T-Rex drooling on the camera this is the first 3D slasher film in a VERY long time like at least since that horrible Friday the 13th Part III: 3D...and I'm positive Jason X would have been quite awesome had it been released in 3D.

9. 9


Yeah, that's right, I just put the film 9 as my number 9 most anticipated film of 2009. Opportunity aside, this film is shaping up to look quite awesome as anyone who's seen the original short film (available on The Animation Show Vol. 1 and you can easily find it on video sharing sites like YouTube) this is a top tier high concept film on a very small budget. This is also the first 3D animated feature where I can't imagine any of the characters showing up in a Happy Meal, while this film will likely be safe for families very few 3D feature films have been this artistic (notable exception being 2008's WALL-E). Also, with Tim Burton and the director of Wanted backing the piece as producers I'm pretty sure this will turn out quite well.

8. Funny People

This is the first Judd Apatow directed film since the fantastic Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. While this man has built a comedy empire for himself as a producer on great comedies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Superbad as well as the horribly mediocre Drillbit Taylor, this is his first time in the director's chair in a couple of years. With his longtime talent Seth Rogen and his friend Adam Sandler on board this will likely do well in the box office (Sandler could star in the most braindead comedies in the world and still reach #1) but this also seems like Apatow's most serious piece in his entire canon being more of a look inside the world behind stand-up comedy as opposed to a straight-up dramedy.

7. Monsters vs. Aliens


Coming straight off the heels of the surprisingly good Kung-Fu Panda and the unsurprisingly awful Shrek The Third, Dreamworks is slowly building up its reputation from just "the guys who did Shrek" to its own breed to 3D animated comedy. Despite coming from the director of the abysmal Shark Tale this one's actually shaping up to look like an incredibly fun movie, 3D or not.

6. Star Trek


I've never been a big fan of Star Trek there is just too much back story and fandom behind it for me ever to grasp its Forbidden Planet inspired universe. That is until now, J.J. Abrams the creator of Lost and the producer of last year's low budget monster hit Cloverfield will tackle the next to impossible task of relaunching Star Trek to a modern audience which will eventually lead into a new TV series. There's a lot of pressure behind this title but if the first trailer is any indication, I'm actually pretty excited. Plus, I get to see Zachary "Sylar" Quinto as Spock and as a Heroes fanboy, that's worth the price of admission alone.

5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


I have a weird love-hate relationship with the Transformers franchise. When I saw it in theaters I knew it was the typical Michael Bay trashy film but between all the shaking seats, lame jokes, overacting and explosions I was able to see it as the ultimate "guy" movie with a solid 90 minutes of giant robots smashing things in the tail-end of the film and a good 20 minutes of the camera solely ogling over Megan Fox. Yet on DVD I can't sit through the movie at all, maybe its because all the novelty of its visual tour-de-force is lost on the 42 inch and it makes all the dialogue and characters (which the movie lacked) come out more. With all the exposition of the first movie out of the way, I'm certain Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will deliver two and a half hours of robots crushing things except this time its in IMAX 3D so any additional headache from the mindlessness of the film will be multiplied by the fact that your watching the entire thing with 3D glasses on a two story screen. Yeah, and that's a good thing

4. Avatar

I have to be honest, I know absolutely nothing about this film apart from the fact that its from James Cameron. With a resume as versatile as Terminator 2, Aliens and the Titanic the chances are that this will be a pretty awesome film. Cameron also claims that this will be the first 3D animated motion captured film that will bridge the gap of the uncanny valley. A bold claim but at the same time I never noticed the 3D animation used for the second half of Harvey Dent's face in The Dark Knight and I thought the first hour of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was produced using very elaborate make-up. I've been fooled before and this one will fool me with a pair of 3D glasses, which is always a plus.

3. Coraline


With so many 3D animated movies on the list its great to see a stop-motion animated film come out that looks every bit as promising as its 3D counterparts. This film pairs together Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach among others) and popular sci-fi fantasy writer Neil Gaiman together for a horror comedy romp that at the very least will wind up on hoodies sold at Hot Topic in a couple of years. This movie will also be released for 3D glasses (notice a trend?) but its the first animated one that is actually shot in 3D. If you've read the book you'd know what kind of eccentricity is in store and the visuals that the plot would entail.

2. Watchmen

I'd have to disagree with Mark on this one, I'm confident that Warner Bros. has enough lawyers behind this one that it will certainly reach its 2009 release date. Either that or they'd pay Fox some royalties and get this out, this movie is too big to hold off for a year and with Harry Potter being the only other major Warner Bros. release of the year they definitely need a few other heavy hitters because none of their films will ever be as big as The Dark Knight in a very long time. Watchmen looks like it has everything that 300 and Sin City had in terms of style but it also has a great plot to top it off too. Despite the trailer using a song made for Batman and Robin, this will be pretty amazing.

1. Up
Not to sound like a Pixar fanboy but this senior citizen action adventure film looks like one of the most solid releases of the year. Like several others on this list, this one will be released in 3D but this is the only 3D film on the list that I wouldn't mind to watch on a screen in 2D, the visuals and plot look strong enough to hold their own. Pete Doctor's last film, Monster's Inc. was the funniest of all the Pixar movies and his localization of Howl's Moving Castle was better than watching the film with subtitles. I'll be the first in line.

Honorable mentions:

Astroboy

I REALLY want this one to be good and I'm sure it will deliver but it just doesn't look as much as a surefire hit as the other animated movies its up against. I'm a huge fan of Tezuka's manga though and the film Metropolis prooves that his work is as good for film adaptation as anything else.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

2008 called, it wants its movie back.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The International Best of 'o8


’08 was an amazing year for films. Even the summer blockbusters, which usually consist of simple popcorn entertainment, gave audiences enough substance that they raised the bar even for the February award-winning releases. The greatness of The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wall-E, Tropic Thunder, (only a handful of these years great blockbusters not to mention year round films) has been stated in numerous lists everywhere. But it has been a great year for films even outside Hollywood. This list summarizes a few international flicks from ’08 that are musts for any movie buff. They appear in order by country and language of origin not in order of merit (with so many to choose from I dare not judge). Without further ado here they go:

 

From France

 Entre les Murs (The Class) -Getting to like French cinema is hard, unlike Hollywood films, which have clear-cut plots; French films stray away into long dialogues. You actually have to be paying attention to understand, and that means reading subtitles. I fell asleep the first time I watch this film and God only knows what made me watch it again. Second time around the film got my respect. This is a film on how to use your brain not to think. A class filled with you typical urban ruffians, of minority ethnicities, stand up against their teacher. In an average Hollywood film, the kids would learn their lessons; here they outsmart the teacher and pay the price for it a harsh one but it is paid. And ofcourse we cannot forget to mention the French nominee for the Golden Globe:

Il y a Longtemps Que Je T’aime (I Loved You So Long) – a film that establishes Kristin Scott Thomas as possibly one of the greatest actresses alive. She plays a woman who after spending half of her life in prison attempts to reunite with a family that no longer knows her.

 

From Israel

Vals Im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir) – Though this year did give us the masterful Wall-E as an animated film, it is a sad reality that animation is usually regarded as a medium for kids (at least in this hemisphere I know that in Japan animation has the respect of most adults). If anything Waltz with Bashir proves that everyone who ever thought such a thing was wrong. This is the story of an old war vet it deals with adult situations as powerfully as any classic war epic. In other words: think Apocalypse Now/Platoon/Saving Private Ryan as an animated feature. The film has been nominated for best foreign film in the Golden Globes, but I am still puzzled on how did Kung Fu Panda got nominated for Animated Feature and the Hollywood Foreign Press happened to skipped this film in that category.

 

From Romania

4 Luni, 3 Saptamani si 2 zile (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days) – If you have ever had one of those friends whom you have basically had to resolve everyone of their problems on top of solving your own just because they are not capable of doing it themselves, then you will begin to sympathize with the frustration Otilia has when her roommate Gabriela asks her to find an abortion. Poor Otilia does everything and deals with everything except the abortion itself. They say the experience of having an abortion is the most harrowing experience a woman can have, if this film doesn’t prove it for you I don’t know what will.

 

From Mexico

Two years ago a set Mexican directors, cinematographers, and writes where nominated to numerous awards for three films produced outside of Mexico. I am talking of course of Babel, Children of Men, and Pan’s Labyrinth (the first two produced in the US the latter one in Spain). Their success is part of an ongoing boom in Mexican cinema that began late in 2003. This year however the greatness comes within Mexico. Two films, incredibly different from each other, show how far this boom has come.

Rudo y Cursi – I have always hated my country’s national futbol team. I could rant on for ages but instead I recommend watching this film about two brothers from a middle of nowhere town in Guerrero, their rise into the big soccer league in Mexico, and their downfall due not because of their diminishing talent but because of their bad decisions on the game’s sidelines. Thumbs up for Guillermo Francella, for his role as Batuta, without his Argentinian charm this film would have been only half of what it is.

Arráncame La Vida (Tear This Heart Out) – A super-production about what the Mexican years after the revolution looked like, stabs deep into the origin of country’s corrupt politics. Seen from the point of view of Catalina, the wife of el General Ascencio, this film remembers that although there might have been great men in history, they usually relied on a woman, who had more power over their lives (and therefore history) than they imagined.

 

These are of course merely a handful of films and to list every good international film released this year would take pages out of this blog. Because this lists are meant so that every film reaches an audience, here is a list of a other great foreign films of this year that are musts:

 

Un Conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale) – France

Ne Touchez pas la Hache (The Duchess of Langeais or Don’t Touch the Axe) – France / Italy

Lat den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In) – Sweden

Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One) – Belguim

In Bruges – UK / Ireland

Transsiberian – Russia

XXY – Argentina / Spain

Bikur Ha Tizmoret (The Band’s Visit)- Israel

My Winnipeg – Canada

And the other Golden Globe Nomminees besides Waltz With Bashir and I Loved You So Long:

The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany

Maria Larssons Eviga Ogonblick (Everlasting Moments) – Sweden / Denmark

Gomorrah - Italy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Review: THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX


Wow, its been a while since I've written. Sorry everyone. Anyway, on to the review.


The Tale of Despereux didn't start off on good terms. During the opening credits I was astounded at the amount of star talent the makers managed to acquire. Knowing relatively little about this movie, I was anticipating greatness. Of course, I should have known that star talent doesn't necessarily mean a star film.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mark's Top 5 For 2009

If everyone else is doing lists, I will too! 2009 is going to be a HUUUUUUGE year for film. It seems that when the films were going in a downward spiral, the studios actually listened and started upping the ante on their work. It was hard, but I've narrowed it down to five that I absolutely cannot wait for. (Watchmen isn't on the list because it may not come out in 2009)

5. Dragonball Evolution
So if you have been following The Movie Watch for a while, you'd know that I am quite intrigued by the idea of a live action movie based on the Dragonball series. Being a big fan, it doesn't look bad. I don't think it will be one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time, but it has appeal for both the fans and the mainstream media. If anything, it'll just be a good "B" martial arts movie.


4. Monsters Vs Aliens
This film has been on my radar for quite some time. Before I saw any renders or heard any dialogue, I saw that Stephen Colbert was going to play the president and that Hugh Laurie was going to play a mad scientist named Dr. Cockroach M.D.. Those two comedic talents are enough for a great flick *coughdependingonthescriptcough*, but they are joined by Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Keifer Sutherland, Paul Rudd and more. This looks to be another great Dreamworks venture.



3.Up
Pixar looks to wow us all again with the story of Carl Fredricksen. He sets out on a journey with a boyscout trying to get his "help the elderly badge" in order to fulfill his late wife's dream of exploring the mountains. Ed Asner is the voice of Carl and because of my love of Freakazoid!, I think this will be one of his best roles yet. It's a Pixar movie, you know you're going to see it. Also, what sort of teaser for Toy Story 3 do you think we'll get?


2. Star Trek XI
I was raised on Star Trek. I had seen all of the Next Generation movies in the theatre (except the last one, but who did see that in theatres?). I don't know as much about the original series except for what was in the films they made, so being able to see an origin story makes me a little excited. Also, they shot the academy scenes at Cal State University Northridge, where I am currently enrolled. It'll be funny to see the certain scenes and be like "Kirk went to Sky High!" It's gonna be great, so grab your phaser and set it to FUN! I couldn't help myself with the hokey line. Leave your complaints with Ezra.


1.Fanboys
What did you expect? Bride Wars? No sir! This film has been in hell for quite some time with fans just waiting to get any glimpse they can. I saw about ten to twenty minutes of the flick last year at Comic-Con and couldn't wait for it's release in 2008! It seems like this film is to us like what Phantom Menace is to the guys (and girl) in the flick. I know it won't disappoint. There is going to be more Star Wars jokes than Kevin Smith could ever dream of and more Star Trek knocking than ever. I can't wait to see what is in store and what they think of Phantom. Who's got two thumbs and already bought his tickets? THIS GUY!


HAVE A GOOD 2009! I know I will!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chris Cookson's Top Five of '08

5. Tokyo Gore Police/The Machine Girl (tie or double-feature extravaganza)



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