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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Upcoming Film:All About Steve

Here's a little movie about a girl (Sandra Bullock) who falls in love on a blind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper). Sadly he has no interest in her. But she's is so enamored by him, she follows him across the country to try to win his heart. It also features Ken Jeong and Thomas Haden Church.

It looks like the usual Sandra Bullock movie... just maybe a bit funnier.

Check out the trailer below.






All About Steve hits theaters this Fall!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Upcoming Film: HOT TUB TIME MACHINE




Why did I write the title bar in ALL CAPS you may wonder.... well... maybe it is because the movie is called HOT TUB TIME MACHINE. And if that is not the best title ever and enough to sell you on seeing the movie. I don't know what is.

Well, heres a little more info.


The film stars John Cusack, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson. It is rumored that Clark Duke is in negotiations to join the cast as well.

Its about 3 guys who lost their mojo and travel back in time in a time machine (in their hot tub) so they can relive their glory days.

It's the same director as Sex Drive (read Wilders review here)

It starts production in April.

God I wish there was a trailer to post below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pineapple Express at the 81st Oscars

Hey Everyone,

Here is the comedy clip of Pineapple Express that Judd Apatow filmed specifically for the Oscars. Enjoy.


Ezra's Opinion of the Oscars

Okay, The 81st Oscars came and went. And I've gotta say, I don't agree with all the choices made by the academy and the voters. I'll list my complaints in the order that they happened. If you don't agree I'll be happy to hear why you don't. If you do, alright we're on the same page. Either way this is all my own opinion.

Red Carpet - Didn't watch. I do not give a damn what people are wearing unless I am actually talking to them. More power to you if you got a dress that cost you 100,000$$. How-a-bout wearing something else you own and donating that money to one of those genocides we've got going on.

Opening Number - I had to refrain from calling it an opening song because... it does not deserve to be called one. It was literally one of the worst medleys I have ever heard. Anne Hathaway was a funny touch though. Also... was it just me or was the audience awkwardly close to the stage this year. Also, why did Jackman call out random names that were sitting next to him. Also why did he reference he was Wolverine? Also.... where did he go halfway through the show.... so much for an active host.

Best Makeup: Ben Button? No. No. No. Sure it's amazing, but its primarily CGI - hence the best Vis FX award. If anything had astounding makeup this year it was HELLBOY 2. Tell me that that is poorly done make up. Mike Elizade - you win in my book.

Best Supporting Actress: Heath Ledger should not have won. NOW - before you behead me or stick a pencil in my brain or something let me explain my reasoning behind this. Heath Ledger was an amazing actor and certainly deserved an award. a LIFETIME achievement award. Not an Oscar. An Oscar ups the wages of a current living actor, who will get better jobs, and more respect now, as well as he can be happy and feel good about winning an award. Robert Doweny Jr could have got this. It would have been good for dividing race lines. Heath Ledger - no. A life time achievement award given to his family would have been the best thing to do, because then it caps it off as the best life and life award ever. IT would have been a very prestigious event.

Jessica Biel presenting about Ed Catmull WAS SO WIERD. It would have been nice if she had actually said something about him in that tribute....

Judd Apatow's Movie .... essentially a Pineapple Express sequel was a little weird and out of place, but it was still pretty funny. If the DVD was not out yet, it would be fun to have as a special feature.

Best Sound and Sound Editing should have both gone to WALL-E. No debate there. The sound design was amazing in the film, and totally generated. Need I say More? WaaaaaaAAAAALLLlllEEEEIIEE.

Best Editing should have been Dark Knight because the editing kept that movie going in ways that kept it fast paced, fun, and exciting at every point in the film.

A side note... Congrats to all the new Slumdog Millionaire's. They made a great film which I have not yet got around to seeing yet. But I will. Promise. Still, I think it kind of sucks when a film sweeps 8 categories because so many other films deserved awards for other categories. It would have been nice to see a bit more diversity. I'll bet they had one hell of a party afterwards. Congrats Slumdog.


What was the best about the night:

Ben Stiller

The cast and crew of MILK using the 45 second speech slot to get out some very good messages on life and morality

The Jerry Lewis Tribute

Beyonce is a damn good singer and way over powered the rest during that musical number...



Well... that's just what I think about the 81st Academy Awards. What's your opinion on the event?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wilder's Oscars Report


Was it just me, or was anybody else rather disappointed in the Oscars last night? Well, I was. Here is a simple list of things I didn't like about it.

1) You need a comedian to host.
Don't get me wrong, Hugh Jackman did a good job with what he had, but I personally did not want to see him sing and dance at a show honoring cinema. The bests hosts I've seen have been funny. Though I was never lucky enough to see people like Bob Hope host in my lifetime, I still have the fondest memories of people like Chris Rock and Jon Stewart. I'm surprised Tina Fey has not been asked to host yet - I would really love to see that.

2) Slumdog Millionaire did not deserve 8 wins.
A very well-done, captivating movie yes, but not 8-time Oscar winning material. Of course there are categories that it won that I do understand (Best Original Song, and maybe even Best Sound). But I feel like certain films were totally shafted. I feel like The Dark Knight deserved a couple things that Slumdog won. The same goes for Ben Button. Poor Alexandre Desplat was COSMICALLY shafted for best score, and the fact that The Dark Knight did not win editing blows my mind. Slumdog Millionaire is a decent movie, but I definitely don't think it deserved Best Picture and Best Director. Both of those, to me, belonged to Mr. Button.

3) A lot of things simply did not deserve the awards they won.
Of course, I understand how I might sound hypocritical since I have not seen Milk. But I did see Brad Pitt, Frank Langella, and Mickey Rourke. Not to mention I have a serious problem with Sean Penn as a person. Do some research research into his reaction to Team America, and you will see why. He did not deserve Best Actor. Presto was also shafted. How that did not win Best Animated Short is beyond me. The film that did win looked like the ugliest animation I've ever seen. Ew. And, upon further reflection, I really thought that Bolt was better than WALL-E. Of course I'm not surprised that Pixar won. But I think the award was for Pixar's studio, not its newest film. Read my Bolt review, and you'll see how in love with that film I am.

4) There was nothing special about it!
Usually the Oscars have some sort of cool or original thing about them, but not this year. Judd Apatow's short was mildly entertaining, but that was it. The part where they recognized the actors that died this year was alright, but they didn't mention a few names I was waiting for, particularly Don LaFontaine.

I hope next year the show will be more fun.

Oh, hey, how perfect:
2 stars

Nazis, Commies and other Cartoons

I’ve had it with World War II films! Oh… but we are going to continue to see films about its horrors for generations to come. This is assuming -of course- that film will still be around and that no future event is large enough to cast a shadow over it (if there is one I really hope its an alien invasion).

I guess that making stories about WWII is easy due to the fact that it can be easily polarized; it is hard to see Nazis outside a black and white tone and Japanese Imperials are just as easy to caricature. The fact that the Soviets fought for the “good guys” might be the only odd thing within the whole conflict but WWII movies usually to ignore this; at least Hollywood WWII movies do.

Three Years ago Clint Eastwood surprised us with what is possibly the fairest portrayal of this war with his diptych Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Eastwood remembered one thing most people tend to forget: the people who fought were not heroes; the people in charge were not monsters; the Japanese were not vile creatures with bad teeth; everyone involved was first and foremost human. And for me that is the scarier part of the whole business. Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot does an equally good job in demonstrating this.

In the past few months we’ve seen Miracle at St Anna directed by Spike Lee and Valkyrie by Brian Singer. The first is in a way a reaction to Eastwood’s films. Spike Lee had stated that Eastwood failed to portray African American soldiers on his films. Thus Spike Lee set off to tell a story that needed telling. But his film does not have the grittiness of Eastwood’s for Lee blacks are victims and he makes sure to tell us so. The villains are everyone else; their white superiors and the Nazis alike while Italians are somewhere in the middle; they are not as bad as Nazis but they are not the heroes of the story either.  In the other hand Valkyrie is the story of a German who realizes that Hitler is not the answer for Germany’s problems so he decides to conspire and plot an assassination attempt. It is a well made story of a man who decided not to follow orders, but I find that the story behind Das Boot, about men who did follow orders only to live through them and be heavily disillusioned by the results much more compelling.

In a few months we will be seeing another portrayal of this infamous conflict, this time by the master of pulp and pastiche Quentin Tarantino. I just saw the trailer for Inglourious Basterds (why the hell does he write it with an E) and it is here for you to enjoy. I admit the film looks damn fun. But I guess I do not have to state why such caricature also pisses me off.

Enjoy:


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The 81st Oscars

And the winners are...

Best Supporting Actress
**Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona**

Best Original Screenplay
**Dustin Lance Black for Milk**

Best Adapted Screenplay
**Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire**

Best Animated Film
**WALL·E: Andrew Stanton**

Best Animated Short
**La Maison en Petits Cubes: Kunio Kato**

Best Art Direction
**The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo**

Best Costume Design
**The Duchess: Michael O'Connor**

Best Makeup
**The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Greg Cannom**

Best Cinematography
**Slumdog Millionaire: Anthony Dod Mantle**

Best Short Film
**Spielzeugland: Jochen Alexander Freydank**

Best Supporting Actor
**Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight**

Best Feature Documentary
**Man on Wire: James Marsh, Simon Chinn**

Best Short Documentary
**Smile Pinki: Megan Mylan**

Best Visual Effects
**The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron**

Best Sound Editing
**The Dark Knight: Richard King**

Best Sound
**Slumdog Millionaire: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty**

Best Editing
**Slumdog Millionaire: Chris Dickens**

Best Original Score
**Slumdog Millionaire: A.R. Rahman**

Best Original Song
**Slumdog Millionaire: A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho")**

Best Foreign Film
**Okuribito (2008) (Japan)**

Best Director
**Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire**

Best Actress
Kate Winslet for The Reader

Best Actor
**Sean Penn for Milk**

Best Picture
**Slumdog Millionaire: Christian Colson**

Regarding Coraline


Hello The Internet.

So I finally saw Coraline, but after some thought, Ezra's review is far too generous. I left the theater completely unimpressed. The following is a bit of a counter-review.

Ok, yes, Coraline does have some of the best, if not the best stop-motion I have ever seen. Coraline's hair, though it may sound strange to note, was really well done. As a person who has produced stop-motion films before, I can appreciate the amount of work that went into creating this movie.

However, just because the movie is beautiful to look at DOES NOT mean it is a good movie. I think Transformers was evidence of this. There HAS to be something more. The storyline must keep up with the visuals.

Coraline doesn't have this. The story is very, very poor. Almost nothing is explained - at all. Things need explanation. Now, I have heard that Neil Gaiman's novel, off of which the film is based, also doesn't explain much, and that this is typical of his novels. However, I saw Stardust, and they did a great job of making everything very clear and precise. Coraline's story is so poor that it makes me want to distance myself from everything that happens.

Beyond the shoddy story, the characters are extremely unlikeable. I liked Mr. Bobinsky, but that was it. The two old women were not funny - just annoying. Coraline herself is not very likable either. Though I do feel bad for because she has the two worst parents ever, there's nothing about her I can relate to. Who knows, maybe this is because I love my parents. I also didn't like the movement of most of the characters - they were too lanky and cartoony.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! There's even more things about this film that I didn't like. There seems to be two conflicting things going on in Coraline. For one, it seems like Selick wanted this movie to appeal to little kids, and he made it a little "kiddie". This is fine, don't get me wrong. Little kids deserve movies just as much as anyone else. However, about halfway through, like Ezra said, the movie becomes very dark, and frankly, very creepy. There's one moment in particular that made me shiver as would any horror film. You simply can't have these two conflicting ideas in one film, let alone an animated one.

Sorry Ezra, but this incredibly mediocre movie does not deserve a 4. No not at all. In fact, I think I'll slap this with what it deserves, in a big, new, TMW design:

2 stars

Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: BOTTLE SHOCK



"Why don't I like you?"
“Because you think I’m an ass. And I’m not really. It’s just that I’m British and you’re not.”
“No, it’s because you are a snob.”


It is strange to think that even those whom we consider experts in a field can be wrong; that what we consider to be the acme of excellence can merely be an illusion cultivated by years of prejudice and tradition. Expertise fosters on tradition, in learning by repetition and perfection, but so does snobbism. The difference is that the expert is aware that traditions can be change a snob is dogmatic about it because his knowledge relies in tradition. In simpler words: the former thinks outside the box; the other is box-minded. Bottle Shock tells the story of three experts in winemaking, and how they caused the collapse of its traditions.  

First Funny People Teaser Appears Online


Hey internet.

This will be short and sweet. Here's the first teaser for Judd Apatow's third film, Funny People.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review: DEAD LIKE ME: LIFE AFTER DEATH


I've always been a big fan of Bryan Fuller, so I rightly loved the beginning of the old show-time show Dead Like Me. Then he left the show and the series went downhill a bit, but like a loyal viewer I still watched each week to see what kind of antics a British Druggie, Hot Actress, Woman Cop, and good ol'e Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), could get into. I'll admit it - I'm not a fan of the main character, her mom was too mean, he job was too sucky, and her story arcs never went anywhere (probably cause Fuller left). Then the series got cancelled and they announced a straight to DVD movie. It came out on Tuesday.

Upcoming Film: Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

Here's a sequel to the Ben Stiller film "Night at the Museum." I personally loved the first one, it was lots of fun, and if you haven't seen it and like to laugh you'll probably enjoy it too.

With the sequel, you can probably expect a bunch of awesome cameos (Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Abe Lincoln and many many more).

I think this trailer looks hilarious.





Night at the museum hits theaters May 22nd, 2009.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Did Comedies Become So... Mean?


After I saw Step Brothers, there was one thing that was really bothering me. I didn't like the film at all, but I didn't really understand why. For some reason it did not have the type of humor that the two Adam McKay films had. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby were both very enjoyable and very, very funny.

Then, after some serious thought, I finally understood what I didn't like about his newest film.

It was just too mean.

Since when are comedies so mean? Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are just so mean to each other, and everyone around them. It makes them characters no one can identify with, or even want to identify with. While Ron Burgandy and Ricky Bobby are not the most relatable characters, at least they are likable, and you may want to relate to them. But in Step Brothers, they're just so damn mean it's hard to care about them, or the movie in general.

What happened to comedies like Mel Brooks used to make? Those were silly, slapstick fun. They weren't mean. Even Knocked Up and Superbad, while very crude, had characters you could still fall in love with, and root for. This wasn't the case in Step Brothers. What's worse, The Foot Fist Way, and Jody Hill's new film, Observe & Report seem to have the same problem. Though I was once a die-hard fan of Rogen's I can tell you I won't be going to see Observe & Report. It just looks too mean.

And even worse still, it seems like America wants these movies to be mean. It seems to a be an advertising point. For example, take a look at the DVD box for the upcoming release of Sex Drive.


Why is it being advertised like this? If you recall, I raved about this film. The reason I loved it so much was because it found that heart, the element that seems to be ever so elusive in these mean comedies today. Sex Drive is not the 'crudest, rudest' thing around, so why advertise it like that?


Because that's what people want.

And in the words of Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, it makes me sad all day.

Upcoming Film: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

So here come some more Transformers. If you don't know what a Transformer is... its a truck that transforms into a gigantic sentiant robot (or vice-versa). This is the sequel. Expect larger truck-robots, more Megan Fox and less hands for Shia Labeouf. And of course mind blowing effects, awesome cameos, good jokes, and explosions galore.

It probably will mean nothing to you, but you sure as hell will enjoy it.

For now, here is a trailer.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Upcoming Film: Observe and Report

Maybe you saw 'The Foot Fist Way' - maybe you didn't. You probably didn't. Regardless, the writer and director of the film that made Danny Mcbride a household name is at it again. This movie is called 'Observe and Report' and its pretty much about an ass of a Mall Cop (Seth Rogen) and the girl he falls for (Anna Faris), all the while protecting his mall from a flasher.

The trailer is damn crude, and Rogen's character looks damn unlikeable. In fact, I personally think the whole movie looks unlikeable. Jody Hill (The Director) seems to have a way of writing nasty leading roles, that literally nobody can feel for or identify with.

Really, I'm not expecting a classic.

Here's the green-band trailer. (That means its safe for you to watch in class or in your cubicle).


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Review: MISS MARCH


After falling into a coma on prom night 4 years ago, Eugene Pratt wakes up to find out that his girlfriend from high school is now a playboy centerfold. Now he's gotta win her back.

That's the premise of the upcoming film, Miss March written and directed by, and starring Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore. Maybe you know them from YouTube or their TV series The Whitest Kids U Know. Regardless, they are on the up-and-coming.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

YouTube Pick of the Week: After Judgment

Hello Internets.

There is a fantastic webseries out right now called After Judgment. As one can tell from the title, it takes place after the fabled judgment day. Referred to as "The Day" by the remaining few who were left in Los Angeles, those who knew where to go to be saved, went and now L.A. is left in perpetual twilight. (For Kingdom Hearts fans, a real life Twilight Town)

One of the best things about this series is that it doesn't tell you everything upfront. You get to think about the possibilities of what could happen and what has happened. The main character is a man named Steven who's little boy left him on the day. Other characters slowly come out of the wood work and form a rag tag team to search for a child that has mysteriously appeared.

The show is written and directed by Michael Davies, who I first saw on Tiki Bar TV.  He plays "The Neighbor", Steven's neighbor.

Before I show the preview, I want to mention that there is a supplemental series called Before Judgment that shows what some of the characters were like before "The Day". These videos, including video diaries from The Neighbor, help answer some questions as well as raise new ones.

So here a preview of After Judgment -



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Review: THE LUCKY ONES


"No, thank you."

What a perfect way to spin to the other side of an idea, and what a perfect line to sum up Neil Burger's, The Lucky Ones. It's a simple movie, filled to the brim with heart, humor, and, if you can spot it, poetry.

The Lucky Ones tells the story of three soldiers on medical leave from the war: Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams), Fred Cheaver (Tim Robbins), and T.K. Poole (Michael Peña). When JFK Airport is shut down due to blackouts, Cheaver offers to drive Colee and T.K. back to his hometown of Louisville, so they can catch a flight out of there. When the drive ends up continuing to Las Vegas, the rest is a fantastically acted story of three "lucky" strangers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review: FANBOYS


If I could roar like a Wookie, I would. This movie made me that happy.

Fanboys, for those of you who aren't in the know, is the long awaited movie from Kyle Newman about a group of friends throwing caution to the galaxy and breaking into the Skywalker Ranch to watch Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace early. With such a premise, this movie could only have one outcome: awesome.

Release Date in Revolt



I know it seems that lately this blog has been all fun and games, what with all the good news of Arrested Development, Watchmen, and Year One footage.

But here comes a nice little nugget of bad new: it looks like the anticipated February 2009 release of one of my most anticipated films, Youth in Revolt, is no longer a reality. After the initial December '08 release date, it was pushed back to February, and now with no pictures or trailers or promotion...

Well I suppose I can wait a bit longer, if they do justice to one of the best books I've ever read. Be sure to check out Mark's early review.

Also, here is a funny parody of the Christian Bale incident from the set. Enjoy.



According to this video, the movie release will be "Fall 2009".

Friday, February 6, 2009

Review: CORALINE



Let's keep this short and sweet.

Coraline is the 4th film from Director Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Monekybone), and it is based on a book by Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

YouTube Pick of the Week

Hey all,


Sorry. I know this is not from YouTube. But When you watch it you will forgive me. This is the 4th in the series. The other 3 can be found on YouTube or on IamstoneJones.com No more Explanation needed.

And Now I Present..... STONE JONES vs THE APOCALYPSE



STONE JONES VS. THE APOCALYPSE from Giordany Orellana on Vimeo.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Year One Hits the Internet

Some of you may have seen the quick TV spot that aired during the Superbowl yesterday for the Harold Ramis/Judd Apatow film Year One. I blogged about it months ago, and now you can finally see some footage.

Here is a short scene from Year One.



Here's the TV Spot.

I can't wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Watch For Watchmen



Graphic novel fans everywhere, rejoice! For today, is a happy day.

Watchmen is back on board for a March 6th, 2009 release. After months (well, years really) of controversy that has left nerds across the world depressed and miserable, the endless sea of confusion regarding the release is finally (hopefully!) over. The settlement was quietly reached on January 15th and the news has been slowly spreading throughout the blogosphere since. It has however come to my attention that most people are actually unaware of this development, so I am happy to further enlighten fans.

Before December of 2008, Watchmen may have been the most anticipated film of 2009. Then, as usual, Fox found a way to screw it up. This time they opted to sue Warner Brothers over the release rights, claiming that Warner Bros violated ownership. Depending on who you believe, either Warner Bros screwed Fox over or Fox punted on the film and Warner Bros picked it up. In the end however, all that matters is that the film's release was delayed pending a settlement.

It turns out though, that Fox actually had passed on the current project and Warner Bros therefore picked it up. Fox executives even went so far as to say that the script was "one of the most unintelligible pieces of shit" they had ever seen. High five Twentieth Century, remind me to review your next film accordingly.

I would like to call shenanigans in regards to Fox and Warner Bros "acknowledging that each acted in good faith in their respective claims." In this situation it feels that Fox is almost entirely at fault for any confusion or controversy, and to give them stake in the gross is, well, gross. Fox has a history of bullying and sneaking around the industry and playing dirty when they screw something up. This certainly feels like one of those times.
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