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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Couples Retreat

I think this movie looks a lot like Forgetting Sarah Marshall.... at least location wise. But still, it looks funny as hell.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poster in Revolt!


The poster arrives!



I know I'm always blogging about this movie, but I loved the book so friggin much.

GAH, I can't wait.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review: TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the movie with the lowest I.Q. that has even been made. But I think it is safe to assume that if you are going to see a movie based in a toy line, about giant robots smashing each other, you are not expecting to find anything intelligent, logical, coherent or challenging in it. Therefore I will not be as harsh as I would like to be as I review this film.

Cold Souls

Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti in a movie that looks pretty out there and pretty damn funny. If you like dry, existential humor. And oh boy do I ever!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How We Talk to Children

Meanwhile: at the staff meetings of every animation company that isn't Disney/Pixar...

SUIT: Okay guys, I got an idea for a character.
SUIT 2: Let's hear it.
SUIT: Well, I figure to play off of our playfully obnoxious male character, we get a sexy, capable female character that never-the-less finds the protagonist's block-headed incompetence charming.
SUIT 2: I like it, IF we can play this summer's popular hit song and have her introduced in slow motion at the same time.
SUIT: Brilliant. It's funny, because they're all hamsters!

Then...

SUIT: Okay guys, I got an idea for a character.
SUIT 2: Let's hear it.
SUIT: Well, I figure to play off of our playfully obnoxious male character, we get a sexy, capable female character that never-the-less finds the protagonist's block-headed incompetence charming.
SUIT 2: I like it, IF we can play this summer's popular song hit and have her introduced in slow motion at the same time.
SUIT: Brilliant. It's funny, because they're all in the Ice Age!


It's called the Shrek effect, and it's a natural reaction to our society's increasingly self-conscious mentality. Shrek is not a bad movie. It is not bad because it was, at the time, somewhat unique, and not to mention it parodied what it loved, much in the same way The Princess Bride did, albiet much better. The problem here is most studios have lost the ability or the balls to tell a story and not apologize about it.

What is apologizing? It is winking at the audience. It's saying "Don't take us seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously." Since when was this necessary for every movie PG and under? While studios like Ghibli and Pixar continue to hold their head up high and tell whimsical stories without fear of being too earnest, Dreamworks, Fox, Sony, and even Disney have succumbed to the mentality that telling an actual tale is SO last century.

So we have pop songs playing over fairy tale proceedings. Pop culture references from fish who live under the sea. Princesses that know the cliche of the tale they are currently experiencing. We have lazy characters and even lazier storylines. Is telling stories simply not fun anymore? Should movies directed towards children and families just be a collection of brain-dead skits and jokes and farts? Tell that to anyone who's seen The Lion King. The Land Before Time. Tell that to Disney pre-2000, or Pixar, or Ghibli.

So while watching Up, Pixar's latest film, who, by the way, have batted 10 for 10 as far as I'm concerned, I was glad that the children and families around me enjoyed what was simply a good story well told. The film did not shy away from harsh topics, and meaningful themes, and did it with class, grace, and playfulness, without overt displays of sex or violence. In other words, it was a film the whole family could enjoy on an equal level. What saddened me was the previews before the movie. Films that aspired to nothing more than to distract children with pithy jokes and bright colors, while attempting to satisfy adult sensibilities with out-of-context references to current events and innuendos. G-Force, Ice Age 3, okay, these are simply the latest pieces of bile to come out of studios that just don't care anymore about making quality. But Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs? The children's book reeks of melancholy and meaning, even while maintaining a whimsy that would quench any thirsty imagination. The movie looks like a product, made by a robot, packaged to do character A and plot arc B with joke C.

The world is what we make it to be. If we coddle our children, talk down to them, expect them to not be ready for any sort of meaning, then that is what they will become. Children are actually more sensitive to important themes and drama, why not give them the best entertainment and art have to offer, instead of giving them the scraps?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: YEAR ONE


20 years ago, this would have been the funniest movie ever made.

Unfortunately, it's 2009, and an awkward Michael Cera and a crazy eyebrowed Jack Black are not enough to keep this movie's humor from being very, very outdated.

Teaser Trailer: The Last Airbender

HAHA! The teaser for M. Night Shyamalan's take on Avatar: The Last Airbender, is here. Tell me this movie doesn't look awesome.




Can it be Summer 2010 yet?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

The first official trailer for New Line Cinema's The Time Traveler's Wife, based off of Audrey Niffenegger's best selling book, is now online.



Rachel McAdams is the best looking person on the planet.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Marty's and Leo's Next Film:

Here is the trailer for Shutter Island:



It doesn't look like your typical Scorsese or DiCaprio film. But I am excited anyway since I loved all the movies they have done together so far.

Final Final Final Final Trailer

Internet-

The final final trailer for the Independent AD Documentary is here.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: WHATEVER WORKS


It's as simple as this: Fans of Woody Allen's old comedies will be in for a giant treat. If you are not too familiar with his old stuff like Annie Hall and Manhattan, you may not enjoy it as much.

What we have here is another odd love-ish story about Boris Yellnikoff. It's Larry David basically playing Woody Allen. He's uptight, quirky, neurotic, and absolutely ridiculous. It seems to me, that this was a part Allen had written for himself, but never got to play. Or, who knows, maybe he just felt nostalgiac about the characters he used to play, and thought David would work.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review: AWAY WE GO


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes.

This is what I'm talkin' about.

Finally, a movie that's simple. It's so simple. It's perfect.

Sam Mendes' Away We Go is a story about finding what is right and not settling. That is, until you settle down. It's very simple, but fantastic. It's fantastically written, it's fantastically acted, and every scene in the movie is just right.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jose's Opinion: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE and STAR TREK



A few weeks ago when we published the reviews for X-Men Origins Wolverine and Star Trek, I was astonished to find out that my colleagues had given high ratings to both. For one thing I had never thought much of Star Trek as a franchise and I was not expecting much from Wolverine after the X Men The Last Stand disaster. Nevertheless I was willing to give both films the benefit of the doubt. After all there was no reason for either to be bad, they were both based on franchises with solid rich mythologies; Star Trek is known for its hopeful philosophy on mankind while X Men grounds itself with discussions on segregation and the nature of humanity. Well I think that neither mythology could have anticipate the power that corporate conglomerates will one day exercise over entertainment, or how it will reduce the mythologies under which pop culture once grounded itself to mere action flicks appreciated because they are simply fun and/or pretty.

SPOILERS AHEAD

REGARDING: X-Men Origins Wolverine

After watching this film, I read some reviews of what professional critics though about it. It seems most agree with me: this movie sucks. I disagree – however - on the reasons on why it sucks. Most seem to think that since Wolverine (AKA Logan AKA Jim Howlet) can’t die there is no way we can care for him as a character; this would therefore render any plot useless, which means that both character and plot can therefore only serve as a vehicle to hold pretty and exciting action scenes together. Because the film accomplishes and delivers this and never attempted to be anything else many think it deserves praise. I think these are very low standards; I also believe Wolverine can be one of the most tragic, if not interesting, characters conceived. And if Christopher Reeves managed to make a good movie about Superman, the lamest and most one dimensional of all superheroes, we should be able to make a good movie about Wolverine.

For starters, I think the film should have recognized that not being able to die is not cool but quite the contrary. Imagine how horrible it must be to fall in love just to watch you lover grow old and die while you stay young and continue to live. If every year seems goes by faster than the previous imagine how time will fly once you reach 170; life no matter what will become dull, monotonous and most importantly tragic. In this film Wolverine escapes when he hears his memories will be erased. This makes no sense; having your memories erased would be an excellent way to “die”, start all over again, and not carry the burden of 170 years of memories. It would have been much more interesting if Wolverine had actually volunteered to have his memories erased; that would make him a hell of a good character. But it is not the fact that he wants to keep his memories that truly bugged me, after all memories are experience and experience is knowledge and some have claimed knowledge is true pleasure (I personally disagree but it doesn’t change it from being valid opinion); what truly bugs me is why he wants to hold on to his memories. He thinks his girl id dead and he wants to remember her. Ok this is stupid, for some one that has lived 170 years and has looked like Hugh Jackman for the last 145 having a 6-year girlfriend should mean absolutely nothing; he probably has had enough time to go though very single type of relationship possible! Twice! The fact that the girl happens to be alive, tricked him to fall in love with her with psychic powers and that he still loves her after that is too much for me to forgive. The least interesting thing of all is that by the end of the film Wolverine has lost all his memories all his past and therefore we are left with an empty character when we started with a one-dimensional character. As I said, this is not a very interesting film.

In the comics, and the Singer films, Wolverine tends to become a sort of father figure to the younger X Men particularly Rogue, Kitty, and Jubilee (who was never in the films). This makes sense he is a man without a past trying to create a new life for himself starting with a family: the fact that he grows fond of young girls can be interpreted in Freudian using Elektra complex or other sick ways; it doesn’t matter which my point simply is that Wolverine is an interesting character, which this movie made no justice to. It would have been much more interesting to see a film in which Wolverine is trying to figure out his past: Why he voluntarily gave up his memories? Does he really want/have to find out? Or could he learn to live with the mystery understand that it was probably for the best and start his life anew with his adopted family in the Xavier Mansion? My friends, I must say that could be a hell of a character sketch.

REGARDING J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek

Oh My God! It so looks pretty! That is the only compliment I can give this movie. For a film targeted at a male audience ages 15 to 25 it is too girly a compliment to consider it a good one. Yes the special effects are fantastic and the photography is beautiful and the costume designs quirky, cliché but effective. I don’t think – however – that this is enough to recommend a movie as a must see experience.

I do not know much about the original Star Trek franchise; I do – however – know that it was deeply rooted in a hopeful and humanistic philosophy in which people will one day place aside their differences and explore space together rather than against each other. I also know that it always attempted to stick to plausible technologies, or at least pretend it was, and to a strict science fiction world. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek fails on all these points.

The original humanistic view of the show was somewhat naïve; it explains why the crew is mad up exactly of: a white American (Kirk), a black female American (Uhura), a Eastern European (Checkov), an Asian (Sulu), a British (Scotty) and an alien with weird eyebrows and ears (Spock). For the 1960s this was progressive for the 21st century this is very out dated (it would need a Middle Easterner and Mexican/Cuban crewmember as well to reach our PC standards). Humanistic hopeful views have been replaced by trans-humanistic realist views. It would have been quite interesting to adapt Star Trek in this direction rather than making it simply into another action/ adventure space operetta. We fear and know today that if all of humanity joins together in a hippie yay-yay manner that we would loose much of our diversity and identity and that inter-racial mixing will give us all a brownish beige skin color; in short Checkov’s and Scotty’s accents would not be around in the 23rd century. And although I am 100% all for world peace and inter-cultural exchanges and relations, I also agree with the post-modernistic view that in the long run it might result in monotony, boredom, and drive-thrus all across Earth or the galaxy; either way, it is not fun. But we can also have a more Huntigtonian view in which our cultural divisions will remain no matter what; however if this is the case we probably would not be able to unite peacefully no matter what. But no matter the view taking either side would have made this movie much more interesting and thought provoking.

Instead we are given the most one dimensional, idiotic villain ever thought out by human literature. Can’t Kronos simply acknowledge that he has arrived to a time before his planet was accidentally destroyed? And instead of hunting down the only one who can help him and destroying the two most advanced planets in the galaxy could he not come to his senses and warn the galaxy of what is about to happen? And maybe with the extra time and second chance he was given save his planet? Could not Eric Bana, who plays the villain read the script in advance and tell Abrams how retarded his character is? And demand some changes?

From the final result I guess not.

In the matter of technology I just have many questions but I guess the most important one is: if you have the ability to teleport a person from the space ship into a planet and vice versa, why would you ever under any circumstances parachute them down to a giant space drill when you could simply teleport them with more accuracy and better results? You would spare one man’s life in the process.

Oh, just how shallow have we become to rate such trash as “recommended” or “must see”? Fellow Cinephiles, I implore you. We must demand better movies; we must not pay to see such trash in theaters; we must not buy the two disc special edition of a movie we know its bad only for the commentary, which will probably be just as bad. If we continue to accept such trash they will continue to produce such trash and make tons of money from this practice.

And don’t say I am asking for too much for a superhero or action movies: I think Iron Man and The Dark Knight, which came out last year, are the proof that superhero movies can be though provoking and have depth. We’ve also had X Men 2, the first two Spiderman film, the first Hellboy film, the first two Superman films, Ang Lee’s Hulk, the Tim Burton Batman Films, and maybe one or two more. So no asking for a good Wolverine movie is not too much. And we have the original Star Wars and Serenity to defend the Space Operas. As well as, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sunshine, Minority Report, Knowing, and many, many others defend the strict SciFi thrillers.

I award X Men Origins Wolverine with a 1 “broken” and Star Trek with a 2 “mediocre”. They deserve nothing more.

Oh and by the way, I don’t know what they did to Wolverine’s claws but they looked really fake in this movie compared to the others.

The Hangover

Hey guys, remember, Mark already reviewed The Hangover, so be sure to check that out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

R. I. P.


This is a dark day for Kung Fu.

David Carradine, Kung Fu legend was found in his hotel room yesterday in Bangkok. Apparently, he hung himself.

Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hurwitz to Direct?



More AD movie news.

So, in the last update I said that Ron Howard would be directing the Arrested Development movie.

Well, now it seems that Mitchell Hurwitz himself, the creator of, and genius behind the show will be making his directorial debut.

It seems a lot of changes have been going on, which is good. That tells me the movie is actually being worked on.

Look for the Arrested Development movie 2010.
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