Now, this is my kind of family movie. Kung Fu Panda is exactly what it promises the title says it will be; it is about kung fu, a panda, and because this is the sequel you know the stakes are going to be higher than in the first one. Last time Po (voiced by Jack Black), the cutely overweight panda, became the Dragon Warrior after defeating Tai Lung, his master’s old apprentice, and training alongside the Furious Five. Now the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a peacock with serious daddy issues and a fear of pandas, has taken over China and the invention of gun powder threatens the very existence of Kung Fun; it's up to Po and the Furious Five to stop his evil reign and restore the balance to… I guess the force? Kung fu, maybe?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
I wasn’t that big a fan of the first Hangover. Sure, it had its laugh out loud moments, a few good OMFG shocks here and there, a sincerely nice stripper just looking for the right guy, and it launched Zach Galifianakis’ career. But despite all of this, the surreality of actually believing that three men can undergo an night that includes stealing a tiger from Mike Tyson’s home and sneaking the animal into the penthouse suite of the Caesar’s palace while being so effed up that they can’t remember a thing the next day was a too big a suspension of disbelief for me. I laughed, but I could not shake up the feeling that it could have had much more to offer. The Hangover Part II tries really hard to recreate the spontaneity, absurdity, and laughs of the first; it manages it at times, but on most tries it misses by a long shot. The result is a lesser carbon copy of the first that is missing the one thing that did make the first Hangover memorable, freshness.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Chanel #5 The Film
Although not as ambitious an endeavor as BWM Films, Chanel a brand recognized for its theatrical marketing campaigns just as much as for its actual products did give it a go at the whole filmic advertising. After a low sales streak in the 80s Channel recruited Ridley Scott to create an ad that would revitalize the movie glamour and sophistication that the brand had been asosiated with in its early days. The resulting commercials have been inventive mini-films that play with the silhouette and reflection of the Chanel #5 bottle, while adding touches of fantasy and seduction; simply, because this is a perfume ad we are talking about. The Chanel #5 Films have been directed by filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Baz Luherman, and Sophia Coppola; this is the most recent installment by the French filmmaker, Jean-Pierre Jeunet most famous for bringing us Amélie and A Very Long Engagement. Despite the size of the production, it is possibly the least extravagant and easiest to watch of them all in the long version. Enjoy:
Monday, May 23, 2011
Te Presento a Laura is a likable, and quippy story from beginning to end. It is a simple feel good movie; like its main character, Laura, the movie seems to spend its days holding up a sign that reads “free hugs”. It is certainly a been-there-done-that type of film; neither profound nor elaborate it offers a little bit more of what we enjoy seeing in most films of its type. It doesn’t need to be anything more than that.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
One of the biggest mistakes most people, writers and audiences alike, have made with the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy was understanding who the protagonist was. I am still unsure if the second and third installments even had a protagonist; it certainly wasn’t Will Turner, the actually protagonist of the first film. The source of this confusion lies in Johnny Depp’s performance of Captain Jack Sparrow, a character so quirky bizarre and likable, that it simply outshines everyone else. But while Jack has been the poster child for the franchise, he was never the protagonist. On Stranger Tides outdoes this problem by removing the excessive amount of side characters, side pirates, pirate ships, pirate lords, pirate crew, and pirate monkeys, and centering the story on the latest of Jack’s shenanigans. All in all a more fitting title for this movie would have been: The Next Installment of The Captain Jack Sparrow Adventures; it highlights the story’s pulpy silliness much more than On Stranger Tides and since the movie doesn’t really take place in the Caribbean there is little point in keeping it on the title.
Why “Atlas” Collapsed: Everyone Missed the Point
Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” finally hit the big screens last April 15th— a coy nod to America’s traditional tax day (though not actually the case of 2011). After five weeks, the film has sputtered to a box office haul of $4.5 million…crushed beneath a rumored $15-20 million production. Moreover, the film garnered 13% rating on RottenTomatoes.com and achieved just enough publicity to likely get a couple of nominations in next year’s incessantly bland Razzie Awards. The apex of this cinematic thrashing came when producer John Aglialor despondently coined the film’s epitaph sound bite, saying, “Critics, you won.”
Friday, May 20, 2011
Paul: An Alien Too Familiar
Is the parody movie genre an inevitable handicap? I want to say, “no, of course not, what a stupid question and stupid introductory sentence.” Yet, after seeing the movie, “Paul” I can’t shake the feeling that parody is a seasoning, appropriate, even delicious, in small dosages—whereas your night is ruined if you eat a full course meal of oregano. The real probe in my ear about “Paul,” though, is that the movie is not explicitly a parody, yet the movie barely exists if you take away the audience’s pre-existing, collective, cultural memory.
Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2011) – Tommy Lee Jones has closed a deal to star in GREAT HOPE SPRINGS, to be directed by David Frankel. The comedy also stars Meryl Streep and Steve Carell. Sony Pictures holds North American distribution rights to the film which will be released in the 4th quarter of 2012. The screenplay by Vanessa Taylor and featured on the prestigious Black List, follows a middle-aged couple who after thirty years of marriage attend an intense counseling weekend to examine the intimacy issues that are threatening their marriage.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
If any advertising campaign ever blurred the lines between film and advertising it has to be BMW’s The Hire. Part ads part short films with significant product placement The Hire was a series of eight episodes each one by a different director, each one featuring Clive Owen as “the Driver”. The plot of each film differs, and in some it is hard to tell if there is a plot, but in short this was basically The Transporter with BMWs instead of Audis and Owen instead of Statham. The series became so popular the BMW released a DVD and a second season consisting of three more episodes and four mini-episodes that were meant to tie the story together. Season 2 provided the series with what is perhaps its most well known episode: Beat The Devil, which was directed by Tony Scott and featured James Brown and Danny Trejo. However personally I enjoy the earlier episodes that had a bit more of comedy to them. Star by Guy Ritchie featuring Madonna is a good example of star power in an ad that really wants to be a short movie. Enjoy:
Movie’s Re-Release to Coincide With the Centennial of the Ship’s Sailing
HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 19, 2011) - Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment jointly announced today that James Cameron’s “TITANIC” will be re-released worldwide on April 6, 2012.
The release, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail (April 10th), will present the film in 3D for the first time ever.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This a movie set in a steampunk/western/medieval post apocalyptic world; its main character is a vampire hunting, motorcycle riding, cowboy-ninja-priest played by Paul Bettany. And somehow… somehow it managed to be uncool. Somehow it managed to make such a setting feel dull, empty, and unworthy of all those adjectives. Somehow it managed to make its main character even more uninteresting than the setting he inhabits. And most surprising of all, Priest manages to be a movie without any stylistic sense, even when clearly this material would only work under heavy stylization and a very literal interpretation of “the rule of cool”
Friday, May 13, 2011
Pardon our delay of posts. We were experiencing some problems on our server. Regular updates will return.
American Express did a whole series of commercials by famous filmmakers during their My Card campaign. My favorite of all is Wes Anderson’s, since his style really comes through, and you could argue it is his most ambitious fully centered tracking shot, a technique that has become his personal signature. Like his films, it is a bit whimsical, and certainly quirky. But it lacks the father-son relationship issues. Probably for the better, it would be impossible to make a positive spin on that for a credit card commercial. Enjoy; it is a good little short.
Friday, May 6, 2011
“Immortals” is Dead on Arrival
I am a man of many ideas but few beliefs. But now I’m not betting on a horse that’s won me so much so far. More specifically, after seeing a trailer I had anticipated as much as any trailer for any movie being released this entire year, I have to admit: there are some problems with the “Immortals.”
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
While most commercials are relatively straightforward about their subject matter here is an example of one that could be about anything until it actually mentions the brand’s name at the very end. David Lynch, who directed, is best known for his surreal feature movies that border on acid trips. You can certainly see some of these qualities in this ad, particularly a mood taken directly from Eraserhead. It is quite surprising that any brand would want t use such an ad for their campaign’s. It is cool but it is hard to see how it sells the product. Perhaps Sony thought that no matter what the PS2 was going to sell. Anyway enjoy:
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
One of the writers for The Movie Watch attended the press junket for up and coming release of Thor. We already reviewed the movie on Saturday but for your enjoyment, and ours, here is the interview with the cast of Thor, speaking about their experiences working on the movie. Present at the junket, was Chris Hemworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Idirs Elba (Heimdall), Jamie Alexander (Sif) and Kat Dennings (Darcy).