Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The Back-up Plan (2010)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language
DIRECTOR: Alan Poul
WRITER: Kate Angelo
PRODUCERS: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Xavier Pérez Grobet
EDITOR: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Michaela Watkins, Eric Christian Olsen, Anthony Anderson, Linda Lavin, Tom Bosley, and Robert Klein
When the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy, The Back-up Plan, opened in theatres back in April, I remember a few critics and commentators expressing the opinion that Lopez was too old to star in a romantic comedy. Of course, that is ridiculous… kind of. At 41-years-old (as of this writing), Lopez shouldn’t be playing ditzy 20-somethings who just can’t find Mr. Right.
The Back-up Plan, however, isn’t She’s All That or The Prince and Me, films in which the actresses playing the love interests were in their early 20s. Age of the actress shouldn’t be the issue. The issue should be the quality of the film, which is where The Back-up Plan has problems.
The movie is about Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), who after years of fruitless dating, has decided waiting for the right man is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, Zoe commits to a plan: to conceive a child through artificial insemination and goes through with it. That same day, Zoe meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin), and though he annoys her at first, Stan starts to seem like a man with real possibilities. Zoe hopes that she does not become pregnant by the anonymous donor’s sperm just when she is finally meeting a guy with promise. However, when she learns that she is pregnant, Zoe has to come up with a back-up plan and hope Stan sticks around.
Part of The Back-up Plan is actually quite edgy. The script is pretty blunt about the dating game, pregnancy, and how having children can change a person’s life in ways that are beautiful and in ways that just drive a person freaking nuts. This movie is also frank about the not-so-pretty, bodily fluids part of conceiving, carrying, and birthing children. There is a birth scene in the second act that is gross and outrageous enough to be mesmerizing; it is a scene as good as anything in the Wedding Crashers and The Hangover.
Unfortunately, much of the movie, including the first hour, tries mightily to be a standard romance comedy and mostly falters or outright fails. It is as if everyone involved never realized that the edgy, gross stuff is what really resonates in this unconventional tale about two people whose relationships with the opposite sex are greatly affected by past traumas.
There is no point in talking about the acting, which is fairly good, because that is not what is frustrating about The Back-up Plan. The better part of this movie is that it is different, but the worse part is that it tries to be something it is not – a fluffy, childish romantic comedy full of giggles and silliness. The good stuff is worth seeing, and some viewers may even enjoy seeing potential keep shooting itself in the foot.
5 of 10
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (2007)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual references, and language
DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry
WRITER: Tyler Perry (based upon his play)
PRODUCERS: Tyler Perry and Reuben Cannon
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Toyomichi Kurita
EDITOR: Maysie Hoy
2008 Image Awards winner
DRAMA with elements of comedy and romance
Starring: Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Sharon Leal, Malik Yoba, Richard T. Jones, Tasha Smith, Michael Jai White, Denise Boutte, Lamman Tucker, Keesha Sharp, and Kaira Whitehead
Why Did I Get Married? is the fourth Tyler Perry film in a little over two-and half years and Perry’s third directorial effort. Perry’s tried and true formula of inspiration, friendship, prayer, and God is evident in every moment of Why Did I Get Married?, and Perry’s continues to improve as a filmmaker.
Eight married college friends reunite for their annual retreat to an exotic locale. This year the retreat is a beautiful Lake Leland home in the snowy mountains of Colorado. Best-selling author and popular psychologist, Patricia (Janet Jackson), and her successful architect husband, Gavin (Malik Yoba), share a tragedy that may tear their marriage apart if the two ever decide to be open about it. Rising attorney Dianne (Sharon Leal) is career driven, but her supportive husband, Terry (Tyler Perry), is fed-up that his marriage is sexless and that the couple has only one child. Angela (Tasha Smith) and Marcus (Michael Jai White) argue all the time. The final couple is Shelia (Jill Scott), a sweet woman troubled by body-image issues because of she is way overweight. Her weight issues are exacerbated by her emotionally abusive husband, Mike (Richard T. Jones), who has actually brought his barely-secret mistress, Trina (Denise Boutte), on the retreat.
The friends expect fun and relaxation on their retreat, but when the secrets and lies come pouring out, friendships and marriages seem broken beyond repair. Then, Sheriff Troy (Lamman Tucker) comes to the rescue.
Tyler Perry’s “Black gospel theatre” stage plays are loud, raucous, and preachy, and the ones that Perry has adapted to film retain much of their spell-the-message-in-capital-letters charm. Not all of the acting is good Janet Jackson as Patricia and Sharon Leal as Dianne love to act it out loudly and, thus, are a bit too over the top. Still, Why Did I Get Married? works. You’ll find yourself pulling oh-so hard for the downtrodden and mistreated (especially Shelia), and loving it when the villains get their comeuppance (especially Mike). There’s plenty of reason to call up giant belly laughs or even howl with laughter (thanks to the delightful scene-stealing Tasha Smith as Angela).
The message here, as it always is in Perry’s work, is believe in yourself and never believe that God has abandoned you. Well, then, thank God for Tyler Perry – for making fine, entertaining films like Why Did I Get Married? with this simply, but too true message.
8 of 10
Thursday, February 28, 2008
2008 Image Awards: 1 win: “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Janet Jackson); 3 nominations: “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” (Jill Scott), “Outstanding Motion Picture,” and “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Tyler Perry)
Mad Men WINNER
The Good Wife
Outstanding Actress In A Drama
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Mariska Hargitay (Special Victims Unit)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) WINNER
January Jones (Mad Men)
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
Outstanding Actor In A Drama
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) WINNER
Hugh Laurie (House M.D.)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Matthew Fox (Lost)
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) WINNER
Martin Short (Damages)
Terry O’ Quinn (Lost)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
Andre Braugher (Men Of A Certain Age)
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama
Sharon Gless (Burn Notice)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Rose Byrne (Damages)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) WINNER
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Beau Bridges (The Closer)
Ted Danson (Damages)
John Lithgow (Dexter) WINNER
Alan Cumming ( The Good Wife)
Dylan Baker (The Good Wife
Robert Morse (Mad Men)
Gregory Itzin (24)
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Mary Kay Place (Big Love)
Sissy Spacek (Big Love)
Shirley Jones (The Cleaner)
Lily Tomlin (Damages)
Ann-Margret (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) WINNER
Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)
Modern Family WINNER
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Outstanding Actress In A Comedy
Lea Michele (Glee)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Toni Collette (The United States Of Tara)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures Of Old Christine)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) WINNER
Amy Poehler (Parks And Recreation)
Outstanding Actor In A Comedy
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) WINNER
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Chris Colfer (Glee)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Jon Cryer (Two And A Half Men)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) WINNER
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Jane Lynch (Glee) WINNER
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Holland Taylor (Two And A Half Men)
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Mike O’Malley (Glee)
Neil Patrick Harris (Glee) WINNER
Fred Willard (Modern Family)
Eli Wallach (Nurse Jackie)
Jon Hamm (30 Rock)
Will Arnett (30 Rock)
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Kristin Chenoweth (Glee)
Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live)
Betty White (Saturday Night Live) WINNER
Elaine Stritch (30 Rock)
Jane Lynch (Two and a Half Men)
Outstanding Reality Show Host
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race)
Tom Bergeron (Dancing With The Stars)
Heidi Klum (Project Runway)
Jeff Probst (Survivor) WINNER
Outstanding Reality Show Competition
Top Chef WINNER
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
Outstanding Reality Program
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution WINNER
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D List
VARIETY, MUSIC, COMEDY
Outstanding Variety, Music, Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart WINNER
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show With Conan O’brien
MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
Miniseries Or Movie
The Pacific (HBO) WINNER
Return To Cranford (PBS)
Outstanding TV Movie
Georgia O’Keeffe (Lifetime)
The Special Relationship (HBO)
Temple Grandin (HBO) WINNER
You Don’t Know Jack (HBO)
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie
Kathy Bates (Alice)
Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin) WINNER
Catherine O'Hara (Temple Grandin)
Brenda Vaccaro (You Don’t Know Jack)
Susan Sarandon (You Don’t Know Jack)
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Michael Gambon (Emma)
Patrick Stewart (Hamlet)
Jonathan Pryce (Return To Cranford)
David Strathairn (Temple Grandin) WINNER
John Goodman (You Don’t Know Jack)
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Maggie Smith (Capturing Mary)
Joan Allen (Georgia O’Keeffe)
Dame Judi Dench (Return To Cranford)
Hope Davis (The Special Relationship)
Claire Danes (Temple Grandin) WINNER
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jeff Bridges (A Dog Year)
Ian Mckellen (The Prisoner)
Michael Sheen (The Special Relationship)
Dennis Quaid (The Special Relationship)
Al Pacino (You Don’t Know Jack) WINNER
Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Glee - "Pilot"
Modern Family - "Pilot" WINNER
The Office - "Niagara"
30 Rock - "Anna Howard Shaw Day"
30 Rock - "Lee Marvin Vs. Derek Jeter"
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Friday Night Lights - "The Son"
The Good Wife - "Pilot"
Lost - "The End"
Mad Men - "Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency" WINNER
Mad Men - "Shut The Door. Have A Seat"
Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
The Pacific - "Part Eight"
The Pacific - "Part Ten"
The Special Relationship
You Don't Know Jack WINNER
Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report WINNER
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien
CREATIVE ARTS EMMY AWARDS
Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, trophies were handed to the winners of the creative arts Emmys, which honor technical and other achievements:
Voice-over performance: Anne Hathaway , "The Simpsons: Once Upon a Time in Springfield," Fox.
Commercial: "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like: Old Spice Body Wash."
Animated Program: "Disney Prep & Landing," ABC.
Nonfiction series: "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," PBS.
Music composition for a series (original dramatic score): "24: 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.," Fox.
Music composition for a miniseries, movie or special: "Temple Grandin," HBO.
Choreography: "So You Think You Can Dance," Fox.
Casting for a drama series: "Mad Men," AMC.
Casting for a miniseries, movie or a special: "The Pacific," HBO.
Casting for a comedy series: "Modern Family," ABC.
Costumes for a miniseries, movie or a special: "Return to Cranford (Masterpiece), Part 2," PBS.
Costumes for a variety-music program or a musical (more than one award possible): "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Episode 09-1266)," ABC; "So You Think You Can Dance (Top 12 perform)," Fox; "Titan Maximum: Went to Party, Got Crabs," Cartoon Network.
Costumes for a series: "The Tudors : Episode No. 408," Showtime.
This PDF from Emmy.com is the official winners' press release and list the names of all trophy recipients.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls (2007)
Running time: 95 minutes (1 hour, 35 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for thematic material , drug and sexual content, some violence, and language
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry
PRODUCERS: Tyler Perry and Reuben Cannon
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Toyomichi Kurita
EDITOR: Maysie Hoy
DRAMA/ROMANCE with elements of comedy
Starring: Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Louis Gossett, Jr., Tasha Smith, Gary Sturgis, Tracee Ellis Ross, Malinda Williams, Terri J. Vaughn, Cassie Davis, Sierra Aylina McClain, China Anna McClain, and Lauryn Aylina McClain
In the romantic drama, Daddy’s Little Girls, impresario Tyler Perry leaves behind Madea, the character that made him so rich and famous, and steps into the background to act as writer/director/co-producer. The film features a rarity in American film, the working class black father who is totally dedicated to his children, and with this subject matter, Perry makes his best film to date.
Working class dad and mechanic, Monty James (Idris Elba) suddenly finds himself in custody of his three daughters, Sierra (Sierra Aylina McClain), China (China Anna McClain), and Lauryn (Lauryn McClain). However, his ex-wife Jennifer (Tasha Smith) is challenging Monty for custody, but he can’t let her take the children because she lives with Joseph (Gary Sturgis), a dangerous mini-drug kingpin. He finds help and later love in Ivy League-educated attorney, Julia Rossmore (Gabrielle Union), but their class differences and Monty’s criminal record threaten to tear them apart, and perhaps, cost Monty his children.
What makes Daddy’s Little Girls Tyler Perry’s best film to date is the strong character writing. Perry takes much heat from African-American critics of both his stage and screen work for dabbling in stereotypes. What he actually uses are familiar character types to tell stories that are moral lessons and parable about family values, and his audience can identify with both characters and the messages behind the film. The way he works is quite sly. On the surface, his plays and films as bawdy, working-class comedies set in black communities (urban, suburban, or rural), but after he gives his audience several acts of rowdy comedy, he leaps into his messages about family, community, and God. In fact, his characters often find solace and healing through these three institutions.
In Daddy’s Little Girls, Perry leaps right into the drama. Poverty, dysfunctional families, terminal illness, urban crime, social injustice (particularly in the legal system), and class prejudice are all topics Perry uses to build the screenplay for this film, and it works. Daddy’s Little Girls is both entertaining and uplifting. Of all his films, this one, more than the others, is directed at his core audience of conservative, working class African-Americans. To mainstream (read: white) American audiences, this may seem like a foreign film, but many viewers from working class backgrounds should identify with this.
If this film has one glaring fault, it’s that the script doesn’t give enough time to the daddy and his little girls of Daddy’s Little Girls. The film is mostly about the developing relationship between Monty and Julia, for which Idris Elba and Gabrielle Union respectively give fine performances. Tasha Smith as the big bad mama, Jennifer, adds spice, and Louis Gossett, Jr. as Willie, brings refined acting to this delightful and heartwarming message movie.
8 of 10
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Free App Enables Netflix Members to Instantly Watch TV Episodes and Movies Streamed from Netflix to iPhone and iPod touch
LOS GATOS, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) today announced the availability of its free Netflix App for iPhone and iPod touch, allowing Netflix members on plans starting at just $8.99 a month to instantly watch a vast selection of TV episodes and movies streamed to their iPhone or iPod touch at no additional cost.
The Netflix App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.
"Apple has changed the game for mobile devices," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer. "We're excited that our members can now carry Netflix around in their pockets and instantly watch movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix right to their iPhone or iPod touch."
The Netflix App delivers a high-quality viewing experience, a broad array of movie and TV choices and a clean, intuitive interface. It is available via both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. TV episodes and movies are conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members' personal preferences, popular genres, new arrivals and members' individual instant Queues. Members can choose a movie or TV episode from any of the lists and just tap the innovative Multi-Touch user interface to watch instantly or to save the title for viewing later.
Additionally, users have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream, and stopping at any time. When users want to start watching again, the video stream starts exactly where it was stopped, even on a different device capable of streaming from Netflix.
The Netflix App supports any iPhone or iPod touch device running iOS version 3.13 or later.
With more than 15 million members, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the world's largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by mail. For $8.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited TV episodes and movies streamed right to their TVs and computers and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. With Netflix, there are never any due dates or late fees. Among the large and expanding base of devices that can stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles; Blu-ray disc players from Samsung, LG and Insignia; Internet TVs from LG, Sony and VIZIO; the Roku digital video player and TiVo digital video recorders, and Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com/.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
WRITERS: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi (based upon the 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross)
PRODUCERS: Kevin De La Noy and Basil Iwanyk
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies, Jr. (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Vincent Tabaillon and Martin Walsh
FANTASY/ACTION/THRILLER with elements of adventure
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemyng, Nicholas Hoult, Hans Matheson, Ian Whyte, Pete Postlethwaite, Elizabeth McGovern, and Danny Huston
Released earlier this year, Clash of the Titans is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. The original was a goofy, delightful, children’s adventure film and monster movie that featured the talents of film producer and special effects wizard, Ray Harryhausen. The 2010 version takes itself very seriously (way more seriously than the original), but is still a goofy fantasy adventure film and monster movie.
The story is set in a time that seems as if it will be the twilight of the Olympian gods, who gain their powers from the prayer, worship, and love humans give them. Humans, however, have been turning away from the gods. For instance, soldiers from the city of Argos destroy a massive statue of Zeus as their declaration of war against the gods. Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the master of the Underworld, convinces his brother, Zeus (Liam Neeson), the ruler of the Olympians, to allow him to punish Argos for the soldiers’ actions. Hades, who gains his power from human fear, threatens to unleash the monstrous Kraken on Argos unless King Kepheus (Vincent Rega) offers his beautiful daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), as a sacrifice.
In steps the hero. Raised by his foster father, the kindly fisherman, Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite), Perseus (Sam Worthington) is really a demigod – the son of Zeus and a human woman. After watching Hades kill Spyros, his foster mother, and foster sister, Perseus vows vengeance against him. When he discovers that by killing the Kraken he could strike at Hades, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission deep into forbidden worlds where he may discover a method to kill the Kraken. Kepheus’ Praetorian Guard follows Perseus, but head guard, Draco (Mads Mikkelsen), has grave doubts about Perseus, who insists that he will succeed as a man and not as a demigod. But the fate of his mission and his own survival may depend upon Perseus accepting his powers as a god.
Simply put, Clash of the Titans 2010 is mildly entertaining, but it does have some grand moments (like the battles against the Gorgon and the Kraken). Most of the time, however, it has an odd rhythm. There is no sense of urgency in the story and very little to indicate how imperative it is that the heroes successfully complete their mission in a short amount of time. Even Lord of the Rings, which is a trilogy composed of three movies, each running at over three hours in length, always feels like time is running out for the heroes. Conversely, quite a bit of Clash of the Titans’ first hour feels flat.
The special effects are either good or bad; there isn’t much in between. The Gorgon and especially the Kraken are really good. The visual effects and CGI used for Hades are embarrassingly weak; luckily, with minimal effort, the powerful Ralph Fiennes makes Hades the good villain that the effects could not.
Strangely, this film is packed with good characters and actors making the best of even small parts. Mads Mikkelsen is superb as Draco, leader of the Praetorian Guard; his performance will make you wish to see more of the character. As usual Sam Worthington is just fun to watch. There is no doubt that this movie would be a disaster without him. He could portray a fast food clerk at a drive-in window and make the role seem compelling.
Clash of the Titans often lacks drama, but the things about it that work well (Worthington, Mikkelsen, the Kraken, etc.) actually work quite well. This is a fun-in-its-own-way, wannabe epic, but it never seems overwrought. “Goofy” is a word that can describe it, but I would watch Clash of the Titans 2010 again and again – just as I do with the original 1981 film.
6 of 10
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE FEATURES ORIGINAL SCORE BY TOMANDANDY
Innovative composer duo reinvent the music of blockbuster video game movie franchise RESIDENT EVIL
LOS ANGELES, August 26th, 2010 - Composer duo tomandandy, best known for their edgy, sublime sonic landscapes for movies such as P2, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, KILLING ZOE and pioneering soundtracks for numerous television commercial campaigns, have created an original, hybrid genre score for RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE http://www.residentevil-movie.com/, the highly-anticipated fourth installment of the popular film series based on the video games. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE presented in 3-D will be released to digital IMAX® theatres simultaneously with the film's worldwide release commencing September 10, 2010.
"Our mission for the RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE score was to reinvent the sound of the RESIDENT EVIL saga," said tomandandy. "At every turn, director Paul W. S. Anderson encouraged us to avoid cliché. He encouraged us to explore the edges of noise and modern sound synthesis. This was an amazing gift."
RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE depicts a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead. Milla Jovovich stars as Alice who continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead - and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.
RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE is a Constantin Film International GmbH, Davis Films/Impact Pictures Inc. Production, written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, produced by Jeremy Bolt, Paul W.S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer, Don Carmody, Bernd Eichinger and Samuel Hadida, and executive produced by Martin Moszkowicz and Victor Hadida.
Describing their creative process of composing a unique music score for RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, tomandandy explain, "We developed an aggressive palette of heavily distorted sounds and complex metric structures. At times the music is soft, gentle and airy, a fusion of organic sounds and electronics. Bracketing the music world with these two extremes: aggressive and distorted on one end and soft and dreamy on the other, we framed a palette, one with tremendous range.
tomandandy have created original music for feature films by Academy Award® winning filmmakers including Oliver Stone and Roger Avary, produced music with recording artists, among them Lou Reed and David Byrne, and collaborated with such artists as author William Burroughs, performance artist Laurie Anderson and visual artist Jenny Holzer. In the early 90's tomandandy helped reshape the role of music in the film, television and advertising industries by developing a new technology that lowered music production costs to a fraction of previous levels. The new aesthetic that emerged as a result was MTV's cut-up, non-linear, "look and feel." For more information on tomandandy visit http://www.tomandandy.com/.
Resident Evil (2002)
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sci-fi/horror violence, language, and sexuality/nudity
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson
PRODUCERS: Jeremy Bolt, Bernd Eichinger, and Paul W.S. Anderson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Johnson
EDITOR: Alexander Berner
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, Colin Salmon, and Jason Isaacs (uncredited)
The almighty Umbrella Corporation has a top-secret facility called the Hive where they conduct illegal viral and genetic experiments. A laboratory accident unleashes a terrible virus that transforms hundreds of resident scientists into ravenous zombies (hungry for flesh, of course) and the lab animals into mutated hounds from hell. A special military unit answers the Hive’s alarm summons; they are however not prepared to fight the flesh-eating creatures or the Hive’s diabolical and out-of-control super computer. When they disable the computer, they inadvertently release the zombies, allowing them to roam the entire complex, and all hell breaks loose. It’s up to Alice (Milla Jovovich), a Hive security officer who has suffered recent short term memory loss, and Rain (Michelle Rodriguez), a member of elite military task force to contain the outbreak, but they only have three hours to do so before the pathogen is released into the outside world.
Resident Evil is based upon videogame giant Capcom’s very popular video game of the same title. Although he isn’t a critical darling and many movie fans don’t like his work, director Paul W.S. Anderson has helmed some very entertaining sci-fi thrillers, and Resident Evil is another example of his skill at making excellent popcorn SF shockers. And Resident Evil is by no means a “good, dumb movie;” it is actually a very effective and amazingly well done (for a film adaptation of a video game) horror film. Night of the Living Dead creator George A. Romero was originally slated to direct this film, but left over creative differences. Anderson does the master proudly, as Resident Evil is a zombie movie that is just about as creepy and as scary as any other zombie picture.
The acting is mostly stiff, modern B-movie material, but the characters make excellent chess pieces in Anderson’s game plan. Fans of horror films, especially zombie films, will love this. The flesh-eating residents of the lab are some topnotch walking dead.
7 of 10
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Running time: 163 minutes (2 hours, 43 minutes)
MPAA – R for graphic violence and some sexuality/nudity
DIRECTOR: Wolfgang Petersen
WRITER: David Benioff (inspired by Homer’s The Iliad)
PRODUCERS: Diana Rathbun, Colin Wilson, and Wolfgang Petersen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger Pratt, B.S.C.
EDITOR: Peter Honess, A.C.E.
Academy Award nominee
ACTION/DRAMA/HISTORICAL/WAR with elements of adventure and romance
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Brendan Gleeson, Peter O’Toole, and Garrett Hedlund
Paris of Troy (Orlando Bloom) steals Helen (Diane Kruger), the wife of the Spartan King, Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson). Agamemnon (Brian Cox), Menelaus’ brother and the king who united the varied Greek kingdoms, suddenly has a reason to invade Troy. Paris’ brother, Hector (Eric Bana) stands ready to defend his kingdom, but that means he may have to face the greatest warrior the world will ever known, Achilles (Brad Pitt). This old tale gets a retelling in Warner Bros.’ Troy.
Anyone who is familiar with the legend of Troy from Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad (or Virgil’s The Aeneid) or countless retellings, documentaries, history lessons, etc. will already know how this film ends. But trust Hollywood to make just enough changes to surprise or, at least, infuriate purists. In my case, I was deeply troubled by a number of issues (especially the absence of the manipulations of the quarrelling Greek gods’ who played a large role in the literary story of Troy), but it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying this movie.
Director Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy is an epic war story that is equal parts costume drama and big budget, Hollywood historical epic. It’s goofy, but serious enough to past muster. The dialogue is wooden and stiff, and the speeches will sometimes make you cringe. However, there are enough times when the characters speak with equal measure of weight and pomposity and clarity to sell the story. And at the end of the day, this movie is just fun to watch.
Like those historical epics of the 1950’s and 60’s, Troy has some secret allure to it. For some reason, these crazy dramas, with their high fallutin’ faux Shakesperean-lite speeches, are entertaining. Of course, there are always the battles, and Petersen (another very talented film director who has an impressive filmography of entertaining macho movies) stages the slugfests and bloodshed with brilliance. Granted, I’ve seen the massing of large fleets and armies on the big screen before Troy, but Petersen also smartly focuses on individual, man on man fight scenes, especially those with Achilles.
Regardless of what one might think, there’s no way you cannot not treat yourself to the sight of Brad Pitt throwing it down Greek thug style. I loved his fight scenes, and while he may not be the world’s greatest actor, he may be one of the most sincere. He looks great on screen, and the camera loves him. Pitt throws himself into the role of Achilles with such relish that I can’t help but be awed by him. And no matter what others might say, he more than holds his own in a really nice scene he has with Peter O’Toole. Yes, he may not be the greatest actor, but he’s one of the great movies stars, and he’s a better actor than for which he’s given credit. For him alone, I recommend Troy.
7 of 10
2005 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Bob Ringwood)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
40,000 PEOPLE PLEDGE TO SEE WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”
OfficeMax® Set to Expand Its “A Day Made Better” Program – Second Benchmark Met on WaitingForSuperman.com
HOLLYWOOD, CA (August 23, 2010) – Paramount Pictures, Participant Media and Walden Media announced today 40,000 people have pledged to see the award-winning documentary film WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” when it opens this fall, making it the second goal reached on the campaign’s “Pledge Progress Meter.” As a result, Chicago-based office supply retailer OfficeMax® is fulfilling its commitment to add 40 deserving U.S. teachers to its “A Day Made Better” program.
Now in it’s 4th year, the OfficeMax program helps defray the out-of-pocket expenditures on school supplies by dedicated teachers by awarding 1,000 outstanding teachers with $1,000 in school supplies.
"Thanks to more than 40,000 pledges to see this important documentary film, OfficeMax is pleased to surprise 40 deserving teachers across the country with a total of $40,000 in school supplies on behalf of our national cause called A Day Made Better," said Bill Bonner, senior director of external relations for OfficeMax. "By joining the ‘Take the Pledge’ campaign, we hope to call attention to the issue of teacher out-of-pocket spending, encourage national support and start erasing teacher teacher-funded classrooms."
WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” directed by Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) will be released under the Paramount Vantage banner and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories. Designed to start a national conversation, the movie and corresponding “Take the Pledge” campaign aim to inspire everyone to create innovative and long-term solutions to help change the course of our kids’ lives for the better. The “Pledge Progress Meter” launched in May as a way for non-profits, foundations and corporations to match individual pledge levels with powerful action items aimed at helping both students and public schools. First Book was the first organization to take the pledge, by agreeing to donate 250,000 new books to schools and programs in low-income communities across the country once the pledge meter reaches 50,000 pledges.
The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 24, nationwide in October.
The film is produced by Lesley Chilcott, with Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann serving as executive producers. It is written by Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball.
For more information about the movie, or to take the pledge go to http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/ or text “PLEDGE” to 77177
To join the conversation visit us on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/WaitingForSuperman
What does your school need? Tell us by Tweeting #MySchoolNeeds at http://www.Twitter.com/WaitingSuperman
ABOUT PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.
About Participant Media
Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media. Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman. Ricky Strauss is President.
Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Informant!, The Cove, The Crazies, Oceans, Furry Vengeance, CASINO JACK and the United States of Money, Countdown to Zero and Waiting for “Superman.”
About Walden Media
Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family. Past award-winning films include: “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Nim’s Island” and “Charlotte’s Web.” Upcoming films include the third installment in the Narnia series “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX) is a leader in both business-to-business office products solutions and retail office equipment. The OfficeMax mission is simple. We help our customers do their best work. The company provides office supplies and paper, in-store print and document services through OfficeMax ImPress®, technology products and solutions, and office furniture to businesses and individual consumers. OfficeMax customers are served by more than 30,000 associates through direct sales, catalogs, e-commerce and approximately 1,000 stores. For more information on “A Day Made Better” visit http://www.adaymadebetter.com/.
About A Day Made Better
“A Day Made Better” is a national cause founded by OfficeMax and nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom to help lead the fight to end teacher-funded classrooms. Throughout the year, 3,500 OfficeMax associates surprise and honor more than 1,000 teachers at Title 1 schools across the country each with an award and $1000 in classroom supplies. Nominated by their principals, teachers recipients receive this honor for their exceptional contributions as educators. By recognizing and rewarding some of the nation’s most dedicated teachers, the cause seeks to call attention to the issue of teacher out-of-pocket spending and motivate widespread support for teachers nationwide. “A Day Made Better” was first conducted in October 2007 and has since funded over 3,500 classrooms and attracted donations for more than 10,000 classrooms through Adopt-A-Classroom.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
VAMPIRE KNIGHT Volume 1 (2010)
• Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $19.97 US / $28.99 CAN • Available Now
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
Studio: VIZ Media
Format: Animated, Color, DVD, NTSC (Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1)
Number of discs: 1
Language: English and Subtitles: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Running time: 96 minutes; Rating: Not Rated
Contents: Vampire Knight anime – Episodes 1-4
The recent DVD release, Vampire Knight, Vol. 1, presents four episodes of the Japanese animated series, Vampire Knight. This is a cool take on the vampire similar to such Young Adult literature vampire delights as the Twilight and Vampire Kisses series.
Vampire Knight is a manga (Japanese comics) written by manga artist Matsuri Hino. It was first published in January 2005 in the Japanese comics magazine, LaLa, and the series continues as of this writing. Vampire Knight, which is a shojo manga (comics for teen girls), received an English publication in 2006 via Shojo Beat magazine, and VIZ Media currently releases collected volumes of the series every few months.
Vampire Knight is set at Cross Academy, a private boarding school. Cross Academy has two classes: the Day Class (the human students) and the Night Class (the vampire students). At twilight, the Day Class students return to their dorms and cross paths with the Night Class on its way to school. The Day Class doesn’t know the school’s dark secret that the Night Class students are vampires, but the Day Class girl students are madly in love with the boys of the Night Class
The story focuses on Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of Headmaster Cross. She partners with Zero Kiryu, a human student who struggles with the vampire’s thirst, and the two are the Guardians of the school, patrolling the hallways and school grounds to protect the Day Class students from the vampires. Yuki and Zero form a kind of love triangle with Kaname Kuran, a pure blood vampire who is basically the unquestioned leader of the Night Class. The series follows various intrigues related to the conflict between human and vampire, and the story also delves into the pasts of the three leads.
Japan’s Studio Deen adapted Vampire Knight into anime (Japanese animation), and the series debuted on Japanese television in the April 2008. The recent DVD release, Vampire Knight, Vol. 1 collects the first four episodes of Season One of the anime: #1 “Night of Vampires,” #2 “Memories of Blood,” #3 “The Fang of Penitence,” and #4 “Trigger of Condemnation.”
These episodes introduce the plot, setting, characters, and mythology of Vampire Knight in such an easy and friendly way. It will not be long into the first episode that the viewer will believe that she is well on her way to knowing and then loving these characters. The series favors the Night Class over the Day Class, which seems to exist to praise and worship the Night Class. The vampires are beautiful, sexy, and sassy; their air of confidence is infectious. The Day Class cast is mostly dull.
The star, of course, is Yuki Cross. In a series like Vampire Knight, what is needed is a character that is probably more nosy than curious and also brave enough to go where others won’t go. That will make viewers want to follow her quest and investigations, and Yuki will have the viewers hanging onto her. The two male interests, Zero Kiryu and the vampire Kaname Kuran, are also quite good. Their aloof, cocky natures are attractive, and if it is possible for an animated character to have a screen presence, they have that.
The quality of the animation is good. It emphasizes style and stylishness over movement and features vivid colors, lush background details, and elegant sets. This look is perfect for the gothic moodiness and romantic melodrama that defines the look of Vampire Knight.
Vampire Knight, Vol. 1 will reveal some secrets, expose Zero’s affliction, and give viewers a shocking look at a kind of vampire that isn’t a sexy, laid back student. While aimed at young women, Vampire Knight is a surprisingly engaging melodrama and will please anyone interested in soap operas – with vampires.
EXTRAS: This is a no frills DVD without any extras, although viewers are offered the option of watching episodes in Japanese with English subtitles or dubbed versions with voice actors providing English dialogue.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Diary Date: Wednesday 6th, October 6 – 7pm
Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by top Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro. He will be signing his new novel The Fall at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Wednesday 6th October 6 – 7pm.
In this fantastic sequel to The Strain, humans have been displaced at the top of the food chain, and now understand what it is to be not the consumer, but the consumed. Ephraim Goodweather, director of the New York office of the Centers for Disease control, is one of the few humans who understands what is really happening. Vampires have arrived in New York City, and their condition is contagious. If they cannot be contained, the entire world is at risk of infection. As the Biblical origins of the Ancient ones are gradually revealed, Eph learns that there is a greater, more terrible plan in store for the human race – worse even than annihilation…
Guillermo del Toro came to prominence with cult horror movies such as Chronos and The Devil’s Backbone and made his Hollywood directorial debut with the classic Blade II. Rapidly followed by the box office and critical hit Hellboy and the Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, del Toro has established himself as one of the leading directors in the genre.
Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for signing events, including: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Terry Gilliam, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Mark Millar, Brian Froud and Stephen King.
For more news about our signings please go to: http://www.forbiddenplanet.com/Signings.html
Running time: 130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong language including sex-related dialogue, violence, crude humor and some drug content
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith
PRODUCER: Scott Mosier
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Yeoman (director of photography)
EDITOR: Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith
COMPOSER: Howard Shore
Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Chris Rock, Janeane Garofalo, George Carlin, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman, Salma Hayek, Alanis Morrissette, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith
Bethany Sloane (Linda Fiorentino) is the last known descendant of Jesus Christ. Metatron the voice of God (Alan Rickman) sends her on a quest to stop two renegade angels from exploiting a loophole in Roman Catholic law to regain entry into heaven, an act that will cause existence to cease. Joining her on her quest are Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (the director Kevin Smith), and the forgotten black 13th Apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock). The two angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon), are encouraged in their destructive quest by a fallen angel/muse, Azrael (Jason Lee).
Directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks.), Dogma is meant to be satire of or, at least, poke fun, at Roman Catholic Dogma, and it succeeds at pointing out some of the Church’s eccentricities, although many of the complaints could be applied to Christianity in general, or most other faiths, for that matter. Dogma’s points are mostly complaints that one could hear from any armchair observer or frustrated Sunday mass-goer. The real pleasure of this film, and there are, surprisingly, many pleasures, is the execution of the film and raucous comedy.
Despite moments of long-winded and awkward soliloquies, the dialogue is pointed and funny. Often harsh and abrasive, it ranges from being hilarious and uproarious to smart and dead on in some of the film’s more opinionated moments. Dogma is an unusual film, a comedy that is very much steeped in the fantastique. However, its witty and ribald repartee engages the viewers and draws him through some of the film’s quirkier moments.
The acting is good from top bill to supporting cast, and they all manage to be quite convincing even when choking on mouthfuls of the verbose Smith’s dialogue. The characters Jay and Silent Bob are as funny as ever, and the make excellent sidekicks to the main players and story. Ms. Fiorentino makes a dramatic, but wry, turn as the downtrodden Bethany, she of shaky faith; she is surprisingly good although, at first glance, she seems an odd choice for a Kevin Smith film. Chris Rock also makes a rather nice appearance as Rufus; he manages to both be true to his shtick and to the film.
For all it’s fun, Dogma falls apart in the end. The last half hour’s violence is careless and special effects are not impressive seem a little cheap. Alanis Morissette’s appearance as God is the final straw in the film’s dismal closing chapter.
Oh, well. They almost had it. Watch Dogma for all its fun, especially if you’re familiar with Kevin Smith’s brand of comedy, but expect to pay for the fun with a poor ending.
5 of 10
Sunday, August 22, 2010
(Thanks Gold Derby)
Best Casting of a Drama Series: "Mad Men"
Best Casting of a Movie/Mini: "The Pacific"
Best Casting of a Comedy Series: "Modern Family" (announced by Jane Lynch of "Glee," a losing nominee)
Best Prosthetic Makeup for Series, Movie or Mini: "The Pacific"
Best Makeup for Movie or Mini (Non-Prosthetic): "The Pacific"
Best Makeup for a Single-Camera Series, Movie, Mini or Special (Non-Prosthetic): "Grey's Anatomy"
Best Makeup/ Multi-Camera (Non-Prosthetic): "Saturday Night Live"
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy: Betty White, "Saturday Night Live" (not present to accept)
Best Costumes for Movie/Mini: "Return to Cranford"
Best Costumes for a Series: "The Tudors"
Best Music Direction: "Olympic Games"
Best Choreography: Mia Michaels, "So You Think You Can Dance"
Best Music Score: "24"
Best Music Score for Movie/Mini: "Temple Grandin"
Best Music and Lyrics: "Monk"
Best Art Direction for Variety or Nonfiction Program: "Academy Awards"
Best Art Direction for Movie/Mini: "The Pacific"
Best Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series: "The Tudors"
Best Picture Editing for Comedy Series: "Modern Family"
Best Picture Editing for Drama Series (Single Camera): "Lost"
Best Picture Editing for Movie/Mini (Single Camera): "Temple Grandin"
Best Short Form Picture Editing: "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
Best Picture Editing for Nonfiction Program: "By the People: Election of Barack Obama"
Best Picture Editing for Reality Program: "Intervention"
Best Animated Program: "Disney Prep and Landing"
Best Short Form Animated Program: "Robot Chicken"
Best Voiceover Performance: Anne Hathaway, "The Simpsons"
Best Stunt Coordination: "Flash Forward"
Best Visual Effects in a Series: "CSI"
Best Visual Effects in a Movie/Mini/Special: "The Pacific, Part 5"
Best Main Titles Design: "Bored to Death"
Best Main Title Theme Music: "Nurse Jackie"
Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series: John Lithgow, "Dexter" (he accidentally thanked HBO instead of Showtime!)
Best Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series: "Glee"
Best Sound Mixing for a Mini/Movie: "The Pacific, Part 2"
Best Sound Mixing for Half-Hour Series (Tie): "Entourage" and "Modern Family"
Best Sound Mixing for Music Series or Special (tie): "Grammy Awards" and "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert"
Best Tech Direction for a Series: "Dancing with the Stars"
Best Tech Direction for a Mini/Special: "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert"
Best Cinematography for Nonfiction: "Life"
Best Cinematography for Movie/Mini: "Return to Cranford"
Best Cinematography for One-Hour Show: "CSI"
Best Cinematrophy for Half-Hour Series: "Weeds"
Best Cinematography for Nonfiction: "Survivor"
Best Lighting: Winter Olympics Opening
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Neil Patrick Harris, "Glee"
Best Direction for Nonfiction: "My Lai"
Best Writing for Nonfiction: "National Parks"
Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking: "Nerakhoon (The Betrayal)"
Best Nonfiction Special: "Teddy: In His Own Words"
Best Nonfiction Series: "National Parks: America's Best Idea"
Best Special Class Program: "Tony Awards" (NHP said at the podium, "I just want to thank Boomer from The Envelope or I wouldn't have gotten this!" then he gave Boomer double thumbs up! -- CONGRATS BOOMER!)
Best Creative Achievement Interactive: "Star Wars Uncut"
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive: "The Jimmy Fallon Digital Experience"
Best Direction of Variety: "Saturday Night Live"
Best Children's Program: "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie"
Best Variety Special: "Kennedy Center Honors"
Best Variety Writing: "Colbert Report"
Best Children's Nonfiction Program: "Nick News With Linda Ellerbee - The Face Of Courage: Kids Living With Cancer"
Best Commercial: "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like • Old Spice Body Wash"
Best Reality Program: "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
Best Reality Host: Jeff Probst, "Survivor"
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Ann-Margret, "Law and Order: SVU" (she receives the only standing ovation of the night)
Visit the Emmy.tv website or view this PDF press which goes into details about each award and names the actual winner or winners of the trophy in each category.
TRASH IN MY EYE No. 182 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux
Running time: 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong language, including sexual dialogue, and for some scenes of sexuality and drug content
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith
PRODUCERS: Sean Daniel, James Jacks, and Scott Mosier
CINEMTOGRAPHER: David Klein
EDITOR: Paul Dixon
Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Renee Humphrey, Jason Mewes, Ethan Suplee, Stan Lee, Michael Rooker, and Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith hit the almost inevitable sophomore slump with his awful film Mallrats. It the tale of two buddies, both dumped by their girlfriends on the same day. Brodie Bruce (Jason Lee) is a slacker comic book collector who lives in his mom’s basement, and his girl, Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty), just can’t put up with being mostly ignored by Brodie for comics and videogames. T.S. Quint (Jeremy London) is an aimless college student who always fights with his girl, Brandi (Claire Forlani).
So Brodie and T.S. seek solace at the local mall, but they can’t get away from their girlfriends. Rene is there and has found a new boy toy in the form of Shannon Hamilton (Ben Affleck), a salesman at an upscale men’s clothing store, who is a bully to both friend and foe. Brandi is a replacement contestant on her father’s game show, an episode of which is filming at the mall, so Brodie and T.S. plot to ruin shoot. Meanwhile, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are lurking about the mall, looking to cause mischief.
The dialogue that was so riotously funny in Clerks. turns to crap in Mallrats. It’s just line after line of meaningless filler that when spoken sounds awkward and unnatural. The actors are game and give it their best shot to make Smith’s words seem cool and witty, but it just comes out as noise. The script is so bad that it actually keeps the cast, for the most part, from being able to act at a professional level.
Smith is at his best when he takes a group of characters and gives them funny, insightful, and outrageous things to say. The moment he tries to construct a plot around the dialogue the scenario begins to crumble. And the more he tries to fit it into a plot or the more he tries to create a situation around the talking heads, the worse the movie gets, especially when the repartee is really more important than the plot. Smith began to solve this problem in his later films, but Mallrats is still trash.
2 of 10
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Features Brand New Music from Multi-Platinum International Phenom Owl City
BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On September 21, WaterTower Music will release the original motion picture soundtrack to the fantasy family adventure “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” based on the beloved Guardians of Ga’Hoole books by Kathryn Lasky. The film opens nationwide in theatres and IMAX on September 24 in both 3D and 2D.
The exciting soundtrack features an epic musical mix that is anchored by “To the Sky,” a brand new song from internationally acclaimed multi-platinum sensation Owl City. The song is featured prominently within the film and then plays again as it soars over the end title sequence. “It is such an incredible honor to be a part of this film,” says Owl City’s Adam Young. “As a fan of both the children’s book series growing up, and Zack Snyder’s work as a director, having my music included is pretty surreal. I've been waiting for someone to make a movie like this for some time now. I’m endlessly grateful to be involved.”
The past year has been a whirlwind for Owl City, whose debut album, Ocean Eyes, was released in July 2009 and went platinum on April 1, 2010. The first single, “Fireflies,” is now triple platinum and hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100 twice, as well as going #1 in 23 countries around the world.
Additionally, the soundtrack features the heroic musical landscapes of David Hirschfelder’s score. Hirschfelder, an Academy Award® nominee (“Elizabeth,” “Shine”), earned a BAFTA Film Award for Best Original Film Score for “Strictly Ballroom,” and has also won Australia’s Aria Award for Best Original Soundtrack Album for his work on “Elizabeth,” and an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Original Music Score for “Shine.”
A must-have for every “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” and Owl City fan alike, the original motion picture soundtrack will be available on CD Tuesday, September 21.
About “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
Acclaimed filmmaker Zack Snyder makes his animation debut with “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.” The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones.
Snyder is directing “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” from a screenplay by John Orloff and Emil Stern, based on the Guardians of Ga’Hoole novels by Kathryn Lasky. The film is being produced by Zareh Nalbandian, with Donald De Line, Deborah Snyder, Lionel Wigram, Chris deFaria, Kathryn Lasky and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.” Opening nationwide in theaters and IMAX on September 24, 2010, the film will be presented in 3D and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. www.legendoftheguardians.com
About WaterTower Music
WATERTOWER MUSIC, the in-house music label for Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., has been releasing recorded music since 2002. Distributed by Fontana Distribution, the independent arm of Universal Music Group Distribution, WTM has released over 70 titles, including the film soundtracks to the multi-platinum “Hairspray,” “Sex and the City,” “Valentine’s Day” “The Hangover,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Sherlock Holmes.” Its 2010 release schedule includes "Going the Distance," "Due Date,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Cop Out (2010)
Running time: 107 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes)
MPAA – R for pervasive language including sexual references, violence, and brief sexuality
EDITOR/DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith
WRITERS: Robb Cullen and Mark Cullen
PRODUCERS: Polly Cohen Johnsen, Marc Platt, and Michael Tadross
CINEMATOGRAHER: David Klein (D.o.P.)
COMPOSER: Harold Faltermeyer
Starring: Bruce Will, Tracy Morgan, Seann William Scott, Rashida Jones, Guillermo Diaz, Cory Fernandez, Jason Lee, Kevin Pollack, Adam Brody, Michelle Trachtenberg, Ana de la Reguera, and Sean Cullen
The combination of international box office star, Bruce Willis, outrageous jigaboo comedian, Tracy Morgan, and indie director, Kevin Smith (Clerks.), seems too odd to work. There recent buddy cop movie, Cop Out, however, is funny – surprisingly, shockingly funny.
Cop Out focuses on James “Jimmy” Monroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan), two longtime NYPD cops who have been partners for nine years. Their investigation of a drug ring goes bad when a bad-ass supplier named Juan Diaz (Cory Fernandez) shoots up a neighborhood and escapes. After getting suspended, Jimmy and Paul end up playing cops again after an eccentric thief named Dave (Seann William Scott) steals a rare, mint-condition baseball card that belongs to Jimmy. The hunt for the card leads them back to Juan Diaz and his older brother, Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), a merciless, baseball memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Poh Boy will return the card if Jimmy and Paul retrieve a stolen car, but it is what’s inside the car the changes everything.
In a way, Cop Out is an homage or send-up of 1980s buddy cop movies like 48 Hrs. and Lethal Weapon and also cop action comedies like the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Even the musical score for Cop Out is composed by Harold Faltermeyer, who composed music for the first Beverly Hills Cop film and Top Gun. And Cop Out works… in a sort of off-kilter way. Kevin Smith, whose films are often steeped in pop culture, creates the right mood and squeezes all the right essences and flavors from his cast and from this story until he has a 1980s throwback cop action/comedy that is thoroughly entertaining.
I find Bruce Willis to be so cool, and his resourceful, tough guy screen persona is pitch-perfect to play a cop – even a cop in a peculiar comedy like Cop Out. Tracy Morgan isn’t just another black comedian. His act stays fresh because of his ability to freestyle peculiar and absurd behavior, mannerisms, and dialogue. That’s why he’s more shocking than annoying.
Cop Out’s screenplay does waste a few good characters: the oddly lovable Poh Boy, his delightfully evil brother, Juan Diaz, and the kooky thief Dave. There are some other characters in this story that should have been dropped from the screenplay in order to give this trio more screen time.
Anyway, Cop Out is not just another standard, idiotic, buddy cop movie. The unusual and peculiar pairing of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, plus a few good supporting characters make this profanity-laden comedy a joy to watch over and over again. I wish for a sequel.
7 of 10
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) on rappers-turned-actors. The blog entry from "BV on Movies" also brings up some old quotes from Samuel L. Jackson and Nia Long about rapper-actors.
Personally, I'm ambivalent about rapper-actors. Will Smith and Queen Latifah have turned out some exceptional performances, and Smith has earned two Oscar nominations, while Latifah has one (for Chicago). On the other hand, guys like Ice Cube, Ludacris, and 50 Cent are average actors, and that's being generous considering some of their performances. I like Ice Cube and Ludacris, but for the most part, they, like a lot of rapper-actors, are just taking roles that should go to trained African-American actors.
LL Cool J and Ice T have been good in parts tailored towards their personalities, but they're also deficient. I think that a guy like Mos Def doesn't get enough credit for how good he is as an actor.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Clerks II (2006)
Running time: 97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – R for pervasive crude and sexual content including aberrant sexuality , strong language, and some drug material
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith
EDITORS/PRODUCERS: Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Klein (director of photography)
Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Trevor Fehrman, Jennifer Schwalbach, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Earthquake, Wanda Sykes, Kevin Weisman, and Scott Mosier
Best friends Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) worked side by side – Dante at the Quik-Stop convenience store and Randal at a video store next door. They’ve been doing that for ten years, but Dante goes to work one day and finds the Quik-Stop on fire. A year later, both Dante and Randal are working at Mooby’s, a McDonald’s like, bovine-themed, fast food restaurant. They still have that in-your-face attitude (especially Randal), and they still spew vulgarities (especially Randal), and they still try their customers’ nerves (especially Randal). Vagrant drug dealers, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), who used to hangout in front of the Quik-Stop, now hang around Mooby’s selling dope. But not everything is the same…
They have a new co-worker to torture, the virginal 19-year old, Elias (Trevor Fehrman, a smart, funny, and charmingly naïve addition in the series), and their manager, the sexy Becky (Rosario Dawson). Dante and Randal are in their early 30’s, and this is Dante’s last day at Mooby’s. He’s (hopefully) leaving New Jersey forever and moving to Florida with his aggressive fiancé, Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach), where her well-to-do parents live. Randal is hurt and disappointed, but he’s planning a last blowout to send Dante off. That, however, isn’t Dante’s only surprise because Becky has a secret to tell Dante and it may change all his plans.
Kevin Smith put the loyalty of his fans in his own hands when he announced that he was making a sequel to his 1994 cult and surprise hit film, Clerks. He couldn’t blame anyone else if the sequel (originally titled, The Passion of the Clerks) sucked ass, but neither he nor his loyal fans need worry. Clerks II is absolutely fabulous. Smith’s trademarks all make appearances: the non-stop chatter and babble full of wit and vinegar about such topics as pop culture (Star Wars versus The Lord of the Rings), society (racial slurs and religion), and sex and relationships (perversions, positions, marriage, etc.). There even cameos from his friends (Jason Lee and Ben Affleck) and other comic actors (Wanda Sykes).
Clerks II is an improvement on the original film in terms of screenwriting and narrative. There’s an actual plot underneath all the rapid-fire dialogue, and that dialogue is much crisper than the original – less clunky, for sure. There’s more dramatic impact, and the characters relationships have more depth. Clerks II is simply older in terms of maturity than the original film. Smith is asking his characters to be more and to put more consideration into their own lives – to put away childish things. In a sense, Smith is the Woody Allen of his generation – filling his films with lots of talk, both profound and silly, but certainly more bawdy than what went on even in Allen’s pre-Annie Hall movies.
Well, Clerks II is not entirely grown up. The characters can still have fun, and they certainly do. Clerks II is vulgar and buck wild. There’s something to offend everyone, but it’s all for fun. Smith is the ultimate come-on-and-lighten-up guy, and the cast loves to drink his Kool-Aid, so Clerks II is a resounding success. It’s as close to everything both they and we wanted in a Clerks sequel, and it might be even better than all expected.
9 of 10
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Clerks. (1994) – Black & White
Running time: 92 minutes (1 hour, 32 minutes)
MPAA – R for extensive use of extremely explicit sex-related dialogue
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith
EDITORS/PRODUCERS: Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Klein
Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonhauser, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Walter Flanagan, and David Klein
Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) wasn’t even supposed to be at work today, but his boss called him to open the convenience store because the guy that was supposed to work called in sick. Going to work wouldn’t be so bad, if Dante hadn’t just finished a night shift, and he wasn’t dead tired. And, God, he hates the customers.
Kevin Smith’s Clerks. is the story of Dante and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), two loser, nowhere-bound clerks, Dante in a convenience story and Randal in a video store next door. The film focuses on a day in their lives when Dante feuds with his girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) and obsesses over his old squeeze, Caitlin (Lisa Spoonhauser), and Dante and Randal deal with fines, customer hassles, a visit to a wake that goes badly, and dead customers. If that wasn’t crazy enough, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), two eccentric drug dealers, hang around outside all day.
Clerks. made Kevin Smith a cult favorite director and is probably his most beloved film. For anyone who has ever held a low-paying job as a clerk at a small business, Clerks. is the visual Bible of wage earner suffering. The film’s extremely low-budget look (it was allegedly shot for under $30,000) isn’t off-putting, but adds a sense of verisimilitude to the film. The acting (mostly made up of local theatre talent and friends of the filmmakers) ranges from sub-par to good, but what makes this film is the dialogue.
While Smith often gives his cast more than a mouthful to say, his dialogue is witty, subversive, real, sassy, philosophical, and hilariously outrageous. Add that to some brilliant key moments in the film, and Clerks. is a comedy that may not speak to everyone, but this radiant delight speaks loudly to some of us.
8 of 10
Thursday, August 19, 2010
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE PREMIERE OF THE LATEST SEASON OF BLEACH ON ADULT SWIM
Episode 168 of The Smash Hit Supernatural Action Series Launches This Month
VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the nationwide premiere of the latest season of BLEACH on Adult Swim. The latest English-dubbed installment – Episode 168 – of the hit animated action series will air on August 28th. Check local times for availability (http://www.adultswim.com/shows/bleach/).
In the newest season of BLEACH, after Sosuke Aizen’s rebellion, Gin Ichimaru’s departure from the Soul Society left the captain’s post of Squad Three empty. Shusuke Amagai is appointed as the new captain much to the squad’s dismay. But over time, Shusuke proves himself to be a good leader and wins over the team with his ability and personality. Meanwhile, a mysterious girl named Rurichiyo Kasumiohji appears in Karakura Town. Rurichiyo is the princess of a noble family in the Soul Society and a target for assassination. Worried for her safety, Rurichiyo’s guardians ask Ichigo to become her bodyguard. With new faces in the mix, another spectacular battle is about to begin in the Soul Society!
“BLEACH is a powerhouse property that delights millions of fans across North America each week, and we’re very pleased to have Adult Swim’s continued support for the series,” says Ken Sasaki, Senior Vice President & General Manager of VIZ Media. “Check out the newest adventures of the Soul Society in the launch of the riveting new story arc, and then stay tuned to Adult Swim for a new episode of the other hit VIZ Media anime series KEKKAISHI that immediately follows!”
BLEACH is a popular manga and animated series (both rated ‘T’ for Teens), distributed domestically by VIZ Media, that follows the adventures of Ichigo, a 15-year old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, he’s dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.
BLEACH is also a tremendously successful property internationally. The manga series, created by Tite Kubo, has been licensed to more than a dozen countries and has sold over 50 million copies in Japan alone. In North America, the manga has sold more than 2 million copies, and the dubbed version of the animated series is viewed weekly by millions in the United States and Canada on cable broadcast. This success has further spawned an array of related video games, apparel, action figures and other merchandise. The subtitled version of the anime can be viewed for free online anytime on VIZAnime.com.
More information on BLEACH is available at Bleach.viz.com.
About Adult Swim
Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. Airing nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET, PT), Adult Swim shares channel space with Cartoon Network, home to the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for youth and families, and is seen in 97 million U.S. homes. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; and website at www.VIZ.com.