Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vampire Knight Among VIZ Media Anime DVD in May and June

VIZ MEDIA OFFERS SUMMER ANIME ACTION WITH NEW MAY AND JUNE DVD RELEASES

San Francisco, CA, April 28, 2011 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced an array of upcoming new anime DVD releases scheduled for May and June 2011.

New DVD releases in May include the latest from VIZ Media’s top selling anime properties, POKÉMON and VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY. Two brand new series, HERO: 108 and KEKKAISHI, will make their long-awaited debut on DVD in June in addition to the latest box set installment of BLEACH.

May Anime Releases:

POKÉMON DP GALACTIC BATTLES Volumes 3 & 4 • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $14.97 U.S. each / $21.99 CAN each • Available May 10th

POKÉMON DP GALACTIC BATTLES GIFT SET 2 • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $24.92 U.S. / $35.99 CAN • Available May 10th

Ash and his friends are headed to Sinnoh’s snow country, where the weather is the least of their challenges. Dawn and her Pokémon face hard decisions about their future as a team. Ash faces a hard battle against Gym Leader Candice and her mighty Abomasnow – but even if he wins, he’ll still have to beat his rival Paul, who’s determined to avenge a bitter loss from the past. To top it all off, our heroes face a ground-shaking calamity when the Legendary Pokémon Regigigas awakes in Snowpoint Temple! Get ready for more rivals, more revelations, and more adventures!

POKÉMON DP GALATIC BATTLES GIFT SET contains Volumes 3 & 4 in a collector’s box.

For more information POKÉMON and other VIZ Kids titles please visit www.VIZ.com/pokemon/.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY Volume 2 • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $19.97 U.S. / $28.99 CAN • Available May 17th

Continually haunted by visions of blood, Yuki is determined to discover the secrets of her past, but Kaname repeatedly evades her questions. Zero confronts Kaname at the Moon Dormitory, and the two end up fighting. Then Kaname advances his relationship with Yuki to an entirely new level, which has the members of the Night Class in a bit of a tizzy. But Yuki's dreams only intensify – will her past be forced into the light at last? Includes Episodes 5-8.

For more information on VAMPIRE KNIGHT, please visit: http://www.shojobeat.com/

June Anime Releases:

HERO: 108 SEASON 1, Volume 1 • Not Rated • MSRP: $14.97 U.S. / $21.99 CAN • Available June 14th

Long ago, the animals and humans of Hidden Kingdom lived together in harmony. But when the wicked trickster HighRoller turned the animals against the humans, chaos erupted! Now, the rebel force known as Big Green - led by ApeTrully and Lin Chung of First Squad - must battle to bring peace to the land. Episodes 1-6.

For more information on HERO: 108, please visit www.viz.com or http://www.vizkids.com/.

KEKKAISHI DVD BOX SET Volume 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available June 21st

Yoshimori Sumimura is a 14-year-old student at Karasumori School. Following in the tradition that's come down through the generations, he is the twenty-second Kekkaishi of the Sumimura clan. But he’s constantly fighting with his rival, Tokine Yukimura – his childhood friend and also a Kekkaishi – about who is the rightful heir to the magical barrier arts. Protecting people from danger while growing stronger, Yoshimori will battle the forces of evil again tonight! The 3-disc set includes Episodes 1-13.

For more information on KEKKAISHI or other Shonen Sunday series, please visit http://www.shonensunday.com/.


BLEACH UNCUT DVD BOX SET Volume 9 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available June 21st

In the perpetual night and white sand world of Hueco Mundo, Ichigo and the others fight their way to Las Noches, the stronghold of former Soul Reaper captain Sosuke Aizen, where Orihime is being held. In the depths of Las Noches, Rukia encounters Espada Number Nine, Aaroniero Arruruerie, who removes his mask to reveal a very familiar face – could he really be former Squad Three Lieutenant Kaien Shiba? The 3-disc set contains Episodes 146-156.

More information on BLEACH is available at Bleach.viz.com.


Kekkaishi Set 1


Friday, April 29, 2011

Great Performances Deliver "The King's Speech"


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 35 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

The King’s Speech (2010)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language
DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper
WRITER: David Seidler
PRODUCERS: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Danny Cohen (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Tariq Anwar
COMPOSER: Alexandre Desplat
Academy Award winner

DRAMA/HISTORICAL

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall, Eve Best, Freya Wilson, Ramona Marquez, Dominic Applewhite, Calum Gittins, Ben Wimsett, and Claire Bloom

The King’s Speech isn’t just any British historical drama. After all, it won the Academy Award as “Best Picture” of 2010. I don’t think it is as good as some of the British costume or period dramas from Merchant Ivory Productions (like Howard’s End and Remains of the Day) or even Shakespeare in Love (another best picture Oscar winner). However, this film about a king with a stammer and the man who helps him overcome it is a really good movie that I heartily recommend to fans of historical dramas.

The film begins in 1925. Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth) addresses a crowd, and his stammering speech clearly unsettles thousands of listeners. Known as “Bertie” to his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York (Helena Bonham Carter), and to his family, Prince Albert tries several unsuccessful treatments for his stammer and eventually gives finding a cure. The Duchess convinces Prince Albert to see Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an unorthodox Australian speech therapist living in London.

Logue’s pioneering treatment helps Albert, and the two men form an unlikely friendship. After Albert’s older brother, David, the Prince of Wales (Guy Pearce), steps down as King, Albert becomes King George VI and relies on Lionel even more. As war with Germany looms, George VI will need Logue’s help to deliver the King’s speech to Great Britain and the British Empire, a radio address that will assure the people’s confidence in their still-new king.

Tom Hooper, the director of The King’s Speech, was primarily known for his work directing for television (including the Emmy-winning, HBO miniseries, John Adams). However, the visual style he uses for The King’s Speech gives the film the grand feel of a historical epic, while simultaneously capturing the intimacy necessary for a character drama. Hooper is aided and abetted by art direction that brings the royal existence of the 1920s and 1930s to vivid life.

As well directed as The King’s Speech is, the core of the movie rests on the performances of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. This movie is essentially the tale of a troubled prince/king who is shown the way to victory by a curmudgeonly wizard, and, in that sense, Firth as the distressed royal and Rush as the stern but doting old mage are triumphant. I have been watching Firth for years, so I know that he is an excellent actor. Still, I almost totally believed that he was the sorely troubled King George VI, fighting a real stammer. What can I say about Rush other than that he is always good, but, as Logue, this is one of those performances that will be marked in his career as a peak in a great body of work.

Helena Bonham Carter is also quite good, making the most of her time on screen and even stealing a few scenes. Firth won an Oscar for his performance here, and Rush and Carter should have also won Oscars, although they did receive nominations. There is much to like about The King’s Speech, but this trio makes the film a classic among British historical dramas.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2011 Academy Awards: 4 wins: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin), “Best Achievement in Directing” (Tom Hooper), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role” (Colin Firth), and “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” (David Seidler); 8 nominations: “Best Achievement in Art Direction” (Eve Stewart and Judy Farr), “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Danny Cohen), “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan), “Best Achievement in Editing” (Tariq Anwar), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” (Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen, and John Midgley), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Geoffrey Rush), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Helena Bonham Carter)

2011 BAFTA Awards: 7 wins: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, and Gareth Unwin), “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Actor” (Colin Firth), “Best Film” (Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin, and Iain Canning), “Best Screenplay-Original” (David Seidler), “Best Supporting Actor” (Geoffrey Rush), and “Best Supporting Actress” (Helena Bonham Carter); 7 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (Danny Cohen), “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan), “Best Editing” (Tariq Anwar), “Best Make Up/Hair,” “Best Production Design” (Eve Stewart and Judy Farr), “Best Sound” (John Midgley-production mixer, Paul Hamblin-re-recording mixer, Martin Jensen-re-recording mixer, and Lee Walpole-supervising sound editor), and “David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction” (Tom Hooper)

2011 Golden Globes: 1 win: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Colin Firth); 6 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Tom Hooper), “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Geoffrey Rush), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Helena Bonham Carter), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (David Seidler)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The King's Speech [Blu-ray]


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Helen Mirren Saves "The Queen"



TRASH IN MY EYE No. 69 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux


The Queen (2006)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK, France, and Italy
Running time: 103 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
MPAA – R for brief strong language
DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears
WRITER: Peter Morgan
PRODUCERS: Christine Lagan, Tracey Seaward, and Andy Harries
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Lucia Zucchetti
Academy Award winner

DRAMA

Starring: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings, Helen McCrory, Roger Allam, and Tim McMullan

The Queen, a film by Stephen Frears, is a fictional and highly speculative account of the behind the scenes incidents in the week following the shocking death of Prince Diana. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren, in a role that won her a Best Actress Oscar) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) engage in intimate talks as Blair tries to convince the Queen that the Royal Family should memorialize Princess Diana in a manner beyond standard protocol. The Queen tries to manage the death on a personal and private level with her family, some members of which, want to follow protocol. Meanwhile, Blair deals with the public and members of his own administration that are demanding that the royals give a grand, public funeral for their beloved Diana: the “people’s princess.”

Peter Morgan’s script presents this story as a character study, but the only truly interesting and engaging character in the film is Queen Elizabeth. The Prince Charles of this scenario is almost criminally libelous in the portrayal of the first heir to the British crown as a watery soup of a man. Alex Jennings plays him as a self-serving crybaby looking to lay his troubles at his mother, the Queen’s door. Prince Phillip, the Queen’s husband, is an irretrievable asshole, a noisy loudmouth, and a conceited, stuck-up jerk, and James Cromwell sticks to the script in portraying him that way.

The strongest supporting character in this tale is Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the script presents him as an over-eager suck-up to the Queen – a sad commoner dying for Her Majesty’s attention or maybe scraps from her table. Michael Sheen plays him as such, so it’s hard to distinguish Blair from the Queen’s pet dogs.

Stephen Frears seems to spend most of his time lavishing attention and much of the film’s detail on Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth. If there are times in which The Queen seems like a nimble high comedy or a strong, behind-the-scenes character drama, it’s mostly because of Mirren’s performance. She makes this film, and perhaps Frears, who is quite good at character dramas, deserves some credit for both helping Mirren find the character and for letting Mirren as Elizabeth define this film.

Mirren’s physical transformation as Elizabeth is stunning, and though we may credit some of that to makeup, the character performance is Mirren’s own. Every gesture – a turn of the head, a scowl, a frown, a quiet moment of reflection, a tear, or barked order at a subservient establishes this film’s mood, its setting, its overall character, and even moves the plot like no other element in The Queen. Mirren can take a tart comment and turn this movie into an impudent comedy. Just the manner in which she observes someone or something (the stag on the hunting grounds of her estate) can transform the movie into a grand drama about the life of a monarch.

Luckily, Mirren gives such a wonderful performance because, otherwise, The Queen is mediocre.

6 of 10
B

NOTES:
2007 Academy Awards: 1 win for “Best performance by an actress in a leading role” (Helen Mirren); 5 nominations: “Best achievement in costume design” (Consolata Boyle), “Best achievement in directing” (Stephen Frears), “Best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original score” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best motion picture of the year” (Andy Harries, Christine Langan, and Tracey Seaward), and “Best writing, original screenplay” (Peter Morgan)

2007 BAFTA Awards: 2 wins: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Helen Mirren) and “Best Film” (Tracey Seaward, Christine Langan, and Andy Harries; 8 nominations: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Tracey Seaward, Christine Langan, Andy Harries, Stephen Frears, and Peter Morgan), “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” (Michael Sheen), “Best Costume Design” (Consolata Boyle), “Best Editing” (Lucia Zucchetti), “Best Make Up & Hair” (Daniel Phillips), “Best Screenplay – Original” (Peter Morgan), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Stephen Frears)

2007 Golden Globes: 2 wins: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Helen Mirren) and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Peter Morgan); 2 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Stephen Frears) and “Best Motion Picture – Drama”

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Marvel's The Avengers" Begins Production

MARVEL STUDIOS BEGINS PRODUCTION OF EPIC FEATURE “MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS”

Marvel Super Heroes Assemble To Commence Principal Photography In Preparation for May 4, 2012 Film Release

BURBANK, Calif. (April 26, 2011) -- Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury. Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the Super Hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest Super Hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. The star studded cast of Super Heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of SHIELD, as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming MarvelStudios’ feature “Thor.”

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios' President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.

The creative production team also includes Oscar® nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).

Marvel Studios most recently produced “Iron Man 2” which was released in theatres on May 7, 2010. The sequel to “Iron Man,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow as well as Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Mickey Rourke, took the number one spot its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million. To date the film has earned over $620 million in worldwide box office receipts.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies, “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally dons the Super Hero’s powerful armor alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008 and was an immediate box office success. Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million its opening weekend and grossed over $571 million worldwide. On June 13, 2008, Marvel released “The Incredible Hulk” marking its second number one opener of that summer. The spectacular revival of the iconic green goliath grossed over $250 million in worldwide box office receipts.


ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT:
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety ofmedia over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises inentertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit http://www.marvel.com/.

"The Visitor" Brings a Love of People


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 34 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Visitor (2008)
Running time: 104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for brief strong language
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Thomas McCarthy
PRODUCERS: Michael London and Mary Jane Skalski
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oliver Bokelberg (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Tom McArdle
COMPOSER: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Academy Award nominee

DRAMA

Starring: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira, and Hiam Abbass

The Visitor is a 2008 drama written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. The film focuses on a lonely college professor whose life changes when he becomes wrapped up in the lives of a trio of undocumented immigrants. This forces him to deal with issues of immigration in post 9/11 New York City.

Widower Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) is an economics professor living and working in Connecticut. He not only lives a solitary existence, but he is also somewhat estranged from this colleagues. Walter reluctantly travels to New York City to deliver a paper at a conference, but when he arrives at an apartment he maintains in Manhattan, he is surprised to find a young unmarried couple squatting there. They are Tarek Khalil (Haaz Sleiman), a Palestinian-Syrian who plays the djembe (a type of drum), and his girlfriend, Zainab (Danai Gurira), a designer of ethnic jewelry from Senegal.

Walter learns that Tarek and Zainab are illegal immigrants, but he lets them stay in his apartment while they look for another place to live. He develops a friendship with them, but that friendship is tested when Tarek is arrested and sent to a detention center in Queens for illegal immigrants. Tarek’s mother, Mouna (Hiam Abbass), comes to NYC, and Walter also bonds with her as they try to keep Tarek from being deported back to Syria.

Much of The Visitor is sad and melancholy, and Walter Vale’s loneliness and grief permeate this film. This is, however, not a bad thing because as Walter bounds with his new immigrant friends, we slowly, but gradually see glimpses of the happiness he once had. And it’s a pretty thing. Movies about people connecting and coming together can be beautiful, and this humanist tale finds joy and light even in disappointment and heartbreak.

Good performances abound, but, of course, Richard Jenkins, who earned an Oscar nod for his turn as Walter, is the standout. Jenkins augments the wonderful everyman quality he brings to his work with subtle expressions which turn Walter into a conundrum that viewers will want to unravel and The Visitor a movie they will want to see.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2009 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role” (Richard Jenkins)

2009 Image Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Avengers All-New Animated Series Now on DVD

The First 13 Episodes of Marvel’s All New Animated Series To Debut on DVD April 26, 2011

BURBANK, Calif., March 2, 2011 – When the forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero can save the world... the Avengers assemble! Featuring Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk, fans can now own the first 13 episodes of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! in two must-have, collectible DVD volumes, available April 26 by The Walt Disney Studios.

”the show unleashes enough action to be plenty mighty with boys” - Variety Magazine

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Volume 1 includes episodes 1-7 plus an exclusive look at the evolving characters and storyline of Season 2, and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2 includes episodes 8-13 plus another exclusive sneak peek at Season 2 that reveals what makes the Marvel Super Heroes and Villains so unique.

Featuring your favorite animated Super Heroes - Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk - The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! sees planet Earth threatened by Super Villains, time traveling conquerors, alien invaders, mythical beasts and rampaging robots -- all bent on the total destruction of humanity. Unfortunately against these impossible odds, no individual hero has the power to save the world and just when all appears to be hopeless, the most skilled champions in the Marvel universe join forces to form the mightiest Super Hero team in history. The Avengers come to the rescue when the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

“It's all about the action, and "The Avengers: World's Mightiest Heroes" delivers” ComicBookResources.com

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! stars the well-known voice talents of Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, “House M.D.”) as Thor, Brian Bloom (The A Team, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2) as Captain America, Fred Tatasciore (Tron: Evolution, Hulk Vs., “Wolverine and the X-Men”) as The Hulk, Wally Wingert (“The Family Guy,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”) as Ant Man, and Phil Lamarr (“Mad TV,” “Futurama”) as Jarvis.

EPISODES:
Volume 1 Episodes:
1. Iron Man Is Born!
2. Thor The Mighty
3. Hulk Versus The World
4. Meet Captain America
5. The Man in the Ant Hill
6. Breakout: Part 1
7. Breakout: Part 2

Volume 2 Episodes:
8. Some Assembly Required
9. Living Legend
10. Everything Is Wonderful
11. Panther’s Quest
12. Gamma World: Part1
13. Gamma World: Part 2

DISC SPECIFICIATION:
Street Date: April 26, 2011
Suggested Retail Price:
Volume 1 - Single Disc DVD = $19.99 U.S.
Volume 2 - Single Disc DVD = $19.99 U.S.
Rated: TV-Y7 (*Bonus materials not rated)
Run Time:
Volume 1 - Approximately 154 minutes (seven 22-minute episodes)
Volume 2 - Approximately 132 minutes (six 22-minute episodes)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (16x9 widescreen)
Sound: Languages:
English 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound English & Spanish


ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit http://www.marvel.com/.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel. Through the Home Entertainment division, innovative distribution methods provide access to creative content across multiple platforms. Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE! For more information, please visit www.disney.com. These press materials are available in electronic form at http://www.wdshepublicity.com/.


Marvel The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Vol. 1


Happy B'Day, Jet Li: Mediocre "The One" Has Lots of Good Jet Li



TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2001) by Leroy Douresseaux


The One (2001)
Running time: 87 minutes (1 hour, 27 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 intense action violence and some language
DIRECTOR: James Wong
WRITERS: Glen Morgan and James Wong
PRODUCERS: Steven Chasman, Glen Morgan, Charles Newirth, and James Wong
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert McLachlan
EDITOR: James Coblentz
COMPOSER: Trevor Rabin

SCI-FI/ACTION/MARTIAL ARTS

Starring: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham, and James Morrison

Longtime television writer (“X-Files,” “Millennium,” “Space: Above and Beyond”), James Wong begins his sci-fi, action-adventure movie, The One on an alternate earth where Al Gore is President of the United States (which elicited some delighted clapping from the audience with whom I saw the film). Within minutes of that opening, an unbelievable fast and powerful villain has killed a convict who looks exactly like him. After a protracted chase, two armed men Roedecker (Delroy Lindo) and Funsch (Jason Stratham), apprehend the super criminal.

We then learn that he is Yulaw (Jet Li), a former cop like Roedecker and Funsch, who has been killing alternate versions of himself. The universe is actually a multiverse, several universes instead of one. Yulaw finds his other universe opposites and kills them, thereby absorbing some of their energies. When he kills the last one, number 124, he may become like a god.

Cut to “our” world, Yulaw’s earth-twin, number 124, is a sheriff’s deputy named Gabriel (Jet Li again) happily married to his soul mate T.K. (Carla Gugino). When Yulaw intrudes upon Gabriel’s world, he finds that Gabriel has also absorbed the power of the other 123 versions of himself that Yulaw killed. Confused and unsure of Funsch as an ally, Gabriel must stop Yulaw without killing him lest Gabriel himself become a god and endanger all of existence.

When one views a Jet Li movie, one hopes to see the man who moves like a dance artist; in his body, the martial arts are indeed a performance art, and gymnastics are a fatal, beautiful craft. Like Jackie Chan, his body bubbles with enthusiasm. Both their screen gifts are not in the craft of how an actor uses language, but in emotions, exaggerated facial expressions, and movement. They both recall the film greats from the silent era and the golden age of Hollywood, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. They do have a major difference.

Whereas Chan is a comedian, Li is hardcore action star. Imagine a pint sized Clint Eastwood who uses his hands and feet rather than a big, phallic pistol. Picture a Bruce Willis hero with the charmed nine lives of a cat that uses Far Eastern methods of self-defense over a pistol. Best of all, filmgoers get a fine heir to the Bruce Lee film hero.

Li, who was the wildcard in Lethal Weapon 4, doesn’t need a great script or director behind him; he is the movie. He gets neither in The One. Wong and Glen Morgan’s script is standard sci-fi claptrap, and Wong is a serviceable director who at least manages to capture dynamic movement of his star. Still, the story does occasionally get in the way of Li’s brilliance. Having to balance the nonsensical, fantastic elements draws the audience’s attention away from Li. Worm holes, black holes, and psuedo physics get in the way. We don’t need the science, but the fiction of this impossible superman played by a gifted screen actor is just what we want.

Delroy Lindo’s (Li’s co-star in Romeo Must Die) enormous talents are usually wasted or ignored in supporting roles, but it’s good to see him, even in a bad part. At least he got this job; it easily could have gone to a white actor. Stratham is an odd piece here as he was in John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars. So far he has only really seemed a good fit in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, but like Lindo, it’s fun to watch him most anytime.

See The One for its star, and forget the phony plot and sci-fi trappings, watching Li is a privilege.

5 of 10
C+

"East Fifth Bliss" Opens 12th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival

World Premiere of "EAST FIFTH BLISS" Starring Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu and Peter Fonda to Kick Off 12th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 2011 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly announces the World Premiere of EAST FIFTH BLISS as its Opening Night film. The Gala red carpet screening of EAST FIFTH BLISS will take place on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 7:30pm at Edwards Big Newport (300 Newport Center Drive), followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. The Opening Night Gala reception will take place at Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Drive). The 12th annual NBFF will run from April 28th - May 5th, 2011.

EAST FIFTH BLISS stars Golden Globe® winner Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels), Academy Award® nominee Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), Chris Messina (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Brad William Henke (Choke) and Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal).

EAST FIFTH BLISS (2011, USA, 97 minutes) is a comedy / drama about 35 year-old Morris Bliss who is clamped in the jaws of New York City inertia: he wants to travel, but has no money; he needs a job, but has no prospects; he still shares an apartment with his widowed father; and perhaps worst of all, the premature death of his mother still lingers and has left him emotionally walled up. When he finds himself wrapped up in an awkward relationship with the sexually precocious daughter of a former high school classmate, Morris quickly discovers his static life comically unraveling and opening up in ways that are long overdue. (Not yet rated, but anticipated to be PG-13)

EAST FIFTH BLISS, filmmaker Michael Knowles's third narrative feature, is an adaptation of the novel of the same title by author Douglas Light. The book won the "Benjamin Franklin Popular Fiction" award in 2007. EAST FIFTH BLISS is co-written for the screen by Douglas Light and Michael Knowles, and produced by John Ramos and Michael Knowles of 7A Productions and John Will of Torn Sky Entertainment.

“I am thrilled Newport Beach Film Festival chose EAST FIFTH BLISS as the opening night film of this year’s festival. It feels good to have such a prestigious festival support and believe in our film. I'm looking forward to sitting in the amazing opening night theater and experiencing East Fifth Bliss with 1100 people, because for me, that's what it's all about,” stated director Michael Knowles.

Cast and crew from EAST FIFTH BLISS are scheduled to appear at the red carpet and screening. Press check in will be from 5:30pm - 6:30pm and red carpet arrivals will take place from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The screening will commence at 7:30pm. All press must be credentialed prior to covering the Opening Night event. Press can register for credentials online at www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com.

Following the screening, the Festival, in partnership with Fashion Island and Esquire Magazine, will host an Opening Night Gala at Fashion Island. The Gala will feature culinary tastings from over twenty-five of Orange County’s premier restaurants, a runway fashion show spotlighting the latest looks from several of Fashion Island's top retailers including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom and a hosted bar provided by Absolut Vodka, Stella Artois and Perrier.

Tickets to the Opening Night screening and Gala are $125 each and are now available at http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/. Patrons can also purchase tickets to the Opening Night Gala for $80 each. Dress is black tie optional. Guests must be at least 21 years old.

The Newport Beach Film Festival will showcase over 400 films from over 45 countries and host nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars. The Festival offers filmgoers unique opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside locale.

The NBFF is sponsored in part by Absolut Vodka, Fashion Island, Regal Entertainment Group, Newport Lexus, Los Angeles Times, Time Warner Cable, and the City of Newport Beach.

Passes and tickets for film screenings, galas and special events are currently on sale. To purchase tickets and for information about the Newport Beach Film Festival visit http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/.

About the Newport Beach Film Festival
Celebrated as one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the NBFF focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe. The 12th annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs April 28th - May 5th and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy B'Day, Renee Zellweger: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 237 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Running time: 108 minutes (1 hour, 48 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language and some sexual content
DIRECTOR: Beeban Kidron
WRITERS: Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis, Adam Brooks, and Helen Fielding (based upon the novel of the same title by Helen Fielding)
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, and Eric Fellner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adrian Biddle and Doug Propp
EDITOR: Greg Hayden
Golden Globe nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, and Jacinda Barrett

Bridget Jones’s Diary was a comic romance – a romantic film with a huge helping of humor. The 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, is a romantic comedy – a thoroughly comic film that deals with romance. Taking place several weeks after the end of the original film, The Edge of Reason should find Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) happy, right?

She found her Mr. Right in Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) by the end of Diary, but as Edge begins Bridget discovers that the couple has huge cultural, social, and personality conflicts. Mark is a conservative who has poor people-hating, rich Tory friends. Bridget is full of insecurities, although Mark is supportive and (almost) tolerant of Bridget’s tiny jealousies. However, the trouble comes to a head when Bridget meets Mark’s leggy new intern, Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett). Rebecca is thin, oh-so-young, drop-dead gorgeous, and she always says the right thing at the right time. Fed up with what she perceives as Mark’s cold lack of concern about their future together she dumps him. Just in time, her old flame, old boss, and eternal cad, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), sweeps in and to become Bridget’s new co-worker. Their television partnership eventually takes them to Thailand in what becomes the worst vacation Bridget ever had. Will Mark come to her rescue… and rescue of their relationship?

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is one of the funniest movies of the year, the funniest movie Ms. Zellweger has done to date, and funnier (though not as romantic) than the original. Ms. Zellweger gives one of the finest comic performances in recent years; it’s part slapstick and part physical comedy (lots of pratfalls). Not only did she have to give near perfect timing on the delivery of her dialogue, but also her facial ticks and mannerisms had to perfectly fit the moment, which they always do in this film.

Colin Firth didn’t bring anything new to the second film, but he didn’t need to change what he did in the original film. His film persona is endearing (even when he plays the bad guy, as he did in Shakespeare in Love); Firth makes Mark Darcy as he must be – perfectly so to explain Bridget’s craziness about their relationship. Hugh Grant is cut from the classic mold of old Hollywood. He’s a star known for “playing himself.” He is however, vastly underrated, because of his skill in slightly modifying the same character (he plays every time) to flawlessly fit each new film in which the character appears. Virtually every classic Hollywood film star from Humphrey Bogart to James Stewart did this, and Grant’s spin on his film persona is another reason Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is not only better than the original, but also a standout comedy.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2005 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Renée Zellweger)

"Bridget Jones's Diary" Has Fun with Words



TRASH IN MY EYE No. 236 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux


Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK/France
Running time: 97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and some strong sexuality
DIRECTOR: Sharon Maguire
WRITERS: Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis (based upon the novel by Helen Fielding)
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, and Eric Fellner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stuart Dryburgh
EDITOR: Martin Walsh
Academy Award nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Celia Imrie, James Faulkner, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Montagu, Shirley Henderson, Sally Phillips, and James Callis, Salman Rushdie, Embeth Davidtz, and Honor Blackman with Julian Barnes

Renée Zellweger earned an Oscar® nomination in the category of “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for her performance in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Bridget Jones (Ms. Zellweger) is a 30-something, single British girl who decides to improve herself (i.e. lose weight) while seeking to find Mr. Right before she becomes an old maid (if she isn’t already that in her own estimation), so Bridget decides to keep a diary of her progress and her trials and travails. Her romantic endeavors eventually focuses on two men

There’s her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), at a publishing firm, and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who was childhood neighbor. Cleaver is a cad who lays ‘em and leaves ‘em, and Darcy is a sharp-tongue, embittered divorcee, who claims to have bad memories of Bridget as a child. Who will finish the film as Bridget’s beau, and will she make an ass of herself before she finds her man?

Although the film story doesn’t amount to much, Bridget Jones’s Diary’s script is witty and bawdy enough to cause blushing. Ms. Zellweger expertly plays the fumbling Bridget Jones, who has a penchant for running off at the mouth and saying the worst things at the worst times. Like her co-stars (especially Grant and Firth), she makes the most of the film’s dialogue; ultimately, it’s what the actors say that defines their characters. If they’d delivered their lines badly, they would have ruined the film; luckily the cast verbally dances around each other like Olympic fencers.

7 of 10
B+

NOTES:
2002 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger)

2002 BAFTA Awards: 4 nominations: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Jonathan Cavendish), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Colin Firth), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger), “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis)

2002 Golden Globes: 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Renée Zellweger)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Intriguing "Color of the Cross" Lacks Passion


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 18 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

Color of the Cross (2006)
Running time: 89 minutes (1 hour, 29 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jean-Claude La Marre
PRODUCERS: Ken Halsband, Jessie Levostre, and Rev. Cecil L. Murray
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Paul Mayne
EDITOR: Darlene Huassmann

RELIGION

Starring: Jean-Claude La Marre, Johann John Jean, David Gianopoulos, Debi Morgan, Caspar Poyck, Micci Toliver, Marjan Faritous, and Mark Winn

In his film, Color of the Cross, writer/director Jean-Claude La Marre re-imagines Jesus Christ by positing that the founder of Christianity was a black man. Set in Arimathea circa 33 A.D., the film covers the final 48 hours of his life, beginning with Jesus, called Joshua (Jean-Claude La Marre), and his disciples preparing for Passover – what would become known as the Last Supper – and ending with Joshua’s crucifixion. The narrative also examines how Jesus’ Disciples and his family suffered during his last days. The film suggests that Joshua’s crucifixion was perhaps racially motivated because many Jews, including powerful members of the Sanhedrin (Jewish religious authority), would not accept that the Messiah or savior of the Jewish people could be a black Jew.

Jean-Claude La Marre’s Color of the Cross alternates between being profound and unintentionally hilarious. First, La Marre, who plays the lead, doesn’t make for an impressive nor imposing messiah, except for when he plays Joshua/Jesus as getting upset at his followers; then, La Marre quietly smolders with an intensity that might have the recipients of his stares heading for the hills. Other times, La Marre just looks like a doe-eyed kid.

The film finds itself on rare occasions being quiet moving and spiritual, and when Joshua speaks lines that are recognizable as Holy Bible scripture, the entire movie feels like a profound religious enterprise. In those moments when La Marre takes liberty or re-imagines players and Biblical moments, the film more likely than not falls flat on its face. In fact, while Color of the Cross brings up the idea of Christ being a black man (a dark-skinned black man) and also the notion that bigotry played a part in his crucifixion, it handles both matters in such a tepid fashion that any notion of racism playing a part in Joshua/Jesus’ troubles never sticks. It’s like taking the thesis and turning it into an afterthought. Because the whole Jesus-as-black-man is half-hearted, Color of the Cross withers on the vine.

Meanwhile, the solemnity of dealing with matters of Christ saves the film. Color of the Cross lacks the passion of Mel Gibson’s Jesus flick, and it mostly seems like a well-intentioned made for cable religious TV movie. None of the acting, directing, and production values ever stand out, but the score by La Marre and Flexx (Jean Simeus – a rapper, producer, and songwriter) is mostly very good, except for a wonky moment here and there.

Those who aren’t put off by the idea of a black Jesus Christ will find this odd little film ultimately to be an affirmation of Christ as “a uniter, not a divider.”

6 of 10
B

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Color of the CrossReligious Dramatic Movies & TV)


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 6 Due Soon

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF THE LATEST NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ANIME DVD BOX SET

VIZ Media continues to expand its bestselling NARUTO anime franchise with the release of the latest NARUTO Shippuden Uncut DVD Set Volume 6 on April 26th. The 3-disc set contains episodes 66-77 of the original anime series in both subtitled and English dubbed options. Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, this box set will be available for the suggested retail price of $49.95 U.S./$71.99 Canada.

In the latest NARUTO adventures, the rogue ninja Furido attempts to use the Lightning Style jutsu of the Guardian Shinobi to rain destruction on the Leaf village. The ninja are running out of chakra. Does Naruto have enough power to save the village? Then, the Akatsuki are working their way form one tailed beast host to another, and it's only a matter of time until they get to Naruto!

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens with more than 100 million copies in circulation to-date. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and animated counterpart (NARUTO rated ‘T’ for Teens, and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) are among VIZ Media’s most successful properties and have captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

For more information on NARUTO please visit the official website at http://www.naruto.com/.

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 6


Friday, April 22, 2011

Crucifixion Ain't No Fiction in "The Passion of the Christ"


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 40 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Languages: Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew with English subtitles
Running time: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
MPAA – R for sequences of graphic violence
DIRECTOR: Mel Gibson
WRITERS: Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson
PRODUCERS: Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, and Stephen McEveety
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Caleb Deschanel (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: John Wright
COMPOSER: John Debney
Academy Award nominee
DRAMA/RELIGION

Starring: James Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern, Jarreth Merz, Rosalinda Celentano, Francesco De Vito, Luca Lionello, Hristo Naumov Shopov, Mattia Sbragia, Claudia Gerini, Giovanni Capalbo, Fabio Sartor, Giacinto Ferro, and Pietro Sarubbi

The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson’s film about the last 12 hours in the earthly life of Jesus Christ as he is captured, tried, scourged, and crucified, reaffirms that Gibson is indeed an excellent filmmaker. His greatest gift as a director is his ability to arouse strong emotions and passions in his audience, as he has also shown in two prior films Man Without a Face and Braveheart, the latter for which he won an Oscar® as Best Director.

The film begins in the Garden of Olives as Jesus (James Caviezel) prays for God to relieve him of the burden that is to come his way – his suffering and death for the sins of humanity, a death that would redeem humanity. A disciple, Judas Iscariot (Lucia Lionello), betrays Jesus, who is then arrested taken to the city walls of Jerusalem where he is accused of blasphemy. Although he wishes that Jesus be only punished, Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov), the head of the local Roman authority, releases Jesus to the Pharisees, and they condemn him to the most horrible form of execution at the time – crucifixion.

Mel Gibson wanted the audience to see and to feel something like how much Jesus suffered at the hands of his tormentors, suffering he accepted for humanity, and in that Gibson succeeds. The film’s representation of torture and murder is palatable; it is almost a living and breathing thing. Gibson, however, doesn’t handle the violence and suffering in a heavy-handed or even glossy fashion, nor does he portray violence as consequence free. In fact, Gibson handles nothing in the film in a cavalier fashion, including the portrayal of the Pharisees and Jews who hated Jesus. Gibson deals with that in a straightforward manner: Jesus’ adversaries saw him as a blasphemer who consorted with devils to perform magic, so they wanted him dead. There is no ethnic blame game going on in The Passion of the Christ.

The film is beautifully shot on sets and locations that spring to miraculous life; it’s as if Gibson has transported us to another time. The costumes are both lavish and practical; in a sense, they do recall the spectacular Biblical epics of Hollywood of yesteryear.

The actors are great, and they style their performances as if they were in a silent film – exaggerating emotion, facial expression, and body movement in a way that conveys the story visually. Caviezel could have lost his Jesus in the splattering of gore and makeup that covered him, but he radiates his character through all the representational horror, making us believe in his performance as Jesus. There are a number of excellent supporting performances, especially Maia Morgenstern as Jesus’ mother Mary. However, Monica Bellucci, Jarreth Merz, Hristo Shopov are also quite good.

I heartily recommend The Passion of the Christ to Christians, lapsed Christians, and anyone who wants to see exceptional filmmaking.

10 of 10

NOTES:
2005 Academy Awards: 3 nominations: “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Caleb Deschanel), “Best Achievement in Makeup” (Keith VanderLaan and Christien Tinsley), and “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (John Debney)

The Passion of the Christ (Definitive Edition) [Blu-ray]


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Prince of Tennis Anime at iTunes


VIZ MEDIA SERVES UP THE ANIME ACTION OF THE PRINCE OF TENNIS ON iTunes

Sports Action Drama Follows On And Off Court Adventures Of A Young Tennis Prodigy On A Quest For The Championship

VIZ Media has announced the launch of THE PRINCE OF TENNIS anime series available for Download-to-Rent/Download-to-Own from iTunes® in the U.S. (http://www.itunes.com/) and Canada (http://www.itunes.ca/). Seasons 1-4 contain 50 episodes (dubbed) of the venerable sports drama that will be available in their entirety starting April 18th. As a special promotion, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS Episode 1 will be available for free download from April 18th to May 17th.

THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is based on the smash hit manga (graphic novel) series by Takeshi Konomi that has sold more than 30 million copies in Japan, and is published exclusively in North America by VIZ Media (Rated ‘A’ for All Ages).

THE PRINCE OF TENNIS anime series (rated TV-G) follows the on and off court adventures of Ryoma Echizen, the 12-year-old son of a famous tennis player and a prodigy in his own right. Looking to make a mark, he joins his junior high school tennis team, known as one of the most competitive in Japan. Ryoma is cool and collected, and some might even say he's cocky, but he's got the skills to back up his attitude, with a virtually un-returnable "twist serve,” and quickly defeats numerous upperclassmen to secure himself a first string spot on the team. With talent in his blood and fire in his eyes, he backs up his confidence on the court with amazing skills. Now he has to overcome the older players on his high school team who are dead set against letting him surpass them. To defeat the slippery "Viper" Kaido, the calculating Sadahara Inui, and a host of other opponents, Ryoma will need everything he's gotten from his father and more!

THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is a phenomenon in Japan, where the manga continues to be published and the anime series has drawn rave reviews. Games, related merchandise, and a live action film have also fueled the title’s continued popularity.

For more information on THE PRINCE OF TENNIS, please visit http://www.vizanime.com/.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"The Town" Brings Heat to Boston


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 33 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Town (2010)
Running time: 125 minutes (2 hour, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use
DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck
WRITERS: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, and Aaron Stockard (based upon the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan)
PRODUCERS: Basil Iwanyk and Graham King
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Elswit (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Dylan Tichenor
COMPOSERS: David Buckley and Harry Gregson-Williams
Academy Awards nominee

CRIME/DRAMA

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, and Chris Cooper

The Town is a 2010 crime drama directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in the film and is one of the writers. Based upon the novel, Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, The Town focuses on a career bank robber who falls in love with a bank manager he takes hostage after a heist.

Charlestown, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, is the home of lifelong friends: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), James “Jem” Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert “Gloansy” Magloan (Slaine), and Desmond “Dez” Elden (Owen Burke). This quartet is also a dangerous and highly-successful team of bank robbers.

After robbing a bank, they take bank manager, Claire Kessey (Rebecca Hall), hostage. Even after releasing her, Doug stalks Claire to learn how much she is cooperating with the FBI. Meanwhile, Fergus “Fergie” Colm (Pete Postlethwaite), the local crime boss known as “the Florist,” pushes MacRay and his crew to attempt ever more dangerous and complex heists. MacRay is ready to leave Charlestown, but the weight of his obligations to best friend, Jem, seems to hold him in a life of crime. As MacRay prepares for his most dangerous heist ever, FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) gets closer to discovering MacRay and his team.

Ben Affleck’s The Town seems like a Boston version of Michael Mann’s 1995 crime classic, Heat, which is about Los Angeles-based bank robbers. Several times while watching The Town, I thought of Heat. I also think that The Town isn’t as good as Affleck’s previous directorial effort, the excellent Gone Baby Gone.

The Town is still good, but I can’t imagine that is will ever be called a crime classic, in spite of what seems like a tremendous effort on Affleck’s part to make a great crime drama. Everything is well-done, but the character drama seems a little flat. Only when the narrative gets into the action set pieces (the before, during, and after the robberies) does The Town spring to mad life. In these instances, Affleck is strongest and most sure of his craft, whereas in the character moments, he and his narrative drift a little.

There are two exceptional things about The Town. First is Jeremy Renner as the volatile Jem. Crime films thrive on great supporting performances, and The Town has one in Renner. He makes Jem seem so complete, whole, and real that you might forget that Jem is just a fictional character; Renner lights up the screen whenever Jem appears. Blake Lively also delivers a strong turn as Jem’s troubled sister, Krista Coughlin, an unstable single mother and addict who is MacRay’s former girlfriend. Lively makes Krista good enough to warrant much more screen time that the character actually gets.

Like Heat, The Town has a shootout scene that tears the roof off the mutha. That is enough to make me overlook the film’s deficiencies, but as good as it is, The Town could have been so much more.

7 of 10
B+

NOTES:
2011 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Jeremy Renner)

2011 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Supporting Actor” (Pete Postlethwaite)

2011 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Jeremy Renner)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cotillard and Gordon-Levitt Officially in "The Dark Knight Rises"

Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Cast in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have joined the cast of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend.

Cotillard will appear as Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.

Gordon-Levitt will play John Blake, a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon.

The film reunites the actors with Christopher Nolan, who recently directed them in the award-winning blockbuster “Inception.”

The director stated, “When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience. I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again.”

Heading the cast of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The main cast also includes Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Tom Hardy as Bane.

Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Christopher Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy B'Day, Ashley Judd: Double Jeopardy



TRASH IN MY EYE No. 38 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux


Double Jeopardy (1999)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, a scene of sexuality, and some violence
DIRECTOR: Bruce Beresford
WRITERS: David Weisberg and Douglas S. Cook
PRODUCER: Leonard Goldberg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter James
EDITOR: Mark Warner

DRAMA/THRILLER/MYSTERY/CRIME

Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Benjamin Weir, Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish, Roma Maffia, Davenia McFadden, and Spencer Treat Clark

Elizabeth “Libby” Parsons (Ashley Judd) is happily married to Nicholas “Nick” Parsons (Bruce Greenwood) and has a young son, Matty (Benjamin Weir). Libby and Nick enjoy a getaway aboard a yacht Nick purchased for her as a gift, but the first night out, Libby awakens to find Nick missing and blood splattered all over the boat. The only clue she has is a bloody knife – cue the Coast Guard arriving with Libby holding the bloody weapon.

A jury later finds Libby guilty of Nick’s murder, although his body was never found. Before going to prison, Libby passes custody of Matty to a friend, Angela “Angie” Green (Annabeth Gish), who later disappears with the boy. When Libby finally tracks Angie down, Libby gets a startling clue that Nick may be still alive. A fellow inmate informs Libby that as she has already been convicted for Nick’s murder, she can’t be prosecuted again for the crime if she tracks Nick down and really kills him. To be tried for a crime in which you’ve already been convicted is double jeopardy. When Libby leaves prison, she goes on a cross-country quest to find Nick, with her parole officer, Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones), hot on her trail.

Double Jeopardy doesn’t qualify as a first rate thriller. Director Bruce Beresford helms the picture as if it were a television movie, and Tommy Lee Jones basically plays the same kind of role he made famous in The Fugitive (1993) and U.S. Marshals. Ashley Judd plays Libby Parsons pretty much the same way Wesley Snipes plays Blade – with an attitude and speaking in a monotone. But Double Jeopardy is still exciting, and after a very (very) slow start, the film takes us down a whirlpool of horrible events, shocking twists, and a more than a few other surprises. You can’t help but root for Libby, and the script, in spite of many holes (like why didn’t Libby just dye her hair or try not to be so recognizable to the law pursuing her), it does make you care about the protagonist. Even when Tommy Lee Jones is playing a familiar character, he’s such an attractive and magnetic presence on film (and even in interviews).

Double Jeopardy is ultimately a worthy entry in the sub-genre of adult thrillers. It even had jaded me cheering on a woman who finds that hatred is the fuel that drives her relentless motor.

6 of 10
B

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" Due April 19th

Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
 - On April 19, 2011, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be proudly unveiling Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, an all-new movie on Blu-ray™ and DVD staring Ashley Tisdale reprising her role as Disney Channel’s global sensation “High School Musical” drama queen character Sharpay Evans. A full three minute sneak peek of the movie is now widely available for fans of all ages to get a glimpse of this hilarious fish out water tale about a small town Diva and her dog’s adventures in New York City at http://www.youtube.com/disneymovies.

Additionally, a brand new Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure facebook page (www.facebook.com/DisneySharpay) and Twitter handle (@DisneySharpay) have also launched so that fans can join and stay on-top of all the latest news, sneak peeks and messages from key cast members.

Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure releases nationwide as a 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Superset (Blu-ray + DVD+ Digital Copy) which includes a limited edition pink clutch purse, a 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD), and a 1-Disc DVD. Hilarious bonus features include bloopers of Ashley Tisdale and cast, special footage shot on-set by actor Austin Butler, and, exlcusive to the Blu-ray disc, ”The Evolution of the Sharpay,” a fun look back at the famous High School Musical character, Sharpay Evans.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Entertaining "Scream 4" Treads Familiar Territory


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 32 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Scream 4 (2011)
Running time: 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking
DIRECTOR: Wes Craven
WRITER: Kevin Williamson (based on characters created by Kevin Williamson)
PRODUCERS: Wes Craven, Iya Labunka, and Kevin Williamson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Deming (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Peter McNulty
COMPOSER: Marco Beltrami

HORROR/MYSTERY/THRILLER

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Marley Shelton, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Nico Tortorella, Marielle Jaffe, Alison Brie, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Heather Graham, and Roger Jackson (voice)

A little over 11 years after Scream 3, Scream 4 hits movie theatre screens in an explosion of blood and guts. However, Scream 4 is not just a sequel. It is also something of a remake of and homage to the original 1996 movie, Scream.

On the 15th anniversary of the Woodsboro massacre (as seen in the original movie), Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro, the final stop on the tour to promote her book, Out of Darkness. Sidney discovers that she cannot escape the horrors of her past, because two high school students have just been murdered by the new Ghostface. Sidney also finds herself thrust back into the lives of the only other two people to survive the various Ghostface killers, Sheriff Dwight “Dewey” Riley (David Arquette) and his wife, journalist-turned-novelist, Gail Weathers Riley (Courteney Cox).

Now, Sidney’s young cousin, Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts), and her high school classmates are the targets of the new Ghostface. This new generation of potential victims, however, seems to relish the murderous attention of the infamous killer and hope this latest Ghostface rampage will help bring them fame in the age of social networking. Will they still be excited when they learn that the new murder spree is not like a sequel, but is instead like a reboot? Do they know that Ghostface is playing by new rules? Anyone can die anytime.

As a slasher film, Scream 4 is entertaining. Ghostface remains a terrific horror movie villain, slaughtering his victims to the point that they seem like butchered meat and offal. Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette are reliable, if not a little a hoary. The new cast is, for the most part, pretty good, but Hayden Panettiere’s saucy Kirby Reed is the only standout. Overall, when Scream 4 plays it straight, it is a better-than-average horror movie.

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson continue their efforts to make the Scream franchise self-referential and each installment a horror movie about horror movies. This is where Scream 4, as well as the other sequels, flounders. The original film, for all its hip attitude and pop culture references, was a traditional horror movie, only slicker and with a better script and filmmaking. The original’s charming small town setting was perfect for a horror movie, and the youthful cast was vibrant and cool. The villains behind the Ghostface killer had believable (though crazy) motivation for their murder spree. Scream was a genuine horror flick.

Scream 4 wants to be more than something from the horror movie slasher subgenre. The script makes Scream 4 essentially a remake inside a sequel, and some of the film seems like a middle-aged guy’s rant against Internet celebrity and social media culture. That’s just filler material. It’s time for some fresh faces and ideas. Scream 4 is at its best when it focuses on what it already has that every successful horror franchise needs – a great villain. So if there is a fifth film, hopefully it will feel more like a fresh reboot instead of a tired sequel. Still, Scream 4 offers some bloody good fun.

6 of 10
B

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jaden Smith to Star in Untitled M. Night Shyamalan Film

I found some Will and Jaden Smith news, which I posted last week.  Here, is the official version of that news from Sony Pictures:

JADEN SMITH TO STAR WITH WILL SMITH IN AN UNTITLED SCIENCE-FICTION ADVENTURE FOR COLUMBIA PICTURES AND DIRECTOR M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN

CULVER CITY, Calif., April 4, 2011 – Jaden Smith is set to star opposite his father, Will Smith, for director M. Night Shyamalan in an untitled sci-fi adventure, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. Shyamalan and Will Smith will produce with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Ken Stovitz, Smith’s partners at Overbrook Entertainment. The screenplay is by M. Night Shyamalan and Gary Whitta.

Set 1,000 years into the future, a young boy navigates an abandoned and sometimes scary Earth to save himself and his estranged father after their ship crashes.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “Night is an outstanding filmmaker who has a tremendous vision for this science-fiction adventure story and we couldn't be more excited to be working again with Jaden after our experiences on The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. We’re thrilled to have the two of them together on this project.”

Shyamalan added, "The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project."

JADEN SMITH is the twelve-year-old son of Will and Jada Smith. He most recently starred in the worldwide blockbuster The Karate Kid, which took in more than $350 million. Smith was nominated for a Teen Choice Award, an Image Award, and a Black Reel Award for his role. Prior to The Karate Kid, Smith starred opposite Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly in The Day the Earth Stood Still and won the 2009 Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor for his role in the film. He made his debut performance opposite his father in The Pursuit of Happyness, garnering an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance, a Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Male, a Black Reel Award, and nominations by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the NAACP Image Awards and the Teen Choice Awards.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN has directed nine feature films: Praying with Anger, Wide Awake, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, and The Last Airbender. The astronomical success of his chilling psychological thriller The Sixth Sense catapulted Shyamalan into the stratosphere of being one of the most sought after young filmmakers in Hollywood. The Sixth Sense has become one of the highest grossing films of all time and received a total of six Academy Award® nominations, including one for Best Picture, and two for Shyamalan for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. His most recent film, The Last Airbender was a worldwide hit, taking in more than $319 million globally.


About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com/.

VIZ Media Launches "Full Moon" Anime for Streaming


VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES THE ANIME SERIES FULL MOON ON HULU AND VIZANIME.COM
 
Episodes 1-5 Will Stream For FREE With New Episodes Available Every Friday!
 
VIZ Media has announced the launch of the shojo-inspired anime series FULL MOON today on VIZAnime.com, the company’s premiere website for anime, as well as through the streaming content provider HULU (http://www.hulu.com/).

VIZAnime and HULU will stream episodes 1-5 (subtitled) of the series for FREE. Two new FULL MOON episodes will be uploaded and also available to stream for FREE each Friday!

FULL MOON (Rated ‘T’ for Teens) is a bittersweet tale of puppy love, tragedy, and aspirations of pop-star fame. The anime series is based on a popular shojo manga (also published by VIZ Media) created by Arina Tanemura. In the series, Mitsuki Koyama dreams of becoming a singer, but a malignant tumor in her throat prevents her from fulfilling her wish. One day two Spirits of Death named Takuto and Meroko appear and tell her she only has one year left to live! But the Spirits can grant Mitsuki a temporary reprieve from her illness and give her singing career a magical push start. Will Mitsuki be able to fulfill her dreams with Takuto and Meroko's help? Follow Mitsuki on her journey to become a singer in this exciting new series.

To learn more about the FULL MOON anime and manga series, please visit VIZAnime.com or ShojoBeat.com.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jeff Bridges Art Auctioned for Charity

Jeff Bridges Art Auction to Benefit Charity

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 13, 2011 - Academy Award® winning actor (2010’s Crazy Heart) and acclaimed artist, Jeff Bridges, will be auctioning off his painting inspired by TRON to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, for which he is the national spoke person. In addition to the original painting, a limited number of signed prints will also be sold to raise funds for the charity.

The exclusively online auction will begin April 20 http://www.disneyfineart.com/share-our-strength/ and will run through April 29th.

As a dedicated artist across various mediums, Bridges has been praised for his eclectic work of fine art, photography and music in addition to hisacclaimed film career. In the recent release of TRON: LEGACY, Bridges reprised his role of “Kevin Flynn” from the original TRON released in 1982, inspiring this powerful piece painted on plexiglass. And with his strongdedication to the No Kid Hungry campaign, he has chosen to raise funds withit.

“As the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, Jeff Bridges’ commitment to others is exemplary,” said Bill Shore, founder and executive director of the hunger non-profit.” “This donation is another example of how important the work of ending childhood hunger is to Jeff and one of the many reasons we feel honored to be working with him.”


About Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® Campaign—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in federal nutrition programs, invests in community organizations fighting hunger, teaches families how tocook healthy, affordable meals, and builds public-private partnerships to end childhood hunger, at the state and city level. Visit NoKidHungry.org to getinvolved.

Black Dynamite Returns to Screens April 15th for Special Showings


The Crest: Black Dynamite Screening
 
ASR Innertainment to host film screening of Black Dynamite to promote Black Dynamite Comic Book from Ape Entertainment

April 13, 2011: Released in 2009, Black Dynamite quickly became a cult smash and received a comic book treatment from Ars Nova and Ape Entertainment. Black Dynamite: Slave Island, everyone’s favorite Blaxploitation sensation will appear in a one-shot, bringing his Kung-Fu fighting skills in this sequential page as he shuts down the mysterious island where Black slavery still exists.

“Fans of the film will feel right at home with the comic,” states Ape Entertainment founder and co-publisher Brent E. Erwin. “It has all of the elements that made the movie a cultural phenomenon, and Black Dynamite himself is still as much of a bad dude on the page as he is on the screen.”

Black Dynamite was directed by Scott Sanders and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. The film stars Michael Jai White as Black Dynamite, a Kung-Fu fighting, gun blasting ladies’ man willing to fight from the ghetto streets all the way to the White House in his efforts to take down “The Man”.

“Although written for film, Black Dynamite was always meant to move beyond the camera,” continues Sanders. “As a medium, comic books seemed like such a logical step in Black Dynamite’s development as a character, and what better way to start then having him bring down the infamous Slave Island.”

Black Dynamite: Slave Island is based on a story by Michael Jai White, Myron Minns and Scott Sanders. Written by Brian Ash with pencils by Jun Lofamia, the 48-page on shot hit stores in February 2011.

As part of ASR Innertainment’s The Crest: Movie Series, the company will be holding two screenings of Black Dynamite. The first screening will be at the Crossroads Theater 2590 Washington Street Denver, CO. on Friday, April 15, 2011, from 6:00pm to 11:00pm, film starting at 7:45pm sharp. A reception will precede the first screening with food and beverages, with sounds provided by DJ Cavem (www.djcavem.com ).

The second screening with be next door at Coffee at The Point 710 East 26th Avenue, from 10:00pm to 2:00am for a midnight screening of Black Dynamite. Sounds will be provided by The Girl Grabbers (www.facebook.com/girlgrabbers) from 10:30pm to 11:30pm. A closing reception will follow the second screening with food, beverages and promotional materials, including limited copies of the limited edition comic book, Black Dynamite: Slave Island, as well as Black Dynamite merchandise for purchase at booth screenings.

For More Information on ASR Innertainment, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/ASR-Innertainment/132894606761823?sk=wall

For More Information on Black Dynamite, visit http://www.blackdynamite.com/.

For More Information on Ape Entertainment, visit http://www.ape-entertainment/

For More Information on Ars Nova, visit http://www.arsnovaent.com/

Happy B'Day, Emma Thompson: Sense and Sensibility


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 86 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Running time: 136 minutes (2 hour, 16 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild thematic elements
DIRECTOR: Ang Lee
WRITER: Emma Thompson (based upon the novel by Jane Austen)
PRODUCER: Lindsay Doran
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Coulter
EDITOR: Tim Squyres
Academy Award winner

DRAMA/ROMANCE

Starring: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Greg Wise, Elizabeth Spriggs, Emilie François, Robert Hardy, James Fleet, Harriet Walter, Ian Brimble, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Imogen Stubbs, and Tom Wilkinson

Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) and her romantically inclined sister, Marianne (Kate Winslet), search for marriage amid 19th century etiquette, ethics, and class. Their troubles begin when their father, Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), dies, but by law, their half-brother, John Dashwood (James Fleet), from Mr. Dashwood’s first marriage, inherits the country estate in which the sisters live with their mother, Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones), and younger sister, Margaret (Emilie François). Although he has a home in London, John wants the estate for him and his wife, Fanny (Harriet Walter). Shortly after John and Fanny arrive, they get a visit from Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant), Fanny’s older brother. Elinor strikes up a intimate friendship with the aspiring clergyman, but they must part when Elinor and her family have to vacate the estate to John.

The Dashwoods find a small cottage belonging to a distant relative, Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy), who lives nearby with his mother-in-law, the very friendly, but prying Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs). It is at their new home where Marianne charms two suitors – the staid Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) and the lively and vigorous, John Willoughby (Greg Wise). Marianne prefers the dashing Willoughby over the older Col. Brandon. Meanwhile, Elinor braves the choppy straights of a circuitous courtship with Edward, whose heart has been promised many years prior to another young woman. However, the Dashwoods’ lack of a fortune affects Elinor and Marianne’s ability to find suitable husbands among their social set, so the sisters face heartbreak and triumphant as dark and old secrets are revealed.

Sense and Sensibility is an excellent and splendidly produced costume drama. It is better than most 19th century period dramas produced for film or television (British TV, in particular), although I wouldn’t put it up with the Merchant/Ivory production, Howard’s End. As usual, the technical aspects of the film are good, in particular the costumes and makeup. The sets and locations are a little more grounded in reality than is normal for a 19th century English period piece. This movie isn’t all pristine chambers and lavishly furnished estates. The characters deal with living in poorly heated homes, dirt and dust, and horse manure in the streets.

Critics and fans were shocked that a Chinese director, Ang Lee (up until that time not well known except to art house fans), could direct a British costume drama. However, he simply does, and brings fresh touches to the genre. The film is as natural and as passionate as it is refined and aloof. There is an emotional edge that makes the film engage the audience more than costume dramas normally do. The laughs are heartier; the snobbery is more savage and hurtful; the disappointment more bitter; and the romance more urgent – this is Ang’s touch. One can see that Elinor (expertly played by Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar for adapting Jane Austen’s novel) is as hearty and as resolute as she is reserved. The film’s best performance comes from Kate Winslet, who brings a raw insistence to her pursuit of her man; she’s like a real teenage girl.

The movie’s veracity is the cherry on top that makes Sense and Sensibility a memorable and exceptional costume drama.

9 of 10
A+

NOTES:
1996 Academy Awards: 1 win” “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium” (Emma Thompson); 6 nominations: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Emma Thompson), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Kate Winslet), “Best Cinematography” (Michael Coulter), “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan and John Bright), “Best Music, Original Dramatic Score” (Patrick Doyle), and “Best Picture” (Lindsay Doran)

1996 BAFTA Awards: 3 wins: “Best Film” (Lindsay Doran and Ang Lee), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Emma Thompson), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Kate Winslet); 9 nominations: “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (Patrick Doyle), “BAFTA Film Award Best Cinematography” (Michael Coulter), “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan and John Bright), “Best Make Up/Hair” (Morag Ross and Jan Archibald), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Alan Rickman), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Elizabeth Spriggs), “Best Production Design” (Luciana Arrighi), “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Emma Thompson), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Ang Lee)

1996 Golden Globes: 2 wins: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Emma Thompson); 4 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Ang Lee), “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Patrick Doyle), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Emma Thompson), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Kate Winslet)

Friday, April 21, 2006