Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tom and Julia Candy-Coat "Charlie Wilson's War"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 23 (of 2008) by Leroy Douresseaux


Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
Running time: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong language, nudity/sexual content, and some drug use
DIRECTOR: Mike Nichols
WRITER: Aaron Sorkin (based upon a book, Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History, by George Crile)
PRODUCERS: Gary Goetzman and Tom Hanks
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen Goldblatt (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: John Bloom and Antonia Van Drimmelen
Academy Award nominee

DRAMA/COMEDY/HISTORY

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Brian Markinson, Emily Blunt, Jud Taylor, Hilary Angelo, Cyia Batten, and Ned Beatty

Director Mike Nichols’ historical drama and political comedy, Charlie Wilson’s War is based on a true story. In real life, Charles “Charlie” Wilson was a 12-term Democratic United States Representative from the 2nd congressional district in Texas. Wilson is best known for convincing the U.S. Congress to support a CIA covert operation in Afghanistan. This largest ever CIA covert operation supplied the Afghan mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union which began occupying the country when Soviet forces entered the Asian nation in 1978. Charlie Wilson’s War is a biographical film based upon George Crile’s book about Wilson and his activities entitled, Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History.

Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), an alcoholic womanizer and Texas congressman, conspires with a rogue CIA operative, Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in an Oscar-nominated role), to aid Afghan mujahideen rebels in their fight against the Soviet Red Army. With the help of Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), a conservative political activist and Houston socialite, Wilson persuades Congressional defense committees to fund the training and arming of resistance fighters in Afghanistan to fend off the Soviet Union. The money, training and a team of military experts may help turn the tide for the ill-equipped Afghan freedom-fighters, but Wilson finds himself in a fight to keep his loosely connected allies in line.

Charlie Wilson’s War is certainly a sly and sophisticated movie, but it is ultimately shallow. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin weaves a steady stream of clever and witty dialogue, and his ability to make wonkish political and military jargon light and airy enough to fit in with this film’s humorous tone is impressive.

Mike Nichols builds his sharp-edged political comedy around actors who give… well, sharp performances. Tom Hanks plays Charlie Wilson as a down-home smart aleck who can be a regular guy, a savvy politician, or blindingly smart strategist when the occasion calls for it. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers Gust Avrakotos as a bludgeon and scalpel, but the treat here are the women. Julia Roberts is so fine as the charming, imperial Joanne Herring – a super woman who can match any man. Amy Adams as Wilson’s ever-ready, girl Friday continues to spread her enchantment on movie audiences, while the other actresses who play Wilson’s staff of super honeys also deliver really good performances.

So, Charlie Wilson's War is entertaining, with its good performances and deft comedic handling of real American history, but its entertainment value is about the extent of it. Charlie Wilson’s War is just a candy-coated topping covering up the ugly side of American intervention in international affairs. Nichols, his creative staff, and his cast certainly give us enough sweet sassiness to enjoy, but sooner or later we have to get down to the bad taste of the truth that lies at the heart of this story. In the real world, covert operations are much messier than this clean, slick political film is.

7 of 10
B+

NOTES:
2008 Academy Awards: 1 nomination for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

2008 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

2008 Golden Globes: 5 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical,” “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Tom Hanks), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Philip Seymour Hoffman), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Julia Roberts), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Aaron Sorkin)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy on Blu-ray October 2011


One of the Most Thrilling & Groundbreaking Motion-Picture Trilogies of All Time Roars onto Blu-ray™ with Breathtaking New High-Definition Picture & Perfect Sound

JURASSIC PARK

All Three Epic Adventures from Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Plus More Than Two Hours of All-New Bonus Features

Available on Blu-ray™ For the First Time Ever On October 25, 2011

“You won’t believe your eyes!”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A triumph of special effects artistry!”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Universal City, California, June 27, 2011 – The wait is finally over to experience one of the most anticipated motion-picture trilogies of all time like never before when Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III debut as a trilogy set on Blu-ray™ October 25, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning cinematic franchise, based on the best-selling book by Michael Crichton, generated nearly $2 billion combined at the worldwide box office and featured groundbreaking visual effects that changed the art of movie-making forever. Now, all three epic films have been digitally restored and remastered in flawless high definition for the ultimate viewing experience.

Additionally, the films’ visceral sound effects and the unforgettable music from legendary composer John Williams can now be heard in pristine 7.1 surround sound. Arriving in stores just in time for holiday gift giving, this collectible three-movie set also features hours of bonus features, including an all-new, six-part documentary and digital copies of all three films that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere. The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is also available on DVD, as well as in a spectacular Limited Edition Blu-ray Trilogy Gift Set which includes a custom T-rex dinosaur statue.

“From the moment T-Rex first towered over worldwide movie audiences, the Jurassic Park Trilogy has electrified fans with its heart-pounding action and awe-inspiring technological innovations,” says Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “With this newly remastered and digitally restored edition, we continue the franchise’s legacy by delivering to home viewers spectacular picture and sound that keeps the films as fresh and visceral now as they were when audiences first experienced them.”

The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy features an all-star cast including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mozzello, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, William H. Macy and Tea Leoni. In addition to the talented cast of actors, the Trilogy features stars of a different magnitude—from the huge Tyrannosaurus rex to the vicious Velociraptor, the Jurassic Park films showcase an extraordinary level of realism and technical innovation brought to life by a talented design team which include: Stan Winston, Live Action Dinosaurs; ILM's Dennis Muren, Full Motion Dinosaurs; Phil Tippett, Dinosaur Supervisor; Michael Lantieri, Special Dinosaur Effects and Special Visual Effects by Industrial Light & Magic.

ALL-NEW BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY™ & DVD
“Return to Jurassic Park” – this six-part documentary features all-new interviews with the many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers and Steven Spielberg.
o Dawn of a New Era
o Making Pre-history
o The Next Step in Evolution
o Finding The Lost World
o Something Survived
o The Third Adventure

ADDITIONAL FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY™
· BD-LIVE™ - Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch exclusive content, the latest trailers, and more!

MY SCENES: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the film.

pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Mac® to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Plus iPad® owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet's larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as:
o ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
o VIDEO TIMELINE: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
o MOBILE-TO-GO: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
o BROWSE TITLES: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
o KEYBOARD: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.

The following bonus features also appear on the both the Blu-ray™ and DVD:
The Making of Jurassic Park
The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The Making of Jurassic Park III
Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
Early Pre-Production Meetings
The World of Jurassic Park
The Magic of Industrial Light & Magic
Location Scouting
Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors In The Kitchen
The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton
Industrial Light & Magic and Jurassic Park: Before and After The Visual Effects
Industrial Light & Magic and The Lost World: Jurassic Park Before & After
The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel
A Visit to Industrial Light & Magic
Hurricane in Kauai Featurette
Dinosaur Turntables
The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III
Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs
Animatics: T-Rex Attack
The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III
The Sounds of Jurassic Park III
The Art of Jurassic Park III
Tour of Stan Winston Studio
Feature Commentary with Special Effects Team
Production Archives: Storyboards, Models, Photographs, Design Sketches and Conceptual Drawings
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailers
And MORE!

SYNOPSIS
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in worldwide box-office history. On a remote tropical island, an amazing living theme park becomes a game of survival for humans foolhardy enough to set foot on it. Meticulously recreated dinosaurs spring to astonishing life as the film’s breathtaking special effects and thrilling action sequences keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Each chapter of the history-making saga delivers even more action and spectacular visual effects than its predecessor, as nature’s ultimate killing machines once again rule the earth. Almost 20 years after its inception, the Jurassic Park Trilogy remains an unmatched cinematic experience.

Jurassic Park
A multimillionaire (Richard Attenborough) unveils a new theme park where visitors can observe dinosaurs cloned using advanced DNA technology. But when an employee tampers with the security system, the dinosaurs escape, forcing the visitors to fight for their survival. Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern star in this thrilling, action-packed blockbuster from acclaimed director Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by Michael Crichton.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Four years after Jurassic Park's genetically bred dinosaurs ran amok, multimillionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) shocks chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) by revealing that Hammond has been breeding more beasties at a secret location. Malcolm, his paleontologist ladylove (Julianne Moore) and a wildlife videographer (Vince Vaughn) join an expedition to document the lethal lizards' natural behavior in this action-packed thriller.

Jurassic Park III
In need of funds for research, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) accepts a large sum of money to accompany Paul and Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) on an aerial tour of the infamous Isla Sorna. It isn't long before all hell breaks loose and the stranded wayfarers must fight for survival as a host of new -- and even more deadly -- dinosaurs try to make snacks of them. Laura Dern, Michael Jeter, Alessandro Nivola and Trevor Morgan co-star.

http://www.jurassicpark.com/

Join the conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jurassicpark

TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY™:
Street Date: October 25, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Selection Number: Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen, 1.85:1
Rating: PG-13
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French 2.0, English SDH, Spanish Subtitles
Run Time: Jurassic Park – 2 hours, 7 minutes
The Lost World: Jurassic Park – 2 hours, 9 minutes
Jurassic Park III – 1 hour, 33 minutes

TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD
Street Date: October 25, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 61114696
Layers: Dual
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Rating: PG-13
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French & Spanish
Sound: English, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Run Time: Jurassic Park – 2 hours, 7 minutes
The Lost World: Jurassic Park – 2 hours, 9 minutes
Jurassic Park III – 1 hour, 33 minutes

Jurassic Park
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Produced By: Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen
Screenplay By: Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Based on the Novel By: Michael Crichton
Director of Photography: Dean Cundey
Production Designer: Rick Carter
Film Edited By: Michael Kahn, ACE
Music By: John Williams
Live Action Dinosaurs: Stan Winston
Full Motion Dinosaurs By: Dennis Muren, ASC
Special Dinosaur Effects: Michael Lantieri
Dinosaur Supervisor: Phil Tippett
Special Visual Effects: Industrial Light & Magic
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Produced By: Gerald R. Molen and Colin Wilson
Screenplay By: David Koepp
Based on the Novel “The Lost World” By: Michael Crichton
Executive Producer: Kathleen Kennedy
Director of Photography: Janusz Kaminski, ASC
Production Designer: Rick Carter
Film Editor: Michael Kahn, ACE
Music By: John Williams
Live Action Dinosaurs: Stan Winston
Full Motion Dinosaurs By: Dennis Muren, ASC
Special Dinosaur Effects: Michael Lantieri
Special Visual Effects: Industrial Light & Magic
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard

Jurassic Park III
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Produced By: Kathleen Kennedy, Larry Franco
Written By: Peter Buchman and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor
Based on Characters Created By: Michael Crichton
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Director of Photography: Shelly Johnson, ASC
Production Designer: Ed Verreaux
Editor: Robert Dalva
New Music By: Don Davis
Original Themes By: John Williams
Live Action Dinosaurs: Stan Winston Studio
Animation and Special Visual Effects By: Industrial Light & Magic
Cast: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter


NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Also Good/Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 55 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Running time: 150 minutes (2 hours, 30 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
WRITERS: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman (based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures)
PRODUCERS: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Ian Bryce
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Seresin (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Paul Rubell, A.C.E., Roger Barton, Thomas A. Muldoon, and Joel Negron
Academy Award nominee

SCI-FI/ACTION with elements of drama, thriller, and war

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Rainn Wilson, Deep Roy and (voices) Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Reno Wilson, Michael York, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Tony Todd

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 science fiction/action film. It is the sequel to the 2007 film, Transformers, the live-action feature film starring those ever-popular toys, Hasbro’s the Transformers. Once again, the human hero from the first film is caught in a war between two factions of alien robots, the Autobots and the Decepticons, but another adversary joins the fray – an enemy who wants to destroy the Earth’s sun to attain his goal.

Revenge of the Fallen takes place two years after the first film. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), the hero of the Transformers film franchise, leaves the Autobots behind for a normal life. Sam is ready to move on with his life, which means leaving home to go to college, but Autobot leader, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), wants Sam to stay because the war to protect humanity from the Decepticons continues. Sam’s father, Ron Witwicky (Kevin Dunn), is ambivalent about his son going across country to attend college, and his mother, Judy (Julie White), is in full meltdown mode. Sam’s girlfriend, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), is also not happy with the move because she questions why Sam wants a long-distance relationship when he still can’t say “I love you” to her.

As he tries to adapt to college life, however, Sam finds his mind filled with cryptic symbols in the robots’ Cybertronian language that cause him to have short mental breakdowns. Meanwhile, the Decepticons reunite with their leader, a mysterious figure known as the Fallen (Tony Todd), and Megatron (Hugo Weaving) is brought back to life. Inside Sam’s mind is information that the Fallen wants, so the Decepticons target Sam and drag him back into the Autobots/Decepticon war.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen got some really bad reviews, and some considered it one of the worst movies of 2009. I liked it. Sure, the story is under-plotted and an actual full, working screenplay for this movie is probably nonexistent. This is way too long; two and a half hours – freakin’ puh-lease. What I love is all the special effects and CGI magic that brings the Transformers to life. All that twisting, shape-shifting, and, well… transforming are what piques my interest. I can barely tolerate the “character drama” between scenes of the Transformers tearing each other apart while smashing through buildings, bridges, and whatever infrastructure that happens to be in their way.

Truthfully, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen only really works during the action scenes, especially during the last half hour. Those action set pieces are why I put up with what is an incredibly noisy film, which is sometimes like listening to an ADHD monkey banging pots and pans together.

The other element of the film that works for me is actor Shia LaBeouf. I must admit to being a fan of this talented young actor, but his character is saddled with bad secondary characters. This film’s script has no place for them, so they’re underdeveloped and stupid. Watching scenes with Shia’s Sam Witwicky means you have to put up with characters that are only a little more than mannequins. One big disappointment was that Revenge of the Fallen underplayed Josh Duhamel’s William Lennox and Tyrese Gibson’s Robert Epps.

But Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen temporarily fed my appetite for Autobots vs. Decepticons destruction, and I’m ready for more.

6 of 10
B

NOTES:
2010 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Achievement in Sound” (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, and Geoffrey Patterson)

2010 Razzie Awards: 3 wins: “Worst Director” (Michael Bay), “Worst Picture” (DreamWorks and Paramount), and “Worst Screenplay” (Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman); 4 nominations: “Worst Actress” (Megan Fox), “Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel,” “Worst Screen Couple” (Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Shia LaBeouf and either Megan Fox or any Transformer), and “Worst Supporting Actress” (Julie White)

Monday, June 27, 2011


First Transformers Movie was Good, Then Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 105 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux


Transformers (2007)
Running time: 140 minutes (2 hours, 20 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
WRITERS: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman; from a story by John Rogers and Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures)
PRODUCERS: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Ian Bryce
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mitchell Amundsen (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Paul Rubell, A.C.E. and Glen Scantlebury
Academy Award nominee

SCI-FI/ACTION with elements of drama, thriller, and war

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Megan Fox, Rachael Taylor, Bernie Mac, with John Turturro and Jon Voight, Kevin Dunn, Michael O’Neill, Julie White, and Amaury Nolasco

Director Michael Bay (Armageddon) unleashes Transformers, the long-awaited live-action, feature film starring the ever-popular toys, Hasbro’s the Transformers.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is the clever, jokester trying to navigate his way through the pitfalls of high school and the teenage years. As something of a smart mouth, he may think he’s special, but he doesn’t know the half of it.

For centuries two races of robotic aliens – the Autobots and the Decepticons – have waged a war to find the location of the lost Allspark, the energy that both powers them and creates more of their kind. Now, they’ve come to Earth, and the planet may be their final battleground. U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) and U.S. Army Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) lead the military charge against the Decepticons. Meanwhile, Sam and his girlfriend Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) are caught in a tug of war between the human-friendly Autobots and murderous Decepticons, and the clue to the whereabouts of Allspark is in Sam’s unsuspecting hands.

The first 100 minutes of Transformers is a great sci-fi war movie that is as gripping and as fun as Independence Day, which is a testament to Michael Bay’s skill as a director of awe-inspiring visuals. The last 40 minutes is mostly inane, with every few moments of action being a cinematic seizure crammed next to another spasm of CGI pomposity. In fact, in Transformers’ last act, even the supernaturally endearing Shia LaBeouf, who lights up both movies and TV with his half-shy, half smarter-than-you-are screen persona, is utterly lost.

The first half of the film is about the heroes versus impossibly advanced alien invaders, but the good guys won’t give up. After that, the Autobots and Decepticons take over, and the movie turns preposterous. CGI makes the robots and Michael Bay loves CGI, special effects, and all the technical processes of making a movie more than he loves actors and story. Actors and story thrive in the beginning, but computers and technicians take over by the end. I enjoyed the human story – man with his back against the wall against a mysterious invader, and I liked it enough to overlook the special effects ejaculation that is the final third of Transformers.

6 of 10
B

Saturday, July 14, 2007

NOTES:
2008 Academy Awards: 3 nominations: “Best Achievement in Sound” (Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, and Peter J. Devlin), “Best Achievement in Sound Editing” (Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins), and “Best Achievement in Visual Effects” (Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, and John Frazier)

2008 Razzie Awards: 1 nomination: “Worst Supporting Actor” (Jon Voight)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow "Transformers Dark of the Moon" Red Carpet Via Yahoo!

Paramount Pictures JOINS YAHOO! movies TO Present THE “TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON” MOVIE U.S. PREMIERE EVENT ON JUNE 28th LIVE FROM NEW YORK CITY


Fans Across the Globe Can Experience the Red Carpet Firsthand by Tuning In Online

Movie Opens Exclusively in 3D at 9PM on June 28th and Worldwide on June 29th

HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 27, 2011) – Paramount Pictures has teamed with Yahoo! Movies (movies.yahoo.com), the leading website for movie trailers, news and information, to present the TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON movie premiere live from New York City. The live red carpet event will begin airing online, June 28, at 5:30 p.m. EST. Fans can watch together and share across their social networks, as the red carpet event is streamed free at http://yhoo.it/transformerspremiere. Fans can get the chance to see some of their favorite celebrities, including the film’s director Michael Bay and stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Frances McDormand and Ken Jeong. After watching the live red carpet, fans can head to theaters as the movie opens exclusively in 3D at 9 p.m. on June 28th and everywhere beginning at midnight on June 29th.

Fans tuning in from different time zones around the globe will also have an opportunity to experience the event highlights throughout the following day, subsequent to the U.S. premiere on movies.yahoo.com.

To share this exclusive Transformers event with your friends, see the attached embed code or visit http://yhoo.it/transformerspremiere for more options.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger and produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. It will be released by Paramount Pictures worldwide on June 29th. © 2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, go to http://www.transformersmovie.com/

Follow TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TF3Movie

Like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TransformersMovie


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 Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" Tackles Still-Riveting Topic

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 54 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux


The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)
Running time: 92 minutes (1 hour, 32 minutes)
PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS: Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
WRITERS: Lawrence Lerew, Rick Goldsmith, Judith Ehrlich, and Michael Chandler
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Vicente Franco and Dan Krauss
EDITORS: Michael Chandler, Rick Goldsmith, and Lawrence Lerew
COMPOSER: Blake Leyh

DOCUMENTARY – History, Politics, War

Starring: Daniel Ellsberg (also narrator), Anthony Russo, Patricia Ellsberg, Mort Halperin, Egil “Bud” Krogh, Tom Oliphant, Janaki Tschannerl, and Howard Zinn

June marks the 40 anniversary of the New York Times’ first publication of excerpts from the Pentagon Papers (specifically June 13, 1971). Officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, the Pentagon Papers are a history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. This study was initiated by the United States Department of Defense by order of then Secretary of State Robert McNamara.

Daniel Ellsberg, PhD, (born April 7, 1931) was a United States military analyst beginning in 1964 for the Pentagon under Secretary McNamara and then for the State Department as a civilian in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1967, Dr. Ellsberg was at the RAND Corporation (a global policy think tank) where he worked on the top-secret study of classified documents that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. This study was 7,000 pages long and was divided into 47 volumes.

Once a supporter of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Ellsberg became disaffected with the Vietnam War. Beginning in late 1969, Ellsberg and a former colleague, Anthony Russo, secretly photocopied several copies of the Pentagon Papers. In 1971, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, which began publishing excerpts from the study. The Times’ publication precipitated a national political controversy because the Pentagon Papers exposed the top-secret military history of the United States involvement in Vietnam.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is a 2009 documentary film from directors Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. Nominated in 2010 for a best documentary Oscar, The Most Dangerous Man in America explores the events around the publication of the Pentagon Papers by focusing on Daniel Ellsberg, who also acts as the film’s narrator. Some of the film’s narrative is also taken from Ellsberg’s 2002 book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (Viking Press).

Daniel Ellsberg is certainly an important man in modern American political history, and The Most Dangerous Man in America gives us a glimpse into his personal history, including details into a childhood tragedy, his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his relationship, courtship, and eventual marriage to his second wife, Patricia Marx.

However, Ellsberg is a doorway into the secret history of the Vietnam War, and though much of that history has been revealed, thanks in large part to Ellsberg, the majority of Americans are likely still unfamiliar with how the U.S. really got involved in Vietnam. For a long time, the official story was that the U.S. stumbled into Vietnam, and that’s not true. Understanding American involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 is crucial not only to understanding American foreign policy – how it works and why, but also to discovering how four U.S. Presidents lied to the American public about Vietnam.

Ellsberg and this film reveal that sometimes, even what is top secret should be made public. Perhaps, such revelations will protect the United States and its citizens both from dirty wars and also lying, even criminal Presidential administrations. None of the four Presidents mentioned here comes out looking good – especially Richard M. Nixon.

If one wants to be entertained, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers isn’t exactly entertaining. It is sometimes dry and academic, although there are moments of riveting drama and even bits that seem like a spy thriller. Still, it is our responsibility as citizens to know the truth and the things that are hidden, both in hour history and in the times in which we live. From time to time, this documentary is even broadcast by PBS. Watch it on television or rent it, but The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is an essential film for everyone from high school students to adults.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2010 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Documentary, Features” (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith)

Monday, June 27, 2011


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cars 2 is Pixar's First Clunker

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 53 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux


Cars 2 (2011)
Running time: 113 minutes (1 hour, 53 minutes)
MPAA – G
DIRECTOR: John Lasseter with Brad Lewis
WRITERS: Ben Queen; from a story by John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, and Dan Fogelman
PRODUCER: Denise Ream
COMPOSER: Michael Giacchino

ANIMATION/ACTION/COMEDY/FAMILY/SPORTS

Starring: (voices) Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro, Joe Mantegna, Thomas Kretschmann, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Campbell, Jeff Garlin, Jason Isaacs, Cheech Marin, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, Jenifer Lewis, John Ratzenberger, Katherine Helmond, Franco Nero, Brent Musburger, and Darrell Waltrip

Pixar Animation Studios finally did it. They made a bad movie… a really bad movie. They made a loud, empty, action movie. It is full of sound and fury – signifying nothing more than new characters that can be turned into merchandise for the kids who are the only ones that will love this ridiculous movie.

Of course, I’m talking about Cars 2, the computer-animated film and sequel to the 2006, Oscar-nominated Cars. Cars 2, set in a world where talking cars and vehicles are the people, is a globe-trotting tale of car races, spies, and international intrigue. It’s like Cody Banks meets Ricky Bobby.

Cars 2 opens with everybody’s favorite rusty tow truck, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), eagerly awaiting the return of his buddy, the champion race car, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), to the sleepy burg of Radiator Springs. Soon after he returns, McQueen finds himself entered in the World Grand Prix, a race sponsored by former oil tycoon, Miles Axlerod (Eddie Izzard), and used to promote Axlerod’s new renewable fuel, Allinol. With Mater in tow, McQueen heads to Tokyo for the first leg of the World Grand Prix. Soon after they arrive, it becomes obvious to McQueen that Mater is having trouble behaving himself.

McQueen is busy with the first race, trying to beat his rival, FI racer, Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). Meanwhile, Mater falls into a bit of international intrigue when two British spycars, Finn McMissle (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), mistake Mater for a spy. An evil scientist, Professor Zündapp (Thomas Kretschmann), has developed a device that can destroy race cars. If the plan to foil Zündapp relies on Mate, can the tow truck really save the day? Can he even save his friendship with McQueen?

The original Cars was a technological and artistic leap, particularly in how it animated the race cars that acted like humans and also the racing sequences. Cars 2 actually improves on that. It is as visually appealing as any other Pixar feature, but this movie isn’t any good. Cars 2 is a shiny, pretty, candy-painted car that is an unappealing lemon under the hood. This movie has the elements of a comic caper and spy spoof, but it isn’t funny and it spoofs the audience. Cars 2 is a series of action scenes stuck together to form a Frankenstein-like kids action comedy with a goofy plot, but no real story and little in the way of character. Cars 2 is tire-bursting action with a story as rundown as Mater looks.

Speaking of Mater: Cars 2 is his film the way Cars is McQueen’s film, and that is Cars 2’s saving grace. Larry the Cable Guy, the standup comedian who is the voice of Mater, can be a funny guy, even as a comic actor. His rapid-fire verbosity and one-liners provide most of this movie’s few laughs.

And that’s sad. Cars 2 is so mediocre that it is hard to believe that it is a Pixar production. I dozed off four times during this movie, and I was desperate for it to end so that I could speed away from this awful movie.

3 of 10
C-

Sunday, June 26, 2011


DreamWorks Pictures Has "Fright Night" at Comic-Con 2011

DreamWorks Pictures Throws “Fright Night” Fan Frenzy at Comic-Con 2011 with Cast Appearances, Party and Advance Screening

Feeding Frenzy contest kicks off Friday, June 24th for chance to win prizes and trip to Comic-Con with admission to all “Fright Night” events

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DreamWorks Studios is pleased to present a special insider look at its upcoming, 3D reimagining of the horror classic “Fright Night” at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International Convention. On Friday, July 22, a panel presentation will be held in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. On the dais will be talent from the film, including Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Imogen Poots, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon. Activities also include a fan appreciation party as well as a screening in advance of the film’s opening in theaters on August 19th.

On Friday, June 24th, the film’s social media campaign; “The Fright Night Feeding Frenzy” kicks off with a chance to win a VIP trip for two to San Diego Comic-Con in partnership with Yahoo! Movies. The trip includes travel, accommodations and admittance to all “Fright Night” scheduled events. “The Fright Night Feeding Frenzy” encourages fans to use their social feeds on Facebook, Twitter and blogs to share movie content and check in to real world events to collect points. At the end of each week, the fan who has spread the frenzy the farthest wins a killer prize. Prizes are awarded weekly beginning July 1st through the film’s release on Friday, August 19th. More information about the “Fright Night” Feeding Frenzy and how to join can be found at: http://www.welcometofrightnight.com/


ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all — he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right — yet no one, including Charley’s mom (Toni Collette), seems to notice! After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charley has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic.

DreamWorks Pictures’ “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig, with screenplay written by Marti Noxon from a story by Tom Holland, based on the film “Fright Night,” written by Tom Holland. “Fright Night” opens in theaters on August 19, 2011.

About Comic-Con 2011:
Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. This year’s annual San Diego convention runs July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center.


Friday, June 24, 2011

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" App Now Available

Paramount Pictures Unveils Interactive Poster for TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON App on the App Store

HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 24, 2011) – Paramount Pictures today introduced a TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON App that lets iPhone and iPod touch users convert traditional movie posters into an augmented reality experience before their eyes.

The app, TF3: DEFEND THE EARTH, allows iPhone and iPod touch users to locate the closest theaters that have these exclusive interactive posters on display. Upon activation, the poster comes to life via the app and consumers can participate in an immersive game play on their iPhone or iPod touch via the poster’s first-person view of OPTIMUS PRIME. iPhone and iPod touch users simply download the TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON App, and they are able to play the game wherever they are in the world and compete on a global level for the top spot. The interactive movie posters will be located in over 250 IMAX® and AMC theaters across the country.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger and produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the TRANSFORMERS alone will not be able to save us. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. It will be released by Paramount Pictures worldwide on June 29th. © 2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

The TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON App is available for free from the App

Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at itunes.apple.com/us/app/transformers-3-defend-the/id440535402?mt=8 and http://www.tf3ar.com/.

For more information, go to http://www.transformersmovie.com/.

Follow TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TF3Movie.

Like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TransformersMovie.


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 Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

About Hasbro
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company’s world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, video games and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its customers through the strategic leveraging of well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Hub, Hasbro’s multi-platform joint venture with Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) launched on October 10, 2010. The online home of The Hub is www.hubworld.com. The Hub logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. © 2011 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Superb "Cars" Hydroplanes on Nostalgia

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 127 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux


Cars (2006)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – G
DIRECTOR: John Lasseter
WRITERS: Dan Fogelman, Philip Loren, and Kiel Murray; additional screenplay material: Robert L. Baird and Dan Gerson; from a story by John Lasseter, Jorgen Klubien, and Joe Ranft
PRODUCER: Darla K. Anderson
EDITOR: Ken Schretzmann
Academy Award nominee

ANIMATION/COMEDY/FAMILY/SPORTS with elements of action, drama, and romance

Starring: (voices) Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, Jenifer Lewis, Paul Dooley, Michael Wallis, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond, John Ratzenberger, Michael Keaton, Richard Petty, Jeremy Piven, Bob Costas, Darrell Waltrip, and Lynda Petty

If that’s possible considering what they’ve already done, Disney/Pixar’s latest computer animated feature film, Cars, is a technical improvement over their previous work. It’s easy to see why so many consider Pixar Animation Studios the gold standard in computer animation. The pity is that the only thing holding this technically and artistically exceptional and pleasurable animated film from greatness is a less than compelling story grounded in dewy-eyed nostalgia.

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hotshot rookie race car trying to win the Piston Cup Championship (similar to NASCAR). On his way to a championship race in California, Lighting makes an unexpected detour down the famous Route 66 and finds himself in the sleepy burg of Radiator Springs, where he meets the town’s eccentric automotive denizens. Self-absorbed and snobby of what he considers lesser cars, Lightning has to repair the town’s only road after he damages it.

The time he spends “prisoner” in Radiator Springs allows him to get to know the other cars, including Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), a rusty tow truck who becomes Lightning’s trusty friend, and Sally (Bonnie Hunt), a snazzy Porsche who at first is Lightning’s rival, but later becomes the friend who helps him see the simple beauty of Radiator Springs. And maybe he’ll learn that there are things more important than championships and fame.

I think many viewers will be shocked to find that the racing sequences, especially the Piston Championship Cup race that opens the film, capture the feel of watching NASCAR-style racing. It has all the ferocity, intensity, organized chaos, the spectacular crashes and wild spins off the course, the rumbling and shaking, etc. However, most of Cars’ narrative takes place in Radiator City. By architecture and design, this small town is like stepping back into the postwar era that roughly covers from about 1945 to 1965. Cars tries to recapture this small town era of neon-lit drive-in diners and spanking new motels just off a highway like Route 66. The Western landscapes and the golden backdrops of desert landscapes, dusty roads, pastoral skies, and marvelous rock formations transport the viewer back to some kind of midwestern idyll. This is the kind of “old America” that Hollywood likes – small towns where things moved slowly and everyone knew everyone.

That’s where the fault in Cars lies. It’s a nostalgia piece; it’s more longing than it is a narrative – a story with a universal message, which Pixar’s previous films have had. For instance, in Finding Nemo, an overprotective father fights unceasingly to save the only thing left of his family, a handicapped son, and learns that he will gradually have to let go as his son grows into his own person. In Cars, Lighting McQueen is just a dumb kid – arrogant, smug, lacking in humility; that is true, but he’s ultimately a dumb harmless kid. What’s compelling about that? The central idea behind Cars is that Lightning must embrace the simple life of a small town as a balance against his celebrity status. Balance is a good message, and that’s cute and all, but ultimately, the storytellers, Pixar, are being nostalgic for a time most of them are probably too young to remember. They’re yearning for a lifestyle that never existed in the ideal fashion it’s usually presented as in pop culture – this romanticized version of mid-century American history.

They try to sell us this wonderful world (that still exists in TV Land) using a variety of ethnic stereotypes blended into a politically-correct collection of townsfolk that couldn’t have lived together in a real small town like Radiator Springs: Italians with heavy accents, a hippie, a taciturn former military officer, a sassy black woman named Flo who sounds like Aretha Franklin (but is voiced by Jenifer Lewis), a flashy Latino, an affable redneck rogue, etc. It’s a multicultural cast of village idiots. Still, Cars actually makes for a very entertaining tale of rustic charm versus the fast life of celebrity. I could certainly feel the old-timey charm tugging at my heart. Only Pixar through the magic of their eye-catching achievements in animation could make such preening nostalgia charming and enjoyable eye candy. Cars has spectacular animation painted in so many vivid colors that it dazzles the eyes just the way a Pixar flick should.

8 of 10
A

Saturday, June 10, 2006

NOTES:
2007 Academy Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song” (Randy Newman for the song "Our Town") and “Best Animated Feature Film of the Year” (John Lasseter)

2007 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Animated Feature Film” (John Lasseter)

2007 Golden Globes: 1 win: “Best Animated Film”


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Raiders of the Lost Ark - 30 Years Later Still a Beast

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 52 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Running time: 115 minutes (1 hour, 55 minutes)
MPAA – PG
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
WRITERS: Lawrence Kasdan; from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
PRODUCER: Frank Marshall
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Douglas Slocombe (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Michael Kahn
COMPOSER: John Williams
Academy Award winner

ADVENTURE/ACTION

Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliot, Wolf Kahler, Alfred Molina, Fred Sorenson, and George Harris

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark to movie theatres (specifically June 12, 1981). The 1981 American adventure film went on to become the top-grossing film of 1981 and spawned four sequels and a short-lived television series. The film introduced the still wildly-popular character, Indiana Jones, portrayed by Harrison Ford (with a few exceptions), to audiences. The creation of director Steven Spielberg and executive producer, George Lucas, Raiders of the Lost Ark showed that a family film didn’t have to be G-rated fare, but could be a movie with nonstop action and quite a bit of violence.

Raiders of the Lost Ark follows archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), who braves ancient temples to retrieve archeological relics. After his latest adventure, Army intelligence officers seek Jones help in finding his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood. The officers also inform Jones that the Nazis, in a quest for occult power, are looking for the Ark of the Covenant, the chest the ancient Israelites built to hold the fragments of the original Ten Commandments tablets. Ravenwood is supposedly in possession of the headpiece of the Staff of Ra, an artifact essential in finding the Ark. Ravenwood is also an expert on the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis, where the Ark is believed to be hidden.

Jones discovers that Ravenwood is deceased and that his daughter, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), is now in possession of the headpiece. With Marion in tow and the Nazis hot on their trail, Jones travels to Egypt, where enlists the help of an old friend, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), a skilled excavator. Meanwhile, Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman), Jones’ arch-nemesis who always seems to beat him, has joined forces with the Nazis to find the Ark before Indiana Jones does.

I’m old enough to have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark in a movie theatre, and I also remember how much I loved the movie. I was flat out crazy about Raiders, and, as far as I was concerned, Indiana Jones was the man. I must have watched Raiders more than 20 times within a five year period after it was first released. I watched it a few times in the late 1980s and early 1990s because of the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Since then, I’ve watched bits and pieces, but I just recently sat down and watched the entire film. Do I still feel about Raiders of the Lost Ark the way I did after I first saw it and after I watched it countless times over the next decade? Yes.

It’s just a great movie, a magical summer movie. Raiders of the Lost Ark is fun and ingenious, in terms of story and also film technology, in the way only American-made adventure movies are. It has a sense of humor and the droll wit of the characters simply makes Raiders something special – something more than just another action movie with fistfights, gun battles, and chase scenes. The actors’ wit and style make it seem as if they are really into this movie and are determined to make us believe the outlandish, logic defying leaps the action and story often take.

Raiders of the Lost Ark may be an ode to the old movie serials of the 1930s and 40s (especially the ones produced by Republic Pictures), but it is a triumph that has stood the test of time better than the stories that influenced it. Every time I see Raiders of the Lost Ark, I am reminded of how much I love movies, and that makes up for the bad movies.

9 of 10
A+

NOTES:
1982 Academy Awards: 4 wins: “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” (Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, and Michael Ford), “Best Effects, Visual Effects” (Richard Edlund, Kit West, Bruce Nicholson, and Joe Johnston) “Best Film Editing” (Michael Kahn), “Best Sound” (Bill Varney, Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, and Roy Charman) and “Special Achievement Award” (Ben Burtt and Richard L. Anderson for sound effects editing); 4 nominations: “Best Picture” (Frank Marshall), “Best Director” (Steven Spielberg), “Best Cinematography” (Douglas Slocombe), and “Best Music, Original Score” (John Williams)

1982 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Best Production Design/Art Direction” (Norman Reynolds); 6 nominations: “Best Film,” “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (John Williams), “Best Cinematography” (Douglas Slocombe), “Best Editing” (Michael Kahn), “Best Sound” (Roy Charman, Ben Burtt, and Bill Varney), and “Best Supporting Artist” (Denholm Elliott)

1982 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Steven Spielberg)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

178 Get Invitations to Join AMPAS in 2011

Academy Invites 178 to Membership

Beverly Hills, CA (June 17, 2011) - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 178 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2011 to the Academy’s roster of members.

“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “Their talent and creativity have entertained moviegoers around the world, and I welcome each of them to our ranks.”

The Academy’s membership policies would have allowed a maximum of 211 new members in 2011, but as in other recent years, several branch committees endorsed fewer candidates than were proposed to them. Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003.

In an unprecedented gesture, the list of new members includes documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington, who was killed in action in Libya in April. Hetherington had been a 2010 nominee for his film “Restrepo,” but died prior to the Academy’s spring meetings to select new members. The Documentary Branch proposed that Hetherington’s name be included among the year’s invitees. The governors agreed.

The 2011 invitees are:

Actors
Russell Brand – "Arthur," "Get Him to the Greek"
Gerard Butler – "The Ugly Truth," "300"
Vincent Cassel – "Black Swan," "Eastern Promises"
Robbie Coltrane – "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," "Mona Lisa"
Bradley Cooper – "Limitless," "The Hangover"
John Corbett – "Sex and the City 2," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Rosemarie DeWitt – "The Company Men," "Rachel Getting Married"
Peter Dinklage – "Find Me Guilty," "The Station Agent"
David Duchovny – "Things We Lost in the Fire," "The X-Files"
Jesse Eisenberg – "The Social Network," "The Squid and the Whale"
Jennifer Garner – "Arthur," "Juno"
John Hawkes – "Winter's Bone," "The Perfect Storm"
Thomas Jane – "The Mist," "The Thin Red Line"
Nastassja Kinski – "An American Rhapsody," "Tess"
Beyonce Knowles – "Dreamgirls," "Austin Powers in Goldmember"
Mila Kunis – "Black Swan," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"
Jennifer Lawrence – "Winter's Bone," "The Burning Plain"
Tea Leoni – "Ghost Town," "Spanglish"
Anthony Mackie – "The Hurt Locker," "Million Dollar Baby"
Lesley Manville – "Another Year," "Topsy-Turvy"
Rooney Mara – "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "The Social Network"
Dominic Monaghan – "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Connie Nielsen – "Brothers," "Gladiator"
Ellen Page – "Inception," "Juno"
Wes Studi – "Avatar," "The Last of the Mohicans"
Mia Wasikowska – "Jane Eyre," "The Kids Are All Right"
Jacki Weaver – "Animal Kingdom," "Cosi"

Animators
Geefwee Boedoe – "Let's Pollute," "Monsters, Inc."
Alessandro Carloni – "How to Train Your Dragon," "Over the Hedge"
Sylvain Chomet – "The Illusionist," "The Triplets of Belleville"
Jakob Hjort Jensen – "How to Train Your Dragon," "Flushed Away"
Biljana Labovic – "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger," "Idiots and Angels"
Tomm Moore – "The Secret of Kells," "Backwards Boy"
Teddy Newton – "Day & Night," "Ratatouille"
Bob Peterson – "Up," "Finding Nemo" (also invited to the Writers Branch)
Javier Recio Gracia – "The Lady and the Reaper," "The Missing Lynx"
Andrew Ruhemann – "The Lost Thing," "City Paradise"
Kristof Serrand – "How to Train Your Dragon," "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas"
Shaun Tan – "The Lost Thing," "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!"
Simon Wells – "Mars Needs Moms," "The Prince of Egypt"

Art Directors
Anahid Nazarian – "The Virgin Suicides," "The Godfather, Part III"
Lauren E. Polizzi – "Cowboys & Aliens," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

At-Large
George Aguilar
Barry Bernardi
Christopher Dodd
Ted Gagliano
James L. Honore
Dawn Hudson
Beverly Pasterczyk
Randall Poster
Ric Robertson
David Schnuelle
Randy Spendlove
Beverly Joanna Wood

Casting Directors
Nina Gold – "The King's Speech," "Jane Eyre"
Jina Jay – "The Reader," "Layer Cake"
Lora Kennedy – "The Town," "Syriana"

Cinematographers
Frank Byers – "Illegal Tender," "Boxing Helena"
Patrick Cady – "Lottery Ticket," "Broken Bridges"
Danny Cohen – "The King's Speech," "Pirate Radio"
Lukas Ettlin – "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Middle Men"
Steven Fierberg – "Love & Other Drugs," "Secretary"
Barry Markowitz – "Crazy Heart," "Sling Blade"
Charles Minsky – "Valentine's Day," "Pretty Woman"
Lawrence Sher – "The Hangover," "Garden State"
Eric Steelberg – "Up in the Air," "(500) Days of Summer"

Costume Designers
Odile Dicks-Mireaux – "An Education," "The Constant Gardener"
Sarah Edwards – "Salt," "Michael Clayton"
Danny Glicker – "Up in the Air," "Milk"

Directors
Gregg Araki – "Kaboom," "Nowhere"
Susanne Bier – "In a Better World," "After the Wedding"
Neil Burger – "Limitless," "The Illusionist"
Lisa Cholodenko – "The Kids Are All Right," "Laurel Canyon" (also invited to the Writers Branch)
Debra Granik – "Winter's Bone," "Down to the Bone" (also invited to the Writers Branch)
Tom Hooper – "The King's Speech," "The Damned United"
John Cameron Mitchell – "Rabbit Hole," "Shortbus"
Yojiro Takita – "Departures," "Himitsu"

Documentary
Jon Alpert – "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province," "Lock-up: The Prisoners of Rikers Island"
Amir Bar-Lev – "The Tillman Story," "Fighter"
Lesley Chilcott – "Waiting for 'Superman'," "It Might Get Loud"
Carl Deal – "Capitalism: A Love Story," "Trouble the Water"
Charles Ferguson – "Inside Job," "No End in Sight"
Tim Hetherington – "Restrepo" (posthumous)
Sebastian Junger – "Restrepo"
Thomas Lennon – "The Warriors of Qiugang," "The Blood of Yingzhou District"
Diane Weyermann – "Waiting for 'Superman'," "Food, Inc."
Ruby Yang – "The Blood of Yingzhou District," "The Warriors of Qiugang"

Executives
William J. Damaschke
Richard M. Fay
Donna Langley
Leslie Moonves
Vanessa L. Morrison
Bill Pohlad
Rich Ross
Jeff Small
Thomas Tull

Film Editors
Tariq Anwar – "The King's Speech," "American Beauty"
Naomi Geraghty – "Limitless," "Reservation Road"
Jon Harris – "127 Hours," "Layer Cake"
Darren Holmes – "How to Train Your Dragon," "The Iron Giant"
Pamela Martin – "The Fighter," "Little Miss Sunshine"
Joel Negron – "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "The Karate Kid"
Terilyn A. Shropshire – "Jumping the Broom," "Eve's Bayou"
Angus Wall – "The Social Network," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Andrew Weisblum – "The Black Swan," "The Wrestler"

Live Action Short Films
Luke Matheny – "God of Love," "Earano"

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Judy Chin – "Black Swan," "Requiem for a Dream"
Kathrine Gordon – "3:10 to Yuma," "Ocean's Eleven"
Trefor Proud – "W.," "Topsy-Turvy"
Cindy Jane Williams – "Burlesque," "Hancock"
Wesley Wofford – "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," "A Beautiful Mind"

Music
Terence Blanchard – "Inside Man," "Malcolm X"
Fernand Bos – "Crazy Heart," "Cold Mountain"
Graeme Revell – "Darfur Now," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"

Producers
Iain Canning – "Oranges and Sunshine," "The King's Speech"
Cean Chaffin – "The Social Network," "Fight Club"
Kevin Feige – "Thor," "Iron Man"
Gary Goetzman – "Where the Wild Things Are," "Mamma Mia!"
Sisse Graum Jorgensen – "In a Better World," "After the Wedding"
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte – "The Kids Are All Right," "Laurel Canyon"
Todd Lieberman – "The Fighter," "The Proposal"
Robert Lorenz – "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Mystic River"
Celine Rattray – "The Kids Are All Right," "Grace Is Gone"
Emile Sherman – "The King's Speech," "Candy"
Emma Thomas – "Inception," "The Dark Knight"
Gareth Unwin – "The King's Speech," "Exam"

Production Designers
Howard Cummings – "I Love You, Beth Cooper," "John Grisham's The Rainmaker"
Therese DePrez – "Black Swan," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
Guy Hendrix Dyas – "Inception," "The Brothers Grimm"
Jess Gonchor – "True Grit," "Capote"
Jane Musky – "Something Borrowed," "Finding Forrester"
Eve Stewart – "The King's Speech," "Topsy-Turvy"

Public Relations
Susan Ciccone
Alissa Grayson
Jeffrey Hall
Jill Ann Jones
Mark Markline
Carmelo Pirrone
Ira Rubenstein
David Schneiderman
Loren Schwartz
Lance Volland

Set Decorators
Judy Farr – "The King's Speech," "Death at a Funeral"
Gene Serdena – "The Fighter," "House of Sand and Fog"

Sound
Andrew DeCristofaro – "Hall Pass," "Crazy Heart"
Joe Dorn – "The Wolfman," "Spider-Man 3"
Marc Fishman – "Bridesmaids," "Crash"
Lora Hirschberg – "Inception," "The Dark Knight"
Chris Jargo – "Robin Hood," "American Gangster"
John Midgley – "The King's Speech," "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"
Ed Novick – "Inception," "The Dark Knight"
Hammond Peek – "King Kong," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Brian Vessa – "Nemesis," "Lambada"
Mark Weingarten – "The Social Network," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Visual Effects
Tim Alexander – "Rango," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Rob Bredow – "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," "The Polar Express"
Tim Burke – "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," "Gladiator"
Peter Chesney – "No Country for Old Men," "Men in Black"
Paul Franklin – "Inception," "The Dark Knight"
Kevin Tod Haug – "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," "Quantum of Solace"
Florian Kainz – "Mission: Impossible III," "The Perfect Storm"
Marshall Krasser – "Iron Man 2," "Titanic"
Sean Phillips – "Alice in Wonderland," "The Polar Express"
Peter G. Travers – "Watchmen," "The Matrix Reloaded"
Brian Van't Hul – "Coraline," "I, Robot"
Mark H. Weingartner – "Sex and the City 2," "Inception"

Writers
Stuart Blumberg – "The Kids Are All Right," "Keeping the Faith"
Lisa Cholodenko – "The Kids Are All Right," "Laurel Canyon" (also invited to the Directors Branch)
Debra Granik – "Winter's Bone," "Down to the Bone" (also invited to the Directors Branch)
Karen McCullah Lutz – "The Ugly Truth," "Legally Blonde"
Aline Brosh McKenna – "27 Dresses," "The Devil Wears Prada"
Bob Peterson – "Up," "Finding Nemo" (also invited to the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch)
David Rabe – "The Firm," "Casualties of War"
Anne Rosellini – "Winter's Bone"
David Seidler – "The King's Speech," "The King & I"
Scott Silver – "The Fighter," "8 Mile"
Kirsten Smith – "The Ugly Truth," "Legally Blonde"
Aaron Sorkin – "The Social Network," "A Few Good Men"
Daniel Waters – "Batman Returns," "Heathers"

Additionally, the Academy invited John Coffey, Risa Gertner and Robert C. Rosenthal to Associate membership. Associate members are not represented on the Board and do not have Academy Awards® voting privileges.

Individuals invited to join multiple branches must select one branch upon accepting membership.

New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception in September.

"Horrible Bosses" Soundtrack Hits Digital Retailers July 5th

“Horrible Bosses” Soundtrack Set for July 5th Release

Features Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band), Money Mark (Beastie Boys)

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music will release “Horrible Bosses: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” at all digital retailers on July 5, 2011. This audio companion to New Line Cinema’s irreverent comedy “Horrible Bosses” will offer a unique and exciting musical experience to the listener. Grammy Award Winner and Emmy Award nominated composer Christopher Lennertz (Ozomatli, Supernatural, Lemonade Mouth) has assembled an all-star collection of artists to collaborate on the soundtrack. Bringing together Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Stefan Lessard of Dave Matthews Band, and Money Mark – a long time Beastie Boys collaborator - to join forces and record with musicians Matt Chamberlain, David Levita, Aaron Kaplan, Victor Indrizzo, Chris Chaney, and Davey Chegwidden, Lennertz has created a wildly funky musical journey to the film.

“I was pretty stoked when Christopher asked me to play guitar on some of these tracks and to collaborate and brainstorm with all these amazing players,” says McCready of the project.

Adds Lessard, “Chris has such a wonderful vibe. It was a pleasure to work on this film and with all these guys and I had a lot of fun throwing down these bass lines.”

In the comedy “Horrible Bosses,” Jason Bateman (“Couples Retreat”), Charlie Day (“Going the Distance”) and Jason Sudeikis (“Hall Pass”) star as three hapless workers who realize that the only way to make their daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and the dubious advice of a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers…permanently. But, even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them, Jennifer Aniston (“He’s Just Not That Into You”), Colin Farrell (“Crazy Heart”) and two-time Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty,” “The Usual Suspects”) star as the unbearable bosses and Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) stars as the plotters’ unlikely mentor. The main cast also includes veteran actor Donald Sutherland and Julie Bowen (TV’s “Modern Family”).

“Horrible Bosses” is directed by Seth Gordon (“Four Christmases,” “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters”) and produced by Brett Ratner and Jay Stern. The screenplay is by Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, story by Markowitz. Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown and Diana Pokorny serve as executive producers, with John Rickard and John Cheng as co-producers. The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography David Hennings; production designer Shepherd Frankel; editor Peter Teschner; costume designer Carol Ramsey; and composer Christopher Lennertz. Dana Sano is the music supervisor. It is rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.

“Horrible Bosses” opens nationwide on Friday, July 8, 2011.

http://www.horriblebossesmovie.com/

"Health Inspector" Still the Best Larry the Cable Guy Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 69 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux


Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006)
Running time: 89 minutes (1 hour 29 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language
DIRECTOR: Trent Cooper
WRITERS: Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer
PRODUCERS: Alan C. Blomquist and J.P. Williams
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Kim Marks
EDITOR: Gregg Featherman

COMEDY

Starring: Larry the Cable Guy, Iris Bahr, Bruce Bruce, Megyn Price, Tom Wilson, Joanna Cassidy, David Koechner, Tony Hale, Lisa Lampanelli, and Joe Pantoliano with Kid Rock and Jerry Mathers

Larry (Larry the Cable Guy) is big city health inspector who is happy with his usual beat of greasy spoon diners, low-rent ethnic restaurants, and food stands where his good-old boy charm and down home attitude solves health problems better than a writing a citation. His easygoing job suddenly takes a turn for the worse when his boss, Bart Tatlock (Thomas F. Wilson) who hates him saddles Larry with a rookie partner, Amy Butlin (Iris Bahr), and a new beat.

Larry suddenly has to investigate a mysterious outbreak of food poisoning at the city’s swankiest restaurants that leaves patrons vomiting up their meals or heading for the toilets. Poor Larry only gets so far in his investigation as to infuriate chic restaurateurs and baffle his partner, Amy, but he still finds time to woo a waitress, Jane Whitley (Megyn Price), into a budding romance. However, when his failure to uncover the origin of the mystery illness endangers his job and reputation, Larry goes undercover to solve the crime in the most hilarious ways.

Many viewers know standup comedian Larry the Cable Guy (whose government name is Dan Whitney) from Jeff Foxworthy’s Blue Collar Comedy Tour, or have seen him on the Comedy Central, seen his hit DVD, and/or have heard one or more of his three hit comedy albums. Now, Larry, like numerous characters from “Saturday Night Live,” has a movie, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

The film is vulgar, occasionally vile, and relentlessly and shamelessly cheap and tasteless. It opens with a shot of the crack of Larry’s butt and of him peeing in the shower, yet Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector is also one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in months. It’s not a romantic comedy. It’s a coarse raunchy comedy starring a comedian who has made a point of being as politically incorrect as possible. If you like Larry the Cable Guy, you’ll like this. If you don’t like Larry’s act, you will utterly hate this… unless you’re willing to give him a chance, and I think it’s worth the reward to give good old Larry a chance.

Health Inspector’s plot is convoluted, but the script is the perfect comic vehicle for a film that has to focus on a stage comic’s particular act. It has enough of the trappings of the crime genre to be a whodunit the way Scooby-Doo cartoons are detective stories. And since Larry the Cable Guy isn’t trying to become Larry the romantic comedy guy, a light crime story gives him room to clown and be himself. The entire mystery that this movie presents moves only as Larry’s act moves it, and that’s okay. Larry is a funny guy.

I’m not going to pretend that Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector is high quality filmmaking, but this is certainly a textbook example of giving the audience what it expects – lots and lots of raucous Larry. Flatulence, toilet humor, redneck jokes, country humor, gay jokes, ethnic stereotypes that will make you cringe, gross out humor, juvenile escapades: Larry does it all with a good-natured wink and a nudge. I’d love a sequel.

6 of 10
B

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy B'day, Tony Scott: The Last Boy Scout

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 13 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux


The Last Boy Scout (1991)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – R
DIRECTOR: Tony Scott
WRITERS: Shane Black; from a story by Shane Black and Greg Hicks
PRODUCERS: Joel Silver and Michael Levy
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ward Russell
EDITORS: Stuart Baird, Mark Goldblatt, and Mark Helfrich

ACTION/CRIME/DRAMA with elements of comedy

Starring: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Noble Willingham, Chelsea Field, Taylor Negron, Danielle Harris, Halle Berry, Bruce McGill, Chelcie Ross, Joe Santos, Bill Medley, Verne Lundquist, Dick Butkus, Lynn Swann, Billy Blanks, Morris Chestnut, Badja Djola, and Eddie Griffin

As the 1990’s opened, the skyrocketing budget of Hollywood film productions was the story about which the entertainment news media couldn’t stop talking. The Bruce Willis headliner, The Last Boy Scout, was the talk of the town from the moment screenwriter, Shane Black, became the first person to sell a script for one million dollars, which he did with The Last Boy Scout Script. After the Hudson Hawk debacle, which saw that super expensive flick, also starring Willis, become a box office dud (although it’s one of my favorite movies), The Last Boy Scout looked like another over-priced dud. However, released during the 1991 holiday season, it became a modest hit, grossing just under $60 million against an estimated production budget of about that much.

Willis is Joseph Cornelius Hallenbeck, Joe for short, a disgraced Secret Service agent who now moonlights as a private detective – a down and out, cynical private dick. Damon Wayans is James Alexander Dix, Jimmy Dix for short, a disgraced former MVP quarterback for the pro football team, the L.A. Stallions, thrown out of the league because he gambled. They meet when Joe accepts a job acting as a bodyguard for Jimmy’s girl friend Cory (Halle Berry), a stripper who dates rich men.

When Cory is murdered in a gangland style hit and a friend of Joe’s is killed by a car bomb, the two come together to solve the murders. What they discover is that both their former employers: Senator Calvin Baynard (Chelcie Ross) who got Joe fired and Sheldon “Shelly” Marcone (Noble Willingham) who owns the Stallions, are united in a shady and deadly deal to legalize gambling on professional football. What Joe and Jimmy find themselves in is a deadly game of life and death that is as bone-crushing and bruising as any football game, and it’s a game that also comes with bullets flying.

The script by Shane Black, who reinvented the cop-buddy action flick with his script for Lethal Weapon, penned a script for The Last Boy Scout that is all over the place. Set in Los Angeles, it shows his love for Raymond Chandler’s private eye stories, but this is more a crime drama than a film noir-ish detective tale. It’s a violent action comedy, and buddy action flick like 48 Hours, in which two men are forced into the situation of being partners and have a hard time warming up to one another.

Besides, it’s genre pedigree, the script is mostly haphazard, as it tries to shoehorn serious human drama into a violent detective/conspiracy framework. The movie jumps around a lot. Sometimes, it’s a melodramatic tale of a broken family. Sometimes, it’s a high-octane action comedy. Sometimes, it’s a shootout picture. Then, it’s a drama again, but a few minutes later, someone has to be shot in the head. A few minutes later, everyone has jokes.

What makes this movie work, ultimately, is director Tony Scott. Riding high off such late 80’s action hits as Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II, he was one of Hollywood’s very top action directors, but he was (and still is) an all-around, very skilled filmmaker. Scott is the one who makes just about every one of Black’s genre conventions work. The film comes together slowly, but when it does, it’s with a bang. By the end, The Last Boy Scout is fun and exciting, with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor because Black is somewhat spoofing the sub-genre he helped to create. Shamelessly and gratuitously violent, it’s the gun violence that keeps this from being an exceptional film.

Willis and Wayans have tolerable film chemistry, and like the film, it takes a bit for them to warm up to each other and get in synch. When all comes together, it’s a doozy – rollicking, hilarious fun for men who love movies. Their performances, like this movie, aren’t worthy of a long-cinematic memory, but when the appetite calls for an action flick, there are worse choices… much worse.

6 of 10
B

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Monday, June 20, 2011

Third "Transformers" Movie Has Special 3D and IMAX Advanced Showings

“TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON” TO OPEN EXCLUSIVELY IN 3D AND IMAX AT 9PM ON TUESDAY, JUNE 28TH

HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 17, 2011) – Paramount Pictures announced today it will open Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON exclusively at 3D and IMAX locations across the country beginning at 9PM local time on Tuesday, June 28th, allowing moviegoers nationwide to be among the first to see the latest installment in the hit franchise, and the first to be shot in 3D. The movie will open wide beginning at 12AM on June 29th.

“Michael Bay has created an incredibly engaging and immersive 3D experience with this latest movie, one that will undoubtedly be among the most entertaining movie going experiences of the summer,” said Paramount’s Vice Chairman Rob Moore. “Providing fans an opportunity to see it early in 3D is a great way to kick off the movie’s opening.”

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger and produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. © 2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, go to http://www.transformersmovie.com/

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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 Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

Happy B'day, Nicole Kidman: The Others

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 35 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux


The Others (2001)
Running time: 104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for thematic elements and frightening moments
WRITER/DIRECTOR/COMPOSER: Alejandro Amenábar
PRODUCERS: Fernando Bovvaira, José Luis Cuerda, and Sunmin Park
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Javier Aguirresarobe
EDITOR: Nacho Ruiz Capillas
BAFTA Award nominee

HORROR/DRAMA/THRILLER

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Alakina Mann, James Bentley, Eric Sykes, Elaine Cassidy, and Renée Asherson

The bump in the night, the shadows and the dark spaces, and the thrill of dark atmospherics is back in Alejandro Amenabar’s The Others. Amenabar’s 1997 Spanish language film Abres los ojos (Open Your Eyes) was remade by Cameron Crowe as Vanilla Sky, starring the ex-spouse of this film’s star.

Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge!) lives in a darkened old home with her two photosensitive children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). After three new servants arrive, Grace begins to suspect that her house is haunted. Ms. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), who seems to be the leader of the three, seems at first sympathetic to Grace’s fears, but as time goes, she and the other two come to regard, at least on the surface, Grace as problematic. The atmosphere becomes increasingly one of pure dread and fear, and much of the happenings are not what they seem.

The Others recalls Henry James short novel, The Turn of the Screw, but just that little fact can throw the viewer off the scent of who “the others” are. This film is actually closer, in its sense of mystery, to one of its horror and scary movie contemporaries, which shall remain unnamed.

Eschewing high tech special effects, Amenabar summons the spirit of Hitchcock, juxtaposing light and shadow and using shadow and space, fog atmosphere, quiet and the absence of sound, and those little bumps in the other room – everything that recalls older horror films before computer-generated imagery (CGI) stole imagination. The terror doesn’t come from a madman or monster stalking the characters. It is very much about what is and isn’t there and reality and the state of mind.

The acting by the entire cast is very good. The cast makes the audience play along with the terror and suspense, and this movie is as much a drama and a thriller as it is a horror film. The film industry needs an Amenabar. As long as the human element of filmmaking, of the hands on approach, remains his hallmark, we will be in good stead. It is a rare treat, and something like it won’t come around often, at least outside of the cable channel like Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and American Movie Classics (AMC). We can, however, enjoy The Others, this movie that deals with the fantastic and the supernatural without the aid of a hundred special effects.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2002 BAFTA Awards: 2 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Nicole Kidman) and “Best Screenplay – Original” (Alejandro Amenábar)

2002 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Nicole Kidman)